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He would raise his eyebrow at this. Wait a second did she just say what he thought he said. He then almost fell off his bed in shock. She hadn't believed any of his flirting was real that he wasn't being serious. He then flung himself back onto his bed and cover his face. "You got to be kidding me. Could you be any more mean." He said mostly joking but still feeling a sting to his pride.
"I been flirting with you for almost a week and you didn't think I was being serious." He sat back up and looked at her. His pride had just taken two hits in the last few minutes. "Guess I not a good as I thought you, Norther men seem to be a lot better at flighting then I thought." He then rolled his head before looking back at her. "All of what I said today was serious. I really am interested in you and I would like you to be my date at the feasible. You the most beautiful woman I met.
[left [pic https://i.imgur.com/w3Wj8wg.jpg?1]] She didn’t expect to surprise him [i that] badly. She couldn’t help but laugh a little. Even while he was obviously upset, she couldn’t quite suppress her smile.
Serafina rubbed her forehead, still smiling at his over the top reaction. And then he actually took a good look at her. Obviously he liked what he saw. “You’re the one all talk.”
She… won? Her confusion turned to a realization. Was he serious when he flirted with her? Serafina’s face turned red,”You… I…” She was too flustered to say anything for several moments.
Then she took a couple of steps forward, then stopped. “How… serious were you…?” Was he serious now? She couldn’t quite decide.
Anderson nearly jumped out of his chair as his heart lept from his chest. He sent the book flying across the desk as he tried to recover quickly but couldn’t quite make it in time as he tumbled to the floor with a more solid thud creaming. “MAKER.” The book when the thud to the floor with a thud shortly after as Anderson looked around confused until his eyes would fall on to silhouette about him. They would then narrow in a bit of anger and embarrassment as his face flushed red. “Serafina,” He said slowly getting up and towing over her.
“Thing your funny now do you?” He said slowly backing her into a wall. “Sneaking up on me like that without so much of a word. Well, hope you happy as you scared the life out of me.” He would then flick her forehead before he let his anger drop and turn around to pick up his book and his chair. He would reset them before he turnabout around to face her again. That when he noticed her outfit and he found himself speechless.
He knew she was beautiful but this was on a different. With her hair down and her nightgown that seems to fit nicely in all the right places. His blush would return but this time for another reason as he quickly turned away from her. He knew that she would easily pick up on in and tried his best to play it off. “And here I thought you wouldn’t come you always seem like talk but didn’t think you had any bite.”
All hell who was he kidding he be found out and no matter how much he tried to play it off he had lost the moment she walked in the door. Dropping the act, he sighed. “I give up you win. Your just too much for me every time I think I get a step up you prove me wrong. Hell, you beardly even flinted today no matter how much I flirted with you. I thought I could win by making you to embarrassed to show up but you show up even more beautiful than you do in the day.” He would take a sit on his bed and hold his hand up in surrender. “So then what do you want. At this point, I don’t think I can resist you no matter what I try.”
[left [pic https://i.imgur.com/w3Wj8wg.jpg?1]] Serafina went into town, first to the little tailor shop where she knew a little old lady made and repaired clothing. She also knew it would be her grandson helping her for now, and she greeted them both before making the request for clothes for Count Anderson. She explained he urgently needed something for the festival, and less urgently other things, and asked them to bring plenty of fabric tomorrow.
After that she went to check on a few people she knew would be useful for getting some of the more pressing work done, to see that they arrived tomorrow morning to get started on work. She started spreading word about the festival, and that the courtyard would be open for it, but the castle was in rough shape so a lot was needed. She also spread news that there would be positions as servants opening up, and to come apply. If accepted, rooms in the servants quarters would be fixed up nicely for them and their family.
