Rubicon River: The Best Defense

Rubicon River Hold - Gather Square
The seeming inspiration for the Crafters Square, the Gather Square is similarly laid out to its northerly placed sister. A long, broad rectangular colonnade defines the vast majority of the area. Twenty five foot high fluted ionic columns hold apart the terra cotta tiled roof from the worn mosaic floor. Despite centuries of use, the area is well cared for. Velvety grass coats the centre of the rectangle, allowing for a cool, comfortable place for people to lounge, while venders areas are set up along the northerly, easterly, and westerly, sides of the of colonnade. The south has been reserved for a raised stage and a flagstone and mosaic paved dancing area. To the southwest of the stage, a path leads to the interior cotholds that wind up the face of the limestone bluff.

Another day has passed and not a word was spoken of the encounter at the cliffs the day before. Business as usual for the woman. Dealing with reports, day to day business and running of the hold. Time with her children. The usual. She was again quiet at dinner as the next training loomed on her mind. In the middle of the courtyard the Lady waits with her guard. "I will be riding down to the cotholds tomorrow morning. There is a dispute that I must attend to, if you can have the guard assembled and ready to move out by the hour of nine."

If one were to observe Gaerwyn, it would have seemed as if there was nothing except a simple report given upon that cliff, certainly not comfort, as the day progressed like any other. However, Gaerwyn is a few minutes late to their appointed training session in the courtyard, and the Warden lingers on the threshhold, allowing the woman privacy as she speaks with her guard.

They speak on the plans for a few more minutes before the guard notices Gaerwyn and motions to the lady, "Your Lord awaits milady." The guard says before bowing her head to Ryeira and walking pass Gaerwyn with a mumbled, "She's all yours." as she passes the man. Such a bold guard, how Ryeira puts up with her who knows for she looks a bit stunned by the words before she looks up to Gaerwyn with a faint nod of her head.

Is that a grin on Gaerwyn's face? Perhaps, but once the guard has passed him by, its disappearing just as quickly as it appeared, and Gaerwyn is bowing to Lady Ryeira, with a bit of a flourish. "Good evening, my lady.." He offers as he straightens, glancing once over his shoulder before it seems that he's starting the lesson immediately, closing the distance, taking her implied permission at face value, as he suddenly picks her up from one side.

Ryeira inclines her head in turn at him, "Good evening Milord." She replies in equal courtesy before taking a breath and awaiting the start of the lesson. As he suddenly moves to pick her up, her hands scrabble to his arms trying to loosen his hold on her, "Oh…" She gasps again in surprise, nearly going to reprimand him when she is reminded of her own orders to him and a faint smile touches her lips.

As her hands try and loosen his hold, and then she's just smiling, he's shaking his head with a bit of a sigh, settling her back on the ground. "My lady, if one were attacking you, I would hope you would not simply smile." He says, though there's a bit of humor in his voice as he regards her, shaking his head.

As he sets her on the ground she looks up to him with a touch of confusion, then an apologetic glance before the smile touches her lips once more as she explains. "You took me by surprise and then I remembered I had asked you to do so." She touches her fingers to her lips to smooth out the smile, then places her hand to her chest, "I am sorry for my distraction, please continue."

"My lady, with all due respect I intended to surprise you, to perhaps provoke a reaction." He inclines his head, straightening and smoothing his hair, before he's regarding her once more. "Remember, my lady. Stomach. Nose. Toes.." A murmured apology seems to come barely in time, before this time, he's ducking, grabbing her a little lower, as if to cart her over his shoulder.

"Of course of course, just as I had asked of you. Again my apologies for the innapropriateness of my response." Ryeira responds as she takes a deep breath to settle herself, only to find his shoulder into her own stomach and raised up off the ground again. "And should I not be able to reach any of the forementioned?" She reponds to her 'captor' even as she is trying to raise a hand to grab at his hair, her feet kicking up to try to aim at his face, though the attack is rather uncoordinated.

Gaerwyn leaves her settled over his shoulder, even as he half turns to regard her. "My lady, your could use your knee.." One hand moves from where it was steadying her to show how close her knee is to the soft tissues of the stomach. As his hair is grabbed, his head tilts back. "And, my lady, you have found another weak point. Though, if I were a stranger, I would also recommend yelling, loudly." He comments as if it should be obvious.

She releases his hair as the knee is demonstrated with a faint nod of her head. Ryeira gives another faint smile at the suggestion of yelling, "And have the guards see me thrown over your shoulder like a sack of tubers? I think such would get us looks for days." Far too proper she is at the moment or does she not want others to interupt this moment?

