Umbra 30, 228: A Lesson in Propriety

A Lesson in Propriety
Summary: Tyrel finds Ciarrah enjoying a moment of solitude on the battlements. When he discovers that she is unescorted and unguarded he delivers a lesson in propriety that she is not likely to forget.
OOC Date: November 3, 2013
Related: None
Tyrel Ciarrah 
From these ramparts of gray stone, you can look down upon the courtyard through arrow slits and holes in the wall for pitch or other hot liquid to be poured through. The sky ranges above the flat expanse of battlements. Torches are lit in small alcoves to keep them from the elements yet still casting light around the battlements. The deep blue night sky is clear and cloudless, and the stars glitter. A brisk breeze blows from the northwest. The only exit is back down.
Umbra 30, 228

Tyrel pauses a few steps short of the battlements top and can be heard taking a deep breath through the sides of his mouth. "Ah, the air always does taste a bit better from the heights." He can be heard saying then with the jingle of his weapons harness measuring his pace he takes the last few steps up and onto the battlements.

Standing at the other end, Ciarrah hears her husband before she sees him. She is alone up here today, but her maid is not too terribly far away, somewhere in the general vicinity of her own room, napping. Having grown restless in her own room, she had gone seeking a breath of air without actually leaving the castle without escort. Turning at the sound, a smile tugs at her lips and she walks towards him.

Tyrel runs a hand through his hair reestablishing the wayward part as he looks about. He smiles in response to Ciarrah's but the joy bleeds out of the smile as his gazes finishes a circuit of the battlements. His lips remain carefully upturned as he asks, "Ciarrah, where are your maid and guard?" His left hand jerks an almost spasmodic signal to Sir Roane and the other guards that escort him and they can be heard descending to take position at the bottom of the stairs rather than continuing to follow the prince up.

When he turns his attention to her, Ciarrah's own smile widens marginally. "They are inside, I came up here alone. They are not far from here, all I need to do is call for my guard and he would come." She notices the gesture made to his own guards but does not address it. "How are you this day, My Prince?"

The smile falls away, "You are not to be alone, Ciarrah. There are too many dangers which will not wait for you to call out or for your guard and maid to come. Your guard will be lashed and your maid strapped for their failure. In regards to my day, it was going well until you disappointed me." He moves past her to pace off the battlements his eyes looking over every inch of the stone.

Blue eyes flicker over him in surprise. "Not even for a moment, in the castle? I was simply catching a breath of fresh air…" Though all the fight leaves her and Ciarrah offers nothing further of an excuse when he mentions her disappointing him. Her lips compress and she averts her gaze from him, her posture stiff instead of defeated. "Please excuse me, Prince Tyrel, I shall return to my prison. Forgive me, my room." Bowing her head before moving towards the exit.

Tyrel says, "Your attitude is unbecoming, a lady of the court is already kidnapped and her maid and guards slaughtered. She, at least, had the sense not to go alone and I pray she is only suffering from imprisonment, no worse." He continues to pace off the balcony and it becomes obvious that he is not only looking for hidden dangers but also for the possibility of hidden friends or lovers. "We have guests and ambassadors with us, their attendants and guards roam the halls, any of which could be a spy or assassin. Further there are already rumors floating through the halls of impropriety and unfaithfulness, I will not have your named stained with such slander or my name shamed with such criticism." As she moves to leave he takes a stride in her direction and sets his hand on her shoulder. "You will wait until I have sent my guard away and Sir Roane will fetch your maid and your guard while we remain here awaiting them. You will then attend their correction to witness what comes of failing in one's duties."

Ciarrah stiffens at his rebukes, the reminders of the lady and maids disappearance hitting her like small daggers. At least he hadn't thrown in the Crawfords! She feels his hand on her shoulder and slowly turns to face him. "There has never been, nor would there ever be any impropriety or unfaithfulness. Tell me you do not believe me capable of that?" When it becomes obvious he was seeking hidden lovers, the color leaves her face and she stands there staring at him with stark dismay. "You do…" Her arms wrap around herself and she shivers, dropping her gaze from him to hide her own expression. She puts up no fight when he says she has to remain to witness. She says nothing further at all.

Tyrel moves down two steps and calls for Roane, the other guards are sent away on errands while Roane is sent to fetch the maid and guard. Tyrel then closes the door before turning to face Ciarrah again. "All men and women are capable of unfaithfulness and impropriety, Ciarrah. You are, I am. If we were not capable of it then there would be no nobility or honor in our choice to remain faithful and proper." He folds his hands behind his back, "I do not accuse you of being unfaithful, I ask you to cease giving me reasons to doubt you."

Always, her whole life, Ciarrah had been proper and to have Tyrel scold her now like this when she had done nothing wrong, she feels so very insulted, and the dismay is still clear in her eyes as she lifts them to look at him, his face, not his eyes. She is too upset and would not wish him to see her at this point. "I would not wish to embarrass you further." Her voice is flat, monotone. "As for your doubts, you choose to have them, they are yours alone, I will not carry your own burden."

