(1866-09-26) Candid Considerations
Candid Considerations
Summary: Aidric and Adrienne speak at the tourney banquet. Offers are made and considered.
Date: 1866-09-26
Related: Continued from Pacitta Tourney Awards Ceremony and Ball
Aidric  Adrienne  

Ballroom, Chancellor's Residence
Room desc
Septembre 26th, 1866

Aidric snorts. "Yes, better," he says sardonically as the two depart the floor to find a place to drink and chat.

Aidric breezes across the ballroom towards a corner with a pair of couches set against the wall acquiring too cups of wine along the way. When the corner is reached whatever was bugging the knight before seemed to have subsided and takes a seat holding out a cup for Adrienne to take, “Join me,” he says. “And let’s drink to a more enjoyable night than our last one, shall we?”

Adrienne follows along, her lips curved in a faintly agreeable manner while her green eyes show a hint of skepticism. Aidric’s gesture of acquiring wine for the both of them draws a lift of a brow, even so she will reward him with a slight deepening of her smile when she accepts the cup from his hand. His remark earns him a raised brow from the freckled Cassomir. “The dance has already been an improvement,” she counters to his toast, even so, she will raise her cup and take a sip. “And if you allow me to correct you, it was a brief encounter at another party – with a few words exchanged, and the assault of your feet successfully evaded – not a night.” A distinction that needs to be made, in her opinion. She sits down on one of the couches, her green eyes flickering with a hint of cautious curiosity. “So… in regards to my feet, this eve is already a considerable improvement.”

Aidric's eyes narrow and his lips flatten into a line as Adrienne makes her points. There is a moment where those narrowed eyes flicker with anger, then it's gone, replaced by a convincing smile and a slight chuckle. "Are you a student of the law as well as archery?" he asks brow raising over one eye. "It was a toast not an oath sworn to the One. Some scope with the facts is allowed don't you think? Though, now that we are interrogating each other, I am curious as to why you're so adamant I not say night. If I was to guess, I'd say it is either out of relief or regret, but I cannot be sure of which," he says fixing her with a look questioning and a legitimate if teasing smile. Though, despite that, he can't help but frown just a little and add "Assault your feet." A snort of derision. "I barely touched them."

Goodness, has she just managed to ruffle Aidric Carling’s feathers? Adrienne may catch that look of offended displeasure on the nobleman’s features, her green eyes narrowing just a tad. “Your wording seemed odd, and I felt the need to rectify.”, she comments with a small smile. “Even if it was a toast. Not an oath, or some of the kind.” It is his next remark however that elicits a surprised chuckle. “Why, relief. Of course. What kind of woman would I appear to be, to engage in a dalliance with a man who has made reference to me as a mere imitation?” She considers for Aidric for a moment. “And I seriously doubt you’d had any intentions of the kind.” The freckled Cassomir shakes her head, clearly amused. “In regards to my feet… Yes you didn’t. Because I managed to evade yours, when you almost trampled on mine during that attempt of a dance, Sir. No offence meant. I will not judge a man’s character on his ability to move gracefully about a dancefloor. And we both did reasonably better this time.”

"Hm," Aidric says tartly as he takes sip of his wine and settles back against the couch. Though, the more Adrienne speaks, the more an amused smile spreads across his face. "Well as it would have been a dalliance with me, I'd have to say a woman of good taste but no self-respect, if she thought I felt she was no more than an imitation. Though, you are right that was not my intent that evening. If we are being honest, it was a moment of opportunity, a chance to fluster and surprise." Except he ended up the one flustered. He sips his wine. "Hm, your remarks do leave some interesting questions to be answered," he says as he lowers his cup. "Such as who is Adrienne Cassomir, if she is not simply Raelyn's double and what is it she does judge a man's character by?"

““Fluster and surprise… are these activities you pursue often, Lord Aidric? For your own amusement?” inquires Adrienne Cassomir, pursing her lips. “What is this… some advanced form of character study?”, the words as much reply to his own question regarding herself, as addition to her previous inquiries. She raises the cup to her lips to take a good sip from the wine. “First of all, I am Raelyn’s cousin. Not her double. I happen to be a Huntress, yes. But I am in no danger of becoming a Viscountess one day.” A hand moves to fidget with her dark brown hair, that is for once not worn in a practical braid but in one of these fashionable hairdo’s, twirled and held in place with some ribbons and hair-needles, a few strands arranged to frame her freckled features. “As for a man’s character… His deeds and his words..” Theoretical statements. She smiles. “Why would that be of interest to you?”

