(1866-08-05) Two Moments
Two Moments
Summary: Esyld tells Jonathan and Lorelei of her decision to leave.. among other things.
Date: 1866-08-05
Related: Apple Brandy
Esyld  Jonathan  Lorelei  

Black Fox Company Training Grounds — Lonnaire
In set.
Aug 5th, 1866

Life goes on as normal in Lonnaire and, subsequently, in the grounds of the Black Fox Company. Archery, swordplay, footwork, you know the drill. It's a brisk summer afternoon; a dry breeze keeping the worst of the heat from the weary backs of the recruits as they go about their business. Esyld herself is seated in the shade of one of the covered walkways that encircle the main open area, comfortably leant back against a wall as she looks through a handful of dogeared parchments. Returned to her usual armor of light leather, the young woman seems content enough.. yet a little detached, all at once. She's been quiet all day, largely leaving the men be rather than constantly plaguing them with practises and orders. They don't question it, of course. It's nice to catch a break, now and then.

The t'Marens are still in Lonnaire, which means Jonathan is still looking for reasons to be as far away from the castle as possible. Perhaps moreso than the last time he was here, in fact, given the presence of a certain bastard who always seems to be skulking around with the l'Saigners… At any rate, he's back here, albeit somewhat later in the day, making his way down the covered walkway, eyes occasionally wandering back and forth. It's not long, of course, before he bumps into Esyld, in at least the metaphorical sense of the term. "Afternoon…" he greets her, seeming entirely nonchalant.

People tend to get dogs for companionship and cats to keep away the mice, but when you need one who does both, call Lorelei. Like the latter creature, she's perched up in the tree that overlooks the training grounds where people are generally making fools of themselves, and where one Captain Draven is standing looking not like her usual self. She's prodded somewhat, but it looks like Lore is best off getting private answers to private matters in, well, private. So not much has been discussed and the tree looked so inviting…

So, perched there she is, kicking one leg back and forth idly as she watches the comings and goings of Company business. One such coming takes her attention away from all else, and as her Captain's brother strides up, she stops watching all else and glowers down at him like an especially grumpy cat. Running her tongue along the back of her teeth, she makes a displeased clicking sort of noise before sighing and falling silent.

"Good afternoon, Jon." Esyld's reply in kind is equally calm, her azure gaze not immediately rising from the papers she's looking over. Though, surely by now they've been read and re-read several times. Eventually she does at least rise to her feet with the softest of sighs, rolling the parchments up unhurriedly with both hands. She's not so tall as her brother, nor Lorelei. But she has a certain subtle presence about her, all the same. Born of confidence. That much seems to be a familial trait they share. "Hmm. Your arrival may be quite fortuitous, as it happens. I wonder if I might ask a favor of you."

There's not a touch of 'wonder' in her tone. She's going to ask, regardless of his expression. Which will probably remain stoic anyway. "I'm departing for a while. A contract with a caravan. I thought, if it were not too much trouble, you might occasionally make your presence felt here, to ensure things do not go too far awry." Awry? From the usual overindulgence of ale and the nigh inevitable scrapping that follows? "I shan't be away long enough to trouble Sir Alliser with it, really. So I would consider it a kindness. Besides.." Ah. Now she meets his gaze, steadily and unsmiling. "..it might give you the chance to better acquaint yourself with Master Fremont. Seeing as introductions have apparently already been made." Well, if her attempt to keep them apart has failed so entirely, she can at least stay true to a promise given and do what se can to smooth the way forward.

Hah. Good luck with that.

Quite aware of her friend's presence up in the tree - and seemingly unperturbed by such behaviour - she doesn't give away the silent guardian's position as yet. And doesn't seem to mind much if Lorelei overhears this conversation. She doesn't have an ale in her hand.

"Good to see you, Sid." Jonathan's words are at least somewhat friendly, but his expression remains neutral. Perhaps she's more comfortable here than she was at their last meeting, but he doesn't seem especially comfortable, well, anywhere. As she gets to her feet, he spares a glance up toward the tree, and of course he spots the Lorelei there, giving her a little nod. If he's at all perturbed by her choice of location, he doesn't show it.

At the mention of a favor, though, his attention returns with all due haste to his sister's eyes. The knight listens to the request in full, then lets the silence hang in the air for a few moments longer. "I am not certain how well your men would respond to a noble knight of no direct connection to the company making his presence known here, Captain Draven," he replies, flatly. "But if you think it would be… helpful, I might spare the kind to do you such favor."

