(515-03-10) A Social Call
Summary: Sir Joachim and Lady Lydia pay a visit to their Stapleford neighbor to see how they made it through the winter.
Date: 03-10-515
Related: None
claire lydia joachim 

With Winter finally starting to shed itself from the British Isles, the days have grown warmer and provide more appropriate weather for riding. It's still frigid at night so riding after sunset is pretty much out of the question, but the sun is up during the daytime today and provides a nice warmth on the skin. The approach to Stapleford's manor is as expected, passing the dozen or two houses and homes on the road through before spotting the head-high wall of the manor. The gates are left open and there are commoners moving about through their daily duties. As per usual with the site, most of the people appear stoic and give barely a glance to the riders. Without a sentry, they are free to enter into the grassy center with a huge oak in the middle. With the manor, stables, church (with the huge relief carved of Archangel Michael on the doors), and other buildings surrounding it in a rough circle, there are children out practicing with blades - girls and boys alike. Commoners and the children of nobility facing each other. The dozen kids seem set about their tasks as they work. Overall there is no feeling of foreboding, but a general lack of smiles around the place. Stapleford seems to look more serious than most other manors - befitting well their reputation.

Three months pregnant and riding in a wagon? Gosh, Lydia's having just about the most fun ever. Let's be honest, wagon wheel traction is not the best ever, so Lydia's probably looking a little queasy as they roll in, though she's definitly smiling. So what if there were occasional stops on the way for her to wretch. Her husband thinks she's attractive anyway, right? All fertile and glowing, right? That's what he better tell her.

So yes. Lydia is next to Joachim on the wagon, murmuring to him quietly and leaning against him as they take in Stapleford. "I hope the runner we sent ahead got to Lady Stapleford in time. I'd hate to be standing around their courtyard appearing awkward."

It seems that the serious trait is something that all the Roman Christian houses share in common. Joachim has his squire with him, and the usual horses, though the workhorses are assigned to the wagon pull as he tries to keep the ride steady so that his wife doesn't share her breakfast with his lap. And he's made sure to hold back her hair every time she's needed to empty the contents of her stomach. Having brought a small supply of peppermint leaf for her to chew on, along with some ginger root to help calm her stomach, he gives a slow nod of his head in thought.

"I'm sure he arrived in plenty of time, wife." he says with a ghost of a smile for her as he easily accepts her lean, a hand drifting to touch her bump on occassion with a small 'stop giving your mother such troubles'. It must be a boy, as rebellious as it seems to be at the idea of behaving properly on a trip.

As the wagon pulls up to the manor, Joachim pulls it to a halt, stepping off first, and offering his hands to Lydia to help her down from the side of the wagon, a worrying glance. "Do you need a moment before we meet with Sir Claire?"

When the wagon enters, one of the servants runs inside, holding her skirts. Nobody seems surprised to the visit is likely expected and the runner succeeded. While the couple get situated a girl of about fifteen steps out of the manor's front. She's wearing a bliant and a swordbelt. The fitment is proper, but she's still clearly a squire and the blade suits her size. There are steps taken towards the wagon but she stops short of conversational distance. After a moment or two of watching the Newton pair dismount, she glances back to the open door and nods slowly. That's when Claire appears. Her own dress is loose but hiding a pregnancy as far along as hers is impossible. She's probably nearing birth by the looks of her, perhaps anytime now. Her gait is slow and she moves to stand just outside the door, wrapped in a heavy cloak. Despite being as young as she is, about 21, she holds a very serious look on her face. The weight on her shoulders has likely numbed the youthful exuberance associated with such a young Knight. She looks on to them, but holds no appearance of distaste - simply an almost imperceptible smile.

Lydia indulges Joachim's touch on her belly; after all, it takes two to…dance whatever dance once dances nowadays. But those who may also do so is a very short list indeed. Lydia's not a fan of people touching her without her consent. Silly lady. Perking a bit, she offers an initial smile to Claire from the distance, but formal introductions won't occur until everyone has feet on the ground. There is a soft murmur, only to Joachim, "I can't decide if I hope she goes into labor during our visit or not. Poor lady looks like she might topple over." Otherwise, she benignly waits for Joachim to halt the horses and help her out of the wagon, which is assuredly going to be worth a minute's comedic entertainment.

