A Minor Disagreement

A Minor Disagreement
Summary: Paule and Katarina discuss Tomas' proposal and have a disagreement about it.
Date: 18 June 2013
Related: After Request Declined
Paule Katarina Alek 

Upper Bailey — Brivey Keep
Were it not for the walls and the towering keep one would think they have stepped into a garden. Here paths of cut stone wind their way through well-tended flower plots and trimmed topiaries. Short hedges line the walkways leading up to the keep's entrance, and lanterns hang from posts set at even intervals to light the way.
18 June 1329

The main, wide path leads from the lower bailey to the keep's entrance hall, while two other smaller paths split off in opposite directions to head to the guest wing and the temple.

Out for a stroll with Katarina, Paule is frowning heavily, something on his mind as he speaks to his wife. "I realize that our own marriage and such was rushed, but I did not realize that it seemed to run in your family." he says, finally deciding to speak what's on his mind as they step into the air outside the castle.

Katarina arches one blonde eyebrow slowly upward at Paule, this being one of those 'warning signs' that Paule should be adept at deciphering. "Oh?" is wondered in return, her tone of voice perfectly mild, only a touch curious and not even faintly interrogative. Letting Paule lead with the rest of his opening remarks.

Paule recognizes it, but he just squeezes his wife's hand to comfort her. "The King's Steward called me into his office today. Apparently he is already enraptured and ensanred by our dear Coriaria and asked me for my permission to allow him to pursue her in courtship." he says simply as he continues to walk with Katarina through the gardens.

"Is he," Katarina says in that same mild tone of voice. "And has Coriaria weighed in on this topic?" she wonders, still mild voice, and that comforting squeeze is given a long look before her eyes rise to Paule's again. "First of all, my cousin - our king - commanded me to come help save your ass, if you'll recall, and marry you while I was there. We'll set aside the older and other facets of this argument and particular debate as we both well know he should have sent aid earlier, we understand why my father wouldn't risk us, the King should have sent someone else long before he sent me. But as I did not actually get a vote, per se, in this particular marriage negotiation - nor did you - rushed marriages do not run in my family. My father courted my mother for a full year before she finally was amiable to the match, and it was another four moons /after/ she agreed to the match before they were wed. My brother, may the gods have mercy on my goodsister, courted my goodsister for nearly as long and she said no - twice - before saying yes," and if she sounds more than just a bit INDIGNANT at this point.. she has just cause.

"And I said not now. He's known Cricket less than a week. He sees her and he sees his dead wife. Cori is not a replacement." Paule says firmly as he looks to his wife, his own indignant voice rising in retort to hers. "I asked him to be her friend first. To write her. To see if something blossoms. She is nineteen. Her parents are healthy and hale and even discussing having another child or two. There is no rush to force Coriaria into anything much less a courtship that could lead to betrothment. You have spent the last several years preaching to me that our daughter should have the right to choose who she wants to see and upset with me when I suggest matching her up, and the minute one of your relatives shows interest, you are pushing me to match them immediately. Hypocritical much?"

Katarina lifts one eyebrow again, worth every hour spent PRACTICING that particular gesture in front of a mirror until she has it down pat, "Did I say I was in favor of the match?" she asks, still in that mild tone of voice. "I asked, if I recall correctly, if Coriaria has weighed in on this topic," she clarifies - in case old age has already addled his hearing. "I did not, to clarify, say that I was in favor OR against said match. I asked.. her opinion on it."

"As she did not approach me to ask, I am assuming at the moment that she is not aware that your cousing is seeking to be matched with her. And with the gears of war turning and the recent incidents in Ellowe, I do not think that even considering a match should be anywhere on our priority list. In fact, I am disappointed that he brought it up to me, considering everything else that is going on." Paule says calmly, his own brow lifted in response to hers as he continues to walk with her.

Katarina actually blinks at Paule then laughs, a quiet but quick sound. "Really. You are surprised? Really?" she sounds incredulous, and from the look on her face she IS indeed incredulous. "She resembles his dead wife. She is the closest he's been to a living breathing woman - and, by the gods, she is the same age now that they were when he wed his Victoria all those years ago. She resembles her so strongly that he cannot think straight when she's in the room with him. You wonder why he asks for her hand, for permission to court her? To hopefully catch her eye and our approval before someone else courts her and gains both? To have to suffer through years of seeing Coriaria standing at the side of some other man, and imagining that which he is most certainly remembering, only seeing it writ true with our daughter?" she shakes her head then. "Love, you're not thinking like a man who hasn't been to bed with the woman that he's missed for all these long years," she suggests, "I guarantee, Tomas is."

