(121-02-21) Dusklit Drinkings
Dusklit Drinkings
Summary: Laurent and Keyte get progressively intoxicated, and banter about.
Date: 21/02/2014
Related: Pff. Lots. Maybe Laurent will link em. SPOILER: Laurent probably won't link 'em.

Walled Garden, Garden Isle Manse

This large garden is a wonderland of splendor. Small trees and exotic flowers are in bloom, their aromas permeating the area. The entire garden is enclosed a high wall, covered in vines and ivy. There is an area where fresh herbs are growing, and another for roses of red, white, and of course, Tyrell gold. Other beds have daffodils, tulips, lilies, and pansies. Spread out and mingled amongst the rest of the plants are a variety of wildflowers. The two far corners are dominated by massive oak trees, which spread shade over the area. The luscious scents and beauty add to the natural feel of the atmosphere here.

Stone benches of polished marble surround a long pool, also of marble. There's a statue of a small dolphin above one end, spouting water from its snout. The pool isn't very deep, only about three feet, and small, colorful fish dart about playfully. Luxuriously soft towels are folded and placed on some of the benches. To one side is a lounging area, with outdoor furniture which comfortably seats six.

As the sun sets on the Garden Isle, Ser Laurent Tyrell sits hunched over a table in the garden. The shade of a high, ancient oak tree combines with the fading light to make the stack of papers on the table difficult to read, so that he is forced to pick each up to hold it near his face, squinting in the twilight to read the words written there. A wine glass sits nearby, full of the deep red wine that the Thorn favors. A flagon is to hand, also full. Several yards away, young Willem Fossoway attends to Laurent's tourney armor, buffing and polishing in silence.

Tranquil, isn't it? A lovely place to sit with one's own thoughts and one's paperwork, even in the fading light. Nevermind; Keyte will put an end to that notion! The heavy doors to the hall creak as the little lady strains to push them open herself, laughter filtering through even just a sliver of exposed doorframe. She slips through as soon as she's able, fistfuls of her skirt held high that she may tear through the gardens at an alarming pace, spirits high. Not long after her, a kitchenmaid exits the hall in much the same manner, shrieking at the stableboy who is clearly in pursuit of them both. As she races toward the very tree that Laurent and his squire have chosen to shelter under, Keyte calls out sing-song, "Oh, you'll never catch me, Francys!"

Dark eyes flash up from his work, the hand holding the papers dropping fractionally in the instant it takes for Laurent to take stock of the situation. In that same moment, poor young Willem is on his feet, looking nervous and unsure. It's the Thorn that speaks, his voice booming through the garden. "Boy!" The papers ruffle down to the table as the surly Tyrell knight drops them, rising to his feet. Some men have a knack for getting angry, and Ser Laurent is one of them. He's redfaced by the time he's stood up, pointing at the stableboy — to the relief of Willem, who does his best to fade into the shadows and discreetly ogle Keyte — and even making a grab for him if he comes too near.

There is laughter from all three of the disturbers. That is, until Ser Thorn's terribly disturbing voice disturbs them in turn; at the end of the disturbance-chain, Keyte, the kitchenmaid and Francys all freeze in their places, faces a mixture of guilt and horror and — amusement, yes, from the lady amongst them. In the moment's stillness, Keyte shoots Willem a bit of a smirk, and shrugs. Poor Francys, just short of Laurent's grasp, stammers. "Y-y-yes, milord?"

"You're a stableboy, aren't you?" Laurent comes around the table to loom over the young man, arms crossed now over his broad chest. "Did you mistake my lady cousin for a horse," he asks, dark eyes flitting toward Keyte and her playmate, "Or her lady-in-waiting for a horse turd?" His voice is a low growl of misplaced anger. He has so much of it saved up, ready to be loosed on any target that presents itself, deserving or not. "If not, then I don't see what business you have with either of them." He looks over his shoulder at the stable, then back to poor Francys as he adds, "I'll have my destrier's stall mucked out and the hay fresh, before you're down for the night."

The boy is forgotten then as Laurent turns toward the lady Keyte, clearing his throat. "A lively evening, Cousin," he says wryly, gesturing toward the other empty chair at his table. The color begins to fade from his cheeks as he adds, "Join me for a glass of wine?"

The kitchenmaid blushes so very prettily for being mistaken so. A lady in waiting, aye! She hurriedly smooths down her very plain skirts and ducks in close to Keyte, who takes her arm gently. They share a silent giggle together, both with an apologetic smile for Francys.

