(514-03-15) Returning a Favor
Summary: … which was originally more of a luck charm. But who can tell, in the rather complex interactions of Lysanor de Dinton and Bryce de Baverstock, where the rules of propriety are followed and much remains unsaid.
Date: March 15th, 514
Related: Imber logs and the following Exeter mission.
bryce lysanor 

Baverstock Manor - Salisbury

The Baverstock brothers had returned from their adventure at Tilshead three days ago, their return delayed through a rather severe injury of Bryce, which had forced them to prolong their stay for two weeks. Two weeks until Bryce de Baverstock was finally in a state to travel on horseback, but even so they could not ride at full speed. Devil had somehow recovered as well, still, Bryce rode another horse, with his courser led along by his squire Carl. To cut a long story short, when Bryce and Landon were finally safely back in Baverstock manor, the older brother definitely needed a day to recover from the exertion.

An opportunity seized and taken fully advantage of, as today's Bryce de Baverstock appears mostly recovered, seated as he is in his favorite chair before the hearth in the manor's great hall, wearing a rather plain tunic of dark grey and breeches in black, his features already much less pale than before. A mug of ale beside him on the small table.

At the Dinton manor, the return of both Cyndeyrn and Kamron had kept Lysanor busy, both having taken quite the beating in Imber against the Saxon threat there. Her brother was built strong and thus his wounds healed quickly enough, unlike Kamron's who, when Lysanor first caught sight of her cousin, she was concerned that he had ridden over such a distance in his state. Perhaps, she worries too much, but the state in which she saw him revealed to the Dinton maiden that he was in far worse condition before he and the others finally decided to make the journey back to Salisbury. Of course, all of this disrupted plans which they had earlier in making a trip to Exeter and so Lysanor's mind was preoccupied with the condition of her family and to help finalize plans for them to set out once again. She would not let them leave too early. Not until Kamron was fully healed.

That is not to say, that she had not inquired of the others within the Tilshead party. She asked incessant questions regarding the Baverstock brothers only to learn that they were well, or well enough and had arrived just as safely to their own manor as her family had. It did come as some relief to her to hear that Landon came out of all of this rather unscathed, against Saxons too. And she had heard that he fought with such a ferocity that his opponents did not stand a chance. Then there was Bryce, and here the Lysanor grew all the more concerned, for he very well may have been worse off than even Kamron, from the tales; fighting just as fiercely alongside the others. When she had asked if she could see to him and tend to his wounds, she learned that he needed his rest and so her visit was postponed.

It is only after a day or so that Lysanor is informed of his improving condition and so she makes the journey to Baverstock manor in hopes to see to him as she wanted to before and ensure that he was truly on the road to a full recovery. Of course, word is sent earlier, prior to her arrival. Thus when she does make her appearance at the neighboring manor, her arrival does not come as a total surprise. With her pure white steed being secured safe, the young Dinton maiden is led inside to meet with the Lord of the Manor. Her dress is simple and modest, her chemise being a pristine white while the tunic which she wears over it is a soft, lavender hue, the ribbons at the sides drawn in tightly at her waist. During the ride over, some of her famous bright crimson locks had come undone from her braid, giving her hair this windswept look. Once inside, her cloak removed, by one of the manor staff, she enjoys the warmth of the room, especially in comparison to the cold still lingering outside. "My Lord," she starts, her vivid eyes spotting Bryce in the distance, before she lowers herself into a graceful curtsy, "My apologies that I could not come any sooner, but I was told…" Those healer's eyes of hers go to work, gauging him from this distance alone, "It seems that, perhaps, my skills were not needed after all."

Of course, she had been announced. This had been the reason perhaps, Bryce had chosen to receive her here in the Great Hall, seated as he was. However, when the Dinton lady is shown in there is that moment of hesitation, the realization that courtesy requires him to rise to greet her properly. Her voice, ringing clearly through the hall is what prompts him to rise from his seat, and here her assessing gaze will notice the signs; the slow manner in which he moves to stand; the hint of a grimace temporarily evident on his features; and… the slight pallor of his face, compared to when last she saw him.

