(514-05-21) Pride, Prudence, and Pagans
Summary: Aldreda takes a certain Christian Knight some baked goods.. and gets more than she bargained for.
Date: May 21, 514
Related: None
aldreda john 


As jousts and personal challenges continue on the tournament grounds, the tent city has become remarkably quiet save for the soft sounds of horses being walked, weapons honed and other knightly activities that don't amount much for glory. As his squire sees to his tack and horse, John sits in his armor, fresh from the joust in his small camp chair. In one hand is an elaborate drinking horn that he is taking a healthy pull from. "By God it was a fine strike!" he says to his poor squire. "Sir William de fucking Faux. I am lucky for that fine ransom." which is true the fame behind the man will bring a good purse.

Like many of the younger ladies, Aldreda has spent plenty of time within the Ladies Court by the jousting field. It may not be as great a show of skill as some of the events, but it's not the massive mess of the grand melee. There's a single Knight that one can focus upon and focus the available ladies do. Sir William de Faux had his share of fans to fawn over and tend to him. Very likely the winner of the match, the Bodenham Knight, did as well. Aldreda de Laverstock, however, was not among them upon the field itself. The girl has had her eye on a specific Knight, but it's been rather clear that he's carrying another's favor. So, the pastries that she had prepared? They need another recipient. Someone who might properly appreciate them.

It takes some directing around the maze of tents, but Aldreda finally finds her way to John's; his voice preceding him. She comes around the edge of a neighboring pavilion, attired in shades of green beneath a black cloak. In slim, deft fingers is clutched a basket. She approaches the edge of John's 'area,' pausing within sight… but not so near as to be wholly invading upon his space.

Success
John checked his Awareness of 7, he rolled 3.

The Bodenham's sigil may be a griffin, but John's eyes are like a damned hawk. Even though he is boasting to his squire about that hit, which his squire was present for, they spy a someone before he smells the baked goods that accompany her. Pausing in his quaff, he stands quickly and offers a smile all the same to the lady Laverstock. "My dear Lady Aldreda, welcome!" clearly his memory is as sharp as talons as well. moving aside he motions to the camp chair he was seated on. "Please join me, unless there is another knight in blacks and whites you were searching for? If so I then must apologize for such deception. Though may I be bold?" And John does not wait for any answer to the neg. "I am happy to see you."

How can anyone decline such excitement reflected in their direction? Aldreda's lips shift into a broad sort of smile. It's not too great nor untoward; still lady-like. It is, however, certainly more than a polite and tolerant expression. She does approach nearer at the invitation. "I happened to witness a certain Knight unseat someone of some fame and I thought perhaps he could use some aid in keeping up his strength."

There is, at the expressed joy of seeing her, a color that spreads across the young woman's cheeks. She ducks her chin slightly, but it does not hide the smile. Rather, she moves towards the stool to accept the offer of it. One hand gathers her cloak out of the way while the other offers up the basket towards the man. Within are a number of pastries — tarts, really — made with dried fruit and drizzled with honey. All warm, too. Either made, somehow, on these grounds, or warmed upon them.

Failed.
John checked his Chaste of 13, he rolled 14.
Failed.
John checked his Modest of 13, he rolled 15.

Well many don't know John that well it seems as others don't care for such attention

Such as the Queen

As to her words he does grin a bit wider and in the broad feeling of youth and in the spirit of just winning the knight almost acts as if it is nothing. But its not. "I did wallop him good eh?" A chuckle and he passes drinking horn to her. "Please. Its a win, and I am celebrating." he adds hastily, before sniffing at the pastries and taking one though eyes don't linger on the treat or tart as much as the honeyed lass that supplies them. Perhaps a bit longer than is polite. Swallowing slowly after a bite John with clean hand swoops back his hair as he is in a loss for words at the moment.

"Thank you." better. "You really do honor me by coming by. I know I am no great knight." he is young still. "Still-" another bite. "You brighten the day better than my win in the lists."

