(514-07-29) If It Be Agreeable
Summary: Caerdin finally visits Aldreda in Laverstock. They find their attraction is not just a passing thing.
Date: July 29, 514
Related: Flustered Flirting
abigail aldreda caerdin 


Summer is well into motion and the lands show it. Laverstock boasts some nice, rolling hills, and fields prime for planting. Much of their land, however, does serve for horses and the large stables connect to a few paddocks. The Manor itself is a hub of activity on a day such as this, though evening is approaching. Many people are starting to make their way back indoors, or at least return from their work. From a field, upon a dappled mare, Aldreda Laverstock approaches the stables at a slow trot. She's dressed in a green bliant with a lightweight black cloak worn over it; the ride having blown the hood back from her head. Her hair, unbraided, ripples behind her. There's a sort of confidence and comfort in her bearing upon her mount. She shows no sign of caught prey, but a bow and quiver can be seen attached to the saddle. No one seems to be in attendence nor is anyone coming out to greet her. She's in an ample position for interception.

Failed.
Caerdin checked his Awareness of 5, he rolled 6.

Coming up the road at a slow trot is Caerdin de Broughton, riding his riding horse on this fine summer day since his charger is still resting up from the battle near Buckholt. There's a cheerful little smile on his face as his eyes take in the Laverstock lands. They were really quite nice, and it made him hopeful that one day Buckholt could be restored to its own former glory. Really that train of thought had occupied much of his attention the past few weeks as Broughton took in survivors of the attack and made sure the people were housed and fed and given duties so they could get back to their normal lives. It might be a little harder of a winter because of it, but it had been the right thing to do. His mind thus occupied, he is completely oblivious to the wonderful Aldreda on her fine horse as he approaches the stables, his eyes staring off distantly into the hills and that smile still on his face.

Success
You check your Awareness at 15, you rolled 2.

While the Broughton may miss her, Aldreda does not miss him. She draws up on the reins and straightens, going still. There's a slight part to her lips and she lifts a hand to self-consciously try to tame her hair as she approaches much more slowly. In all, she looks just as windblown as she did before by the time she's near enough to call out: "Sir Caerdin!" There's a smile on her lips when she changes the angle of her mare to approach the knight. It's not just a pleasant, polite smile. It's almost dopey, really.

Once she's close enough to not shout, the woman's gloved hands work at the reins; gripping tight at the leather. "I was hoping to see you soon."

"Lady Aldreda!" Caerdin pulls up on his reins and turns to spot the young woman approaching him. He returns her smile with one of his own, and thinks nothing of her windblown hair. There is a second where words fail him, but it is only a second. Letting out a breath, he offers her a polite bowing of his head. "I am pleased to hear that. I have looked forward to seeing you again since that day we met in Sarum. How have you been? I am afraid to say that I would have tried to come and see you sooner but duties held me up and have been keeping me rather busy."

Something in Caerdin's mien or words causes Aldreda to blush. She looks down to her hands upon the mare's reins, one hand shifting to reach for the horse's mane. She runs gloved fingers through the dark hair there before risking a glance back over to the Broughton. She's still smiling. It's still dopey. In that way that she likely doesn't even realize she's doing it. Aldreda cannot help the smile. "I had hoped to see you again as well, but I understand that you have duties. The attacks upon Sarum have been terrible to hear of. I hope your family is well?"

Failed.
Caerdin checked his Flirting of 10, he rolled 13.

"My family is well. We were busy bringing in the survivors of the attack on Buckholt into Broughton. It has taken up much of our time and energies but it was the right thing to do. They are our closest neighbor after all. I only hope those that were affected by the events of Sarum can recover quickly." Caerdin glances away a moment, a thought brewing in his mind, but one he will put out of his head for now. "How is your family? Are they all well?" His eyes sparkle with a little something as his smile broadens. "By the way you are smiling, I certainly hope all is well. To see you smile like that makes me think of flowers blooming in the Fall and think of a beautiful Mid-Spring's evening." Okay so he's mixing up some of his seasons in his attempt at complimenting her, but he's a little distracted by her dopey smile.

Success
You check your Flirting at 5, you rolled 4.

Abigail arrives from the East Salisbury.

The explanation of the survivors being brought to Broughton perk brighten Aldreda's own regard. She seems to focus better now. There's less flightiness over her own awkwardness, less self-conscious nature. No, Caerdin has her full attention now. She guides her horse nearer to him, that smile shifting into something broader. "Truly? That is an especial kindness you show, Sir. If you should have any need of support, please let me know. I would be glad to make the case to my cousin to see what we might spare. To take in so many survivors cannot be easy for your lands and people." His compliment, however, throws her off a bit. The mix of seasons and the cadence of the words. Still, perhaps she finds the intent beneath. Or maybe it's flattery nonetheless. "And you, Sir Caerdin, seem to have survived Saxons to keep your promise to ride across the realm to see me." It's almost coy, but unrefined; unpracticed. "A girl might dream of needing rescue from such a knight."

Success
Caerdin checked his Chaste of 13, he rolled 12.

Success
Caerdin checked his Flirting of 10, he rolled 5.

Caerdin blushes slightly at her praise and at her attentions. He likes being the focus of her attention, and thankfully this time no untoward thoughts of her run through his mind. "It is the least that we could do for our neighbors and for those who would stand with all of us against the Saxons. Yes, there will likely be some hardship but they are all working diligently to help us prepare for the winter. Hopefully in the Spring efforts can be made to help rebuild Buckholt so they may return."

