User Tag List

Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Just Like Every Night Has Its Dawn - 11/14, Jenner's Study, afternoon - Jenner/Mariana

  1. #1
    House Pavon Jenner Pavon's Avatar  
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    86
    Mentioned
    63 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Just Like Every Night Has Its Dawn - 11/14, Jenner's Study, afternoon - Jenner/Mariana

    Jenner, who was never prone to panic or drastic measures, resisted the urge to go straightaway to Roselin's rooms and strangle the woman. He could without issue, stuff the body in a closet, and move it in the night once the King and his retinue had retired. But that was hardly productive either. Plus it would complicate the matter of the Sebring woman, who had reluctantly remained, and would continue to do so, as long as Rose were present. No, he would simply keep his well groomed composure and deal with Roselin Yarwood and do as little as possible to tip his hand.

    Having gone directly to his study after leaving His Grace, Jenner sat patiently and waited for Mari to arrive, even as he began running a number of scenarios through his head. For once, he was at relative peace, with nobody bustling about or checking in on him. It would seem that Mariana had dispatched all available servants to ready the place for Lochlan's stay, and that left none to pester him with their attention. All the better. The less sets of ears to hear him and Jameson talking, the less the risk was of anything getting back to Roselin or her cousin.

    He hadn't bothered straining his ears as he waited for Mari to arrive. She moved too gracefully to be detected beyond the stone walls and heavy oak door. Iris, he would have noted from a hundred feet away. But her superior was far more inconspicuous. Instead he busied himself with a glass of wine and a book, maintaining more of a calm than he ought to have any right to possess. It was something of a competition, really. Jenner knew that Mariana would be cool as a cucumber, and he always did his best to appear less affronted than her. Whether or not she was playing the same game, or was just naturally composed, Jenner had never ascertained.


    @Mariana Jameson
    Last edited by Rick; 10-13-2016 at 10:45 AM.

  2. #2
    House Pavon Mariana Jameson's Avatar  
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    61
    Mentioned
    39 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Some time had passed between Jenner's exit from the receiving room and Mariana's arrival to his study, but Mari had hardly taken a moment to breathe. After showing the king to his rooms, she'd tracked down a few of the better girls and posted them nearby in case either royal highnesses required anything. Porters were still sorting out all the people and gear that came with a royal visit, but they had it well in hand and didn't need much other than a quick word of praise. Those who had skittered and given such a bad impression of the house were sent into the kitchens, the staff moved around accordingly to make sure everything was covered appropriately. All this done, of course, without any rush or fuss, to maintain the proper appearances. Only then, once everything was sorted, did Mariana head to her master's study.

    The walk served to calm and refocus her mind, and when she arrived she looked no worse for wear. Pausing outside the door, she did take a moment to re-secure her hair since the humidity of the kitchens had taken its toll, but a run through with her fingers and a few twists had it looking just as good as it had when she'd first left her room in the morning. She knocked and entered, the pattern her knuckles made on the wood distinctive enough to eliminate the need for her to announce herself.

    Even without the other complicating factors, the king's early arrival alone would probably have been enough to unsettle any other lord, but Mariana was pleased to see Jenner calm and collected, and in fact seeming entirely unfazed. She crossed to where he was seated and curtsied, before taking her usual seat. "His Grace and the princess have been seen to their rooms, and haven't yet shown any interest in exploring. Miss Sebring is, as far as I know, unaware of our new guests, although I imagine her ignorance won't last too long. Word of an unexpected royal arrival will spread through the castle, fast." She didn't need to follow the thought through to its natural conclusion, because she knew Jenner would already be there: What would happen when Rose found out? Mariana just hoped her master would have an answer.

