(121-05-11) Sowing the Seeds
Sowing the Seeds
Summary: The morning after, Laurent and Harry discuss how they might rebuild what they've lost
Date: Date of play (11/05/2014)
Related: The Best Laid Plans
Players:
Angharad..Laurent..

WARNING: This log contains no actual sex, but somewhat explicit reminiscences of sex. If you are offended by that kind of stuff, TURN BACK BEFORE ALL IS LOST.

It's been said, before, that Angharad's presence at Little Bellhorn isn't too strange… Well, scratch that. It's strange. Damn strange. And thoroughly remarked on by the servants, many of whom are the talky type carried over from Garden Isle. But, as she remains Ser Laurent's wife, it's not scandalous. Not precisely. Not even when she slips out of the lord's bedroom just before dawn, wrapped up in one of his fine, satin robes like a child trying on a grown-up's clothes. The hem drags along behind her like a train, though she doesn't have to go far. Just to the next door over, and she slips inside, waiting a moment for her eyes to adjust to the dark.

Laurent is not a composed sleeper. Some folk rest gently. Laurent is sprawled across the bed, face-up, arms flung wide. A sheet hides his nudity, tangled about him in a way that must not be comfortable, but doesn't seem to bother the Thorn. At the closing of the door, he starts, mid-snore, suddenly rising to one elbow. His dark eyes dart toward the entrance, and he sags when he recognizes the figure there. "Harry."

Harry hunches her shoulders, looking a little guilty, holding his robe closed with one hand so it doesn't slip off her shoulders, despite that she has the tie looped about her waist several times. "Sorry," she whispers, flashing a quick, abashed smile. "I didn't mean to wake you. It's early."

Laurent's eyes narrow, and he drags the back of one hand across his mouth. That hand makes whatever he starts to say unintelligible, but he pauses. A forceful blink of his eyes, and he waves her into the room. "Don't linger in the doorway," he growls, shifting to sit up. "I need water. Are you thirsty?"

"I'm… really more lingering by the doorway." All the better to flee quickly, should he yell or… throw something. Last night was last night, after all. So many things are well and deeply rued in the morning. But she goes to the sideboard where, even earlier than she, some industrious servant's been by to leave a pitcher of water, beaded with condensation, and cups. She pours for them both, then comes to sit on the edge of the bed. "How's your head?"

"No fairer than when last you saw it," Laurent laments with a shake of his head, the sheet falling away as he stands to cross the room toward her. His thanks is a nod as he reaches to take the cup, and silence out to reign for a moment, except that Laurent is a noisy drinker. A slurp, then the sound of his swallows in the quiet, room, then a deep satisfied breath once he has finished. He shakes his head heavily once, then leans against the sideboard as he turns to regard her again. "You didn't sleep well?"

"No fairer than when last you saw it," Laurent laments with a shake of his head, grunting as he rises to sit. His thanks is a nod as he reaches to take the cup, and silence ought to reign for a moment, except that Laurent is a noisy drinker. A slurp, then the sound of his swallows in the quiet, room, then a deep satisfied breath once he has finished. He shakes his head heavily once, then looks up to regard her again. "You didn't sleep well?"

"It's strange to be here," Harry confesses, shrugging slightly. She tucks up a leg beneath her to sit on the bed more properly — improperly, maybe. Comfortably, at least. So that she can face him as they speak. "But the bed's comfortable." She sips her water. "New?"

"New," Laurent admits with a nod, stretching to put his empty glass down on a bedside table. There's more to say about that bed (or another), written plain across his face, but he shakes it off in favor of, "It's strange to have you here." Returning his eyes to her face, he adds, "I don't mind 'strange.' Never have." A deep breath swells his chest and blows slowly out, and he runs a hand through his short hair. He's slowly coming more awake.

