Inouv 41, 228: Simple Pleasures of Leisure

Simple Pleasures of Leisure
Summary: A late afternoon drifts into an early evening of polite conversation
OOC Date: 30/12/2013 (OOC)
Related: None
Aldren Rorey Shepard Moira Wenna Rinder Cricket 
Greenshire Suite
The main room for the apartments for the Greenshire family is very large but cozy and smells of herbs and flowers. The stone walls have been washed with paint; they are a soft sun-kissed yellow. On the stone floor woven rugs have been placed instead of rushes for the comfort of those staying there. In this room there is a long walnut bench; its back has been carved to show a farming scene. The bench also has comfortable cushions covered in a woven fabric with four ground colors: white, light blue, yellow-green, and pink, each print including red roses and blue flowers. It makes a lovely focal point for the room as it is sitting in front of the fire place at a comfortable distance, allowing room for more chairs near the fire. The large stone fireplace is flanked by two comfortable wooden chairs. The cushions of the chairs have been covered in a heavy light blue fabric. Before one of the chairs there is a small foot stool. Above the fireplace hang two bearded axes. They have an elaborate silver inlay, thus showing the status of the owner. The fireplace itself has an oak mantel that is heavily carved with a likeness in favor to each of the gods and goddesses of light. Sitting on the mantel are two silver candelabras holding bees wax candles. Near the fireplace in the corner there is a spinning wheel and small loom.

On the opposite side of the room near the two large windows overlooking the courtyard is a long oak table. Set around the table are matching heavy wood chairs. On the table there are two more silver candelabras. At each of the windows there are window boxes filled with herbs and flowers. On the wall near the table there is a large shield with the coat of arms of the Count's family and two ornate yew longbows inlaid with silver and gold rest beside it.

30 December 2013

Greenshire suite is calm right now. Well, besides Aldren and his pacing. From one end of the room he goes and stops, cricket laying at his feet when he does. But the Count quickly turns all of a sudden and moves to the other side, much to the groaning of the dog. Standing, the royal bastard of Bird's line (the queens dog) pads over and lays by him again, until it happens again. Still dark as it can be in the middle of day a warm fire burns brightly in the hearth offering some illumination to the room.

Aldren after quite a bit of this looks down at the dog. "Why are you so restless!" He says incredulously to the dog. A little harumph from Cricket and he hops up on the couch, quite content seeming. And then there is that chatter of birds. The Count spies Rosey (Rorey's maid) in the corner knitting. "Well, where is Rorey? Go and fetch her would you?" The words are quite commanding. Another log for the fire now he will add and he then moves around the room trying to light every damn candle he can find along with all the wall sconces.

Aldren gets a whole bunch lit and now the room is gleaming!

Rosie fetches the Lady Rorey, who after a few minutes makes an appearance into the room which her brother paces up and down like a caged tiger. She notices this, which isn't all that uncommon but usually happens when Aldren is agitated. "Brother? Whatever's the matter?" Rosie brings her a cup of tea, and Rorey picks one of the chairs near the fire to sit in.

Shepard Kerrigan steps into the suite from outside, with his sister Moira on his arm, their cheeks slightly flush from the cold outside. They're of course trailed by Kayla, though the guard that had accompanied them remains outside. As he helps Moira remove her cloak before doffing his own and handing them both to a servant to hang up, Shepard glances over to Aldren and looks about the now brightly-lit (and rather warm) room and notes, "We may have to see about getting some new carpets in here before long. I fear the current ones will have pathways worn through them before long."

Kayla nods to Moira and goes to make her some apple blossom tea from that box her beloved Father made for her whilst Moira moves further into the room. With a glance upward at her brother then towards her betrothed, she murmurs "I quite agree, brother. I wonder what has my lord pacing about so with even more vigor than usual." A glance towards the window then back towards the fire. "A tad toasty, perhaps he is not feeling well" Then a warm smile towards Aldren and greetings, while standing at her brother's side, while giving a questioning glance towards Rorey, followed by a greeting as well.

Aldren turns at his sisters voice and smiles. "Ah, Lady Rorey. Good of you to join me out here. Must you stay in there with your birds and such all day?" He goes to give her a hug as if that was answer to her question. Just t hen the arrival of the Kerrigans turns his attention to them. Nods and bows and greetings come to them happily as Aldren retorts. "I am not to worried. This manor should be done soon and they will pawn this suite off to some lowly vassal family I suppose." He grins at the man with his little poke now before addressing his betrothed. "I was simply awaiting some company. This place can become quite distressing, even more so this time of year I find." He smiles to them all and says, "But you are all here now. Relax. Let us talk a bit. I have just enticed Rorey from her room and now you two must surely return with some grand adventure to tell us of." And the wind is stricken from his sails and he adds, "Or..something."

