(120-12-22) Beacon of Hope
Details for Beacon of Hope
Summary: Ormund takes Eiris up to the Beacon for what some might consider a date.
Date: Turn of Rehaedris (12-22-120)
Previous Log

The winter flower decorations shift towards those of the spring, often times herbal bouquets with some flowers in it are brought to decorate Eiris' room and the spare room that is meant for Hanna's personal use. Whether she uses it ever is entirely her business.

Lynesse comes to visit every day, often but not always does she bring her brothers.

When Eiris was still bedridden Ormund soon brought in Martyn and he and Eiris got to nap together, him laying on her chest.

Then when she started to be able to walk and keep her balance again, did Ormund have a pair of minstrels come in and play music so that she can get her dance in with Martyn and then he cut in and then there was a few moments where all of the children - yes even Arana - chose to join in a ring dance to all dance with each other.

The eldest girl has been on good behavior. She might not like what's going on, but she is no longer lashing out so viciously about it.

It is on a good clear day close to sunset that is the first time Eiris has truly been out of her room for longer than a visit to the maester's chambers for a check-up. Or just exercising along the hallway. But Ormund leads her, her arm on his forearm to help her balance some if and when she needs it, if she doesn't well don't they just look like a pretty pair all nice and proper going for a walk.

To the side of the tower they go, several laborers are piling up some firewood onto a platform. Once it's been strapped down the put a pair of chairs onto the platform as well and with good long nails, secure the chairs in place. The Lord helps his companion down into her chair and if asked what's going on he just gives her a silent mysterious smile. There is some grinding and then with a bit of chugging the platform begins to slowly rise. As they go up, the sun begins to go down and what a view is soon laid out before them as they climb to the tip-top of High Tower.

"You see my Wildling, we have our own Wall." They are completely alone on the platform and there is no window that can view the elevator, and it is on the Sound side of the building so it's only water below them, granted a few ships could possibly use their far-seeing lenses but the chance of that is so minimal Ormund is the relaxed man she knows in private.

Eiris cherishes the moments with Ormund's children and does not even second guess the times Arana visits. Martyn has become her favorite, enjoying the moments when she can hold him and Lynesse is so like her that the girl is like a sister she never had.

It is the time she has with Ormund that leaves her smiling in the end, even as she has trouble with her foot from time to time. She can grow frustrated, short, and desperate to be herself again - it will take more time.

Thus when they are walking to a surprise that he has not spoken of or warned her for that she will need to hold to him to able to keep upright. Eiris gives him a look when he seats her upon the chair and she looks to his own until suddenly they are rising. Her fingers go white for how she grips her chair, the height leaving her breathless and somewhat worried. She is after all not entirely sure on her feet and being so high up makes her keenly aware.

Alone though. With such a view and the air is yet chill with the lingering Winter in the air. It causes her red cheeks to color further as she starts to get over the height in favor of the expansive view. "This…this is what it must be like to fly,." How very small everything is. Slowly she pushes herself up but it is with great care that she does so. Her simple wool dress keeps away most of the chill and her excitement does the rest.

Her hand holds her still upon the arm of her chair and should he protest she will shake her head. "I need to stand for this, I won't venture," she is not a fool, her hand remains upon her chair but how she longs to feel the open air, to stand near the edge.

They are seated far from the edge and there are railings around the edges to make sure wood doesn't go rolling off. So the lord does not worry when she decides to stand. "Almost, I'm certain." He sits, but is at the ready to spring to help her should she need it. "Enjoy the chill now, it's like a Dornish summer at the top all year round."

"How often do you come here?"Eiris asks, her voice still full of wonder. Those eyes take in the small details of the world around them. She releases her chair and then takes a careful, practiced step forward towards that railing. Her hand goes to the railing then, supporting herself as she is afforded a far more grand view. The wind at this height pulls at her heavy woolen dress and shivers. Its grasping fingers pull at her loose red hair. It drifts away from her features as small wisps play and dance across her skin.

Ormund is soon standing behind her with his arms around her, hand firmly gripping the railing to provide even more stability. He lowers his face to kiss her cheek and then her neck. "As often as I can. Just when I would like some time to myself. But I wanted to share this with you. There are now six people in the whole world with permission to ride the lift. So if you would ever like to come here on your own, my free little wildling, you do so."

