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Thread: Like Taking Candy From a Baby - 11/9, late morning, Shellten Observatory - Bosleigh/Aloise

  1. #21
    House Hepburn Bosleigh Hepburn's Avatar  
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    Grant had nothing to add to the conversation. Aloise was progressing far better than even she gave herself credit for, and he was more than happy to let her take off the remainder of the day. As much as it was important for her to be prepared to meet with the queen, it was equally important that she begin her transition to her new life with a new family and newfound freedoms. "You can count on it," he said in response to her promise that she would see him later. At dinner, more than likely.

    In the dining hall adjacent to the kitchens, Thomas sat alone at the long wooden table when the girl came into view, a long sword in one hand and a pastry in the other. "Lady Peregrine," he said, without bothering to look up. It was of course contrary to the lesson that Grant had just taught her, but things in the House of Hepburn didn't really work as they did in grander society. Thomas was as much a member of the family as anyone else. "How can we be of service to you," he asked, even as he lifted the pitcher of chilled milk and poured Aloise a glass, before skillfully sliding it down the table to stop a few feet from where she stood with her hands full.

    The cooks were keeping busy behind him, readying the noon meal and trying to avoid his gaze. Thomas was only mildly interested in their work though, as he was reading a book on landscaping despite the fact that spring was still far in the distance, and the gardens were not his purview. He reached out blindly and snatched a piece of cheese off of a plate that was in the center of the table, but when he realized that the girl was not moving to sit, he closed the book up and raised his eyes to meet her.

    "Oh," he said with a slightly amused expression. "Are you committing larceny, or simply cleaning up after one of the wayward boys?" He knew of course that it was highly unlikely that the girl was stealing, and smiled to show that he only meant it as a joke. "If you are after Master Seamus, I believe he is in the study. Your presence here seems to have given him a newfound interest in heraldry and history," the man told her. "And I believe Master Grant is in the library, and Lady Remington is reading in the piano room."

    @Aloise Peregrine

  2. #22
    House Peregrine Aloise Peregrine's Avatar  
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    The girl had made it to the kitchens without dropping anything, but the sword was getting awfully heavy, and she'd had to shift how she was carrying it in such a way that she couldn't finish her treat. It wasn't ideal; Aloise had hoped she'd have the pastry gone before she found Bosleigh, but showing up with a snack she couldn't easily share wasn't as bad as dropping the sword and making a huge noise.

    Hearing her name, Aloise looked to find Thomas, sitting with his nose in a book. She smiled warmly, but hesitated to join him at the table. Glancing from him, to the glass of milk that was, if she was honest, very tempting, toward the kitchens to see the cooks working, she was at a little bit of a loss. It was clear Bosleigh wasn't here, and she did want to find him fairly quickly, but a small diversion couldn't hurt...right?

    Thomas looked up about then, and Aloise smiled and looked down, chuckling at the man's joke. She finally moved to set the sword down on the table, although she didn't sit; she did, however, take advantage of the glass of milk. "Really?" It seemed odd to her that Seamus would be inspired to study history now that she was around, and she wondered if he was looking for anything specific. Surely he couldn't just be brushing up so he could give her lessons, no matter how good an idea it might've been to get the girl a tutor to brush up on any gaps in her knowledge.

    Popping the last of the pastry in her mouth as Thomas finished laying out where various members of the household were, Aloise took a drink to clear her throat. "Actually, I'm looking for Bosleigh." Given how he was spoken of, it probably seemed an odd request. "This is his, and I'd been hoping to return it to him. If I can find him, that is." She wasn't ruling out that he might've gone somewhere she couldn't follow, but if that were the case she hadn't really thought of what she'd do. It wasn't as if she could just carry his sword around until she ran into him again.

