|You Are Weak|
|Summary:||Reaching the end of her patience with Jaremy, Amelia takes a huge risk in an effort to impart an important lesson.|
|Date:||04 AUG 2011|
|Related Logs:||Rygar invading, the tournaments.. lots.|
|Hoes. Mountains of coke. Al Pacino with an M16. Several creme pies on a table. Fifteen packs of hot dogs. Ale in the keg. What could possibly go wrong?|
|04 Aug 288|
Its getting on into the evening at the Rockcliff. In the days since Amelia left Jaremy's tent the last night, she has gone back to her whoring in a normal fashion though rumors have it she seems less enthused with it. That may or may not be surprising to some. At least she is still smiling at work. The patrons of the Inn are just getting into the spirit of the evening with a table of mildly intoxicated guards — a few with whores already picked out for the night — and a couple other tables of men just getting food. With empty tables to the side, Amelia seems to have taken to a break and is sipping at something in a cup and picking at a piece of chicken, the cooked bird the likely source of the tavern's herbed scents.
On his way back from ranging for the latter part of the evening, Jaremy has one of his sworn stand guard near his horse outside of the Rockcliff as he makes his way up the small staircase to the heavy, wooden door. Pushing it open, he steps inside, announced by the spurs on his riding boots as he crosses his vision into the candlelit room. He hesitates as his eyes pass over Amelia, and after a moment's passing, he decides to not head towards her. Instead he heads to the inkeep, setting down a coin. "One mug, if you would."
Amelia looks up at the familiar sound, the pit of her stomach icing quickly. She meets eyes with him, her face expressionless with just a hint of sadness. But when he moves for the bar, Amelia signals for the bartender and he pushes the coin back to Jaremy. "On Seagard's Whore tonight, m'Lord," he says quietly, setting the mug out for him. Amelia continues watching him while she picks at the chicken, glancing over every second or two.
Jaremy looks to the bartender and blinks. His expressionless face levels on the man as he slowly presses his finger down onto the coin and slides it back towards the bartender. Letting out a quiet sigh, Jaremy shakes his head to the man and reaches for the mug of beer. "I insist." Jaremy replies to the man, refusing the drink to be placed on the so called Seagard's Whore's tab. To finalize the transation, he looks away from the bartender, cutting off any rebuttal.
Amelia watches the interaction like a tired mother viewing a disobedient child banging pans on the floor. Her eyes move back to the chicken and she picks off the last few pieces. Head down, she seems to be thinking on something before she stands and, taking her cup, moves over towards Jaremy. The whore stops beside him, looking up to meet his eyes before she bows her head. "My congratulations, m'Lord, if the rumors are to be true." Her head stays bowed until recognized.
"Thank you, Amelia." Jaremy replies, gazing over the top of the mug to the wall behind the bar. Taking another sip, he swallows and sets the heavy mug down onto the bartop, eyes tilting in her direction. "It seems she's been settling in here well at Terrick's Roost. She seems to have gained some approval by the locals." He turns his attention back to his drink. "…and you, how've you been since we last spoke?"
Her eyes lift back to him, looking at him even if he won't look at her. She's going to try, damnit. "She has. I rode back from Stonebridge with her. We've spent some good time together. Talked much about you." Her cup stays clasped close to her in both hands. "As expected." She doesn't want to talk about herself. That requires thinking about it. "Jaremy?" There's earnest concern there to her quiet words. "I can't get in. How is Lord Rowan?"
"I've not been able to see Rowan just yet, I've been busy with my father, but when I get the chance I'll go check on him. I didn't hear until late, to be honest." Jaremy replies, pausing for another sip of the bitter beer. The mug taps the bartop again, being set down into place. Just like a lord, table manners are rude to hold the mug between sips. Once again, he tilts his eyes in her direction. "Talked much about me, did you?" He turns, looking at her more fully. "I was aware you had, though I'll admit I wondered exactly what you might say."
