The door into the sitting room swings open rather suddenly, and in Maeve briskly walks. Judging by her clothing, she has been spending time in the stables while you were away, although the somewhat hectic look on her face seems to have its roots in what she holds in her hand; a missive of some kind. “Oh, it is good that you are back, Diar,” she says, sounding honestly relieved, and holds the missive out for you to take. “I suppose I’ll need to clean myself up quickly. There’s a coach out there waiting for me, although not the kind where I’d like to leave a trail of hay on the seats.”
Idling away his time by sitting next to the windowed doors leading to the balcony, Diar takes in such sunlight as there is while sipping from a glass of brandy and considering his own thoughts. Your entrance, naturally, was not unexpected . . . but your words are. A moment’s pause and then he says, “What?” Taking the note, he looks it over. A thread of surprise can be made out plainly as his reaction, and he says as much. “What in the Light?” He stands up, quickly setting the glass down upon a table, and re-reads it as if to be certain that the signature is what he read it to be.
“Indeed,” Maeve dryly says, seating herself in one of the chairs and beginning to pull off her riding boots. “The Queen requiring my counsel? I am not exactly her ... favourite Saldaean import, right?” Shaking her head, she looks over at you, a thoughtful frown on her face. “And I have no idea what she might wish to speak with me about, unless it is about her disapproving of yet another pair of bastards. But why send for me then?” Another shake of her head, and after the boots follow the coat, which gets carelessly draped across the chair.
“And just yourself—no mention of me,” Diar murmurs, frowning. “I’ve no idea . . .” He reads the missive a last time before setting it aside, and noticing your disrobing. “I do hope you intend to bathe. But not too long—I doubt the queen shall care to wait. Should I select a gown for you while you wash?”
“And here I thought you’d offer to scrub my back,” Maeve wryly comments then, rising from her seat and making her way towards the bath while pulling off her shirt on the way and tossing it back onto the chair. “But I’ll manage, I suppose,” she adds, disappearing into the bath. A few moments later, the sound of water spilling into the big tub can be heard, and soon enough the splash of her slipping into it.
A chuckle follows your response, but Diar doesn’t retort anything salacious—although you know he’s no doubt biting his tongue on just such a remark. Instead he turns himself to your wardrobe, examining what’s available with care so as not to disturb carefully packed gowns. While he makes a preliminary inventory, he speaks, voice pitched to carry to the bath. “Perhaps it has to do with the Lion’s Den, and your ward to keep it safe from the rats? I should think the queen would know how to do that for herself, but one never knows.”
“I am not entirely sure how much of her training at the Tower she completed,” replies Maeve from the bath, her words accompanied by the occasional splash of water. It seems she is at least hurrying up a little bit. “But ... well, I suppose that could be it. Although I can hardly run around all of Caemlyn and set wards to just about everything.” Another pause, and thoughtfully she adds, “Strange, though, that the Tower has yet to send anyone. I suppose that must mean the Queen hasn’t asked for help ... which is understandable for most rulers, but a little odder in a Tower-trained Andoran Queen.”
“Perhaps she only wishes the palace so protected,” Diar responds as he begins to pick out two or three gowns for you too choose from, from something rather ... Saldaean to something else rather Saldaean in fashion. “Or even the rooms of the children.” A long pause follows as he closes up the wardrobe after carrying the gowns to the bed. “As to the Tower, I do not know . . . perhaps she does not care for the influence they’ve gained in Cairhien due to this matter? I couldn’t say that I care overmuch, I must admit.”
“True, that could be it. The Tower never does anyone any favours—even when it involves Healing the sick—without expecting something in return,” Maeve dryly notes, then adds, “Although, if she hopes that I will be able to help much, she will be disappointed. I cannot imagine being able to Heal no more than your average Aes Sedai without any real Talent can help much in this situation.” A few moments of silence, and then you hear the sound of wet feet upon the floor. “But I don’t imagine she’ll execute me for being useless, right?” She sounds like she is mostly joking, at least.
Another brief laugh and Diar says, “No, she’s not that sort of queen, my dear. If anything, I expect it must be about the warding.” He stands eyeing the dresses on the bed for a time, waiting as you dry yourself, and after a little time he says, “Perhaps I should follow after you, and wait for you at the Den?”
Walking over to the bedroom wrapped in a towel, and not dripping too much from her hair at least, Maeve eyes the selection of dresses placed on the bed. “Not the green one? How surprising,” she wryly comments, her lips quirking into a smile. “Then again, that one would have been a better choice for a King and not a Queen, right?” Sitting down, she starts combing through her hair, while saying, “As for you ... well, it did say I may bring an escort. But standing around in the Palace isn’t much fun now, is it?”
“Indeed. Which is why I would take dinner in the Den, my dear,” Diar replies with a thin smile. A pause and then he walks back to where he left the missive, to look it over a last time. “You can join me there, and we’ll take a coach back home afterwards. . . Escort, I’m sure we can find the livery to put a guard or two in, for propriety’s sake. Let them know that things are back to normal—as normal as they can be—in the Moderal household.”
“Propriety and I don’t mix well,” Maeve wryly notes, although adds, “but if you insist, I suppose I’ll put up with a couple of guards. They won’t look half as impressive as you though, my dear.” Having untangled her hair, she sets about braiding it, clearly not intending to spend any hours on any complicated arrangements. “As for dresses ... I think the grey one. Minus the knives, I imagine. And if I hurry up, I might even have a moment or two to brush up on my court etiquette.”