(514-09-14) An Honorable Man
Summary: After her victory in the first round of the falconry contests, Lydia is congratulated by Joachim and meets his sister.
Date: 14 September 514
Related: Falconry Round 1: Completing the Horton Sweep
joachim lydia vesper 

Lydia hoods Lilith, but not without murmuring a soft, "You've done very well, my darling." as she does so before handing the merlin off to a Horton man-at-arms to take back to her cage. After a few moments of making sure that Aeson is long gone, she begins to make her way toward the stands, a broad smile on her face.

Joachim checked his reckless of 10, he rolled 14.
Joachim checked his prudent of 10, he rolled 6.

As most of the crowd is in place to watch the next events, Joachim is making his way down to meet Lydia after she hands off the falcon and he smiles, able to control the urge to sweep her up into a hug in congratulations as the knight instead smiles. "You did great, Lydia! It seems that fortune is following the Horton House this day." Especially since Niclas had defeated him earlier in the day in the joust.

Lydia checked her chaste of 13, she rolled 17.
Critical Success!
Lydia checked her lustful of 7, she rolled 7.

Lydia is swept into the hug with a soft cry of surprise, her feet momentarily leaving the ground as he holds her. Looking up at his smiling face, she finds herself momentarily caught up, and maybe only partially to make sure she doesn't completely trip on herself once her feet are set back down on the ground, she throws her arms around his neck, pressing close. And then, with their proximity so near to each other, the next step feels like a natural one, and she hardly has to think about it.

She kisses him. It's just a tight mouthed pressing of her lips against his, and the moment after it happens, she tries to step away, expression horrified. He may well interpret it the wrong way, because while she's mortified she kissed him, he may think she's mortified that she kissed him.

Joachim checked his chaste of 13, he rolled 15.
Critical Success!
Joachim checked his lustful of 7, he rolled 7.

The hug was only meant to be a brief thing - a friendly if perhaps impetious thing that allowed him to show her that Joachim was so completely excited for her victory. And then she kisses him. Yes, it's a clumsy, quick thing, lips to lips, it is probably the first kiss the Christian knight has ever had like that. Then she's pulling away, and he can read the horrified expression on her face.

In the rush and confusion to comfort her, the knight sweeps Lydia back to him and kisses her this time. They both are rather plump of lip as he presses to her fondly, perhaps showing the first sign of his affection for her, before he finds it's his turn to break away, though it is with a dose of reluctance. And the apology that starts to come to his lips dies.

He wouldn't have taken that back for anything, even if he is confused. Was she okay with this?

Lydia lowers her gaze, cheeks pink as she darts nervous looks this way and that. Oh God, did anyone see? Would rumors spread? She seems uncertain of what to do with herself. Surely Wilhelm is amongst the fleet, and she prays that he had his back turned or was otherwise occupied by his own bird, or something. Anything. "I should…I should get back to my family." she mumbles, eyes on the ground.

"Oh." Apparently it didn't go well. Joachim's own expression sinks, the knight looks downtrodden. No, it wasn't something she enjoyed. Closing his eyes for a moment, his own cheeks colored, the knight finally straightens himself up and draws in a breath. Right. Suck it up, buttercup. "Congratulation again, Lady Lydia. I hope you go far in the tournament." With a polite bow of his head, he turns to start off in the other direction, clearly not wanting to bring her further embarassment.

The force of nature that is Vesper de Newton ploughs its way through the crowds, despite being tiny and fragile as a bird. "Make way! Chirurgeon coming through! Urgent business!" she twitters, trying to sound gruff and authoritative with her voice like a husky claret. "Many injuries to mend! Please, give way!" She's headed for the falconry competition, because that's where Joachim said /she/ would be, and Vesper cuts no corners. "Beg pardon! Please, move, sir!"

"Sir Joachim!" He's turned his back and started to move away much faster than she expected. "My family takes supper shortly after sundown during the evenings that aren't held in feast. Please do stop by our tents and share a meal with us. Bring your family, if you wish." It's not an ardent declaration, but it's certainly not the rejection he's possibly presuming upon.

Joachim pauses in his tracks. First she seems embarassed of him, and now invites him to dinner. The knight looks confused, and turns to Lydia. "It would be a pleasure.." that is until he hears the voice of his sister and as Vesper makes her appearance, the Newton's brows furrow. "Injury, where?" he asks, suddenly the stout knight the brick wall that prevents her further approach. Then he considers. "Ah.. Lady Lydia, this is one of my sisters, Lady Vesper de Newton, a chirurgeon.. as she is so proud of being." he says, clearly torn between horror, amusement, and just utter embarassment as he has no idea what to do - did Vesper see?

