(1310-08-03) Double Debut at Le Coquelicot!
Summary: Not one but two debuts are celebrated at the Salon de Coquelicot, and the fête provides necessary ingredients to provide food for gossip. Be it the fine foods, pastries and wines, the gardens having been turned into a 'forest' and the debutantes into a 'princess' and a 'pixie'. They ride in on a unicorn to start off the evening, and after that it is dance and a tale — and a discreet auction of notes sent towards the Dowayne.
RL Date: Fri Aug 03, 2018
Related: Planning this event
aedhwyn audrialla annais fayette fenris isabelle jehan-pascal lois marco marielle sebastien philandre-npc 

Gardens of Devotion — Salon de Coquelicot

There is a playful air about the gardens, especially in spring, summer and autumn, when flower beds of red tulips, roses and poppy flowers add colorful dots to the well kept green that is trimmed to a look of wild romantic scenery, despite the everpresent hands of gardeners that keep trees and bushes under their care. The path winds along in generous twists, offering many secret meeting spots to share kisses and vows of love, some of them part of the natural surroundings, while others provide more shelter from the view, arbors of simple beauty with flowery vines twining about posts.

In the center of the gardens is where a second building can be found, pillars of white stone reminiscent of an old Hellene temple. Within, tiles of light rosé marble cover the floor, ten feet high walls are painted a slightly deeper shade of the same color, and interspersed with white columns sporting painted colorful floral ornaments. Curtains of white and lavender gauze flutter faintly before the windows that bathe the Shrine of Love in light during the day. On evenings and nights, the predominant source of lighting is a multitude of burning candles in various bronze candelabras and the pair of chandeliers suspended from the ceiling.

The hall is furnished with chairs and couches of light maple wood carved with flowery designs, upholstered in white and red velvet, with several smaller cushions added for comfort. It also has a medium sized S-shaped loveseat in the center, where two people can lounge, facing each other. A faint scent of roses is ever present, as is the overall romantic mood that is often enhanced with the occasional recital of a love poem over the rippling tones of a lute or harp. While Coquelicot adepts and courtesans of Heliotrope canon attend to the visitors with the pleasant lightness and easy warmth, the salon is known for.

A door at the back leads to a patron room of wildly romantic flair.

A trail has been laid, from the foyer of the Salon du Coquelicot. A trail of the romantic sort, rose petals in red and pink scattered upon the floor, leading the way to where tonight's double debut is to take place. The trail is suggestive of a story, a tale, an impression that is deepened further by a few drawings that line the walls, combined with pale watercolor paintings. One of these pictures shows a princess that is chased into the woods by a number of grim looking minions of a dark figure watching it all from the high tower of the castle. Another picture shows an encounter in the forest, of the princess in the white dress, and a girl clad in green with red hair and pointed ears - a pixie perhaps. A third picture shows how the minions of the villain invade the forest, chasing the two girls deeper into the woods.

Anyone following the trail will enter the gardens to be greeted by the soft rippling tones of music from a lute and the dimmed lighting of oil lamps with shades of dark green glass. There are various seating areas, all made more comfortable through the use of cushions, side tables with platters of finger food - fruit, slices of smoked ham, small pastries stuffed with goat cheese that go along nicely with the red and white wines on offer. While the two novices that are to debut tonight are as of yet nowhere to be seen, the Dowayne of the salon, Philandre Chalasse nó Coquelicot is present to greet those that have come to attend this very special fête. He is clad in flowing garments of dark green, true to the forest theme.

Adepts and courtesans of the salon are clad in similar garb, blending in with the greens as they make their rounds and make sure everyone is provided with a goblet of wine.

While the Dowayne is welcoming those who enter, the Second of the Salon known as Fayette is making sure that desires of those who have arrived and settled would be fulfilled. She gently points servants to move toward those who do not have a glass yet, those who are alone she approaches and politely asks if there is anything missing. She is wearing quite an enchanting dress even if it has a dark green color and blends with the general surrounding. This long open-back attire is a flirty fusion of feminine details and reveals a beautiful poppy tattoo. The beautifully detailed lace bodice on this v-neck dress features sparkling embellishments that catch the eye under the spotlight as if they would be fireflies.

Audrialla got the memo about staff wearing green for the occasion and has dressed similarly. But as the baker is NOT part of the House, her dress is of a different cut and embroidery even if it is simple linen fabric ina a dark hue. She will blend in but not be mistaken for anyone of importance.

Fresh from the bakery comes platters of petit fours, some savoury finger pies of beef and mushroom or chicken in herbs, delicate glazed eclairs, custard tartlets topped with sugared raspberries- all of which are tempting to the palate. Colorful macarons and plump creme filled pastries round out the offerings for the welcome.

Leather pants but fully opened black shirt. An old snake pendant swaying on the broad chest. A playfully shoveled hair. A bit muddy boots with a one leg of the pants tucked in, and the other tucked out. Two massive rings with dark blue gemstones. Yes, that's the casual Vicomte Sebastien Basilisque. Expect that his usual smile full of pride and mischief is missing. He wanders around the garden studying his surrounding with a more grim expression. Of course, he has a goblet half-filled with wine in his hands. A sip after a sip is taken quite often.

Jehan-Pascal wasn't entirely aware the staff would be wearing green for the event, and so it may be a misfortune, but, he has also donned an outfit of variegated hues of that most fertile color. But nobody would ever mistake him for the help, at least, with A flowing shoulder capelet of silken empanelatures alternating in a deep, dusky green and a darker green embroidered in scrolling vines of gold. It's a showpiece, worn atop less demanding, loose-flowing sleeves of white tied in tight to his chest with a grey-green vest sporting double-breasted pearl buttons joined to one another with gold chain. Very fine grey trousers hug his bottom and thigh, then give way to show off his new favorite pair of stockings, the green-grey ones of unmistakable refinement and softness. So, with capelet stylishly tossed over one shoulder, enter Jehan-Pascal, serene of countenance, with his companion and best friend Mari on his arm and an easy smile for Philandre on his approach. Stepping up to greet the Dowayne, he parts with Mari only the needful amount to lower himself into a respectful bow and allow her to curtsy likewise. "What a remarkable night, my Lord Dowayne. A splendid double-jewel in this summer's debut season," he flatters him after the usual sort of manner.

Philandre nó Coquelicot nods his head, before he returns the bow to Jehan-Pascal and Marielle with true Night Court grace. "Double-jewels are all the rarer and more coveted," he responds with easy confidence. "And I can see we are already attracting the most exquisite clientele…" Flattery accepted and returned. "We are glad to have you here tonight, my lord." A quick glance follows Sebastien on his solitary trail around the gardens, and Philandre adds, "It is always remarkable how diverse tempers tend to seek us out. For now, I ask you to please enjoy yourselves." A gesture towards the table with delicacies and pastries Audrialla is looking after, a smile given to the woman, her subtlety in choice of garb noted.

Against the side of Jehan-Pascal Marielle leans, having traded her customary whites for pale greens and golds to compliment what JP has decided to wear. It is the typical deceptively modest style, though, with veils covering her face and hair. Her clothing are of the finest quality, unsurprisingly when it comes to the White Rose since even if the style is modest her tastes lean towards the most expensive she can afford. Philandre gets a dip of a curtsy and a smile from under the veils is given, betrayed by how her eyes crinkle and the light in them. She doesn't speak, for the time being, letting Philandre and Jehan-Pascal do the talking.

More people are filtering in, and soon there is a slight buzz from murmured conversations and comments made about the decoration and other topics.

However, the two debutants will remain absent, at least for another while.