    ------
    @Bosleigh Hepburn

  3. #23
    House Hepburn Bosleigh Hepburn's Avatar  
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    "I believe Master Seamus is a touch nervous about his meeting with Her Grace, and I do not believe he wishes to give her the impression that he is uneducated," he said dryly. Thomas could not remember if Vivienne had been present when Seamus was appointed to the Knights of the Shield, or if it had been merely a private ceremony with King Cailen. He had not been invited, obviously, and had never thought to discuss the event with the youngest of the Hepburn children. "Though cramming for the audience now won't help him, nevertheless, reading a book won't hurt him," the valet added with a smile.

    If the servant was surprised that Aloise was looking for the middle boy, he didn't show it. He had intentionally left him off the list, figuring it was unlikely, but stranger things had happened. "Master Bosleigh passed through here a few moments ago, shaking his hand as though he had struck something with it." That also didn't seem odd in Thomas' book, as very often Bosleigh had a habit of hurting himself as well as inanimate objects. "If I am not mistaken, you should likely find him in his rooms, sulking over whatever it was that caused him to injure himself."

    Thomas glanced up once more and looked at the sword in her hands and smiled. "Have you begun your lessons already, Aloise? It's a touch large for you I fear." The ladies of House Hepburn typically trained with sabers and not longswords, and Aloise was slighter than all of the others. Perhaps Leigh had simply left it behind in a fit, once he had damaged his hand. He did have a tendency to get distracted when he was emotional. Aloise also wasn't dressed as though she had just come from the training yard, which might have changed Thomas' mind on what was happening.

    "I won't ask if everything is alright," he told her. "It seldom is. But I am sure you have it well under control, child. I must say, I am rather impressed with how quickly you have come to fit in. It is already hard to believe you aren't one of them," he told her with a smile. "Can I get you anything else before you continue your search?"

    @Aloise Peregrine

  4. #24
    House Peregrine Aloise Peregrine's Avatar  
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    Aloise still couldn't really believe the idea that Seamus could be nervous about anything, but hearing Thomas tease him a little made her smile. Back in Welch Run, when Seamus had told her that he was the baby of the family and that they called him the Wee Baby Seamus and teased him, she'd thought he was just exaggerating to distract her. It had been a surprise, then, when Delaney had used that very nickname for him when they'd met, and it still sometimes struck her as odd to be among a family that was so informal with one another. If any member of staff had said such a thing in the Peregrine household, his fate would not have been a pleasant one. "He read a lot in Welch Run...at least after he had me with him. But I don't think it was really because he wanted to." She spoke lightly, despite the darkness of those days, like she was determined to not be entirely in their shadow.

    Aloise didn't explain the source of Bosleigh's injury, even though it was enticing; being able to spread news and know things others didn't was always exciting, but she knew better. Instead she simply nodded, and knew that in all likelihood the truth would come out once Grant left the library. Even if neither said anything, it wouldn't be hard to put the clues together.

    "I didn't think it was going to be so heavy," she admitted. "He left it in the library, so I thought I'd bring it back to him." The girl didn't realize she'd probably just tipped the valet off, given that he already knew Grant was in the same place Bosleigh had left his weapon, but it could hardly surprise him that the brothers had potentially clashed. What Thomas said next made Aloise blush, and she gave the man a genuine smile. "Thank you...it means a lot to hear that. I'm lucky, to have been saved by people who are so accepting." She paused, perhaps to collect herself, and then took up Bosleigh's sword once more. "No, thank you. I probably ought to get this back to him before he goes looking for it."

    Making her way from the kitchens, Aloise headed in what she hoped was the right direction. She thought she knew where Bosleigh's rooms were, but she wasn't entirely sure; nobody had ever pointed them out to her, since until now there'd been no real reason for her to visit him. Stopping in front of the likeliest option, Aloise took a deep breath and knocked, hoping hard that she'd got it right as she stepped back a bit and held the sword with both hands to wait.