There is a soft chuckle from Aidric. "From time to time," he says with a slightly amused wrinkle of his nose. "And I believe what this is," he gestures back and forth between them with his cup. "Is called getting to know one another. However if you'd like to get back to our previous topic of dalliances however, I am fine with that. Much more familiar ground." He smiles with rather smug enjoyment then as he has another sip of his wine. "Though, if not. Then what you're saying the differences between you and your cousin Raelyn can be found by glancing at a family tree? One is from the higher branch and the other the lower and that’s all there is to it?" he asks quirking his head at the woman, watching her play with her hair. "I don’t believe it myself. Too dull to be true. As to why what you judge men by would be of interest, as I said, we're getting to know each other, no? I find the scales by which we weigh others says much about ourselves. Don't you agree?"

Adrienne lowers her green gaze, a bit of uncertainty flickering in her eyes. "I wouldn't go as far as call it getting to know each other," she says, "which would imply it is a necessary requirement. I am merely curious, why you chose to 'surprise' me of all with your nettling remarks. No further intentions, I assure you." A chuckle leaves her lips and the freckled Cassomir meets Aidric's gaze with slight amusement but also a hint of awkwardness. "I am not seeking dalliances. Nor am I in need of romantic involvement." Both of which less familiar ground, for her, perhaps. "A Huntress I am, and quite content with duties and challenges I face in serving in such function at Ironhold."

The Cassomir holds his gaze, one brow lifting in an almost challenging manner. "So yes, I confess I may be dull, in that regard. Similar to Raelyn, even. Not the easy going type to have a good time with. A Cassomir, through and through." She smirks. "So… To answer your question: Words in regards to sharp wit and a code of honour. Deeds… That reflect a disciplined personality. Maybe I should add twisted games of the mind to the list, but so far I can't tell if I am fascinated or appalled by them, Sir." Said with a slightly mischievous glint in her eyes.

"You Cassomirs do really attach duty to everything, don't you? There is no requirement in getting to know each other, just the simple pleasure of knowing someone a little better than you did a moment ago," Aidric observes as Adrienne lowers her gaze. There is a smile from the man then, that breaks into another soft chuckle as he insists, "And are you sure you are not seeking dalliances or romantic attachments? After all you made the jump topic off a simple toast wishing us a better night than our last. A far leap, if the subject wasn't already on your mind," he lets her consider that as he sips his wine.

When she lifts her gaze to his and raises that eyebrow the smile remains in place, he raises his eyebrow in turn. "What?" he asks, before he offers his remarks. "Who says someone must be easy going to have a good time. I doubt that term could be applied to either of us, but yet we seem to enjoy ourselves. As for my games, I am not sure how twisted they are, though that said I do hope you wind up finding them fascinating," he taps his chin. "Though I suppose I could live with appalling."

"We do," Adrienne replies, before she sips some more from her cup. "To mostly everything. Even so, I am capable of enjoying myself." Her lips twitch into a smile. "To go for a ride on Checkmate in the woods, for instance… to spend time outside." Not in such confinement as the Argesse Keep Ballroom. His remark about her topic jump does indeed bring a hint of bewilderment to her expression. "Oh. Well." She lifts her shoulders in a light shrug. "Maybe I was considering it, maybe I wasn't." Her eyes narrow, while her lips remain curled. "Who are you to claim to know my thoughts?"

The freckled Cassomir seems to be more and more amused, raising a brow as the Carling lord continues. "So far I am fascinated, as I have not managed to figure you out yet.", she admits after a moment and shifts a little in her seat, leaning on her lower arm on the side rest of the couch, whilst holding the cup of wine in the other hand. "You were a Thorn once, weren't you? I remember you spoke up against a remark I made some time ago, at a party in Sunsreach." Her gaze shifting from slightly amused to assessing. Topic jumps. Seems Adrienne is quite prone to them on this eve.

"Ah, so it is not all duty in Ironhold, good to hear. Riding, hm? I presume Checkmate is your horse? It would be an odd name for a paramour," he says before Adrienne's next response makes smile a bit wider. He spreads his free hand as he answers in turn, "Never claimed to know only guess. That said, if you were leaning towards 'considering' I would not be opposed," he states matter of factly meeting those narrowed eyes with his own, filled with amusement.