A soft "Ahhh," rises in the gathering suddenly, when the low snort of a horse announces its arrival before it comes into view, a white mare wearing blooms of roses in its mane - and a horn prop attached to his forehead making it look like a veritable unicorn! Seated upon the unicorn, is the pair of debutants, Annais sitting at the front, in a fine white dress, and Lois behind her, clad in a similar fashion but another color, a light green that makes her stick out still against the dark green garb of other Coquelicots.

With the arrival of the two young women that are to debut tonight, Philandre nó Coquelicot raises his voice, giving it a pleasant lower timbre. Without any further introductory words he launches into the tale. "My lords. My ladies. A long time ago. In a land far, far away. It happened that a beautiful princess was chased into the forest, by the minions of her uncle who wanted to take the throne for himself. Our princess Annais", his kind gaze sweeps over to regard the young woman in white, "had gotten help. Unexpected help. By our pixie, Lois. The pixie had summoned the unicorn to bring them further into the woods, the enchanted part of it, where their pursuers might not follow. And here, the unicorn will leave them."

Lois dismounts gracefully, landing on the soft ground of the gardens, and in doing so, manages to have the movement blend into a curtsey offered to the guests of the salon.

Annais stays seated on the unicorn until her fellow debutante rises from the curtsy offered to the assembled guests, before dismounting in an exact mirror of Lois movements from just a moment earlier. The ease and grace of her movements are all the more impressive when considering the large, ruffled skirt of her gown. As she straightens from her own curtsy, a hand reaches for that of the slightly taller novice as the pair starts to move towards a more open area.

"And how glad and merry the princess and the pixie are, that they have managed to escape from the villain and his men," the narrator continues, smiling as he watches how both Annais and Lois begin to twirl in a dance, as the music picks up, and lute is joined by a fiddle and a flute.

"Aw," Jehan-Pascal makes a little noise when his flattery is thus returned to him, lifting a hand to toss his decorative cape back where it had crept forward during his bow in time with righting himself with a modest sort of flourish, obviously tickled by the kind words. "I have no doubt but that we will, Lord Dowayne. Thank you," he issues, at last, and, collecting up Mari's arm once more and leading her along into the garden, grazing by the pastries and offering the woman working the station a warm smile while he chooses a tartlet, drawn by the allure of the candied berries on top. "Mh!" he remarks in surprise when biting into it. Not surprised by the taste, which is perfection, of course, but rather surprised by the unicorn. But the explanation is forthcoming, making him to lean closer to Marielle as he watches the debutantes disembark and begin to entertain.

Audrialla bows her head in gracious silent reply to the Dowayne when he glances her way. Likewise, she offers a polite demi-curtesy to Marielle and Jehan-Pascal as they swing by the table of delectables. But as the pair of lovely debutants enter in their impressive carriage, she pauses a moment to appreciate the sheer beauty of the scene, her smile soft and expression gently awed.

If she has been delayed from entering the gardens of her favorite salon it is because of the stories depicted on the way there, where darker shapes find a home amidst dreamy watercolors, perpetually drawn to art that hides rather than reveals. Dark eyes flecked with motes of gold follow the wake of the princess' escape and the friend she finds in a member of the fae, before the chase continues on by the wraiths intent on capturing them. It is reminiscent of the blacker fantasies she has encountered in her travels abroad, but it is not all that surprising to her to find them exhibited here, either, not with this particular Salon's emphasis on dreams, and the balm upon tormented souls its gentle flowers can provide.

When Isabelle de Valais finally finds the garden, an appreciative look is cast upon the set up before she proceeds further, a smile directed towards familiar faces - Jehan-Pascal's in particular, ever so impeccably dressed - a growing aesthetic favorite, though she does not recognize the woman by his side.

She is clad in her signature style, as always opting for elegance than revelation necessitated by the weather and the norms of D'angeline society, ever so accepting as it is regarding matters of the flesh. Her latest creation is dyed in different shades of violet and glossed with hints of silver, spun from silk and chiffon so sheer that it is only the way they are layered that provides her the bare hint of modesty she requires in everything she designs. There is no needless display of skin or assets; the largely open back is criss-crossed by an intricate arrangement of ribbons threaded through white-gold eyelets, and set with separated sleeves of textile nearly transparent that their elaborate embroidery appears as if etched on her skin. Whatever collar it lacks is replaced by an elaborate arrangement of white gold, fashioned in linked geometric shapes and occasionally holding smooth, polished amber stones that end in a tapering point between the delicate dip of her collarbones, where a larger stone rests on lightly sunkissed skin.

Long-legged strides take her straight towards the Dowayne, undoubtedly to pay her respects and to reacquaint herself, especially with how long she has been gone.

The unicorn. The Princess. The Fairy. A story of the the princess and the pixie attracts Sebastien's attention. He finds a more quiet corner, taking a third… maybe a fourth glass of wine. The grim expression in his features is now replaced by curiosity and a mild amusement. While his attention is almost always fixed on debutantes, he does take time to study reactions of others. But when the young woman starts to dance, he just focuses on them. The man enjoys the music, obviously, since his feet slowly taps in rhythm.

As the music turns more intricate and lively, the two debutants move around each other with elegant movements in a dance clearly meant to display both joy and relief. They skip and twirl, their skirts spinning and flaring, their hands coming together for short moments before they part again as the princess and the pixie celebrate their imagined escape. Then the joyous music starts to fade, and after a short moment of silence that causes the pair to pause their dance, is replaced by a far more eerie melody. The two of them move close together as they look first one way and then the other, the smiles and happy expressions swapped out for looks of concern and confusion. The music keeps rising to a crescendo and then abruptly stops, at which point the two look to each other for a short moment before quickly moving to either side of the area of the performance as if to hide, where chairs framed and decorated with spiderwebs have been placed in areas of more subtle lighting.

And thus the dance ends, with the narrator (that is the Dowayne) saying, "And there, in their youthful glee they had not noticed the magical powers of the forest that wished to keep them trapped here forever…"

And Philandre turns now to address those gathered. "What could save them, my lords and ladies, you might ask? The princess can and will be saved through true love. Whereas the pixie… might be able to escape through a dream. It is now on you. If you feel you can provide either love or dream… don't hesitate to approach these two graceful creatures and speak to them, to impress them. This may influence the outcome of the auction in your favor."

THough her expression can't be seen by all whatever is spokent o her quietly has Marielle giving JP an amused look and a murmured response. THe demi-curtsy from Audri gets a sweet smile from Marielle and a returned one. Around she looks before Mari guides JP towards a place to sit. She waits for him to sit then she sits beside him, legs draped partly over his. It is not a very Alyssum action but something about how she interacts with the lord indicates that she is not 'Marielle the White Rose' with him. "Are you going to bid, Jehan-Pascal?" she questions of him about the princess and the pixie.

Lois sits on her chair, long light green skirts draped over her legs, the almost courtly design of her dress with the bodice with shimmering silver embroideries emphasizing the femininity of her shape in a way she is not used to. Red hair cascades over her shoulders, framing a face of faintly freckled features, with eyes of blue color. She looks towards the people that have come to attend the debut, and despite a certain nervousness in the light tap of a slippered foot upon the ground, she smiles.

Annais, likewise, has taken a seat on the chair on the opposite side of the gardens from where Lois is seated.. Her demeanor is calm and elegant, her movements graceful and lithe. Only her eyes, alight with a mixture of pride and excitement, betray the calm exterior of the Heliotrope debutante.

For the occasion she is wearing a gorgeous sleeveless gown featuring a jewel neckline, a hand-beaded embroidered floral motif on a sheer illusion bodice encrusted with crystal accents and an illusion embroidered back with covered buttons. A voluminous asymmetrically ruffled organza skirt with horsehair trim and a chapel train finishes off the elegant design.

