(1866-08-31) More Than A Dalliance?
More Than A Dalliance?
Summary: A pleasant conversation about all manner of things. Is it possible there's more to the Wraith Commander and the Black Fox Captain's relationship than meets the eye?
Date: Aout 31st
Related: None
Corvin  Esyld  

Stables — Highwater Castle, Lonnaire
In set
Aout 31st 1866

OOC Note: Another 'Corvsyld' log, which means some adult references.

Late afternoon in Lonnaire sees a rare cloudy summer's day, cooler than it has been of late thanks to a brisk breeze that carries the barest threat of rain. The courtyards of Highwater aren't particularly busy, with many of the servants indoors tending to their usual matters and chores, all for the pleasure of the ruling family and those guests who remain. As such, the stables are relatively empty, save for the fine horses inside - the occasional stamp of a hoof or swish of tail the only sounds to break up the otherwise quite enjoyable silence. Having departed from her company's training yard for a time - perhaps tiring of the barrage of sly questions or pointed, sidelong glances she's had to endure over the past few days, Captain Draven is inside the low building, seated in the makeshift 'chair' within the hollow of a pile of hay, a bridle across her lap.

The mindless task of cleaning and oiling the leather is soothing, as are the familiar sounds and scents associated with such business. Attired in her light leathers after a spell on guard duty earlier, she appears to be enjoying the solitude, busying herself with preparations for a journey ahead.

Corvin Fremont doesn't often have cause to head to the stables, but an inquiry as to the whereabouts of a certain Captain does direct him that way. He makes no attempt to hide his approach, pausing to stand at the open entryway, smiling as he watches Esyld work for a few moments, before adding, "Don't officers usually have people to handle those kinds of duties for them?" He leans against a support, grinning impishly, "Though if you were trying to hide from me, you picked a good place…not likely I would've wandered in here without some guidance."

A smile tugs at Esyld's lips in response to the familiar voice, though she doesn't immediately look up; fastening a last small buckle back in place along the cheekstrap. "I prefer to do these things for myself, when I've the time.. it gives me peace to mull things over. Besides.." Finally raising her striking eyes to regard Corvin where he stands on the threshold, she meets his gaze with that curve yet lingering upon her lips. "..I do a better job of it." She doesn't seem perturbed at all by his presence, draping the bridle down on the hay beside herself and dusting off her hands on her thighs. Already done, settled on the flagstones nearby, are a weighty saddle, resting on its pommel and a handful of saddlebags, freshly oiled and proofed. Going somewhere, is she? Well, that's not entirely unheard of, either.

"Actually, you're perhaps one of the only people I am not hiding from, today." The admission is uttered candidly, as is her way when not under the scrutiny of 'higher ups'. Leaning forward, she folds her arms atop her knees, then shakes aside the wayward lock of raven hair that tumbles against her cheek with the movement. "How are you?"

"As well as usual, I'd say." Corvin answers the question, stepping away from the beam he was leaning on to go inspect the saddle, albeit without touching, "Hiding from everyone except me? That's certainly a reversal from a few weeks ago." He teases lightly, stepping over to stand in comfortable speaking distance, giving her room to work should she choose to continue doing so, "Have a contract to attend to?" That'd seem the logical guess, after all, to see her preparing travelling gear.

"Isn't it..?" she murmurs, in distracted agreement, following the Wraith's gaze over the gathered tack. "But then, I know you aren't likely to plague me with questions I have no interest in answering. Well.. you're less likely, anyway." She corrects herself, before she unwittingly prompts him to do just that. Apparently done with her work for the time being, Esyld rolls her shoulders slowly, tilting her head to one side to ease a crick in her neck, then rubbing at the side with a palm, beneath her dark tresses. "Hm? Oh.. no, this isn't for me."

Not in the mood to dangle words today, she elaborates after a brief pause. "It's for Lore. I've asked that she make the journey to Pacitta, with the others." Returning her gaze to Corvin, stealing a momentary, approving glance over him where he stands a short distance away, she continues. "I think it will do her good to see more of the world, beyond the borders of Lonnaire. As well as some time, perhaps, with my brother." How generous she is, to be so accepting of a dalliance between her sibling and a common archer. Is it really the goodness of her heart.. or is it intended as a pointed distraction for Jon, to keep him from berating her relentlessly over her own affairs? Who knows. Probably a bad idea to speculate, too.

"Besides.." Leaning back in the haypile, the Captain folds her arms as a pillow behind her head, reclining as comfortably as if she were in a padded, high-backed chair in a tavern somewhere. "..I'm not overly fond of faegates. I'd rather remain here."

