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Test Subject
#76 Old 1st May 2008 at 3:07 AM
Default Padme and Rukov
Padme heard a chuckle from outside her door. Was the man who brought in her trunks watching her. She stared at the door momentarily, then looked down at her mother's blue robe. It was one of the few items she had left of her parents. [She had sold much of them to bribe the Baron to set her free. Padme still had about 1/6 of the money left from her parents inheritance, but it wasn't much.]

She heard a knock at her door, most likely from the Peeping Tom. It startled her, and she dropped the robe onto the floor, unfolding itself into a messy pile. She began to pick it up when the man spoke.

“Is there anything else, Mademoiselle? A maid will be here in a minute to unpack for ye.”

Padme stopped in her tracks. She had been unpacking herself. Suddenly it made sense to her, the man was laughing at her unpacking her things. She crossed to the door and cracked it open wide enough for him to see her face.

"No, but I thank you for asking."

Padme was unsure how to respond to people of a class lower than herself. She was used to responding to nobles. She closed the door and begun to re-pack her things.

((Seiza, you're welcome to have Rukov stay. Sorry if it seems if I'm a bit rusty.))
Original Poster
#77 Old 1st May 2008 at 7:53 AM
((Mmm Atropa I did notice that (well obviously I'm writing it) I'm putting it down to sadness, sickness and pregnancy... but she'll be gone soon.... so my bad RP skills wont be damaging the Isabella we all knew and loved.

Oh and I seem to have forgotten when afternoon is officially supposed to come so.... 36 hours!))
Scholar
#78 Old 1st May 2008 at 8:59 AM
(OOC: Sorry guys, fixed now, I'm kinda new to this. I changed it so that Bella recognised Larkin from when he walked off with Juliet earlier in the day. Would that be okay? Thanks for telling me, by the way, otherwise I'll never learn! )

"Life is just a chance to grow a soul" - A. Powell Davies
Field Researcher
#79 Old 1st May 2008 at 9:23 AM
Default Dimitri & Octavien - Prince's Salon. SALON. Not Suite! *kicks self*
“Though one would think it would be in His Majesty's best interest to know who submits out of their own free will, and who submits out of fear or coercion. Non?...” Dimitri would have dismissed it as an attempt to get the last word in, if not for the kernel of sincerity changing Octavien’s tone entirely. It was a subtle shift, but not something he would miss.

Then, as if the question had merely been rhetoric—in which case, it really would have been an attempt to have the final say on the matter, which did not mesh with Dimitri’s gut instinct—the Prince finally, finally, moved on to matters of more immediate concern. ‘Entitled’ to the question? That had been the only one the Duc was hoping for!

…Not that he really had much to offer in terms of information.

Regardless, Dimitri methodically ticked off what he had analysed based on the scraps of information Edouard gave him. He spoke as plainly as if he were critiquing the breed of a pony or the balance of a new sword; for that was what marriages seemed to him. Business.

“As Grande of Spain, Duque Carlos is second only to the royal family. As his only daughter, Her Excellency will either be very spoilt or very fearsome. I hope you do not think me crude for speaking plainly, Your Highness, but by virtue of your bloodline, you are already at a disadvantage. But Her Excellency is also a foreigner, if not in rank then in country. I do not believe her mother survives, but should there be one, I suggest earning her favour as eagerly as her daughter’s. I would not underestimate the women of the country that produced Isabella of Castile.”

It was rather more direct than he wanted to be—he expected men who so willingly thrust themselves into this sordid world of politics, as Octavien had, to work such things out on their own. But the Prince requested information, and surely he did not expect a mundane recitation of the family lineage.

“His Majesty vaguely explained the family’s history to me, so I suspect Her Excellency may be… slightly advanced in age.” Dimitri paused. When he continued, it was almost as an afterthought, “She could be extremely unpleasant to the eye, which may explain why no Spanish lord has won her hand despite her father’s fortune; or immensely comely, that she deserves nothing less than royalty. Single daughters of powerful men usually are one extreme or the other.”

He did not place particular importance on the last, but the Duc would be remiss if he failed to prepare the young man for a beastly bride. He allowed a moment of silence to enter, before finally standing. Even without looking at the mantelpiece, the slanting sunlight behind the Prince told him significant time had passed. He did not have the habit of pretending to be busier than he really was—all he had to do, this morning, was to finish a letter—but neither had he expected to spend such time over this issue.

And, he suspected, the Prince would need some time to gather himself in case Edouard summoned him to meet the new arrivals.

By way of conclusion, Dimitri shrugged, “As you may guess, I know little about the Duque or his daughter. I may have permanently removed one of their relatives’ eyes, but all I can and have offered are suspicions.”

Firmly-grounded and extensively deliberated suspicions, granted... but still smoke in the air.
Retired Moderator
retired moderator
#80 Old 1st May 2008 at 3:32 PM
Default César & Josephine - de la Valliére suite
(((ooc: Fayre - Oh hush, you know I didn't mean it like that! )))


Contrary to what most tended to believe, and thus also contrary to what his reputation said, César de la Valliére did not always speak frankly, or with subtle yet unmistakable sarcasm and irony. There were times when he would not only consider his words, but re-consider them as well, before he spoke, times when he knew that if he did not, he might end up causing harm to a person or a cause by speaking without choosing his words with the greatest care.

This very, very late morning in the temporary de la Valliére suite in the Palace of Light and Air, pinning his darling Joséphine to the bed following a session of playful bickering, was, surprisingly, one such time. The subject of a future son was a somewhat delicate matter, with the potential to turn the conversation far less lighthearted if handled carelessly. He knew the pressure married women in general were under, to produce a son, an heir. Joséphine, having given birth 'only' to two girls so far, was no exception, and César really didn't want to add to her burden and make her feel stressed, by nagging her. Lord knows his mother did quite enough of that already. And in all honesty, unlike most men, César was not obsessed with the idea. He liked it, yes. He did like the idea of a little boy (or several) running around, pulling pigtails and causing mischief, and eventually growing up to a man and pass on the family name. But if he and Joséphine would end up with daughters, and daughters only, he wouldn't love her any less for it, nor them. He would still be perfectly happy, and the duty of carrying on the family name, would just simply have to fall on the shoulders of his many cousins.