Sebastien's gaze moves toward the fiery young novice. He seems to be lost in her thick curls for a few moments. Though, his eyes do not meet hers. He takes a step closer toward her, but then there is this hesitance in his movement. The man sighs and turns toward different direction. He approaches another novice, the one who wears a beautiful white gown, instead. A MAYBE slightly tipsy Vicomte finishes off his fifth glass and places it on a tray before his approach, of course. He has a distant, maybe even somber expression. He looks the young woman over. He doesn't say anything except that after a minute he just withdraws something from his pocket and offers it to Annais together with a deep bow. It's a dark red envolve sealed by a wax. A seal has a symbol of a snake on it. The moment the envelope is taken, the man straightens up. He looks at the debutant's eyes.

Annais' gaze falls on the Basilisque lord as she notices his approach. When he comes to stand before her and offers her a dark red envelope, she looks him over for a moment with curious eyes before accepting it with a raised hand. "Thank you, m'lord." Annais' chin dips into a polite nod before her chestnut brown eyes lock with those of the mand standing before her and a soft smile appears on her lips. "I hope that you are enjoying yourself and find the event to your liking so far?"

Jehan-Pascal takes his time in finishing the little tart with the candied topping, holding it gingerly in the fingers of his free hand and nibbling on it so carefully as not to leave crumbs down his vest. He almost reaches for another one, "My, those are very good," he tells the baker-lass, but he's drawn away by Marielle before he can indulge his sweet tooth further, only giving Audrialla a regretful smile in the meanwhile. He slides Mari's hand from his elbow to his hand, poised in a gentlemanly fashion to allow her to use his hand to balance herself while she sits, and then he himself settles in beside her, lifting one leg over the other, knee over knee as he leans close to his companion, eyes briefly finding Isabelle among those attending and flashing her a comely calf with his favored stocking on display. Then he returns his attention tot he debutantes, his eyes resting on the fidgety redhead, first, watching her with a charmed sort of smile, "Oh, she looks nervous," he whispers to Marielle. "I guess I would be, too," he smiles at Mari, and, when he looks up again, the pixie is watching him, as if knowing well what he was saying, and he's momentarily taken aback, letting out a shy shiver of a laugh and hiding his eyes from that brief contact with his eyelashes, leaning in against Marielle. Which one of them is the White Rose, now? "I'll put in a bid, of course. But do you mean, with a view to winning?" He looks up and glances to see whether Lois is still looking his way. "Maybe? We should go and pay our respects, at least, I think… The pixie must be the one trained in the Gentian arts. Through a dream, the story went," he marks.

The pixie looks in fact more like a debutante, with all those green glass stones catching the light in the few braids that have been worked to join at the back of her head. Or like a pixie princess? Who can tell? The light green of her dress makes her stand out a little against other Coquelicots. And right now she is speaking to a lord who has stepped forth to exchange a few words with her. Even so, feeling Jehan-Pascal's attention and his look, Lois meets it for a brief moment, a faint flutter of eyelids indicating she noticed his glance. Can she possibly suspect his current considerations?

She gives the pageantry its due attention, though that isn't hard - the display is as eye-catching as expected of the fetes of the Night Court, where new demonstrations of artistry and decadence occur on the regular. There is appreciation there, glimmering in those night-and-gold eyes, but once the presentation is over and the debutantes are set free to mingle, a pair of doves loosed to the gathering, that is only when Isabelle starts moving once more.

A glimpse of those very familiar stockings has a slow, knowing smile curling on the mouth of House Valais' prodigal daughter, though she makes no move to disturb him with his company as they keep one another's counsel on the bench. Having managed to procure a glass of wine, she lifts it up faintly in acknowledgment to Jehan-Pascal, before she continues on. With the Dowayne busily officiating the festivities, she angles for another path, taking her towards Audrialla's path and inspecting her own craftsmanship - artistry of a different kind, presented in the table before her.

"The artisan, I presume?" she wonders of the baker lass, before carefully selecting a custard tartlet.

Sebastien does not give an answer. No words are spoken and even his look seems to say very little, close to nothing. He simply turns around to walk away as if he himself would be a wandering spirit of a traveller lost in the deep dark forest as well. There might have been a small curl of his lips there before he turned away but it could have been only a play of the lights and shadows. This time the man passes by a tray with more goblets of precious soul healing liquid, but his hands remain resting in his pockets. He takes a seat on one of the benches and looks at Lois thoughtfully.

Fenris finally arrives. He's wearing very expenisive leather pants, a tunic and a nice dark jacket. He doesn't know what he's going to but he was told to dress nicely. He brushes his hand down his chest and frowns a little. His hair doing it's best to stay down but one piece is sticking straight up in the back.

"Whichever you desire to do." MArielle tells JP about whether he will bid to win or not. When he looks to Lois Marielle draws her eyes to her as well, studying the Debutante a moment since she is the interest of MAri's companion. Then Marielle's attention shifts to the other Debutante and there she lingers her gaze a moment. "Perhaps I will bid on one of them to try winning a gift for you, Jehan-Pascal."

Fenris will be escorted out to the gardens by an attendant, following the path of flower petals. The lord will be asked for his choice of beverage, white wine, red wine, anything else; and it will be readily provided.

The Heliotrope novice looks down to the closed envelope still held in her hand before her eyes return to meet Sebastien's for a short moment before he turns to leave. Annais keeps her eyes on him even as her hands goes to gently and carefully open the red paper conceiling the note withing. She doesn't seem to be in a rush, on the contrary. When she finally produces the the contents of the envelope after another long second looking at him as he moves to take a seat, moves her eyes down to read what is written upon it. It's not a short note judging by the time it takes her to read it, but the smile on her face indicates that she is not disappointed with what is written.

Audrialla curtsies for Isabelle's inquiry. "Yes, my lady. From my family's shop. I bake the pastries myself." She Smile's and offers one of the eclairs. "these are especially delicious today, if I may make a suggestion." Chocolate glaze, Egg custard filling, and the golden brown glow of pastry.

Given the lord she had spoken with now withdraws, Lois is free to let her eyes wander, and her mind as well. She seems to be in thoughts, a refuge perhaps from the exciting reality of tonight's proceedings. And it is only natural that her gaze might brush others, looking towards her with an attentiveness that is to be expected. But it is the dark gaze of Sebastien de Basilisque, that pulls her blue eyes back into focus. There is a new arrival though, and Lois watches Fenris enter the gardens. Lifting a hand to tug a curl of fiery red back behind her ear, she considers the man for a moment.

"I do like chocolate," Isabelle replies, offering her small plate for Audrialla to set the eclair upon and inspecting the small treat with the keen, ruthless stare of a woman who stakes much of her artistic reputation for having a ridiculous eye and attention for detail. A person first eats with her eyes, after all, but everything else is consumed by one who is an unapologetic slave to her senses - the look of it, the smell of it, color, consistency, and taste, finally, when she samples a bite after separating a piece of it with a small pastry fork. "Delicious, mademoiselle. You are a credit to your profession." There is a considering look upon the woman herself, and to the care she has demonstrated in not just dressing to fit in with the staff, but the pains she has taken in ensuring that no one will mistake her for being part of the Salon. An independent contractor, and one who clearly takes pride in her degree of professionalism.

"I hope you'll indulge my curiosity, but do you have a particular specialty?" she wonders. "A signature dish, as it were. I believe all professional chefs I've encountered have them, I wonder if it is the same with you and whether your family is also as talented in making larger creations."

