(514-05-20) The Oddest Couple
Summary: Amalthea's and Rowan's first informal date is not your standard romantic affair!
Date: 5/20/514
Related: More Challenges
amalthea rowan 

The basket that now sits on Rowan's arm is heavy. Inside is not bricks, but it sure feels like it could be. Maybe the knight has so many muscles he won't notice. Amalthea seems oblivious to the fact that the contents of her picnic basket are, for the most part, probably inedible. "You mentioned before your horse's name is Devil?" the Lady is chattering, full of her effervescent energy as she glances aside to both knight and stallion. The back way to the castle gardens seems to be one the Dinton lady is well acquainted with, and she scarce misses a step. "Does such a naming convention not concern you?"

Rowan does believe the basket is a tad on the heavy side, but he blames it on his fatigue. That was it! Even his trusty sword felt heavy in his hand, today, and it showed on the tourney field. He strolls alongside Amalthea with his horse gently plodding behind him, having been retrieved from the post he was previously tethered to before Rowan made for the field. He was not the chatty sort, but he was a decent listener, and didn't seem to mind Amalthea's exuberance in the least. "Devil?" He inclines his head towards her curiously. "His name is Lleu. I wouldn't want to ride the Devil to battle." The knight blinks twice. "Perhaps you're getting him confused with another. I was told he had a brother…"

At least Lleu doesn't seem terribly offended! Just distracted. All these yummy-looking green things…

"Lleu," Amalthea tests the name upon her tongue, and glances back to see if there's a spark of recognition in the beast or if it's wholely untrained. "That's a fitting name for one so handsome. I find it hard to believe that there is another out there like him." It's clear in the tarnished-gold depths of her eyes that her brain is churning, processing this desirable piece of information. Finally, she lifts her gaze from the horse and it lands back upon Rowan. "There are apples in the basket, as well, should you wish to give him another for his hard work." It's a subtle phrasing, though clearly Thea wishes the horse to have one. "There is a bench by the pond, yonder," a long, slender arm is waved. "Will that suit?"

His mouth curves upward into a small grin. "I struggled to find a good name for him when he was gifted to me. I think my brothers were expecting something more… grandoise." Rowan gives a small shrug of his shoulders. "But I think it fits him, too." He reaches one hand into the basket to scoop up an apple, which he holds up for Lleu to behold. It doesn't take a second longer for the treat to capture the stallion's attention and he promptly leans forward to chomp hungrily on the fruit. He withdraws his hand to let the equine have at it and muses quietly, "I suspect he quite likes you, Lady Amalthea."

The bench is regarded with a nod. "It looks like a good place to relax," he says as they walk along the pond, to their destination. His hand slips into the basket again to fish out a loaf; it is then that he realizes where the weight comes from! "Hrm. You baked these today?"

Amalthea checked her horsemanship of 15, she rolled 1.

It's probably because of the apple. His steed is in a good mood, and he suffers Amalthea to press a practiced palm against his side. Her awe is quite obvious, and nothing she tries to hide, as she smooths her hand delicately along the horse's chest, stroking him. "The feeling is mutual. What a beast he is!" Slightly unwillingly, the tall lass turns back to Rowan, nodding. "And my first try at it, too." Warning! Danger! Danger! "They are a little heavier than the cook makes them, but I am fair certain I used the right ingredients…" Her lower lip snares uncertainly between pearly teeth. She steps away from the horse reluctantly, her footfalls light and graceful towards the bench and Rowan. The latter is given a reassuring smile.

You check your honest at 16, you rolled 4.

You check your deceitful at 4, you rolled 9.

Lleu is very easily placated by delicious apples, but he was a moody horse indeed. He noses at her encouragingly, as though suspecting apples may fall out of her, but alas she is not a tree! He snorts as she moves away but soon gets distracted by another nearby plant. It was, afterall, a garden.

Rowan palms the loaf in his hand experimentally before daring to take a bite. Immediately his teeth are alerted to it's hardness and barely manage to make it in, denoted by a startlingly loud CRUNCH. The knight blinks hard and attempts to chew the substance in his mouth, resulting in more crunching and him wrinkling his nose distastefully. "It's… as hard as a rock," he admits. He doesn't spit it out, but it's apparent he regrets his decision.

