(123-06-23) Wedding Bells
Wedding Bells
Summary: Lady Hastwyck invites Lady Vynesa to her impending wedding, which is heralded by peals of laughter. (Disclaimer: Vynesa's player can only go five or six minutes at a time without coarsening any given narrative. Ladies may wish to avert their eyes.)
Date: 02-03/07/2016
Related: Motherly Advice

A rich, happy gurgle of laughter precedes Lady Joyeuse Hastwyck down the stairs, putting all on notice that the merry widow late of Holyhall is on her way and in fine fettle. ‘All’ being in this case a young stony Dornish lady who has come into the possession of a fine pair of red and golden slippers… An effort she may immediately feel was for naught; for her idol descends through the gap in the guest tower’s blue-painted ceiling holding her turquoise green skirts out of the way of a pair of… turquoise green and silver slippers. What is a girl to do?

The lady’s red hair is all the way up today, and woven through with ropes of silvery pearls; her gown is Westerosi in its style and would have been quite current at the royal court in King’s Landing six months past, for all it is stitched from the finest Dornish sandsilk, and interspersed with panels of Myrish lace which reveal nothing and yet suggest all. She has an ivory fan in one hand, closed, and an ivory linen handkerchief in the other, flamboyantly embroidered with her own initials. By the time she’s halfway down to the ground floor her laughter has turned to humming, which then breaks off in its turn when she espies… “Lady Vynesa! Oh, what a coincidence! I was thinking of you only last night,” she insists, beaming, floating nearer.

Neither she, nor Prince Auberyn, nor any of the prince’s particular coterie, appeared in the great hall yesterday evening amongst the various Daynes and Martells. They were secluded in his wholly regal suite, making a jolly racket far into the night somewhere over Lady Vynesa’s head.

It’s not that Vynesa is shocked to be spoken to, but she does drop the flowers she was in the middle of arranging (red and yellow flowers, as it happens, which can only be a complete coincidence), and straightens, wide eyed, to turn her full and complete attention to Joyeuse. “Me? Of me?” Because clearly the Lady Hastwyck’s statement was completely ambiguous. “But… why?” she asks, one hand going to check her hair, again this being in a somewhat familiar style, with added curls (which must have taken considerable work to get to stay in).

Her idol arrives in a waft of rare and expensive scent upon a chaise adjacent to these floral operations, scattering handkerchief and fan as though having been carried thus far they are suddenly of no moment. “Oh, we were making a list of people to invite,” she explains breezily. “To the wedding. We didn’t want to leave out anybody who might like to see it. Princess Visenya is coming, of course — and Lady Lara too — and it wouldn’t be quite right to leave you behind, would it? I shouldn’t think it’ll be very interesting to anybody but the two of us,” she confides, leaning her head nearer, “but if you’d like to come, you ought to. What d’you think?”

And she favours Lady Vynesa with the blindingly joyous smile of a Lady Hastwyck about to get exactly what she’s decided she wants this week, and generous thereby.

“Oh!” comes the ever verbose response from the young Manwoody. “Oh! Really? Yes, I mean! Yes!” This follows a huge, beaming smile from ear to ear, as though she’s been invited to rule the world, not just attend a wedding as a hanger on. “Will it be a big wedding? Have you got a wonderful dress? Oh! Oh, I could bring you flowers?” she adds hopefully, stooping to pick up the ones she’s dropped and offer their rather sad bunch over right now. “What colour are you wearing? Are you going to do your hair like that? I love the pearls. What’s Prince Auberyn going to wear? Oh, how exciting!!”

“Oh, for me—?” And even these wilting and lopsided blooms look beautiful, today, to Lady Joy. Without waiting for an answer in words she reaches out to take possession of them. “It's only going to be a little wedding,” she giggles, as though it were such a good joke; “bigger than my second of course but not at all like my first… It's only that everyone we know seems to be gathered here now, already, everyone from Princess Amarei to Prince Auberyn’s children to my daughter and my favourite cousin from Oldtown… It might take us months to chivvy them all into the same sept again; and we can't wait months.” This whilst, by the simple expedient of adjusting a stalk here and there and moving the ribbon higher, turning Lady Vynesa’s floral offering into something more pleasing to the eye. She doesn't do it quite on purpose: she's only fiddling with what she has to hand as she rattles along.

