━━━━━━━━ ｒ ｅ ｍ ｅ ｍ ｂ ｅ ｒ ｓ ━━━
xxxWhen she took back her pup, and told the man who had handed her to him what he was, she could tell that he was surprised; nearly everyone who learned of it was, but unlike the others, the smile didn't leave his lips, and that had her own remaining, if not remaining even slightly stronger. His smile was so very beautiful, and she would hate to see it fade, especially over something of her own doing, or the doing of the creature she loved so very much. Elyana wished she could have focused on that, and the many other thoughts and things swarming throughout her mind surrounding the man before her, but unfortunately, Talimere chose that moment to try and attempt to worm and wiggle his way out of her grasp to get back to the man, and she lost her chance to do so, at least for the time being. She didn't doubt that the thoughts would find her again much later when she was alone, and he, the easily best part of her day, would most certainly found his back back into her head. She didn't have much chance to be certain of that either though, because the sound of the man chuckling at the actions of the little wolf stole her attention, and her heart gave a flutter that was anything but small at the sound, a sound that was beautiful like his smile, and very akin to music to her ears. It wasn't music she could dance to, but it was music she could lose herself within and listen to for hours; a song she never wished to end. Brown eyes quickly shot upward, looking up at the sound through flailing puppy paws, and she found herself unable to keep herself from sending him a smile in response to the admittedly very comforting, and soothing sound of his laugh. It was familiar in an odd way, and a sound, much like his voice, she felt as if she could listen to for ages without ever noticing the passed time. It would have completely distracted her now she was sure, if she didn't presently have a direwolf pup trying to escape from her arms and return to the man she too wanted to be around more. As Talimere quieted, and she finished speaking, she noticed that his eyes had raised from the silver wolf to meet her own, and she couldn't help but feel the dusting of a blush rising to her likely already reddened cheeks at the sight of it. His smile softened, and he gave her a nod of understanding, which she felt herself positively light up at. A new happiness spread through her, a comforting warmth, and she could hardly contain her smile, or joy for that matter, at learning that he understood what her words had met, and that he wanted the same. He wanted to see her again too, and she couldn't be happier; that bright even more light into her world to chase the dark storming clouds away, and it gave her something to look forward to, a hope, amongst the dread she felt for the plans she was aware of. She didn't want to marry Borys, she wanted to spend more time with this wonderful man, but she didn't have a choice, and it was unlikely she ever would because she had been born a woman in power, just seen as a pawn in some man's game. She would do her best to steal moments with the man whenever she could regardless of all of that though, and him wanting the same made a world of difference to her, a world of hope, even if they were only able to find moments to catch glimpses of each other and share gazes from across the room as a sea of people stood between them. At least, maybe she would be able to hear him speak her name, and speak his, before their duties tore them apart, which seemed like a hopeful possibility, as she watched his smile grow a tiny bit more as she told him her name. Did that mean he liked it? She had never cared what anyone thought of her name before; it was just that, her name, a mix of two after her ancestors Maryana and Elayna, that she had always felt honored to be named after, and she had always found that it suited her, but with him she found herself unable to not care. She barely knew him, and already she cared and so valued what he thought, especially of her and the somewhat calmed and sated creature in her arms, and if he didn't like her name, she knew that would sting, because she wanted him to like every piece to who she was, something she didn't at all feel with Borys. If anything, with that man, she wished him to do nothing more than tolerate her, to posses no desire for her and leave her to her own devices unless for some godforsaken reason he needed her, and she didn't know if it was good or not, but she would much prefer to care about the handsome man's opinion, than with Borys had none at all. The latter didn't seem at all a happy way to live, and she so hoped that that dark and glooming fate wouldn't be one she was designed to living. Thankfully though, if the smile was anything to go by, and the lack of any kind of unpleasant reaction after learning it was any sort of indication, he did like her name, and when he opened his mouth to reply, she waited in anticipation for his response, to hear his reply, to hear him speak her name, and if she was lucky, learn his. Of course, he never got to, and she never got the pleasure of hearing what he had to say, because the chance was ripped away from them both, by a displeased clear of a throat, and turning to see who had made it. Storming gray eyes of barely veiled anger were not a greeting she ever wanted to see, not when she had already bared witness to the man's beautiful blue.
