(1310-06-04) Irritation
Summary: Séverine shares news with Gauge, about a debut that is not going to happen.
RL Date: 04/06/2018
Related: Previous encounters and the Dissolving of an Arrangement.
severine gauge 

Gardens — La Rose Sauvage

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.

It is a spring morning. The weather is warm and drizzling.

On this late morning, Séverine can be found in the gardens of La Rose Sauvage. Honey blonde hair with that slight tendency towards red has been done in a loose braid, hugging her neck before it descends over her front, over a gown of dark purple that contrasts to her pale and faintly freckled skin. Especially that of her back that is exposed through the cut of the dress, the marque of her salon covering her skin there on full display. She sits on one of the benches, head turned aside as her grey eyes look thoughtful - the Second obviously caught in her own contemplations, a faint line between her brows suggesting they may cause her some light irritation.

Gauge makes his way into the garden having already been somewhat attended to already on his way through. His coat has been taken and he has a glass of wine already, the crimson liquid swirling with every step he takes. His wrist rocks in circular fashion to keep the wine moving so as to not splash as he moves with that sea-man's rolling gait along the path through the garden. He lifts the glass to take a sip as he comes to a stop near the fountain but when he catches sight of Severine he alters course and begins to head in the Second's direction. "You look troubled." Comes Gauge's rough gravelly voice, but his pitch and volume are low enough to not carry to terribly far, keeping the conversation private for the time being. "A woman as beautiful as you are, Severine, should never look troubled."

<FS3> Severine rolls Composure: Success. (2 6 1 6 2 8 2 2)
<FS3> Severine rolls Perception: Great Success. (7 3 3 7 3 3 7 2 4 7)

She may have heard him already as he stepped out from the salon into the gardens. But Séverine remains as she is until Gauge addresses her. Rising to her feet in one flowing motion makes the dark fabric shift over her frame. The neckline of the dress deep enough to reveal a promise of curves, arms left bare. "Gauge." She chooses the informal address, and Séverine's features soften into a faint smile, that line between her brows vanishing in the moment he makes reference to it. Lowering her gaze, she shakes her head. "Not troubled. A bit irritated perhaps, but that will soon fade, I daresay.", the Red Rose replies, her voice as soft and obliging as ever. "What brings you here?" The question inspires her eyes to lift to study his features. "The search for diversion?"

"I am leaving for a trip soon, I could be gone up to a month or more." Gauge rumbles as he walks over towards her and reaches up to cup her cheek gently with his free hand if she lets him, "So I sought to come visit, to see if I could spend some time with my favorite red rose… either officially or unofficially, as per her desires." He steps ever closer until there is very little space between them at all as he looks down into her face and eyes. "If in the process I can help reduce your irritation then I would consider it time well spent for both of us." He still holds his wine glass with fingertips by the lip and slowly swirls it around in the glass. "Unless the irritation is that there are too many demands upon your time… then I could divert my attentions elsewhere, if you wished."

"My irritation lays elsewhere," Séverine responds, her gaze tightening for a moment, before it softens again. While she does not exactly lean into the touch of his hand, she doesn't pull away either. It takes another moment, before she lifts her hand to touch her fingers against his upon her face. "You will be leaving?" A thought that seems to sink in belatedly. A deep inhale flares her nostrils, and a flutter of eyelids indicates her surprise. "How soon? If it is soon… the news I have for you will most probably not affect you." Saying those words, as her gaze sweeps away from his face, drifting over the garden, before it returns to him, somewhat, her look focusing upon the glass of wine he swirls. "I am at leisure, and would be pleased if I could spend my time in your company.", the Red Rose murmurs. "It will be up to you to decide how you like to spend this time… Seeking the intensity of an assignation, or… being with me in the way we last were together." She leans just a tad forward, against him with his current proximity, meeting his gaze. "Will you be gone for long?"

