(1310-03-25) Honeyed Cakes and Debut Plans
Summary: Desarae and Séverine enjoy some honeyed cakes over conversation, that soon turns towards planning Desarae's debut fête.
RL Date: 25+26/03/2018
Related: None
severine desarae 

La Rose Sauvage — Night Court — Marsilikos

A huge hearth of black marble, with gargoyles of stone adorning the mantlepiece, governs the foyer of the Salon de la Rose Sauvage, which emanates a certain dark air, the interior design of the more heavy sort, that could easily be encountered in a gentleman's club, especially with the dark cherry wood wainscoting used on the walls. Dark leather upholstery is predominant in the furniture of chaise longues, couches and long-backed chairs that are arranged in a half-circle, leaving space in the center for courtesans (or patrons) to kneel for an inspection. Three tall windows with circular stained-glass insets are framed by dark red curtains of heavy brocade, a few golden threads worked into the fabric catching occasionally the light of flickering oil lamps at the walls. The lamps light a pair of portrait paintings, of the two founders of the salon, Edouard Shahrizai and his cousin Annabelle no Mandrake, resplendent in their dark Kusheline appeal; and a cabinet in a corner, holding a number of quality wines and a flagon of uisghe.

The foyer has a high ceiling, and a gallery beyond a balustrade of dark teak wood, carved in the shapes of gargoyles. Sometimes a few veiled creatures can be spotted up there, stealing glances at what is going on below; from the gallery, which can be reached by ascending some winding stairs at the back of the foyer.

The morning is still young, and most members of the salon - and possibly a few patrons here and there in the patron rooms - still asleep, and yet Séverine is already here in the salon, seated in one of the comfortable chairs before the hearth, grey eyes focusing on the fire crackling there. The Second in charge of the more submissive flowers this place has on offer looks like a frail flower herself, the pallor of the skin, where it shows in the slender column of her neck, and the back, where the dress of dark green color is cut out as far as to show the full marque of Rose Sauvage. The sleeves of her gown reach all the way to her wrists, and in her hand she holds a piece of parchment, a message perhaps, that she appears to have forgotten about, when thoughts drift, inspired by the storm of flames her gaze lingers upon.

Desarae has never been much of a one for allowing the morning hours of the day to slip past whilst idling in her bed, and without the tiredness that being an adept or courtesan of Rose Sauvage might bring, she appears in the salon from the direction of the private quarters where the kitchens that serve the house might be found. Dressed in a warm ivory day dress, her hair burnished by rigorous brushing that allows it to fall in soft waves that frame her face and shoulders, she carries with her a couple of warm honeyed cakes on a plate in one hand, a glass of elderflower water in the other. She walks with all the confidence of her youth, and with the knowledge that her impending debut making her truly the Queen Bee amongst the other novices. She spots Séverine, and hesitates, then changes the trajectory of her steps to head her way, an impish smile curving her lips. "Good morning, Séverine. I have cakes. Would you like one?"

Grey eyes pull away their focus from the play of flames, as Séverine turns her head and her gaze alights when she spots the novice that has been and still is in her care. "Desarae." While there is a bit of authority in her expression, it is more of a subtle sort, and goes along with a slightly protective flicker in her eyes. Oh yes. The debut is drawing nearer each day, and while this event must be what a novice works towards and strives for, it may be a more intense experience in following the canons of this particular salon than the other three, the Night Court of Marsilikos provides.

The tray carried by the novice receives a glance, and Séverine smiles faintly, nostrils flaring and eyelids fluttering just so as she inhales the scent of the warm cakes. "Oh yes, I'd like one," the Second says. "While you can sit here with me for a moment." The flick of her gaze indicates the other comfortable seat beside her. "And enjoy your breakfast with me." There is a glint of amusement in those eyes of hers, and yet, Séverine's source of twisted mirth remains a secret for now. "Desarae," she snatches one of those cakes from the plate, holding it with her delicate fingers, "I've been meaning to speak to you."

