(123-06-19) Hide and Seek in the Library
Hide and Seek in the Library
Summary: Lady Joyeuse Hastwyck hides; Lady Lara Gargalen seeks… gossip!
Date: 16-19/06/2016
Related: Related Logs (Say None if there aren't any; don't leave blank. You have to use full URLs, like http://gobmush.wikidot.com/logtitle)

The door of the library swoops open and shut again, at the command of a red sandsilk blur.

“… Oh! I beg your pardon; I didn’t know there was anybody in here,” confesses Lady Joyeuse Hastwyck. She clasps a handkerchief-holding hand to her bosom, laughing very softly — and then, as she sees the other woman’s face, her hand falls away and her eyes widen with delighted surprise. “Lady Lara Gargalen! If I’d known this was where you were hiding, I might have come on purpose, and not just because,” and her smile takes on a guilty curve as she nods over her shoulder, “I’m hiding too.”

Hiding may not be the right word to do Lara Gargalen justice. Her dress of Dornish sandsilk may cover her shapely frame adequately, if a bit affectionately, the way it clings to her form. But it is of a sunny orange color, the kind that catches, demands attention rather than evading it. Dark tresses spill about the shoulders of the Cockatrice, where she sits, a book in her lap, her lips curled as she lifts her hazel eyes from reading to see who is the cause for this unexpected interruption. "No need to apologize," she intones then, her smile deepening in the moment she closes the book and puts it aside, moving to stand in one fluid movement that makes the sandsilk rearrange itself about her form. "Please! Do come in."

A melodious chuckle escapes Lara's lips when Joyeuse continues. "You are mistaken, Lady Joyeuse. I am hardly hiding, but taking a moment off from my duties." Whatever those duties may be. A brow lifts. "You are hiding, indeed? From whom?" Curiosity gets the best of the Dornishwoman as she slips closer to where the Hastwyck lady stands - and to the door to catch some footfalls perhaps from the corridor beyond.

Lady Joy shifts from one slippered foot to the other, unconsciously blocking the door into the Little Hall's antechamber. "Oh," she laughs, and the few dark red curls left loose to frame her face bounce enticingly with a shake of her head, "but let's not talk of him, Lady Lara. Surely between the two of us we can do better than that…?" she suggests. Her eyes haven't left the Cockatrice; she sums up her observations as follows. "You always look lovely, but lovelier still now that I see you returned to your own element… Healthier, too. The climate in Oldtown really didn't agree with you." And she pulls a face, comically sad for an instant before her features resume their own kind of loveliness, and their friendly curiosity.

"Let's not talk of him?", Lara echoes, her voice all smooth and velvety even if there is faint curiosity lacing her tone. "You charming intended? is this some amusing game of hide and seek to whet the appetite, to make sure the wedding night will be all the more memorable?" The question leaves the Gargalen's lips in the moment it crosses her mind, and it is posed in all honesty. Of course, rumors have reached her about this recent development, and one can assume she is, in her usual slightly scandalous Cockatrice way, possibly acquainted with the man in question. "For the union, I wish you joy, of course," a faint smirk there, "and that this marriage will be graced with more happiness than his previous two." A half-step she takes backwards then, receiving the compliment with a pleased smile. "Thank you. But I suspect it was less the climate, and more the sort of people…" The smile dims slightly. "And whatever occurred there." She exhales, in a sort of half-sigh, her demeanor brightening then. "But yes. I am glad we are here, I've missed Dorne while in Oldtown. And I don't miss Oldtown at all. Haven't missed it at all ever since we returned to Dorne. "You look radiant as well, dear Lady Joyeuse. But I suppose this may be more because of the impending nuptials, than due to the climate."

The white marble of Starfall has echoed back a great deal of Lady Joy's mirth in these few short days — now she lets out another peal of low, merry laughter at what Lady Lara has to say of wedding nights, and bites her lip rather than answering with a like frankness.

"Well," she admits then, "the Dornish climate has always agreed with me…" This she says even as she's dabbing with her handkerchief at the film of perspiration that agreeable climate has left upon her forehead. "And Dornish people, likewise. All save the 'him' I was so anxious a moment ago not to meet," and she tucks her folded handkerchief away in a pocket and smooths her robes over the generous curve of a hip, "who was not my intended," a smile teases at her lips, "but some other 'him' entirely. Hide and seek isn't among Prince Auberyn's favourite games," she assures the lady-in-waiting with a wink. "Prince Dhraegon's, perhaps…?" For all of Starfall by now knows the Clown Prince, and his ideas of a good time. "I thank you for your good wishes," she adds belatedly, with a broader smile; "it's a pleasure and a relief and an honour, all at once, to hear such kind words wherever I turn."