Tyrel takes a breath, holds it, and nods, "I am aware I carry my own burdens, Ciarrah, I had hoped by this point you might wish to ease those that you could. I understand that customs differ but this is not a small castle on an island where all are known and trusted. This is he seat of the King and not all who are guests here are welcome, wanted or to be believed and a false rumor of your infidelity that cannot be disproven is as damning to our rule as a true one. The only difference between them is how much pain it would cause me personally."

Ciarrah closes her eyes and takes a few deep breaths, more to compose herself than the actual need of silence to think about things. Opening them again, they are filled with regret and apology. "I have let you down." It is not a question. It is a statement of fact and sudden realization. "Never would I willingly or knowingly add to your burden. It is true, I am not accustomed to such tight restrictions, yet I realize that I must change. If I have hurt you, or caused you discomfort or pain, then I am deeply sorry. It was never my intention. In the future, I will keep myself to the safety and security of my room and my brothers suite and the dining room."

Tyrel shakes his head, "You are My Princess and will be My Queen, such restrictions would prevent you from becoming the woman and wife I need you to be. Travel where you will but do not ever be without your maids and guards." He moves close to her and takes her shoulders then leans close to place a kiss on her cheek. While near her he says, "The entire kingdom, every soldier, every knight and archer, and all of my strength exist to protect you and the children you are to bear. Do not insult us all by casting away that protection and putting yourself at risk."

"Then I will do as you say. If you give me guidelines, tell me how to act and react and I will abide them and there will never again be cause to question myself, my loyalties or the father of my child. I have never, nor would I ever, compromise your position by doing anything so petty as to question in my loyalty. My maid and my guard were with me in the stables, at the beach and anywhere else I spoke to your brother. I never gave him the slightest inclination that I would be interested in any of his advances. Your mother questioned my maid and that was the end of it or so I had believed. I will do as you say, Tyrel." But Ciarrah is hurting. She had seen his doubt, the way he had searched for a lover on the battlements, as if she would have had one hidden here like a common whore. She bows her head at his words, acknowledging them, accepting them and this… what is now her life. Bargained for by her father and the council.. for an alliance and warships.

Tyrel looks over at Ciarrah, "If I thought that you had shown any interest then he would be dead and you would be exiled, Ciarrah. I do not tollerate betrayal, once committed it festers like a wound gone rotten. There is no healing it." He moves to open the door to the battlements again so that Sir Roane can usher the maid and guard in. The pair keep their eyes on the floor. Tyrel sends Roane down to stand guard at the base of the stairs and shuts the door again. "The both of you have failed in your duties allowing My Princess to go unguarded and unescorted about the castle. We are at war and this is no time for laxity. So that this lesson remains between the four of us you will each take strap to the other and I hope that the shame and pain you feel will teach you to never fail again. If either of you fails give the full measure of correction to the other then I will give full measure of your correction with the flat of my sword." Tyrel turns to look at Ciarrah, "My Princess, it is your safety they have faied to guard, so you will give the command and the number of lashes they will each administer to the other." Tyrel then folds his hands behind his back and waits.

Ciarrah winces when he mentioned dead and exiled. "Yes, I agree, it is why I would not hurt you intentionally nor would I betray you." As Serah and her guard come in, she watches the pair, looking apologetic. This was the fault of herself, not her guard nor her maid, yet now they must suffer it. Her lips compress as she lowers her eyes, her teeth biting hard into her lower lip to keep herself from showing emotion. As it becomes clear, she lifts swimming eyes to Tyrel. "Must I choose?" How could she?

Tyrel looks over at Ciarrah, "Your choice was made when they failed to accompany you, Ciarrah. Every choice you make must be measured and correct." He gestures between the two, "These two look to you for the measure of the choice that was made, in straps and lashes, and if you fail them in your measure then they will feel it from the flat of my blade."

Ciarrah looks at him at length, not daring to contradict him in front of them, but there is pain, disappointment and resignation in her eyes. "Ten," she says firmly, for she fears any less and he would punish them as well. She takes a few steps back, her hands lacing together, gripping her own fingers tightly. She forces her breaths to be even although her heart feels to be beating out of her chest and she suddenly feels trapped.

Tyrel nods, "Soldier, bare your back." The guard does as instructed and Tyrel hands Serah the knotted leather lash. "Ten, as the Princess has measured." He then steps back from the pair to stand beside Ciarrah. "Give me your hand, Ciarrah." He says holding his out to her.

Giving him her hand is the last thing she wants to do, but again, Ciarrah would never openly deny him. She slips her hand into his obediently, but the warmth of before is suspiciously lacking, and her hand rests in his pliantly. She looks stoically forward, to the guard and her maid Serah.

