Wine Stains

Wine Stains
Summary: The Baron and Baroness of Westmark meet Her Highness, Princess Niniane of Rhaedan, in Laketown for a meal. After Castor joins them, the Baron ensures that this will be a conversation none of them will ever forget…
Date: 04/05/2013
Related: None
Castor Niniane Paule Katarina 

Blue Duck Inn, Laketown
The Common Room of the Blue Duck Inn is a more intimate space of comfortable chairs and a roaring fireplace, away from the general public outside. Unlike the main room of the Inn, the Common Room is with exquisite appointments and fine glass, wood, and metal work. There is a shelf of the finest drinks available on display, waitstaff happy to serve, provided one can pay. Reds and oranges and other warm hues dominate this part of the Inn, with intricate rugs and upholstery that truly displays the craftsmanship manifest in Laketown or its ability to import whatever it cannot properly make locally. Heads of bears, deer, and other game are displayed on the walls with small plaques indicating the record hunts of the various animals native to the area.

The twin ornate ebony doors lead back to the main room of the Blue Duck Inn.

July 4th, 1329

The northern Princess, well the one still in the south has been escorted by a multitude of guards in Taniford colors to the blue duck in. Her excuse given, a wish to see her foster brother again and a hope to look in on the preparation (of course a girlish giggle or two was added into her request). Now that she is in Lakewood the princess claiming hunger has situated herself with her back to the wall in the back of the Blue Duck Inn. When offers a better seat the blonde declines and keeps watch on the door as she sips at a glass of wine and waits for a light meal to arrive.

Having stayed in town for the Ravas festival aftermath, Paule is already sitting at a table with Katarina, the two of them chatting and sharing a meal - if it wasn't for the few guards they had in Westmark colors nearby, one would assume that they are just an older married couple on a date. "I thought we would go buy the local exchanges in a bit and see if we see your ring there." the Baron offers calmly, "Though right now, I am amused by this news of the defecting southern lady."

Katarina has her good hand curled in Paule's and the other tucked against her side, fingers curled and - to even the most casual of glances - it's visibly swollen still and bruised several ugly shades that do not at all compliment her attire. "If we can find it, maybe we can back track it to it's source," she suggests, her tone very mild and measured, better to control the instinct to have a green rage monster moment. "Oh? Which lady is that, by the by?"

Niniane remains quiet though as she hears voices she recognizes the young woman's expression lightens from sheer boredom to amusement. She remains at her table however and looks towards the door again, the Taniford guards still keeping a close eye on the ambassador, despite the fact they want to present she is not a captive.

With a glance over, the Baron of Westmark is responding to Katarina. "The one that was rumored to have slept with Prince Samwell.. Collette? The one the Auldholmes were all a twitterpated about." Paule makes a face and then notices Niniane. "Princess. Come, sit with your people." he glances at the guards. "Unless you want to deny the Princess that right to her access to her own people in a neutral city?" the Baron offers, his words a thinly vieled promise.

"Ahh, the Auldholmes, such.. reasonable people, as a family," Katarina replies with a tone of voice that is only slightly sardonic. "I very much wanted to puncture the Sir Auldholme during that council meeting. Perhaps if I poke enough holes in him some much needed light and air might make it's way up to his brain. If not, perhaps it'll help me locate is spine and re-acquaint him with it," she suggests in a mild tone of voice. Following Paule's line of sight she smiles at Niniane before fixing a long look at the 'guards' escorting her. "These gentlemen aren't bothering you, are they my dear?" she wonders.

Niniane's green eyes travel to her foster parents and a small smile touches her lips, "Oh my no Lady Katarina. They are merely here to protect me of course." She smiles to the closest guard who clears his throat and shifts his feet. The princess does rise then and move to sit with the other northerners after offering both a firm hug, "It is so nice to see you again. Are you here for the tournament?" She asks quietly once she sits down and the Taniford guards barely move position. "I was just here to see the set up and I had hoped to see Castor, have you seen him by chance?" Her gaze travels to Paule at this question.

