(1310-05-09) Moving On
Summary: Pierre and Clémentine head out of the City for their much waited for picnic. Some decisions are made.
RL Date: May 9th and 13th, 2018
Related: None
pierre clementine 

Le Cascade

Taking a smaller path that splits from the main one, following it through the trees and down a small slope, and a person would find themselves in a large glade at the foot of a waterfall. Entering the glade is like stepping into another world; for no views of the city, or the sea that can be heard in the distance, are possible from here due to the trees that surround it. It's here that the river which has wound its way through the Eisandine fields, tumbles over a fifty foot cliff and into a pool at its base before continuing on its way. Over the centuries the rocks surrounding the pool have worn smooth, and the natural hollows and formations of which they comprise allow for sitting or bathing in the sparkling clear waters, or for stretching alongside the pool in the warmth of the Eisandine summers. Trees around the edge of the glade offer respite for those that prefer to seek shade when the sun is high, and one large flat rock that overhangs the pool is a popular spot from which to dive.

At some point in history, someone carved a small grotto into one of the rocks behind where the water cascades, and lovers will often place a devotion to Naamah here, asking her for blessings.


The picnic has been a long time in the making, but finally the day had arrived when fine weather had coincided with the schedules of both Pierre and Clémentine. A note had been sent, and a note had been returned, and so the two had met at the Eastern gates and begun the trek on horseback along the coastal path that would lead them to a much favoured beauty spot. Dressed for such an excursion in a lightweight riding outfit of champagne silk, Clémentine has left her hair down for the ride, and her curls flirt with the breeze that blows in from a sea that sparkles with the brilliance of sapphires. The picnic follows on behind, conveyed in a smart little dogcart that's hitched to a gelding, allowing for Clémentine and Pierre to ride two abreast along the path that cuts through the countryside. Thirty minutes at a gentle pace sees them guiding their horses down the offshoot that cuts through the trees, and eventually the waterfall with its attendant pool is reached. "It is beautiful, is it not?" the flame-haired songbird says, her hand tightening on the reins of her mount to ease him to a halt.

*

When it came down to it, there might very well have been a little teased mutter about the lack of a carriage as was promised the first time they spoke of the picnic. Of course, it is a lighthearted nudge and it soon disappears as the weather is nice and the company? Well, the company is beyond nice, it is lovely! While he keeps to his same colours as before and his breeches are quite the same as they always are, he wears upon his top a lighter version of a doublet. While still deep purple in colour, it is thinner and more open, displaying a white silk shirt under it. Once they have stopped, Pierre gives a quick nod to this, "It truly is, but it rather pales to the company." he gives her an affectionate smile before he slowly dismounts. With all intents to be a gentleman, he starts to move to her horse, perhaps with the intention to help her down? And truly, he comes to a stop at her side, offering his hand to her.

*

Riding sidesaddle allows for such gentlemanly courtesies as being lifted down from your horse, and so with flick of her skirts to one side, Clémentine holds out her hands to Pierre. "You are such a flatterer, Pierre. I swear that I am constantly amazed that you do not have a gaggle of women surrounding you, hanging on your every word." Her smile for him holds nothing but warmth as she waits for him to lift her down, and if there's the hint of a tease in her tone, then it serves only as a means for him to flatter her further. "There is something here that I must show to you," she continues on. "Though you may well already know of it should you have ever ventured here before now. It is well enough known to the locals." Of what can she speak? A glance around the delightful glade would reveal nothing of particular note beyond the enticement of the pool at the base of the falls.

*

"A gaggle, you say?" Pierre repeats her words as his hands finds her hips, helping her down on to the ground with a gentle descent. Once her feet are secure on the ground, his hands lifts up to touch her shoulders, "And what would I do with a gaggle, when all I want is the voice of one." his hand moves to brush to her cheek, his head leaning in to plant a light kiss to her forehead. He then moves to secure the horses, "Well, then if it is something I simply must see, then you simply must show me." he tells her, giving away no indication in his voice that he might guess of what she speaks. Could be he does not.