[His warmth pressed up against her from behind firms further when he grasps the railing.She feels all the more secure in her purview of the far-reaching land of the Reach. The first kiss inspires her smile to tick upwards and the next for her eyes to close and a long breath exhaled. She swallows and then slowly exhales. Her hand lifts to grasp at the arm attached to the hand holding the railing. She tilts her head and rests her cheek there, eyes closing so that he gets a view of her front from behind. Fingers trails down his arm and in the absence of others the young woman allows herself to relax into him. "Thank you…for allowing me to fly." She says.

"You're welcome." Is murmured into her hair at the back of her head as his lips cushion where they rest there. The whole way up he cuddles and supports her, just letting her enjoy the journey and flying feeling. When they reach closer to the top he does guide her over to the chairs again so they are sitting when the platform clacks more loudly and gets to the top and then slides backward to come to a standstill beside a wall of wood. The top of the lighthouse is a meticulously controlled inferno.

"We have a fire, they have ice." He smiles and guides her along the edge of the beacon area. A table and chairs set up are in one of the cooler corners as it's protected by the stack of wood. The fire tenders start to haul off the wood from the platform and add to the wall that gives the pair their privacy. The corner they are tucked away on has a breathtaking view of the city, harbor and everything on the east side. "Coming here helps to remind me, that while I am Lord Omund Hightower in control of one of the grandest cities in all the world. We really are just a speck in the grand scheme of things. When I need to refocus I come here. When I start to lose patience with the world, I come here."

She revels in the feeling, knowing he is there to help her stay upright, or rather the fact he is just there at all. When they finally step out upon the lighthouse she notes the burning flame and says, "We Light the Way." It brings a smile to her lips before she allows herself to be led to the next set of chairs and their ultimate view.

She lowers to sit but at the edge of her seat. "It is all so small," she agrees softly when he speaks of specks. Dust. She turns her head to look at him, listening with great care and then offers him a smile, "I would come here too if I had such things to worry about. It has a way of making our worries seem…unimportant," she remarks thoughtfully. Her hand smooths through her hair, taming it from the grasping wine and pulling it over one shoulder. She is quiet, simply enjoying what he offers to share with her. Simple things tend to be the most pure.

Silver domes are lifted to reveal a simple salad dinner with some pretty flowers and it's very herbaceous, then comes one of the men with a couple of pit spikes threaded with meat that is slid off of the spike onto the open space next to the salad. Once that is done, that is the last time they are interrupted and are given total privacy.

"So tell me. How are you? Is there anything that's been on your mind you'd like to talk about? This is our chance over a couple month's worth of build up." He looks very interested in learning how she's been with absolute privacy and ability to speak openly as they did at camp.

How he plans ahead, the preparedness of the meal and setting causes Eiris to smile fondly at him. She holds still to her wild and loose hair, given its own life by the wind as she sits in the open. She carefully twists it as the food is left for them and her attention drops to the plate before her. "If you are interested in my health, then well, one day I will be able to move like I once did. I just need to adjust," she offers, those hazel eyes looking to him. A couple of months without their moments.

"Other than that, I have been learning from my mother, giving lessons to your daughter, it's nice, and I think my mother enjoys our new position," she admits and reaches forward to take her first bite, occupying the void of her answers with food. She swallows her first bite and then admits, "I have missed you…I have often wondered what it might be like to ask you to leave with me. But then that would be entirely impossible." There is a smile on her lips as she spears her fork forward to take her next bite.

Ormund smiles and is quite pleased with her reports. But then the last part makes him look concerned and he sets down his utensils. "You would like to leave? Are you not happy darling?" He takes a drink of wine, "Or do you mean to just get away for a little while? I was asking how you were feeling because I thought that it might be time to start planning a little excursion. The family going on just a small little hunt together. Let Lynesse practice all the wonderful things you've been teaching her. But it can wait as long as you need it to. I don't wish to push you before you're ready."

