(515-03-01) Offensive Kindness
Summary: Bryce de Baverstock comes across his cousin Griffin. Flirting with a barmaid is observed, and an offer made.
Date: March 1st, 515
Related: None.
griffin bryce 

Boar's Beard - Sarum

Lined with dark wood, the atmosphere here generally matches the wood. Smoke filled on some days, this tavern can fill up quickly once night falls. Usually music is provided by some traveling musician or another. The name is echoed in the motif, with several wooly Boar's heads adorning the walls. Namely, a large one above the entrance from the street outside and a matching one over the bar itself. A pair of smaller such heads are over the mantle of the fireplace here. This is the best place to get a few drinks and, some evenings, a decent meal even.

The weather just sucks. It's raining. The wild wind tears off some weaker branches from the trees and carries them all around the streets together with old leaves. Just homeless people and restless souls may be found outside on this stormy evening in early spring. All others gather in their rooms or taverns to warm up. Sir Griffin de Baverstock decided that a din in the tavern is the best amusement during such hours.

So, he may be found sitting behind the corner table with a jug of ale and a mug. There are some slices of cheese, meat and bread on the table too. A bit of an oddity, Griffin wears black studded leather armor with bits of simple chainmail creating a single short sleeve on his left arm. A leather bracer on his right arm and a leather bracelet on his left wrist. He wears a copper torc with bronze ends around his neck along with a few wooden or stone pendants, including a cross in the style of British Christians hanging from leather thongs. Black leather pants and boots complete his look.

A dark cloak and a sword are laying beside the man on the bench. His feet is tapping on the ground according to the music of the bard. A wide dizzy flirtatious smile is dancing in his features, while his eyes are scanning all the women in the room.

Bad weather, and Bryce de Baverstock is in Sarum, on some business with the Earl. Not the best business, obviously, as can be seen from the rather sombre mien he wears, as he shoulders his way into the inn, the dark woollen cloak drenched from the downpour, and he probably soaked to his bones beneath the ringmail he wears underneath. His dark hair, kept relatively short but still usually looking quite a mess, is plastered to his head, and his angular features look positively damp, when he gestures towards the barmaid to hand him some cloth of sorts to wipe off his face. The gesture of the brusque authoritative kind, that will not take a ‘no’, and so the girl obeys, and hurrying to follow the non-verbal bidding she gives him a relatively clean piece of cotton fabric she found somewhere behind the counter.

The Baverstock offers her a faint smile and a nod in turn, then gets rid of his cloak and deposits it somewhere before the hearth, where a fire is crackling. Straightening, he then takes a moment to have a look at the common room, dark eyes sweeping over the tables - until they come to linger on a familiar face.

Just in the moment the barmaid returns to her duties, and as part of such, approaches Griffin’s table as if to check on his jug of ale. Catching that flirtatious glance of the blonde knight, the girl blushes.

Still standing as he is, Bryce watches the unfolding spectacle with an unmoving face, his eyes glinting with some sentiment - annoyance, amusement? Who can tell?

The handsome blonde knight smiles broadly to the maid and pushes the empty jug toward her, “Please, fill it!” He asks softly and looks her over like a predator, who is ready to tackle a gazelle. “Have you ever hold a sword in your hands?” The man gently pats the pommel of his weapon, but his eyes stay on the girl, “Such a beauty as you should know how to defend herself! If you wish, I could teach you after your work…” His smile broadens even more and after a tiny pause he adds, “You could hold my sword. The huge sword of a real knight,” he winks and it’s not just a sword he has in mind, but adds to sound more innocently or more scary, but luring, “which sliced many throats of the enemies of our lands!”

He does not notice Bryce, of course, since Bryce is far from being pretty young woman or at least being super handsome, almost pretty man.