    ----
    @Jenner Pavon

  3. #3
    House Pavon Jenner Pavon's Avatar  
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    86
    Mentioned
    63 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Jenner had set the book down as Mariana entered, and sipped at his wine, motioning toward the bottle for the woman to help herself if she chose. Her report began routinely enough. Even if there was nothing he could do to really control Lochlan Farrand-Calhoun, her tabs on him were appreciated. "Lily," he corrected her, at the mention of Sebring. "And Lily," he said again for emphasis, "will remain blissfully unaware for as long as we can manage it. Had I known that His Grace would arrive today, I might have sent her on an errand, just to avoid any chance that she speaks to him." There was nothing for it now, and Jenner was not about to go seek her out and make any abnormal bustle to be detected. "Rose is another matter," he added.

    To his own dismay, Jenner had not had enough interaction with Rose to know just how he should handle her in this moment. He had let much of the responsibility for the girl fall to Mari, and now he would be at his lieutenant's mercy for figuring how to deal with her while the King was present. "I assume that you are of the opinion that it is best for the former Lady Yarwood to be kept out of her cousin's presence?" The more experienced girls would likely keep from gossiping. For all her clumsiness, Iris was relatively quick of wit and discreet. But some of the younger maids, Poppy and Camellia especially, were simply too bubbly and outgoing yet as to keep the news from spreading.

    Waiting for the moment where the two of them would agree on a plan, Jenner moved on to more of the woman's report. "I don't suppose King Lochlan's interest in you waned at all after I departed," he said, a slight edge of jealousy in his tone. It was not the man's nature to be envious or even possessive of any of his girls, though his Violet was treasured above all others. She would not leave, of course. But he would still want to know if his liege had made the woman an offer. "Either my fondness for you is infectious, or His Grace is curious to see if your loyalty can be tested. I believe he thinks the capital would suit you," he said with a small smile.

    Jenner wasn't so sure that Lochlan was wrong. It had been a long time since he had put any restriction at all on Mariana Jameson. And he wouldn't begin again now. He did not believe she would ever leave. Though unlike many in his home, she had earned the right to decide for herself. "Speak honestly, love. I am quite enamored with your coyness, but I think we are short on time for our usual games."


    @Mariana Jameson

  4. #4
    House Pavon Mariana Jameson's Avatar  
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    61
    Mentioned
    39 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A glass of wine was a temptation, but Mariana left it be for now. When they'd gotten past these next few days and the king was safely away, then she'd indulge in a celebratory drink. For now, she didn't feel she could afford to dull her mind in any way. Granted, as long as they played their cards right there wasn't much immediate risk, but especially after the conversation she'd just had with their guest of honor she knew she needed to stay on her toes.

    "I am, yes. To let them meet would put too much power in her hands, and despite the concessions made to our little Rose I don't think she would miss the opportunity to reclaim her previous status." It wasn't hard to imagine Roselin back at court, dressed in all her finery and at the King's side, using everything she knew about Jenner to bring them down. "We also don't know how the King would react, even if Rose was content to stay. It would raise too many questions no matter how we could spin it."

    Honestly, if she had to lock Roselin in her room with a twenty-four hour guard while Lochlan was in the area, she absolutely would. Mari hoped it wouldn't come to that, of course, but it wasn't the least she'd be willing to do to keep the Nest safe.

    "Curious would be a good word for it, I think," she said without much of a smile. Some girls might've been overly flattered by such attention from the king, and the poorly-veiled jealousy from their master, but Mariana didn't feel any girlish butterflies. She was more concerned about exactly why Lochlan had paid her such attention in the first place. "If he seeks to lure me away, he didn't make any sort of invitation. Perhaps he sensed that no offer would succeed." She paused, and when she continued she didn't speak with any extra layer of sincerity or sentimentality. It was simply a statement of fact. "This is my home, and you are my master. I will serve no other."

    -----
    @Jenner Pavon

  5. #5
    House Pavon Jenner Pavon's Avatar  
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    86
    Mentioned
    63 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Jenner was in agreement with his lieutenant. There was absolutely no political gain in revealing Rose's presence to the King. She was a wildcard, and her recent syrupy sweet disposition made the man nervous. He had done his best to seduce the girl with gifts and compliments, but in the end the snake charmer still had to risk being bitten. The daily life at Lawnbury was probably already beyond what King Lochlan would find acceptable, but in the end would likely be overlooked, or unnoticed on purpose. Unless of course the protocols within the Nest involved his cousin. At that point, he would likely attempt to stretch Jenner's neck.