"The departure date is not fixed as of yet." Gauge murmurs in a soft rumble, searching her face gently, "Perhaps you should give me the information that seems to weigh so heavily upon you." When she leans in against him just that light touch he closes what tiny bit of distance there was between them still with a slightly lean of his own. Fingertips stroke from her cheek and into her hair with a light touch before curling around behind her ear to stroke lightly towards the corner of her jaw. "Then I will decide how we should best spend our time together. I am loathe to make a decision knowing there is news that could alter my… needs." He leans down to breathe in the scent of her hair and just her for a long moment, waiting in silence for her to answer, "It could be just a few weeks, it could be a month or more. It depends on how successful I am."

Her eyes brighten momentarily, just like the tide increasing and then ebbing, soft expression sharpening through some distracting thought of displeasure, and Séverine sighs softly. "It is not weighing heavily upon me… But it is disappointment, at not being allowed to present and advertise our branch of the salon adequately." Leaning against him lightly, she continues, "I have learned that the debut we were preparing for is not to happen. Desarae is no longer novice of this salon. The Duchesse has insisted that she'd be released from her commitment. There is compensation offered, and another very young Mereliot will be sent to start fostering with us. I know how much you’ve looked forward to winning her debut, Gauge. But her path will be a different one." There is a faint tremble to her voice, that has dimmed down to a whisper, as she leans in, her breath felt against his ear. "What will be your decision then, on how we shall spend our time together?"

That makes Gauge smile a little wryly, "Ah, that I knew already." Gauge rumbles softly, continuing to stroke her hair gently, "I am sure it will be a loss to La Rose Sauvage… especially with how close to her debut we were at. I was there, in Beziers, when we verified that it was her siblings who were murdered. I knew then that there was no way she was going to debut as a Courtesan, not as sole remaining Heir to the Duchess' sister's line." He wraps his other arm around her gently so as to not spill his wine as he pulls her in tighter against him. "Some things are not meant to be." He rumbles, "It is not your fault, nor the Salon's fault. I have no anger or upset to take out upon you or yours Severine." He leans his head down so that he can murmur into her ear, "So the question is, do you want the comfort of a lover, my Severine, or do you seek to be pushed, to hear your Signale torn from your lips? To spend time in recovery? After last time I have no doubt I will need to push you even harder to achieve those ends…"

With her leaning into him like that, Gauge may not be able to see her expression at once. He can feel her body move from the deep inhale though, with him holding her close as he is currently. "I know. I already began to suspect, when Her Grace decided to have Desarae fetched from the salon.", Séverine breathes, lifting her hand to place it on his shoulder in the moment she turns her head to face him fully once again. He can see indecision reign in those stormy eyes of hers, the silence following giving away how she is not quite sure what to respond. "You are not angry," she states after a moment. "You would hardly serve me well, would I wish for punishment." There is nothing judgmental in that statement, she makes in a matter-of-factly tone. "You are not like you were on that first night. And it is fine. As you are about to depart from Marsilikos soon… I should grant you my company for free, and perhaps I might see you again, once you are back." Her face being so close to his, he can sense the smile from the subtle shift of her breath, the twinkling in her eyes; when she leans away, against the hold he has upon her. "Let us withdraw. To my chamber.", will be her decision, uttered at a low volume, into the audible backdrop of buzzing bees and birds twittering in the trees.

Perhaps she has said those words just to see what reaction she will get from it but then again, perhaps not. His wine glass is lifted and he drains it empty over her shoulder so that it can be taken by an attendant or set on the bench, or otherwise gotten out of the way. He doesn't smile down at her at her choice though. With his free hand Gauge slides fingers up the nape of her neck and into her hair to take a firm handhold, the strong calloused fingers clenching into a fist and he tugs down and back hard enough to bow her body into his and tilt her face up towards his. "I was angry." He rumbles softly, "Angry enough to overcome my hesitation." His other hand runs along her jaw with his fingertips until he reaches her chin, "Do not make the mistake of believing I must be angry to enjoy pushing you, to enjoy punishing you." His rough voice is serious and matter of fact, his eyes squinting slightly and crows feet forming at the corners as he stares down into her eyes. He leans down and almost brushes his lips from the corner of her mouth along her cheek to her ear, but just his breath touches her skin hot and moist. He murmurs into her ear, "Hearing your Signale, torn from your lips and throat, is a delicacy in it's own right."

