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Thread: I don't know why you're here, you don't know why you're here - 9/8 afternoon, Hot Springs - Grant/Cordelia [closed]

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    House Hepburn Grant Hepburn's Avatar  
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    I don't know why you're here, you don't know why you're here - 9/8 afternoon, Hot Springs - Grant/Cordelia [closed]

    This project was already behind schedule. It was under budget, which no doubt would make King Cailen happy, but he was a solid fortnight behind in completing the final touches of the Shellten retreat. The structure and most of the interior was complete, and Grant had been hoping that by the time he returned from Welch Run, all that would be required was a cursory inspection. However, the foreman on site was in a tizzy when the Lord of Maple Glade had arrived. Apparently there was an issue in the plan to divert the water from the hot springs on the island to the adjoining bath house of the estate.

    To Grant's pleasant surprise, everything else was in order. Realistically speaking, provided the king did not mind waiting for his bath water to be heated, he could use the facility as it was. But that wasn't good enough for Grant. It wouldn't have been good enough for Patrick. And so, Hepburn found himself riding out to where his men were supposed to be connecting the last part of the aqueduct that would run the hot water to the home.

    Arriving at the location, he saw what appeared to be his workers doing their best to look busy, without actually doing anything. No doubt they had been warned of his impending visit. One of them approached to make their explanation, but Grant waved him off and continued on to the small cluster of buildings on the other side of the spring. He had known that a small group of Sisters of Iubita had tended the springs and employed them for medicinal purposes, though Grant had assumed that there was more than enough water flowing that they would be able to share.

    As he entered the small shrine at the center of the enclave, the man called out to those inside, so as not to startle them when he came through the door. But as he wandered in, he saw no signs of the Sisters. Merely a single blond-haired girl sitting at a corner table. "Excuse me," Grant said as he looked about in confusion. "Are the Sisters here?"

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    House Kendrick Cordelia Kendrick's Avatar  
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    The pale, blonde girl seated at the corner table looked up, eyes wide as a startled doe's when the man addressed her. She blinked at him a few times, taking a minute or two to grasp the nature of his inquiry before she shook her head. "The Sisters have gone to the far side of the Island for the day, I believe. They will not return before sun's down." Despite the warmth of the day, she had a light blanket over her legs and a shawl around her shoulders. Studying his face, she did not know him, though she wondered if she should. Slim fingers toyed with a locket around her throat, but she made no other comment, merely observed him.

    The Sisters had spoken disparagingly of the King's intended retreat and the plan to divert the springs to provide him plenty of water for a bath he would seldom use. She had overheard several of them muttering about it before they began their journey across the island, leaving her in the care of one or two who would remain behind. They were elsewhere at the moment, about their own business, not that the girl knew what that was, how to find them, or even what she should do if someone were to come in. "If you wish, I can give them a message for when they return."

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    House Hepburn Grant Hepburn's Avatar  
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    There was an odd sense of deja vu when the girl looked up at him and spoke. Sylvica deliver me from blonds who fear the sun, he thought to himself, but smiled politely nonetheless. The fact that the Sisters would not be back until later was distressing, but Grant was not the type to force an issue, and rather than just connect the water supply, he resolved to wait. It could only be another day at the most.

    Strolling about the room, but being careful not to get so close as to appear threatening, the man nodded. "My name is Grant. I'm here working on the new building a few miles off," he told her, trying to be casual about the conversation. "I was hoping to talk to them about the springs," he said, unsure of why he was revealing all of this.

    Making his way to the window, Grant looked outside. Everything here was serene and peaceful, and he hoped that nothing would be changed by Cailen's use of the retreat. But in the end, he was king, and it was his prerogative. "I'm sorry," he said as he turned back to her. "I didn't get your name.

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    House Kendrick Cordelia Kendrick's Avatar  
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    The girl saw the brief distress cross his face, wondering why the absence of the Sisters caused it until she remembered something about a retreat for the King. What king, she did not know, but he must be very wealthy and powerful to want to keep the springs all for himself. The news of the King's desire for a private retreat roused the Sisters into a flurry of tempers, resulting in their decision to go across the island for a time.

