(121-07-04) Good News, Bad News and Wedding Bells
Details for Good News, Bad News and Wedding Bells
Summary: Ormund delivers some mixed news and a lot of plans are launched.
Date: 07-04-121
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The Hightower might be the tallest structure in all of Westeros, yes even taller than The Wall in the North, but the screams of Arana Hightower who woke up a week later bald can be heard echoing throughout from Obsidian Labyrinth to the beacon above. Lynesse plead guilty to it when the Maester brought to attention that she had been making inquiries of him about what sort of material or herb can cause hair loss. Royal Blue was taken out of her room for six months among other punishments. Arana made headdresses and turbans all the style in the following months and even made it a trend for young maids to have their hair very short. Things were never the same between Lynesse and Arana after that. Arana more so than ever started to do things separately from the family and Ormund did very little to try to force her inclusion.

So the fact that Ormund makes sure she comes to one of their Hightower-Hunt family dinners he made sure to do at least once a month is rather telling that there is something going on. The sisters sit complete opposite sides of the table and Arana has been blissfully quiet, scowling as usual, but silent. Occasionally she'll itch at the edge of her pink and pearl lined turban that matches her dress and the several months worth in growth of golden hairs that have grown back there. But other than that she's not doing anything to contribute to the small talk and family banter at the table. Martyn's under the table cuddling at Eiris' legs.

"I have received news today…" Ormund broaches his blue eyes going mostly to Arana. "As we know, Allise Lydden passed away in birthbed several months ago. May she be in peace with the Seven. She was a beloved cousin of your mother and she is deeply missed. Cyril has always been a close family friend and he too was very close to your mother. It was always the dream of their that Arana could marry their first son… but the gods have different plans. A request for Arana's hand has been made."

It was only when her name was being said that the self-centered girl started to pay any attention. So she looks a bit bewildered for a few moments. "Lydden? You mean, you mean I'm supposed to marry Cyril?" It's clear why he wanted to do this with Eiris at the table. Ormund is bracing for a horrible reaction and needs his Flowers near-by for some moral support. "Yes, Arana. That's —" "In Westerlands!?" Her father really can't tell if she's besaught or excited the way she speaks to him. "Yes."

Everyone at the table is a bit startled when Arana stands and the chair is pushed back with a squall, "I'm going to live in the Westerlands with a cousin of the Lannisters!?" Her face goes from shock to suddenly spinning about in place, bouncing and squealing. Poor Martyn under the table was scared by the squal and latched on tightly to Eiris and is still clinging because of all the high pitched sounds his eldest sister is making.

Arana is in such a whirlwind her turban falls off and she doesn't even care as she comes to hug her father around the neck a bit too tightly. Lyonel is also given some squeeze he doesn't want and more so when in her ellation she forgets she hates Lynesse and gives her sister a hug to. She does come up short, like she was about to step into sewage when she comes around the Wildling and her Bastard spawn, totally skips them to beam at Lord Hunt and gush about all that she knows about the great wealth of the Westerlands and her mother's family and how powerful they are because the Den is in an important part of the Westerlands. On and on and on. So much so that Ormund is able to exchange a relieved expression towards Eiris.

To say that everything is comfortable would be excessive, Eiris keeps a smile on her lips through the beginning of the dinner and her hand strokes through Martyn's air without care for station. The young boy has become an adopted son and she would never admit it to anyone but he may as well have been her very own. She occasionally sneaks a candied orange peel down to him, the little strings glistening with sugar. She places a finger to her lips with a shushing sound so he doesn't give her away.

Though as the news is given, she sits up straighter and presses her hand to the top of Martyn's back, having to lean to do so. For he's strong and she knows it's bothering him. She parts her lips as Arana stands, awaiting the worst when suddenly she squeals with delight. Briefly, the Flowers girl looks somewhat startled by the reaction. She gives Ormund a hopeful look after he's near strangled. Something crosses her expression though, watching Arana go around the table and it's not like she's expecting a hug but the presence of Arana near her jars her from her thoughts, ones that have furrowed her brow so that she can quickly lighten her expression, "My congrats, my lady." She offers in lieu of any sort of recognition.

She then watches the girl again, a sort of unsteady speculative look that lowers to stare at the table. It lingers there before she turns her head and finds Ormund looking at her. A slow smile spreads though it does not quite reach her eyes as her fingers smooth through Martyn's hair. She looks away and then stares down at her plate with its bits of orange peel that she has yet to have any of and has been keeping for the child who is at her leg.

Another bonus to the clinging little boy to Eiris is that Ormund can also lean forward so that he can reach under the table and brush hands with his paramour in the boy's hair. He gives her hand a little loving squeeze, he is so relieved that there was no tantrum.

A little twitch of her lips up to appear polite and gracious towards the congratulations from Eiris. "Oh! Where are we having the wedding. Can we have it here? At the Starry Sept! Oh how wonderful will that be? It's a shame you won't be able to attend." She almost appears to sincerely be said that Hanna and Eiris won't be able to attend since she, of course, believes they'd be rightfully smited the moment they step a heathen foot into the most holiest of places in all the world. Almost.