"I should think a suite in the Royal Castle would be quite a prestigious feat for a lowly vassal family." Shepard replies, chuckling a bit at the talk of grand adventure, "Yes, a grand adventure indeed…lo, did we descend the mighty stairs of the mighty Eastern Tower, and battle our way through the gates of the mighty fortress to make our escape, whereupon we hid in the public gardens, which proved a fortuitous choice as many other escapees occupied that beacon of peace and sanity. We spoke of days gone by and shared pleasantries with our new found fellows, but alas, we recalled that we had left some trusted and beloved companions behind, and were thus forced to steal back into the very prison we had escaped from." Shepard moves over and causes a servant much consternation as he pours his own goblet of wine before gesturing vaguely in Aldren's direction, "And now here we are."

Rorey's eyes go skyward for a moment, "I do not spend *all day* in my room, brother. But yes, yes, I know you are just exaggerating." She gives him an amused smile, and listens to Shep's description of their adventure, smirking at him when he pours his own wine. "Sounds like… fun." She's rather deadpan, but those who know her will be on to her slight sarcasm!

Moira laughs, a light and trilling thing as Shepard recounts the tale of the 'gGrand Adventure". Taking her tea from Kayla, sniffling with delight at the delicate fragrance of appleblossom tea, sips. Eye twinkling brightly from her refreshing walk out in the fresh air, something her brother seems to relish as well as they seem to do it quite frequently since his arrival. Then she ahhs a moment, gesturing to Kayla, who retrieves from the folds of her cloak which she had hung in the same spot where all other cloaks get hung to warm and dry, a stick. A healthy stick, as it were: thick and sturdy and smelling of fresh air and dirt and perhaps other things a bastard canine might enjoy.

Indeed, a set of ears perk, a head lazily lifts to peer over in that general direction, a tail thwaps almost lazily as if to say, "Is that for me? I may be to tired to make the effort to come over and retrieve it.

Moira watches the reclining Cricket, saying "And lo, whilst we were about our perilous journey, this was found. But he seems not to wish it so, Kayla, if you will, pray take it to the fire." She does have a secret fondness for the scruffy looking dog. He has brought much mirth to her in the months before Shepard's arrival.

Aldren smiles at his retelling of the day in such a colorful manner and nods. "No surprise then that the knight plays the part of the hero I see. No doubt here to slay the evil Count in his demonic layer and save the fair maids from spoilage." When Kayla pulls out the stick the dog indeed perks up and seems lazy at the same time. But something Moira says or Kayla moving towards the fire moves him from his seat. When he bounds forward at her barking playfully the Count laughs. "And you've even found some ancient relic to distract my hell-hound." He laughs a bit and spies the wine being poured. He will not make to move though, only an upwards raise of the chin to a servant. "And now I will aid you in my demise whilst I partake in my own weakness." He smiles to them all and takes the cup from the servant, watching as the dog is starting to clutch and bark at Kayla. Oh my, what ever shall she do with the big dog ready to plunge atop her in his entirely unhouse broken manner.

"Maids? I think these particular maidens are quite capable of defending themselves against the evil Count. I came back for the poor dog…" Shepard replies with a merry twinkle in his eye, then sips from his own wine cup, grinning. "But your courtesy in assisting us in vanquishing you is most appreciated. I salute your honor and valor." He raises the cup towards Aldren then takes a healthy(?) gulp.

Kayla, nonplussed, there were many fearsome beasts abounding at Ashenfell, the least of which was Muffin and her continuing progeny, simply gives him the stick - perhaps spoiling his fun yet unless she wished to have the suite decimated, she certainly was not going to throw the thing. Then, stick delivered, Kayal goes to sit and do some needlework, after brushing off her hands.

Moria shakes her head still, and sitting as she takes another sip of tea, "Well, I thought perhaps if he had this 'relic' he might abstain from partaking of any other previous items around. not that he has recently but I only wish to forestall any other incursions.

Sip. Sip. A rather unladylike snort as Shep mentions vanquishing the 'evil Count Aldren'. Sip! She giggles. Rorey can't help herself. Enjoying this, she quips, "Of course our maids are capable. My brother wouldn't let them stay around his sisters if they weren't — especially not with unsavory characters still existing in the world." She grins at Aldren, "Though imagining you menacingly glaring down at everyone from the top of a castle wall is kind of funny, my dear brother."

Aldren laughs at the remark on the /poor/ dog and raises his cup at the toast on his assistance. "My one last redeeming act." He says to Shep before a little sip. Nodding to Moira he says "A noble idea. The mistress mouse had given him a pig femur or something I believe. Though, he made short work of it." He shrugs. Oh well, he hasn't torn up anything in awhile. Smart money would be on Shep or Rinder falling victim next though. Maybe Brendolyn. He smiles at Rorey now and nods "Yes. Quite amusing." He almost makes a joke about staring down the small folks from a few days ago but refrains for his sisters gentle nature…

Shepard smiles towards Aldren with considerable wry humor, "You do have a bit of that glare-y look, I think."