And poor Francys. He weathers the Thorn's anger admirably, standing up straight and tall and raking a hand through his roguish mid-length hair. He does not smile, clearing his throat instead behind a properly-admonished frown. "Yes, milord. No, milord. Of course, milord." As Laurent turns, he winks at the girls, and scurries off to attend his newly-assigned duties with a bit of a bounce in his step. It's a fine thing, a fine thing indeed!

Keyte, meanwhile, uncurls from her 'lady in waiting's arm and flashes a warm, exuberant smile at Laurent. Her cheeks are flushed, not for anger or mirth, but because she's clearly been at this game of chasey for some time. She wipes daintily at her dewy brow, and even curtsies. "Of course, gentle cous!" Perhaps she picks her adjectives purposely to cajole.

"We'll need another glass," Laurent says to no one in particular, passing his own to Keyte as he sits. It's untouched, lukewarm. Obviously it's been sitting for more than a moment.

Francys' feigned regret seems to have fooled the captain of the guard, and his subtle wink was missed, so it is a smug Ser Laurent that shuffles the papers together into something resembling a neat stack, then holds them out without a glance for Willem, who is no longer there. The teenaged squire was almost too quick to react when Laurent mentioned another glass, perhaps because it was for his one true love, The Lady Keyte. It doesn't take long for the Thorn to realize he's handing papers to a squire who is no longer present, and when he does he drops them back on to the table with a scowl.

"Lively evening," he says again, but he's never been one for small talk. So next, it's straight into something with a bit more meat on its bones. "You've heard that our good cousin hired, and then dismissed, Kai. You were there when he was taken into custody and sentenced to the pillory. Are you satisfied, My Lady?"

Not quite the reaction Keyte was looking for, but she's not too fussed. Sweeping into a seat after Laurent, she arranges her skirts prettily as ladies tend to, and accepts his glass. That it's lukewarm or untouched is unconcerning, and she sips at the lip of it eagerly. Chasey's thirsty work! "You said that already," she points out in between gulps, her laughter only suppressed by swallows of wine. When she sets the cup down, it's nigh empty.

The mention of one sellsword stays her brightness, though. Even prompts a frown; look at what you've ruined, Laurent. A perfectly good mood. "I was there, aye. What an odd place to socialise — are the Watchmen really necessary? The water-taxi was fun, though. As for the man… I'm not sure, cous. Should I be satisfied? Are you satisfied?"

The kitchenmaid seems at a loss for what to do, wringing her hands and following a few steps after Willem… but reluctant to leave.

Laurent's cheeks color when Keyte points out his slip, but he presses on. "Lord Hightower seems to think the watchmen are necessary," he says with a shrug of his broad shoulders, "Not for me to disagree. They've saved mens' lives, I'm sure." He drums his fingers on the tabletop as his dark eyes settle on his cousin. He frowns thoughtfully, then deeper, so that it wrinkles his nose as well. "I'm not," he finally admits. "I'll be satisfied when I see a spear in the bastard's guts. But that matters little. Are you satisfied? Are your sisters? That's my concern in this."

"Which Lord Hightower? There are so many, it's hard to tell if you mean the ill one, the diving one, the disagreeable one, the one with the unseemly wife…" Keyte is fond of tangents. It seems to lift her spirits a little, to dance around the topic at hand, anyway. Her smile isn't quite back, but her eyes are a-twinkle to gossip so. Without a comfortable back to the chair, she slouches forward, leaning her elbows atop the table as she draws a long, put-upon breath to fuel a long, soft sigh. "Likely not," she says of her sisters first. "I am unsure, as I've said. I have met him before, before he thought to come a-stalking, did you know?"

"The sick one, I think," Laurent says, though it strikes him visibly that he's unsure. "Apparently there was some trouble before. There's been a decree. I assume it was the ill one. Do you s'pose he'll die?" His tone says quite clearly that he doesn't care, one way or the other. But then that tone shifts, at the news that Keyte had met Kai before. "I didn't-"

He's cut off by the return of his young squire, bearing two of the manse's finer glasses and a fresh flagon of wine. Under a glare from his knight, brave young Willem sets the glasses out and fills them from his flagon, then collects the older flagon and glass with, "Apologies, My Lord. I knew you'd not want to serve your lady cousin wine that has sat out for-" And then he's cut off by a firm cuffing from Laurent, which causes the boy to stumble a bit, and then prompts him to retreat without another word.

"I didn't know you'd met him before," Laurent resumes, once his squire's perceived impertinence is seen to. "When?"