Desarae collapses herself catlike into the soft upholstery, legs being drawn up and curled to the side so that she can balance the plate with the remaining cake upon the edge of her legs. She's a striking young thing, her dark hair the legacy of her father, whilst the warm undertones of her complexion and deep green eyes are entirely a gift of her Mereliot blood. "Is it about my debut?" she asks, a corner of her cake broken off as she speaks. She toys with it in her fingers, her attention all upon the Second before her. "I know we were discussing themes for it before, but I've still not settled on anything yet. I want it to be… spectacular." Which she would. All novices want the best, the brightest and the most splendid of events in which to be showcased, and Desarae is no different in that regard. The crumbs of the cake are quickly transferred to her mouth and she emits a delicate sigh. Oh la. The problems of youth. So many.

She is a striking beauty indeed, and Séverine cannot keep a certain acknowledgement of that fact from her demeanor, nor the smile from deepening just a little. "The debut, yes," she affirms, content to hold the honey cake for a moment longer in her hand, as she observes Desarae. "Do you want me to offer suggestions to you?" Letting that question linger for a moment, Séverine continues to study Desarae, a light caress of a look. Gazes. A power that Mandrake canon uses in such a different manner to perfection. Alyssum too. "Perhaps we should start by determining your hopes and expectations. The certain flavor you like to be going for. What is it that passes your mind, when you think of that special day that will allow you to commit fully to the Service to Naamah?" And here, Séverine lifts the honeyed cake to her mouth, to take a delicate bite of it, coincidentally baring a bit of her pearly white teeth.

"Ideas. Yes. I would accept those, if you have some." Desarae is quick to accept the offer of collaboration on just what form her debut might take, her spine straightening and shoulders dropping as a frisson of anticipation works it's way through her body. It's an exciting time for her, and though the event itself might be several weeks off, there's been an ever increasing interest shown by several of the patrons that favour Rose Sauvage and the canons it offers. But even as she speaks, a touch of colour warms her cheeks, and her eyes slide from Séverine's and towards the hearth where the fire crackles and spits. "I want to be challenged." She draws a breath and sucks briefly on her lower lip, before continuing on to say, "… I would not wish my first time honouring Naamah to be one of humiliation and abasement. There are those that like such things, I do not." That sentiment is accompanied by a proud lifting of her chin, and for a moment there's a likeness of her aunt to be found in the lines of her face.

"Hmm…" Séverine's eyes flash brightly as she hears Desarae's words, and her gaze lingers on the fetching proud profile of the young woman the traces of heritage evident to those who know where to look. "Challenged, and perhaps be a challenge in turn?" A fine smile curves the lips of the slightly older woman, a smile that is fed by own experiences. "I can very much assess preferences of patrons that come here within the blink of an eye. They all differ in the variation of tastes they like to indulge in. I can…" And here she gives Desarae a look, "elect to take what you tell me into account when deciding the lucky winner of the debut." She exhales a breath through her nose, her gaze following Desarae's towards the flames. "Your first night in service shall be a memorable one, little rose. That you'll remember it as fondly as I did mine, in the Capital, at House Valerian." A second bite, and she is finishing the honeyed cake, chewing unhurriedly as if digesting the memory she just spoke of.

Until that expression shifts back into the matter-of-factly one of a Second, and Séverine turns her gaze towards Desarae's. "We shall need to decide the entertainment of that evening, the way we shall present you to the bidders. Shall you be walking amongst them all freely, so that they can gauge you in conversation? Shall we present you bound, or in a cage, a prey to be savored, calling out to their dark desires?" It seems she can add more, as her countenance brightens visibly at the various possibilities. "There are so many nuances and chords that we can strike, Desarae, to get them to spend more coin than they were willing to part with originally… Trust me, I know we can get them to claw and bark at each other, like wild wolves, over the delicious bait you will pose to them."

Desarae's eyes flash her amusement. "A handful of our honourable patrons have already indicated that they mean to win my debut, and I have provoked teased them that they perhaps might not. Which, is not entirely a lie or a tease since truly, only one can win. There is one baron in particular who's eyes follow me around the salon whenever he visits, and I am convinced already that he will throw all that he has, and more, at the bidding in order to secure it since he seems most determined, and moreso after his latest visit. But we shall see." She pauses, the tip of her tongue sliding across the bow of her lip before another bite of her cake is enjoyed. It's as she's licking some crumbs from her fingers, that the faintest of frowns furrows her brow, a slow breath exhaled before she speaks again. "I sometimes wish that I could have been sent to Elua, to be fostered at House Valerian there. I imagine that it is quite something to be at the heart of Terre d'Ange, to attend and serve at The Longest Night celebration at the palace as a few of their novices do. But, c'est la vie. Such was not the wishes of my parents, which is why my debut must be unforgettable, not only for me, but for everyone that bids, attends or even hears of it." She speaks with a hint of petulance to her tone, her mouth forming the smallest moue as she keenly observes what reaction her words might stir within the salon's Second.