xxxJust like her own, at the sight of Borys Baratheon seething with poorly concealed irritation, she saw Jasper's warming smile fall, and felt herself fill with a sadness she couldn't quite explain. A sadness at both the loss of such a beautiful grin on an even more glorious face, and at the reminder of why she was here, and more specifically, who she was hear for. She had been dreading it for so long, anxiously anticipating it for weeks, with no need of reminder, but she had momentarily forgotten because of the wonderful man she had met, and now the reminded she hadn't needed had come unwelcome and unannounced, forcing her to see it, and realize that the hope she had here, in the presence of him, would not last when he was gone from her side, and she was with only the man who sent a pang of fear running down her spine. The clouds were again closing in, and the other man's light was the only thing keeping them away, keeping them from breaking open and raining hell down upon her. She swallowed, and opened her mouth to give another reply, another apology, a safeguard in case it wasn't enough for him to just have the first, but before she had the chance to, Jasper spoke for her, inserting himself into their exchange with skilled ease, and she quickly turned her head, dark eyes landing on him with a mix of surprise written in them and her expression, and a gratitude hidden within her gaze that she hoped he would notice. Instead of speaking now that he had, she raised a hand to nestle further into Talimere's fur, stopping a growl she could feel building in his throat, and tempering his displeasure at the presence of Borys, at least for the moment. Her fear felt as if it was just melting a way now that he had spoken up, and a tiny quirk of her smile returned as she listened to his soothing voice, and the excuse he had to give. He forced a charismatic smile onto his features- one she like the sight of but wasn't nearly as handsome or becoming as the way a genuine one sat perfectly upon his lips-, and explained, in an easy lie, how he had troubled her for a moment to admire a 'rare northern beauty', and how she had been so gracious to oblige. She felt her heart skip at that, and a blush begin to dust her cheeks again, though she quickly raised a hand to hide it, acting as if she was wiping a strand of hair out of her eyes, and tucking it carefully into place, in hopes that it would help the blush escape the Baratheon's notice. To him, she knew the man meant Talimere, but was there a hidden meaning to his words, one only meant for her, that she was the northern beauty? She caught his gaze drifting to back to her, and she hoped that was a sign that her hope was true. She listened as he clarified for the man, hoping that that was another sign he had meant her with his faltering comment and that she wasn't misreading this completely, and watched almost sadly has his eyes trailed back to the man, leaving her, and making her feel empty at the lack of them on her form. Borys' eyes seemed to calm at bit at the man's words, their kind and selfless purpose to quell that clearly doing their job, but something new appeared within his eyes too, something new that she couldn't pin down, and that left her feeling most uneasy. Borys spoke, responding to the man with a nod that seemed stiff, and unknowingly giving her at least part of the man's name. It was the first time she had heard him speak since they were children, and though she wanted to shiver at the sound, she couldn't, because his words had brought something great. He was an Arryn, she knew that for certain now, the house ruling the stunning and truly beautiful land of the Vale under their much less stunning and truly beautiful king, and even though she didn't have his name, she had something firm to call him. Lord Arryn. It suited him, for sure, and he deserved to have something so regal sounding put to him. Perhaps Aidin would know his first, and she could ask him when they next had a moment alone. To her joy and surprise though, she wouldn't have to, because the Arryn Lord uttered it himself, and she couldn't help but smile as she felt herself fill with happiness again at knowing it. Jasper. His name is Jasper Arryn. Oh Tali, I wish I could share my excitement with you now. It was a name she hadn't heard before, but so perfect, and so beautiful. Jasper, like the opaque quartz. It suited him; while all other jaspers were common shades of red, yellow, brown, or green, he was the rarest shade of blue, like the colors of his house, and the beautiful blue of his eyes. There was no way that name couldn't fit him, with how wonderful he was, and how she had never met anyone like him. He was truly a blue winter rose amongst thousands of red, or rather, a perfect, blue colored polished jasper, amongst thousands of rough, uncut red. Jasper. His name was Jasper, of House Arryn. Lord Jasper, of House Arryn. She liked it, a lot. Though of course, she doubted that there could be something so closely associated with him that she couldn't love. In another world perhaps they may have had a chance, or he would be the one she was engaged to instead, in a world where Borys, and forced engagements didn't exist, and they were free to be with whom they choose. They weren't in another world though, and for now she would have to be content with knowing him, and of his kindness, and his beautiful blue eyes, with a corner of brown in one, while she wanted to hate that Borys had played an unknowing part in her