"Oh, he might! Have you heard something?" Keyte's curiosity is piqued, clearly, by more Hightower gossip. It pays to be across these things, after all! Dear Willem almost has a laugh from the lady at his mention of her cup, but it's quickly replaced by a gasp as Laurent lashes out. "Cous!" Tsk tsk.

"T'were awhile ago, of course," she continues after shifting a brief concerned look after Willem. Poor lad. "I were out, and about, round about, you see. We might have been lost," she is starting to puzzle, frowning thoughtfully. "It seems to happen so often, in Oldtown. In good company, I did meet the man — he thought to sit by me, even after I'd recognised him as a criminal. And then he thought to swim, with nothing but the dark beyond the firelight to hide his shamefulness, cous." She shakes her head firmly. "I didn't look, of course."

"The boy's a nuisance," Laurent protests, perhaps too harshly. "When I was a squire, Ser Marwen would've had me bleeding for less." When it comes to poor young Willem, there's no convincing Laurent that he doesn't deserve every bit of what he gets. This brief exchange sees the Hightowers forgotten, and his focus drawn back to Keyte's acquaintance with Kai. He nods slowly as the story unfolds, a bit more quickly as it draws out, as if to prompt her to continue. Another nod once it's finished, as if he expects more, but then he's suddenly angry — as if he only now remembered that he ought to be. His fist pounds onto the table with enough force to slop a bit of his wine onto the table as his glass threatens to go over (though in the end it doesn't), and he leans forward to ask, "You mean to say that whoreson bastard…" But he knows precisely what she means to say, or thinks he does, and it has him on the verge of apoplexy.

It isn't Keyte's place to stick up anymore than she has for poor Willem, alas. Perhaps she'll champion him some other time; she's a story to tell! Startled as fists send the table a-shudder, fumbling to steady her own cups two, one with each hand. "Cous! Mother's grace, stay yourself. I and my guards and my maids were in good company, save the criminal Kai. T'was then that we took our leave, the celebration surely soured for his interruption. But there was something he said, that were very worrying to me? He did ask me of my cousins, and at the naming of you all… well. Men he had bested, or intended to best, he said. And lo, days later, he," the lady trails off, uncurling a hand from the more empty of cups to wave it about in gesture. Broke in, is what she means, though it might be unclear.

"Garvin," is Laurent's simple answer to that, though it may not seem immediately to fit. "He bested Garvin," the Thorn explains with no apology for his outburst. "At swordplay, apparently, on the tourney grounds. Before…" He makes a similar gesture toward the manse, though his is meant to describe something more salacious. "By the Stranger's swinging cod, but I'd love to choke the life out of that man." His left hand is still curled into a fist on the table, while his right raises his wine glass to fairly toss a drink of Arbor red into his mouth. Eyes downcast, and with no particular grace, he adds, "Cousin, I am truly sorry for the pox he has been to our family. I would have been done with him, were the choice mine to make." He smiles darkly as he looks up to meet her eyes, adding, "Truth be told, I should have done anyway, though the choice weren't mine to make."

"No, sweet cous," says Keyte, leaning across the table to pat somewhat-soothing, somewhat-patronizingly at Laurent's fist. There, there. "Well, I mean, certainly, all of that yes. But that's only half what he meant of it, I'm sure. You are all men has either bested, or intends to do so, at some vague point in the future. It were a threat, he spoke it with the most cattish of smiles. He seemed… I believe he thought himself charming, but in truth he was plainly… well. Uncomfortable, is perhaps a good place to start." Sneaking her hand back to lift her own (filled) goblet, Keyte frowns again. "I don't think it's right that he can go around threatening ladies to cut through their cousins so, but it's not a thing I would want spoken of all over Oldtown."

"An idle threat," Laurent agrees, jerking his fist away from her touch. Thin-skinned, the Thorn. "I'll not let him test my blade in idle games, though. It will be for blood, or not at all." The ill-tempered knight has nothing but scorn for what he sees as Garvin's sparring match with the sellsword. "If it were only me, I would want it spoken through Oldtown that Ser Laurent Tyrell cut down the lowborn cur that dared look askance at his lady cousins. But it's not me as decides these things, is it?" He asks the last glumly.

Keyte does well at draining that other goblet, fond of her wine as she is of tangential conversation. She sighs over the lip of the cup, tilting her head with some affection at her gruff cousin. "Aye, cous, think not that the curs of Oldtown aren't afraid of the Wrath of Ser Thorn! It is not for us to decide, to redefine where our sweet Lord Pansy draws the lines of justice served. But," she shrugs, nesting the cup of wine back down upon the table next to its twin. "… if you were to happen upon this man, in the street, and he did look at you askance, or with that smile to provoke… well." Keyte is nodding, her eyes mournfully wide. "I shouldn't like to be Kai, on that day, aye?"

