Nar 25, 228: A Cough and a Question

A Cough and a Question
Summary: On the day after the Princess has disappeared and safely returned, Ruthgar pays Caillin a visit. Something he says makes her cough, while she has questions for him he finds a bit hard to answer.
OOC Date: 28/07/2013 (OOC)
Related: A Princess in Distress
Caillin Ruthgar Gaela 
Royal Suite Three, Darfield Castle
Should you enter the room at day, you will immediately notice the sunlight entering the room at every angle. The wall to the west is a wall of glass, towering windows reaching to the ceiling and overlooking The Great Sea. The wall curves at the top, resulting in an arched ceiling, thick oak slabs crossing the ceiling at the base of the arch. A grand piano is before the window, a scattering of sheet music along the top. The floor is a thick lush carpet, the color of red wine. The middle of the room holds a cushy divan and love seat, facing one another. Large overstuffed cream colored chairs rest by a fireplace, along with a matching couch, and a low table in the center. On the center of the table is a vase, with fresh lillies resting in a bouquet. A bookcase is on either side of the fireplace, each containing a large collection. The walls hold various paintings of country scenes and horses, with a large painting over the fireplace, a scene of royal hunters on the move, painted by none other than Valous the Great. By the door to the hall is a beautiful and highly detailed grandfather clock, which chimes every hour.
Nar 25th, 228

Two guards are standing in front of the massive wooden doors, decorated with some wonderful carvings and silver or gold curves. When the doors are opened, you can enter into the really bright room.
Today, when sun is so high and there are just a few clouds in the sky, sunlight fulfills the room with so much warmth, that massive windows are opened fully this time in order to let some fresh air into the room.
On one of the cream coloured chairs in front of the fireplace, sits a young girl. As always, her flaxen curls are tress and fall on the shoulders playfully. Though, today a quite light and soft blanket covers the girl's legs, hiding all these wonderful embroideries of her skirt.
The girl is clenching a book in her one arm and a handkerchief in another. The princess goes atishoo and quickly covers her slightly red nose with that white hankerchief.
At this second, a young woman jumps on her feet. She is dressed in a quite simple caramel dress. That woman is Gaela - her handmaiden. She extends her hand to touch the forehead of the young princess "Your Highness, you have some fever, you should lie in your bed!" worried voice explains, but Caillin shakes her head "It's too boring. I want to read a book. It's too hot in my bedroom. Here I can find some fresh air. Can you bring me some water?"
Gaela takes a few steps closer near the table, filling the goblet with some water. She glances at the guards, standing in the room, before bringing the goblet to the princess.
Princess moistens her lips to the water, while Gaela whispers "See, now you will have even more guards. More you won't listen, more guards you will get!"
Caillin sighs "I see… I would like to have one, but very good. Wonderful knight, you know. With who I could speak too… I will speak with my father about it!" And both become silent again. Princess concentrates on the book, Gaela on the princess.

There is a knock on the door, and a Kilgour guard appears, exchanging a quick glance with the other guards in the room, before he enters and bows before the princess. "Your Highness, there is someone who wants to see you." He hesitates lowering his gaze with a nervous twitch of his mouth. "Lord Ruthgar Ruxton, Your Highness." Outside in the hall stands the knight, his hands joined before him. As usual when he is inside of the castle, he wears no armour, but a tunic in red and black, the silver anchor of his House is embroidered onto it, and black breeches. No sword is present today at his belt, as it would be frowned upon when entering the Royal Quarters.

When the door is opened, Caillin curiously turns her gaze to the guard. "Atishoo!" answers the princess at first, cleaning her reddish nose. Gaela jumps on her feet again. "Princess, I don't think you should…"
However, the princess shakes her head. "Company would cheer me up! Let him in," and the princess leans closer near Gaela, waving her with hand "How do I look? Very horr…. *atishoo* ible…" finishes Caillin.
Gaela chuckles "You are always pretty, Your Highness," and the handmaiden comes closer near the table, taking another goblet and fulfilling it with some wine.
The princess stands up. Her head is swirling slightly, but she manages to come closer near the table. The girl slips to her chair and tosses one grape to her mouth, cleaning the nose with her handkerchief once more. Her curious gaze remains on the door. Waiting.

Hearing Caillin's order, the guard can't do anything but obey. After another bow to the Princess, he steps to the side, making an inviting gesture with the hand to the knight, while inclining his head in deference. "The Princess will receive you now, my lord."