Of course. Bryce is not pretty, nor particularly handsome. Even if his features would catch the eye, mostly due to those striking angular cheekbones. He is a presence though. And as the Head of a Manor, he emanates the authority of his position. One or two other patrons in the room turn their heads, shooting him curious glances, when the Baverstock remains standing as he is, one hand resting on the back of a seat he was about to claim, where he now leans on instead. Content to observe for now, his lips curl slightly when he overhears the words Griffin addresses to the barmaid.

The barmaid's eyes fall to the handsome blonde knight, and she smiles; the wide smile that tells she is impressed with his gaze, flattered even. Following his request she leans over and reaches for the jug, aware this brings her closer to the knight and allows him a better view of her form. "Nay," she replies with a giggle, when asked about the sword. "Never held one, Sir." Then he continues, and a deep blush creeps over her features. "That sounds… interesting, Sir?" Her tone suddenly slightly breathless. She straightens, and her grip tightens about the handle of the jug.

And even if Griffin seems to be oblivious to the presence of his cousin, the girl finally notices the stare lingering on them, when she catches Sir Bryce's glance. Her smile dims somewhat, and murmuring "I'll be back in a moment," to Griffin, she will pull away from the table to fetch him more ale.

Her steps will take her past Bryce de Baverstock, who offers her a brief nod and a glance, before his dark eyes return to his relative. His hand leaves the back of the chair, and he moves over, meeting Griffin's gaze and holding it with his own. Picking the seat opposite from Griffin at his table, Bryce sits down, not waiting for an invitation to do so. "Cousin.", he greets, the tone calm and casual, his features twisting into a faint grin. "It has been a while. I didn't expect to meet you here, of all places…?"

When the barmaid leans to take the jug, the man’s gaze drops to her clevage, of course. Though, it takes just a second. Then he looks back into her eyes, holding that gaze there, studying her, showing that he cares for her. Women love it, right? The man looks pleased, that his offer interests the girl and he parts his lips to add something more, but…

But someone scares the girl off. Someone makes her more worried or disturbed. So, the man follows his target to meet the reason why the gazelle runs away for now. Griffin frowns and his eyes are fixed on Bryce’s while the head of the house walks closer. Griffin leans back in his seat and crosses his leg under the table. Though, his arms stay dropped to the sides, “You just chased her off. Why?” He rolls his eyes and adds, “Drinks are good, meal is tasty and girls just amazing. Why I can’t be found here? The question is… what such a serious man like you can do here? Shouldn’t you like… count money and try to do important stuff?”

"Comely lass, eh?", Bryce responds to Griffin's complaint about him scaring the girl off. His brows lift just so, and one corner of his mouth as well. A faint wry grin, that. But such has been Bryce's way since he was a child - the earnest, brooding boy he had been, who grew up to be an earnest, brooding knight - and now Head of Baverstock Manor. Quite the opposite personality to that of the easygoing Griffin. "I am glad you are enjoying yourself," the dark-haired Baverstock allows, even if his gaze lingers on Griffin in a rather assessing manner. "And in fact…", his lips twitch into a faint smile that shows little mirth, "I am here on official business. Counting money? I wish it were so. To be honest, last year has cost us rather than brought us much of an income…" He straightens in his seat, the head turning to glance towards the barmaid at the bar. "An ale for me as well, if it's not too much of a bother." The courtesy of the words hardly reflected in the commanding tone he uses to place the order.

“Huh?” Griffin yawns not even caring to cover his mouth, “Official business? And what that would be? Wait! Let me guess…” he drawls and eyes Bryce for a few moments, “Something political. Something about alliances, marriages and babies? Everyone are just talking about that. I can swear I counted more than twenty pregnant ladies on my way here!” He laughs, “More mouths to feed….l Anyway,” The man leans on the table, “Did you hear anything what a knight could do? My own incomes are kind of close to an end. So, would be great to do some sort of a job, ya know.”