"Oh no, not that, I …this is all rather new and can be overwhelming. Granted living in the Master of the Hunt's chambers has taken many struggles from us it has brought with it others…and new relationships for us all. I feel adrift at times, lost in a vast sea and I feel like I am not at all swimming like I should," she admits and then lets out a breath. Another piece of food is taken, eaten before she adds, "I miss having the woods out my door..the quiet of it all but that would mean leaving you….and your children, whom I might add I have grown rather fond of," she reports. She smiles over at him and lowers her gaze, "I am just…wondering if I am meant to be here…"

It is clear that he is relieved at the original assurance that is not what she is saying, but to him, as she continues on, it's starting to sound like she is. "They are very fond of you. Even Arana appreciates the joy you have brought to our family. She simply at her age and upbringing has a difficult time adjusting. Once your health improves, the ride to the woods is not very long at all. There is also the Old Gods Grove, have you ever been? Maybe it will help your feeling of homesickness? I can only imagine how you feel, but know that I will do everything in my power to see that you're happy."

He frowns and licks at his teeth in his mouth before continuing, "Even if that means letting you go." It is very clear that that is the very last thing in the world he wants to do and it pains him just to think of it, but it is the truth and he wants her to know that.

"I'm sure the injury has only added to feeling a bit trapped. But I hope soon when you are feeling better you will discover that there is a lot to explore and enjoy right outside your door here. With your family." The way he says it he's including himself and the children in there. Her Family.

"My mother and I have made pilgrimages," Eiris says of the Old Gods Grove, her attention to her food returns to him when he says he will let her go if that means her happiness. Her lips part to say something and she quiets, giving him a long look as he offers that 'family'. She has a family, many Hunts but they do not consider her so. "This has been a change for me," she begins, "All of it. I was always quite certain of myself and now. I second guess myself, worry that" It's like a fish out of water, but her voice trails as she can't quite put into words what she is feeling.

"I do not want to leave you." Its firmly said, even know he may see the conflict on her face. The change to the way she lives has shaken her. "It would be much simpler if you were not the Lord of Oldtown,"she says, some humor in her tone as the faintest smile curls her lips. "Forgive me, let us eat and enjoy our time. I do not want to burden you with these unnecessary thoughts. I will remain..I do not want to make you fret." She says in a rush.

The Lord of Oldtown points down to the palace in tower form under them. "But I am. That is one thing that will not change in our lives. If that is the one thing that you feel must change then I think that we should talk. Down there, that's the time for small talk and pleasantries. I brought you up here, while we are both Mugwort and Poppy free after some time has passed and realities have sunk in so that we can speak freely. If there are fretting issues. I want to hear them. "

Pressing her lips to a thin line, Eiris looks hard pressed to truly speak her mind but she can not deny him. She never will, "The path we are taking means that I would be the Lady of Oldtown, a role I never thought to take on and it's true, your position will never change. So then I must adapt, is that not true?" Those hazel eyes hold upon him, her fork held but poised and never taking its initiative for the next bite. "You love me, you have said so…but do you think I am ready for such a thing?"

The good thing about the meal is that small bites can be taken and that they can be chewed and swallowed quickly. It's a good dinner for conversation. "The path only goes there if you would like it to. I do my very best to tell and do things to make sure you understand that being with me is not some prison you have to fear of being trapped in."

He takes a drink of his wine.

"We can try to marry, or things can stay just as they are. Or any path in between. I am still going to love you. I am still going to make sure that you are healthy and happy. Whatever form that takes, I am going to be happy. Would I like to marry you and try for those babies you wanted? Very much. But I and how I feel for you won't wither if it doesn't happen."

Try for children. Its as if they are negotiating their own possible marriage and for Eiris it leaves her blushing. The food is pushed about on her plate. Such a strong woman to face down the tracking and cornering of a boar but when it comes to speaking plainly of the basics of life and love she finds herself woefully unequipped to handle the verbal exchange that it requires of her.

"And so if we did not wed…and we remained as we were," she lets the supposed words remain unsaid. She has yet to touch her wine, for it goes right to her head but right about now she is looking at it. She reaches her hand out and mirrors him, finally taking a full, long drink. It makes her nose wrinkle a little with its aftertaste but she does not complain, rather holds it still and gazing out over the presented view she smiles softly in thought.

"It would only make sense, that if we both feel the same we should try for them..children that are." She amends.

Her drinking had lulled him into a sense of safety in being able to take a bite of food. So he chokes a little bit and his eyebrows shoot up and his only reply is a rather high, hmm!? Lord of Oldtown ladies and gentlemen.

