(1866-07-21) Bothersome
Summary: Corvin is smug, Esyld is annoyed. The usual.
Date: 1866-07-21
Related: None
Corvin  Esyld  

Courtyard — Highwater Castle
Outside the stable block at Highwater.
Juiliet 21st, 1866

A few days have passed since the large, celebratory feast at Highwater and, now that their hangovers are suitably nursed and the bellies are less full, those who populate and serve the castle have largely returned to their usual duties. Late afternoon sees a distinct lull in activity outside, what with morning training bouts being over and a little time left before dinner will need preparing. It would normally be a rare opportunity for peace and quiet.

But when does peace and quiet ever linger around Esyld?

Through the arching doorway of the stables main hall, a young man comes backing out. That's odd. But there he is, one foot retreating after the other.. though his expression looks perplexed rather than genuinely afraid. Ahh, and here comes the reason. Still clad in her training attire - read: an aged and loose sleeveless tunic atop her typical leggings and battered boots - the Fox Captain seems quite content to get 'in the face' of the junior Wraith. With words only, no punches thrown. Yet. The clench of her fists by her sides suggests that might change if her temper flares just a fraction more. Odd, how how restrained her tone can be when she's seething. The words drift barely on the breeze, certainly not enough to cause any alarm or commotion.. unless one were looking for an excuse. "You don't touch my horse. You don't ever touch my horse. For one thing? He could pound you into dust under his hooves and I'd be the one to catch the blame, you halfwit. And for another? If he bites you because you're too busy checking out the arse of a stablehand, then it serves you right! He's trained to fight. Are you trained to leer over women's backsides?"

Small Pie shakes his head, muttering a bit, "Bloody thing flicked its' tail in my face, all I did was get it out. And starin' at backsides is more of a hobby, I'd say." The Wraith certainly isn't showing any fear in the face of the Captain, even if he's backpedaling just enough to keep out of anything short of a long, lunging strike. "And usually don't stare, just take a peek. Don't imagine there's much harm in it."

Meanwhile, Corvin Fremont is making his way across the courtyard from the Wraith tower. Initially he's not paying that much attention…until he is, and his direction rather subtly shifts to draw him closer towards the entrance to the stables.

"Well, you should think yourself lucky! You can't piss about at the rear-end of a horse like that, they're like to kick out and a horse his size? He'd smash your skull in before you could blink." For all her obvious - not that it's ever subtle - annoyance, Esyld's tone is lecturing beneath the initial bite. He might actually have been hurt. Does she care, personally? Who can say. But his Commander would certainly have had something to say about one of his men being stone dead, now wouldn't he. Gradually reining herself in, pardon the pun, the Cavalry Captain draws to a reluctant halt, silhouetted in the dark archway and folding her arms across her body in that superior way she has.

"For the sake of the One, if you simply must peek at women's rears at least ensure you're not in harm's way first. Understand?" One hand breaks away and rises, fingertips sweeping aside a stray, windswept tendril of dark hair from her cheek in a short-tempered gesture. "..and get yourself some higher standards. That one's been mounted more times than any other creature in there." Well… at least that temper seems to have waned to a simmering displeasure, now. At least until another figure's approach draws her vivid eyes that way. Oh, great. Draven visibly braces herself, reaffirming her stance. If his men are being stupid, she will tell them! Defiance tenses along her jaw just at the sight of him.

And they'd been getting along so well, too.

"Begging your pardon, Captain, but what makes you think I didn't already know that?" Small Pie notes with a grin. "Oh, evening Corvin." The Wraith turns his attention towards Corvin as he draws near, drawing a smirk from the Commander. And with attention drawn in another direction, Small Pie quickly makes his exit, leaving the Commander to deal with the Captain. Though not before Corvin speaks.

"Go on, Small Pie. I'm sure the Captain will be happy to vent her anger at me instead." He gives Esyld a nod and his bestest, smuggest smile, "Problem, Captain? He's a good enough fellow, but you'll have to recall that most of us aren't exactly horse enthusiasts." He glances in the direction Small Pie trotted off to and adds, "And if he got kicked in the head and could only say

"Small Pie" for the rest of his life, it'd be his own damn fault."

Between Small Pie's grinning remark and Corvin's smug glance, Esyld is left, momentarily, simply looking between them. Yes, the split-second hesitation allows the younger Wraith to make his escape. Which leaves.. "I am not-…" Realising her frown and tone blatantly conveys the opposite of what she's midway through saying, the raven-haired Captain pauses, closing those striking blue eyes and breathing the last word on a sigh. It's still laced with exasperated annoyance, of course. "..angry." Raising her dark lashes again, she lets her gaze wander deliberately beyond the Wraith Commander, following the progress of his underling's departure, lips still twisted a little in a none-too-pleased expression. Does she ever smile?

