(1310-05-09) Firsts
Summary: It's a night for firsts. Whilst Gauge is welcomed by Séverine to Rose Sauvage on his first visit to a Courtesan Salon, Desarae is looking forward to her debut, her first patron, and what that will bring.
RL Date: Wed May 09, 2018
Related: None
severine gauge desarae 

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.


Wandering through the foyer the tall form of Gauge makes his way around at a casual pace. He has a glass of wine in one hand that is held between his fingertips at the rim, the dark crimson liquid within swaying this way and that with his movements but never really threatening to overflow the edge. The tall man lifts his glass to take a sip as he seems to be studying everything about the place like it's the first time he's actually been in this location. His eyes squint slightly as he looks over the gargoyles, crows feet showing at his eyes but he makes his way over towards the windows showing the night outside.

There are other attendants in the proximity of course, but they are all going about their late night business without intruding upon the man other than occasionally offering a refill of wine to the Baron.

*

From the hallway at the back of the salon, another Rose joins those that are already there, and Séverine cannot help but give select individuals that are under her charge a faint glare of eyes. A glare that is laced with the unspoken question why none of them seems to approach the unfamiliar noble for more than a refill of his wine. The red liquid catches her gaze, of course, in the way it swirls so ominously within the glass, before the Second in charge of the more submissive Roses elects to step closer. "My lord," she greets, lowering herself into a curtsey, dark green silk whispering as it shifts upon her frame. The gown is of simple cut, covering most of her front, while leaving her arms bare. And more, as Gauge will be able to see, as she, in straightening, turns to gesture for a glass of wine for herself, the dress sloping down to reveal most of her back and the marque of the salon that has been inked into pale skin. "I am Séverine nó Rose Sauvage," she introduces herself, turning to face him again. "I don't believe I have seen you before, neither here in this salon, nor elsewhere."

*
At the approach of the Second, Gauge glances over in that direction as he lifts his glass for another sip. His lips curl into a wry smile at the display of curtsey and what it reveals so effortlessly. He turns his head over towards her and watches everything that goes on with dress and everything else before he inclines his head at the introduction. It is a faint thing but he seems more amused than anything else. "I am not surprised." When Gauge speaks his voice is deep and gravelly, almost grating like boulders in a way. Deeper than his frame and size would suggest. "Until recently, I spent most of my time on the sea. Hunting down pirates and other enemies." His lips part and he absently catches the left corner of his bottom lip between his teeth for half a second. "I am Gauge d'Eresse, Baron de Beaucare. Captain of the Silverback." He pauses, "The new one." His broad shoulders roll in a slight shrug and he turns to face Severine. "As I am now land locked… I have taken it upon myself to learn more of the city, and what it offers." A growly chuckle follows at that. "In truth…" He gestures around with his wine glass, "This is all somewhat new to me."

*

That deep gravely voice manages to elicit a subtle widening of her grey eyes, and the ghost of a smile playing at the corners of Séverine's mouth. "Welcome to Rose Sauvage," she says, inclining her head in the manner of greeting, "and welcome to Marsilikos as well." Lifing her eyes, she gestures over towards one of the heavy highbacked chairs. "Perhaps you would like to sit down, while I can try to give you an introduction of what Rose Sauvage is about?" One of the things Gauge said, makes her lift a brow. "The new… baron? Or were you referring to the ship?"

*
"Baron." Gauge says with a nod, "My father Jean-Luc and my older brother, and heir, Bertram, were lost recently in a hunting accident while I was at sea." His lips press into a thin grim line briefly, brow furroughing. "As I am the next in line, my sailing days are done and…" He gestures around with one hand, "Here I am." He rumbles with a faint smirk, "More's the pity." He then inclines his head to Severine again, "I would enjoy that, I think. Thank you." Then he starts to head over towards that high backed chair. "I am Captain of the Silverback, until I appoint a new one… even if she sits at dock with no purpose for the time being." He lifts his wine to take another sip and then asks, "I would be well pleased for what information you can give. I arrived less than twenty four hours ago." He rumbles in that gravelly voice.

*

"I am sorry to hear that," the courtesan replies, her eyes flickering with a bit of empathy in the moment Gauge states the recent losses of his family. "So… you are gauging new terrain, as it would seem." Her tone becomes lighter, as she follows along when he elects to sit down. There may be a glance towards one of tose kneeling cushions close by, but Sévering decides against them and sits down on the chair beside that of the baron. "Have you ever been to the City of Elua?" The question is offered with a fine smile, a glitter in stormy grey eyes as they focus upon the Eresse baron. "It is there on Mont Nuit in the Capital where I have fostered, until my debut. Thirteen Houses… The finest in Night Blooming flowers you will find in all of Terre d'Ange. And yet… I am here. The owner of this salon spotted me, and bought out my marque. He wished for me to earn my marque in Marsilikos, in this very salon. Edouard Shahrizai." A sip is taken from her glass of wine, a moderate careful sip as to provide a brief pause for her words to sink in.

