(123-04-24) Marriage and Maidens
Marriage and Maidens
Summary: The newly betrothed Loryn and Miranda get a productive visit from Marsei.
Date: 24/04/2016
Related: A Sign from the Gods, Tyrell-Merryweather Betrothal Party

Walled Garden - Garden Isle Manse

Sphinx Street

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.

Garden Isle is a beehive of activity for once what with so many Tyrells and Merryweathers who had come for the party and are now staying for the Maiden Day festivities. There are some people milling about the gardens, some older folks clustered in a shady gazebo, while kids splash in the pool, watched by their septas.

Underneath the protective roof of a large canvas awning, a buffet breakfast has been set up for people to help themselves whenever they like. Right now there's just one person there though and it's Loryn Tyrell himself, munching little blocks of cheese right from the tray on which they have been arranged.

A guest neither Merryweather nor Tyrell — though related to several of the latter — steps into the garden. She is clad in a vivid flowing gown, its colour only just too pink to match the red roses of the garden, too soft to perfectly match her Hightower's flame or the fiery dragons of her married house. Lady Marsei seems in light spirits, as she usually is, and stops here and there before she spots Loryn, saying hello to lords and ladies and septas she recognizes before she floats her way to the breakfast. "Is that you, cousin?" she says airily as she approaches, jest and warmth in her tone. "I did not recognize you as a betrothed man."

Miranda strolls down from the house in a pleasant mood, dressing in her gown of Tyrell green and the lovely bountiful harvest that is her own house's sygil. She seems surprised to see someone with Loryn and beams at Marsei. "Lady Marsei," she says brightly. "Oh what a nice surprise to find you here!"

"It's the Lady of the Hightower.", Loryn greets Marsei with a warm smile, chuckling at her last words, although it does make him look a little sheepish. The look soon turns to delight when his wife-to-be turns up in the gardens as well, "Morning, sweetheart.", he greets her and plants a kiss on Miranda's lips, yup, right there, in front of people, laying it on a bit thickly. But he does turn back to Marsei soon enough. "Come, join us for a little breakfast? I see there's a bench not yet taken by the occupying forces.", he grins and points at a white marble bench which is conveniently U-shaped and thus seats three.

Marsei's own smile turns a bit sheepish (not likely a familial trait, considering sheepish in no way describes Loryn's Hightower mother) at being called Lady of the Hightower; she's rather visibly on the verge of pretending to chastise Loryn for the mighty moniker when Miranda appears. Her smile brightens yet freezes in place, stunned, albeit not unpleasantly, to witness the affections. There's a quick pause, still, before Marsei greets Miranda — her eyes wide to adjust to the renewed sight of her in a gown that is not a septa's robes and her mind reminding her lips to address the lady-turned-septa-turned-lady correctly. "Lady Miranda! How beautiful you look in Tyrell green!" She inclines her head to both of them. "I should love to join you for breakfast," she says, lowering her voice in upbeat conspiracy to add, "although I admit to already having had breakfast at the Hightower."

Miranda is utterly surprised by the sudden public display of affection and blushes even as she smile. Seems the kiss is something she's not quite adjusted to, even if she's adjusted to being back in noble gowns. "Whether you ate or not, it's good to have you come and visit. I have to get used to playing hostess, so his mother says." She grins a little at that and gives Loryn's hand an affectionate squeeze. "I haven't eaten, so I can make up for you."

"Just help yourself with whatever takes your fancy.", Loryn offers to Marsei, pointing at the buffet. Instead of picking cheese cubes off it, he now loads a small trencher full of various delicacies to take with him to the bench. Realizing that it's all rather -too- casual for high-ranking nobles, he calls for a servant to go and fetch them a table to place their things down on. And some fresh ale from the cold kitchen. Leaving the ladies to converse for the moment as he goes about being a good host and all. He knows that somewhere, his mother may be lurking.

Marsei delicately plucks a small sampling of sliced fruit and bread from the table and sits neatly down where offered while Loryn plays host. She smiles again at Miranda, quiet again - looking briefly only down at the food - before remarking, "You look well. I admit I was surprised to hear the news…" she holds a hand up toward Miranda as if to quell any worry, "but— pleased, of course. For you and Loryn. If you both are."

"We are," Miranda replies with a shy smile. "I… was reading the world wrong when the Gods were encouraging me to go back to living my life, not hiding from it." She glances over at him and smiles fondly. "It's an adjustment, to be certain. A good one," she concludes. "And how have you been? I've not seen you in months; busy with things at the Hightower, I trust?"

