Arryn awoke the next morning, stiff and weary. She scrambled out of bed and first went to the mirror to check her eye. It wasn't as bad as it had been the previous night, and the colour had faded to a rather ugly purply-brown. Arryn stuck her tongue out at her reflection and sighed, resigned to the fact that today, she would look even stranger than she usually did. Arryn knew what the villagers whispered behind their hands when she walked by. She knew they thought she looked strange, but her father had taught her to ignore it.
Arryn's hair was very blonde, which in itself was an unsual hair colour to see around Maymount (in fact, aside from Rhett, who's hair was quite fair, she was the only blonde person in the village) but to make things worse, her two eyes were both different colours. Her left eye was a very bright ocean blue, and her right eye was a murky hazel. Her father told her that her mother had the same problem, and the story always made Arryn smile. Arryn's mother had died giving birth to her, and she loved hearing stories about the beautiful woman she had never got to meet, even though they made her sad.
Yawning, Arryn picked her way daintily over to the barrell of fresh water to wash up before she had to attend to Rhett. He was training his young apprentice today, boy named Nicholas Wake, who was barely a boy at all, at age 9. She had seen Rhett with him, and although Rhett was just 7 years Nicholas' elder, he was already a master swordsman and teacher to boot.
Nicholas was the eldest son of the nobleman Wake, who, Arryn realised with a jolt, was the man who was leaving the de Clare manor the previous day. Perhaps Rhett was going too hard on the young knight-to-be, she thought, knowing that it was very possible.
She dressed quickly, shivering slightly in the chilly morning air, and rushed out the door, not even sparing a thought for the grumpy ferret on the bed.
In her haste, she had arrived earlier than she had intented, and knowing that her master's would still be sleeping, she sat down below in the kitchens, waiting until the cook arrived. The cook and Arryn were known to get along famously. This was mainly because the cook was an kindly old woman, and Arryn was glad to have some sort of female company in the short hour she was relieved of her charges for a lunch rest.
Soon enough, Arryn heard stirrings above her head, and she hastened to go and tend to Rhett. She made sure to knock loudly, and acknowledged her permissions before she pushed open the heavy oak door and smiled shyly at Rhett, who was half dressed in the light cotton tunic that went underneath his armour. He nodded coldly to her, and she began to make his bed while he finished dressing.
Once the room had been swept over, and Rhett was dressed, he waved a hand lazily to her, and the two set down to the armoury, to collect his training things before going to collect the boy. Usually, the pair never spoke, unless Rhett was shouting at her for her mistakes, but evidently, today was to be different.
"Find one of the servant boys and tell them to make sure to muck out my stables today. I want to go for a hunt soon, and I shall want my horse fit and healthy," Rhett instructed her, and Arryn was amazed to hear such politeness and calm in his tone.
"Yes, sir," she replied, hoping that she would remember so as to avoid another beating.
"And after we're done here, be sure to find someone to repair my armour and polish it," he continued, ignoring Arryn's struggles to keep up with his brisk pace.
"Of course, sir," Arryn said, adjusting her supply bag, which contained Rhett's lunch and everything he would need for today's training session. They descended once more in silence as they treaded up to the Wake's front door, whereupon Rhett knocked loudly on the wood. Arryn watched as the minutes ticked by, and her master's face began to slip into an impatient scowl, and he started to tap his foot in anger.
Eventually, Nicholas came bounding out of the door, his armour half on, half off. He was grinning from ear to ear, and Arryn found herself wondering how on Earth he was smiling when Rhett was staring daggers at him. Arryn knew if Rhett had been looking at her like that, she'd more than likely have tried to run ten miles in the opposite direction.
"I don't like to be kept waiting," Rhett murmured dangerously, and to Arryn's immense surprise, instead of recoiling, Nicholas grinned wider.
"Yeah well, I'm here now, isn't that enough for you?" Nicholas retorted airily, not even apologizing for being late, or even looking Rhett in the eye. Arryn waited with bated breath, until finally, Nicholas looked up from fixing his armour.
Incredibly, Rhett cracked a lazy grin and gripped the younger boy on the shoulder. "Come on, let's get going."
At those words, Arryn felt the anger flare through her entire body like magma rising fromt deep inside a volcano, and she bit her lip to stop herself from protesting. Why was it that she was always punished for the little things, and this rude little boy got away with blue murder? Cursing Rhett to the high heavens, silently, she followed the two boys, lugging the heavy bag along with her, and bracing herself for a tiresome afternoon of fetching and carryinge endless supplies of water.
"... And don't forget to clean the stables, too," Arryn informed her fellow servant, Gerard, as she handed over Rhett's armour after they had arrived home from the training session.
She watched Gerard walk away and then hastily made her way back upstairs to inform Rhett that his stables and armour were being attended to. Knocking cautiously, she heard him grunt in reply, and she slowly pushed open the door, and made her way inside, where she saw him sitting on the edge of his bed eating an apple.
Arryn inclined her head politely and nervously picked at the fraying edge on her tunic sleeve. "Gerard is attending your armour and stables, my lord."
Rhett regarded Arryn for a minute or two, then nodded his head slowly. "Well done," he said, and Arryn was pleased that she could only detect the minimum shred of sarcasm in his voice. "you are dismissed for today."
Nodding again in thanks, Arryn backed out of the room and went to collect her things, glad that today, at least, had gone well.