In which we learn that Sir Darrin is protective
This is the place where off duty soldiers and sailors can relax and eat. There is a small cookfire and hearth and a few tables set up nearby. On one wall is a dart board, and on a small table in the corner there is a chess set. Someone has left a pile of parchment with sketches of his fellow knights on another table. This is a comfortable, casual room.
You can go: Out to the Northern Stairwell <S>
Contents: A daughter of eve with short, copper hair (Megren) and Hearth <LIT>.
Megren sits cross-legged at a table in the better lit part of the room near the fireplace, studying her reading.
Haft enters the room, taking inventory of the occupants before heading to the meal table to ladle some soup into a bowl. He then approaches Megren. “This seat free?”
Megren looks up. “Oh, Haft.” She nods at the seat. “Sure.”
“Thanks.” He takes the seat, balancing the soup on his knee. “How’s the reading?
Megren pushes it aside. “Have to remind myself I couldn’t do any of it a year ago or it starts to feel like I’m not getting anywhere.”
A log on the fire shifts, sending a column of sparks flying upwards.
Haft nods. “I’m sure Sir Darrin will be expecting a written report on the world’s fauna any day now.”
Megren lifts a chastening finger at him and rubs her eye with the other hand. “Don’t even joke.”
Haft says, “No? Well, you’ll get there. I’m not worried.”
Megren confesses, “Lord Dar caught me in the stables today.”
Haft frowns. “/Caught/ you?”
Megren says, “He wanted to know all my qualifications and things.”
Haft’s eyebrows rise upward. “Such as?”
Megren shifts like she regrets bringing it up. “Um? Just… did I ride, had I ever been in battle…” She frowns and adds vaguely, “Some other things.”
Haft says quietly. “It bothered you.”
Megren rubs at her hairline and shifts her hand to tuck a loose strand behind her ear. “I…” She tilts her head uncomfortably. “Yes? Not for myself exactly– I mean, sort of that, too…”
Haft considers. “You think he’s worried about your ability to guard his brother’s back, or something else?”
Megren rests her hands on the table in front of her, tapping one thumb with the other. “Partly. And partly it felt like…” she releases a breath, clearly hesitant to voice her thought, “… like… he didn’t trust him to make his own choices?” She hastens to add, “I don’t think he meant it to sound that way. I think he might have even meant to be encouraging. I don’t know. Sometimes I find him very confusing.”
Haft asks, “But he wasn’t…trying to change your mind?”
Megren shakes her head. “I don’t even think that really occurred to him.”
Haft asks, “Then, confusing as he is, could you guess at his purpose at all?”
Megren pushes her mouth to the side. “I suppose he just wanted to figure it out. It just seems like something better discussed between the two of them.”
Haft takes a mouthful of soup, as though giving himself time to think. “Not having been there, I don’t feel confident in second-guessing the steward. Has he interviewed other squires, do you know?”
Megren shakes her head. “I don’t think so. Sir Darrin is his brother, of course.”
Haft says, “Yes. It’s probably no more than that.” The corner of his mouth lifts. “You should have seen me when Jorgen started calling on Brigid. I was brutal.”
Megren side-eyes him but concedes, “I suppose I don’t have any siblings to know.”
Haft shrugs. “She’s my baby sister. I was protective. I should be more surprised if Lord Dar weren’t.
Megren agrees in words if not entirely in tone, “I’m sure he didn’t mean anything by it.”
Haft says, “I’m sure he /did/.”
Megren sucks the inside of her lip and nods.
The fire flickers, casting dancing shadows all over the walls.
Haft asks, “Did he seem satisfied by the end of the conversation?”
Megren says, “I suppose.”
Haft says, “Then…I guess that’s all to be done about it. I shouldn’t mention it to Sir Darrin, if I were you.”
Megren shakes her head in agreement.
Haft asks, “You had a chance to tell the captain yet?”
Megren says, “No. Sir Darrin’s meant to, I guess.”
Haft says, “Oh, I see. I guess that makes sense.”
Megren nods, leaning her cheek on her hand.
Haft asks, “Will you be travelling soon, do you know?”
Megren shakes her head. “I don’t know.”
Haft grunts. “I confess I’m wondering about something though.”
Megren lifts her brows.
Haft says, “How’s he going to have time to train you for the things knights need to know if he’s busy himself learning how to be Steward? They /are/ rather different jobs ”
Megren says, “Oh. Well… Lord Dar is a knight as well.”
Haft says, “Yeah, but he ain’t exactly–” he cuts himself off. “Never mind. I’m sure it’ll work out.”
Megren says, “I don’t know for sure what plans he has.”
Haft says, “Yeah. Guess you’ll have to wait and see how things unfold.”
Haft finishes his soup and looks toward the door. “Guess I’d better make room for others. I’ll see you on duty.”
Megren nods again. “See you then.”
Haft deposits his bowl in the bin and leaves the room.