But, as he didn't know quite how successful he had been at conveying his feelings on the matter to Joséphine, nor how much damage the pointed remarks his mother kept sending her way had done, he thought it best to tread carefully, and thus was indeed very grateful that things this morning had taken the turns they had, landing husband and wife merrily and lovingly interlocked with one another on the bed.

"That was all? Mon dieu, all this mystery had me worried that something dire was the matter!"

Joséphine's response came as a small laugh, but did not prevent César from picking up on her brief, initial reaction, which had been somewhat more contemplative. Mostly because he had been expecting it. Luckily, it seemed his casual words along with the lighthearted mood they were both in had the desired effect, and she responded with the same gaiety, slipping both her arms around him in the process.

Though no sooner had they come to a rest behind his back, than one of them retreated, sliding down along his side and dropping to seize the one of his hands that had set out to... 'inspire' her, with nimble fingertips dancing gently over her belly, following the pattern of her lace robe.

"It is too early to tell," she smiled, guiding his hand a little lower, indicating that in time, he just might be able to feel another little one kicking from within her womb. "And as much as we both wish for a son, I do not want you to get your hopes up yet, but I'm more than a week late, César. That has rarely happened unless... I was with child."

But, despite her warning, it was already too late. The excited smile widening rapidly on César's lips gave him away in an instant, even though he shook his head in an attempt to assure her that he would indeed not get his hopes up until they had reason to be sure. Though in all fairness, it was not only hope and excitement that held his lips captive in that bright smile. There was also a small degree of relief, that he had not read far too much into a comment that had been nothing but a casual remark, thus giving Joséphine reason to suspect he was not completely sincere when claiming that a son was not the most important thing in the world to him.
Furthermore, his hopes did not limit themselves to the possibility of having a son either. The idea of a child, regardless of it's gender, was cause enough for César to be excited. Ever since the first time he held Adéle in his arms, feeling the all-encompassing, overwhelming joy only a proud father could, he had known he wanted more children. As many as possible. As long, of course, as Joséphine could cope, and the pregnancies didn't wear her down until she was no more than a ghost of her past self, like he had seen happen to so many other women. He didn't think he'd be able to bear it, to see her vivacity and her spirits fade like that. They were so much a part of what made her Joséphine; his beloved, darling Joséphine.

"Though I see no reason why we couldn't add to the odds, just in case", she added with a whisper, after sharing a slow, passionate kiss, and gave another soft laugh.

One that was cut short, when César claimed her lips in yet another kiss; his silent agreement that, yes, one could indeed never 'add to the odds' too much, but that he was more than willing to at least give it a try.

- - - - - -

A while and said try later, when they were resting in eachother's arm like so many times before, and relaxed silence was the only witness to the playful, slightly bemused exchange of caresses, César could have easily drifted off to sleep again, completely unconcerned by the increasingly late hour. But, caught in one of his moments of doting husband, quite possibly fuelled by Joséphine's yet-to-be-established pregnancy, he pulled her closer to him, and after planting a trail of soft kisses from her shoulder to her jaw, murmured in her ear;

"We should eat something. Shall we honor the other courtiers with our presence, or would you prefer a meal to be brough here?"



(((ooc: Okay, that was... sappy, and cheesy, I know. *lol* But don't blame me. Blame César. )))

~ * ~ Volition ~ * ~
Retired Moderator
retired moderator
#81 Old 1st May 2008 at 6:22 PM
Default Octavien & Dimitri - (No, Seiza, you're right;) Prince's SUITE
Sitting quietly by the window, still gingerly perched on the windowsill, as Duc d'Lorraine gave his lenghty account of what he did and did not know about Octavien's apparent bride-to-be, Octavien allowed his gaze to wander, to drift slowly from one corner of the room to the next, only occasionally landing on the Duc, before ending up turning his head and looking out the window behind him, observing the swarm of servants struggling to load and unload trunks and boxes from the number of carriages in the courtyard.

One might get the impression that he was barely listening, if at all. But one would be mistaken. He heard every single word the Duc said, listened for whatever might be useful, and mused to himself in the process.

"I do not believe her mother survives," Dimitri said, "but should there be one, I suggest earning her favour as eagerly as her daughter's. I would not underestimate the women of the country that produced Isabella of Castile."

Underestimating the young men of his own country, however, was something for which he seemed to have developed quite the talent, Octavien thought to himself. And, had the same bitterness that had ruled his thoughts for days not intruded on his thoughts once again, he might've even found it amusing how the only ones that seemed to recognize the many good qualities he did have, were the two women of whom all the rest seemed to be quite scared; the Queen, and quite possibly the Queen's mother, Juliet. Though Octavien wasn't sure on that one, but she didn't seem the type who would pretend to approve of someone when she did not.
But then again, neither had Duc d'Lorraine.

He said nothing, however, but instead simply kept listening, and waited for the reason behind this hurried marriage to be elaborated on.
It wasn't.
Doubting very much that the Duc would forget such a detail, Octavien knew it could only mean one of two things; either the Duc himself didn't know - doubtful - or they did indeed wish to keep Octavien in the dark.
Considering the recent turn of events, he hardly found it surprising. In fact, very little of what the Duc had to say about Her Excellency came as a surprise, with the only exception being what he had to say about the woman's age, and looks. 'Slightly advanced in age', was she? Knowing the Duc's way of expressing himself, that could mean anything from early twenties to, oh, late forties. However, the surprise was not that they wished him to marry a woman that by the sounds of it was older than him, but the fact that she was not already married. Not even widowed. That could indeed be cause for a bit of concern, for there was sure to be a reason, and it wasn't likely to be pleasant. Still, it didn't matter much. Octavien didn't intend to have a whole lot more to do with her than he'd had with Adalita. Though there would of course be the occasional exception of being obligated the share her bed. Hopefully, before long, she would become pregnant, and then he'd have it over and done with. Duty fulfilled.
The second thing to surprise him, was what the Duc had to say about her looks. Was he honestly trying to say that there had been no portrait sent, as was customary? Granted, painters these days, especially those hired to paint royalty and other wealthy people, had a tendency to... flatter their model by embellishing their assests, and diminishing their flaws and defects, sometimes even leaving them out altogether.
But still... A small portrait was still customary, and would have given some idea of what Her Exellency looked like.