He's about to say something more when Lord Rinder arrives from the direction of the rooms, inclining his head to Aldren and the others present. "Please forgive my intrusion, Count Aldren, Ladies, but I fear I need to steal away my son from you for a short while." Even as he speaks though, he does move across the room and lean over to give his daughter a peck on the cheek, "I assure you I will return him to you unharmed as soon as possible." He adds with his own wry grin, "Unless of course you wish me to cuff him a bit on your behalf." Gee, wonder where Shepard gets it?

And, then you might also wonder why Moira is so quiet and her humor restrained amidst such lively men for father and brothers. Nonetheless, when her father gives her a kiss up on the cheek, she rises to give him one as well - along with a gentle tug on his scruffy beard. With a faint smile and look towards Shepard, "I am sure he will not have any objections toward your borrowing him. Although he is troublesome at times, I do not think he needs cuffing…yet perhaps." Going then to say her goodbyes to her brother, she gives him a kiss on the cheek as well and watches two of her most favorite people as they prepare to depart.

Shepard rises to his feet, nodding solemnly to his father despite his jesting words, "Of course, father." He returns Moira's peck on his cheek, and then move to accompany Rinder back down the hallway to speak on matters of the House.

Rorey gives all the respect one would show to Moira's father, although he's not around long enough to go into further pleasantries… she goes to sip her tea again, and frowns at the cup, realizing it's empty. Her maid comes over, beckoned by a finger, and Rorey asks for something a bit… stronger. Mulled wine, yes, that'd do deliciously. And some fingerfoods, for everyone. Rosie hustles off to get some servants to run to the kitchens, and Rorey soon has her glass of wine in hand, humming softly to herself and tapping her foot to some unheard tune.

Aldren watches as Moira exchanges goodbyes so lovingly. Her gentleness surely brings a smile to his face and he delights in that short moment. He smiles at his sister and sits down now sipping his fresh cup of wine. "So, tell me. Where did those birds come from again?" He raises an eyebrow at her in a questioning fashion.

After her father and brother leave, perhaps inspired by Rorey's foot tapping, Moira while sitting and sewing, starts singing the following: Summer has come in, Loudly sing, Cuckoo! The seed grows and the meadow blooms. And the wood springs anew, Sing, Cuckoo!

The ewe bleats after the lamb. The cow lows after the calf. The bullock stirs, the stag farts, (here she blushes faintly) Merrily sing, Cuckoo!

Cuckoo, cuckoo, well you sing, cuckoo; Don't you ever stop now, Sing cuckoo now. Sing, Cuckoo. Sing Cuckoo. Sing cuckoo now!" in a simple folksy air, almost as if she doesn't realize she is singing it.

Deadpan, Rorey says, "The forest, of course, dear brother. A thoughtful gift… from Lord Trevian." Genuinely nonchalant, she sips her wine, and sings along near the end of the folk-song with Moira, even patting her leg now and again… and suddenly wishing she'd brought out her dulcimer.

Aldren sits there, another sip of wine had. When the lady's s tart their little verse his head leans back on the couch and he smiles. To him it sounds excellent and he lulls back and forth. When they finish he looks at them both and says, "Oh, Moira! I've never heard you sing! Grace me with another. Rorey knows most t hem all." He pats the couch for Cricket to join him and pets the dog while he does. That stick being gnawed on. A quick look is given to Rorey and he says, "You were in the forest with Lord Trevian? No, no. Surely that is not what you mean." He shakes his head at the rhetorical question. No, that could not be what she meant.

Blinking, Rorey pauses a moment and then chuckles. "No, of course not, Aldren! That'd be unseemly, and besides you know how much I hate the cold. Last week I went to the Salon, and Lady Nimue was there, with Lord Trevian. Lady Nimue and I chatted for a while, and then the topic turned to the birds, which Lady Nimue said were actually a gift, for me; I suppose they had talked about them before I was there. I thought it quite lovely, actually. Lady Nimue suggested we get to know each other better, and has invited me to enjoy dinner with her and her brother sometime soon, as I think I mentioned to you before…" She takes another slow sip of her mulled wine, enjoying the flavor.

Moira blushes faintly, putting down her needlework and looking up. "Truly, my lord? I ..I did not realize I was singing. But if the Lady Rorey, would care to perhaps accompany me, I might sing another. And, she will murmur to Rorey the name of the tune, in case she might not know it.

Moira mutters to Rorey.

You whisper " Do you know Greenwillow?" to Rorey.