He better well have Lydia's consent to touch her belly as it's totally Joachim's fault that she's got one in the first place. His back is turned to Claire as he takes his wife gently by the waist to lift her. Despite her pregnancy, she's still not too heavy for him to lift easily as he helps her down. His own voice is kept low as the knight offers a moment's affectionate smile to Lydia. "I was told that you gain a better center of gravity so that you do not wobble or fall." he says with a small kiss to his wife's forehead before he turns his attention to a small bundle that was placed in the back of the cart as he goes to take it out and holds it under one arm as he returns to Lydia so they may attend to their hostess. And the serious expression that slips onto his face doesn't quite reach his eyes which still hold a hint of mirth.

Offering his arm to his wife to guide her to the forefront as he offers a polite bow to the Lady Knight. "Sir Claire." he greets with a pleasant tone. "I am Sir Joachim de Newton, may I present my wife, Lady Lydia de Newton." he suggests with a ghost of a smile. "It has been a very long time since I have seen Stapleford last, but my father spoke highly of this place and of our alliance. I wish he could have made the trip himself, but with his illness, he's become bedridden for now." He's not sure of his father's health, but the old man has had a long and good life.

With that, he offers a parcel from Newton to Claire. "A small token from our house to yours, Sir Claire, in the hopes of renewing and strengthening the bonds between our lands."

Claire returns the smile from Lydia with a simple dip of her head in nod. Her arms are not visible under the wrap of the cloak, but the bulge can be seen of her hands resting atop the belly. She stands tall, though, chin up. There is visible pride there. She seems to have picked up the mantle well enough to present a strong face despite everything going on with her. Meanwhile the Squire keeps a very keen eye on the approaching pair. Despite her age, the Squire seems to take a deathly-serious attitude towards her duties. Meanwhile Claire smiles just a smidge more to the greeting from Joachim. "Forgive me if I cannot bow in respect. I hear that I'm with child." At least she has a sense of humor that only shows a little. To Joachim, her right arm exits the cloak and offers the handshake of Knight, looking to grip his forearm in the standard greeting. "Well met, Sir Joachim." No half-measures with her. Then to Lydia, she nods. "Lady Lydia. It is a pleasure to meet you as well." The hand retreats behind the cloak for the moment and she seems to understand ill health. "My grandmother is in failing health as well. Were she better, she would likely be here to greet you." By her tone, it eems to indicate that it's probably better than Claire is here. "But you have my concerns, Sir Joachim." The gift, though, is a surprise. The hand comes back out to take it and she smiles just a bit once again. "Thank you. Come. Your runner was just in time. I've had food and drink lain out for us if you are hungry." The gift is tucked under the cloak and she gestures for them to follow her inside the manor.

Once inside, they see nothing out of the ordinary. The manor is sparsely decorated, but there is no surprise there. Most of the walls have swords hung with names stenciled to the walls above them with dates. Birth and Death, and the location of death beneath. …There are a lot of them. She walks through the hall, though, and leads them to a smaller dining area. Something more intimate than the family hall. There are dried meats and fresh bread with water and a cask of wine. Meanwhile that Squire seems to follow. Likely attached to Claire, the girl seems overly watchful of the pregnant woman and the guests. The Lady of the house pays her no mind, though, for the moment.

"You're very kind to host us, Sir Claire. Though should we have opportunity to meet again after your child arrives, we should bring you to Newton." Lydia gestures ruefully at her own swelling belly. "As I am in a similar, though not as advanced state." She takes in the decor thoughtfully, but not with a particular judgemental assessment. It's less about evaluating worth than it is about the House's nature.

Joachim's own squire follows suit, at least until the knight gives orders. "Marek, tend to the horses, and make sure that the wheels are tightened on the wagon for the return trip. After that, is Sir Claire is willing, you and her squire can practice drills in the courtyard with practice blades." he glances aside to Claire's squire and grins. "He really needs the practice." he asides with a slight wink. With the squire heading off to carry out Joachim's orders.

"Thank you for the kind words, I will make sure our prayers include your ailing grandmother as well, Sir Claire." he offers with a solemn tone as he takes in the home as well - while it is not something that Newton does itself, the knight does appreciate the solemn and muted quality of the manor. "A moment please, m'love." he comments to Lydia, moving to allow Claire to be seated first as he pulls out the chair for her - as she's clearly the one nearer to birth. Once she's settled, he'll move to seat his wife, before taking his own seat at Lydia's side. "Hopefully your winter was mild as our own?" There are some houses that did not have such a gentle winter. For some, like Willcott, it was downright harsh.

