... now they must watch their abundance of luxuries fall away, making room for the tools of survival, and witness this time of relative peace wither into the same fears that harper's ballads had warned them about for generations.
 
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 Gowns, Suitors, and Gather Stalls

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Caoimhe

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PostSubject: Gowns, Suitors, and Gather Stalls   Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:49 am


Where were they? It was past mid-day and they were expected to be out at the Gather Stalls. He had to give up excellent seats at the Runner Races to come back and find them. He was irritated to the point where he'd be more than happy to ruin his sister's time at the Gather as she had ruined his. He marched up the marble staircase turned right to the end of the hall where Eolyn shared her room with Courisse. Knocking forcefully he waited albeit impatiently for an answer.

----


Eolyn had slept in because it was a day where she was permitted to. Of course she overshot the time she was supposed to be up to get ready. Supposedly one of the drudges had knocked but it had not been enough to wake her. When she had finally opened her eyes the rest of the family had already left for the Gather. No matter how late she already was, she had to take her time in getting ready. She wanted to outshine everyone at this Gather.

It took longer than she had thought to finish her hair with Courise's help. They were just finishing up when the harsh knock fell on the door. "Sounds like Zahir's knock." She whispered to Courisse. She didn't much care for her brother but that didn't mean he wasn't there for a good reason. He was probably quite irritated at this point since he would be, at this time missing some of the races.

She slipped the band around her arm which held the pouch with their spending marks inside and went to open the door. And there he stood, gawking at them like a twelve turn old boy with a crush. "Well?"

"Father desires your presence at the Gather. He says you've had all morning to prepare and you must come now." As he spoke he took a moment to eye Courisse's form in the red gown. Swallowing hard he looked back at his pretty sister and said in a much more formal and sincere tone, "May I escort you both to the Gather?"

Eolyn looked over at Courisse, thinking she probably wouldn't mind and it would show them off to have a man bring them to the Gather. "You may." She said as she placed her arm right arm in his left. At the very least it would make her mother happy to see them getting along for the Gather's sake. Although Eolyn was sure her brother's dark side would come out later when no one was paying any attention to what he was doing.

Arriving at the Gather grounds everything was full of life, color, noise, music. New smells filled the air and she was struck by a strong desire to browse the Gather stalls. She loved it because one never knew when they might find something unique amidst the stalls of gathered craftsmen and traders.

Eolyn took no notice of how as they passed people stopped talking and stared at her and her lady's maid.She was so itching to go and find something special for her betrothed that she nearly forgot her brother was escorting her to her parents first. When they did find them looking over some cloth for her youngest sister's next gown, her mother stopped what she was doing and her father even took notice of the extravagance of the gowns they were wearing.

Breaking the ensuing silence, her mother said, "You both look so beautiful. Now I know we told you Lord Rihan would be here but we haven't seen him yet someone mentioned that there were problems with some construction at Telgar River Hold this morning, so your betrothed might not be able to come today." She lied, though she had to have an explanation after Rihan had told them what he planned. So now Eolyn would believe that duty kept him from coming, something that would make sense to the young woman. Her father smiled, "Now, I think you have some marks to spend. Go and enjoy the Gather."

Eolyn was a little disappointed, she had already let go of her brother before her mother had spoken and was now, trying not to frown. This was a Gather, she should be smiling. Thinking of the shopping, "I'll need to find something wonderful for him for when I do meet him." After her amazing gift it was only fair that she find something for him. Even if it would never be as grande as her gift from him. Her mind on Rihan she took her cousin's hand.

"Lets go." Her eyes were lighting up with the idea of the fun they would have now. One more Gather with just her best friend would be fine. All of the Gather's after she was married would be spent with her husband.




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PostSubject: Re: Gowns, Suitors, and Gather Stalls   Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:25 pm


Assisting her Lady fit the bejeweled hair comb into her ornately massed braids of golden blonde, Courisse giggled, a sly gaze shifting toward the door where the loud knock interrupted them. A whisper answered her cousin in return, "It's surely him."

Courisse followed her cousin to the door after picking up her own purse for spending, excited to make their way to the festival grounds. Seeing Zahir in the doorway made her smile broaden, something she had always had a hard time suppressing when she was around him.

"Father desires your presence at the Gather. He says you've had all morning to prepare and you must come now."

Having spied the way he looked at her, probably thinking the same about seeing him dressed in his own gather best, she turned her gaze to the floor, hoping the rosy blush that came to her cheeks wasn't too terribly obvious. In order to distract from the butterflies in her stomach that he'd caused, she quipped energetically, "Oh, don't you boys know that there's a good reason girls take longer to get ready for things like this? You want your sister and your cousin to both be the most beautiful, don't you?" Teasing words were accompanied by an exasperated roll of her eyes, sneaking a wink to Zahir shortly after.