Aldren nods along at his sister in an odd kind of way. "Hym." Is all he says. He does not seem upset or anything, just curious perhaps. But he looks to Moira and as if answerring for the girl he says, "Oh, she would be delighted." The words are happy and he looks to Rorey, "Right?" There is a little wink to his sibling now and another sip is had.

Nods to Moira; Rorey did indeed know the song, and she smiles indulgently at her brother, "Yes of course I would. You know I love to sing." And she begins the song, "And all of the green, willow… willow-willow-willow-willow… And all of the green willow, my garland shall be…" All the while the young noblewoman is quite pleased her brother isn't upset.

Moira stands, and after a moment, joins in with the next refrain, offering a smile to Rorey "If I've wronged any man, I shall do what I may. I shall wear the green willow for a year and a day. And all of the green willow,-willow-willow-willow,-willow. And all of the green willow - My garland shall be." Delicately beneath her skirts, one foots taps softly.

Aldren listens to them quite happily. A warm smile touching his lips. "Oh! That was excellent! You two should sing for me more often!" The song has surely helped his spirits and he adds, "Don't stop on my account." He finishes his little cup now and scratches the dog to see if they will come with another one. IT would seem he is hoping they will. He may not have any skills in the area himself but he does so enjoy music.

Moira smiles towards Aldren, with a faint pause int he tune they are both singing acapella. Then, humming to her self for a moment or two, finishes the song, waiting for Rorey to join her. He did ask for another; perhaps it was an air he had been unfamiliar with, as there is a little more.

"Now I have no true love, my bright garland to see. Let the other maids wear the flowers. It is willow for me.

If he ever returns, let him wear on his brow the garland of green willow - that I wore until now.

Slipping quietly into the main room as the guards have allowed her entrance Wenna limps over to Aldren and she plops down on her brother's lap with an impish smile. She kisses his cheek and quietly listens to Moira and her Rorey sing. She is dressed today in amethyst colored silk. That is embroidered with silver and small amethyst stones have been worked into the fabric. Her hair hangs in a heavy braid down her back and woven into the braid are pins of silver and amethyst. Her eyes rest on the two signers.

Wenna flops down and Aldren smiles, returning the little kiss. "Oh, the lady's were gracing me with their lovely voices, sister." He smiles to them all now and holds out his cup for a servant to refill. "Moira has a new surprise for me every day with her talents." He winks at her now and scratches the dog again. "And Rorey here needs no instrument at all. A little songbird herself, that one."

Rorey consults with Moira a moment, to make sure they both know the song she wants to sing… and then begins a lovely rendition of Greensleeves. Her voice very much rises to the fore, with Moira accompanying her. Together they sing the lovely song, and then Rorey takes a rest, sipping her wine, and relaxing back into her chair. "Wenna! Sister, it's so good to see you; how are you doing?"

Moira finishes, and goes to get her tea somewhat gratefully. She'd only been singing absently at first while doing her needlework and had not expected anything else to come of it. "My ability to sing was greatly enhanced by your lovely sister," looking at Wenna and Aldren. "It is not something I do often as I really am not that good at it, something to pass the time whilst I sew." Kayla rises and takes her cup and refills it with apple blossom tea, handing it to her. Her face is somewhat reddened from perhaps embarrassment as she really is not used to making herself the focal point of attention.

Wrapping an arm around her twin she smiles. "They are very good my sweet brother. I think our little sister got all the talent when to comes to music. You and I are lacking that talent." She then moves to rest her head against him so she can listen in comfort. She is looking at peace and there is a warmth about her and a glow of health. When the song comes to an end she answers Rorey. "I am well, Gwen is sleeping through the night so I could not ask for better. I had a patient I had to see up here in this wing so I thought I would stop by and join you since I am done working."

She green eyed gaze goes to Moira. "You sign very well and it is pleasing to the ear." She tells her. "How are you doing this evening and you should come by for dinner again all of you the cook wants to try the stew again. She says she has everything proper now."

Aldren still remains quite happy and notices the little pink flavor to Moira's cheeks. And now with the flattery "Well, I wish that you would do it more often, Lady. It is lovely." His words all sincerity as he smiles at her. He listens along to the sisters converse now and sips at his little cup, quite a small sip by his measure as well. When Wenna speaks of dinner he sighs and says, "Yes, that whole /eating in the bathtub/ story has been making its rounds. I daresay I was a bit disappointed to hear such things…" Eyes down, how awkward. Ahem, cough cough! "So, Lady Rorey, tell your sister of your gifted birds."

Aldren's little sister doesn't miss a beat on this bit of news, "Eating… in the bathtub?" Her eyebrows raise, "Explain, dear brother, I think I've missed out on *this* tidbit! The birds? A small gift from Lord Trevian." Rorey doesn't let her mind extrapolate further on that point, enjoying her wine and the finger foods Rosie brought around some time ago.

