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Thread: Stretching Old Epsilon's Legs - 11/14 morning, Hebron Stables/Meadows - Guy/Eliza

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    House Durand Guy Durand's Avatar  

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    Stretching Old Epsilon's Legs - 11/14 morning, Hebron Stables/Meadows - Guy/Eliza

    The large white courser fidgeted as the stable hand attempted to saddle him. Guy was merely smiling as he pulled his riding gloves onto his hands. "Listen, acorn-brain. If you don't knock it off, I'm just gonna throw your gear onto Canterella and leave you here." The horse snorted exactly what he thought of that idea, but he did seem to settle down long enough for the boy to finish equipping him. The filly that had already been tacked was waiting patiently in the opposite stall, still not sure who her rider was going to be.

    Guy had sent the invitation to Eliza the previous morning, along with a note of congratulations for her showing in the archery contest. He hadn't had a chance to speak with her since they had been separated on the ballroom floor, and he was curious as to how she was, and if she had suffered any torment because of their interaction. He hadn't actually considered until just then, that there was a chance that Eliza had not even received his invitation. No doubt Rhett was monitoring her in the wake of the coronation night, and if the letter had been intercepted, and Rhett was trying to keep his cousin under his thumb, Guy and Epsilon might be riding alone.

    As the boy led the horse from his stall, the knight patted the steed on its flank. Guy preferred that he be loosened up before he took him for a serious ride, and so the temperamental beast didn't cause any trouble as he was led out to the yard. Moving across the stables, Durand rubbed the nose of the black filly. "I wanna see you out there as badly as you wanna be out there, girl. Let's hope your rider shows," he said with a smile, before reaching into the small bag of carrots that hung on the wall. As he held it up for her to take, the knight sighed lightly.

    He started to rationalize reasons why the girl could have passed on his request to see her. It was chilly. And no doubt her family was preparing to head back to the Ridge. Maybe she had slept late. He should have planned the ride for after lunch. Or perhaps she just decided that being seen with him was more trouble than it was worth. Or worse. Maybe she thought he was dull. There seemed to be a lot of that going around lately.


    @Eliza Morgan

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    House Morgan Eliza Morgan's Avatar  
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    Stepping into the warm darkness of the stables was like therapy for Eliza, where all the stress and expectations of everyday life couldn't get to her, and it was largely the same no matter where she was. There was a comfort in knowing that all stables, for the most part, worked the same. Horses all needed the same care, the tools were familiar, and the same work needed to be done at pretty much the same times. It was a place where, at least at home, she could be more fully herself, and the effect carried over even in a place like Hebron.

    After the ball, the thrill of the archery tournament, and the general bustle of the packed city, the girl was glad for an excuse to get away from everything and go for a ride. The company only made it better; she'd not had a chance to speak to the knight she'd spent much of the ball with since they had parted that night, and between her own insecurities and a few words from her cousin she'd been in a bit of a spin. Usually a good long ride helped her sort her mind out; she had to hope it would still work if the person she was conflicted about was the one she was going riding with.

    "Good morning Commander," she greeted pleasantly as she turned the corner and saw Guy standing with a lovely black horse. It took her a moment to remember to curtsy, but she did, and then closed to stand beside him. "I'm not late, am I? I don't have the best sense of time." She smiled a little sheepishly, but when she looked up into Guy's face she could feel a blush threatening, and she was glad for the relative darkness. Taking a moment to look away, she rustled through a pouch on her hip, pulling something small from it and closing it in one hand.

    When Eliza turned her attention to the horse, her whole demeanor shifted, although it didn't look like she was aware of the change. She seemed more comfortable, her movements more confident; she reached out with her free hand and let the horse get used to her before gently rubbing its nose. "And who do we have here?" It seemed like a safe assumption that this would be who she was riding, since the horse was already tacked, and she was pleased to see that it wasn't a lady's saddle. When she'd packed she'd been questioned about the need to bring her riding gear, but now she was glad she did; sure, she could ride in full skirts, but a split skirt and breeches were so much more comfortable, and allowed her the option to put on some speed. Guy had mentioned that Epsilon's girl liked to run, and Eliza would be more than happy to oblige.