learning the handsome man's name, but being unable to, because she could never hate anything that had to do with him. She could feel the smile faintly return even stronger to her lips at the distinct feeling that his correction had been for her, rather than for her husband-to-be. She could even feel it grow a little more as Borys' brows furrowed at his correction, but it didn't last, because before another moment had passed, he stiffly offered his arm out to her, and she knew what that meant. It was a signal that they were to leave, without Jasper, and she had no choice but to accept. She freed an arm from her pup and hesitantly reached for his, the action carrying more weight with it than it was ever meant to have. He said no words to her as she began to walk, and she followed, though she slowed ever so slightly as she passed the handsome Arryn man. "Thank you, Jasper." Elyana whispered, leaning close to his ear as she delicately brushed passed. Your kindness is not something I'll ever be quick to forget. Oh how she wished that she could say those words.
xxxThere were too many unfamiliar people within the room, and it had grown to be much too much for her nearly the moment all the festivities with the feast began, especially when there was only one person she wanted to see. There was only one man she wished to speak with out of all the people there, and she was too scared to search him out or approach him, lest Borys Baratheon catch wind of it even though he was not presently here anymore, through someone's gossiped or whispered drunken words, and bring his fury down upon the man she already knew she deeply cared for, despite knowing nothing more than his name, the name of his house, and that he was a good man, and so terribly, wonderfully kind. Everything this day had so far been a blur that passed uncomfortably quickly from one thing to the next, and Jasper had been the only clear thing about it, and the only true good thing to happen throughout it to begin with. If Talimere hadn't been taken to her room by a bannerman while her betrothed dragged her to the main hall for the fist of the festivities he had planned, perhaps this all would have been a little more bearable, and a less confusing blur of things that only managed to fill her with more dread, but alas, that hadn't happened, and she was stuck here alone, without anyone to call a friend as she struggled to sort through the memories that were little more than the fuzzy memories of a dream she woke from starting to fade. First there had been a feast, during which she had barely so much as even looked at her meal while she tried to tune out the sound of Borys voice and his ramblings- mostly boasting and very proud and prideful statements about himself and his truthfully not at all impressive accomplishments-, which had thankfully not been a difficult task to do because he hardly even glanced her way. She had spent her time searching the crowd for Jasper instead from her raised position at the table Borys sat at by his side, and then admiring and examining the stonework of the room and the way the light from candles and chandeliers danced upon them with their orange glow as the flames from them flickered. They had reminded her of the shadows trees blowing in the wind with their leaves dancing and rustling in the breeze cast upon the walls of Winterfell, and it only served to bring feelings of missing home, so she had stopped, and finally deigned to look at her plate, containing a meal looking most unappealing, that she had a very difficult time not pushing away and forcing a few bites of down her throat. After that had ended, the dancing and mingling began, and hours later, it still had not ended, and several souls were still going strong as drink flowed freely between them, and she watched from the side when no one was dragging her out to meet someone or speak. She couldn't count the number of strangers she had spoken to, and if asked she couldn't even remember what any of them had said. All she wanted was to see Jasper, to hear his voice again, and she was too tired and overwhelmed to put up with anyone who wasn't him now that the day had gone on so long. Normally she would always make time for those who wished to converse, especially if it was a child, but there were no children present here, and every smile and pleasant word sent her way carried a tinge of falsity, of disingenuous pretenses and intent, and she couldn't bother to give some opulent sycophant her full attention and focus when she was already so heavily drowning in everything of the day. She hadn't even gotten the chance to see her quarters yet, and truthfully, she wasn't even sure if she was ready to yet, or if she ever would be. The thought of calling this castle a home made her sick, and she didn't wish to think of it as one, nor was she ready to think of it as one, even as a temporary place of rest. Borys was just as she had feared he'd be, even worse than she remembered, and her parents were blind to it, she didn't feel safe within the same walls as him, or that she'd manage to get any semblance of rest. Seeing her chambers would make this all frighteningly real, more real than it already was, and she didn't want to go see them yet, and bring that reality upon herself. There was still time left in this night for her to enjoy, and savor, and be away from it, and she did not want to head toward it until none of that precious time was left, and certainly not before she caught a glimpse of Jasper again.