"And Coriaria is not that woman." Paule repeats himself, something he rarely has to do with his wife as he shakes his head and pauses in his step to turn to look at Katarina. "He has aged over a decade. He cannot expect to return to that time and for Cricket to fill in what he lost. And I will not allow my daughter to do such." he says. "As far as telling her? I do not plan to do so. If I were to do so, she may confront Tomas over it and then he will lose her as a friend as well. I find it best to see if he follows my advice. And in the meantime, we continue to see if a favorable match arises. Or if Coriaria chooses one for herself. If she is to court that means she is taken, and noone else has that opprotunity."

Trudging, yes trudging, along the path through the area seeking to simply cover the ground between here and there is one Westmark Knight. Not any Knight mind you, but the pretty one. Ever dutiful, Alek carries a package tucked under his arm having been sent upon some errand or another by his charge, most likely. How life has changed without Corsairs invading, relgated to babysitting and running errands. But a Knight does what as their liege wishes and his liege wished and errand run. Familar voices are caught and the direction is glanced towards by the Knight, a simple bow of his head offered in their direction whether they look or not, as he does not have need to interupt them.

"Nonsense," Katarina counters as she turns to face Paule, moving almost perfectly as a mirror in tandem. "Being courted does not mean being betrothed, to start with. Men, only men, for what ever the reason, seem to think that one necessarily results in the other. Being willing to be courted signals to all interested parties that the courted - that being our daughter - is indicating that she, and we, are now open to such negotiations. It means that Tomas, as well as any other man of birth, standing, political affiliations, familial ties and other means by which we will deem the worthy - - or not - - have been met. Should she find favor with his interest in this regard, to pay court to her, then he may do so - if she is amiable to such a thing. She may decide to no longer be amiable to his suit at any point and I dare say that either of us, let alone our daughter, are sufficiently persuasive to cause him, or any other, to cease and desist such attention once it it no longer welcome. IF she decides she is ready to be courted. If she is not, then she is not, simple as that. She has a mind of her own, and a mind - I will further remind you - that is MUCH like yours. Clever, creative, devious in it's intricate twisty turvy CONVOLUTED confusing way. Brilliant, as well, she can out strip you on any given day, twice as often on sunday, when she wishes to. Our child is no fool, husband," her voice has risen to a rather strident tone at this mark, "and we will not treat her as such."

"And it is with that respect in mind that I turned Tomas away, Katarina." Paule responds, twisting Katarina's own logic back to his will. "Cricket is not a piece of meat to be dangled out in front of the Prince to see if he takes the bait. She can make up her own mind, and if she wishes to court someone, she could approach us." he points out casually as he gives a smile towards his wife and then notices Alek. "Sir Alek. Have you seen your charge this day?"

Steps are drawn up as his name is heard and a turn is neatly executed to send Alek facing towards the Baron and his wife, giving a more proper bow now. "Yes, my Lord. Earlier this afternoon when she sent me out to fetch a few things. She has been pouring over her latest observations in that way of hers. I imagine she is yet there, she was quite caught up. And you know how she can be when her thoughts get set to motion upon some new bit of science that facinates her."

"So, it is your thinking that our daughter should propose courtship to the nobleman or knight of her choosing?" Katarina's words are, again, edged with that incredulous tone of voice. "Thus undermining the entire tone of the courtship? That being, I'll remind, the goal OF courtship for the man to court, pay attention, and learn ABOUT the woman that he wishes to wife?" She waves one hand, "Why bother with it at all then? We'll have her draw up a list when she's ready and simply decide which one she wants, why bother courting at all. Plenty of time to learn about the man she's wed to after the wedding after all. Years and years in fact. So what if she decides that she loathes the man she's wed. No worries, she can always deal with that in some fashion or other. Why, lets just skip the whole custom all together. After all, I more or less proposed to you, edict of the King -bedamned- if I recall correctly was your take on it. Alek," she rounds on Alek, full ire now in her tone of voice, "what say you to Cricket simply picking some lucky man in a year or two, perhaps having reviewed his pedigree and standing from afar and arranging the marriage within a few hours of her making her selection? It'll be like buying a ribbon," her narrowed eyes land on Paule again, "just pick the right shade and material and cut it to length."