    -----
    @Guy Durand

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    House Durand Guy Durand's Avatar  

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    The past few weeks had been pleasantly dry, though there was a real threat of rain this morning. But the arid conditions previously made Eliza's approach easy to detect, as the hay on the stable floor crunched audibly as she crossed it. Guy could tell that it was a woman, the steps were far too soft and small for even the stable boy. "Good morning, Lady Morgan," he said, turning back to face her. When she curtsied, the knight chuckled and waived his hand. "Just routine, Eliza," he assured her. By birth, they were the same rank. He was a cousin to two houses, but an heir to none. "When ladies curtsy in front of Epsilon, he gets a bigger head than normal." And as though the stuffy beast could hear them, he suddenly whinnied loudly from out in the yard.

    Considering the hour and the position of the sun outside, the Commander of Dawn shrugged. "You're always late when you are anxiously anticipated, Lady Morgan. At least in the mind of the one who is doing the waiting." He smiled shyly and chuckled softly. "And nothing breeds forgiveness quite like an arrival. But in this instance, I believe that you are perfectly punctual." Guy didn't know for sure though. He also didn't much care, as there was nothing binding about the meeting that he could even use to bring a complaint had the woman not shown at all.

    Turning his attention to the young filly as Eliza rubbed her nose, the knight sighed resentfully. "This," he began, and seemed to inhale deeply to gather his breath. "This is Margaretta Mae Carthia van Canten," he told her, his voice somewhat more bourgeois than usual. "Cailen named her, and around here there is a penchant for numerous and unnecessarily long names. Mostly the girls and I just call her Maisey Mae, or Cantarella for short."

    Flipping the latch, Guy opened the door to the smaller horse's stall so that Eliza could get a better look and lead her out. Epsilon was already chomping at the bit, sauntering past the end of the stables once or twice, and looking in without out trying to be conspicuous. "She's relatively limber out of the gate, but if you want the stable hand to put her through a few paces, just let him know."


    @Eliza Morgan
    Last edited by Rick; 03-09-2017 at 06:25 AM.

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    House Morgan Eliza Morgan's Avatar  
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    There was something about hearing her given name on Guy's lips that made Eliza feel strangely giddy, and she couldn't help but smile as he spoke of having anticipated her arrival. She was so used to mostly being left to do her own thing that someone being excited to spend time with her was a novel pleasure, and it made what had already promised to be a good morning even better.

    "That is...quite the name," Eliza said, attempting to stifle a laugh. "I didn't know there was such a propensity toward such extensive names in the royal castle." The laughter she'd tried to avoid found its way out through her voice as she spoke, but she stopped as a thought occured to her and, for better or for worse, she voiced it without thinking about it, although she did have the sense to speak a little quieter. "If he gave such a long name to a horse, I wonder what the royal baby is going to be called." There was a beat before Eliza realized what she'd said, and in whose presence, and she cringed and shook her head at herself. "That was...I shouldn't have said that. I'm sorry, that was wrong of me."

    Shaking her head once more, Eliza stepped out of the way of the door and stepped into the stall, and she chuckled as the filly caught a whiff of what she had still closed in her hand and honed in on the smell. "Oh, you think I have something for you?" Eliza asked as Cantarella's soft nose nudged at her. "I suppose you can have one, although it doesn't much look like I've got to buy your affections." One hand affectionately on the horse's neck, she extended her fist and opened it, a sugar cube just visible on her palm before Cantarella made it disappear. While the horse was distracted Eliza took a step back and surveyed the animal, nodding approval. "I think we can probably get her nice and loose as we start out," she said, taking the reins and leading Cantarella out of her stall. As they made their way down the lane, Eliza caught sight of the larger white out in the yard, pacing around impatiently while seemingly trying to not look interested, and she couldn't help but laugh.