Moira looks over. She had heard, through Kayla, of whisperings of some near scandalous event; but as it involved her betrothed and Wenna, she put little, if any, credence to scurrilous tales. But, now the subject is changed to birds, and while she's heard them twittering, quite pleasantly of a morning (far better than snoring of two beasts that near shakes the walls), she's never heard of how Rorey came into their possession.

"A gift of birds?" Wenna asks. "Interesting." She says this thoughtfully. She nods her head. "Is he courting you?" She asks her. Then she explains. "In the apartments we have a private bath that is also an indoor garden. I think Moira would find it to her liking. The warmth from the mineral water allows some of the more sensitive plants to flourish. We did not eat there but we did eat in the main room. Apparently that small bath and garden room became popular." Wenna laughs at that. "Let them talk brother, it is the darkness and they need something to think about or they will all go mad." She then grins and winks at Moira. "I will show you the room."

Aldren just listens along nodding here and there. He lets Wenna explain the near scandalous event and just sips his wine while she does. Cricket continues to chew on the stick next to t hem and he will pet the dog some more after setting his cup down. "I suppose you are right." He says to Wenna.

Wenna's question gives Rorey a bit of pause… and Rorey blinks, tilting her head slightly and sipping her wine. "Courting me? No, I don't think so. He appreciates my music," She shakes her head, dismissing it for the time being with a wave of her hand, "But everyone does. They're adorable little birds!" She stands, setting her wine down and going into her room. A minute or two later, she returns with two of them; they resemble little marshmallow puffs with long, narrow tails that fan out a little at the end, and tiny black eyes. They chitter and sing happily, flapping their wings, and Rorey lets them pick at a handful of seeds she'd procured while in her room.

Moira smiles, looking over at them "Ah, so those are the bringers of such beautiful music of a morning. Quite the lovely way to wake up, with the sun shining and the pleasant sound of bird song. They are quite adorable." Then she takes a sip of her tea and sets her cup down.

"You know I am right brother." She teases warmly as she completely relaxes against her brother. She looks at the birds. "I would say Aldren you need to see what his intentions are. That is a courting gift." Wenna says to him. Then to Rorey she smiles. "They are very cute little dandling fluffs. Very cute indeed." She then looks to Moira. "Moira, sister are you okay? You seem a bit off today?"

Aldren rolls his eyes when she says he /adores/ her music. He is not buying that for a second. Not for her lack of skill. But, well, he knows better. OR at least being the overprotective type he is he expects the worst. Though he did bring his sister here for a reason and this is precisely what he hoped for in a way. The man is a ranger afterall, that goes a ways with Aldren too, and a twin, that doesn't hurt! And then Wenna casts her hand in the pot, far be it from his older sister to miss out on an oppurtunity to discuss marriages. This time it does not get him laughing though. "I know full well what it is." Is all he says in his frusterated voice.

Wrinkling her nose, Rorey mutters and then goes quiet as the birds, too, begin to calm down. It's her sign to put them back; and just as well, as Wenna natters on about this courting riffraff… and determinedly decides not to let the idea stick in her mind longer than a couple of split seconds. Rorey disappears into her room… contemplating just staying in there; but what good would that achieve? She returns again, sitting in the same chair and sipping her refreshed wine (thank *goodness* for good maids!)… and then Aldren's quippy comment has Rorey narrowing her eyes at him. She mutters again, mostly to herself.

Moira smiles over to Wenna, "I am quite well, dear Wenna. I had not expected to sing earlier and, I have not been sleeping well. That is why, the sound of bird song is especially pleasant to me in the mornings. It is nothing, I am sure. Simply the winter doldrums. Please, do not worry." With a fond look at her, "I am glad to hear that Gwyn is sleeping through the night." Then another glance at Aldren to see his response to Wenna's statement.

Wenna is relaxed around this company and she shifts her weight and lifts her skirt up just a bit. She moves her hand and removes something with a crash. She looks at cricket. "Chew that and I will bite your ear." She says to the dog. She then settles herself back against her twin. She is now officially comfortable. "Yes, she needs a different type of milk apparently. Our nurse maids milk is not rich I guess." She shrugs her shoulders. "Come to the garden and bath and see it. You are welcome to use the bath if you would like and yes your maid can be there and you will not be disturbed." She gets a distant look in her eye for a moment and then she suddenly laughs and kisses her brother on the cheek. Her attention is then drawn to her Sister. "My poor sweet little sister at least he is trying to court you."

Aldren watches Rorey sulk off and back in again but leaves her to her own devices. Now the crash comes and she settles back and h e sits there. Some sort of odd mirrored image in the two. He catches Moira's little glance after his statement and winks at her. Turning to Rorey after and adding upon Wenna's last comment. "Trust her, she would know. I would not be surprised if she has formally arranged your marriage already and has just come to tell us." A playful jape at Wenna's matchmaking ways and a little elbow to her no one could see. He can't help at grinning at his female company now.