Here, at Rose Sauvage you will find the diversions that cater to the sharper tastes. The thornier Roses of Mandrake canon, but also their counterpart, the Red Roses of Valerian. Such as me." Her gaze lifts, towards the gallery further up, "And of course… there are the White Roses of innocence, to be found upstairs. Delightful creatures that would be known as Alyssums in the City of Elua."

*

"The problem with being a Privateer," Gauge begins, "Is that you spend a majority of your time at sea, hunting. You come back to a friendly port in order to restock, and unload prizes that may have been taken. There is…" He pauses, "Not a lot of time for sight seeing, and most of the time the businesses at the dock are all that a sailor needs." He smiles wryly, "It is a simple life, but a rewarding one in many ways." He shrugs and then takes a sip from his wine turning his attention in full to Severine who sits beside him in a high backed chair. He leans on the arm of the chair, his broad strong shoulder threatening to slip loose from the long coat that is draped over them more like a cloak than anything else as his arms aren't through the sleeves. "I can honestly say I have never been to Elua." He admits, "It does sound fascinating however, quite the Court." He considers, "Perhaps you could give me an overview of the differences that are available between the three types of courtesans within the Rose Sauvage? I am curious how a well trained courtesan can be… innocent." He swirls the wine around in his glass again slowly. "I take it that the Thornier Roses are the givers, and the Red Roses are the receivers of thorns?"

*

The life of a Novice is, by and large, not as exciting as that of an Adept or a fully marqued Courtesan. They get to wait on patrons, to fetch and to carry, to smile and provide pleasant conversation whilst those of more experience are sent for. Ten years of being a Novice in La Rose Sauvage, and Desarae is nearly done with all that. Four weeks and four days. That's how long it is until Desarae will cross the line from one of the baby roses to something far grander. She knows it's that long because she's been marking it off meticulously in her journal. Dressed tonight in a warm ivory gown that does much to complement her complexion and features, and bearing a tray upon which glasses of soft red Kusheline wine are set, she passes the chairs where her Second is seated with Gauge, and there's a hesitation in her step. A pause. Her chin lifts a fraction at the sight of a new face to the salon, and intelligent eyes flash as they quickly probe his appearance for a hint as to whom he might be.

*

"If innocence is what interests you, my lord," Séverine says, "and the mystery of how White Roses can maintain that innocence, even through the number of assignations had, I can only advise you to venture upstairs sometime, and speak with Virginie, our Second in charge of the White Roses. As for Thorny and Red Roses," she smiles, "they are counterparts, yes. Two sides of the same coin. They are kept separate, in our salon. And you are right." A faint incline of her head there, "in your choice of analogy." Grey eyes alight, when Desarae approaches, and Séverine lifts her hand in a gesture to draw attention to the young woman. "Ah, Desarae. May I introduce to you Gauge d'Eresse, baron of Beaucare? My lord. This is Desarae Mereliot nó Rose Sauvage, a Red Rose about to bloom soon for the first time. Her debut is little more than a month away."

*

"I shall definitely have to take a trip upstairs sometime just to see for myself, absolutely." Gauge says to Severine with a smile, "Though I admit… your own branch, the Red Roses… there is appeal there as well to be certain." He looks over Severine again in appraising fashion and a thoughtful look graces his face. "A debut?" Gauge asks in his deep gravelly voice, turning his attention over towards Desarae at Severine's introduction, "I would very much like to participate in a debut I think." He studies the younger courtesan's appearance rather openly, he is not shy about his appreciation as he shifts slightly on the chair to tuck himself into the corner. One booted foot comes up to hook behind his knee pressing his knee into the arm of the chair he sits in. "Are you looking forwards to your debut?" He asks Desarae curious conversational. He tilts his wine glass back to drain it and then gestures towards Desarae and her tray, reaching to replace his empty wine glass with a full one and he smiles towards the girl. "Thank you." He says with a wider smile stretching wide to show even white teeth behind his lips and the crows feet at the corners of his eyes deepen as the smile reaches them. "Do you know which branch you are going to go into yet Desarae?" He asks curiously.