Odd. Very odd indeed.

"As you may guess," Duc d'Lorraine concluded, after coming to his feet, "I know little about the Duque or his daughter. I may have permanently removed one of their relatives' eyes, but all I can and have offered are suspicions."

At that finalizing statement, Octavien slowly turned his head back to look at him. Was the old man trying to impress him, or make him think twice about mouthing off to him again? Why else would he feel the need to mention the removal of an eye, when it did nothing, even by his own admisision, to support anything of what he had said?

The young Prince was growing increasingly wary of the Duc. Very much so. For where during their first meeting, the man had been quite friendly and downright likable, he now excuded nothing but superior arrogance and patronization, sometimes even seeming to disapprove just for the sake of disapproving. Funny, how those compliments he had paid Octavien a mere few days ago - claiming that the Prince had 'profoundly' surpassed any expectations he'd had, and that he was the 'fine son' of a 'fine man' - all of a sudden seemed to be completely disregarded and forgotten. And as a man of Duc d'Lorraine's good name and reputation would hardly be as fickle as to change his mind for no other reason than a slightly flawed - slightly; far from terribly - public appearance, especially when knowing the lack of instructions given to the Prince to prepare him for such an appearance, that would indicate he had been playing games when first they had met.
Just like everyone else.

"Thank you", Octavien said, and then gave a dismissive wave while turning back to gaze out the window. "You are excused."

All the while thinking bitterly to himself; 'Now how's that for proper royal conduct?'.



(((ooc: There went the last little shred of trust he had to put in anyone but Isabella, César and Joséphine. )))

~ * ~ Volition ~ * ~
Scholar
#82 Old 1st May 2008 at 6:56 PM
Default Marie-Elisabeth
Marie-Elisabeth had learned early in life to hold her tongue. When you grew up with a mother who would criticize and praise you in the same breath you learned to keep silent about certain thoughts. Otherwise you’d find yourself in trouble and you did not want to be on Marie-Therese Normandie’s bad side.

So when Bella said she was grateful for the existence of the English, she didn’t say “Well tell that to all the French women who lost husbands in the Great War, you should be happy to be French regardless of those barbarians”. And when she went on to say that they should solve the mistaken identity problem, she bit back the urge to say “There is no mistaken identity problem you pretentious little twit, you’re just making this up. My husband would never have associated with anyone of lower birth than him. It was completely beneath him to do so”.

When the young woman excused herself to go look after her things, she had smiled politely and been greatly relieved. She had had about all she could stand of her, and been worried that even her infamous control would slip if she was forced to listen to Bella prattle on any longer about things she had no clue about.

Marie-Elisabeth sighed and decided to continue roaming the hallways, hoping the next person she ran into wouldn't be such a test of her patience.

(Totally approachable, I'm bored lol)

(((OOC: Awwwwwwww Jo and Cesar are so cute Dimitri poked someone's eye out? How charming And I can't wait to see his reaction to being dismissed!!!!!)))

You can call me Robyn, tis my name after all
SixWordStories
Top Secret Researcher
#83 Old 1st May 2008 at 10:04 PM
Larkin's quiet musings were interrupted when a young woman who had been walking down the hall in his direction blatantly stopped short and got out of the main thoroughfare of the hallway. Larkin was rather amused by that, it seemed he had a reputation preceding him. Not that he knew what that reputation might be, but the idea amused him.

He was about to nod politelya nd keep walking, possibluy find out where in this cavernous place he was to sleep, but the woman flashed a bright inviting smile, and it was quite obviously directed at him. Larkin reluctantly slowed down to greet her. On the one hand it would undoubtedly do him a world of good to talk to a few people of his own country on somewhat equal footing, and the woman was not sore on his eyes either, despite being easily half his age. On the other hand, she was easily half his age.

"Mademoiselle," he said softly, offering a small, but perfectly polite bow. He may have had no idea what her station was, and she his, maybe, but she could hardly get offended by a tiny lack of courtesy on his part. "And to whom do I owe this unexpected pleasure?"

The humor of a story on the internet is in direct inverse proportion to how accurate the reporting is.
Field Researcher
#84 Old 2nd May 2008 at 8:11 AM
Default Dimitri & Octavien - Ah, okay, SUITE.
Unless Octavien had the attention span of a gnat, which Dimitri sincerely doubted, he must have been noting most of what was being said; thus his lack of concentration did not trouble the Duc. If anything, it was precisely this sort of half-attention that was desired—feigned disinterest was far better than open fascination. It was an important act to preserve both sides of a system. Dimitri himself would spend half of his stewards’ reports surveying other paperwork, even if both knew he absorbed every single word being said.

As for the dismissal…

While he would have liked some statement by Octavien promising to speak with the King—how was he supposed to form any relationship with Edouard if each stayed in the other’s suite the whole time?—Dimitri was going to faithfully hope that the Prince would do so on his own.

Otherwise, it was quite fine.

However, the Duc came from a generation—indeed, typified it—who only corrected mistakes, not deliver constant praise.

He merely bowed at the Prince’s turned back, crisp footsteps bringing him to the exit. Unseen and unheard, the old manservant was already there, hands poised on the doorknobs. Dimitri stopped just at the exit, recalling Octavien’s earlier question. It was easy to think of it as purely rhetorical, but his own instinct disagreed violently, and he had been considering his answer even while attention shifted to the bride-to-be. Would it be a waste to bring it up again?

“As for desertions in war …” Well, in the end, an interesting question had been asked; he had reflected on the answer. Dimitri did not dismiss what he perceived as thoughtful questions. “I have seen men, loyal to the bone, desert their comrades. They were not bad men before they enlisted, and they remain good men in exile.”

He could understand, on a technical level, the reasons for desertion and men’s inherent weakness before such factors. He just hoped to be shot before showing such disloyalty himself.

“We have the liberty of studying each man in the hopes of discerning his fidelity, but a King has thousands under his care. It is fear, not love, which cements more allegiance on a greater scale. One may wish to root out the falsely loyal, but ultimately, men’s hearts are unknowable and uncertain.”

As the manservant opened the door, Dimitri quietly thanked Gilles, wished the Prince good day and exited the suite.

