(514-06-24) Holding Your Position
Summary: Holding Your Position
Date: 06-24-514
Related: Recent betrothal banns and confessions of love from admirers.
amalthea seren 

It's a warm evening, the season rapidly turning towards the heat and sweat of summer's breath, the bright sun slowly sinking in fiery oranges and reds towards the horizon. Amalthea is dressed for the warmer weather, having left off her cloak, sporting only a tunic of plain brown with slits up either side for movement, paired with tights for modesty's sake, which are swallowed by her tall boots. She smells of the stables, as always, that pungent aroma of hay and horseflesh that marks her profession. She's striding along rather quickly, and not watching her way at all… as usual. Instead, her chestnut head is turned to one of the stone towers and anything else in the bailey is unfortunately ignored.

Living in the castle has its advantages, one of them are meals. In the great hall, nightly, are the evening meals serving anything from pheasant, duck, other fowl, root vegetables and other varieties of the bounty the Earl is provided from the kitchens. It is a great way to save the stipend made as wages from having positions for the Earl, eating the provided meals! Standing near one of the stone towers, Seren looks indecisive, was she going to dive in with the rest of those having meals? It is then she hears the striding, seeing a familiar face, a smile brightens her features. "My lady!" Recognizing her from the day of the horse race in Carlion, "A pleasure to see you again."

There are so many 'my lady's' but this voice Amalthea knows. She turns her head from one tower to the base of another and a slow smile creeps quietly across her lips. Her stride is checked, her footfalls turned. When she's close enough, Thea executes a little bow to Seren. "Lady Seren, what a happy surprise. Allow me to congratulate you on the announcement of your betrothal, my lady?"

Dipping into a curtsy, Seren dips her head demurely, "It is lovely to see you," she straightens, a smile playing over her lips, "Thank you, my lady. My brother had told me it would be a few seasons until the announcement, so I was caught by surprise, as I was with his. Since living in the castle, I fail to see my brother as oft as I would fancy." She motions towards the food, knowing the lady's position from the day in court. "Would you like to join me for a repast?" Only pausing a moment, "How are you settling in to your position?"

"I am sorry it was sprung upon you so suddenly, my lady," Amalthea replies judiciously to that, turning her head towards the trenchers of food. "Mm, how could I possibly say no to such an offer? Truly, I have never eaten so well, which is no shame on Dinton but only speaks well to the glory of the Earl. Thus far, I have been awed by his stables. And you? Have you been at your position long?"

"I have been here for some time now, I adore working for the Earl, he is a good and decent man, as is the Chancellor, the Seneschal and the Steward." Seren smiles, "His wife is with child, they will be expecting an heir soon." The smile brightens further. "Oh, please, there is no reason to be sorry. I am happy to be marrying Sir Cyndeyrn, he is quite.. formidable. I only hope it is as my brother has promised me, that I can retain my position here for a time." As they approach the food, the plates are there as well, and she reaches for two, passing one to Amalthea, should she accept. "Will there be anymore Dinton marriages in the near future?"

Amalthea listens with a stablemaster's skill, one well used to patience with beautiful creatures. Her plate is accepted with a grateful nod, and the lady asks, "Will there? Ah, well, one never knows. Can one not usually retain one's position when one weds?" A look of curious foreboding creeps across her plain features. "I had not thought about such a thing…" But it's clear she thinks of it now.

"Sir Cyndeyrn is the heir. I know he must marry for a wife to take care of the manor and certain things there when he is away doing his knightly duties. As a wife I am certain I will have wifely duties that would require me to be at his manor. Were he not the heir, I suppose it would be less demanding perhaps, of ones time." Seren does not seem to begrudge it, not by her demeanor. "Though until Sir Cyndeyrn is in charge of his house, perhaps I could retain my position. Sir Acwel says it is possible." She does notice the look and gives a comforting look. "I only meant Sir Kamron with the Laverstock knight." Though the reaction does bring an interest to the Woodford lady.

Amalthea doesn't seem to notice the interest, because her reaction is just as one might expect were she not being watched. She looks dismayed. "Oh. But if one is already the head of a house, then his wife would be expected to renounce her position elsewhere to remain at home?" Displeased, is what Amalthea is, to hear that. "I suppose it does make sense," she offers, grudgingly, as she fills her plate. "As for Sir Kamron, I have not seen him in some time, though I suppose if the lady knight in question were to renounce her current faith, anything is possible…"

Dismayed.. it had been Seren's first reaction as well upon the discovery. "I adore my position here, I meet so many people, I take notes at all of the meetings, I write missives for the Earl and some times for the Lady Esyte." The Earl's wife. Despite the grudging agreement, Seren can certainly sympathize. Filling her own plate, she pauses to look towards the table where she usually has her meal, her assistant already there scarfing down food, almost finished already. "There is a table," she nods towards it, there is room for them both.