Ruthgar casts the guard a glance as he passes him, but there is no displeasure present in his pale grey eyes. As soon as he is inside he ignores the man who uses the opportunity to slip unnoticed outside to resume his place by the door. The Ruxton's full attention is on Caillin, and he offers her a deep bow. "Your Highness. After that… adventure of yours yesterday, I wanted to make sure you are alright.", Ruthgar explains, his voice low and soft. His features do not give too much away, as his face is unmoving like a mask, as usual. There is concern though in those grey eyes, as they rest on her, and after a short moment of hesitation he continues: "I hope you are well enough to receive guests?" That question perhaps added in regards to her slightly red nose.

Caillin nods, blushing slightly "Well, maybe I am not pretty right now for the eyes of young man. Maybe I do not look like a princess. You know, not properly, but I would love to speak with someone. Well, take a seat, young attentive lord," Caillin gestures to the seat in front of her. Gaela brings the goblet of wine, putting it on the table for the lord. Then Gaela takes a few steps back, taking a seat. Not too far away, but not too close too. "Take a seat, if you are not afraid to get sick, after meeting me," her soft voice explains and grey eyes sparkle. "Though, maybe that amber will save you! As I see it already saved you from getting a cold," the girl chuckles. "Yesterday… It was not an adventure. It was like a small disaster. The guards lost me from their sight, when my horse runaway, you know. Thanks for the Gods and Goddess, that you were able to see me!" Caillin takes one of her flaxen curls, just to whirl it shyly "Weren't you the first one, who found me?" sighs leaves Princess' throat "I would be so happy if at least one of my guards would be so attentive as you!" A soft laugh fulfills the room and Caillin once more gestures for the lord to take a seat. Her cheeks blush even more. Maybe from fever. Maybe…

It seems Caillin's blush, accompanied by her insecurity, manages to do the trick. Ruthgar lowers his head a touch, one corner of his mouth moving upwards in a half smile. "I would never have cause to worry about your appearance, your highness. It is your health that I am worried about.", he explains. "But as I can see you are up and about, so the fever has ceased, I suppose?" Accepting the offered seat, the Ruxton reaches for the goblet, casting Gaela a glance, short and assessing. Soon enough his attention is back on the Princess. Leaning slightly forward, the elbows resting on his knees he plays with the goblet in his hands, before he takes a sip. "I was not affected by the weather, and… maybe that token you gave me had something to do with it. Yes, I believe I was the first one there, even though the Lord Chancellor and the Duke arrived shortly after myself. And it was Mistress Victoria who calmed your horse, your highness. It was kind of her to offer us shelter in her house, until the storm was over." His grey eyes take on a pensive expression as he speaks of the tree house, and the hint of a smile disappears for a moment. "I am sure, if your horse had not run away, your guards would have taken care of you.", he replies to her last remark, his gaze dropping a touch as he notices her cheeks reddening again.

"I am happy to hear that! About the token, my… *atishoo* lord…" the girl quickly covers her nose with the handkerchief, chuckling and shaking her head. Her slightly hoarse, but still soft voice explains "Oh, no. I still have some fever. I should lie in my bed. But…" the girl shrugs "I just don't want to. It's so boring. I believe my children missed me…" the girl modestly lowers her look, concentrating grey eyes on the goblet in lord Ruxton's hands "By children, I mean these foundlings. And… I promised a visit for the priestess. We had to work on charity," sighs Caillin "Now, I ruined everything! A princess has no time to be sick…" drawls the girl and takes her own goblet. A long sip is taken, before the girl continues.
"I remember it not very well. That house tree. I guess I fell asleep… But I will have to say thank you for that woman! Though…" Princess chews on her lips for a moment, once more examining the young lord. Though, her cheek's becomes as red as cherries. "I remember how my cousin spoke with you… I am sorry, if I brought some problems for you. I will make sure, that my father would get the truth as soon as possible. I don't want you to have some problems, my lord…" Caillin bites her lip, letting her lips' corners jump up at the same time. Slightly playful, slightly worried, slightly shy sparkling eyes stare at the lord.

Ruthgar takes a sip from the wine, when Caillin speaks of her many duties, and with a reassuring smile he replies: "Your children will have to wait until their Princess is back to her full health again, your highness. No use to exert yourself, when you need a bit of rest. Everyone gets sick now and then. I am sure they will understand."

The index finger is run carefully along the rim of the goblet, as the knight pauses to hear Caillin's words about yesterday's big business. "The woman is not mine," the Ruxton clarifies in a rather casual tone as he notices her awkwardness. "I met her briefly in the courtyard of this castle, a few days ago. I did not even know she lives there in the woods. She is in Count Forrester's service, an escort and ranger I believe…" He shifts his weight a little. "As for the Chancellor… He is right of course. The circumstances could lead to false assumptions. But I am not afraid to repeat what I have already said to him, to the King and Queen, if I must."

