(1310-05-10) Folly and Friendship
Summary: {$summary}
RL Date: Thu May 10, 1310
Related: None.
luka carenza merielle achille marion 

Raziel's Sanctum

Pedestrian traffic flows past the tall, multistorey temple to knowledge without ever daring to glimpse within. Their loss proves the academic community of Marsilikos' gain. Watery light passing through greenish tinted windows throws a distinctly sylvan enchantment over the narrow ground floor. Awash in jade shadows, the built-in bookcases heave with the treasures of the deep and wide world. Volumes mass-produced by printing press in d'Angeline dominate the front shelves, a wild assortment of topics contained within some obscure system of sorting known only to the regulars. Herbalism and gardening stand abreast of architectural sketches from the City of Elua and Kusheline manuals on horse breeds.%r%rA journey up the twisting stairs past the bric-a-brac acquired by years of travelers trading in their goods leads into the true heartland of wisdom. Candles set before stained glass throw rapturous kaleidoscopes of painted colour over a long hall. The open central aisle hosts low couches set back to back on woven Bhodistani rugs. The most treasured volumes — and hence, the most costly — occupy the floor-to-ceiling shelves overseen by the grumpiest of caretakers, an ill-tempered marmalade cat with his own stuffed chair that no one sits in.%r%rThe third floor holds a repository of maps and scrolls, aged texts too fragile to hold, and a bookbinding and mending service at a cost.


It's a chipper spring morning and the birds are singing and filling the air with their song when the siren's song of the book store called to Merielle. Within the store, the smell of parchment and ink with those sweet vanilla and almond notes that accompany all books surrounds her, making it easy for her to get lost meandering the bookshelves, her eyes scanning titles as she draws a fingertip along the shelf. Finding one in particular that may be interesting, she plucks it from its nook in the shelf and finds a comfortable looking stuffed chair. Unoccupied! How conveniant. And here, she settles in.

*

The resident doyenne of the Explorers Club comes slowly down the stairs, accompanied by the world's grumpiest cat. No fondness exists between the feline and any two-legged nuisance, not even one wearing immaculately polished boots and carrying a bundle of scrolls atop a few heavy books. No special rapport at all; no matter. Carenza leaves room for the feline to trot ahead, tail pompously tall and ears flat, to go claim its habitual spot on a chair where it can glare at anyone with cat-deep contempt. She hardly registers too much noise in passing, though the faint hit of nectarine and violet and vanilla rolling around her, she makes an impact of a kind; the sort that involves the olfactory. Peeking around a corner finds Merielle ensconced with a book, and she smiles. "If you say not a word, you might be able to manage here all day."

*

Except the cat finds his chair occupied by a woman who knows not what sin she hath committed against the feline. Not yet. Looking up from her book at the sound of Carenza's voice, her brows raise in a small amount of surprise finding someone coming down from the floor above. "I was hoping to lose myself here, yes. Though I suppose I've blown my cover now." She pauses and tips her head in her direction, "Merielle Rousse no Coquelicot, at your service my Lady." Her gaze flickers down to the marmalade cat who looks very unhappy with her. Setting the book to the side she leans forward and attempts to stroke his head. "What a lovely color you are…"

*

The door open and from the cool drizzle outside a man steps in that comes with his own sort of olfactory assault, though definitely with less notes of fruit and spice. Insteads it's wet leather, oiled metal and the faint sour tinge of old sweat. His hair is damp from the drizzle outside and he mutters something to himself about a hat as he turns to peer out one of the windows at the weather outside. One of his eyes is swollen and bruised from recently injury, a split lip mostly healed and the gusts of his hands wrapped in cloth bandages that are noticeably cleaner than the rest of him.

*

Seeing as how her affections were egregiously ignored by the cat, her gaze is quick to flitter up to the new arrival, taking him all in. "Good Morning." Though, it's apparent to Merielle perhaps he'd seen better mornings and her eyebrows ever so slightly lift at the sight of him and his condition, "Are you quite alright?" She rises and closes the book, holding it under her arm and not quite approaching - not just yet. The marmalade cat claims his throne in her absense. The woman wears nothing but a floor length gown of nothing but strategically placed white lace with a high neckline, long sleeves. While floor length and scandalously revealing in its own right, the only real skin exposed was the length of her back where her Marque is on full display. He gets a glimpse of it when she turns to look at the cat over her shoulder, shaking her head at /such/ rudeness. Ah. Cats.