Claire looks to Lydia and dips her head again with a little smile. But it grows larger when the Newton shares about her pregnancy. "I would be concerned were you as far along as I," she says with pure mirth. "Wait until your feet swell. Walking anywhere becomes a task to be debated some mornings." She settles into her chair, a quiet thanks to Joachim with his help. "Congratulations, as well. I thought I may have seen a glow I remember. But I agree. After my child is borne, I must travel to Newton to return the favor." The gift is set upon the table in front of her.

Claire's Squire does look back to Joachim with the comment. There's a low smile and nod. "I think Sir Claire would tell the same of me, Sir." At least she seems to have her own low entertainment of the matters at hand.

Looking back to Joachim, she takes a long breath and gestures for them to help themselves to food as they wish. "Ours was, ah, somewhat mild. The adjustment in temporary leadership caused some minor issues. However, Stapleford endures as we must." The House has never been the pinnacle of respected, thanks mostly due to their social standing in regards to rumors. The Death Cult. But they never, ever quit. Especially on each other. And never their allies. "I regret that my husband is not here to join us. He is away at Falt. Despite being with child, I have insisted he uphold dowry and our agreements so he is tending to his parent house on this day." She gestures to the gift in front of her. "Shall I open this now or wait for privacy?" If given a nod, she will open it.

"Oh, please do open it." says Lydia, And if she does, Claire will find it to be quite the servicable woolen cloak, with a texture to it that suggests that it is entirely rainproof. Assuming Claire's done her homework (and this is Claire, so this is an easy assumption) she'll know that Newton is known for their wool, and more particularly their treatment of wool to make it rainproof as the one she holds now in her hands. "Winter was…passable, for us." There's a pause. "Sir Claire, please let me tell you how sincerely sorry I am for the loss of your cousins. I grew up in Horton, and Lady Elsane quite kind to me after she came to Wilcott, whenever I would see her, or the families of the North would gather. "

A smile is offered to Claire at her thanks after he takes his seat. "She does have quite the glow that makes her all the more beautiful - but I have been rather partial to it since I met her." Joachim can't help it, he's quite proud to be married to the beautiful young woman as Lydia gives Claire permission to open their gift. "We will be more than happy to recieve you and your family, Sir Claire. We have some repairs that are underway now that the winter has relented it's hold upon us. And yes, I understand the need to endure." Newton has been known for being a house of recluse. One that rarely shows socially, and only with suspicion. Brining Lydia into the House has done much during the winter to thaw Joachim's own stances, even if they still disagree on some things. "We will look forward to your husband accompanying you on your visit."

As Lydia offers her condolence, the knight shakes his head. "It was quite a dreadful story. Along with my wife, you have the condolence of our House. I knew Lady Elsane in my youth and I was glad to have called her friend for a short time before she left to Willcott. Should you have need of anything, House Newton will be by your side, Sir Claire."

Claire checked her Prudent of 16, she rolled 5.

Claire nods easily to the request to open the package. As its unfolded, her eyes grow wider. A full cloak of Newton quality. For a moment, she's rendered speechless. She turns as much as she can to hold the length while folding to keep it from dragging on the floor. "I- .." She looks back, taken aback. "Thank you. Sincerely. This is immaculate." A word rarely used outside of religious references, too. The reverence is plain as sunlight. "I will most certainly be making use of this, as will my childe." Rather than fold it back and place it on the table, she folds it twice and rests it on her legs, the warmth welcome. The discussion of the loss of her cousins is a surprise and the smile fades quickly. "Thank you. From what I have heard, it did not seem a battle. Once I am able, I will be looking into the loss." She frowns. Wilcott. Her distaste is clear. "I appreciate the offer, Sir Joachim but I believe that for now, we will hold. I'll not take hasty action with my family before we learn the truth of what happened." And that seems to be a firm answer. And it says volumes diplomatically.

A long breath taken, she shifts gears away from that. "You have done well for a wife, Sir Joachim. Not only is she beautiful, and bearing your childe, she seems quite well versed." There's an appreciative glance to her, further words spoken while looking to Lydia. "For the few moments we've known each other, I do like her company." It would seem Claire has learned to speak as a man in some cases. Perhaps a necessity of her position. A sanguine plea for respect for herself in a position almost completely dominated by men. But her gaze goes back to Joachim. "Forgive me, but you have spoken of it and I have no knowledge. You mentioned an alliance that is in place. Nobody could have foreseen this place I have had to take. Is there an alliance in place I should be aware of?" Quite serious. She's doing her best.