"Aye," Laurent agrees savagely. "One day I'll slip the leash, and pull that bastard's guts out through his throat." That thought seems to settle him a bit, the eventual certainty of justice, and he seems satisfied as he drains his glass. It's back on the table, but he's forced to wait as Willem refills first Keyte's goblet, then Keyte's other goblet, and then Laurent's. The knight's eyes widen slightly as he waits, but perhaps sensing cross words from his cousin, he makes no mention of it. Instead, with his usual subtlety and tact, he asks, "Have you seen that Cockshaw lad you're so fond of?"

Even at home, even in Laurent's company where she should expect as much, Keyte's still a little shocked at those admissions of violent intent. "Gracious," she murmurs, quickly moving to scoop up one of those goblets as soon as Willem's onto pouring the next. She blinks a few times, as if expecting the knight to lash out again; the lady relaxes visibly when he doesn't. His brazen question sees her biting down hard upon her lower lip, repressing a giggle. "Laurent! You can't just out and ask me so, you know. But since you have… yes. Well, no, but he waved to me in the stands at the jousting." Her smile, a mile wide, brings dimples to her cheeks.

"I can and I have," Laurent counters, nodding as she comes to the same conclusion. Her answer doesn't give him any apparent joy, but neither does his mood darken. He must approve of Kevyn, to be so neutral on the matter. He nods at her answer, considering it for a moment behind a sip of his wine before offering his sage advice. "If you fancy him, you'd best do something soon. No doubt you'll be betrothed before long. That tends to complicate things."

Does anything give Laurent 'apparent joy'? The lack of table-banging must be tacit approval, surely. The advice of her older, wiser cousin brings a certain rosy redness into Keyte's cheeks that definitely can't be attributed to running games, and she abruptly drops her eyes to her lap, overtaken by a fit of shyness. When she glances back up, she's caught in an expression of disbelief. "What?! Are you suggesting I — with the lord Kevyn — before I — am I to be betrothed? Have you heard something?" All of a sudden, Keyte seems rather distressed, her knuckles whitening as she tightens her grip on her cup.

"No one tells me anything, Girl," Laurent says with a laugh that manages to sound more irritated than amused. "But you're of age, and you're a Tyrell. And fair enough. Surely it won't be long." He leans forward, one elbow on the table as his voice drops — though from Willem's suddenly crestfallen expression, it's clear his voice didn't drop quite enough. "I'm not suggesting anything, Cousin," he growls, just above a whisper. "Just relating my experience. I've bedded a wife, when it was worth it. But it's much less complicated to bed a woman as isn't wed. Same likely goes in reverse."

Keyte's laugh is pure shock, a dash of horror, and plenty of disbelief. A hollow sort of sound, squeaky, likely very annoying to Laurent's ears. Her shoulders hunch forward as the air expels from her lungs in screechy bursts, her mouth hanging agape as she searches for words. Yes, dear Keyte is speechless, for a good long moment.

A very good, long moment.

"I - I - I…" Her stammering is such a rare thing, if only there were more around to witness it. "Ah - ah - um." Shakily, she settles her cup back down once more, only so that both her hands may splay fingers across the 'o' of her mouth as she laughs again.

The sound. Laurent flinches back from it, grimacing. He knows wine won't drown it out, but it's worth a shot. So while she laughs, then squeaks, then… Whatever that sound is, he drinks. Once Willem has rushed forward with flagon in hand to refill it, he snatches that flagon from his squire, suddenly surprised and irritated by the boy's presence.

"Go, Boy," he tells the squire roughly with a wave of his hand toward the manse. "You've an early morning tomorrow. Leave us be." It's not until the poor lad has vanished inside that Laurent refills his own goblet, then Keyte's, a hint of mirth finally dawning on his features. "Don't tell me you haven't considered it."

Gray-blue eyes follow Willem as the boy is dismissed, her hands still pressed to her mouth. Goodness. Keyte's breathing is a little labored, her cheeks still red and rosy at all this… this unseemly banter. Slowly, very slowly, she moves first one, then the other hand to settle on the tabletop, clammy palms down. There is some sincerity in the shock on her face as Laurent speaks again, her features twitching and twisting. "What?! Mother and Maiden, cous! I don't - what - no!!"