    "Looks like somebody thinks we're taking too long," she said over her shoulder to Guy, mirth in her eyes.

    -----
    @Guy Durand

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    House Durand Guy Durand's Avatar  

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    "Everything here is a little more extravagant, my lady. Sometimes we can take ourselves a little too seriously," he told her with a chuckle. "But I would not worry about it overmuch. For starters, it wouldn't be me you would have to apologize to. But more importantly, Cailen is no longer your king. So I don't think they'll stone you for treason. In fact, some might consider an outing with me to be more than ample punishment for any crime you could commit." The man began to make his way out to where Epsilon was waiting, when he double backed and looked at Eliza once more. "I voted for Guy, but I don't think it's up for consideration," he told her with a smile.

    The knight allowed for a small laugh as he listened to the woman talking to Cantarella. There was a parallel between them and himself and Epsilon that he found endearing, and he wondered if that was what he sounded like when talking to Epsilon. Morgan seemed to take to the filly almost instantly, and Guy took a few steps ahead of them so that he could clear the barn doors before them. The white courser's front hooves left the ground as he reared in excitement at the site of them finally coming into the yard. Guy frowned at him, and shook his head. "Calm down, you overgrown goat," he said to the horse.

    Looking back to his companion, Guy rolled his eyes in the direction of Epsilon. "Told you he was impatient," he told her. "Do you need any help getting up," he asked Eliza, though he was certain that she was more than capable of getting herself atop the chestnut colored horse. His own ride was pacing in the distance, almost pleading with them to hurry up. Guy shot him a glare and held up a finger, but didn't say anything.

    "Is there a distance or time you wish to ride to, Eliza? Once they get their blood up, they won't slow down without some work. And the skies are threatening." Not that he minded the rain. Guy had to ride through storms on more than one occasion, and was sure that Eliza could say the same, especially if she rode the long path down to the shore that she had told him about.


    @Eliza Morgan

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    House Morgan Eliza Morgan's Avatar  
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    Eliza was relieved that her offhand comment hadn't landed poorly and offended; she hadn't meant anything by it, and would have felt awful if Guy had been bothered. She could only laugh at the idea that spending time with him could be considered a punishment. What else could she get away with, she wondered, and escape with such a pleasant sentence? Maybe if she could find something that wasn't too bad, she would have to stay in Hebron a little longer to serve her time. Sure, Rhett might be annoyed with her, but it would be worth it.

    Out in the yard, Eliza couldn't help but admire Epsilon. He was a beautiful horse, even through his silly antics, and the fact that he had such a vibrant personality only made her like him more. "You certainly did," she agreed with a chuckle as she bent to adjust one of the stirrups on Cantarella's saddle. Circling around, she did the same with the other, peering over the horse's back as Guy offered his assistance. "I've got it, but thank you," came her pleasant answer, and she swung smoothly up into the saddle. There were few places she felt more at ease than on horseback, and even on an animal she'd never ridden, it didn't take her long to settle; in just a few moments she had her split skirt adjusted, her feet securely in the stirrups, and the reins loosely in one hand, all ready to go.

    "I haven't melted in the rain yet!" It may have been late in the year, but the day was mild enough that getting caught in the rain wouldn't have been catastrophic. Sure, it might've been smart to have brought some kind of cloak, but avoiding the bulk was worth the risk of getting wet. "We can stay out as long as you'd like. The only other thing I have to do today is pack, and I'd been thinking about maybe going to the play tonight, but it's certainly nothing that should keep us from getting these two good and tired."

    -----
    @Guy Durand

  7. #7
    House Durand Guy Durand's Avatar  

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    There was an appreciation for Eliza's agility and knowledge when it came to the equestrian arts. Guy hadn't really ventured out on riding dates too often. Almost never, in fact. It was one of the many things that he and Rubianne didn't have in common. Not that he was already considering the Morgan girl as a replacement for the Remington, but there had been some stray daydreaming about what his life might have been like had he been involved with Eliza instead of Ruby. Would her carefree attitude have kept him more in balance or less serious. She seemed to have reservations about her family, but not at all on the level of what Dexter had caused Rubianne.

