(1310-07-19) Capturing Butterflies
Summary: Two free-minded souls meet and are quick to fall into discourse about advantages of hypothetical future arrangements.
RL Date: 19-23/07/2018
Related: None.
evelyne sebastien 

Leaping Fish Inn — Market Promenade

The Main Room of the Leaping Fish is tidy and well-kept - and warmed by a fire in the hearth to one side on colder days and evenings. An old tapestry depicting a pair of two leaping fish is adorning the opposite wall - a reference to both the ruling House of Mereliot and the name of the inn. The common room has five tables of sturdy oak with chairs and benches, between which two serving maids move to take orders or bring food and beverages. The air is filled with tasty smells of freshly cooked meals, and murmurs of conversation - and occasionally even melodies rippling through the room, when a lute player is around to provide entertainment. The fare is of good quality that even would not disappoint noble tastes.
There are stairs leading upstairs towards a number of comfortable and well kept rooms the inn has to offer.

Ah, these lovely summer days! A certain young lady-in-waiting has decided to take a few hours off her duties at the palace, and go for a stroll about the marketplace. And now Evelyne Somerville enters the inn, in need for a pause. A new ribbon, green silk with golden ornaments, is worn in her blonde hair, gathering it at the nape of her neck in a convenient manner, and she wears a dress of white and green - the colors of her House - even if the attire is more of the fashionable everyday sort. A servant trails after her, along with a guard, and both are dismissed for the moment, as Evelyne lets her blue-eyed gaze wander, looking for a table that might be vacant on this early afternoon.

There are a couple of tables which are empty BUT there is one table occupied by quite an extraordinary man. First of all, he is sitting as if he would own a place by keeping one of his legs bended and rested on the bench in front of him. The other is simply lowered under the table. His boots are only half-tied and the rest remain open. He also wears black leather pants which are tucked inside the boots. A dagger rests beside his belt. His linen shirt are of a deep burgundy color and are open up from top to the mid of his abdomen. A pendant of a snake is resting on his broad chest. The man’s hair seems to be tangled a bit playfully. A silver earring is glinting in his right ear. Sebastien’s eyes are of dark brown color and a touch of mystery is added by a dark eyeliner. His hand is holding a mug of ale. Two fingers are adorned with large old silver rings. Each of those rings are topped by dark blue gemstone. He is just simply observing the surrounding and when his eyes land on a new arrival, the man offers a wink.

Who would prefer a vacant table to a place where a handsome d’Angeline sits all by himself? Certainly not Evelyne. There is that intake of breath, that light tremble in her nostrils, as the young Somerville lady makes up her mind and just walks right over to where the handsome lord is seated in all his casual negligence. “Would you mind if I join you at your table?”, the blonde woman asks lightly, along with a charming grin and a very pleasant flutter of her eyelashes. “That is… if you are not expecting someone.” Bold words, but the usual fare that is to be expected from this young lady who rarely shies away from opportunities of mischief. “My name is Evelyne de Somerville.” Indeed, the faint accent gives her away, as someone who hails from l’Agnace.

“Well… I have been waiting for a lady Cricket, lady Nightingale, lady Camomile and, of course, the most gracious lady Carnation, but I guess I can spare you a seat right over here!” The man pats a spot quite close to himself. He lowers his leg down to change his position to a more proper one. “Would you, lady Somerville, want wine or something stronger? Or maybe you are a woman of ale?” He smiles even broader and raises a mug up as if offering a toast. He takes a sip watching the lady over the edge of that mug. “I am Vicomte de Montmarlon…” he makes a little bit of a pause out there as if wishing to stress out the title, “Sebastien de Basilisque!” He gently pats a snake pendant on his chest. “Starting your morning at the Inn, huh?”

“You’ll have to content yourself with Lady Apple, for now,” Evelyne replies with a bright smile, not evading his invitation to sit right beside him. On the contrary, not quite shying away from nudging lightly against him, with her hips as she sits down, and he might note a faint scent of apples about her. “A glass of wine should be fine,” she tells him then, biting her lip for a moment. “That is an interesting pendant you wear there about your neck…” Leaning a bit in she touches the tip of her index finger to it, accidentally brushing over the skin of his chest. “Ah… Basilisque. That would explain it. I am pleased to make your acquaintance, Monsieur le Vicomte.” His question manages to draw a light giggle from her lips. “Oh, I was in the market to acquire some new ribbons. It is already early afternoon, I believe? So… What did you have in mind with all of these ladies, I wonder?”