Lydia looks to Joachim, and then to Claire. "I think my husband speaks to the solidarity of the faith of our Houses, and with regard to our sympathies resting with you in this time. And that - should you require the consultation of others familiar with Willcott as a House - we are at your disposal." As mentioned, she did grow up not far from them, but there is a passing thought to a priest in Sarum she intends to try and keep far away from any of this. "You're very kind, though. I daresay that I might be considered outspoken otherwise. You yourself are an incredibly strong and admirable woman, shouldering a burden often left expectant of others."

"She more than makes up for my missteps, as I was not brought up in the role of heir - something that we share distinctly in common, Sir Claire." Joachim offers with a nod of his head. "Her smile and words has soothed many a feather accidentally ruffled - including my own, usually over a board game. And I was more than blessed with her company, I agree. However, your own husband should consider himself just as fortunate to have found you as well."

At Lydia's words, Joachim nods his head. "To expand.. our forefathers, and that of the House Woodford had a pact between them that as the founding Roman Christian houses nearest to each other, that we shall do our best to support and defend each other in times of need, and celebrate together in times of joy. My father has more than once mentioned the triangle of houses that is shared between us and the other like-faith houses of the Wylye River." he esplains. "It is something that may have grown lax in recent generations and by my House's own.. reluctant attitudes, but I hope to revive and strengthen old bonds that may have grown soft in time."

Claire looks back to Lydia and nods slowly. "Of course. My soul is still filled with anger. It does cloud judgment upon occasion. Your offer is appreciated. I may take that someday soon. No House survives alone. Or so I am told." The compliments seem to have no effect, but the idea of Lydia being outspoken does garner a return of smile. "Then you have my respect, and I respect your husband for taking that upon him with marriage. Our family has a position that equates to a matriarch, a position I was to hold and advise the heirs, so I understand what it can mean. If your husband gives permission of you, I will be happy to take your words as speaking for Newton, only to be usurped by his own." There's a glance of permissions to Joachim. Maybe she's forcing an issue. Or calling him on it. Lydia might sense a bit of solidarity there. Claire seems to know what she is doing. Pregnant, not crippled.

Looking back to Joachim, she nods slowly. "Similar, yes." But women are property. She seems acutely aware of the differences. She does not comment on her husband, though. The mention of the triangle of houses has recognition appear on her face. "Ah. Yes." A few nods and she reaches for the bread to break a piece off, gesturing for them to take some as well. "Then let us break bread together." She waits for them before eating. After swallowing, she settles back in the chair. "This is something I do know about. I was unsure if it were a formal alliance. Given the ailing generation, it would be prudent to revisit all of this." She takes a long breath. Rather than simply look at Joachim, she glances to both of them as she speaks. "You are aware of the rumors, I assume. While we are fervently Roman Christian, we are not cut from the same cloth. Most of our commoners are Pagan. The larger number celebrate with us on our holidays, and we with them on their own. Some of them have been drawn together over time. Does this present an issue?" To say nothing of the 'Stapleford is a bunch of nutjobs' rumors.

Lydia glances askance at Joachim a moment before framing her reply to Claire. "I would like to believe that in such matters we can both speak to, we may both speak. I trust my husband, and he trusts me. We endeavor to bring peace and prosperity to Newton together." And with that, she moves to lace her fingers into Joachim's, though the open gesture of affection is brief. "There are, of course, matters I am not educated in, and vice versa. I rather think each of us may speak to the weakness of the other and allow the lead where one has superior knowledge."

There's a soft chuckle. "As a Horton I was British Christian, with neighbors of the other two faiths. I was raised in a perspective of tolerance. And Sir Joachim…well. My husband is an extremely broad-minded man who seeks innovation." And from her tone, she's quite proud of that.

The lacing of fingers seems to calm Joachim immediately from wherever his thoughts had wandered to, and he offers a firm nod of his head. "I went into this marriage with the agreement that we rather compliment and complete each other on certain things. It is something I was quite agreeable to as she was trained to help run a house, and I had no experience in the field, while I was better connected to the people, and she follows my lead on such things." he offers neutrally, as he considers.