xxxLetting out a tired sigh, she watched as her parents began making their way toward her from across the hall, with Aidin trailing some distance behind like a puppy worn from hours of play that could barely walk. She didn't even need to hear want they had to say to know what they were coming to her for; they were coming to bid her goodnight and wish her well, she could see that in their tired expressions and faded eyes even from where she stood far away. Normally she would join them, but she wasn't ready to just yet. She wanted to see Jasper again first, and she wanted to put off returning to her rooms and seeing the reality of this- and the damage she had an inkling Talimere had already done to it, likely the chair legs or pillows, if no one had bothered to give him some kind of toy- for as long as she possibly could.
xxxAs her parents stopped before her, and Aidin paused a few paces away, she could tell by the looks in their eyes and their expressions that they already knew she knew where they were headed, and that it was unlikely she'd be joining them. Her mother gently clasped her hands around both of her own, rubbing her thumb lightly over her knuckles and the backs of her hand. "Will you be joining us?" She asked softly, hopeful she was wrong, but already knowing the answer. Yana shook her head sadly, and furrowed her brows apologetically as she tilted her head. Her father let out a soft sigh, but kept his expressions clear of the worry she knew was there. "Goodnight mother, father. Rest well." Elyana breathed, watching as her mother eyed her with concern, but said nothing, which in that moment Yana was truly grateful for, she was much too worn and tired for a lecture on why she should slip off to bed. Her mother brought her hands to her lips and pressed a motherly goodnight kiss to them, before giving them a squeeze and letting them go. "Same to you, Elyana. Take care of yourself." Her father replied, voice tender and soft, without it's usual firmness. "I will, I promise." Elyana murmured softly, as her father pulled her close, and gave her his goodbye with a kiss gently pressed to her forehead, before he brushed the hair from her face, and stepped away with her mother, and out of the great hall, leaving her alone with Aidin, who quickly linked her arm with his in a gesture of comfort, which she too was grateful for. She tightened her grip on his arm, and watched as their parents walked away. Aidin waited a moment, and then turned to her with a mischievous glint in eyes that she didn't like, and responded to with a tired and expectant raise of her brow. "So, you got a moment to talk with him. Did you, perchance, learn his name?" Aidin asked, to which she immediately gave a scolding reply, resisting the urge to remove her arm from his and fold it with her other. "Aidin!" He let out an even wider grin than the one he gave her earlier, and she could already tell that this battle had been lost, and he had won it. "Yana, we could all see you speaking with him, and I know your smile, you wouldn't be smiling like that at Borys. You learned it, didn't you?" She let out a heavy sigh, conceding. "Jasper, his name is Jasper." She wanted to keep his full name, Jasper Arryn, a secret to herself, for the moment. She didn't want to give away all the magic she felt around him, just yet. Aidin nodded thoughtfully, refraining from giving another tease to her surprise, and when she turned, she noticed for the first time how tired he was. His normally proud and playful shoulders sagged, and his eyes looked weary, and dark with the desire to rest. His hair was slightly out of place, and unkempt, and her hand gently slipped out from his arm, to rest lightly on his cheek, and gently tuck the loose strands back into place, in the way a good elder sister would do. His fight had gone out in that moment; his day had been long, and he should go and rest. "You're tired, Aidin. Go sleep. I'm sure Nim is missing you." Elyana told him, running her hand through his hair to smooth the rest of his short locks out. He frowned, and she could see the strong desire to protest rising through him, and out of his lips. "But what about you? I don't want to leave you alone in this den of lions and stags." She smiled tiredly, and let her hand fall to his, giving it a tight squeeze. Through all of his moments of being a little pest, he truly was a good brother, one who genuinely cared and wished for her to be happy, and she would never trade him for anyone else in the world. He had changed everything for her in a way she wasn't fond of, but that would never stop her from loving him, or her seeing him as her baby brother who was finally growing up. "I'll be fine, I promise. I can handle myself on my