(1310-05-03) Coffee and Compliments
Summary: Atreis Rousse and Juliette nó Lis d'Or are enjoying a bit of morning air on the former's ship, when Arterre de Valais comes around and is invited to join them for a bit of morning coffee and conversation.
RL Date: 03/05/2018
Related: None
atreis juliette arterre 

La Medouse — Marsilikos

A stalwart hull, lofty, banded in variegated hues of pine which speak of repairs to wounds which may have been substantial — but which were survived. The poop rises fair astern with twin double doors at port and starboard along its ediface, each door surrounded by carved oaken columns, fluted, triple-plinthed with a Corinthian curl of gleaming acanthus above. Inset in each door is a crystal window, opaque, depicting a whorling jellyfish. La Medouse.

The poop houses the great wheel which manipulates the rudder, the most sophisticated astrological equipment for their navigator, and a table on which maps can be consulted in the light of day if the weather holds. It also provides ample space to oversee the rigging on the three masts rising like giants in an ancient forest, all aligned down the center of the ship. The top deck is a working space, and though it offers pleasant enough views of the port, if at port, or the sea, if at sea, dallying there long will be sure to see you escorted about your business or given something to do.

Dawn in the harbor of Marsilikos may as well be mid-day. Sailors know how to rise to the work at hand, and La Medouse is a hub of activity. From the steep spiralling stairwell from the officers' quarters below to the command deck high above, Trey is stooping down to offer a hand to Jules, whom she had contracted to stay the evening with her aboard, again, now that La Medouse is back in the water from dry-dock. Trey has never slept well alone; she finds the best sleep she's ever had by Jules' side, and is in a merry mood when the latter comes to join her, enough to lift her from the stairwell and sweep her in a whirl of flaring gownage across the command deck, to the very rail, where she draws that twirling maiden in close to her and can't stop herself from kissing her in the rosy light of dawn.

Assignations as these are certainly different from what a courtesan usually would be expected to do. Even so, Juliette has come to appreciate these occasions of Atreis wishing to delight in her presence alone. And a presence she had been, breathing evenly beside the capitaine in her cabin at night, as they both had slipped off to slumber. A reassuring presence. A presence, that on this lovely morning is taken completely aback by the sudden forwardness of Atreis Rousse, and so Juliette puts up hardly any resistance when finding herself suddenly caught in her embrace, swept about, so that skirts are sent a-whirling and carried over to the railing, only to have all of this dashing gallantry topped off with a daring kiss, Juliette finds herself unable to refuse - even if it must draw glances from more than just one that are currently up and about. The blush, however is inevitable, to follow almost instantly, especially as the rosiness of damn provides such an adequate lighting.

Atreis' well-calloused thumb draws softly over the blushing cheek of her favored companion after their impromptu twirl and smooch on the tall stern de La Medouse. She has a ready energy about her — the winter has been good to her, and good to the ship, as well, which had spent it in dry dock under repairs before being returned to the slip on the first of the month. A fresh laquered stain gives the poop a bright and prosperous gleam, and Trey's eyes, dark and stormy as they are, gleam with a similar sense of prosperity to look down into the eyes of her beloved, to have her strong arms loosely but protectively looped around the young woman's waist and to return a caring smile for the blush she'd elicited with her sudden kiss. There's a general din on deck, as stands, and in the morning light it swells into a merry-mocking round of applause and sailors' comments when they catch their Capitaine in such a tender, amorous moment up in the command deck above. They get a sideways grin and a cant of the head from their Capitaine, in return, not embarrassed, really, but playing along.

There is a blush that stains immaculate cheeks, of what must be a member of the Marsilikos Night Court. The woman looks very young still, and she wears the fine attire that would be proper enough to be worn even at the palace. Dark hair is gathered and held in place with hair pins. Not a single one of those pins is out of place, and that goes for the few deliberate strands left to add to a romantic frame of beautiful d'Angeline features. Hazel eyes alight with a mixture of delight - and sheepishness, when the cheer of the sailors is heard. But there it is. The reaction that stresses the reality of what had just happened, a tender moment between the capitaine and her guest, the lovely Juliette nó Lis d'Or. The pair of them standing on deck, as if to enjoy the magic of clear morning air while a sun begins to rise slowly on the horizon to the east.