"Lady Lysanor," Bryce greets, keeping himself straight, and one hand on the back of the chair to support himself. "I needed some time to get back here. Longer than we had initially thought. No need to apologize… As I am sure it was my uncle who sent word to Dinton. I needed to rest a day or two after my return, and to be honest I wasn't back to full health when we left Tilshead." The tone is calm, showing off a hint of warmth beneath the required layer of courtesy, and he smiles, even though the smile may be slightly dimmed by his condition. "I am glad to see you.", the Baverstock adds, gesturing with his vacant hand towards the seat beside his by the hearth. "Would you require anything…? A bit of ale? Some food?"

While she may have seen hints of the man's injuries even from her far distance, her eyes settle on each odd movement or gesture made, more than likely due to pain or some form of stiffness. Then there is the Lord's pallor, so pale in his weakened state. Not even Kamron looked so… exhausted and frail on his return. "Sir Bryce…" The woman's tone so easily conveying the deep worry and concern which now washes over her. Quickly, does the close the distance even more, being unable to take her eyes off of him now and yet, she does not want to impose upon him, to make him feel self-conscious or regretful to know that she knows he must still be hurting. So though she inwardly frets intensely, Lysanor tries to keep this subdued when she states, "How are you feeling, Sir Bryce? I was told by my brother and cousin of the terrible menace which your party had to face. I am both glad to know that you were all able to chase those villains away and also relieved that you've all returned home. Safe.

At the man's hospitality, even now, Lysanor must shake her head gently, "Thank you, but I am fine for the time being.." She even forces a pleasant smile on her lips to mask this sudden bout of fear which she now feels. She does, however, settle down into the offered seat, her hands resting within her lap. "My brother had made a full recovery, almost before he even arrived back to Dinton. Kamron still needs his time to rest. So I was hoping that you would not mind if I examined your wounds. I was," There's a slight hesitation in her voice now, "worried when I was told news of what happened. And how you stood and fought bravely even after some, grievous mishap earlier in the fight."

"I am already feeling much better," Bryce replies to her inquiry, the faint smile still there on his features shifting into a slightly more optimistic expression. "But yes," he adds, noting the assessing glance of the healer, "I regret I took quite a hideous wound, when a Saxon spear pushed me out of the saddle." He sighs and lowers his gaze momentarily. "I am still not fully recovered." The Baverstock knight will wait until Lysanor is seated, before he sits down himself - this as well a rather slow and careful procedure, given his usual agility. A nod comes when she explains about Kamron's state, a dark flicker of concern flashing briefly in Bryce's gaze. And another, to what she has heard of the fighting. "There was no choice, really. It was either us - or them." And he did what he had to do. Feeling her gaze upon him still, the Baverstock meets her eyes with his, and his features, that had temporarily taken on a grim expression soften slightly. Replying now to her third concern, he says: "I would not mind if you had a look at my injury. Certainly not, Lady Lysanor. Even if it is not the most pleasant sight."

Not even when Bryce explains that he is feeling better does Lysanor's worry lessen. From what she has observed, despite the man's pale pallor, he more than likely has already been through the worst of it all and to this, she murmurs, "Perhaps my brother was wrong. I should have been there." There's this pensive look in her eyes, a gaze that is unafraid to meet with the Baverstock Lord directly." When he settles himself down into his own chair, Lysanor does all that she can to keep herself seated, rather than rise as she wished to so that she may better assist him in even this most minute of tasks. In fact, she does shift, almost as if she were about to stand and from then, she remains seated on the edge of her chair, all while keeping herself, her emotions contained.

Lysanor checks her forgiving at 10, she rolled 19.
Lysanor check her vengeful at 10, she rolled 15.