Wedding night! What would one such as Lara Gargalen know of them?! As it is, the dark-haired Dornish beauty observes the merry giggle she provoked with a smile that shows both amusement and a certain appreciation of the merry Joyeuse. Even so, there is a faint glare - not so much at the merry Hastwyck but rather at the image she conjures - and an unmistakable grin. "Prince Dhraegon? then I can hardly fault you," the Cockatrice allows, raising a brow. A knowing sparkle flashes briefly in her dark eyes at the mention of Prince Auberyn's favorite games, yet Lara is content not to add her own experiences - as to stress such would be bad taste indeed, even for Dornish standards. "You must be very excited," the Gargalen chooses to remark instead, tilting her head a little to the side, which makes her dark tresses spill over one shoulder more than the other.

Lady Joy pauses, her full lips just barely parted, putting together what’s just been said; then she exclaims, “Oh, but you mistake me again!” And, laughing, she comes further into the library, resting her hand upon Lady Lara’s arm in the briefest of caresses as she passes her. “I haven’t been in here before; Seven heavens, what a lot of books!” Her pale beringed hands find colourful leather spines to caress next. “Do you suppose it’s all right to take one or two away to read? Or must they stay here? Not that I’d really have time,” she adds, consideringly. “But I’m not hiding from any prince at all, sweetling, least of all Dhrae. He’s really the sweetest creature you could imagine,” she promises the Gargalen lady, glancing back at her and nodding to underline the sincerity of her words; “I was there at the wedding, you know — weren’t you in the city too? But I don’t remember; I didn’t know you yet, did I?” This with her nose wrinkled in thought. “He has made a friend of mine happy in her marriage, and that’s the highest praise I could give any man.”

"Do I?" Lara Gargalen seems likewise amused, her smile deepening in the moment Joyeuse comments on the many books. "Books are supposed to be found in a library," the Dornish lady remarks. "And not unlike what males consider to be vital, size of shelves full of books seems to be what defines the potency of a library and will boost the ego of its owner." She smirks, obviously quite content in how she managed to slip in an ambiguous remark into a reply to a rather innocent question. The next question earns Joyeuse a shrug of both shoulders. "I came here to read. I suppose it is alright to take a book or two to one's room, if it will be returned in due time?" Still… the Hastwyck lady's denial of Prince Dhraegon being the cause for her sudden appearance will provoke the evident question. "Who is it then? If it is no prince you are hiding from?", Lara persists as she moves to stand, orange sand silk rearranging about her frame as dark eyes meet the lighter gaze of Joyeuse Hastwyck. "Of course I remember the wedding. As it is as you say, I was still in Oldtown when Prince Dhraegon married Lady Marsei Hightower. I am glad she is happy. I doubt I would be, if I were in her place." A slightly thoughtful look there.

The innuendo — remarkable how she does it, really — doesn’t turn this northern lady bashful, as it might any number of her compatriots; Lady Joy only laughs and wrinkles her nose and remarks, “But such a quantity of books can be of no use at all to a lady if they fail to divert her imagination, wouldn’t you say? Better to have a few that are truly amusing, than shelves and shelves and shelves full of dull old nonsense she wouldn’t care to curl up with of an evening…” She gives a little shrug and turns to the shelf again, and turns back to Lady Lara holding a volume which has succeeded in catching her eye.

“I’m sure you wouldn’t be,” she agrees to that last, “but then, Lady Lara, let’s be truthful just between ourselves: you’ve no taste for matrimony at all, have you?” She winks. “Surely you’d find any husband as tedious as any other, after a while…?”

Lara smiles when she notes Joyeuse's reaction. "You are referring to size not being all that matters?", she counters softly, with an almost innocent blink of her eyes. "And yes, I do agree. There are few books that divert me, and even so, I wouldn't pick any of them to 'curl up with' on any evening." And then a chuckle rises in the Gargalen's throat, rippling across the library with all its numerous dusty books. "Oh, my lady! You must have a poor opinion of me. And while I have to agree that I've not really sought a husband till now, I can only say yes to my reluctance to marry, while I can't really state anything about the fact of a husband becoming tedious after a while, as I lack the experience of a married woman." A glance she gives the Hastwyck, her eyes glittering slightly. "As for your current husband to be, I can only congratulate you. I doubt your marriage with Prince Auberyn of all will threaten to become tedious, ever!"

“… A poor opinion? That’s not so at all, of course; I don’t know you nearly well enough to think badly of you,” laughs Lady Joy, perching upon the arm of a chair the better to peruse the opening pages of her book. Her posture suggests only the briefest alighting. She might take off again at any moment. “Isn’t that the sort of opinion, after all, that we save for our oldest friends and our dearest, the ones with whose faults we have come to know through and through? And not new acquaintances, who still have the sheen of novelty upon them? … Though in truth Prince Auberyn is one of my oldest friends,” she admits, shrugging gracefully, “and it is as you say: I could never imagine him becoming tedious, nor think of him without affection… Perhaps one day you’ll meet a man for whom you can feel the same, and you’ll find yourself looking upon marriage with different eyes…?” she teases. And then, apropos of nothing: “Do you still see much of my nephew? I confess I was surprised not to have met him here.” She glances about as though expecting Ser Manfryd Qorgyle to leap out from behind a piece of furniture and ravish one or the other of them.