    -----
    @Bosleigh Hepburn

  5. #25
    House Hepburn Bosleigh Hepburn's Avatar  
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    It wouldn't be Grant. Given the way Leigh had left him, Grant wouldn't have knocked. Thomas would have announced himself after knocking. So that more than likely left the Remington woman, sent by her boyfriend to retrieve him. Well, Bosleigh wasn't in the mood, and he had no problem telling Rubianne as much. He had only managed to fetch his coat and his coin, and was nearly on his way to the tavern when the knock came, and he wasn't going to change his plans, simply so Grant could reprimand him. He was calmer than he had been, but still in no mood that that shit.

    Crossing to the door, Bosleigh pulled it open as he turned back to fetch his things. "You can tell my brother that I am going out, and I will deal with him later," he said, before facing the door again and realizing that it was not Remington, but rather Aloise. "Oh," he said, slightly embarrassed. "Lady Peregrine, my apologies. I was expecting someone else."

    Looking down to see that she was holding his sword, he chuckled. "Come to run me through, have you? You wouldn't be the first woman to try, though usually they are older...and scorned. Won't you come in?" The rooms were about as messy as Thomas allowed any rooms in the Observatory to be. It was clear that they were maintained, but also that they were lived in by someone who was annoyed at his inability to find things because his rooms were maintained. The couches were suitable for sitting, but about the chambers, cabinet doors were left open and boots were hastily kicked under the bed.

    Motioning Aloise to have a seat, Leigh didn't bother to take the sword from her. There was a table similar to the one he had left it on in the library where she could set it, if she didn't want to keep carrying it. "It's good to see you, Little Sprite. I was worried it might be a while before I got a chance to talk to you again."

    @Aloise Peregrine

  6. #26
    House Peregrine Aloise Peregrine's Avatar  
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    As the door swung open, Aloise cringed back a little at the force of the welcome she received. It seemed he wasn't in the mood to even talk to her a little, and she'd been about to simply leave his sword against the door and return to Grant with the message when Bosleigh realized who was actually calling on him. His embarrassment softened her anxiety a little, and the girl stood up straight once more and managed a hesitant smile.

    "If you were going to go somewhere, I didn't mean to stop you," Aloise said even as she stepped into the room, following his cue to sit down. She kept the sword across her knees for the time being, knowing if he was going to leave he'd probably want it, and it would be easier to simply hand it to him. "I just wanted to bring this back to you. And I thought if I did it myself, then I could thank you for the offer of it. And you'd know I wasn't mad at you."

    All this was said somewhat haltingly, like she was realizing it sounded silly outside of her head, but since she meant it all she stuck with it. She smiled a little more genuinely when he said he was glad to see her, but she was still a little rattled to be chatty just yet. "Is your hand okay?"

    ---
    @Bosleigh Hepburn

  7. #27
    House Hepburn Bosleigh Hepburn's Avatar  
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    As quickly as he had managed to invite her in and close the door behind her, Bosleigh had already forgotten that he had even mentioned that he was going out. "Hmmm? Oh, no. I wasn't actually going out. Unless of course you had been my brother or one of his pets, in which case I might have." Such was the freedom of being Bosleigh. Generally speaking, he came and went as he pleased, even if he was obligated to stay. The presence of Satrina was of course, the exception to the rule. He paused, considering what the old woman would think of Aloise Peregrine. Shaking the thought away, he smiled and sat across from the girl, much in the same manner as the study.

    "I am grateful," he said, realizing that the word sounded odd coming from him, "That you aren't mad at me. I would have had quite the hangover come morning, had I been left to think that you were." As much was true, and Bosleigh felt no real shame in telling her. He looked at the sword for a moment, and smirked. Had she not brought it back, and had he indeed gone out without it, the night may well have been very long indeed. Leigh was a brawler by nature, but having steel at your side usually kept the numbers fair.

    As for his offer of the sword to her in the first place, the man thought nothing of it. "You are welcome," he said coolly. Bosleigh never made a point of telling people that their thanks wasn't necessary. He enjoyed being appreciated, and he disliked the idea of being dismissive of other people's gratitude. And even though he had apologized earlier, he still felt like there might be a point in expounding on it. "Though I meant what I said, Little Sprite. It's important to make sure that you reserve estimation of your worth for yourself only. Take me, for example. People write me off as a drunkard and a womanizer. And, for the most part, I am. But that is not all that I am, and I know it even if they don't. I know I am worth far more than that."