Jehan-Pascal uncrosses his legs once more, leaning forward into a graceful stance with a swoop of cape which is… honestly, the only reason to ever wear a cape if it's not raining. The sheer swish factor. He offers his hand to help Marielle back up; it's really a bit of an endeavor, sitting down and standing up, if one is making an effort to be posh about it. The bonus lies in the fact that it allows Lois to complete her conversation with the gentleman without Jehan-Pascal and Mari treading boorishly upon his heels. Jehan-Pascal takes Marielle on a leisurely stroll so as to make sure nobody else is about to close in on the pixie and cause an awkward traffic jam. "Mademoiselle," he presents himself, disengaging slightly from Mari once more to bow his head and shoulders respectfully. "My name is Jehan-Pascal, de Baphinol," he adds, less as nomenclature, more as a simple means of identifying his status, if the costly garb didn't spell it out already. "With me is my companion and dear friend, Marielle, of the White Roses no Rose Sauvage." Without rising from the bow, he offers out his hand, palm cupped toward the sky, pinky and ring finger gracefully crooked inward, a silent request for her hand, if she would allow him to grace it with a kiss. "May I offer you my heartfelt congratulations on your debut evening?" As yet, everything quite to form and proper, but with an earnest little smile that stops it from sounding cold.

So many flowers wasted… Fenris frowns at the path of flower petals. He shakes his head. "Water?" Then it's there an he's holding water. He slowly glances around at the group of people gathered and he keeps his head up. He bows his head and moves for a seat, feeling rather awkward in the group of well dressed people.

A servant approaches Sebastien de Basilisque drawing his attention from the redhead novice to himself. It seems that the young man noticed that Vicomte is empty-handed. Drinks and snacks are offered to him, but the lord shakes his head at the offer. The servant man is ready to move over toward another guest, when the noble reaches out for him. A gentle touch on a sleeve to get his attention back. Vicomte asks something with a glint of curiosity in his eyes. The servant shakes his head. Two men seem to exchange a couple of words before one moves back to his duties, and the other again looks back at the Lois. He runs his fingers across his hair, messing them up a bit more. One lock falls back over his forehead and it's end touches the man's black as coal eyeline making the corner of his eye twitch a bit at tickling. He shakes his head, but the eyes study the Gentian and her interaction with potential bidders.

Audrialla widens her green eyes at the sight of the large man, in clothes no less, and she smiles faintly in some kind of self amusement. Turning all her focus back to Isabelle, she bows her head and gives a modest smile. "I would be happy to discuss my specialties and favorite dishes, but I fear I am stealing your attentions away from the gentle beauties we celebrate today," she replies smoothly, eyes drifting to the Princess and the Pixie. "Perhaps once the auction is complete we can discuss more?"

It is hard for the novice to stay in character, but Lois is still a pixie, 'caught' in the forest. There is that light twitch in her frame, the instinctive urge to move to stand and curtsey towards Jehan-Pascal and the veiled woman in his company. With a soft inhale through her nose, she resists and remains seated, not refusing the hand though that is so gallantly claimed. "My lord. Thank you. I am pleased to make your acquaintance. I am Lois." She smiles a little when she gives her name. Her eyes do not evade his gaze. "Mademoiselle Marielle." She inclines her head to the White Rose. "It is quite the fête, is it not?"

Easily the White Rose stands when Jehan-Pascal guides her too. Through the crook of his arm she slides hers to follow him to Lois. "It is a lovely one." agrees Mari with a smile to Lois, leaving Jehan-Pascal to take his interest in the girl. At JP Mari looks then back to Lois, "A little while longer and you will no longer be a Novice. It is quite a milestone in your life." observes Marielle to Lois.

After having accepted another envelope delivered to her and opening it to let her eyes and mind focus on the contents, Annais' hand goes reflexively to brush back her normally loose and flowing hair but her fingers find nothing, as the braids are still keeping the more intricate arrangement of her hair in perfect order. She gives the letter a second glance before nimbly folding it back together and returning it to the envelope, careful fingers making sure that the paper isn't ruffled in the slightest. Then her gaze momentarily drifts to where Lois is conversing with the tall, immaculately dressed lord and his veiled companion and a soft smile forms on her lips. Whether her attention is mainly on her fellow debutante or the pair standing in front of her is hard to say.

Was it a test of some kind? For the first time since her approach at Audrialla's table of wares, Isabelle's smile appears; one that cuts like a knife and a new, assessing light entering the depths of that fathomless gaze. "Indeed, mademoiselle. Though if anyone asks, I'll permit you to say that I was utterly helpless against the call of sugar and cream and it was only your good sense that has managed to rescue me." With an incline of her head, and with something that hints at approval on her air, she turns to head further into the gathering, that observant look falling on Lois and the entourage she is presently accumulating.

A modest bite taken, she sets her plate aside, already seemingly forgotten and with the wine glass held securely on her grip, she heads for the Princess' direction, moving past Fenris and where Sebastien has perched.

There is interest in her eyes, but certainly not the lascivious sort.

"My congratulations on your debut, Highness." Clearly, in deference to the role she is playing in the fete, when she address Annais, her approach swift and silent until she speaks. "A wait well worth it, I think, whatever the cause of the delay of your presentation. The gown is absolutely beautiful and you wear it well."

Gallant and swishy. It makes for an interesting dichotomy of traits, but somehow Jehan-Pascal seems to make it work, closing his eyes for the moment at which he coaxes the debutante's knuckles to brush against his lips— a man's lips— a sensation with which she is no doubt unfamiliar— and allows the kiss to linger just a half-second longer than needful, taking in the petal-softness of her hand and the scent of her skin, eyes closed either in a gesture of respect for her still being on the cusp between noviceness and adeptitude, or else to focus his other senses upon her before standing with a smile that brightens like day from dawn when Lois and Mari seem to be getting along. "And you got to ride a unicorn, which— well, if I had a unicorn, I would go riding much more frequently than I do right now, just for the merriment of it," he chuckles warmly, looking somewhat loth to take his leave of the debutante, though politeness would have him do so to allow the rest of her well-wishers a moment with her.

Fenris lifts a brow as he tries to figure out exactly what's going on. He takes a sip of his water and then he sees the baker. He points to himself. "Covered." He grumbles towards her while pointing to his stomach. His eyes scan the room and he's so very confused so he starts to walk around slowly. The giant moving between people without knocking them. Annais gets a grumble as he passes her and he keeps going. He's just walking.

The golden haired baker curtsies as Isabelle strides away, accepting the sharp smile with a gracious air. She seems to be enjoying the atmosphere and perfect fairy tale atmosphere, though she does make subtle suggestions to the would be patrons as to which of the desserts or savory bites might be preferred. "I can see," she replies to Fenris, glancing upward. "You look very nice." Whether or not that is true, she compliments all the same.

Annais' eyes divert from Lois and her current partners in conversation as she catches an elegant figure moving effortlessly in her direction. Her eyes widen ever so slightly along with her smile as she takes in the dark haired lady. She flinches slightly as it seems like she moves to stand, but then catches herself and remains seated, instead offering a gentle nod of appreciation at the words. "Thank you m'lady. It has been a long wait but certainly worth it now that the day is here. I am Annais, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance." Then she looks down over herself shortly at the compliment to her attire for the evening. "Thank you, I am glad you like it. You look absolutely breathtaking yourself tonight, if I may say so. Did you like the performance?"

That feminine hand endures the kiss of the Baphinol heir, delicate fingers, carrying the scent of a flowery fragrance. Lois' cheeks might look a touch rosier than before, but then again, her blue eyes consider Jehan-Pascal. Eyes that show a bit of mirth when he comments on the unicorn. "Ah, you enjoyed that part? I fear, Annais and I were letting ourselves get carried away a little when coming up with ideas for the fête. I wasn't certain, our Dowayne would permit a horse… no, a unicorn to wander our beautiful gardens."

