(122-02-15) Traps -- And Marriages
Traps — And Marriages
Summary: Marsei checks in on Owen, who was injured on the trail of bandits, and also shares some of what's been on her mind, prompting his advice. To a point.
Date: 15/02/2015
Related: Confirming Suspicions, Asphodel
Players:
Owen..Marsei..

Northwest Suite - 7 - The Hightower Battle Island
Sun Feb 15, 122 ((Sun Feb 15 10:11:31 2015))
It is a summer morning. The weather is hot and raining.

This is one of the smaller of the Hightower's suites, but it is still grand. It offers a unique view from its large window — from the opening one can overlook the city and see the seven domes and seven towers of the Starry Sept, and the Maidenday Gardens in the middle distance. The window has a wide padded sill large enough for one to sit comfortably and watch the city. The room is decorated to reflect the view, with images of flowers and gardens. Vases of flowers sit on all the tables with beautiful blooms and greenery. In the large sitting room are velvet-cushioned chairs and couches. The dull gray stone flooring is covered with a dark hunter green Myrish carpet trimmed in gold.

On one side of the suite an archway leads into a little dining room, suitable for ten or twelve people, and on the other there is a door leading to a bedroom. In the sleeping chamber a large four poster wooden bed rests in one corner, with a green and gold coverlet and lavish pillows. A matching wardrobe and nightstands are also present in this room. The nightstands boast crystal vases with lily flowers. The wall that leads to the sitting room is equipped with a hearth that heats both rooms should it be needed. In one corner sits a large copper bathtub.

Owen is propped up on the bed with a cast over his chest, which more or less makes him decent. Over this cast he wears a loose-fitting robe that is left untied, and a blanket pulled over his lower quadrants. A little writing desk has been placed over his lap, and he is rather awkwardly hovering his arms over the desk in an attempt to write. When Marsei is announced he gives up on his writing, and tries sitting up a little straighter in his bed when she is brought in. "Lady Marsei. How are you?"

She a burst of colour into the chamber, pale violet fabrics and coppery hair, hurrying in, stepping urgently to his bedside. Her urgency is motivated by the clear concern for the injured Lord Fossoway written on her face and what seems to be a pressing desire to set a vase of cheerful garden flowers on his bedside table next to vases already present. The grand room, nor Owen, likely have a need for more flowers, yet it's a characteristic gesture of Marsei and well-meant all the same. "I should rather be asking the same of you. Are you healing well?"

Owen lifts both hands to motion to the cast, "I don't even think I need it. The maesters say if I don't wear it I could risk a mortal injury." His eyes roll slightly. "I'm fine. Mostly, I'd like to stretch my legs and get out of this bed, but this is the price one pays for stupidity." He glances to the vase briefly before saying, "Thank you." in a polite manner.

"The maesters have your well-being at heart," Marsei insists softly; contrarily, she glances over her shoulder as if she might expect one to be lurking there. She smiles down at Owen, lingering near the bedside and latching her delicate hands loosely together as if not entirely sure what to do with herself. She looks half-wistfully at his writing desk, but can offer no aid. "How exactly did it happen— ? It sounds a terrible business."

"I rode out to see about this supposed den of bandits. They'd trapped the forest, and my horse hit one of the traps." Owen gives Marsei an embarrassed look before he continues, "I got hit square in the chest with a spiked weight. Carried me right off of my horse and onto the ground." His expression remains sheepish as he says, "It wasn't very lordly. But, either way, your brother now knows and can deal with it himself."

Embarrassed and sheepish are not sentiments Marsei is exactly accustomed to seeing in Lord Fossoway, and for a quick moment she looks at him rather quizzically, but all is overshadowed by her doe-eyed horror upon imagining such awful things as bandits and spiked traps. She lays a hand on her chest and another on the bed beside Owen, compelled in her empathy to perch herself on its very, very edge, politely familiar. "Better you than some poor soul wandering without armour to protect them. Though I'd never wish you harm!" Her hand spreads more firmly by her collarbones. "You were brave, going after bandits."

Owen lets out a wordless sound of agreement. "If I were walking instead of riding it would have struck my head." His eyes turn upwards to look over that hand on her chest briefly before he realizes that his eyes are lingering overlong, and he looks away. "I was stupid, but it's said and done." He manages the faintest of smiles, and looks her full in the face. "Really, how are you?"

Marsei smiles when she is asked, full of cheer. It's for her goodbrother, not for her. She lowers her lashes, casting a bittersweet shade over her expression. "I am well." She says so quietly, with more conviction placed on saying it than feeling it. "There is much on my mind." Her normally expressive eyes remain hidden, kept down. Both hands travel to her lap, wrapping one another on the verge of fidgeting as she seems to consider clarifying, shy about it.

"There is?" Owen studies Marsei a moment before asking, "Such as?"

So very many things, yet it's one in particular on Marsei's mind when she determinedly raised her dimpled chin to level her gaze on Owen. Her seawater gaze is vibrant, emotion worrying at every colour within her eyes. She is quiet at first, quite visibly conflicted, wringing her hands. "May I tell you something," she ventures, one side of her mouth subtly twitching in discomfort after she speaks. Is it guilt? "It's— I have told no one, yet."

Owen Fossoway has the sort of gaze that scares the truth out of lesser men. Where some Lords might have to beat confessions out of their smallfolk, he only need stare at them with his biting gaze in most instances. But, Marsei is not some idiot farmer. She is his good-sister. The look he favors her with is softened. Brotherly in a fashion despite his previous look at her, "Of course you can."

