(1310-05-18) Confessions in the Garden
Summary: Ortolette comes to Rose Sauvage to visit her cousin, and Desarae confides her problems to her.
RL Date: Thu May 18, 2018
Related: All Roses Bear Thorns, Morning in the Palace Courtyard, Late Night Apology, Just Desserts and Coming to Terms
desarae ortolette 

Gardens

The gardens of La Rose Sauvage offer a different ambience and atmosphere than that of the more oppressive and richly ornate salon. Tall casement windows spill out onto a paved area which gives way to neatly arranged flowerbeds, where a predominance of roses pay homage to the canons encompassed by this salon. The paths are of a dark granite grey which have softened over the years by the enroachment of mosses and lichens, with smaller paths winding off through the beds. It's here along these secluded paths that arborial areas and private nooks might be found, and where privacy is granted to those that seek it through flowering hedges and curtained awnings.

A fountain plays at the centre of the garden, the copper figures of two nude women, long since mellowed to a soft verdigris, spill water from shells into a pool at its base. The main pathway through the garden leads to a terracotta tiled courtyard that sits towards the farthest end, the walls here flanked by creeping ivys which cloak the walls in scarlet and orange during the autumn months. An oiled silk awning hangs over the courtyard to give shelter from both sun and rain, and oil lamps light the area when evening falls.


Morning has broken. It sees Desarae up and about considerably earlier than she might usually be, and it more than likely has everything to do with the events of the previous day. With servants still working at putting the Salon to rights after the previous evening's entertainment, she's chosen to take herself into the peace and quiet that the gardens afford, and has sought refuge in the canopy covered courtyard to its farthest end. A plate of pastries has accompanied her out, along with a tray that's set with freshly brewed jasmine tea. Dressed in a soft apricot chiffon that does much to recommend itself to her hair and her complexion, the former of which spills in a cloud of darkness about her shoulders, she looks the picture of loveliness as she sprawls on her stomach the length of the couch, her feet kicked up and a book splayed open before her.

*

Early in the morning, Ortolette has long now discovered, is the best time in which to go and visit her cousin with the least opportunity to run into anything occurring, if the reader would only catch the indicated drift. Songbirds and the blearly petals of flowers not yet unfolded to the morning un nor yet dried from dewfall give the place a dreamsome atmosphere, and all the more uncanny it seems when Ortolette enters— on foot, of all things. Or, one may presume she's on foot. She wears a gown of maidenly length, covering to the toe and heel of her little boots, such that they cannot even be seen when she walks, producing a gait like a faintly undulating glide, as a ghost might drift out from one wall and into another with a motion that seems surreal in its authenticity. The gown, moreover, is a pale peach, almost a match to Desarae's apricot, but maybe a little to the pinker side, and has that high, child-like waist that makes her look either like a baby doll or a woman trying to hide a pregnancy, how the gown flares beautifully from just below the band of embroidered fabric that hugs her flat chest. She spies Desarae and drifts to a halt to watch her read from across the way.

*

Desarae looks up from her book, catching as she does the approach of her cousin in the periphery of her vision. "Ortolette! What a sight for my eyes you are!" Her smile for her cousin is wide, and it is perhaps the first genuine smile to have touched the young novice's face in any number of days. "I have tea and pastries! Come join me. Come!" She pushes herself erect, and swings her feet to the floor in a swirl of her petticoats. Folding her book closed, she tucks it to the other side of her hip, as with her other hand she pats the now empty space on the bench beside her. Despite the earliness of the morning hour, she seems suddenly brought to life. "Oh my goodness, cousin. I have so many things to tell you. Some good, and some terrible. But I shall not indulge you in any of these things until you are seated and we have hugged."

*

Ortolette reaches out with both her hands when Desarae meets her eye, fairly vibrating in a quick paced up and down bounce of her knees before she steps briskly closer, her big, goofy smile on full display, the one that makes her look just like the most gawkish of maidens. She fairly well hurls herself onto the couch, but to hurl something so light and frail is almost to make it float into place, and there's no vim behind the way Ortolette entangles Desarae in her arms. Only sweet familial affection. "Oh, tell, tell! Things must be getting ever so exciting for you, sweet cous."

*

Desarae wraps Ortolette up in her arms, pulling her into a hug before pressing the warmth of a kiss to her cousin's cheek. "Oh Orto. They are getting exciting. They really are! The invitations to those that have shown the most interest in my debut have now been sent, and I am to attend the first of my appointments with Mme Estelle to discuss my ideas for my outfit. It will be breathtaking." She pauses, her hands coming to rest on Ortolette's shoulders as she pushes herself back, putting a little space between them so that she can look her cousin in the eye. "But along with all that, I have managed to get myself into trouble with Séverine, my Second. It means that I am no longer allowed to go to Bézier for the Festival of Lights, and I feel wretched about that. There was to be celebrations for my natality too."

*

Ortolette gives one more tight squeeze, returning the kisses with sisterly assiduousness. Even when she draws back, she lets her hands lull to Desarae's sides. "Oh, no," she speaks of the woes, first. "Over what matter did you fall out with your second?" she asks quite primly, dropping her syllables like pearls down a strand of silk. "I hope that you will find yourself reconciled before your debut evening. It would hardly do to have her holdiing anything agaisnt you on an evening such as that. You must be very excited to find out what will happen."

*

Desarae shakes her head, her nose scrunching with the face that she pulls. "Oh no. Séverine and I have not fallen out, and if anything she seemed a little saddened when she told me that the permission previously given for me to attend was now withdrawn. The decision was taken by Jacques, and I shall simply have to bear it. Oh but I will miss the festival so much, especially since it was to be the last that I will see of my family until after my debut." A sigh filters through her lips, and a shake of her head is given. "In truth, it has been a difficult few days, and I was asked to make an apology to that Ambassador from Menekhet that recently arrived and whom I offended when she visited here. I ask you, Ortolette, is it truly my fault if I cannot feel easy in the presence of foreigners?"

*

Ortolette doesn't really understand; she doesn't much need to, she only has to be an open pair of ears. She doesn't press further or make Desarae dally over the outing lost, but the next question makes her open ehr mouth in a little bit of wordless surprise. "I don't know," she finally begins, "That any fault for the problem may be assigned. Surely, however, there are things you might do to correct such a defect, no matter how it may have been garnered?"

*

Desarae nods. "It is quite the difficult thing to master though, Ortolette. Especially when caught unawares. I am doing as you suggest though, and working on it. Yesterday when meeting with the Ambassador I was able to hold my composure through our conversation without giving further offence. At least, I think I did. She accepted my apology for what it was, and so I am halfway to meeting the requests that Séverine made of me. But…" And she blows a quick breath away, huffing slightly as her arms straighten before dropping from her cousin's shoulders. "… enough of my woes. I have pastries, and we shall indulge!" Another kiss is dropped to Ortolette's cheek, and in much the same way as teenagers across the whole of Terre d'Ange might do, the conversation turns to talk of a more lighthearted nature; of gowns and parties, of men and romance. And not once does it touch again on the matter of foreigners nor the punishments levied on Desarae.

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