She extends a hand, palm up, for Annais to place her own hand upon it should she choose and if allowed, Isabelle lowers her head to kiss the air above those dainty knuckles, careful for nothing to touch the princess' skin save for the brush of gentle breath from between parted lips; mannerisms as smooth and elegant as any practiced courtier's, a creature as equally at ease with playing the part of a suitor as she is the part of the prey, reckless passion buttressed by reluctant restraint. "I am Isabelle de Valais, niece of the Comte de Digne. I'm certain the evening will bring you many admirers, hence my swift approach. As they say in certain parts of the world, sometimes it is best to be early, rather than to be left behind."

Eyes glint with mischief as she regards the seated young woman. "Though it appears that the lord Dowayne is intent for this lovely collective to woo you in order to set you free. An interesting contradiction, don't you think? That I must attempt to ensnare your heart, whether for my own or on the behalf of another more handsome and esteemed personage than myself, so that you may be released from the cage this forest provides?"

"We should meet the other." Marielle tells Jehan-Pascal when she notes him preparing to step aside for others to speak with Lois. Though, she unravels her hand from his arm when Lois continues to speak with him. She leaves him with Lois to move towards Annais, intent on speaking with her as well. Though, the demure White Rose does not interrupt Isabelle and her discussion. If Jehan-Pascal ends up coming with her she tucks her arm through the crook of his once more.

"Who would veto a unicorn?" Jehan-Pascal purposefully abuts legislative and fantastical language for a somewhat startling and merry effect, grinning boyishly while doing so, then letting his smile grow more muted but all the more sincere, for that. "These are the things that dreams are made of," he lifts up a shoulder. "I should cease to monopolize your time, Lois no Coquelicot," he names her along with her house in honor of her becoming an adept to-night. "But I hope we have cause to speak again… sooner rather than later." Was that a signal of intent? Jehan-Pascal is a frequent sight at the debuts of Marsilikos' Court, but, while he always bids, he hardly ever seems to do so with any real zeal toward winning. He does move along with Mari as she goes, if glancing behind shyly in the meanwhile before clearing his throat and grinning to Isabelle, watching her charm the Heliotrope debutante and hanging back with Marielle to let her finish before stepping too close.

"Dreams are sometimes far less colorful, my lord," Lois tells Jehan-Pascal, when mirth fades into an earnest expression. "They may be about many things. Unicorns. Fairies, only rarely." Leaving it at that as she receives his vague promise, which manages to bring another smile to her face. "I would be pleased, my lord," the red-haired debutante replies, lowering her gaze respectfully for a moment, as he takes his leave with Marielle, to walk over and speak with Annais.

Fenris moves a little closer to Annais and tilts his head. He grumbles a little and moves away from her quietly, just as he came forward. He sips his water and takes a seat. His eyes scanning the group of people. His brows raised as he watches them all.

Annais places one hand softly on Isabelle's, allowing the lady to place a phantom kiss on the back even as her expression grows more warm as she seems to notice the glint in the Valais lady's dark eyes. "Isabelle.." The young novice looks to the ceiling for a moment as she seems to ponder the name for a second, before her gaze returns to the woman in front of her. "It is a pleasure to have you join us tonight lady Valais, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't hoping you'd come over here." She noda to the words about being early is better. "Yes, I find that very true. My father had a saying that leads to much the same conclusion."

To the question regarding the possible contradiction between being ensnared in order to be set free, a thoughtful expression takes her. "It's only a contradiction if you see love or desire as a snare or cage. I don't think of it that way. Love is what sets us free from all other concerns, if only for a short while most of the time, and desire is what makes life worth living. I'd rather live in a cage where love and desire is possible than linger outside that cage looking in. A heart ensnared is better than a heart withering alone." she offers.

Audrialla hums softly to herself as she prepares for the next stage, so the less fortunate bidders have dessert as a consolation. It's no Mont beauty but it is set out to fine display with a new set of sweets being brought forth. She moves with a calm assurance of one who knows their trade and is proud of their wares.

Marco is clearly no stranger to a debut but while some might enjoy the pageantry it seems Marco de Mereliot arrives just for the main event the crass patron of the night court that he is. The Mereliot man drifts in contently and looks around searching for a seat smiling as he considers the others and looking with interest for the show no doubt afoot.

The late arrival draws the gaze of a pair of blue eyes, from a novice of red hair who is wearing a light green dress tonight. Labeled the 'pixie' in the performance that had taken place earlier, Lois nó Coquelicot tilts her head a little to the side, causing fiery tresses to shift in their cascade down over her shoulder. Whether she is aware of Marco Mereliot's reputation or not is hard to read in those faintly freckled features of hers. But then again, the Night Court is small, and gossip may travel far enough to reach the ears of young novices.

"A courageous admission, my dear, especially when I oftentimes give more the impression of a relentless huntress than anything else. Not everyone would have treated my air with as much grace as yourself." And just as delicately as she has taken her hand, Isabelle releases it to the surface of her lovely skirt.

Her words about love lift her smile a touch higher. "Spoken true to the ideals of your canon, and with such swiftness and decisiveness, now you have placed me at a conundrum, Annais. Whether to attempt to keep you for myself or to suffer the painful barbs of self-denial, were I to win you for a person dear to me whose heart has been very recently broken by a tragic loss that has amounted to more burdens placed upon his young shoulders, with the hope that your gentleness will alleviate the wounds that he has endured. I wonder if, if I chose to be selfless, whether /that/ love would set me free, or if I would be better served letting your own unshackle me. Either way…" She flashes the young lady a wink. "I intend to find out, should the winds of fortune favor me today."

With Marielle and Jehan-Pascal's approach, she straightens. "But alas, I'm not entitled just yet to monopolize you. Highness, may I present the future Comte d'Avignon, as always encased and accompanied in his unbridled and impeccable taste. You look ravishing, Jehan-Pascal." The last to the man, that glint of mischief growing. "Should I bid on you, instead?"

When she notices Marco's arrival the Alyssum courtesan instantly flushes. It is so instant tht it does not seem like it falls in the typical 'Alyssum act'. Her hand tightens a touch on Jehan-Pascal's in reaction as well then it relaxes and to Marco she curtsies, as everyone else has already settled in. To Annais and Isabelle MArielle gives a smile and says, "I just wanted to speak with the other bell of the ball as well, so that neither are left unmet." THis is spokent to everyone in general. Then to Annais specifically, "you look quite lovely. I am Marielle no Rose Sauvage." She likely introduces herself whether Annais knows her or not.

All the while, the musical ambience, dimmed down after the merry jig that was performed by the two young debutantes earlier, had lingered. Dreamy melodies, unobtrusively delivered on a lute creating a backdrop of casual conversation and an atmosphere of pleasant relaxation. There is a purpose lingering behind all the pleasant entertainment of the evening. A purpose that now gets back into focus, when Philandre nó Coquelicot, Dowayne of the salon lifts his hand in a gesture for the music to stop.

"My lords, my ladies. The time has come. I must ask those of you that intend to bid on the debut nights with either of these two, Annais and Lois, to write down your name and the amount you are willing to pay as their virgin price. This will not be an auction in the usual sense. Give me your one-time bids, and we will consider those in addition to whether your interactions with these two may have swayed them in your favor.", the Dowayne announces, and then waves a number of attendants over to make their rounds among those attending, equipped with quill and small pieces of parchment.