"Such business," Bryce replies after a moment of consideration, "is in fact to inform Earl Robert that Baverstock will pay their taxes later than expected." The mirth has dimmed from his expression, when he admits that. "As for alliances… With our cousin Ormund wed last autumn, and me as well… The upcoming wedding of our other cousin Martyn soon happening on Cholderton lands… I'd say there are no further matches to make in a while." As such festivities cost money. "As for pregnancies…", here a faint glint enters his dark gaze, the hint of a smile sneaking onto his angular features, "I've noticed that too. Seems like there is still hope for Salisbury, with the next generation of knights already being so diligently worked on."

Griffin's laughter elicits a faint smile; which fades when Bryce hears the question. "If you need something to live on, I'd suggest you'd seek a position here with the Earl. You are of course welcome to come home to Baverstock as well… Times… may be a little hard, but… I won't turn a relative away when he comes to my doorstep." The offer comes with a look of genuine concern and helpfulness.

Griffin sighs, “You can’t pay taxes on the right time. You won’t be able to pay me too. So, I do not think that I may be of help to you or that you can be of help to me. Serving here… it does not impress me. You know, they require some sort of… not me!” Griffin laughs, “I prefer quick jobs, where I can do things in my own way. The…” The smile fades from the man’s features. His eyes wander to the spot on a wall and he stays quiet for few thoughtful moments.

Griffin does not finish his previous thought and decides to find a more cheerful matter, “How’s your wife? Is she good or one of the bossy ones? Marriage life must be so boring and difficult, when the life has so much to offer!” And he finds the barmaid again with his lustful look.

Bryce frowns. "I can offer you a regular meal and a roof over your head, Griff. That's more than you can expect here in Sarum, if you don't seek an office of sorts at Earl Robert's court." A sharpness there to his tone, as he regards his cousin with narrowing eyes. "There has been plenty of work for your kind last autumn, as swords were needed against the Dorset threat. Who knows, animosities will flash up again, with the return of spring.", Bryce continues after a moment, when Griffin has fallen silent. Slipping that advice in, before Griffin inquires about his wife. A question the older Baverstock will reply to with warmth evident in his gaze and voice. "Lysanor… is well enough. The best wife I could hope for." He ponders to add more, but then lets go of the thought, not voicing it. "And you are wrong. Married life is much easier, as it lets us shoulder the responsibilities and duties together, sharing the load." Dark eyes follow the blonde Baverstock's glance towards the barmaid, and the ghost of a smirk appears, twisting those angular features ever so slightly. "I doubt /she/ can help you shoulder anything, apart from the brief wave of your flashing need, cousin." He shrugs, leaning back then in his seat when the barmaid returns and hands him a mug of ale.

"There you go, sir," the girl offers, eyes downcast when addressing Sir Bryce; her attitude warms considerably, when her eyes find Griffin, and she leans once again over, to place that heavy heavy jug of ale, freshly filled, before the handsome knight, offering him a wink. "And you." Holding his gaze, she smiles, lifting a brow ominously. Before she pulls away again, to continue her duties.

“You are so generous! Maybe, I will use your offer at least for now. I kind of miss Baverstock and my dear cousins. Free meal and roof over my head sounds perfect!” He grins and then shakes his head disapprovingly, “You are just recently married. Wait until she will no longer be beautiful and charming, but tired from babies and grumpy. Then you will understand what…”

The barmaid comes back. Griffin is quiet but his hungry gaze on the young woman is the best comment she can expect. Griffin won’t leave until she finishes her work for today. Once the woman moves to take care of her duties, Griffin’s eyes follow swaying hips, “Then you will understand what a treasure one of these can be. Wives are wives, but lovers understand you much better!” He winks at Bryce and raises the jug toward the man, “For family union, right?”

"You haven't seen Lysanor yet? As I can hardly believe your words if you had. She is of an angelic beauty… And for a very long time I dared not to hope I would be granted her hand; and her affection.", Bryce counters, brows wrinkling a bit at his cousin's bold words. "And in fact, I have never felt the urge to engage in dalliances of any kind. I do not blame you of being of a less… chaste disposition, of course. As long as you keep yourself from getting into trouble."