She downs the rest of her drink when he is choking on his food and her already brilliant cheeks go more so, "I am sorry? I meant that if we choose to," she begins, brows furrowing ever so slightly. "I mean.." she starts to fluster as well but quickly composes herself. "My mother was proud to have me. I want children, my lord. One day, perhaps not now but in time." She tucks her hair back behind her ear. "For now yours delight me," the fact she could be a rather older sister to them has yet to really sink in.

She looks from him down to her empty glass, swallowing heavily. "You did wish me to speak frankly,"she points out.

He shakes his head when she apologizes. "Don't be sorry. I was simply caught off guard is all, my fault, not yours. So you are saying that even if there is no marriage, you still wish to try?" It's his turn to blush a bit. He has no deep problems with bastards. He just never thought that there would be a possibility for him having them.

"Though I mean, if you wish to marry, we can, you don't need to be a Hunt to be my wife. There is just more of the issues you're wishing to avoid that comes with that. But I think we should be married if we're going to have children." He almost looks coy. "I would be a liar if I tried to say that I've not thought about it. Seeing you with the children… It does have an affect on me."

All these little stipulations here and there, requirements and choices to be made and Eiris finds that such a simple thing is now monumental. "I know," she begins. In any way they shape it she will have to change, either first to a Hunt or that straight to being a Hightower. "So the only way I am to be a mother of your children…is to wed," she nods, as if she knew this all along bit it's different to hear it aloud.

Blushing is done all around and with his last her eyes fasten to him, like a does as she catches her breath. There is a faint smile that pulls at her lips as the tines of her fork play along the surface of her plate."I have thought of it too…all with red hair,"she says and tucks her chin. Ginger children with hazel or blue eyes. She lifts her chin then, buffeted by a breeze, her mind on some near future that she sees as her smile remains.

He itches his nose a little bit and looks across the table at her. Feeling like she's too far away from him he slide scoots the chair around the circular little table some and puts his hand on the table for her to take if she would. "You know that I desire you… but why I stopped at the camp still holds to this day and will probably forever be. I have my code Eiris. I don't mind people not living the way I have chosen, but it means a great deal to me to stay true to the code I swore oaths to follow. Just like I wish to swear oaths to you someday if you will still have me. "

Ormund is moved by her description of their children and he beams and brings her hand in his up to his lips so he can kiss her palm. "You are a wonderful mother." He means already, with his children, trying to indicate that they aren't his kids even before they are married, he truly does consider them a family already.

Eyes follow that lofting of her hand and her hazel eyes watch him. "They are wonderful children, Ormund. You should be proud…and the time you spend with them." She gives pause, squeezing his hand, "You are a wonderful father," she breathes. She has yet to comment on his code, her eyes lowering to their hands before she turns towards him and then reaches her hands out to grasp his own so that she can focus on what she must say,"Ormund…I am not sure I am ready or ever will be ready to be Lady of Oldtown either as a Hunt or a Flowers. I can be content with seeing your own grow, to help them and care for them," she says.

It's the weight of truth she puts on him. "I was never meant to be Lady of Oldtown. I was meant to train Falcons, to ride in the wilds, to learn from my mother. Being the Lady …frightens me," she finally admits, her eyes locked upon their hands.

He is starting to look perhaps a touch frustrated, "When has it been made out the one negates the other? Who says that my wife can't do such things? If you ask me, it is the opposite, it will help you live your life how you want to. Is it something some will find issue with. Of course. There is enough people in this city that you will be upsetting someone no matter what you do. Once again, the only one standing in your way, is you, my darling."

Eiris sees how he reacts, causing her to withdraw her hands slowly, back to her lap. "It may not negate, my lord," she says and lifts her eyes to meet his, "I know nothing of the noble families. Your wife should be someone who can help advance your standing, your influence, what if I fall short? What if I give offense?" So many what ifs but they are obviously scenarios that have played around in her head since her hazy confession of her love for him.

He realizes that his frustration might have come out in his tone and he takes a deep breath to find some calm. Extending his hands to her. "I'm sorry, I understand it's scary for you. I just don't know how else to put it that you don't have to worry. I am Lord Hightower, I don't nor could I get into any higher standing or influence, and that's not arrogance talking, that's a simple truth. I have healthy heirs, I've got girls to marry off - I like to think that I am well loved by my people. I know that you are well loved as well. The shine has not left you yet. The woman that felled a boar and saved their lord. You lost bits of yourself in the effort, that is how loyal, dedicated and glorious you are."

