(1310-04-24) Rooftop Encounters
Summary: A chance encounter of two cousins and a stranger: Carenza, Timeo, and Imogen. After some confusion and then playful but idle conversation Timeo shares his reasons for travelling so far from home, leading Imogen to make a joke that leads to genuine consideration of the two as a potential match. So the two of them wander off for some private time to get aquainted.
RL Date: Tue Apr 24, 1310
Related: A Meeting in the Market
timeo imogen carenza 

Ducal Palace - Rooftop Garden


It's a cold and wet drizzle that is falling on the gardens this morning. In other words, it's Camlachian weather outside. And there is one Camelian that is taking full advantage of the weather to get in some much needed training. Training against one of the guards, Timeo's large blade cuts through the air as it collides with the guard's training weapon, the pair of them using blunted weapons to prevent actual injury.

He's apparently needing to work on his practice, as his use of the blade has needed the work, and while the guard is able to hold his ground, the recently appointed Vicomte is trying to make his push, though he's grinning to beat the devil. "It really does get the blood up and working, don't you think?" he asks between strikes as he finds himself stepping back from a particularly visicous parry as the two continue the dance of the blade, before there comes a runner to the guard, that interrupts the fight.

"I'm sorry, my Lord. I have to return to my duties." the guard offers apologetically with a bow of his head towards Timeo.

"It was well-fought and I look forward to further crossing blades with you!" he offers a pat on the shoulder of the guard before he returns the tip of his head to the bow to dismiss him to his duties as he takes a few steps back to allow the sword to pierce and slice about in the air against an invisble enemy.

A young blonde makes her way to the sky garden, like many mereliot visitors, likely desiring the close by garden without the trouble of emerging from the palace grounds. She visibly tenses when she hears the clash of swords and silk slippers make a soft whooshing sound in her hurry to get outside and see the damage, only to realise it's a honourably intentioned duel with practice swords, she relaxes and goes to take a seat nearby as she watches the scene play out.

What did a fresh-blooming grape hyacinth ever do to offend a peer of the realm? Evidently little of consequence save nod over one too many times, stem weakened, to blot ink on a half-covered page. Splattered droplets spread from the impact zone. Uttering a sound of none too tolerant irritation, the dark-haired vicomtesse jams her pen through the questionable bloom, pinning it to the damp soil. "And stay there."

ot quite so victorious as Timeo over the guard, but so be it. Count victories where you can, said some long-dead, mostly forgotten Tiberian scholar. Step back a moment, the disruption burst out from such promise. The day provided an opportunity to the lithe young woman partaking of the lush garden, hopeful for a gasp of fresh air above the
glittering cobalt sheet of the sea. Carenza was enjoying writing under shelter of an ornamental orange tree,Rain hardly troubles her; 'tis the right season to accumulate steely clouds and an incipient chill off the toes of the Camaelines. But now she's stabbing flowers. Alas.

Ah, but the victory was barely won, as evidenced by the burdened breath that Timeo blows out once the guard is clearly out of sight. "Apparently I am in need of more practice than I had assumed." he chides himself. "I shall have to stride to try harder next time." And that would have been that if he had not heard the soft swoosh of fine fabric that contrasts against the hard stone path of the gardens. As he twists his sword to place it away, he lifts his head to meet the young blonde that has recently peered out from against the brush and flowering blooms.

"My apologies if I alarmed you." he offers polietly, "Though I fear you have arrived too late, the battle has been completed, and none were the wiser for the victory, yet in the draw, I find some need for improvement - as I always should." There's a grin offered towards the woman as he gives her a polite nod, just as he hears the darker beauty speak up from within the bushes.

Perhaps he should have paid more attention to the surroundings. Little did he know that he was fueling the quill upon parchment of Carenza's writings as he glances over towards her and watching her stab at the errant blossoms that dare assault the writer's sanctuary, and a smile of amusement touches upon his abnormally bright green eyes.