There is a pause, and Caerdin's offers the young woman a shy smile. "Oh, the ride was not all that far. Laverstock could be on the otherside of Sarum, although even if I had to travel a fortnight and go from one end of the land to the other simply to offer you a smile, I would do so. And if there is ever a need for you to be rescued, no distance will be too great for me to come and ride to your rescue, my lady."

Annnnd what perfect timing. From the front of the house the door opens and two servant girls leave, heading across the yard towards their quarters. Its easy to glance over and see them. But Abigail just barely squeezes through the door as it is closing, and begins a lazy walk towards the stables in her riding gear. She looks her lovely self, and a few years younger than Aldreda (damn you!), and slows to a stop as she hears the gist of what Aldreda is saying towards the end there. Thankfully Aldie has her back to her. Ahem. She perks her ears and tilts her head, quirking a brow over her sister's shoulder at Caerdin. Mmmhmm. There's no apologies and the up and down she gives the dashing blonde man a once over. The bow and quiver over her shoulders are held in place as she cocks a hip out, arms crossed as she smirks at the man. Caerdin may actually recognize Abigail as one of the assistant Ladies in Waiting to the Countess. What a perfect day to have off from duties to the family. But she seems quite pleased with the reply he gave and gives an affirmative nod to him.

Failed.
You check your Flirting at 5, you rolled 14.

Success
Abigail checked her Recognize of 10, she rolled 7.

The two are on horseback, arranged closely, near the stables. Aldreda is in a bliant and cloak, but her bow and quiver are in attendence. It's late afternoon, so people are still awake and about, but perhaps in lesser quantities than they may otherwise be. The girl draws a halting breath as Caerdin speaks. Well, when he's on point… he's on point. She just stares, lips slightly parted. Oh, no, she doesn't notice her sister nor does she have a snappy retort.

"I'd like that." Pause. Her cheeks begin to burn an intense red. "Not… needing rescue. No, that'd be bad. I mean, that you'd- oh, I- oh." She stumbles at the end there, looking down to her hands; shoulders stiffening in her embarrassment.

Success
Caerdin checked his Chaste of 13, he rolled 7.

Success
Caerdin checked his Flirting of 10, he rolled 3.

Her reaction is more than he could have hoped for, and there are some feelings that swell within him that he is able to channel into pure thoughts of walking with her in a field of roses or a nice midnight stroll through the woods. Pure and nice thoughts. And not even anything with any hand holding! So far it was going much better than their last meeting. "I most certainly hope you would not like needing to be rescued, Lady Aldreda, but be assured, if any such thing were to happen, there is no where on this earth that I would not go in order to ensure that you return here safe and sound. You have my word on that."

Caerdin only notices Abigail because Abigail approaches from behind Aldreda. Had it been in any other direction… he probably would have been completely oblivious to her presence. Bowing his head in her direction, he offers her a faint smile, one that is no where near the type of smiles he has been directing in Aldreda's direction. "Well met!"

Success
You check your Chaste at 10, you rolled 8.

Abigail watches her sister sputter and turn red like that and her eyes go wide. She clasps her hands in front of her chest and looks like she might hug herself for how adorable that is! If only she had some way to capture the way those cheeks turn red. But then she's outted and looks at least a little disappointed. She knows whose side he's on, now! Abigail approaches close the side of the horse by her sister and grins up at her sister. "Lady Aldreda, pardon me, I just couldn't help overhearing my adorable baby sister having such a lovely discussion with an attractive young Heir. I could not refuse the opportunity to come over and be a -thorne- in your side." She nudges with her shoulder and can't help the smile before looking back to Caerdin with an approving smile. "Well met to you as well, Sir Caerdin. I recognize you from your duties and family name." She takes pleasure in giving an approving tone to that statement.

Success
You check your Dex at 13, you rolled 3.

Oh, thank the gods. Aldreda is not in danger of swooning right off her horse. She does, however, feel a touch heady. Her hand shifts to the saddle itself and she seems about ready to dismount; perhaps to lead to the stables. Certainly not to try to lead the Broughton heir off to the loft. Maybe to invite him for a meal and to rest from his trip. Surrounded by family. It's proper, right? "Your word?" A knight's word is his bond, afterall. Her voice quivers, but when he greets someone past her…

…she nearly does fall off her horse. It's not very graceful, but at least she doesn't land on her face. Dismounting when you're barely five-foot is difficult as it is, but when your sister has walked up on you flushing and stammering before an attractive heir? Well, Aldie is lucky to land on her feet. The girl rapidly begins smoothing her skirts and she stares down at the ground as Abigail greets the Broughton knight, cheeks burning.

Success
Caerdin checked his Flirting of 10, he rolled 2.

Success
Caerdin checked his Chaste of 13, he rolled 12.

When Abigail comments to Aldreda about being a thorn in her side, a thought triggers in Caerdin's head. He smiles. "A thorn in her side? I suppose siblings are always like that, are they not? Though please, do not tell my sisters I said such a thing." Chuckling, he returns his gaze to the blushing Aldreda, and again, there is an urge to wish to know her better, to spend time in her presence. "In this instance though, I think I might say that Lady Aldreda does indeed have a thorn or two in her side, though not because of you Lady Abigail, no, it would be because every rose has its thorns, and your dear sister here is the greatest rose found in all of these lands. A rose so singular in nature that poets would write songs of it's beauty and the awe it inspired when anyone looked upon it."

With Aldreda now off of her horse, Caerdin doesn't feel any need to remain on his and he slips off and takes a step forward, closer to Aldreda. She asked him if he had meant his word? Well… he gets onto bended knee in front of her, and says in a clear voice. "Yes, my word, Lady Aldreda de Laverstock."

