(1866-08-20) Deeper in the Woods
Deeper in the Woods
Summary: In which Lorelei shoots something that isn't Jonathan. Progress.
Date: 1866-08-20
Related: Takes place after Concerns and Into the Woods.
Jonathan  Lorelei  

A Forest
In scene set
20 Aout 1866

Hunting. Because there's nothing like killing small woodland creatures to break the proverbial ice.

Jonathan t'Maren has sent a note - along with a literate courier, it should be said - to Lorelei Asheflour, announcing his intention to take such a trip with her. He's located a forest not too far from Lonnaire, about an hour's ride away, secluded enough for his taste but with enough game to be worthwhile. It's late morning when he arrives, and the sun hangs high in the sky, a cool breeze whispering between the trees.

Jon himself looks, in a word, ready. He's dressed in plain brown clothing, with a shortbow slung over his back and a quiver of arrows alongside. A plain hunting knife is tucked into his belt… and of course, a longsword hangs at his side. He's still a knight, after all.

Well, that was fast. Not much time had elapsed before Lorelei received the note (and the courier without a threat upon his life, let it be known). She took it, and read it over (multiple times), rolled it back up and dismissed the courier. She inhaled deeply, steeled herself against whatever may come, and met Jon in the appointed place at the appointed time.

She hasn't dismounted, legs astride the large dapple gray she rode up just a few moments ago. Given the look on her face, she clearly expected him to already be on the horse. Her attire isn't much different from her typical wardrobe, only a bit tighter fitting - clearly to make her more aerodynamic and to make it easier to climb trees, of course - save for the shoes and the wild hair. She's swapped out the boots for tightly-strapped sandals and the loose, wavy unruliness for a loose braid that can hold most of her tresses. Swallowing, she exhales. "Morning," she greets. Hey, it's a start.

Perhaps she was right to expect him to already be mounted. Then again, it doesn't take Jon all that long to get up on his horse. "Good day, Mistress Asheflour," he greets her, dipping his head in a polite nod. "Shall we?" And in a flash, he's climbing atop his saddle-horse and turning north-northwest. No sense in wasting time, after all.

The ride there is mostly uneventful, and given the identities of the riders, rather few words are exchanged. At one point, however, Jon remarks to Lorelei, "I imagine that this will be a most enjoyable day. Few distractions. Something to focus on." Both should reduce the odds of anyone tearing each other's throats out.

Precisely - keeping one another alive would be totally great. She doesn't say much along the way, choosing instead to nod at the points he makes where he looks in her general direction for validation. In all, it's an uneventful and pretty low impact ride to the edge of a wood she's seen before, but isn't especially familiar with. Not like those woods near the Training Grounds, at any rate.

Well, here they are. Also not one to waste time, Lorelei slides gracefully off her horse, unbuckling her shortbow from where it'd been secured to the saddle. Her quiver is retrieved from the other side, and her knife, never having left her belt, is ready to go. In all, it's a rather cute picture of similarity, looking between the pair of them.


Jonathan's dismount is graceful and not at all hurried, landing the knight squarely on his feet. He takes a moment to check his equipment: Bow, still there. Arrows, all accounted for. Knife, still sharp. Excellent. Likewise, he doesn't know these woods well, but there's no trace of apprehension on his features. Just need to tie up the horses, and…

"Shall we?"

And with that, he's off toward the woods, footfalls quiet, though it's difficult for Jon to go unnoticed. A glance over his shoulder to make sure the archer is following, and then he's into the brush.

She is following, though he likely can't hear her between the sound of his own walking and breathing and her penchant for being quiet. It's kind of her thing, and she's doing it really well out here in her element.

Entering the woods, first from behind Jon and then off to the side as she moves in her own path, she looks around, taking in the environment before choosing a direction and moving in it. This isn't her first rodeo, after all.

And onward Jon goes, letting his eyes search the underbrush for a suitable target. He pulls the shortbow off his back and keeps it at the ready in his right hand, with his left free to push obstructions out of the way.

A few minutes in, he comes to a stop, kneeling behind a fallen tree. When Lorelei draws near enough, he motions for her to approach. "Do you go hunting often, Mistress Asheflour?" he begins, simply enough. "I haven't had the time for quite a while."

She can't help it. He just grates on her. Eyes are rolling before she knows it and she needs to stop walking to actually force herself to try not to kill him.

It's all for Esyld, now, right? Right. Deep breath.

"Lorelei," she corrects, turning to look at him in not such a serious way, but to make sure he's heard her. "Neither have I." Because war will do that for a girl, hm?

A moment's pause, and then he repeats, "Lorelei." It seems foreign to him, to call anyone outside his immediate family by their first name… and yet, he must admit, he likes the way it rolls off his tongue. Besides, out here in the woods, what need is there for formality? To let those niceties slip away is rather pleasant, after a fashion.

"You may call me Jon if you like," he says, voice lowered. And then, he adds, "Out here, at the least."

What should it matter? She's common and he most certainly isn't. He was born in a bed and she in the dirt, so clearly that means that the latter should scrape and plead for the former. It never made much sense for her, but she was a dutiful child and respected her elders. Now, though, you need to earn Lore's respect.