Harry doesn't miss what's written plain across his face, most times. Sometimes she lets it go. "What?" she asks, eyeing him and wrinkling her nose. "Gods be good, you might as well tell me." She winces, almost laughing, but the idea's too painful: "Did you just put me in the bed you had Jo in?"

"No," Laurent protests quickly, meeting her eyes now straight-on. "No. I was thinking of the other bed. Ours. I suppose it's still at the Garden Isle." Wide-eyed, he blows out a breath. "If Jac Flowers has slept in it, I'll kill the bastard. I think he took our rooms, there." A slight frown tugs at the corners of his mouth, and he adds, "Though I'll see him out of them, if you want them back."

"Thank the gods," Harry groans, laughing, shoulders slumping in relief. "I think I might have had to throw something at you — and this cup would have left you needing stitches." She drinks a bit more deeply of her water. Whew. "Who's Jac FLowers — do I know him?"

Laurent laughs at the threat, but concedes, "I wouldn't have blamed you. Still wouldn't." He shrugs then at her question, thinking. "I'm not certain. He's the new captain of the guard, there, since I left. Was my father's squire, some time ago. A better son to him than I was. My uncle Brock's bastard? Made something of a name for himself on the border." It's unimportant to him, and his tone lets that show.

"Well, then, he can sleep wherever he likes. As long as it's not with Garvin. No Garvin in our bed, even now." Harry shakes her head. "I'm very comfortable at Cousin Maera's. I appreciate the offer of Garden Isle, but as I've told Loryn on multiple occasions — it's Garvin's home. I'm not comfortable there, alone. Not while he's in the habit of bringing home every cock and sundry, and he always will be."

"There's…" Laurent trails off, his frown heavy, drawing deep lines in his face. He looks away as he says, "I should hope it were obvious, but you're welcome here." He gestures toward the wall this room shares with his. "Of course." That said, he finds it easier to meet her eyes again, and adds, "I would welcome it, but I understand if you're more comfortable with another arrangement."

Harry looks down at the cup in her hands, balanced in her lap. "I…" She sighs, tucking his robe around her a little tighter so it doesn't gape open in front. "I think… if we — if you intend to have me back… as your wife." She takes a breath and looks at the ceiling, blinking a few times, then clears her throat and forces herself to look at him, head on. "We can't just pick up where we left off. Like nothing happened. I — we're both jealous lovers, Laurent. We have a lot of trust to rebuild."

"I'm not…" Laurent nods as he considers her words, eyes narrowing, and takes a moment to think before he speaks again. "I had some time to think on it," he admits. "I've hardly slept," he puts in with a bleak laugh, shaking his head. "But… Your taking another lover. Lovers, while we were apart? It's…" He shrugs, shoulders rising and falling dismissively. "It was what happened between us at the Tourney Grounds that hurt me. It was a betrayal, Harry. It turned my whole life into a lie, in the space of a breath." He takes a moment to compose himself again as he realizes his tone is drifting toward anger and petulance, falling silent to simply breathe. He presses the heels of both hands into his eyes as they close, and frowns. "We will rebuild that trust, then, if that's what you want. Or not," he lets his hands fall back into his lap, and turns to look at her, "If you don't."

"Then the trust I need to earn is that I won't betray you — in a far more essential way than sexual fidelity. That I meant it: you and me against the world," says Harry, softly. "And I did. Mean it. I do. It twists a knife in my heart that I could have wounded you so deeply, so fecklessly and stupidly — you're right. I didn't — I loved you, but I didn't understand. There was a lot that I didn't understand. I know you better now, I think." She tucks a lock of hair back behind her ear, smoothing it there with fretful fingers. Then, with a mirthless chuckle, "Though if you really don't care if I take lovers, there are some men in my life who would be very happy to hear it."