He leans closer to her, "What do I need to say to get it through that you are shadow boxing with yourself about this. I love you, they love you, the people love you. If you give offense, sure, some might fall out of favor. But I honestly can't see how you could do anything so horrendous that you could ever affect any of those things - standing, or influence in any substantial way that would make me regret following my heart with you."

"You do not need to apologize, your world is known to me but foreign at the same time. You want to marry me, make me your wife and as much as it thrills me I know it is not just you I am marrying," she looks to him when he leans in. "I am marrying the people, your family, the nobles, this town," she looks to his hands, not yet taking them.

The food is utterly forgotten as their future hangs in the balance. "If I were to say yes to this….you must wait. Wait until I am ennobled and if that day never comes..then you and I must accept that it is not meant to be. I wish…I wish we really were wildlings for I would fall into your arms without hesitation," for she sounds just as frustrated as he is now. Her hands find his and she squeezes her hands in his. Those hazel eyes are earnest as they center on him.

Another deep breath is taken. "If that is what you truly want. I will say again, and hopefully, you will take this time truly to heart." He leans to make sure their eyes are locked and her ears are opened. "Whatever will make you happy. There is just two stipulations I can not change, My Title and the responsibilities that come with it. My Code. Everything else is like water."

"It has to be what I want," Eiris says to him, perhaps feeling the weight of the rest of the world and what they see and expect more than him. "You are used to being able to command, lead..and do as you will. I am at the disadvantage, I am a woman and I am a bastard. I see this quite differently than you," she says and holding his hand still leans forward that much closer to him and finally rests her forehead to his own. "I will remain ever in your household, no matter what comes."

Ormund puts a little kiss on the tip of her nose. "This might be so, but the way I see it, I can command and lead, throw gold dragons and do a great many things with all of my advantages to minimize your disadvantages." He then kisses her lips. "That we can agree on. Even if you run away from me to become a wildling, my love. You will be family and have a place to come home to."

There is a soft short clipped laugh for the last. It's not humor, rather…emotions that brings the sound and she lifts her gaze to his after that kiss. "Ormund," she says his name with a wealth of warmth and sweetness. She is blushing again, but its not of embarrassment and those hazel eyes glimmer. She squeezes his hands and then rises slowly from her seat to move to him. Carefully with her hand, she moves her wool skirt and stands between his legs, looking down at him. Wind shifts her rich red hair and it brushes his cheek as she leans closer, watching him. Her hand may tremble a moment as her thumb brushes down his cheek and she says, "I could not be one without you. I would find it terribly lonely to try so alone."

Those blue eyes do peek about again, to reaffirm the coast is clear before he reaches up to draw her down into his lap. "Good, because where you go, I go. I don't really want to go to the North. There are plenty of northerners that still don't care for the name Hightower because of an ancestor of mine as Lord Commander of the Wall. I much prefer it here. You should eat…you usually eat so well. Thought you'd have gotten down to the plate by now." There is something about the way he says that. Like she's messing up one of his well laid out plans by not eating, or at least getting the fork down to the bottom.

So it is with her in his lap that he reaches over to lift up her plate and hold it in his hand so she does not have to move back to her chair.

"Ormund, I would be okay with us having these moments together, if nothing else," comes the rushing confession as she finds herself upon his lap. She is tense at first but as the moments pass he begins to relax slowly so that as she slides in close along his leg she is brought nearly face to face with him. Then food. It is presented to her and she carefully plucks at a piece of meat with her fingers. Those digits have been softened by the care of oils and lotions that were brought in at his behest and Eiris is becoming less of a smallfolk with each passing day. She eats as he bids, her eyes on him before she feels watched while she chews. Turning her head side, she looks out over Oldtown and the lands beyond its walls.

Ormund chuckles and bounces her on his knee a bit. "The salad. The salad." He is starting to lose patience and he blows on one of the pieces of leafy green aside and there is a sparkle. Ormund sighs and rests back, finally the suspense is over with and he can focus on her face to the reaction to her gift that was hidden under her salad.

