He laughed, as he often did with his sister, "What kind of knight?" He asked, letting his brow raise as he tried to keep from showing the tickle of her thumb against his rib. He had always been an easy victim to tickling, when it was meant to tickle or even when not. Torture, he called it. The gods giving him a weakness, but at least it was not one found in battle. "Perhaps I am the wise kind, knowing what to truly fear in this life," He posed the statement almost as a question, "Women...?" It was likely especially true in their family too, with the golden lioness for a mother, a storm reincarnated for a sister, a strong-will aunt, and a she-wolf for a bride.
She questioned, with her big green eyes, why he would ever suggest she wanted anything. "Oh, so you want my company then, eh?" He eyed her with his own orbs of blue, releasing a chuckle. The laugh that emitted from his lips was cut short by her next words, a worried knit consuming his brow. "Me?" He asked, the index finger of his left hand finding the direction of his chest from around his chalice. "I." He seemed exasperated, his mouth hanging partially open, "I'm not the one harboring an attitude in front of half the court. I'm the happy one, the laughing man. I tell a crude joke to the gathering lords and pay compliments to the joining ladies, what is not meant to be done that I am doing?" The stag had wondered what he was doing to upset his betrothed so, but doubted it lied with his party pleasantries.
He released a sigh, already aware that she had caught the click of Elinor's heels as they left his side, "My charm is better saved for better uses then," His words half-attempted at a jest as she demanded to know what he was really doing. The words that came next stung more than he anticipated, and perhaps, more than she had intended. His full lips turned into a thin line, and followed into a thinner frown as they began to turn down at the corners. She pleaded for him to talk to her, another sigh released from between them. "If she will ever let me have a chance, I'll do better. As of right now, I'm doing the best I can with a woman that has already found a reason to loathe me. At least father had until they were through the ceremony, I have barely made it halfway through the engagement."
He shook his head, not at her but at the impossible and overwhelming feeling that overcame him whenever he thought Elinor threatened that it would forever be this way. "She is mad, and driving me to be the same! I promised her I would never demand anything of her, and yet, when war came I ordered her to stay in Storm's End. I let her fight when she decided she wanted to and it nearly cost her her life," He thought back to the day on the plains, where the sky was dark with smoke and the threat of rain. When an enemy had her cornered, misjudging her possibilities to parry and the distance between them. "The whole world fell from my hands the moment that man loomed over her head and raised to strike her down," His voice was a little softer, not in volume, but in tone, "If I had been one second later, she wouldn't be storming away from me. She'd be in the catacombs of Winterfell thousands of miles away." A bit dramatic in statement, sure, but when were the Baratheons absent of such?
"It wasn't a fluke, like bad weapon luck, it was the inexperience of someone who is not properly trained. A squire of any decent knight would have avoided it," Said the man that had learned at the hands of the realms finest knights. They had made him work for every ounce of knowledge and skill he had acquired over years beneath them. They were hellbent on another glorious sword, one that would not die a death due to poor judgement on most movements when in combat. "I could not have let her go to Essos, I wouldn't have been able to stand ferrying her broken body across the Narrow Sea." His brow twitched, bringing his cup to his lips. He patted his healing leg and attempted a jest to end the sour mood, "I can barely stand as it it. Argella, she is mad at me for acting as her lord and husband with an order to remain behind. She will cool in time, or she will not, but at least she is alive."
He continued, letting his eyes drift down the corridor she had disappeared into, "And in the mean time, if you have any notion of how to put myself in better favor with her, do share. I would ask our father... but, yeah, I think history would prove his advice unbeneficial." Perhaps, if one day he wanted her to kill him in his sleep, then he would seek it. It seemed their mother was half way to doing so most of the time.