Amalthea checked her merciful of 10, she rolled 14.

Amalthea checked her cruel of 10, she rolled 3.

Amalthea watches Rowan hopefully, her eyes bright with the desire for his approval, for some weird reason she hasn't fully explored yet. When the exact opposite is forthcoming? It dashes a little place inside of her and something rather untoward bubbles up instead. "Oh, come! It cannot be so bad! Maybe if you take another bite? Or try the muffins?" she encourages him, settling upon the bench and watching the knight expectantly. "It is /just/ bread, after all."

You check your prudent at 10, you rolled 3.

The Wylye knight puts the bread back into the basket, fearing for his teeth if he tried to take another bite. He felt a pang of regret when he saw his comment may have dimmed her spirit, but he truly knew better than to continue. When she suggests the muffins, he inwardly cringes but rummages around in the basket in search of one. Inevitably he comes upon one. "Are… are they made of different dough?" Rowan asks, hopefully, as he inspects it.

It's quite light, in fact, this muffin. It looks like it might be blueberry, judging by the bluish tint the entire thing boasts. "Oh, yes," Amalthea informs him, brightening once more. "Even I know you cannot make muffins in the same way as you make bread! I feel quite sure you will love this one, sir Rowan!" Her golden eyes are wide as she watches him, imploring. The Dinton even leans forward a little, hands clasped together.

Neither of them can know that the insides of these muffins have not been cooked all the way through and form a mushy paste where ingredients have refused to coalesce.

You check your deceitful at 4, you rolled 17.

You check your honest at 16, you rolled 2.

He finds the lightness encouraging! Maybe this won't be as bad! He loves blueberries, too. He lifts the muffin to his mouth and bites into it more confidently than he did with the loaf…

And inside of hardness, he gets a wad of doughy blueberry goo. He chews rapidly as it clings to his mouth, in an attempt to make it go down easier so he may not choke on it. It takes awhile for him to even manage a reply, when it's finally downed. Rowan cringes, screwing his eyes shut, but then cracks one open to peer at her when he finally replies. "It… it needs to go into the fire a bit longer. It's mush."

Clearly, Amalthea is not a homemaker. Also evidently, the notion is just now become apparent to her, with his honesty. Her normally cheerful, happy-go-lucky demeanor crumbles a little, and Thea ducks her chestnut head to hide the crestfallen expression that slides over her plain features, which works not at all since her hair is in a single thick cable and does not curtain her at all. "Oh." It's a single syllable of a wealth of crushing dismay. "Well." There's another moment of silence, and she adds, "… I thank you for your honesty. The horses have been lying to me this whole time."

When the taste feels banished from his mouth, his expression softens into one of regret when he looks upon her once more. The confliction he feels for telling the truth when a just a smidge of dishonesty could be used for tact isn't an uncommon feeling for him. "It was only your first serious attempt, correct? You don't become a warrior when you first swing a sword; with practice I'm sure you'd do well," he says earnestly in an attempt to comfort her. Anything to make her smile again! As long as it wasn't lying. His brown eyes look down to the basket again. "Perhaps horses simply taste things differently than we do. Animals don't have a reason to deceive."

"I shall feed them only apples and tarts filched from the cook from now on," Amalthea replies guiltily, scarred for life by his honesty. The lady tips her chin back up, at least, sucking in a fortifying breath that doesn't quite manage a smile. "It appears that I have yet another thing to apologize to you for, sir Rowan. I can do no right around chivalrous knights."

This isn't going like he wanted it to! "If they dislike what you try to feed them, Lady Amalthea, I think they'd let you know. Lleu certainly lets me have it…" He murmurs as he shoots a glance at the black stallion nearby, who looks back dubiously. His gaze returns to Amalthea and he pleads with his eyes, his amber eyes locking with her golden hues. "Please, don't let me dissuade you from trying again in the future. You have nothing to apologize for."