The news of Rowan seems to greatly disatress her and she looks away with her lower lip bit between her teeth. Her eyes search the empty table beside them absently while her mind wanders. Her gaze lifts back after a few moments. "Tell him that I am praying for him, please?" But when he turns to her, she almost seems like she is worried about it and she involuntarily takes half a step back from him. This is not Jaremy. "We talked about you and what kind of man you are. What our hopes and dreams for you are like. Where we could see you. I- I will assume she is not put-off, m'Lord." She hasn't used that term for him this much in years and it probably as as much to do with his demeanor than anything else. "She is happy and hopeful? I hope?"
"I believe she is, yes. She's used to the sound of the ocean and the fact that we have a coastline seems to have given her some calm, though I don't expect she was able to see some of the events of the tourney coming." He watches Amelia closely, as if trying to discern exactly where her attention lies, knowing well her escape from their last conversation. She took her flute and ran, and she's still there. He rests his thumb in the hook of his belt, offering her a sharp nod. "I'll tell him you said just that, though I've no doubt he'll be down soon enough you'll see those prayers answered, Amelia."
Amelia looks up to him through his responses and she barely blinks when he finishes. The sharp nod just seems to be an unvocalized command to her and her eyes avert straight down, almost as if startled. "I'm sorry I have upset you, Ser Jaremy. My intentions have only been to protect what is important. I beg your leave, my Lord." She does, in fact, look nervous around him.
Jaremy raises an eyebrow, tilting his head towards Amelia with a look of half surprise and half annoyance. He keeps his voice low, securing the privacy in their conversation. "Oh come off it, Amelia, the last time you spoke you escaped from me quite upset. I'm giving you the room I thought that you wanted." He reaches for his mug of beer once more. "You haven't upset me, not one bit, in fact I was glad to receive your message. She is a fine woman, isn't she?"
The words seem to surprise her and she looks up at him. "You're scaring me, Jaremy," she says quietly. "That is not distance. That is distaste. If I wanted space I would have gone to my room. As it were, I've spent enough time there the last few days. I only came down to eat." Her voice is still cautious, the whore ready to back away. "Yes, she is fine. I want reasons to hate her. To see her beneath my foot. But I cannot find any. I quite like her. I think she will be a good wife and provide you a good family."
"It's not distaste, Amelia." He folds his arms across his chest, watching her from across their short distance. "I offered a coin to the main and have more of it to offer than you do. I insisted to keep your coin. Besides, I've yet to collect that bottle." He smirks quietly, huffing a barely audible breath down between them. His eyes lighten a little. "I mean this, though, how've you been? It was never my intention to show you that I did not care."
"I was just referring to the way you were not looking at me. I felt like I was a fly buzzing around your picnic." That's nearly whispered. Its the way most men might treat an annoying, normal whore that wouldn't leave them alone. Amelia is likely too used to being looked at and it all was like a bad shock to her. "I have your bottle upstairs. I was keen to leave it at the gates but I feared it wouldn't reach you." She's still concerned, but it may not be so much at him as something else. "How have I been," she repeats, looking to the floor. "Honestly, Jaremy, I've been thinking of leaving the Roost. For good. I love you all horribly but I'm beginning to feel that I've stepped out of place or I may not be so.. 'useful' anymore. You are going to have a wife who is not stupid, though she could be better informed.. Jarod.. will always be Jarod. But I honestly feel as if I've betrayed a trust. I have been considering using my stags to move to Lannisport or White Harbor." Its not a play at a guilt trip. This is genuine worry and obviously not some whim. Amelia has never spoken of leaving before.
"I wish that you would not. Amelia, you're not only a good friend to all of us but you've a means to some of the best advice I've received in life." He finally sits down on one of the bar's stools, allowing himself to get comfortable as they speak. His eyes remain on her, no longer keeping their conversation as impersonal. "You betrayed nothing, though in fact I probably betrayed you more. I worried that I gave you hope that I couldn't offer, Amelia, and for that I am sorry. I never meant to see you upset. You're a good woman. You always have been, and we're all stronger for you being here in this land. Every one of us. Even those fishwives by the coast that narrow their eyes at you."
