(122-07-05) Moonlight Revelations
Moonlight Revelations
Summary: Visenya learns which of the Martells she is to wed.
Date: 07/05/2015
Related: Seeds of Peace

It's dark. The Dornish nobles often escape to the Shadow City of Sunspear after dark to drink and gamble and visit the pillow houses. Increasingly the young men within their envoy join them. This means that the few Ladies and Princesses that came with the Targaryens are left to their own devices. And so the late night finds Visenya alone in one of the private gardens of Sunspear. While it is blisteringly hot during the day at night it is chill; she wears a linen mantle over the simple sandsilk robes that were gifted to her when she arrived.

She leans against a low wall and gazes up at the moon and stars. The light reflects off of her silvery blonde hair and pale skin, making it hard for her to truly hide even in the dark. She watches the sky, and then she lets out a low little cry of despair.

"Too beautiful of a night for such a sad sound, your highness,” a voice speaks up from a few feet behind her. Deep, but smooth; the heir apparent to House Martell. At least, unless he dies, as those before him had. Torren has never been one to frequent the Shadow City since his ill-fated marriage, or even since the death of his wife. But he often walks in the gardens; they soothe him in a way that not much else is able to these days. "Are we such ill hosts as that? I shall endeavor to make things more to your liking during your stay."

Visenya stares at the Dornishman warily with large amethyst eyes that are rimmed with red. She is suddenly glad that the darkness obscures her face so he cannot see that she spends so much of her time weeping. "Forgive me, My Prince." She curtseys properly, low enough to show him respect, but not so low as to forget her own rank as a descendant of Aegon the Conqueror. "It is not your hospitality that makes me weep. I simply miss my family." This is a lie of course. Normally Visenya is a good liar, but tonight she is unable to keep up the masquerade.

Torren bows in return, a tiny smirk pulling up the corner of his mouth when he straightens again and looks at her. "Of course," he says, as though this makes all the sense in the world. "Though, should anything be amiss that we can remedy, you need only to ask." He steps up next to her, though still with a little distance between them, looking out over the wall as well. "I find that the gardens at night are ideal for contemplation. You aren't the first to shed tears here, and you shan't be the last, I imagine."

"That is the nature of gardens, your highness." Visenya turns her head to look up at Torren briefly. For all that could be said of Visenya one could never find fault in her appearance; even her boyish hairstyle does not detract from her cool aristocratic beauty. She pulls her linen wrap closer to her shoulders, and looks away from him towards the fountain in the middle of the garden. "Forgive me." She says again, "I am probably poor company right now."

Torren does look at her; she looks well in the moonlight, and she probably knows it, too. But the vaguely appreciative look does not grow to be anything more than that. "No," he replies, shaking his head, "no need for you to beg my forgiveness. My presence is unwelcome." He pushes off from the wall, as though he's going to walk away, but he seems to remember something, and turns back to her. It's a little too deliberate to be totally convincing, though. "Oh," he continues, "and let me congratulate you on your impending marriage. And, I suppose, offer sympathy for it having broken your previous engagement. My mother has a strong will, when it comes to this sort of thing."

"Thank you." Visenya says softly when he says that he will go. It does appear that she would like to be alone at the moment, and she is grateful that he is going to leave. But then he doesn't. At the mention of her broken previous engagement a brief flash of pain passes over her face. She smooths her face into an unreadable mask, and looks away from Torren in what she imagines is aloof and dignified. "It is my duty. Since it appears my brother is incapable of performing his." There is no small measure of bitterness there. She looks out into the garden a moment before looking back to Torren, "My Prince….do you know who I am to wed? I thought it was not decided yet."

If Torren notices that pain, it doesn't change his expression, and he certainly doesn't mention it. In fact, the little half-smile is still on his lips. "Well," he replies, "brothers can often be troublesome creatures." He should know, considering that he both has, and is, a brother. He considers the question for a moment, before he replies, "Does it matter which of us it is to be? Would any answer I could give you make you any less unhappy about the prospect?"

"Yes." Visenya says, perhaps a little quicker than she would have liked. She mentions after a hesitation, as if afraid of bringing it up. "…I am told Princess Amarei's brothers are in the running." His Uncles. Who would be quite old for the maiden Princess. A heavy blow to be dealt indeed when she was just betrothed to someone like Prince Rhaegor.

The near immediate answer gets a genuine laugh from Torren, and he looks back out over the gardens. "A cruel fate indeed, for one so young and beautiful as yourself, your highness," he agrees. "I can certainly see that my uncles are not what one might wish for a husband." He looks back at her, studying her for a second or two more, before he continues, "I fear you are likely to be disappointed with the match. I wish I could bring you better tidings." He still doesn't say who it will be, but the words are ominous enough to feed her misgivings, certainly.