A solitary figure with windblown hair can be seen from a fair distance, down the length of the docks. Arterre Valais, youngest member of that family to sit one of its lordly seats, seems vaguely lost. Holding up one hand to keep golden strands in place against the breeze, he squints from one boat to another, taking stock of the ships in harbor…perhaps trying to work out which one of them is, in fact, the Medouse. The sight of Juliette standing on deck beside the ship's capitaine at last arrests his attention, green eyes blinking towards them, and the sunrise that lightens the sky beyond. He lingers there alongside the boat, as if not quite certain what etiquette demands, in this case. He studies the shape of the vessel, the sweep and swell of its hull, and the condition of its planks besides, but his attention is inexorably drawn back towards the women on deck. He doesn't raise his voice to hail them, however.

Atreis can't keep her guard down long, not in front of this crew — even though it might be well to show them, time to time, that their Capitaine is human, soon enough she resumes that stalwart tip of her chin and unshakable steely gaze that garnered her her nickname on the high seas; she turns away from Jules, but leaves one arm casually about the latter's waist, keeping the Lis d'Or maiden calmly tucked to her side as she looks down from the command deck to the lower deck and the preparations being hastened to completion. Her thumb moves in lazy circles, imperceptible to the sailors below, but a tender gesture of casual affection for her beloved courtesan. She spies the Valais on the docks far below, eagle-eyed as ever, and recognizes him from the administrative functions at which his land's moneys were appropriated for naval repairs. As a sort of patron of the navy, he should be welcomed aboard, and, seeing that he's shy to board, Trey summons one of the deckhands and points him out with a few directions.

Soon the hand is standing at the ready by the boarding ramp, and when Arterre comes close, he moves to salute the Vicomte and address him by title, then welcome him aboard and lead him to skirt the vibrant and dangerous flurry of action among the rigging on deck, and up to the command deck, where the Capitaine and her beloved companion are standing.

Juliette may be catching the eye indeed, a fine beauty of slender shape and fine attire, even as she stands beside Atreis de Rousse. The gentlemen strolling about the docks she notes when she follows the capitaine's gaze, and straightening slightly, she remains in that casual embrace of an arm that mayhaps merely aims to support her. The discreet circling of the thumb is noted however, and earns Atreis a warm glance from the Lis d'Or. Being neither sailor, capitaine nor funder of ships, the adept elects to remain silent, even if that does not keep her from welcoming Arterre with a smile.

"I fear that I am interrupting a tender moment," says Arterre, his voice fairly low, despite him being a man not quite out of his teenaged years. But not especially fearful, for he continues right ahead regardless. He scratches at his chin with his thumb, peering up towards the mainmast, and the men suspended in the rigging. He's clearly no experienced sailor, having the look of a tourist about him: someone seeing it all for the first time. He postures at casual disinterest. "I expect to be in the town on business for some time," he explains, "And so I thought I might go and see where all the money was being put to use. I must say I am impressed. The boat is much larger than I expected." A pause. "Oh — where are my manners. Whom do I have the honor of addressing?" This question is unmistakably directed at Atreis, though he acknowledges her companion Juliette with a nod.

"Fear not, Vicomte de Valais," Trey obviously knows him, even if he doesn't know her. But it's her business to know, really. It might be Arterre's business, too, but quite possibly to a lesser extent. After all, when the Duchesse requires funds for the navy, it isn't really the done thing to request to inspect the vessels and meet their Capitaines first. When funds are requested, funds are given. But it doesn't mean that those who sail aren't keenly aware of their benefactors. "You're very welcome here. Would you care for a cup of coffee?" she extends the offer, and, guiding Jules along with her to come meet the Vicomte, "Capitaine Atreïs Sidon de Rousse," she introduces herself with a click of a boot heel against boot heel and a short, sharp bend at the waist before she stands straight once more, takes a step to the side, and gesturing to her companion, "The exquisite Juliette no Lis d'Or, who has graciously deigned to grant me her company," she speaks the words, self-deprecating on their face, with just enough of a twist of good humor to them as to not seem deprecating in actuality.

