(1310-07-04) The Student and The Flower
Summary: Vespasian and Ysabeau get to know one another.
RL Date: Wed Jul 04, 1310
Related: The Differing Charms of Rose Sauvage
vespasien ysabeau 

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.%r%rThe 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.

*The Events of this Log happen directly after The Differing Charms of Rose Sauvage *

Vespasien sits quietly in the Salon de la Roge Sauvage- he's writing in his notebook, a piece of charcoal wrapped with string being used as a stylus as he puts numerical thoughts to paper. He seems to be quietly soaked into his work- and his wine, sipping it. "I'm sorry, what was your question?" he wonders of Ysabeau again, "About my formulae?"

With just the two of the in the Salon, Ysabeau relaxes against the arm of the couch, leaning to try and see what it is that Vespasien is jotting down. "What is it for?" she asks. "Poison? Medicine? Something else entirely?" Curious as she leans a little further to try and be snoopy. Odds are whatever is written won't mean a thing to the delicately built Valerian, but the curiosity must be sated.

"There exists in art something called the golden ratio- it exits in mathematics. It has to do with a series of numbers- Zero, One, One, Two, Three, Five, Eight…" he explains, "Each new number being the answer to adding the previous two in the set together. It goes on forever. Shown on a grid, these numbers create a spiral." he says quietly, "However, there are other sets that are similiar to this- other ratios that we see often in nature and spirals- such as those in how flowers grow. I'm trying to work out some of these ratios and groups to better assist in my art."

Ysabeau tries to follow, but without a better visual, it's a hard notion to grasp without familiarity. "What sort of things does this spiral show up in?" she asks, glancing to his wine glass before folding her arms on the arm of the couch to rest her chin on. "Are you a painter? You spoke of flowers. I have had to study many different flowers for my embroidery, to get the colors and shapes just right."

"Art is a hobby." Vespasien offers as he sips his wine, still. "Okay, so.." he flips a sheet and begins to draw on it- a small cross of circles. "Imagine each of these circles is a seed on a flower- this is a very inefficient way of storing seeds. See, each needs to take a certain amount of space- and ther is a lot of missing space. Empty."

"Now, let's say we stagger the seeds-" he begins to draw smaller circles that spiral away from the center point, "You see, many more seeds can be fit on the head of the flower this way." he explains. "Eventually, you get the spiral." He draws a rectangle on the page, then a curved line- he segments the rectangle and draws another line- "And this spiral goes on forever."

There is no feigning of fascination as he sketches out and explains the Golden Ratio. "I've seen this, it looks like a snail shell. Or the way petals unfold on some flowers, the way they overlap and stagger out to make a circle."

"For a hobby, you know far more about it than I do. Or is this one of those places where science and art sort of overlap? I'm afraid the most I've done is studying a flower or a thing for embroidery. Or to find the perfect color. This is valuable to know in approaching the way to lay out the little knots that I use for seeds."

"Exactly." Vespasien offers to Ysabeau, "Most flowers follow these numbers, as well, when you talk about number of petals. It is a very efficient way to number things." he explains, "Even your body follows it. Two hands, Five fingers on each hand, three segments on each finger- it is numbers like this that life and the world are built on."

"The spirals start to overlap- that's the thing you must remember. In a natural flower, you can have many different spirals when it comes to seed heads and buds. Four, however, is not a number you see often in flowers, all very interesting to me." he explains as he finishes his wine.

"And yes, these spirals are in snail shells, or sea shells. Very common in nature- they're everywhere once you start to know that they're there. And visual arts are a science- at least, in my mind. There are qualities that one needs to remember- what looks good can often be boiled down into a mathematical formula."

"I never thought I would enjoy the idea of math, but this is… fascinating." She says. As soon as the glass runs dry, she rises from her relaxed position and collects the empty vessel. "Toes have two segments. One foot, two segments. I still use mine to pick things up, sometimes." Playful as she heads to the nook where the wines and glasses are kept.