At the mention of Corvin, there's nothing, for quite a long while. Finally, he offers two words. "They have."

That's true - no ale. But there are arrows, for whatever that's worth. The idea of being obvious, especially as a practiced hunter, perturbs Lorelei to no end; thus, when Jon looks up and acknowledges - no, greets - her, she almost spits, huffing and puffing her way down from the tree to land rather gracefully beside Esyld. None of the information they exchange seems to be news to her, or she at least doesn't act like it is, at any rate. She watches the pair of them confirm they're at the very least in the same library, preferrably on the same page of the same book, pushing her tunic sleeves up past her elbows until they fall again a moment or three later where she repeats the process. Her dark eyes narrow at the mention of Corvin, and when she looks to Jon for his reaction, she's not disappointed.


"They will respond perfectly well, if I inform them of my decision before I leave. And if you don't try to turn them into bloody squires in my absence." There's the barest flicker of amusement, albeit wry, as she says this. "They're not of noble birth and they're not prospective knights. But if you're willing to teach them, they'll be willing to learn. In fact, it might do them good to have a knight to practice swordplay with. It will bolster confidence in their own abilities. And it will offer you somewhere else to go, for good reason, when you tire of the castle and her inhabitants." Yes, she knows him well, too.

Noting his grudging acceptance with a nod and pressing the matter no further, Esyld folds her arms comfortably across her middle, papers still held in one hand, and regards Jonathan for a moment of almost uncomfortably silent contemplation. "I suppose I should have known better than to expect you'd leave a perceived threat unaddressed, Jon." she begins, in regard to Corvin, "And while I do appreciate the sentiment.. if it were a matter to be dealt with merely in threatening words, don't you think I'd have seen it done by now? It is.. far more complicated than a petty dislike. That said.."

The Captain pauses, looking aside to Lorelei as she lands lightly beside her and smothering a smirk with some difficulty. "That said.." She looks back to her brother, otherwise unmoving. "..it's nothing so terrible that you should risk poor relations with him. He is the Lady Alina's half brother and you will one day serve her, as will he. It would be far better if you could be civil." She doesn't add 'to one another'. Because something tells her Corvin was civil enough for the both of them.. whereas Jon is about as much a people-person as she is. That sound of approval from beside her goes stubbornly unremarked upon, too. For now.

"Mmm. And perhaps it would benefit me, as well, to practice swordplay with some of the less refined." That may sound like an insult, but there's nothing in Jonathan's tone to indicate that he means it that way. Most of the fighters in any given battle are unrefined men, after all. It's good practice. "Yes, it would be a reasonable activity to bring me away from the castle for the time being. And your company /does/ serve the Duke. It benefits the l'Saigner to keep you in good fighting shape."

An eyebrow quirks upward. "Unadressed? Sid, I encountered the man by happenstance. I was not seeking to confront anything, nor, in my own estimation, did I. Master Fremont and I merely exchanged words. He had a good deal to say." Pause. "And a good deal left unsaid." Idly he lets his gaze wander over in Lorelei's direction. "It is, after all, often silence that speaks volumes."

Back to Esyld. "Yes, he will one day serve the future Duchess of Lonnaire. But I daresay, the t'Maren have never been known for their /excellent/ relations with all those who serve the l'Saigner. Nor do I think our lieges particularly encourage such comfortable relations at all times." A little shrug, and at the sound of approval from the tree, he… smiles. Very subtly. Very briefly.

Apocalypse. Total apocalypse.

Lorelei first listens to Esyld explain herself, her eyes distractedly on the papers moving in her Captain's hands as she speaks. There was an expression of neutrality on the archer's face after her brief interjection but now, slowly, with each word that comes from Esyld Lore's expression becomes more and more contorted with frustration and disbelief. If Jon's attempting to get on her good side with his off-hand comments about silence, Lorelei isn't paying attention; in fact, most of his reply goes unheard, since she's too busy ogling her companion wordlessly, blinking occasionally and shifting her weight from one side back to the center.

Yes, it's the apocalypse indeed when Lorelei Asheflour agrees with anyone other than Esyld, let alone this stranger against whom she'd sworn herself defiant. Perhaps more apocalyptic is the backhanded slap the archer deals her captain, her hand thudding against Esyld's chest as she lashes out in disbelief. "Wake up," she warns, obviously unmoved by what she's done.