"Before the winter, I helped in the arrangement of the marriage between Sir Talfryn of Idmiston as heir to my cousin, Lady Bryn. As their marriage has grown and blossomed, so has my friendship with Sir Talfryn. As he is Pagan, he has helped to illuminate me to certain things, and with my wife's guidance.. it is not just my shoulders that are broad anymore, as she said." he laughs slightly at that, a slow shrug offered. "However, if you feel more at ease with my wife's company, that is understandable, and I will offer input as needed."

The temporary head of house folds her hands, resting on her belly. She looks at Lydia while the wife speaks, attentive to what is being said. "Well spoken, Lady Lydia. Your prudence is clear. I'll be happy to address concerns or offers to you as well as your husband. And if that is the case for you, then welcome to the Roman side. We sometimes take a stronger tone, but it is fortunate that you have a husband so willing to explore other discussions. Clearly a man who follows the will of the Earl. You do your husband honor."

Looking back to Joachim, she gives him the same attentive look. The words about his wife return the smile to her, seemingly pleased by this. "If it were a marriage of treaty or politic, it would seem House Newton came out atop of Horton. You are a lucky man." She seems to mean the words, too. The rest has her shake her head. "No. I wish to speak to the heir or the Head of Newton. Permissions granted to your wife are only that. Complimenting each other as you do provides me two sides that I can hear. More is better. That you've explored other religions is a benefit not only to yourself as a man, but also to relationships between homes. Bully to you, Sir Joachim." She takes a long breath. "Shall I assume you are proposing we renew the alliances that our fathers negotiated?"

"That is my intention." says Lydia serenely with regard to doing her husband honor. But indeed, when Claire begins to speak specifically of the House alliances, she quiets and gives way to Joachim's lead. She seems to half-mirror Claire's position, only one hand resting on her belly. It gives her a moment to collect herself, and perhaps deal with some internal rumblings. Just wait until she and Claire are alone, so they can talk about indigestion, passing gas, and swelled ankles.

Reaching to break the bread that Claire offered earlier, Joachim tears off a piece to offer it to Lydia. "I was told that it helps settle the stomach." Apparently he listened to his mother's advice on how to help with his wife's illnesses while carrying a child. "And than you for your kind words, Sir Claire, it is kind of you to say that I am fortunate. However, yes, I believe that now, after the attacks by Dorset, this is the best time to rebridge alliances that may have fallen to the wayside, if you feel that your House may be amicable to such ideas."

Claire nods slowly to Lydia. There is plain agreement there. She holds her place in the high-backed chair, though. The chair a woman was never meant to sit in. The words from Joachim bring a similar nod and silence. Her gaze falls blankly on the table, seemingly deep in thought. After several long seconds, she gives off a heavy sigh. "House Newton," she seems to address in general, without looking at either of them. "I believe we should try to retain these ties. However, I provide no legal position to declare any such thing. I have a petition in with the Earl for Court." The words sting even as she says them. "I am to declare Sir Gideon missing. I seek to take the house." Her eyes finally lift to look between Lydia and Joachim. "Should I take it, we can explore formalizing an alliance. For now?" She wets her lips. "My husband and I were the Knights to identify them as Dorset. We were nearly killed in the battle. I understand the threat more-so than most. What I can offer is this:" She takes another long breath. "Should Newton come under attack, I will send my house as I am able." In her position, as a woman, the numbers will always be suspect. "As long as we could pledge similarly. Beyond that, until I know more from the Earl, I am afraid I cannot say more. I dare not for if the Earl refuses, I wish to keep my word as it is in this moment. I will do my best. That is all I can offer." She holds up a finger from her belly. "However, I must discuss this with my husband and I must visit Newton first before I can pledge any kind of support. I hope you will both understand."

Lydia doesn't seem to want the bread, but is more inclined to see the worry removed from Joachim's face. She takes the portion dutifully and nibbles at it while she listens to Claire's next words. She won't speak as to military promises, that, to her, is Joachim's purview.

"You find yourself in a difficult situation, and I don't envy you for it, Sir Claire." Joachim admits with a small frown. "And to come here tonight to secure an alliance so soon after you're trials and tribulations. For that, I apologize. Our reason to visit is not just to secure ties. As you are one of our nearest neighbors, it is good to pay a call to make sure all is well and that we can maintain friendly relations."