    Leaning back and looking at his hand as she mentioned it, Leigh frowned. "Hurts a little. But not too terrible." He smiled and laid it to rest on the arm of the couch. Bosleigh had not hung around long enough to see the aftermath of his actions, and so he was curious. "Did I get him good," he asked her, hoping that his brother's jaw felt at least as bad as his knuckles did.

    @Aloise Peregrine

  8. #28
    House Peregrine Aloise Peregrine's Avatar  
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    "I'm glad to save you the headache, then," the girl said, her tone implying she wasn't just guessing at the symptoms. It may not have seemed likely, but Aloise knew what a hangover felt like. She keenly remembered it, in fact, due in part to the circumstances of earning it. It was a story she hadn't told yet to any of her Hepburn companions, although she didn't feel any real shame in it. After all the other things she'd confessed to, it would have been absurd to balk at this tale; it simply hadn't come up yet.

    Aloise looked down at the sword in her lap, tracing her thumb over the worn grip. "It goes against everything I was taught," she said quietly, not looking up, "but I want you to be right. I'd like to be more than my worth as a wife. Or...whatever worth I have left now." If society was what would decide her worth, she was nothing. Dastan had seen to that quite thoroughly.

    Her mood didn't get too morose, though, and when Bosleigh asked after his brother's face, she smirked a little at his interest. "It bled for awhile," she recalled. "It definitely looked puffy when I left, too, but not enough to make him talk funny, and it didn't look split on the outside. I bet it's that kind of thing where it got cut on his teeth and he's gonna keep biting it on accident. My brother gave me a fat lip once on accident and it stayed swollen for days 'cuz I kept chomping on it when I was eating. It was awful."

    ----
    @Bosleigh Hepburn

  9. #29
    House Hepburn Bosleigh Hepburn's Avatar  
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    Leigh could only chuckle at the comment, but he waived the matter away so that she knew that he wasn't laughing at her. "It's an occupational hazard," he assured her. "Some days I can't function unless I wake up with a headache," he added. Bosleigh was a victim of his own idleness, and the fact that the recent influx of people to Hebron had made the matter of merriment that much easier, only increased the frequency of his hangovers.

    "But the important thing, Little Sprite," he went on as he watched the girl look down at the sword, "Is that I don't let what other people think about me affect my own opinion of myself. Being a drunkard doesn't make me less of a knight." Hopping off of the couch, he went to the larger of the two closets in the room and began to rummage about inside of it. "And not having a House doesn't make you any less of a lady, Aloise," he said, spinning out of the closet with what he had gone looking for. Striding back to the couch, Leigh pulled the small saber from its sheath and inspected it. The blade was straight, and clean. Lighter and more versatile than his longsword, it was very similar to the one Delaney had used in the field.

    Moving back to where she was sitting, Bosleigh flipped the sword over and held it by the blade, with the hand guard facing the girl. "Let's trade," he told her with a smile. "The ladies of Maple Glade are well versed in the saber," he told her. "When you're ready, you let me know. I know Grant has you all cooped up with diplomacy lessons, but a little exercise never hurts."

    Leigh didn't bother developing the conversation about his brother's face. He knew that he had been a little disrespectful, and he didn't want Aloise to get the impression that he was some kind of louse. Though the comment she made about chomping on her own lip made him smile.

    @Aloise Peregrine

  10. #30
    House Peregrine Aloise Peregrine's Avatar  
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    Aloise wasn't sure she believed Bosleigh's logic, but it was comforting nonetheless. She had seen a few of her father's men be unable to even lift a sword after a day of drinking, and surely having a house was a prerequisite to being considered a lady. But maybe what Leigh meant was that he still had the heart of a knight, even if he was a bit of a scoundrel. And that meant that she could carry herself with the pride and poise of a lady, even if she didn't technically have a noble house any longer.