There is a soft giggle coming from the barmaid, as she casts Griffin a glance over her shoulder, hips swaying a touch more pronounced when she becomes aware of the blonde knight's appreciative stare.

Bryce meanwhile raises his mug, and his expression softens into the faint smile he so often displays. "On family union." A hint of sadness flashing in his gaze for a moment when he echoes that particular toast. A good sip of ale is taken to wash that sentiment down and off his features.

Griffin drinks half of the jug in one breath before setting it back on the table. He sighs. No words leave his throat. He just studies his cousin. That’s all for now. Maybe he just enjoys the taste of a good ale.

The silence that follows lingers for a moment; until Bryce raises his eyes once again to regard his cousin, that seems in so many ways the opposite of him. “There is certainly room for you at the manor,” he begins then, the tone thoughtful as he gives Griffin another assessing gaze. “After all, Landon has left us.” He exhales, his dark gaze flickering momentarily. “But if you return to us… as long as you stay under my roof, I expect you to be a useful member of the family.” His eyes flick to Griffin’s sword. “A knight, I and the others can rely on.”

Griffin frowns. He takes another gulp of an ale before explaining the sudden change of his emotions, “So kind of you and so offensive at the same time. You don’t think I can be trusted knight? I already fought in battles. I am no longer a squire, Bryce. I may not be trusted husband, trusted person, but I AM A TRUSTED KNIGHT,” He bumps firmly the jug of ale onto the table. A bit of the drink spills on it.

Bryce frowns as well, as he witnesses the outburst of his cousin. Even so, his tone remains calm when he gives his reply. "Then you'll have nothing to worry about.", the Baverstock states quietly, his dark eyes narrowing just a tad. "And I don't have to remind you, that it is me who is in charge of the manor now." Just to get that straight. His eyes cut to the spilt ale on the table. "You have been gone for a while. And yes, I heard. Congratulations." Adding that with a faint smile curving his lips.

“Congratulations? With what? That I saw hundreds of men die, that I sliced throats of the innocent men who were just commanded by superiors to fight? You know, I saw a man who carried his brother in a sack to bring him home to mother. It’s blood, piss and screams, but it’s a fucking job I asked for!” He finishes ale and sets the jug on a table, pushing it to slide into the middle of the table. His drunkenness deepens a bit, “The worst is… When I was riding into the battle…” He makes a pause.

Bryce listens, holding Griffin's gaze briefly, before his eyes flit down to the mug of ale in his hand. "The ugly face of battle," he agrees with a sigh. "I know it too well." The smile has faded from his features, when he looks up, lifting a brow when he notes the pause his cousin makes. "Yes?" There is no mockery in his tone, only curious concern.

“I need a woman,” he just states, changing the subject. The man pushes up from the table. He leans to take his sword. Griffin ties it to the belt and then takes the coat, “Since you have a wife, I can’t offer you to join me. It was a pleasure to meet you, cousin. See you at home. I still remember the road!” He bows head to Bryce and if not stopped, Griffin will wander out of the tavern, forgetting of a barmaid. He will find someone else.

The Head of Baverstock Manor is perhaps too baffled by the abrupt end of their conversation to hold Griffin back. Or maybe Bryce just has realized, there is no point in stopping his cousin, when he obviously needs some time to himself. Dark eyes shift from the closing door to the barmaid, who seems surprised the blonde knight did not even spare her another glance. Her own eyes wide with astonishment, she turns her head, meeting the dark-haired knight's gaze.

"I am sorry," Bryce de Baverstock offers, with a shrug of his shoulders. A faint encouraging smile is given to the girl, before his gaze flits to the mug of ale in his hand, and his thoughts turn to Baverstock matters, and the dreaded call he will have to pay on the morrow.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License