She watches Owen for every reaction with bated breath, yet appears all the more discomfited, even flighty, upon encouragement — as though she may have suddenly changed her mind and flee from his chambers. She stays fixed on the edge of the bed, however, and with a distraught, tremoring little sigh, she nods and goes on to deliver her announcement quietly. "I have been asked to be courted."

"Well." Owen says without missing a beat, "That is what happens with young unmarried women of good breeding, isn't it?" If she expected disappointment on his part then it is she who will be disappointed. "Are you pleased with the courtship?" He smiles, but it lacks humor, "After meeting my wife at the altar I find that I recommend courtships instead of blind arrangements." He doesn't go into details as to why he would make such a suggestion. "If it displeases you I will kick up a fuss on your behalf, but if not? My brother would want you cared for, my Lady. You are young. If remarrying is what you desire, than it should happen."

Marsei's gaze is curious — worried — throughout, most particularly when Owen refers to his situation with his wife. "I know it is customary," she says, still quiet. It is her who sounds disappointed, in the end. "I know I cannot remain a widow forever. I … I did not wish to be one in the first place." She looks briefly pained and blinks rapidly several times, stilling her fluttering lashes once she tips her head down. "Perhaps you are right, my lord. Jarvas would want me to be happy, yet… how can I be? So soon after— after what happened. It does not feel right," she expresses. "Yet I fear if I say no, something will be arranged for me. Blind, as you say." Just like Owen and Gala … and Marsei and Jarvas. "And if I say yes… and it is deemed favourable…" She speaks no word on whether or not the potential courtship is favourable to her; in fact, she lacks the words to describe it at all.

"You have your own money now, do you not?" Owen asks in all seriousness. "When Jarvas married you I made him set back your dowry into an account, and encouraged him to add some to it for every year of your marriage. Women are so often left alone so I thought it prudent." His brow furrows ever so slightly, "But I left it in his hands, and Seven knows if he took my counsel to heart or spent it after I took my attention off of it." He doesn't address her concerns right away, but he does seem to be getting to a point.

"I do…" Marsei replies apprehensively, inquisitive toward Owen's line of thought. Her brow tenses, if not furrows. "And— it was thoughtful of you to insist upon it, my lord."

"Young women do not have the emotional or mental capacity to care for themselves." Owen says this with some annoyance, as if he were referencing his own experience. "But you, my Lady? You are no maiden. You are a woman widowed. You have funds independent of your family, and if I remember correctly those funds were rather substantial." He looks over her a moment before saying, "Now, if I were a recently widowed woman looking to avoid a marriage without going to the motherhouse I would take that fortune, and use it to prove my independence. I realize that officially your family will still be your guardians, but if you can establish that you are a woman able to care for herself, and not a Maiden with no common sense? They may respect your opinion more." He sorts through the parchment on his desk before finding a sheet, and offering it to her, "May I suggest investing in commodity shipment?"

"Com… modity shipment," Marsei repeats slowly as if making fully certain she heard Owen correctly. She takes the paper slowly, looking it over. Attempting to assess its contents and rows of numbers has her flushing briefly with some embarrassment, but she tips her chin up, poised; she's not a maiden with no common sense, after all. "Do you think?" A dose of skepticism and equal parts hope. "You know, it's odd," she remarks, bewildered, "the man who has asked me — when I inquired of him what he was looking for in a wife, on his list was… cleverness in… trade negotiations." She may be left more confused by Owen's help than when she began.

Owen blinks. "Is this man a nobleman or a fish monger?" He shakes his head in disbelief. "You are sister to the Queen, Lady Marsei. I don't understand what benefit it would be to your family to marry you to a man who needs a wife to do his bookkeeping. Forgive me for being crass, but your family could buy the Seven Heavens if they were for sale. Spurn your current suitor. Unless I am wrong, and he is a Targaryen Prince with an odd fascination with numbers, he is probably not worth your families time, anyways."

"That is… that is the thing that spins my thoughts so much, my lord. The very thing." Marsei's narrow shoulders turn in as she runs a hand up one arm; she may be a mighty Hightower, but presently she looks small and tender. "He is a Targaryen prince."

"Oh." Owen says, his brow furrowing from the surprise of it. "Well, I'm at a loss as to how I can be helpful, my Lady. Do forgive me."

Marsei's smile comes back around, warm with kindness and apology. "I'm sorry for going on so much. We're both at a loss, it seems! You have nevertheless given me things to think about." She returns the page of mathematics neatly to Owen's writing desk. "I do not know what will happen." Clearly. "But I thought you should know first," she tells him, the insistent sincerity in her voice making it sound all the more important to her. She seeks out his hand, meaning to lay a light touch over it. "As my goodbrother. If I do agree, word will spread quickly." Her expression starts to fall, but she lifts it right back up.

"You have nothing to be sorry for." Owen says in a vaguely reassuring tone. "Thank you for telling me this." He says this more to reassure her than he does because he cares that she may remarry." His eyes tilt downwards at the hand on top of his on his little lap desk, and he flips it over to give her hand a light squeeze. "Do not be afraid to ask me for help. I will do what I can for you." That said, he releases her hand.

Marsei studies the Lord of Fossoway rather thoughtfully before sliding to her feet. "Thank you." She takes a moment to carefully adjust the new vase of flowers to sit most prettily amongst the other vases. "I will pray for your quick recovery!" she says, her optimism indefatigable. "I hope you are on your feet by the Dolphin Festival."

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