*

Once Gauge has replenished his glass from her tray, Desarae sets it down on a side table and sketches a well-executed curtsey. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Lord d'Eresse. Welcome to La Rose Sauvage." Her head dips with the curtsey, and whilst her eyes might likewise sweep downwards, they're quick to return and to lock with his. The spark with something that might be taken for mischief at the directness of his questions, and it'd be hard to miss the joie de vivre that emanates in almost tangible waves from the young Novice as hands flit across her skirts as she frames her response. "I am, my lord. It will be a splendid night." There's a slide of her eyes towards Séverine, and since Gauge has directly engaged her in conversation, she drags one of the kneeling cushions a little closer to herself with the artful use of one foot, though doesn't yet make use of it. Another look Séverine's way. Permission sought. But another question's been asked, and her lips curve into the most wonderous of smiles. "I do indeed my lord. If we were in Elua, then I would have been fostered to House Valerian."

*

Permission granted. Séverine's eyes lower their gaze in that brief affirmative downwards flick towards Desare, and of course, there had been design in introducing the novice to the baron - the purpose clear, as to pull his focus towards that rare flavor of a Red Rose with confidence. "Of course," she nods towards Gauge, "and thank you," a twist of a smile as he asserts appeal in her canon. "I could see to one of those invitations being sent your way." His assessing lookover of Desarae has Séverine's gaze already alight. A toughtful glance towards Desarae settling herself upon the kneeling cushion, and Séverine makes a decision. "In fact… I shall see to pen an invitation immediately, in my office. In the meantime, I shall leave you to Desarae's charming company." A soft whisper of dark green silk can be heard, as the Second rises to her feet in one fluid motion. "My lord. If you would excuse me?" A nod is given to Desarae, and Séverine walks back towards the hallway at a leisurely stroll, wine glass still in hand; and another glance cast over her shoulder towards the baron and the novice, before she vanishes in the dark depths of the corridor that leads to her office and quarters of some of the Roses living here.

*

"Thank you Severine." Gauge says to the woman as she indicates he will get a written invitation to the debut, "I will most definitely attend. Have a pleasant night." He watches Severine walk off for a few long moments before he looks back towards Desarae again and studies her openly again, swirling his wine around in his glass as he holds it with his fingertips. Lifting the rim to his lips he takes another sip and then: "It is a pleasure to meet you as well, Desarae." He studies the novice and the mischief in her eyes makes his own smile widen again, the right side quirking up higher than the left as the Baron lounges in the chair, watching her there with the cushion when she finally sits. "So you share the same path as Severine then." He says as a statement of fact but also a conversation. "What lead you to this decision?" He asks curiously. "If I speak too plainly I offer apologize Desarae. All of this is very new to me." He smiles wryly, "Strange as that may sound, I do not know how often you get individuals within the Salon that are lacking the knowledge I lack." He considers, "Do you only know the focuses of the La Rose Sauvage or are you familiar with the other salon's specialties?"

*

Severine has left.

*

Desarae is more than quick to settle herself on that cushion when Séverine indicates that she might, and it'd be a harsh person that could fault her in the abeyante position she adopts; head bowed, back straight, heels tucked beneath her and with her hands palm down on her thighs. Such positioning, slightly to the left and fore of where Gauge himself sits, allows him to look her over at leisure. It's Séverine's announcement of her departure that brings her head up, and the astute would note the smile that twitches one corner of her lips as she's left alone with the Baron. Such scheming! "Thank you, Séverine. I will collect the invitation personally when Lord d'Eresse is to leave us." And with that said, she falls quiet as the woman retreats, her attention quickly back to Gauge however once her Second has gone from their sight. "I do, my lord. Though there are those that sometimes wondered if I might not be better suited to the thornier path that our Salon offers. I have been told that I am strong-willed and opinionated, which is a deviation from what a patron might expect of my canon." She pulls a face, and for a second the mask that she wears slips; shoulders squaring off as if bearing the weight of a burden placed on them. "I have been told I am difficult." Now there's a word with a thousand interpretations. "Does my lord have a favourite amongst the salons?"