Abigail is sure to steady her sister, putting her arm around the other woman's waist. There's a bit of a whisper to her from Abi before Abi looks back up to the Knight. The words to her have the girl smile happily. "Oh we do try to be little pains. After all, if we do not make our sibling's lives difficult, how would they learn to overcome adversity?" It seems a simple enough question to -her-. But with the comments about being a rose, Abigail looks impressed and her gaze goes back to Aldreda. "You are too correct, Sir Caerdin. She even has that gorgeous red hue to her cheeks." A finger lifts and she playfully, lovingly taps her sister's nose once. Boop. "She deserves every bit of that affection, though." Annnd he's stepping up and taking bended knee. Oh- oh-! Oh my. Abigail is /thoroughly/ impressed and a hand rests over her heart as she takes a step back to watch this unfold. She -was- going to leave but certainly not now!

Failed.
You check your Chaste at 10, you rolled 12.

Failed.
You check your Lustful at 10, you rolled 13.

Success
You check your Temperate at 16, you rolled 7.

Whatever is whispered to her, Aldreda's cheeks continue to burn. No, whatever those words may have been do not temper the flush that has spread to her throat and collarbone, where the low dip of bliant reveals them. The girl wavers a bit on her feet, dark eyes steadily widening as Caerdin goes to knee before her. There's a slight quickening to her breathing and even the *boop* to her nose from Abigail cannot sway it. She's at a loss for words and finds herself stepping nearer to the Broughton. Though she may wish to throw herself upon him for all the stirring his words cause, she settles for reaching out in an attempt to touch fingertips to his cheek.

"You flatter me, Sir Caerdin. You have people… beyond your own to care for and you find time not only to see me, but to- to-" She's at a loss for words once again, seemingly frozen in place. The last two words to leave her lips come out at only a whisper: "Thank you."

Success
Caerdin checked his Modest of 13, he rolled 7.

Failed.
Caerdin checked his Lustful of 7, he rolled 18.

Success
Caerdin checked his Chaste of 13, he rolled 9.

Critical Success!
Caerdin checked his Awareness of 5, he rolled 5.

Caerdin remains where he is, looking up at her. His eyes look at the hand that nears his cheek. There is a small part of him that wants her to touch him, and wants to reach up and cup her hand against his cheek. A larger part, and the part that wins out pushes that very thought away and instead focuses his attention on the woman and not the hand. "You are very kind to say such things, my lady, but to care for others is an important part of my faith. What sort of knight, nay, what sort of man would I be if I could stand by and watch others hurt and do nothing, but that is not all. No, I have found your company to be quite welcoming, and I told you that I would come and see you again. If I said such a thing and then never made good on my word, then again… I ask you, what sort of man would that make me?" He rises then, his eyes meeting hers, his attention mostly on Aldreda, but he's perceptive enough to at least remember that Abigail is there. He has the presence of mind to at least give her an apologetic look and a smile… sort of a, yes, I am flirting with your sister. Sorry!

Abigail watches all this from a few feet away and she can't help it as her sister steps closer. Her hands lift to her face, covering her nose and mouth as she looks on with wide eyes. She's almost touching him! Ohhhhhh my. Ahem. Frozen in place, she's afraid to move for so many reasons - not the least of which is that she doesn't want to back into a horse. Buuut as he continues and rises her hands fall slack by her side and she stares at them with wide eyes. When Caerdin smiles to Abi like that, though, all she can manage is an awkward little curtsie before she realizes how dumb that was. She's nearly feeling the same thing her sister is and she turns quickly to take Aldie's horse by the reigns and walk it a few steps before reaching for Caerdin's. Ahem. Yes. Someone should take care of these beasts.

Failed.
You check your Chaste at 10, you rolled 12.

Success
You check your Lustful at 10, you rolled 1.

He may avoid the touch, but Aldreda cannot. Her hand remains partially raised and quivering. She watches Caerdin stand and wavers a touch upon her feet. "No man I would consider-" And luck alone stills her tongue. She must be warming with all that flushing and her hands rise to the clasp of her cloak. Sorry, Abigail, there's only one person in Aldreda's world at the moment. The cloak is released and falls to be caught within hands. The summer bliant shows a touch shoulders and cleavage and she may very well be trying to stand in such a way to amplify these things. "I… I would be remiss if I did not offer you a meal, Sir Caedin. You rode out all this way and I have not yet extended proper hospitality. Please, let me see you fed and your thirst slaked."

But which thirst?

Success
Caerdin checked his Chaste of 13, he rolled 11.

Critical Success!
Caerdin checked his Flirting of 10, he rolled 10.

No man she would consider? So did that mean that she was considering him for something? The very thought of that causes him to suck in some air and let it out slowly, trying to calm his nerves and avoid blushing like a young boy. And then the cloak is released and there is more of Aldreda to behold… but behold it he does not. No, his eyes remain locked on hers, a warmth in his gaze. "I rode all the way out here to simply see you smile, Lady Aldreda. Yes, a meal and something to drink would be most welcome, but it is not necessary." There is a pause.

"To see you smile is like waking up early and watching the sun rise into the sky. It lightens the heart and gives one hope that there are good things to come. There are so many compliments that I would give you and there are some that I have already tried to give you but have failed because my tongue failed me at the time, but you should know that of all the things that exist in God's creation, the fairest of all of them is you."

