Drawing Stares

Title: Drawing Stares
Time Period: August 22, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: It becomes hard to hide a troubled mind, even with grief as an excuse.

The late summer day is warm and sunny, or at least as warm and sunny as Scotland ever sees. The market place is full of color from both the bright produce and brighter, summery clothes of the shoppers and merchants.

Cordelia Ross, however, is anything but cheery in demeanor or garb. Already dark eyed and dark haired against a pale face, her duo-tone palette today is completed by the dark clothing she wears, in respect for the recent loss of her grandfather. Her expression is a somber one, as she walks through the market. Now and then she glances over her shoulder nervously, though there's no reason for it that Dina can see as the woman walks with the teenager.

It's out of respect for the other family too, that Dina will likely wear dark clothes for the next few weeks or as long as deemed appropriate. The light skirt that falls to her shins, and blouse, the lapwing riding proudly on her shoulder as opposed to the demure mouse, Dina walks with their shadow in the form of a guard not too far behind.

Cordelia was her excuse to check in on those who had been injured in the faire incidents, herself soon to be out of the sling that keeps her healing right shoulder in check.

"Are you okay dear?" Concern marring her features.

Truth be told, Mariah probably isn't entirely ready to be back to work full time. And she probably shouldn't be out running errands, but neither can she sit around her flat doing nothing. Plus, there is the fact that Sorcha hasn't been having an easy time of it lately, either. Help, even wounded help, is necessary at this point.

A hat keeps the all too bright sun off her face as she makes her way from stall to stall with basket in hand. From the look of things, she's had a busy day trading already, but she ends up near the Ross pair, not noticing the young physician there just yet.

"I'm all right," Cordelia says, though it's not particularly convincing. Dark circles beneath her eyes are much too deep and dark for someone not yet twenty years of age. When someone points her way and a whisper is heard, no doubt pointing out the granddaughter or Marcus Rowntree, her lashes dip, and she stares at the ground intently, jaw setting as she walks. The teen carries the basket for their market shopping today, given her grandmother's injured arm.

Moving to a produce bin, she reaches to pick up a bundle of turnips but suddenly, her hand curls into a fist and jerks away and she backs up several feet. "What was that?" she snaps at the bemused looking merchant, and then back up to Dina — it's only for a second though that she expects an answer; her face crumples and she shakes her head. "S-sorry. I … I thought I saw something."

Her left hand comes out, rest on Cordelia's shoulder. "It's just a turnip. Though, on occasion they have been known to grow teeth and attempt to stay their culinary execution. We do not need to pick up any Cordie. What did you think you saw? Was there some… bug?" Not that bugs are an uncommon thing. She doesn't notice Mariah just yet, though the woman is there, in the corner of her eye.

It's the outburst that draws Mariah's attention that way, and while she might normally be sheepish about being caught out, the sight of the girl has concern on her face instead.

"Cordelia?" she asks as she steps closer toward the two. "Didn't expect to see you out and about," she says, instead of asking over what's wrong. Maybe she has a guess. "But I admit, I feel much the same about turnips. No offense meant." The last added toward the merchant, along with a quick smile.

The jokes about turnips from grandmother and acquaintance make Cordelia scowl; she wraps her arms around herself, the basket tucked now against her side. "Aye, right, a bug," she says, with a glance at the merchant who is looking at her oddly. "A big one."

It's a lie, clearly; Cordelia is a tomboy who used to catch bugs in jars to study and keep as pets until her mother made her release them back into the wild. Her lips tremble and she presses them together, taking a deep breath through her nose, before turning to Mariah. "How's your head?" she asks, focusing on the fledgling seamstress and her own profession of medic instead of the turnips and whatever it was she saw on them. "Quite the trio we make."

A lie that gets a purse of Dina's lips, but she takes her hand back after a firm squeeze as if that might take away whatever shivers are affecting her granddaughter. Admittedly, life in the Ross household hasn't been the most stable of late. So maybe Dina's accounting for the behavior as an offshoot of that. Of werewolves, and dead grandfathers and the dealings of other things.

"Mariah Larke" She made a job of it to suss out the womans name. "I echo my granddaughter. How is your head"

"Oh, it's… fine," Mariah says, adding in her own lie to the pile. "Thank you. Both. I'm feeling much better. I'm so sorry for the loss." That bit is more toward Cordelia, but includes the both of them out of politeness.