It's a good question and the diminutive tornado approaching them gives absolutely no indication. "My heart, dear brother! My /heart/! For it has broken, to see you looking so dashing this day? Does he not look /dashing/, lady Lydia?" Vesper intones, raising a hand to block her eyes as if they cannot take her older brother's beauty. "Of course he does! Why, look, over there, how those ladies watch him. They are always doing that."

"He is indeed." Despite her mortification, Vesper's whirlwind air brings a small smile to Lydia's face. "Very handsome. Though if you say it too loudly and too often, it'll go right to his head, and there'll be no living with him. I also have handsome brothers, you see."

"…you are laying down quite the thick base, Vesper." Lydia may be amused, Joachim may very well be terrified. "Your heart is fine, though I think your head needs to be checked." he says, rubbing his side, still sore from the earlier events of the day. "..I should go settle down and take a rest at camp. My side is still slightly sore from the fall I took in the joust.. but I wanted to come cheer you on, Lady Lydia.. I did not give you a favor, I just hoped my presence would bring you fortune." he says, and now, he's making his escape, a last glance towards the lovely Horton Lady that may have taken root in his heart, and the dimunitive Newton that is protective over it.

"Do you hear that, 'Chim? She thinks you're very handsome!" Vesper sing-songs after the Newton beating a hasty, prudent retreat. "But do not let it go to your head!" She turns back to Lydia then, the brightest of smiles on her saucy lips. "It will, of course, go to his head. How could it not? Look at you! You are as beautiful as a sunrise over heaven."

Lydia lets out a little laugh, turning her gaze briefly. "Goodness, you're a charmer." she says of Vesper with good humor. "I was just saying that on nights when there are no feasts, my family takes supper about an hour after sundown, and that Sir Joachim and his family would be welcome. You should make sure he attends, and come with him."

Vesper dimples at the other woman's compliment, and doesn't gainsay it. "I come from a long line of those who think charm a villainous thing," the lady declaims, leaning in a little closer to share the secret with Lydia, "and I have had to be amply charming in order to persuade them otherwise. Joachim, my elder brother, is particularly susceptible, I like to think. You seem susceptible to his lack of charm, hm?" she offers, teasing with a deceptive lightness. "Inviting him to dine with your family?"

Lydia lets out a soft laugh. "Charm is a tool." she says frankly. "As with a hammer, it may be used to good purpose, like bulding a house, or for ill. Tisn't that you have it, it's what you do with it." Companionably, she adds, "I invited both him and his family." she stresses, "They would be pleased to see him again. He stayed with us during one of his border patrols in the north."

"Aaaaah," Vesper allows the breath to escape her lips in a steady stream, the sound melodic still. "I begin to see," the lady muses, and a slow, knowing grin creeps across the cupid's bow of her upper lip, curving the fuller bottom. "It was courteous of your family to extend him hospitality, my lady, and equally courteous for you to do so now, to the rest of my family. Will you walk with me? Talk a little? These knights and their flirtatious ways, you know. Safety and strength in numbers!"

"Certainly." says Lydia, offering her arm. "Where are you expected? A woman of such skill must be in high demand." Once they're prepared to stroll, Lydia can't help but ask casually, "What is it like, back at Newton? Sir Joachim speaks of it fondly, and of course he would."

Vesper checked her proud of 7, she rolled 16.
Critical Success!
Vesper checked her modest of 13, she rolled 13.

"Ah, skill is relative, and mine is relatively unknown," Vesper demures quite prettily, taking Lydia's arm and ducking her own brunette head, and is that the telltale sign of rosy pink upon her cheeks? "I am not allowed away from Newton much, truth be told, and you can guess why, with protective older brothers at every turn and the inclination to be a touch… precocious. Tis a wonder 'Chim escorted me here to partake in the tourney. I think he only did so that I might find out more about you, my lady. I would be happy to tell you /all/ about Newton but first I should like to fulfill my familial obligations. Tell me about you?" she begs, smiling to the other woman.

"That seems a pity." Lydia replies. "Your skill being unknown, I mean. You could do so much good if you had the opportunity." Considering a moment, she inquires curiously, "And how is telling you about myself fulfilling a family obligation?" A smile tugs at her lips.

"Because you see," Vesper elaborates with absolutely no guile at all, "I have been tasked with a quest, and that quest is to find out all about you, my lady, and if I fail in this quest, my brother may never forgive me. I cannot," she lifts a dramatic hand to her bosom, "in good conscience, allow such a thing to come to pass. Tell me, won't you, your favorite color? Your favorite season? Your likes? Your dislikes? What you do when no one is watching?"