It would assure a steady stream of visitors to the castle for several days, and keep both her and Anderson busy. So much for relaxing the next few days, but a lot needed to happen. When she returned to the castle she let the guards at the gate know about the tailors, workers, and applicants for servant positions that would be arriving in the next couple of days, and instructed where the workers should be sent to wait, in the courtyard, and that servant applicants should be sent to the small ballroom, while the tailors should be shown to the nearest sitting room when they arrived.
The guards seemed a little surprised by all this, but nodded along. Then she asked for help with her room, there were things that needed to be moved. She didn’t get everything moved that afternoon, but she got the bed set up, along with some tables and shelves of her medicines and herbs, and a few books. Not that she’d use the bed, apparently, but it wouldn’t do to have anyone notice she hadn’t bothered with it.
After getting her room just good enough she set about getting the rooms ready for the rest of the court, keeping several guards to help her. While they worked she questioned them on the state of the barracks and if anything was needed there. With that information in mind for tomorrows tasks, and rooms set up for people tonight, she slipped into the kitchen for a quick meal of whatever was ready and warm, then went to her room.
The room she [i wouldn’t] be sleeping in. She really couldn’t back out now. She changed into her nightgown and debated on if she should bring tea. They could always come get some if they wanted, but it sounded like he didn’t want the tea tonight. She wasn’t sure about that though, but she slipped through the secret passage with no tea anyway, figuring she would ask. Barely making a sound she opened the wall and entered the room, telling herself maybe he had changed his mind and wouldn’t even be here. It was all some joke.
But the room was lit and warm, and as she walked farther in she saw him sitting at the desk, nose in a book. Serafina approached from behind. He hadn’t noticed her yet. Seeing an opportunity she wasn’t about to let it go to waste. She came up closer and leaned in, putting her hands over his eyes and whispered in his ear,”A book to lull you to sleep? And here I thought that’s why you asked me here.”
He would return to his room that was located in the lower area and start packing up his stuff. It wasn’t much but it would still take him a few trips to move it all stair. A few of his guards had offer to help and he had accepted to make it go quicker. It wasn’t hard work and, in an hour, he had been done and started to up pack. The only issue was when he was done the room looked no different before. Hell, his blankets didn't even cover half the massive bed he was given.
One he was done with that he had the guard help him move out any of the furniture that had start rotting away. It wasn’t much just a desk and some chair that he replaced with one's form other rooms around his. After that he started cleaning up the room a little sweeping and wiping it down. Back in his old home it would take him at most a half hour to clean and get everything cleaned up but today it too him two hours to clean everything up. “Goddess this room to big.” He said sighing and taking a seat on a chair.
Without much else to do he would leave his oversized room and go for another walk. With it also being close to dinner he would stop by the cooks and grab a bite to eat. He stopped and talked with a few of the guards to help past the time but soon the sun would set and he would have to return to his room. He felt so nerves for some reason and he didn’t know why. He been teasing her all week with no issues but now he felt like a child. He would come back and sit at his desk. “Nothing to do but wait.” He said pull out one of his books and started reading. He was so busy with his work he did not noticed when someone entered his room.
[left [pic https://i.imgur.com/w3Wj8wg.jpg?1]] He didn’t show any sign of backing down. Serafina’s eyes widened slightly when she felt his hand take hers. Him actually kissing her hand, though not [i as] overt a flirting gesture as some of their teasing, still surprised her. It left her just a little red in the cheeks,”Yes, until then. Tonight.”
She was actually getting quite a bit she was asking for. Room arrangements more or less how she wanted, a festival to plan, servants to line up for hire and moving in, the castle finally fixed up and used. But she was still wondering a bit what, exactly, she was getting into tonight. He’d agreed to nothing but sleep, and yet… All his flirting was just teasing, wasn’t it?
Serafina looked out the window at the courtyard. That was an unexpected end to the tour. And now she just needed to go find the tailor and arrange for them to come in tomorrow. She gave herself a few moments to collect herself and her thoughts before she left the room, then the castle to go into town.