"Good, then," Laurent says, with a hint of grudging approval. He taps the base of his wine glass on the table once, then raises it to his lips again. "Don't start thinking about it," he adds, once he's swallowed this gulp of wine. "That's my advice. Nothing but trouble down that road." A rough chuckle then, as he corrects himself. "Almost nothing but trouble." He lets his eyes wander about the darkening garden then, either satisfied that the subject is finished, or that it is in Keyte's hands to carry on.

"What in Westeros, Laurent," Keyte questions, absolutely flabbergasted. She does not sip her wine. She does not let her eyes wander about the garden. She simply sits, staring at her (apparently unbelievable) cousin.

"What?" Laurent's attention returns to Keyte, and he is either genuinely astonished by her surprise, or a very convincing dissembler. Likely not the later. He remains slouched casually in his chair, sipping at his wine, as if this were a perfectly acceptable turn of conversation.

"I…" She… isn't quite sure, for a moment there. Keyte squints through the dusklight, her tongue peeking out to whet her lips to speak again. "Have you seen your lady Locke, of late?"

"Two days past, I think," Laurent says with a nod of his head. "She called on me here at the manse. Why do you ask, Cousin?" He raises the glass to his lips again, gathering speed the more he drinks, and his eyes drift over Keyte's shoulder to focus for just a moment on the chaise lounge a short way off.

"And did you take her to bed, cous?" Keyte's quip comes swiftly, without a beat's hesitation. Her smile resembles that of her twin's, pointedly sweet and directed just so.

"I did not," Laurent says, brows raised slightly. 'Touchez,' his tone says. Though he sounds a but more sullen when he adds, "She's a maid, yet. I'll wed her a maid." He says it with commitment, if not enthusiasm. All told, he doesn't seem offended by Keyte's line of question. And it's easy to tell when Laurent is offended.

"Hmm." Keyte is satisfied, smug. See? Touchez, indeed! And so very like Kesha, in these moments of needling. She breaks from her victory (yes, it's a victory) to worry a little further, "You don't really think I'll be betrothed in short order, do you?" It's concerning enough to prompt more drinking, at least.

"It's likely, don't you think?" Laurent is clearly bemused by her concern, taking a moment just to frown at his young cousin in silence. "How old are you now? Sixteen? Older?" He shrugs heavily; her age is no matter. She's a woman, that's clear. "It's a wonder you've made it this long. Perhaps if you don't like the match," he says into his wine, preparing for another drink, "You can convince your sister to marry in your stead, while you await a better."

"Sixteen," Keyte agrees hastily, bobbing her head with some measure of urgency. The more people who believe she's just sixteen, the better. Quite dismayed, she wrinkles her nose and curls her lips in distaste. "It is rather a wonder, isn't it. I can't think of anything more dreadful than to be married." Ugh. "Mayhap I could convince her, though just as likely not. Or with some horrid, lifelong consequence of the debt, ha!" She's almost about to drink again herself, when Keyte feels the need to add quite seriously: "I wouldn't do that to Kesha."

"Mm. Of course you wouldn't do that to Kesha." A frown takes hold of Laurent's face, lining it deeply. Did he realize this was Keyte all along? "There's worse things than being married," he says in what might, at first, appear to be a rare moment of optimism. "Being a eunuch," he posits. "Or dying in a fire. Being married to a Dornishman!" Or perhaps it was just an excuse to engage in more dour speculation. "Perhaps you'll find yourself, against all the odds, betrothed to someone whose company you enjoy. And with a mouth like a Lyseni whore." He's a bit too enthusiastic about that last. Off on a tangent himself, perhaps.

You get used to it. Being mistaken. Even by family closer tied by blood than Laurent is. Keyte lifts her brows at the threat of optimism, hopeful. But of course, hopes are fragile things, easily dashed and turned into horrible frowns by mere words. Her laugh is cold, without mirth. She clearly doesn't understand the bit about the Lyseni whore. "I'd rather be a eunuch," jokes the twin, raising her glass and drinking to that. "Or a spinster, perhaps. Imagine that!"

"Oh, Gods," Laurent says as if that were a worse fate than any he could devise. "You've no idea what you're saying, Girl." He waves off the thought with his free hand, but to be doubly safe he tries to chase it away with drink, as well. "Fortunately for you, you're a prize flower. You'll be spared the spinster's fate."

"Probably right," allows Keyte, speaking of eunuchs. "But nonetheless!" Her dainty nose wrinkles again, as she's called 'prize flower'. "Oh, stop it," she demands, a little more than half-heartedly. "To be a spinster couldn't be so horrible. A little gossip, mayhap. A dirty look or two at court. But nobody to command me to his bed, nobody to command me to his side, aye?" She's bright in the fading light of day, far too optimistic at such prospects.