*

Luka didn't show much skin himself aside from the hands and face with the rest of him covered in mail and leathers with a sword and dirk belted around his waist. He gives a look back towards Merielle when addressed and gives her a quick once over before chuffing out a response, "Oh, I'm fine. Just forgot my damn hat. thought I'd beat the rain.. turns out another bet I lost this week"

*

"Well, you know what they say," Merielle intones softly, moving over to greet him properly. "Third time is a charm. Make the next bet count, yes?" There's a shadow of a smile at the corner of her mouth, but nothing more. "Are you in need of a physician? I am not of the Balm canon and have no skill for it myself but my Salon is famous for its skilled medical practitioners. It does look like you've been bandaged, though." She pauses to offer and introduction, "Merielle Rousse no Coquelicot, at your service."

*

Luka gives a glance down towards one of his bandaged hands and gives a shake of his head, "Eh, I'm fine. Body only heals so fast no matter how many times you visit a physician." He turns away from the window to face her and his hands go to rest casually ok the front of his belt, "Luka Kratikos."

*

"Hellene? You must be a long way from home." Merielle regards him curiously again, "My Salon has a lovely Hellene Garden. I've always admired it." She dips her head once more, politely, "It's nice to meet you Luka Kratikos. What brings you to Marsilikos?"

*

"Hellene" Luka confirms with a slight nod of his head, "I'm not too far from home though. Sea is right…" he takes a moment to get his bearings and then points towards where the water would be, "That way. and not much of a ship ride from there. .. but I've not been home in near a decade now. World is a big place, lots to see outside of Hellas." he smiles and then gives a shrug, "but it's just a roll of the dice that brought me here. I'm a sword for hire and decided to get myself hired in a way that has me here"

*

"Luck? You're a man that relies on it quite a bit then." Merielle says with no small hint of amusement in the tone of her voice, her gaze moving from him to the bookstore around them, "Are you guarding a treasure trove of books by chance, or do you find yourself guarding something else?" Eventually her gaze settles back upon him but she moves to the counter to pay for the book, looking quite pleased with her purchase, turning her backtoward him momentarily to do so. "I've always wanted to see Hellas."

*

"Everyone relies on it, some of us just admit it." Luka replies with a bit of a grin and then shakes his head, "Can't say I've ever been paid to guard a trove of books, at least knowingly. people tend to want swords around to keep more precious things safe." when she moves off to the counter he looks back towards the window and then back towards her. "It is a beautiful country. you should go see it, especially if you've a taste of the ancient things you might read about in those books"

*

The way she holds it in front of her in a delicate grasp suggests that maybe she values them just as much as 'more precious things' - gems, gold, diamonds. "I do. The last book I read was about a place called Meteora. A lovely verdant valley with strange rock formations - the are huge and practically stand up straight, like teeth? It's hard for me to imagine - I would like to see it for myself one day." Merielle follows his gaze out of the window curiously. "Are you finding Marsilikos just as beautiful and intriguing?"

*

<FS3> Luka rolls Perception: Good Success. (4 5 7 4 7 4 4 8 2)

*

"Marsilikos.. eh.. it's alright" Luka replies with a non-committal shrug, "only been here a couple of days so far, haven't found the good parts of it yet" he explains, "I'm sure if I stick around I'll find something interesting"

*

She pulls her chin inward and casts her eyes somewhat up at him in a little bit of shock, only the tiniest list of her eyebrows giving away her surprise. "Some would say the Courtesans of Marsilikos' Night Court are one of the crowning gems of the city." For the first time, a smile appears at the corners of Merielle's mouth.