    Watching her settle atop Cantarella, Guy smiled happily at Epsilon's reaction to knowing the filly was joining them. The knight had given up on trying to continue his conversation with Eliza until the courser ceased his racket, and he patted his thigh for the horse to come. It bolted from its handler and rushed at its rider. Sidestepping, Guy reached his left hand up and grabbed the specially designed horn on the shoulder of the saddle. It was a trick that he and Epsilon had worked on for use on the open fields, and even though Guy was good at it, Epsilon's excitement had brought him in faster than usual. Guy's legs were yanked from the ground and his shoulder felt like it might be ripped from it's socket. He somehow managed to get his feet over the horse's flanks in time so that even though he landed awkwardly in the saddle, he would probably be more sore than was necessary tomorrow.

    Epsilon, unperturbed, came up to Cantarella and pressed his nose to hers, even as Guy settled himself more comfortably and rotated his arm out to the side. "I'd nearly forgotten about the play," he confessed, as he turned Epsilon toward the gate that led to the meadows. He didn't bother to comment on her packing, lest he have to face the reality that she would not be in Hebron for long. "Is your family attending," he asked. Epsilon was chomping at the bit to clear the fence, but Guy was holding him back. Once they reached the marker, the horses would be harder to control, since they knew there was nothing but open space beyond. "They say that Master Nashe has something quite special planned."


    @Eliza Morgan

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    House Morgan Eliza Morgan's Avatar  
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    From her position of relative safety atop Cantarella, Eliza watched as Epsilon came like a rocket toward his rider. It was impressive that it took so little for Guy to summon the animal; it was more the way one would call a dog than a horse, but clearly it worked. Her own horse began dancing, Epsilon's excitement infecting the filly, but Eliza was distracted by the trick Guy was trying to use to mount his horse to keep Cantarella entirely steady. She could see what he was going for, but it seemed he hadn't quite expected the speed of Epsilon's approach, and as the knight was unceremoniously wrenched from the ground Eliza cringed in sympathy.

    "Good save," she said with a bit of a smile as Epsilon finally came to a stop in front of Cantarella, but she didn't comment further. It seemed in bad taste to tease him too much, considering his shoulder was probably not too happy with him. She knew well enough what it felt like to have a horse decide to pull you off the ground, and it wasn't comfortable in the least.

    Cantarella was just as impatient to get past the gate as Epsilon, and Eliza let her shimmy around, balancing easily as the filly pawed at the ground and huffed her displeasure. "I'm not sure if the family's going...I think they are? But even if they're not, I figured I'd been to the other events these last few days, it would be silly to miss this one."

    If she'd been intending to say more, she didn't quite get the chance; Cantarella decided enough was enough, and if these humans weren't going to take the hint she'd make things a little clearer. Dancing around, the horse hopped both front feet off the ground, rearing just enough that, if she'd decided to take off, there would have been no stopping her. Reins tight, Eliza leaned with the motion, turning the horse's head and pressing forward to get her back down on the ground. "I think," she began as the horse turned in a tight circle, fending off the handlers who had come to help, "we probably ought to get these two out of here before they get themselves in trouble." She laughed, clearly not bothered by the shenanegans, and she swept her arm forward toward the gate. "After you?"

    ----
    @Guy Durand

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    House Durand Guy Durand's Avatar  

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    This little date was not off to quite as smooth of a beginning as he had hoped, though Eliza did not seem to mind. Her compliment of his botched attempt to impress her made him blush a little, and Guy shook his head. "It looked far more spectacular in my mind," he said with a small laugh. "Something was clearly missed in the planning stage," he added, lifting a boot back to kick Epsilon in the flank. The horse snorted, though it was unclear if it was an objection or a laugh. Either way, Guy tried to ignore it.