Loryn gets grabbed by an old aunty offering the kind of long-winded pointless advice old aunties are prone to dishing out, wanted or not. She blithely ignores the fact that he looks visibly jumpy, but when a servant steps close to refill the old ladies' cups, he seizes the chance to get away and join the much younger and prettier ladies on their bench. He only catches Miranda's words and immediately nods to them. "Indeed, it was a pity you couldn't attend the party, cousin."

"Yes, we must listen when the gods speak." Marsei's smile turns easily understanding, although there is, perhaps, just a touch of sadness in her gaze before she looks downward at the slice of apple she poises to bite. Gone immediately when she turns a bright look on the returning Tyrell. "Oh— yes. I've been learning about the work Dhraegon does in shipping and trade," she explains a bit shyly. "I feel so sorry for missing your party the other day," she confesses and, even as she smiles, her sincere regret shines through. "I had every intention to come," she expresses, wanting to underline that fact. "I had been out on the Sound the day before and… it was a lovely outing, and not long, but I suppose I wasn't used to being on such a small boat and the next day I still felt as though I was on the water. But as I was just telling Lady Miranda, I'm so pleased for you, Loryn."

Miranda helps herself to a small plate of fruit and cheese before rejoining the pair. "It's fine, my lady. I'm certain there will be many more parties to come. I'm not quite ready to start hosting them just yet but that is the duty of a Tyrell woman. That and keeping the menfolk in line," she teases with a smile to her betrothed. "Perhaps we can all attend one of the Maiden's Day celebrations together." Her smile falters for a moment as if a thought just tugged at her, but it returns quickly enough.

"And of course you'll be at the wedding.", Loryn adds to that with a smile for Marsei, "Although it will be another few months… our parents and relatives are already argueing about the date.", he grins good-naturedly, "But yes, the Maiden Day's celebrations! Are you competing in archery, Marsei? You should. You two competing! It will be fun!"

Marsei gives a soft little laugh, more of an airy chuckle, at Miranda's assessment of a Tyrell woman's role. The sound is choked and turns outright silly after Loryn's suggestion, causing her to give him an equally silly, wide-eyed look. "I love the Maiden Day celebrations, but— me compete in an archery competition? Oh, I shouldn't think so! Not unless you want me to take out somebody's eye," she cringes at the thought, "probably my own. You use the bow, Lady Miranda?" she asks curiously. Curiosity on top of curiosity, she can't but help but ask without pause except the quick bite of the apple slice, "Will you have the wedding here or at Highgarden?"

Miranda says, "I'm going to say Highgarden as Longtable lies to the far east of the Reach and it will be easier for them to travel there than here." She nibbles on a piece of cheese on toast and smiles. "At least, well, Loryn and I haven't really discussed what we want of it, that's more to our parents - they're the ones enjoying the fuss." She grins at the archery idea, "I've got some practice, I used to go out riding and hunting with my brothers all the time at home. I have been picking it back up again; he's been working with me to remember how it all works proper."

Loryn looks rather stunned when Miranda says Highgarden. "I thought we had decided here, because all our friends are here?", he wonders and frowns a bit, but lets it go for now in favour of a jest. "I think it was reacquainting her with her bow was what made her realize what she missing. You don't see a septa with a bow, do you?"

Marsei gives the two another knowing smile over the influence of family in wedding planning, nodding — knowing, in fact, all too well, given the rather enormous spectacle her own wedding became. "Well…" she considers Miranda — as a septa, with a bow, "no… I suppose… not-but it's not too often I see a lady with a bow either," she points out. "But why not, if it's something you love."

Miranda ohs in surprise. "Oh, yes, of course we can ask for them to host it here," she says hastily, looking mildly embarassed for a moment. "I was just thinking about travel distances and whatnot…" She trails off and takes a sip of her white wine. "Um, yes, well. It was… one of the many things that made me realize a septa's life was… better for someone who had lived their life fully. I haven't done much in the way of living yet." She leans over to give Loryn a peck on the cheek with an affectionate smile.

"They might just have to stay here until the wedding then, if they want to avoid too much travelling.", Loryn smirks - a thought that admittedly doesn't bring him too much pleasure after having had the run of Garden Isle for so long. He grins from ear to ear when Miranda kisses him lightly and tries to give his full attention to their guest. "So what -are- you doing for the Maiden Day celebrations, Marsei? Isn't there some girly stuff as well? I know Janei was really keen on something la—- interesting, like flower arrangements?"