"My lady, I would hope by now that even you do not consider me a stranger." Gaerwyn says, before he's carefully kneeling to settling her back on the ground, even though perhaps his hands linger for a moment longer than they should. "However, your voice will be your best weapon, should you be able t use it."

"Yes I have been told that before." Ryeira responds towards the last as she looks up to him. She does not draw away from his touch though it lingers. "No you are not a stranger, perhaps that is making this harder. I do not feel threatened by you…" She admits and her hand moves to rest of his before dropping away and stepping back once more, taking a breath to clear her mind.

Gaerwyn slowly straightens as he listens to her words, nodding slowly. "Then, perhaps, my lady, we must reconsider your training." He says, almost reluctantly, with a tilt of his head. "I can teach you what you must know, but, without practice, I fear you would freeze if you truly needed to use it."

Ryeira frowns at his words and steps away from him a thoughtful expression on her face as she studies the pillars around her. "I would hate to hurt you Gaerwyn…even by accident." She responds in a low voice before she turns to look toward him again, "But I think of no other I would trust to this task. There is no other I would approve of of handling me in such a manner."

"My lady, if it is in training, I assure you, I've seen worse. Young guards are taught early on to never pull their blows." He inclines his head, before he steps after her as she glances at the pillars around them. "Please, my lady, if you are ever uncomfortable, I will change my tactics." He offers in a soft voice.

"No…I do not think that will be neccessary, your technique is well suitable to me." Ryeira responds as she smooths down her skirts, regaining her composure before she turns around to find him right behind her. There is a little intake of breath as she looks up at him. "Stomach…foot…and nose." One hand presses to his stomach, then other rises in a imitation of a palm strike to his nose as her foot comes gently down to his foot. "What else?"

"Yes, my lady." He nods to her words, before he's looking down at her, one hand reaching to grab the rest that's lifted, the other that's on his stomach. "Hair. Eyes. And scream." He answers, before he regards her another moment, fingers tightening tighten. In a move that's completely unprofessional, and unexpected, he's leaning down to catch her in a kiss, her wrists still held.

"Hair. Eyes. Scream…" Ryeira repeats after him in a quiet voice even as he takes her wrists. She does not find him, caught for a moment there just looking upon him. A turn she has looked at him and only in the last few days has she finally SEEN him. That the shroud of mourning has finally been lifted and let her open her eyes to what is standing right before her. Though at first the kiss catches her by surprise, her wrists struggle in his but for a moment before her lips decide that that the 'assault' was one they wish not to fend of.

For a turn, Gaerwyn has worked, filling every moment with more to do, never letting himself fathom any thing else, busying himself with the training and protection of the young Lord, and the cares of the Hold. However, the small glimpses had begun to wear upon him, the small touches. And now, his hands slowly release her wrists, moving to wrap around her again, even as he pulls her backwards between the columns, not daring to break the kiss, less she change her mind.

A lady holder, a mother, a widow…but most of all a woman. A woman so self contained and lonely. A woman who has missed the touch of her husband to thaw the cold exterior, no other could have come close. She thought no other could. As the wrists are released, her hands slide around his shoulders. She does not seem to be in a hurry to break this kiss. There is silence from around. No shuffle of guard's feets or coughs. No doubt the Senior guard has cleared the area to as safe as possible.

Hands slide over her back, tightening holding her in a different manner than before. Only when its neccesary does he break the contact, but only enough to meet her gaze. "My.. My lady.." He stammers, surprised at his own actions, her reaction, and his own reaction, hands slowly starting to unwind. "My.. My lady, I'm.. I'm sorry.."

Ryeira is pressed against the pillar and quite lost in the kiss before he pulls away. She stands there learning there for support, her fingers reaching up to brush against her lips. "Oh..well…the lips." She coughs a bit and looks up at him before blushing quite red and looks down again, "Oh…there is nothing to apologize for." She finally pushes herself from the pillar and straightens her clothing, "I think I have learned well enough this lesson, I should get back to the hall." She sounds just a little dazed.

Gaerwyn doesn't move far, however, as she's blushing and looking down, he's looking rather embarrassed as well, taking half a step back to allow her to straighten her clothing. "My lady.." He inclines his head. "I will see you tomorrow morning, as always?" He offers, avoiding her gaze.

"Of course." Ryeira replies as she steps away, before she pauses and looks back to him. "The trade ship is not due till midday, perhaps we shall break the fast in my office and do our reports there? I believe it is supposed to be raining on the morrow." As if that had ever changed her routine before.

"As you wish, my Lady.." He inclines his head, the slightest of smiles crossing his lips as he lingers. Another bow, and he holds his chin up. "Good night, my lady." He offers politely, attempting to act as nonchalantly as possible as the guards detach themselves from their posts to accompany Ryeira to the Hold.

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