Rising to his feet, Paule returns Niniane's hug and chuckles. "I'm sure that they want to make sure that they have their guilded cage open on occassion, aye?" he says with a grin, and then considers. "I have not seen Castor since he went to the Temple." the Baron admits in a tone that expresses his still lingering displeasure over that particular decision. "I have had to spend my time getting Laurel prepared to take over his duties should he decide to remain with the Temple." he comments before gesturing. "Please, join us. Perhaps you can revel us with tales of what's happening in the great kingdom of Taniford."

Katarina returns Niniane's hug in return, "I saw him just the other day, at the festival. He's healing nicely, from what I've gathered," she adds. "I'm sure that he'll be back to his health in no time," she says with a confident nod. "How was the end of the festival? I'm sorry I couldn't stay as long as I'd have liked," she shares a smile with Paule, "but we had other plans." She takes her seat again, "And Laurel is enjoying the change of responsibilities. I think she feared we would wish her to remain temple bound for her entire life, when we really only wished to give her the education that we could not while still fighting the war that took so many of our years, and so many of our people."

"Oh you know a lady never gossips Paule." Niniane grins though and looks generally pleased to be in both of their presence though her eyes do look towards th door. "You ought to have told me you were coming to Laketown, I would have set more time aside for you both." A sip of her wine and the princess continues, "And yes Castor's decision was…unexpected, however I am pleased to hear Laurel is doing well." She pauses a moment before asking, "Have you seen my father lately? I just worry how he is faring, my sister and brothers as well."

"We had a audience with him not more than two weeks ago," Katarina replies, offering reassurance with her words. "He is very displeased with a number of activities of our fellow peers and a number of activities that certain family members may be guilty of. But. He's made some decisions to address all of those issues. We've been tasked with straightening out the state of the treasury and, as such, will be tasking our daughters to seeing that all the ones and zeros add up the way that they should. Among other things." She reaches for the cup of wine she's sipping from before continuing, "Your brother, also, we have had chance to speak with on several occasions. When time permits by Paule and myself are members of his council. We hope to see more of him, and not merely in council chambers or riding to or from various conflicts that the crown must tangle itself in."

The door opens with a creak as Castor Westmark — garbed as usual as a Chosen Acolyte and wearing a sling around his left arm — walks into the tavern, taking a moment to pause and glance around the room before heading further inside.

He does make a detour by the bar, before changing direction toward his parents, whose voices he recognises. A smirk appears on his face as he orders himself a cup of wine. "My Lord, Lady and Nin! It is good to see you all well!" he especially nods toward his mother, considering recent events.

Once more Katarina rises to her feet, this time to meet Castor and rests both hands lightly on his shoulders, a gentle clasp but not drawing him in for a hug - lets not embarrass her son by doing so in public, after all - "You're looking well," she says, searching his eyes with hers as she speaks.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Castor=deception Vs Katarina=perception
< Castor: Failure Katarina: Good Success
< Net Result: Katarina wins - Solid Victory

Returning from his writing, Paule offers his son a nod of his head. "Castor." he comments as he offers a small smirk towards Katarina. "I believe you are just hungry for travel these days. And you, love, are still recovering from wounds, too." he points out casually.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Paule=perception Vs Katarina=deception
< Paule: Success Katarina: Failure
< Net Result: Paule wins - Marginal Victory

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Paule=perception Vs Castor=deception
< Paule: Failure Castor: Success
< Net Result: Castor wins - Marginal Victory

<FS3> Niniane rolls Deception: Good Success.

As Castor arrives Niniane's face lights up. He is her excuse to be in Laketown and as such the princess' guards need the show, which Niniane is apparently eager to give. She lets the slightly younger acolyte greet his parents before standing to offer a smile of her own and a quick, "I am so pleased you could make it." She touches her hair lightly and smooths down her gown absentmindedly before taking a seat again and smiling to Katarina, "Thank you My Lady, it is well to hear my father is taking such things seriously, and my brother is doing well."