Marco seems not unpleased with the variety of responses smiling warmly at those he sees and as he drops into a seat he grins as he draws a few reactions. He drops into a seat smiling at Marielle in amusement, "Did I miss much?" He asks of her and considering Annais and Isabelle curiously inspecting each thoughtfully and the various members of the night court prepared for the evening. His eyes thoughtful as he watches each and taps his chin as he prepares his bid considering Annais and Lois each with long thoughtful and rather brazen looks.

"Hm?" Jehan-Pascal seems instantly aware something is amiss with Mari, then follows her gaze to Lord Marco, "Ahh," he chuckles, giving her a supportive squeeze of her arm before his attention is brought fully back to the Princess of the evening and the Lady de Valais, who, having introduced him to the debutante in white, proceeds to draw from him a decided pinkening of his ears and cheeks, along with a quite nearly girlish bit of laughter as he nestles in against Mari as though in an unconscious bid for protection, just two doves huddling together— what a pair. "I think that you had better save your coin for the debutante. You will no doubt be requiring each and every last one to win the heart of one so fair and pure," he bows to the Princess, duly re-directing all attention to those to whom it is owed. "An honor, mademoiselle," he adds, then, when the manner of bidding is announced, he rises, walking backward a few steps with a warm smile to the debutante before he takes Mari back to their chosen bench. Where Marco now sits, as well. He graciously thanks the attendant for the quill and parchment, biting his lower lip and then looking to Marielle with a low murmur as he plants the parchment against his thigh.

Annais blushes at the words of Isabelle, visible even in the dim lighting of the area where she is seated. "In my humble experience, courage is easy to find if you have an open heart, lady Valais. Any heart that is ready to love stands before the very real chance of being broken. That is the price we pay. Without the darkness, the light would hold no meaning."

She tilts her head as Isabelle playfully ponders the options to keep Annais to herself or offer it up to the friend she speaks of, should she be successful in her bidding tonight. "That is only you who can decide that. Whatever the choice, given the chance, I am sure it will be the right one." she offers with a smile, the blush turning a hot pink on her cheeks at her final words before introducing Jehan-Pascal and moving to the side to let him approach.

"My Lord" Her head once more dips into a small nod before tilting her head back to look up at the tall, well dressed gentleman. "I am Annais, it is an honour to have you join us tonight." Marielle likewise gets a polite nod and a warm smile. "Good evening."

Once she has greeted Annais and the biddings start MArielle gives a little tug to draw JP to the couch they both vacated. Though, he is already guiding her when she tugs, that is how off her game Marco's arrival has thrown her. "Just greetings and arrivals." Marielle is totally getting a revenge of sorts on the lord by not giving MArco much details. Between Marco and JP Mari assures to set herself. Maybe to 'protect' JP, maybe just to subject herself to more teasing from Marco.

The moment is there, and Lois closes her eyes briefly as she draws a breath through her nose. Looking then towards Annais, gazes connecting where fates, at least tonight, seem to be connected as well. It is only natural, that pale cheeks are conquered by slightly nervous rosiness. As calm as she usually appears, Lois is not tonight. Maybe because the Dowayne has forbidden her to play with her pebbles?

Audrialla watches in a silent excitement. She's simply honored and thrilled to be able to witness the splendor of the scene, even if she's simply there to provide desserts. Her dark green eyes flit from girl to girl, awaiting to see who their first patron shall be.

Jehan-Pascal sits in quiet discussion with Mari, leaning close against her on the bench, even as his eyes keep flitting to the red-haired novice, then, brows arcing, back to Mari, a sweet smile and a hand delicately lifted to trail his knuckles over his lips obscuring his whispered words.

Annais' eyes catches those of Lois' after the last of the potentially interested bidders leaves the area where she is seated and the bidding is about to begin. She blinks a few times along with a slow, almost non existent nod, as if to reassure her slightly nervous looking friend. How effective it is is questionable, as her own previously calm and poised demeanor has been replaced by one of obvious anticipation and excitement, even if she is keeping it somewhat under control.

There is a smile that curls on her mouth that is both pleased and indulgent at seeing so many interesting shades of color presented before her - burning in Annais' cheeks and flushing Jehan-Pascal's. There's something almost feline in Isabelle's smooth, sun-kissed mien, lashes long and thick enough to be able to cast such dark shadows upon already dark eyes and only enhancing the shattered bits of gold within each pupil; a pair of glowing embers in the shadows of the evening. There's a smile and a tilt of her head to Marielle, the look of her not fading in the slightest at Marco's open gauge of interest, before her attention slips back to the future comte. "As always, I rely on my far more sensible peers to pull me from the brink," she says with a low laugh that could easily remind anyone of the richness of chocolate, or the feel of secret rooms and far away exotic places. She lifts a hand to press her fingers lightly upon the curve of one breast, dipping her head in silent goodbye, before she moves to take a seat once bidding commences.

She arranges herself in a boneless drape on a chaise, not too far away from where Jehan and his lovely companion converse, and where Marco sits, swirls of lavender and violet accompanying that effortless, deadly grace, one long leg crossing over the other and an arm draping sideways. Guillermo, her silent and crisply-attired valet, steps out of the surrounding darkness to offer the woman a black folio, which she flips open with a lazy hand and inspects the writing within, before slapping it shut again and nodding. A stylus and a slip of parchment presented, her sleek penmanship graces it after a few moments, and with a decisive flourish, folds it and hands it to the man who will deliver her bid.

Marco listens to Marielle and Jehan with clear interest in their words obviously considering their discussion glancing from Lois to Annais time and time again clearly discussing the two. He grins at something they say, "Well then." He nods encouragingly to their discussion. He looks then Isabelle and he grins slowly, "Pull you back from the brink? But what is the joy of that."

Jehan-Pascal nuzzles gently into Marielle, smiling at her as she slips him a piece of paper of her own, looking down to it and nodding, grin growing almost joyous as he nudges her shoulder with his, slipping his hand up to admit himself behind her veil and share a quick and hidden bit of conversation— or maybe a kiss. And then he slips back without, letting her veil back into place without admitting anyone else's eyes to her forbidden countenance. And he writes up a statement or three, signing the paper and folding it, lifting it between two fingers for someone to take, along with the quill.

Night-and-gold eyes follow Guillermo as the bidding commences in earnest, a slender arm folding in close comfort against the narrow taper of her waist, long artist's fingers draping against her hip. Isabelle's smile fades to an expression more contemplative, that assessing quality returning from underneath those long lashes - a reverie only broken when the Vicomte de Toulon addresses her. The simple query, innocuous and dangerous at once, lets loose once again strains of that low, rich laughter.

"What indeed, my lord? The world has reminded me as to the necessities of restraint, now and then, but the first instinct is always to take the plunge and to do it with eyes wide open and a smile. Forgive me, where are manners? Then again, a member of House Mereliot needn't an introduction." She offers her hand towards him from across the gap between their seats. "Isabelle de Valais, niece of the Comte de Digne."

Marielle is murmuring with Marco and JP, undoubtedly about the auction. When the veil is lifted for more private words Marielle blinks in both surprise and amusement but doesn't stop Jehan-Pascal and his plans. l

Marielle is murmuring with MArco and JP, undoubtedly about the auction. When the veil is lifted for more private words Marielle blinks in both surprise and amusement but doesn't stop Jehan-Pascal and his plans. Into Marco she leans once the veil is dropped, flushing a little for one reason or another.