"No one to command to your bed," Laurent counters. "You'll remember this conversation one day, and see I had the right of it," he says with smug nod to underscore his point. "Or you'll be a spinster, and your opinion on the matter will count for nothing, anyhow," he adds with a chuckle, pushing the flagon of wine her way when he notices her wine getting low.

"Some ladies command their handmaids to their beds," Keyte retorts in a voice pitched on the victorious side of self-approving. She has the monopoly on smug, Laurent. "Perhaps, though, I will remember this conversation in good humour, aye? When you happen to accidentally smile, you're very endearing, cous. You ought to be careful with that; Ser Thorn will hardly stick as your byname if you're caught a-giggle too often!" She's a-giggle herself, reaching for the flagon. It's any wonder she's a late riser.

"Is that so?" Is Ser Laurent lecherous as well? Add it to his list of black marks, if you must. "Command your handmaids to your bed, do you?" His eyes cast about for the kitchen girl he had promoted in his mind, but with no further ammunition for his prodding, he leaves off. "Tell anyone I smiled at you, Cousin, and I'll tell them you sat ten full minutes in the garden with me without a single jibe. Then what will they think of you? Friendly to the Thorn? It will be gossiped in halls from here to Highgarden."

Keyte laughs freely, her kitchenmaid long since wandered after Willem. Or to the kitchens. Who knows, those errant retainers! "Nonsense," says she, head shaking, her mirth back in full force. "I have Kesha in my bed, I couldn't!" She tops off one of her goblets, eyes darting between the mouth of the cup and her cousin. "Would they believe you, Ser Thorn? They might call me back to the 'Garden to be questioned. Interrogated! T'would be my word against yours, alas, or perhaps they will ask Willem… Willem?" Keyte looks up, all theatrics, calling to the squire.

Laurent's eyes widen — he may be believing this. "But you would," he says, and it's unclear whether it's accusatory or… Something else. When Keyte pretends to call out for Willem, though, he cuts it off with a shake of his head. "I'll cut his throat," the lout says gamely, "And claim it was bandits." Point, Laurent, his expression seems to say as he pulls the flagon back to refill his own glass. "And I'll fight any one of them as calls me a liar. Which of our cousins will you gamble on against me, Lady?"

Refusing to dignify that first with any response, Keyte finds her mouth agape again as she's about to drink. Poor, dear Willem. "You would not!" She won't believe it, oh no she won't! "Why, the Blackrood, of course! He would champion my word against yours, I'm sure of it. I'm his favourite cousin, you know." The way she wriggles in her chair to puff her chest can only be pride-borne.

"Because he can't tell you from your sweet sister," Laurent counters with a self-satisfied smirk. "And I'd not lay money on even Ser Quillian against me," he advises her, his tone all mock-gravity. "Best stick to your jibes, and let my occasional grin pass without remarking on it. Safest for everyone, really. No squires have to die, that way." There might even be a hint of disappointment in his voice when he adds, "Thought this Fossoway lad was going to die some months ago, when he took sick. Surprised he came through it."

"Oh!" Touchez, cous. Touchez. Keyte narrows her eyes, lashes aflutter. "Intimidation always was your strong suit, Thorn. Well played." She sighs, overdramatic, for the disappointment over Willem's continued survival. "Oh, cous. He's a dash hopeless, a touch idealistic. But he's very attentive. Imagine if you'd someone truly horrid for your squire, hmm?"

"Ever quick to see the worst," Laurent chides her, the irony lost on him. "Imagine if I had someone capable. There's a thought, isn't it? This Fossoway is my second squire, and he's no better than the first." His fingertips beat a sharp rhythm on the table top, one time through, as he considers Keyte across the table. "What's your strong suit, Cousin," he finally asks, straightforward. "You're a clever girl, but I've never really had your measure, have I?"

Keyte chortles into her cup, never quite able to sustain the drama her twin has such a knack for. She spends a moment mulling wine across her tongue, savouring the taste of such finery as the Tyrells are privy to on a daily basis. Questioned, she blinks, and swallows her mouthful down quickly. "My strong suit?" Surprised, she ponders for a moment, answering somewhat distractedly. "You would hardly know me from Keyte, cous. My strong suit…"

"You are Keyte," Laurent says, as if to remind her. "Though I dare say you've fooled me before, and will again. If we're to keep to this living arrangement — all of us in the manse, here — I may have to scar one of you so I can tell the difference." His eyebrows lift as he suddenly eyes her hands, and he asks, "Surely you don't need ten fingers, Lady?" He's joking. Of course he's joking.

