Lyra had been watching Delshad dancing with Darya with a wistful smile playing across her lips. As she was rather deep in through, the sudden arrival of a messenger boy nearly caused her to jump. However, Lyra quickly regained her wits and looked over at the messenger who had come to the side of her seat, his demeanor meek and humble – as it should be.
“Lady Lyanna,” the messenger bowed low before her and only rose up again when Lyra nodded her head that he may speak. “There has been ill news, milady.” The way he said it troubled her, causing her to shift a bit.
“How so?” She asked, keeping her tone composed even though a sudden flash of anxiousness crept up her spine. To be disturbed during a party by ill news must means that whatever the messenger had been sent to tell her must be dire. She could not quite begin to guess at what it may be – something personal appertaining to her family or even something more widespread?
The messenger took in a sharp breath, sounding almost as if he was afraid of the news he was about to deliver. Lyra had to wait only for a few more moments before he finally spoke out. Had he dallied with his words for more time, she would have most definitely snapped out at him to get on with his words. “The High Priestess. She is…gone.” The boy told her softly.
Lyra’s head snapped up to stare at the messenger with hard blue-grey eyes. He balked a bit under her stare and she did nothing to lesson his distress. Lyra wanted him to spit out those damned words already. “Gone? Explain yourself.”
“She fled, milady. She left behind a note – it has been sent to you,” the messenger stammered as he handed the parchment over to her before she had to ask for it. The seal was, of course, broken – as the Temple of R’hllor would have undoubtedly been the first to read it amongst themselves.
“Thank you, that is all,” Lyra said in dismissal and waited for the messenger boy to bow once more and then carefully opened up the envelope so that she may read what was written within.
“I know not who will read this first – though I assume it will be Alcides. I can’t stay here anymore. I’ve seen it in the fire. He will come for me and, if I stay here, Asshai will suffer. I must leave now and I will not say where I am going. Pray he does not find me. Pray that he hunts only me.
The night is dark and full of terrors.
The letter was indeed scribed in the hand of the High Priestess – Lyra recognized the chicken-scratch of the woman’s writing that drawled all across the parchment. It was nearly impossible to decipher in some parts, as Lavinia must have been writing hastily.
Lyra’s fingers crinkled the paper as she folded it back up and shoved it into the envelope. Her jaw was tensed and the previously put together expression that she had been wearing throughout the whole party had faded into a look of discontent. She rubbed her forehead with one slender-fingered hand and then looked out unto the dance floor where Delshad was still waltzing about with Darya.
She would have to inform him of this. As a Red Priestess herself – albeit not the best of them as her shadowbinding abilities were passable at best and she had left the Temple in favor of courtly duties – it would be her job to give the news of the High Priestesses’ abandonment of Asshai to its Lord.
She focused her eyes on Delshad, hoping to catch his attention with her gaze rather than be forced to leave her chair and cross the dance floor to interrupt him and call him over to speak with her. Lyra chewed on the inside of her cheek. This could potentially by very bad for them politically. And, especially with all that was occurring in Braavos – she had heard strange rumors about the Sealord’s family – Essos seemed to be sinking deeper and deeper into something that would bring them all naught but strife.
“I take what I want as well,” he told her with a shrug of his shoulders as he reached for the door of the guesting room which his sister had been presented with back when they had first arrived at the party. “This has nothing to do with well-meaning.” He shrugged once more, not quite sure exactly what she was attempting to get at.
‘Why can women not speak plainly? Esk wondered to himself as he glanced over his shoulder at her and then pushed open the door to step into the lavishly-furnished chambers. A soft breeze flitted through the room, coming from one of the wide open windows. Soft curtains billowed inwards, giving the place a soft sort of feeling and Esk found himself rather at ease.
There was a built-in bathing tub in the far corner of the room and it was steaming – clearly having been kept hot just in case any of the Adaire family wished to take a bath.
His eyes swept across the scene before him until they landed upon the spacious bed, across which were spread many changes of clothing – amongst them was Lyra’s dress. Lyra had plenty of gowns in blue; it was her favorite color after all. This particular one was the color of copper that had been exposed to the air, a lovely blue-green silk court gown with silver detailing of lilies and mother of pearl along the neckline.
It would be laced in the front and a little looser than most dresses. It was not only for comfort – someone in Lys had made it all the rage to show off one’s chemise down the centre of the boned bodices women wore. The teal bodice only joined properly at the waist, with the silver laces holding the bodice taut so as to show off the fine snow white chemise beneath. More mother of pearl finished off the gown’s details in the petticoat and sleeves.
He strolled over to the bed with an easy saunter and picked up the gown in both hands, lifting it up and then turning about to face Shirin with the light garment of silk in his hands. “Would you like me to get maids to help you or would you prefer to attempt to dress yourself?” He walked over to her and held the dress out towards her, “certainly, I can lace a corset – I have done so for Lyra at times when she did not wish to be bothered by her maids.”
He pressed the dress against her body and tilted his head to one side in order to imagine what she would look like once she was dressed in it. Finally, Esk gave an approving nod of his head – his mental image having pleased him. “Yes, this color would definitely look good on you,” he said with a tone that sounded almost forceful. Esk was feeling rather pleased with himself at that moment.
Not only had he gotten away from the silly noblewomen who had been hounding him previously that evening, but he would be walking back into the ballroom with a pretty and properly garbed maid upon his arm.
“There is food on the platters,” he added and jerked his chin over at a table upon which were set platters of fruit and sweetmeats, as well as some savory cut slices of meat and cheeses, as well as a good amount of fresh bread. He hoped that she would eat her fill, as he was certain that she must be famished after all she had been through that day alone.
Once he was sure that she had a proper hold on the dress, he let it go, allowing her to feel and look over the garment for herself. Esk went over to the table upon which the trays of food were set, figuring that she ought to have some space to dress and some privacy to do so. Or, as much privacy as she could get with him in the room. Esk was not entirely stupid – he did not quite trust her on her own to carry out that which he had asked her to – so he would be keeping an eye on her of sorts.