(1310-07-28) An Awkward Luncheon
Summary: Lucienne arrives in Marsilikos and invites her neice, Olivia, for lunch. Some awkward topics are discussed, and the meal is brought to an abrupt halt by a nerve that's touched upon.
RL Date: Fri Jul 27, 2018
Related: None
olivia lucienne 

Albert Residence

Olivia has received a message which informed her of the upcoming arrival of Vicomtesse Lucienne dAlbert. That happened approximately a week ago. Today the young woman received a second message which invites Olivia to the Albert Residence. The message specifically asks to come for lunch and not later because her aunt will have some business to attend immediately after meal.

The Albert Residence is found at the noble district and has quite common architecture and size. When Olivia arrives and knocks on the door, an elderly gentleman meets her. The man smiles broadly upon seeing the courtesan. Bernard is one of the oldest servants Olivia would have seen if she visited her aunt during summer or some less busier days.

He bows his head to the woman and after a proper greeting he would lead her to the dining room if she chooses to follow. The man would inform that the lady of the house will be down soon. The table is already prepared for the lunch for two: two plates with necessary equipment, a steaming chicken, two goblets of wine and a jar of it, some vegetables, fruits and a cake.

Olivia thanks Bernard with a light touch to his arm when she's shown to the dining room. It's her means of communication on occasion when smiles can't be seen, though the evidence of her smile can still be found in her eyes when she speaks. "I hope my aunt is well, Bernard? Can you take these for her?" She carries a profusion of pale petalled flowers in her arms, the stems wrapped about with raffia bindings to keep them neatly bundled. White roses, gardenias, lilies and gypsophilia. Already they're starting to perfume the air where she stands. "You should be able to just drop them into a vase without too much fuss." Flowers thusly delivered to the old retainer's care, she takes a moment to check her veils are neatly in place and her silks just so before lacing her hands behind her back. Rather than taking a seat at the table, she remains standing to one side of it, able thusly to greet her aunt with proper decorum once she arrives.

"Of course, lady Olivia," Bernard nods taking the bouquet into his embrace. "Gardenias and lilies are still her favorite. I will put them in Vicomtesse chambers. She will definitely enjoy it. Your aunt is a very strong woman. The way I remember her twenty years ago, the way she is now. You shall not worry. And, please, don't mind to take a seat," Bernard encourages the young woman before leaving.

It takes about ten or fifteen minutes before a quiet knock on the stairs starts coming down. Knock. Knock. Knock. Knock. And an old woman shows up from behind the corner. Her gray hair is perfectly braided and gathered up into a rich bun. It's decorated with a ribbon and some gemstones. A very dark purple gown of a rich silk and some thicker fabrics is arranged to adorn Vicomtesse. It does have an embroidery but it's not overdone. Simple golden threads weave here and there to stress out once slim figure and now a bit more plump. Her wrinkled and bony features light up when her gaze finds niece.

"Oh, my dear," Lucienne speaks. "I remember when you were but a tiny bud and look at you now! Grown up into a full blooming flower! Come here, darling, turn around. Show yourself. I want to take a full look." She gestures with a hand which holds a black cane for Olivia to turn around a couple of times. The cane must be the most expensive in the woman's attire since it has plentiful of silver decorations and carvings.

Despite Bernard's encouragement to seat herself, Olivia remains on her feet. She's engrossed in her inspection of a painting that hangs above the mantle of the fireplace when her aunt makes her way into the room. "Oh Auntie. There you are. And how well you're looking too. It's certainly been a while." She crosses to where Lucienne stands, and takes one of the older woman's hands in her own, leaning in to brush a veiled kiss to the woman's right cheek. "There's not much for you to see of me, I'm afraid." Her eyes sparkle with amusement as she stakes a step or two back, turning slowly so her silks drift subtly about her figure. White on white, her gown has little adornment upon it save for a tracery of silver threadwork upon the cuffs of her sleeves and across the bodice, and the only parts of her not covered are her hands and her eyes. Her smile is evident as she performs a curtsey for the older woman once she's done with her turn, her veil catching and moulding to her laughter. "Your letter was so very welcome, but you didn't say what had brought you here to the City. Are you spending what's left of the summer here?"

"Aaaah… Beautiful, beautiful. Just marvellous!" A woman speaks when Olivia gives those turns around. "You have your mother's eyes and bosom. However, I am mildly concerned. Have you been eating properly?" Lucienne's eyebrow raises when she scans Olivia like an eagle studying his prey. "Darling, I know that many men say that they enjoy skin and bones, but trust me they all like to have something to nip on here," if Olivia doesn't move aside, the old woman gently touches courtesan's right hip with the cane. "and there…" Lucienne would pat niece's left hip with that cane a few times when the last word leaves her throat as well.

