(1310-04-27) A Handkerchief Returned
Summary: Belmont calls on Desarae at La Rose Sauvage in order to return the 'kerchief she'd given him.
RL Date: Apr 27, 2018
Related: A Meeting in the Market
desarae belmont marco 

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.%r%rThe 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.


Mid-afternoon in Salon de la Rose Sauvage tends to be the quietest part of the day. Servants that have spent the morning tidying away the excesses of the night before have now departed, and a few of the Salon's novices and adepts drift about the place. There's still work to be found in the arrangement of flowers or a minutiae of other details such as the tugging of the corner of a cushion, the straightening of a mirror, and there's always gossip to be had. One novice not partaking in any of these pastimes is stretched on her stomach the length of a chaise longue, a book spread open before her and her heels kicked up above her backside. She wears a glorious confection of ivory chiffon, the style of her gown youthful and enchanting, and her hair is worn down, brushed to a sheen by a thousand strokes of bristle-haired brush. A yawn is stifled and a page is turned, and Desarae blinks hard to chase away the tiredness that staying awake so late the night before has visited on her.

*

Mid-afternoon is a pretty unconspicious time to arrive at a salon. At least this may have been what Belmont d'Eresse assumes, as he enters through the door, almost furtively in the way his gaze is lowered, and the lightness of steps in that almost attempt of sneaking. It is clear that Belmont has not visited Rose Sauvage before, as he pauses, holding his breath for a moment to let the rather dark interior impress upon him. He is clad like a nobleman would, fine clothes befitting his station, dark green the dominating color in his doublet and breeches. The elegant rapier dangles in its sheath at his side, more prop today perhaps than actual tool of bloodshed. The young lord's eyes alight, when he spots Desarae sprawling on the couch, a view that has him hesitate though, for a moment. As if he considered whether she'd be pleased with a disturbance of any kind. A disturbance his greeting would cause. But it is what he came here for after all, to see her, and so his steps lead him over to the couch. "Tired, hmm?", is offered in the low voice of Belmont, a bit of empathy there perhaps. A greeting aimed not to startle but to alert her gently to his presence.

*

Marco seems to quite enjoy his time at the Rose Sauvage and so another afternoon brings him in earlier than his usual visits. The young man's eyes flicker around the room examining it curiously. He glances over to the two figures studying Belmont taking a time to assess him and place the familiar figure before letting out an 'ah' of recognition as he inclines his head to the two smiling in amusement observing the young woman in her repose and her attending nobleman.

*

Desarae is caught in that twilight zone; that place where wakefulness slips into sleep. Her eyes are sliding closed when Belmont interrupts her, and her folded hand slips from beneath her chin as her head jerks up. "Ngh!" Such an attractive sound. Her head twists and her eyes fall on Belmont. "Oh! Hello my lord!" She pushes up on her arms to lever herself into a sit. "Late night. Yes. Quite tired." She explains, albeit through the fog of the waking as a hand scrubs over her face and she peeks up at him. Dark hair is pushed from her face, and it actually does take her another moment to collect herself and take to her feet. A curtsey is made. "Forgive me. Would my lord like to sit, or to have me fetch someone for him? Some refreshments?" She catches the arrival of Marco as she tries to backpedal with Belmont, and a smile ghosts her face as her cousin is recognised. Not that she'll call across to him, for she's been caught out by Belmont, and is trying to make amends.

*

Belmont is clearly not in terrain he is used to. The young man shows subtle signs of nervousness, which is apparent in the way he turns his head, startled, when he hears Marco enter shortly after. But there, attention returns to Desarae, and he takes a half-step backwards when she moves to stand. Insecurity shifts into a more confident cast. "Oh… It is I that needs to be forgiven, my lady.", he interjects hasitly. "As it is was I who disturbed… Ah, nevermind!" He nods then, to the novice's question, "Yes… I would like that. Sit that is. I don't need any refreshments, though." Sitting down on a chair - not the couch - he glances up at her, his gaze sweeping the whole of her frame coincidentally. "I… I came here because there is something I need to return to you, Lady Desarae."