You say, "I will do that, then. It does sound lovely. And I am sure I would love to be amidst this indoor garden of yours that I've heard about," with a grateful glance at Wenna. And she does try to hide a faint chuckle at Aldren's dig at Rorey, at Wenna's mention of it being a courtship gift; the only reason she and Aldren 'escaped' if that were truly the word, those machinations were, their own courtship was ten years in the making."

Slanting her eyes from the fire to Wenna, Rorey drawls, "I'm not poor, dear sister, and I can be as sour as a pickle when I want to." He *wasn't* courting her. Rorey looks into the fire again… and she gets an idea in her head… but this latest little jab of Aldren's in her direction and Rorey stiffens, "One: That is *not*. *Funny*. And two, it'd be *you* who did the arranging, IF there was any arranging to be had, because you are the oldest male and it's males who do all the talking, using their daughters and sisters as —!" Her voice had been rising, and she'd even sat bolt upright and faced Aldren, but it's as if she realized suddenly what they were pulling her into. Her jaw tightens… and, well, Aldren knows what that means. She clams up, and faces the fire. Too bad it's so late at night… Otherwise she'd be out the door in a flash, with Rosie and a pair of guards close on her heels no doubt.

"You do realize Rorey that more you protest the more it is true." Wenna points out. Her head resting now on her twins shoulder. She cannot help but laugh when he elbows her. "Rorey none are using me. I speak on my own there is reason I know the backside of a hand all too well." She points out lightly. "Now then Moira what do you say about this?" Her eyes are bright. "Also my sweet Rorey do not worry, your brother is careful and actually does love you very much, you are more than a pawn."

You say, "Well, dear Wenna, as I have not met the young man in question,I cannot truly say." She does try to hide her mirth, she does. "But, it does seem a rather extravagant gift for simply one of mere friendship." Then she will leave that statement there, thinking back on a rose sent to someone, long, long ago."

Yes, it were a long time for the Count and soon to be Countess. But little to be done of it now. Except savor what sweet time there is left. Now he listens to Rorey and purses his lips as he holds back any outright laughter at her display. He maintains though for her sake. Moira chimes in again now and it seems the woman have sunk in. He will just let them do what woman do while he looks for solace in his cup. Petting the dog here and there. He will look at Moira though, perhaps a little sadness in his eyes as he tries to think back to that feeling of being young when everything was fresh and exciting and mysterious, and how they lost that with each other. Ah, a shrug and a sip to try and wahs that thought away. After all he was enjoying himself so thoroughly at Rorey's expense!

Still relaxed Wenna looks up at her brother and she shakes her head. She then looks to Moira and Rorey. "Rorey, why do you think Aldren has you here at court?" She asks her. "Because if he did not have a reason he would have you safely tucked away in the castle and behind the boarders of Greenshire where the air is fresh and the world is green. You would be far from this city."

Rorey is, of course, listening, and doesn't seem happy about her present company continuing this line of conversation. She smiles thinly at Wenna, "You really believe… right." Rorey shakes her head. Then, as Moira pipes up with her ideas about this whole situation, she snorts and gives Moira a look, softer than what she'd leveled at her japish siblings shortly prior. "Too extravagant for a friendship, right. Noted." And then she crosses her arms, again, or at least the one, and drains her wine cup in one go, perhaps to blur things a little. She holds the cup out to Rosie, clenching and relaxing her jaw without a word, studiously ignoring Aldren who she *knows* is enjoying this way too much. Rosie refills the cup, and Rorey says to her, "Return the birds to the Forrester suite in the morning, Rosie." Then she tilts her head at Wenna and Aldren, all cozy over there on the sofa. Her stony eyes rest on Wenna and she sips her wine again, before saying, "I was under the impression Aldren wanted me to — what did you say, brother? Ah, yes, to see what I could learn from Her Royal Majesty The Queen, and the other noble ladies here at court."

Yes, what Wenna says is true but Aldren is overprotective, even if it means protected his s iblings from each other. "Alright, enough Wenna. Leave the lass alone. We were having such a splendid time." He looks at his younger sister now. "And you ought watch it. Do not make it so plain that you have not learnt anything from them." He looks at Rosie with a squinted eye curl of the lips that basically trounces any order given by his sister. "You make it too easy, Rorey." He says grinning at her. "But I will keep Wenna from nipping at your heels if you show a little composure."

Quickly after his words Aldren calls out to a servant. "Bring some watered wine. And some more tea for Moira and Kayla."