The once worried and somewhat frustrated expression of the blonde quickly melts into something /much/ more amiable and friendly upon being informed what was going on, and she offers a warm smile to the man as she shakes her head. "No need for apologies, as long as the duel was for practice or good natured sparring, that's entirely understandable. I was just worried because we've been dealing with some fights in town as you might have heard," she explains with a tired chuckle.

Yon glorious array of blossoms grow unmolested save for the errant hyacinth. Let that warning be laid bare to clumps of rosemary and peonies, marguerites tenderly shying back from the quivering shaft of the pen plunged point-first into the richly tended bed. A few pale green leaves stroke over Carenza's boots, bold enough to capture a touch of the young woman while she sits herself back up. A wave of chestnut hair revealing a plethora of sun bleached highlights rolls over her brow, swept back by ink-smudged fingers. One rescue complete and she's not alone, a fact so plainly illustrated by the greetings in exchange and a departing guard probably left wondering if a new ducal gardener escaped notice. Not with that Mereliot gold skin, she's not.

"Fights in town?" The inquiry hangs in the air like the perfume of honey suckle or the delicate waxy flowers just barely emerging into the grey light of spring. "Do pardon me, I meant not to interrupt your conversation. Merely that sounds rather concerning." Or outright fascinating. Into that brink goes the dusky creature, fearless as ever. "Has this been a matter for long, or something that follows with the full moon?"

The dark and dusky beauty is a stark contrast to the lithe and beautiful blonde, and Timeo can't help but to notice the contrast between the pair, though it is Imogen's words that draw his attention towards her. "I had not heard of such clashes. I am only recently arrived in the city and had yet to capture the proper scuttlebutt that I should be aware of." And then the man seems to realize his error - of course he wouldn't know any of these women, he has yet to make a proper introduction.

"And lo, I find myself in the presence of the dawn and twilight in twain,
Two visions lovely, in the drizzlling rain.
I should be proper in my introduction,
Though news of battle brought interruption."

It's pretty.. terrible - but noone ever accused the large Camelian of being one of the great wordsmiths. But he smiles nonthless, he's proud of himself and his makeshift poem. "I am Timeo d'Aiglemort, recently appointed to the Vicomte de Marileux."

To her credit, the blonde doesn't laugh at Timeo when he unleashes his rather terrible rhymes upon the pair. Wether that is remarkable composure or admiration that he could come up with such words on the spot is indeterminable, instead she just moves on to the more pressing subject. "Two young nobles had a fight in the square the other day, one claimed he insulted his sister, while the other clearly just wanted a fight. It went beyond first blood, a doctor alongside the guard needed to be called," she explains with a sigh before shaking her head. "But this is the only fight of note i've come across, peasant brawls and the like, sure, but this was the only one that turned deadly," she explains before turning back from the woman who inquired to the man who introduced himself. "Imogen no Dahlia de Mereliot, heir to the Comte de Florac," she greets.

Certain harbingers define a person; a sword, Camael's favour, the scent of apples, a Somerville. Twilit-violet eyes belong solely to the L'Envers; the golden skin, Mereliot. "Entirely a pleasure not to be abated in this delightful weather, my lord. Though you have me at disadvantage, for a turn of eloquence warrants quite another." That mellifluous voice warms several degrees with merriment, and fingers lace together to conceal the proof of a scholastic approach — or letter writing, who is to say. Clearly no lack of confidence on Carenza's part applies.

Plucking up the spoiled paper, she rolls it into a tube little suited for dueling except on the grounds of a lyceum. "Carenza Mereliot, vicomtesse of Sault and eventually the Comte de Vaucluse, very plausibly up to no good. She," a nod to the marqued kinswoman, "is invariably better behaved. My lady. Though I lament." Lips firmed up in a line, she casts a glance through the verdant foliage at the sea. "Duels between hot-headed fools, no doubt. Cavalier attitudes defending honour is well and good, but bandying about an �p�e and drawing blood smacks of bravado. May the chirurgeons have said as much."

