(1310-07-07) A Stroll in the Palace Gardens
Summary: Laurent and Irene meet again and Laurent is introduced to Ortolette
RL Date: Sat Jul 07, 1310
Related: None
ortolette laurent irene 

Music Room - Ducal Palace


A light, distracted resonance alternates in key from the zither resting across Ortolette's lap where she sits on a low, embroidered playing-stool, her knees poised together and her ankles crossed out to one side below her flowing cream white skirts. She has been sick in bed these last few weeks and unable to attend her lessons; even now in somewhat better health she is plagued by the heat both from outside and within, and she hardly seems able to attend to the lessons being set her by her tutor, whom she is disappointing by staring out the window and playing with such lack of zeal. But she looks exquisite doing so, at least, her immaculate, petite form doll-like in silhouette before the window, her hair braided in a roundel crown of her golden hair about her temples— with such compunction that not a single strand blows in the breeze nor lays upon her neck. Finally, with a wave of her hand, she dismisses her tutor, making her apologies and setting her zither down onto the floor by her side, just resting her cheek on her hand and slouching slightly to stare out the window under the supervision of her Cassiline, Girard, a man with warm eyes and a soft jawline, the build of a bear.

"It's a very beautiful day. There is a mild breeze but it's warm and the sky is clear. Shouldn't rain. You should take a walk in the gardens, M'lady," a soft voice speaks. It's Irene who did not exactly step inside the room. She decided to lean against the frame of the door and landed her gaze on young woman staring through the window nostalgically. Irene is wearing a dark brown gown with a modest cleavage. Though, the dress has light brown embroidery ornaments decorating it. The d'Eresse lady is also adorned by glinting pendant and not less than five bracelets. Her eyes wander to the Cassiline briefly but are quick to find the girl again. "I heard a couple of notes. It sounded very light, very beautiful. Also, keeping my manners up - I am Lady Irene d'Eresse." She introduces at the end, pushing herself up from the side of the door and taking a step inside. Irene also carries a small leather notebook with herself.

Ortolette's back straightens when she hears another voice. Girard, generally finding no threat in the approach of one of the Duchesse's Ladies in Waiting, had not announced the other girl's arrival, leaving Orto to be startled smewhat from her reverie and turn to see who it is giving her a report on the weather. She tips her head, curiously taking in the details of the other maiden's garb, coiffe and demeanor while she speaks, then, when introductions occur, "Oh— the Lady d'Eresse," she repeats. "Yes. I had heard you were coming to live with us in the palace. How very nice— I hope we may grow to be friendly with one another," she issues, her voice still small, like a child's, light, mild, with the perfect cadence and tone of impeccable manner, as though pronouncing an exercise before her tutor. "Do you think I had ought?" she asks, looking out the window again, then to Girard. "Girard, please, would you bring my chair?" she asks, sounding terribly polite to the man, as though he could quite possibly have something better to do.

I hope as well, that we will grow to be friendly with one another since we might live under the same roof," Irene smiles and steps even deeper inside the room. She points toward one of the empty chairs, "May I?" She asks permission to join Ortolette. Her eyes study the Dutchess' daughter with a mild worry or just empathy, "Sunlight, breeze and fresh air in general is very good. Not just for the skin but for your whole body, including your mood. Forgive me if I am wrong, but you do look a little bit upset…

A young man, probably in his early twenties by the looks of it, dressed in a colorful vest worn over a simple yet finely made white shirt and green linen pants steps into the room. The expression on his face is one of confusion at first but it is quickly replaced by a short look of surprise as he sees the two young ladies. He takes one step back to place himself right beside the door, still remaining in the room but clearly not wanting to interfere, waiting for the two young ladies to finish, or be invited to join, before approaching further. His eyes lingers on Irene shortly before moving to the windows.

Girard takes his leave of the room to go and fetch Ortolette her requested chair. "Upset?" Ortolette is taken aback, a little, and atempts to collect herself. "No; perhaps frustrated. I was well for quite some time. You know, perhaps, that I have always been sickly, ever since I was very small?" It's not a secret, really. The town of Marsilikos has more than once prepared itself for a funeral for the Duchesse's middle daughter, who is so often overwhelmed by disease and unwealth. But she's still here— perhaps less in the public eye than her sisters, due to long stretches of being bedbound. "I recovered from my last chest cold and was in finer feather than ever before. I went as I pleased in the city— until I was taken by a fever and went back to bed. I had— plans, Lady d'Eresse. Plans which were put on hold, and now I know not whether to resume them." Enter Girard with Ortolette's chair. It's a wicker lounge with two large wheels and two smaller ones, and when he sets it down next to the stool on which Ortolette sits, he waits for her to compose herself and lift her arms just so— then he lifts her off of her stool and into her chair. "I think we wish to go to the gardens, Girard. By your leave," she adds, giving him a politely worded signal to begin taking her there. But when Girard begins to push the chair in the direction of the door, a young man appears in it, and Ortolette folds her hands primly over her lap. "Yes?" she asks.