    The matter of the play was a curious one, even for the knight. Usually he was privy to most things that went on in and around Hebron, but as yet he had still not discovered the topic of Kit Nashe's production, or the players. Everything was being played very close to the chest, and it made him a little uneasy. Guy would naturally be in the royal box for the show, though he wondered if he wouldn't change his mind about that if this morning went well enough. "We don't have as many plays as we used to," he told her. There had been none during Cailen's reign, even though Eleanor enjoyed them and so did Aramis. "I am hopeful that there will be more in the reign of Her Grace, seeing as she finds her land more at peace, and she is a lover of the arts."

    Guy took the woman's invitation in stride, giving Epsilon his head and maneuvering him at toward the gate. "Try to keep up, if you can," he called back to her, and the white charger began to gallop toward the stream. Even if Guy didn't want to directly challenge the woman, Epsilon was going to make Cantarella work. The smaller filly was faster and had better stamina, and so the coy courser tried to get as much of a head start as he could. Guy knew that he would be winded by the time they reached the babbling brook on the far end of the meadow, but Epsilon was far too stubborn to be made to pace himself.


    @Eliza Morgan

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    House Morgan Eliza Morgan's Avatar  
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    "One can hope," Eliza said at the prospect of more plays. It wasn't necessarily that she was overly keen on them - they were fine, and an enjoyable way to spend a few hours - but if there were more events in the capital, maybe she'd be able to find more excuses to come for a visit. She wasn't entirely sure she liked Hebron better than home, but it was like a different creature entirely, and Eliza found it very exciting. Perhaps that would change, if she were here more frequently, but it was likely even if it did she wouldn't like it any less.

    "Try to keep up, if you can!" Even before she could react to the challenge in those words, Cantarella was off after Epsilon like a shot, seemingly unwilling to let the larger horse get too far ahead. The filly's stride was a little shorter than what Eliza was used to riding, but she fell into rhythm easily enough, her body adjusting to the motion so as to not be jostled. And the horse wasn't the only one who seemed jubilant at the freedom; Eliza's laughter was stolen by the wind as it rushed past, but her grin was unmistakable even as her hair whipped around her face.

    They gained ground fairly quickly, and pulled even a short distance before the stream that marked the end of this field. It was entirely due to the horse, for Eliza neither restrained nor encouraged her speed for the time being, which meant when Cantarella stayed level beside Epsilon for just a beat before gaining ground and leaving him behind, it was all Cantarella's doing.

    As the brook loomed ever nearer, Eliza wasn't sure if Cantarella would try to leap it or plow right through it; it was too late to slow, in any case, and the woman had resigned herself to reigning in the filly on the far bank and bringing her back round for a break and a drink. In the end the horse did slow a little, but only, it seemed, to fine tune her aim before she came crashing through the shallow water, throwing up a shower of cool water. Looking very pleased with herself, Cantarella slowed and trotted around just in time for Guy and Epsilon - who hadn't been very far behind at all - to catch up.

    ----
    @Guy Durand

  11. #11
    House Durand Guy Durand's Avatar  

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    The knight watched as the two females went by, taking amused note of how Cantarella had paused long enough for Epsilon to see her eyeing him before she put some distance between them. Guy crouched over the charger's ear and chided him. "You got beat by a girl," he said mockingly, as he slowed the horse down before they reached the stream. The ladies were already through and circling back, and the rider was content not to follow them through the crisp autumn waters. Guy had harbored no notion that they could have reached the brook first. Even without an experienced rider, Cantarella was like as not to outpace Epsilon, even more so with the added benefit of a lighter rider.

    "As a general rule, I don't chase women, Lady Morgan," Guy said with a smile as he turned off of Epsilon's back so that the horse was free to drink and mingle with the filly. "But, I suppose there are exceptions to every rule. At least I have found one that bathes," he added with a small laugh. They were close enough to the tree line that it wouldn't be much work to find some brush and thicker branches with which to start a fire. "We've some time," he offered. "I'd be happy to fetch some wood and make us a fire to warm up and dry off," he told her, even though he himself had not fallen victim to the water.