    "I have an idea of how he would react regardless," her master countered. "I'll leave you to handle Rose's isolation, and I will make sure that Lily is either keeping her company or otherwise occupied. They have not behaved terribly as of late, but there is no reason to not take every precaution to make sure we maintain a facade of innocence." Honestly, he didn't think it would be too difficult. There were plenty of girls here to maintain working order without troubling those two, provided they didn't become suspicious as to why they were being isolated.

    The matter of the King's interest in Mari was an amusement, as well as a legitimate concern. Jenner had no doubts about the woman's loyalty, and didn't think that she would do anything to cause him distress. But the obvious interest still gave the man some concern that Lochlan would go out of his way to dig around in his servant's background, if he thought there was something useful in it. It may well be time to make a plan for Jameson, should something happen to him.

    "Your words are inspiring, love," he told her, pausing to sip the wine that she seemed to have no interest in. "Still, nothing is guaranteed, and you should have a plan in the event that I find myself on the outs with the King." There were any number of things that could bring that about, and Jenner knew it. "You should send word to your family," he told her. "Move them to the city below. I shall allocate the necessary funds to cover the expense. You may do it without revealing your presence here if you like, or you can make the matter plain, I care not. If you have no interest in finding a new master, then it is my will that you will become your own. I will draw up the paperwork to ensure that my home passes to you before any other." Those provisions would be complicated, but not impossible. His family would likely challenge her claim, but given Lochlan's apparent interest in Mari, it would likely make it easier to arrange.


    @Mariana Jameson
    Last edited by Jenner Pavon; 10-23-2016 at 09:09 PM.

  6. #6
    House Pavon Mariana Jameson's Avatar  
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    61
    Mentioned
    39 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As Jenner spoke, Mariana's mind was working on two levels: one paying attention to the conversation, and the other making note of what would need to be done. Keeping Roselin busy and out of the way wouldn't be too terribly difficult, especially if Lily was going to be with her. They could be put to some sort of quiet work somewhere, and Rose wasn't likely to ask too many questions as long as nothing seemed too amiss. She hadn't ever been too keen on socializing with the other girls anyway, so if she was put to some task that wasn't too unpleasant which kept her with her old friend, she shouldn't be too much trouble.

    Any secondary thoughts ceased, though, as the conversation settled on contingencies for the future. Mariana being who she was, she'd put some thought into it; if something were to happen where Jenner was simply removed from his position, she would follow him to serve him wherever he would find himself living. If that were impossible, she would simply move on to something else, be it a position in another house or work doing something else. She was a capable woman, and she had no doubt she'd find her way no matter what. But what Jenner was suggesting, that she take the Nest should anything happen to him? There was no way she could have ever conceived that being an option. How could she? She already had more power than any woman of her class could ever expect to, and the comments that people would make sometimes alluding to the possibility of her becoming Jenner's wife were always couched in a joke due to how outlandish the idea was. For a woman born into poverty to be named as a lord's heir...that was the plot for a story, not something that could happen in real life.

    "That would be an amazing honor," she said slowly, trying to wrap her mind around the idea. The theory wasn't the only thing she was grappling with; she couldn't even imagine how convoluted securing that situation would be. It was a lord's prerogative to choose his heir, but there was no way handing his holding to a servant would go uncontested. "It's a situation I hope never arises, and my independence could be obtained with less dear a price, but if I were to come to possess the Nest I would do my best to rise to the situation."

    ---
    @Jenner Pavon

  7. #7
    House Pavon Jenner Pavon's Avatar  
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    86
    Mentioned
    63 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The man could not tell if his servant was rattled or distracted. Perhaps it was neither, but the words hardly seemed like her own. It had been so long since there had been a cause for her to stand on protocol that he had forgotten that there was one. Perhaps the presence of King Lochlan had reminded her that not all people were born equal. Perhaps she thought that her words were the reaction Jenner might have expected. Whatever it was, Jenner was having none of it.