*

A smile melts on Desarae's face. "Well it cannot be my heart, for my heart has never been claimed," she teases, fingers quickly taming her hair so it falls neatly behind her ears. Skirts are smoothed and her smile deepens at Belmont's display of nerves. "My lord seems a little unsettled. You really should not be. We are perfectly lovely here in Rose Sauvage." A pause. "Well, most of us." Her voice lowers a notch. "I cannot speak for the Mandrakes, of course." Eyes sparkle with amusement as she picks a pillow from the sofa and drops it to the floor at the foot of Belmont's chair. She'll allow her cousin to be approached by one of the other novices or adepts since he's a regular here. She lowers herself to kneel. Adopting the abeyante position, eyes lowered and with her hands palms downwards on her thighs, she waits for him to speak. It might make Belmont uncomfortable, but it'll allow him at the very least a moment to collect his thoughts and to address the nervousness he shows.

*

There is a minimal upwards twitch of his brows, as Belmont catches that counter, and the wit behind it. "It is not your heart," he assures with a smile that shows some humor of his own, "even if there was blood involved in the process." That fiant sign of mirth dims a little, but probably more from noting the matter-of-factness with which Desarae elects to settle herself in a graceful kneel before him. "Oh!", Belmont makes as if he was going to object to that gesture, but then chuckles a little at himself. "Of course. I am not used to this place. It is not what I would seek out when looking for…" His brows wrinkle a touch, as he seeks for the right word, "entertainment." Grey-blue eyes alight, as they study the young rose in all her faintly stubborn allure. "I am not afraid of any Mandrakes," Belmont is ready to assure, though, lifting his chin. "They have blades and I have mine," a poor jest really, which he realizes at once, his demeanor dimming a little. And indeed, a pause follows, as he gathers himself and ponders how to continue.

"I came to thank you for your assistance, Lady Desarae. Even if I regret you had to be there to witness…" He coughs, leaving the rest of the sentence dangling. "Your concern in offering up your handkerchief deserves my gratitude." His hand slips into a pocket at his side, and he draws forth the handkerchief in question, unfolding it to present it to her. It has been thoroughly cleaned, apart from a faint shadow at one corner, where his blood may have proven a little too persistent to be removed. "I've had this cleaned." He blinks. "You want it back, I suppose?"

*

"That is so kind of you, my lord." Desarae's head lifts and bright green eyes will meet with his as she takes the cotton square from his hand. "I really did not expect to see this again, and the embroidery that I laboured over is… questionable at best. I'm not so skilled with a needle and silks as I perhaps ought be, and am forever having to unpick my work." She doesn't inspect it too closely, and if she notes the stain that marks its corner, she makes no comment on it as she slips it away to a pocket in her dress. Her eyes remain on his. "I will confess, was quite worried for you, my lord. Your injuries seemed severe and you were bleeding so much. I am so very happy that the healers managed to get you back on your feet so fast. Your sister is lucky indeed to have a brother like you."

*

Belmont looks well pleased to see her accept back her handkerchief. As if he'd considered she'd refuse it after all. The matter he evaded, however, was evident, and he knew from her subtle counter that there were questions lurking. "I was taken to the Temple of Eisheth first," he told her, "and from there to the infirmary. A few days there, and I was able to return home. The handkerchief I handed to my…" A faint blush touched his cheeks, "sister, that she could see it cleaned before the blood would have dried further upon it." A faint smile there, of brotherly affection lingering in his tone as well, "She was of course relieved to see me alive. So it is her thanks I have to convey to you as well. She asked me to. To the lovely Rose who parted with her needlework to stop my bleeding." Whatever implications and teases had flown back and forth between Belmont and his sister, little shows in the meanwhile somehow composed demeanor.