    Stretching, Guy peeled off his riding jacket and tossed it over Epsilon's saddle. He'd have offered it to Eliza, but sadly it didn't offer the kind of warmth that would have been practical. "You're an exceptional rider, Lady Morgan. As well as you did in the archery competition, you might have won in the lists," he said cheerfully. There was a part of him that had missed competing this year, but he simply couldn't afford the distraction. Of course, now that people were heading home, and things were calming down, he was glad for one.


    @Eliza Morgan

  12. #12
    House Morgan Eliza Morgan's Avatar  
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    Eliza thought about coming back with a quip about how he'd better get used to chasing a woman if he was going to keep inviting her out riding, but she thought better of it. It wasn't really applicable, anyway; it wasn't as if she was going to be around in the capital much longer to be invited much fo anywhere, and that wasn't really something she wanted to dwell on. "Are women who bathe not a regular occurrence here in the capital?" she asked with a sly smile. If that was the case, maybe it was a good thing he was so convinced he was unlucky in love.

    She thought about telling him she was fine. After all, it was mostly her skirt that had gotten wet, and her riding boots and warm socks kept her from feeling uncomfortable, for the most part. But it looked like the horses weren't in too much of a hurry to get on with things now that they were together and out of the confines of the stable yard, and so she nodded. "That might be a good idea. Then we can continue getting these two good and tired." In truth, the idea of lingering near a fire with the handsome Knight of Autumn was as much a motivation as anything else, if not moreso.

    Eliza didn't bother offering her help in gathering wood; that would have given Guy the chance to tell her that she didn't need to. Instead she simply made for the tree line when he did, glancing back to make sure the horses were staying put. She didn't doubt for a moment that Epsilon would stay near his master, or at very least come back when called, and with the way Cantarella was glued to the charger she felt safe leaving them for the moment. "Oh, I don't know," she said with a laugh as she took up a dry branch and stepped on it to snap it half. "I don't need to tell you that riding proficiency is only part of it, and I don't think there's any way I could weather a blow from that big Hepburn bloke no matter how much padding and armor I was wearing." She paused to reach up and take up a fallen branch of twigs that had gotten caught in a tree just above her head. "But I thank you for the compliment. It's taken no small effort to gain the skills I have, and it's always nice to be acknowledged by someone who can really appreciate them."

    ----
    @Guy Durand

  13. #13
    House Durand Guy Durand's Avatar  

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    Guy was about to chuckle at the woman's comment, but caught himself and furrowed his brow instead. "Actually," he said with something of an odd remembrance, "Now that I think about it, my last relationship was with a woman I met in a bath, and that ended terribly. Could be mutually exclusive, I guess, but maybe I should stick to women who just ride through streams," he told her with a smile. Perhaps it was forward, given the fact that he had kissed her three nights prior, he figured he didn't have too much to lose.

    Epsilon snorted loudly and stomped his foot, and Guy couldn't tell if he was objecting to the notion that his rider had a good idea, or if he was objecting to the notion of the two of them getting the horses nice and tired. The knight looked at him and pointed. "Am I eavesdropping on your conversation," he asked the steed, before looking back to Eliza with a shake of his head. "So nosy," he sighed lightly, as he joined the girl in snapping some kindling for the fire.

    "It's an art, I guess," he said with a shrug. "There's a lot of it that is instinctual and based in good reflexes, but Corran Torgood used to tell me that I would do just as well to study. It was always his contention that much of jousting was based in geometry, and that if you could estimate the speed and angle of a collision, you could just was easily deflect a blow as you could absorb it." Guy realized that Eliza had probably not been looking for an in depth conversation on the competition, and so he smiled an apology.

    Her gratitude was admirable, but Guy was not the type to pay compliments just for compliment's sake. "I think," he began somberly, taking a small pile of wood from her and finding a clearing to center it in, "That part of what keeps me from running away is the fact that I don't think anyone would catch me." The sticks were stacked in a small tee pee, before he grabbed the flint and steel from Epsilon's saddle bags. Before moving to strike the tinder, he looked up at the woman and laughed softly. "I shall inform her grace that if I disappear, you're the rider she should look for."