______

Quote:
Originally Posted by Octavien
Doubting very much that the Duc would forget such a detail

((Atropa: !@#$... *giggles nervously* He wouldn't, but his absent-minded player would! Hmm... Oh well! :jig:

Tragic, huh? And here we thought they'd get along. The vagaries of life!

slytherin-girl: I must admit, the eyeball story is a blatant attempt to set up background for possible posts with Elena. And the idea of Dimitri receiving a preserved eyeball in the post a couple months later Amuses Me Greatly. My one-eyed Spanish nobleman is an odd one. >_>

No dramatic storming out at that dismissal, sadly. I'd need a more firebrand-type character for that ))
Scholar
#85 Old 2nd May 2008 at 8:17 AM
(OOC: Oooh, I don't think Dimitri is too happy with Octavien, who isn't too happy with the King... was the advice about Kings ruling with fear a mild threat? Atropa, Cesar is unbelievably cute!)

"Mademoiselle," the man bowed as he approached Bella, who stood receptively, sure she was being assessed. "And to whom do I owe this unexpected pleasure?"

She was sure she'd seen him with Duchesse Juliet de Margoles in the courtyard, on very friendly terms. It would be very uncharacteristic of a Duchesse to associate with someone of lower rank and therefore this gentleman must be of at least equal rank, if not more. Either that or he held considerable favour or influence at this court. Bella was thoroughly interested in the station of the man as well as the man himself.

"Baroness Isabella Devine," Bella offered a small curtsey, smiling warmly. "And the pleasure is all mine."

"Life is just a chance to grow a soul" - A. Powell Davies
Field Researcher
#86 Old 2nd May 2008 at 8:36 AM
Default Rukov >>> General Palace Entrance
Rukov had feigned the simplest expression he could think of when the door cracked open, but hadn’t been prepared for the how little it opened. More than half of the girl’s face was hidden in shadow, and her voice was nothing like the thundering indignation one might expect from a noblewoman—or the haughty complaint that a servant needed to be sent immediately! or there would be hell to pay. It was simply quite soft.

But, perhaps, the most interesting was her speech. The short sentence was not crass, but its accent certainly pointed to one who had not spent her life among the upper classes.

Rukov’s interest just kept growing and growing—ironically, for someone who would probably matter little to his lord, if she was as poor as he suspected; his interest (and observations) should have been in the higher nobility—and remained so even when she closed the door in his face. He could still hear the odd sound through the door, assuming she hadn’t gotten the point and was continuing to unpack.

Ah well, her loss. It wouldn’t be his problem if the servants giggled behind her back when they arrived to find their work done for them.

He left the wing, only to find the palace entrance emptied of most of its arrivals. He had, somehow, managed to avoid most of the donkey work. Admittedly, it meant losing sight of most of the nobles, but he could track them down easily if needed...

Ah, but not all had left. Perhaps he would have more work to do, after all?

______

((Approachable to anyone in the area.

Alissa: It can be a threat if you so choose it to be. :twisted: *is smacked to stop being dramatic* But Dimitri was just answering the question. He's jaded(?) enough to recognise that it's impossible to find someone 100% loyal all the time. The best a monarch can do is rule and hope. Machiavelli's rule: if one cannot be feared and liked, then one should be feared instead of being liked.

At least in my head, he sounded, er... thoughtful? But it's totally up to Octavien to interpret.

I think Octavien's far angrier at Dimitri than vice versa at the moment. Dimitri doesn't care (or tells himself he doesn't) if Octavien hates his guts-- as long as he shapes up to be the Prince he ought to be (or Dimitri thinks he ought to be).

Hmm. Damn! This kind of thing needs to be in an RP post, not OOC.

Elektra: No problem, Rukov's still hanging around if Padme leaves her room fast enough. Oh, and I LOVE that she's poor. I know, sounds evil of me, but I read that a lot of nobles staying in Versailles were actually borderline bankrupt (or some such). 'Cause instead of being productive members of society, they took up half their days parading in expensive suits, like little peacocks. Padme isn't quite the same case, but she's poor! That's awesome!))
Scholar
#87 Old 2nd May 2008 at 2:07 PM
(OOC:
Seiza: Yeah, he probably was being thoughtful. Although, to Octavien (having risen from a nobody to Prince), who really should be familiar with The Prince, it might have seemed as if the King was indirectly threatening him into the marriage? In any case, forced marriage should be something he can wriggle out of, though he might regret it )

"Life is just a chance to grow a soul" - A. Powell Davies
Retired Moderator
retired moderator
#88 Old 2nd May 2008 at 6:19 PM
(((ooc: Seiza - Well, Octavien's mainly bitter because Dimitri did kind of praise him during their first meeting, and now he's giving him the impressions that everything he (Octavien) does is wrong. And he (Dimitri) doesn't even help him, he just judges him, when (to Octavien) it's plain to see that Octavien is pretty much left to fend for himself. Adalita's dead, Isabella's going away, and Edouard shows no interest in him whatsoever, except as a political pawn. And he knows royals shouldn't ask for help, so, basically, he's stuck between a rock and a hard place. Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't.

And... you're right... This belong in an RP post. *shuts up and saves it all for later*)))

~ * ~ Volition ~ * ~
Alchemist
#89 Old 2nd May 2008 at 6:31 PM
((ooc: Sorry to add to the OOC posts, but Seiza, I already got some ideas floating around in my mind concerning Elena and the potential relative whose eye was poked out by Dimitri Considering that Elena isn't exactly fond of her relatives -she thinks they're all usurpers out to get her money, and correct in a way lol - it should be interesting...and would give me a reason to say she is aware of who Dimitri is, if only by reputation

Also wanted to say I probably won't be able to post till tomorrow, so if you want Cesar to make a head start feel free, Atropa.))

If wishes were fishes we'd all cast nets
Top Secret Researcher
#90 Old 2nd May 2008 at 9:39 PM
((OOC: FYI alissa, he was associating with Juliet, but it wasn't precisely freindly, they exchagned pleasantries and then he ran away. Tis fine though
Also, if any of this history with Bella's father seems really off from what you had in mind, say the word and I'll change it. I already did in fact... is baron ashton dead?))


Larkin was not the least bit surprised when the woman executed a perfectly elegant curtsy, and introduced herself. That was only polite. However, who she introduced herself as, well that was a surprise. "Baroness Isabella Devine, and the pleasure is all mine."