Abigail walks backward, watching with a dumb grin on her face while this hunky Heir and her sister hit it off. She nearly cackles when she notices the way her sister is trying to show herself off. Yep, this is easily the best thing to happen all summer and the eldest Laverstock girl is living this up. She's just inside the stables when she hears the last comment from Aldreda and there's the sound of a snort and a follow-on giggle. Tying up the horses quickly, she moves to lean out of the doorway and watch with a peek around the stone. Abi seems just in time to hear the rest. As he speaks she can feel her knees go weak. Oh this is perfect. Sinking to the dirt, she watches from the corner, grinning and looking lost in the romance of the moment. Hands clasped tightly in front of her face, she just stares back at Aldreda to see what happens next. She's soooooo telling mom and dad about this. …Okay maybe not dad. Definitely mom. And Elrick. And Lainn. Definitely Lainn, too.

Success
You check your Dex at 13, you rolled 11.

There's almost a slackening in Aldreda's features. The smile fades, but only as her look shifts to one of awe. The woman's hands rise, clasping just before her chest and her knees… wobble. She looks like she might stagger and fall. She remains upright and that dopey sort of smile returns. The girl, however, cannot find words in the moment. Likely she doesn't want to risk what's just been said to her. Rather, she simply offers a — trembling — hand towards him, palm up in invitation. Abigail could still be standing right there and the younger Laverstock wouldn't even notice. No, no. She's turning to profile, extending — cloak draped over it — her other hand to gesture towards the small cottage attached to the stables. It's a silent invitation, but at least the intent should be clear.

Failed.
Caerdin checked his Chaste of 13, he rolled 19.

Critical Fail!
Caerdin checked his Lustful of 7, he rolled 20.

Caerdin rolls 1d20 and gets (5) for a total of: (5)

Success
Caerdin checked his Awareness of 5, he rolled 1.

Because Caerdin is paying so much attention to the lovely Aldreda… he sees her wobble and nearly stagger. He takes a single step forward, a hand lifted towards her with every attention to help catch her should she fall or stumble to the ground. When she seems to have righted herself, he gives her a moment or two before lowering his hand. Just to make sure that everything was okay and things seem to be okay because Aldreda was leading him towards a small cottage for lunch. How convenient since the stables were right here and that meant less of a walk to the Great Hall. She was really very thoughtful, and that made him smile. Quickening his pace, he follows her towards the cottage.

Abigail watches them with wide eyes, especially when Aldreda offers that hand to lead him to the cottage. Oh. My. God. Her eyes bug out from her head and she almost has to stifle the gasp as she leads him away towards the house for lunch. She wants to call after them, to shout something, but she doesn't even know what that might be. Once they get far enough she groans at herself and falls backwards into a pile of hay and giggles mercilessly to herself. Maybe she -won't- tell anyone. Yet. A good sister wouldn't blather this everywhere. No, she'd hold it for /blackmail/.

It could be worse. It could be calling for a picnic lunch, somewhere… remote. Maybe a field of flowers? Instead, it's the familial cottage. Not the Great Hall, no. Apparently, Aldreda and Abigail and their branch of the family live in a cottage near to the main Manor, but separate. It's small, but not tiny. When she opens the door, a couple younglings go running out and away. She looks a touch embarrassed, but family is family. The door opens to a large hearth-style room. Kitchen, tables, storage. There are other rooms branching off. Their mother is not home, a small grace, but there are some of the younger sorts off in another room. The fire is going and what is likely intended to be dinner cooked upon it. "I believe I even have some tarts from breakfast leftover." The familiarity of the kitchen washes over her and she finds some sort of stability in the room, even if she still feels like she's floating. "Would you prefer wine or ale- oh and please, sit. You must be weary."

Side-stepping the youths who come running out of the cottage, Caerdin turns to watch them for a second before slipping inside the cottage. Giving the place a cursory glance, the smell of whatever is cooking reaches him. "Something certainly smells good." He wonders who was preparing it, he assumes it was neither Abigail or Aldreda since both of them had been riding and had bows. "A tart sounds wonderful, thank you, and some watered wine will be fine. Thank you, Aldreda." He smiles at her then and takes his seat, watching her as she moves around. There are some questions that he had on his mind but he wasn't sure exactly how to phrase them. Maybe he should start off with something simple. But what was simple?

In a sense, Aldreda seems at home in the kitchen. She moves through it with a sort of ease. The small ones have a resemblence to her. Younger siblings, it'd seem. It does relax her, finally, and the blush fades. The smile, however, stays put. One of those smiles that is small on the lips, but overtakes the entirety of her features and bearing. After hanging up her cloak, she gets to work. Dinner is checked upon, but only to be stirred. Some kind of stew, perhaps. Soon enough, there is a tart placed before him, as well as a goblet with watered wine.

Unfortunately, that's when she finds herself simply standing by the knight's shoulder, staring at the table's surface. Yes, something should be said, but it would seem that the Laverstock cannot find her voice, either.

A part of Caerdin enjoys seeing Aldreda so at home here, and at ease. It's nice to see someone in a place where they can feel themselves, and it gives him something to focus on, that is until the tart is placed in front of him. Shifting in his seat, he gestures to the seat near him. "Please, sit. Your presence brings me peace, Aldreda." He waits for her to sit before taking the first bite of the tart and swallowing it down with some of the watered wine. "This is quite good. Compliments to whoever made it." There is a pause and then he's talking again. "I am sorry if any of my compliments earlier went too far… there is… something about you that draws me to you, Aldreda." Wait, did that come out right? "Please, forgive me. I should put some more of this tart into my mouth before I say anything stupid." And in goes another bite.

Failed.
You check your Chaste at 10, you rolled 14.

Critical Fail!
You check your Lustful at 10, you rolled 20.

Failed.
You check your Flirting at 5, you rolled 10.