Laurent snorts at that, very conscious of the color that rises to his face, the sudden tension in him at the barb. He offers a grin to acknowledge her point, and growls out this response, "I can hardly blame you for having taken lovers. But if we're to…" He makes a rolling gesture with one open hand. "Then we both have to stop. And I will. I have," he says with a nod. "I think mayhaps you do know me better, now," he admits. "But I fear I know you not at all." His head rolls to stare down at his hands, and his brow lifts as he says, "I hope I do. I hope you are the woman I loved. Love. But part of me fears a deception."

"Part of me fears the same," says Harry, simply. "A large part of me. It's not as though you came out and told me about your lovers, before I left. You did your best to keep it secret, and it wasn't out of kindness. I did believe I was all you wanted — that I was enough." She looks down and remembers her glass, so she drinks a quick sip. "So of course, I'm going to fear that if you have me back, you'll go right on fucking Jo. Or your whores. Or whoever else strikes your fancy. Why shouldn't you, so long as I'm none the wiser?"

"I think," Laurent begins, halting. Anger rises in him again, but not at her, and he watches his hands ball into fists as the words refuse to come. "You were enough." The words are rough, full of self-loathing. "More than, even," he whispers, then louder, "Damn it all. Buggery and fuck." He tenses as though he might stand, but doesn't. "I don't know why…" He starts, but that too dies in his throat. "I knew you would know," he finally admits.

Harry shrugs, a quick twitch of her shoulders. She's not enough past the sting to care about his motives, it seems. "We've done a very good job of hurting one another on purpose, I with my favor and you with your favors. I should say that says something about how well we know one another, right there." Not that it's a comforting something. She continues looking at the bedclothes somewhere around the vicinity of his knees. "I have no idea what you think I'd be deceiving you for, Laurent. Other than loving you, what in the name of all gods would I gain, coming back?"

Laurent's brows lift, and he nods in agreement. Partial, at least, as he throws in, "We know very well how to hurt one another." Her question prompts him to look up into her eyes, to consider her a long moment, and finally he barks a helpless laugh. "I don't know, Harry. If I know you? Then nothing at all. But there's the rub, isn't it? If I don't know you? If you're false, then how am I to know?" He falls back onto the bed to rest his weight on his elbows, wincing slightly as the motion tugs at the scabbed-over wound in his chest. "So let us say nothing, then. It's what I want to believe, and I'm in the habit of doing what I want. Ask anyone." This last is said wryly, with no great relish.

She glances at him, then, eyes passing slowly over his body, and one hand uncurls, as though she might touch him. Then it curls back up with a snap, and with draws the traitor thing back into her lap. Harry blows out a breath. "So if we can do this — trust one another — then. Maybe. We can try again." She shrugs. "Maybe we'll even have a feast, this time." She sighs. "But I expect to be courted."

The movement of that hand is not lost on Laurent, and he can't help an inarticulate despairing sound. Soft, but audible. He is, nevertheless, stubborn. So he reaches out halfway, pauses, then more. Toward her hand, but not to force his attention on her. "If I'd had to court you the first time," the Thorn warns, "I imagine I should have failed miserably."

Harry doesn't have it in her to leave his hand reaching, but that doesn't mean she's without defense. So she takes his hand in both of hers, clasping it on the bed in the space between them, with very seemly — very chaste — affection. There. Problem solved. "I don't know that you would have," she says, shaking her head. "I don't expect poetry, Laurent, or song. But I do expect you'll come to see me at my cousin's, and that we'll visit in the garden. Or walk out together, in town. Maybe we'll attend something at the Whimsy and manage, this time, not to be more dramatic than the play. Have a picnic where we keep our pants on." She smirks. "Something like that. I expect to be treated like a gods-damned maid, Ser. You may have to use your imagination, but I'm sure your brother will be delighted to assist, on that count."

