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It is quiet in the Arryn Manse. Save for the strains of a melancholy tune more suited for a rainy spring morning than a cool, summer evening. When followed, the double doors would lead inside the sitting room, where Jyana, clad in a loose shift for the evening, rests the bow of the fiddle braced on her chin and shoulder upon the strings and coaxes the music out of the taut and tweaked strings. It is a wordless piece, meant to be listened to without a vocal accompaniment.
Her eyes aren’t on her instrument howeverm but out at the window overlooking the yard, seated on the sill and propped up by pillows. Her hair is loose, spilled over her shoulders and framing her face, her toes bare and warmed only by the flickering hearth within the room. It casts a dim glow within, warm, but not too brightly lit.
Hawkish eyes would spy a figure making his way through the inner courtyard. A tall man; broad of shoulder, and cloaked in blue, the last clue to his identity being the brisk gait of his long strides. The man disappears from view from the window sill; but moments later, the double doors are open.
“Jyana,” is Jonothor’s greeting; neutral, but hinting at more. He removes his leather gloves as he speaks.
The tune pauses. Jyana lowers the fiddle and the bow, turning her head to look over at Jonothor as he enters the room. “Uncle,” she says with a cheerful smile, though she does look a little exhausted from the day. “You’ve come home a little earlier than usual today, I’m glad. Dinner hasn’t been sent for yet and if you like, I could have it brought to you—”
Her eyes catch the look on his face, and she furrows her brows a little bit. “Did the day go well?” she ventures, her lips pursing thoughtfully as she looks at him.
“The day was passable,” Jonothor says. “But days are like to pass whether we like their events or not.” Arryn places his gloves upon a cabinet, before fixing Jyana with an uncomfortable glance.
“It’s said you were seen with Ser Jaesin,” he says, stiffly.
She looks startled at that, Jyana’s aquamarine eyes widening just slightly at the stiff comment, and then, she folds her hands on her lap, turning her body so she could at least face her beloved cousin. “Aye, Uncle. I was. I know I shouldn’t have been, but I ran into him, it certainly wasn’t intended.”
She pauses, and then she continues, lifting her eyes to meet the neutral expression on the rugged face. “He and I had…a disagreement, a few days past. I took that as an opportunity to resolve our differences. It wasn’t clandestine in the very least, Uncle, and if you thought anything untoward happened during the encounter, please believe me for nothing save a much needed conversation happened.”
“Conversations with Jaesin Lannister are never much-needed, Jyana.” Jonothor shakes his head. “The man is a jackanape. Charming and an accomplished warrior, to be sure. But also a frivolous, japing shell of a man that you would do well to stay away from. I need not remind you that he spurned you once before, when he had the chance. I am not like to give such a cocksure man a second glance. Let him suffer for his mistake. You are meant for better men, Jyana.”
She rises, so she could approach the tall, imposing House head. Jyana shakes her head and smiles ruefully. “He is Jonn’s brother and it is because of that, at least, that I should at the very least keep things amiable between us,” she states gently, not only of the relation but perhaps of her own regard for the younger Lannister. “And if the Father has any mercy in him he would help the two of them reconcile, and it is my wish for them to do so simply because it would mean the world to Jonn whenever that happens.”
And then, the talk of spurning. The delicate features on her face look resigned. “How can I be spurned by a man whom I’ve not met till recently? I know my father says I must have been heartbroken, but believe me I was not - I had not invested any hopes in him those years ago. How could I when I scarcely knew what sort of a person he was?”
The very last sentence causes her to glance away to the hearth. “You needn’t worry about that, Uncle. It’s not as if I converse with him for the very purpose of resurrecting a contract two years dead.”
The Lord Arryn’s smile, so seldom unveiled. At Jyana’s last words, it comes.
“Very good, then. Still, be wary of Ser Jaesin. The man is only concerned with trivial witticisms, and has no head for the proper points of Lordship. The Seven save us should something ill befall Lord Loren.”
“And you are correct; Jonn is a worthy knight, and a more solid man than our Ser Jaesin. I still find it a wonder that Lira comes from the same blood as him.”
At the smile, Jyana smiles back unabashedly, turning her eyes away from the flames to look at him. “I trust that Lord Loren will live for a very long time. He doesn’t seem to be the sort of man who would be so careless as to go before he is meant to,” she remarks, reaching out to gently take Jonothor’s arm. “Now, Uncle, sit, you’ve had a long day and at the very least let me have wine or something refreshing to drink fetched for you.”
She looks over at him and opens her mouth to say something, but hesitates, and takes a different course. “Lannisters all have certain characteristics than mark them as related. Their pride, their good looks, and the golden color of their hair,” she states with a light laugh. “And m’lady Lira certainly has all three.”
Jonothor accepts Jyana’s invitation and sits on the couch. “Of a surety. I am still anxious to see them, though Maester Arett regularly sends word. Would that His Grace arrive sooner and the councils be done with. I trust you have been making acquaintances in the meantime?”
At mention of drink, Arryn shakes his head. “Nay, no wine. Water will serve.”
Jyana summons a servant. “Please fetch Lord Arryn a goblet of water with ice,” she requests kindly, and once the boy leaves, she moves so she could sit on the low table so that she could face her cousin. “I have written your steward at the Eyrie to have a small portrait of Eldred commissioned and sent here. You should get it any day now,” she informs him. “I…know it must have been presumptious of me but I thought since you would have to remain here for some time I thought you could at the very least see what your son looks like. I hope you don’t mind.”
She nods. “I have been. I have spoken with some of…Mother’s…kin in House Baratheon. I’ve met Lady Elanna, and Lord Baratheon’s heir, Ser Tancred. I’ve also had some tea with Lady Taria as well, and I’ve met the sisters Tully….”
“The Baratheons seem a stoic folk; Ser Sarmion is a formidable man, and not given to the ribaldry of young knights, and his sister the Lady Elanna is well also. I have not met Ser Tancred yet.”
“And I thank you for the thought of Eldred.” Jonothor lays back, just as he accepts the water delivered him by the servant. “But for now, try and tell me what you have learned and gathered for yourself.”
“What I learned…?” Jyana says softly, leaning back and thinking on it a little bit. Blue-green eyes watch her cousin’s dour, serious gaze with the intensity of one used to observation, and before the silence takes too long, and before Jonothor could get impatient, she straightens and looks him right in the eye.
Taking a deep, quiet breath, she gives him her report.
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