*

"I'm sure some would" Luka says with a small chuff of amusement at the thought and then pauses to glance over her again, "No offense, but can't say I'm one of them. when I've got spare coins jingling in my pouch I've got other things to spend them on that putting them in the Night Courts coffers"

*

The tiniest laugh escapes her lips and finally, the smile that had been threatening to surface finally breaches her still, smooth exterior. "Understandable. I suppose I can't argue with that logic. But. Should you have any dreams you'd like analyzed, or a broken heart or body to mend, it's worth the coin." Merielle inclines her head a little, reassuming her cool exterior.
Marielle can find Merielle and Luka in the bookstore. She's wearing her signature lace dress with the open back, and Luka is being a sexy filthy banged up commoner engaged in light covnersation. It's morning, and Luka is quite wet from a little morning spring shower he had been caught in earlier. Merielle seems dry.

*

Oh, and yes. Luka smells. Like leather and sweat. Which can be good or bad in its own right.

*

"Only one of those seems likely to be worth the coin for a man in my sort of work" Luka says and gives another look outside to where the rain has turned from drizzle to full on solid rain and he frowns. "Looking like I'm just going to have to get wet today" he says towards the window and then back to her and her lace "you.. ah.. just staying here to wait out the weather?"

*

"You'd be surprised. Even men like you have dreams." Merielle says with a dip of her head, "No, I was staying here to chat to you. But. Seeing as how you look like you're about to dart out - I should probably follow suit soon. I don't mind being wet." Absolutely no pun intended. "It's the chill that I'm not prepared for…" In this quiet bookstore stands Merielle, dressed in strategically placed lace, addressing a foriegn man who smells of stale, old sweat and leather and man. He looks a little beat up, but his wounds tended. She looks dry - having arrived in the bookstore long before the drizzle outside began. She smells marginally better of vanilla and almond and an understated sweet, floral note.

*

"oh, I've got dreams, but they're simple ones. don't need fancy poetry to tell me what they're about" Luka says with a small grunt and then looks out towards the rain and chill again, noting the heavy drops before looking back at her. "Guess you should have worn a jacket. Better run fast"

*

Merielle lifts her hand to wave, letting him go, watching the rain next with a vaguely worried expression creasing her brow. Maybe she /will/ wait out the weather here… She looks down at her dress. Walking in the rain in /this/ was not going to be fun.

*

It was at this time that Achille would enter Raziel's Sanctum. Black cloak around his shoulders that comes down to about his thighs, he comes in just as it appears that apparently-smelly-foreigner Luka was leaving. Walking just slightly past him as he lowers his hood to reveal his face…the Vicomte de Gardanne?! Either way, he seems to find himself in the sight of Merielle, and he offers her a warm smile. "Good eve."

He turns back to Luka before he looks back to Merielle. "Forgive me, but do you plan to go out? Here, take this." he removes his cloak to reveal the sleek armor underneath and he offers his cloak to Merielle.

*

She still looks undecided, and hesitates long enough to see Achille enter just as she was about to take a deep breath and step out into the rain, holding the book she's purchased close - in fact she almost collides right into him, "Oh, excuse me, my Lord." Merielle had no idea who he was actually, but the cloak looked /very/ tempting to say the least. Tempting enough to make her pause and her gaze flicker from the cloak up to him, "Well I was considering waiting out the rain, but —" There's a considering pause, "Who would I send the cloak back to? Or would you drop by to collect it soon?"

*

Luka runs out into the rain!

*

Achille watches Luka leave out into the rain before his attention returns back to Merielle, who runs right into him. Though he doesn't seem to mind it at all since it doesn't even move him, but he shakes his head lightly. "Oh no, by all means madame, you can keep it. That way, you will have a harder time leaving a cloak behind." he winks at her softly. "Would you tell me your name? I am Achille. Vicomte de Gardanne."

*

"Merielle Rousse no Coquelicot." She offers, drawing the cloak round her shoulders. "I think you must be one of my patron's relations - Gabrielle? Alas, she never told me she had such a handsome brother or cousin - or whatever relation you may be to her." A shadow of a smile plays at the corners of her lips and she tucks the book away under and arm. "And that's a shame - I was looking forward to you coming to claim it back from me. Regardless, it is a pleasure to meet you, Vicomte."

*

Achille bows his head softly to Merielle as she introduces herself to him. "A pleasure to make your acquaintance, my Lady." a warm smile for her. "Nor did I know that such a beautiful woman works here, so a pleasant surprise for the both of us. and Gabrielle is my cousin, I am happy you know her…for it means I will likely see you a great deal." As she moves to pass him, he reaches and his hand touches hers. "Is it your wish that I claim it back from you later?" his eyes locked onto her own.

