(1310-04-20) A Ring for a Rose
Summary: Jean visits Salon de la Rose Sauvage in order to become acquainted with Desarae, a young novice about to debut.
RL Date: April 20th, 2018
Related: None
desarae jean 

Salon de la Rose Sauvage

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. Beside the stairs leading up is a hallway on ground level, leading further into the building to where the offices of the leader of the salon and his two Seconds can be found, along with the two wings of private quarters for roses of Mandrake and Valerian canon.

Spring has finally arrived in Marsilikos, and the southerly blowing winds have brought with them the temperate weather enjoyed by the lands to the south. Within the Salon de la Rose Sauvage the doors that lead out to the gardens behind the villa have been left wide, the muslin curtains billowing gently to allow some of those breezes to permeate the elegant rooms where patrons are arriving to seek entertainment for the evening. Novices fetch and carry for the the courtesans and adepts; directing those that seek pleasures of the flesh or other to those most able to help them. One such novice tonight would be the dark-haired girl that's dressed in ivory brocade, her hair left loose about her shoulders, and with a determined uptilt to her chin. Standing a little apart from her peers, she watches the room with intelligent green eyes, the squareness of her shoulders and the regality of her carriage hinting at a person that possibly believes themselves superior to others. This is Desarae, niece to the Sovereign Duchesse, middle daughter of the Marquise Chavaise. Spoiled, some say. Delightful, say others.

What others think isn't really the concern of the Vicomte l'Envers. Instead, Jean approaches Desarae with a certain purpose, an intent which certainly doesn't seem to be so much as seeking carnal pleasures as something else altogether. Directed by an adept to meet the novice in question, when he steps in to her side, a wineglass in hand, the Namarrese spends a long moment regarding her, taking in the delectable, and yet forbidden, sight of the woman. "Good evening," the nobleman states to Desarae after that appraising look, his gaze almost predatory. Almost. He tempers it with a piercing analytical stare that is typical of scions of a certain punishing angel. He didn't choose to be born this way. He simply is. And his hand is offered, palm up, to the Novice. "I am Jean l'Envers, Vicomte. A pleasure to meet you, my dear Lady Desarae."

"My Lord l'Envers. Salon de la Rose Sauvage is most pleased to welcome you this evening." Desarae executes a curtsey, her skirts swept lightly to one side with a whisper of expensive fabrics, before her hand is slipped into his on the rise. Her hand tells of a girl on the cusp of womanhood; her skin soft and warm, and very clearly the beneficiary of expensive creams and extensive pampering. Her fingers are adorned by neither rings nor trinkets, though a simple bracelet of white gold and diamonds does slip from beneath the cuff of her gown as her hand covers his. It glitters, flashing prisms of colour that catch on the planes of her face as it's lifted to his, her eyes not retreating from the intensity with which his rake her. "I would offer my own introduction," she muses lightly, "…but it appears that my lord is already availed of it. Might it be that he has heard of my upcoming debut?" Her head tilts to one side, her eyes locking with his, and despite her youth and her place within the hierarchy of the Salon, there's an arrogant poise within her that speaks of a strength of spirit and an over-abundance of confidence.

"It might be that he has, indeed," Jean kisses her knuckles, letting the touch linger for a moment or two than is proper, his eyes finding hers, and holding them, with a bright smile. "Would you like to dance?" There's always music to go with a salon's usual festivities, and his gaze finds hers, just as he takes a step closer to the Novice. "I came to know you better, my dear," he goes on to add with a slightly lopsided smile. "And perhaps provide a little trinket for you to remember me by — but I don't recall if you're allowed to have gifts from people who aren't patrons yet," he goes on to contemplate, his eyes unwavering and not leaving hers. To do so is to hesitate, and hesitation is man's defeat in light of challenge.

It should not be assumed, for even a minute, that Desarae is a selfless creature. She's as mercenary as many her age — perhaps moreso. Jean is rewarded with her most breathtaking of smiles, and he's gifted with the smallest tightening of her fingers about his on the heels of his kiss. "My lord," she says quietly, her voice warm with encouragement in its tone, "I would ask you this. Since when has it become a crime for a gentleman to bestow a gift on a lady if it is not a gifting for favours which currently she'd unable to fulfil? A gift, is a gift, is a gift, is it not? Hm…" She pauses, her words tailing off on a breath as she carefully considers the phrasing of her reply. "Perhaps your gift is… an early natality gift?" Which to be strictly correct would be quite the early one at that, since it won't be her birthday for a few months yet, the occurrence of which will also mark the eve of her debut. A step closer is taken, her head tilting further back to accommodate for the differences in their heights. "And a dance? Of course. Here?"

"Of course. Where else?" Jean murmurs, drawing his other hand to rest against the side of Desarae's body, and draw her closer to him, their bodies pressing against each other while his eyes find hers again after that, though he lets go of her hand with his other, only to reach into a pocket and then, as if by sleight of hand, place his hand onto hers once again. She'll find a ring, shaped like an ouroboros of rose vines, complete with thorns that poke inward into the wearer's finger for an added, not sharp and yet poignant reminder of the ring's presence, once it's worn. When she's drawn into the dance, he leads her through easy, slow steps. "So tell me about yourself, Lady Desarae."