"Loryn would be more than happy to court you himself," Laurent snorts, grinning, but it fades quickly. "If I'm to visit you at your cousin's home, she'll need talking to. And I don't expect I'm the man for that job," he says, almost making it sound a question. "It might be best I avoid the Whimsy just now, too," he allows with a shrug, looking at their clasped hands. Realizing he's slowly crossing the suggestions off the list, he shakes his head. "If you weren't you, Harry, I wouldn't court you." What he means by that he leaves to the imagination as he presses on. "I will, as best I can. Walk you through the gardens, wear you on my arm at feasts." He has a grin for that, and a genuine one. They both well know how he has enjoyed being seen with her. "I'm to ride out tonight, north, with my men. From the northern gate. You'll come to see us off?"

"I'll talk to Maera," says Harry. "And if she won't allow me to be courted, then I'll find accommodations of my own." She smiles, too, despite herself. They do both know. She remembers very well. The rest, though, turns her smile to swift concern. She frowns. "What's amiss, to the north? More wildlings?"

"Some trouble in the Westerlands," Laurent says with a shake of his head. "I'm only meant to make sure it doesn't find its way into the Reach. I'll not cross over myself." He looks toward the door, as the men outside it come to mind. "A score of hard horsemen on the border ought to make anyone think twice. If not, I'll call the levies." A shrug of his shoulders says he doubts it will be any real trouble.

Harry makes a sound that sounds very much like 'meh.' "I fear riding out after the wildlings has spoiled me for life. I'll never be content again, left behind." She sighs, shaking off her little twinge of wistful bloodlust. "But of course I'll come see you off."

Laurent smirks at that, snorting a quick laugh. "I'd have you with us," he claims, "But that would be a poor courtship indeed, wouldn't it?" A heavy shake of his head, and he pushes himself to sitting again. "Still. It will be a fine thing, to see you as I leave. Thank you, Harry." After a moment's pause he adds, "I will miss you, while I'm away."

Laurent smirks at that, snorting a quick laugh. "I'd have you with us," he claims, "But that would be a poor courtship indeed, wouldn't it?" A heavy shake of his head, and he pushes himself to sitting again. "Still. It will be a fine thing, to see you as I leave. Thank you, Harry." After a moment's pause he adds, "I will miss you, while I'm away."

"On the contrary, I think the enjoyment of shared interests makes for excellent courtship." Hrmph. Harry sticks her tongue out at him. Cheeky. Her expression sobers gently and she nods, at the last. "I'll miss you, too. You'd think I'd be done missing you, after all this while… but it seems I'm not."

"Come then, if it suits you." The Thorn shrugs as he says it, trying to make the offer seem nonchalant. But nonchalant isn't something he could ever pull off, most likely, about anything. Her words on missing one another hit their mark with him, and he nods, understanding. "It only gets worse, doesn't it," he observes sullenly. "The more time passes… I expect it to fade, but it only grows more keen."

Harry swallows, lashes lowering, giving the hand trapped in hers a squeeze. "Yes. That sounds… very much like my life." Doubling back, she shakes her head, noting, "You don't want me to come." A beat. "You're afraid I'll be hurt."

Laurent nods, frowning slightly. "I am," he allows, "And I can think of few things as frighten me more. But you've been on campaign. You know the risks, and…" A deep breath and he barks a short laugh, "I dare say we've hurt one another deeper than any Westerman's spear might go. It frightens me, and I'd rather see you stay clear of the fighting, if there is any. But I'd not say it if I didn't mean it, either. Come, if it suits you."

She smiles, touched somehow by his offer to have her along, despite, even more than his promise to miss her. One hand shifts like it has some other intention than simply holding his, then holds on tighter. Determined. Harry gives his hand another squeeze. "I appreciate that, but I have… there are things I have to do, while you're away. Hearts to break. I'm sure you know the drill."

"I'm certain I don't," Laurent says with a shake of his head, snorting. "I'll not leave anyone missing me, I think. We're different that way," he observes with a shrug of his heavy shoulders, pulling slightly on her hand as he returns to sitting up straight beside her. "But you well know what needs doing, I suppose. And if you need time to see to it, I'll give you the time you need."