It is Bryce's words regarding the Saxons that makes her body tense. These savages that hunting and raided her own people and not only that, her family and… Here, her lips purse tightly to show some hint of her anger towards their foe. "Yes, they gave you no choice. As they tend to do." Her rage is a quiet one, even when there is just that tiny bit of tension that may be heard within her voice. All of that even rises, still so quietly within her small frame, at the very mention of his injury. Yet, it is her worry that quickly diminishes all of this, forcing only a single nod in response, before she adds, "Thank you, My Lord. It will give me a better peace of mind if I am able to see it with my own eyes."

A shake of his head is given in response to Lysanor’s remark that she should have been there after all. “No, my lady.”, Bryce contradicts. “He was right. Neither of us could have guaranteed for your safety, in fact your presence would have made us hesitate to act as we had to.” A faint smile there, as his hazel eyes goes distant for a moment. “Landon… got a little carried away in his rage, and he of all got through it unscathed, while dealing many a deathly blow to our foes. We followed along, and I… my horse, Devil, slipped in a rather unfortunate manner, which affected one the hindlegs. My progress was hampered, and I had to try to keep Devil a little at bay as not to increase the damage he had taken.” His eyes meet hers, noting her quiet ire there, and he nods. “Aye, the Saxons were already building themselves a fortification, with palisades and all, from where they would spread more death an mayhem over our country. We had to put an end to it. We had to drive them away and hamper their intentions and plans. Of course, none of us gave in to cowardice, yet even if that would have been the case… I doubt the Saxons wouldn’t have let anyone escape.”

The mug of ale on the table beside him is ignored for now, perhaps because his guest did not accept the offered refreshment. Dark eyes find Lysanor’s gaze, when she confirms her wish to see his injury, and Bryce de Baverstock nods. “Very well, then.” His head turns and he casts a glance about the hall. “Here?” After all it was here she took care of his injuries after the bandit hunt. And the hall, far from being crowded at the moment, is not deserted either. A few servants scurry about. But neither Landon, nor other members of the family are currently present.

"Yes, however," Lysanor starts when told that she very well may have been a distraction or even a detriment to their mission, but instead of protesting, she falls silent. It was difficult for her to accept that another had cared for and tended to the man's wounds; or even that of her brother or family. The look of regret continues to linger on her soft features and especially within her expressive eyes. "I wish that I had been there to look after you all and tend to your wounds as I am accustomed to doing." A pause, "It's a silly thought, really, for I'm certain that the lady of the manor must be far more experienced than even I." As with age comes experience.

Landon's exploits seem to please her somewhat, a small smile forming upon her lips, "Yes, I had heard. If it were not for your brother, I'm uncertain if.." The results of such suddenly comes to mind, painting a far darker reality. How gently, her hair tossles when Lysanor shakes her head quickly, dismissing these dark thoughts. "No, it is best not to think about such things. I would like to speak to Sir Landon and offer him my gratitude in helping to bring my family," There is a small pause here, too, for she wanted to add more, for she was grateful as well for the Baverstock Lord's own return, but as her words may come out odd and strange, she ends it there.

So eager is she now to cast her own eyes on the Lord's wound that she nods quickly again in agreement that this room would be as good as any. "Unless you were prefer a more private setting?" Though she knows that the servants were all used to this, seeing their injured tended to so openly. "If all is well, there will be nothing more for me to do. Then I will simply change your bandage and be done with it."

A smile. It curves the Baverstock's lips, even if slightly faint, when Lysanor stresses she would have wished to have been the one who had seen to the wounds of all their party. "You are very kind, and yes, you would have been a much fairer sight to behold. The lady who saw to the more grievously wounded was indeed the Lady of Tilshead. Experienced indeed." Leaving it at that, whilst confirming her words in a somewhat subtle manner. An old hag.

His dark eyes linger on Lysanor then, taking in the concern she shows but does not voice for his brother. "It has certainly its advantages to be such a tall fellow as my brother is, but even those can fall," Bryce concedes, lowering his gaze for a brief spell it takes his smile to diminish. "But the Lord above held his hand over him and kept him from any harm - despite his rather daring ferocity. For which I am grateful."