She cracks a twig beneath her sandal, moving closer to a rather large and creepy looking tree that she has no trouble placing her hand upon to steady herself. "I've not called you anything else," Lorelei notes, her voice echoing out before her into the wood.

"True." Jonathan takes a few steps deeper into the woods, leaning against a rather smaller tree - though one still stout enough to support his weight - just across the way. He looks back at her, and a little smile touches his lips, just for a moment. "But I hadn't invited you to. That still means something, no?"

Rolling his shoulders, he starts back off into the woods, again glancing back to see that Lorelei remains behind him. "Though it makes me wonder why you /did/ call me by such a name." It's a question, but it's not worded like one.

The One be good, this is painful. Not that Lorelei is a social expert by any means, but she's surrounded herself with people adept enough to carry on a conversation on their own for practically her entire life, and now here she is, stuck in the woods an hour or more from home with someone who sounds as though he enjoys the sound of his own voice more than anything else.


"It's your name," she notes rather bluntly, chin rising as she cants her head upward in sizing up the tree. There's a pause, a few moments where she sizes up the distance, and then she crouches down and hops upward, ars outstretched. Unsurprisingly, she sinks the landing and grabs the tree branch before easily hoisting herself up.

Such a simple concept, yet it takes Jon some time to wrap his mind around it. It's his name, yes, but his name is /always/ attached to a title. When people address him, speak to him, they're speaking to a veteran knight, to the heir to Bloodfield, to Louis t'Maren's son. For her to call him just 'Jon' is for him to see him as a human, and nothing more.

It's perplexing. It would be delightful, in the entirely unironic sense of the term, if she weren't so unpleasant to him.

At any rate, he just nods and walks about the woods beneath the tree she's climbing, looking down at the underbrush as she gets a higher perspective. He doesn't say anything in response, instead waiting for her to choose the next topic. He may be waiting a while, but even so.

It's a while, indeed; from her taller perch, Lore scouts out a small herd of deer and, motioning down to him to keep as silent and still as she can, moves less and less until she's finally positioned herself in such a way as to easily have one for a target.

Once she's spotted something, it doesn't take long for Jonathan to follow her eyes there. He slips an arrow out of his own quiver, but he doesn't nock it yet. Instead he looks up at her and silently nods, letting her do as she wishes first.

Oh good, he's not as daft as she thought he might be. She nocks, whatever his actions are unimportant to her at the moment, and, crouching low on an upper branch with none of her weight on her arms, she draws it back, pauses, then fires.

Some distance away, a lone doe by the back of the group collapses, and the rest of them scatter.

The downside, of course, being that there's nothing for Jonathan to shoot. Unfortunate, but they're not the only group of deer in the woods. The arrow goes back in the quiver, and he takes a few steps toward the fallen deer.

Glancing over his shoulder, he adds, "Well shot, Lorelei."

She can't help the grin there. He's telling the truth, he didn't use a formal title, and he's admitting she did well. Lore can only imagine how his sister would react to such a tale, though her thoughts don't linger on her for terribly long. Clamboring down the tree, she meets him in the undergrowth, slowly approaching to confirm she's actually made the kill. "Thank you," she offers, quietly, looking more at the deer than at him.

Has Jon seen her smile like that? If so, he can't remember the occasion. There's no need to say anything in response, he supposes - just a nod, and he returns the grin, looking down at the deer as well. Then he looks back at her, and if she does look at him, he'll meet her eyes. "Precise," he says. "You know what you want to accomplish, and it's as good as done."

It's not really a smile. Don't get too excited about it. It's just, well. More like not wanting to kill you. Positive, sure. But let's not exaggerate.

She does meet his eyes, if only to see just how awkward her is now so Lorelei will have something to report to his sister when she returns with venison for dinner.

"You do see reason," admits the archer, sounding very slightly shocked that he can see outside himself. The deer, meanwhile, is approached more closely and confirmed dead. They're not too far into the woods where hoisting it onto her shoulders and returning to her horse to pack it on is unrealistic, and it's what she means to do as she crouches down now beside the unlucky animal.

"Despite what my sister may have you believe," Jon replies, "I am not /entirely/ obstinent." He smiles for just a touch longer before taking a step forward and kneeling at her side. "Not that I doubt your strength," he says, doing the absolute best he can to really sound genuine. He /is/ genuine, to be clear, but he's also likely worried he'll be misunderstood. "But I would carry that for you if you like."

Of course. He's a knight, and thus, she'd expected he'd offer to carry it. It's no burden she hasn't experienced before, and letting him would be too easy.

"Find another herd. Then you can have one to carry, too." It's a sublte challenge and a kind way for her to say 'thanks, but no thanks.' She's hoping the lack of apparent animosity will convey itself well.

"If you prefer," Jon replies. He doesn't seem at all offended by her declining - indeed, he likely expected it. Still, honor demanded that he offer.

Rolling his shoulders in a shrug, he turns to head out and try to make his own kill. Likely he'll even be successful, though it may take some time. But in the meantime, he adds, "You know, Lorelei." Pause. "I think we might find one another's company quite pleasant, when pretense is stripped away."

"Perhaps," is all she allows, one giant answer to all he's said since she last spoke. She'll find him in the woods again when she returns from her horse. In the meantime, Lorelei nods her head once in acknowledgement, lips pressed together in a thin line as her eyes move from the knight before her to the forest behind her.

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