So many young Knights at the events. Perhaps the Queen wished her wedding festivities to be full of youth… Or maybe so many, truly, have been called away to fight the Saxons. Aldreda is young herself; just barely past her official introduction to the court. Once John has taken a pastry, she sets the basket aside and accepts the drinking horn. It's almost - almost - ridiculous in her small hands. She is not as tiny as some, but the Laverstock is certainly a girl of slight stature. Under his gaze, she flushes, and quickly has a long drink from the horn.

It's a distraction.

"You are welcome, Sir John. And please, do not say that-" that she brightens the day so, "you defeated someone with many wins to their name. That is no small feat!"

The Queen has her tastes as does anyone. But with war the old fight and die and the young are always left thirsty for the glory their forefathers left behind.

An award winning grin or so John woukd describe it, is passed, before he moves to sit on his cot's edge. She flushes.

He smiles.

The wine isn't heady, but made for the occasion and one used to drink can handle her easily. Those not, well the taste can hook the tongue.

"I know. Christ says we should be humble, but fuck if I am. I am on the highest parapet." and then he tilts his head. "So tell me lady, when this tournament is over an we have all ridden off with our laurels, would you be happy or vexed if I came round or sought you at Court?"

"Strange that your Christ," as if the name is foreign upon her tongue, "wouldn't want you to celebrate your accomplishments. You achieved victory. You have every right to celebrate. What a shame if you were to leave it all behind. Does he simply want you to toil to no gain? Tsk. Why even compete." Laverstock is known for their strong, and deep pagan roots. Upon her cloak is even stitched the visage of the Green Man. Same as on the Laverstock banner.

With water being something few drink — unknowing of the science behind which is good and which is bad — there's so much ale. Yet… someone like Aldreda is used to the thinner stuff. That which is not as strong. Wine? Usually reserved for special occassions. This counts. She takes another quick drink from the horn before passing it back.

The last, with the head tilt, earns John a long look. She flushes further, the color spreading to her shoulders. "I… I do not know, to be honest. No one's… ever suggested such."

John snorts while eating which is likely a fine enough moise to follow. "Aye, so I did. I am sure the priest would say it is Christ in me who brought the victory than my lance." a shrug and John takes to suckling his finger, to get fruit ans honey free. licking his fingers he watches her for a moment before letting his hand dangle and the other hand reaches for the horn. "Well I am asking now." which may be a bit rexkless

"Or if that is too forward, I could settle with asking a different question all together."

"So you are instructed to give up all your victories to a god? To give him all of the credit? It sounds to me like your god is the jealous and prideful one. What a shame. A man should be allowed to revel in his victories. You're the ones who sweat and bleed. Not Christ." It's not spoken with a true sense of disdain, but more confusion than anything else. Such tournaments! Such displays of pride and joy! Why would someone not wish to celebrate their successes?

Once the horn has been taken, Aldreda gathers her skirts and leans to select a small tart for herself. She carefully breaks pieces off to nibble at. "It… is forward," she admits finally, dark eyes dropping to stare at the ground. "But I do not think I would be vexed if you were to seek me out."

"Because Pride caused Adam to Sin." John adds with a wave of his horn before taking a swig of its contents before letting loose with satisfied sigh. "It is no matter. I will confess my sins anon, and not let it dampen the day" And he looks to his horn before grinning. "I requested it off the king, my cup." as to explain his love of it

To the other he grins, and does so widely. "Then I will. But, I will also seek another thing." he adds. "Could I, Lady, wear a token in the finals. One that shows who's favor I seek and win for?" a pause. "I would rather not ask Jesu, for you are fairer than he."

Adam. Aldreda's features twist briefly. That creation story, implying that all spawn from a single pair of loins. Forever related and intertwined; from a place called 'Eden' that none can place upon a map. The young woman simply does not understand it, but she leaves the arguing be. To the explanation of the cup, her features shift. "That is a fine gift, Sir."