    Glad when the man did not come too close, she tilted her head to better study his features. His name did not mean much to her, but then few names did right now. The blue eyes met his calmly, a nod acknowledging what was said. "I will let them know you wished to do so, sir... Grant," she corrected herself. He had given her his name, obviously he intended her to use it. Sitting quietly, she watched him as he made his way to the window and back, quite certain something troubled him, though she had no idea what.

    Then he asked for her name, making her shift uncomfortably in her chair. She did not have a name truly to give him beyond what the sisters called her now, fingers toying with the locket again. They said it was because of the sigil on the locket, now a House and name dead and buried in the past, but it was as good a name as any, she supposed. Lifting her eyes to his, she flushed a little. "The Sisters call me Camorelle."

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    House Hepburn Grant Hepburn's Avatar  
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    Grant didn't commit to anything right away. Even though he had the woman's answer, he found himself still turning about in circles in confusion. Something did not add up. "What they call you?" Well, that was certainly an odd choice of phrasing. It meant that only one of two things could be true. Either she was hiding, and using an alias, or the Sisters had found her as an infant and raised her, giving her a name as a child. But he had never heard of the Sisterhood taking in someone who hadn't been indoctrinated into their order by the age Camorelle seemed to be.

    It was an odd name, he had to concede. But oddly familiar at that. Grant could not place it. "Have you been with the Sisters long," he asked, not bothering to take the hint that he should call at another time. Instead, he pulled another chair from the table and sat at a distance from the woman. She was dressed well. Too well for a member of the clergy. Even Swarinites, who were the richest of the cloth didn't have clothes so well cut as the woman's.

    Drumming his fingers on the top of the chair, Grant whistled softly. "Do you have a last name, Camorelle? Where are you from?" He was still struggling with the name. Secretly, Hepburn hoped that if he could keep her talking, the answer would come to him.

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    House Kendrick Cordelia Kendrick's Avatar  
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    She told no less than the truth; Camorelle was what the Sisters called her, because she could not remember her own name. The appellation did not feel or sound correct, but it sufficed until such time as the girl recalled her name, family and circumstances. Thus far, no one had come forward to claim her, not that Camorelle was aware of. The maid sent with Cordelia Kendrick had yet to find her lady, and the man was searching with few traces found so far. The pug remained faithful to his pale mistress, but could reveal nothing beyond that fidelity.

    The question made her think, a hand rising to rub at the sudden ache in her head. The Sister who tended to her upon waking had told her that the aches were normal, a sign of a mind struggling to pull back the curtains obscuring her memories. She should try to let it happen and not strain herself, the woman said, because it would come. "No, not long. A... a few days, that is all." A few days since she had awakened in their care, and remembered nothing. She could hardly tell the man that, however.

    She blinked at him when he asked questions she couldn't answer, her head bowing awkwardly. "I... I don't know if I do. I don't remember. The Sisters say they found me a few days ago, and took me in." Pale blue eyes lifted to his almost timidly. "They told me I struck my head and that is why I cannot remember." Fingers rose, gingerly touching the still tender lump at the base of her skull. "That is part of why they went across the island, to learn if anyone is missing who might be able to help me."

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    House Hepburn Grant Hepburn's Avatar  
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    Grant had considered the idle chit chat a way of remaining in the room until someone besides Camorelle returned, but when she at last revealed that she wasn't sure who she was, Hepburn stopped in the tracks he had been pacing about the place. "Wait, what?" Cautiously, the man approached the young blonde woman. He had heard stories about the Balfourian King, and how he had suffered from a similar ailment when his ship had been wrecked off this very coast. "May I," he asked as he lightly turned her head to observe the wound on her skull.

    The man was not a doctor. But he was sure that the bump there was not good. He was even more sure that the Sisters were ill-prepared to really treat the injury. She needed a real physician. "Perhaps you should go back to the mainland, and see a maester. They have certain draughts that may help you. I doubt the Sisters can help you much more than they have." He had a boat. It traveled every few days. He could have her back in Tuneric by the end of the week, if she was willing to go. And perhaps, if she was gone, he could more easily deal with the priestesses.

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    House Kendrick Cordelia Kendrick's Avatar  
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    She blinked when he came closer, instinctively curling closer into the chair, but the look on his face told her there was nothing to be feared. Relaxing, she nodded for him to turn her head, the better to inspect the slowly healing wound. Still very tender to the touch, she seldom went for more than an hour's time without a dull, pounding ache in her head. The herbs helped to a point, but there was damage rendered that only time would resolve. She had to be patient, move slowly and take care with herself, the Sisters informed her.

