(1866-10-08) A Discussion at the Manse
A Discussion at the Manse
Summary: Aidric and Adrienne continue their talk at the Carling manse. They speak of the recent killings and a certain offer made in Pacitta.
Date: 1866-10-08
Related: Continuing from Unexpected Encounter and related to Candid Considerations
Aidric  Adrienne  

Carling Manse

The Carling manse is located in the Goldseat district near Markettown. A small manse with earthen tone walls surrounding a garden and a cobbled carriage way. The house itself is built in the shape of a square and is the same earthen tone as the walls that surround it, with red clay tiles along the roof and the odd window looking out.

Inside, the reason for the manses boxy outer appearance becomes apparent as it is built around a square courtyard. The courtyard is landscaped with shady citrus trees and flowering shrubs and at its center is a fountain in the shape of frolicking nymphs.

The first floor of the manse is given over to the kitchens, the bathing chambers, a study, a small shrine and the main hall. All the rooms are bright and airy with windows looking out into the courtyard, though the main hall is the grandest of these rooms, large enough to host a modest gathering in comfort with high arched doorways that open onto a portico that looks out onto the courtyard. Given Sunsreach's warmth, the walls of the main hall are plastered and painted with murals for the summer months when tapestries are not needed to keep out the chill, but come winter, the tapestries are pulled from storage showing scenes pulled from history and the lives of the saints.

The upper floor is given over to the family living quarters, each room having windows that look out upon the courtyard and a small balcony. The master chamber has windows that look both out and in and is comfortably appointed in the southern style.

Octobre 8th 1866

“If it is one of the Princess’ own dresses, definitely,” Aidric explains then he smiles as she says more about the marriage. “You see you’re applying Cassomir thinking to the rest of the world. Just because the Queen and Clara will be family doesn’t mean to court you will be close. I am kin to my brother, but few people would make the mistake of trying to get close to him through me.”

With an agreement reached, he pays for the wine, gathers his things, his men an departs the inn into what is still a hammering rain. When he arrives at the manse he heads indoors and shed his cloak and leaves word with the gate guards to allow Adrienne in when she follows then he heads inside to change into dry clothing and have the servants mull the wine in preparation for their guest.

Adrienne will receive that comment with a raised brow. “To be honest, I was surprised by her offer. She is more close with Emilia, and well…”, she shrugs, that shrug maybe explaining more than any words could. Aidric’s own admission about his own brother earns him a curious glance, even so, she will not inquire further. After all, they are about to put their ‘plan’ of meeting at another, less public place, to action.

When the Huntress has stepped outside, a murmured curse leaves her lips, seeing that the rain has increased into a downpour. With the cloak drawn about her, the hood in place to cover most of her head she hurries from house to house, taking advantage of higher storeys of some buildings, that protrude over the ground floor, taking advantage of the cover as not to be drenched completely. A task that is hard to accomplish, and when Adrienne Cassomir finally arrives at the Carling Manse, her cloak is more or less soaked, and the clothes she wears beneath, positively damp, to say the least. The dripping cloak will be removed and handed to a servant, her fingers trying to brush some wet strands of hair from her forehead. Her complexion healthy from the exercise, her green eyes gleaming, her mien not exactly sour-looking from the experience. She’ll hover about in the entrance hall for a moment, waiting to be shown in, a bit of uncertainty flickering in her gaze, unsure as she is, whether she is in a state to be received.

Aidric, dressed in dry clothes more befitting his station is shown, descends from his chamber and soon finds his way to entry hall, his hair still damp and sticking out at odd angles. Though, when he sees Adrienne an amused grin crosses his lips. “I am beginning to think we’d have been better off using one of the private dining rooms at the inn,” he admits though he doesn’t sound too upset about the oversight. He looks Adrienne up and down, “I can have my servants tend to you clothing if you want to change, I am sure we have something suitable. Either way there is mulled wine and a fire in the study.”