When offered, Courisse took his unoccupied arm, glad for the opportunity to be so close to him. Oh, and how she swooned! Was any man allowed to be this sexy, all dressed up as he was? She would certainly make sure that they got their time on the dance floor t'nite and maybe more intimate fun sometime after! Or... anytime. Courisse wasn't terribly picky about when or where since it was Zahir she was coupling with. He could make up an excuse for them any time he wanted.



On their way to properly greet her aunt and uncle, Courisse was keenly aware of envious eyes that followed them. Oh, what a fantastic day this would turn out to be! They certainly would be the most beautiful Ladies at the gather!! Just before they reached the Holder and his Lady, disappointment struck her with the thought of it being too bad they don't have a second dress like Eolyn's to let all of the other hold girls marvel at on the second day. Her smile didn't disappear for long however, giggling at the way Eolyn's parents stared at the gown Rihan had given, she figured they were rather...pleased by the engagement gift!

A displeased little frown mired her fair complexion when Eolyn's parents related that Rihan would not be making an appearance. And if Eolyn wasn't upset by this, Courisse was mad enough for both of them. Curtsying before departing from her aunt and uncle, she followed after Eolyn. Waiting several steps, well out of earshot of the Holder and his wife, before she spoke, she fumed over the turn of events. "Eolyn, aren't you upset? What do you mean find something wonderful for him? Of course you are upset. Wait, you're not upset? Uhg." The girl rambled in her frustration, not seeing how this wasn't a problem in her Lady's mind. Bless her dear Lady's heart for being so much more patient and loving than she.

"But in his letter, he promised you that he would be here -that there would be no missing the opportunity to see his fiance when 'she is the centerpiece of the gather'.. or whatever he said to you." Of course, Courisse couldn't really argue either way, because this was going to be theirs was the biggest engagement of the century as far as she was concerned -Rihan was a Telgar Lord. Even if he didn't love Eolyn, it was more than a suitable match. Still, that didn't completely persuade her heart to be totally agreeable over the whole situation of Rihan not showing his face again.

She couldn't help but mumble, "Maybe fancy words are all he's full of."
But even as she spoke them, she felt as though she wasn't being supportive enough of Eolyn in this time and berated herself for thinking poorly of the Telgar Heir Apparent. Courisse sighed.

Moments later her smile had returned as she wandered arm in arm with her Lady, eyes bright and curious as they searched eagerly for hidden treasures at each vendor's stall.
It would take them some time to look through all of them. There were so many who'd come this year to display their wares and by the looks of it, they would be hard pressed to decide what they desired most to buy! So many spectacular things to be found amoungst them.


================================================================================

Having taken second place on the first day of runner races, Rihan wasn't completely displeased by his placing. He took his runner to the stalls for a stable boy to tend to the beast while he cleaned himself up a bit. Taking the riding helmet from his head, he hung it within the stable and went to a watering station where he could wash his face and neck where perspiration had trapped the dirt against his skin.

Toweling himself dry, even without shoulder knots of rank and expensive fabric, he was certainly still presentable enough for a gather, but his attire was suitable for an outing on runnerback, not a romantic date for two as was the event he was about to try to embark upon. Perhaps that only lent him a more...handsomely swashbuckling appearance. Well, he could hope!

Rihan went from the Runner stables to get a bite to eat first. He figured a quick meal to give him energy and then he'd be off to find his fiance. It was whil ehe was eating that he caught sight of Toshiro standing as a silent sentry, watchful over his position...he should have expected. Even though he gave the Captain the day off, he'd still be working. He smirked over that fact and then, while he ate his lunch in expedient fashion, began to wonder if Eolyn had been there to watch the races? he felt as though he'd barely begun pondering over her by the time his meal'd been finished.

Standing to leave the rest for the drudges to clean up, Rihan made his way to visit his future in-laws, inquiring to see if they knew where he might run across their daughter. Gracious and laughing when they told him of the brilliant excuse they'd given her about Telgar's construction postponing his arrival, he thanked the Lord Holder, offering a curt bow before taking direction from them on where the girls had run off to.



A sky of blue softly enfolding a fair Lady. He'd found her. The soles of his feet unable to move, either his head was spinning or the crowds were moving too quickly around him. Was he breathing? No. Yes? It took him a long moment to catch that breath that Eolyn stole from him while from a discrete distance, Rihan watched after the Igen jewel. No.. she was greater than any precious jewel. He was the Moon and she was his Star. She would rule the day and night with him. Rihan was beginning to imagine a future like that more clearly, now that he saw her. Together they would write a great future, one that would become the most memorable of all the days for the great land of Telgar; and it would be record amoungst the timeless constellations of Pern's skies, speaking of them both for day and night for ever and ever. He would make it so.

A stranger bumped into him, asking pardon and continuing on, but it broke him from the reverie. Breathing deeply again, Rihan's heart calmed once more as he drew the fan from his belt, opening it to cool himself. Watching the girls move from one craftsman's stall to the other, Rihan paced himself in trailing them, not caring what others might think if they saw him smiling gently after them, yet he moved frequently enough that he wouldn't get in anyone's way or become noticed by Eolyn and her Maid.