"It is." Corvin affirms, chuckling softly, "And oh? Hm. Perhaps I'll have to reconsider my estimation of your brother. I wouldn't have taken him for the type to pursue a common girl. At least not openly." Corvin shrugs, "But I suppose I don't really know him." He admits sincerely, grinning a bit more as Esyld reclines, canting his head curiously, "I wouldn't know why…I've always found that Faegate's "gift" rather striking, myself." The grin takes on a bit of a self-effacing cast when he adds, "But then again, if it's attracting ne'er do well asses like myself, perhaps I see your point…"

Esyld quirks a brow, her position forcing her gaze to narrow as she regards him, lashes lowering to half-mast. "My brother may be aloof and arrogant.. that's a familial trait, in case you hadn't noticed? ..but I can read him well enough. He's not fool enough to think too far ahead, but in this moment, here and now, they seem to find one another appealing. So I say, have at it." Does she draw comparison, in the form of 'them' and 'us'? No.. she's as different from Jon as she is similar. And there's the fact that she no longer seems to give a damn about gossip.

"Hmm, yes.. I'm not sure I can tolerate any more 'admirers' if they are all so damnably difficult. Or handsome enough to get away with it." Crossing her legs at the knee, she bounces her booted uppermost foot idly, not bothering to move from her recline. "Strange, isn't it. You used to make fun of my appearance. And I used to imagine weighting down your shoes with rocks and throwing you in the river."

"Oh? Are there a whole horde of them lining up to vie for your attentions? There should be." Corvin laughs, "Well, hopefully you've at least decided to add not quite so many rocks by now." He moves over, leaning over and kissing Esyld now, albeit just briefly, "And remind me not to go walking along any riverbanks with you for a while longer yet, just to be sure." He notes, straightening once more, "It doesn't seem Father intends me to travel to Pacitta for the festivities. I suspect he has work for me closer to home." He shrugs, "Or perhaps he's seen fit to rest me for a while, who's to say?" It isn't as if James often discusses his motives to him…just what he wants done and occasionally why.

"I doubt you are bereft of admiring glances yourself." counters the Captain, though the tone is good-natured. If she does have others showing interest, it's clear from the amount of time she spends with the l'Saigner bastard that none are making much headway in garnering her attention. "Oh.." She pauses as his lips brush across her own, eyes fluttering open again in the wake of the brief kiss and a smile offered from her upturned features. "..I wouldn't use any rocks now, Fremont. I'd use the farrier's anvil."

The news that he, too, will be waiting out the political games here in Lonnaire does pique her curiosity. Corvin, not accompanying his sister? Oh dear, has the new husband stepped into the role of protector so soon? Still, it's not really in her interests to question these things. The Duke's word is law. "Hmm." How's that for a non-commital response? "Well, at least we'll have pleasant company, until our friends and family return." A pause. "I just referred to you as pleasant company, didn't I? Clearly I need a drink." So saying, she reaches for a wineskin, previously abandoned around the other side of the hay pile. In fact, it's almost buried in loose strands of the stuff. Dusting it off with a wrinkle of her nose, Esyld glances up at the Commander again, regarding him thoughtfully in profile. "..does it bother you? Being left behind?" Uncorking the vessel, having rid it of the worst of the dust and hay fragments, she brings it to her lips for a slug, then offers it out toward him; quietly companionable.

"Wise." Corvin comments on the anvil with a wry glimmer to his eyes. Though he doesn't comment further on not going to Pacitta. There's a much darker reason behind his absence, that Corvin is…tangentially aware of, even if it's not been outright spoken. There's a reason that Ivan, one of the most cold-blooded of the Wraiths, has been seeing to Alina's security detail since the wedding, and likely will through the events in Pacitta, though assuming all goes well, Corvin may resume duties once they return. "A bit. I may have learned the lesson some time ago that I cannot always be there to protect her, but that doesn't make it any less irksome when it happens." He moves over and accepts the skin, taking a pull on it before offering it back. "So yes, I may well have to distract myself with pleasant company to take my mind off things." He actually waggles his brows at her with that comment, ever teasing, though it grows more serious a moment later when he adds, "Assuming my own duties don't send me elsewhere."

Esyld takes all this in with a contemplative distance in her bright blue eyes.. and a flicker of uncertainty in the sapphire depths. Has she made a mistake, foregoing the trip? "I.." Hesitating, accepting the wineskin back from Corvin, she briefly twists her lips, frowning a little. She may not be privy to all the goings-on behind the closed doors of the l'Saigners.. aside from the obvious, present company excepted, etc. But she's no dimwit. "I thought you'd be going, in all honesty. I mean.." Resting her elbows on her knees again, hands and wineskin dangling idly between, she casts her gaze downward. You can practically hear the cogs turning. "..the last time we were in Pacitta she had both of us, and still.."

It's not a topic she will speak on often, least of all with him. Losing sight of Alina during that frenzied commotion.. that was arguably one of the worst moments of her life, thus far. And she clearly still blames herself, in some measure, for it. Then there's what happened to her brother, for lack of someone by his side.. No, she has good reason to hate Pacitta. And, perhaps, an understandable reasoning for her concern.