Castor's eyes appear cloudy, the flesh around them strained with suppressed discomfort… but only to his Mother. He leans in to kiss her on the cheek, nods once as their eyes meet, and then the smiles fondly at his father and foster-sister. "Mind if I sit down? I have been on my feet all day teaching acolytes how to properly care for horses… Good help is so hard to find!"

He smirks and pulls out a chair, sitting down slowly and putting his cup on the table.

"I enjoy traveling," Katarina confesses with a smile to Paule. "Especially when our travel is not done at the head of a army bound for some conflict or another," she qualifies with a wry grin. A sidelong glance is cast between Niniane and Castor, the same brief glance flicked toward the Taniford guards, speculation gleaming her eyes ever so faintly. She meets Castor's eyes again, understand that which he is saying and much that he is not, "Please, have a seat," she invites as she seats herself again once more, settling one hand in Paule's once more.

Remaining standing until the others are seated, Paule settles back down, his hand captured by Katarina's before he glances at the guards, and does some mental calculations. After doing his checks, he turns and says quietly. "We could take them." he says simply as he sips from his ale. "But ah well, I heard that Jerric has presented terms of peace to the South."

"Terms of peace?" Niniane's eyebrow raises before she lets herself settle down again, easily able to slip back into her deception of casting sidelong glances towards Castor with a hint of a blush, "My father approved such a thing? I keep meaning to write him but I find myself so busy just trying to keep track of what is going on. I feel I was not made for war." The blonde confesses with a small sigh before she wraps a strand of hair around her finger and asks idly, "So is it confirmed that southern lady is in the north? Ran away from her father and duties?"

Castor sips at his wine, listening for the time being. He glances at his father, and the corner of his mouth twitches faintly. A smirk. Excitement. Desire for battle.

"Will they listen?" he asks softly after a while and returns to sipping his wine.

"Aye, that we could. But then what?" Katarina wonders softly. "We eliminate this batch. Then the cry of alarm brings the nights watch which summons more soldiers to this rally point. The bodies continue to accumulate until we make a barricade out o bodies and they threaten to set fire to the building in order to contain us and the threat that we represent. OR we have to surrender at some point, after all, setting fire to buildings is considered rude and a last choice sort of thing. Then my cousin, and Niniane's father, has to get involved. He's just trusted us with deciphering the state of the treasury, this casts ill light upon him. Puts Niniane in jeopardy, and all of that before we ruin what is likely to be a rather pleasant meal." She smiles, "Lets not," she suggest before turning to Niniane. "Thus the rumors imply, yes. I've heard rumors of a formal disinheritance edict, I do hope that this child does not show up on my doorstep, I'll be inclined to turn her into a scullery maid and make her earn a honest living." She tilts her head slightly at Castor, "Some will. some won't. It's difficult to end wars, my son, because the fight - often - becomes all that some have left, when all else has been lost."

"I wouldn't even let her shine our spit off the floor, Katarina." Paule says with a snort. "All we have heard so far is rumor. Of course, both sides are blaming the other for what happened." he shrugs his shoulder. "She is Auldholme's problem now. My problem is.. if the Auldholme heir was willing to do this for a piece of ass, what else is he willing to compromise?" he says, a serious tone in his voice, despite the quiet undertones. "Especially in light of his outburst at the last Council meeting. Lack of honor, indeed. And then he acts as a thief in the night?"

Castor puts down his wine cup, frowning, and shakes his head. "War is simple. You find the enemy… then you kill him. If you have imagination, you can do it with great efficiency. Politics on the other hand… Cricket can keep it."