When he bids she sit, Aldreda does, gathering the skirts of her bliant carefully when she does so. She may perch somewhat at the edge of the chair, but it seems to be more due to nerves than in any attempt to 'woo' this Broughton. "I made the tarts," she admits, quietly. "I enjoy baking." There's a bit of a smile, but it broadens as he speaks. "No, you… you did not." Her words stammer and she seems to opt for honesty rather than any form of flattery.

"It's just that no one has ever spoken such things to me before. I don't… quite know what to do. I don't feel worthy."

Critical Success!
Caerdin checked his Flirting of 10, he rolled 10.

Aldreda's words make him swallow down the tart as he begins to shake his head. "Aldreda, please, I do not want to hear such words come from you ever again. You are worthy of anyone who is alive right now or who has ever stepped foot on this earth." Save one. "If no one has ever spoken things to you before, well, I can only think that those men were either close family or fools. How could any man not look upon you and see something of such beauty that it is worthy of being carved into stone so that a thousand years from now some young man will come across it and wonder if such a woman ever truly drew breath or if she was the figment of some fool's imagination."

He seems to recall that there is a tart in front of him, and some wine. Having the good sense to at least look a little embarassed at his outburst, he gestures at the tart. "Besides, you are quite good at baking. This is delicious."

Failed.
You check your Chaste at 10, you rolled 17.

Success
You check your Lustful at 10, you rolled 5.

And then there's more. Words not just made of flattery, but she can tell there's something more. Aldreda just stares at the man before her. As if a part of her cannot believe he exists. She just stares and wonders and she finds herself leaning forward. It's terribly forward — terribly — not just in the physical sense. She reaches for his arm, fingers extending for the knight's bicep. It's to balance herself, perhaps, and if she catches ahold of fabric her fingers will curl in. The movement is aimed to allow her to place a kiss upon his cheek, but it puts her so near his lips and so near practically being in his arms. It would seem she can only restrain herself so long.

Failed.
Caerdin checked his Lustful of 7, he rolled 8.

Success
Caerdin checked his Chaste of 13, he rolled 11.

Caerdin is just about to put another piece of the tart into his mouth but then he notices Aldreda starting at him. Well, perhaps his speech was a little much. He got a little carried away there. He smiles and then freezes as she leans forward. Oh. This was unexpected, but not entirely unwelcome. It's not like he's ready to pick her up and carry her to the back, it was just that he was blushing now and not exactly aware of what he should do right now. The only thing he can think of doing is letting it happen. His cheeks are red and there's a murmured, "Aldreda." Then Caerdin is left wondering how he should handle this whole situation.

Failed.
You check your Chaste at 10, you rolled 13.

Success
You check your Lustful at 10, you rolled 3.

It's bold, but she is pagan. And perhaps it's a sight better than if she were to swoon or worse: squeal. Few like a squealing lady. Aldreda is shaking, just a measure. Quivering might even be the better word. As if she's afraid it's some spell that could break at any moment. It's not as if she's undressing herself or trying to lead him away… But she cannot stop herself. He allows the kiss to his cheek and the way he says her name- so familiar. "Caerdin," she replies before tilting her head. This time, her intent is to kiss him properly. She's hesitant, but the intent is there: so close and so unable to pull herself away.

Failed.
Caerdin checked his Lustful of 7, he rolled 9.

Success
Caerdin checked his Chaste of 13, he rolled 2.

There are moments in a man's life when there are certain decisions that must be made based on feelings, emotions and just plain gut instinct. Caerdin's mind isn't doing any heavy lifting in this situation as there are a number of new experiences that are being introduced all at once, and all he can fall back on are his own feelings and emotions. Feelings and emotions that are screaming at him to kiss the woman in front of him. Hesitating, even licking his lips once in nervousness, Caerdin leans forward and with a hestitation and shyness that speak of an unfamiliarity with what is happening, kisses Aldreda.

It's a strange place for it, perhaps. The hearth of her own home. Where her sister or mother could appear at any moment to find her kissing a knight. An heir, at that. Aldreda is not experienced, herself. It becomes clear in the kiss that she's not what some like to tease pagans to be. She is not some woman experienced in the ways of physical romance. She is not wholly bad at it, mind, but there's a shyness and hesitation to her. Her lips, at least, are kept soft and her hand remains upon his arm for balance. She lingers for a moment before withdrawing, that flush returning to her cheeks again.

"I… I'm sorry. I overstepped my bounds," with her hand still upon his arm. "I just… had to reward you for those things you said." And in all the tales, such is a reward, yes?

Failed.
Caerdin checked his Lustful of 7, he rolled 19.

Success
Caerdin checked his Chaste of 13, he rolled 8.

Failed.
Caerdin checked his Flirting of 10, he rolled 12.

The kiss is really all that Caerdin could have hoped for and when it is over, his eyes remain closed for several moments, his mind holding onto the memory of it and savoring that moment. When he does open his eyes, he shakes his head slightly and tries to respond to Aldreda, though his voice is a little breathless. "I required no reward and there is nothing you need to apologize for. I will cherish this moment, always." There's the slight desire to lean in and kiss her again, but he is able to hold himself back from that. Perhaps he should consider the tart that was on the table? He glances down at it, still thinking.

"My lady, all the things that I have said so far have all been true, and I am glad that you liked them. Knowing that I can make you smile brings me joy, much like the joy I feel right now" His words come out a little shyly at the end there, almost as if he was trying not to admit how much he liked it. "I… " Another compliment wants to come out then, but he just can't put the words in the order they need to be in to properly say the damn thing.

Success
You check your Romance at 10, you rolled 5.