"Better it's done quickly, I think," says Harry, unhappily, voice and lashes low. "So I don't feel any more horrible than I already do, and they don't spend another day in hope of me." She groans, then, as though she's just remembered all her least favorite relatives are arriving that evening for an indeterminate stay. "AND I'm having dinner with Prince Ryzael." She hastens to add, "That's completely unrelated to the wrapping up loose lovers… thing."

In the space of that pause, so very brief, Laurent's look turns from wry melancholy to explosive rage, some heated reply already bubbling in his throat when Harry's words still it. Still it leaves him red-faced, chest heaving, and it is a moment before he speaks again. That brief silence sees a bit of the color drain from his cheeks, and his breathing back under control. "Better still that it's done by messenger," he opines. "Easier for everyone, that way." He forces a grin that looks somewhat more like an angry baring of his teeth, but at least the effort is there.

"What? No." Harry shakes her head, watching Laurent carefully. "I'm not sending anyone a letter. I want to have dinner at the Dragon Door Manse — to see what he thinks he's up to. I think he thinks he's courting me — he sent me flowers and a very treacly note — but I swear to you, Laurent," she starts to laugh, grimacing, "I've only once met the wretched man and never given him cause. I mean to keep things ,civil and try to get some idea what he's after. That's all. And I'm sure the other Targaryens will be there.”

"He is Ser Maelys' man." The words are simple, but to Laurent they clearly speak volumes. It's a complaint, and a warning, and something very near to a bitter curse. He slumps forward to rest his head in the hand not holding Harry's, forehead heavy on his palm. Perhaps he isn't even certain what all he means by it. He moves on, but still he seethes. "I never meant you ought to send Ryzael a messenger. I meant the other men whose hearts need breaking."

Ser Maelys' man. "Yes," says Harry, sounding rather grim. "I know." As for the rest, she's soon rather vigorously shaking her head. "Gods, no, Laurent. That's cruel. They deserve better of me than that."

"You might know better than I," Laurent allows, and surely she does. "For myself, though, if it should come to it? Send the messenger." Another attempt at a grin, but he doesn't do wry well. Or perhaps it's simply too raw to joke about — it still may come to that, he fears. He swears softly, shakes his head in his hand, and falls silent.

"Really?" Harry asks, troubled and confused. "You'd rather… have a letter from me than know I care enough to look you in the eye, respect you enough to stand before you? A coward hides behind parchment, when there's something unpleasant to be said. It would be easier for me, I suppose, but… I don't deserve that ease."

Laurent's lip curls, but he doesn't raise his head. "I can hate a piece of parchment," he growls, chuckling with rough humor. "Loathe the words on it. But I can't stop myself wanting you, Harry. So if you came to tell me in person," his head rocks from side to side on his hand, "It would be as though you were twisting a knife, telling me both that you don't want me, and at the same time that I do want you."

Harry is silent for a while, turning these ideas over in her head. "Gods, I hope the others don't feel that way." She frees one of her hands to rake her hair back, breathing out a long sigh. "I'm trying to do the right thing. It's not always perfectly clear what that is. Right now it's miserably murky."

Laurent grunts agreement to that, crow's feet wrinkling as he squeezes his eyes closed more tightly. "I can't say how they will feel," Laurent offers, "Nor truly that I care. Only that it's how I would feel, in their place. And that you're welcome to come, and that if you had a single word of complaint from any man of them… From any man at all," he corrects himself, "You'd never need hear a second word of it."

She sighs, leaning her shoulder into his and resting her head against him, for a moment, closing her eyes, as well. "You make it so hard not to kiss you," Harry laments, without any real regret. Just a touch of sweet rue.

"And you, Harry," Laurent growls in return, his single short, bleak laugh rocking both their bodies. "Would that we made it easy to kiss one another, still, rather than hard not to." There's a smile for that, a grim one, and finally he turns his head to look at her, his hand supporting it now at the temple instead.