Then talk turns to seeing to his own injury and an odd expression flashes at her counter question, maybe a slight hint of awkwardness and hesitation. His brows knit as he considers for a brief second, but then he shakes his head, giving the servants another fleeting glance. "Such would lead to slander I suppose, and I don't wish for you to be become the subject of gossip." He nods and rises to his feet, perhaps a touch swifter than is advised, judging from the brief change of expression on the Baverstock's angular features. Discarding his tunic then, at which indeed a servant approaches to assist, and the shirt he wears below, his torso is revealed, wrapped in a somewhat fresh bandage.

Unlike many of the other knights, or even men in general, whom Lysanor had come across during her young life, Bryce de Baverstock was hardly the gregarious flatterer that a lot of them seemed to be. He had never tried to win her favor with an overflow of compliments nor flirtations which she has seen enough of in her time, being as lovely as she were. The Baverstock Lord was always very polite and cordial to her ever since they were children. Then again, that was to be expected of a chivalrous knight in the making and especially to his own Knight's daughter. Lysanor also saw him as both a confident and competent young man, not particularly shy, the way some men are around women. All of this combined is something of a rare quality to the Dinton maiden. Often, men would fall into various categories, but not Sir Bryce.

This is why the man's subtle and rather sudden compliment of her beauty is something which Lysanor had not expected to hear. Surely, he has said something similar a few times in the past, even if those moments were few and far between. She could feel her cheeks tinge, her entire being warming by those words alone. The young woman utters no words in response, simply returning the smile shown her.

When slander is mentioned, the Dinton maiden considers this thoughtfully, "I am a healer first and foremost and some times, I believe, that people are more comfortable in private and without so many watchful eyes." Then in a mixture of playfulness in a matter-of-fact tone, she states, "And your Lord Brother did not complain when I tended to his bruising in his own quarters." Even if those quarters lacked a fourth wall, leaving it open and exposed somewhat to the rest of the hall. But, she is used to seeing Bryce here, nor did she expect his reply to be any different than it is now.

"Size is of some importance, but even my own dear brother fell, from what I was told, to the Saxons but was able to rise and fight again." Lysanor speaks in a neutral tone, her eyes diverted, more out of habit, when the knight removes both his tunic and shirt. With the bandaged area exposed to her now, her primary focus is that section alone. She crouches down, just a little and begins to undo the fresh new wrapping so that she can better see the stitched wound herself, a hand touching gently upon what used to be an ugly open gash, which looks to be turning into quite the scar. "She does do wonderful work." Lysanor must comment on Lady Tilshead's handiwork. "It looks as if they cut so deeply into you." With this assessment, her brows do furrow, imagining now what he must have gone through when he was bedridden in Tilshead.

The compliment, in itself perhaps less subtle than his reference to Lady de Tilshead‘s age and withered beauty, had left the knight’s lips without thinking. Even so, the reaction to it draws his gaze, and it is the blush on Lysanor’s cheeks that makes him aware of what caused it. Not intentionally. Or was it? A bit of an awkward pause follows, his brows lifting ever-so-slightly as Bryce returns the smile she gives him, a bit of surprise and warmth flashing there in his gaze, briefly. But could he really be so surprised? With the token she had given him before he left on this perilous mission so openly on display, the pendant on the chain worn about his neck he had almost forgotten it was there.

Critical Success!
Bryce checked his Chaste at 13, he rolled 13.