Aidric’s grin will find a slight echo in the Cassomir lady’s face. “Indeed. We should have, perhaps. But then again… What’s wrong with a bit of rain,?”, she chuckles. “A Huntress should be used to the elements. Even so… I’m drenched. So yes… I’d like to change. Maybe, if you have a shirt and a pair of trousers?” Her eyes drift about the entrance hall and she raises a brow. “Where could I change, and make myself a little more presentable?”, she asks, the question directed at Aidric but maybe also at some servant nearby. Still, the prospect of mulled wine and a lit fire in the hearth will bring a smile to her face. “That sounds nice.” Green eyes drift once again about. “This looks nice. I’ve never been here so far. Seems to be a nice manse indeed, your family keeps here in Sunsreach.” Courtesies, offered when some of her breeding comes through. Her eloquence? Maybe she left it outside in the rain.

Aidric eyes Adrienne for a moment as though pondering some form of misdeed; though whatever it might have been his better angels seem to win out. Still, it doesn’t mean he has manners. “Nice of you to say,” he remarks teasing her for her lack of eloquence. “And we’ll find you something to wear, come on, this way,” he says and leads her out of the entry way into the manse proper. Spotting one of his servants he waves the woman over, “See Lady Adrienne up to one of the upper chambers and find her something to wear,” he says, he sizes Adrienne up, she is a good deal shorter than he is. “Something of mine if there’s anything suitable or perhaps something my sister left?” he suggests and the servant nods, glancing to Adrienne and waiting for her word to lead the way.

Aidric for his part clasps his hands behind his back “I will wait for you in the study,” he informs her.

Adrienne endures that predatory gaze of Aidric Carling with a demeanor that is soon drained of slight amusement and assumes that stoic Cassomir quality, she meeting his gaze with a slight lift of a brow. If she notices his jab at her lack of eloquence, it does not show. “Fine.”, she replies, as she follows along, that servant spotted and studied with a faint smile. “Yes. I don’t really care, as long as it somehow fits,” she states, more towards the woman than to Aidric. She glances to her host and inclines her head. “I’ll be there in a minute.”

That minute turns into five, and then into ten. Seems like Adrienne tries different options on, and discards them, mayhaps because the clothes provided don’t fit her, or because there are other considerations getting in the way. When she finally arrives in the study, she wears a shirt and trousers, rolled up slightly at her feet; having decided on what she had suggested in the first place; whilst leaving one or two dresses of his sister in the room, that, given Aidric’s rather accurate guess of her size, must have fitted her quite nicely. She even has managed to dry her face and at least some her hair, the braid redone and more orderly now. A pair of slippers of his sister cover her feet, while her boots and Huntress attire has been taken away to dry by a different hearth in another chamber.

Aidric’s brow furrows when he is met with that stoic gaze, however he makes no remark of it and simply sees her to the servant and awaits her return in the study. When Adrienne does appear, Aidric stands, “Have a seat, I’ll pour the wine,” he says nodding to the steaming carafe set beside two pewter mugs on a side table. Aidric, like Adrienne had taken a moment to get his still damp hair into order and otherwise make himself more presentable for his guest. Still he can’t but help notice what Adrienne chose to wear.

When the wine is poured he presents a cup to Adrienne and then takes his back to his chair. “So, I take it I’ve caused some offense?” he asks, keeping his tone casual and unconcerned.

That stoicness had faded already when she entered the study, and earlier it had been a thing that had occurred unbidden, maybe caused by that slightly odd look he had given her. Adrienne’s lips curve into a smile when he offers the wine, and following his suggestion, she will sit down on one of those comfortable chairs by the fire. Green eyes linger on him as he pours them, and her hand is extended to accept the cup. His question takes her unawares. “No, you haven’t?” That smile dims. “What makes you think you have?” Her gaze drops to her attire. “Oh!” Her freckled features soften into a smile. “Well… I hope you forgive me for choosing a comfortable attire over one that seeks to… impress.” She bites her lip. She shoots him a glance and considers. “You’d have liked to see me in a dress, once again…?” This obviously something that amuses her. There is definitely mirth in her eyes as she meets his gaze – and something else, a hint of… regret? Like she were yelling inwardly at herself for messing up this game she so rarely plays by ignoring his expectations! And this anger at herself she directs in a new direction when she adds softly, almost apologetically, lowering her gaze: “I thought this was about you telling me more about those horrible killings…”