It was immediately apparent, judging by the warm smile that Baroness Devine gave, that either she had no idea who he was- hardly impossible- or that he was assuming too much. The Aurvilies barony was mostly engulfed by his eldest brother's duchy, except one border along the Garonne River. That had been, in Larkin's boyhood, held by one Baron Ashton Devine a rude, foolish lordling so far as Larkin was concerned. He charitably thought that that might have just been because Larkin was only 19 then. Time did not change the fact that his steward had been writing that the neighbor had had marauding peasants taking over grazing lands despite the steward's repeated requests for noble intervention, and that Baron Devine had on multiple occasions marched through Aurvilies as arrogant as could be, without asking leave of the steward, or larkin for the one year of overlap. He had received word that the man had gone abroad to furhter a business investment, and that his daughter, a silly thing by all accounts, had taken rule, and left the barony in a capable steward's hands. His own steward had been elated by that and written endlessly of the Devine steward's brilliance, especiallyw hen compared to his lord.

All of that flickered into Larkin's head in the time it took Baroness Isabella to rise from her curtsey. Then again, for all he knew Devine was a common name. Maybe she was just some noble from a foreign land, despite an impressive lack of accent. He decided that caution would be the best path to take- if this was Baron Ashton's daughter then he would need to exercise a good deal of restraint, but if it wasn't he had no idea what might be apt. So caution was the best option in all cases. "Devine, you said? Of the Devine barony, on the Garonne?"

Internally he laughed, caution oh yes. Tact? Hardly nescessary. He hoped that the girl would not be offended by him not offering his own name, but then again, she hadn't asked.

The humor of a story on the internet is in direct inverse proportion to how accurate the reporting is.
Original Poster
#91 Old 2nd May 2008 at 11:13 PM
The Current residents of the Court all lined upon the Palace steps to watch as the much beloved Queen Isabella climbed into a carriage accompanied by her faithful servant Margaret and her firm and domineering mother. The mood was sombre, the Royal family was depleated, no Princess, no Queen, just a quiet King and a Prince who not all of them felt all that comfortable with. It was a dark time in the Palace of Light and Air, a time vaguely remeniscent of the death of Queen Susanne, certainly some of the faces had changed but the most notable were still the same, the King, the Duc d'Lorraine, the footmen and maids, even Juliet de Margoles was present once again. There was one missing figure, Mercy Venn, accomplise to the new Queen just as much as she had been to the old but not present as the new one disappeared from the court.

Mercy was visiting the new court accountant, the rather dirty, disgusting old man had been ousted from the court, and Mister Benedetti was much more favourable, she was requesting more money, it seemed the new man was more realistic about money than the later and she was careful to be courteous and bright, eventually it paid off she left the lower regions of the Palace smiling brightly 20,000 livres richer and headed to write a certain letter to change her life for the better.

((Ok it is now officially Afternoon I shall edit this post in the morning when I'm not sugar crashing. I'm kinda using Mercy here to remind you all you can get money and you can buy yourself a title, and you never know perhaps become the King's advisor.... *hints*))
Scholar
#92 Old 3rd May 2008 at 10:30 AM
(OOC: Baron Ashton's missing, abroad. Bella doesn't actually know where he is, but that's the usual thing with the Baron. He'd write to her/spend most of his time with her whenever he was nearby, but that wasn't incredibly often. So, Bella resorted to keeping tabs on him, which fell through when he disappeared off the face of the Earth)

"Devine, you said? Of the Devine barony, on the Garonne?" the man had said.
Bella was a little taken aback by his knowledge of her family when everyone else here seemed to have no clue about it whatsoever. She needed to determine whether he knew of the Devine barony on good terms or on bad terms, seeing as things in that senario tend to linger at either extreme.
She could sense that it was the latter rather than the former, unfortunately. What had Daddy done to offend this man? [Baron Ashton, with all his business acumen, could be very disagreeable when he saw no advantages for himself. Bella decided to rely on her own charms rather than her father's. First things first, she needed to find out the circumstances under which this man knew her father.
Furthermore, he had not done her the courtesy by offering his name, which was a bad sign in itself. He needed prompting.
"You tease me with your familiarity with my family, sir," Bella gave a small girlish laugh before glancing up at him with slight inqusition. "And yet I am yet to hear your name?"

"Life is just a chance to grow a soul" - A. Powell Davies
Retired Moderator
retired moderator
#93 Old 3rd May 2008 at 6:38 PM
Default Octavien - Prince's suite
With the Prince's mood gradually worsening over the past few days, it had clearly been just a matter of time before it all culminated. Having had a less than pleasant morning, with the less than joyous news of apparently and out of the blue suddenly being engaged once again, brought by the less than understanding Duc d'Lorraine, and then the less than happily anticipated departure of Isabella, it was no wonder that the afternoon - which, by the looks of it, would turn out less than pleasant as well - found the Prince a dark, brooding figure, sitting on the same windowsill as before, with his knees pulled up slightly and his arms loosely clasping them. Resting wearily against the stone wall of the little nook, was his head, with his eyes lacking their usual vivacious sparkle, and his face for once framed by his soft gossamer locks, as while during his dejected ponderings, he had absent-mindedly freed himself of that silk ribbon that usually tied them back.

Nearby, quietly going about his duties as to not disturb his young master, was Gilles. Once in a while, he would stop for a moment, and look up at Octavien, as though he was hoping to find that he had moved, or at least was doing something else than staring out the window. But after half an hour, all that had happened was that the young man had once raised his hand to trace the window frame with his fingers, before letting it return to clasp the other once again.
Finally, the older man simply could not stay silent any longer;

"Your Highness", he said, causing Octavien to at long last turn his head and look at him. "Your Highness, if I may be so bold..."

Octavien gave him a slightly impatient look.

"For Heaven's sake, Gilles, you know you can speak freely around me", he said, and then, thinking how it probably wasn't "proper" to allow a servant to speak freely without first asking for permission to do so, he added bitterly; "I don't have a stick shoved up my backside."

At that, Gilles cleared his throat, ever so slightly.

"Pardon my saying so, Your Highness, but... I believe you do."