"Now, plenty of time still to discuss the details—" Arana once more cuts her father off, "May I be excused so I can go tell everyone?" Seeing her so happy actually has Ormund a bit set off-kilter and so he chuckles a bit anxiously and nods. "Of course you may." The lioness is up again and comes over to strangle her father again in a hug. She dips a beautiful curtsy to Asten. "Thank you for having us." The hostess and their daughter are again ignored and she spins to hurry out of the room.

"Thank the gods she's leaving," Lynesse says around some orange peel crystals crunching in her teeth. "Lyn." "What!? Did you see how happy she is to get away from us? She hates us." "That's not true. She just has never felt like she belongs here. That's all, it's nothing to do with us." "Exactly father. Exactly." Blue eyes go to Eiris for some sort of support. He wasn't expecting this from Lynesse.

A slow nod is given by Eiris, "I am sure it will be lovely and we will bid the Old Gods to bless your match," she offers just as graciously, rather tries. She feels her chest tighten and she looks a bit unsteady. The grip of his hand was only a momentary break from her thoughts and now Hanna is watching her daughter once Arana leaves. Lynesse comment makes her blink and she says to the young lady, "Sometimes we can all feel like we do not belong. You must be happy for what makes her happy. One day she will remember family..what it means." She gives her mother a warm and fond smile and one for her father. Then she looks those of the Hightower's that remain before she grips her hand to Martyn's shoulder.

"We all should toast the match, your daughter is happy my lord. It is more than anyone can ask for." She reaches forward to pick up her cider that she has barely touched this evening and lifts it high. "To happy matches, to good long life and contentment. May the Lady Arana be happily wed for the rest of her days."

Martyn climbs up into Eiris' lap now that the scary sister isn't here anymore and he makes a 'gimme' hands for his cup and Ormund passes it to him and then lifts up his own. "So well said, to happiness and to Arana." Goblets are lifted, a keen eye might notice that Lynesse spits her wine back into the goblet after taking a little sip for appearance's sake. "May I go visit Roy?" It's her tradition after these dinners since the chambers are so close to the mews and aviary. "You may." Unlike Arana, Lynesse gives a curtsy to each of the Hunt family. "Thank you for having us. I'm sorry if I spoiled dessert." She kisses Lyonel's cheek and then the top of Martyn's head before giving a gentle little hug around Eiris' shoulders. Finally, Lynesse breaks her father from thought, he's itching the side of his nose, he's deep in thought about something. But the hug makes him smile and return it. "Apology accepted. It's all for the best my darling. Give my best to Royal Blue for me." He gives her cheek a kiss. It really seems like being in these chambers is the only time they can truly act like the loving family they really are.

Once it's just the boys and adults left Ormund itches at his nose again and while Hanna starts to clean up he looks to Asten. "There's other news… your request has not even reached the ears of those that matter. I'd sent a letter to my cousin. There was not any shred of knowledge about the request. They will search for it, but with the troubles and loses the Royals have been faced with lately, it is not exactly shocking that it got lost in the shuffle."

Ormund holds out a hand on top of the table for hers nows. "She promises me that now that they are aware of the request, it will not happen again and that she will make sure the King receives the writ personally if you would send another to King's Landing. I thought… that perhaps I should finally accept my cousin's invitation to come hunt in the King's Wood. It would be a big journey… but …" He looks to the host, his wife, and Eiris, to gauge how they'd feel about going to King's Landing to make sure the request was seen for certain this time, and of course at the chance to hunt in one of the most famous woods in Westeros for its excellent hunting.

With a practiced ease and instinct, Eiris settles Martyn into her lap and cradles him against the curve of her arm and breast. She lowers her lips without thought and kisses his dark hair. It brings a smile to her lips to ease her thoughts. "I can help, mother," she starts but Hanna waves her off, giving her a nod as Lynesse steps in to hug her shoulder. "Give my best to Roy," she says to the lady and watches her go. Her cheek comes to rest upon Martyn's head and her hand rubs at his leg.

The talk of the request draws Asten's gaze and he nods, brows furrowing, "My lord, you did not have to do that but I appreciate it. /We/ appreciate it." Eiris looks to Ormund then with Martyn tucked close beneath her chin, "We do, my lord." She looks to his hand and slowly withdrawing it from Martyn offers it to him. It brings a true smile to her lips. Her hand curls into his and squeezes him tightly. It is no secret to those present what lies between the Flowers and Hightower.

"That sounds like a lovely time,"Eiris begins before her father speaks up, "Will you be taking the whole family? Allowing them to see the Landing and so forth? And would you be needing me along, my lord?"

