(1310-06-11) Sketches and Ideas
Summary: Belmont encounters his sister Irene, and they catch each other up on recent developments and plans they may have for the future.
RL Date: 11/06/2018
Related: Irene's encounter with Gauge from the day before
belmont irene 

Eresse Townhouse — Noble District

The Eresse residence combines rustique naval charme with a certain noble elegance, as can be seen from the interior of the parlor, where a few windows light the room generously during the day. At the wall hangs a shield with the family crest, the green ship on a field of white. Dark mahogany furniture provides a nice contrast to the green color favored in the upholstery in the furniture. A table with a number of elegantly carved chairs govern one side of room, set before a wall that sports a few paintings of naval scenes. To the other side, there is the hearth, plain dark grey marble, which has a variety of small ship models arranged upon the mantelpiece. Before the hearth, a few comfortable armchairs have been arranged, green cushions thrown in to add more comfort.

A door at the back leads to the kitchens and a stairway leading upstairs towards the private quarters of Eresse lords and ladies currently residing in the city.

Late morning it is already, and it is at this hour that the door to the Eresse Residence opens and Belmont enters, younger brother to the Baron of Beaucare. It seems it has started to rain outside, the warm sort of early summer rain, and so his dark hair clings to his temples, as he turns and glances about, his hands removing the light cloak he had put on when he went outside. He wears clothes adequate for a minor noble, breeches and doublet of dark green, with a white shirt worn beneath. At his belt dangles a rapier, carefully stowed away in a thin scabbard.

A soft muffled grumble comes from a further corner of the room where a young lady rabidly flushes through a pile of papers on her lap. "I can't believe I left it at home…" She shakes her head looking over one of the sheets from both sides and throwing it aside. The paper lands on the edge of the armchair and then slowly like a feather slides off, sways in the air and lands on Irene's feet adorned with dark brown leather shoes. The young woman is wearing a simple green dress which does not touch the ground and is quite comfortable to wander around the house. However, a golden chain holds a brightly red gem on her neck and two gemstone earrings sway close to her rosy cheeks. Even her wrists have golden bracelets to make her feel absolutely pretty flower.

Irene seems to be so focused to find something in that pile of her sketches that she doesn’t even notice her brother walking in.

There is that moment when Belmont realizes there is someone in the living area, that pause when his eyes narrow before they widen and he crosses the distance with a surprised, "Irene, is that you?" The smile comes instantly, warming his features. Compared to last time she saw him, he looks unscathed, and actually in very good spirits. He will not stop there, reaching out to pull Irene to her feet and lift her for a wild welcoming twirl — like a little sister so dear to him deserves.

Once that has been seen to, he will set her down gently, his eyes gleaming, only to add, "I had no idea you were here, sister."

"Oh!" A surprised gasp leaves Irene's lips when she hears a familiar voice. Though, before even realizing whom of her brothers that might be, she finds herself twirled like a little girl. The answer is immediately clear - "Belmont!" She shouts out with a loud laughter. Once her feet find the ground again, the young woman wraps her arms around her brother, "Yes, this is me. I am back and ready to take over this town into my hands!" She chuckles and takes a step backwards to have a good look at Belmont, "Keeping yourself out of trouble, brother? Or you decided to grow up because of that lady who conquered your heart?"

"I'm trying to," Belmont replies with an amused twinkle in his eyes. "I was away though. To Béziers. No doubt you've heard of what happened there? The Duchesse's sister got killed… A fact we were not able to prevent…" A shadow falls over his features, briefly, and he sighs. "And when I returned, I deepened the acquaintance to a certain lady who seems to be very fond of me. I don't know if you know her. It's the Vicomtesse de Rognac, heiress to the Comte de Delaunay. Gabrielle Delaunay. It seems she is set to marry an Eresse, and… So it seems that Gauge offered me to her, as marriage candidate. Nevermind that I myself have very little in regards to title or station that speaks in my favor." There is a faint rosiness that touches his cheeks, the smile on his face deepening just a little. "I have to disappoint you though, Irene, as love is not involved. Not at all. We get along quite well, yes, and find each other to be quite compatible in some regards. Especially within her bedroom." He cannot quite hide the smirk.

Irene seems to be not in the mood to discuss a more sorrowful events. So, she just dismisses the topic about the loss of the Dutchess and keeps a smile in her young features without any shame. "Oh, brother," Irene rolls her eyes, "maybe there is no love but I can feel the passion burning in your heart. Uuuuh! Seems that the room is on fire!" The young woman waves a sheet of paper as a hand fan as if trying to refresh herself. "Heiress to the Comte de Delaunay sounds very promising. It would offer a lot to our family's line. In addition to that, it seems that you will manage to have heirs of your own in time because she must be of a great beauty and let's hope of a good character."

Irene moves to scoop up sketches from the armchair and place them on a table. She settles down comfortably and looks at Belmont again, "Though, you say that she is fond of you. We, women, can be very tactical when it comes to acquiring what we desire. She might not yet show her true personality. You might end up trapped with a true witch after the marriage. Though, as long as it's beneficial, I am sure you can deal with that…"

"Ummm?" Belmont winks at her in the moment he half-protests. "Passion? Well…" His expression turns a bit sheepish at that. "She has plenty of that, but I'd think I can keep up with her. I believe, both Houses Eresse and Delaunay will be pleased with the match. I'll be leaving our House though. Irene. As it will be required I marry into her family, to help her to provide heirs to Delaunay. Well. Perhaps to Beaucare as well. Gauge mentioned a clause he would propose, for the marriage contract. And he is after all without heirs. This won't diminish your chances at a match, though, I'm sure." With her now standing safely on the floor, Belmont settles himself in the chair close to the one Irene has just vacated. "It is why you are here, yes? To show you'll be available soon, on the marriage market?" It is a tease, of course, as Belmont is very much aware of Irene's 18th birthday, which is less than a month away.

"Even if you will marry into her family, you will be of House Eresse. Belmont, it will still be highly beneficial to our family as well," Irene reaches out to gently pat Belmont's hand twice. But then she turns away to reach out for sketches. The young woman starts searching for something one more time. Though, this time she still is able to keep up a conversation, "Gauge and I already spoke about this. He said that he will try to delay my marriage as long as possible that I would have a chance to choose," she snorts and shakes her head, "I tried to explain to him, that I will not cause any tantrums regarding his decisions. All I care is our family's future. I am well aware of my duties. However, I also have high requirements."

She stops for a brief moment to raise her eyes glimmering with amusement at her brother, "As I told Gauge, I want my husband to be nothing less than a Baron. I believe that lands, money and good standing would be a good addition to our line. I care little of the man's appearance. To be honest, it would be a shame if his handsomeness would exceed my beauty. Then there would be a high possibility that he may desire other partners," Irene laughs and starts looking over her sketches again. "You know that I was pampered by our mother. I want to be the most desired, even adored and I wouldn't like to share…"

<FS3> Belmont rolls Politics: Good Success. (6 6 7 5 3 7)

Belmont cannot hold back a chuckle, as something in what Irene says seems to amuse him immensely. "No lower than a baron? Irene, are you serious? I bet Gauge has higher station planned for you than just ending up married to someone holding a barony…" His eyes darken as he considers her, a faint breach in his mirth, as he adds, "Even if I'll find it hard to accept to see you married off… you are still young, and if Gauge delays any engagements, lucky you. Meanwhile…" His expression becomes thoughtful, and he blinks, "perhaps you should see to get more exposed to Marsilikos society. Why not… ask Gauge to introduce you to the Duchesse and recommend you to her, so that she might take you on as one of her ladies-in-waiting?"

"Hmm… Maybe you are right," Irene nods but then shouts out in joy, "FOUND IT!" She waves a sheet of paper in the air. "I knew I couldn't just forget it. Take it, it's for you…" She slides the paper toward Belmont. "I made this after that duel you had in order to protect my honor." It's a sketch of Belmont himself. He looks a bit roughed up in the drawing as if he would be after a battle (https://image.ibb.co/cAnCHo/My_brother_after_a_duel.jpg).

"Getting back to the topic, that's a great idea. I will definitely speak to Gauge regarding this. Though, he seems to be really troubled regarding his own matters of heart. As far as I learned, he fell in love with a foreigner and now is trying to find reasons and ways to marry her. Do you think he will succeed?" Irene ponders a moment but then adds, "I myself also had an idea to throw a small gathering during my birthday. I would like to celebrate it with family members and your beloved ones. By that I mean, I would welcome the Vicomtesse de Rognac and heiress to the Comte de Delaunay, Gabrielle Delaunay, and Lady Aziza Nimr, Ambassador to Eisande from Menekhet."

There is a curious flicker in Belmont's gaze when Irene slides that particular sketch over. Taking it up to regard it, he furrows his eyes slightly. "Did I look that bad?" Nevermind that Irene didn't get to see him right after he had been beaten, as he was taken to the infirmary at first. The sketch is a fine one though, enhanced by a sister's concern and imagination. "Ah…" he sighs, and then lowers the parchment with a faint frown. "I haven't seen that Ferraut since then. I believe he has returned to Camlach. If I ever should see him again… I'll make sure that he won't spread anymore lies about you." A quiet but no less genuine promise, that.

But Irene is already proceeding to the next topic of Gauge, and Belmont shoots her a glance. "She's of the ruling family of Menekhet. I very much doubt the head of her House would agree to see her married to a mere baron, and of House Eresse at that. But… Gauge is aiming to work at bettering his chances. Lady Aziza was attacked on her way to Terre d'Ange. Gauge thinks, if he helps to uncover who those villains were, this may work in his favor.", Belmont remarks thoughtfully. "You are intending to hold a feast here at our residence? I'll be there, and I'm sure Gabrielle would be pleased. I'm not sure on when Gauge and the Lady Aziza will head towards Caerdicca Unitas, but if they are here at the time, this would be a nice opportunity for a family gathering."

"Not a large feast, brother. I do not desire a bunch of strangers lurking at our residence. Though, a family and couple of our closest friends would be great," Irene explains. Then she just listens what Belmont has to say in regards of a foreigner who stole the heart of their brother. "Have you met Lady Aziza yourself? What is your opinion on her?"

"A dinner, perhaps," Belmont offers in suggestion, when Irene clarifies her intention. "And yes, of course. It will be your natality, so it is on you to specify how you wish us to celebrate you, little sister. You'll reach your age of majority." He smiles, and then lets his gaze drift over the interior of the parlor, in the moment Irene asks him about Aziza. "I've seen her a number of times, she accompanied us to Béziers. And… a few days ago, I met her here in this residence, as she was sneaking out of Gauge's bedroom. She seems to be fond of him. That's all I need to know. And he, meanwhile seems to be reasonable enough to keep his expectations… somewhat vague."

"Hmm…" Irene drawls, neatly placing sheet after sheet into a one pile, ready to wrap all papers into a leather cover. "That's fine as long as any of those wanderings will not cause drama to our family. The last one was more than enough for me. Now I just expect a steady life for at least a couple of years," the young woman obviously remembers the loss of her family members. It was incredibly hard for her to deal with it. Though, she manages to keep a faint smile now when she speaks of it. "I hope that those ladies of yours will become my friends. It's been only a week but I started to feel a little bit lonely here, to be honest…"

With a slight shift of his posture, Belmont leans forward, to take one of Irene’s hands into his. "I know," he murmurs, his expression dimming momentarily into a sobered cast, traces of concern and mourning showing in the tone of his voice. "We shall be careful to stay alive and unscathed, and be it just to keep you happy, little sister. As for Gabrielle… I shall introduce you to her soon. Perhaps later today? I'm certain she cannot wait to meet my sister, especially, since this possible future marriage will make you her sister-in-law."

"Later today then," Irene happily claps, "I shouldn't wander off far away from home. Let me know if your lady will be in the mood meeting me today then. But for now, I shall go back to my room and find a dress I would like to wear for such occasion. It may take a while…" She laughs and stands up moving closer to Belmont. She offers a hug and adds, "I am very happy to be here with you…" She says and then would retreat to her chambers.

"Take your time," Belmont counters with a soft chuckle, rising from his seat as Irenne moves to stand. "Perhaps we could go out together. Either to the Wine Cellars or to the Golden Harbor." Her hug is accepted and he returns it, wrapping his arms about her to hold his little sister for a moment. "I'm glad you're here. Just let me know, if you want to spend time with you, to show you around." This he says with a wink as he releases her from the hug and watches her move up the stairs. The smile adorning his features, at ease but also a bit thoughtful.

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