"Oh Guardians. Are you really bringing up that argument? I know how courtships work. I also know that three days after meeting someone is not the proper time to ask for someone's hand." Paule responds evenly. "Or to even suggest courtship. You talk to her then. You tell her that the Prince wants to court her because she reminds him of his dead wife. See how well she takes that." he comments as he looks back to Alek. "What observation is that?"

An eyebrow quirks a bit as Katarina turns that displeasure his way,"I dare say she'd boisteously pick out the cutest of the lot, based on little else and being all talk as she is want to be when it comes to boys. At least until the selection was noted to be for courtship and marriage, then she'd clam straight up and never give a selection, she'd always be in the selction process, new data to always go over. Cause frankly, the second she considers a boy in that light, she turns more than shy than a young lad thrown into the Flowering Vines. " Alek actually giving a vague opinion on the matter. But then Paule has a question to which Alek can just shrug a little,"She's been mixing this or that again, something about burning times, colors and the like. You know me, I might take the notes down for her, but only follow but a whisper of it all. "

"You can't seriously think to keep this from her?" Katarina demands, having heard Paule each time he'd SUGGESTED it, but again - old age, addled wits. "You honestly don't think that he will some day TELL her and then she will know that we LIED to her, by keeping this information from her? since when do we lie to our children?" she practically GASPS these words at Paule, so profoundly aghast at this notion that she's at a loss for words and practically sputters the last: "Well of course she gets all shy, she's not ready to make a decision but that does not mean she is not interested in the vetting process."

"I'm not lying to her! I'm just saying…" Paule realizes at this point that talking to his wife is akin to talking to a brick wall and he releases her hand and just.. "I'm going to get some air and get a drink." Which means he's probably going to find someone or something to take his aggression out on, don't wait up.

"She may have some vague interest in the process, but really at the moment, I beleive her thoughts anre worries are taken up by what she considers more pressing matters. That offers are being made, would certainly be of interest to her, though she would be relieved to discover they had been turned down." Alek offers in way of explanation as he continues,"With the responsiblites rescently placed upon her, her focus is there. Even if it does not always show through. Though of the offer, I could bring itup with her, if it was wihed, after all the worst she could do is throw up on me again like the time I called her bluff and offered to actually get her one of those Ravas Acolytes she sometimes goes on about." Alek just watching Paule as he withdraws and works on a retreat.

Rooftop Terrace — Brivey Keep
The roof of this tower of the keep is most often utilized for pondering and relaxation. A short four-foot ledge outlines the rooftop for the protection of those that choose to visit. The perch above offers bird's-eye view of the entire castle as well as the sprawling Riedel lands below in all directions. Stone benches have been set near the ledges for those requiring rest.

Following the curve of the tower takes one along a sloping walk back toward the door leading into the castle.

18 June 1329

Hours have gone by since Katarina and Paule had their fight. Having stormed off for some time alone in the woods, Paule just finally climbed up the side of the castle and perched on the side of the roof, ducked within the shadows, quiet and brooding.

Katarina had waited Paule out, knowing that eventually he would seek someplace high, remote and physically challenging to reach and - with that in mind - had scouted several locations and finds Paule at last, and with no small amount of effort. She, unlike him, is not a fan of heights - which is to say, not a fan of being on the outside of heights.

Set on the edge of the wall and overlooking the lights below, Paule may know his wife's arrival, but he doesn't speak to her, apparently still angry or incensed or a million other things he may be feeling at the moment as he just stares out into the darkness, his own cloak nearly blending him into the shadows.

"You know, heights like this make me want to shriek and claw my way back inside," Katarina says in a somber tone of voice. She leans, a fraction of a skinny inch, to the side and eyes the long long way to the ground and leans back that same, precise, fraction of inch. "Trees are one thing, they make some manner of connective sense. Cliffs, no, buildings? no. I can so .. so easily imagine falling, bouncing off the side of the building or the cliff, frantically trying to make the evolutionary leap to sprout wings.. and then make a rather messy impact having failed the task of evolutionary advancement."

"Buildings are just like cliffs. You just have to find the handholds, love." Paule says quietly as he frowns. "Am I too strong on our children?" he asks finally. "You said to me that I was lieing to our child. I wasn't. I just.. I think it is Tomas' place to tell Coriaria his intentions, not for me to play some.. messenger.. for him."