He would give up on the matter and go with her idea. “If you think that is better than we will go with that idea. Have them draw up plans to update and make the servant quarters better.” He said seeing that she had a point. He knew he didn’t have much of a leg to stand on so he gave in to the idea
“Trust me I don’t enjoy learning all this stuff. I just understand that I need to. I’m going to be a ruler and if I want to make everyone like me and make their life better, I need to understand all this. If I could pawn it off on someone else I would but I'm not like that so I will learn to do it myself to make sure it gets done right.”
What happen next, he had not planned for. Not matter how much he felt like he would win against her he was wrong. He just needs to play it like he had planned it couldn’t show weakness. “I said it only a few dozen time.” He laughed. “That is if you done mind sharing a bed then yes a sleep over.”
He could feel her heat now as she leaned in. Her scent was madding close and pulling him closer. “What do I care if people talk. I think it would be nice to hear people talk about us but I guess it would look bad on your end.” He could almost see the gear in her head turning. Seeing little chance to back out now he took her hand in his pulling up to his mouth and kissing it gently. “Only if you interested. Last, thing I want is to piss you off. Having an angry magic is never good for one health.” He then would let go of her hand and step back to give her room. “I must be going as well then as I got stuff of my own to move. I have someone make sure their fire wood ready by this evening. Until then.” With that he left her his heart beating a mile a minute. He been tiring to flirt with her all day and she seemed to brush it all off. Now he tease her to sleep with him and she takes to that.
“Maybe I'm not as good as I thought.” He said to himself now feeling his ego taking a hit.
[left [pic https://i.imgur.com/w3Wj8wg.jpg?1]] “It would be better to make the servants quarters nicer then. When it comes to the actual work, the guest rooms aren’t really suited to it. It would make things harder and less convenient, not more.” Besides, she didn’t especially like the idea of deliberately leaving a problem for the next generations to solve.
“I had noticed about the book.” Funny how he seemed a little embarrassed about that, but not anything else that she’d noticed. Not being able to read didn’t seem embarrassing to her. She was one of the only ones who knew how here. “You seem to have a strong desire to learn. It’s… good.”
She hadn’t been sure what word to settle on at first. Admirable? Maybe a bit strong. Attractive? Definitely not what she was going for here. Good. It was good. And he wasn’t backing away, so neither did she. In fact, he’d moved closer. “Something else? Like a sleepover? Can’t stand the big room to yourself?”
Serafina smirked a little, and leaned that bit closer. Any closer and they’d [i have] to touch. “Tongues will wag. I know what they’ll say, regardless of what did or didn’t happen.” She gave it a moment more of thought. If he was serious, then she could convince him to take the main room right now, no more dragging his feet. “If you’re serious, then have my things moved to the room next to yours. No one else knows about the passage, so no rumors.”
She just had to get back to her room in the morning. That would be easy enough with the passage. “Then if there’s nothing else, I can see about a tailor before supper.”
“Seems wrong to me.” He said. “Yes, I understand what it used for but one you have bed with you wife that is your bed. You don’t share it with anyone but her. If you have another wife's or mistresses, they get their own rooms and bed. That is the trusts that that room is for her and her alone.” He never really thought about marring for power. No, he wanted trust someone and truly care about them. He didn’t plan to marry unless he knew that is what he wanted.
“Yes but if you give them something a little nicer the make sure to work harder for it. I see it like this. If they do good work and make sure they keep up the hard work they get rewarded with it. Everyone will to work harder if they are given something nicer. Hold this as a price and I sure I get a lot of people do their very best. Plus, what do I have to worry about using this area for much else. We are a small area getting back on our feet I don’t see us getting much of anything before we die. That will be my children problem maybe even my grandchildren problem.” He felt it would work better this way then just leave them to collect dust.