"You are kind to say so. A mark of your good character that you do. No wonder Cyndeyrn likes you so," Amalthea replies, quite lost in the strength of his eyes for a moment. It renders her unable to speak, which is probably a blessing to them both for at least a five count. Then, "But of course I must make ammends. I nearly ran you down with my horse. I spooked your horse. And now I've like as not poisoned you with my inedible baked goods!" The list grows, along with Amalthea's fretful energy. She shoots to her feet and begins to pace in front of the bench. "What can I do to make it right…"

Rowan, too, seemingly gets lost in the hazel stare - and there's a flicker of disappointment in his own eyes when she finally breaks it. A slight thrill of nervousness goes up his spine and he straightens. It appears no matter how much he insists otherwise, she felt responsible for some wrong. Or in this case, a list of wrongs! He watches her pace helplessly, remaining seated on the bench. "I… well…" He releases a defeated sigh. "Perhaps… perhaps you could promise to give me your favor at the next tournament, for better luck? I did terribly back there."

"Oh! What a wonderful idea! That would be such a simple thing, too," Amalthea replies, immediately enthusiastic, her spirits perking right back up, her smile sliding fluidly back into place. That is, of course, until she realizes what it is he's just asked her for. Her pacing comes to a screeching halt right in front of him, and her cheeks flush the color of the brightest of roses. "… oh. My… favor?" She squints down at him, ungainly tall as she is. "You… want my favor? Are you… jesting?" There's a delicate note to her voice, the first flushes of uncertainty. Surely he would not be so cruel as to jest?

What was previously just a thrill of nervousness becomes a thrum of butterflies in his stomach when she inquires further. Metaphorically speaking, of course! This was the first time he truly thought to ask for such a thing, in spite of being well-acquainted with tourney customs. He shyly dips his head, but tone of his voice is even. Certain. "No, I would not jest." He looks up at her again. "I would like to wear your favor next time I take the field, Lady Amalthea." In spite of the solidarity behind the request, there was a tiny fear in the far back of his mind that she might still reject him, however senseless that may be. He is just as insecure as she is!

Amalthea checked her trusting of 10, she rolled 6.

Surely a man with such a glorious horse wouldn't lie to her. Amalthea casts a quick glance to Lleu as if to confirm his master's honesty in the matter. Satisfied, she turns her gaze back to the knight, squinting a little. "I… I would like that." It's a simple answer, as if she's still trying to puzzle out the riddle of it. "I am confused by it," she gives him honesty back. "But I would be honored."

She agrees and a flood of relief washes over him, even visibly. His muscles relax and a genuine smile lights up his face, which was something not often seen on him! Little does he know her infatuation with his horse also has a part in it. "Thank you, Lady Amalthea. I will be honored to wear it," he declares with earnest sincerity. "I also intend to visit you in the time between then, if I am allowed. Your manor is not far…"

"I would welcome it," Amalthea replies, trying her best to remain the demure lady while her heart is racing with excitement. "Though of course it is not my decision to make, but Cyndeyrn's," she tacks on quickly, fingers squeezing together in front of her almost painfully, like that could contain all her boisterous energy. "Is it your plan to seek him out before we depart?"

You check your awareness at 5, you rolled 13.

Rowan doesn't quite know how to take the finger steepling, but her words are enough to dash his worry over it. "If I can't find him before you leave, I will seek him soon after I return home. I do not think he will mind a visit from me." He glances skyward thoughtfully. "But I confess I don't quite know how to ask him yet. Or what to say if his father inquires further. I will decide that as I go along, I suppose." His smile remains in place. "You are free to visit us when the desire strikes you, as well. You can get acquainted with my other horses." Yes, lure her with the horses!

Amalthea perks, even more so. First a man asks for her favor, and then he offers her MORE horses? Oh, happy day! She can't even stop the way her hand shoots to her fast-beating heart as it skips a beat. "More?" The word is a sigh, her tone dreamy, eyes lidded, as if he'd just kissed her. "More horses? How many do you have, sir? Other stallions?" She sucks in a breath. "A… a palfrey, perhaps?" Foreplay, essentially.

Rowan raises his hand, lifting four fingers to show how many horses he personally owns. "I have four, including Lleu. I'm afraid I don't have another stallion or a palfrey, though. Two rounceys and a sumpter." Typical knight fare, really. It wasn't something he intended to brag about, yet here he was, trying to impress a girl. Infatuation makes even him do silly things. "But… I suspect my brothers will request stallions when they're knighted, too." A thought hits him and the Wylye tilts his head upward curiously. "Do you have a stallion, Lady Amalthea?"