He glances at Niniane and chuckles ruefully. "I don't envy you, Nin — I really don't. All the talking in politics makes my head hurt for some reason…"

Niniane drops her hair from her hand and gives Castor an exasperated look, either in character or for not keeping with her plan, who knows. A small chuckle escapes the young woman as Katarina's assessment of the situation though and she shakes her head, "I can hold my own, thank you for the concern though." She looks to the guards a moment before shaking her head to Castor now, "I am merely a pawn my wolf, merely a simple pawn." She lowers her tone then, "Besides I am just a silly girl, with words passing in one ear then out the other of course."

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Paule=perception Vs Niniane=deception
< Paule: Good Success Niniane: Great Success
< Net Result: Niniane wins - Solid Victory

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Paule=perception Vs Niniane=deception
< Paule: Good Success Niniane: Good Success
< Net Result: Paule wins - Marginal Victory

"Perhaps we could let her muck out stables," Katarina offers in return with a grin shared with Paule. Her grin turns to a more somber expression, "I don't trust him as far as I can heave him out a window. Which, to note, is not entirely a bad idea." She moves one shoulder in a shrug, her right one that is, as the left — along with her left hand - is still quite sore. "War is never that simple. Death is not the only solution, and great efficiency — while prized — does not necessarily win the day. Pick your battles. And, if the choice is yours, pick your battle ground. Everything is a weapon, including the terrain, the weather and the angle of light." Katarina gives a sound that is quite nearly a snicker of amusement at Niniane's words, "Of course, my dear," she says in a very quiet voice.

"Always take advantage with the situation presents itself." Paule says, as he glances towards Niniane and Castor, and then shakes his head for a moment, and then smirks. "Aye, indeed." he says in agreement with the others. "And if we put her in the stables, she'd try to mate with the horses - it's a rite of passage for Lohstrens, I heard."

Castor gives his father a bemused eyebrow-raise. "Father, I cannot help but wonder how you come by all this information… wait. I don't think I want to know… true or not." He shakes his head and chuckles — only the cut the laughter off quickly.

He looks at Katarina.

"I had intended to travel back to Rhaedan as soon as Mother Superior's opinion of my health more or less agreed with mine. You know… in case I'm needed for anything." He shrugs — on one side — with an attempt at dismissing the notion of spending more time with his family as duty to his king.

<FS3> Castor rolls Deception: Failure.

Niniane covers her mouth at Paule's words and feigns a look of shock as she shakes her head, "I have never heard such a thing…but that is not to say it isn't true." She coughs and then hides behind her glass of wine again for a moment. Her apple green eyes drift towards the younger man at the table again and the princess kicks him under the table now, ever she lightly, "It is so nice of the Taniford's to allow me to visit you Castor, isn't it?" She asks then turning to Katarina smiling still asks, "Have you heard the horrible song they sing of my sisters down here? Truly a horrible tune."

Katarina makes a quiet, "Hmmm," fo sound. "Not entirely hygienic, in my opinion, for our stallions, that is. Never know what sort of diseases she may be carrying, they could be transferred to the poor stallion, and then we'd have to end a breeding line utterly due to contamination." She eyes Castor, thoughtfully, "I'm sure that the Mother Superior's opinion will match your own, when your health matches her requirements," she suggests in return. Niniane's words make her almost choke on her wine, almost that is, and her eyes water as she tries very hard to resist. "Yes, a truly.. atrocious tune."

Paule shakes his head. "She can find her own title and way." he says finally. "Westmark is not in the business of assisting Auldholme with relationships.." he says, "Though sadly, we have problems with our own, after all.. it is a shame, Princess Niniane, your request to court our dear son came the week after Castor's turning to the Temple. I suppose.. maybe, he'll change his mind, so I do not wish to reject it out of hand.. I only wish he had known.. sooner." he shrugs his shoulder casually.

