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Evening has settled over King’s Landing and there is finally some quiet around the guest quarters of the Holdfast. There’s an odd feeling in the air, the Dondarrion guards are doubled what they usually are, determined that nothing else is going to be allowed in to hard the lord’s daughter. Maids seem to be the only ones that can come and go with any frequency and even then the items they bring into the apartments are checked carefully. There are goldcloaks as well, as is normal around the holdfast and then seem as stern and on alert as their brothers in the purple and black.
Finally, quiet. Finally!
But not for long. Slow footsteps pass along the hallway toward the guest wing, and those same steps turn along the winding way that leads to the private residences, and finally—finally—those steps bring Serion Uller to door that leads to the Dondarrion quarters.
“Is the lady Carmella within?” he asks the guards brusquely. One hand has been following the wall as he approaches; and his other arm wraps around a book and a bundle of flowers. And two of the fingers on that hand are wrapped in red silk.
At the first sound of footsteps the guards snap to attention and more than one hand rests against the pommel of a sword. All eyes turn towards the sound and a few narrow as the Dornishman makes his appearance. Some murmurs are exchanged between the men and two take steps forward to intercept the visitor before he can get too much further. His steely eyes look Serion up and down fully, taking into consideration the items he is carrying and the silk around his fingers.
“The Lady Carmella is not taking visitors at this moment,” says Ser Giles with a hint of a sneer. “And certainly not from some Dornish snake come to give her a second bite.” Obviously the guards have taken hold of the news that the bottle the poison came in was Dornish in style.
“If Dornish vipers bit your lady,” replies Serion shortly, “She’d be resting in a coffin, not her chambers. Will you let me in?” His manner is brusque, his lips pressed into a tight line.
“Or is she not awake? If so, just say so; I’ll return another time.”
A brusque laugh passes among the guards and heads are shaken. Ser Giles doesn’t share in the laughter. He doesn’t call out the men against it either, but he doesn’t share it. “Well, should the lady befall any more serious injury we’ll know to come looking in your cell for snakes,” he says with another glance to Serion’s hand. He takes another step forward, his voice growing positively icy.
“I don’t give a whore’s ass if the lady is asleep or awake. All I know is that things aren’t looking good for you and your kind right now, boy. Use that brain the gods saw fit to give you and leave her alone.”
The young Uller tilts his chin upward at the knight’s icy tone, and seems on the verge of a sharp retort—
—but it does not come.
“Fine,” he says shortly, a smile perfectly polite on his features. “Very well. Will you at least convey a gift to her?”
He pauses and lifts the flowers to his nose, giving them a long sniff, then shoves them toward the guards.
Another guard steps up quickly and takes the flowers before they can be shoved at Ser Giles. Ser Giles doesn’t even flinch as he continues to stare down the Uller lordling. “If the maester deems them to be safe and not hiding something meant to harm the lady and if she actually wants them,” he says, fingers flexing against the pommel of his sword. “You’d better pray to all the gods that there isn’t one buttercup in there that would make the lady so much as sneeze or else you’ll learn about the King’s justice.” Does the Dondarrion knight have that kind of authority to make such threats? Hard to say, but he’ll make them anyway. “Now, my lord,” he continues, voice heavy with sarcasm,” is there anything else we might humble ourselves to do for you?”
The staring-match is woefully one-sided: where Ser Giles stares down the young lordling, Serion’s stare is directed somewhere in the vicinity of his left ear, and the door behind it.
The book, then, is also offered to the knight, and his voice is still polite—cold, forced, but polite. “Illness brings boredom. Give her this—a gift, if you will. Have the maester test it, if you like; he’ll find nothing more poisonous in it than references to Arbor wines.”
The same knight takes the book, tucks the flowers under his arm and immediately starts flipping through the pages. He doesn’t seem to care much of his arm is crushing some of the lovely blooms. Ser Giles gives the knight a quick glance and then is back to Serion.
“Again, my warning stands,” he says, her tone not improving one iota against the Dornishman’s forced politeness. “Put one toe out of line, lordling, and we won’t be as polite as we are right now.”
Polite. Yes. That is the cast of Serion’s features. And then his lip twists into a mockery of a smile.
“Of course. Ser.” He replies. And takes a slow step forward.
“No doubt you care greatly for the lady’s health.”
Another step, and it puts him within the knight’s personal space. He whispers.
“I do too.”
Again Ser Giles doesn’t flinch but his face becomes a twisted version if itself as he delivers a vicious scowl, like a dog ready to bite.
“Then you and your kind will leave her alone,” he whispers back, words bordering on a hiss as he leans in ever so slightly.
“You’re a hostage, best you learn your place, boy.”
That elicits a smile from Serion.
“Wish your lady well for me,” he whispers back.
And then with a single step back he turns and reaches out for the wall to guide him back through the holdfast.
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