The smiles are a cheerful change of pace and Aidric’s more sober expression curves to match it. “Seems it was the mistake was mine, for assuming I’d offended you,” he inclines his head, and when he raises it he sees the doubt reflected in Adrienne’s eyes,“And I have wouldn’t presume to tell you what to wear, besides I am sure you’d look beautiful in anything,” he adds with a raise of his cup to her along with the flattery.

Then, “Yes, horrible things,” Aidric says remembering that the invitation to the manse was for more than their usual games in more private surroundings. The sober expression returns. “So, what did you wish to know?” he asks. “I will be as honest as I can be.”

Adrienne cannot help but roll her eyes at the ease of Aidric Carling’s flattery. “Um… yes. Of course. Why am I not surprised to hear something in that vein from you?”, she quips, her slight tension from before relaxing into a relieved smile, before she raises her own cup to join in his toast-like gesture, her green eyes lingering on him as she takes a sip. The mulled wine is indeed quite successful with driving the chill from her limbs. It also brings some more colour to her cheeks.

Her demeanor sobers then, as does the topic. “You’ve mentioned a group of killers,” the freckled Huntress states. “As one killer alone would not have managed to arrange the bodies at the scene of the murder, without anyone taking note of it. So… are you suggesting this group did the deed, and used intimidation as a means to keep the locals from talking?”

There is an amused shake of his head when Adrienne rolls her eyes, “Not my best work I suppose,” he remarks as he too sips his wine, “As for the lack of surprise, I’d say experience at this point.” Another sip follows, to keep out the cold and to help smooth the darker topics to follow.

“More than one killer? Definitely. Intimidation? No. By all accounts they slipped in and slipped out at night and did not wake the people around them. Which would require skill and at least some numbers, also given how quickly they got the other two victims, it’s likely there are a lot of them and they’ve been working on this for a while,” Aidric explains before chewing on the thumbnail of his free hand a moment. He lowers the hand again when he speaks, “As to who? As the Queen is happy to tell us, we don’t have proof, but, it is likely the same killers the Thorns were using during the war. Tristan was pushing to have them eliminated for their past crimes, I suppose word of that has gotten back to them.”

Adrienne listens attentively when Aidric speaks of his theories, one elbow on an armrest, as she supports her chin with the back of one hand while her other holds onto the cup. "So… You are hinting that this ominous group of killers… are doing this in an act of revenge against Prince Tristan?", she murmurs, furrowing her brows as she considers. "Formerly used by the Thorns… Are they doing this on their own accord, or still on orders?" Another moment passes, as the Cassomir has another sip of mulled wine. "There is no proof. All the women found had been involved with the Prince?" Leaving out the girl, the significance of which Adrienne does not go into so far. Green eyes lift from her cup to meet the Carling's. "There will be more attempts, I'd wager…? If you are right." As, certainly, the Prince of Fools would likely have bedded more than three in his infamous career of dalliances.

“Revenge would imply we’ve done something against them yet besides talk,” Aidric says bitterly of the killers’ motives. “We haven’t, because we weren’t allowed to, but if I were to guess, the killers are doing what they are doing to show Tristan they can hurt people close to him and that taking action in the future will be a mistake.” His lips form a grim line. “Though the mistake is theirs if they think Tristan will fold that easily,” or at least he hopes so. His cousin was softhearted by nature. Those worries flicker across Aidric’s face for a moment before he continues. “As for the other women, Tristan is making a list of the ones he can remember and the Queen is sending men to take them to safety. I wish him luck, that will be quite a list. Though what we need is either proof or pressure enough to move the Queen to let us take the fight to these killers,” his eyes flick to Adrienne’s as a thought occurs. “I know Raelyn has no love of Thorns, do you think she might be able to move the Queen or Jaren to action?”