Amalthea seems amenable to the suggestion, and her booted footsteps take that turn once her plate is full. No small eater is the Lady Dinton. "Thank you. Tis not often I have the company of another lady for my supper. I hope that I do your company justice, Lady Seren. I shall do my best to keep my conversation away from the topic of horses. Hm. Might I ask, Lady… have you been courted by any other than my cousin?"

Just as they are arriving at the table, her assistant, a younger girl who looks like a tomboy, shoves the remaining food in her mouth and looks over to where a few of her friends are waiting. She lifts a finger to them in a 'hold on' gesture. Only after she has swallowed the food and gathered her plate does she stand and bow to the two ladies before scurrying on her way. It amuses Seren who watches with a soft laugh. Leaving the choice of chairs for the stablemaster, she looks slightly bemused by the question. "I have never been courted before. Even by Sir Cyndeyrn. I blame myself, for I have been far too busy of late to have time for courting. He did hold my favor at the tournament and he did walk me to the tent after the horse race." That is the limit of their time alone! "Is someone courting you?"

Amalthea checked her honest of 10, she rolled 4.

"Yes, I suppose someone will be," Amalthea replies, her cheeks heating into a rosy blush. "I imagine he will approach Sir Cyndeyrn shortly to ask officially." Thea takes a seat, smiling after the young assistant. "Er. Do you know sir Rowan de Wylye?"

"Someone, my lady?" Seren cannot contain the smile at the vagueness as she has a seat beside the stablemaster. When she mentions the Wylye, she gives a regretful shake of her head. "Only by name, not features. I have heard of him but unable to place his face in my own memory. Seeing the blush though, she looks curious, "A match then that you approve of?"

Amalthea is silent, lost in some sort of morose contemplation. "My lady, if I might speak freely?" There's another pause, and she does seem to feel free to do so. "I am most pleased with sir Rowan. He is every inch the gentle and chivalrous knight. But matters have grown somewhat… complicated. There is another who has declared his feelings for me," she offers, "though I will not name names and I beg your indulgence in this. But sir Rowan knows of it, and is not pleased by it." Her eyes travel to her food, all of a sudden not so hungry.

A bob of her head has Seren agreeing immediately and as the lady goes on, she listens instead of touching the food she had selected. After a bit, there is a slight pucker of her brow, concern in her features. "I think you are very fortunate indeed to have the affections of two knights," assuming the second one is also, since most men were. "Though I think it may be.. quite a burden to carry all on your own. Perhaps Sir Rowan is secure enough in his own affections for you that it would not bother him overlong? And if he has intentions of speaking with Sir Cyndeyrn, he will be making those affections known to all of Salisbury." Her own blush heightens in her cheeks. "Sir Cyndeyrn let his be known to all of Carlion! He requested to court me in front of the King himself!"

"I heard!" Amalthea choruses, chuckling to Seren. "Honestly? I would have been mortified beyond all belief had such a thing happened to me, but," she adds, qualifying, "it is the epitome of a grand, romantic gesture, my lady. How did you feel about it?" the stablemaster asks, turning her attention to the other woman with visible interest.

You check your honest at 10, you rolled 2.

"I believe I was equal parts dazzled, enchanted and embarrassed. All eyes were on me I felt and in that moment, I felt as if I could not breathe and that for one, I was luckier than even the new queen and also.. frightened. I know nothing of being a wife." A blush tints her cheeks as Seren continues honestly. "Even yet, I am afraid. How do you feel about having two men focus their affections on you?"

"I feel quite unhappy about the prospect," Amalthea replies in earnest, heaving a sigh. "I had warm feelings for the first, before sir Rowan declared his intentions. It is only fate that he spoke after, instead of before. Had he been a bit quicker with his realization, I might have ended up in a very different position. But being a wife…" she trails off, brings her golden-dark eyes to Seren's, "… how hard could it be, my lady? What is it that you fear? Simply the unknown?"

