(1866-09-02) Uncertain Freedom
Uncertain Freedoms
Summary: Tiadora and Eduard have their longest discussion thus far, and Eduard offers her an opportunity to spread her wings.
Date: 1866-09-02
Related: None
Tiadora  Eduard  

Gerrell Manse
The Gerrell Manse in Sunsreach.
Septembre 2, 1866

Having been here at the Gerrell manse for nearly two weeks now, Eduard has likely become a familiar sight. Up until now, the southern heat of the waning Sunsreach summer has affected him brutally, causing him to usually walk around with the lightest of clothing, though he certainly does not help matters by preferring black. Today however, he seems to be weathering enough both in the fact that he is wearing a doublet fit for court, and the fact that he is, for once, not sheened in sweat. Currently, he is standing at a window off the Manse's main hall enjoying the pleasant feel of one of the first cool autumn breezes that if still hotter then a Normont one, is nonetheless pleasant.

Tiadora has been distantly polite to her guests but largely avoiding them. The girl was a rare sight even back in Falconholme and took her meals in her chambers, a habit continued in Sunsreach. But today, the teenage girl in her somber blue velvet is wandering the halls thoughtfully. "Oh! Sir Eduard. Please, forgive me for uh… Well. Being a bad hostess. How has your room been? Is it, ah, good?"

"Lady Tiadora," Eduard greets the young woman, looking over his shoulder with a small but genuinely warm smile. Turning in profile to the window to better face her while still receiving the cooling breath of wind on his face, he shakes his head. "Cousin Tiadora," he says, this second addressing a reminder of their relationship for his own sake as well as hers, and also a bridging in the gap of formality. "Please do not fret. Certainly Lasair and I have been busy enough for us to be accused of being bad guests just as much. I can only thank you, and your Lord Brother of course, for allowing us to stay here during our trip. It is most appreciated. And yes," he adds, "The accommodations are most restful and welcome."

Tiadora stares at her shoes as she nods. "It's, well. Still my parents home. I haven't been really paying attention to making it more mine. I guess I'm staying here, through the wedding and beyond. As, uh, my brother's representative." She looks up and smiles shyly a mix of her social awkwardness and family connections. "At least, I mean. Have you been happy? Or I mean. Your business is good?"

"Yes, quite. Our cousin, Sir Aidric, has been a help in that regard. For all I barely know him, he has seemed most willing to aid." Still a new concept, for Eduard, having family that actually might care about helping him. "As for the wedding, I am certain that you will do your brother proud." Studying her with those expressive blue-grey eyes, he smiles after a moment as a thought comes to him. "It is a long time between now and the wedding. I myself do plan on attending, but between now and then I have some things to attend to. Lasair and I are planning on departing Sunsreach this weekend, and stopping through the Normont, we will be heading to Pacitta for the tourney there. Would you consider joining us, at least for some of it?"

Tiadora asks softly, "A-are you going through one of those One forsaken gates?" She fiddles with the prayer beads at her waist as she frowns, looking up at him with trepidation. "It took ages to ride here. This is the farthest I have ever been from home."

Though Eduard perhaps should not be surprised by Tiadora's attitude for the gates, the response still elicits slightly raised eyebrows from the Paladin lord. "Well, yes, that was the plan, my Lady. As a knight of the Order of Saint Matthew, as my mentor before me, I have always had need to cut journeys down to a small time. As a Lord, it is no different. Time wasted on the road is time that prevents me from helping those I am sworn to." It may be a practical approach, but it is for genuinely good reasons. Besides, "The Church monitors their use heavily, you should know. They would not allow them to be utilized if they were heretical or sinful. I may not enjoy the using of them, certainly the sickness afterwards is unpleasant, but it is not something a strong will find unbearable. And you, my lady, have that, even if you do not believe it yourself."

The girl looks down in shame, nodding slowly as he speaks. "I thought as much. It's too far otherwise. It's a frightening prospect. The stories I've heard…" Unsurprising she is easy prey for the darker superstitions of Normont. "But Symon would trust me in your care. Both of you. I just don't know if I-i trust myself. All those strange foreign nobles." She shudders as she looks up, her round cheeks pale. "If. If you think I should?"

The smile on Eduard's lips briefly transforms into a frown, but it is more thoughtful than anything. Soon enough he forces his expression to ease, and reaches out to his cousin, albeit slowly so as to give her time to pull away if she does not wish the contact. Otherwise, he will place a comforting hand on her shoulder, holding her gaze with his own storm-colored one with frank understanding and strength. "Tiadora, I swear to you that I will do my best to protect you, should you require such. You must decide what is best for you, however. I can not do that for you."

For all her fine clothes, and woman's figure with her corseted form, Tiadora is a scared young woman far from the familiar confines of home. She doesn't draw away but does continue to shiver slightly. "I th-think. I mean. Symon send me here t-to represent him a-and to learn all the things my m-mother denied me. He w-would want me to go with you."

You say, "He would want you to make your own decisions, I think. Your brother has been denied enough of them to know the value in having the freedom to make them whenever possible." Eduard may not be the closest of companions when it comes to Symon - they have spent far too much time apart since they were boys, after all - but he is certain that he is right in this. "For my own part, I merely present the opportunity should you wish to act on it. The choice is yours and no one else." He tries to confer strength in his touch, squeezing her shoulder gently before withdrawing it. "In the meantime, I was hoping for your permission in using the manse to host a small gathering. Family, friends, and those who might become friends. This weekend, prior to departing. It would be a good chance to practice social graces, for both of us, should you wish to attend.""

Tiadora 's blue eyes widen in alarm. "Uh, y-yes, of course you can have a gathering. That's… That's fine." She avoids answering her own decision of the trip.

"You have my gratitude, cousin." Eduard studies Tiadora, then turns back to the window, perhaps hoping that the lack of constant scrutiny by him will steady her. "Well then, I will inform Lasair of your consent and we will make preparations for this weekend. As to departing, just let us know when you have reached a decision."

Tiadora gives a weak nod. "M-most of my things are still packed. I-I will think on it."

Eduard inclines his head, glancing aside to his cousin. For a moment he is silent, but then he forces a smile onto his face and turns once more, presenting Tiadora with a pleasant - if wind-disheveled - appearance. "Well then, I am afraid I must go attend to some matters. Even far from home, my duties are never ceasing. It was good speaking to you. Please know that if you ever need someone to talk to, I am always available, day or night. And I know I speak for your cousin Lasair in repeating the same on her behalf."

Tiadora makes a polite small curtsy. "Likewise, I-if you need anything. It's nice to have familiar faces around. E-even if I don't see you often." She smiles, which sets dimples in her large cheeks.

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