Amelia keeps her eyes and head down, looking to the content of her cup. "No, Jaremy. It is I that betrayed you. You all have placed your trust in me that I would.. Gods this is such.. No better way to put it. But you have trust that I would be more 'professional' about what I do than to do something as stupid as fall in love. Again." She rolls her eyes at herself at the admission. Awkward moment. "I've tried to help you how I can, Jaremy. You and anyone else who comes to me. But its getting to the point where whoring is not sitting well with me and offering advice is not paying the bills. I can't stay here because I have no marketable skills and I can barely read. That note I wrote took me five minutes." She snorts at herself. "Annnd I suspect few would want to train me in a craft or trade." She lifts her eyes to look at him. "Besides, I. Jaremy I don't know that you want to hear me try and teach you anything anymore. My advice only goes so far. You have to listen to it. Otherwise I tell you I care for you and expect you to ignore my advice about marrying for advantage." That smile is extremely wry. She tries to put humor to it but it hurts. She knew it was going to. But Amelia has to face this or it will just hurt longer. And deeper.
"Amelia, your advice is good but there are only so many matters that I can or should take advice on. In the end, the decisions are my own, whether you agree with them or not. It's as you said, you think that I should lead? What sort of leader would I be if I followed?" He replies, taking another pull from the mug. He does manage to smile a bit as he sips. "If you've placed your trust in me, then you've to trust I've good reasons for deciding what I do. If it's education or a trade skill you need, these things can be arranged. Stay."
Amelia sips from her cup and returns to its previous clutch against her chest. "I trust that your heart is in the right place, Jaremy, I just don't know that you're ready." She swallows and looks to his face. "I know that there is a place for commoners and also one for nobles. We are two worlds that rarely if ever should collide. You know more than we. It is just the way of our worlds." There's no comment to her staying. Or the offer of skills. Amelia has never liked gifts or charity. "In the end Jaremy, you need to realize that you are not ready yet and that you need to learn when to take advice that is given. You can make decisions all day long and that will be your right. But I know I am concerned still."
Jaremy quiets, looking to Amelia from the corner of his vision as she offers over her words. Frowning, he sharply lifts an eyebrow and turns back to his mug. "Don't think I'm ready, you believe…" Jaremy murmurs under his breath, testing the words on his tongue. He's not a fan of them. "…you didn't seem to think so while I was saving you from being taken to Stonebridge's dungeon, Amelia. What precisely do you think that I need to be ready?"
The whore looks over the inn and all the people around. This isn't going as planned. She looks self-conscious for having brought this up here. Of all places. Amelia finds him again and takes a long breath. "Jaremy," she whispers, almost a request for him to not get angry. But it is what it is. "I appreciate you standing up for me, but that was a single time. It took those men coming into Terrick's Roost before you stood up to them. They had to be surrounded. These.. these people are not nice. Next time will you wait for them to cause problems? How far will you let them push you?" There is muddled concern there, almost like she doesn't know what to do.
Jaremy leans forward, pressing an elbow against the bar as he downs the last of his mug's contents. The mug is set aside and he turns on his stool, propping one booted foot on the rail as he gives Amelia his full attention. He's not mad, though he's already prepared his rebuttal. "I did what was right at the time, and I'm convinced that was the only move I could have played." He whispers, eyes darting to the rest of the bar, finding the other patrons busying themselves in other ways. "I'll not let them push me, Amelia. They pushed me then, and at the tourney I pushed back. If they try to push once more, they'll find I'll push harder."
The woman quirks her brow but looks away for a moment. That frustration lingers before she looks to him. "You pushed back at a tournament." She sighs. "Jaremy. Listen to what you're saying. You just told me that you couldn't have done anything to stop Rygar from coming into this town until he got here. That you pushed back when there were rules governing your actions. You know what you did at the tournament? You rode a horse, rather well, got hurt, and proved you can handle a weapon. Then you got drunk. Then you officially lost Isolde." She lifts a finger, taking a breath to stave him off. "That was a low blow, and I know it. But Jaremy," she still looks concerned and more than a little flustered. "Its a symptom of the same problem!" At least she is still whispering.