"Then it seems as if you did everything right," Séverine replies with a smile, her mirth contained somewhat. "Be warned, though. Patrons who get their hopes high on winning your debut, may wish to take it out on you later, once you have gained the status of adept. To…", she smirks faintly, "punish you, in representing the salon that let the debut go to someone else. You seem to enjoy the tease, so I'll expect this to be to your liking." No irony there, in her tone, as the courtesan reclines, shifting into a more comfortable lean upon the very comfortable high backed seat. "Do not mourn your fate," Séverine declares softly, to Desarae's words of regret, "the City of Elua may seem grander, and it truly is grand, with Mont Nuit and its Thirteen Houses. Perhaps. One day, when you're fully marqued, you may be able to go there, to see for yourself. Longest Night…" A soft sigh escapes her lips, "I never got to attend, given that House Cereus prefers having their own novices there to serve joie to everyone else." Her smile turns a bit wistful at that, "I've heard of it, of the Midwinter Ball held at House Cereus, on top of the hill. Tales of the magnificent costumes, each House having its own theme every year…" Then they are back to the subject of the debut, and Séverine's hand lifts to twirl a stray strand of honey blonde that looks almost red-golden in the lighting from the fire of the hearth. "Do not fret. We shall make this a memorable event, for everyone that will attend. After all, novices are a much rarer treat here, in the city of Marsilikos, than in Elua. Much more coveted for sure."

Laughter breaks on Desarae's lips. "Then truly I shall be kept busy if my bidders were to feel that way," she says, that self same mirth showing in the glitter of her eyes before lashes are lowered and she looks away. Slender shoulders rise and fall in an amused shrug. "But that is only good for Rose Sauvage, and it is not as if my preferences do not lie in that direction." She leaves the rest of her cake untouched, dibbing around the edges of her plate with the tip of her finger to collect a few crumbs on its moistened tip. "But I am sad if it is truly the case that I might not be allowed to travel to Elua for the Longest Night before completing my marque. What if I were to find a patron who would be willing to contract me for the period necessary to take me there, and back?" Unrestrained anticipation is evident in her tone as she leans forward in order to set the plate aside, her finger slipping neatly into her mouth to clear it of the crumbs she's collected. "But I do understand what you are saying about how being a novice about to debut in Marsilikos is rarer, for it has been an age since Rose Sauvage had their last." A brush of her hands along her lap. "Diamonds. I wish diamonds to feature in some way in my debut. I have a lovely headpiece and some earrings that were a gift from my father, but I would like, in some way, for the theme of my debut to simply scream diamonds."

"I've found that prior disappointment of a patron can have quite the inspiring effect on an assignation," Séverine opines with a fine smile, that makes her eyes crinkle a little at the corners, especially when it deepens a little. "Oh my, you are quite impatient, little rose. To think of going to visit Elua with a patron already! You are aware though, that invitations or tokens granting admission to the Longest Night fête on Mont Nuit are rare and highly coveted among those who are not members of the Night Court of the capital? A patron taking you to Elua alone will not grant you admission at Cereus House." Séverine cannot help but shake her head a little, amused at Desarae's naivete. "It would take much effort and luck to make such a thing happen. As for a patron contracting you for a longer time and taking you for a bit of travel…" She nods her head pointedly, indicating that such would indeed be possible. But apparently Desarae has thoughts, quite ambitious thoughts about her debut, and Séverine cannot help but chuckle. "Diamonds, hmm?" Her fingers brush lightly over the dark green fabric of her own gown, before she lifts them to touch against the novice's cheek. "That would be quite costly, but I imagine we could use the likenesses of diamonds in designing your attire. Polished glass stones, worn as a net on top of a gown of thin gauze, or something more opaque.", she muses thoughtfully, eyes glittering.