“I guess I will leave you to wonder on that,” Sebastien winks and turns toward the barmaid, “Please, provide us with the best wine for this beautiful lady. She is a Somerville and has quite an exclusive taste. So, try harder when you choose!” A playful grin follows his order that the barmaid wouldn’t feel any tension and would understand his humor. Then the man looks back at the lady at his side. “Is this green ribbon one of the new? It fits to you. I must say that it makes loveliness of your eyes to stand out and the greenness strengthens the scent of apples which surrounds you. Now you make me think of an early autumn when we can pluck fresh apples from the slender branches of young apple trees.” His gaze wanders to look through the window for a second.

“It is new,” Evelyne confirms Sebastien’s assumption, and her finger touches playfully against the ribbon. “And thank you for the compliment.” Indeed, her cheeks color just a little from a blush. “As for the scent… It is only faint right now, I believe? It takes more than a few gallant words to make it intensify.” Challenge and tease that go along with a considering look of blue eyes. “We have wonderful orchards of apple trees at home. And apple wine, my lord. Perhaps, if properly tempted I might gift a bottle of apple wine to you. What is House Basilisque known for? Being fierce warriors like the rest of the Camaelines?” She doesn’t mean any insult, on the contrary, she grants Sebastien all of her attention, this very young lady of Somerville.

“Apple wine? How interesting! I have only heard about apple cider. What it would take to tempt a lady as yourself?” He ponders for a moment, looking the young lady over. At that time the waiter brings ordered wine. A woman sets goblet in front of Evelyne and pours the drink from a jar. Before she leaves, Sebastien gestures toward the table, “Leave it here, in case lady will want to repeat.” The barmaid follows the order and then is off to take care of the other customers. Vicomte’s attention goes back to Evelyne. “We are not very good at dancing, painting or writing poems and you do not want to hear us singing by any chance!” He laughs taking a sip of his drink afterwards. “Though, we are indeed very talented swordsmen and tactician. Our forts are also impressively good because we have to establish them on and between huge mountains. My brother is one of the men who plans and builds those magnificent structures. Also, m’lady, do not think that I am trying to brag here but this is a blunt fact that we kept and still keep the whole Kingdom safe from Skaldi. Who knows if you would be wearing this beautiful gown right now or if you would be adorned in tree leaves and animal furs if not us.”

Evelyne’s blue eyes widen at the question, brows jumping upwards. “Not much, my lord,” she admits then with a bit of a wicked smile. “It is one of my flaws, that I am all too easily tempted. As for the apple wine… or more in particular, apple brandy… It is of a fine quality, intoxicating if consumed in too great amounts.” The Somerville clearly is in her element, not really reluctant in the way she flirts with the Basilisque. But then again, she sits in such proximity, and with the way he wears his shirt revealing so much, how can she really be blamed for letting her thoughts spill from her lips in the moment they cross her mind. “Yes.”, she affirms towards the serving maid, “Leave the wine here. Who knows what mischief I might agree to, after another glass or two?” There goes the serving maid and leaves the two of them to their conversation, and Evelyne turns her focus back on Sebastien. “Ah… yes. You protect us. I suppose I owe you my gratitude for that. Even if… considering… how would I look clad in tree leaves and animal furs? Hmm?”

Sebastien keeps his eyes focused on the young woman. The black lines under his eyes made by a makeup or maybe just a simple piece of coal is now a little bit more wide since it run off from all the heat and the man is in his /leather/ pants afterall. The thicker black line seems to give his gaze not only more mystery but a small spoon of mischievous craziness as well. He takes another gulp of his ale listening of Evelyne’s clatter. Hard to say if he even hears what a young woman speaks. Though, the corners of his lips dance up top showing his amusement. Once the lady is over with her speech of a few different topics, Sebastien simply sets the mug on the table and waves with his finger for Lady de Somerville to lean in closer. “Let me tell you a secret, lil birdie,” he whispers.