Visenya stares at Torren for several heartbeats. "Oh." She says, and she sounds absolutely devastated. "I ought to have expected it, I suppose." Her full bottom lip trembles slightly then, and she looks away from him so he can't see those tears fall from her eyes. She sucks in an audible breath to calm herself. Her nerves are frayed from the constant weeping she's done when alone, and she is losing her composure.

Torren doesn't look away, but despite his attitude, perhaps her reception of what she thinks he means has affected him in some way. "Yes," he says, "you should have. We are not smallfolk, free to choose husbands and wives as makes us happy. Are we?" He looks at her a moment longer, before he says, "I shall try not to give you too much cause to weep like this when we are married." With that, he turns again, and makes to start out of the garden in earnest this time.

"No." Visenya says with a sad little shake of her head. And then he says what he says, and she is left staring after him for several moments before she calls out. "Prince Torren? Wait!" She gathers up the skirts of her sandsilk gown to follow after him. "I only wept because I was afraid to marry one of your Uncles." This is a lie, but it is a nice lie. "I am sure they would make fine husbands, but…" But she doesn't want a sixty year old man rutting over her.

The call doesn't exactly stop him, but he does slow, until she's caught up. The smirk on his face is a little more wry now, and he turns to her, finally stilling so that he can face her head on. "There is no need for explanations, your highness," he says. "I am not some green boy who can't see what's in front of him. I may as well be one of my uncles, for all that the thought of marrying me would please a maiden as young as you." Not bitter, but…yes, wry. "You do not need to feign anything that does not exist for my sake."

"There is quite a difference of age between you and your Uncles, your highness." Visenya says smoothly. That is not a lie. Her eyes trace over his face now for the first time, as if she finally cared enough to dedicate his features to memory. "I'm just…surprised." She admits hesitantly. And while she doesn't seem quite happy she no longer looks like she may give in to despair.

"Thank the Seven for that." Torren might be considered to be handsome, by some. Well, actually, he is considered to be handsome, by some. But tastes in these instances vary, and he certainly doesn't look anything like Prince Rhaegor. He's as dark as her cousin is fair, darker even than his brother. "But at least you may find being a princess in Dorne more to your liking. I won't expect you to just defer to me in all things as is customary of the women in your father's court."

"Oh, you think the King is my father?" Visenya gives him an apologetic look before she admits, "I am the King's cousin. His Majesty's daughters are all married or betrothed to be wed." To their brothers of course. As is the Targaryen way. "You are actually my…" She bites her bottom lip as if she has to think, "…Fourth betrothal? I am a serial wife-to-be but never a wife, it seems." She turns her head to look down at the ground, "I made the acquaintance of your brother, Prince Alaryn, in Oldtown. He told me as much."

Torren's eyebrows raise when she points out his mistake; he's both surprised and annoyed, but not, it seems, at her. The difference is of little consequence. It's the fact that he didn't know it that grates. "Ah," he says. "Your cousin's court, then." Though the revelation how many betrothals she's had gets a bit of a laugh. "Perhaps this one will just be one in the list as well, then," he says with a shrug. "But I was married once before, and it did actually happen, so my past may win out over yours."

When she mentions his brother, he raises an eyebrow, but it's just with mild interest, nothing more. "Did you? How did you find him?"

"Visenya the Never Wed doesn't have a very good ring to it." Visenya is warming to him already. Perhaps it's just relief that while the Prince is several years older than her she won't have to marry an old man. That he is handsome, and will someday be ruling Prince of Dorne probably doesn't hurt, either. "I don't think I will have many takers a fifth time. Some might start to wonder if I am defective." As for Prince Alaryn she says, "Well, I met him through Princess Mariya. She and my twin were betrothed for some time, and since I thought we were to be sisters I sought her friendship. And I suppose we still will be. Just not how I imagined."

"No, I suppose not," Torren concedes. "Of course, you could have a song written about how your beauty was too great to belong to only one man, and that might be some small consolation. No one ever remembers the real stories behind those sorts of songs." His lips turn up again as he continues, "I am sure no one would dare wonder if you were defective." Though his smile, and the manner in which he says this, may leave her wondering just exactly why he thinks this would be the case. Whether she's too beautiful for that, or whether they would be too afraid to voice it.

The mention of his sister makes the smile fade a little, though. "Ah, yes," he says, "you're of an age with her, aren't you." And then he falls quiet, turning away and looking more thoughtful. Or something like it. That his future wife is of an age with his baby sister may have just hit him at this very moment.