Observant eyes of dark silvery hue captured within his memory the way that Lady Eolyn moved, her slight gesticulation, her smile...He wanted to appreciate her in every way possible so that he could truly learn to love her. Periodically Rihan paused at a vendor's station that the girls took more time to view, inquiring after their preference. A studious inspection of wares was given and after some extent of bargaining, when chance offered itself up to him, Rihan purchased a couple of the finer items that Eolyn had appreciated. His visits with the craftsmen were brief; he was able to return to continue on the trail of his fiance in short order.


=================================================================================

Having followed at Rihan's side for a short while that morning, Toshiro parted to go his own way when Rihan joined in the runner races; they would not join back up again until later in the evening, closer to dinner. The Captain of the First Squad Division of the Telgar Guard had arrived incognito, wearing an attire that Rihan supplied to him which was stylish and rather edgy in appearance, completely suitable for a well-dressed gather-goer. Regrettably, Rihan had pressed Toshiro to leave any weapons at Telgar, assuring his friend that no such force would ever be necessary at a gather -but as a Captain of the Guard and working to ensure a Lord's absolute safety, no matter how Rihan argued it, Toshiro wasn't about to be disuaded. That said, it took an official Order from his superior to keep Toshiro from bringing his blade. The Captain did however, tuck the Jutte -a night-stick like weapon- under the back of his belt where it appeared more like a sheathed long-knife.

Toshiro couldn't say he didn't expect Igen's Guard to be perfectly capable of providing their own suitable security detail, he was depending on that; but that didn't mean he had to be trusting of them or anyone else. Nor did it mean he was about to leave it up to Igen to keep the Heir Apparent of Telgar safe, even if it was in their best interests to do so. Passing off such a right of service would diminish his pride, so even if there'd been an offer from Igen to provide personal security otherwise, he'd never leave the task to anyone else. So, here he was, passing himself off as one of the gather's ordinary patrons, enjoying himself while paying homage to the Holder and his Lady when in all truth the moment he'd dismounted the dragon who'd brought them, he'd begun making his own checks on security about the gather grounds. And when Rihan had finished in the races for the morning, he trailed after the Heir Apparent from a respectful distance to watch over his well-being without any need to be noticed.

Morning had turned to afternoon and Toshiro picked himself up some lunch at a street-side stall so that he could take his food with him as he sauntered casually through the crowds. When Rihan stopped to sit and eat a bite, the Captain moved to situate himself within sight, leaning his back against a stone structure nearby, one foot planting itself against the same wall in a position of repose while he ate mouth-fulls of glazed meat from the skewers purchased. Before Rihan could finish his meal, Toshiro was on the move again, having pushed himself away from the wall to discard the skewers. He'd timed himself well enough that Rihan was done eating and ready to move again by the time Toshiro'd been able to get himself a couple swigs of water from a server who was helping clear the tables.

Toshiro meandered on his way again, always keeping his eyes open for potential trouble, and always within sight of Rihan.


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PostSubject: Re: Gowns, Suitors, and Gather Stalls   Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:23 pm


Maybe Courisse was right? Maybe she should be upset? Eolyn could not help but think the best of people so she believed easily that her betrothed was stuck in Telgar dealing with serious matters concerning the construction of his Hold. Of course that might not be true but it was not her place to question him. It never would be. If Rihan wanted her to know something he would tell her. If he could not be here than he could not be here and no explanation was needed for her to believe he would be if he could. She wanted to try to enjoy the day without him. It wouldn’t be so bad if Courisse would just let it go.

Eolyn’s eyes were watering a little so she breathed in deeply and looked away from her cousin. Was she upset that Rihan was not there? Of course she was. She wanted to meet her betrothed sooner than later especially here where she was outshining everyone else. She had wanted to dance with him too but as it was none of it would be happening so she had to be positive. This was not the end of the world and she would meet him eventually. She almost wondered if he was nervous about her seeing him. Sometimes men were just as self-conscious as women.

There were many reasons why Rihan might not be ready to meet her yet. This was all arranged for them although it wasn’t as if she were old or ugly, it would still take some time to get used to. She didn’t want to spend the Gather worrying and growing upset over the fact that her fiancé was not here. “Rissi, let’s not dwell on the negative. He isn’t here. No matter how upset I am, it will not change that. So can’t we just have some fun?”

Her cousin was right to be concerned about her not being angry, but Eolyn was going to make the best of her situation. Once her cousin was on board, she happily went through the Gather Stalls. When she stopped at a fine cloth stall, she noticed someone coming over to them but she was trying to ignore him. It wouldn’t be unusual for men to approach them at a Gather with intentions of dancing later or something of that nature.