Jehan-Pascal puts his proposal in sonnet form.
Jehan-Pascal spends 1 luck points on Writing Pretty.
<FS3> Jehan-Pascal rolls Poetry+50: Amazing Success. (3 6 4 2 7 2 8 3 2 3 4 7 8 2 7 3 8 6 4 5)

Aedhwyn is a late arrival and a rather notable one at that. She wears not d'Angeline fashion but a blend of d'Angeline and Alban fashion. Woven into her hair is a small tiara marked with pink sapphires while a torque is worn around her neck. She wears just a small line of dots of woad in Courcel blue beneath her left eye while on her right temple is an intricate marque that frames her eyes.

Audrialla oversees a table of desserts and pastries, dressed similar to the house's adepts and courtesans but just different enough she won't be mistaken for one. The woman is setting out richer fare than the earlier petit fours and finger pies while the nobles offer their bids for the pair.

Aedhwyn will be greeted by a Coquelicot courtesan, who will offer her a glass of wine or something else to drink of she so desires. She will also be informed about the ongoing bidding, and if she wishes to, the courtesan can fetch her ink and parchment to place a bid, if she likes to.

Aedhwyn smiles as she is greeted, taking the offered glass of wine and asking for ink and parchment to be delivered before finally spotting those she is supposed to be meeting here. Her movements are graceful as she joins Jehan-Pascal and his merry band. It would seem she tends to have one of two escorts to these type of events, at least for the time being. "My lords, m'mselles. I think I have arrived just in time though only just by the looks of it."

Jehan-Pascal sends off the bid, and for a moment is distracted in watching it off, "Hm?" his posture says, as he looks back to Marco and Mari cuddling on the bench, and he answers them with a wobble of his head to one side in a manner as though moderating what he were saying. He spies Aedhwyn, first of all of them, and lifts his hand up to beckon her. "Yes," he answers, "We've already put in a bid. Did you wish to, as well? I can help, if you want," he nods, patting the bench next to him.

Annais' posture and body language is continuing it's descend from utter poised and gracious calm to one of barely kept in check excitement. Her eyes are momentarily drawn to a late arrival, a lovely young woman in a bright green dress who recieves a warm smile should she look the debutantes way, before they again start flicking between Lois, their Dowayne and the assembled guests.

Marielle scoots more against Marco and tugs JP over to make a spot beside him for Aedhwyn on the couch or bench (whatever it is). "My lady." she says kindly in greeting to Aedhwyn, "It is a pleasure to see you again." Her tugging of JP is easier than expected since he noticed Aedhwyn before she did.

Fenris grumbles quietly and also sends off a bid but he frowns and takes a seat waiting to see who will actually win since all these people are dressed fancy and he doesn't think his bid does much. He sips his water quietly and happily sits alone.

Jehan-Pascal lifts a hand again to flag down another piece of parchment and quill for Aedhwyn, as well.

Marco is grinning at something at the couches with Marielle and Jehan and he then looks to Isabelle, "A pleasure to meet you Lady Isabelle. Marco de Mereliot entirely at your service well unless you've outbid me." He assures her with a faint grin. He then beams at Marielle, "Ah bout the fuss is sometimes half the fun or more. I should know." He points out considering and then grins at JP, "Well it's not bankrupting…just a little indulgence. d'Angelines are expected to indulge now and again." He says eyes twinkling at that and then he looks to the new arrival and smiles warmly at Aedwhyn, "We meet again. I'm glad to see you haven't been put off of such things."

Lois looks up, and realizes that another one has arrived rather late. The foreign looks in combination with faintly d'Angeline traits draw her attention, and the Gentian canon novice watches Aedhwyn curiously as she gets settled with Marielle and Jehan-Pascal.

Aedhwyn nods her head, leaning in to speak quietly. There is a bit of a blush as she watches Marco and Marielle, "I would like to do so, I've requested someone bring ink and paper for me." There is another small exchange of quiet words as she sits next the Jehan, the colour rising a bit more on her cheeks.

Audrialla continues to sneak peeks over as she works, setting out bite sized tarte tatin, cheesecakes, and chocolate dipped raspberries and strawberries. Some in white, some in milky brown, and others in decadent dark chocolate. A mountain of a profiterole with drizzled caramel is set at the center, cremepuffs taken to a new level.

"So not at all entirely," Isabelle quips, contralto simmering with the undertones of unmistakable amusement, punctuated by the humored lift of an elegant brow. "But a sweet exaggeration all the same. A pleasure, my lord." Her attention tracks away from the Mereliot lord to the newcomer who has arrived to greet Jehan-Pascal and Marielle, recognition subtly tracing over her features at the sight of the tattoo framing one of Aedhwyn's emerald eyes.

But she says little else, for now, content in watching the room with that inscrutable half-shuttered stare, the gleaming black of her manicure curling into the crystal wineglass she holds in an easy, but deceptively secure hold, the tips of her fingernails dragging lightly over the hard surface. She tilts her head, to marvel at the emerald cage holding everyone in attendance, a midnight tress and its copper-bronze hints jealously clinging to the curve of her right cheek at the gesture.

Jehan-Pascal has given up his shyness and coyness, instead smiling helpfully and kindly as he assists Aedhwyn in composing a bid of her own, coming quite close to resting his chin on her shoulder to look over her shoulder while she writes, murmuring advice in her ear.

Aedhwyn glances over at Lois, her head tilting as her gaze travels not up and down as other might but to her face, trying to catch her eyes and see her for a moment. Her gaze flickers next to Isabelle, almost as she could feel someone watching her a moment, a small smile for the other woman before Jehan commands her attention once more. Her cheeks begin to colour at his closeness, a bit of shyness as she glances down at her paper and starts to carefully write her letters.

Marielle watches JP and Aedhwyn sort out the bidding with a bit of a smile, always pleased to see someone getting involved in the Night Court. Also, she does quite like seeing JP with someone that makes him happy. From her perspective Aedhwyn does.

Jehan-Pascal beams in something like paternal pride, paying heed to Aedhwyn's words and nodding his approval when she begins to write, letting his arms wind loosely but non-threateningly about her waist as his bent knee tucks in behind her while speaking to her with a little snuggle. He's a cuddle bunny over there tonight in his swishy cape and full sleeves.

Aedhwyn blushes brightly at whatever Jehan tells her, a small nod of her head as she continues to write out her bid and perhaps a bit of a note. Though surprisingly enough she doesn't move away from Jehan, if anything she moves a little closer to him, bending her head to him as she exchanges whispers.

Notes are passed on to the Dowayne, and he reads them all, brows furrowing. It certainly takes more paperwork to handle two debuts, but here they are, the bids, and so many of them. After receiving the last note that is passed on from Aedhwyn, Philandre moves over to a table and divides the notes into two piles, one for Lois and another for Annais. It seems there is a slight preference for the latter. The longer it takes for the Dowayne to sort out the bids, the more often low murmurs are exchanged between those watching. Philandre walks over to Lois then, and in presenting the notes regarding her bids, he murmurs some words into her ear, before he shows her a bigger parchment, big enough to contain many written lines. Lois' eyes widen just so, before they blink in… surprise? She hesitates. But then murmurs something to Philandre. He nods. Then he approaches Annais, and it takes a while longer to present the names and the bids to her. Finally he waves Fayette over, and the Second arrives beside the young Heliotrope canon novice.

The Heliotrope novice spends a long moment considering her options as the Dowayne informs her of the final results of the bidding and she has to make her choice. Her eyes go slightly wider as she is told the information and her eyes moves slowly over the assembled crowd, everyone getting the same amount of time in her gaze as to not give away the identity of those that have placed bids. Just because you're flustered is no reason to not be polite! She continues this a number of times and a small flash of what might be frustration scars her otherwise happy and excited features as she seems to have a hard time deciding. Finally, with a small series of nods and a smile that is as much to herself as anyone else, she turns to her Dowayne and beckons him to lean down to her in her seated position so that she might inform him of her choice, before whispering her decision softly to him.