Adrienne hmmms thoughtfully. "So…? These killers go around and kill these former bedmates to make a statement?" The use of the word 'bedmates' does not elicit a further blush, on the contrary, the word leaves her lip with little emphasis, and in a matter-of-factly manner. She does not seem convinced of this theory. "What if… there is something deeper at work there? Because… if they merely wanted it to be a warning, why didn't they leave it with the first killings?" Theoretical musings, that somehow intrigue the Huntress.

"I mean… What they are achieving with their action, is quite the contrary. Their action provokes a counter-action." Another sip of mulled wine is had, before Adrienne adds: "But… following the logic of the murders so far, I'd not be surprised, if there will be more. The Queen is moving the other women into safety? Hmm… good." Green eyes flit down to the cup. "In the woods, it is so much easier. If there is a predator we'd like to hunt down, we sometimes set out a bait. But such," she chuckles nervously, looking up to meet Aidric's gaze, "is probably too high a risk. And can end badly for the bait in question."

The Carling's question makes one corner of her mouth lift into a wry smile. "Raelyn, in fact, all of us Huntresses have no love for Thorns." There is an odd flicker in her gaze as Adrienne states that. “I could talk to her.”

Aidric frowns, his brow furrowing slightly at the questions. “What then, they are baiting us into action? Bleed Tristan’s bedmates and get us to strike hastily? Or do you mean there is something else is at work?” his brow unfurrows slightly, only to raise when Adrienne makes mention of bait of a different sort. There is something in appraising in the look he gives her, “Yes it could,” he says, before curiosity drives him to probe further, “And if it were to your choice would you use such bait to catch these men?”

“All of you?” Aidric asks gesturing to where she sits. “And yet here you are,,” he says, a challenge. When Adrienne says she will speak to Raelyn, he nods, “I would appreciate that. If it helps, I have no proof that these men were behind what happened to your home, but I would not be surprised if they were. It has their sort of brutality, and the rumour was that they still worked for Anton after Darren Haldis turned.”

"I don't know," Adrienne retorts. "I am just… thinking aloud, if you will. Trying to make sense of it all," her eyes roll ever-so-slightly, "if there is a sense to be found after all…" She shrugs, then sips more wine. Her green eyes meet his just in the moment when he seems intrigued with her mention of a bait. She lifts a brow. "It would be a possibility. To have one or two of these women not brought to safety, but closely watched instead. Day and night, in shifts. Huntresses could do that. Or other people who are at the Queen's disposition."

She leans back in her chair, raising the other brow as well now, when Aidric 'challenges' her. The Cassomir chuckles, amused. "Yes. I am here. Because your remarks about those killings caught my curiosity." Holding his gaze, her lips curl even more. "A Huntress in a former Thorn's Manse. Can such be possible? But yes…", she straightens. "I shall speak with Raelyn. Maybe she would support this plan. Alas, she's back in Ironhold, and I have my business tomorrow at the Palace…" Smirking a little when she says 'business'. "Perhaps I should write Raelyn to inform her, before I can talk to her in person?"

Aidric nods when Adrienne explains her questions were just her thoughts given voice. “Fair enough,” he says raising a hand to still any thought of intended insult. “And I believe there is some sense to it, even if we haven’t seen it yet.” The meeting of their eyes is taken without reaction as he considers her words. He nods, “Ruthless. But it does make sense, but not something I’d take to Tristan though,” he sips his wine, stymied by the lack of access brought about by his rash words. “You could suggest it to Clara when you see her, but I don’t think she’d be any more for it.”