"Good that I brought my own cook. I knew that they might have meal of a less quality in such a large city as Marsilikos. Too many people. Too little time. They do everything so fast here while my cook works as if she would be an artist. She takes her time and… well, take a seat. You definitely need that chicken and a couple of slices of that apple cake." Vicomtesse herself moves to take a seat as well. A quiet crack of a bone is heard when she tries to settle down, and that is followed by a long sigh. Though, she leans her cane to the side of the chair, when she is down and Bernard comes closer. He starts cutting the chicken and adding it to the Vicomtesse's plate first, and then to Olivia's. A wine is also poured to their glasses.

"So, tell me, how have you been?" Lucienne asks taking a small bite of the meat. She seems to completely ignore Olivia's questions. Or maybe she just simply forgot being stunned by a lack of appetite of her little niece!

Olivia's eyes widen, and a faint blush steals its way to her cheeks as her hips are scrutinized by Lucienne. "I eat very well, Auntie. I think that the Companions just meant for me to be this shape. Perhaps if I am ever blessed enough to bear children, the curves that you yearn for may follow." She laughs then as she steps away, and her laughter holds a quality to it that's as soft as silk and as rich as cream, and it ripples about the pair of them as she sweeps her skirts to one side and settles herself at the table. "I will admit though, this chicken smells completely wonderful. I approve of you having brought your own cook with you, if this is the food you get served. Perhaps I'll have to visit more often." Once the servant has done with placing food on her plate and filling her glass, she claims the latter with a curl of her fingers about its stem. "I was recently promoted to the position of Second of my salon." Pride colours her tone. "It's quite the responsibility. If you ever feel like coming to see around Rose Sauvage, I can offer you a tour."

"The Second of your salon?" There is a mild surprise in Vicomtesse's tone. Maybe she never expected that this girl will raise so high. But a modest drop of pride follows after the surprise. "Your mother must be absolutely happy. Have you already informed her?" She reaches for the glass in order to chase down a small bite of a chicken with a decent gulp of wine. "If you would have asked me, of course, I would have searched for a proper lord for you to marry instead. Someone with a land and influence. Preferably, someone of a thicker build that they could have brought you very healthy children. I've noticed that many men are a bit too… well, nevermind. I would be happy to take a tour."

She pierces a couple of vegetables with a fork and then brings them to her lips. The woman properly chews on her bite and continues only when it's swallowed and another sip of wine is taken, "But your courtesan's routine aside, would you be able to give me a sum up of the recent events? What I should be aware of? I do not want to ventrue into town cluelessly. Who knows, maybe there are foreign bandits out there!" She lowers her voice and leans closer to whisper the last part, "I heard that you have some Tsingani here? How many break ins and thefts have been registered already? Should I increase the amount of security?"

Olivia's eyes lid heavily when Lucienne speaks of marriage, and slender fingers rotates the glass where it sits on the table. Her response is slow to come, and when she finally speaks, it's in slightly hushed tones. "Marriage would mean leaving the service of Naamah, Aunt, and I am not entirely convinced that I am ready to do that yet." A breath exhaled billows her veil and her eyes cut back to her aunt as she lifts that glass from the table. "As to everything else," she hesitates, "… you will have heard no doubt of the tragedy at Béziers. That Her Grace lost her sister and all but one of her sisters children. The one that survived, Desarae, was a novice at Rose Sauvage at the time, but now she is gone from us. I believe she is spending some time with her father, mourning their losses, before returning. It wasn't bandits however that were the cause of such a tragedy, it was a foreigner woman whom had greivances against the family. They say she was a witch. Her Grace has only recently come out of mourning, so it's perhaps just as well that your visit here was now, rather than a month or so ago." She lifts the edge of her veil with her hand, enough that she can slip her glass beneath for a sip of its contents. "Namarrese. How lovely." A pause as she sets her glass down. "Tsingani? No more than anywhere else I don't think. The City Guard do their job well, and we've had no trouble at the salon."