Paule shakes his head. "She can find her own title and way." he says finally. "Westmark is not in the business of assisting Auldholme with relationships.." he says, "Though sadly, we have problems with our own, after all.. it is a shame, Princess Niniane, your father's request for you to court our dear son came the week after Castor's turning to the Temple. I suppose.. maybe, he'll change his mind, so I do not wish to reject it out of hand.. I only wish he had known.. sooner." he shrugs his shoulder casually.

The talk of courting causes Niniane's cheeks to properly redden as a maiden's should, "Oh my..Baron Paule. I well…um…" she looks to Castor and mouths a silent, "Sorry," as she lowers her eyes and one of the Taniford Guards seems to be listening closer now if anyone is paying attention.

Castor opens his mouth.

"I — "

He blinks, open-mouthed, at his father… then at Niniane. Then his mother… and Niniane again.

"I… really? I — you didn't — really??… Nin's my… she's like a…"

He gapes at the Princess as if seeing her for the first time in… any context. Then he glances back at his mother, father and the Princess once more, thoroughly gobsmacked and unable to remotely hide his surprise. His tongue snakes out of his mouth to wet his lips, then he swallows, reaches a hand up to rub at his jaw — all the while blinking his eyes.

"Did you know about this…?" he asks Niniane, blushing bright red. He stands to his feet — somewhat unsteadily — and spills his wine cup into the Princess's lap. "Oh! Bornas' Bloody Blue Back-Breaking BALLS!" he exclaims. "I'm… late for something. A betrothal — no! A mess… excuse me…"

And he leaves the tavern at a mad walk.

"By title you mean 'that which she is know by'," Katarina says in a mild tone of voice before she glances from Paule to Niniane and back, a small amount of amusement gleaming in her eyes before she observes Niniane's reaction to this revelation.

Lets observe how her son reacts, shall we?

She even reaches out one hand to rest lightly on Niniane's elbow while watching Castor dissolve. She passes Niniane a napkin while observing Castor stumble out of the Inn, "Oh my. I do think he was a trifle startled," she says in that mild tone of voice that she uses when it's important NOT to dissolve into laughter. There are few things she loves more than surprising her children and watching them react.

As Castor melts down utterly, Paule lets out a breath as he runs off after making a mess of the Princess' dress, and rubs a hand over his face slowly. And then his eyes cuts to Katarina. "Not a word about when you sprung the news from your cousin, beloved." he says with a raise of his brow. "Though I did not react quite so.. extremely."

Niniane's reaction is first one of surprise at Castor's and confusion. Not exactly what a young woman hopes for, that is for sure. She opens her mouth before closing it as the wine hits her and the blonde maiden's lips turn down into a hint of a frown. Watching Castor stumble out so ungracefully the princess turns back to his parents looking embarrassed.

Accepting the napkin she clears her throat and asks in a tone of complete innocence, "Am I really that undesirable? Most young men would be less…um…scared?" She ventures the last word looking rather perplexed still, or faking it. Who can truly tell with Niniane.

"Our son is having a.. " Katarina pauses then says, "crisis of identity, for lack of a more adequate term. He does not wish to take up his role as Coriaria's second, nor does he wish to command men, administer lands or work as a factor for our family, serve as ambassador to the and for the crown or any other of a number of typical and usually very useful occupations. He is, in short, seeking his own path." She gives Niniane a reassuring smile, "He does not, at present, wish to be betrothed to anyone. I hesitate to say that it's not personal, because I'm sure that it most certainly feels that it is, but it truly is not."

"He's confused as the four chasms trying to decide what to do with a murdering whore that stole from the Temple." Paule says with a small shake of his head and a sigh. "I just hope, maybe, someday, he figures it out."

Niniane nods her head to the older pair and looks towards the door with a look that is now a mix between slight annoyance and perhaps interest, "Oh yes I have known Castor quite some time of course…" She daps at her dress but the wine seems to have ruined it rather well, the second Castor has destroyed now. "Perhaps I should just not bring it up? I know my father has his ideas and plans but I would not with to distract a potential Chosen so rudely." A small sigh and the tall blonde shakes her head at herself, setting the napkin down on the table.