"I have poor opinions about a number of people I don't really know," Lara Gargalen responds, her smile brightening ever so slightly. "Still, yes, I agree. You and I don't have reason to have a poor opinion about each other, even if we may not be that newly acquainted. I remember our first encounter in the Hightower. It feels like it was ages ago." Her hand lifts, fingers diving back into her dark tresses, only to sweep them back over a shoulder next. On corner of her mouth lifts even further at the topic of Auberyn. "Aye, perhaps, if the man in question were of Auberyn's disposition I could see that happen." Amusement flashes in those dark eyes.

The shift of topic - apropos of nothing - does not seem to dim her mirth, even if Lara shakes her head in the moment another melodious chuckle ripples from her lips. "I don't," she says. "And as pleasurable a companion as he can be, in certain regards and areas," a flicker of mischief there in her hazel eyes, "I wouldn't consider your nephew as someone I would actually marry. And, truth be told, I haven't seen him lately." And shifting a little in her seat, into a sideways lean, her arm on the side rest propped up beneath her chin, the Gargalen lifts both brows, her mirth dimming into more of a wistful attitude. "I miss our tempestuous encounters…", she admits then with a soft sigh. "But it seems he is seeking his diversion elsewhere, and so am I."

This news of Ser Manfryd, or lack of it, is received with an understanding nod.

“… No,” Lady Joy concedes after a moment’s thought, “I can’t imagine any young lady regarding my nephew as an ideal prospect for marriage. Perhaps,” and she tilts her head again, whimsically, “a lady a little older than he is, might discover the secret of taming him just enough to keep him about her manse—? Or perhaps time will change him, in some degree; smooth his manners, alter his desires. It has been known, hasn’t it? Ser Vorian quite astonishes me; I would hardly know him as the firebrand I recall…” She shakes her head to clear it, red curls bouncing here, slipping loose there. “Still, if you don’t lack for diversion, there’s nothing more to be said, is there? Dorne,” she sighs, “is so full of diversions.”

Hazel eyes linger on Joyeuse Hastwyck as she gives her assessment of the perfect wife for one Ser Manfryd Qorgyle, and a wicked grin sneaks onto Lara's features. "A lady a little older, tying him down literally - what an amusing thought…!" Even so, beside the mirth in her dark gaze there is another sentiment - the time in Oldtown and the events leading to their departure having left their mark upon her. It is only a brief impression in the briefest of moments, when the Gargalen's demeanor lightens up at Joyeuse's next remark. "True! So many diversions there are. So many that it can become quite taxing, in fact!" She laughs, as it is a jest, clearly. This Cockatrice not being up to the task of dealing with her huge string of admirers? Unthinkable, indeed.

Apropos nothing. "When will you return to Oldtown? Or are you bound to stay here till your own nuptials, Lady Joy?", asks Lara Gargalen, as her fingers adjust her gown of orange sandsilk and she shoots the Hastwyck a curious glance.

The merry widow, soon to be once again a bride, answers with a sunny smile and a sensuous shrug of her shoulders. “I don’t know,” she admits. “It might be amusing to travel with Lady Marsei and her prince, after the tournament; but it will depend upon His Highness’s wishes, of course. I adore Oldtown, and I have many friends there; but I love Dorne, and I have friends and kin here as well. I will be just as happy in either place, as long as he’s with me,” she concludes, breathing out a little sigh of pleasure at the thought.

Then she does alight from her chair arm, book clasped to her bosom. “I think I shall steal away,” she confesses, “and see if he has woken yet…”

The Dornish lady inclines her head, to the (rather vague) information Joyeuse Hastwyck provides with regard to her immediate plans. At which Lara replies with a soft chuckle, and a silky smoothness to her tone. "I understand you very well. And I am sure, Prince Auberyn should be likewise pleased to be in your company. Even if…" And here her voice and thoughts trail of momentarily, "I am not sure Oldtown is ready for His Highness yet. As it certainly wasn't for the likes of me." And as the redhead seems about to depart the library, the Gargalen moves to stand to bid her goodbye. "Should he be asleep still," Lara adds with a wicked glint in her dark eyes, "I am certain you will think of… pleasurable means to raise him from his slumber, my lady." A wink is tossed from one wicked lady to the other, before Lara watches Joyeuse depart, another sigh - this one doomed to be unheard - leaving her throat after the merry soon-to-be wife to the scandalous Martell has left the room.

“Oh, but Lady Lara — you forget the chief thing about Westeros — there is one rule for ladies, and quite another for lords!” With which parting remark, and an answering wink over her shoulder, Lady Joy goes out again in just such a hurry as brought her in in the first place, leaving behind only a last giggle and a door carelessly left ajar.

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