"Losing a sister…" A smile is washed off from her features and it seems that dark rainy clouds come over her eyes when the topic is touched. She obviously remembers the death of her own sibling so many years ago. But as Bernard said, the woman is strong. She straightens up and a gulp of wine brings restrained happiness back to Lucienne's face. "A witch. A foreigner. As I said, one can never trust outlanders. They may have some charm, they are quite different and we are always entranced by something like that. But at the same time, they are cunning. You must always have your eyes open. Maybe the City Guards are doing quite well for now, but these others are definitely just studying our habbits, our city and they will strike when we expect the least. That's how wars start. Compared to what I have seen, these days are too quiet. A couple of deaths in personal vendetas mean nothing. These things have been happening since the day one. But wars… that's when actually everybody is grieving." Vicomtesse coughs. A wrong bite. She gently pats her own chest and takes a larger gulp of wine. A smile curls her lips up when she looks at Olivia one more time, "Your devotion is captivating. Though, you can not waste your time for prayers and services. Especially, not to those who abandoned us so many times in the past. You already did more than enough. Now it's time to find some devotion for your personal future. If you won't have time for that, I will. I plan staying here for awhile…"

<FS3> Olivia rolls Perception: Failure. (4 4 1 5 1 4 2 2 4 5 4)

Olivia is making a start on her food when Lucienne speaks, and she therefore entirely misses that moment of reflection in her Aunt's expression. A piece of the chicken is pierced with the tines of her fork, and she pushes it around her plate for a second before neatly disecting it with her knife. "You will find it difficult to avoid those of other nations here in Marsilikos, Aunt, for it is the nature of our City that it is a trading port. Ships come from as far away as Chi'in to bring us their silks and their spices. Their silks are so lovely, don't you think?" Vegetables and a small amount of potato are added to her fork, and this is then conveyed to her mouth, her head tilted to just the right angle so her veiling doesn't obstruct her. Her eyes flit to her aunt as she chews. "I very much trust that our armies will keep us safe, but then again I've not lived through the things that you yourself have. And please — " Her voice falters. Whatever colour there had been in her face, fades to nothing. "Please Aunt, please don't burden yourself with thoughts of a husband for me. I am very content as I am."

"I do understand that Marsilikos is a trading port, my darling. But nobody asks them to stay here. Their ships come and then their ships can go. There is no need for them to linger here trying to search out our secrets…" The woman shakes her head at the thought of those foreigners flooding the town. "Their silks might be quite lovely, but of a very poor quality. They can be thorn apart quite fast, the color is also quick to fade and it attracts too many moths. Our silks are of a highest quality, dear." She explains in quite a serious tone. The topic of not searching for a husband is waved off since the woman will do what she wants anyway. "We will speak ten years from now about it. You will be quite thankful to me that I did not listen your advice and assisted in arranging a proper life for you. Pity that your mother chose not to interfere and left you on your own in such a city!" After expressing her regret, Lucienne focuses on the meal for awhile.

Something that Lucienne has said, brings laughter to Olivia's lips. Her eyes glitter with amusment as she sets her fork on her plate. "I will tell you a secret, Aunt. It is most desirable to my Salon's patrons to have us dressed in gowns of silk that rip easily…" Her words tail off, allowing the effect of them to sink in, before she settles back and reaches for her glass. "But yes. I suppose that I would agree that for the higher fashions, and for special occasions, a heavier weight of silk is required." A pause. "I hear that Courtly Couture has just changed hands, and that the new owner is one of the Valais family. I was thinking of perhaps visiting it myself at some point, and wonder if perhaps you might like to go with me? I'm always curious to see what the latest of fashions are, even if I haven't much use of them for myself. As for my mother…" A breath is exhaled. "She loves me dearly, and knows I am well catered and cared for within Rose Sauvage."

An old woman raises her hand up as if to make her niece quiet. "Please," Her tone becomes quite harsh. "I will go with you to visit Courtly Couture. But you have to promise that you will not mention your activities at the salon. I really do not need to hear how some sort of a lustful man is tearing clothes off of my girl. I know that you consider yourself doing a proper services, but none of them are worthy of your touch. I have never been fond of those of a more rough manner. Heliotrope, Gentian or Balm are much more acceptable. Brutallity? Men should go to the war in order to release their anger. They should tire themselves off by building homes, hunting, doing something… anything of value. They shall not express their disgusting emotions physically on women," Lucienne slams her hand into the table. Her demeanor as well as tone completely has changed. Her eyes drop down to her meal. "I lost my appetite."

Vicomtesse takes a few deeper breaths before her eyes raise once more. A pleasant smile shines in her features this time. "Forgive me, Olivia. Thank you for visiting your ancient aunt. I do not want to bore you anymore. You may be excused. Send me a letter once you will be ready to visit a tailor. I would very much appreciate spending more time with you."

<FS3> Olivia rolls Composure: Good Success. (3 2 7 7 7 3 4 4 1 6 4)

So swift is the change in Lucienne's mood, that confusion shows in Olivia's eyes. She sets her glass down, and pushes quickly to her feet at her dismissal, her food left mostly intact. "I'll make sure to send you a letter next week." A breath in. Another out. "I am sorry for having offended you." A curtsey is given, the sheer silks she wears drifting gently about her as on it's heels she turns and excuses herself from the room.

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