“Of course,” Bryce concedes to her statement of being foremost a healer, a flicker there in his dark eyes as she mentions some being more comfortable when tended to in private. And his face twists into a faint grin when she speaks of Landon and where she saw to his wounds. “I am the Lord of this manor, I don’t see anything wrong with getting treated here in the hall.”, words of confidence befitting his station. “Even so…”, the knight continues continues thoughtfully, his eyes lingering on the Dinton Lady as she steps closer to remove the bandage. But he leaves the sentence unfinished, when Lysanor gets started with inspecting the scar. The touch of her fingers there not causing him any awkwardness at all, as they are used to aid her in her capacity as a healer. “As I said, Lady Tilshead has experience in that area,” Bryce comments, his expression dimming somewhat. “And yes… I suspect I shall be more wary of Saxon spears in the future…”

Oh yes, Lysanor had noticed her pendant which the man now wears even if she made no mention of it once it was revealed. The pendant was the first thing which she looked for once the Lord had removed his shirt and right before she refocused her efforts on the wrappings at his side on reflex. Upon seeing the crude stone, one which holds great sentimental value to her, around the young Lord's neck, that sight alone fills her with an exuberant mixture of emotions. On one hand, there is that spark of light that can be seen within her eyes and on the other, this feeling of nervousness that forces her to divert her gaze all the more quickly.

Lysanor checks her chaste at 13, she rolled 16.
Lysanor checks her lustful at 7, she rolled 14.

When Bryce declares his position within the manor, Lysanor takes a quick look over her shoulder, noticing that a passing servant quickly scurries down the long hall upon hearing her Lord's tone. All of this leaves her rather amused even as she begins to work the long lengths of bandages to wrap and cover the wound which she had just now only uncovered. "I am grateful that she was there to tend to you and my family in my absence still. Perhaps, I shall send her a message to express my gratitude in her aid." Leaning forward, her hands skillfully winding the long clean cloth about Bryce's waist, there is a single moment where she takes pause. Perhaps, she had taken notice of the pendant again so near, or the closeness suddenly distracts her, but there comes a moment so brief when she lets out a wistful sigh, before pushing further to complete the task at hand. The sigh itself could mean anything. Lysanor’s mind full of thoughts. She then finally comments, "I am uncertain as to whether my pendant had brought you good luck or not, but I will believe so, for despite your injuries, you did make it home safely, all the same."

Bryce checked his Awareness at 10, he rolled 19.
Critical Fail!
Bryce checked his Lustful at 7, he rolled 20.

Men can be so ignorant sometimes. Even of things that would certainly warm their hearts. Neither does Bryce notice the glint in her eyes, nor the nervousness that suddenly claims Lysanor upon seeing the token she had given him. The departing servant will barely be spared a glance though, as the Baverstock lord’s eyes seem to be, ironically enough, still focused on the charming lady healer taking care of his injury.

Her remark makes one of his eyebrows lift in faint amusement. "Such a letter, while certainly welcome to Lady Tilshead…" He pauses, realizing the subtle phrasing Lysanor had used, and air leaves his lips as he shoots her a glance. "Of course. She will appreciate such expressed gratitude, I am sure." Still, when she leans closer as to wrap the fresh bandage about him, Bryce de Baverstock appears to catch his breath, but that might be due to the discomfort. The sigh draws his attention though, and for a moment Bryce meets Lysanor's gaze with his own.

"I believe it has brought me good luck," Bryce states, in regards to the pendant. "It brought me home, alive at least." And even if her proximity could have tempted a man of lesser principle, he at least does not seem willing or even in danger of taking advantage of the situation, respect as admiration evident in his angular features as her regards her.

With her arms around his waist for that final moment, passing the remainder of the bandage around him to her other hand, Lysanor then pulls the wrappings tightly enough and yet comfortable, not wishing to hinder any of the man's movements. From there, she expertly tucks it into securely, before tugging on it lightly, giving it an adjustment check to ensure that the bandage would never loosen nor slip. As much as she would like to remain that close for any amount of time, she does politely withdraw when the deed is done. "Then I shall send word to her and perhaps a gift. I cannot express how grateful I am to this woman." And she has every reason to be grateful to Lady Tilshead.