A fleeting glance toward her destrier, or rather what's visible of his powerful, glossy black hindquarters above the partition, quite openly betrays her line of thought.

"Lucien Ramius is dead. I gutted him myself." Corvin replies, his voice a touch cool, not out of Esyld's questioning, but the memory of the treacherous clergyman. "And I have it on good authority that the entire Privateer Fleet of Pacitta will be patrolling diligently during the tourney, and I wouldn't be surprised if those navies of Couviere and Rivana aren't rather nearby as well." He chuckles, "So…I don't expect any raid. If they were to hit anywhere, it'd be somewhere besides Pacitta." Corvin shrugs, "She will be all right. Sir Gabriel is a skilled fighter himself, to say nothing of those Wraiths accompanying her."

"Just because one threat has been rooted out doesn't mean there can't be others. Ones yet to reveal themselves." Ever the pragmatist. Still, Esyld's gaze flits sharply toward the Wraith. "So it was you? I hope he squealed like a stuck pig." She'd likely spit on the floor if it weren't so unseemly, such is her soured expression. Ahh, but fortunately there is wine to sweeten it again! The raven-haired Captain takes a swift sip, grimaces a touch at the bitter tang, and seems to relent somewhat, eyeing Corvin appreciatively. "It worries me that I occasionally forget who and what you are, of late.." That's.. presumably a compliment, of sorts. Esyld just wouldn't be able to feign interest in someone she didn't consider a challenge.

Shifting her weight a little, she pats the hollow of hay beside her invitingly as she continues. "Anyway. Gabriel's good, of that there's no doubt. But I know who I'd rather have watching my back." Pause. "Unless he had orders to stick a knife in it, that is."

"It was. Not that it should be spread about. And there may have been a bit of squealing, yes. Before his throat was cut." Corvin moves to settle into the space beside Esyld, "Well, I don't spend ALL hours of the day thinking of ways to kill people." He jokes as he shifts a bit to get comfortable. "And while I might agree with you on that last bit…that's why I sent several of our best along with them. They will all be vigilant." He chuckles, "Not that I would mind if it were you and I holding that particular honor this go-round, but alas…not to be. Whatever shall we do in the meantime?"

"Oh?" The young woman turns vibrant blue eyes upon him as he settles, offering the wineskin again. "What other thoughts occupy you?" It's probable he'll sidestep, or dismiss the question with wry humor that mildly insults his parentage or hers. But she asks anyway. And there's a chastising look for the former words, too. "I'm not some foolish girl, to run around Lonnaire proclaiming your deeds with such idiotic relish, Corvin. Your business is your own, and it is quite safe with me." Well, that's that then.

Settling back once more in that absent-minded recline, this time folding her hands comfortably atop her abdomen, Esyld sighs deeply, regarding the cobweb-strewn rafters above. After a moment though, she snorts softly and glances aside to the Wraith. "Last time we 'held that honor' we almost came to blows, remember?" There's no bitterness about the reminder. If anything she seems to recall it fondly, somehow. "And if anything were to go awry this time, they'd likely blame it on our much gossiped-about dalliance and we'd both be out of a job. So perhaps it is a beneficial decision, all round. In the meantime..?" Arching a brow in faux-innocence as she watches him, the Captain smirks faintly. "..I'm sure we'll think of something."

"Well, sometimes I think about ways to kill people creatively instead." Corvin does indeed tease. Though he grows more serious a moment later, "Of late I do find a pair of vibrant blue eyes cropping up in my spare thoughts beyond my occupation..and rather frequently at that." He smiles, "Dalliance? Is that what they're calling it?" He muses, looking quite tickled at the notion, "I wasn't entirely sure what we could call it, though "dalliance" does seem a bit too…temporary for my present state of mind."

Corvin glances over at Esyld's mock-innocent expression and laughs, openly and warmly, "I suppose you're right." The expression grows impish, "Were it not for the likelihood of stableboys spreading rumors of a lot more than a kiss, I might have ideas right now."

Esyld hesitates, biting back her words to consider them.. and then loosing them anyway. Why not. "That's what the more polite among them are calling it, yes. And no, I haven't succeeded in pinpointing an accurate term, myself…" Her own expression turns teasing with the latter half, in turn, and she raises the wineskin, seeing as Corvin ignores it, for a lengthier sip. "Perhaps that would be something to consider, while I have time to kill. And you, if you ever tire of your mental kills."