"Oooh…" drawls the young princess "Good to hear…" and her lips touch the edge of the goblet. She slowly sips the drink, when suddenly her eyes widen as she would be afraid of something or just ashamed. The girl starts coughing. Maybe just because of her flu, maybe because she choked on the water. Maybe both.
Gaela quickly jumps on her feet "Are you alright, Your Highness?!" but Caillin just raises her hand to calm the handmaiden down "I am good," she answers quickly and sticks grey eyes on the lord "I did not want to say," words are jumping from the edge of her tongue very fast, it may be even hard to understand what the young princess is trying to say "that it is good, that /that/ woman is not yours. It is not good. I meant… Well.. It is not not good. It is just… Well. It is good but… I mean… It was just an expression, you know," and the girl takes a deep breath, letting her eyes to fulfill with some playful tears. She thought, she will sneeze, but nothing happened. The princess just brushes with her hand through the flaxen curls, making them fall on one of her eyes. Maybe she is trying to hide. Maybe it's just a coincidence. "My lord, I am sure, my father will understand. But first I will speak with my cousin…" she silently murmurs.

There is an amused glint in Ruthgar's pale grey eyes at first, when he sees the reaction his words have on her. But when she starts coughing, he jumps to his feet, like Gaela, puts the goblet onto the table and looks at Caillin with concern, a flinch indicating he was about to move towards her, but then again deciding against it. Keeping his position at a safe distance to her he inquires, with a soft voice that does not seem as expressionless and firm as just before: "Your highness? Is it your illness? Maybe I should leave after all, it is irresponsible of me to keep you from your rest."

Then Ruthgar stands there, arms crossing before him, one hand moving towards his chin to scratch it pensively, listening to Caillin insisting that she is alright, and then launching into this chain of parts of sentences that fail to make much sense. Unless… That half smile is back, and the Ruxton lowers his head incredulously, shaking his head in - amusement? Gratification? Who can tell. Either way. It seems the Princess has taken an interest in his person. Alas, it cannot be. Ruthgar raises his head again, offering Caillin a nod. "As you say, your highness." His tone is calm, his demeanour composed, his pale grey eyes are cautious, he is aware of the dangerous grounds he might be treading.

Caillin takes a gentle scratch of her neck, canting her head to one side and to other. Obviously, that chewing on her lip, which becomes more and more firm, is raised by that look. By these another grey eyes, who are examining her. So, speechless eyes, though.
Caillin turns her gaze at the handmaiden. "Gaela, you spoke with the priestess, yes?" soft voice asks "As soon as I become better, we will go to visit people in the infirmary, yes?" Gaela slightly chuckles "Even if you feel bad, you are always thinking about others. Yes, your Highness. We will!"
Caillin grins widely and dares to look again at the lord "Maybe you are right. I need to rest. The more I rest, the sooner I will be able to get back on my work!" Caillin stands up. At first, she wants to take a few steps closer near the lord, but she changes her mind. It wouldn't be nice to toss the virus on him. Though, she asks "Have you ever tried to visit commoners? In the infirmary? Have you ever spoken with foundlings? Helped poor families? Have you ever spoken and tried to help a lost soul? I would like that more people would be kind towards these, who they call lower mob," the princess's warm look investigates the eyes of the young lord "When I get better, I will visit people in the infirmary with Gaela and some guards. Would you care to join us? I would be pleased!" and now the girl stands in front of the young lord with eyes full of resolution, to make him do that even if he will say "no".
However, when the princess will get the answer, she will offer the young lord a curtsy and will leave to her bedroom, saying "Thank you for visiting me. See you soon, my lord!"

Pale grey eyes follow Caillin as she rises, eyes that take on a slightly bewildered expression as he feels himself confronted with her avalanche of questions. "I… have not." Ruthgar admits. Surely she must know that knights have other things to do during the day. But nonetheless his gaze is lowered for a moment as he stands there thinking. Thinking hard about what to reply. Then when she stands there, turned towards him but leaving a proper distance between them, his grey gaze is raised until it locks with hers. "Indeed I am not as unselfish and caring perhaps, as your Highness. But it has been my office to fight and protect the realm, which has occupied me sufficiently, leaving little time for anything else." Ruthgar hesitates, before he continues: "While I would accompany you, if you wish it, Princess Caillin, I am not sure if it would be wise. Not until these rumors and circumstances of your retrieval are put out. I… feel this needs to be settled first, with both the King and the Queen." Or both he and the princess might be in deep trouble. "I am sure you understand." Ruthgar offers his reply with an apologetic smile, clearly reading in Caillin's eyes that she wishes him to give another answer. But then his gaze flits downwards and acknowleding her curtsey with the bow her position requires, the Ruxton turns to leave the Princess - to the peace and tranquility she will need to recover from her illness.

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