Had he not had Octavien's full attention, that was a comment that ensured that he now did, as he could see the young man's eyes widen with surprise and disbelief that he, the ever correct and proper manservant, would talk to his master that way. Though unlike most masters, the reaction stopped at that, and did not transition into anger or even offense.

"You are viewing things far too grimly, Octavien", Gilles said, having decided that this was indeed one of those rare moments where he would take on the somewhat more fatherly tone he would use when Octavien's personal troubles were concerned. "And you are clearly not seeing the forest for all the trees."

Having been Octavien's servant and trusted confidant ever since Octavien was a little boy, Gilles knew him well, and thus did not need for Octavien to tell him what it was that weighed so heavily on his mind.

"Her Majesty has not gone away permanently", he said, and took the liberty of sitting down next to Octavien, where moments earlier the young man had made room for him by taking his feet down. "She will be back in due time, and even if you are re-married by then, it would not provide any obstacles we have not already overcome before. And in the meantime, try not to worry too much about the King, Duc d'Lorraine, and the other courtiers. You do have the support of many."

Pausing for a while, the older man seemed to momentarily loose himself in thought, forcing Octavien's questioning look to eventually transform into words.

"What do you mean?" he asked.

The sound of his voice made Gilles look up again, and he smiled vaguely in a way that was oddly apologetic and reassuring at the same time.

"You do have the support of many", he said. "The servants... talk. There are some among the courtiers who do not think as badly of you behind closed doors as they may have it seem while in public."
"But", he then continued in a firmer, more resolute voice. "You are not proving them right in doing so by cutting yourself off from everyone, and hiding in your suite, nor are you proving the others wrong. No one gets to know you this way, and thus no one can find or be reminded of the reasons to appreciate your qualities. One can not appreciate what one can not see."

After that stern yet encouraging statement, silence settled in the room once more, while the two of them allowed Octavien a couple of seconds to think and mull over what had just been said. One didn't have to be an expert to see that he took if not all, then at least most of it to heart.

"You are right, Gilles", he said slowly when finally he spoke. "You are absolutely right..."



(((ooc: The site's been updated again. And PS! Is it only me getting the plug-in error?)))

~ * ~ Volition ~ * ~
Alchemist
#94 Old 3rd May 2008 at 8:44 PM
César and Joséphine, at last leaving their suite

Sweet, utter bliss, and an all encompassing calm seeped through the recesses of Joséphine's psyche, conjuring a wide, sleepy grin to her lips curving just beneath two rosy cheeks. Awareness was slowly returning, bringing with it a feeling of fulfilment and, if there ever was proof of it, love. Joséphine felt it more acutely than ever when César's warm and so familiar body snuggled up next to her, partaking in a moment of post-tryst peacefulness. Like many other times, she felt she could have stayed that way for the rest of the day, refusing to allow any worry or sad thought to reach beyond the door of their suite.

"We should eat something.” César suggested, pulling her close and kissing the length of her neck. “Shall we honor the other courtiers with our presence, or would you prefer a meal to be brought here?"

A low, thoughtful hum resonated in the Marquise's throat and her eyelashes fluttered lazily; did they have to go so soon? One slender arm found its way across César's chest, almost protectively, followed by her cheek. Gazing petulantly at the sunlight showering the room with its brilliance, the Marquise was growing reluctantly aware of how late it was.

“We should go”, she said at last, patting César's belly and drawing herself into a sitting position on the bed. “Or I shall never be persuaded to dress today. Furthermore, if my suspicions are correct, I cannot neglect my meals.”

Dressing being in itself a rather laborious event, another hour would elapse before the Marquis and Marquise de la Vallière were ready to make their appearance among the courtiers. With one final kiss on her husband's lips, Joséphine clambered out of the bed and plunged both arms into a nearby water basin, splashing the clean water over her chest and face. Undergarments in place, the couple's maid was summoned to assist them with their garments and coiffures: Joséphine chose a light pink gown with plenty of lace at the hems and sleeves and several satin bows tracing the bodice, a colour which complemented her skintone nicely.

Arm in arm and conversing pleasantly, the couple exited the suite and joined the hustle and bustle of the Palace at noon.


((ooc: sorry, kinda short and not very elaborated, but I tomorrow I won't be home and didn't want to keep you waiting even longer.

Also, the site works perfectly for me. No errors here.))

If wishes were fishes we'd all cast nets
Top Secret Researcher
#95 Old 4th May 2008 at 12:35 AM
((AUGH! I had a long beautiful post all written out... and then my furshnuggener computer crashes! AUGH!

Alissa888- Assuming that I'm understanding what your complaint about my post is, I still think it makes sense given that hes gone. If ha regularaly goes away his steward would know what was expected, but then with him being gone an especially long time, nigh on being considered missing,t hen the steward would take his own initiative, hence larkin's steward's liking of him. However if you ahve something specifically you would like me to change, say the word and is done))


Larkin waited for the Baroness Devine to answer him, and kept his face glassy. It may not have been the most polite thing to do, but judging by the length of time it was taking her to decide how to answer him, something in his face had given away the general low regard he held her family in. He resolved to work on that in the near future, in Zimbabwe a misplaced facial expression would not even be noticed, expecially since all deals were done through an interpreter in another room, according to their custom, not any need- he spoke the language. Here, a badly timed smirk, an eyebrow raised at the wrong time, it could ruin him, and splinter Aurvilies into an insignificant speck on the map. Or even more of one, if he was to think fairly.

Then again, in a contest of poorly disguised body language, Bella had him beat hands down. It was abundatnly obvious she was mulling over the best way to deal with him, and that this was stymieing her slightly. His outer expression did not change at all, but he was experiencing a profound sense of relief. Crippling though an open face might be to him, reading others even if they were subtle would be a far more useful skill.

Finally, although it had probably only been ten seconds, Bella answered him, looking straight at Larkin, "You tease me with your familiarity with my family, sir." So she had finally gone with being elegant, to the point it was almost blunt. He had to concede it was done well, but she was not finished. She preceded to giggle sweetly, like a small child- what was the point of that?- and turn her frank gaze into a sultry one. She continued, "And yet I am yet to hear your name?"