    His words echoed those of the Sister who treated her, but there were objections of a reasonable nature to be raised. "I... I have no money to hire a boat or to pay the maester, my lord. And no one to travel with me, it would be dangerous to go alone, would it not?" Blue eyes slowly lifted to his face above her own. "The sisters have been very kind, but I know I am imposing on them. I am simply not sure what to do, or how to go about doing it." If he had any advice, she welcomed it right now. Perhaps she would be able to find a means of supporting herself once her head wound was healed.

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    House Hepburn Grant Hepburn's Avatar  
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    Frowning, Grant shook his head. If there was an infection, or trauma that he could not see, he would rue a decision to wait for the Sisters. "I have the boat and the money. And the men to make sure you get back to Tuneric." He couldn't be entirely sure if he was doing the right thing, but anything he could be offer had to be better than her just sitting here alone in this tiny room. "Do you have things that need to be packed?" Looking around, he did not see much in the way of worldly possessions. "I will explain your departure to the Sisters, I am sure they won't object." After all, Grant's actions on Day's Death had royal sanction. They would not dare challenge him on the matter.

    Moving back to the window, he looked about once more and didn't see anyone in the distance. He would need to leave them a letter. And craft one back to his home. Sitting across from her at the table, Grant took a couple sheets of paper and the ink vial. "My brother is currently in Welch Run, but is planning to be in Aston. I will have him meet you at the docks there, and then he'll take you to Maple Glade. My personal physician, Dominic will know what to do to help you recover. Do you have any family that I should notify? Anyone you remember at all?"

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    House Kendrick Cordelia Kendrick's Avatar  
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    Cordelia - or rather, Camorelle - started to object at the abrupt manner in which Grant took charge of things. Something in her mind suggested this would not be wise, that it would bring down the wrath of someone on her for it, yet she could not say whom or why. Aware that she was proving a burden upon the Sisters, she was not truly in a position to refuse, accepting that this could prove for the best in the overall scheme of things. Shaking her head in response to his question, she made herself reply verbally. "No, nothing. I arrived with nothing more than what you see before you." Gesturing to the gown she wore, the shoes and the locket, there was little else to which the young woman could lay claim. "Thank you for your kindness, my lord. I'm sure the Sisters will not object. I am," she admitted ruefully, "little more than a burden to them, I fear. My few skills are not of much help to them."

    She hadn't proved skilled with a broom or cleaning rag, had inexpertly washed dishes, and her efforts in the kitchen was a disaster. Fortunately, she seemed to instinctively know how to sew, so in that regard, she was able to earn some measure of her keep by mending and sewing plain seams. The Sisters would not raise an objection to her departure, of that she was confident. She would have to do the same for Grant and his family, to repay the generosity the man bestowed on her so kindly.

    Following him with her eyes, she was not surprised when he spoke of letters. They seemed the most efficient way of going about things under the circumstances, though she dreaded having to explain herself to Grant's brother when she arrived in Aston. "No one that I remember. I'm sorry. The Sisters said that the House that once bore this crest is no more, so it appears I must be alone in the world."

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    House Hepburn Grant Hepburn's Avatar  
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    Pausing mid-sentence, Grant looked up at the woman with a smile. "I have gone to the far lengths of the Great Sea, Camorelle. I have survived a hurricane, a war and a plague. I have seen tragedies and comedies, and people recover from far worse than you have suffered. And in all my experience, I know one thing. None of us are alone in this world." He went back to writing, hurriedly and with less regard in his second letter than in his first, but shook his head and went on. "We all have friends. Many of whom we have yet to meet. Have faith, my lady."

    Blowing the parchment dry, Grant began to roll them up and and put them in his pocket. Despite his desire to remain until he had an answer about the springs, the Lord of Maple Glade resigned himself to a trip to the docks. Feeling a small brush at his leg, Grant looked down and saw the small pug looking up at him. Petting him lightly on the head, he looked back to the woman. "Yours? Best collect him," he told Camorelle.

    Rising, the man moved to the door. "We must go quickly. The last boat leaves in about an hour. I promise you that it's going to be alright."