She's brighter, more open, but then he speaks of her favor and much of the color fades. The Laverstock, clearly, does not know what to make of this. Not right away, at least. She's fumbling for the right words, tearing at more of the tart. For a long moment, she simply busies herself with eating. But then, with naught left but to lick honey from slim digits… dark eyes rise to regard John; a fingertip against her lips. She still has to answer. There is a showing of tongue, for what honey remains, and her hands soon bury themselves in her bliant; desperate for something to grab upon. "I admit surprise that you have none to carry," Aldie finally offers, voice high and thin. "But we cannot send you into battle without any token. I would be… glad-" She's looking away, hiding the new blush that grows upon cheeks. "…to offer mine."

Success
John checked his flirting of 5, he rolled 4.

Things that make justified sense to the knight are likely silly enough for the lady across from him. The last drops of wine are drank and the drinking cup is gingerly set asside as he moves to come and rest on his knees. Hands reach out to take the one still out with honey stuck there. A finger to smooth along skin before placing the dregs to his own lips, before allowing them to disappear in her bliant.

"I am not, as I am just now asking for yours. I was waiting for a Lady that, though I unworthy of, could seek and bring glory." She looks away and he remains in the closeness. "I would be honored to accecpt." he says softly. And then a reach, careful to where the Green Man rests. "Who is this fellow?"

Failed.
You check your Chaste at 10, you rolled 18.

Dark eyes track his hands and mouth; held in rapt fascination. Aldreda's own lips part, briefly. The woman is shaking, though it's a bare tremble. A fresh leaf upon a tree made to shiver in the Spring breeze. At least she does not flee nor shy away. Maiden she may be, but no chaste Christian girl who would rapidly seek out an attendant or set to prayer. Though she holds the fabric of her skirts, there is the sense that she could reach out to the man at any moment.

Especially as he rests so near. The scent of sweat and horse heavily upon him; a heady reminder of his victorious joust.

"I do not think a man who can unseat such a renowned Knight is so unworthy as you say," Aldreda finally offers, voice thin and lilting. Her gaze shifts, hair slipping along shoulder in easy curls to track the movement of his hand to that symbol stitched upon her cloak. "The Green Man. He is… representative of green. Of Spring growth. Of new beginnings. My family holds a great respect for his imagery."

It is likely that shared electricity which keeps him near and in such easy reach. John keeps head bowed as so to hide his own grin, but likely it can be felt as real as anything else. There is a tilt of his head as he catches her own scent past the musk of his sweat and horse. Just the tinge of honeyed sweets and floral scent that clings.

"Then you do me much honor, Aldreda." because now he can broach such use of her name and his fingers mover over the stitched face as knuckles likely brush hair and skin, fleeting. "Then if I gain your favor. I pray he is on it. So you may see my dedication to my words and actions."

This seems to bring something of a pleased surprise to the Laverstock girl's features. A man from a decidedly Christian household seeking not only a pagan's favor, but one with one of their more decidedly ancient symbols? Aldreda's chin lifts and she seeks to study John's features. As if searching for the potential joke being hidden there. For a moment, it brings her almost boldly within range of his touch; be it cheek or hair.

"If you are certain…" There's an almost musical tone to her words and she's reaching down to the basket itself. It holds more than pastries. Bits and bobs that a lady might need while out and about. The lean brushes her shoulder briefly to the Bodenham's chest before she straightens. It's a lightweight kerchief that has been summoned from the basket. It even smells of those pastries. The fabric is colored black from one edge and white from the other. Stitched in green in one corner, upon the dividing line, is an intricate reckoning of the green man from Laverstock livery. This, she extends — held lightly in both hands — towards the Knight. "Perhaps this will do," she offers, voice soft.

"Quite." John breathes up and out as he looks at her, so as that she can see there is no joke. And when brushes he chuckles softly, before his hand slides up to catch her wrist and hold it to his chest, gently. "It is more than enough." the Bodenham says with sincerity and a hint of flirting. "Could you tie it on?"

Her wrist caught, Aldreda's breath hitches in the same. She blinks a few times, fingers curling against his armor. Her gaze lifts, regarding the man. She would swear the beating of her heart could be heard throughout the entire city of tents… though it only beats so loud in her ears. There's a small, fluttering sort of smile as she tilts her head in a nod. "Of course."