My mother once told me that there is nothing stronger of the human's will. We have to learn to be very focused on our desires and then they become truth…" Irene offers to the daughter of the Dutches before Girard comes back. Then the d'Eresse lady is not interfering and she waits till Ortolette is ready to move. Then Irene turns around to follow but her eyes see the man in the doorway and she stops. Her back immediately straightens up and her hand moves to fix one of the wildly sticking out curls that her hair would look perfectly groomed. "M'lord," she offers a small curtsy after getting her posture. "Lord Laurent, we are heading to the gardens. This… This is Lady Ortolette, daughter of the Dutchess," Irene introduces before turing to the other woman, "This is Lord Laurent Sommerville. Brother to Lady Evelyne who is also lady-in-waiting. He just recently arrived.

The young man's face quickly lights up in a polite smile as he adresses the ladies infront of him. "Oh, excuse me my ladies, I did not mean to interrupt your conversation" He raises his hand in a short, apologetic gesture "I was looking for my sister and I seem to have become rather lost in the process. Might one of you know where Evelyne de Somerville is located at present? I was told that I would be able to find her here at the palace." His smile lessens somewhat as he notices the chair in which Ortolette is now sitting, his expression becoming less jovial and more formally polite. As he hears Irene introducing him his smile widens slightly, and he dips his chin in a short bow of the head towards first here, and then the young woman at her side. "Lady Irene, a pleasure to see you again so soon. Lady Ortolette.

Ortolette is not gloved; therefore does not offer her hand to the young man. Instead she merely lowers her eyes, letting her chin dip and her cheek turn somewhat toward her shoulder in what will have to pass for a courtly greeting given the circumstances of the young lady's understandings. "I'm not certain but that the Duchesse has her upon errand, my Lord de Sommerville," she answers, keeping her eyes still faintly lowered in a manner more demure than most ladies affect these days. "We were, both of us, intending to visit the garden and make use of the fine weather while it remains." She glances up to the young lady beside her. "It is right to seize hold of such opportunities when they are presented," she alludes, of course, back to their earlier conversation. "If you were to accompany us, perhaps she would pass through on her return."

"Actually, m'lady Ortolette, lord Laurent here just came back from being somewhere far away from home, I imagine. I saw that ship he has sailed back by! I am pretty sure that he has many adventures to share! He might be a very interesting and polite company. So, he could escort you outside and keep you entertained. In the meantime, I will go and search for lady Evelyne. I might have an idea what exactly she is doing," Irene chuckles. She peeks at Laurent briefly but her cheeks turn mildly rosy and she looks back at Ortolette instead. "If your mother will not catch me up with some duties, I shall find you in the gardens…" Irene offers a polite curtsy.

Then she is ready to go out of the Music Room but to do so, she has to pass by Laurent. She offers him a smile, "It was a pleasure to run into you again, m'lord," she says. Her steps become faster while passing by him.

Irenes words about his sister makes his smile turn turn into an almost childish grin as he looks down to the ground shortly, shaking his head ever so slightly as if he knows what she is talking about all too well. He moves to the side to allow Irene to slip by him as he addresses her "The pleasure was all mine lady Irene, I only hope that when next we meet we might have time to talk more." His chin once again dips into a courteous bow of the head before he turns back to face Ortolette.

"It would be my absolute pleasure m'lady. I am in no hurry and can think of no better way to spend a beautiful day like this than with a beautiful young lady like yourself. My business with my sister is far from urgent and, besides, I would love to see more of the palace. I am embarrassed to say that this is my first time visiting but to my defense, I did spend the last six years abroad." He gestures to the young ladies guard who is pushing the chair, indicating that he will follow their lead out of the room and towards the garden.