The Somerville lady leans in as told, without even considering whether her action is wise or not. Maybe it is the fact that Sebastien had whispered the request. Maybe it is because she is sort of hypnotized by those darkly lined eyes of his. The glass of wine in her hand is for the moment forgotten, even if her fingers remain curled about it. A faint rosiness rises in her cheeks, and yes, the scent of apples intensifies just a little, as she brings her ear closer to his lips. “What secret?”, Evelyne murmurs. “What secret would you entrust to someone such as me?”

“A very simple secret each girl should know, m’lady,” Sebastien whispers leaning closer as well that his breath would be felt in Evelyne’s hair. His cheek is close to hers but keeps quite a proper distance when he continues to whisper to the young woman’s ear, “One should never admit that almost no efforts are required to tempt them. Men are hunters and enjoy a wise prey. Men only want love if it's torture, if they have to try very very hard and they can hold onto their passion for a long time instead of getting easily what they desire because then… then the taste just fades. Taste of excitement.” While he was whispering, Sebastien’s hand raised to the other ear of the lady and if she would have allowed it, the man would have tucked a curl of her hair behind that ear to reveal her blushing cheek. Then Vicomte withdraws and leans back in his seat quite casually, “Be a wise gazelle and not a fluttering butterfly.” He winks and brings the edge of the mug back to his lips, taking a sip.

“Wait… I didn’t say…”, Evelyne protests faintly, and her blush deepens as she leans away again, “Companions.” Air flows through her slightly parted lips as this young lady needs a moment to digest the advice the Basilisque lord just imparted to her. A slightly sheepish grin then as she shakes her head. “I don’t know why I said what I said… And ‘wise’ sometimes is just so boring.” She lifts the glass of wine to her lips and takes a sip. “Does this mean that I just crushed my chances with you, by being overtly… butterfly-ish?”, she asks, lifting her blue eyes to regard the handsome man. “I like adventure. I just can’t help it. And you… look like someone I would like to get to know, my lord?” Did she change tactics? Not really. Even if her advances now come more directly and bold.

“If you are wise and boring then you are not wise. A wise person always knows when and how to appear joyful and fun, and flirty. They just know exact time and place, and pace,” Sebastien explains. He shrugs his shoulders lightly afterwards, “Depends what chance you have in mind, m’lady… A chance to get to know me? No, you did not miss it. A chance to have an adventure with me? Most likely, you partially missed. I came back from my four years adventures two years ago. So, if we would have met six years ago, then I would have offered you quite an exciting journey. But you were so little at that time. Still holding your mother’s skirt. So, do you have any other ‘chances’ in mind?” He finishes off his ale and waves for the barmaid to refill it. His eyes wander to the lady’s glass, “Do you enjoy your drink?”

“I’m still young, Lord Sébastien,” Evelyne counters, her eyes glittering. “Young enough to be taught, I suppose? Would you like to teach me?” A thought that makes a light giggle ripple from her lips. “It could become our own little adventure. I lack wisdom. Maybe I could gain some, if you tell me of what you have experienced on your exciting journey?” Her gaze flits to the glass in her hand and she nods with the flicker of a smile. “The wine is good, yes. As for chances… It’ll be up to you to decide. There are several things I enjoy. Riding out, flirting, all these bad things you mention. Perhaps we could explore some of those together?”

“Perhaps we can, m’lady… And perhaps I could teach you…” He takes a refilled mug into his hand. “Bad things?” The man can not hold his laugh at the mention of that. “Alright, we might think about that as well. I am still an adventurous soul even if a bit older!” He leans back in his seat focusing his eyes more on the table than a lady for now, “Tell me more about your family, lady Evelyne. What is it your family does the best, and do you have siblings? How old are you? I would like to get to know this adventurous soul of yours… and, oh, please, tell me what are you doing here at Marsilikos?”