Larkin, had let his face relax into cool distance at the first part of her statement, it was not brilliantly played, but fair. At that second part though, as her body language had gone from politicking to seductive, his mask flashed back on. Larkin would not have been surprised to hear an audible snap. More quickly than was nescessary, he replied, "I am L-larkin d'Marius, Baron d'Aurvilies."

His expression did not slip, but inside he screamed; why in god's name had he just stuttered? He was not some boy to be unmanned by a pretty face, and she was no one of consequence enough to have intimidated him any other way. He coolly waited for her reply, hoping she hadn't noticed his little stutter, and that any indiscretions he or his steward had committed on the girl's barony were forgotten or unknown. If not, he might well be in trouble.

The humor of a story on the internet is in direct inverse proportion to how accurate the reporting is.
Scholar
#96 Old 4th May 2008 at 12:44 AM
(((OOC: The site works fine for me too I should package up old Charles for it. In case, ya know, anyone needs a good ghost roaming around. Though I had to make him an adult initially and then boolprop him to an elder LOL

I'd make more of Marie-Elisabeth's family but.....well there's WAY to many of em XD)))

You can call me Robyn, tis my name after all
SixWordStories
Scholar
#97 Old 4th May 2008 at 1:34 AM
He was Baron d'Aurvilies. The friendly neighbourhood Baron. Her neighbouring Baron.

Oh, Lord.

Daddy had been especially lax when it came to neighbourhood relations. He frankly hadn't cared about what they had complained about. As a proof to that, there had been endless complaints. Endless. Relentless, in fact. It was not Bella's problem back then. Bella had cared little for anything that didn't affect her. Well, it was affecting her now.

No, she decided immediately. It won't affect me because I won't let it. I won't pay for Daddy's mistakes.

While this raged through her mind, Bella acted on instinct, letting her eyes speak for her as they wandered slowly over his face.

Larkin had stuttered when he'd introduced himself. He'd stuttered. That meant one of two things; he was either attracted to her or unsettled by her. He was a much older man, about twice her age. Bella could imagine he though of her as a silly little plaything, even if he was attracted to her. Especially if he was attracted to her. His being unsettled, however, meant things had gone very very wrong between her father and Larkin. Something needed to be fixed, starting with his awkwardness. Either way, Bella could make it work to her advantage.

She let time pass for a few seconds before answering him, in an attempt to futher emphasise Larkin's feelings to himself.

"Perhaps you have good reason to tease me, then," she said softly, titling her head to the side as her eyes flicked up to meet his. "The... illustrious Baron d'Aurvilies, in the flesh. It certainly is a pleasure."

Illustrious. She'd made it deliberately ambiguous, knowing any man would mull over such a description of himself. Fair enough, really, narcissism, as ugly as it was, was only natural.

"Life is just a chance to grow a soul" - A. Powell Davies
Retired Moderator
retired moderator
#98 Old 4th May 2008 at 3:14 AM
Default César & Joséphine -> Red Salon
In spite of the fact that leaving the bed had, in a way, been his own suggestion, César took his time doing so. Had they been at home, he probably wouldn't have gotten out of bed at all, let alone made the suggestion. Especially since now he was, if possible, even more happy right where he was, than he had been just before Joséphine, unbeknownst to him, had guided those bright rays of sunlight right onto his face. He was relaxed to the point where his limbs felt as heavy as had they been carved from stone, and in his very veins, pure satisfaction seemed to be making it's way through his entire body, leaving him in a state of so very pleasant drowsiness.

But, they were not at home in their own mansion, and even though it would indeed have been possible to order the servants to bring something edible to the suite, he figured it really was time they did a bit of socializing, and got acquainted with the other courtiers. Having their presence known as nothing but faceless titles simply would not do. And while César had already met a few people, Joséphine had yet to do so. To his knowledge, she had only met with the Comtesse de Valois, and that was an encounter that although brief, had been a minor disaster. It was vital that she met others, because he so wanted her to make friends, and not enemies. And he certainly did not want her to make friends with the one woman he had intended to keep as far away from her as possible. Now there was a scenario that the words "minor disaster" would not even begin to describe...


As Joséphine went about getting ready, washing herself and making the first preparations of getting dressed, César settled for leisurely watching her, taking great pleasure in studying her slender form in it's current, undressed state. One could say it was somewhat of a favorite past time of his. Among other things.
He was aware, however, that he could not loiter about for much longer, lest she'd be made to wait for him, and considering it had been his words that had gotten her out of bed in the first place, it wouldn't be very nice of him, now would it? Thus, before long, he too left the bed, and continued to follow the example set by Joséphine, washing off by the nearby water basin and then moving on to the more time-consuming process of dressing. In his case, the colors chosen was an emerald green for the coat and matching breeches, and a rich creamy color for the vest. His auburn hair was neatly combed to stay out of his face, even though they all knew that in less than an hour, all such efforts would have been in vain, and his current look of elegant gentleman would once again have a hint of roguish prankster added to it.

Then, when both of them were finally ready, they left the suite together and headed for the Grand Dining Room, where they were served what to them was breakfast, but to the other few courtiers also in there, was lunch. All the while talking and laughing, sometimes even whispering, when their conversation turned either too personal to be heard by others, or too naughty to pass without exposing anyone that was listening by making their cheeks flush red. However, despite what one might think, judging by the blithe atmosphere between the two, not everything discussed was of a lighthearted nature. There was the occasional detour into more serious matters, such as the appalling lack of respect and fairness with which Octavien had been recieved the previous evening, and how it seemed like he was under far more pressure than he had ever experienced before. They had both seen him, after all, and as they both had known him for years, they couldn't help but to notice how he did not seem quite like his usual, easygoing self. Such a shame, it was. As was the fact that there really was not much they could do for him, except offer their support. Which was no easy thing to do, when he kept himself locked away most of the time.

Though by the time they finished their 'lunch', the conversation had once again taken a turn for the less somber, and they decided to make their way to the Red Salon, as they had overheard another couple discussing how some of the other courtiers had gathered there to socialize, and pass the chilly afternoon with pleasant conversation, card games and peaceful parlor games. To the Marquis and Marquise de la Valliére, it seemed like the opportune time to make a few acquaintances.

