(514-05-15) Shall We Dance?
Summary: Heulwen and Acwel take a stroll in the gardens shortly after the gift giving ceremony.
Date: 15 May 514
Related: Gift Giving
acwel heulwen 

(A continuation of the above-linked log.)

"It is kind of you to accept keeping me company," Acwel replies, taking Heulwen's hand within his own, offering a courteous nod of his head to Seren, Cyndeyrn and Lysanor with a faint smile as he turns to the Lady who now accompanies him, "Tell me, what do you think of mystery knights? As in, those who do not show their identities in tourneys and such," he wonders, just as he starts to lead them out of the area. "In tourneys such as to celebrate these nuptials, I would think you'd see a lot more of them around, at the proper festivities. I find it odd that none have yet made their appearances," he comments on the way out.

Heulwen reluctantly parts company with her cousins, lifting her hand out of Acwel's grasp if only to rest it lightly on his forearm instead as he leads her out and away from the gathering. "Mystery knights?" she inquires thoughtfully, tilting her head and looking somewhere off to the left as if considering the question rather intently. "I think that the concept should not be overdone lest it lose its luster, but a mystery knight at a tournament celebrating the King's marriage—well, that is quite the appropriate setting. A mystery knight is rather romantic if you think about it, and thus it is most fitting. Perhaps we will only witness it at the events themselves; maybe said mystery knight has taken to being very mysterious."

"I had thought about that. It is romantic, and in some ways, they could get away with calling a woman who is not Queen Guinevere the fairest of the tourney," Acwel comments as they wander out of the Great Hall, his gaze resting solely on Heulwen as they walk. "Perhaps to give the woman a garland of all fine and noble flowers, at the end of a streak of wins," he muses, looking ahead for a moment as he plots a course for the two of them, though he wanders a little closer to the brunette. "Or any number of glorious acts, done under anonymity, but that could come to the fore should they be unmasked after a bout, perhaps, if they irritate their opponent well enough." He pauses in consideration. "Do you like to dance?"

Heulwen dips her head to Acwel to emphasize her agreement with his sentiments, though for a moment she is quiet as she takes in the sprawl of the gardens. Without demur, she follows his lead at a leisurely pace, hand resting on his forearm while she admires this or that flower, this or that plant. Spring is an encouraging season, and the beds in the garden are just beginning to come into their own. "They could, perhaps, say that a woman is fairer than the Queen, but everyone - including the Queen herself - would know it not to be true. I think perhaps there shall never be a lady quite as fair as she for all the years to follow. But I do take your meaning, Sir Acwel, and I agree that a mystery knight may be afforded some few liberties. That would, of course, depend entirely upon his success in his chosen events. I wonder, though, what said knight should do if no opponent has sought to unmask him? Does he do so at the end in some grand, sweeping gesture, or is he bid to go on his way as anonymous at the end as he was at the beginning? I feel that might be a poor lot to befall him, should he be required to slink away in shadow even if he triumphs on the field."

"It is not a lie if the reason why he thinks so goes beyond mere appearance. For all that the Queen is lovely, that which is closer can be better cherished. There is sincerity in an act that is simply to risk oneself for the glory of honoring a lady, but," Acwel's lips curve into something of an introverted smile, almost uneasy, "I am not as well versed in what romance is as some." His green eyes glance out at the gardens, too, admiring the blooming flowers with an air of tranquility. "If he has a statement to make, a sweeping gesture in which to declare that he is enamored with a Lady, then he should unmask himself, and ask whoever it is who oversees such things for her hand. Life is short, after all, and while sometimes we must be deliberate in the name of good customs, I have no doubt that seizing a moment of opportunity is the best thing to do."

Heulwen laughs quietly - not at Acwel, per se - but rather at the sentiment behind his thoughts. "You must remember, Sir Acwel, that aside from some far-fetched stories, we are not raised to believe that men are the ones with romantic inclinations. Alliances, building their lands and their wealth, raising their station, fighting for their king—this is what I was raised to expect from a knight. I could hardly expect such grand romantic gestures as you admit to contemplating."