There is a slight lightening of his mood, when Adrienne mentions the letter and the oddness of her being here in a ‘Thorn manse’. He smiles wryly, “It’s my father’s manse actually and he was never a Thorn. Though you are in a former Thorn’s clothing. I am sure that’s stranger than being in one’s manse,” he teases before he gets back to business, his mood still light. “Though a letter to Raelyn would be appreciated, but best to keep my name out of it, given how your sister huntresses view me,” he finishes his wine and pours himself some more before offering to do the same for Adrienne if she has the need.

"Ruthless… Yes, it would be…", Adrienne agrees with a flicker in her green eyes as she lowers them for a moment. "I'm not sure it is an advisable way to go. We couldn't be sure when they would strike. And… we couldn't completely ensure the bait or baits would be safe." Suddenly she looks no longer so convinced of the idea. "I may…", the Huntress says then to Aidric's suggestion of addressing the matter towards Clara. "But more importantly, yes, I'll write that letter." His advice to keep his name out of it earns him a glance from Cassomir, her demeanor going pensive then.

Talk turns to manses and clothes, and naturally, Adrienne’s gaze drops to her attire, an almost disgusted look given the garments. Well, at least it would seem so, at first. "It is," she admits with a chuckle, looking up. "Maybe I should…" her words trail off as he offers her a refill. A nod is given, after a brief moment of consideration. "My sisters were not very pleased to see me with you at the banquet at Pacitta," she states plainly, once her cup is topped off. Changing the topic, but only slightly.

“Not a judgement, just an observation,” Aidric assures her of his remark about the idea being ruthless. Though there is some uncertainty there, if the situation was reverse would he be willing to put some of his past lovers in harm’s way? He takes a sip of his wine, preferring to leave that question unanswered. He does however offer an “Appreciated,” when Adrienne confirms she’ll write the letter, though the pensive look is disregarded as he deals with the wine.

“Should what?” he asks of the clothing after the wine is poured. “Take them off? Can’t say that won’t make things stranger,” he jests, though given the past heavy topics, his heart isn’t into the flirtation. That and the shift of topic to the displeasure of the other huntresses has Aidric settling back into his chair, and drinking deep of his cup. When he lowers it he says, “I see. What do you intend to do about it?” he asks, studying her in anticipation of her reply.

Adrienne nods, to Aidric's clarification. Noting perhaps his own pensive moment there. Still, the matter of the letter seems to be settled, and so she leaves it at that.

His next remark earns him a slightly flustered glance. "Oh, I'm sure it would," Adrienne agrees then with a chuckle. "It was not what I've pondered, though." Cheeks pinkening there just a touch. "I was asking myself whether I'd better not change back and go, to return to the manse. My people may wonder what takes me so long." She shrugs. "I suppose to stay for a bit longer may be in order."

Green eyes drift down to the cup of mulled wine in her hand. "What they'd certainly like me to do, is avoid any further interaction with you. You see how eagerly I follow that advice." This added with a hint of sarcasm in her tone, as she raises her gaze again with an amused glint in her eyes. “Clara has assured me, you could benefit from talking with someone of common sense.”

There is a look of surprise on Aidric’s face when the conversation turns in quite a better direction than he’d hoped. He takes a sip of wine to cover that surprise and when he lowers it he leans forward slightly. “Pleased to hear I will have the pleasure of the company a little longer,” he says, before he smiles at Adrienne’s disobedience to the will of her fellow huntress and laughs aloud at her remarks about Clara. His eyebrow raises as he meets Adrienne’s eyes with his own, “Does she now? Did she say when she planned to introduce this person of sense to me? I am not sure I’ve made their acquaintance.” The teasing is joined by the widening of his smile. He takes another sip of wine “How much longer can you stay?”

"Did you think I would leave that swiftly?", Adrienne inquires, noting his surprise with some of her own. "After all, if I found you so totally disagreeable I wouldn't have agreed to call on you here, in your family's manse. No matter how curious I would have been on this matter of the murders." His tease hits home, in a way, as he will find the Cassomir Huntress glaring at him for the briefest of moments. "That would be me.", she clarifies with a smirk then.