"Dare to dream," Amalthea drawls, shaking her dark head with rueful goodwill. "I have a rouncey of my own, and am grateful for her, but beyond that I have only my cousin's mounts to care for, and I ride them only for training purposes." It's a wistful note, but it's paired with a smile. "Still, it is fortunate I am to have even that opportunity. A palfrey… surely, such a thing would be silly extravagance." But it doesn't stop her from smiling like a woman entranced. It's that smile the lady transfers to Rowan, brilliant and intense. "How many brothers do you have, sir Rowan? Any sisters?"

"Huh…" He murmurs unknowingly, absently admiring her brilliant smiles and effervescent beauty even as she dreamily speaks of equines. It takes him a moment to remember he was actually having a conversation with the woman. "A-ah, two brothers. Both intending to become knights like myself, currently squires. No sisters, sadly. Mother always wanted a daughter but… she got us." The basket is finally set aside, on the ground next to his feet. "How about you?"

Amalthea checked her awareness of 10, she rolled 1.

Even as she talks, Amalthea's eyes are upon Rowan, observing the man the way she might assess a prime piece of horseflesh. It's a compliment, really, that she's putting so much consideration into him, a sign of her interest. So it is that she notes his drifting attention, and her lips curve in a cheshire manner, well-pleased. "No sisters, one younger brother and one older. My mother would like as not have traded me for a son, given half a chance," she offers, laughter low in her throat. "But I think you would not have watched me so intently just now, had that been the case."

Rowan gapes when he realizes he's caught, like a landed fish, and ducks his head in embarrassment. A hint of a blush peeks through his heated cheeks and he stammers. "I-I'm sorry. I didn't mean to I'm just…" Dumb! Is the answer he offers in his own head. He abruptly stands and knocks the basket over mindlessly, spilling the hard-as-rocks loafs and muffins on the ground… which does nothing but make him even more flustered visibly flustered. "I should go get Lleu to the stable before he gets hungry again and destroys the grass. I enjoyed our time together, Lady Amalthea, and intend to see you again soon." He doesn't skitter away from her just yet but he fidgets.

Amalthea takes pity on dumb animals. And also on Rowan, who it is clear she considers neither dumb, nor an animal, judging by the smile she bestows upon his fidgeting. Like she might sooth a spooked stallion, the woman ever-so-slowly extends a gentle hand to the knight. "It has been my great pleasure, sir Rowan. I am no longer nearly as sorry as I should be for almost running you down on my horse." Beat. "Because it gave me the opportunity to meet you." Not because she wants him dead.

Spooked was a good way to term it. He fights his urge to flee to preserve the dignity he so believes he just lost, but her calm words reach him and he gradually begins to regain his composure. Rowan gives her a long, considering stare - not quite the rapt attention he had given her before, but attentive to her of reproach. As she extends her hand, he gingerly takes it, and leans over to plant a faint kiss upon her knuckles. It seems almost as relieved as it is courteous! "You honor me, m'lady. Thank you for your time and graciousness." He exhales when he straightens and offers her another genuine smile. "I will always take the opportunity to meet you again."

"Ah, do not promise such a thing as that," Amalthea chortles softly, the color rising to her cheeks when his lips make light contact with her tanned, work-roughened knuckles. "You've only to ask Cyndeyrn how vexing I can be at times and you may be singing a different tune." It /sounds/ like she's teasing, but this time her eyes don't give it away. "But your care for your mount is commendable, and I would not stand in the way of that. I shall look forward to our next meeting. Perhaps, you will bring the baked goods?" She's already stooping to pick up the ones that are spilled.

He remembers the bread stones he now helped spill and bends to pick the ones scattered further away from the basket, eventually returning them to the basket. Leaving a mess behind for a lady to clean up was not a very gentlemanly thing to do. "Vexing? I doubt that," he retorts, chuffing lightly. Rowan arches a brow at her suggestion. The wheels in his head creak and churn. "Perhaps… I will." The mess now cleaned up, he turns to retrieve Lleu, though his gaze lingers on Amalthea as he begins to depart. "Farewell, Lady Amalthea…"

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License