"..I was concerned, alright? Everyone knows Cadfan's a brute. If he brought harm to someone.. one of yours, no less.. it'd likely end up being him that paid for it. Not me." Esyld eventually settles her gaze on Corvin, arching a brow. "I don't want my horse suffering because your men are lecherous pigs. I think that's fair, don't you?" You have to admire a woman who can pull of 'aloof and indignant' in that outfit. She doesn't even look a step up from the stablehand she was so unkind about, with her hair all tousled and tunic scuffed with dust and dirt. The real kicker is, she just doesn't care. Deigning to a brief down-up flit of her eyes over the arrogant bastard before her, she elects to at least show some semblance of manners. In her own way. "Besides. You'd harangue me endlessly over it." That's Esyld-speak for 'maybe I don't want one of yours getting hurt'. Probably. That said, she begins to pivot on a boot heel, intending to stride back inside the stable block.

"Not likely. There's a shortage of trained warhorses in Lonnaire. And we don't punish the innocent for others' stupidity." Corvin notes with a laugh, "Not that that brute you ride could likely be called innocent by any objective measure. Devil that he is." Corvin adds, "By the way, knowing Small Pie, it's far more likely he was admiring your ass and just refused to admit it." Corvin shrugs, chuckling a bit, "Regardless, the matter appears to have been handled, no? He'll likely not wander behind or bother your steed again."

Esyld draws herself up short, looking sharply back at the Wraith. "Admiring my…" She eyes him as he chuckles, never certain whether he's having fun at her expense, really. Deciding not to pursue that particular tangent, the woman relents to a long-suffering sigh and actually chooses to linger, for the moment, in this questionable company. The assurance that her beloved destrier wouldn't likely come to any harm seems to have pacified her somewhat. "I suppose it's dealt with, yes. Though, I was rather busy, you know." Turning to face him fully again, her lips curve to a subtle smirk. "I'm saving the best fragments of piss-soaked straw to use as confetti at your wedding." Two can play this idly-prodding game. And she clearly hasn't forgotten the Duke's choice of words at the feast a few nights back. "Tell me, any idea which perky-titted little ingenue his Grace might have his eye on for you?"

"Well, it is quite admirable, in my own humble opinion." Corvin notes almost offhandedly. At the attempt to prod about the wedding, Corvin shrugs and shakes his head, "None whatsoever. Never really thought it was anywhere remotely on the priority list so never thought to ask. If he decides that's what he needs me to do, then I'll wed whoever he deems I wed." Corvin glances towards Esyld, "Same as anyone in the family, I suppose. Alina seems content enough in her match. Lucas will likely marry well, an whether he stays in or marries out he'll likely end up glad for a companion not of l'Saigner blood." He glances towards the main keep now, speculative, "But I really have no idea what he might have in mind for me, but that would hardly be a new experience. He'll inform me when he deems it necessary."

Following his gaze toward the keep, the Captain likewise allows herself a moment of musing. It's easier to converse with him on common ground anyway. "What do you think of the l'Corren? Really?" Flicking a glance Corvin's way, her expression turns curious, in spite of herself. "Do you think he knows what he's getting himself into? Surely he has some inkling… your sister is no pushover, after all. As for Lucas.." She captures her lower lip in her teeth, considering. "..it seems a shame that he doesn't embrace who he is. But if we were all alike, the world would be a dull place." An interesting perspective, coming from her. "I hope he does find happiness. I even find myself hoping you do, occasionally. But it passes quickly, don't worry." Good lord, was that almost a smile? "I don't envy any of you. Having no say in your own futures. I imagine it must be.. bothersome, to say the least? Well, maybe not for you. For normal people."

"Lord Gabriel? I don't know him well. I find myself doubtful I ever will, and I suspect neither of us will be too terribly upset over it. He doesn't seem inherently unlikeable, at least, and he treats Alina well. He is a skilled fighter capable of protecting her, and beyond that, he is not my concern." Corvin smiles a bit ruefully and shrugs, "She will be my Duchess. He will be my Duke. I'll work in his interests the same I would any other family member. But yes…I do think he knows what he's getting into. Whether he's comfortable with it or not I could not say. Many who marry into our family have an…adjustment period."

"Lucas would be better off if he were happy. I don't think he ever really has been, though he's been more resolute of late. He has the skills of a killer, but I think at heart he's a good man. The world needs good men as much as it needs more ruthless men, but they are often an ill fit for our House. Perhaps he'll find some common ground with Lord Gabriel if he remains among us."

He laughs at the last, "No, I certainly am not normal. Even for a bastard. I'm proud for the difference, but happiness is never something I sought nor expected for myself. Pleasure? Certainly, when opportunity is presented. Satisfaction in my duty? Without question. But I am not here to be happy. I'm here to be useful."

Shifting her weight, Esyld takes a step to one side in order to rest a shoulder against one pillar of the archway as the Wraith gives his answers, studying him with no apparent feeling across her features. That's habit. The same way he portrays a -devil-may-care or downright flippant attitude, she prefers to just give away little. When she's calm, that is. "..so long as he doesn't intend to supplant both our companies with bloody l'Corren knights. Not to disparage their ability, you understand. And I suppose the Wraiths will always be safe. But mercenaries..?" A flicker of probably quite genuine concern is momentarily there, then gone in a flash. If there was ever someone she didn't want to betray weakness before, it's Corvin. The matter of what Lucas might think of Gabriel is one she keeps quiet on. Everyone has their own concerns.. and agendas.