own for a little while longer. I'm to be marrying the Lord of Storm's End, none of the men here would dare touch me, and some of our most loyal men are still around, I will be safe. Go Aidin, go sleep. You need the rest, you've already had a long day." Elyana assured, holding his gaze while she spoke so she was certain he knew that she would truly be alright. He let out a heavy sigh, one of relief, and tremendous weight. He seemed to let a lot go with that sigh, and she hoped that it would help him rest peacefully. He was so young and already had so much in his shoulders, a tremendous weight and responsibilities he couldn't yet comprehend, and he didn't need to bear her burdens on his shoulders too. "Thank you." He pulled her close for a moment, allowing her lips to press lightly against his temple in a sisterly goodnight kiss, and then pulled away, and followed in their parents' footsteps. Once he was out of sight, she let out a sigh that mirrored his, and weaved her way through the remaining people to a wall with few around it and none looking pointedly in it's direction. When she reached it, she turned and leaned her back against it, and swept a hand through her dark hair, clearly worn and drained, and in need of a break from people she didn't know, or a rest. She wasn't ready to return to her chambers though, she still wasn't, and she doubted that she would be for awhile longer. She wanted to hold off going to her room for as long as she could, or at least until she got to speak with Jasper again, if the world, or gods were kind enough to grant her that chance again. He made her feel safe her, and welcome, even though it was not his seat to welcome her too, and that meant the world to her. She just wished to speak with him more, to get to know him better, and spend more time in his presence. She hadn't seen him leave- something she had been keeping an eye out for so she would be sure to notice-, so if she hadn't missed him, and he was still here, was it too much to hope that he would find her here, and they would get their chance to speak again then?
━━━━━━━━━━━━ｗｉｔｈ ｆ ｉ ｒ ｅ━━
xxxHe wasn't entirely sure why had had read so much about both places given how awkward he felt about some very central pieces to them, but then reading about things was very different to thinking about them in depth, and given his discomfort with the subject, thinking about it was something he tended to try and avoid. Vahaemarys was thinking about it now though, and it wasn't exactly early enough as to where he could stop; he had already begun thinking down that rabbit hole, and now he would have to finish it until the thoughts were gone and he hopefully felt a bit more comfortable in the woman's presence, even if his cheeks turned redder than the wine his family sold and the wine that flowed freely throughout the Dornish and the lands ruled by the Redwyne with his purely innocent and well intending attempts to look nowhere but the woman's beautifully featured face out of desire to be respectful and polite and his less than ideal thoughts. Why did such a comparison have to come to his mind? Why did that now have to be the only thing he could think about? It was truly meant to be a complimentary comparison, one to a goddess because see truly had the beauty and the dress of one, but the more he thought about it, and the more jarbled and complicated his thoughts became, he began to fear that it would be anything but a compliment to her, even though it was unlikely that she would ever learn he had even began to think about such a comparison with high praise to her, because he doubted that he would ever share it with anyone, and he had a feeling that he would be doing his best to forget it had ever even happened by the time the hour was done. Anyway, though, she was truly rather radiant, and her garments did feel like they would belong to a most beautiful goddess, a queen above them all, even if he could not bring himself to look at anything but her face for more than a mere fraction of a moment, and that was the compliment he had been intending to give to her without her ever knowing with his thoughts, before they spiraled out of his intentions and took on a life of their own as they usually did. Hopefully though, if she ever did happen to glean that that path and trail of thoughts had crossed through her mind, she would understand what he had meant, and not become terribly offended at his thoughts instead. The two lands truly were similar in many ways, in beauty and acceptance and an air that never seemed confrontational, and he hoped if it came to light, that she would see where he was coming from with that. Along with all of that, the two lands also shared descendants of the Rhoynar, with