Although Eolyn wasn’t sure she’d be dancing tonight. Maybe it would be improper if she did. Ignoring the man’s approach, Eolyn began to talk with the weaver about a particularly fine material he had produced. It was more the texture that fascinated than the color. While she was busy with the vendor the man had reached them and instead of directing his greeting at Eolyn he was talking to Courisse.

“Lady.” He bowed to Courisse, “I see you’re wearing the gift I sent you.” He wasn’t particularly charming, nor as attractive as Zahir for instance. Eolyn looked over at Courisse, mischief in her eyes. Oh Courisse should go ahead and allow him to believe Courisse was Eolyn. Then Eolyn could shop and Courisse could flirt if she wanted to. Eolyn continued her conversation with the weaver while Korvold went on to formally introduce himself to Courisse.


He had been watching the young women but waited till the conversation between them halted and the woman not wearing his dress was busy. The opportunity presented itself perfectly for him to find the young Igen lady. After approaching in an informal fashion he felt the need to redeem himself. “May I formally introduce myself, I’m Lord Korvold of Half Circle Sea Hold.”

He was watching Courisse with an intense interest. She was exactly as he had heard her described, fair haired, light skin, blue eyes. It never occurred to him that Eolyn would be the woman not wearing his gown. Although the other girl was in a gown of excellent quality as well, he only had eyes for the one he believed to be Eolyn. “You are lovelier than rumors could convey.” He admitted with an easy smile. His medium brown hair was straight and fell to just above his shoulders. The garment he wore was a couple shades darker but matched the outfit that he had sent for Eolyn to wear.

“May I be your escort for the day Lady Eolyn?” He asked, brown eyes expressing how much he wanted to do just that. He was going to try to keep her by him all day and into the evening. Then no one else would be able to take up any of her time or attention. He could buy her gifts and make her feel truly admired as she should be.

The other girl spoke up then, “Yes, Eolyn you go and have some fun, I’ve got a few more Gather stalls I’d like to peruse and then I’ll be heading back to see your parents and let them know you are in capable hands.” Was there humor in her glance at Eolyn? He couldn’t really be certain although, come to think of it, being in good humor was to be expected. This was a Gather and the lady was no longer having to be escorted by a lady’s maid.

"Where to, Lady?" He asked, ready to get her alone away from her companion. He could speak more freely with her then.


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PostSubject: Re: Gowns, Suitors, and Gather Stalls   Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:56 pm

Smiling in an agreeable manner, Courise figured that Eolyn was probably right; Rihan would have his reasons and they should just think positive and enjoy the time they had left together. That made Courisse begin to wonder if she would be allowed to spend any time with Eolyn in the future being that Eolyn would be leaving for Telgar within a few short months and after that, her free time would be diminished -even if Courisse did follow her there. The thoughts made Courisse want to become more jealous of Eolyn's time and stick to her even more closely. She had no idea how she would live life without her best friend.

As they browsed through the wares set out before them, Courisse's thoughts prompting her into a quiet reverie, it startled her when a man in red came between herself and Eolyn. Her first instinct was to start to applogize; maybe he'd been there and she simply hadn't seen him. Before any words could escape her mouth though, as soon as her eyes locked with his, the Half Circle Sea Holder interrupted any intentions she had of doing so.

“I see you’re wearing the gift I sent you.”

The words elicited an audible gasp from Courisse. Taking a sideways jump away from him in startled amazement, the girl accidentally banged her knee on one of the vendor's tables in the process. Wincing at that, she grabbed hold the side of the table to stable herself and favour the leg, but the Lord of Nerat was too eager, giving no time for recovery -if he'd even noticed. With her luck, he likely thought that she was just too glad to see him!

As the man introduced himself, she rubbed her knee and gave a little curtsy in reply.


“You are lovelier than rumors could convey.”

"Ohh..heh! Loooord Korvold you say? Your words are too kind." Because of her nervous little laugh, he probably just thoughts she was being shy. Courise tried to squeeze her way past him to join Eolyn at her side again, but the man's smile adn the genuine pleasure he seemed to be taking from their encounter threatened to disarm her of the will to do so. Judging by his expression, he just seemed so nice, how could she disappoint him?


"May I be your escort for the day Lady Eolyn?”

Trapped between the table and the man, Courisse grinned sheepishly. "Oh,..you want to ...escort me.. for the whole day? But there must be plenty of other people you need to meet while you're visiting; I couldn't possibly hope to monopolize all of your time, Lord Korvold." Courisse shot a plaintive glance to the real Eolyn.

But when the real Lady Eolyn was only encouraging that she take Korvold's offer and accompany him per his request, she was unable to refuse. Was she being abandoned to the fantastical whims of a man she didn't know? Thrown to the veritable wolf? But they were cousins! How could Eolyn do this to her? Catching on to the mischievous gleam in her cousin's eyes however, Courisse began to change her approach of the situation. Maybe toying with the love-struck Lord for a bit wouldn't be such a bad thing. Courisse could have her fun and then later, she and Eolyn could enjoy laughing about it.