*

"From what little I understand it would depend on your intent, wouldn't it?" Gauge asks and he sips his wine again as he studies the change in posture from when the Second is present, to when she is not. "If you were part of the thornier path then you would be most pleased serving by being a dominant and possibly sadistic no?" He asks curiously, studying Desarae's expression as he talks, "The Red Rose is about being more accepting of everything yes? I would imagine that as long as you were of appropriate demeanor when the time mattered the most… that would be what is most important." He considers, gesturing towards her with his wine glass, "Being difficult may cause you trouble though, if there were one who was interested in the Red Roses, and you did not come across as one." He chuckles, "You clearly /can/ be proper when you choose to be… so there is that." Another sip of his wine follows but they aren't big sips, more enjoying the taste than trying to drink a ton. He studies her again, his gaze drifting over her ivory dress and the curves it reveals, and doesn't, all the way down to the knees that rest on the cushion then back up towards her face with a slow lingering but very, very, direct gaze. When his eyes finally reach hers again there is something dark and possibly hungry in those eyes. "This is my first time into a Salon, Desarae. I have never requested an assignment of a courtesan." He smiles a little playfully, "Perhaps during your Debut, I will win it, and then we can have a double first. Though I imagine you might want a more experienced Patron who is more used to handling a Courtesan."

*

Desarae's eyes dig into Gauge's, boldly holding both his gaze and his attention. Green. Her eyes are green. They hold the brilliant intensity that's only to be found within Scions of Kushiel, and there's a near imperceptible parting of the crease of her lips as she draws the smallest of breaths with his words. "My lord is astute. Indeed, I do know how to be proper, when to be proper is what is required. My tutors say that there are Patrons that enjoy the challenge of someone that does not yield willingly. They enjoy breaking them. Perhaps this is what I myself am hoping for, someone that is strong enough to wish to dominate completely. I like trouble…" Her eyes lid, and there's a far away look that briefly haunts her expression as the ghost of a smile flirts with her mouth. It's fleeting, and gone before it truly settles, as she's drawn by what else is said. "Never? Truly? Then we are honoured that it is to Rose Sauvage that your night has brought you. It is fated that we were to meet, and that you were to receive an invitation to my Debut. The question would be, would you wish to win me, my lord? There must be reason why you have never sought the company of Courtesans before now."

*

Gauge's eyes also hold that same intensity of a Scion, though they are of a different color, and his hair is not blonde in the slightest. When she locks his gaze in such challenging fashion there is a slight narrowing of his eyes, a squint, as he looks at her with greater intensity. He lifts his wine glass and takes a sip but he doesn't break her gaze at all. "I can see the appeal." His deep gravelly voice rumbles towards her there. "You ask why I have never sought out the company of a Courtesan. It is a valid question." He goes back to swirling that wine in his glass, shifting in his seat just a touch to lean further into the arm and corner of that high backed chair he sits in. "To answer your question, Novice, My Father, and my Older Brother died recently. My father was the Baron de Beaucare, my older brother was the heir." He lifts one broad shoulder in a slight rolling shrug. "With their passing I have become Baron de Beaucare." His lips part just a touch so he can wet just his bottom lip with the tip of his tongue.
"I was at Sea when it happened. When I returned to port to restock I learned what happened and now," He gestures around, "I am here. I have been in this city for less than twenty four hours." He leans forwards towards her just a touch but he still hasn't dropped his gaze from hers. "For the last twelve years I have lived aboard ship. My home was my ship, the Silverback. She and I and her crew were Privateers, fighting pirates, enemies of Eisande and Marsilikos, and taking their cargo's as plunder. When I returned to port it was to restock, unload plunder, and avail myself upon the locals." He settles back in his chair again and sips his wine once more. "That is why I have never sought the company of a Courtesan, because I simply never had the opportunity. Though I do think the Fates smiled kindly upon me in sending me here first."
At her other question Gauge chuckles, "I will win you." He says simply and matter of factly, "I do not know how long it has been since the last Debut and the state of others finances, but I /will/ win you if at all possible." His smile is small after that, his eyes dark, as he takes another sip of his wine, "Would you like that, Novice?"

*

Now is probably not the time for Desarae to be truthful. But Desarae is Desarae, and as she'd only just revealed to Gauge, she can be opinionated. Opinionated and difficult. "I do not know, my lord," she returns eventually. "It is hard for me to say whether I would wish you to win me or not." There's that proud uptilt of her chin once more, and where her hands rest on her thighs, fingers curl to ruck the fabric of her skirts as she frames her response carefully. "If you have not contracted a courtesan, then you may not have learned the necessary arts of dealing with ones of my canon. If I were of Lis d'Or, then to contract me would be no different to lying with any number of women that you may have encountered on your adventures. But I am not. I enjoy the submission that Kushiel demands of me, the pain that is necessary in finding that submission. Does my lord have the disposition and temperament that would allow him to place his hands on me? To break me down and bend me to his will?" Her eyes seeks his, and there's the quick touching of her tongue to the edge of her lip in a mirroring of what he'd similarly done. "Perhaps," she continues on, emboldened by speaking so freely, "Miette of our Salon might be more suited to your tastes. She is one of the white roses, shy and innocent. Undemanding." Sting.