Aidric's smile continues to hold through the remark about figuring him out. "Well let me know when you do, I will have to change everything and keep things interesting." he replies as he has a sip of his wine. Though when mention of his former allegiance is made, his smile wilts a little at the corners. "It's true, I was a Thorn, but I like to think of it as 'fighting for my uncle' these days," he says. The wilting smile deforms into a serious line of Aidric's lips, the mischief vanishing from his eyes as he fixes them on Adrienne. "That said the ones who did the things that were done to your family, in Ironhold. That wasn't me, nor the men who I called friends."

"Indeed, Checkmate's my horse," Adrienne clarifies with the faintest hint of a blush and a lift of broth eyebrows. Her green eyes shift towards Aidric when he comments on her consideration of… what? A dalliance? "I am supposed to take that as a compliment?", she counters, brows furrowing slightly. Not confirming nor declining his hope there, but even so, his next remark draws a chuckle from her lips. "Stay the riddle for the riddle's sake?" the freckled Cassomir quips, "Is that your tactic when it comes to keeping women interested?" Her green eyes glitter, still, the mirth dims from her features when she observes the effect her remark about Thorns has on the Carling, her gaze locked with his, in fact, when he makes that final assurance to her. "That is relieving to know," Adrienne states, her gaze flickering with some deeper sentiment - a moment of memories of her kin, that was lost, apparent in her demeanor.

When his question about Checkmate causes Adrienne's cheeks to flush and for her to raise both eyebrows at him, he chuckles, "Not even my best joke," he says he shakes his head and makes his face "Far from it actually," he adds with a touch of perfectionism. Though it is soon forgotten Adrienne's remarks about what she was or wasn't to take as a compliment gets him leaning forward to reply in a low tone, "Actually I was hoping you'd take it as an offer." Reply delivered, he leans back into the sofa with an amused and entirely too pleased expression on his face.

However, talk of Thorns, soon makes his expression neither amused nor pleased, though he does give a slight nod of his head and replies, "For me as well, believe me. When I heard the story told-" he leaves off, seeing Adrienne is in the grip of memories of the past. Aidric for his part gives her space, though does wave a serving man over to fill their cups again. Wine always helped to drown his unfortunate memories.

"An offer?" Adrienne needs a moment to digest this. "What makes you think I would agree to such?" Her eyes lingering on Aidric when he looks so very pleased with himself after making that statement. "Well." Her lips curl into a smile. "Such a decision should not be rushed… and even though I have to admit - despite myself - that there is something intriguing about that thought… I won’t be that fast to agree to this generous offer of yours," her tone showing off a touch of sarcasm, but also a hint of tease, "and so I will honour it with taking it into consideration…" Her green eyes shift to the cup in her hand, noticing it is almost empty her brows furrow ever-so-slightly.

The cup will get a generous refill, while the freckled Cassomir Huntress will receive Aidric's few words and the moment of silence granted for the contemplation of Cassomirs lost. The shadow lingering on her features remains for a moment, before her lips curve a touch upwards. "I do believe you," she states. Leaving it at that, for now. The Cassomir lady will have another sip from the replenished cup, allowing the silence to linger for a moment longer before she inquires: "What of you, Sir Aidric? Is it common behaviour for you to approach Huntresses with generous offers to get more intimately acquainted with you?" Despite the wine she has had already, Adrienne keeps her question at a moderate volume, green eyes glinting, as she waits for his reply.

Aidric's cup is likewise generously filled. Talk of the Succession War had summoned up his own memories in need of drowning. When Adrienne confirms her belief in his words he inclines his head graciously, "Thank you," he says but lets her come out of the quiet on her own. The smile though, that is encouraging, his own smile is reborn in turn as he drinks deep from the brimming cup. "Hm," he says as he lowers the cup. "Since my offer is being considered I ought to be careful with my answers," he says a teasing fondness in his tone. He leans forward again, "Though as I've been honest thus far, so why not continue? No, it's not common behavior for me to ask Huntressess to become more intimately acquainted. Indeed this is the first time I've done so. Other women however…" he shrugs. "My reputation speaks for itself on that score." He glances at her then, still smiling, but gauging her reaction.

Adrienne smiles, even though the nature of her gaze retains that slightly cautious and assessing expression as it lingers on Aidric Carling, curiously. "Considered. Yes.", she says, "and a decision may not be that swiftly made in your favor." She eyes the cup in her hand but decides against another sip at the moment, glancing about them, where the tourney ball is still in full swing. "I find it… interesting, the direction our conversation is taking…", the Huntress states a bit hesitantly. Can it be that there is a hint of rosiness to those freckled cheeks? Green eyes return to regard Aidric, when he continues to be honest with her. "Your reputation, aye. It does not speak in your favor. But yet again… it's curious that someone such as you, with your tendency to put people off with your sarcasm… is said to be such a ladies' man." She straightens in her seat. "So… what would the usual fare of Aidric Carling be? Commoner girls, as to avoid any problems?" The question leaves her lips before she can hold it back, when curiosity prevails over any feeling of tact.