“Why would you like to know all these things of me?”, Evelyne counters sweetly. “My father is the baron of Thiviers. My mother is of Azzalle, of House Arguil by birth. Perhaps it is from her side that I have inherited a certain… wild streak. I’m a pretty good rider, and I know a little about how to use a sword,” she continues. “From my two older brothers. I was sent to Elua first, shortly before my sixteenth birthday. But then my family decided that I have to come here to Marsilikos. I’m currently on trial. I mean… Her Grace, the Duchesse of Eisande tries me out to see whether I’d fit to become one of her ladies. Which would please my family.” A slight roll of her eyes there. “Truth be told, they also want me to make connections; acquaintances. I don’t doubt they hope for me to catch some elderly nobleman’s fancy, so that I can properly matched and locked away, with my sole purpose from then on to get with child and give birth to heirs and noble offspring…” The way she says it implies it would be the most disagreeable notion in the world.

“Oooh woow…” Sebastien laughs, “For a moment I thought you were on trial because your wild adventures lead you to the crime… Then I would have thought that you are the most beautiful criminal I have ever seen!“ He then takes few moments to look the young woman over. It seems he just shrugs the idea off, if he even had any in his mind. Vicomte takes a few more gulps of his ale casually and adds, “Well… First lesson: connections are absolutely valuable. Because if your adventures lead you to some trouble, your connections usually assist in avoiding any type of consequences! And talking about your marriage… I know how you feel. My parents married me off when I was only eighteen years old… At least my wife would have been free-minded. I did not hold her on the leash, and I wanted to be not held as well. If that would have been the case, then the family wouldn’t sound that terrible, right?”

Evelyne chuckles, clearly amused by his words. “I may get into trouble now and then… But I am respecting the laws, I swear. I would never commit a crime…” Her mood dims somewhat when he mentions a wife, and she nods. “So you are married then? But free-minded? It is Elua’s Precept that guides us all in the end, to love as we will.” Again, she takes a sip from her glass of wine. “For me, nothing has been arranged as of yet. I’m yet to turn eighteen, in October, so I have plenty of time.”

“Lucky you!” Sebastien congratulates the young woman. “And no, m’lady. I am not married. My wife died giving birth to my second son.” He explains, quite casually taking a sip of his drink. “And yes, I have a child. He is quite a lovely young boy. Also, quite fiery. I am pretty sure you would enjoy his company. Or are you one of those rare ladies who are scared of children?” The man laughs and shifts in his seat to turn toward the young woman better.

“Ohhh…” The vowel rides on an exhale, and Evelyne’s brows lift in what appears to be genuine empathy. “I am sorry.” Even as the faint movement of her eyes betrays thoughts racing in her head. “As you have a son already, the pressure must be far less upon you to marry again. And no. I’m not scared. I’m not scared of anything. How old is he?”, she asks, meeting Sebastien’s gaze curiously.

“My son is six years old. Joyful boy and very curious one,” he explains with a very vivid pride in his tone. “And I have no pressure, Lady Evelyne. I am Vicomte de Montmarlon. My father is also dead. That is why I came back home two years ago. I needed to take over the position of my father. My mother is still alive but she is not interfering much into my own life since I have a child. She is more curious in marrying off my brother,” he grins broadly and mischievously, “To be honest, this is my intention as well.”

“So?”, Evelyne quips, as she gives Sebastien a wink. “You are seeking a match for your brother? I doubt I would qualify, given I have no perspective of inheriting a title at some point. If he is anything like you, however, I don’t doubt he’ll charm someone out of their senses. “Lord Sebastien. Even if I don’t plan to have children of my own too soon… I won’t be opposed to meeting your son. He is here with you in Marsilikos.” She leans a little closer, running her finger along the unbuttoned part of his shirt. “I can also promise I’ll behave. At least as long as he’s around.”

The man twitches just a little bit when a young woman touches his shirt. Though, Sebastien adds a small shifting in his position in order to make it a more natural twitch unrelated to her seduction. “Unfortunately, I cannot promise that he is going to behave. One moment he is a nice child and the other he may be attacking you with his wooden sword. That is if he is going to like you. I should not mention what he is capable of doing to those who do not earn his affection!” He laughs and then a very wide mischievious smile adorns his features. “Do you think I would be a wonderful match for you? Imagine having a husband who allows you to do anything as long as you do it with a grain of wisdom, not affecting family’s honor, and who simply requires a few more adorable children?..” He leans his head a bit to the side having that grin in his features but also a curiosity in his eyes. Hard to say if he is jesting or being serious.