"There is plenty that could be said of a Lady that speaks so heartily of adventures yet taken that reflect so deeply in her eyes." Timeo responds to Carenza, amusement touching the sides of his smile, and crinkling the scar above his right eye. "Hot headed fools that find this the spring of their heart's intent, possibly." comes the musing from the large Vicomte, before he returns his attention to the pair.

"You were witness to this event, however?" he asks curiously. "Perhaps you can tell us of the intentions of this duel. Were they truly pushing towards the death or only for the blood?"

Imogen chuckles softly and nods to both their words on the subject of the duel. "Unfortunately yes, I was just coming home from meeting with a new friend, we all ended up gathered and chatting away in the marketplace, it was nice, but then the young lord was taunted and enraged by the newly arrived lord, Ghislain, i believe. Had it not been in the marketplace i would have let it be, but as there were innocents in the vicinity, and it had quickly gone beyond first blood, I had to have the guards called, and see the lord to a medic," she explains.

"Oui, a great many. How many fond reminisces trail in my wake, or pain me in a darker brush to besmirch my reputation, there lies the great question." Mirth takes hold in the rich heliotrope tinder of her eyes, tilted up slightly at the corners when Carenza refrains from laughing too boldly. Whereas Imogen harbours a better sense of decorum, hers is a different sense of candor; perhaps the revelations of the noontide sun to the softer half-moon over a tranquil field of lavender. "No matter, however. Your questions truly are good ones, and instructive at that. It would seem unfortunate that in sight of the Lady's own home, someone ventilates another. Clearly they never
thought to settle on a Bryony to fix the matter, or stakes other than the pointed sort."

That recalls her pen, one to be claimed discreetly elsewhere. Rocking back slightly on her heels, her boots creaking, she balances that ruined scroll in hand. "A blessing nonetheless you thought to act quickly and engage the chirurgeons. Such things can easily grow out of hand. Ah well. Is there aught other news?"

"With you, I agree, Vicomtesse Carenza." Timeo agrees with a solemn nod of his head. "It would have been much more civil and far more.. entertaining to have such greivances settled at the hands of a Bryony, and the challenges they would have been sure to present." The large man gives a casual shrug of his shoulders before he nods towards Imogen as well.

"As Carenza said, your actions and quick thought likely saved a life, Lady Imogen. Well done."

Imogen chuckles softly and shakes her head. "I did what any one would do, but i'll gladly pass on your praise to my aunt," she replies with a good natured grin before arching a single brow at Carenza's suggestion. "I will grant you that a Bryony is good for games of chance, but i'm afraid only a game of skill would assauge their prides, you know how men can be," she explains with a small smirk.

Surrendering to the amusement, the darker haired young woman tucks her fingers behind her ears, pushing back another lock. "No doubt she will appreciate it, if you mean our aunt the Lady." Subtle stress from Carenza there; only one Lady with a capital L, emphasis on the syllable, rules this part of the roost. "A Bryony takes wagers for skill. They could dare one another to climb to the highest domed tower, forge a rope to tie 'round their ankles, and leap right off. Whomever comes closest to the ground without entanglement wins, and dismiss the claims. Public humiliation for sake of a woman or man does seem a bit steep as a matter of consequence around love, but ah. Blood, no. Passions run
high in the blood, no need to spread puddles of it."

"Oui. I have seen enough of the bloodshed to understand the need to keep it within." The scars on Timeo's frame prove that, as he chuckles. "At least until one of them misjudges their knot and finds that the sudden stop of gravity with the ground, or a broken neck or leg would cause more words of taint and cheating than anything that a sword would possibly bring."

Imogen nods softly and smiles. "Indeed I am, i can't imagine why else father would have me here and not the county if not to be making nice with her," she points out with a grin, though she tilts her head at the mention of cousins. "I wasn't aware there were yet more cousins in town, but it's nice to meet you then dear cousin," she greets with a good natured smile. She turns to timetheo with a sympathetic smile. "As do i,though i've thankfully never had to fight, just be fought over," she remarks good naturedly.