There is a threading of the fabric of his tunic through her fingers and Aldreda finally settles back upon her chair next to Caerdin. The woman watches him for a long moment, unable to halt or alter the smile that she wears. She might as well be walking upon air. "Please," she says finally, lifting her chin to regard the man. "Wait here." The chair scrapes the floor as she grabs to her skirts, moving swiftly for one of the side rooms. She's not gone long and soon returns with something held carefully in her hand. She doesn't sit, not yet. Rather, she reveals what she has by holding it forth in both hands, fingers unfurling.

A leather cord bears a rough-hewn stone that may perhaps be topaz or somewhat similar set in silver. It's small, but still clearly worth something. "I know it is not a tournament you ride into, but… I would like to ask that you have my favor in battle during these raids, that it may bring you good fortune… and bring you back to me, in continued good health."

Critical Fail!
Caerdin checked his Flirting of 10, he rolled 20.

A faint nod, and Caerdin watches her stand and leave the room. Her absence gives him a few moments to compose himself and to still his beating heart. A glance is given to the tart and the wine, and the wine being the more attractive of the two options, he picks it up and drinks deeply. He had never expected for things to go so well between he and the Laverstock woman, but they had gone well. Extremely well. Well enough that in the back of his mind he was entertaining the thought of speaking to his father. And the very thought causes him to blush a little when Aldreda walks back into the room.

Hesitantly, he reaches up and takes what she is offering him with a trembling hand. "My lady, you do me a great honor." The hand holding the item is pressed against his stomach and he says, "I shall make sure that it stays here… near my heart always, for that is where I shall hold all thoughts of you." Because his heart is in his stomach like all good menfolk. Or he's extremely nervous at all of this and is being a complete and utter fool.

Whether his heart is in his stomach or chest, the intentions are good. Aldreda does giggle, just a touch, but it's a mixture of her own nerves and a level of sheer joy at the situation unfolding. For all the horror at her sister catching them by the stables (and how quickly she knows such tales spread in her family), the young woman is more giddy than embarrassed. Especially after that kiss. She looks towards her seat, then to the partially-eaten tart and the drained goblet.

Trying to keep her mind in the right place, Aldie draws a slow breath. "Would… you like more wine? Or perhaps something else?" And oh, the glances to his mouth may be obvious. As if she's considering kissing him again. For the moment, at least, the lady restrains herself.

Failed.
Caerdin checked his Chaste of 13, he rolled 17.

Failed.
Caerdin checked his Lustful of 7, he rolled 13.

Failed.
Caerdin checked his Flirting of 10, he rolled 18.

Failed.
Caerdin checked his Honest of 10, he rolled 16.

Failed.
Caerdin checked his Deceitful of 10, he rolled 15.

Caerdin still hasn't realized what he's done until Aldreda lets out the little giggle. Blinking, he glances down, notices it, then lets out a nervous laugh. "Oh, I am sorry, I… well…" How was he going to try and explain that? That he was being stupid or a fool? No, though it would be a good explanation. He was being a bit foolish around her, but only because his mind struggled for the right things to do sometimes. She confused him, but in a good way, and how could he possibly explain that?

Oh and she was asking him questions… time to think some more. Or try to. "No, no more wine is necessary. It was very good, and very sweet. Like the tart and your lips." He turns then and starts to point at the tart. Then freezes. What did he just say? His eyes go a little wide and he puts a hand up, and his voice coming out quickly, like a young boy getting caught doing something wrong and trying to explain it away as ernestly but as quickly as possible. "ForgiveMeAldreda. IDidNotMeanToOfferAnyOffense. OrSayThatKissingYouWasABadThing. NoItWasAnEntirelyGoodThing. VeryGood. TheBestThingThatHasHappenedToMeInYears." By the time he's done, his heart is racing and his cheeks are red.

Failed.
You check your Chaste at 10, you rolled 17.

Failed.
You check your Lustful at 10, you rolled 16.

No more wine. It was good and- Oh. Aldreda's still processing what he's said when Caerdin tumbles into the apologies. Color crosses her cheeks and she fears the beating of her heart can be heard not just by the Broughton, but the entirety of Laverstock lands. Surely they wonder at that pounding? The woman wavers slightly, as if trying to find her grounding again. Not the smell of dinner nor the need to play 'hostess' can overcome the feelings.

It's calling their kiss the best thing that's happened to him in years that drives her into motion. And that motion? Is a drive to repeat the earlier shared contact. But this time, Aldreda is less shy about it. She's already standing so near to him, even, from the exchange of the necklace. This time, she leans in with both hands to the knight's chest for balance. There's still a hint of shyness to her actions, but much less than before. Oh, no, for a reaction like that? Caerdin is getting kissed.

Failed.
Caerdin checked his Lustful of 7, he rolled 14.

Success
Caerdin checked his Chaste of 13, he rolled 11.

For whatever reason, Caerdin's bumbling and fumbling about and being a silly fool about the whole thing is working out for him. How? He has no idea, and at this point he's afraid of ever finding out how a woman's mind works. For now he will be happy enough to have Aldreda kiss him again. There is a single moment where he has the urge to sit her on his lap and keep kissing her, but certainly people would be aghast by such a thing if they were to walk in on it. Instead, he slowly stands up, not breaking the kiss as he does so. When he is finally able to do so, he wraps his arms around Aldreda in a very proper sort of fashion and not the pinching of backsides that he might be tempted to do sort of way. He has to admit, he likes the feel of her in his arms. It is… nice.

Or, in this case, prone to extensive teasing. There is the opportunity that one of Aldreda's younger siblings might run through. Or perhaps her mother or sister could walk in. So perhaps, yes, the lap is not the best option. Even if a part of her considered, deeply, doing just that. But this? This might be even better- at least in the Laverstock lass' eyes.