Harry smiles at him softly, relaxed against his side, reveling in the kind of closeness they haven't shared in — possibly ever. "We had that from the day we met," she recalls, dimples on her cheeks. "Ease in kissing, if nothing else. I thought my brain was going to melt right out of my ears, kissing you."

Laurent's heavy brow lifts in agreement, and the memory stirs a grin to his face. A moment's more thought, and more than a grin stirs, drawing another laugh from him. "I've never wanted anything so badly as I wanted you," he admits, his manner easing as hers does. "Gods, if that's what it means to want something, mayhaps I had never wanted anything else at all." His hand relaxes in hers, and for a moment at least there's little tension in him. He is lost enough in memory and the moment to simply enjoy the feel of her against him.

She laughs, grinning wide and wicked as memory — and other things — stir. He is, after all, only wearing a sheet. She can't fail to notice. She looks elsewhere, blushing, primarily so she won't outright ogle. "Everything was a first time, for us." Then, unable to help herself, Harry recalls, "The first time in the hall…"

"Gods," Laurent breathes, low and hoarse. If vague reference stirred him, that memory does more still, and he can't quite manage a laugh. It brings a question to mind, one that she might read in his eyes as they drift unbidden downward from her face. "Before that, even," he recalls softly. "By the window in our suite, or," he is interrupted by a chuckle that has an altogether different quality from the bleak or melancholy things that have escaped him up to now, "Before we were even wed, by the stable?"

Harry gasps, beaming and laughing, blushing all the more as she nods. And nods again. "Oh, Gods be good, the stables. Was I leaving for the night?" She frowns a little, unable to quite recall. "I think I was — it was dark, that I know — and we couldn't say goodbye." She groans, her lashes fluttering as she shuts her eyes. "The first time I had my legs around you. First time against the a wall. First time I ever came."

Laurent leans into Harry, a light nudge with his shoulder, and fixes her with a surprised grin. "Truly?" It's a surprise, but a mild enough one. "I think you were leaving. Hadn't we been visiting in the garden," he asks, then on the heels of that, "The Maiden's pert teats, the garden." He squeezes her hand in his at that, dark eyes fixed on hers now. She is beautiful in moments like this, and he is transfixed by that.

"Mm," Harry recalls, all languid and swimming in well-remembered bliss. "You had to put your hand over my mouth, so that my cries didn't wake the house and rouse the watch." She smirks. See what she did there? "And that only made me come harder."

"I don't think I had realized until then," Laurent says with a shake of his head, his hand suddenly tight around hers — fighting an urge to move it, just as she has, "Really realized…" It's a difficult thing to put into words, so he only gestures vaguely, lifting his head from his hand that he might do so. He sits straighter next to her now, and lets that free hand fall to hang from his knee. "I loved that sound. It was the sweetest sound I ever heard."

Harry takes a deep, tremulous breath and lets it out, slow. She lifts his hand, pressing her lips to the back of it. "I should go… let you prepare," she whispers. "And I need to go home… before I come out to see you off."

Laurent watches her lips touch his hand, brow drawing together, spellbound for a moment by the sight. It's so many things to him. Heartening. Troubling. More than a little arousing. Confusing. His chest heaves with a deep breath, as though he were drawing in air to say a thousand things, but he doesn't. Instead he clutches the sheet to him and stands uncomfortably, nodding his agreement. "There's something as needs doing before I begin," he growls, changing his grip so that he might help her stand. He grimaces, looks to the door, and adds on impulse, "Would that this were home, Harry. I'll see you soon, then."

She nods, touched by — everything about him, in that moment. Her heart aching. "I do love to look on you," Harry says, as she does so, both his broad, scarred body and his unlovely face. "There's nothing in the world beautiful enough to move me so." She takes a step back. "I'll see you soon." And off she goes.

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