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The day is a heavy one, and still, as if the world itself holds its breath with Reyna Tyrell as she is lead before the Hand. Composed, if a trifle pale, she sinks into the deepest of curtsies before the great desk with a murmured “Good day, your grace.” And there she remains, in a pool of brilliant green and gold, awaiting the Hand’s pleasure.
“Lady Reyna,” the Hand says, purple eyes under bushy, pale brows hard as they study the lady who enters. Though rumor has it that Viserys conducts audiences even while he works on signing edicts and orders and other such business, this time it seems he’s set all that aside and decided to give his full attention to this vexing woman. With a brief gesture, he curtly orders, “You may sit.”
“Thank you, your grace,” Reyna replies, rising and moving to the chair without delay. She doesn’t fuss with her skirts or do any of the prissy things a lady might usually do; instead, she sits there with eyes demurely downcast and hands clasped tightly in her lap. Only her white knuckles belie her anxiety.
The silence seems to stretch for an intolerable time, as Viserys regards Reyna, his mouth set into a stern frown. At last he remarks, “Well. You have been busy of late, Lady Reyna, or so I have been informed. What shall I make of it all?” A pause, a shift in his high-backed chair that makes the dark oak creak a little. Bluntly, he says, “There are those who think that you should be sent back to your family. Others say that you might benefit by contemplation at some motherhouse, for a time. One or two, perhaps, stand up in your favor. But only one or two.”
“There is little truth to all the rumor, your grace,” Reyna says, her voice faint at first, but slowly strengthening. “I should like the chance to give your grace the truth, if it will help.”
Viserys inclines his head slightly. “By all means, Lady Reyna.” There’s little change of expression, tone, or manner.
“I can make no excuse for my behavior after… what happened in the Kingswood. I could easily blame others, but the fault was mine. I ought to have stayed in until I was no longer so uneasy.” Reyna looks up then, her brown eyes wide and pleading.
“It is true,” she continues slowly, forcing herself to hold the Hand’s gaze, “that I met with Rurik Greyjoy. I had thought to keep him from troubling Lady Jyana, whom I love dearly. The next night, I met with Ser Dagur, to enlist his aid in terminating my contact with Greyjoy entirely.” Here she pauses to catch her breath, and to compose herself anew, for she has been crumpling the cloth of her skirts in her hands.
“Our lord of Greyjoy has been a troublesome man,” says the Hand, brusque and waving the matter away as inconsequential. “You need not fear. I do not put much stock to any rumors that touch on him.” It would have been kindly said, if Prince Viserys revealed any kindness as he said it; he merely seems intent on hearing what else Reyna has to say.
Reyna nods and swallows. “Ser Doran, then. I… am ashamed, your grace.” She looks down again, biting her lip; it is a supreme act of will that raises her face and puts the usual proud tilt into her chin. “He spoke rashly, and I allowed anger to get the better of my upbringing, of my very name. I… lead him to believe I might welcome his attentions, should he be so inclined. Nothing came of it, of course, but he did not react well when I confessed it to him. Nor should he have, for it was badly done of me.”
Viserys seems ... unimpressed by the confession. “So badly done that you later told others that you made this ... suggestion in an attempt to ruin the man’s reputation? Or so I have been told.” A heavy look and then he asks, casually, “Are my informants wrong, Lady Reyna?”
“I confessed doing it to reveal that he is a man, like any other man, who will lust without wishing to,” Reyna replies, sighing heavily. “A man’s reputation was never ruined by looking with desire on a woman; men have done worse, your grace, and been accounted great men by all, respected and admired. I do not have such power, nor would I desire to have it.”
“And what purpose would that reveal, Lady Reyna? Prince Baelor’s sworn shield might have cause to think that even trying to teach him such a lesson—a lesson that I am not sure you have cause to teach—is an attempt to damage him.” Viserys’s question is pointed, but he hardly lingers. “You have been as inconstant as women—and men, for that matter—often are. Or maybe you are constant—constant in the rumors that dog you, the deeds that are being attached to you. I’ve heard worse than all these things.”
A long pause, as he seems to consider whether he should broach the matter of just what he’s heard. In the end, he asks instead, “I must ask why you are here in King’s Landing? Not to bring shame to yourself, or your house, I should suppose.”
“Worse, your grace?” Reyna looks horrified, her face white. “What worse could I do to myself?” She seems on the verge of tears, but she inhales deeply, mastering that unsuitable display of emotion. “I am here because my lord brother wishes it so, your grace. To serve the Crown in whatever small way I might, inadequate though it might be.”
“Worse? You did not perform indiscretions in the Old Keep, before some of your fellow ladies-in-waiting and certain knights here at court?” Viserys asks, incredulous. “Were I a less delicate man, I would say just what those indiscretions were said to be, Lady Reyna, but there is no need of it.” A shake of his head, as he looks grim .... but he does offer some small hope. “There is one young knight who has taken some of the blame for such enormities. But shall that absolve you of all that you’ve done?”
“Forgive me, your grace, I was not clear enough,” Reyna says, flinching under the Hand’s ire. “I said at the first that I could make no excuse for that whatsoever, and will not try. I accept all responsibility for it, and am so…” she pauses, her hands clenched in the folds of her skirts again. “I am so ashamed,” she continues, in a very small voice, “that I cannot begin to even tell you much I regret…”
“I am sure you do regret, and have much to regret while you are it.” Curtly, the Hand cuts Reyna off. “It is only proper. It does not solve what we are to do with you, Lady Reyna.” Viserys frowns for a few short seconds ... and then grimaces, disgusted.
“You must thank your lord brother, my lady,” he says. “It would not do to dismiss you from the city, when he fights so nobly at His Grace’s command. You will ask to leave off as Princess Daena’s companion, for private reasons, and naturally we grant your request.”
“Y-y-yes, your grace, of course,” Reyna murmurs, her face still down-turned. “I hope that I might redeem myself in your grace’s eyes eventually, for my lord brother’s sake as much as my own.”
Viserys makes a dismissive gesture at Reyna’s question. “Mayhaps if no more scandal comes upon you, some suitable place will be found for a lady of your breeding,” he tells her, again brusque. “You may inquire after it, in a month’s time, if you believe you have acted to put what stains there are on your good name behind you.” And that, it seems, seems to be the end of that. He turns to the steward and tells him, “See the lady out, and then bring those accounts Lord Cargyll wished me to examine.”
Reyna rises from her chair, and sinks once more into a curtsy. “Thank you, your grace,” she murmurs before rising again and departing with her composure drawn tightly around her.
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