"I haven't stormed out of here in a huff and slammed my door, yet, have I? Nor rudely demanded the subject be dropped." Rhetorical question, delivered in a tightly-controlled voice, "I've definitely had composure. Brendolyn's reaction after the first few pokes with pointy word-sticks would have been much more… vocal." Is that humor? Yes, perhaps, a little quip - not that her sister is here to hear it, of course. Now that her brother has finally kind of come to her rescue, Rorey relaxes just a little.

"Being a Lady in Waiting is a very good position for you in court. Especially if the queen excepts you." Wenna points out. "It will allow you to make a more favorable match." She explains. "Your brother will not give you to someone like Fallon." Says this this firmly and with conviction. She then elbows her twin in the ribs gently. "Brother, I will be good and will not speak another word of it." She then looks over Moira and just beams. A nod of thanks is given to the servant when she is given the watered wine. She sips it.

Rolling her eyes, Rorey comments around a sip of her wine, "Yes, and the meeting with the Queen went *so* splendidly. Didn't it, Aldren? Let's recount for our dear sister! First the queen told Aldren I clearly wouldn't do because I'd need Aldren to be my mouthpiece whenever she asked me for my opinion. Then when I finally made it perfectly clear I could speak for myself, she told me I needed to not be so forward and talk less! I will NOT follow some woman around and fawn over her every word and worship the ground she walks on. No. Never."

Moira looks up after a time of sedately sewing and, frankly, trying to keep her amusement well hidden. she trully never did wish to cause Rorey distress. "Nay Rorey. You cannot send them back now. You've grown used to them and they to yo, even if they are but small little birds. I would simply advise having a care." But that is alls he willl say on that subject for now, and takes a sip of her tea.

Aldren smirks at Rorey as she simmers down and saves any scolding (doubtful there will be any) for later. "Rosie." He holds his cup back out and says, "Thank you." Back at Rorey he says, We are all very glad you did not." Wenna just had to get one more word in there and he sighs. Rorey jumps right in and he is shaking his head again. She had just dialed it back too. "Rorey, Wenna. Enough. Gods. When I alluded to the fact that we would not discuss these matters anymore I did not mean to focus your energy on our fair queen." His voice lowers a little, "You know we are in the castle, correct?" He seems a bit upset himself now. He takes a deep breath and crosses his fingers that none of the servants are about and no one is listening to t he door like some foreign bastards looking to start rumors or have a loyal family fall from grace. He let's Moira switch the topic back to the birds and nods along affirmatively. Gods! Where is Shepard or Renden or Eoin or someone!

Saving herself from snorting in a rather unladylike fashion, Rorey drinks more wine, and ponders her response to Moira. And she's saved from responding since big Brother has once more drawn the line in the sand, perhaps with a log instead of a stick this time. "I sincerely cannot wait until the manor is finished so we can relieve ourselves of these cold, stone walls and have ourselves a proper house." Yes, the manor. She'd loved it. She had thought for a long time about where she wanted everything to go, in the room she'd already picked out as her domain. If there *are* any servants around, Rosie would surely see to it (like Rorey knows she will) none of them run their mouths.

Wenna continues to sip her drink. "I said nothing about our fair queen." She shrugs her shoulders. "Moira, I have a ginger plant in the garden near the bath, I am curious to see how it does and if it will bloom. So far I have been lucky with the cold and have not lost anything. I am hoping to see how it goes." She shifts her weight. "I should be getting back to Gwen, but she is with nurse and with Caedmon." She looks over at Rorey.

Moira looks up and over to Wenna, resting the sewing back on her lap. Ah, a subject which is easier for her to discourse upon!. "Of course, Wenna - I would be most happy to take a look. Perhaps tomorrow when I and Kayla take a look at your garden. I should be able to tell you how it will fare. If you've had luck so far, I doubt that you would not continue to do so."

Blue eyes go skyward, and inwardly the noblewoman prays as her sister, naturally, cops out about even suggesting anything about the queen. She draws a deep breath, rolls her shoulders and imagines in her head the room is filled with lots of people she doesn't consider family. Her voice is lilting and polite, although perhaps a little on the drawling side, as she's had a cup or two of wine and not a lot to eat, "Goodnight, Sister. Rest well." Yes, there. She looks at Aldren with a smile, as if to say, -See? Composure.-

"Yes, me neither." Aldren answers Rorey. "Though we are waiting on some…plans…form some of the builders." (YOU GUYS!) "It will be lovely when it is done." Sip, sip. Wenna assures him she said nothing of the Queen and…Sip, sip. Then Rorey chimes in, "She said she should. But the babe is sleeping with Caedmon and such. She does not have to get off." He looks at both of them now. Trying to figure out what is going on with these woman and their subtle gestures and quick words. He hasn't the clue. He's almost tempted to ask one /what's wrong/ but he is quite sure that will result with at least 3 quick /Nothing!/'s aimed aggressively at him, so, sip sip.