the Summer Isles being a stop that didn't work out for most- with those who it did work out for remaining on the Isle of Woman-, and Dorne being the one that finally did, with the joining of their leader, and the Martell ruler of Dorne, to create House Nymeros Martell. Most still simply called it the house of Martell, but he could recall a prince who was anything but austere named Zoroastarr who preferred to use it in full. Hopefully that would help too, although now he was beginning to wonder if she was descended from that prince and his wife Ashara. She certainly looked the part, and felt very similar to the prince in his reported nonchalant unserious ways, but then that was a description that suited many, so that wasn't nearly enough for him to form an educated, decent guess. Her dress though, that was certainly a sign of highness of some kind; no commoner he knew could afford that. His family possessed a fairly decent amount of wealth, and they had many ways to obtain similar beautiful likely very expensive things for a price much cheaper, but even with that, he doubted that his family would even have enough to ask for it to be made. Of course, he also knew next to nothing about fashion, so that could be completely wrong as well, and the extravagance he had glimpsed coming off it in elegant regal ways was throwing off the little knowledge he had on it. His mother was the only one in the family who knew anything about clothing, and she was the one who took care of that for himself, herself, and his grandfather, so he only knee the things she had mentioned, and the little confusing threads of pieces he had picked up over the years.
xxxRelief filled him as she voiced her reply, though with the way she seemed to grin with a tinge of amusement at his question had him doubting if that relief was entirely safe, or smart to feel. "Ahh, good." Vahaemarys glanced down, eyeing his hands while his mind and thoughts drifted to his hair. Was it commonplace here for men and woman to wear hair unnatural to their own? Did many have their own hair stolen in the night, or did many simply wish to be rid of their own natural locks? He and never read about that being common in Dorne, or anywhere for that matter, but then many things were also kept out of books, and he'd not be surprised if that was one of the things that was omitted. Of course, it was also entirely more likely that it just wasn't something done in the land the woman before him was from, and she had just been asking because the color of his hair was rare and unusual, and not one naturally seen on most. In Essos it seemed to be less rare and out of place, but in Westeros, the color seemed to be reserved to those of Targaryen descent, which as far as he knew, he was most certainly not. He knew he had Valyrian ancestry, given his surname and his family's appearance, but he couldn't be a Targaryen. The Targaryens had cruelly met their end at the hand of the Lannisters, they were all dead and gone, their era and their dragons lost to time, fading for a new one to take their place of madness and insanity. There were none left, and if his family was part of that family, and the last of his lineage, he had a feeling that he would know that already, and have been raised accordingly to be poised to retake it giving their ambitious conquering nature, but he had not been, and he doubted that his mother and grandfather would keep such a tremendous secret from him well into his adulthood and the start of his thirties, or at least, he hoped they would have the decency to not do something like that to him. To his hair again though, dying it was something he knew of being done, and something his mother had tried doing once when he was little and they were first going somewhere without his father, but that plan had fallen through when the dye spilled and instead dyed his favorite white shirt a most ugly, rancid looking dirty brown. He had been more than glad that dye hadn't befallen his white locks, locks he couldn't help but be proud of; if it had, he was certain it would just look like someone had dumped a sheep's droppings onto his head and throughout mixed it in. His mother saw that after it spilled on his beloved shirt too, so thankfully she hadn't tried it again, which he was thankful for; he liked his hair silvery white, and would prefer to not wake up one day to see it a different color. As far as he knew though, dying hair was not common, but not entirely uncommon either, and with their being no dye he knew of that could accurately and properly turn his hair to the light shade it was, he imagined that is where the hair being truly his question had come from in her mind, which made him a little less fearful of her oddness.