And there it is again, the smallest hint of a pout on the fullness of Desarae's lower lip at the difficulty of attending the Longest Night. "Well then. I shall have to ensure that anyone inviting me, if ever they do, already has their token in place!" Her own pronouncement breaks the mood that had descended upon her, and that pout is replaced by the most delicious of smiles. She has the most magical of smiles, the curve of her lips transforming her face into something that has an almost otherworldly touch of loveliness to it. "And yes! Yes! a mesh of polished glass stones, though they will need of course to be carefully faceted in order to give the impression of diamonds, and to catch the light and glitter as diamonds do. Of course, they would likely be sharp if cut in such a way, but I care not. I really do not. The look will be everything and I will suffer for it." Her smile deepens. "Besides, I am sure that those in attendance will enjoy it the more for that. And beneath, a gown so sheer that it is near translucent; enough to tempt, but no more than that."

The magic of the smile appears to affect Séverine, inasmuch as her own expression softens. The curving of her lips subtle, whereas a certain edge enters her gaze when Desarae contemplates ideas for the debut gown in more detail. "Sharp, with a certain discomfort," the Second confirms, thrilled at the notion. "You will have all of their attention, all of the time, they will look at you, searching for subtle signs of torment on your beautiful face, for tiny twitches of surprise and discomfort in your frame." Catching her lower lip with a line of teeth, the honey blonde courtesan ponders. "Color of the gown? Dark? or light? I would think, a light tone of white or cream would go well with your dark hair…" Again, her grey eyes take in Desarae's appearance, as if envisioning her in the debut gown. "Sleeveless. Hmm…"

"There! And now we have a theme!" Desarae's smile shows itself again. "Which will make it possible now to think about everything else!" She scrunches her nose in delight, and settles herself back into the comfort of the cushions. "White, I think, with inset panels of sheerest voile, and I think it would be lovely if the overlay of glass-set netting could skim over the edges of my shoulders where the gown finishes, and down to my wrists so the light from the stones sparkles on my skin. And, perhaps, a bower of white roses within which to appear?" Fingers toy with the edge of one cuff as she speaks, a loose golden thread drawn out and spun about her finger before she tugs it hard to pull it free. It bites into her flesh, though she appears not to care so deeply is she wrapped in her thoughts on her debut. "Perhaps… I should be trapped within the bower in some way?"

"White," Séverine agrees with a nod, with an energetic enthusiasm that seems so contrary to her frail looking disposition. "Sleeveless, the gown at least, as for the netting, as you say, running over your bare arms, creating tiny little cuts if you are not careful." The latter part she says with a wink, knowing that such details would please the audience of potential bidders even more. I like the idea of the bower. We can use the bower outside in our garden. Let's see if we can get white rose bushes for the debut, depending on weather conditions… and the time set. Otherwise, a bower prop in our salon. Umm…" A slender index finger twirls a strand of blonde hair with a reddish tinge. "I prefer the garden. Other Roses should dress in earthy, unobtrusive tones to have you stand out even more. As for you being trapped in the bower… We can have you restrained with rope, or chained, for a more traditional approach. Or simply have a door at the front with a lock, the key of which may be handed to the winner."

Desarae's brow knits with thought, her lower lip subjected to being dragged between her teeth whilst Séverine speaks, before it's released with the pop of an 'oh'. "Oh! I like that! In the garden… Yes! It will be so magical beneath the stars, and I will sparkle and shine like one of them!" I am not too certain as yet whether I would prefer ropes and chains, or the simplicity of a key, so I would need to think on that further, or perhaps with your wisdom and experience in these things, you would make the choice for me?" Hands clasp in her lap, and she slides her feet to the floor, seeking her slippers with her toes as she angles herself to stand. "You have given me so much to think about, and I suppose that I should start thinking about the design of the gown so I have ideas to present to the dressmaker. Is there anything else you wished to speak to me on, or might I go and prepare for the day?"

"I'll think of an adequate arrangement," Séverine smiles, grey eyes alighting. As much as Desarae may know of her, the Second prefers rope, and the many artful ways it can be used, but who knows, maybe she will confer with the harsher branch of the Rose Sauvage, before she settles upon a final decision. "If the fête is to take place in the garden, we should aim for an evening in early summer, perhaps? I shall speak to Jacques about this, to decide a time that doesn't conflict with other events in planning." When the novice moves to stand, Séverine remains seated, shifting only slightly into a more sideways lean, legs crossing loosely before her. "That will be all for now, thank you, Desarae. Go and prepare, and I'll see you later for the lessons."

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