Visenya doesn't have to wonder. She knows there are rumors regarding her own defectiveness. She knows what he means. Or at least she thinks she knows. She looks away from him again, too proud to reveal her shame to him, and quickly embraces the other subject. "I am a few years older than her I believe. So not quite of an age, but not so far apart that we could not be friends." And now since he has looked away they are both looking in opposite directions.

A few years is a few years, no matter how few they might be. Torren lets out a little noise that might be a sigh of relief, though it's hard to tell. "I'm sure she will enjoy having you as a friend," he says, in a bit of a gentler tone, the hint of acid from before leeched from it.

After a second, he turns back to her, even though she's still looking away. She is beautiful, leaving aside what rumors may say, and he doesn't care much about them at this point, anyway. He'd had his great love worthy of a song, and now a beautiful young wife is more than he could hope for. That she might be touched by the Targaryen madness was something to be dealt with another day, and anyway, how bad could hers be? "I am happy to marry you, Princess Visenya," he says, and it even sounds truthful. "I will try to be as good a husband as I can manage. I have had more practice than some." This gets a bit of a softer smile.

"Princess Mariya is a delight. The one small good thing that came out of her and Daevon breaking their betrothal was that now she is not saddled with my brother." Now it is her time to be acidic. She turns when he says he is happy to marry her, and despite the sad look in her eyes she manages a smile. "Thank you." Her smile fades slightly when he mentions that he's had practice. She heard the story of his wife's death. "My condolences, your highness. I cannot imagine how this must feel for you now. My house would have never condoned such an act, but still…it should have been prevented."

"She is a ray of sunshine that illuminates even the darkest day," Torren agrees, leaning a bit heavier on this already quite heavy-handed compliment than is completely necessary. It's not exactly sarcastic…well, perhaps a bit. But it is also fond, from a brother who probably has not very much in common with his mother's late-in-life offspring.

He sobers a bit at her condolences, though, and continues, "Thank you. It was a difficult time for us all." He doesn't really speak to his own grief, but instead continues on. "We can only be on better guard for next time. And with our union, and that of your cousin and mine, hope to avoid something similar." That's the point, isn't it? Or, some of the point. "Our children can play together in the water gardens. That will make my mother happy."

"I pray the marriages between the Cockshaws and Blackmonts will prevent further bloodshed." Visenya held a vision in her head that she would give Rhaegor more children. Perhaps a little girl she could dote on and dress up, and no one would expect anything out of her because she would be some distant relation to the King, and she would be hers more than anyone else ever could. But now any children she produces, children who will have to be produced not because she wants them but because her husband must have an heir, will not be hers. This is another sad aspect of losing Rhaegor. That, and thinking of him having children with Prince Torren's faceless relation. "Yes…" She says, distracted along with something else. "But Prince Rhaegor already has children. Three. A boy and two girls." She shakes her head, and pales a little more before saying in a sad little voice, "I suppose he could have more."]

Torren does not know what Visenya had imagined. He only knows that women generally want children. And yes, though his previous wife had wanted children so that he could have an heir, she had also wanted them for herself. He had wanted them, too. They had talked about them, whether they would be boys or girls, what they would look like, what they would be like. So, her sudden sadness takes him a little bit by surprise. Perhaps it wouldn't if he thought about it for a moment more, but he just says, "He could. And my cousin is young. Not that children of theirs would be more important than the ones he already has." Hazarding a guess as to her discomfort with the situation, though it's not correct.

He's begun to tread in more uncertain waters with this topic, as well as calling up memories that he'd just as soon keep buried, and so after a tiny pause, he says, "I should leave you, your highness. But I hope that you are not quite as distraught as you were half an hour ago."

Visenya debates telling him the source of her discomfort. "Oh. I have never actually met them." She settles in regards to Rhaegor's children. "When we thought we would marry there was some talk of the girls coming to live in Oldtown with us." She blinks as if she may cry again, but manages to keep her composure. When he says he ought to take her leave she forces up a small smile, and curtseys again. "Goodnight, my Prince. Sleep well."

Her explanation clears up some things, at least. Or, sort of. "Ah, I see," Torren replies, and he doesn't say anything more about it. Especially at the threat of more tears. He's not afraid of women crying like some men, but perhaps he wants to be merciful and let her do it in peace. He can tell himself that, anyway. "Good night, Princess Visenya." Though he can't resist the Parthian shot, "You can rejoice that I, at least, have all my teeth. Some of my uncles do not." He bows to her again, then turns and strides away before she can answer.

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