*

"Is that so." Gauge says, gaze narrowing slightly, if she was trying to provoke him she certain had gotten some reaction out of him. "In the end it won't matter what you want. What will matter is how much coin is put up for you. I will remember your words, Novice." He smiles faintly, "I look forwards to breaking you." He considers her again as he swirls his wine around again in his glass, "Do you prefer the whip, the belt, or the switch?" He asks curiously, his gaze still narrower than it was before. "I think you may find yourself pushed to places you did not know existed when I win you." He chuckles, "We shall see who's will is stronger. I suppose I shall have to ask what condition I will be able to return you in." He smiles a little wider, "I am sure you are provoking me in order to inspire me. You have succeeded, Novice." His gravelly voice chuckles and he settles back into the crook of his chair. "Have no doubt of that."

*

Desarae would never smirk, but there's something akin to one on her lips as Gauge rises to her baiting. There's an almost imperceptible shifting of her weight where she kneels, a realignment of her spine that sets the sweetest of curves into the small of her back. She has the carriage and the deportment of her noble bloodlines, and there's that challenge held in her eyes when they lock once more with his. "My name is Desarae. I tell you this because you refer to me as Novice, and there is more than one Novice with a debut upcoming. I would not wish my lord to get confused and bid on the wrong one." Amusement is rife in the tone of her voice, and there's an almost too casual uplift of her shoulders in a careless half-shrug. "I am unsure as to which I prefer, as each has something to recommend them to me. Is this not something that my lord would prefer to discover for himself should he win my Debut? What would you yourself prefer with which to bruise this?" So saying, she lifts her hands from where they've remained until now, the edge of one sleeve drawn back to reveal the soft, unblemished skin of her inner wrist. She lifts it higher and towards him, close enough that he can take it, should he so wish.

*

"I ask simply to make sure that you know the kiss of all three. After all, it is your debut. I would hate to win and then be… disappointed." Gauge rumbles out in that gravelly voice, "You talk much, but you are unblemished. You do not extol the virtues of each which makes me wonder if you know their kiss at all." He pauses, "Such a pity." He finishes his wine and then offers the glass out to her instead of touching her hand or wrist at all.

*

Desarae's lower lip juts in a möue of a pout when Gauge ignores her hand. That rarely happens. Eyes lid, and she studies him briefly from behind the fall of dark lashes. "I would never wish to disappoint, my lord." Accepting the emptied glass, she twists a half turn to where she'd earlier left her tray, and once it's replaced she collects for him another. Her hand is steady as she holds it for him, and there's no trembling of her hands or fingers to displace its contents as she waits for him to take it. "Bruises fade quickly here in La Rose Sauvage," she does go on to quietly add, "… and my lord sees only what he is permitted to see." Another smile flirts briefly at the corners of her lips, and where before her eyes had boldly met with his, they now slide away, fixing upon a point somewhere to the left of his shoulder.

*

"Sometime, Desarae, you will have to learn when to stop pushing." Gauge leans forwards towards her, reaching out to take the wine from her hand, "Difficult indeed." He smiles and sips his wine before he leans back into his chair again. "Perhaps you are correct." He admits in his gravelly voice, "I have hardly seen all of you." A beat, "But I will." He tilts his head to the side as he studies her again. "This… challenging air you have cultivated… It is a good thing, it brings out the best if one is looking to be broken. However I begin to think that you have never actually been broken. If you were broken then you would /be/ broken. You would not longer be able to cultivate this challenging atmosphere." He sips his wine, "Curious…"

*

Gauge used her name. Desarae. The reward for such will be in the smile that the young Novice bestows upon him. "I very much hope that you will, too. And should success not be yours on the night of my Debut, then I shall pray to Naamah that you will not forget me. That you will return to seek a contract when time allows for such. I wonder, however, whether you truly believe that a rose once broken, may never be broken again?" There's movement to the left of where they sit, and she's momentarily distracted by the appearance of Séverine and the placement of a note by her upon a table. A pause. A breath. A turning of her attention back to Guage with another of her sudden smiles. "It would appear that the invitation for you is writ, my lord. I shall collect it, if you will give me leave to do so, and then I must retire from the Salon as I am expected elsewhere." Once given permission, she'll rise from her knees to collect the invitation; cream parchment inked in black, and after delivering it with an almost-reverence into his hands, she'll retire to her rooms.

There'll be much to write in her journal tonight.

*

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License