"Learning, opportunities, and keeping you fully out of his hair?" Oh, to malign the Comte de Florac so! Except chances are fair to good Carenza does nothing of the sort, altogether familiar with that commiserating look to Imogen, heavy with the weight of /knowing/ such things. "Mother is very much the same. Then again, she has scarcely ever nailed my boots to the ground. Had Elua meant to give us wings, I find myself sorely put out flight is impossible. Would we had some means to take ourselves aloft like the birds." Familial resemblances aside, she flashes a bright smile that instantly illuminates her features with all the force of a bonfire in a dark forest. That ignition sparks from little more than d'Angeline ichor and sheer effervescence. "What is it that brings you to the city, my lord? Surely not only to partake of the gardens and put the fear of Camael's sturdy blade into recalcitrant foliage?"

That brings a chuckle in response from the large Camelachian as he considers the pair and lets out a breath. "If it were only such battles against the rogue weed that I must face. No, I face a much more daunting task." he admits as he settles his stance into a more relaxed posture and smirks. "My cousin seems to consider the idea of weighing me down with a land to not be enough of a punishment for a deed done." There's mirth in his tone. Amusement. He's not taking it too hard, it appears.

"Apparently the prior Vicomte had made overtures of a match made between Eisande and Camlach that would secure trade between our two lands - and the Duc has tasked me to find one to stand at my side to guide Marilux into the future as well. At least he was kind enough to give me until a year after my next birthday for the search." he responds with a roll of his eyes at the very idea.

The young Mereliot laughs at her cousins rather accurate description of the home situation. "More lime marriages, twelve years in dahlia ended up a rather fitting education for a fitting comtesse," she replies before her eyes drift to the scion of Camlach in their midst. "No, much like our friend here it's just a grand overture about finding a husband, with my eldest half brother dead, and his twin in the church, only myself and my younger half sister remain of the main line, and heirs for the comte need to be made i suppose," she explains, with about as much enthusiasm as her male counterpart, which is perhaps the exact reason mirthful blue-gray eyes meet his with a smirk. "so then when do we wed?" she jokes good naturedly.

"Verily so. I heard the news of your brother, and I grieve his loss. Though he awaits in the true Terre d'Ange that lies beyond." For all her winsome youth, Carenza shifts moods the way some courtesans alter their hairpieces, tossing them down and plucking them back up altogether with the same ease. "Naturally, everyone looks to heirs. I know it enough; my mother reminds me she has ambitions to retire one day from the title, take up that life of raising remarkable vintages of wine, and leave me with the matter of the taxes." Affection blends into a certain degree of exasperation; one standing in direct line to a comte naturally would suffer that, especially when she bears the
cadet title already. C'est la vie! Not too loudly complaining, thus.

"One cannot complain for the lack of suitable and eligible sorts within the lovely province, for that is a certainty." She curls her fingers, drawing a natural spiral. "All around, the beauties of the world remain in their surest flowering here. And no doubt the climes of your snowy, spellbinding holding shall find the mark. Even we can tire of flowers of beaches and marshes. Or mayhap more accurately, unity in the borderlands of Terre d'Ange should well be encouraged. Elua knows we all could use a little more of that now and then, especially with half the world running amok."

There's a warm chuckle that rises from Timeo at Carenza's words. "I will have to seek you out to speak so lovely of the stark stone of my lands when I do find the one." he teases her gently, though the blonde's words do color his cheeks for a moment.

"There would be so many discussions to be had, my Lady. Surely you would have first choice of our children for your heir, and after that, the next would be for Camlach. We would have to make.. many.. heirs." he smirks back at Imogen, giving her a little wink.