"A symptom of what problem, Amelia?" Jaremy blinks. "The Naylands didn't announce their crossing into our lands because that was part of their plan. It was part of their slight against our house. No one save for a passing rider perhaps may have been able to get that information to us faster. I couldn't stop that, though I could stop it again." Jaremy shrugs, cracking a sarcastic smile. "In return, I made an example out of him at the tourney. What would you have me do? Ride out there and drag him back and put him over my knee?"
The woman sighs, her shoulders sagging. "This is what I'm talking about, Jaremy." She shakes her head several times and looks up. "You live in this dream world where everything will work out because you have honor. You know what happens to men that live by honorable codes?" She lofts her brow. "The fucking die. And then the people they left behind and swore to protect? The women are raped into slavery and the men are killed. Or even the other way around if you live on the other continent." Its not a joke. She takes a step closer to him, nearly standing with her chest to him. "You think you couldn't have stopped him because your honor only resides with you. This tavern is full of men who would die for you and you would not trust them with orders to stop any incursion by Rygar? This is your land Jaremy. Grow up and act like it. Do you think the great Barristan Selmy only stood his ground to defend? Or did he ever take his fight to an enemy when he saw trouble brewing?" She just went there. And she knows it. There's a little more energy and fire in her eyes now.
Jaremy's brows lower, off-put by her statements. He flashes her a look of warning at her closeness, though instead of nudge her away, he looks to the bartender and holds up a finger, signalling for another beer. "Amelia this land has prospered under honor, as has Ser Barristan Selmy. He earned his namesake via tourney, mind you. Though if you think I'd risk any of my people's lives to ruin or slavery to some invading force you're out of your right mind. Now is the time to defend, as offense would call foul to our position. They cross into Terrick lands and we'll know, and we'll send them packing."
At refusing to nudge her and the order of a beer, it just seems to upset her more. She steps back from him and sets the cup down carefully. "You risk them now by refusing to stand up and fight against these people. You have no idea what they are capable of, Jaremy. None. They will hit you and hit you until at some point you realize you should have hit back sooner.. and then its too late. I'm not telling you to outright attack them. I'm not a ponce, Jaremy. I'm not a knight. I don't know tactics. But I do know that you just consider this silly. I'm just a whore whose advice you can ignore at will. But I know what I'm talking about. By your own admission, you wouldn't know about an attack until it arrived at the castle gates because you won't think to do more than stand your honorable ground here." She huffs, stomping a foot lightly onto the floor. Nobody notices but it shakes her flesh. While the movement may have been out of frustration, it might actually look a bit comical.
As the reverberation of the wood reaches his foot from Amelia's frustrated stomp, Jaremy lifts his head to gaze back to her. Nodding his thanks to the tender for the mug of beer, the tender is all-too-happy to get back out of listening distance. Jaremy waits to reply until he's sure the man is far enough away. "Amelia I'm no fool, they're not going to breach our borders without answering to steel and a fast rider to Four Eagles, even then I cannot commit Terrick's Roost to war, only my father can. There's no admission by me on that one, even you know it'd be foolish to hole up in a keep without provisions. I'm no fool, Amelia, not one by any means. Calm yourself. There's no need to become enraged about this until it's absolutely necessary."