"We were enjoying the view," Juliette replies with a charming smile, an natural ease there that cannot be all trained but may in fact have recommended her to foster and serve at that exquisite salon of Golden Lilies in the first place. "There are few things more breathtaking than witnessing the slow rise of the sun, on a warm and fair morning as this, my lord." Arterre's name still evades her, as she has not had the pleasure so far to make his acquaintance. "Pleased to meet you," is added as a subtle reminder of that fact, as it lacks address and title. Whereas Atreis' introduction of her draws a pleasant melodious chuckle from her lips. "The Lady Capitaine is painting quite a flattering view of me. Whereas it would be truer to say, that her company is similarly appreciated."

Visiting the ships may not be the done thing, but it is the thing Arterre requested. Perhaps it is even a faux pas. But he may very well not be savvy enough to know better. "Coffee would be lovely, but only if it is already prepared. You needn't go to the trouble of brewing it on my account." He smiles lopsidedly, easily, towards Juliette. "Oh, I think it is accurate — you are merely blessed enough that accuracy approaches what is flattery for the rest of us. Your presence would be a gift to any woman or man you chose to grant it to." He nods vaguely back in the direction of the lower decks. "It is a testament to the discipline of your men that they are not unduly distracted by it." Perhaps it is flattery of his own — or perhaps he even means it. "You've the look of someone with canny and experience," he tells Atreis. "Have you commanded this vessel for long?"

If it is a faux pas, Trey doesn't seem to mind it, at all. Nor is she one to stand much on ceremony or bark orders needlessly. Her lovely girl is charming the Vicomte, and receives a tender squeeze on the bottom when Trey unwinds her arm from about her hip in gratitude for doing so. She herself moves to the little table nailed to the deck up here, where an unassuming tin pot is still steaming in the morning air with a few thick ceramic cups alongside. "I brew it myself every morning," she grins a cockeyed grin, as though somewhat proud of herself on that score. And she pours it, herself, too, taking to the mundane tasks that many of noblewoman would assign to a servant like a fish to water. "This will be my fourth season captaining La Medouse," she answers his question, as well, while pouring him a coffee and refilling her own and Jules'. She leaves the mugs on the table, beckoning them closer if they would like to sit and drink. "I mated her for two seasons before that, having been promoted from Lieutenant on Les Luperques," she gives possibly a little more background than is needful, voice slow, easy, with an even keel.

<FS3> Juliette rolls Politics: Success. (2 6 8 6 5 2 4 2 4 4)
<FS3> Juliette rolls Composure: Failure. (2 6 6 1 6 1 4 3 3)
<FS3> Juliette rolls Perception: Failure. (5 1 6 6 4 4 2)

The ease of the compliment given as it hits its mark makes Juliette's impeccable facade break down for just that fraction of a very telling moment. Her cheeks flush instantly, and she tries to catch herself, even as her lips twitch into a deepening of the smile and her hazel eyes focus upon the lord unable to hold back a somewhat impressed flicker in their gaze. "You certainly have a way with words, my lord," the adept murmurs, and that will be all she can offer in elaborate wording — or lack thereof. And while she vaguely assumes Arterre to be of an Eisandine family, she is not yet certain. Unable as she is to trust her ability of placing accents. For now, Juliette seems content to play decoration, and such a charming one, when Atreis lets go of her to see to the coffee, she stands there, in perfectly graceful poise, as she listens to Atreis speak of her ship and her history of sailing.