*

"Then I would ask that you convey my thanks in kind to your sister," Desarae says, scrutinising Belmont's face and the blush that rises there. "Truly, had the blood not been quickly rinsed from it, the stain would have set. I am only surprised that you managed to pick it out from the numerous other cloths that must have littered the infirmary once the healers had you in their hands." Her mouth purses and her cheeks inflate, her breath being held behind the lips for a second before its blown away and another smile is offered. "Are you sure that I might not fetch you some wine or refreshments? Something to eat? We are all for hospitality here, and in making those that visit feel welcome." There's a small shift of her weight where she kneels, and toes that had earlier been kicked from their slippers curl, as if she's fighting tiredness and cramp in her legs. No wonder the offers been made.

*

<FS3> Belmont rolls Perception: Good Success. (2 2 8 6 3 7)

*

"Irène will be pleased," Belmont responds, "and it was she who saved it from being tossed away with some of my ruined clothes, after I asked her to. She is a kind soul. That Ghislain did not tell the truth in what he claimed she had done." As if assuring that was an important thing he had to point out to her. "The way he spoke of her…" He bites his lip, brows rising meaningfully. "I only wish I'd managed to teach him a lesson for all his taunts and lies." Desarae's discomfort he notices, and with a flicker of concern he leans back and nods. "Of course… Perhaps a glass of wine? I am not hungry, though."

*

You may comfort yourself with the thought that Lord Ghislain is not a gentleman," Desarae returns, brows knitting with the frown that now settles on her face. "No gentleman would ever speak of a lady so. It tells of a severe lacking of character on his part." Having said her piece, she gives a grateful nod to Belmont's request for wine, and pushes herself quickly to her feet. The soft chiffons of her skirt flutter about her ankles, and after batting them back into place, she looks over to one of the side tables, where an array of glasses and decanted wines are set. "But the important question now," she smiles, "… is would you like red wine or white?"

*

"Indeed." Belmont nods his head, expression turning thoughtful along with that trace of indignation and unfinishd business there. "And something tells me, this won't be my last run-in with that cur of a Ferraut." He may have lost that duel, but the fire of revenge still flickers in his eyes, even if slightly subdued. His gaze follows Desarae as she moves to stand and walks so gracefully over to the side. "Red wine," he replies, holding her gaze with his own for a moment, perhaps wondering if she'd expected that choice, or perhaps pondering other matters. "Has a day been set for your debut yet?" The question comes, casual almost, but there is something forced to it, as if posing it is a thing he has been shying away from.

*

Desarae walks beautifully, skilled already in the art of keeping a man's eyes firmly upon her. There's that ever so slight hitch to her hips as she walks, designed to emphasise the still slender curves of her figure. It sets her hair swinging left to right where it kisses the small of her back, and through it all she retains an artless grace of carriage. Wine is selected, poured, and placed on a tray, which she carries with her back to where Belmont sits. "A Kusheline red, my lord. One of the finest they say. I do so hope that you like it. They say that it holds a warmth and softness to it which difficult to find in the Namarrese reds." She sets the tray on the table before him, then with a roll of her shoulders and a discrete stretch of her muscles, she sinks to a kneel once more. "My debut is planned for the evening of my natality. That is, to say, the sixteenth day of June. Do you think you might come?"

*

Night Court training always manages to draw attention, and Belmont is not immune to the allure in Desarae's stride. Each movement of hers is followed by his attentive eyes, a gaze that threatens more and more to become a stare. No objection is given, of course, to her choice of beverage. "Kusheline Red, hmmm?", the nobleman echoes as he takes a goblet from the offered tray. "I'm more used to the Namarrese wines. Well," his shoulder lifts in a half-shrug as he takes a first sip, taking his time to appreciate the taste, a pleasant velvet quality there that rolls down his throat as he swallows it. "The sixteenth of June.", he repeats the date, as if to memorize it. "I should be able to be there." A small smile at that. "It will be interesting, I dare say." But it would be foolish to get his hopes up high, probably. "I bet there will be quite the turnout."

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