"These would be the same riders that would have been able to alert you to the approach of Ser Rygar?" Amelia rolls her head away, something a little like a sinking feeling appearing on her face. "I'm not talking about war, Jaremy. I'm talking about kicking their political shins, then punching them. They took your wife because you refuse to take what's yours. They will gobble up your land because you will not take it. And thye will do it without-" She closes her eyes and sighs. She's tricken. Amelia's eyes open to looking across the other men at the tavern. They're all having a good time. Eyes close again and she whispers gently to him, "Jare. You're not ready. You would rather fall on your sword than break your honor. I can appreciate living by a code, but you have no idea how different we are. These Naylands on the other side of the river will kill you. And subject the rest of us. All because you are weak of will. You won't do anything but defend." She sighs one more time and opens her eyes to him. There is love there. And hurt. "Please. Please learn something from this. Don't make this in vain." She looks to the people once more and back to Jaremy before she winds up her arms and shoves him with the stool as hard as she can muster, driving into him with both arms extended. The room falls silent. "A commoner whore just publicly struck you, Jaremy!" Her words echo. The guards forget the whores and drinks and they stand with their hands on their swords.
Jaremy has just enough time to catch his foot on the floor before she plows into him. As a result, his mug of beer sails to the floor, crashing loudly. The whole of the room turns to look at them just in time to see Jaremy stumbling backwards into a post, giving Amelia a look of pure, utter shock as the barstool rolls through the spilled drink.
"My lord wh—" A voice rushes in from the direction of the door, reaching for the sword on his hip. He's quickly halted as Jaremy shoots a flattened palm towards him, signalling for him to stop.
"Amelia." Jaremy says low, eyes narrowing. "What you are doing is uncalled for and very unnecessary." His voice is calm and collected as he straightens, reaching to brush the front of his tunic. "You may not understand that there are many, many ways to fight people like the Naylands. When the time comes. I will be ready. Now leave my sight immediately and we'll look past this. This, I must suggest to you, as it's my father and the King's Law you've threatened to break."
"You mean the same King's Law you ignored when you stopped Ser Rygar?" Amelia steps over to him, bypassing the stool as she lifts her skirts to step over it on the way. Everyone is watching. The people outside the tavern, though, just walk past without any idea of what is going on inside. "You cannot pick and choose, Jaremy! You either fight for the law that protects us or you ignore it and hope for the best. In the meantime?" She slaps him. Hard. "You just take the abuse! Because of your stupid honor!" She kicks a leg back and swings it forward to bring into his shin. Hard.
Jaremy's head whips to the side as he's slapped, and once again the sworn takes a step forward, heavy boot planting into the floor. Jaremy's hand shoots out again, stopping them. The gravely insulting act that Amelia's committed upon him in front of his own people is not lost on him, and he can barely collect himself before his shin takes a blow as well. Gritting his teeth, he lashes out…
…and his fist connects to the side of Amelia's face.
Blinking, Jaremy can hardly believe what he's just done, but then the look is cast in Amelia's direction. She slapped the land's lord. Is she out of her damned mind?!?! The incredulous look turns into a look of burning frustration and self-hatred. Gods damn her.
"You'll have the King's Law, Amelia." He sighs, motioning to the side. "Men. Show her to a night alone in the dungeon."
She looked like she might have tried to actually closed-fist hit Jaremy. Maybe. Her right arm was swinging back, a tear in her eye. Just about to roll off, his fist lands with the sickening sound of flesh impacting flesh. She may have been beaten plenty of times as a whore, but she's become softer these last four years. Her knees buckle and the woman staggers through the direction of the punch, collapsing onto a table before sliding off and falling to the ground. Dead. Silence. The whores look completely aghast. The men are shocked. Amelia rolls her head but her hair obscures her face. The expensive whore barely has time to roll her shoulders a bit before the sworn heft her by her shoulders and begin dragging her towards and out the door. Head hung, she barely looks awake while the toes of her shoes drag behind her.
"Gods damnit…" Jaremy murmurs under his breath, eyes to the side as his men take Amelia away. Closing his eyes, he takes in a slow breath and sighs it out. He tilts his head back, rolling it in its socket, thoroughly disgusted by the raw, aching feeling on his knuckles. It's the feeling of forgiveness begged for in prayer. Tighetning his jaw, he looks to the rest of the room, issuing them all a silent, lordly nod before he turns and follows Amelia out of the inn…this time as her true captor.