03.23.3014: Sister's Keeper
Summary: Lord Canis seeks an audience with Young Lord Declan to discuss the recent betrothal refusal between Lady Brienne Arboren and Lord Kieran Valta.
Date: Dec. 11th, 2013
Related: Betrothal Request
Declan Canis 

Gardens of Nora, Arborenin City
While these gardens act as the courtyard between the Heartwood and the Elder Seat, they have managed to obtain a peaceful ambiance despite all the foot traffic. There is a gently angled esplanade that leads up from the Heartwood, interrupted here and there by short segments of stairs. When it reaches the main promenade of the gardens, it flattens out and continues to provide a pathway directly toward the grand doors of the Elder Seat.

Flanking either side of the esplanade are parcels of well-kept garden that are divided by smaller pathways that lead off from the main esplanade. These parcels vary between thick carpets of moss and forest flowers to clusters of wild roses to a very small orchard of fruit trees that bear red apples and pale peaches in the summer. Natives and visitors alike are encouraged to wander throughout the Gardens of Nora — named for the first High Lady of Arborenin, the daughter to Hugh Arboren — but there are also Arborenin guards who equally frequent the area.

March 23rd, 3014 AL

It's day time and at least winters hold is fading from the land the trees will regain anything lost from fall and winter and life will peek back out from under the clouds and snow which has blanketed for a while. It's even a bit warm and pleasant. The gardens are always a good place to visit it's calm and a bit peaceful at least something to be hoped for in a meeting which one isn't sure how it will pan out. Canis stands here looking out towards the forest, he's dressed simply and comfortably given his midsection and shoulder are healing still.

The patter of boots upon stone slowly rises in volume as the Young Lord of House Arboren, Declan, strides into the Gardens of Nora flanked by two stiff-backed guards—-though guards dressed like rangers minus the bows. They peered around at the crowds in the garden as their lord walked over to Canis. Declan was attired in his typical outfit that also appeared to be a ceremonial version of the ranger ensemble. He clutched his hands at his back and moved with confidence over to Canis. Once near enough, he inclined his head courteously to Lord Canis. "Good afternoon. Welcome to Arborenin City, my friend." He then makes an open hand gesture, sweeping it horizontally in a well practiced ritual. "House Arboren extends to you, Lord Canis of House Ligonier, the rights of the guest. So long as you are here, we are your defenders and providers." He then sweeps the hand to cover his heart, "In the hopes, should the time come, you do the same for us." Declan inclines his head courteously once more.

Canis turns at the sound of approach he's unsure of what greeting he will receive given the rumors that have spread and how one views them. He views the young lord and then his guards but they dodnt seem to be rushing forward to subdue him or anything. He nods low in greeting and respect "Thank you Lord Declan it is appreciated, and of course you and your family are always welcome in Honor Keep." he says rather more formally then he usually is.

Declan turns to his guards and makes a "shooing" gesture, though he adds, "Give us a minute, boys." The ranger guards bow their head and turn to walk a few meters away into the garden. Declan watches them for a moment then turns back to Lord Canis. He slides his hands behind his back and moves to a nearby railing from which one could look out over the city. Stationary for a moment, he says without looking at the Valen lord, "First, know I am not a man that takes pleasure in reviewing the week's latest gossip." He lowers his voice an octave in order to say, "Frankly, I find the intrusions into my family's life to be…quite troublesome. The pulp logs in which those stories pertaining to you and my sister are for the masses and not so much for the aristocracy. They exist to placate the populace…to give them a cheap thrill, so to say. The citizenry like to feel…close to individuals of importance and these tabloids give them the illusion of that closeness."

Declan sighs and turns to look at Canis, his expression neutral, "That being said. I wish for you to inform me…truthfully about the nature of your relationship with my sister."

The young man can only wait patiently for the other as he shoo's the guards he watches him closely though he's quite stationary all the same. He will watch and listen to the others words nodding to show he is doing so. The knight isnt sure where it will go still, but the question he's asked gets serious consideration before he'll answer. "It's not a short story." he starts but he'll start from the beginning "We met at the notice project, and became friends soon after. I invited her to Honor's Keep to go sailing as friends. Which we did, we were friends and enjoyed each other's company." he sighs "Of course at some point I fell, the story of the kiss at the carnival is true. I asked her for a match soon after she declined. I don't know when things with her and Lord Kieran started but still I stood by." he says watching once more "As of this moment I am her bestfriend if she still wishes it, but any match I don't think now is advisable."