However, she also skips on past the condolences quickly enough, after a glance toward the guard near by. "Together, I do believe we make at least one solid and healthy person," she says to Cordie, but there's a nod toward Dina. "You're healing well, Mrs. Ross?"

"Thank you," Cordelia murmurs to the condolences, and her brows knit again. When the two "adults" begin to talk, she wanders back to the stall to select produce — usually it's the duty of a servant to shop for the Ross household pantry, but apparently fresh air and exercise were in order for the day. She picks out a few items and lets the man bundle them up for her to set into her basket, but when he hands it back to her, she takes it only to drop it with a squeak of alarm. Turnips and potatoes and apples and lettuce go rolling about in the dust of the marketplace, while Cordelia covers her face to hide from the stares.

"Cordelia assures me that I will be well enough, sooner or lat-" Dina doesn't get to finish what she's said as Cordelia's once again squeaking and dropping items, which garners her attention and even more concern. 'Cordelia?" She reaches out again with her left hand, try and draw the young girl towards her, even as the guard is stepping forward to take up the fallen goods. "Are you well? Do we need to send for Aislinn?"

Mariah, too, leans down to start helping pick things up, but instantly regrets it. She reaches over to steady herself against the nearest stall as she straightens back up again. Lightheaded, maybe. Headache, likely. She rubs her forehead for a few moments before she looks back over toward the Rosses.

"No need to stare, now," she says to someone nearby, who turns away as soon as she's pointed out, "just slippery fingers is all." A moment or two later, she steps away from her support to come over to Cordelia's side. "The shop isn't too far from here, if you two would like a place to sit and something to drink." She doesn't add that it would get them away from people eyeing Cordelia for her odd behavior, but it is a benefit.

"She can't help me," whispers Cordelia against her fingertips that tremble against her lips. "She can't help me. No one can help me. No one sees them, only Leslie and me. We're not insane, though. They're there. All these things are there. They're coming for me because I'm not good enough. Aislinn scared them away because she's so good. I think you would too." This is offered to Dina, the girl's idol in so many ways. "They won't touch you. But they won't leave me."

The words are all whispered, trying to keep the horrifying words and truth about herself from all those staring at her, but the whispers cut through the murmuring voices anyway.

Mariah's offer earns a shake of her head, and Cordelia steps away, out of Dina's grasp. "No. I can't bring them in to your place with me. I don't want to spread the bad. I will carry them with me." Cordelia continues to back up, and then turns to run from the market and away from the prying eyes.

What Cordelia thinks, is in Dina's mind, so far from the truth. Never once has Dina considered herself a good person. She just does good deeds, but for personal reasons. She moves to try and keep a grasp on Cordelia, but teh woman is younger than her by a great deal, more spry and not injured.

At least not physically. Doesn't mean she doesn't try to, attempt to guide the young woman towards the shop which she knows is nearby.

But she's on the run and Dina looks to the guard then in the direction of Cordelia with unspoken stern direction. Get her. "Bring her to the shop forthwith" Clipped words, she turns to Mariah. "If that is aright with you?"

As difficult as it is not to look at Cordelia like she's a nutter, Mariah manages to keep her expression neutral as the girl starts to talk. Those around them stare, even though they can't quite hear her, but Mariah gives them harsher looks. And just in time for the girl to rush off.

She's left a little baffled, and staring a little herself, until Dina gets her attention. "Oh, of course. Anytime, Mrs. Ross." And while she guides the elder Ross toward the shop, Mariah adds, "It isn't abnormal for girls to take a family death hard." Likely to give the girl an excuse to the public, but it could be true!

When she's rounded up by the guard, Cordelia seems to have shut down; her eyes are open but downcast, and her arms are wrapped around herself defensively. The guard's questions to her as he walks her to the shop are met by either silence or the shortest shake of her head.

Once she's been brought back to Dina's side, she doesn't look into the woman's eyes, but stares at her shoes instead. "Please, I just want to go home and lie down," she whispers.

Mariah gives Dina a little nod, if only to show there's no hard feelings as she and the guards lead the girl off. She might linger a bit longer, but with the girl gone and nothing left to do but dwell on her rather disturbing comments, it isn't long before Mariah heads home. Not back to the shop, but home.