A soft smile and nod manages to break through that infamous Dahlia composure at the vicomtesse's words. "Indeed he does, but we shall still miss him here," she agrees, the moment is breif, before she moves on with the typical grace and tact one would expect of her, but a perceptive one could notice the hints in her expression, at least before Timeo speaks and she's drawn into an all too familliar line of discussion. "Indeed we would, I think any heirs from the two of us would be quite fearsome indeed, my intelligence and natural charisma combined with your military might, i think many heirs is the only way to go," she replies smoothly, there's an easy wave of seduction that flows off her as she speaks, one must guess it is not just Eisheth that runs in her blood.

"Twould seem a necessity to bear witness to your impending nuptials, such as it pleases your family lines. Would you require me to sketch out the banns for you, or plot the course of the proper letter?" Carenza is all wickedness and fire, illuminated by that brilliant effervescent edge like the eclipsed sun. It may take considerable effort to fully suppress the irascible curve of that smile, petal bright as it is, but she inclines her head in a manner satisfactory to any court. That ought to be no surprise, given her particular line has more than its fair share of great houses
braided in and, probably worse, a dollop of Shahrizai and L'Envers blood to boot. Fingers curl to easy, mellow measure and she bows from the waist. "I shall be glad of your daring plan for peace, one way or the other. Settling all the longstanding quibbles by a smart arrangement that respects our heritage but looks progressively for opportunities ought to be encouraged. Now let's find me a Cassiline, obtain ourselves some priestess of, say, Naamah or a twinkling eyed chevalier with a terrible secret, and we are meet for some kind of adventure, no?"

As the two women speak up and start making plans, Timeo's brows rise far up his forehead and then he gives a more hearty laugh. "As I was just told by you, my dear 'betrothed'." he says to Imogen as he takes her hand with a flourish. "Even if I were to take your hand in marriage this knight, would there not be the would-be suitor that has already drawn blood once for you?" he asks her with an amused wrinkle at the corner of his eyes.

"And I have not brought with me a proper token of affection to present to you - though as our marriage is purely based on securing the peace and trade of our two lands, I would need your Duchess' approval to claim such. But, we could always see how compatible we are, with proper chaperone as to make sure that our interactions are pure of intent - at leats in public." There's a wink at her with that.

His attention returns to Carenza, "And I can see the story already brewing in your eyes, how they met in the gardens, drawn together through force, will they eventually find their heart with the other, or will it be a trite and loveless contract, one where only heirs and not hearts matter. Nay, I say to that, for I am a romantic and would try my best to earn my wife's heart, even when our lands pull us apart at inopprotune moments, it will make them only sweeter when brought back together again." He's clearly laying it on thick in this 'dream scenario'.

Wit and amusement twinkle in the Mereliot's eyes, though not so much as to make one assume the /entire/ idea is a joke. More it is her cousins eagerness to go along with the plan that amuses her, it would be remiss to dismiss the, admittedly abrupt, match as having no merit. She turns to her 'betrothed' as he takes her hand and grins easily enough at his words. "There hasn't been a suitor drawing blood over me for the last year or two, if even back then," she remarks good naturedly as a simillair crinkle comes to her own eyes at the notion. "I'm always amenable to getting to know fellow nobles, especially if such aquaintences could lead to better relationships between our two
lands," she agrees cheerfully and if there's a faint crack in the mask, admitting that secretly the future comtesse may be a romantic, well it's very brief and easily missed if either party isn't perceptive enough to catch it.

Among the Eisandine, those could be fighting words. Carenza's own grandmother has whole shelves of books penned under her name; the dusky maiden herself has a reputation budding and blossoming faster than dandelions in spring. Her mouth thins a fraction, those brilliant eyes coming alive in so much indigo fire, but the smile never wavers in the least. "Oh? Would my pen ever capture something so terribly forlorn, may the tragedy at least be a /worthy/ one, a tale to captivate an audience across the seas as much as at my feet. For without emotion, you have no story, no prose worth sharing, for it lacks the soul. Loveless and dry? Hardly worth the foolscap someone would scribble out the mess upon."