Marsei nods to Miranda; less in understanding, this time, and more interest; wanting to understand. "I never thought of it that way," she says quietly, curious. Words seem poised to follow, to amend what she's said in some way, but after a brief mouth-open pause she smiles gently and defers, "but I have never been a septa." She laughs, instead, at Loryn, good-natured; she caught that. "If flower-weaving is wanted, I'm certain we will have it. There will be a party in the Hightower, in the gardens, one which be welcoming to children. Dhraegon may have something special planned. I've been thinking of throwing an event as well, but I've been so indecisive on the entertainment that now time is slipping between my fingers," she says lightly, not terribly vexed. "Perhaps something quieter in honour of the Maiden."

Miranda wriggles her hand, uncertainly. "Weaving flower garlands to adorn the Maiden's statue with, or make corsages for the young girls would be appropriate." She takes another bite of her breakfast and sighs. "Poetry, perhaps. Writing prayers to Her on flower-petals and putting them in the fountain?"

Oh dear. Now they talk flower-weaving and prayers. Loryn's eyes get that glassy expression people get when they pretend to be listening attentively, while his thoughts wander. The word corsages drifts into his mind, adding some fuel to that particular fire of Loryn's imagination.

Meanwhile, his cousin's expression could not be more different. While Loryn's eyes go glassy, Marsei's light up as though Miranda is the Maiden herself in that moment. She's enamoured by every idea, but the last one takes the cake. "What a beautiful idea!" she clasps her hands together, practically leaning forward in enthusiasm for such things as flowers, poetry and prayers. "Perhaps Dhraegon could even show me how to fold toy boats to send flowers and prayers upon as well."

"I'm sure His Grace would -love- to be included!" Miranda seems to brighten as well when her ideas are well received. "I was… wondering how I might celebrate Maiden Day since, well… I won't be in the gardens for Maidensong services." She lowers her eyes at that but smiles all the same. "I wonder if he knows how to fold flower-shapes. Wouldn't that be beautiful?" Poor Loryn..

Loryn is quite happy in his own world. It's comfy there and he knows his way around. He is also still picking his way through his breakfast food, munching on a cream-filled pastry very slowly while thinking happy thoughts.

"It would be! I'll be sure to find out," Marsei agrees effervescently. "Perhaps you could help the younger children write their prayers," she says with an encouraging smile — a suggestion as well as an offer, a way for Miranda to take part without her septa's mantle. She brightens all over again upon a thought, gently tearing a piece of bread apart in-between gestures of her hands. "Do you think it would be better to take the girls to the beach to send their prayers to the Maiden off into the Sound?"

Miranda leans in to Loryn and kisses his cheek again affectionately. "I'm so sorry, my dear ser. This must be dreadfully dull to you," she says with a shy smile. "Can I make it up to you later, we can go riding?" But Marsei's idea brings another light to her eyes. "I think they would enjoy the trip out to the coast, perhaps we can even do a luncheon on the shore as part of the celebration?"

Something about taking girls to the beach worms its way through Loryn's ear canal into his brain and stokes the fire afresh. He almost leaps when Miranda suddenly leans in and kisses him. "Huh, what? Yes, sure, we can go riding to the beach.'", he agrees vaguely with that hopeful look of people praying that their answer somehow matches whatever question was asked.

"Yes!" Marsei is eager to agree. The lady quite nearly bounces in her seat, as though she were a young maiden herself. She outright giggles when Loryn comes 'to. "How is the Whimsy these days, Ser Loryn?" she asks him, bringing the conversation back into his realm — with a knowing look at Miranda with the essence of a wink without quite winking. They can always plan more later.

Miranda has a moment of confusion when he mentions the beach. She pauses as if trying to recall the last five minutes of their conversation. "Oh, yes, if you like. I was thinking out somewhere we can practice the archery some more over lunch, but a day at the shore would be nice," she says softly. Marsei's maneuver is met with a subtle nod- message received and registered.

Loryn looks at Marsei with fresh love when she changes the topic. "Oh, the Whimsy is quite fine, coz. I hope you'll be able to attend the opening of our new show. It's a story of love, redemption and faith… Miranda helped me to pen it. In fact, I believe it is what brought us closer." He smiles warmly at his bride. The show also really needs a title.

"Oh? Marsei looks somewhat starry-eyed over Loryn's ideas, this time, dwelling on the themes of his play. She smiles between he and Miranda admiringly — and a bit distantly, her thoughts fleetingly somewhere else behind her gaze. "I shan't miss it. "It sounds very moving," she compliments. "Something tells me I will have to bring my handkerchief."