Even from a distance, they could hear music coming from the Red Salon, and they entered to find two young women - sisters, they learned once they were seated - entertaining their fellow courtiers by performing, in César's opinion, a rather dull song. One of them playing the harp situated in one of the corners of the salon, but both of them singing. In the same corner, there was also a violin, and a harpsichord, beautifully decorated with wood carvings. In a set of comfortable chairs in one of the opposite corners, a couple of older men had sat down to talk, each with a glass of cognac in their hand, and in the middle of the room, a couple of other courtiers - three men and two women - all of a younger generation, were playing cards. Though the ladies, apparently the wives of two of the men, were not playing the game as much as watching it, rather acting as support for their husbands, than opponents.
Never having been the shy type, César had soon seen to it that he was a part of the game as well, and unlike the other ladies, so was Joséphine. But only for a couple of rounds, for as soon as the two sisters finished their little performance, César glanced over at them as they left the corner of musical instruments, and then at Joséphine.
There was a certain instrument there that had given him an idea.

"Why don't you play something, Joséphine?" he suggested, and then, when she had looked up to see the subtle, telltale glimpse in his eyes, and agreed, but expressed that she was unsure of what to play, he added with an equally allusive smile; "Play that light, aerial piece... That fantaisie, that you always play at home, when we are entertaining? It's such a remarkable piece of music, I'm sure these lovely people would love to hear it."




(((ooc: Ok, I wouldn't say that these two are approachable, per se, but the others are more than welcome to join them in the Red Salon.

slytherin & Ghanima - Thanks guys. Must be just my computer then.

slytherin - I'm having the same problem with César and his mom. They're both adults. Oh, and, I'd love to add Charles to the site. )))

~ * ~ Volition ~ * ~
Top Secret Researcher
#99 Old 4th May 2008 at 4:18 AM
Larkin saw that he was being kept waiting. He was quite thoroughly not used to being kept waiting, and he did not like it. Growing up the son of a Duc, even the youngest and thus most insignifcant son, did not teach a man patience. Nor did being ambassador to a country that was in naked fear of his country's army. The fact that Baroness Devine almost HAD to be intentionally keeping him waiting, was not improving his travel weary mood.

Despite the small amounts of anger this girl was causing, he did not stop observing. He attributed that to his political experience- one does not take one's eyes off a potential foe, and Baron Ashton's daughter was definitely a potential foe. Even if it was just because of inherited stupidity and close mindedness. Once he had introduced himself she had assumed a mask jsut as glassy as his own- a bit impressive that, most young courtiers did not have that rapid shift to a harmless expression mastered. Most courtiers, period, didn't have a non-glassy, completely harmless face. Heck, he didn't.

He saw that his interpretation of her skills was not nescessarily correct though, the glassy expression melted off quickly, leaving behind, if that was possible, an even more sultry gaze, that carefully -and admiringly- travelled over the planes of his face. His own expression didn't waver, except perhaps to glance a bit lower and to tighten his jaw slightly.

Strange- either she was completely unaware of the issues he and her father had had- unlikely, given how her face had blanked out, or she was completely unaware of how to deal with it.

"Perhaps you have good reason to tease me, then," she said softly, her head coming up to make eye contact. It was only by a titanic effort of will that his head did not jerk to make that eye contact stronger. He attempted to distance himself from the situation lest he do something stupid, what was happening? She was attempting- not without skill- to seduce him. That was the only conclusion Larkin could come to in his slightly befuddled state. The courtier in him distantly noted that this was probably a panic reaction on her part, but the blood pounding in his ears did not much care for the courtier.

"The... illustrious Baron d'Aurvilies, in the flesh. It certainly is a pleasure." she continued, enunciating "illustrious." That, more than anything snapped his reverie. Many things could be said about Aurvilies, and many more things could be said about its baron, but illustrious was not one of them. Larkin was a youngest son, and his barony- a hundred peasants, half of whom were not even farmers, attested to that. Indeed, if Aurvilies and the Devine barony were not neighbors, he doubted that Bella would have heard of him at all, queen's uncle or no.

Then again... he had been at sea for the better part of a season, and not had a woman for quite a while before then, as his... freinds... in Zimbabwe had been quite miffed by him leaving with nary a warning. That probably explained why Baroness Devine, Bella was having so profound an effect on him. A breif moment's consideration found no problems with accepting what she offered- if things went sour, who would be believed, the queen's uncle, the highly successful trade ambassador and Baron d'Aurvilies, or the young Baroness Devine who had little accomplishments to her name, a barony no wealthier than his own, and a father who Larkin had no doubt did not have much political clout to defend his daughter's honor with? Maybe that was it? A subtle revenge on that idiot Baron Devine?

Larkin decided it would be best not to think now about what precisely his motives were, merely that he had decided to encourage the Baroness in what she was doing. He let his mask dissipate slightly, revealing a self satisfied half smile, and letting a hint of desire slip into his eyes. With no more warning than that, he delicately grabbed her hand and planted a kiss on the back of it. Eyes smoldering very carefully, lest he spook his quarry, he said breathily over her hand, "Of course it is a pleasure Baroness, I do try my humble best. And of course in the flesh, how else might I be?" Larkin cocked an eyebrow and waited a full second before releasing Bella's hand.

A bit crude, but that would do. Now it was completely up to her what happened next- he figured either he would finally enjoy the company of a french woman after thirteen long years, or she would flee. He was perfectly content either way, there were plenty of serving maids in the palace, or the low quarters of the city, and he did need to find his rooms and send out some letters. Then again... no one would be offended if his letters were delayed a few moments.

((*giggle* gads, what a perv. Though for the record, women of that era in Europe did typically marry at ages 15-20, whilst men typically married for the first time anywhere between 20 and 50. So him being twice as old, for historical accuaracy, should not bother either of them too much. Just FYI, but then again she can be a bit grossed out by it, and he only is upset about her being so young because he thinks shes an idiot. ;p))

The humor of a story on the internet is in direct inverse proportion to how accurate the reporting is.
Scholar
#100 Old 4th May 2008 at 5:26 AM
(((OOC Ver true FurryPanda, Marie-Elisabeth is a prime example of that.

And Fayre, I was just wondering if we're going to get updated maps/a characters list. I was trying to figure out who's eligible for advisor/ who's closest to being it and I started getting confused LOL)))

You can call me Robyn, tis my name after all
SixWordStories
 
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