“… So we’re having it tonight,” she laughs, “before dinner; and that shall be our wedding feast. We almost had it in mind that we might do something of the kind — His Highness has had seamstresses embroidering robes for us since a quarter of an hour after he asked me!” The bride and the groom share, after all, but a single set of priorities. “And, can you imagine it — they're still stitching!” She pantomimes looking aghast. “I might have to go to the altars with pins in my hem,” and this thought strikes her as the funniest of them all, and her mirth rings out through the tower as she sits there, flushed and happy, burying her face in the flowers.

The humble guppy has nothing on Vynesa, opening and closing her mouth three or four times before she can even think how to respond. “Tonight?” she finally echoes, breathlessly. “Oh… oh, how romantic! But there can’t be time! And everything has to be just perfect for you, and… oh… oh how wonderful! And how you!” She laughs, caught up in Joyeuse’s own emotion. “You’re extraordinary! Oh, but how can I help? I can sew passably well, if you want? Or… have you got a seating plan? I could do that! And hymns, will there be hymns? I could hand out the prayer books! Or… I don’t know, I just want to help!”

The extraordinary one meets her admirer’s own effusions with… another giggle. “Oh, there’ll be time enough; and we shall have all we need if we two are there and a septon,” she insists, with the modesty of a bride-to-be who has already been promised a certain number of cases of expensive foreign liquor and a path strewn with flowers. “Of course we shall all stand in the sept — and at dinner, people shall sit where they please — and I hope there shan't be any hymns,” she confides, fluttering her eyelashes, “or I shall feel so dreadfully thirsty, with so much waiting, and that wouldn't do at all, would it—? So you see, all shall be well — all we need is guests to help us to celebrate, and if you shall be our guest then you can't, you mustn't lift a finger!” So does Lady Joy dispose of the question of allowing persons whose skill with a needle is vouched for only by themselves to touch her wedding garments. Firmly, but not unkindly.

Of course, she could tell Vynesa to go fuck herself with an oversized vegetable and the poor thing would probably assume that was a sign of affection, so the minor mention that she might not be allowed to help sew sails over her head as do so very many things. “Then I shall help you celebrate!” she insists happily, clasping her hands in front of her. “I’m so pleased for you, Lady Hastwyck, I really am! And Prince Auberyn is so handsome.”

And Lady Joy’s gaze loses its focus and grows distant, and her hands and the flowers in them sink into her lap as she sighs. “Isn't he—?” she inquires with portentous emphasis of nobody in particular. “Really, he's hardly changed since I first knew him — not in any of the ways that matter — those eyes! — and… and the line of his throat, and his collarbones — really, though, there's something extraordinary about those lines…”

No, she isn't going to speak again. Not for a little while. She has come to the end of such dreamy sentiments as bear expressing.

Thus they remain in blessed silence for at least ten or fifteen seconds, as Joyeuse stares off with her particular daydream in mind, and Vynesa stares up at Joyeuse with an expression of rapt awe, broken only by her inability to keep quiet any longer, and her need to clap her hands together quickly and lightly. “Oh, you are so romantic! What a pair you make! I wish… well, I wish every marriage could be as happy, and everyone could be like you.”

Gentle as it is the clapping startles Lady Hastwyck, summoning her back from an imagined tour of Prince Auberyn's charms which was wending rapidly south. “… What, everyone?” She sounds nonplussed. “Oh, goodness… I think some people wouldn't at all like being like us,” and just like that she's giggling again. “Oh, but I ought to—” She waves a vague hand toward the doors to the upper bailey, propped open to admit the scent of lemon trees, and the odd casual caller. “But you will come this evening…?” she reminds Lady Vynesa, as she gathers up the flowers in one hand and her little tasseled ivory fan in the other.

“I wouldn’t miss it for the world!” Vynesa promises solemnly, subtly shifting forward so her skirts fall over the dropped handkerchief. That she’ll claim later as her prize to treasure ALWAYS. “I can think of nowhere I’d rather be.”

“Oh, what a sweet girl!” sighs Lady Joy, rustling lightly to her feet. “Bless you!” she exclaims; and with both hands full she rushes off oblivious to any little embroidered treasures left behind. She's humming again, too.

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