Shuffling forward still a bit nervously, Courisse took Korvold's arm and began, "Ohh, well, I didn't get to see the races this morning, so couldn't you take me to see the Runners, Lord Korvold? Won't they be back in their stables by now? I really don't know much about runners. Perhaps you could tell me?" Feigning more interest than she truly possessed, her voice rose to the Holder sweetly. Maybe, if she was lucky, Zahir would find them together and become jealous enough to steal her away from Korvold's clutches. Alas, she could better imagine her cousin finding humour in her plight and taking preference in letting her continue to suffer. That jerk! If she found him laughing, she'd make sure he paid for it later; considering the make-up sex that would follow such an 'altercation' though, made her look forward to it.



=======================================================================

Crossing to the same side of the road as the Ladies he trailed, Rihan's fan came to a close, inspecting a booth just next to them. He must have been no more than 10 or 15 feet away from his fiance and her maid, and it amused him to consider neither of them were any the wiser of it. Loitering there at the neighboring stall as Korvold approached, he'd been wondering just who the gentleman in red had been. He'd noticed the man watching the two from a safe distance, wondering when he'd make a move. Rihan found himself relieved when Lord Holder Korvold directed his sentiments toward Eoyln's Maid instead of Eolyn herself. Rihan had never considered himself a jealous type, but then it occured to him perhaps he'd never really had anything to be jealous over. How interesting.

So that was the Lord Holder of Half Circle Sea Hold? Rihan's lips drew into the slightest curl of an almost bashful smile when Courisse left with the Holder in red, leaving nothing but a very short distance between himself and Eolyn. Rihan felt as though he was making himself even more nervous, teasing himself like this -being so close to his fiance, wanting so badly to let her know that he was here to see her and tell her that she looked beautiful. Moving beside Eolyn then, he turned his eyes down to appreciate the fabric that she herself was inspecting the texture of. Then, for the first time, he spoke to her, "Isn't the colour too dull? Or is it not the colour that you appreciate?"

Feeling a bit emboldened as he looked at her for the first time, eyes trailing up from her feet, they lingered only briefly over her fine figure before gazing upon her radiant face. "The blue you are wearing is much more stunning."




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PostSubject: Re: Gowns, Suitors, and Gather Stalls   Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:28 pm

Eolyn watched Courisse’s face change as she finally caught on to why this was amusing. Now she would get to see what it felt like to be her. Hopefully she made it to the races okay. Eolyn had every intention of checking up after Courisse when she was done here. But first they were going to let him humiliate himself a bit and grovel for Courisse. “If you are heading to the Races, your brother, Zahir will be there. So maybe you can use his seats?” Looking at Korvold she said, “They are the best because Lord Zahir will have only the best when it comes to the races.” And then she would know someone was looking out for her dear cousin.

Turning her attention back to the fabric she jumped at the sound of the man’s voice who addressed her. Catching her breath for a moment she turned her head, “The texture.” She took his hand and placed it on the fabric, “Is it not strange yet soft? It is heavy, perfect for winter.” Her hand moved away just as quickly as it had taken his hand. The fabric was velvet and she had never seen anything like it before. Eolyn blushed then a little because she had gotten carried away in her excitement to share the fabrics discovery with someone and had done something completely unbecoming of a lady. “Sorry I am so used to having Courisse, my ah lady in waiting. She is usually the one who walks with me at Gathers.”

She was still admiring the fabric thinking of what color she would like it to be, “The weaver here says he can create it in another color if I would like. I’m just deciding if I’d prefer a deep purple or red.” Eolyn looked at him as he was looking at her and felt self-conscious. He was handsome and she felt completely horrible for thinking so. Of course now that she was engaged, she would meet someone who was attractive, had an interest in fabrics and in her. She couldn’t help but look into his eyes for longer than was permitted in the company of Lords and Ladies. They were interestingly almond shaped and gray. The man was so much taller than she was; she had had to look up at him to talk to him.

She blushed more deeply, “Yes, it’s the most beautiful gown in the world. My fiancé sent it for me. He is so wonderfully thoughtful.” If there was a slight hint of disappointment at the end it was not intentional. She really wished he was here with her instead of this stranger. Talking to the man almost felt like a betrayal but it was Rihan’s fault for not being here to protect her from the men at the Gather’s attentions.

“I’m Lady Eolyn of Igen Hold.” She said introductorily. Trying to regain some semblance of proper etiquette, “And may I ask who you are sir?” If her mother were present she would be in so much trouble. Maybe she better go now, before he started to talk some more. There was no doubt in her mind that being around him was only going to mean trouble for her. She had a reputation to uphold.


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PostSubject: Re: Gowns, Suitors, and Gather Stalls   Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:19 pm



It was like an electric tingle when she touched him, taking his hand in her own. He was shocked at first at the boldness, but the surprise only shown for the most scarce of moments through those stormy grey orbs. Then, trying her excuses on him, he couldn't help but grin so gently upon her. The embarrassment she began to show in response to her own faux pas was completely adorable to him. She detained every whit of precious childlike merit along with the blossoming beauty of a young woman.