xxxHis gaze returned to her quickly when the sound of her speaking reached his ears again, and he frowned at her words. Was she.. flirting with him? He knew next to nothing so but the ways of romance, but he didn't know so little that he was oblivious to the ways of a flirt at the very nature of it's core, and he had a rather large inkling that the nature of her words, confessing that he would be someone she would have remembered, was one of being flirtatious. He had never been flirted with before, so it all felt very odd if it in fact was a flirt that she was sending his way, but he wasn't entirely opposed to it either; it wasn't an unwelcome feeling, and truthfully he was beginning to warm up to her, and the unusual things she was saying. Only slightly warming up to her and her words though, only very slightly. They were still all a bit much and too outrageous for him to feel comfortable with just yet. He could feel her eyeing him as he thought, amusement still clearly present within her, which he hoped was amusement out of joyous, and curious nature at him, rather than at the expense of his suffering and uncomfortableness, and that seemed to be another small confirmation that her earlier words had indeed been a flirt; most didn't tend to eye another with amusement if there wasn't some kind of thing there. He didn't feel any thing tonight and he could get that off of her, so truly, he had no idea what she meant exactly by that and what exactly she thought or felt about him and was wanting, and that had him feeling uneasy all over again. What was she thinking about, and what exactly what she seeing in him that drew her to him and lead her to ask such questions? She spoke again soon after that, though, asking- likely rhetorically- if he was a 'sweet one', and he felt his frown deepen. "Sweet?" Vahaemarys questioned, curious as to what exactly that meant. He didn't have much time to even ponder that for himself, however, because she gave him a small smile once more, catching him off guard and ceasing his thoughts entirely for the moment, and he watched as she placed a hand on an exposed area of the old table to steady herself, before leaning in. He had to resist the urge to lean away from her extending hand as she reached it out, and her touch; he had allowed her to this after all. She'd just be touching her hair. This would be fine. This was fine. He was fine. He was- he stiffened, her fingers finally reaching his silver locks, her touch surprisingly gentle, so gentle he could barely feel the tug on his hair from where her index finger wrapped around a small section, and the rest of her fingers grazed his hair. It was almost.... nice in a way? Soothing? Comforting? It reminded him of the way his mother used to stroke his hair after he woke up with tears streaming down his cheeks and sweat making his hair stick to his forehead after a particularly frightening nightmare, usually one filled with blood and fire. It was a feeling he found himself surprisingly enjoying white a lot, one he feared he could lose himself within, like he often did with a good book, so long as it wasn't about bubbles or boils or other assortments of unpleasant things that made his stomach turn, and the rest of him feel ill. Vahae blinked when she spoke again, almost startled by the sound of her voice after easing himself into the comforting touch of her fingers lightly combing through his hair. He turned his head slightly to meet her eyes, and noticed she finished her words with a playful pout, after she had complimented his hair, saying it was even soft to the touch. He couldn't help but faintly blush. "Thank you, I am.. glad you find it to be so?" Vahaemarys replied, his words lilting upward into more of a question, than a genuine reply of thanks, which his mother would have certainly reprimanded him for had she been near. It was hard to process, or find the words for, even mentally for his thoughts, but he was admittedly pleased that she found his hair to be soft. He spent a lot of time, and probably much too much effort into his hair, and making sure it shown like true silver, and remained soft, and clean, and well combed and tamed. It was gratifying and most pleasing to hear that his efforts with it had paid off, especially if it had done so in the eyes of one he personally found very worthy of admiring. A moment later he felt her begrudgingly release his hair from her grasp, and he watched with mild disappointment in his eyes as she pulled it back, and placed it to rest with the other on the table.