A moment of consideration follows his last question. "Well, I was in town, and then got surprised by the bad weather. A few hours, I would think. But then again, I wouldn't want to impose on your time, if you have any other engagements…?"

Aidric rolls his eyes, “Given how this week has been, yes, I did think you might be making your escape,” he replies honestly, if, in a wry tone. “Though, I am glad that’s not the case.” The glare in response to his teasing, perversely, helps lift some of his sombre mood and in it’s wake he contrives to study Adrienne, “Hmm, I don’t see it, but who am I to argue with a Princess?” he remarks, doubling down on his teasing.

The rest though is taken in with interest, and he leans forward, elbows on his knees. “No. I have no other plans, though, if you do intend to stay that long it does make me to wonder where you stand on my offer.”

"Escape? From you? That would imply I am afraid…?", Adrienne quips, giving him another, albeit fainter glare. Her lips curl, before she adds: "I've realized that it will take more than two dances and one conversation to get to the bottom of this mystery of what is behind that sardonic façade of Aidric Carling." A brow lifts, to his tease, about not wanting to argue with a princess. "Indeed." Leaving it at that.

Did she say a few hours? Really? The green eyes of the freckled Cassomir flicker just so as she leans forward, echoing his posture. "Your offer of what? A dalliance?", she asks in a murmur, and looks at him for a long moment. Until she lowers her gaze, and gives her reply.

"I wish I knew."

Aidric raises an eyebrow, “I beginning to see I will need to pick my words carefully, escape, night… you tend to read so much into all of them,” he says with an amused glint in his eye. “No, I would not call you afraid. Nor would I want you to get past that façade too easily… if it is indeed a façade.”

He nods when she mentions if he’d meant a dalliance. Though his anticipation wanes somewhat as she looks down and more so when she gives her reply. He leans back in his chair then, legs crossed at the ankle as he studies her, “What holds you back?” he asks more curious than insistent, he pauses a moment as something occurs, “Or did we cover that with the disapproval of your sister huntresses and the fact that you do not know me beyond the face I put forward?”

"Maybe you pick those words on purpose, to provoke exactly that reaction?", Adrienne replies, and Aidric can tell by the glint her own eyes, she looks likewise amused. "You mean… I could be disappointed when I find out it isn't a façade, but your true face?", she quips. Until her own façade begins to crumble at his next question. Her expression turns pensive. "That may be part of it, yes.", she admits after a moment. "No, it is in fact all of it. The other Huntresses, well…", she shrugs, the stubborn flicker back in her eyes. "They are my sisters, they will disapprove, of course. But the true Aidric Carling is what troubles me more… Who tells me… you will not use this in manner to… ridicule me after we're done? I am not known for… I mean, I have by no means a reputation to engage in dalliances." Like Aidric, and of course Prince Tristan Tracano! "I like you.", this she states after another moment, and another sip of mulled wine. "But indeed… I hardly know you." One more sip is taken from her cup. "How can I be sure that your reputation guarantees it would it be worth the risk?"

“Perhaps,” Aidric allows about his choice of words. “After all I am a writer,” he says before blinking at her remarks about what is his true face and what was the façade he put up. He lifts his shoulders in a shrug. “Or it could be the façade is part of my true self and vice versa,” he says adding more questions to the pile that surrounds him. Though, when those questions are named as what holds Adrienne back, he curses himself silently; which shows in his eyes. He takes some wine to give himself a moment to think and when he’s done, he speaks plainly, “You worry about my reputation and who I really am. I can’t help you with the last part. After all if I asked who you truly were, could you answer? As to my reputation, there have been other women, which is true, but you will not find it said that I’ve spoken ill of any of them,” at least not by name, “Also, while I cannot offer a guarantee, I like you too and I have no reason to make you regret liking me in return.”