Briefly she tightens her grip on his arm, but it is only so that he might slow to a pause as she stoops to admire a cluster of purple flowers. "I do not have a head for these things, sadly. I think perhaps Lady Lysanor would be able to tell me what these flowers are. Do you know, Sir Acwel?"

"That is what you can expect from me. That's why I asked for a tower, and not for a pair of rings for my eventual marriage, or the pennor of the High King himself. I am a man who was brought up to be cold and ruthless when necessary. I grew up without my father; he had the luxury of knowing his. I want to be skilled, and to live a long life and make sure my Manor does not go extinct because I died too early. Often, I find, you must seek the man for his actions, not necessarily his thoughts or even words. " Acwel replies, though he smiles at Heulwen's remarks, and a bit further at her laughter. Something in his gaze hints to amusement at her words.

When she tightens on his arm, the Knight stops, glancing at the cluster of purple flowers that she mentions. "Neither do I, as I am no herbologist, but I believe these are called lavender."

"Oh, are these lavender?" Heulwen reaches out to caress the blooms softly with her fingertips, and while she is obviously itching to pluck them free and carry them with her, she stays her hand with some exercise of willpower. Instead, she inhales deeply as if to savor their fragrance, and then with reluctance rises from her crouch. She grins up at Acwel briefly while dusting off her skirts (which are clean - it isn't as if she knelt in the dirt - but habit, you know). "You are quite full of declarations today, Sir Acwel. Did the gravity of the gifting ceremony settle in your breast so? I thought your request of the King to be quite admirable, although in fact I found them all to be a very lovely mix of romance, necessity, and most of all a great respect for their King. I do not think anyone wished to overreach with their requests."

He watches Heulwen reach out to caress the blooms and inhale them, smiling while she does so. "I would look the other way if you did pluck it, you know," he tells her, that smile turning mischievous as he makes his offer of complicity to the Lady. It's not like anyone would miss a single flower, anyway. He grins back at her, considering her question, "Perhaps," he admits, "it was a very inspiring event, this entire ceremony, and an unspeakable honor to witness the High King marry his Queen." When she mentions she thought his request of the King to be admirable, he replies with, "Thank you. I tried to think of my people, rather than any personal advantage. However, I find your brother's to be a very powerful statement of his affections to his lady," what is implied is that he has a good idea of whom, "I do pray for their happiness." And her eventual conversion.

Heulwen laughs quietly at Acwel's offer, but she shakes her head quickly. "I would not wish to disturb the flower for its own sake, good sir, but I appreciate the offer." She reaches up to carefully tuck some loose locks of hair behind her ears before clasping her hands together in front of her. She gestures with a bob of her head that he should lead on, and assuming he does so she falls into step beside him. Her smile fades rather quickly, though, and a thin crease appears in the center of her brow - an expresion of deep confusion.

"I think you may be mistaken, Sir Acwel. My brother's request was for the sake of love itself, but there is no such woman who has earned his deepest affections yet. I think, perhaps, people tend to get a little carried away when they witness any familiar exchange between two unmarried and unrelated people, but not everything is always as one might assume. My brother is a good man, and an honorable one, and one day he will make a fine husband to a lady. Right now he is most devoted to his duty as a knight, though."

And he does lead on, though at a leisurely pace, until she is able to catch up with him. Then, once their steps lock with the other, he quickens the pace slightly, all for the sake of courtly expediency. Gardens are beautiful and all, but who knows what wonders Carlion holds within its walls? He does notice as her smiles fades quickly, his expression confused, momentarily, before some glimmer of realization shines in his eyes. "Ah, of course," is what he says, to her words regarding her brother's request. Perhaps a matter yet to be settled by his friend in his family and thus not his business to meddle with. "And he is an outstanding knight, Lady Heulwen. Few are as valorous as Sir Kamron. When we went to fight the Saxons, the two of us and Sir Landon were the first to ride to where they were keeping the people of the village. I dare say we will know of his name in a matter of a couple years, if not months."