    "No it wouldn't," he corrected her. "It would be a reward you had more than earned. And what's worse, you know it. At the most, it might be unexpected, but I daresay that even that would be a stretch." Jenner rose and moved to stand behind her chair and put his hands on her shoulder, massaging them lightly. It was something he did on occasion, and though Mari didn't complain, he wasn't entirely sure that she enjoyed it as much as she might pretend that she did. For him, it was more or less something he did when he was working through a thought process, and simply needed to keep his hands busy without focusing on what they were doing.

    With a short laugh, he nodded his head. "Well, it's not Plan A," he agreed, noting that he wasn't exactly planning on dropping dead that afternoon. "But you will do what you will do, and I will be at rest having made the decision. Though promise me that you will call the place something other than "The Nest". Whoever came up with that name should be drawn and quartered." It was fitting, and Jenner himself wasn't bothered enough to change it. It was suitably descriptive, and it played to the girls. But it wouldn't serve Mari if she ever came into possession of it.

    Now that the matter there was settled, Jenner could move along to other matters. Knowing that he had settled this, and that Jameson had settled the girls and his guests, he let his hands rest on her shoulders for a moment. "Is there anything else that we've left undone? I think I am quite ready for the day to be over." He knew that she would not rest for a while yet. She usually made her rounds about the castle one last time after he retired. Jenner wouldn't order her not to, but wanted her to know that she was expected afterward. "Be sure to come to bed tonight," he told her, in a manner that implied his bed, and not the one she kept in the adjoining quarters. "If I am asleep, you may wake me or not, as is your pleasure. But I think it would do me good to wake next to you in the morning."


    @Mariana Jameson
    Last edited by Rick; 12-02-2016 at 11:01 PM.

  8. #8
    House Pavon Mariana Jameson's Avatar  
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    61
    Mentioned
    39 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Jenner's dismissal of her careful words distressed Mariana a bit; not on their own merit, but because they pointed out that she had been shaken. The king's presence had snapped her back into the rigid role of head servant, and it had done so forcefully enough that she hadn't noticed or returned to herself once safely out of his company. She would have to think about this more, to dissect it and figure out why she'd been to thoroughly rattled. It was a job for later, though; now she needed to sort herself back and get back to business.

    His hands on her shoulders were a comfort, and while his fingers idly massaged the tight muscle beneath her skin Mariana allowed herself to close her eyes. Taking a deep breath, she listened as he spoke, and the end of her exhale became a chuckle at his request. Shapley red lips formed a smile as she tipped her head back and opened her eyes to look at her master. "I promise it'll get a new name, if it comes to that." Secretly she'd come to rather like the name, as it played to the sense of secluded security she felt here, but Jenner had the right of it that the castle could do with a new name at the next change of leadership.

    "Is there anything else that we've left undone? I think I am quite ready for the day to be over."

    "Unless His Majesty changes his mind about being in for the evening, I think that's it." While she didn't necessarily expect Lochlan to suddenly decide to change his plans for the evening, she also recognized that nothing had really gone to plan with this royal visit thus far, and it would be foolish to expect it to start now. If it weren't for his request that she retire to his bed at the end of her evening, it was likely she would have spent much of the night prowling the service corridors just in case something went awry. Even if she might worry,though, this was a far better option, and if her mind threatened to keep her from sleeping she could always wake up her master and ensure that her body was exhausted enough to outweigh her restless thoughts.

    With a bit of a sigh and a sideways glance at the bottle of wine she neglected, Mariana raised a hand to squeeze one of Jenner's before she stood. With a well-practiced motion she smoothed the skirt that would, within a few hours, be on this very floor, and she turned to face her master. "Is there anything you require before I see to my rounds?" She wasn't eager to leave, but she knew the sooner she did, the sooner she could return. "Even with the unexpected arrival, I shouldn't be too long."