Close as they are, Jean will hear the small sigh that Desarae can't help but exhale at the sight of the ring. "It is beautiful, my lord. Did you design it yourself?" The tip of one finger grazes the sharpness of thorns, and Jean will be aware of the slight frisson of anticipation that shows in the tensing of her body as he draws her to him. There's a question in her eyes when eyes meet. "But does my lord not wish to place it on my hand himself?" Her tongue traces the line of her lip as, with those words, she offers him a degree of intimacy that might draw disapproval upon her head, her eyes sliding towards the offices that lie beyond the salon. That she's being watched so close to her debut would be beyond a doubt, not only to ensure that rules are followed, but also so that the salon might judge which of the patrons show interest. But there's nothing forthcoming, and so with her spine curving 'just enough' that the temptation of her frame is a mere hair's breadth from his, she returns her attention with a lightness to her expression. "But as to me? Diamonds and generousity are what I adore. What more is there to know?"

"I did," Jean nods, smiling at Desarae's question, as he steps closer to her. Every dance step takes her a little closer to him, then a little further, the motions sweeping as if he knows where his feet are supposed to take the two of them. He leans in to whisper against her cheek, "I do," he tells her, reaching for the ring, then slowly sliding it down her ring finger, the thorns scratching ever so sweetly against her delicate skin, his lips curving into a deeper smile when she traces her lip with the tip of her tongue. It arouses him, and she can tell, with just the barest of hints when their bodies press again, before he steps back and allows that distance. "Diamonds and generosity. Perhaps I'll give you both," he muses, meeting her gaze, with a wider grin, now. "I will bid for you, and perhaps I will bid beyond, in due time, ensuring you learn much by my hand, my dear."

Desarae gasps lightly as Jean slides the ring past her knuckle. The thorns catch her skin to perfection, snagging against it like the claws of a kitten before releasing the flesh to settle at the base of the digit. A light pinkness mars her previously unblemished skin, and the smallest of smiles tugs at the edges of her lips as she wiggles her finger within the sharpness of its embrace. "My lord speaks exactly the words that I so love to hear," she says, eyes dropping to admire the ring on her finger. Is that a frown that pulls her brows together once her face is averted? A sigh? She allows herself to melt into the dance, and she's a natural grace to her that enables her to effortlessly follow his steps. Light and lithe, she makes quite certain to lean back just enough to afford him an easy view of her decolletage. Not that there's much to be found there, her position as a prized novice in the final weeks before her debut ensuring that her gown is cut to retain a certain mystery to the figure beneath. "My price is anticipated to rise quite high, my lord." she goes on to say, her eyes lifted from her hand and back to his face, and it's with perhaps a dig of mischief that further adds, "Perhaps too high for your purse…?" She dangles the possibility before him, brows knitting lightly as she searches his face. But for what?

"My father is a Duke, and I can move … a lot for a bidding. He knows that, and I know that," Jean tells Desarae, meeting her gaze. Yes, there is intent there, a lot of intent. And he knows what she's looking for because he's looking for it in hers as well. She can tell that he's a sadist, something tempered under a lot of discipline, self-discipline which he doesn't seem to have unless you're really looking for it. But there it is, and it's undeniable. Maybe he's trying to read her as well, with those sharp eyes of his, digging deep into her soul in an attempt to search for that je ne sais pas quoi. His gaze dips to her chest, very briefly, and he drinks in what sight there is to have, but the press of his body to hers tells him all that he needs to know, that he needed to see. "And besides, there are always deals to be made, Lady Desarae. Always. I'm a very fierce negotiator."

Desarae's breath hitches in her chest, and momentarily she's pinned by Jean's eyes and the look that he gives her. Her teeth drag at her lower lip, a drag that's hard enough that a bead of blood is drawn to its tender surface. Barely visible, it nevertheless stains the line between her lips as she pulls her gaze from his and casts her eyes down. It's a too little and potentially too late show of demureness that will fool nobody, and perhaps least of all him. She's a rarity amongst her canon; the willing submissive not clearly evident in either her actions or her words, but there for those that know how to look. This is a girl that will push and be pushed. To be broken and tamed. She's a gem as hard as the diamonds she confesses so much to adore. "Oh deals. Deals, deals, deals…" she opines, affecting the insolence of a spoiled young socialite. Her hand lifts to her face as she speaks, the ring drawn lightly across her mouth so that the thorns and gems glisten with traces of blood. There's a challenge in her expression as she watches his eyes. "Perhaps others negotiate better." Séverine, her Second, had warned her not to antagonise potential patrons since it could bring future retribution, but she does it anyway, poking with a metaphorical stick at the hornet's nest that is Jean.

"Believe it or not," Jean murmurs, watching that beadlet of blood that she spreads across her bottom lip. The fact she is forbidden to touch, in any way, in such a backwards concept of what is purity, infuriates him. He'll love the living contrast of the canon that she embodies and what she really is, he can tell, already. The show of demureness does not fool him, and then again, is it really for his benefit or for her own? Or for the more distance onlookers on the Dowayne's employ? He'll shape this gem if he can get away with it, with the harsh strokes of a master jeweler who will make her the sharpest diamond ever made out of the rough. "You will be mine." He tells her in a voice that brooks no argument, "and by the time I am done, you'll remember my name only with the fluttering of your heart, and the marks, temporary or not, I'll leave on your body. I know who you are now, girl. I can tell."

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