Is he joking? Wine sloshes as Keyte abandons her cup to squirrel her hands away to the safety of her skirts, under the tabletop. She's giggling again, albeit a little nervously. "Deception is not my strong suit, then," she guesses, one shoulder lifted to shrug. "And yes, I do! All ten, Ser. Nay, my strong suit is… well. I can disappear, you know." She promptly shuts her eyes, lashes pulled so tightly as to crease lines out toward her temples.

"You're just being greedy," Laurent grouses when Keyte claims she needs all ten fingers. "No one could possibly use all…" He trails off, snorting a laugh as she 'disappears,' unable to help it. It's an awful, atrophied thing, Laurent Tyrell's laughter. Not the sort of sound one might hope for. "You're a witch," he says, in a tone that suggests agreement rather than accusation. "I always suspected."

She might not be so bad at deception after all, not even wincing at the awful sound of Laurent's laughter. Maybe that's just her charm. "Every single one," Keyte insists, of her fingers. "I don't care if it's greedy, you may call me selfish!" She leans forward, hands snaking across the table blindly to try and find her way. She bumps the edge of it with her chest, regardless. "I am," whispers Keyte, he expression ablaze with scandal, despite her tightly-shut eyes. "You ought to be careful, Ser Thorn!"

"I am." Careful, he means. And whether he believes she's a witch or not, Laurent leans well back in his seat. Leans his seat back from the table, even. Back on two legs, dangerously. Suddenly aware of his precarious position, he finishes his wine at a single gulp. Now if the worst should happen, it will at least happen with an empty glass. "We'll need to keep it between us, of course. If the Septons hear of it…" She can't see him draw his thumb across his throat, but the wet sound-effects he makes are no doubt helpful to the imagination.

"I have the Septons fooled," assures Keyte, though she does cringe a little at the sound effects. "Why else would I frequent the Starry Sept so often, hmm?" Comically, she makes claw-hands across the table. Beware, Laurent! "All I need now is one of those ravens on my shoulder to squawk!"

"Go… ods," Laurent's voice catches when his chair threatens to go over, unbalanced as he cringes away from the claw-hands. He pitches forward to save it, and the whole affair brings his chair heavily — and noisily — back to the ground. "You are a witch," he snorts, reaching for the flagon. "You're lucky I didn't have a spill." He pours his, and then tops hers off as he goes on. "Just what we need. A raven on your shoulder, mimicing you so that we have to hear twice as much of what you think."

Keyte flinches at the crash of chair legs upon the ground, her eyes startling open. "Like that lady in court," she laughs, switching from witch-Keyte to regular-Keyte with alarming ease. "FARCE!" That's raven-mimicry, delivered in the more un-flattering of voices and matched with an unflattering quirk of her expression. "She really is a witch, to hear it told. I wonder if she knows any curses for smiling Thornlords…"

Laurent winces at the faux raven cry, answering it with a disapproving shake of his head. "I'm sure she is," he agrees though, of the Sea-Witch. "But you have to pay for curses, you know, with a piece of your soul. And twins only have half a soul to begin with, so I'd think you'd want to save what you've got for someone more important than your awful cousin."

Keyte gasps. "But Laurent," she's dramatising again, with really barely half the talent that Kesha has for it. It's painfully obvious in these moments, which twin is which. "Who is more important than my most gentle, sweetest of cousins?" Is the lashbatting too much? It's definitely too much. She's going there, regardless.

"Let's not," Laurent says, shaking his head again, though it does prompt another soft wheeze of laughter from him. He raises a hand, almost a warding gesture, but perhaps a yielding one. "No, you've taken it too far. Or perhaps you have me confused with some other gentle, sweet cousin?" He glances aside at the manse as he whispers in a tone that fairly drips with irony, "We look so similar, after all."

With an overly-gracious dip of her head, Keyte accepts her cousin's yielding. That's what she's stubbornly reading this as, yes. "Oh, but of course. The curls, mayhap? I must say though, cous, you don't quite smell as pretty as our darlingest cousin. Perhaps it's the only way to tell you apart!" Bless her, she even pinches her nose. Pee-euw.

"He'll be glad to hear it," Laurent says, raising his glass in her direction. The slightest suggestion of a toast, and then down goes more of the Arbor's finest red. "There was a night I thought that same chandler as sells him his scents," he says with a wink, "Might dip me in her lavender honey." And again, the cad doesn't even have the good grace to blush, or to look away as he tells the story. "Before I was betrothed to my lady Lock, of course."