Aidric weathers that cautious gaze, his smile back in place. "That's fair enough, I'm not about to rush you on it," he says before her questions make him laugh. "Well, that is cutting a bit deep, don't you think?" he asks. "How am I known as a ladies man? I'll have you know I can be quite charming when I've got a mind to be," he says with a shake of his head. That last question, that earns a moment of consideration. He had been honest to this point, but how much further was he willing to go. This far apparently, as he answers the question, "For the most part yes. Though it depends on the woman." He settles back then, taking a moment to bite his thumb nail, before he lowers the hand. His eyes meet hers again, "And what about you, what is Adrienne Cassomir's usual fare?"

The hint of caution dissipates into a chuckle, when Adrienne sees Aidric is amused by her questions. “You can be charming?”, she echoes, the tone showing off that hint of doubt that may be enough to challenge him. Even so, the freckled Cassomir falls silent when he gives his reply to her second question, a glance shot his way as she nods. Her green eyes will not evade his gaze, still, there is a slight twitch of her brows when it is suddenly her that becomes the focus of his questions. “I can’t boast to have such a thing as a usual fare,” she states after the brief moment of considering her reply. “In fact, I am very much like the picture you painted of me, dutiful, dull, boring. A Huntress.” She lets out a low snort, as she allows her gaze to drift away from Aidric, towards the dancefloor.

“There hasn’t been much of note going on beside that duty so far. And now with the impending marriage of my cousin Jaren…” A soft sigh leaves her as she brings the cup closer to her lips; taking a good sip from it next, before she states: “We unmarried Cassomirs suddenly seem to be in demand as betrothal material. Eventually I will be matched to someone… It is a prospect that frightens me. Even if I will have a minor say in the matter, it all comes down to serve my House in the end. Duty.” Adrienne exhales, her brows furrowing slightly as she lifts her eyes to meet the Carling’s gaze. “And duty holding such an air of finality to it. This is thought-provoking, for sure.”

Aidric once again shakes his head as Adrienne disparages his charms. Still, instead of making him wroth, he smiles, though he does not answer. Instead he sips his wine and listens to Adrienne's self-description as dull. When she looks away again, he leans forward and puts a hand on her knee to bring her attention back to him. His eyes, seek hers, the mischievious somewhat teasing glint is gone, replaced with what appears to be genuine concern and fondness. He squeezes her knee gently as he speaks, "Adrienne, you are anything but dull," he insists, keeping his voice low. "Beautiful, strong willed, enchanting, indeed, anything but dull-" his eyes dip downwards as if he is making a heartfelt confession. "If I am being honest, I am quite taken with you." There is a beat, then he settles back, hand gone from her knee.

"See. Charming," he says with one of his more usual smiles. "If I didn't think anything of you, I'd have gone that way from the start, but instead I chose honesty. Though for the record, you are not dull, far from it infact, I have thoroughly enjoyed sparring with you," he says eyes meeting hers for a moment.

The rest earns a sober nod. "Ah yes, the dangers of a being part of a house on the rise," he says "And the impending trap of duty. I know the latter part well. Sooner or later, my father will find me a wife, and given all the trouble I've caused him, I doubt he'll much care if she is to my liking." He contrives to shudder and joins Adrienne in a deep drink of their cups. "So, what thoughts does the this particular duty provoke, if I may ask?"

The hand on her knee will be enough to draw Adrienne’s attention back to her charming company, her eyes flickering with surprise, her lips parting as if to ready some words of protest. A protest that does not come, when her gaze is caught in his stare, and those sweet words of flattery and assurance wash over her… She should know better, should she not? But perhaps she has never been the target of such confessions. When his gaze is lowered, hers is as well, as she sits there stunned, trying to regather her composure, cheeks clearly flushed. Oh my, where has all that Cassomir stoicness gone? She swallows, drawing a deep breath when Aidric’s hand leaves her knee, and her gaze lifts to watch him recline – and fall back into his good old sardonic self.