"I never said you went looking for him, Jon." The Captain sighs again, less softly this time, and brings her free hand to rub lightly upon her brow. Honestly, why are men so troublesome. "And I quite believe the encounter itself was mere chance. But whatever was exchanged didn't sit very well. And that's precisely the sort of thing I had hoped to avoid. Maybe he simply isn't… used to you, yet. But he felt you implied.. oh for the love of the One, this isn't up to me to sort out!"

The other hand rises, bearing the rolled papers, a little scrunched now, in a fist. "I'll be gone. And I hope the two of you will have reconciled whatever differences you have by the time I return. We-.." Esyld pauses, visibly correcting herself. "..the t'Maren may not be known for being overly personable. They're not. They're known for loyalty and formidable skill in battle, as they should be. But please. Heed my advice, as your sister. Do not-.. ow." This time, the pause is accompanied by a blink and a bemused glance toward Lorelei.

"I am quite awake, you toerag." Damn, she'd forgotten, perhaps, the extent of her friend's feelings on this matter. And apparently subtlety is not in heavy use by anyone, this afternoon. So be it. "You think I should explain further? To my brother? The knight?!" Oh yes, by all means, give him reason to go and pummel the Duke's loyal bastard. Still, Esyld is plainly debating it. And it will no doubt be drawn from her, now that she's reacted.

"I spoke my mind, Sid," Jonathan replies, simply. "I set out to confront nothing. If Master Fremont interpreted my words in such a manner, the fault is his, not mine." Furrows form in his brow. "If I intended to communicate anything, it was merely that my sister's well-being, and her honor, are both of great importance to me. Should he think that to be a problem, then he is half-right. There /is/ a problem."

Shaking his head, Jonathan replies, "With any luck, I will not see the man at all. After all, I intend to be far from the castle, and what reason does he have to come here? I imagine his duties to his own unit take precedence, and we are both quite busy men." Perhaps Jon would have had more to say, but Lorelei's rather /pointed/ interruption is enough to silence him as well, for the moment.

An eyebrow quirks upward as he watches the exchange between the two women, and then his arms fold over his chest and his eyes bore into hers. It's a wordless way of saying 'I'm waiting.'

Still no remorese or even an apology, though Lorelei does look a little flustered at having been called a toerag. Honestly, what had she done to deserve such an insult? Exhaling so sharply her nostrils flare, she takes a step back from Esyld and resumes a more relaxed posture than the one she'd had a moment before. Jon's insistance that he'd not provoked anything, like much of what he's said in the short time she's known him, goes unheard again, though there is one thing he says that hooks into her memory and, with a rather surprising turn of events, Lorelei looks right at Jonathan. "What reason," she scoffs, "did he have to come here, indeed." Falling silent and broody again, Lore returns her look to Esyld.

Softening a little, though only because he's her brother, Esyld seems about to actually apologise for being so swift to judge. He does have every right to be protective if it suits him, and she told Corvin that very thing herself. Maybe her annoyance isn't with Jonathan at all.. if one had the time and inclination to analyse a woman like her.

Lorelei, of course, has no need to. She knows her Captain very well. And therefore also knows that by Esyld's standards, that was more of an endearment than an insult. Her insults, generally speaking, result in a nosebleed. But it's that distraction that halts the forthcoming words.

For a long moment, Esyld is left simply looking between the pair. Hang on, when did she become the opponent, here? Several times, she seems about to speak only for the sound to die on her lips. How do you begin to explain this utter mess of a situation? Last time she tried, she ended up soaked in ale. She fancies her dark hair still smells faintly of it.. though that's not exactly a rare thing, for a mercenary. Raking the fingers of her free hand through that very mane now, the woman looks as unsettled as either of them have likely ever seen her. The only two she lets close and they're ganging up on her! How bloody unfair is that?

"..alright." Her voice, when she finds it at last, is very soft but suitably calm. Decision made. Though it's her friend that she seems to direct the concession to. She gives. She'll tell him. Turning to Jonathan, she searches his moody countenance before simply electing to go with the simplest of possible answers. "We've.. become close. And things are complicated." That won't cut it with Lore and she knows it. So she adds, more bluntly, for crystal clarity: "..we've shared a kiss. Nothing more. And I am putting distance between us, for the time being. Because I.. well, I don't know what else to do."