Ortolette hesitates only momently when Irene excuses herself, but, then, with a reassuring look from Girard when she turns to glance back to him, she presses her pale lips together and gives a nod of assent to the sojourn, even just the three of them. "And, besides, I would think it better a priority of yours to visit your own Duc's seat in Brive. Not to say that we aren't honored to have you as guests," Ortolette walks back her statement just slightly. Girard, meanwhile, begins to move the light rolling lounge through the doorway, angling it so as not to scrape its sides against the doorframes. "In what lands did you spend your time abroad, my Lord?"

Laurent walks out of the room behind Ortolette and her Cassiline guard before moving up to the side of the moving chair, matching his pace to the one set. He keeps his eyes forward as he talks "Oh be assured, if it had been my own choice I would be in, or on my way to, l'Agnace as we speak. Not to say that I am not honored to be a guest in your fine city." The last words are spoken with a tone of jest and he turns his head slightly towards her and offers a smile. "But alas, my father was quite clear in his instructions that I was to return to Marsilikos, send word to our family when I had arrived and stay here until I heard from him again. As of this day, no word of his has reached my ears, and so here I am." His chest rises and falls with a deep sigh as he finishes the sentence but the ever present and polite smile of a diplomat never leaves his face.

"As to my travels, I was lucky enough to spend first a few years in Hellene and later the better part of four years in Khebbel-im-Akkad". Both fascinating countries and cultures but also vastly different from both each other and our own." His eyes seems to sparkle with a genuine enthusiasm as he mentions the name of Khebbel-im-Akkad and he nods slowly a few times, seemingly as much to himself as to the young lady beside him.

Girard takes a casual pace to the top of the stairwell, drawing the chair sideways parallel to the top step while the two converse. "Your story wold leave an audience on the very edges of their seats. I wonder what plans your wise father has in mind for you here," Ortolette smiles, keeping her eyes askew even as she does so, a hint of humor tamped down by a maidenly modesty. "Hellene," she marks, even as Girard gets down on the second to top step and, with some evidence of having long practiced the maneuver, picks up the whole chair in his bearish arms and carries it like a child against his chest on his way down the stairs. Someone invent an elevator, please. Ortolette is quiet for the descent, but, once her chair is steady on the ground again, "We have an Hellene ambassador staying with us in the palace. You should greet her when you have the chance, she will no doubt be glad to visit with someone who has traveled to her homeland. Were you studying, there?"

As they approach the top of the stairwell and Laurent notices the re-positioning of the chair and the purpose of it, his lips move as if to speak, possibly offer assistance, but before a word can escape his mouth both the chair and Ortolette is safely clasped in the steady embrace of the large man. Standing over 6'4" himself and with an athletic build to match, Laurent is a rather large man in his own right. The Cassiline besides him, however, he was something else. "Large" didn't really seem to do his size justice. Instead, he simply walks down the stairs a few steps behind the two, his eyes for the first time really focusing on the Cassiline, with an expression a mix of amusement, acknowledgement and mild surprise. As they reach the bottom of the stairs, he resumes a position next to Ortolette as their conversation continues. "It would certainly be a pleasure to speak to a native of Hellene again. Their culture is very philosophical and it reflects heavily in the people. While I am certainly no philosopher, I find it that I go away from every conversation with a Hellene a little wiser than when I arrived."He paused in his speech for a moment, glancing around and taking in the splendor of the palace for just a short while, before continuing "Studies of a sort, I guess you could say, but not a scholarly pursuit. I was tutored by my uncle, assisting him in his work as a diplomat. Not that I chose this myself, but who of us really gets to choose our own path?" As he spoke the last words his eyes again turns to Ortolette for a moment and his smile widens slightly.

Girard is a bear, plain and simple— but never rough, never aggressive. A tender-hearted sort of man with a delicate touch for his delicate ward. "Diplomacy is a lofty path, my Lord de Somerville," Ortolette replies, once they are once more in motion toward the gardens, Girard pausing after a shirt stroll to move ahead and open the next set of double doors wide before returning to continue the walk through them. "And one that will allow you to choose your own path, in time. Even if, for now, it is your father holding the reins. A skill of such varied and widespread use— is like a key which looses you from several a chain of fate and circumstance." Her eyes glimpse upward toward his silhouette, but, finding him looking to her, she glances away again and to the garden opening out before them. Some enterprising mason has carved a sloping stone path down from the slightly raised porch balcony down to the walking-path below, no doubt for the use of the middle daughter and her minder, and Girard takes the lead in easing the wheeled lounge down the slope, leaning back so that it doesn't speed ahead of him but drifts gracefully to the garden path.

