(514-06-30) Streamside Walk
Summary: Rowan and Amalthea go for a walk and discuss obligations and marriage.
Date: 6/30/514
Related: Primarily Holding Your Position and a little bit of Talk of Decor and More
amalthea rowan 

The atmosphere in Sarum is still tense in the aftermath of the Saxon raid. To escape and relax, Rowan had visited Amalthea at the stables and invited her for a walk outside of the city, along a small stream. It was a calm, peaceful summer afternoon - a bit on the hot side, but not sweltering. This time it is Rowan who carries a basket, presumably filled with edible goods.

Remember when she suggested he bring them next time?

He seems more intent on enjoying the walk itself, for now, and Amalthea's company. "Have you befriended your new equine friends, Amalthea?" He asks curiously, though he suspects he knows the answer.

Amalthea checked her proud of 7, she rolled 11.
Amalthea checked her modest of 13, she rolled 1.

Amalthea, the tall brunette at Rowan's side, turns to him and gives a very modest dip of her head. "Ah, well, they are such perfect creatures, it would be nigh impossible to run afoul of them. They make the job easy, and I am fortunate." She's been casting sidelong glances towards the basket which Rowan carries, slightly apprehensive of expression. How much better could he be at cooking? "I had wanted to speak with you about my job, Rowan." More trepid now, broaching this subject.

You check your awareness at 5, you rolled 14.

He continues to look ahead contemplatively as they stride at a leisurely pace, beside one another. "Truly? There are no… conflicting personalities?" Considering how tempermental his stallion could be, it is likely his empathy for horses was much different than the Dinton's. The apprehensive glances towards the basket dangling from his arm are missed, but he inclines his head towards her at the following question. "Oh? About what?"

"None that I have seen. I cannot wait to breed them," Amalthea tells Rowan, before seemingly processing the carnal subject she just brought up. Her cheeks go rosy, and she ducks her chestnut head. "Ah. Erm. But, I wished to speak with you about my employment with the Earl. You see," she says, strolling along beside him at a sedate pace, checking her long stride to match his, "I happened to speak to Lady Seren the other day, about her betrothal to my cousin. She mentioned to me that because he will be the head of the house upon my uncle's passing, she will be expected to renounce her position. Which led me think…" she drifts off, casting Rowan a meaningful glance.

The mind image of horses mating only briefly enters his mind, thankfully, before it is replaced by thoughts regarding Amalthea's potential dilemma. His lips purse and he nods his head. "The lady of the manor is typically expected to tend to the duties of the hearth, while her husband is away. My mother was tasked to do such in the absence of my father." A pause. "Is that what concerns you?"

He stops their walk - not abruptly, but it is clear he intends to give the conversation his full attention now. He turns and his amber eyes meet hers, but they are placid. "You do not wish to relinquish your position," he states. "And I do not blame you. I would not wish to sacrifice my knighthood, after having just attained it a year ago." He wrinkles his nose slightly. "And I never intended to make you forfeit your position, even if we are to be wed. If a lady can marry the heir or the head of a manor and be a knight, surely a lady can also be the lady of a manor and a stablemaster. Additionally, my mother still lives, and the manor is currently her roost." His then expression softens. "There is something else you ought to consider carefully, however… what if you conceive a child? There is some manual labor required for your position. I am not sure what the Earl may think about his stablemaster clearly being with child."

It's evident that this is beyond what Amalthea was considering when she gave the matter of her job thought. Her cheeks heat up even brighter than before, and her gaze strays down immodestly before jerking back upwards to Rowan's face instead. "Ah. Hm." A stangled pause follows. "Erm. Um." Syllables are all the lady seems capable of ejecting from her mouth as she contemplates being with child and all that entails. "I… had not thought… that far," she admits finally, on a squeak.

It is a little difficult for even Rowan to miss the fact that he is being oogled when it's so upfront! His blush doesn't brighten as much - he has already thought over such matters! - but his eyes do shift away awkwardly, looking anywhere and everywhere else. "I understand. Being heir means I have to consider such things, for the sake of the bloodline. I suspect my brothers will have to worry less about it." He blinks twice, eyes inevitably upon the lady he admires once again. "If you do not wish to have children yet, it will be important for me to know…"

"Oh, it is not that," Amalthea replies quickly, taking a moment to nibble her lower lip. "I am not averse to the notion. I simply had not thought /quite/ so far ahead. I suppose," she offers, now that the notion has settled in her brain, "that that would be the Earl's decision, when such a thing might happen. If your intention was to wed me, of course. I would not wish to assume such a thing."