xxxBefore he could properly miss the absence of her fingers in her hair, something he hadn't at all expected to enjoy or be comfortable with in the slightest, she spoke up again, asking something new that was somehow more surprising to him than anything else she had asked him or said so far, and she finished doing so with a wink that had him give a startled blink, while his eyes widened to the size of round, confused, and surprised saucers. The wink was something he couldn't even properly comprehend, like the assumed flirt she had given earlier, but her question was a bit more easy for him to sort through, although it too left him baffled and no less than extremely yet still somewhat mildly confused. Friends? She hoped they were friends? She wanted to be friends? That was certainly sudden, and something very odd, though perhaps that was just now it was done in Dorne, and most meetings progressed from mildly concerning acquaintance to friendship so quickly. She shifted her wright ever so slight to before continuing, laying her palms flat upon the table that by now was probably about as hold as him. The woman was asking him where he was from to have hair like that, but before he could properly register that, he had to at least begin the comprehension of what she had begun it with. Dearest friend? That was an exaggeration, wasn't it? Just a usual pleasantry one used to make someone more willing to share? He doubted that was her purpose or intent with it though; she didn't strike him as the manipulative type, but he also didn't know her well enough to be certain she wasn't that type either. She wanted to know where he was from though, which was something he could answer. It was much easier than anything else she had asked, and something familiar he was rather used to answering out of the very few questions from strangers he had received. None had ever been as odd as her though, even if now it was starting to become a good kind of odd. "I'm-" Vahaemarys began, but before he could reply, because he took too long thinking, he was interrupted by her continuing on, saying she didn't think he was the Westerlands type. Well, she wasn't wrong in that, he certainly wasn't at all from the Westerlands, and he doubted that he had much, if any family that had ever settled a foot within it. His skin was fair and pale like it's inhabitants- probably a bit too pale from the lack of time he spent in the sun and his poor tolerance to it's heat-, but that was about where the resemblance of being from there found it's end; silver hair and violet eyes had not ever originated from such a place, at least, to his knowledge. He could have missed a passage in a book saying they had, though he doubted it; with his readings, he was nothing if not thorough. Her voice reached his ears again, asking if he was from Lys, and once more he found his eyes widened, and his thoughts returning to a stuttering mess. Lys? Was she insinuating that he had been a worker of pleasure, or a child of one in such a profession? Did he give off some feel or impression he was from there? That was something he had certainly never thought himself to be reminiscent of. There was nothing wrong with someone who did lead such a life, at least in his eyes, as long as they were a willing and happy participant in it, and not forced into it against their own wishes or will, but it certainly wasn't a life for him, or a place he ever imagined himself going anywhere near, nor was it a place he could ever even picture his mother passing by idly in the street; to her it was vulnerability, and a loss of power, and neither were things she tended to allow to come to reality. Such things made him uncomfortable, and uneasy; he had no idea what to do or say or how to react, and because of that, he just preferred to avoid them and anything close to them in general, which, clearly was not working too well in Dorne, where they were very open, and apparently and evidently, quite forward too. Finally, at least, he was able to find his words, although he wasn't entirely sure if they were the best ones. "Lys? No I'm-" Vahaemarys coughed, straightening in his seat, and brushing down his tunic, in an attempt to look prouder, or more dignified, or both, or at least something less awkward and frightened like he was feeling. "I'm from Lhazar, which is um, well, a bit far from Lys." Vahaemarys answered, his voice turning somewhat sheepish toward the end, though still containing more confidence than any of his previous answers had before. The topic was a familiar one, something he knew well, and at least even though the strength in his voice had faded, he knew this better, geography, and his homeland, as opposed to reasons why some unfamiliar woman would wish to touch his hair. With the little confidence he had left remaining, he surprised himself in turning his focus back to her, and asking a question of his own, a part of him that knew how to speak in a conversation finally taking hold. "I suppose that you are from Dorne though, ah, yes? A princess perhaps?" He hoped that that wasn't too forward with his question, or taken or perceived as a flirt due to his asking if she was a princess at the end, he was just digging for some information to figure out more of who she was, or some kind of name, or clue as to why she was so intriguingly unusual, and different compared to all other souls he had had the pleasure, or sometimes displeasure of meeting. With her it was certainly leaning more on the pleasure side than displeasure, and before they stopped talking, even though it had already been a confusing ride of surprises and emotions for him, he genuinely wished to know at least a little more about her before it was done, and something told him that he would be sad if he didn't.