"Nonsense, nonsense," Arterre assures Juliette, with a dismissive little flick of her wrist. So casual is he that one might believe for a moment he has not even noticed her embarrassment. "You simply are the sort of woman to inspire compliment. And between us, your mistress the fair captain is quite striking, herself, though I would dare not tell her personally. Entirely too intimidating." Though of course Atreis is right there…and can hear everything. A different sort of flattery, that. He then falls silent a moment, moving to claim a chair at the table, and the coffee, in turn. He smiles with understated enthusiasm for the captain's brief tale. "It seems a rather fast rise in service — full its the usual assortment of daring deeds, no doubt. Perhaps you've taken a prize or two, in your time?" That he means to charm his guests is evident, but genuine enthusiasm for the subject leaks through, all the same.

Atreis stands behind a second chair from the one Arterre has claimed, and a half-step backward will draw it slightly away from table while her eyes wait mirthfully for Juliette — what a gentleman is her Capitaine. She lets the remark, obviously heard, go uncommented-upon, as was possibly Arterre's intent. "It's too early in the morning for boasting over exploits of old; in the Kraken's Den of an evening, maybe, after a few belts of something stronger than coffee, you may make me the type to kiss and tell," is used as a metaphor, of course, though it is obviously open for (mis-? re-?) interpretation. The coffee, however, stands fair strong as it is. She likes it, just so, but it might be a little pungent for the guest, if he isn't used to it.

"She isn't intimidating," Juliette dares to disagree, "at least not to me." For those with observant eyes, the warmth in the glances she gives the capitaine is far too evident to suggest this… relation to be only the professional sort. The dress Juliette wears covers all of her back, however, which speaks for her being only an adept, and as of yet bound to her service, and whom she might bestow certain favors upon. With Atreis drawing out the chair for her, the Lis d'Or sits down, skirts rustling faintly as her fingers adjust them. She for her part will politely refuse the coffee, and looking at her delicate disposition, it seems only logical. Strong coffee as this would perhaps haul her from her feet in an instant. It takes someone appreciative of stronger delights - and of course sailors - to accede the hot beverage the respect it deserves.

<FS3> Arterre rolls Composure: Good Success. (6 5 1 8 5 4 8 7)

"Perhaps I may yet get to know her as well as you do," Arterre suggests to Juliette, so understated that it might be slightly difficult to discern as a joke — surely it is his own little response to the kiss-and-tell comment from the captain herself. He picks up his cup and sips. He manages to mask his surprise at its kick quite well, probably used to something more watered down by milk or honey. An especially attentive eye would notice the momentarily surprised flicker of his eyebrows, however. And a brief clearing of his throat. "Thank you for accommodating me on such short notice, regardless," he tells Atreis. A fingernail tinks against the cup. "This will definitely wake you up, that much is for certain. I have mine made differently, but perhaps this isn't so bad, once in a while."

Atreis looks half as though tempted to take a bite of Julietta as the young courtesan settles in before her. But the urge is only expressed in a chaste kiss to the top of Jules' head before she moves to complete the triad at table. "Liquid dawn," she calls it. "It's difficult to wake, at sea, in part because none of the body's normal cues to waking are present. No birds sing; and if you have a way to see the light of dawning day from your berthing, there is something terribly amiss." Warships and windows do not mix. "But one whiff of this brewing down the corridor is enough to cast the dregs of slumber from any a seaman's eyes," she offers as an aetiology of the sailor's love for the dark brew.

"As much as I understand the need, to be alert and operational at early hours when at sea," Juliette opines with a soft smile, "I myself prefer a cup of tea now and then. Not even on every morning." It is a remark that ripples and then vanishes in the sound of the waves drifting lazily against the hull of the ship, a courtesan's statement seemingly slightly out of place in the reality aboard a ship. As for Arterre, he receives a faintly amused look for his remark. With a brow lifting, Juliette responds, "Perhaps." A word uttered with a tad more determination, accompanied by a look of only faintly daring expectancy.

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