The Young Lord of Arboren studies Canis closely as he speaks, his chin slightly elevated as he does so, looking more so like he was judging the man. Once Canis has finished he finally adds in a tone of sympathy and calm thoughtfulness, "It sounds like you had a lovely time with her. Unfortunately, she is unwilling to persue the option of a match…with anyone at this time. Lord Magnim Valta's refusal of the match with Lord Kieran on the grounds of Lady Brienne close association with a multiplicity of lords has in so ways….injured her honor, reputation, and dignity." He raises a hand as though to call for silence, being the brother of so many siblings, this was a gesture he learned early in life.

"Please, do not think you were at fault for this. It was lack of foresight on Brienne's part. She was attending to Lord Kieran at the time of your meetings; yet, she did not tell you as the two of them chose to keep their secret", he looks at Canis with greater sympathy, "It is you that should be displeased with her."

Canis should look relieved that he as of yet isn't going to be punched in the face, but it doesn't come he remains mostly the same as he'd been. "I hope to remain her best friend, but don't wish to endanger her honor further. It's one of the reasons I wished to meet to explain the truth and to see if you'd send a note for me I saw her at the battle where I was wounded recently but Lord Kieran was there and couldn't speak properly." he ponders the others words a moment and is able to crack only a small smile "Maybe a best friend trait. I am not at all angry with her, just want to be her friend." he says the revaluation isn't new given the news he was given and worked through.

Declan maintains eye contact with Canis and says, "It is either foolhearted of you or commendable that you are not angered." He then spins to lean against the railing once more. A breeze passes through the forest and the Young Lord closes his eyes to enjoy the feel of it. After a moment he says, "Lord Canis. Do not try to be her friend right now…that is some advice and not an order. She does not want a friend so much as a sword. It is her intent to focus on the war rather than become washed over in these unfortunate affairs." Declan exhales slowly and drums his fingers as he thinks. "First know this. If you loved her…then being her 'best friend' as you say, will be nothing more than hell. Particularly if she is matched to another and you must stand by…grinning, but deep down the pain of it crushes your heart like an imploding star. I suggest you spend time apart for the next month or two. Do not communicate with her, even if she does with you, this will benefit her as at this time, my mother is unlikely to find a match for my sister except in the ranks of the distant cousins to minor vassals in some remote location. That is the cost she has paid for this…I dunno what to call it."

The young knight seems to be reminded of something "Off topic, but how is her hand? She took a bit of a blow during the battle but I already faced two against myself and couldn't break off to help." he says wincing lightly. He listens intently to the rest of his words much as he had before. Canis glances out to the forest after a moment before back "You know I really grew to enjoy these lands, I found myself offering to help patrols here." he says with a shrug "I appreciate the advice, My lord Declan but I cannot have her think that I have broken my promise to remain her friend no matter what. You may be correct and it will cause me to suffer but i'll let her decide. Will you please pass my note along, I can send it to her tablet though it's hard to say if she'd get it." he says a bit more light to his voice.

Declan looked at him, eyes narrowed by a millimeter, "Her hand? This is the first I am hearing about it…but in the state she is in, I do not think she feels up to talking with me or anyone else too much. As for your message of friendship, I will inform her. However, it may be a few days as she has started her springtime patrols once more. You may wish to send it via pad as well to optimize your chance that she will receive it sooner rather than later."

Canis winces internally "I apologize, I imagine you'd have liked to hear it from her first. I was just concerned." The knight says but does nod about her not being in much of a mood to talk at the moment. "It's good the patrols will pick up, I will write her as well, if she wishes distance I will respect it I will not risk her or her reputation being harmed further on my account." the last bit seems to be a promise this didn't work out as any intended but picking up the pieces as it were.

Declan waves a hand dismissively, "I am glad I heard it at all, my friend. And I ask you do more than respect her wishes. I ask you honor her by not inhibiting her chances of receiving a match by being seen with her in public or being seen going to her for an amount of time that I am asking you to use your judgment to determine. Keep your communications brief and courtly if you are in public…at the very least."

The knight nods to the first words about hearing of his sisters wound. He will remain silent while he listens to the others words he remains strong outwardly but some part knows this will be tougher then he's making it seem like. "Of course My Lord, I do want her to be happy she deserves it. I can type such a letter I believe and still make myself understood." he says thinking over what he will say. "I thank you for hearing me out, I appreciate the offer of guest right, but are the others as ready to not be angry with me? I wont cause any further trouble for you or your family if it can be helped."

Declan raises an eyebrow at Canis. "The guestright is the guestright. There is nothing to it. They cannot be angry. And thank you for your kind words, my house duly acknowledges them and apologizes for any inconveniences on your end."

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