Rihan listened eagerly as she spoke, explaining about the fabric and the colours she would have chosen for the velvet. He wanted to express to her that either colour would suit her splendidly, but he was too entranced by the sound of her voice to want to interrupt her in any way. Eyes locking into her own crystalline blue gaze, Rihan waited until she took pause, speaking of the dress that she wore today.

"You say it is the most beautiful in the world, and yet...if I'm not mistaken, you say so with sadness. Could it be that your fiance is not here with you today?" When the sound of his deep voice interjected, it was in a tender vociferation, as the subtle change in her cheerful demeanor that such disappointment brought, made him want to reach out and comfort her; but for now, he could only be a comfort to her through his words.


Eolyn certainly decided to get right to the point after that; he supposed because her thoughts had gone somewhere unsavoury and she was avoiding dragging herself any deeper into it. In any case, it was cute, and he couldn't complain about that.

“I’m Lady Eolyn of Igen Hold.”..., “And may I ask who you are sir?”


"A drop dead beauty, as rumoured." Rihan brandished his most swashbuckling smile.

"It is most certainly a pleasure to formally meet you, Lady Eolyn." The fan he'd held, had since been tucked back under the front of his belt, and with his right hand, he now took her small hand into his, lifting it to his lips to kiss. Bending at the waist in a bit of a formal bow as he placed the kiss, he held her hand just longer than appropriate, and firmly enough that she would not be able to withdraw it from him.

"Who am I?...Since it is the Lady Eolyn who asked, then let me tell you truthfully." A roguish grin spread across his features once more as he pressed himself a little nearer to her, leaning to speak with hushed tones more closely to her ear.

"I am the flower that is reflected in the mirror and I am the reflection of the moon that floats upon the water. One might say... that I am the personification of dreams and illusions that captivate and mystify. You can be rest assured that I am real however, because it is that I live within these reflections. Unfortunately,... reflections can be shattered by a single ripple." And so it was with a resigned sigh of his breath that he finished, "I suppose that only makes the moon a little harder to reach though, now doesn't it?"

The words must have been almost cryptic, yet poetic and allegorical. Rihan was quiet then, releasing her hand as he allowed her to consider him.



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PostSubject: Re: Gowns, Suitors, and Gather Stalls   Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:29 pm

“Yes, he had business to attend to but I’m sure he would be here if he could be.” She attempted to sound happier about the situation but failed. It was easier to pretend around Courisse and her family that this had not bothered her at all. Around this stranger it was much harder.

She was not exactly sure why that was other than she felt herself drawn to him. She may have been a bit forward earlier but for the rest of this association she was going to be sure the man knew what kind of girl she was. Eolyn did not want him to think she would do anything to embarrass her Lord or her engagement in any way.

Of course then he took her hand and placed his lips on it. Eolyn felt her stomach turn and flutter. This was bad. This was so bad, and she should be trying to withdraw her hand. Her father had kept her away from men for this reason. She obviously couldn’t handle these situations though in her own defense she had never been so attracted to anyone before. Being locked away from men might not have been the best way to keep her pure. Perhaps teaching her how to deal with men would have been safer?

When he leaned in to give her the answer she felt his warm breath in her ear and a shiver went up her spine. She closed her eyes while she listened. He was a poet, much like her betrothed. But he said he was a reflection, an illusion something that could be shattered. All illusions were shattered at some point, she figured. He withdrew, relinquishing her hand. Although she would not have minded if he had kept it, his hand felt so wonderful wrapped around her own.

“Then you are a mystery . If you are clouded then you will never see the moon, let alone reach her.” She said, quietly. Feeling completely wrong for looking back into those gray eyes. She shouldn’t stay here anymore. Eolyn knew what would happen and she couldn’t allow it. What would she do if Rihan did not measure up to this mystery man?

Eolyn had to fight the idea that she would like to spend the Gather being treated like he was treating her. Shards and shells this was not supposed to happen. She thought now more than ever feeling horrible for entertaining any ideas that were not strictly platonic. Rihan would come to see her and she wanted to fall in love with him, not some mystery man.

She began to step away from him, “I think it would be best if we parted here.” At least it would be best for her.


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PostSubject: Re: Gowns, Suitors, and Gather Stalls   Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:10 pm


Ohh, so Lady Eoyln wanted to try expressing her own heart in prose as well? Not able to suppress a good-humoured laugh, he was just happy to be here with her. The young Lord of Telgar understood that he had thoroughly flustered his betrothed, and he was enjoying it. Through all her efforts to be the well-behaved and proper holder's daughter that she should be, it was insufferably cute to see her struggle with his subtle advances and cryptic remarks. He said nothing in response to her words right away, but continued smiling. In part, his lack of response was because he wanted her to continue considering the meaning of his words where they may be multi-layered and versatile in concept.