Jonathan mentioned just moments ago that the things that go unsaid can speak volumes, and certainly, when he's here with his sister, that's true. It's unusual for Esyld to be at a loss for words - she's not a talker, true, but when she /has/ something to say she rarely hesitates to say it. For her to do so not just once, but several times, gives him pause, and while his expression is still muted, there's a hint of concern.

When she finally does speak, he listens, quite intently. It helps that she's blunt. Jonathan says little for a few moments. There's a glance over to Lorelei, a bit of a 'did she really just say what I thought she said?' But that disbelief is gone in moments, and his fists clench and his jaw sets, and those furrows in his brow grow rather deeper.

Only for a moment, though. By the time he's ready to reply, he's regained his composure. "I see," he replies, flatly. "Your choice to leave is, I think, well-made." Pause. "And while there is physical distance, you might consider how to make certain that there is distance of the other sort."

Because Lorelei specializes in helping, she too hears Esyld out for all she needs to say before adding in a well-timed, "Ale didn't help." It's ambiguous enough to allow the brother to make his own decision and the sister to feel less like it's her fault - because the way the taller woman is looking at her companion now is all protection and concern.

Running her left hand up the opposite arm from wrist to elbow, she backs down, seeing that there's really no need to overwhelm when it's clear her opinion is shared by another that Esyld trusts.

A humorless laugh escapes the Captain at the latter part of Jonathan's response. "By all means, if you have any further suggestions.." Her hand waves, beckoning on in mock encouragement. "..it seems today is a free-for-all when it comes to opinions and disapproval. I know.." This is directed to the both of them. "..that it was a mistake. I never claimed to be perfect and I had a moment of weakness." Well, if we're all going to be so very honest.. "Two moments, actually." Lorelei is given a look, following this. It lingers upon the archer as she continues. "Clearly I don't have enough of a grasp on the situation to handle it properly yet. Hence my leaving. Perhaps by the time I return, he'll have found someone else to entertain him.. though I know you don't believe it likely."

Despite the obvious rising of temper beneath her contrastingly icy exterior as she goes on, Esyld keeps her tone level and quiet enough not to draw unnecessary attention. "So. Now you know, Jon. If it's not too much trouble, I'd ask that you not make this known to father. Give me a chance to.. I don't know. Something. Just.. give me some time?" Would their father be so against it? It could go either way, really. Not a chance she's willing to take.. bad enough she's had to make her brother aware of it. And yes.. the reflexive response of fists and jaw she sees in him are precisely the same as her own would be, were the situation somehow reversed.

Drawing and loosing a deep breath, Esyld turns those eerie blue eyes upon Lorelei again; surprisingly unabashed, given that anyone else would likely have been knocked on their arse by now. But it had been bound to happen sooner or later. Lore did nothing but.. give her a nudge. Or a backhand, to be precise. "I've accepted a contract, guarding a merchant caravan on the second leg of a land journey from Ostvor to Rovilion. If you wish to join me, you are perfectly welcome. I'll be leaving tonight." At night? That seems a little.. ah. But the subject of this discussion usually dines with his trueblood family, of an evening, doesn't he. She's simply reducing the chance of interception.

Two moments. Jonathan frowns rather markedly at his sister's candor there. One misstep could have been a single moment of weakness. The second betrays a pattern, and such a pattern confirms the rather seriousness of the situation. "Perhaps he will. Though I do not know this man at all… is he the sort to be entertained by a single woman?" The expression on Jon's face indicates that he's rather skeptical on that point. Pausing for a moment, he adds, "I do not make a habit of hiding things from Father. Consider this a /rare/ exception, one that I hope will not need to be repeated for some time."

When his sister turns his attention to the other woman, Jonathan takes a step back, but only briefly. Before Lorelei has a chance to reply, he interjects. "Sister, if I am to train your men, there is the small issue that I am, as yet, unfamiliar with their ways of going about their business. Techniques that would have worked in Bloodfield will need to be adapted for use here." And then his eyes fall rather pointedly on Lorelei. "I will need someone with me who can help to bridge that gap."

Oh , an adventure! Boots scuff the dirt as she draws herself upward, her posture changing with her demeanor. She's already packing in her mind, checking off the list of just which pointy-ended things to bring with her when that all halts abruptly with Jon's attention now solely on her. He's probably going to say something worth igno—

"Certainly there are others," Lorelei replies with a cetain degree of scorn, taken aback, looking rather skeptical at the Knight before them. Isn't it obvious the puppy follows its master at all times? There's a quirked brow to accompany such an assumption as she meets his eyes without breaking contact.