One good turn and she threatens to swoon backwards at least upon the orange tree and a collection of rosemary bushes planted round the bottom. Her sigh is pure drama, though not without its measured, perfectly acceptable wink to go with it. "No, truly. You're both quite safe. Besides, nascent romance deserves to shelter a while under the presiding arms of the night until thoroughly rooted. I daresay Lady Imogen knows something about maintaining decorum and a facade restrained by a certain eloquence, no?"

"I.. I did not mean offense." And perhaps he realize he has stepped in something he should not have as he has insulted the Mereloit. Releasing Imogen's hand, Timeo reaches behind him to scratch at the back of his neck. "I would believe that anything you would write on this would be the most admirable words possible." he says quietly, as he glances aside to Imogen. "Because she does inspire such words, in that you are correct." he manages.

There's a little pause, and he finally considers the honesty of the idea as he glances towards the young blonde. "Then should we plan a dinner together to learn more of the other and see if we could be truly compatible in the match we are both required to have?"

"No harm done." Laughter can flicker fast indeed, and the Mereliot mendacantrix — or rather, a rooted cousin thereof — sketches out a neat curtsey, laughter settling back in. "Perhaps you shall owe me a sweet roll on the matter as we settle peacefully. I shan't be so gauche to hold that too much against you. But of a surety, I do not intend harm upon any lovers — witting at least. I shall admit even the finest pen is well and truly blunted betimes." Her fingertips dabble. "Alas, tis the moment for me to head within and see whatever fascination awaits with a tailor. Kushiel have mercy!" And with that, she's off, because it's time to run.

Before her cousin easily forgives the offending lord it looks as if she is prepared to be a gallant betrothed and intercede on his behalf. But like the true tempermental artist her cousin must be, all is forgiven, they're dubbed lovers, and she sweeps out of the scene, leaving them alone in the gardens with each other, at which point Imogen is all but compelled to gesture to the now empty space beside her with a good natured grin. "But I am very amenable to getting to know you further should you wish it, I admit it started as a joke, but there is much in the matches favour if we decide we should be compatible for it," she agrees with a small, almost shy smile.

Timeo nods. "I had sensed your humor in it at first.. however.." he turns his attention to her, and for a moment, his hand raises. "May I?" he asks, his hand hovering near her cheek to caress it, but only if she allows. "Though I believe you would bring far more to the table than I. But I would find being with you favorable." His cheeks flare slightly at that, studying the woman's blue eyes with his own bright ones. "Would you like to speak in public, or should we retire for a more private conversation?" That was a little brave.

Imogen smiles softly and, in this moment between the two of them, seems to allow the Dahlia mask to fall away, revealing the suprisingly shy girl beneath it as a shade of pink begins to bloom in her cheeks, but she does not deny his caress, even if she is somewhat shy in welcoming it. "I like what I know of you so far, while I would like to know you better on a personal level I think you have more to bring to the table than you give yourself credit," she offers gently before considering his offer and admits quietly. "Would you think less of me for saying i am not overly concerned wether our conversation is public or not?" she asked, perhaps wisely choosing to hide behind the
hypothetical.

His fingers are calloused, well-worn from war and action. She can see the scars on his arm and hand easily, before the Vicomte meets the furture Comte's eyes. "And I know I can appreciate what you would bring to our match, Imogen." he uses her first name quietly, softly, a whisper between the pair of them before he tilts down and kisses the side of her mouth, and allows her to lead in this part of the dance. "Shall we, then?"

Blue-gray eyes watch him, she's done romance, she's done intimacy, and yet this all feels so much different to her. Because it's real? She'd like to think so, and it's certainly better than any idea she was led to expect when she was told about having to find a husband. "I think we shall Timeo," she whispers before his lips come to the corner of her lips and hers repeat the motion, parting reluctantly as she rises to lead him somewhere they might be afforded some privacy from prying eyes.

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