*

"I don't work here, I work as a Courtesan for the Coquelicot Salon. I did, however, buy a book here." Merielle looks around, her eyes settling on a marmalade cat that has settled into its chair - er throne over there with some amusement, "Well you are much better company than the cat. But yes, I wish that you perhaps, would. It's an awfully nice cloak after all. I'd hate for you to miss it." It's drizzling outside, and at the entrance to the bookstore stands Merielle in her signature strategically place white lace dress, and a cloak that is very obviously Achille's.

*

Soft laughter fills the air near the entrance to the bookstore as Marion clad in a flowing Hellene style gown of pale blue silk comes rushing for shelter in the shop. The bronzed skinned woman wears a warm smile on her lips her dark eyes alight with amusement as she gazes out at the rain. Her dark hair has been neatly pinned up and fastened with pins a chain of silver with blue teardrop gems encirling the bound locks. Her arms are also adorned with silver, small bangles that jingle as she shifts peering about the shop but then pausing when she sees Merielle nearby along with Achille. She smiles brightly and dips into a graceful curtsey for Achille her expression full of warmth and affection. "Hello again my Lord. I trust you are enjoying your day?" Smiling gently to Merille she tilts her head. "I see you have met one of my fellow Coquelicots? Hello Merielle, I hope your day has been pleasant so far as well?"

*

Achille 'aaahhhs' a moment as Merielle speaks that she's a courtesan at the Salon. "I see. Perhaps I will visit you then, since that is your wish." he smiles warmly to her, simply claspsing his hands behind his back and standing up straight. He wore his sleek armor, which, since his cloak was now in the possession of Merielle to protect her from the rain, was rather splendidly glorious, in all respects. He does nod softly to her before his eyes shift to Marion as she arrives, giving her a kind smile. "Hello again, my lady. It's good to see you again." He looks between the ladies as Marion asked Merielle a question.

*

"Why hello Marion, it's lovely to see you out and about." Merielle dips her head, "The day has been more pleasant than most," she admits freely, "This bookstore draws in the most interesting of customers. So far today I've met a number of different people, the latest here the Vicomte. I was just heading out though, I'm afraid. It's why he's lent me his cloak." In her normal, neutral tone of voice there's something of a note of amusment in her voice. Then, she addresses Achille, "Yes, it would be. I will see you soon, I hope." She gives him a demure curtsey and Marion a little dip of the head, "Forgive me, Marion. Perhaps we can catch up a bit later at the Salon but I have been here for nearly five hours. I'm afraid they may send a search party after me shortly, should I fail to make an appearance." A shadow of a smile tugs at the corners of her mouth as she makes a polite exit

*

Marion inclines her head politely and smiles as Merielle makes her exit. Looking to Achille she smiles gently and lowers her gaze brushing a few stray water droplets from her skirts. Peeking up at Achille her gaze is curious as she asks. "How have you been of late my Lord Achille? I must say I enjoyed our last encounter." Her cheeks turn a subtle pink as she admits that with a soft smile.

*

Achille watches as Merielle leaves and he bows when she passes, before his head slowly turns to Marion as she speaks. "I have been well, Marion. Thank you….as did I." he smiles to her and moves a stray hair from Marion's face, caressing her cheek softly. "Perhaps sometime soon we may meet again in such a manner." flirty flirty!

But alas, his hand returns to his side and he gives Marion a kind smile.

*

Marion returns his smile with a gentle one of her own. "If that is something you desire Achille, then all you need do is ask. I simply wish you to be comfortable and happy, whatever that takes." She leans into the touch while it lasts her smile deepening. She glances around the store breifly before her eyes go back to him her gaze gentle and thoughtful.

*

Achille smiles to Marion as she rests her head against his palm as long as it's there…and he notices her facial expression as she does so. "Then perhaps next time, I will ask." he winks softly to her as he takes a small breath, moving to take a seat. "I like environments such as this…where intellectuals can come and purchase their tomes of knowledge."

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