Yes, two moments. Yes, that's worse. And yes, she'd expected the deepening of the frown, honestly. As for the question of Corvin's 'entertainments', she can only shrug. "I've known him a long time. I've seen a few women come and go. I think it would be atrociously arrogant to think myself any different to any that have come before." Lorelei's more abrupt response seems to back this up, whether she intended it or not, so Esyld simply nods in what might be assent. Does she believe it? She's not saying. These two have become privy to quite enough for one day.

Briefly, the tension assailing the young Captain seems to be easing, as the conversation turns to the more familiar matter of training. But then.. hmm. She steals a glance sidelong toward her quartermaster. Her quartermaster. Would either she or Jon still be in one piece, if she left them unsupervised for any length of time? "Well…" She hesitates. Her brother has a point and, frankly, she can't immediately think of anyone more capable.. or better trusted. "..you do make a fair point." Her words echo her thoughts plainly, in this regard; that unusually guarded demanour falling away. "Lore, you're the only one I'd be sure of in keeping this place going, day to day. A few spars here and there with a knight is all well and good but.. perhaps you would be better used here.." The admission is reluctant, though.

Esyld's words regarding the proclivities of the bastard in question only cause Jonathan's jaw to set a little more. If there were any doubt in his mind that this situation is Not Good, that would erase it. Can't have a womanizer taking an interest in his sister. Not one he intends to act upon, at any rate.

"Perhaps there are others. But you are the only one I know at all, and more importantly…" Jonathan's eyes flicker over to Esyld. "You are the only one my sister seems to trust." Not an easy thing, that. Jon would know. "And if the Captain is leaving tonight, a decision ought to be made immediately. We do not have time for a lengthy selection process, as it were."

A nod in Sid's direction, and his expression brightens just a little bit. "It is settled, then. Captain Draven will embark upon her contract, and Mistress Asheflour will assist me in keeping the Black Fox cavalry in order during her absence." And with any luck, he silently adds, Corvin Fremont will stay far, far away.

Now it's her turn for a set jaw. Pointed features become even more sharp as Lorelei looks between Jon and Sid, frustration mounting. She says nothing, of course, choosing instead to blink a few times, square her shoulders, and nod to her Captain. "As you wish," she finally relents, allowing those three words to Esyld before looking very pointedly like she wants to disappear. Jon isn't acknowledged. Because it's all his fault she's deprived of an adventure. Or is it Corvin's? Regardless of whose fault it is, she's clearly annoyed.

Esyld, too, seems suddenly to wish she was anywhere but here. Sighing, she shakes her head gently toward her friend at the curt answer. "Next time, Lore. I shan't be gone long." There's apology in her tone. But someone needs to keep things together, and they both seemed in agreement about her leaving, for the time being, didn't they? They can learn to live with each other and get on with it.

Looking between the both of them now, the Captain straightens almost imperceptibly. "..I best go and see my things prepared, then. I'll take one of the smaller horses, rather than Cadfan." Because he's too valuable.. or too recognisable? "Jon." His name is uttered in a polite, if vaguely strained, farewell. To Lore, as she turns to pass by her, she mutters in a soft aside, "..try not to let them kill each other." And then she's simply striding away, from brother, friend and uncomfortable conversations. The open road never looked so good.

"Sid," Jonathan replies as his sister turns to make her exit, and that's as much as he can muster to say for a few long moments. His expression cracks a little bit, and there's just a hint of affection in his half-smile. "Take care of yourself." It's a genuine, if unnecessary wish. As far as he's concerned, she always has.

And then, he's in the awkward position of being alone with his sister's sidekick. Dipping his head in a little nod, he addresses her, "Mistress Asheflour." His smile disappears in a moment. "It seems we have a good deal of work ahead of us." Pause. "With the company, of course." Because that's all he could possibly mean.

There's a nod to Esyld as she leaves, and a bit of disappointment on her face as the captain takes her leave. She'll miss her, it's true, and she's not exactly pleased with the scenario in which she's been left…

And then, as if on cue, said scenario rears its ugly head and Jonathan's speaking to her again. Sigh. He may not have meant to put her off with his clarification, but the way she turns on her heel and makes to leave makes it entirely clear that he has. Turning back to face him for just a moment, eyes narrowed to slits, she takes a cheap shot and actually replies to him.

"You know nothing, Jon t'Maren," she assures him before storming off.

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