It's ok, Keyte's blushing for the both of them in the quick-fading light. "Laurent!" It's a scold, as much as a squeak for oversharing. "I should hope there's no lavender-honey-dipping now that you are. She's most pleasant, your lady, you know. I sat with her to watch you all melee! She's quite taken with our Thorn." A toast, but of course! Keyte tilts her glass in kind, only to add, "I can't imagine why…"

"She's a Northerner," Laurent says, as if that explained it all. "She likely expected to marry a wildling, or a bear. So I," he says, with his most forced-dashing-grin, "Was only a mild disappointment." More seriously, eyes downcast now, he adds, "She is pleasant, isn't she? And comely." Looking up to his cousin he adds, "And clever." It cheers him slightly, the contrariness of it, as he adds, "Though the chandler was pretty too, and clever enough."

Keyte draws a looooong sip from her cup as Laurent replies, her eyes crinkling at his grinning, and smoothing again as it gives way to a less upbeat expression. Once she's swallowed, which is a goodly enough time to see out the extra change in Laurent's demeanor, Keyte thwacks her cup down on the table, betraying a certain… intoxication. "Don't you fuck it up," instructs the lady, dissolving into sheepish giggles for the horrid abuse of language.

Laurent's eyes widen as he flinches back from the sudden thwack, revealing two things. One, he is well on the road to drunk as well. No one is surprised. And two, that is precisely what he's afraid of, even if he won't admit it. "I likely will." Or perhaps he will just admit it. "It's the sort of thing I'm given to fucking up, isn't it? But she does seem a forgiving sort." He tilts his head this way, then that, weighing things in his mind. When his mind is made up, he frowns thoughtfully. "No, I'm probably going to fuck it up."

Maybe it's a throwback to childhood, the casually judgmental way Keyte shrugs. Maybe she's always so rude, and people just don't notice so much in between the warm smiles and dancing eyes. Maybe it's the wine? Either way, shrug she does, and nod as she agrees quite easily with her cous. "You probably will, several times over. I think she's pleased enough to give you a few chances though, aye? Just stop hitting poor Willem where she can see, cous. It's not like studying for your Valyrian link, you know."

"The boy needs hit," Laurent protests, for all the world as if he believed it were one of the pillars of squiredom. "He's always underfoot. How else will he learn?" Because poor Laurent probably couldn't learn without begin hit. "Still. Say I do stop hitting the lad, or he dies soon," he says with a wave of his hand. "There'll just be something else. I am not," he opines heavily, "A pleasant man. Not what a woman like her should hope for in a husband."

For all Keyte knows, it is the most solid of pillars of squiredom. She shrugs again, allowing her cousin to make excuses as he will. "Laurent, dear cous," she placates, voice soft and sincere. "Of course there will be something else. You're horrid. Unseemly. But rich, aye? And you smile, on occasion. It's almost sweet, when you do. And you've a fierce arm for the sporting! She can sit with me and cheer for you, and Gods be good she won't run afield like the newest lady Hightower, mmm? Things are not so grim, for Lady Harry. Just stop hitting your squire." As far as sage advice is being dispensed with, this is Keyte's. Quite abruptly, she sees herself up, chair scraping along the ground. "I think I might go see how Francys is getting along, cous. It's dark as dark, and he's surely still mucking stables at my behest!"

"He's a shit squire anyway," Laurent says, rising when she does. "Not hitting him won't make him any worse." He's trying to convince himself, and it's easy to hear in his voice. Weighing being good to his squire against not fighting with his betrothed, and the squire is losing, lucky for him. But then something catches his ear, and he's back to his usual, scowling self — if a bit more drunk. "I'll send Willem to check on him," he says with a shake of his head. "Boy needs toughened up. Mucking out a stall or two will be good for 'im." He stares for a moment at the glasses and flagon on the table, then tips what's left of his glass back into the flagon. Absurdly pleased with himself, he picks the flagon up then, and offers Keyte his arm. "And I'll see you back to your suite, Cousin. We'll find that handmaiden. Waiting in your bed, like as not."

"The shittest," Keyte agrees fondly of Willem, trying her best to keep the laughter from her voice. She links arms willingly, straightening her back like rod. "I hope not! Kesha will be most displeased. Best frown, cous. We'll be walking through the halls." No doubt she dons the kind of expression she's known for as they make their way back to the northern suites; mirthful.

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