The dirtied glass is left, replaced with a fresh one full of a lovely, sweeter white wine. "You're right, I don't think I've ever seen flowers grow in fours. Not in clusters, or when they split off. Never seen a four petaled flower, either. Sometimes I have heard that a clover can have four leaves. I've never seen one, though. Not without tearing one of the leaves to cheat." The glass is full enough that some care must be taken in the way she moves while bringing it back and placing it near to hand for him.

"It does happen, sometimes." Vespasien notes, "But they are outliers and not within the average." he explains, "They're viable as flowers- but for some reason, they aren't the average. I wonder about that- and why that is- but I haven't figured it out." he explains, "There must be some reason why life follows these rules."

"Thank you." Vespasian says as his wine is replaced with white- sipping quietly. "So then- what is it you do here, Ysabeau?"

"I would guess… because it works?" Ysabeau offers, lingering near to hand for a moment. "Mmm, it depends on the day, Monsieur. I'm an adept of the Red Rose, trained by Valerian House. In my off hours, I'm usually embroidering in the garden, or working on a gown in my quarters."

"As a Red Rose, we are taught to yield everything. So, in a way, the question of what I do is more dependent upon what is wished of me."

"I see." Vaspasien says, nodding quietly as he flips the page again to a new page and quietly begins to draw. "Do you have a fabric you enjoy to work with?" he wonders next, quiet as he takes his charcoal and begins to make smooth lines on the page- just gentle strokes. "Is it something you enjoy? Doing what is wished of you?"

A favorite? "All of them, Monsieur!" She exclaims with a bright smile. "Each color and texture is just wonderful. Soft and silken, thick and warm, even the rougher weaves have uses." The latter questions bring a light blush to her fair cheeks. "It is. You can learn a lot about someone by the things they desire behind closed doors."

"Do you enjoy wishing people do things for you? Even the fetching of wine can be a game to play in front of others." Voice carrying a note of suggestion, growing subtly softer and quieter.

"Mm.." Vespasien says as he quietly continues those strokes on his page in charcoal- spirals, perhaps. His attention is evenly split between Ysabeau and his page. "A game?" he wonders then, a hint of curiosity there. "And what game can be played by the fetching of wine?" he asks, as he continues to stroke at the page. His own glass of wine so very nearly empty. He does seem to enjoy his drink.

<FS3> Vespasien rolls Draw/paint: Great Success. (6 1 7 4 3 2 7 7 1 8)

"Most of the fetching is done by the novices of the Salon." She says with a smile, turning to sit on the arm of the couch - where she can better see the drawings, appreciation for the work in her bright green eyes. "I enjoy the act of serving. There's small pleasure in keeping a glass filled without having to be asked, in learning what a patron enjoys." There's a small pause before she adds ever more softly, "Wants."

"More of the red or the white with the next glass?" Seeking a preference from him.

"Red, please." Vespasien says- polite, still, despite the leaning of the conversation. Quiet as he continues to draw on the page. It is difficult to tell, exactly, what he's making- "And please, walk slowly. With dilberation." he requests of her, "Be aware of every inch, every muscle used when you walk." he says as he pauses in his drawing a moment, waiting and watching.

"Of course." One answer to both requests. Pushing up and away from the arm of the couch, her hands smooth the skirt of the sheer red silk along her hips - a motion of habit, it seems. Leaning, she collects the nearly empty glass, bringing the rim to her lips to steal the last little bit from the bottom of it to sweeten her lips with.

Barefoot, there's no artificial sway to her step created by heels, and no click, just the soft sound of her foot settling to the floor as she makes a slow path to the nook where the wine is kept. Mindful of his request, she focuses on her posture, the feel of the muscles in her back, hips, rear, and thighs. How they seem to tense and flex with every step, creating their own sway to the lines of her back and hips.

It's not something she's really stopped to think about. With the awareness comes a change in the way she moves. Already graceful, she becomes more so, more fluid in the way she steps and pauses, gentler in how she places the glass and retrieves a third. The wine poured with such care. The return trip is no less interesting - the weight of glass in hand adding a new tension to 'listen' to, altering the way the movement in her back feels, in her hips and down her legs. A symphony of sensation.