The salad? She can't really graze with her fingers on that so she reaches for her fork that has shifted into the mass of vegetation on her plate. One piece he blows away tilts off the plate to the ground and she stares at the glints. Brows furrow deep lines into her forehead as she goes still. Slowly her fingers reach out and pluck more lettuce away to ascertain her suspicions. She swallows slowly and carefully extracts the beautiful necklace in its array of colors. "I…" it's far too rich for her she wants to say but by the look on her face, she already adores it. She owns nothing, no pieces of jewelry at all and this, for her is beyond measure. "I do not think I have anything to do this justice," she says, her attention finally lifting to him. She blinks rapidly a few times, "It is lovely, beyond measure. I have never had such a thing given to me," she says, taken by the gesture more than the brilliance of it. Her fingers stray across it, taking in the beautiful work and knowing the time that it likely took. She admires the talent, its beauty, and the craftsmanship most of all. "Ormund….thank you." She finally says. Its pressed close to her chest to keep it safe when she leans towards him. Full lips press a warm, sweet kiss upon his mouth.

"Well, I tried to get something simple and unique. The shop woman said that this was modest and just the sort of thing I was describing. I am glad you like it. You can wear it now if you like, don't be worried about it too much. I think she called this 'everyday wear'. I am afraid that I don't know much about the craft. It's the first time I've ever bought something like this." He offers to take the necklace from her, make sure it's clean and then put it around her neck when she has her crimson waves tamed in the wind so he can see her neck.

Once that's fastened he kisses her and says, "You're welcome." Then the hand free of the plate now that it was put aside after the reveal goes to her healing leg and he starts to massage it through her skirts. "How are you feeling? Do you want to go home after or would you like to see another surprise, this ones for Lynesse. But it's from us, that and you're the expert, I'd like to make sure the asking price was reasonable and that it's in fair health."

Simple. It's so far from it for Eiris she lets out a soft laugh, "I do not own any other jewelry, it will be my everyday and special wear then," she says to him and that kiss is returned, her red hair still hung onto as she brushes her other hand along it. The weight of it is even strange when she thinks on it.

Fingers curl and tuck around it as her eyes cannot see everything. Finally, she releases her hair and he will earn a soft moan as he finds the tension in her leg. Its involuntary sound that has her blushing profusely, "I am doing well enough, I just need to keep walking daily," she admits.

Wetting her lips, she smiles at him, "You bought her a raptor…yes of course I do. And from me…" That makes her smile more than the necklace did. Gifts. Something that Eiris has never bought always made and so it's a strange thing. Every moment with him is something new. Her hand lifts to brush through his curls, "You have not called me…not once. Have you been sleeping well?"

Ormund gets a little smile, "That is of course unless some nobleman you know that adores you completely doesn't get you other bits and bobs. I have discovered I quite like gift giving…" He smiles adoringly as he watches her toy with it. "We bought her a raptor, a little kestrel male, that is what she wanted, wasn't it? I would like you to present it to her."

His hand throughout still massage her leg and he really goes after that knot until it's loosened and vanished. "You have been unwell my love. Knowing that you're resting makes me rest well enough. Now that you are feeling better… I might if you still wish me to."

"He need not do so, they are lovely, but not me. I do adore this," she says, brushing her fingers to it, "It is the first gift of its kind made to me. It will forever be cherished," she promises him and then she hesitates, "Yes it she asked for and are you certain? You are her father…I won't deny that it makes me feel like I am usurping something from you." She admits and slowly her fingers lower, brushing her against her collarbone. The necklace glitters in the light, giving color to her that she otherwise never had.

"I always wish it of you. I remember your lips here," she says and brushes her neck just over the jewelry. "I remember many things….you called me the Maiden come to save you…" She lets out a breath. "I have never felt more purposeful, more needed …or beautiful than when you look at me." She leans in, her nose brushing his before her lips find his own and this kiss. It is the culmination of emotion with the truth wrapped up around it in full force.

Ormund shifts so that his back is to the only way they can be seen up here and the massaging hand slips under her skirts so that he can feel her skin under his. His lips are very responsive to her kiss but they break away and he slides his months' growth of beard along her jawline and that spot she remembers him kissing is hovered over and he whispers almost devilishly, "Here?" He teases for five whole seconds more before placing another kiss there.

The tower is bathed in the light of the setting sun as soft words are exchanged and softer touches leaving the two to bask in its warmth and in each other….

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