There has been something more plaguing her mind and this she decides to bring up, reminding the Baverstock of her departure. "I will pay my visits and check on you often, My Lord." There is a no-nonsense tone that can not be heard in her voice, "To ensure that you are at full recovery, or at least close to be, before my journey to Exeter. Kamron says that we will be away for a month…" And even that is painful for her to state, "It would not do for me to simply leave when you are still in need of aid."

As Bryce endures being wrapped with bandages again, it seems he does not overly mind it at all, at least no word or sound of protest will leave his lips. On the contrary. When Lysanor withdraws there is a slight lift of a brow as the Baverstock knight takes in her expressed intention of providing Lady Tilshead with a gift. "Our intervention turned a threat away from her husband's fief, and saved the life of his vassal," he states in a matter-of-factly tone. "We spilled our blood for their cause, so it only seemed fair…" For Lady Tilshead to stitch him back up afterwards.

"You know you are always welcome within these walls, Lady Lysanor," Bryce says then, with a moderate smile that is about to dim when the plan of her impending travel is mentioned. "Exeter is far away," a statement that leaves his lips in a sigh. "But… a whole month?" Allowing that to sink in, he falls silent for a moment. "I am already feeling much better than I did. So… you needn't be concerned…" He runs his fingers through the short dark curls on his head, and slipping from that task, his hand brushes accidentally against… the pendant. "By the Lord above… I forgot almost…" His hands move to undo the clasp that hold the necklace in place, and gathering all of it, including the pendant, in a small heap resting on the palm of his hand he offers the token back to her. "I promised to give it back to you upon my return," Bryce states

Being as stubborn and as single-minded as she sometimes can be, Lysanor already has her mind made up about Tilshead even when Bryce now believes that perhaps, she is giving Lady Tilshead more than she deserves. It is her deep feelings of regret and guilt that pushes her into this state, believing she truly does owe another for saving the lives of the ones she loved. Hearing the Lord's words, she does concede somewhat, "You are right, in a sense, but you would never have abandoned them to their fate otherwise. It is not in you nor is that cowardice anywhere in my dear brother's heart. But, yes, they returned the favor to you as best they could, for all that you had done for them." Now it was her turn to return the favor.

Speaking of favors… "I know, My Lord." Lysanor says, a small smile on her lips when the man reminds her that she was always welcomed here. "You never let me forget it." That smile widens slowly, her words filled with playful jest. When the Baverstock Lord begins to contemplate her Lysanor's own journey on some mission given to her and the others by a spirit, his realization that he had yet to return her favor brings her attention back to the pendant resting just beneath his collarbone right before it is removed. With her token now offered back to her, Lysanor is almost reluctant to take her, but in the end she does reach out to feel the warmth of the stone within her palm, kept warm by the man's body heat when it lay pressed against his skin. For a moment, she just holds it within a clasped hand, looking thoughtfully at the chain which peeks out from the grip to spill over her delicate thumb. Lysanor then eventually speaks, the soft smile returning to her lips, "I am honored that you have agreed to wear it, My Lord as I am pleased that you are able to return it to me safely."

Feeling this awkwardness coming over her, Lysanor is quick to say, "Now that I have seen you with my own eyes, Sir Bryce, and know that in time and with rest, you will make a full recovery, I ought return home. We will be leaving in a week or so, but I will make certain to check in on things before we depart."

It is odd. Reluctant as Lysanor seems to accept her necklace from his hand, Bryce appears to be likewise hesitant; his dark eyes lingering on the token in his hand before they lift and meet her gaze, and his other hand takes hers; the necklace with the pendant spilling from his onto her palm before he gives her hand free again. Her words elicit a smile on his own features, "It was my honor to wear it for the time given, and my duty to keep my promise and return it to you." Yes, there is awkwardness, barely kept in check by the impeccable facade of an honorable knight. And so Bryce de Baverstock will add little more than that, his gaze lowering for a moment before it meets hers again.

"I shall be looking forward to your visit, my lady."

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