"Yes, just like that." Vespasien says as she steps away from him and then towards him- quietly drawing again as she moves. With the red wine in hand, he takes some- adding color to his drawing- carefully spreading the liquid as it absorbs into the paper. Red- like her dress- added to the lovely figure that stands in the center to that drawing- all of it dictated by math as he'd explained. A drawing that feels so very complete and proper in it's proportitons- the details equisite and fine. Sensuality seems to bleed from every stroke of the charcoal- every inch of blotted red wine and color.

And, when finished, he presents the drawing to her quietly- exchanging it for the wine. Silent and waiting for her responses- watching her again with the interest only a scientist can muster- a desire to study her.

Passing the glass to him, she receives the wine stained paper, taking in the image on the whole before falling into the detail that make it amazing. "Not all wine spilled is a loss." she muses. "This is incredible. Amazing." Far better than the simple sketches she uses when designing a new gown. A fingernail doesn't quite touch a line, tracing along the edge of a hip.

Reluctantly, she offers it back towards him, leaning in to offer a kiss towards his cheek. "Mathematics favors your skills. All of this with a bit of wine and charcoal. Why have I not seen your works around the city?"

"I am only recently arrived to the city." Vespasien says, allowing the kiss to his cheek- he isn't as cleanly shaven as some- seeming to always have a shadow of hair on his chin and jaw. The slight unkeptness of a man who's mind is always spinning. "Keep it." he says, then. "Art should be enjoyed, it is not for the artist to keep. As long as it brings an emotion, it is good art." he explains.

He sips his wine now, "Consider it a gift."

Some might dislike the prick and tickle of a rough cheek against sensitive lips. She rather enjoys it, a symptom of her nature. It's an effort not to hug the drawing close - that would smear the still-wet wine. Instead, she carries to a safe place to let it let dry - the back of her mind still hooked on listening for the way every part of her whole moves as one.

"Welcome to the city, Vespasien de Trevalion." she offers, drifting back with a light step and a thoughtful expression. "You are a fascinating man. Beyond the art and the wine, what do you do? Unless you are so lucky as to do what you love?"

"I was a sailor for many years." Vespasien says, his hands showing that life- rougher than most noble men have. Calloused and rough, despite the aching grace he seems to move with- a true Scion of Azza to be certain. "I enjoy going out on the ocean. The size of the ship doesn't matter- and look at the stars." he says, "Most of my energy is put towards the stars, mon cher. I map them. Study them." he says, "I am unmarried, and unlanded- and so my responsibilities are, primarily, only to myself and not bringing dishonor to the family name."

"I am a student, I would say, before anything else. I find joy in study." he admits, "I also keep insects, as pets. Bees, scorpions, spiders." he says, just letting her hear. "I live a good life, and that is all that matters, in the end."

"A sailor? So you have been to many places and seen many lands. That must be incredible." She says, resuming her lean against the arm of the couch - well within reach, but at a casual distance. "I have heard that some cultures see the stars as the souls of their dead, watching over them from above." It might be at odds with her own beliefs, but it is a beautiful notion she's held onto.

"Insects? Such unusual tastes. Why the dangerous ones?" she asks, lips quirked into a crooked little smile. "Bees I can understand, as they give honey. But spiders and scorpions?"

"I was young, when I was in the navy. Seven, is when I started. Ten years later, I ended up in Tiberius and went to the Universities there. But, yes. I have seen many ports." Vespasien offers quietly, as he sits back and sips his wine. Draining the cup steadily. "The stars are universal- everyone sees them, and there are many stories as to how they've ended up in the sky, forever stationary." he says, taking a slow breath. Quiet.

"They are beautiful. Spiders and Scorpions. Bees, too. They have a certain alien beauty to them that people ignore. I like to watch them hunt- the spiders and scorpions."

Ysabeau can't help it, her skin crawls and she rubs her palms over her arms briefly. "I don't think I could sleep so well knowing they were near." She admits, leaving her arms loosely folded under her breasts, covering the appliques that conceal the more intimate details of her figure.