When Eolyn suggested parting ways, it was just as he'd expected she might do in order to preserve her good name. "Oh, good Lady, forgive me if I have been too forward. I don't wish to have frightened you away. I would enjoy the company a bit longer if you can suffer it; and if any accuse you for it, then let the fault fall on me, for it was I who took your hand when you may have been unwilling." And it was he who had held her hand with tender and loving strength, unwilling to let it go. Every moment he remained here with her was becoming a terrible struggle to continue existing anonymously. He was beginning to desire her as much as he desired life.

It was with all hopefulness that he inquired after her, "Since your Maid is gone from you, would you allow me to properly escort you until she returns? Or until I can return you to her company? Since we have met, it would be equally impropper of me to leave you without any escort at all." Now that he considered it, this play on propriety might just be his ticket to sticking to her company for a while longer, even if she was inclined otherwise not to agree to it, he knew she had her own sense of what was propper and would probably follow suit for that sake alone.

"In fact," and Rihan's voice lowered to a conspiratorial whisper, "The eyes of many men seek after you. I would be forever disgraced if something happened to you after leaving you unattended." His eyes and voice lit up again, "So please,...allow me. Just for a short time."


===================================================================================



With arm still linked through Lord Holder Korvalds, Courisse was tittering at him over the runners in the stables being readied for the next race. "Won't they let me ride one? That one! That one there is too beautiful. Perhaps we could place a bet on him winning and then after, we'll come back and I'll ride him. Oh, but then he may be too exhausted from the race. Do you think? You could tell him not to enter the race and let me ride him instead of racing."

Of course, Courisse knew that no such thing would probably ever happen, and she knew she was playing herself off as the naive girl who didn't know any better. Her thoughts were 'innocent and childish', even though she did work to make Korvald blush with all her continuous mention of her 'riding' anything. Well, if he was any kind of man, he would think of her words inappropriately and the embarrassment would show on him. Anyway, she was really hoping she'd get to see that.

While keeping Korvold occupied with her endless chatter and expression of curiosity, she silently searched for any sign of Zahir about the stables, hoping to find him at some point to relieve her of the Nerat Lord; at least relieve her from having to be by herself with him. What if he made a move on her?! Oh, she'd be mortified!


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PostSubject: Re: Gowns, Suitors, and Gather Stalls   Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:35 pm

Eolyn

Frowning, “It wasn’t given unwillingly, sir. And for that reason I must go, far from you.” Eolyn said making it clear that this was not entirely his fault; some of the blame should fall on her as she had not herself behaved appropriately. . She had not resisted one single bit which was kind of scary. She was used to being able to keep men at a good distance. Now she was unsure of why she was acting the way she was. After all she had been the one to act forward earlier.

She should never have taken his hand when he was questioning her about the fabric and then again just now. Even in this moment, where her inner battle was raging, she was not sure of her attraction to him. If anyone in her family knew, she would be locked up until the day of her wedding. Something she did not particularly care for. Besides she wanted to have this feeling, the one she had begun to feel for this tall, handsome mysterious stranger, with the man she was spending the rest of her life with.

Even as she hesitated and tried to work around his logic, the man was making so much sense. Pleading with her that she should not be allowed to roam unguarded and that as a gentleman it was his duty to see her safely to people who could protect her she ceded that he might be right. Perhaps it would be safer, she argued with herself while she wrung her hands in front of her waist, releasing some of her inner tension. Even as her heart raced when he whispered, she felt as though she was betraying her own duty. After all, who was to say he wasn’t one of those men? Why was he the one to escort her when it was so obvious that he too was watching her closely? Perhaps more closely than any of the ruffians or cads he was worried about.

With a short, sigh, she confessed, “I suppose it is the proper thing to do.” Pausing before taking his arm she added, “As soon as I am once again in the company of others who know me, you must promise to leave me.” Was it wrong to tell him that she did not want him close by even as she felt that he should always be by her. She was horrible. How could she even think something like that about a man she knew absolutely nothing about? He would not even supply his name. Courisse was always so much more skeptical than she was and it would be much better to have the other young woman with her right now to use her more worldly judgment on. Eolyn had an idea of what the other lady would say and it was that small voice which her heart now argued with.

When he looked at her with his eyes lit up in some small triumph, she couldn’t help but find herself more cheerful. “So then, we should head towards the races.” She indicated the direction with her hand as she took his arm. Touching his arm sent her feeling slightly fluttery again. He had better walk at a good pace and not amble along as if she had all day. Otherwise she wasn’t sure she would be able to endure his company without doing something to jeopardize her engagement. Where was Courisse when she needed her?

Korvold & Zahir

The Lord from Nerat’s Half Circle Sea Hold, was unable to get a word in for most of the walk. Boy could she chatter. He could put up with anything, or at least, almost anything from a woman so lovely. “I could go find out for you but I’m fairly certain the owner of the runner would say no.” Korvold was about to ask a stable boy about the runner when a clear, crisp voice broke over the stables.