    Looking up at the knight, Aloise considered the sword he offered. Even holding a weapon still made her uncomfortable, but that wasn't going to change unless she pushed against it. Still, it wasn't with much confidence that she held his sword up to him with both hands, and when he'd taken it she reached up and took the saber he offered. It was lighter than she'd expected, and she held it with one hand, although not with ease; even though she only held it out for a moment, she could feel her am begin to shake, and she set it down on her lap to look at it closer.

    There was a slight hesitation when she wrapped one hand around the hilt and the other around the scabbard, drawing it a bit to look at the shining metal of the blade. It had been exactly this sort of weapon that had cut down her family, and blood dripped from blades held by ghostly hands in her nightmares. Could she really hope to overcome her apprehension enough to ever gain any level of proficiency? "I don't know if I've ever even held one of these properly before...and I think dancing lessons were the only real exercise I had, after I was too old to run around outside." And that was when life was good; the gods only knew what her time in the basement of her former home had done to what little strength she'd had.

    ----
    @Bosleigh Hepburn

  11. #31
    House Hepburn Bosleigh Hepburn's Avatar  
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    Bosleigh had to admit that he preferred the girl's conversation to either of his brother's or the Remington woman's. It was likely the way that she was too timid to question anything he said that appealed to him. Everyone seemed to think they knew better. And there was also the fact that she was probably the only person in the room who felt less like she belonged than he did. But there was always a chance they would find a place together. If Grant was serious about keeping the girl around, then there was a chance that they would be the next generation of Hepburns that would grow to the prominence of the previous.

    "Dancing isn't so much different than swordplay," he told her with a shrug. "Your partner is kept at a distance, and you are swinging a piece of sharpened steel, but for the most part the footwork is the same. Pirouettes and feints, quarter turns and lunges. I'm sure if you can do one, you can do the other." Bosleigh said as much, though for as good as he was with a longsword, nobody had ever accused him of being a competent dancer.

    There was plenty of life ahead of both of them, and Bosleigh didn't expect the girl to embrace the weapon before a great many other things were resolved. "And if you decide to never pick it up, it is still my gift to you, and it's worth a dozen crowns or more," he said with a wink. "Should fetch a couple nice dresses for that, I'd imagine." The knight couldn't be sure how he would feel if Aloise were to actually sell it, but it wasn't in his nature to betray any kind of hurt when he was slighted.

    "Enough about swords and dresses though. "Let's talk about something else. Are you excited to see Seamus in the joust next week? Did you know he was planning to tilt?" His brother had sent him a correspondence from Welch Run saying he was contemplating the competition. Grant all but expected him to ride. Though he wondered if the Wee Baby had mentioned it to his charge.

    @Aloise Peregrine

  12. #32
    House Peregrine Aloise Peregrine's Avatar  
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    Aloise seemed thoughtful as Bosleigh spoke of the parallels between dancing and swordplay. Could it really be that they were similar? She could see the use of agility in both, but it was just too hard for her to imagine anything graceful about using something meant only to hurt people. And yet, at the suggestion that she could sell the sword, her grip on it tightened, and she pulled it a little closer to herself. She had too little to her name now to even consider getting rid of something someone had given her.

    Sliding the blade fully back in its sheath, Aloise turned her full attention back to Bosleigh. "He asked me if I thought he should, back before we came here," she answered, leaving out that the conversation had happened immediately after she'd told Seamus the truth of what had happened to her. "I couldn't give him a very good answer, though. I've never seen a joust, but I've heard they can be dangerous, and that sometimes people die during them." It was clear the girl was nervous, but that she was trying not to be. "He did seem keen on it, so I hope he does well."