His laughter is well enough received, as are the words that follow.. but she doesn't relent just yet. A glance is cast over the haypile they're sitting in, before she turns her head, her back slightly to him as she considers the open archway leading out into the courtyard. "Who knew you had such respect, Fremont..? Here I half expected to be hauled up into the hayloft, regardless." Those vivid eyes sweep back to him, sultry and knowing all at once. It combines to lend her features a mildly predatory menace. "Or are you still too tender, my Wraith?" A finger threatens toward his abdomen, though she wouldn't actually jab him.. she's not entirely cruel. Well, not today anyway.

"Respect? Well, I do have some…for a few." Corvin replies, grinning a bit, "And you're right…it may be worth considering." He does take the wineskin after her next pull and takes a gulp, returning it back to her and smiling brightly, "As for the hayloft…" He chuckles, an entirely wicked gleam reaching his eyes, "I'd somehow imagined it might be a bit of a race to get up there, but if you'd prefer to be hauled…" He glances down as her fingers threaten, and he notes, "It looks quite nasty, but there's very little pain now."

"Bah. His Grace would never forgive me, I think, if his most formidable son were hurt in trying to heft a damsel into his arms." Damsel? Pfft. She's openly and blatantly teasing now, reclining back again when Corvin wrests the wineskin from her, seeming to dismiss the idea and closing her eyes peacefully. The back of one hand strokes lightly across Corvin's bruised midsection, before both settle atop her stomach again. "..how long do you think it will be? Before everyone returns from Pacitta..?" Esyld is, on occasion, easy to read. Usually when she wants to be easily read. And at the moment, she's clearly pondering just how long it might be before certain scrutinising gazes return. And how long the Wraith and she might have for that aforementioned consideration of.. things.

"The Tourney itself isn't for another couple of weeks. It'll be near a month, if not more before everyone returns." Corvin notes, lacing his fingers behind his head and smiling contentedly, "It'll likely be awfully quiet around here after all the wedding and Masque business." He glances skyward…or at least ceilingward, "A lot of time for quiet contemplation and solemn discussion." He can't even say it with a straight face, "Or occasional contemplation in between other completely wholesome and not at all scandalous activities, I'm sure."

Esyld frowns ever so slightly, turning her head in a soft rustle of hay to regard Corvin in profile. "But.. we don't know any wholesome and not at all scandalous activities!" The feigned dismay is clearly intended as jest, emphasised by the low-throated chuckle that follows.

"Damn. You're right." Corvin replies with equally-mock disappointment. "I suppose we'll have to settle for the alternatives then. What a shame." Of course, that expression on his face gives absolutely no credence to any degree of disappointment whatsoever on his part. "Well, I suppose people are already talking, so no sense in being coy about things, is there?"

The chuckle grows to a laugh, a pleasant-sounding thing from somewhere deep in Esyld's chest. Rare. Less so with Corvin. Thwapping his shoulder with the back of her hand, she twists her upper body enough to face him more fully, bringing herself closer and eyeing him with the lingering traces of amusement in her blue eyes, lightly tracing a fingertip along his jaw. "You're a terrible influence, you know. I was the epitome of innocence until you." A likely story, says the wry curve upon her lips. Leaning inward, she seizes the opportunity to steal a kiss, more lingering than the one he had claimed earlier, suckling softly at his lower lip before she draws back once more.

"Yes, people are talking. I find it bothers me less than I expected." A beat. "..but not so little that I'll let you ravish me in full view of the castle courtyard. Well, not yet, anyway." Promises, promises.

"Well, I suppose I'm simply going to have to try harder then!" Corvin notes, "Lest I fail to achieve one of my long held life goals." Corvin smirks sidelong to Esyld, "Or perhaps not. I'll be quite happy to ravish you away from prying eyes if that's your preference." His turn to lean over and returns that kiss, long and leisurely, but not at all lacking in passion, before he breaks it and sighs heavily, "Though sadly, not just at the moment, as you've likely a bit more preparations to do for your brother and friend, and I've some routine duties to attend to but…" He grows, perhaps oddly serious, "Dinner tonight? Unless you had other plans, of course."

"My plans almost always include dinner at some point." Stretching luxuriously, arms outstretched and toes pointing as she eases off weary muscles, Esyld then relaxes again with a sigh in the wake of that returned kiss, smirking up at Corvin. Noting the serious set of his features, though, she nods; lightly brushing her fingertips across his cheek and back into his hair in a fond caress. "..yes." Just in case he missed the acceptance within her sarcasm. "Should I dress scandalously up.. or even more scandalously down..?" Chuckling, not seeming to expect an answer, the Captain straightens to a more 'proper' seat, idly dusting off her arms.

"Whatever variety of scandalous you prefer." Corvin replies with a laugh, moving to reclaim his feet, and then leaning down for one more kiss, a hand moving to gently caress her cheek. "But either way, I'll be looking forward to it. Until then…have a pleasant day, Captain Draven." He actually winks at her as he pulls away, turning to head back towards the entrance of the stables.

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