"The stars, though, I don't think I could sleep without them. I've spent many nights in the gardens, working by the light of a lamp where I could see the stars. I just… Beautiful?" She seems dubious, but then, he has an artist's eye, and beauty can be found in unusual places. "You'll have to show me, I think, to understand what you see."

"Sometimes beauty isn't easily to see. You have to actively seek it out. I feel this is true, particularly, when one is in a place where there is no obvious beauty. No hope.. when everything seems chaotic and ugly." Vespasien says, "They interest me. The way a spider weaves a web. How a scorpion will hide until just the right moment and strike. The subtle colors they show. Really, they're not particularly dangerous animals- at least, not to people." he notes, "I wouldn't wander around barefoot in the wilderness, though. Plentiful scorpions in the forests here." he remarks.

"As for the stars, they are beautiful- and they are mysterious to me. So, I study them. If I am to call myself anything, astronomer would probably be the most honest."

"What do you find beauty in? I suspect it can be found in anything, if you know where to look, and how to look at it. Spider webs are pretty in the mornings, before the mist is burned off by the sun. And I don't usually see them as beautiful." More or less thinking out loud, keeping half an eye on his wine cup.

"Like the way you had me think about moving. The muscles and the skin, the cloth against it." she muses, smiling at him warmly. "Or the way I enjoy the texture of even the roughest cloth, and the different shades of color, even ones most might find ugly or unappealing. But, then, I enjoy things most might not." The admission followed by another glance to his cup, then back towards his face.

Vespasien's eyes have gone half lidded as he just thinks- his cup is nearly empty. "It's important to be present in a moment." he relates, "The future doesn't exist. The past has stopped existing." he continues, "Therefore, only now is what matters. That is not to say you ignore what has happened, or fail to plan for the future- but in a moment. This moment. You are everything- an expression of the world over which the stars forever dance."

"You move well. I enjoyed watching you walk. Graceful and sensual- very much a beautiful thing to experience." Vespasien admits with a quiet smile towards the young woman, "Thank you for sharing it. You should always be aware of yourself." One gets the sense that he is- he has that preternatural grace that some Azzans seem to have. His movements flow- even the lazy ones- with confidence and an almost impossible economy of movement- he seems to be exactly where he means to be. Always.

Once more she makes off with his cup and sips away the dregs, replacing the used glass with a clean one - surely a Novice somewhere is cursing her. White, this time, is carried back with that conscientious care, placing each bare foot on the floor with that thoughtfulness he encourages. Returning to stand near, the glass is lightly held by her fingers. "That sounds like when I get an idea for an outfit or costume. I can't shake it off, it's just there, in my head, begging to be made. Demanding. And then I hide in my room for a few days, putting it together, just so I can get some relief from the need to make it."

The glass is offered to him, should he want another. "I get the feeling your mind does this, too, just with different things. Not cloth and needles and thread, but the stars and these grand, huge ideas."

"I am not sure I would call my ideas grand or huge." Vespasien offers with what sounds very much like actual modesty. He again takes the wine, bowing his head. "Thank you." he intones, his voice with baritone brassiness- smoke and honey. "But, you have the right of it. Some ideas need to be expressed. They roll around in your head, always coming to the front no matter how you try to push it away." He sips the wine- his forth- getting ever more lazy in his motions as the alcohol begins to creep up on him. "What is the thought in your mind now?" he wonders of her, gold-brown eyes languidly shifting as he turns himself towards her- his focus fully on her- as if she were the sky with the stars. His attention unwavering as he watches every movement. "Now, do not think over-long before you answer. I want to hear the first thoughts." he says, "And be aware of your words, as you have been your movements."

"Most worry about what is in front of them. Wine, food, the evening's company. What dress to wear to which event." Whatever thought is in her head draws a hint of pink to her cheeks and she lowers her lashes to half hide the bright green of her eyes. "It's not a specific thought, really, but a… a pressing curiosity as to what, exactly, your thoughtfulness and awareness extends." She says with a small grin.

