subjects of gossip

Castle Anvard

Honour steps into the kennels, a fresh breath of warmer air following her. She wears a light cloak, removing it once she steps into the warmer builder. After speaking with the houndskeeper a moment, she walks over to where Lord Dar’s hound is.

Lanisen clomps down the stairs from the upper level, mostly hidden by a wobbly stack of clean blankets, presumably to replace the hounds’ bedding. Unfortunately, the height of the stack of blankets seems to make it difficult for him to see the steps, and he misses the last one. Though he manages to keep his footing, blankets go flying.

Honour bends down and strokes Durant’s head, speaking soothingly to the hound. She looks up in surprise at the noise. When the blankets scatter she bends and picks up one that land near her and approaches the boy, dipping to pick up another to help. “In a hurry, lad?” She smiles.

Lanisen takes a couple hurried steps to meet her, blushing profusely. “Sorry– I can get that, ma’am–er, my lady– I mean–” He tries to dip a respectful bow, with rather disastrous results. His arms are (were) still full of blankets.

Honour chuckles, catching a couple as he re-dumps them. “Don’t worry about that.”

Lanisen snatches them back as soon as he can without being too rude and pins them down on the top of the pile with his chin. “Sorry, I’m sorry,” he says, still red-eared, hastily picking up the rest. “‘Scuse me.” He bows, more cautiously this time, and backs away.

Honour nods and returns to Durant, allowing the boy to go about his work.

Lanisen does so, sneaking a glance over his shoulder at her.

Honour strokes Durant’s head gently, and reaches into her pocket. The hound gratefully takes the small treat from her hand, his tail wagging a bit.

Lanisen tries not to stare too openly as he changes the blankets, but he’s definitely interested in and curious about the goings-on.

Honour spends some time with Durant before taking the time to glance about herself. Seeing the boy once more, she motions for him to approach.

Lanisen promptly fumbles the blanket he’s trying to unfold. He brushes at his tunic self-consciously and hesitates before he heads over toward her.

Honour’s mouth twists faintly into a slight smirk that would probably only be picked up by people who know her expressions very well. To anyone else she is the epitome of grace and poise, as befitting a lady. “I apologize for interrupting your work.”

Lanisen shakes his head immediately, bowing again. “You didn’t, you didn’t–”

Honour chuckles, smiling graciously. “I won’t take up too much of your time. I wished to inquire as to the state of Durant here. He seems to be a bit perkier today. How has he been?”

Lanisen rubs the back of his neck. “Uh, he’s… doin’ better, I think? I thought he was, anyway– that is, he’s, he’s eating better.” He casts a nervous glance toward the huntsman’s door. “‘S what Master Danall said, anyway…”

Honour nods her head. “Indeed, that is good news.”

Lanisen seems relieved at her agreement. “Oh, good. I mean–yeah, it’s good. Um…”

Honour tilts her head slightly. “I did not get your name.”

Lanisen glances toward Danall again, shifting his weight nervously. “I’m Lanisen, my lady. You’re… uh, you’re Lady Honour, right?” He flushes at his assumption belatedly and tries to justify, “I mean– I heard people talking and I figured… not that I listen to people talking… I mean…”

Honour smiles wryly. “You have to admit, it would be rather hard not to, what with the way they’re going on.”

Lanisen shuffles his feet a little, averting his eyes. He hesitates and offers, without quite looking at her, “They won’t for long, my lady. They’ll, they’ll find somethin’ new and forget about it and move on.”

Honour gives him a knowing glance and nods. “Aye, they do, don’t they.”

Lanisen glances at her, then shifts and looks away, the now-usual shame ducking his head. “Yes, ma’am,” he mumbles quietly.

Honour holds up her hand, forefinger extended to him. “Enough of that.” She scolds gently.

Lanisen straightens and blinks at her, confused and wary, before fixing his eyes on the ground again. “My lady?”

Honour straightens herself up taller, trying to be more intimidating. The effect is probably lost. “What’s done is done and is in the past. No more shame. Just be thankful they’re picking on me now.” She says with an ironic half-grin.

Lanisen is obviously not quite sure what to say. After a moment he just ducks his head again and says, “Yes, my lady.”

Honour nods firmly, considering the subject closed. Sort of, considering she keeps talking in a low tone. “I do not wish to embarrass you, but I will say I think it’s commendable the life you’re trying to make for yourself now, considering all the hard knocks you’ve had.”

Lanisen shifts and nods slightly in acknowledgement, but doesn’t look up from the floorboards beneath his feet. He says nothing, pale and obviously ashamed.

Honour lets a small sigh escape her lips. “There is no shame to be had in that.” She says again, glancing down at Durant as he nudges her hand.

Lanisen swallows, fidgeting with a loose string on his sleeve. He glances up at her from the ground for a split second, bows, and mumbles, “‘Scuse me, milady.”

Honour sighs quietly, nodding her consent as he dashes away.

Lanisen turns toward the stairs, moving more quickly as he gets farther away from her. He seems to have forgotten the half-completed task he started on earlier.

Honour turns back to Durant to give him a little more attention. After a few moments, she picks up her cloak and departs the kennels, stepping out into the ward.


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