"I could not imagine." Seren offers sympathetically, a gentle brush of her fingers to the other woman's arm if allowed. "My father died when I was too young to remember him and my mother runs the manor. She.. is a good person, strong values, though she obviously favored myself and my twin Erion over Acwel. I suppose it is the unknown. Or perhaps.." she blushes all over again, deeper pink than before. "Perhaps I am only making things worse in my mind, and it is not difficult at all?" Meeting her eyes, she tries to give a brave smile. "You will wed Sir Rowan if he requests then?"

Amalthea's smile is not so much brave as earnest, open of countenance and the grin directed to the other woman's gentle touch is reassuring. "I think that our minds are often our worst enemy. Look at the work you do for sir Robert. Marriage will be as naught, compared to such a feat. Cyndeyrn, bless his heart, is not an overly complicated man, my lady. You are enough and far more to keep him happy, and obviously competent enough to keep a household running, or you would not do what you do. Child birth… well, so long as you have an experienced midwife, I suspect you shall do fine." She has seen horses do it before, of course. "This will be your greatest adventure, I think, instead of something you must fear. And as for me… well, I suspect I shall have little enough say in whom I marry. Such is the way of things, is it not?"

The reassurance does indeed help, the butterflies that had taken flight in her stomach settle some. "Perhaps it is that I know so little of Sir Cyndeyrn. I only know what I have seen of him on the mission I accompanied him on, but he.. paid me no mind then. Then at the gifting, he surprised me with the question and since then my life has been so incredibly busy, I have had no time to spend with him. I know only his name, that he is somewhat shy when it comes to.. me. Shy may not be the right word, but for the moment it works until I think of a better one." Her eyes widen at the mention of child birth. "I do so want to be a good wife, a good mother." Finally, Seren considers her meal but hesitates again to offer a reassuring smile of her own. "I wonder will your brother consider your thoughts on the matter. Mine said he would, then he did what he needed to do."

"My brothers are all younger than me, and my father passed away a year past. It is Cyndeyrn and his father who are my the choosers of my fate, I am afraid," Amalthea informs the lovely lady, but she doesn't seem all too upset about the matter. "As for the former, he is a good man, though I think the word you are searching for may, perhaps, be 'inept' in the matters of love." Her grin is cheshire and playful, in between bites. "You could hardly be worse at it than him, trust me on that. Have you set a date already?"

"I am sorry for your loss. There is too much of it, truly." Seren offers with warmth in her tone. "I hope whatever decision is made for you, that you are happy with it and that you get to remain in your position here as long as possible." Likewise, she eats a few bites, savoring the flavor of the food, so deliciously cooked. With a smile, she nods easily. "Inept, perhaps that is it, but I cannot imagine him being inept at anything." Amused though, she leaves it with inept. The final question brings that wide eyed look again and she hurriedly shakes her head, "Not as of yet, unless there has been and I was not informed."

"I have not heard, m'lady," Amalthea rushes to reassure her, that amusement of hers not fading even a whit. "And my wishes for you are the same, Lady Seren. It seems that we are in the same boat, for the time being, both of us wanting to hold onto our positions, yet still trepidly looking forward to the ideal of marriage. I do hope it is all I wish it to be. At least sir Rowan has horses. I shall be well content with that. You have been to Dinton before, m'lday?"

"Thank you for the kind wishes." Seren smiles, completely understanding what she does say. "He has horses. Then there is Sir Rowan himself. And Sir Cyndeyrn. Perhaps you are right. We have the best of them all and we are worried for nothing." Had Seren gone to Dinton before? It does not strike her that she has and she gives a regretful shake of her head. "I have not had the opportunity to go there. My time was spent with my mother at home, learning to take care of the manor and learning from her friend about being a scribe. I do look forward to visiting there."

Amalthea dips her chestnut head, lips quirking at just the corners like this is their secret joke. "I think we are, but that certainly does not mean we'll stop." There's a beat as she savors this notion, a little ghost of a chuckle. "Perhaps when we have more free time, I can give you a walking tour of Dinton, through words? If that is something you might like? To prepare you a little. I am biased, but it is a lovely place."

Seren laughs softly but with genuine amusement as she realizes Amalthea was very right. "I think I cannot stop until I am married and see for myself what sort of wife I will be. I hope a good one, he does so deserve that." The words are spoken softly and she has a slightly dreamy quality to her voice so unlike herself. "Oh, my lady, I would love to know what to expect in Dinton, a tour through words would be perfect." After all, words were Seren's thing, in employment at least. Words she understood. "I would be so grateful." In between talking, she continues her meal, glad of the company.

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