"And while you seem to enjoy delivering softly worded orders, you don't seem overtly inclined to one thing or another. A delightful enigma."

Vespasien continues to watch her quietly- how she forms the words. How her lips form the shapes of the sounds. He nods quietly, "How would you suggest we sate that curiosity?" he wonders next, followed by another sip of his wine, "I am man who's curiosity demands satiety, I can't imagine your curiosity is any less insistent." he relates, as he takes another slow breath- quietly watching and studying the demure movements. The half lidded motions of her eyes.

"It can be quite demanding." Ysabeau admits, lips parting to let her lightly dampen her bottom lip with the very tip of her tongue, nervous, perhaps. "An evening. An assignation. A chance to sate my curiosity, and perhaps, your own." She pauses, meeting his gaze briefly. "That is, if you are as curious as I am…?" The uncertainty of not having a clear read on his interests creeping into her voice.

And Vespasien allows that curiosity to hold hands with Ysabeau's uncertainty for a long moment. Sipping wine quietly as if considering everything- his eyes never leaving her face. "I would be a poor scientist and student were I to deny another's curiosity." he finally states, "So, the question is when and where, I suppose." he continues. "However, it would be with a caveat… a requirement. That you *must* do whatever you want, when you want to do it, but also must follow whatever I request of you."

Vespasien Adds, then, "Within reason, of course."

His reply does not assuage her curiosity in the least. Rather, he feeds it. "The Red Chamber, here, is equipped with many things that someone requesting a Valerian might need. Or we can go to a place of your choosing." Cheeks a little darker, but there's a sparkle of interest, excitement in her eyes. "The choice is yours, of course." Voice softening with the anticipation of slaking her curiosity.

"What would please you, Monsieur?" The girl asks, drawn a little closer, leaning subtly until her knee lightly bumps against his own.

Vespasien gives only the slightest of smiles- and yet, it seems to light up his face so. "I will take that as agreement, then, to my terms." he says, sitting back and watching the young woman as she comes closer- not pulling away when she gets close enough to touch. Watching. Waiting. "Is there paint there?" he wonders, of her quietly.. "Not the kind I would need, I imagine." he takes a slow breath, "That will have to be for another time, I suppose." he says- "Instead, remember the terms I've laid out." he looks at her very interested, now- waiting again.

"I do." Questioned of paint, she pauses and shakes her head. "Not for a canvas, no. They can be sent for and brought, if you wish." Runners and messengers they have plenty of.

After a few heartbeats of silence, she offers her hand to him, palm up and fingers slightly cupped - an inviting gesture. "It is to your taste I bend, Monsieur. If you wish, I will send a runner for your things, or we can travel to them." She pauses and flushes faintly. "I will remember them." she promises, hesitating a moment before her other hand tentatively reaches to brush fingertips through his hair, combing from temple to around the outer curve of his his, along the hinge of his jaw, fingers trailing til just one fingertip finds a path to his chain and breaks away.

"I have to prepare the paints." Vespasien explains, "It will have to be another time." he says as he quietly takes her hand. He smiles to that touch- his hair is soft, recently washed. The stubble along his jaw telling that he likely hasn't shaved today- or maybe not even yesterday. Still a prick and roughness to the texture.

His hand is rough, hard. It is the hand of a man who works with his hands. Someone who has skin lost to rope-burn in the past.. and yet, the subtle dexterity in his touch is obvious as he continues to quietly watch. Curious. "So, where do we go?" he wonders next, "Will you lead, or should I? We have all of Marsilikos open to us."

"A second sitting, for a painting. It can be arranged when you have time to mix your paints." Fingers still feeling the texture of his stubble against them, she smiles as she tugs at his hand lightly, "The Red room is close, and full of things to explore together." The better to learn the tastes of the other with a full buffet of sensual decadence to nibble from.

If he allows, for she won't tug or pull against him, she'll lead the way towards the space set up for the Valerians to host a companion for an evening.

And he does allow- standing and following as she leads the way.

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