Ormund lifts up their hands to give a genteel kiss to her knuckles. "I know that I was not the only one eager to learn what the status of the request was. I hope you don't mind that I took the initiative without notice. I think the children will stay. Arana needs to plan for the wedding and she doesn't exactly enjoy a lot of travel. But yes, I will need my Master-Of-The-Hunt with me."

Martyn starts to pout and sniffle. "I go. I go. I go!" He clings to Eiris. His little insistence makes Ormund itching his nose again. Eyes go to Eiris. "Lyonel will have to stay," It's not good to have Lord and Heir go off together not to mention Ormund doesn't want to subject his son to that over-crowded smelly city. "But maybe Lynesse and Martyn. I'm sure Lynesse would love to try Royal in the King's Wood. But she'd need her mentor with her." The proposal's on the table he waits for feedback.

Her thumb brushes his lips when it has the chance. Eiris smile across him her earlier worry fleeing her expression as she gets to hold Martyn and attend Ormund in the event he slightest of fashions. Her head turns then, not letting for of the Lord's hand so that she can look down at him.. She does not deny or confirm for Martyn but once his father gives his okay she smiles, "Would you like to go? Shall I go with you?" She asks him.

It is Martyn's decision and not one that Eiris feels she can make, in fact, her green eyes shift upwards to Ormund and she reaches out a hand to feather a touch across his chin. "I think your father wishes me to go, but as your sister's mentor. I think that would be delightful. Shall we go see King's Landing? I have never been." This conversation is solely for the youngest as she smiles for him.

Martyn nods his head rapidly, almost giving Eiris' chin a firm knock. Lyonel is now the one that appears sad and he goes to crawl onto his father and cling to him. "But I'm going to mawwy a pwinsess. I wansa go. Pwease!?" Ormund sighs, it breaks his heart. He knows playing favorites is not good, but Lyonel has always been his mini-me shadow. "We will see, alright? You know that Lord and Heir must be careful." Lyonel nods and whispers, "I undastann." He doesn't look happy about it though and he hugs his father tighter and it breaks Ormund's heart even more and he gives his son a tight hug and a kiss to the top of his head and starts to rub his back. "We can stay with my Sister. I've never even met my nieces and nephews. They've been in King's Landing since they were married. Goodness, have I really not seen her in so long?" He truly looks shocked and perhaps guilty that so much time has swooshed by.

"Then we will go," Eiris says at Martyn and watches the display of affection. Her smile softens and she gets her hands beneath Martyn's arms to pick him up, to give him a little bit of a shake to make him laugh. Placing a kiss o his cheek she can not seem to get enough of him, setting him so that he can face forward. "I believe we have some more desert left over, are you all still hungry?" She tries to distract Lionel with a promise of sweets, good foodstuffs to fill his little belly. The talk of the Hunt and visit will be left behind and she will then offer to play with them, chasing them about the main room in order to get them to squeal, her fingers pretending to be claws that tickle. She picks them up, swings them around with the mind that she shouldn't do so too much lest they lose all their food. It is a good night, a sweet night where things are planned and wishes are made brighter. Eiris can only give Ormund a more loving look than she had before.

While they are playing Ormund has some brandy with Asten and confides in him. "I hope it is not a mistake… taking them to King's Landing." He speaks to the man like a favored confidant. Knowing that Asten's probably the only one that can understand why he's worried about them both taking their children to such a place. "We should do our best to… prepare them for what to expect. But I think it will be good. I do honestly look forward to hunting those woods, hmm? I remember you and my father used to talk about them. Some wonderland where you take a step and there is game spilling out underfoot. "I now realize that I needed such a talking to, listening to your stories. Such a wonderland."

As he watches Eiris and talks of smaller things with her father he finally also confesses. "I never understood. I tried, but I never understood why you left. Oh the irony, hmm?" That his understanding of giving it all away for love came from falling in love with his daughter. Asten and he have a little heart to heart but the brandy is gone and it's past bedtime and the Nanny's are chomping at their bits to come in and take the boys. When they are scooped away Ormund approaches Eiris, "I love you. They love you. I love the way you love them. Thank you." He comes in for a very chaste kiss. "Good night."

Eiris can see them talking, conversing and occasionally she offers a soft smile. The time of chasing will be over and before the nannies come she will settle them both around her near the fire. She will sing softly to them, her head tilting into Lionel as Martyn lays against her leg where she rests with them. She seems content to stay like that until she must relinquish them, her expression warm but wistful as they are taken away. She gives each a soft kiss but the looks she gets from the women are something else and she makes it quick, not revealing her unease.

Turning when he comes to join her she looks up at him. "As I love you all," she says softly once the nannies are out of earshot. Her chin lifts and that soft kiss, brief and sweet is returned. She watches him walk out, standing still near the fire as her hand lifts to her throat and brushes her fingers to her neck. Hanna comes up beside her daughter and tugs her in close. "Oh mother," she whispers and Hana merely smiles. "I know my sparrow. I know." She says and turns her head to kiss the top of her red hair as they stand together watching the flames.

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