Aldreda's hands shift once his arms go around her; rising so that fingers can curl against the back of the knight's neck. She doesn't break the kiss yet, no. It's like a spell that she holds to desperately, sinking slightly to lean into him. It is nice, the way he holds her.

Failed.
Caerdin checked his Lustful of 7, he rolled 14.

Critical Success!
Caerdin checked his Chaste of 13, he rolled 13.

Success
Caerdin checked his Flirting of 10, he rolled 7.

Failed.
Caerdin checked his Romance of 7, he rolled 12.

Any thoughts of doing anything but kissing Aldreda escape his head as he gently pulls his lips away from hers and then rests his forehead against hers. He doesn't move his hands and he doesn't say anything for a good long minute, preferring to just be near her and hold her like this. When the silence lingers for just long enough, he speaks in a low tone of voice. "When I first came across you in that Apothecary's shop in Sarum, Aldreda, I did not know you but something made me gaze upon you and behold you for the beauty that you are. Since the very first moment I met you, I have come to cherish each moment that I have spent with you. Now… kissing you? I admit I am all very inexperienced in these matters, and for that I am sorry. What do I do, Aldreda?" It also doesn't help that his mind and heart are whirling and beating out of control.

Failed.
You check your Romance at 10, you rolled 17.

The only thing Aldreda does, in turn, as they part, is shift her fingertips slightly up into his hair. Just a light brush against the back of his neck. She draws in a slow breath and shivers, just a bit. Not from cold, no, but the words he says. Her lips curve into a smile and there's a sort of brightness in her eyes- possibly visible from so close. "I don't know," she admits quietly, breath leaving her in a soft laugh. "I… I've never been in this position. You make me forget things, Caerdin. When you're around, all I see is you and- I… Do we talk to our families? Do we wait and see if this continues?" A pause, gaze dropping. "My fear if we were to wait is that one of us might find ourselves in some other arrangement." Much like her cousin, so recently.

Success
Caerdin checked his Romance of 7, he rolled 2.

Failed.
Caerdin checked his Lustful of 7, he rolled 14.

Success
Caerdin checked his Chaste of 13, he rolled 10.

Oh, that was a nice feeling. The feeling of her fingertips brushing against the back of his neck. He even shivers slightly at the touch, and he has to struggle to hold back a few thoughts regarding more things that they could do. For now at least. Swallowing, he nods. "Yes, I… I think that makes sense, Aldreda. I can speak to my father and have him speak with the head of your family. That is… if you would be willing for that to happen." He removes one of his arms from around her and uses that hand to gently touch her chin and lift it so her gaze can meet his. "I am willing, Aldreda. I would not wish to be bound to any other, that much I can say for certain."

Success
You check your Honest at 13, you rolled 10.

They are thoughts that are a continuing eddy in her own mind, but Aldreda also enjoys this moment. Of being in Caerdin's arms and so close to him. Anything else could break that momentum and so she stays. The lift of her chin leads to the Laverstock taking in a sudden breath. The charm of it, the sparks that run through with his touch. All she can do is nod, just marginally. "More than willing," she answers, finally, lips shifting into a smile that steadily becomes broader. "To find myself tied to anyone else now would… I don't know that I could bear it." There is a pause, however, her eyelids shifting. Just a slight lowering and her shoulders move with a small sigh.

"But I ask only… that I not be made to give up my pagan roots." Perhaps given some strength, by knowing a little of his family's background and how recently they have converted. "They are deeply a part of my family and myself, Caerdin. I wish to spend more and more time at your side, but I wish to keep my family near to my heart as well."

Caerdin swallows hard when she speaks. A jolt of… something running through him at her words. He nods. "Very well, Aldreda. I shall speak to my father about this. I… " He shuts his mouth and shakes his head. He's not entirely sure what to say right now. He's quite pleased though, joyful even. Still there is a sobering matter to clear up and he lets himself consider the matter of Aldreda's faith a moment before he tries to address her concerns.

"I am not sure if you familiar with the history of Broughton, Aldreda, but my father is pagan. My mother is from Dinton and she brought over her faith with her, and converted much of the common folk to the Christian faith, though not the one that looks to Rome for guidance. There are still many who remember the old ways in Broughton, and I have never felt the need to push my beliefs onto others. If you wish to remain steadfast in your beliefs, then you should do so. Perhaps Broughton can find a balance between the different beliefs through us, as well as the entire realm as well." He brushes her cheek lightly with his fingers, a warm smile for her on his lips. "No, Aldreda, you have nothing to worry about, and I will never judge you on what you believe."

Success
You check your Chaste at 10, you rolled 1.

There is something of a joy in Aldreda's eyes as Caerdin not only admits to wanting balance, but to allowing her to retain her own roots. Her fingers unfurl from his hair, shifting instead down towards the base of his neck. It's a precursor to a hug that draws her body closer to the knight's. "Thank you," she murmurs. "I think balance for the realm and understanding between people is important. After all, both our religions teach us to care for one another, do they not?" The woman laughs, softly, bringing eyes back up to find his. "I will… speak to my family as well. So that they are aware that word may come from your father soon." There's a bubbly sort of tone in her voice of a barely contained excitement.

Failed.
Caerdin checked his Lustful of 7, he rolled 18.

Success
Caerdin checked his Chaste of 13, he rolled 2.