*

"It is something for later," Clémentine says, her smile twisting a little with the subterfuge of her manner. "For after we have enjoyed the picnic and sat and talked a while." Even as she speaks, the small dogcart rolls into the clearing, and the two servants which she employs at the opera house set about unloading the various hampers of food and drink, along with a table, chairs and an oiled silk gazebo beneath which they can retreat should the day prove to hot. If you're going to picnic, it's worth doing so in style. The kiss to her forehead is well received, and there's a returning display of affection in the touch of her hand to his cheek. "I'm glad that finally we are able to have some time out of the city. I could not have picked a better day for this."

*

"Not only glad to be out of the city, but glad to finally have this day to ourselves." Pierre adds to this, "I have long thought of this day and now, that it is finally here, I am finding it .. perfect." he keeps himself close to her as the servants move to set up the tent, taking her a bit closer to the water; not much but a bit. He regards the waterfall a bit, then lets his eyes return to her, "Something for later, though, makes me want to know even more."

*

Clémentine laughs. "How impatient you are, Pierre. I wonder were you always this way? The child that would pace impatiently for his presents the night before his natality, or demand that something be now, and not later, when having to wait." Her arm slides through his and they start to walk in the direction of the pool's overspill. "But I am determined that you shall wait, and in the meantime you must tell me something diverting about how your business is doing. Have you had any shipments of interest arriving of late?" Subtely her arm tightens through his as she guides him across the grass, their feet leaving shadows of themselves as they skirt the tent on their way.

*

"No, I was not. I am actually rather a patient man. Having lived the life I have lived, created the things I have created? You had to be patient." Pierre replies to this, pondering, "But then, I met you. And after that, I find that there is a level of impatience that has crept into my life in regards to more of the good things in life." he smiles to her, "But I shall try to be patient and try to remember that, in fact, I am here. With you. Just where I want to be." he mms, "Something distracting?" he wonders, "There was a shipment of some rare, finely crafted and painted porcelain sets that arrived that survived the harrowing journey. From distant Ch'in. It was all sold, already, however. But the craftmanship alone was .. beyond words."

*

"I doubt that the porcelain just arrived could have been more beautiful than the set you gave me," Clémentine says, her arm freeing itself from Pierre's as they reach the rocks and the edge of the pool. A kiss dots his cheek, and she bends to pick a stone from the grass, turning it over once before casting it into the water. It disappears with a satisfying splash and a spreading out of ripples upon the pool's surface. "I would so love to travel to Ch'in someday," she says, her eyes turning from the water and the stone that she's thrown, to settle upon the man at her side. "Have you been yourself? Or is it merely through chance and good fortune that trading occurs."

*

"Ch'in? Oh, I have not been. The time to travel there is .. far to great. It would require me to dedicate more then a year or two to not just travel there, but spend enough time to make the trip worth it." Pierre replies to this, "No, I am currently dealing with other men, traders and contacts that have been or knows those that goes there. When you trade with such a distant land, you have to work through intermediaries. But i will admit to a certain fascination with the stories about the land itself, its people and its culture."

*

"Then I shall have to settle for stories of second or third-hand, along with the writings of our explorers and adventurers," Clémentine says cheerfully, using the toe of her boot to scuff dirt and dust from one of the rocks. Warmed by the sun, it makes the perfect spot upon which to sit, and so with a flick of her skirts to the side, she folds herself elegantly down. A hand is extended Pierre's way. "Sit with me? It will be a while until the food is ready, and there are things that I would speak with you of."

*

"I have met enough men in my time as a trader to have acquired a fairly accurate second hand description of the place but, I must say, some of the things they have told me of sounds almost a bit too incredible to be believed." Pierre says to this, "He speaks of cities large enough for just a single family to live in, of splendor to rival Elua City itself, in architecture and richness." he pauses, to then slowly take her hand as he takes a seat on the ground next to her, "My, things to speak of? I am all yours."