Lydia can't help but grin broadly at that. "In good conscience. Of course. I love lavender. The color of the flower. And blue. My favorite season is spring, when the buds are just opening and the world has been bleak, but suddenly you see colors everywhere. The air is filled with promise. I enjoy reading, and writing letters. Playing games like tafl and droughts and fox-and-geese, any sort of game like that." She adds, with a slight air of guilt, "I love presents. It doesn't have to be anything grand. My little nephew brings me little stick men he makes and twins flowers into the twigs, and I just think it's the most darling thing. I enjoy weaving, but I'm not terribly good at it. I don't like," she admits with a wrinkled nose, "Being outside. I can sing a little, but I try not to when my sister Enfys is around, because she's so marvelous." There's a little laugh. "I hope that's enough. Tell me about your brother? What he was like as a little boy. What are his likes and dislikes?"

Vesper listens. It's clear, the way she leans into Lydia, dropping her hand from her bosom and using it to two-handedly clasp the beautiful blonde's arm. She makes soft noises after each point, a little, "ah" here, and a, "hm" there. All the while she keeps pace with the Horton, the wheels of her brain churning as seen through the prancing, dancing of her baby-blues. There is a moment of silence, and then, "I hope you do not think I am coy, my lady, but I cannot tell you, else you will have little to talk with him about. My brother is a good man. A /very/ good man. Words cannot do him justice. I am very protective of him, for all my playful ways. But," there is always a but, "he is a quiet man, and not given over to talking about himself overmuch. His piety… well, is much like the rest of my family's; abundant. Thus, I would lay you a task, if you will?"

Lydia is quiet a long time at that question. "You refuse to offer me the aid I just provided you and wish to task me in turn; you say I must ferret out that which I wish to know but then inform me that he does not speak often. I would hear of this task prior to any agreement." She's careful, Lydia is.

"Exactly!" Vesper replies to that, so grateful that Lydia understands and no breath is wasted spelling it out. "And of course. You are very prudent in your request." It's unclear by her tone whether that's a good thing. "That /is/ the task, you see. Those five things I just asked you? I would have you find them out from Joachim. If you can manage, then you would be a suitable candidate for his bride." This, the chirurgeon's side of her, very precise, very methodical. "Not," she adds, with a dimpling grin, "that it is up to me to choose his bride. I have very little say in such a thing. Tis but a fun game, my lady, something to pass the time, and perhaps… somewhat more. Do you accept?"

"To be his bride?" Lydia stops in the middle of their walk to turn and face Vesper. "Sir Joachim has made no such intention evident to me, nor my family that I am aware of. I should think if he desired such he would seek out my brother Sir Branoc and state his desired intent. As to my suitability, if my station of birth, my skill, and what modest means of speech and knowledge are not enough, no amount of jumping to your tune would render me suitable." And it's very clear that Lydia seems to think that this is Vesper's way of seeing if she's just going to jump and dance on Vesper's game. "I'll tell you what," she says suddenly, "You play me in a game of tafl, and if you defeat me, I'll do as you ask. You play my game and beat me at it? I'll play yours."

One solitary eyebrow goes shooting up on Vesper's unlined forehead, burying itself nearly to her hairline. "Your offer of a game aside, my lady, where did you think my brother's attentions towards you would go?" Did she see the kiss? Did she not? Her bold, blue-eyed stare gives nothing away. "He is an honorable man, in the extreme. He would not pay you the attention he has, were his intentions less than honorable." She slows her stride to a near-halt, extracting herself so she might better face, and thus speak, to Lydia. "I did not say you had to jump to my tune, as you call it. I apologize if it came off as thus. Let's forget all about it." She smiles, bright as a dew droplet in the sun. "It was very pleasant getting to know you, my lady."

Lydia checked her intrigue of 15, she rolled 5.
Vesper checked her honest of 10, she rolled 1.

Lydia checked her forgiving of 10, she rolled 19.
Critical Fail!
Lydia checked her vengeful of 10, she rolled 20.

There's a pause. "I also apologize." she says, slightly strained, but heartfelt. Lydia offers her hands. "I should very much like you and your brother to sup with us. Perhaps by showing you our hospitality, and the people around which I was raised, you will see the best evidence of my worth. But I do have to return shortly. Will you please consider it?"

Vesper's smile remains firmly in place as she clasps hands to give Lydia's a brief squeeze. "My lady, I do not make such decisions, but if my brother asks for my feelings on such a thing, I will certainly tell him that I think it would be a wonderful meal." She dips Lydia a curtsey, by turns elegant and spritely. "God speed, my lady."

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