But, he does consider the offer, his hand settled on the piece of bread he pulled off. "We can table the discussion for now, while you petition the Earl. If the Earl requires a witness to your character, I can ask for Lydia to speak on your behalf, once she learns more about you, of course." He takes his own breath, considering his thoughts as he gathers them. "For now, should Newton come under siege, it is my hope that this will be the first point that my family.." a glance shared with his wife, "..may come to and find safe haven. We will offer our own military support should the need arise." he agrees, "And of course, I would not expect less than to welcome your husband and child - when he or she is no longer discomforting you from within. I do understand, and we can discuss a more social agreement between our families in the meantime."

Claire shakes her head. "No apologies are required, Sir Joachim. I do thank you, but they are not necessary. But I do also thank you for checking in with us. We are…surviving." The last is spoken with a long breath. Leaned back, just for a moment, they can see how tired she is. Between carrying a child and trying to run a manor… it is taking its toll. If she were older, the manor would likely be in a poor state. Youth has likely saved her and her family's place. She then looks back to him and dips her head in respect. "Thank you. And yes, should any of your manor require shelter? I will provide." The last is spoken with pure assurity. "We will turn none of Newton away. But yes, your terms are agreeable in my thoughts. As I said, I will have to discuss with my husband. But you can be sure that Lady Lydia, children, and anyone who seeks shelter will find it here. Even in my state I would stand in front of my manor as the first to fall. Stapleford is not at its strongest, but even at its weakest we rally." There's a smile there. A wicked one. "We do not fear death. We celebrate it. Standing in front of an army to defend those who cannot fight? Few greater sacrifices in the view of the Lord."

"Sir Claire, if I may," Lydia broaches as delicately as she can manage, "Is there some manner of supplies that you presently lack, that we could either provide, or perhaps serve as the intermediary to travel to Sarum and acquire what you need? You're under great strain, and you're holding up admirably, but - forgive me for my frankness - your time is very near, and this is a time when you should be at rest as much as posible in preparation for birth. You are responsibile for a great deal here, but we both know that our first responsibility is to the children we are bringing into the world. How may we help you?"

Critical Fail!
Claire checked her Modest of 13, she rolled 20.

With Lydia turning the conversation to what she may need, Joachim considers for a moment, and then looks between Lydia and Claire. "I should check on my squire and see how he is doing in his duties." the knight offers. "May I accept your hospitality of staying in a guest room with my wife for the evening, Sir Claire, so that we may be rested for the morning and have more time to grow acquainted?" By them, he really means Lydia and Claire as he's excusing himself from the conversation.

Claire looks to Lydia. There's a moment where she looks like she looks relieved. Where she might beg for something. But the moment passes as soon as it appears. The two from Newton can see it, but she rolls it back quickly. Her jaw clenches and she tries to summon her strength of person. The woman is clearly exhausted but refuses to show anything that might be construed as weakness. Likely the de facto head of house is terrified of being seen as weak in a land ruled by men. "Thank you, but we will be fine. We will endure our hardships." She forces it out well enough. Mostly. It's left to question later. When Joachim begins to excuse himself, she dips her head. "I'd hoped you would stay. Please. Ellee-" she calls to her Squire. "Show Sir Joachim to their quarter for the eve and see to it that all his requests are met. No exceptions." The Squire gives a smart nod and moves to lead him away. Claire looks to him, though. "We'll talk further in the morning. I'll see that breakfast is delivered to your room. Emerge when you are prepared, Sir Joachim. Thank you for gracing Stapleford with your visit." And she seems to mean every word of it.

Joachim checked his awareness of 10, he rolled 2.
Joachim checked his flirting of 3, he rolled 2.

Joachim may have picked up on the gentle emotions that rolled across Claire's face, but he doesn't call her on it. Instead, he picks up his wife's hand and gives her knuckles a gentle kiss. Despite their marriage, he still shows the chaste behaviours of a Christian. "Do not stay up too late comparing notes, wife." he says with a chuckle. "I know she can probably tell you what to expect in the next few months, but let her get her rest as well." Rising to his feet, he bows his head. "You honor us with your hospitality, Sir Claire. I will make sure my squire assists yours in any duties she may have, and I will make sure that Lydia and I are able to join you in the morning once you are fully awake and aware." With that, he straightens up to make his way out but not before leaning down to speak quietly to Lydia. "And I will make sure to have your side of the bed warmed, wife."

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