Heulwen smiles warmly at Acwel, and it is obvious that she is always willing to hear good things spoken of her brother. "It is so very kind of you to say, Sir Acwel, and I am sure he would be gratified by your words - though perhaps a trifle embarrassed. He is a modest man, too." She lets out a hearty laugh at the thought, however, and shakes her head. "I am not sure if he wishes to be a famous knight so much as a good one, but you do him a great honor with your kindness. Might I be permitted to pass on your good remarks to him one day, perhaps when he is feeling a little low and requires a boost to the spirits?"

Wen pauses for a moment, deep in thought, but suddenly looks up to Acwel and smiles wide. "You asked me earlier, Sir Acwel, if I enjoy dancing. I was so caught up in the discussion on mystery knights that I forgot to tell you - yes, I do, though I am only passing fair at it. I am not nearly so graceful as I pretend to be."

"Certainly, as he seems to openly compliment me when we are in public. It is hard to avoid feeling embarrassed as a result, but manageable," Acwel grins at Heulwen, leading the two of them further along. "That is a man whose blade I know I can count on should there be a worthy case to fight for. As well for Sir Cyndeyrn, though what was done today was…" He considers the word for it, "…perhaps not the optimal way to request for a courtship." And considering he's dealt with a courtship request by a man who basically fell down backwards when the lady he was interested in showed up, well… "I am not good at dancing at all, Lady Heulwen, but I would like to dance with you, if you can forgive my many missteps."

Immediately Heulwen blushes, although it is not for her sake; no, the blush arises when Acwel mentions her cousin's grand proposal for courtship, and she bites her lower lip to keep herself from rushing immediately to his defense. Instead, she bows her head briefly to Acwel to acknowledge his own position in the matter; she could never understand it herself. "Perhaps it was quite unusual, but in the presence of the great and beautiful Queen, I think Sir Cyndeyrn showed remarkable restraint. Weddings, especially those unions of true love, can inspire us to take bold action - bolder than we would otherwise ever be." She reaches out to rest her hand on his arm again, however, and smiles. "I would like that very much, Sir Acwel, but we have no music here."

"Perhaps it was inspiration. For what it is worth, it did not appear as though my sister was quite against it, either," Acwel admits, meeting Heulwen's gaze. "Did you find yourself inspired by the grand gesture of it, my Lady?" He inquires, before moving on to the Lady's quite reasonable point that there is, in fact, no music here at all. "Well, it does not have to be right now. But I heard of a certain pub in Carlion we could perhaps afford ourselves the luxury of going. They do host bards there." Perhaps sneakily, he moves his arm back just a little, letting his hand touch hers when she meant to rest it on his arm, holding her hand as a result.

"Of course. I do not think there is a single heart capable of withstanding that kind of inspiration, Sir Acwel, not even the coldest among them." She returns his gaze for a moment, but is the first to drop it and glance away under pretense of admiring a sapling. She is, quite nautrally, startled when his hand slips into hers, but for the moment she merely presses his fingers briefly in silent acknowledgment. "Perhaps we may call upon the bards in that pub tomorrow, then, for a bit of dancing? I think I would like that very much. I am afraid it is grown too late in the day for me to venture out just now, though. I promised my brother that I would not stay too long; he wishes for me to meet him at the races, or at least shortly thereafter for supper before retiring."

"That would be acceptable for me," Acwel replies, regarding the dance in the pub. His smile widens when she looks away and pretends to admire a sapling. And just as the act of holding her hand startles her, he feigns some surprise, though he caresses her hand and lets it go afterwards. "Would you like me to accompany you there before we part ways, my Lady? It would be rather unbecoming of me if I did not do so, seeing as your safety was entrusted to myself," he pledges, it seems, to escort her to the races. "And I will look forward to tomorrow, perhaps I will look for a bard myself if there are none available there, and then we can have our dance."

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