Rowan smiles, with some relief. "I will not stop you from doing what you love, Amalthea. Your happiness is precious to me." His teeth gently graze his lower lip. "Truth be told, I'm caught in between wanting to enjoy our courtship and being afraid someone else may ask for your hand before I do. I am not someone who rushes into my decisions but… Sir Martyn's confession has told me you have no trouble catching the eye of other men. And I really can't expect anything less."

"When it rains, it pours it seems," Amalthea replies, a light teasing note to her tone. "I have spent 22 years in relative anonymity, and now all of a sudden men take notice all at once. I do not think sir Martyn would do such a thing, but I cannot promise my cousin will not try to make another strategic match should the opportunity present itself. If it heartens you to know, the idea of such a thing happening bothers me quite a bit."

"If I asked your cousin for a betrothal, instead of simply permission to court you, would you balk at the notion?" He studies her closely as he asks the question, sensitive to any sign of disapproval. "We have not known each other for long but I can understand your apprehension at the idea of being wed to a complete stranger." He dips his head. "And we needn't marry right away…"

Amalthea's smile blossoms like a pretty flower, unfurling across her lips. She reaches out a gentle hand to his arm, placing it there with a soft touch. "I would be pleased to be betrothed to you, Rowan. Though," she adds, "I imagine we both might wish for a lengthy betrothal? I cannot imagine you like the notion of marrying a woman you have only just met. You seem to me a bit more cautious than I am."

Her reply is met with a soft chuckle from the Wylye knight. "I'm not cautious enough, according to some." Rowan leans forward to peck her cheek, before lifting the basket still indolently dangling from his arm. "Before I finally meet with Cyndeyrn, shall I show you how terrible of a cook I am? It may be a good thing to discover beforehand." Not that knights are sought after for their culinary prowess to begin with, but…!

Amalthea checked her cowardly of 10, she rolled 8.

Amalthea's eyes, they drift towards the basket and she swallows visibly. "Ah, do you know… my stomach has not been feeling all that well today… and I have been enjoying this walk ever so much, Rowan. Perhaps," there is a sweet smile sent his way, a distraction tactic, "we should just continue our walk? It is such a lovely day, and I am much relieved that you do not mind that I have a job and…" And she finally runs out of air and stops rambling on nervously.

You check your merciful at 10, you rolled 3.

Rowan doesn't seem terribly surprised at her reaction - he did just admit they were terrible. His grin doesn't leave his face and he sneaks his hand into the basket, only to produce a green apple in his hand, which is then extended towards her. "Very well. This is for your favorite horse, then, plucked from our orchard." Once she takes the fruit, his hand retreats and moves so it may hold hers. "Would you be interested taking a trip down the Wylye in one of my boats? You can then visit."

Scandalous! Amalthea curls her hand around his, not soft and dainty like most ladies, but rough and strong, weathered. The apple is tucked into her other hand reverently. "You, sir, are a true gentleman." She looks infinitely relieved when there's no further baked goods forthcoming. "I would be very interested. Oh, did you know, I met your brother Steffan the other day! I believe he mentioned how beautiful Wylye was."

Hearing his brother's name prompts an arched brow from him. "You did?" He looks aside at her again as they return to their walk along the stream. "I hope he was just as gentlemanly as I." Though he knew, in many ways, Steffan is even more polite than he is. "You would be his family, too, if we were to marry."

"He was exceedingly polite," Amalthea replies, the corners of her lips curving in some private joke, that she shares moments later. "I got the impression that perhaps you were the wild one of the two… which was slightly odd, as I cannot picture you being such. Any confessions you'd like to make?"

Rowan clicks his tongue and shrugs. "I am more… off the cuff, I guess you could say? I did act out and get in trouble more in our youth. Childhood is the time for such things, wouldn't you agree?" He makes a thoughtful hum. "I have matured since our father passed, I'd like to believe. His legacy is important to me."

Amalthea studies Rowan's features for a long, thoughtful moment, and then a laugh bubbles up from her throat, light and amused. "I still cannot see it. I regret to tell you that I am still full of trouble, though all of the unintentional kind, if it sets your mind at ease. I feel like you were born as steady and dutiful as you are, though!"

Indeed, a wolfish smirk on Rowan would make him look far less like Rowan! It doesn't seem like Amalthea is going to see such a thing on his face today. He does, however, seem noticeably happier in her presence; something he does not care to hide. "Hm. You haven't been troublesome at all." Not yet, anyway! "But… I can think of worse things to be called."

And thus, they continue their leisurely walk and idle chit-chat, before duty calls and they have to go their separate ways.

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