As the looked out the window he more felt her move then see her. “Yes, thank you for taking the time to show me around.” He would freeze a bit embarrassed. “That because I can't really read everything you see me reading is book teaching me how to sound out words and stuff like that. My uncle never knew how to do it so never showed me. A farmer dosnt really need to know how.”
He felt her get closer but not touch him so he just remained still turning to face her. “I can dance just fine thank you. Well I still feel good form last night so not sure I need to unless you got something else you want to do.” He said finally moving closer but not touching her. “How about this you spend the night with me in and I stay in it. No funny business or shenanigans just sleep.” He said smiling beliving she wouldn’t do it.
[left [pic https://i.imgur.com/w3Wj8wg.jpg?1]] “It’s not horribly uncommon for nobles to have seperate chambers for the lord and lady. I hear even nobles in the south do that. It’s more a noble thing than a regional thing.” Serafina explained, seeing his obvious shock over the Lady’s rooms. He obviously wasn’t the typical lord. A lord often married for political power and may not be fond of his wife.
“Ah, that’s what the servants quarters are for. It’s where my room is now. It’s not entirely unlike here, just a little less grand. That area is actually more convenient for the servants than the guest quarters. The servants area is closer to the kitchens, storage, stables, and has easier access to the town. It has rooms for socializing and relaxing as well. Plus then they don’t have to socialize with your guests, which would be the real inconvenience and unfortunately your duty as the lord of the castle.” Serafina was smirking while she said the last part.
Serafina turned to him,”It is. We’re nearly done with the main tour, then you shouldn’t get too lost if you wander. I’ll prioritize the library then, if you like.” She tilted her head as she stepped closer, hands to herself but leaning into his personal space. She wanted to see what he’d do, if he’d step back or meet the little challenge,”Not much for dancing, or do you enjoy reading? I notice you’ve been working hard at it. As for relaxing, where shall we meet tonight? Can I convince you to the Lord’s Chambers yet, or not tonight?”
“Well you know one of them anytime you look in a mirror.” He laughed at her commit as he let her lead the way. He didn’t see the issue with looking at another woman as he had yet to lock himself down with one. Plus, she always pushed off any of his advances he made. It never cost his mind that she didn’t believe that he was serious. He knew that he joked around and made it seem like he wasn’t but that was just him. “Maybe only time will tell in the end if we ever find out who idea will stand the test of time.” He said following her into the next set of rooms.
He took note of each room that was in working order and which need work. He even started planning on what job would get witch room based off who would be coming and going late at night. He would stop as he looked confused for a second. “Wait what the lady has her own chambers?” He seemed taken aback by this comment. “That not right the bed shared by a married couple is there no matter what. If the man upset or wishes for court with another, he the one that losses out.” He seems upset shaking his head. “No, they will only be used for the important guest and nothing else.”
After the tour her would follow her to the next area. “We shouldn’t have that many guests for at least a year or two that can't be held in any or the other rooms that you have shown me so for now we can put the servants that don’t live in the town or families that want to move in. Should give them enough rooms and an area to settle I thing.” He would laugh a bit a her joke. “And why would I want to my inconvenience my staff? No, I put them as far from the court as I can so they have a bit of a walk.” He laughed.
He would follow her and be amazed at the area. It was quite nice as he walked around. He like the areas and would like to spent more time in it if her could get the chance. “Will need to set up a lounge in the library when he get the chance would be a lovely place to realize and drink when we have guest over.” He would follow her and look out at the courtyard. “Amazing” He said nodding.
[left [pic https://i.imgur.com/w3Wj8wg.jpg?1]] “Oh?” Two women? Was he trying to make her jealous? Or was that just part of being from the south, looking for multiple women at once? “It is strange I suppose, but we just have our own ways of doing things, and the south has theirs. No one has managed to change that entirely.”
Serafina showed him which rooms were ready for people and which weren’t, and suggested keeping most of his court nearby his own main room. It would be safer and also more convenient. “We’ll see what can be done to make your room more comfortable for you. The room across should be left empty. It’s unofficially the Lady’s chambers. When a Lord is… not especially enamored with his wife, those are her rooms. When he is, or has no wife, they’re reserved for only the most important guests.”