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    House Kendrick Cordelia Kendrick's Avatar  
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    A quiet, sad little smile curved her lips at his words, her eyes lowering. He was likely correct, but she felt as if she was alone. The loss of memory was frightening, the more for knowing the past was nothing more than a blank and the future stretched out into uncertainty. Sitting by while he wrote, she bowed her head to his words. Faith was the key to the matter, he was correct.

    Emerging from her cocoon, she gently folded the blanket and glanced down to her furred,faithful friend. "Yes, he is mine. The Sisters said that they were led to me by him." Reaching down, she scooped up the loyal little dog, a quick laugh coming free when the pug wriggled into a comfortable position, then licked her face. "Yes, you're a good dog." And all she had at the moment, she felt.

    Taking a last look about, she made to follow him, compelled by reasons she could not explain to trust him. "Lead the way, my lord. I am ready."

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    House Hepburn Grant Hepburn's Avatar  
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    Holding the door for the woman, Grant nodded. The walk to the docks was a short one, and he didn't dawdle on the way. Thankfully the trip from Day's Death to Aston would take little more than a day by boat. "If for whatever reason my brother is not there when you arrive, I have given the captain coin and instructions to keep you on board, and to make sure you have fresh clothes and sundries." Grant loved his little brother, but he had learned the hard way that with the exception of Maera, his siblings were somewhat unreliable. At least in matters of punctuality.

    Pulling one of the letters from his tunic, Grant pressed it into Camorelle's hands. "When you see Seamus, give him this. It's an explanation, and instructions on how he should proceed. If the maester can not help you, then it is entirely likely that someone else can." Grant really hoped that it wouldn't come to that. But even if it did, it would be the wee baby's problem.

    Stepping up the plank, Grant held out a hand for her to follow. "I will show you to your cabin. Do you need anything else, my lady?"

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    House Kendrick Cordelia Kendrick's Avatar  
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    Emerging from the room into the sunlight with the pug cradled in her arms, Cordelia blinked until her eyes adjusted to the brightness, then did her best to keep pace with Grant on the brisk walk down to the docks. The man had a stride that devoured the ground, compelling her to trot alongside in an effort to match it. When they arrived at the ship, her head was pounding, the brightness serving to add dagger-like pains to the throbbing. Tamping down the need to be ill, she meekly accepted the letter with a nod of thanks, committing the name to memory. Seamus would be the one to come for her once he arrived in Aston. Something about the city's name resonated, though she could not say why.

    Taking his hand, she gingerly crept up the plank, wanting nothing more than to lie down with her little dog and pray for the pain to stop. If that did not prove his point that she needed a great measure of assistance with her injury, surely nothing would. "No, nothing. Thank you, you have been very... kind." She was looking forward to the darkness awaiting her in the cabin, hoping it would end the stabbing pangs. "I will... find a way to repay you, Grant." Her stomach clenched, but she took slow, deep breaths, knowing it was the head injury that made her nauseous.

    Resolved to be no further burden on the captain, she intended to stay quietly in the cabin and out of sight until they made harbor in Aston. After that, she had no idea what would come or how she would survive. There would be plenty of time to worry about it... and to think on what this Seamus would be like.



    @Grant Hepburn

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    House Hepburn Grant Hepburn's Avatar  
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    Grant smiled at the woman and chuckled. "There is no need to repay me, my lady. You worry about feeling better," he told her. "And remember," he said, before making a face at the imperative. If she had been able to remember anything, she wouldn't be in this position. "Seamus Hepburn. And your letter."

    He walked her all the way to her cabin, and petted the little dog as he showed the pair of them in. The Lord of Maple Glade gave a small sigh, but was still smiling. "Moreesa be with you," he said, before turning away with the captain. "And with you, Merrick. Make sure Seamus finds her. And not Bosleigh. If they need your help, see them down the river to Maple Glade. There is no need to rush back here."

    The captain nodded and saluted Grant as he made his way down the plank. Apparently his deeds on the shores of Balfour were well spoken of. Captains had been saluting him for months now, even though he had never been any kind of military officer. Shaking his head in embarrassment, he hopped off the plank and turned to look as it was pulled up. "Good luck, Camorrelle," he whispered. "Or whoever you are."

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