    @Eliza Morgan

  14. #14
    House Morgan Eliza Morgan's Avatar  
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    "Sounds like a good idea to me," Eliza said with a bit of a blush, "although I'll admit to being somewhat biased." There was a bit of a thrill to speaking openly. It wasn't as though they were in any kind of acknowledged relationship, but she felt fairly safe dancing around the topic. After all, she wasn't lying; she certainly wouldn't be sad if he decided that he enjoyed her company enough to make something more of it.

    She couldn't help but laugh at the exchange between horse and knight, and she loved the fact that it seemed Epsilon gave commentary on their conversation. "Some people's horses, I tell ya," she said, shaking her head in feigned disapproval at being eavesdropped on. She met a lot of horses in her life, but she couldn't recall any other that had the level of personality of the Knight of Autumn's charger.

    In a way Eliza was more interested in his commentary on jousting than he seemed to expect; even though she didn't intend to try it herself, the mechanics of it had always intrigued her. After all, if she knew what was required of a prize jousting steed, she could theoretically breed for those traits. Her family already had a stable full of prized bloodlines; if she could diversify their offering, building off of those proven animals, it would open up a whole new area of business. But it was a conversation for another time, and perhaps another place; if she could get him to Brassford, then maybe he could even help her pick out the animals who would give rise to the first generation of Morgan chargers.

    "I will gladly lend my services to the crown," she said with a mix of sincerity and amusement. "Although I'll admit I'm not a great tracker, so you'd either need to run in my direction or let me know where you're going before you leave." Crouching down beside him, Eliza watched the fire take hold and wondered if she should ask what it was he'd be running from, but in the end she decided against it. Even though he'd brought it up, it still felt too personal a question. "The question is, would I be obligated to bring you back once I'd caught up with you?"

    -----
    @Guy Durand

  15. #15
    House Durand Guy Durand's Avatar  

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    "I never met a person who wasn't at least a little biased, Lady Morgan." Being in the company of kings usually meant that everyone had some bias toward themselves or their relations. And very few of those people were bashful about their biases. "And a good thing you are," he added with a small laugh. "A boy might think you weren't interested if you didn't promote yourself a little." Not that Eliza Morgan had to sell the knight with any words. He had spent enough time with her now to know that he enjoyed spending time with her.

    Casting a glance back at Epsilon, the knight shook his head. "Some people? Do you mean to infer that you know other people who are as afflicted as I am with the curse of a steed who doesn't know he's a horse?" Guy had never met a beast quite like Epsilon, but he imagined that every rider and horse who were as close as they were likely had the kind of relationship, even if some of those animals were less vocal about it than his. Guy knew that she was being facetious, or at least he assumed she was, but his question was born out of genuine curiosity. "I promise you that he's far less flighty on the battlefield," he told her. The two of them had seen a handful of scrapes, and Epsilon was a magnificent warhorse. He had broken the spine of a man who was charging his master by kicking him with both of his hind legs, and had fearlessly stared down countless lances in the lists.

    Once the fire was crackling, the Knight of Autumn rose and held out his hand to assist the woman back to her full height. The small touch of their fingers warmed him as much as the fire, and he looked at her questioningly. "Is that your recommendation, Lady Morgan? That I run toward you?" His question might have been for fun, but he kept his tone even, just to test her a little. "Or that if I intend to run, that I should let you know to where, so you could meet me?"

    His face finally faded into smile, and he shook his head. "Eventually," he said with a sigh. "Her grace would insist upon it, I'm afraid. But that does not preclude us getting lost for a while on the way back," he told her with a hint of hopefulness in his tone.