After a brief tour of the rooms in that area, she started down the hallway to lead them to another section, while just explaining briefly,”Above here are even more rooms, but they’re reserved for servants of important guests mostly. Or if there are many, many guests. If we went the opposite way and around the corner there are even more rooms, for guests you don’t like especially well. But also can’t insult by putting them with the servants.” Serafina smirked at him,”If you want to subtly annoy or insult someone, just let me know. I’ve been taught about all the etiquette.”
It seemed like the idea amused her. She was actually quite interested in putting years of study to practice, and perhaps had a slightly impish desire to put it to use irritating visiting diplomats who were themselves irritating. Once they had turned the corner into another wing of the second floor she opened a nearby door, revealing a sitting room,”This wing mostly has the informal rooms for socializing. It was a more recent addition and divides the main courtyard from the small courtyard. Below us is the second, smaller ballroom, and the extension of the library.” As she talked she made her way to the window and motioned for him to come with her to look out,”There’s the main courtyard.”
He would shrug as he walked back out the way they had come. “It strange how different our cultures are despite being part of the same kingdom.” He would say thinking on it all. “I mean we have not really shared much that both areas have in common outside of the time of stuff.” He would then shake his head. “Not as of yet no point only two women have caught my attain so far and you have your own room so no point.” He laughed it seemed it was his turn to have the upper hand.
“Give me more time to get used to the idea before I do. I know it importin but I need time to adjust before I do. Couldn’t also help to put some stuff inside of it to make it feel more homie.” He would lead them out of the master bedroom and close it behind him. “I will try to start thinking up some plan that could help with that.”
He let her lead as she would start to show him to the other rooms around the area. He needed to best know where he could set up people around the area. He knew she would have a suggestion and he would agree with most of them as he didn’t truly know what would be best for them. He just needs to trust that she knew what she was talking about and so far he had no drought that she did.
[left [pic https://i.imgur.com/w3Wj8wg.jpg?1]] His flattery wasn’t enough to get her to blush. She still felt like he was just teasing.
“We are. Just one wife. Perhaps a mistress or two, but that needs to be discrete. Lords often have at least one mistress, but many don’t.” Really the southern way of doing things seemed odd to them.
There was an undeniable attraction. As much as she tried to make light of the flirting and teasing, the fact was that he [i was] charming. His hand along her face had her leaning in a little,”Oh? Already planning a use for the room? Do share the plan.” It was probably for the best that they left the passage. It was cramped, cold, and if he got her too distracted it could be plunged into darkness.
Serafina let the fire die when they reached the room,”Mm, so will you be moving in here? It’s best for escape, should something happen. Not that it’s likely, but still. I can show you other rooms too. We can decide who sleeps where, which room I’ll occupy. At least temporarily, until the window is fixed. Most of your court will sleep in this area, along with important guests.”
He smirked in return. “I mean I do I asked.” He said ed as they walked. “But I'll guess I'll just have to settle with something less beautiful then you.” He pretended to put on a sad face in hope it got her to blush.
He would look at her as she used her magic. It was strange to just see fire come to life in her hand. It didn’t seem natural to him that it could happen. “I see strange to have that kind of thing in a court castle. Isn't it normal here to for court to have more than one wife why would you need to hide it?” The court from his home had more than one. Three if he remembered right. “Are people up north less open about that?” He was general curise as again most people found it okay as one you not a commoner married and you didn’t mess with married people.
He would laugh looking down at her. “Yet but don’t worry I'm sure we get there.” He said running his hand down her face. “It just a matter of time.” He then looked down the area the let to the stables before nodding and starting his way back up the stairs. “What else do we have upstairs outside of my crazy large room?” He asked closing the door behind her to the secret path.
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