"So I've heard," Adrienne comments on the Carling's admission of being a writer. Her brows rise a little at his musings about his façade being a part of his true self and she nods. "Of course. It's part of your personality. The part you'd like everyone to see.", is her comment on that particular thought. When Aidric seems to be irked with her referring to his reputation, she seems slightly baffled at first - then amused, as she meets his gaze with a variation of her raising of brows, using the other, which may give the look more emphasis. "You… mistook me, Aidric. Completely." She chuckles softly. "When I spoke of the guarantee of your reputation, I referred to… um… certain abilities acquired through your extensive experience." Clearly exaggerating there, but that's the point of teasing, isn't it? "As for your… discretion…", here the mirth fades from her freckled face, and dims into a smile. "I would appreciate that. As I'd clearly be in trouble, if any of this" still hypothetical dalliance "came out."

The true meaning of Adrienne’s comments about his reputation catches Aidric off guard and he cannot help but smile, an expression he doesn’t bother to hide. “Is it really?” he asks, sounding both amazed and thoroughly pleased at the news. “Hm,” he says noting that information away for future enjoyment before he turns his gaze back to Adrienne, still not hiding that amused look. “Well, what do I say to that exactly? Though I can’t speak to any details you may have heard, but, I’d like to think that reputation isn’t entirely undeserved,” he offers before he needs to take a sip of wine to hide an amused chuckle. Though when he lowers his cup and the talk has turned to discretion, “Like I said, I have no reason to want you to regret what passes between us, so, if that means I never speak of it, so be it,” he promises. While he can’t quite shake his past amusement, there is a sincerity to his expression.

"Implied abilities, I should have said," Adrienne corrects herself, noting indeed how her words have quite the effect on the Carling. "So, in fact, there are no details, I'm afraid, rather assumptions. You already know I am quick to jump to those?" Still, to see Aidric in this rather confident posture, giving away his own high opinion of his 'skills', it can only be encouraging, and so the Cassomir smiles, clearly encouraged. Even more so, through his next assurance. Green eyes glint, lips curl into an approving smile, and the Huntress straightens first from her forward lean, then reclines against the backrest of the chair.

"Fine then."

Two words, that hold so much meaning.

“Ah,” Aidric says when it turns out the ladies of court do not whisper of his prowess in darkened corners. He frowns a touch, but not for long, when Adrienne smiles, he watches her attentively, sitting up when she does. Those two words banish the frown and replace it with a smile. He says nothing, just downing the last of his wine in a gulp and setting the cup aside. He stands next, offering his hand to Adrienne. “Shall we?” he asks his eyes meeting hers.

Her cup will be downed as well, Adrienne's eyes lingering on the Carling as he moves to stand. There may be a slight hint of nervousness there in her gaze, a faint shadow of doubt regarding her agreeing to this, after all. But when he offers his hand she will accept it, and rise from the comfortable seat. "Yes." She stands, her green eyes meeting his slightly paler shade of green, and she lifts a brow, noting his proximity - of course - and not backing away.

Aidric seems at his ease as Adrienne rises to join him on their feet. There is that familiar meeting of their eyes, that closeness, he smiles. Then, keeping his eyes on hers he brushes his free hand against her cheek and along her neck. His eyes flit down to her lips then, and he leans in closer his hand at her neck slipping around to cup it from behind as he bends to claim a kiss.

At ease… Adrienne would be at ease in the woods, climbing on trees, following the trail of an enemy. Here she is on less common ground. But then again… wasn't it her that went for that particular moment in the first place?

The smile comes, a little belatedly perhaps, when she feels his fingers brush against her cheek and neck; she'll note by the way he leans into her what is about to come, the inevitable kiss, she will meet with her lips most willingly. Her eyes remaining open for a moment longer, when hands that have suddenly developed a will of their own move to Aidric's shoulders, holding onto him, for as long as that kiss will last. She will certainly not have it break too soon, her eyes finally closing - this a sign of trust indeed! When this kiss reminds Adrienne of pleasures forsaken for the cause of duty for far too long.

Even Cassomirs can have fun. And this Cassomir certainly intends to.

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