*

"Are you? All mine?" A hint of amusement reveals itself in Clémentine's voice as Pierre settles himself beside her, and there's the smallest nudge of her shoulder to his before she speaks again. "It is that which I wished to speak to you of, Pierre. You, and I, and what we are to each other." There's a subtle shift in the tone of her voice, and her smile is tentative as she dips her chin so that her curls swing forward and conceal for a moment her expression, if not her words. "I enjoy your company, Pierre, though this you already know. I find a fondness for you in my heart, and too often of late my thoughts turn to you before any other." A hand reaches up to tuck her hair back behind her ears, so she can catch his eyes with hers. Any amusement in her face has long since been chased away, and there's a simple sincerity to be found in its place. "It is not the contract between a courtesan and a patron that I speak of Pierre, though courtesan I still am. It is a something more than that which I seek."

*

Marius remains silent as he listens to her, but he does not remain motionless. When her shoulder nudges his own, he turns his head to let a touch of his lips find her shoulder and the cloth there. When she lifts her hand to tuck her hair behind her ear, his then comes up to slowly capture hers. He keeps it in a light hold, bringing it slowly towards his own lips. A kiss to her fingers is given, "You might have noticed that I have not sought to attain a contract with you, Clementine. I did not seek to spend time with you as patron and courtesan." he smiles then to her, "I wanted to get to know you, to see if I could win your heart as you, so rather quickly, have begun to win mine." he nods his head then slowly, "I do not wish for the Courtesan Clementine to be a part of my life, but the woman Clementine.. whom she is when she puts aside the mantle of Courtesan for the day."

*

Clementine laughs, her fingers tightening about the edge of Pierre's hand when he lifts it to his lips. The kiss he drops to her knuckles is quietly received. "I have not taken a contract in many a month, Pierre. The Opera House demands much of my time, and it is a stern master. There is always something to be seen to; be it finances, repairs, or what next to bring to it's stage." She allows herself to take advantage of the natural pause in the conversation that such revelation brings, and rests the apex of her chin on his shoulder so that her next words might be spoken soft and low to his ear. "Alone in bed at night, my thoughts often turn your way. Perhaps it is Naamah nudging me to invite you to share it."

*

There is a silence for a few moments before Pierre speaks, "I have not shared anyones bed for many a months myself." he admits to this, "For a long time, I have been consumed by my work. I have given no thought other then my trade. It was not until I saw you, a burst of red hair and such a alluring presence that my loins were once more awoken." he takes a deep breath, "Many a night since I have met you have I wished that the bed I was sleeping in was not mine, but yours."

*

"It would seem that we are both wedded to our work," Clémentine says, pursing her lips to blow the lightest breath of air across Pierre's ear. It's an intimate action, and should Pierre turn his head to look at her, then he'd see the warmth of her smile as blossoms on her features. "I think that perhaps, for me at least, that this is more than a passing fancy, Pierre. I will admit, I am not one to easily give my heart away, and in fact have only done so twice before now. But there it is, you see, I am in danger of losing it again."

*

Pierre does turn his head slowly, his face to hers as his eyes lock on to hers. He then lifts his hand slowly, letting two fingers caress against her cheek, "I gave mine away once." he says to this, "And that ended in sorrow. Since then, I've had my mind buried in work." he smiles a bit then, "I think perhaps it is time that I lift my head up from that darkness and look at the light again." he leans in a bit closer, his lips barely brushing to hers, "And I think that you are that light, Clementine." he whispers, "At least, I want you to be that light."

*

Pierre will feel the curve of Clémentine's lips beneath his as her smile deepens. "I think that I could suffer to be your light," she says, the tip of her nose touching to his before she pulls back a fraction. Her smile falters, but only a little. "I truly am sorry that you lost your wife, Pierre. The Duc once said to me that it is only through loss that we learn to cherish that which we have. I would like to think that your wife would wish for you to find happiness again and not live your life in the shadow of what you had." A pause. "And yes, before you wrest it from me, I will admit to having spoken of you to the Duc."