“So I should hope for your son to attack me then?”, Evelyne replies with a wink. “Give me a wooden sword, and perhaps I may be able to defend myself adequately.” She chuckles and gives him a bright smile. “Honestly, I can’t wait to make his acquaintance.” Sebastien’s question earns him a look, and her eyes widen slightly, just for a brief moment. “This sounds like a wonderful… hypothetical… constellation, my lord. But… aren’t you a little too old for me? I have yet to turn eighteen. And as I said… I don’t plan to light my candle to Eisheth in the next couple of years.” Her smile deepens, her finger continues to play with his shirt, poking gently against the fabric. “Besides. I hardly know you, my lord. But this would be something we can change. Quite easily.”

Vicomte’s smile fades and his features become quite stern. But his shining eyes betray that this is all simply for jesting, “You call me an old man but yet your hands are quite eager to… explore. Forgive me if my assumption is wrong, but isn’t it a sign of your stranger and quite naughty desires which are highlighted by the difference of our age and my high experience?” His eyebrow raises when his gaze drops down to her fingers which are still playing with his shirt. “Also, sorry to disappoint you, but it’s not up to you to decide when your family will sell you off to an old profitable lord of a terrible personality. Maybe your parents adore you as their cute daughter but if a man would want such a beauty as yourself at their side and would suggest exactly what would increase the prestige, economic or military situation of your family, your mother and your father would have no doubts of throwing your duties on your fragile shoulders right on the day of your birthday. Your rebellion would be nothing more but a laughable performance. Quickly you would find yourself locked in the chambers of a possessive lord, be it young or old, whom will restrain your wild nature and will do everything to make you a proper accessory on their arm. It will destroy your young soul and at the age of 25 you will rock children on your arms and you will smile at people, and you will obey to the needs of your husband, and only wrinkles at the corners of your eyes will speak of depression which will be not noticed by strangers who care only of themselves.” Sebastien grins, “Terrible perspective, right?”

Evelyne lifts her gaze, meeting the eyes of the Basilisque, and in capturing her lower lip with her teeth, elects to consider him with a mischievous upturn of her lips. “You are calling me naughty, my lord?” A soft sigh then. “I am of course aware of… some within my family hoping to place me in a match that will be of benefit to House Somerville. An ugly old man possibly. Someone who will take away my freedom. Perhaps… if such will be my fate, I should enjoy myself as much as possible. As long as I still can.”, she murmurs. “Pleasurable memories might be able to keep me from despair. Don’t you think?”

“Perhaps… But what if you have a chance to change your fate? Everything is in your hands… If you will play your cards right, that is.” Sebastien leans forward to reach for the mug of his ale. He empties it and sets back on the table before looking back at Evelyne. He studies her lips for a moment but then focuses back on her eyes, “I can see a future where you would be a lady known for throwing the most impressive festivities. You would wear beautiful gowns and could seek your adventures wherever you want and whenever you want. You could enjoy music and dances, you could enjoy a company of young men, older men, strong men, very handsome men. Your husband would be the most handsome of all, of course, but he wouldn’t mind that proper and carefully selected men would keep you warm while he is away. You could grow wonderful children, maybe four of them, and see how they succeed in the world not taking away your beauty and passionate young soul but actually making it even stand out. Hmmm. I can see quite a wonderful future for you, but you should be quite wise in playing your cards right as I mentioned before.”

“So… this is no jest of yours? You would actually consider…?”, Evelyne begins, lifting her brows as she leans a little away from him, and her smile fades a little. “I believe it is quite in order to write to my father, the baron of Thiviers, in case you’d consider such a match for yourself. As you said, I have little say in the matter, but… the prospect would intrigue me, especially if granted the freedom you speak of. Ah… sometimes I wonder what has become of our old ways and traditions… Lately it seems people are expecting monogamous relations, when this actually runs so contrary to what is in our blood…” She grins. “Also… “ her fingertip resumes its dance along the shirt. “Something tells me, that we think alike, at least in some aspects. It could become… quite the fruitful… relationship.”

