(514-06-23) Shaken then Stirred
Summary: Rowan visits Amalthea at her new gig and finds his lady love is not without her admirers.
Date: 6/23/514
Related: Modesty and Marriages, Who Knew?
amalthea rowan 

The stables are grand. Certainly much more grand than the stables at Dinton. The horses, too, are more numerous, more pungent. The pervasive smell of hay and horse flesh soak the cavernous affair of stone and lumber, and all those who work within it, Amalthea included.

The new stable master sits at a table near the front of the building, staring at the wall opposite her, looking for all the world as if someone just told her something flooring and she hasn't yet gotten over it. Her lanky frame is hunched just a little, and the look she wears is one of consternation, marring that normally gentle brow. For now, she is the only one there, though the sounds of others echo in the further reaches of the large stables.

Having unintentionally avoided much of the fighting, Rowan finds himself still in robust health and with much to worry over. The city had seen happier times, no doubt, but after finding his family and friends were safe Rowan decides to make sure a particularly special person has also avoided the danger. News of Amalthea's promotion has reached him through the grapevine, and he arrives her new grandoise workplace.

Rowan nearly bursts through the door, in fact! His amber eyes dart across the room in search of the Dinton lady and he exhales in relief when he finally spots her. "You are alright. I'm glad."

He approaches her with a broadening smile, but it pauses momentarily when he finally registers not all may be well, and he stops. "Is something wrong, m'lady?"

Critical Fail!
Amalthea checked her honest of 10, she rolled 20.

Usually those bursting through her stable doors with such emphasis have much worse news on their plates. With that in mind, Amalthea, as she snaps out of her funk, shoots up to her feet, ready for anything. When her eyes fall upon Rowan… is there guilt there? It's a momentary flash, and she sags a little. "Ah, goodness, sir Rowan, you scared the daylights out of me! What with all the fighting going on, anytime someone bursts in here like that I think the worst for one of the horses." Her hand goes to her tunic-clad chest, willing her heart back inside of it. "No… nothing is wrong. Just… the battling has me all aflutter with nerves." She takes a deep breath, her eyes settling upon him like tarnished golden orbs. "I am relieved to see you still whole, my lord." At least that much sounds honest!

You check your awareness at 5, you rolled 6.

His strides continue again and he is soon before her, within arms' reach. "I'm sorry. I just… needed to know if you were alright. I may have been a little too eager in my haste to learn." The guilt isn't sensed, for better or for worse, and his mood lightens once more. "Aye, it is a mess out there. But we will persevere." He raises his hand to gingerly caress the side of her face as his brown eyes study her closely. "Make sure you rest. You look tired."

He's just so damn perfect. Amalthea can't help it. She tips her face into his hand, nuzzling it. From somewhere deeeeeeeep down inside, the woman draws upon reserves she did not know she had. "I lied. I lied to you, Rowan." It's his Christian name, without the prefix of Sir, and the first time she's done that. This must be bad. "I am the one who should be apologizing. /I/ am sorry." The silence hangs for a heavy, dreadful moment, and Amalthea offers, "It is not simply the fighting. Sir Martyn came by today, not so very long ago."

Unbeknownst to Amalthea, Rowan is thinking similar thoughts about her as the Wylye lord admires her up close. His smile holds subtle warmth, though it vanishes at the woman's admission. He doesn't withdraw his hand yet, but his eyes widen in surprise, quickly followed by alarm when she elaborates. "I… what?" A thousand thoughts race through his mind all at once, but one manages to reign over the others in the end. Those amber eyes of his narrow slightly and he asks it outloud: "Why?"

Amalthea checked her honest of 10, she rolled 6.

Amalthea's eyes, nervous as a foal being broken, flit to his and hold there, however daunting that task is. She quails before his gaze, but keeps it. "He came to tell me that he has strong feelings for me." And it's out, no longer the elephant in the stables. "That he believes he always will." Her teeth seek and find the soft flesh of her lower lip and she worries it mercilessly, awaiting his response with obvious trepidation.

You check your forgiving at 10, you rolled 18.

You check your vengeful at 10, you rolled 13.

The knight looks conflicted. He was upset at being lied to, when he saw no reason for her to lie, but at the same time can't will himself to be spiteful. Not when she looks at him like that! His hand falls to his side and he bows his head, almost defeatedly. "So my suspicions were well-founded after all…" He murmurs, mostly to himself. He doesn't look at her now, eyes transfixed on the floorboards beneath his feet. "Do you return his feelings, Amalthea?" He inquires softly, also using just her Christian name.

They seem past the point of formalities, at least in that sense. Amalthea takes in his every movement, and her expression falls just a little more with the softness of his voice. "I had affection for him." It seems like honesty is the chosen path and the lady forges ahead with brutal efficiency. "Before I met you. Now, I count him a dear friend, and I would not change that. He is a /good/ man." She exhales a soft, sweet breath. "And he will make some lady very happy one day."

Anxiety and dread begins to smother him but he listens intently. He has to know. It begins to lift at her explanation - it sounds sincere, and he did not find any reason to question it. She admits she was once fond of the other man and… apparently, unknowingly, Rowan may have been the one to ruin it all for Martyn! It was bittersweet solace. His eyes rise from the floor and meet hers again, despair now replaced by hope. "Truly?" He stares at her for an unsettling moment. "He must hate me, then." He lets out a short, brittle laugh. "But… thank you. I'm not sure what I would have done if…" The knight trails off and it appears he wishes to leave whatever he was thinking unsaid. "Perhaps I should speak with your cousin sooner rather than later."

It's Thea's turn to lift her hand, the work-roughened palm coming to rest upon the knight's chest, unless he moves away. "I do not think Sir Martyn hates you, Rowan. Envies, perhaps, but not hate. It is not in him to be such." Yes, she will defend the other man, but she says, too, "As it would not be in you to hate him for his feelings towards me, knowing that, in the end, I choose you. Though," a small smile curves her lips, "it would certainly be /prudent/ to speak with Cyndeyrn, lest someone else do so first. I do not know how much say I am to be given in the matter."

You check your chaste at 13, you rolled 16.

You check your lustful at 7, you rolled 1.

Her words speak truth to him, and he nods solemnly in agreement. "Yes. If he hurt you I would not hesitate to remove his head from his shoulders, however," he promises without a hint of uncertainty. Then, he inclines his head and he leans in to capture her lips with his own. The kiss is ardent, but chaste.

Amalthea checked her reckless of 10, she rolled 2.

Chaste? Her first kiss, chaste? Oh, no. Amalthea is not having /any/ of that. If Rowan thinks he can get away with just a quick taste of her lips, the knight is about to learn a thing or two about the nature of someone who breaks and breeds horses for a living. The hand that was splayed so innocently against his chest curls into a fist, holding the fabric, holding him, tugging the man closer. Untouched-until-now lips part beneath his in wild abandon, matching the little noise of happiness and pleasure Thea makes in her throat as she urges his lust on. Silly, reckless, in the front hall of her place of work. She does it anyway.

To say he was caught off guard by Amalthea's assertiveness would be an understatement! Technically they hadn't even hugged before this point and he thought he was being daring! A surprised grunt is caught in his throat but he goes with the momentum as she pulls him forward. As her soft lips part, the invitation is promptly taken, and his hands go up to hold her firmly against him as he gets lost in their fierce kissing.

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