It takes her a moment. “Yes.”, the word leaves the freckled Huntress in a surprised and definitely awkward chuckle. “By the One above… that took me unawares. I’ll be warned now. But of course… I wouldn’t have fallen for that.” The latter part added after a moment, that slightly stubborn glint finding its way back into her green gaze, even if her statement may not reflect the truth. “But yes, it’s true. I prefer to know who I am dealing with, and I’ve taken delight in our little ‘quarrels’, I’ll admit as much.” When the Carling comments on duty and marriage the Cassomir lady nods eagerly. “Aye, we are doomed, in a way.” She leans back as well now, her green eyes having regained some of their usual confident expression, she drinking from her wine as he poses his question about her thoughts on the matter. “Honestly? That I should perhaps seek pleasure, for once, before I am entombed in that grave called marriage.”, she murmurs, one corner of her mouth lifting. “With a man of my choosing. Now… does that sound scandalous to you, I wonder?”

Aidric has the grace to not look entirely smug about the effects his little display. He sips more wine, and does not voice any objection to her assertion that she would not have fallen for that sort of display had it been in earnest. He simply nods, and studies his wine cup. Wondering if he had perhaps shown too many of his cards just now. Still, when she mentioned delighting in their quarrels he glances towards her again, his smile slightly less smug, "I am glad you've enjoyed them. I am impressed, most people would have given up or stabbed me by now," he jests lightly, though the sentiment is genuine.

The rest, is taken in quietly, his writerly traits showing through when he snorts, "Entombed in the grave called marriage, I shall have to use that sometime," he says with a thoughtful sort of grin. Back on the subject at hand he looks to Adrienne again, shaking his head. "I'd call it sensible, not scandalous. One cannot be expected to hand over their entire life to duty and seek nothing for themselves, it'd drive a person mad. Besides, one never know when the grave, metaphorical or otherwise might claim them, so it is best to seize the moment."

Adrienne looks positively amused, when Aidric states other possible reactions to his usual charms. “Stab you? I admit I had such thoughts, when you chose to nettle me with your comments for the first time. By the second time I had already adapted, and well, your remark about jousting in the woods…”, she chuckles, shaking her head ever-so-slightly. “You are in fact too funny to stab. Challenging my wit, like I have rarely experienced from anyone.”

The amused smile stays on the freckled features of the Cassomir, when she hears the Carling’s comment on her interesting metaphor. “Not the sort of wording you would expect from someone who spends the majority of her time in the woods, am I not right?”, she quips, clearly pleased with herself. It is when he continues about seizing the moment, that her mirth will fade a touch as she inclines her head. “Now to find the right moment for such, and the right person to choose…”, Adrienne murmurs pensively, tilting her head a little to the side, that interesting hairdo of hers irritating her slightly in the way it does not react to her movement like her usual braid would. “It will be something to ponder, these next days.”

Aidric’s lips twist upwards in a smile before he breaks into a laugh. “Too funny to stab?” he asks with an arched eyebrow. “Not too world shatteringly attractive?” he asks before he sighs dramatically. “I suppose funny will have to suffice,” he says before shaking his head and drinking deep from his wine. There is still a some laughter in his eyes as he lowers the cup again, dipping his head and shoulders in a mock bow. “I am glad I’ve been a challenge. I try to be. Anything less would be less fun.”

“Well you Cassomirs are all so stoic any word is truly a surprise, but yes, your wording there was well honed and hit the mark, so to speak, as far as my own thoughts towards marriage are concerned,” he replies. As Adrienne deliberates out loud about the other matter Aidric settles back and watches her with an amused expression on his face. He does sit back for long before he leans forward again and gently nudges a strand of her hair back into place if she’ll let him. “I’ve made my thoughts on the matter clear enough. I will be curious to see where your pondering will take you. Incidentally, my business will keep me in Pacitta for a few days longer, should that be of interest to you.”

Adrienne's lips curl, the smile reaching to her green eyes, when she observes Aidric's mirth at her remark she must have intended as a compliment. It is his reaction to her thoughts the amused look he gives her that makes her look his way, not pulling back when he reaches out to push that annoying strand from her view. "I will consider your offer, Lord Aidric," the freckled Cassomir states softly, returning his gaze with a raised brow; before she moves to stand, her cup of wine still in hand. "If you will excuse me now…? There is a cousin of mine I still need to congratulate on her winnings. I thank you for the conversation. It has been… refreshingly inspiring." And off she goes, shooting Aidric Carling a last glance over her shoulder, before her steps lead her to where Graham stands with Emilia and Cathrynn. None of them aware of what this freckled Cassomir lady still needs to digest.

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