Laurent's head subtly moves from side to side as they continue, taking in the sights, interrupted only by an occasional glance in Ortolettes direction accompanied by faint nods of thoughtful agreement. "You speak wise wise words for someone so young, m'lady." A pause. "I suppose that you are right. I admit to not being fond of the idea when originally informed but I did end up finding something that I did not know I was looking for. Something that I am not certain I would have found had I stayed in Terre D'Ange." His gaze seems to drift and the fingers of his left hand goes to play with the finely carved hilt of the sword hanging from the thin leather belt around his waist. Whatever moment he is having, it only last a few seconds. He looks at Ortolette with a slightly embarrassed smile, shortly bringing his right hand up to push back a lock of hair to rest behind the ear. "What about you, m'lady? What does a young woman like you preoccupy herself? Being the Duchess' daughter must hold some unique opportunities and Marsilikos seems to have everything that you could wish to experience or explore on offer."

Ortolette is quiet. A long moment. "It does," she finally admits, although just how much of it she gets to experience or explore is… open to debate. "I'm a patron of l'Opera, and invest in other little projects as seem right to be. I adore to go to l'Opera, as well, when my health allows. I have a box of my own, now, beside my mother's, and when I cannot go I gift the seats to friends or to the priesthoods. I owe a great deal to the priesthood of Eisheth, who have tended me in the temple since I was very young." She's looking for something, now. A fan, there it is, tucked between the cushion and the arm of her wicker lounge, which she draws out. "I also work on my needlepoint," which she shows an example of, stretching out the fabric of the fan and displaying an ornate tabeau of a perching bird on a sprig of oak, its beak open mid-song. She fans herself with it, half-hiding her face.

He turns his head and moves it slightly down in the direction of Ortolette as they walk, to better get a view of the fan and the art upon it. "Beautiful indeed. Almost as beautiful as it's maker" his chin dips in another short bow of the head before he returns to a fully upright position again. "The art of the needle is something I got to experience a great deal on my travels." He looks down upon the clearly foreign vest which holds several displays of animal and human characters embroidered upon it. "Opera I have not had the pleasure of on many occasions I am sad to say. When I was younger I simply did not have the taste for it, or even give much thought to as if I did, and the Akkadians don't hold opera in very high regard so for the last years it simply has not been an option. Now that I am home, I should like to experience it though. I am sure l'Opera displays a fine example of the arts."

Ortolette fans herself demurely, glancing up over the lacy edge of her bit of decoration with a grateful if bashfully skeptical eye. "You're very flattering, my Lord de Somerville," she murmurs, almost inaudible behind the barrier before she folds it into the palm of her hand and uses it to gesture to the vest, looking for him to come closer so that she can see at close quarters. "How delicate a hand— how lovely," she praises the craftsmanship, then leans back again into place. "Our Opera is a gem, and has a new production in rehearsals which will leave the audience in tear. Or at least it will me. I adore to be made to weep. The Hellenes call it katharsis."

Laurent takes a small step towards Ortolette as she beckons him closer. Upon the vest is embroidered two brightly colored peacocks, one on each side where it parts to show the shirt underneath. Around them is a myriad of smaller animals; frogs, butterflies and several other. The two peacocks are both shedding a single tear and seem to be in mourning, their heads lowered. "It is a depiction of an old Akkadian tale about a man who angers Shamash, and as punishment is turned into a fish and his daughters turned into peacocks to keep them from being together. In the end, the fish decides to jump onto land, knowing that it will be his end, to spend a few precious last moments with his daughters."

His brow furrow slightly and his expression turns to one of slight annoyance "I am sorry, it sounds so crude when spoken in another language than intended, and by a simple man such as me. It is quite a beautiful story when told in Akkadian and in it's full length. I am still not sure what the morale of it is supposed to be to be quite honest. The lesson I derive from it is that it is better to spend a short time surrounded by those you love than live a long life alone. Like I said, I am no philosopher." He pauses for a moment. "Regarding the performance you speak of, I will have to see if I can manage to get a seat. It sounds like it would be the perfect introduction into the art. And yes, I have heard the expression. As far as I understand it, the Hellene believe that is holds a cleansing quality to shed ones tears. To let out the emotions." He turns his head to take a longer look at her, keeping his eyes on her, for now, as they continue to walk.

*Scene on pause….*

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