“I can only agree, m’lady,” Sebastien nods slowly. He touches Evelyne’s hair and runs with his fingers across her curls. “For me, it’s very important that my wife would give me a freedom I desire.” His eyes study her gaze, when his fingers then gently touch her jaw and slides across it to fall on her neck. “But I also desire a young wife who could bear me more than one healthy child. Let’s just say that being a father gave me a second breath and I find it as the most significant and exciting adventure of mine. That would be the only thing I would demand of my wife - that she would become a good mother. But for the sake of healthy children, I would love to have a word in whom she selects as her lovers. If those conditions are good for you, I might look into some possibilities and maybe even write that letter… After all…. I perceive our relationship to be quite fruitful, indeed. A wild soul feels a wild soul!”

“You would only demand that she’d give you children?”, Evelyne replies with a glitter in her eyes. “Not that she’d give you pleasure?” The smile she gives him is faintly wicked. “Your conditions sound reasonable… if you grant me the same, in regards to those you elect to take as your lovers. But truth be told… this sounds tedious. Can’t we think of another way to handle this particular topic?” She shifts a little closer, her hand catching his wrist where his fingers were playing with her blonde hair. “Sebastien. I have some ambitions you might find surprising. I like to put my thoughts and imaginations to paper. And similarly, I could make a game of it to write of my amorous adventures, to share them with you that might delight us both. Keeping you informed, that way. What do you think?” She murmurs and whispers this into his ear, making sure no one but Sebastien can hear what she is telling him. The glint in her eyes visible despite slightly lowered lashes, the upturn of lips deepening as she leans away to wait for his reaction.

He hears out what the young woman has to say and it makes the man’s features light up even more, “A writer? That does sound quite intriguing…” The man admits. “I would agree with your conditions and if you wish to improve your skills in this talent, we could seek out a tutor. However, we might have a small… difference in… Well, but that wouldn’t be a huge disadvantage to our relationship.” He nods more to himself than to Evelyne. “I think that I will start considering that letter but your own input would be appreciated as well since you know your parents and their desires, what would lean them to our side.” The man cups the young lady’s cheek into his palm. “Will you assist me on this, lil birdie?” He leans in and places a peck on the tip of her nose if de Somerville lady allows.

“Oh, that’s so very kind of you,” Evelyne chuckles and shakes her head, “but in this case, your opinion and verdict would be enough for me to… ensure improvement of my skills. This…”, her hand she places on his arm, fingers resting there lightly, “could become quite the thrill, a diversion that may never lose its charm, if we would extend the rules to me adding tiny details that I’ve made up, and leave you the challenge of telling which parts are fiction, and which are not.” Her hand leaves his arm as she reaches for her glass of wine and downs it. “As for the letter,” she grins, “give them the impression that you have encountered me at court, as lady-in-waiting to the Duchesse. That you were impressed with my good manners. Point out that House Basilisque would like a connection to the provincial duchy of Somerville. Your title should provide enough motivation for my father to consider the match.” The lightness of her tone makes it difficult to gauge whether they are speaking of concrete plans or merely toying with the possibility as some sort of game. “He’d be glad to have the problem that is me off his shoulders.”

“Very well,” Sebastien brushes her cheek with his thumb. “I think that such a problem as yourself would be quite an intriguing addition to rocky and mountainous hallways. We will have to see how you can impress our little lord there. My son is a bit more picky,” he gives her a wink and then pushes himself away from the lady. “Speaking of my child, I must head back home. These days he feels quite lonely if left alone for too long. Not many kids of his standing and interests are wandering in Marsilikos. It was a pleasure meeting you, lady Evelyne de Somerville. I am pretty sure that we will run into each other soon.” He stands up and bows his head.

Then the man heads toward the bar where he exchanges some words and coins with the maid. He leaves the inn without taking a second glance at the lady he just spoke to. However, a barmaid will deliver to lady Evelyne a slice of lemon cake with an additional goblet of wine.

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