"Ah, I see. I must have been mistaken. How silly of me, it must be the wine." Rosie, good woman she is, brings her ruffled charge a cup of tea instead, taking the rest of the wine off, and Rorey enjoys the sound of the crackling fire… all the while little gears turn in her head as she watches the dancing flames behind the grate, eating up all the wood. Crack, snap, pop!

It is at times such as this, perhaps the only time, that Moira does not regret having had a gaggle of sisters and other women at Ashenfell. Not that Kayla and her old nurse, and some few other female relations, weren't pleasant (or even trying at times). Being the older sister of two younger brothers has it's advantages, at least until they begin to grow into their birthrights.

"Rorey, think of sunshine and kittens." Wenna says to her. She laughs. "My dear sister, have heart. Enjoy the wine and enjoy the music and the days of darkness. The sun will soon be out again and there will be light." She casts a look to Moria. "Now, you are too kind and I really could use your help. Besides it gives me an excuse to have your company and allow us to talk about herbs and gardens to our hearts content."

Moira smiles greatly. This, however, the companionship and conversation with women, is one of those things she dearly missed having, as much as she and Kayla grew up together nearly as sisters, knowing each other as well as if they were sisters. "That would be delightful and I would enjoy it greatly. But, I agree with Wenna, Rorey," turning to her. "Enjoy these days while you can, and then when the light returns and spring comes, it will be just as wonderous."

Aldren just sips along as the woman /seem/ to be getting along. He cannot tell. So he just sips away stuck here with the women! It's not so bad though. He will steal a little look here and there at Moira and smile warmly at her though.

A glance is had for Wenna, one which might enquire as to what Wenna was doing with three eyes instead of two. Enjoy the days of darkness? But it's Moira she decides to answer directly, and Wenna in a more roundabout way. "For as long as I have lived, and can remember, I never once recall enjoying the days of darkness, Moira. This particular set is…" She bites her tongue, closing her eyes on a snippety, not-nice comment. Just for you, dear brother, because your betrothed tries so hard to be nice!, she thinks to herself, "…a trying one, to be sure." Quip, quip. Sip. Sip. She notices the look Aldren gives Moira, and goes back to her inward thinking. Rosie eventually coaxes her to have a little more than just tea, and so she nibbles on some dried fruit.

"To be honest this is the first time in years I have enjoyed the long night." Wenna's eyes grow bright and she smiles a little goofy smile. "It has its merits, and it is nice to be able to take a nap at lunch without having to draw the heavy curtains close." She takes another long drink of wine. "Moira how is your father, I should introduce him to Caedmon. But that can be done at a later date."

You say, "The days of darkness, though I far prefer says that are warmer and more filled with sun, are a great time for reflection, dearest Rorey. That is all I mean by that. Things are usually more at rest. For those of us, who work the land, it is when we catch up on the things that need to be done that we could not accomplish during the days of work and tilling the land. When we can do more reading, writing, even sewing and weaving." And, after a fond look towards Aldren, "…a time for dreaming." At Wenna's question, "I He is enjoying himself immensely. I believe he and Shepard had dinner with…well, the name escapes me, and he is moving forward on his plans to see Shepard wed as well. And, he would so enjoy that, I think the two of them would talk long into the night and you might be angry with him for keeping him up so late."

Aldren does not do much as there is not much to do. He does share that little look with Moira though at her talk of dreams. Some do come true at last it would seem.

"Now my dears with that said I need to go and tend Gwen." Wenna moves to reach under the seat and picks up the leg and manages to put it back into place without showing off an unseeingly amount of leg. She goes to scratch Cricket's ears and she places a kiss on her brother's cheek. She then if allowed will embrace Moira and her sister.

Allowed!? Try to get away without having her soon to be sister leave without having a hug back as well. "I do have those seeds for her. And, and still pondering that mystery set of seeds you showed me. But, rest well, an give my best to Caedmon and to that lovely child." There is no way you will ever make Moira believe there could ever be anything about that child that could be considered wrong, at least as far as Moria can see. "She is joy to behold."

As the topic turns *again* to weddings, Rorey is mindful of her brother's assistance from earlier and stands up, attempting a fake yawn and a definitely-real stretch. "Goodness! The hour grows late. *I* am going to bed. Moira, I had a great time singing tonight. Brother, Sister, goodnight, both of you," and, she adds silently, please don't ruin my life. Ah, angst. She sets down her cup; Rosie bowls ahead into Rorey's room and readies everything for bed in what seems like record time, but really isn't all that fast. Lightly embracing Wenna, then Aldren, and Moira, Rorey follows not long behind Rosie, and firmly closes the door to her bedroom behind her, as if to ward her from the rest of the world.

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