Oh, a hug. A hug that brings her much closer to him. If he were a man prone to certain weaknesses or vices, perhaps he might think more into this, no, instead he hugs her back in a very polite fashion and lightly presses his lips on her cheek. "You needn't thank me, Aldreda, I say this not because I have an interest in you, rather my interest has always been in building a better community for us all so that we may live happy and full lives. That and a united community who has an interest in building something together is far more suited to stand together to fight off those that would seek to harm our way of life. Still, I do agree with you in that there is much we can learn from one another, and learn we shall. For now be assured that I do not think I could be happier than how I feel right now."

"You will let me thank you," Aldreda teases, a hint of laughter in her voice. Her eyes close at the kiss to her cheek and, well, she's even more loathe to disengage and end that hug. "Perhaps we will be able to work together… I would be glad to help you build that community, Caerdin. It's an honorable goal and one I can certainly feel myself." She has spent time, certainly, trying to educate Christians about pagan history and to share with them the shared goals and roots that they all have. "I…" Another laugh and she shifts, tilting a bit to press her forehead to his shoulder. "I see a lot of happiness ahead."

"Of course, you can thank me any time you wish, Aldreda." Caerdin says it with an amused tone, amusement sparkling in his eyes. "Still, I am glad to know that you approve of my own feelings on the these things. I think it will make everything easier." He wanted to rest his head against hers and just stand there for hours, but that very thought lead to him thinking about other things. Like things that happen after two people got married. Blushing, he gives a nod. "There will be a lot of happiness, Aldreda. If you ever feel anything is wrong or not to your liking, I would have you tell me so that I can make sure that the issue is resolved." There might be a little hint of breathlessness in his voice there.

"Please do the same for me," Aldreda says after a moment, drawing her head back just enough to look to him. Her fingers finally find a way away from the back of his neck, but her hands simply drop to the front of his tunic instead. "I… think we can do great things together, but I've always believed communication is important. My mother and father," the latter slain in battle, "always talked to one another and they were very happy. I will strive to tell you if something bothers me." She's speaking carefully… likely avoiding many of the same trails in thought as he, if the renewed color to her cheeks is anything to speak of.

Success
Caerdin checked his Chaste of 13, he rolled 4.

"Of course, you have my word, Aldreda. I shall always be open and honest with you." Caerdin's eyes glance down as her hands go to the front of his tunic. There is the briefest of moments when he imagines her hands touching his bare chest, but he steels himself against that, bringing his eyes up to meet hers. Hrm, this seemed like a good moment to try and not think about where her hands are at. Leaning forward, he kisses her. A sweet and chaste kiss that is more than what family would do but far less than something that could lead to far more improper things. Besides, he did like kissing her and she had made him feel very happy this afternoon.

Failed.
You check your Chaste at 10, you rolled 18.

Critical Fail!
You check your Lustful at 10, you rolled 20.

Oh, to be certain, with that curl of fingers… there are things that Aldreda finds her mind drifting to, as well. In such vague ways, for the unexperienced never know the true depth and yet… there are mortal desires that one finds stirring deep within themselves in moments such as this. Her eyes flutter closed and she leans up into the kiss. Chaste or no, the Laverstock is taking full advantage of he moment.

Failed.
Caerdin checked his Chaste of 13, he rolled 16.

Failed.
Caerdin checked his Lustful of 7, he rolled 19.

One of Caerdin's arms, the one that is wrapped around her, begins to move down from it's rather proper position (well as proper as it could be) down to her backside, and letting his hand rest on there. It's more than he should do, but he also can't seem to help himself. Kissing her was just so nice. And that kiss? It seems that along with the movement of his hand, the kiss has evolved into something less chaste.

Success
You check your Chaste at 10, you rolled 3.

While Aldreda does not pull away or stop Caerdin, she doesn't make things worse. The woman leans into the kiss, however, holding it. Perhaps it's that decision that they will speak to their families and the relative confidence that this will happen. All those thoughts, those possibilities: they seem so much more near. There is, however, just a small parting of her lips in answer to that change in the kiss. A small showing that despite her holding herself back, Aldreda would like more.

Failed.
Caerdin checked his Lustful of 7, he rolled 15.

Success
Caerdin checked his Chaste of 13, he rolled 8.

And… as soon as Caerdin finds himself wanting to take Aldreda's invitation, his mind gets the better of him and he slowly moves his hand back up and then slowly breaks from the kiss, only to shift slightly and kiss her forehead and pull her in close for an embrace. Resting his head against hers, he begins to murmur. "I am sorry, I do not mean to get too carried away, Aldreda. All I can think about is how wonderful and beautiful you are." One hand comes up and begins brushing through her hair. He liked her hair, it's dark color and how she kept it. "I have one regret right now, that I did not make the trip out here sooner. This entire day has been wonderful. Thank you."

It is perhaps for the best. Aldreda was finding her own restraint beginning to dwindle. Her thoughts turning to the desires that burned deep in her belly. There's a sort of quickening to her breath that has to be caught, but she smiles and gives a small, vaguely breathy laugh as she's drawn against him. "Please do not apologize. I don't think you were any more carried away than I." His fingers, through her hair, lead to a slight lidding of her eyes and a small, contented sigh. "You have been busy, protecting your lands and the people of Salisbury. It is a noble effort, Caerdin. You did find your way here and it has been lovely."

As much as Caerdin likes running a hand through her hair and being close to her, alas all good things cannot last forever. He lets out a small sigh and takes a step back. "I should make sure that my horse is not getting too bothersome with me leaving him in the hands of others. I will return shortly and I would like to at least sup with you and your family tonight, if you will allow me to. I would like an opportunity to let them know them speak with me and ask any questions they might have, to help ease this entire process." He's relatively sure that his own father will just be glad that his son is coming to him with an option instead of making him go out and find someone for Caerdin.

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