(123-07-29) The Queen of Love and Awkwardness
The Queen of Love and Awkwardness
Summary: After the Tyrell-Merryweather wedding feast, Ser Malcolm and Lady Marsei have a chance to truly speak since she was named Queen of Love and Beauty.
Date: 29/07/2016
Related: Tyrell-Merryweather Wedding: The Welcome Feast

With the feast winding down, guests are split between wound up and retiring. There may be cats and dogs running amok, by this juncture. Having mingled and ate to her heart's content, with a minimal amount of dancing interspersed — so as to be proper, what with her husband not on hand — it's time for Lady Marsei to take her leave. Separating from the friends and family that remain, she finds herself more or less alone on the outskirts of the garden, on her way out. It's rare for the Flower of Oldtown to be unaccompanied, but, not wishing to interrupt anyone's fun for the mere sake of her leaving, she finds herself instead passing by the rare sober gentlemen, Ser Malcolm.

Ser Malcolm Storm is usually at a loss at these sorts of affairs, and is rather prone to want to get further out where there is less crowd and clearer air. Startled to see her unescorted, he bows low with his efficient swordsman's grace. He stays like that, posture perfect, eyes fixed on the ground, a startled, "My Lady!" escaping his lips with that distinctive draw.

The Stormcoast lilt catches her ear before its owner truly catches her eye. She immediately smiles brightly at the knight. "Ser Malcolm," she greets, a bit sudden — his startle startling her — but cheerful all the same. "You've been quiet." She, too, is among the sober: it might be hard to tell given the rosy blush of her cheeks from too much sun quite mimicking a flush from too much wine, but she's hardly been in her goblets at the table. "Are you by yourself— ? Is Lord Carolis back from Starfall as yet?"

Even With the lighting not particularly good, his braided goatee and the silhouette of his doublet are as unusual as his lilt in this crowd. "He is, My Lady, but needed to rest from the travel." He straightens, but his gaze remains downward. "I… wish to apologise. I know it might be awkward to have been singled out at the dolphin tourney. I… fear I panicked a little when time came to name a Queen…."

The lady's eyes go a bit wide— alongside a widening smile. She ducks her head down slightly, as if to follow and catch the knight's gaze. "Panic!" she says in a jest of incredulity. "That's not very flattering," she says, but the words are buoyant, humour that's all soft around the edges, not really meant. It's the small laugh Marsei gives that rings true. "It's all right. I was delighted to be named. I was a surprise."

Malcolm won't quite look directly at her, how ever she cranes, the bastard, "I didn't expect to win two years in a row…. It's complicated. Politically. I'd not want to damage some high born maiden's prospects by showing an interest, but doing as I do with the favours might be seen as mocking the honor. First year I could barely stand, my head was so rung and I was having trouble following, but I also knew the Princess would likely have my head if she wasn't picked again. This year… I was hoping it would be seen as a compliment and not… a matter of taking liberties." He is so earnest as pleads, "'Twasn't meant as such, I swear!"

His earnestness serves to make the lady's smile more earnest in turn; not that it was anything but to begin with. "Does anyone think that— ?" Marsei thinks to ask, more wondering than sounding truly worried about the prospect in the moment. "I know it must be a tricky thing," she says, again reassuring while not saying aloud why it's tricky. "But I did imagine that's why you chose me, and it really is all right. You've gained an honourable reputation in the tourneys, and you should know Prince Dhraegon was delighted too. I thought it was nice how you gave the dolphin necklace to Mistress Esme, as well."

Malcolm looks wildly relieved, "It was well meant…. I thought: your honor and piety are well known, and you are certainly among the…Oh! You know about… Right! It was public!" He is so terribly flustered, and if there was better light, odds are he is blushing. "I am glad you and the Prince were pleased. Dae… Ser Daevon said not to worry, but I… I don't think we'd ever spoken and I wouldn't presume…."

The more flustered he becomes, the more Marsei wants to reassure him that all is well, and she goes so far as to begin to instinctively reach out, only to drop her well-meaning hand before it's barely lifted. Instead, she gives another quiet, warm little laugh. "It almost seemed as though we had, your name does have a way of coming up," she says. "Thank you. I do hope I've put your mind at ease." Looking at him, he doesn't seem particularly at ease to her, despite his obvious relief. "I should be going back to the Hightower." With a deep nod of her red head, she steps to carry on her way. It would be common for a knight to take this very moment to escort the lady out, but given the tricky details they've just mentioned, she hesitates.

Malcolm does glance up, dark eyes mostly shadow, "My Lady… would you like an escort to your cart? I could… remain in shadow so as not to raise comment. It was kind of you to understand."

Marsei considers Malcolm for a moment. Perhaps she's wondering how such an unusually colourful man like him can manage to hide in shadow; perhaps she's considering that the way through Garden Isle and a short distance along Sphinx Street is not like to be full of brutes and … thieves … then again… she glances back toward the festivities searchingly before answering, "Would you? That would be good of you. I know it's not far… thank you, ser."

Malcolm bows again and offers his arm, "I'd not want you to be insulted in any way. I will do my best to prevent it."

She does not take his arm until they are a few steps out of the garden, but she probably feels badly about it. "You seem a true knight," she commends as she's accompanied.

Malcolm looks at her direct and clear, "I try very hard to be, My Lady. I take my vows seriously."

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