    @Eliza Morgan

  16. #16
    House Morgan Eliza Morgan's Avatar  
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    Eliza laughed, the sound light and pleasant. A steed who didn't know he's a horse was the perfect way to categorize Epsilon from what she'd seen. "A few, perhaps, but not quite to your extent. And I've never met a horse so adept at conversation. Talks are much more one-sided between me and mine." She believed him when he spoke of Epsilon's prowess in battle. From what she'd seen he had all the hallmarks of an excellent warhorse, and the tales of their jousting prowess also spoke to the horse's talent. "I'm sure he is; a good jouster's got to be steady and focused." She couldn't speak to the traits and training an actual armed combat would require of a horse, since she was sure it varied with each skirmish, but she had no doubt given the connection between horse and rider that Epsilon had never let Guy down.

    The strength and warmth of his hand as he helped her stand gave her a bit of a thrill, just as it had at the ball, and it combined with the level tone as he asked his question almost made her balk. But, the situation was hypothetical enough that she wasn't too overwhelmed, and she answered with ease. "It would certainly make things easier. I'm not picky as to which one...whichever works better for you at the time." She smiled warmly up at him, and didn't make an effort to put any distance between them.

    "I'm sure there are plenty of good places to get lost in. I know Brassford has a few, and if our holding does, it follows that the rest must, too. I've always liked the idea of exploring more widely...perhaps, if there's a desire to get lost somewhere, we could do some exploring...together?" She grew slightly more hesitant as she spoke and realized just what she was saying, and, worse, realized how much she wanted it. Her heart beat faster as she pictured riding through unfamiliar terrain with Guy, discovering the secrets of the landscape together. But what if she'd just made things awkward, by stepping past the vague and into something which could be a genuine invitation? What if he didn't like the idea? There was no taking the words back, so Eliza stuck to what she'd said. If it landed poorly, she'd roll with it and laugh it off. If it didn't...well, she wasn't sure what she'd do then.

    ----
    @Guy Durand

  17. #17
    House Durand Guy Durand's Avatar  

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    There was a genuine appreciation for her knowledge of horses, and the knight was forced to consider how much easier their conversations were than his and Rubianne's. His fallout with the girl from Laurie Hill was not so far in the past that he didn't occasionally struggle with bouts of guilt given the way he was spending time with Eliza. After all, he had given the woman from Brassford so much of his time when he had so little, and he had given Ruby so little when he had plenty. Perhaps, if he had seen the trend earlier, he might have been able to let Remington down more softly. Perhaps they might have stayed friends.

    "Oh, it is the predicament," he conceded with a roll of his eyes. "Balancing my disdain for battle with my want of a horse who behaves himself. But, for the most part, Epsilon's shenanigans don't get men hurt," he told her, even as he resisted the desire to stretch his strained rotator cuff. He had no wish to cause the girl to fuss over him, especially after it was his foolishness that had caused the injury.

    The knight seemed to mull over the options as he rose, and noticed that she didn't take the reflexive step back. Guy was used to close quarters, and never really felt uncomfortable. He made no indication that he had noticed their proximity. It felt natural to him, and he wanted her to know that it felt natural to him. "Well, I wouldn't want to put you out," he said with a hushed tone, predicated by how close she was.

    Guy was not a man who was what any of the more flirtatious women of court would consider worldly. But at the same time, he was a man. And so there was no small amount of hesitation at her words, as Guy did his best to wrap his head around what it was that Eliza Morgan was trying to infer. She meant the forest. You know she meant the forest. But that wasn't enough to compel him to speak. She had been forward enough, but he knew better than to take it to the next level. Even if the natural male urge was to both want to explore her, and make the offhanded comment about wanting to explore her, it wasn't the knightly thing to do. "Together," he finally echoed, as though mulling it over. "If I'm honest, Lady Morgan, the bulk of my explorations often lead to me getting lost. But I will concede that being lost with you sounds like the perfect way to spend an afternoon." Forward, but not crude, and didn't risk a slap to the face. Cheesy though. And being lost with Eliza was better than walking a straight line with the sun in your eyes.

    @Eliza Morgan

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