*

For a few moments, Pierre lets his lips brush more warmly against hers in what could only be described as a very light, but warm kiss. He then slowly leans his head back out, his eyes returning to hers, "And what has the Duc said about it?" he wonders, his fingers still caressing her cheek softly as he speaks to her, "Worry not about what was in the past, though. I los my wife many a year ago. I have had my moment of sorrow." his fingers moves down her cheek, brushing then at the curve of her lips.

*

Clémentine's lip is soft beneath Pierre's finger, and it dimples a little in its fullness when lightly pressed. The corners of her mouth twitch with another smile. "He is very happy for me." Eyes that are of the brightest blue meet with his, and he'll feel the smallest shift in her position as she tucks her knees to one side so her weight curves into his side. "His health is failing, and it's been a worry for him that I have nobody else on which to rely. It has been quite some time since he and I were together in the eyes of Naamah, but his affection for me runs deep. Almost like a father, he wishes to see me happy and cared for when the Companions call him to the Terre d'Ange beyond."

*

"And yet you do not strike me as a woman that needs anyone to rely upon." Pierre replies to this, "You have the Opera and you have your wits. You are a successful woman no matter what you do." he gives a light pause to this, "Well, if you want me to meet with the Duc before that happens, you let me know and I will make sure to give it the time it needs." he promises, his fingers still caressing her. From her lips, a light brush to her lower one, then back to her cheek where he lets his fingers slide along the line of her jaw.

*

It's an easy thing for Clémentine to allow her head to tilt into Pierre's hand. To let it nestle there where his finger's caress her jaw. It's even simpler for her to lean a fraction further into him and to claim a kiss that is far, far more than one of just friendship and affection. Her breath is sweet and clean, and there's the lingering scent of night-blooming orchids in the lengths of her hair. He'll be aware of the warmth of her body through the riding habit where she presses closer, and the lightness of her hand where it delicately comes to rest on his thigh, adding itself as a prop for her weight. Three seconds. Four. Perhaps longer yet before with a nip to his lower lip she breaks that kiss and smiles into his eyes. "The Duc already met you the night that I invited you to my box, he does not require to meet you again. Besides which, he trusts my judgement."

*

Pierre moves into that kiss with warmth, his free hand dropping down to lightly come to a rest above hers which now rests upon his thigh. The kiss is met warmly, the kiss held for as long as it can. He shows all of his desire for her in that kiss and all of his warmth for her for those few seconds before she nips at him to then lean back out. During this moment, his two fingers had moved to her neck, palm caressing it warmly, "If he trusts your judgement then I will as well." he replies to this, "After all, I am supposedly a nice man." he teases her a bit.

*

"Yes. I believe that you are." The tips of Clémentine's fingers press lightly into Pierre's thigh, before she splays them enough that Pierre's can fit between the gaps. "I would kiss you again, but I fear that if I did we would forget the picnic entirely. Since the picnic was the purpose of our coming here, and since the servants have worked so diligently to get it all prepared and set up for us, I think perhaps we should go and eat." A glance over her shoulder in the direction of the table and chair that now await them beneath the awning confirm her suspicions, and she drops a quick kiss to the angle of his shoulder. "I had them prepare bouillabase especially, and chose a white wine rather than red, given the warmth of the day."

*

"I hope that .. they brought water." Pierre replies to this, "It may have slipped past your notice that I have yet to pick up a glass of wine or any other spirited drink since we have been together?" he wonders, "I do not drink such things. I hold myself to water, tea or java. I have not touched spirited drinks since.. quite a while." he takes a breath, "But you are correct. We best attend the picnic. If you kiss me again, I fear the servants will have good reason to busy themselves elsewhere."

*

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