“Indeed I would.” Zahir said, from where he stood leaning on the wall a few feet away. He had been going for the dashing, handsome young Holder look and he really hoped it had worked. If only for his own selfish, vanity’s sake.

“Your sister was just telling me how she admired your runner.” Korvold spoke amiably while Zahir continued to try to look unaffected by the pair standing together. Sister was she? He smiled.

“She did always want to steal my runners out from under me.” Zahir said, with a wit as sharp as his blade. His eyes were dancing orbs of blue as he looked at his cousin. He was not angry or jealous but he found the entire situation amusing.

Korvold, unsure of how to respond, flushed just slightly. Did the other Holder mean that as a stab at his sister or was there more to their relationship? It was all a little strange to him and after her references to riding, he felt there might be more of a tempestuous woman inside of her than he had heard tell. The awkward silence continued for a moment before Korvold suggested, “Perhaps you can show us around and we can watch the races together.” Though from the way the two of them were looking at each other he wasn’t sure he wanted to.

The uncertainty in Korvold’s voice, gave Zahir the perfect opportunity to steal away his cousin. She had an excuse not to be with his sister and he had plenty of time before his next engagement. “I do not think my dear sister and I will have time. “Zahir saved him from having to say much of anything in response.

Although he spoke to Korvold his eyes were on Courisse. “You see, she is desired elsewhere.” Then, completely ignoring the other Lord, Zahir walked over to Courisse and offered her his arm. It was quite clear he was going to be escorting the young lady from there on. “Perhaps we will see you for the dancing later. In the meantime be sure to enjoy some of the racing.” He addressed Korvold again although he might as well not have. It was obvious he couldn’t care a whit if the man stayed or left.


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PostSubject: Re: Gowns, Suitors, and Gather Stalls   Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:35 am

Rihan

“It wasn’t given unwillingly, sir. And for that reason I must go, far from you.”

His own heart set to a flutter, Rihan was ecstatic. He was pleasing to her. How happy that made him! Even if she didn't know who he was, even without cords of rank to stand out above the rest, she still liked him. Now, he wondered, how upset would she be if she learned of his true identity after leading her on like this for very long? Rihan was enjoying himself far too thoroughly to want to consider it very deeply, and she'd have to forgive him at some point. He was now certain he could win her heart again in any case.

On the other hand, Eolyn was trying her best to be cautious since he wasn't playing the role of her betrothed at the moment, so he figured he should watch what he say and do so as not to make her feel her reputation were any more compromised by his presence. Offering the Lady his arm, when she accepted it, he kept them linked loosely enough that she wouldn't feel as though he was trying to crowd her or become too uncomfortably near.


“As soon as I am once again in the company of others who know me, you must promise to leave me.”

Rihan was gazing ahead even as she spoke, looking off toward the remaining vendor stalls on this side of the street that they hadn't visited yet, and acknowledged her words with a slight nod of his head and an agreeable if not slightly injured tone, "As you wish." Just as his voice may have suggested, Rihan's heart dropped and felt cold when she made her request. He knew it would not last and wasn't directed toward him as her fiance, so he couldn't allow himself to take her words too personally.

For a moment, Eolyn seemed to have turned inward to her own thoughts, so he was quiet and let her be, taking pause at a couple of the vendors as they went. As for returning to the race tracks right away, the day was very warm and there was no need to make either of them suffer of thirst. "Let us stop to refresh ourselves with something to drink and then we'll continue on our way." A faint smile graced his features, taking strides that led them under a large refreshment tent that had been left open to the breeze but would shade them from the heat for a while.


[smokey fade scene to another thread]

=================================================================
Courisse

Zahir startled her when he'd appeared to them, and Courisse was quite frankly very glad that he'd come. Watching between the two of them back and forth as they spoke, Courisse could feel a flush rise to her pretty cheeks as she felt Zahir's eyes more and more upon her alone.

“You see, she is desired elsewhere.”

Not sure if the young Lord of Igen was serious or not, Courisse was still glad to play along, "Oh! I bet we have new visitors just arrived. Gather day is always full of people to greet, as you know."

Courisse stepped toward Zahir, taking his arm, "Yes, we should meet up for dancing later. Until then!" The girl was chipper and sweetly waved back at Korvold before she and Zahir left from him. She did not speak to Zahir right away, but as soon as they were far enough from the Nerat Lord, she let out an exasperated sigh of relief, squeezing up as close as she could to her cousin.

"You saved me. I would say that 'I just don't know how to thank you enough', but I'm not certain that would be telling the truth. I can imagine a few ways." Courisse was glad to have the chance to be alone with Zahir and didn't even bother questioning where he would take them. Her preference was just being with him.


[phase out...end of scene..move to Holdless thread at gather.]


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