"Not telling her of Tomas's interest or his intentions and what we feel are quite logically his reason for both would be lying," Katarina says quietly in turn. "We haven't lied to our child, and we're not going to. But we are going to trust her to hear our words, reason her own logic from them, and decide on a equally logical response to the data that we provide. And it is our place to play messenger, Paule. We're her parents. She needs to hear these things from us, not from Alek or the knife boy or the stable hand or the tailor that is aware that Tomas is considering such things," said as she rather calmly places her shoulders back against the side of the building, also rather neatly placing herself as far away from the -edge- of the building as possible.

"And what is our response to this, Katarina?" Paule asks, his expression still somber as he looks out over the city. Perhaps that is why he has this distance right now. He knows her fear of high spots in buildings, and he is using it to his advantage. "Because I do not think it is her choice to make. As head of household, it is my choice. And while she can have her say, I still think that as you said.. as long as he sees his wife in our daughter, I do not feel comfortable with this idea. Nor do I think he would be good as Baron of our lands when we are gone." Finally, he hits the root of the problem - the part that was being ignored in the courtyard. "I brought him a barrel of wine when we first arrived. I watched him, bloodshot and staggered, continue to drink. He offered me wine today when he wanted to ask me after Coriaria. After I said no the first time, he pressed the issue a second time, as if begging me for permission." he says finally and now he looks to you. "Does that sound like the type of man you want after our Cricket?"

"No, and as a Prince he cannot leave his house to someone else to administer, and any husband that Coriaria takes will need to leave his house to join ours," Katarina says quietly in turn, equally somber, her hands now tucked into her pockets as she speaks. "That does not mean that we do not speak to Coriaria as to the crux of this matter, so that she is aware of the interest that is set upon her, and why," she adds, her gaze fixed upon Paule and not on the view as she speaks. "And, if I know my cousin, he drank himself into a stupor to try to forget the long empty nights without his lost wife. And he pressed the issue because she so resembles. I'm not in favor of the match, Paule. I'm in favor of keeping out daughter fully appraised on these things as she is a fully fledged adult at this point, and we must treat her accordingly."

"I know, Kat. I was there when she left for her Becoming ceremony. I'm trusting her with more and more. But…" Paule looks down finally, speaking that fear he has finally. One that you and you alone know.

"…where do I fit in now, beloved wife?"

Katarina feels her lips curve in a gentle smile, "You are her father," she says in a voice to match her expression. "She will love you, honor you, respect you, be infuriated by you, confounded and confused by you in equal measures for the balance of her life. Your place, love, is to protect her when you can, and to let her test herself now that she's old enough to do so. She may not need you to kiss a skinned knee or bloody the nose of some ill mannered popinjay of a suitor, not in those exact examples, any more. But she will always need you. You're her father."

"I lost my parents when I was much younger than her, Katarina." Paule says, as he finally drops from the ledge and makes the steps to cross over to her. "I don't know how to be a parent to an adult. I'm not ready for this, my wife. Perhaps that is why I want another child.. because I want to remember what it is like to know that a child adores us completely."

Katarina quells a small shudder at the thought of Paule dropping the WRONG way by sheer tug of wind or some shift of gravity, "I don't know how to be a parent to an adult either," she says quietly. "But I had the benefit of a wealth of aunts and uncles, cousins and kin, rather a large number of same. It isn't supposed to be easy, Paule. It's supposed to be bloody difficult, in fact. And if it ISN'T bloody difficult, then we aren't doing it right."

He hasn't dropped the wrong way yet. Paule ends up standing in front of his wife, his expression downcast as he explores her face with his eyes. She makes it all sound so very easy when she says it. "I love you. Never doubt that, Katarina Westmark. But as calm as you are I am just as passionate." the Baron says as he reaches up and caresses the side of her face. "You once told me I'm completely insufferable. And I will always be that way, Kat. But I know you're right. We'll find someplace we can talk to Coriaria and lay it all out for her."

Katarina uses both hands to curl in the front of his shirt, tugging him a small fraction closer, breathing easier now that her hands are curled quite safely on the front of his shirt. "That's why we're each side of the same coin," she reminds gently. "I love you too, Paule Westmark, you are my breath, my soul, you are the blood that moves through my body and the very light of my soul." She rises to her toes long enough to brush her lips against yours, "It's not ever about being right, you know, it's about finding a way to stand together, that's all."

"Aye. I know." Paule says, returning the kiss, and then slips his hand into hers. "Lets go find our daughter to speak with her."

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