Tyrel takes Ciarrah's hand holding it for a moment then turning towards her pitching his voice low so as not to be overheard by Serah as she prepares to swing, "I am beside you in all things, Ciarrah." The tone is hard to interpret as it is followed almost immediately by the first crack of the lash upon the guard's back. A second, then a third, and on as Serah seems to wish to finish entirely the the space of one held breath. Her inexperienced hand and arm may not deliver the punishing force of a pro but her sloppy swings cause the lash to wrap around the guards waist leaving welts on his side and stomach as well as his back.

Ciarrah stands as still as possible, hearing Tyrel yet not sure if she believes his words. She bows her head and flinches at each lash, her body jerking with every hit, she cannot help it, she cannot control it. She does not look, but it does not stop her from seeing it in her minds eye. "Yes, Your Highness," she finally acknowledges his words in a strangled voice.

Tyrel reaches over with his free hand and places a finger under Ciarrah's chin, "Do not turn your head from the choices you've made or you will not remember them." Once he has lifted her head he looks back to the pair. "Soldier, give your cloak to the maid so she might cover herself as she bares her back." The guard moves swiftly but stiffly to obey then Tyrel hands him the strap, a softer and wider piece of leather. "Ten, as the princess has measured."

Feeling him lifting her gaze, Ciarrah had thought, hoped to find something in his eyes, something, anything.. but when instead she is directed to look to her guard and maid, she lifts her chin further and allows her eyes to rest on the two. She stands stiffly, attempting to show no emotion, no reaction as her maid receives the punishment.

Tyrel watches alongside Ciarrah as the soldier delivers the ten strikes with the strap. The blows are strong and measured but his aim is truer and the bruises that start to color Serah's back are spread evenly from top to bottom so that no portion of her back is badly beaten. As the tenth stroke falls Tyrel squeezes Ciarrah's hand gently then releases it. "Dress and arrange yourselves suitably." He orders the pair.

'Badly' beaten is a matter of perspective and it appears to be terribly bad for Ciarrah to see her handmaid in such a condition. She gets a sudden surge of anger at her husband, but she does not act on it. She refuses to even acknowledge the squeeze from his hand, only grasping her own hands together so he does not reach for hers again. She says nothing.

Tyrel gives the maid and guard a few moments to sort themselves out tells them, "Go and await her highness in our chambers. Notify Sir Roane that we wish privacy for a few moments. I will send word for you to come and attend her should I be called away before I can escort her there."

Ciarrah still remains silent even as they are led out and he asks for them to have a moment alone. There is not much she can add to anything, so she does not even try.

Tyrel looks to Ciarrah, "Express your opinion if you wish, Ciarrah. We are alone." He moves to look out over the battlements at the land and sea below. "I would hear your thoughts, if you would share them."

Ciarrah looks at him for a long moment, remembering the lashes. "It is my turn," she finally tells him. "I shall receive the same punishment, should I not? It was my own doing and if I am to truly learn should I not remember better by feeling the same pain?"

Tyrel turns to look back at Ciarrah, "Those are your people, Ciarrah, did you not already feel their pain?"

"I did, though they have felt nothing of mine. May I leave now if you are finished punishing me?" Ciarrah counters.

Tyrel looks over at Ciarrah, "I will see you to our chambers, if you wish to leave after I am certain your guards and maids will be quick to attend you."

"Yes, please." Ciarrah is just as certain they will be quick to attend her, but she will also attend her maids wounds herself. She turns her gaze to land on Tyrel, disillusionment clear in her gaze.

Tyrel extends his arm to her, "I hope, My Princess, the next time I clear an afternoon to spend time with you we can spend more of it enjoying each other's company."

Ciarrah obediently slips her hand into the bend of his arm. "Yes, Your Highness. Of course. Once again I offer my most sincere apology. It shall not happen again, I assure you." Her other hand slips to her waist protectively and she looks away from him.

Tyrel nods and moves to descend the stairs, "I will be retiring early this evening. Make what arrangements you need so that you are in our chambers this evening. I wish to speak with you again before we sleep."

Ciarrah descends the stairs with him and she inclines her head, her fingers like ice. She just feels so cold, almost shivering. "I have no intentions of leaving your chambers this evening, Your Highness. I will be available at your convenience."

Tyrel waves Roane and the guards to follow at a distance as they move through the halls to their chambers. The chastised guard is smartly at attention just outside the door. Tyrel holds the door open for Ciarrah to enter.

Ciarrah hesitates just outside the door and gives her guard a long look before stepping inside, withdrawing her hand from her husbands arm and stepping further into the room, putting a bit of a distance between them.

Tyrel does nothing to prevent Ciarrah from moving away and continues on across the room pausing only to pick up a bottle of wine as he walks towards the bedroom. "Do not forget that I wish to see you before night closes in entirely." He then continues on into their room.

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