    ----
    @Jenner Pavon

  9. #9
    House Pavon Jenner Pavon's Avatar  
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    86
    Mentioned
    63 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Jenner could tell when Mari was running ideas through her pretty little head. Whatever she was thinking about at the moment, it had consumed her thought process rather thoroughly. Her master had found that his favorite servant usually only moved at two speeds. Deliberate and instinctual. If she didn't have the answer to a question on the tip of her tongue, then she would wait until she was sure she had it. As such, it made it easy for Jenner to have confidence in whatever answer he eventually got from his Violet.

    This time, however, it was less clear. Of course her answer was what he had expected, but he wasn't sure the time spent in contemplation was for the express purpose of delivering this discourse. But he was in no mood to press her unless she required his counsel. "Thank you, Mari," was all he said, his own mind drifting somewhat as her hand came up to touch his.

    Jenner had no reason to believe that Lochlan would leave his rooms at all this evening. He only had so many men as was necessary to secure the small wing of the keep that he had been afforded, and traveling beyond it would be folly. "His Grace will likely not explore this evening. The Nest is full of armed guards who aren't used to men roaming the halls at night. The king's guard will not let him tempt a misunderstanding or accident." No, if Jenner were Lochlan, he would have slept well knowing that he had caused enough anxiety among the house for one night.

    Beneath his hands he could feel the woman starting to rise and fought the urge to apply the required pressure to keep her there. If she did not leave now, she would surely be out of the bed in a matter of moments after he had settled himself. Better to let her put her conscience at ease so that they might both rest peacefully when she returned. "Prepare Iris to oversee the kitchens in the morning. On the off chance you find the ability to sleep in, we should at least make sure that breakfast is ready before King Lochlan's party descends for their meal. Poppy and Camellia can handle the cooking, but they still need to be managed." Iris might have been a hair clumsy, but she was reliable.

    As she paced around him and made for the doorway, he smiled at her before pulling off his shirt. "I shall save the wine for you," he told her through the muffling of the garment over his head. "Quick like a bunny now," he said as he watched her back into the hall.


    @Mariana Jameson

  10. #10
    House Pavon Mariana Jameson's Avatar  
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    61
    Mentioned
    39 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Mariana's rounds didn't take her terribly long, or at very least they could have taken much longer. First stop was to make sure Rose and Lily were taken care of; they needed to be kept to themselves without being made to feel like they were being segregated, but that wasn't too hard to achieve. Then to the girls at the end of the King's hall, who reported that none had come or gone and no requests had been made. All excellent, and after checking that they new what they were to do if anyone did emerge from the royal rooms, it was off to the next errand. She relayed Jenner's instructions to the kitchen, double checked the morning's staff, adjusted the placement of the girls who had been so flighty when the king arrived, and took a spin through the dining hall to see that it had been dressed for a royal arrival. Everything seemed in order, so she made her way back toward Jenner's room, stopping in her own chambers on the way through to make sure there were no surprises waiting for her. All being well, she locked her room behind her and headed for the bed she preferred.

    Mariana didn't bother knocking before she slipped into Jenner's room, and she slipped her shoes off when she was just inside the door so she could move quietly more easily. She wasn't sure exactly how long she'd been gone, but Jenner was in bed now, and she couldn't tell just yet whether he was asleep or not. There was no hurry as she crossed to the table and set her heavy ring of keys down. With one hand she picked up the wine bottle by the neck and filled the glass she'd neglected earlier, while the other reached behind her and worked loose the knot that held her corset closed tight. It only took a few tugs for the laces to be free to move, and as Mariana raised her glass to her lips she took a deep breath, letting her ribs expand and loosen the laces yet further. It was a simple matter then of unhooking the busk and laying the supportive garment aside.

    Wine in hand, Mari made her way over to the bed. It looked like Jenner had dozed off with a book in his hand, and Mariana smiled as she braced a hand on his bare chest, leaning down to press her lips against his. If he didn't wake, she would finish her glass of wine, finish undressing, and make her way to bed. But she couldn't deny hoping that he was sleeping lightly enough to wake up.

    ----
    @Jenner Pavon

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •