(1310-07-04) The Differing Charms of Rose Sauvage
Summary: A chat of Thorns and Roses, Red and White. Congratulations to Baptiste are offered, a Red Rose Adept is reprimanded, and a visitor enters to be confronted with the quite contrary charms of Ophelia and Ysabeau.
RL Date: Wed Jul 04, 2018
Related: something
ysabeau severine baptiste olivia ophelia vespasien 

La Rose Sauvage

A huge hearth of black marble, with gargoyles of stone adorning the mantlepiece, governs the foyer of the Salon de la Rose Sauvage, which emanates a certain dark air, the interior design of the more heavy sort, that could easily be encountered in a gentleman's club, especially with the dark cherry wood wainscoting used on the walls. Dark leather upholstery is predominant in the furniture of chaise longues, couches and long-backed chairs that are arranged in a half-circle, leaving space in the center for courtesans (or patrons) to kneel for an inspection. Three tall windows with circular stained-glass insets are framed by dark red curtains of heavy brocade, a few golden threads worked into the fabric catching occasionally the light of flickering oil lamps at the walls. The lamps light a pair of portrait paintings, of the two founders of the salon, Edouard Shahrizai and his cousin Annabelle no Mandrake, resplendent in their dark Kusheline appeal; and a cabinet in a corner, holding a number of quality wines and a flagon of uisghe.

The foyer has a high ceiling, and a gallery beyond a balustrade of dark teak wood, carved in the shapes of gargoyles. Sometimes a few veiled creatures can be spotted up there, stealing glances at what is going on below; from the gallery, which can be reached by ascending some winding stairs at the back of the foyer. Beside the stairs leading up is a hallway on ground level, leading further into the building to where the offices of the leader of the salon and his two Seconds can be found, along with the two wings of private quarters for roses of Mandrake and Valerian canon.

It must be a victory day, the little Valerian winning against the grand challenge of cloth and needle. Freshly washed, she's 'alone' (as alone as anyone in a Salon can be), with her incredibly long hair unbound to dry, she's humming an upbeat, catchy earworm as she sashays and dances around the main room of the salon. A soft burst of lyrics escape before she pops a grape in her mouth and goes back to humming while she chews and twirls, playing with the completed gown and how it fans out and moves against her.


It is a statement that indeed holds the praise the word suggests. Upon entering the salon from the direction of the hallway, Séverine pauses, her skin looking all the more pale against the dark green of her dress, a faint spray of freckles visible on her bare arms. "That is a fine dress. New?" Her grey gaze lingers on Ysabeau as she twirls and plays with the fabric of the skirts, testing them out, and a smile curves the lips of the Second in charge of the Red Roses. "How long did it take for you to complete it this time?"

It must be the time of day when the tenured courtesans eventually roll out of bed and wander down to the salon's main room. Or maybe it's just a happy coincidence. Baptiste stalks in from the hallways a moment or two after Severine, likely catching a glimpse of her as she proceeds him into the foyer. Dressed in dark clothing, of course, he looks about with his intense blue gaze and then slowly prowls toward the pair of Valerians. Looming up behind Severine, he looks at Ysabeau's dress, critical and intent for just a few seconds. "Severine." he rumbles softly, greeting her. Ysabeau just gets a stare rather than a spoken hello, though he does smile very faintly.

<FS3> Severine rolls Perception: Success. (3 5 8 3 2 5 5 3 5 1)
<FS3> Severine rolls Composure: Good Success. (3 3 1 8 6 8 1 2)

The one fly in the ointment to being one of the salon's white roses, is that in order to get to the gardens, a person has to pass through the downstairs salon. It therefore pays to pick your time and, unless unavoidable, not do so in the evening hours when the red and thorny roses are entertaining patrons. Being one of the Seconds, it's less of a problem for Olivia, and she enters the salon from those self-same gardens at the point when Baptiste and Sevérine converge upon Ysabeau. For once she's not carrying armfuls of flowers. "Séverine. Baptiste. Ysabeau." She comes to a halt near them, her arms neatly wrapping her waist to trap her white silks about herself. She's softly spoken, though the warmth within her voice would indicate that a smile lurks somewhere beneath those veils. Her eyes cut to Ysabeau when Sevérine addresses her. "Another triumph, I think?"

Knowing the voices, Ysabeau jumps and turns, grinning brightly - though it fades a little when Severine mentions the time involved, becoming more sheepish. "Do you like it?" she asks, any excuse for another twirl that flares the hemline out and makes the silk slide over her skin. "It, um, ooh… only three days this time! I worked all night to get it done, Severine." She catches her lower lip in her teeth and clasps her hands behind her back while rocking on her bare feet. She'll never be able to feign innocence, but boy does she try! "Isn't it grand, Olivia? I could make you on— I mean, something. But with more…?" she rubs a hand over one of the hand embroidered appliques that barely covers a breast. "You know. Stuff. And veils."

It is vital for a Red Rose to pay attention to her surroundings. Even with her eyes focusing on Ysabeau currently, Séverine can very much suspect an approach from behind, the soft creak of the wooden floor beneath someone's steps alerting her so that she turns her head just in the moment, the newly minted Thorn Second addresses her. Those intense blue eyes she meets with a subtle widening of her own stormy grey gaze, and Séverine inclines her head in a nod of greeting. "Baptiste." There comes Olivia, and the Red Rose turns to greet her as well, watching the White Rose descending the stairs from the upper floor that is reserved for those of Alyssum canon. "Olivia." And there they are, the three Seconds of a salon that unites the three canons of Mandrake, Valerian and Alyssum, under one roof. "It looks like one," she agrees with a smile, a triumph, "and I only wonder whether this is a work commissioned by a lady, or a gown you have made for yourself, Ysabeau." Addressing the adept under her charge again, with a voice that is gentle and friendly enough. That expression dims somewhat, when she hears Ysa's admission. "Three days? And nights? I thought we had a lord requesting you in particular, for last night. What happened?"

The Mandrake isn't as stealthy as he might imagine himself to be. Still, he can loom with the best of them. As he stands beside Severine, entirely too close for the comfort of most people, he rests a hand upon her shoulder. "You know how fickle the nobility of this city is. They come in here peacocking about like they're important or quaking in fear as they grovel through the front door. Even I've been having the occasional trouble nailing down a contract. Granted, I have my marque." a shrug of his shoulders and he slips his arm about Severine's shoulders, giving her a squeeze that's sort of like a side hug? Then he gives her some space, meandering over toward an arm chair, "Hello, Olivia, if that is really you under there. I've always suspected a clever look-alike. The real Olivia probably spends her days napping." with a graceful descent, he settles into the chair and glances about at the three women.

Olivia doesn't respond to Ysabeau's offer immediately, not with Sevérine question of her. It's a delicate path to navigate as a Second in charge of novices. Intelligent eyes follow Baptiste when he retires to one of the chairs, and there's a bird-like tick of her head to the side as he sits. "I ought to protest your words, but your wit is too sharp for me today." A glance back to Sevérine and Ysabeau, and since the girl's still pondering her response, she too takes a few steps back and drifts in the Mandrake's direction, allowing the adept the dignity of answering whilst not being loomed over. "Congratulations by the way on your appointment. Jacques informed me of it yesterday. It's been a long time coming."

"Did I say night? I meant day!" And if you smoosh the night together with the day, you have a whole truth! Though the news of missing a patron means she's in trouble, even if Severine is nice about it. "Oh, I… I was… um.." Caught is what Ysabeau is, really. The rocking on her feet stops and the red petal wilts a little. "… it's for me." she mumbles, then brightens. "I bet that lord will like it, send a missive that I accept." Sight unseen, trying to soothe the quiet ire of the Valerian Second. "I'm sorry, Severine." she adds, keeping tabs on where Baptiste winds up and Olivia is.

The Old Thorn might pretend to be stealthy and enjoy his looming. The New Thorn is not, and does not. Her approach is heralded by the sound of heels clicking on polished wood, the particular cadence of her steps measured out with slow deliberation, as Ophelia's burden of ennui weighs the adept down, even now. A bored predator is a dangerous one though, which informs her attention as she draws to a pause where the hallway spills into the room so that she might look around, no doubt seeking some form of entertainment. Not so difficult today, it seems: she's just in time to spy the best part of this exchange. Specifically the red, wilting Ysabeau, who might as well be bleeding all over the floor for all that the scene she isn't quite making is enough to compel the other Thorn close. "Sorry. Sorry. Always sorry." So mild, this, it almost washes over the taunt inherent in the sing-song cadence of the words. She's not so impolite as to not offer little bows of her head for the Seconds, though.

A faint smile tugs at the corners of Séverine's lips when Baptiste addresses the topic of fickle patrons. Her gaze she lowers though, nostrils flaring ever so faintly, when the tall Thorn places his hand upon her shoulder. The smile remains on her features, the shoulders his arm now elects to wrap about delicate and perhaps hinting at the reason why she started her Night Court life at House Cereus on Mont Nuit. Air leaves her lips in a soft exhale when Baptiste steps away from her, and Séverine lifts her gaze, focusing it on the culprit. Grey eyes narrow, and her expression hardens into a cast of authority. "This better not happen again," she tells Ysabeau, stepping towards her, the tone stern. "Or I will have to tie you and suspend you from the ceiling. Just to remind you where your most pressing duties are…" Raising her voice just so. "And don't you dare hope for one of our Thorns to perform the punishment.", the Red Rose adds - yes, she noticed the Thorn Second is joined by the newest Thorn. "You are my concern, and not theirs." Just to make that clear.

Though he is content to offer excuses or quips at the onset of Severine's interaction with Ysabeau, Baptiste does not have anything to say when the second becomes serious and her smile turns to chastisement. Instead, he nods at Olivia, "Thank you, veiled woman of unknown identity." a shake of his head hopefully indicates he's done with that nonsense. "A long time in asking as well, but I am pleased that Jacques reached the same conclusion I did." he shifts in his chair, getting comfortable, offering Olivia a smile as he keeps an eye on Ysabeau out of the corner of his eye. "Do you think you will ever be made to be sorry, Ophelia?" he asks, tone curious as if he wants to muse quietly to himself even if he is speaking aloud.

Olivia's eyes narrow perceptibly at Ophelia's taunt, and her eyes avert from Ysabeau. It's a well-meant kindness to the girl since public reprimands are never that nice, and a slow filtering of her breath through her lips billows the edge of her veil. "Jacques will have time on his hands, now that he will no longer need to quite so closely watch over the Thorns. There was something I was thinking of approaching him about, so perhaps now might be the time." A glance Ophelia's way when Baptiste addresses her. "Perhaps we should ask one of the Bryony flavoured courtesans of Glycine to take bets on the likelihood of that occurring."

"It won't happen again, Mi— Severine." Ysabeau murmurs softly, head bowing a little. Nobody likes being suspended from ceilings without the company of someone that enjoys suspending people. Looking properly contrite, she unclasps her hands from behind her back and smooths down the waist of the sheer silk dress over her hips. She lingers a moment before scurrying to one of the chairs and sitting down, taking care for the delicate silk of the sheer gown. Perching at the edge of it, she keeps her knees together and splays her hands lightly along her thighs, back straight. Chastised, she's more than happy to avoid the sharp tongues of the Thorns by being quiet.

Keeping quiet might save Ysabeau from any more verbal barbs from Ophelia's quarter, but it does not save the kneeling woman from a smile. Sweet as honey. Sharp as a flechette. Like she's amused by the thought of some private joke the adepts share, though what those two could possibly have in common… it is the Red Second's business though and she does not actively interfere. Only menaces for a moment from just over there before turning away in a swirl of skirts and click of heels, taking in the rest of the room in one gracious little circle. "I would put the odds somewhere near astronomically low. I've not done anything I need to be sorry for."

Séverine's look remains stern for a moment, as it lingers on her adept when Ysabeau withdraws towards the couch. But the Red Rose follows, sitting down beside her, as she reaches for Ysabeau's hand to squeeze it lightly. "I shall send word to the lord in question," she complies to the adept's suggestion. "But I'm not sure you should be wearing that dress, unless you intend to wear it only once. Impatience and anger might make him tear it to pieces. And it would be a shame for the dress." She actually smiles as she states this.

"Spoken as a true Thorn." One of Olivia's brows lifts. But that lift is also accompanied by a smile, even if none can see it. But Alyssum trained. The evidence of it shows in the eyes. Always in the eyes. "I do so hope that one of them will, for if they did, I know where my bet would be laid." With Ysabeau and Séverine now settling on a couch, she cross to where the sit and and perches herself on it's arm. On Ysabeau's side. "What you said earlier, your offer to make me a gown. I would like that very much, Ysabeau. But only if you have time." A glance to Séverine. "I like the originality that you put into your designs and, to be fair, it would be quite the challenge to make something for me that I could actually wear."

Ysabeau can feel that sharp look from Ophelia, flicking her gaze that way before pinkening at the edges oh so slightly and dropping her gaze again. "I think it would be just as beautiful, in tatters on his floor, but I would charge him for the lost patronage and the time it took." It may be quite the fine assignation if his temper gets the better of him and the idea of it adds a sparkle to the girl's bright green eyes, mischief there. "I would love to make you a gown, Olivia. Something flowing that has a hint of weight to the hem so it settles and pulls just a little across the hips and top. Maybe some heavy embroidery for the weight.. it…" She's doing it again. Ducking her head, she peeks at Severine, grinning. "It will be glorious, and only worked on after hours." Whatever -that- means. "I promise, Severine."

"The challenge would be to find enough material, I think, to hide you from sight. And I'm not sure a Bryony would take that bet. It would be a poor bet and they're usually fairly sharp when it comes to such things." Baptiste casts his gaze over in Ophelia's direction, "You saw the parcel I left for you?" he asks, arching a brow faintly and then shifting his attention away from her with a sudden disinterest. "Why make all these gowns, when you could clothe the jewel of La Rose Sauvage, Ysabeau?" clearly he means himself and even Baptiste realizes how silly it sounds and so he flashes a brief and toothy smile. "Ophelia, why do you never make me anything? I'm disappointed. Do you have any skills?"

Maybe Ysabeau is too easy a target. Maybe Ophelia has exhausted her interest in picking on the Valerian. As the Roses go to settle on the sofa she lets them be, ticking her way over the liquor cabinet to inspect it. She doesn't get anything out, doesn't pour anything, but it's someplace else to be until Baptiste mentions the parcel. "I did," she answers. "I have no idea what I'm supposed to do with it, so I stuffed it under the bed." She turns then, her brows going up already. "She already has. You did. See. My debut gown." Thorns are better sparring partners, maybe. Her brows go up even higher. "Of course. I'm skilled at making grown men weep. The bigger they are, the fatter the tears wrung from their miserable egos."

Séverine's temper seems to have cooled down a bit. At least she sits now beside Ysabeau with a far less grim expression in the look she gives her. "Oh… of course, Olivia. You may commission a dress from her. Given that Ysa promises to work on this dress in her leisure time. She would have to be compensated for her efforts… and the compensation would have to go directly into paying off her marque." Her voice is a soft thing, calm again as if there had been no storm occurring just a moment ago. A smile touches her delicate features, swiftly deepening at the image Ysabeau conjures, of the dress in shreds on the floor, destroyed by the dark passions of a patron. "Very well. You can wear it, but it will increase the fee considerably. A price he no doubt will gladly pay." Her gaze drifts, glancing to Olivia and then to the pair of Baptiste and Ophelia. "My congratulations, Baptiste," she offers belatedly. "I believe we shall get along fine." Whatever that means. The smile has dimmed a little. "And Jacques can focus all the better on leading Rose Sauvage, with us three taking care of everything else."

"Thank you Séverine." A frown to Baptiste. Did he call her fat? "I…" She falters before finishing what she was about to say, and it does take a moment for her to realise that she's misinterpretated the meaning of his words, but not before a blush has stolen its way to claim her cheeks. Her mouth clamps shut and she quickly looks back to Séverine and Ysabeau. "If you have time, we can wander the market tomorrow to look for something suitable. I believe there was a new shipment of Ephesium silks expected." That said, she pushes to her feet. "I shall disappear on you for now though. I have some paperwork in my office that requires reading through before the evening." A nod is given both the seconds, and on soundless slippers she drifts towards the hallway.

"Have we not always gotten along fine, Severine? I think we have. And thank you." he inclines his head, nodding once and offering the other second a pleasant smile. Baptiste shifts in his chair, glancing over at Ysabeau for a moment before his attention is inexorably drawn to his new charge, as he sees her. Doubtless Ophelia would think otherwise. "That reminds me of something." he murmurs when Ophelia mentions her debut gown, his expression thoughtful as he taps his chin, "How many grown men have you actualy made cry? Do you have a specific number? I have witnessed zero and I think you save your sharpest attacks for when I am around. No doubt due to a desire to impress me." head tilting to one side, he waves a hand, "Let us hear your retory, child. And goodbye, Olivia. Enjoy your paperwork."

A trip to market! For fabric! Ysabeau perks up and beams a huge smile at Olivia. "I'd love to! I'm sure we'll find something that will be perfect for your more modest needs." she says, turning that smile to Severine and nodding. "I'll include my time, too." she promises her Second. Distracted by the talk of tears, she worries her bottom lip with her teeth. "I wonder if men are sexy when they cry, or if that's just a girl thing? Ophelia? Do you get all warm and tingly when men cry? Cause men seem to get all hot when I cry." she says, trying to hide a smile, thinking she knows the answer and joining in the ribald teasing.

Again Ophelia tilts her head a little to Olivia as the White Rose makes to depart. Then she moves again, another ticking of heels and swish of skirt that takes her to the other side of the room like some restless tiger locked in a cage half the proper size. Bored. Clearly. She does have a sliver of smile for Severine when that Second looks over her, but she's the only one in the room who still merits them, apparently. Baptiste absolutely does not. "Oh, dear, let me think about that…. mmmm. No? As if I would tell you anything about them. Do take care or I will have to add you to their number." And then here is Ysabeau. When she tries to join in the pale Thorn turns about to face her, brows lifting again in what appears, on the surface, to be mild bewilderment. "Warm and tingly..?" She blinks. Once. Twice. "On the contrary, Ysabeau. It is pathetic. They get all blubbery. Things leak out of their noses. Perhaps I'll bring you along when I finally break Baptiste and you can see it for yourself."

"I'll see you later.", Séverine says to Olivia as the White Rose leaves, a warm smile given to the Second in charge of the modest roses - or those pretending to be such. When Baptiste to replies to her gratulations, the Red Rose Second tilts her head a little to the side, with a faint smile curling her lips. "Yes, we have. Baptiste. And I don't believe this would change, would it?" Leaving it at that, when the talk turns to making men cry, and she rolls her eyes ever so faintly. "It's not so much about the crying, Ysabeau", she murmurs. "But what goes along with it." Still, the fact that Red Rose Adept addresses Thorn adept without the caution she should perhaps apply, makes Séverine glance towards the Mandrakes again. Just in time to catch Ophelia's bold words. Her eyelids flutter, and with her gaze lowering she shakes her head with a faint grin. "Never promise something you won't be able to keep," she muses, loud enough for the others to hear.

"Oh, ew. Don't they know to sniffle and flutter their eye lashes at least?" Ysabeau says with a glance to Severine, leaning into the other lightly. Two is surely safer than one! "That's true." she concedes, smiling at her Second, her own cheeks faintly pinked. Shifting in place, she seems a little restless. "It -has- been too long since an assignation." she says with a slight pout, all too aware she's done it to herself with her tendency to disappear into fabric and lose all sense of time. Ironic, to punish herself for her own hobby.

All of the wandering might've gotten boring too. Ophelia appears to run out of cares to give right over there and settles into a chair with languid, boneless grace. Yes, the last remaining Second's words are loud enough to hear and she offers another sharpened sliver of a smile. Not specifically to either Red Rose, but the expression is difficult to miss. But Ysabeau is the one who has asked a question and so she shakes her head. "Some do. Haven't you seen them here? Groveling on the floor? Eva has one in particular who comes in just to lap wine up off the floor."

"You have an assignation ahead of you, little rose," Séverine informs Ysabeau softly, arm wrapping about her shoulders as the adept leans into her. "But I know that feeling. All to well." Remaining like this for a moment, the Second lets go of the adept as she moves to stand. "But you'll have to excuse me, for now. There are some matters I need to deal with. Like… writing that letter to that lord of yours, Ysabeau…" A glance Séverine gives Ophelia. Catching that sharp sliver of a smile, her grey eyes brighten. "And you, Thorn. Behave." It is not a challenge. A statement, rather, made in a matter-of-factly tone. Said before she returns to the hallway that leads to her office.

"Eat, sleep, assignation, sew. Sometimes, I eat in my sleep or fall asleep on my sewing. Lucky I haven't woken with a needle in my face, yet." Ysabeau says with a little grin, turning a bit to return the hug from Severine. "I'm sure you'll find just the words to ensure we can bill for the dress." Left with Ophelia, she turns to the Thorn as she wriggles back on her own seat, folding her legs up under her with care for the sheer silk of her dress. "I wouldn't mind lapping wine off the floor for the right person." The admission brings a blush to the red rose's cheeks. "I'm glad your costume went well for the debut. I was worried about the trim and the weight of the headdress."

"We could arrange that," offers Ophelia, voice velvet. So gentle that she might be talking about adding extra blankets or something to the sleeping Valerian instead of sharpened steel. The two flowers are quite at odds with one another. One pale, one dark; one lazing on one of the leather chairs, one ensconced in the middle of a sofa. Both apparently caught in a moment of utter leisure. For the moment. "It was a splendid gown. I'm afraid the headdress is gone though. The winner decided to keep the horns. In memory of the night."

Vespasien steps into La Rose Sauvage quiet as he brushes water off his shoulders from the falling rain outside. Out of the humidity of the outdoors and into the dark, comforting shadows of the salon. Quiet, as he often is, just taking a moment to let his eyes adjust.

Ysabeau tries very hard to look horrified, but the sparkle in the Valerian's eyes gives that away as naught but a ploy. "I heard that in some countries they…" She lets the words fall off as someone enters from outside, looking soaked. "Oh, Monsieur…" she says, rising and padding on her bare feet to fetch Vespasien as pair of towels, carrying them over towards the gentleman and offering them up. "Here. This will help. Welcome to the Rose Sauvage." Once he has been seen to, she glances at Ophelia and flashes a bright grin. "A pity, I worked hard on the headdress. I'm sure it was worth the loss, though."

Oh look. Something new. Ophelia's gaze shifts as Vespasien comes in, perhaps alerted by his dripping, perhaps by Ysabeau's rapid scurry to go go render aid. She most certainly does not. In fact she merely lazes more deeply into the chair she has appropriated, like she's going to become a puddle of her own right there. The whole process of providing a towel is watched though, the liquid blue of her gaze appraising of their guest. "Mmm? Oh. I have no doubt but that he shall treasure it. Naamah knows it cost him. Dearly." Then. "Do come a bit closer. We won't bite."

"Hrm?" Vespasien wonders, as towels are brought. "Oh, yes. Thank you." he says as he uses the towels to dry himself- or at least take some of wet out of his clothes and hair.

As is often the case, Vespasien is dressed more with a mind towards utility than finery. He is certainly a noble- it is difficult not to see it in his baring and how he holds himself. The boots, the clothes- while not of the finest materials- are too well made to be for anyone other than a noble.

"I've heard quite the opposite." Vespasien says matter-of-factly to Ophelia, even as he steps further into the salon.

The damp towels are taken after Vespasien finished patting himself dry. Carrying them to the hamper, out of sight, Ysabeau returns a moment later. "Some bite, some don't. Some only bite on certain days." she teases, motioning him to the seating in invitation as she heads back to the couch to settle in, curling her feet under her. There's care taken for the delicate fabric of the thin dress with the Valerian appliques scattered across the sheer red silk. "I'm so curious, but afraid to know." she says, smiling at Ophelia.

"We." Ophelia repeats the word with sublime delicacy. "We do not bite." The mildness in the velvet of her voice might imply that she is one of the Alyssum, though she's wearing storm grey and gold, and there's nary a sign of a veil anywhere at all. And, well, then it's gone because she offers up a smile as sharp as a knife's edge. "She, for example, would never do any such thing. I, however…" Is that a warning? It might be the only one he's going to get. "But clearly you have heard all sorts of terrible things about us. I dare say less than half of them are true, and those that are bare shadows of the splendid reality. Ysabeau. Why have you not offered the man wine?"

"All is seen oddly in fever dreams of lust, and love, and life. No one's sense can be trusted." Vespasien offers back to Ophelia as she speaks, finding a seat for himself. He reaches into a bag- a leather bag he seems to always wear, in the style that a messenger might use, slung over a shoulder. "At least, that is my experience. Blind spots being what they are." he continues, "Anyways, yes. Wine, drink, always a welcome thing." He digs in his bag for a long moment, before taking out a pad of paper. "Really, it was raining- and the door was open, so.. here I am. Vespasien, a pleasure to meet you."

Ysabeau oh's. "Red or white, Monsieur?" she asks, sliding off the couch and smoothing the cloth at her hips in a motion of habit as she moves to fetch a glass, listening to his reply before pouring. "What -have- you heard, Vespasien?" she asks while she pours the wine and fetches it back to the man, offering it over. Not minding in the least being told what to do by the Thorn. "I love a good rumor." Nearly purring, she delivers the glass and slides back to the couch, lightly perching - half expecting Ophelia to find another task for her if she gets too comfortable.

"The door was open and you came in? Just like that? Are you brave, then, or merely curious?" For the moment Ophelia's attention has settled on their guest as a target. For good. For ill. He does make a passing interesting diversion, anyway, a novelty in the salon. As he speaks her smile sharpens up all the more. "A bit of a philosopher, are you? How interesting. We do get some through here who presume at some intellect. Some wit." She glances sidelong at Ysabeau. "Angels save us from the ones who think themselves especially witty." Then. "Vespasien? Is that all? No house, no homeland of note, no title?" Not that she will give him room to provide her with one. "Vespasien, the Rainbrought Ponderer."

"First one, then the other." Vespasien answers to Ysabeau, as he pulls a pad of paper out of his bag, followed by a bit of charcoal wrapped in string- pointed and sharp. He starts to write as he speaks to the two women.

"de Trevalion." Vespasien offers then to Ophelia. "And no. I'm no philosopher." he says as he continues to scribble away at his pad of paper. "It looked dry in here, and I had an idea for a formula. Important to write it down before it flies away." he explains simply, "Titles are of little interest to me. I am, at my heart, Vespasien- Lord or Sailor or Scientist- take your pick. All apt."

Red is presented first, a fitting match for the Thorn and her quarry. Ysabeau remains perched, hands resting on her thighs and knees together - prim and well postured. "Ooh, what sort of formula?" Ysabeau asks, glancing to Ophelia before risking the chance and wriggling back on the couch to get more settled and comfortable.

About now is when one of the novices emerges from the back of the house. A young man, pale faced, as if he's afraid to be out here for some reason. His errand is a quick one though: he has a bit of paper to deliver to Ophelia. Acceptance of it and the reading thereof temporarily distracts her from said quarry, which will give him a moment to taste the wine, at least. She nods at the novice dismissively, then breathes a heavy sigh. "My first golden opportunity to have a legitimate, intellectual discussion and I'm called away to talk about ducats." Is her disappointment genuine? Perhaps. She does rise, smoothing out her skirts once she is upright. "I expect you to come back again, Lord Scientist." Because she needs must be off. That is all she gives in farewell before departing toward the hallway.

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