    -----
    @Bosleigh Hepburn

  13. #33
    House Hepburn Bosleigh Hepburn's Avatar  
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    There was a palpable sense of relief in the room when the conversation had moved away from swords and her family, and for a moment Bosleigh wondered if he should do Grant the service of keeping the conversation pressing on things the girl didn't want to talk about. But in the end he decided that his annoyance with his brother had boiled over to the point that he would do him no more favors. At least not today. Instead he smiled slightly at the apparent possessiveness of the girl with her new treasure, and he gave her a small nod.

    "Deaths are rare," he said casually, as though he meant it. "For the most part, if you have trained, and your horse is steady, you're perfectly safe." That might have been an exaggeration, but the three brothers had been jousting for years in Maple Glade with nothing more than bruises to ever show for it. The only thing that Seamus would have to be concerned about was an inexperienced knight doing something foolish, and Leigh could not imagine that the Knight of Autumn would allow any amateurs in play for the coronation.

    There was no real way for the boy to empathize with Aloise. He had his whole family here. Considerable wealth. Very few cares. Certainly not the burden of petitioning the queen. Though he made his fair share of enemies, he had more friends than just Seamus. And it was likely that Grant wouldn't allow the girl to make any outside of this house for the near future. "I have the inside track on some good seats for it though, if you're keen to come watch Ser Seamus in action. You can be my date," he said, in a way that was totally innocent. "I'm sure Grant would rather keep you couped up here studying, but I'll tell him that it's an exercise in studying heraldry. He won't believe me, but he'll let you go anyway."

    @Aloise Peregrine

  14. #34
    House Peregrine Aloise Peregrine's Avatar  
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    The fact that Bosleigh spoke so easily as he dismissed her fears made Aloise feel better, in no small part because - perhaps uniquely - she had little reason to question him. Yes, he'd just deceived her, but he'd genuinely seemed to have done it against his will, and although it was probably foolish, the girl felt a strong need to trust the goodness of people. Not of everyone, of course - she'd been hurt too deeply for that to be possible - but Bosleigh was a Hepburn, and there wasn't a Hepburn yet that had given her reason to mistrust them. They had, in almost every way, been the deliverers of her salvation, and as such she had no reason to believe that they would ever knowingly hurt or mislead her.

    The girl genuinely smiled at the idea of being Bosleigh's date, pleased that he sounded like he wanted to spend time with her and seemingly ignorant of any other implications the term might've had. "I'd like that. I haven't really...been well enough to get out much, but I would like to see the joust." There was a bit of excitement in her features, although it was still incredibly reserved. But there was a shadow of mischief to her smile as she continued, "Ser Seamus did boast a little about his jousting talents. I would like to see how well he does." Of course there was no way Aloise doubted his skill. She would never dream of it. But there had been a time when she'd been a middle child, and that kind of good-natured ribbing had come very naturally to her. As time went on and she got more comfortable, little hints of the person she had once been would creep through the anxiety and fear and control, often without her really realizing it. And while it was true that she wouldn't have dreamed of saying such a thing to, say, Grant, Bosleigh had been candid enough with her that it seemed safe enough.

    "I wonder if I'll recognize anyone, or if anybody will even know who I am." The mischief was gone, but she didn't seem overly troubled by the idea of being anonymous. "I know a lot of people were at the party that was thrown in September, but it wasn't the sort of thing where I had names to put to faces. And they weren't exactly introducing us to people, either." It was a somewhat unsettling thing with Aloise that sometimes she could talk about the terrible things that had happened as if they didn't bother her and weren't unusual. Perhaps it was because there were other things that she'd had to endure which had been so much worse, or maybe it was because she'd been mistreated for long enough that it had itself become some new awful normal. Mostly it depended on her mood, though; if she wasn't feeling well, more often than not it was reminiscent of those early weeks with Seamus where she spoke as little as possible and offered virtually nothing of herself in what could, with some imagination, be called conversation. It was a testament to her progress that she'd begun, little by little, to come out of her shell and speak more, about everything in general but also about herself.

    ----
    @Bosleigh Hepburn

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