"That's a rather morose way of looking at one's life." she replies, matter-of-factly; blue eyes remaining steadily upon the l'Saigner bastard as if calculating something unspoken. "Though, I suppose if you will insist on separating pleasure and satisfaction from happiness… there's no hope for it." No, it's troublesome. She doesn't drop it. "..everyone deserves to at least wish for happiness, even if they don't expect it, don't they? Being useful is all well and good but without something to really call your own, how much can it really matter. On your deathbed, I'd like to think you'd have fonder memories than 'oh, I remember that one time I stabbed someone..'"

"Make no mistake, Alina will be the Duchess. We're not going to be turning into a miniature House l'Corren anytime soon." Corvin replies with a laugh. Then though…the smile fades. It's not a dark look that he gives Esyld. It's…pensive. Or perhaps considering. After several long moments, he simply notes, "Perhaps I will. But…I knew from the time I was very young that the path I walked was not one that called for happiness. Not for myself." He glances to Esyld once more and adds, "I keep them separate only in the sense of one being temporary, the other is…a state of mind. I am not un happy. I enjoy my work. I have friends and other relationships that I value. What more can I ask for, in my position?"

Esyld doesn't seem bothered by the 'look', either way; quite contentedly lounging in her prop against the wall and meeting his gaze, whenever it comes her way. The initial answer gives her a faint smile and she nods, both in appreciation and probable agreement. The rest? "Sorry. I didn't mean to make you ponder things beyond the simple joys of ale and wenching and rollicking adventure…" Despite the wry words, she does seem to feel at least a little bad about bringing him to an introspective mood. "I suppose I never really gave much thought to how things might have been for you back then. Well, other than what little I saw for myself.." Ah. Bollocks. Only the fractional widening of those eyes gives away that she might have let something slip, there. Maybe she'll get away with it. Move on. Think of something and move on.

"Not that I imagine the training was easy, mind you.. quite the opposite. But do you think you would have felt the same way about things, had you not gone through it?" She has no idea what 'it' is or was. She's only hazarding guesses, feeling him out. Raising a hand, she tucks her dark hair back behind her ear, slowly lowering her gaze. "In your position? Probably a little more than can I ask for from mine.." At least he's managed to stay with his family, in the end.

"And here I was thinking you'd forgotten about that little meeting." Corvin notes, a touch of wry humor crossing his face. "I was still half-formed, then. But I imagine I didn't exactly look as though I was living the high-life, given you took me for a servant." He chuckles, "Which probably may have given my barbs a bit more edge." He shrugs, "That and I hadn't the faintest idea how to truly speak to a woman."

"You were just as adept at getting under my skin back then as you are now." The Captain shrugs lightly, eyes still awkwardly downcast. On anyone else, it might look demure. Not on her. "You didn't think that might be why I wasn't convinced by the 'pretending to be an ass' notion?" The fingertips of one hand rake back through her hair, pushing it away from her brow as she draws her gaze back upward to Corvin's. "In my defense, you weren't exactly presented like-.." The words trail off, as Esyld realises her own appearance at this precise moment. Would she take kindly if some visitor were to appear in the courtyard and assume she were a mere servant? Hah. No. Definitely not.

"I am certain you've had an abundance of practice in every area, since then." And with a Viscountess, too! Talk about moving up in the world. She herself, alas, and as he probably well knows, remains both abrupt and unapproachable, when it comes to the opposite sex. Given that she works with a majority of male mercenaries, there might be good reason. Amongst them, she's just the Captain. To be respected. That's why she doesn't do well with being leered at, is it..? "For what it's worth… I belatedly apologise for not recognising who I was speaking to. Alright?"

"You don't need to apologize. As you say, I wasn't exactly presented to you. And I was an ass. Faced with one of the few pleasant things to look upon besides Talia since my arrival there." Corvin shrugs, chuckling a bit, "No harm done." He pauses a moment, looking thoughtful for a moment or two, "But no. The training was not easy." But that seems all he's going to say about it, for now. "I should leave you to your business, Esyld. Have a pleasant evening." He smiles, seemingly genuine at that, and bows his head towards her slightly.

Fair enough. She didn't really expect to suddenly become privy to the secrets of his company. Clearing her throat at the.. that was a compliment, right?.. Esyld straightens from her comfortable lean and idly sweeps her hands across the front of her tunic as she does so; the slight downward tilt of her jaw hopefully obscuring the worst of the rosy flush that lightly rises across her cheekbones, dark hair falling forward about her temples and throat. "Indeed. I think we've lingered long enough. Good evening to you." It might seem rather curt. But maybe Corvin being 'nice' rattles her far more than when they're at each other's throats. She turns on a heel and is swiftly lost in the dim light of the stables.

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