Katarina reaches out and rests one hand again on Paule's, "He's destined to do something special, my love. We're soldiers, you and i. Diplomats, when there's no other choice. Warriors, because it's what we were born to be. What ever it is that our son is destined to be, it will be something that we will be proud of." She turns subtly and fixes Niniane with a thoughtful glance, "Some men, my dear, require.. planning," which is all she will say on the matter before glancing back at Paule. "And some.. need to be ambushed."

"It's a new tradition in House Westmark. You don't know who your bride is until your wedding day. It'll go over well, I'm sure." Paule says, a smirk pulling across his features. "It would be a shame if you miss out on 100th day, Your Highness." the Baron says. "A day where one can give either insults or compliments, but not both. If Castor were to be cursed with the honeyed tongue instead of the soured tongue for the day…" he says, as he grins at his wife. "Shall we go upstairs, and discuss… ambushes?"

Niniane blushes again as she nods her head to the poor ambushed man's mother, "I shall keep that in mind Lady Katarina." She then raises an eyebrow to Paule but his meaning finally filters through to her surprisingly innocent brain, "Oh do not let me keep you. I think I will just finish my supper, would give a bad impression if I were to just run off after such a scene."

Katarina rises to her feet, tugging Paule to his with her, "I believe we shall," she says before chuckling. "I plan to work up a fine store of insults to dispense," she confesses. "It's such fun to create new ones," is added with a gleam of mischief in her eyes. She then leans forward and brushes a kiss against Niniane's temple, "Be well, my dear. We shall talk on this tomorrow," she promises before turning a long look at Paule. "It seemed to go rather well for us, didn't it, once we sorted everything out."

A hooded face appears in the doorway to the tavern, tentatively peeking inside. Considering that it is the white hood of the Temple, it is hardly a disguise, nor is the owner of said hood trying to really hide.

He is just… looking.

Inhaling deeply through his nostrils, and letting the breath out through his mouth… Castor pulls back the hood and takes a step inside the Inn. Then another. And another. And another. He pauses by the bar, reaching for a cup of wine that had just been placed there for someone else — and drains it. Then he swiftly apologises to the customer, and puts enough coin on the bar-top for three cups of wine.

So steeled… he walks toward the table where his parents are just leaving.

"Is… this seat taken?" He asks in a quiet voice, from behind Niniane. The lad glares at his parents — especially Paule — as if daring them to say anything. Anything at all!

"Wait. I have to be compliments this year?" Baron Paule actually looks.. displeased with this idea, as he sighs. "It's a odd year isn't it?" he blows out a breath and shakes his head as he rises to his feet. "Which means I better make sure I am good and liquored up. Since it seems that the girls this year get the insults, and the men get the compliments. I'm sure our son will speaks so.. nicely.. of you." he says with a smile as he bows to Niniane.

"The blood wine stains to the skin." he offers oh so casually, as he and Katarina turn to head off. "And is impossible to get out of white."

Niniane smiles to the departing pair and then looks into her wine glass, as if contemplating it's nature before she looks up again, takes a sip and catches sight of the wine spiller himself returning. Paule's words reach her ears and she grins a touch mischievously as she nods her head and mutters, "I shall keep that in mind."

Castor asking for a seat causes her to look embarrassed a moment before she nods and says, "Oh no it is free Castor. Though some might say it comes with a price." A flutter of her eyelashes and the princess focuses her green eyes on the acolyte for a moment before she asks, "Chose wisely. Where would you like it?" An ever so innocent smile touches her lips.

Castor lets out a breath, and sits down.

"I have already put my foot in it — and I have more than enough pie on my face… and I have the added humiliation of having drawn the attention of the entire room… I think I introduced a pair of priestesses outside to a whole side of life they knew not existed with my swearing… at myself mind you."