Her voice is just a touch breathless, but she regains her composure as she extracts her hand and sits forward a measure, working to carefully tie the kerchief to his arm; situated so that the green man upon it may be seen.

Success
John checked his Chaste of 13, he rolled 6.

John hears no loud beats beyond his own heart, and when she sits forward and places the favor on his arm his cheek brushes, and whiskers of his beard follow, but sadly no kiss follows this time as he draws back to admire the favor. "Thank you lady. I will be sure all know that I ride and fight for Lady Aldreda de Laverstock."

Failed.
You check your Flirting at 5, you rolled 13.

She may have been about to do something more; fingertips lingering on the kerchief as she settles it in place. However, the closeness of the Knight is a bit much. It's almost overwhelming. Aldreda shivers, just a bit, and focuses instead on making sure the favor is secure and in place. There's a small flare of pride; a Christian Knight bearing the favor of a Pagan house. Openly. She does not speak on this, however… just offers a small smile to the Bodenham. "I will pray for your success. No Knight has ever carried my favor and… it would be great luck to us both, should you win."

Success
John checked his Awareness of 7, he rolled 2.

Sadly, it almost seems as if John misses the shiver, but then he is looking to the armband again. A slight adjusting as he looks back to her. "Really?" he asks, "I would find that hard to believe. You are beautiful and any man would be a fool else." And so he grins as fingers muss. "Does that look better, or is this better?"

She shouldn't keep touching him, nor should she remain so close. But Aldreda has never had such closeness to a man not a part of her family and something in her makes her bold. Well, bold enough. She reaches out to tuck in part of the kerchief-turned-band after his fussing. It's a quick motion, as if afraid of what may come if she lingers further. "Hard to believe or not, it is true. I have only begun attending Court this past winter." Which makes her young, but not too young to be courted nor wed.

She begins to lean back to get a view of the cloth at his arm. "It looks good like that, I do believe."

Success
John checked his Prudent of 10, he rolled 9.

The admission is noted, but John doesn't comment on it. He just smiles and allows for her to keep adjusting his favor before noticing her leaning back. There is a hand raised before he is looking back to his squire. "Rab, take her a walk, and I will find you before we head back to the lists." apparently he waits for the Squire to not be party to his knavery, before he is leaning in now. intent on stealing or securing a kiss. Without asking.

Had he asked if he could kiss her, Aldreda may have become lost in the moment. Torn between propriety and desire. She is, under the flattery and attention, a flighty thing. Dark gaze goes to the squire who is sent off- question in her mien. She does not understand the purpose of it… not until John is leaning in and kissing her. There's a small sound of surprise at first, but she relaxes enough soon after to be taken up by the kiss and return it. Inexperienced and shy, perhaps, but with a natural sort of gift at the exchange.

John, for the most part has learned it is better to ask for forgiveness later than permission, which may explain some of his reputation amongst his family. Still he has an education and it shows in the lingering grace of lips that finally and gently breaks for breath. Now his cheeks show ruddy briefly as he rises up, and grins proud. "Truly and wonderfully bestowed, Aldreda." her name treated with a sacred honor, or so thats what he is going for. "I have challenges this afternoon..but I shall seek you again once, I have finished my duty."

When they part and John stands, Aldreda's hands rise to hover over her lips. She flushes crimson, but there is no overt shame in what they have shared. There's a brightness to the dark brown of her eyes as she watches the Knight. It's sordid, yes, though not so much as a young lass might be led to believe- not for a mere kiss! Even so, there's an excitement to it. What girl would not wish to share a kiss with a successful Knight, during the festivities following a love story such as Arthur and Guenevere?

The Laverstock gets to her feet, gathering up the basket. She clutches the handle in both hands at her waist; fingers twisted tight against the reeds. "Of course, Sir John. And should you have any wounds… I would be glad to tend them, as well I can." She is no healer, but bruises need little more than ointment and the attentions of a favored soul.

John grins and there leans in, for one more kiss, lest some knight royally whacks him. A chuckle when he breaks and he bows his head. "I will hold you to that lady." a tug of his forelock and he is moving to follow in the direction of his squire.

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