Gauge's head turns and he strokes his softly bearded cheek against hers before he nips at the corner of her jaw sharply with his teeth only to kiss it tenderly afterwards. His fingers in her hair relax and he strokes down her spine with his fingertips hard enough to press her into him more firmly. "It is not a weakness to wish to know your desires, my Severine…" He rumbles softly as he leans back again to look into her eyes with his own pale blue ones. "For the best performance to be rendered for all involved, one must know which instrument is to be played."

Something happens in the moment, Gauge slides his finger into her hair, loosening them before he curls his hand and tugs at her tresses. There is that subtle widening of Severine's eyes, a faint flaring of nostrils as he forces her to look up at him, while the slight arching of her back presses her all the more against him. Lips part to allow her breath to drift, when the touch of his finger running along her jawline makes the Red Rose shudder. Instincts, ingrained so deeply within her, both through disposition and year long training at House Valerian on Mont Nuit, makes the prey recognize the potential, brought forth in his handling of her, his voice, his whisper. The brush of his cheek against her delicate frail looking jaw, and the words he finally addresses to her, all these things might make Severine reconsider the possibilities of this afternoon. After all, her words may have been a test for him in the first place, a challenge to awaken the beast.

"A contract." Her words cut through the momentary silence, and Severine's eyes holding his gaze take on another quality, darkening just a tad as if from the implications of her change of mind. "You shall have me as a Rose of the Red canon. And it will cost you." Her chin lifts, her gaze hardening slightly despite the undeniable thrill glittering within. "The Dark Chamber, this time." There is no uncertainty, no softening in Severine no Rose Sauvage's expression, when her mind appears to be set. Her eyes, a pale grey with new depth, hold Gauge's gaze and her brow lifts just slightly as she waits for his reaction.

"A contract." Gauge agrees in his gravelly rumble of a voice. His fingers tug down harder to pull her in more firmly against him as his pale blue eyes hold her own and she can /see/ the brightening of them as his own desires take hold at least to an extent, pupils dilating as he breathes in her scent to compress the blue into thin lines. "I am sorely tempted to take an even longer assignation than the first one since I do not know how long I will be gone." He suddenly lets go of her hair though and his arms unwrap from around her. "Let us see the contract signed and then I will ensure that this one costs us both." He moves to follow towards her office, or the dark room, or wherever else it is they must go before proceeding. "Twenty Four Hours." He elucidates.

"We can leave this open," Séverine replies, straining just a little against his grasp and his physique he forces her body to press against. "A day. A few hours. The duration says little about the intensity you and I can explore…" A soft gasp there, as he releases her from his hold, a flutter of eyelids in the moment Séverine regains her stance, and lifts her chin in evident challenge. She will lead Gauge d'Eresse towards her office, to deal with the contract. Which will contain her Signale, the usual clauses about marks allowed, and the duration of the contract, which she leaves open at first before she enters it to be a day. Sliding the document over to him to complete and sign, the Red Rose asks softly, "You haven't been to the dark chamber yet, have you? It's the preferred choice of those of Kusheth's province. It leaves more… opportunities to explore, my lord." Shifting to a more formal way of address as if to remind him of the nature of the time they will spend together.

Once everything is settled, along with the tithe he will have to pay for the salon, Séverine moves to stand, and then guides him back to the salon, and then towards a stairway that leads down to a door, she unlocks with a key that hangs from her belt. "On Mont Nuit, House Shahrizai has its own little playroom at Valerian House," she muses over her shoulder. "And the founder of our salon, Edouard, wanted to recreate this here." Stepping into the chamber she lights a few torches at the walls, and then, with Gauge entering as well, she closes the door behind them.

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