He shrugs his good shoulder and looks up at the heavens with his eyes.

"Do your worst."

And he looks at Niniane.

Niniane raises the wine glass to her lips and takes a deep drink of the deep red liquid. Seeming to almost finish off the glass but for a few drops in the bottom. Castor's looked up expression brings the hint of a smile back to her lips again as she drips the remaining drops on his forehead, "It is good enough to know, you would be willing to just let me." She says before waving to a server and asking for wine for the both of them.

Shaking her head then she stammers out, "I did not expect your father to just blurt such a thing out like that. I am sorry Castor, truly. I do not mean to cause you to be in such a foul mood 'taught priestesses a wle new side of life'." She raises an eyebrow at this though and shakes her head again.

Castor raises an eyebrow to Niniane, then glances back at the door — past the people looking at him and the Princess and whispering. "I do not think they had ever thought of the Guardians as having the body parts I mentioned, outside…" He snorts mutedly, and looks toward Niniane again.

"I'm sorry — for… everything. And… thank you." He offers the girl a rueful, helpless smile. "What… are you thinking?"

A blush touches Nin's cheek as she shakes with laughter now at his explanation. Pausing her girlish giggles the princess raises an eyebrow to Castor, "I think I do not know Castor. What do you think?" She asks as the wine arrives and then picking up her glass hides behind it some, watching him over the rim with an interested expression.

Castor half-grins at Niniane, and shakes his head. "Uhh, the same. This is usually the part in the conversation where I look for Cricket and try to glean advice from her — I'm no good with words. I don't suppose I can make this any worse for myself…"

He glances about the room, causing a few patrons to turn away — while others just stare. Grinning.

"But… I've been wrong before," he finishes with a rueful quirk of his lips. "To be honest, I was a little disappointed when I learned you were to be our 'foster sister' for a while. It put — " and he lifts his two hands (the left with some difficulty given the sling) and touches his fingertips together. " — 'Nin' and 'Sister' in the same sentence… and that was…" he flounders for a word, and ends up shrugging.


Niniane looks surprised at this as her use of Castor has turned out more complicated for the moment. Lowering her voice she leans in closer to the younger man, "Confusing? But a foster sister is merely someone who's parents wish them to expand their view of the world. Not truly a sister Castor." She pauses then and a small sigh passes her lips as she leans back and forces herself to take another sip of her wine with that same mischievous grin upturning her lips as she looks to Castor. "But did you really? I am surprised to tell the truth…" Looking around she catches a few of the gawkers stares and her brow furrows, "Perhaps you would like to go for a walk though? I feel my sister has given the south enough entertaining tunes, I do not wish to have one written in my honor so soon after."

"…and that is what happens when I say I cannot make myself look like more of an idiot," Castor remarks with an upward stare of mournfulness. Niniane's grin at him elicits one of his own, and the lad glances askance at her, the side of his mouth curling upward despite his efforts not to show it.

He stands up, and offers his good hand to the Princess — only sparing the room a single, steely glance as if he could bid them forget the humour of the moment — smiling. "A walk… sounds like a perfect suggestion. You… didn't know about this… arrangement?" He glances meaningfully toward anyone standing between the table by which he now stands, and the exit, and then waits for the Princess to join him in walking outside.

"I honestly had no idea. My father obviously contacted your father while I was in the south…" Niniane frowns slightly at this but she is then standing and following Castor outside with a light smile for the acolyte and a quiet, "Thank you. The last thing I need is some ridiculous rumor or song of me turning you from the guardians and ensuring their wrath." She sighs and brushes back blond hair from her face before asking louder now as the guards move to follow the pair, "How are you feeling?"

Castor chuckles.

He breathes a little easier once he and Niniane are outside. Picking a direction at random, he sets off at a slow, leisurely pace down the street — paying more attention to his companion rather than any possible destination.