Miranda nods agreement with a shy smile. "It's a beautiful story, really. There's also some fighting in it so the smallfolk won't be bored," she jokes. "But yes.. it was the first time I had spent in the company of someone who I… wanted to spend more company with."

"And some romance too.", Loryn adds quickly, though he can't resist a grin. "Yes, bring a kerchief. People die. Romantically." As they do on stage. After singing one last big aria. "It's… a bit of a departure for the Whimsy, so I'm really curious to see how it will be received. We may have to shut it down after two performances."

Lady Marsei's thoughtful look at Miranda is interrupted by the notion of people dying — romantically — and she drops the bit of fruit she had just picked up in order to flatten her hand to her chest. "Don't spoil it for me, cousin," she tells him; with hardly any seriousness, given that she still smiles all the while. "I bet the audience will love it. A story that has true meaning and feeling behind it will touch others' hearts as it did yours."

Miranda is colored a rather pretty pink that goes well with her violet silk blouse. "I hope they don't all walk out and leave. It's a rather beautiful story with faith and salvation as an underlying theme. Love and loyalty… all those fine things." She sips her wine as she nods. "It will be… interesting to be spending time at the Theater - now and again. It's his world, I wouldn't want to be an intruder there."

"Just these fine things.", Loryn nods and it could be taken both ways. But he offers Miranda a warm smile, "You'd never be an intruder. You are a capable writer in your own right. And don't worry, I won't spoil it for you by telling you WHO dies.", he assures Marsei.

"Good!" Marsei bobs her chin buoyantly. "I shall live in suspense. I look forward to it, truly," she tells them. She cleans up the remainder of breakfast she had set out; not much, but considerable given that she claimed to have already eaten. She takes a very small sip of her drink. She lowers her voice, offering to Loryn, "If you tire of having so many guests throughout the celebrations," she glances to the gathering in the gazebo, "we could always host them at the Hightower for a few evenings, with your mother."

Miranda says, "It would be nice to spread things about, I think. People will get bored of coming here to have parties." She seems to be joking. "And it has been rather crowded with both our families here to enjoy the festivities." Both their betrothal and the Maiden Day celebration. "I think my father would enjoy schmoozing with you and yours, my lady."

"Oh, what an excellent suggestion.", Loryn says gratefully, "The house has been quiet for so long, it's rather strange to have so many people underfoot all the time. I am sure my mother would appreciate spending some more time at the Hightower too, catching up with friends and family." And stop getting on his nerves.

"Garden Isle is as it should be though, isn't it? Full of life," Marsei says, looking around the garden. "But I do imagine it would take some getting used to… the Hightower always seems busy, but it's so big, hardly anyone is ever underfoot — although during my wedding, even it felt ready to burst at the seams at times. Lord Merryweather and your family are always welcome, Lady Miranda, and of course the Tyrells. I always enjoy seeing Lady Josanne, I'm sure my brothers feel the same way," Marsei says. Her sunny smile seems to settle it.

Miranda nods in warm agreement. "It's only fitting the Hightowers host the Tyrells, after all. My father sometimes like to think he's the 'Hightower of the East' although we don't have a beautiful ancient port-town of our own at Longtable," she says with a chuckle. "And Sweet Mother… if we do have the wedding here, we'll have -EVERYONE- here. All your family. All my family. Our cousins, our extended kin." She hids her face in her hands a moment as that sinks in.

"Nor quite such a high tower, if I remember correctly.", Loryn adds dryly, though apparently it's a joke, "They have a high tower, you have a long table." OK, time to get his coat. He gives Miranda an encouraging pat on the shoulder when she faceplams and gets to his feet. "It'll be alright. It wasn't -that- terrible for you, was it, Marsei? Big wedding, with all the Targaryens around and other nobles? Why don't I leave you two to chat? I… uh… have things to do."

"I-it was wonderful, but it can be very overwhelming," Marsei answers, looking put on the spot and not quite wanting to disagree with Loryn, yet… her fairly recent wedding was not without its significant stresses. Not the least of which was the King and the Queen and the royal court. She turns a warm, sympathetic look on the other lady. "It was good to see you, Ser Loryn," she tells her Tyrell cousin, then, and adds, "And congratulations, on your betrothal. Truly." Quieter, to Miranda, she asides, "I have been through it twice. I will help you through it, if I can." She beams more encouragingly. "Yours shouldn't be quite as complicated as mine…" At least Miranda's husband-to-be is less likely to faint at the altar. One can hope.

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