"Ahhh," he sighs — stalling for time. "I'm not sure… I thought I would care more about the opinions of the people — especially after my… exit, just then. After all, you're the Northern Princess and I am the Rebellious Son of the Shadow Baron… Frankly, I don't care."

He pauses in his stride to look at Niniane.

"I'm relieved I don't have to think of you as a 'sister'! And… a little embarrassed that I did… How is that for an honest answer?"

Less concerned with their direction as well the northern princess looks down to her dress at the mention of his exit and bites her lower lip lightly, "I must say that was a first. Even in the south, they have yet to throw food or drink at me. Yet a northern noble does." She looks up again and smiles, her tone light and joking.

Her apple green eyes widen though at his relief, "Relieved and embarrassed…that is a strange combination Castor, one I guess I ought to admit I share. Though my relief and sequential embarrassment is over the fact you are such — though perhaps my relief is unfounded; you are an acolyte."

Castor blinks.

"That… was an accident. I swear before all the Four, and especially by — never mind, I am trying not to curse so much — …I promise you, spilling my wine was an accident, and I will happily shoot any man who whispers otherwise…"

He sighs mournfully.

"As soon as I can wield a bow again… My feelings. Very well. I like you, Nin — I do. You are clever, you are beautiful… you are so much more interesting than any of these Southern princesses…" He adds that last part in a slightly lowered voice.

"If I can make it up to you… I will try. On my honour as a Westmark."

That impish grin touches Niniane's lips as she looks to Castor, then straighten her face into one of serious consideration. "We could always go back to that inn and…" She pauses for a few second leaning forward towards Castor, perhaps still attempting to give the guards a show to keep up her visit to Laketown, "Dump a real glass of wine on your head this time." She finishes in a low unheard, but by him, voice adding quickly, "Now do me a favor and act like I said something to really catch your interest." A small laugh comes from the princess as she moves away from him again adding outloud now, "Perhaps since you will not be competing I can sit with you at the tournament?"

Castor waits for Niniane's chuckle, and the question re the tournament — and then reaches for her hand with his right (since the other is still in a sling). The lad's eyes light up with more than just the thought of intrigue — for all his posturing about hating politics, the truth shows in his face for the Princess's benefit.

"Is this interested enough?" He asks her quietly, arching an eyebrow and chuckling. "I would be honoured, Your Highness," he replies much louder — and effects a bow with the intention of kissing the girl's hand.

<FS3> Niniane rolls Deception: Great Success.

Laughing loudly the princess' cheeks flush as Nin nods her head to Castor and takes a step towards him again after his show of gallant behavior. Standing on tip toes she whispers in his ear and some of the guards look bored, while others look intrigued. "I need you to go with my lead Castor, please. I will not be head hostage and the letters must get to your father." She even goes as far as to kiss him near his ear to cover up the whisper, if he hasn't pulled away, as she lifts her hand to touch his neck. She blushes and says louder for the benefit of the guards, "I do look forward to it Casper." That will give them something to talk about at least.

"Castor," the lad says with a pained look as he steps away from the princess. His eyes, however, lock with hers and he gives the tiniest hint of a nod. Message understood.

He takes a step back from her after the kiss on the cheek and effects another bow. "Until then, Your Highness," he remarks with a roguish smirk and then he turns to walk back toward the Temple. As he faces away from the princess, a slow — broad — grin spreads across his features and his eyes come alight. It is difficult resisting the urge to swagger… or whistle.

He succeeds at suppressing one.

Niniane giggles girlishly as she winks to Castor with a small smile on her lips, "Castor, I know." She assure him with a flirtatious batting of her eyes an a rather desperate attempt to look ever so innocent and nod like a woman who might forget the man's name.

Her eyes watch him, swagger and all and she skips back to her guards, "Back to my room I think." She says almost a little to happily and looks over her shoulder to peek at Castor again and covers her mouth as she can't help that girlish giggle from bubbling forth.

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