After the winners have been decided, apparently, the debutantes are led away to prepare for their first patrons. While these winners will receive discreetly delivered notes, notifying them of their win.

"Let us raise a glass for a toast, my lords, my ladies. For those of you who had hoped to win the debut, both Lois and Annais will be available for assignations from tomorrow onwards. We thank you for being here tonight to celebrate their great day, of them passing now over the threshold from novice to adept. Be our guests.", the Dowayne of Le Coquelicot announces. He apparently is content to withdraw then to a bench with two Coquelicots he had been speaking with before. As the fête will continue at least for a bit, regardless that two individuals will move to stand and excuse themselves from their current company.

Marco continues to recline and smile as bids are taken in and discussed. His eyes twinkling in amusement as he offers to Aedwhyn, "At least it seems more tame than some." He absently raises a hand tracing it against Marielle as he watches the Adept's to be. He belatedly looks to Isabelle and grins, "I suppose there is that but one does try. It seems as if they're doing quite a bit of discussion." HE then gestures between Isabelle and Aedwhyn, "Have you both met?" He asks and then quiets and lifts a drink to cheers to the Dowayne's announcements clear curiosity obvious.

"I'm afraid I've not had the pleasure," Isabelle replies to Marco, easing from her lounging position to a straighter one, silk and chiffon pooling like living, vibrant ink to the grass underneath her feet. She sits with her legs at an angle, knees against one another and accompanying her smile is an assessing look, but one set alight with curiosity and interest. Eyes like coals fall on Aedhwyn. "My lady."

Audrialla stops one of the serving novices and hands them a small tray of chocolate dipped fruits, asking them to deliver it to the assignation suites for the new adepts to share with the patrons. Sweet oranges, strawberries, raspberries, and plump little blueberries for the occasion.

Fenris sips his water quietly watching as the decision is made. He stands up and stretches his arms out in front of him. He finishes his water and puts it down sliding it on a table. He moves for the door quietly.

Aedhwyn shakes her head, though the blushes just grow brighter. She tucks herself in a bit more against Jehan, using him partially as a shield but also seeming to enjoy the casual affection. "I am rather glad for the tameness and now I've not had the pleasure of meeting your companion for the evening." She smiles as she looks across at Isabella, "My lady….it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, or a pleasure to nearly do so. I think I will allow Lord Marco to introduce us if only to test his memory of my name." She smiles and laughs a bit.

Jehan-Pascal looks back to Marielle with excitement bubbling in his smile while the bids are scrutinized, even though he's briefly distracted once more by Aedhwyn giving him a kiss on his cheek, which he returns with all due affection but a minimum of any sort of pressure or threat, for all he might still be holding her in his arms, even squeezing her a little while the wait draws on. Then the debutantes are being ushered away and Isabelle comes to greet Aedhwyn. "Isabelle," he grins, "This is Aedhwyn mab Mor Rioghain," whom he has wrapped up in his arms. "Ambassador from Alba, in her second stage of d'Angelization," he coins the term. "First she went to her first debut, then she placed her first bid in one," he cheers her. And then — THEN — one of those subtle little envelopes comes for him. "Ah! I can't open it. Mari, open it for me?"

Jehan-Pascal thrusts the little envelope at Mari.

Audrialla arranges for the dessert platters to be passed around , so the nobles don't have to get up and fetch their own. She plates each herself with a variety of her pastry offerings so there's a broad offering to chose from. The woman in green, mostly blending into the verdant forest scene, seems pleased by how the evening has gone.

Marco smiles as Jehan begins the introduction and he offers, "This is lady Isabelle de Valais." He considers JP's introduction and he smiles, "She does have a rather variety of them. Titles that is." He watches in open curiosity as letters go out and he reaches past Jehan and Marielle leaning against them to snap up a chocolate dipped fruit from Audrialla, "Thank you." He says taking a bite and then offering the rest to Marielle as he continues speaking to Isabelle, "She has some relation to the Courcels as well and titles of her own right in Alba."

Marielle smiles gently at Jehan-Pascal at his excitement, quite use to his more excitable nature. She straightens up a little to peck a kiss on him to somewhat calm him down. When he hands her the envelope she glances down at it before handing it back over. Back against Marco Marielle settles, shivering a little under his touch. The fruit from Marco is given a delicate bit, instinctively she does exactly what the lord expects of her. She is content to just sit quietly now and watch JP with Aedhwyn and listening to Marco speak with Isabelle.

Aedhwyn laughs softly at how excited Jehan-Pascal is at having received an envelope. She leans her shoulder into him, moving close enough so she'll be able to see what the letter says if he opens it himself. "In Alba and Eire, but yes, my grandmother was a De la Courcel. As for my titles, let us go with ambassador for now though if you need to use one. Some others prefer princess."

Jehan-Pascal's introduction has her attention falling on the Alban again. "A princess of the blood," Isabelle remarks, recognizing the designation easily - the tiara gives it away as well as the address and title. "A pleasure, as the vicomte has said, I am Isabelle de Valais, niece of the Comte de Digne. Businesswoman, bon vivant…" Her eyes glitter, once again, with the devil's own mischief. "…and an unrepentant world traveler, if not just to push the limits of my designs. I spent a great deal of time in Alba, specifically to strike negotiations with a few of your master leatherworkers. And while Aragonia claims to have the best, I freely declare myself a traitor to my mother's house in this regard and say I disagree. Not that it pains me in the slightest. We working artists are a rebellious lot. Still, I hope you find the land of my birth as beguiling as your moors and mists and mysteries."

Marco's mention of the Courcels ellicits a rare note of surprise on her sunkissed features. "Aha, I did not know that. But then again, as I'm fond of saying to others since my return, it's an interesting experience in itself to feel like a stranger in one's own country. I intend to rectify that, however." Jehan-Pascal's letter is noted, and she can't help but let out a sudden laugh. "Alas, the agony of defeat!" She dramatically places a hand over her heart, as if skewered there by a blade.

Audrialla bows her head in silence to Marco as the tray is offered. She smiles at Marielle as the woman takes a bite too. She seems to derive satisfaction from watching people enjoy her work. The blonde leaves them be and goes back to her table and her daintiest.

"Oh, thank you," Jehan-Pascal is not above sounding a little petulant when Mari gives him back the envelope, but, recognizing she's entranced by Marco, presently, he only takes a deep breath and opens the envelope, himself, looking momentarily elated — and then, in a flash, a little bit less so, though he pastes it over with a smile and looks to Mari with a subtle shake of his head — no. Which might come as a surprise to Aedhwyn, who will note that the notice is accepting his bid. He holds his hand over his own heart, mirroring Isabelle's gesture with a laugh, "Oh, gosh. I'm not at all prepared for this manner of service," he realizes. "I'll have to go back to my apartments and discover some manner of smart night-clothes to wear," he worries. "Unless, Mari, you can lend me one of your robes? You know the one I mean," he reaches out to tug at Mari gently to see if he can pry her attention away from Marco.

Marco smiles as he draws a reaction from the group and seems utterly pleased with himself he beams at Audrialla and watches her a moment before back to those nearby clearly comfortable entertaining himself. Though he does consider Isabelle, "Oh? You have the title of Bon vivant? How does one gather that?" He asks curiously with a faint grin and he grasps Marielle's cheek to push her towards JP as he considers Jehan and what robes he might be borrowing thoughtfully.

Aedhwyn nods, "We do have some of the best leather workers though I have not had the pleasure of visiting Aragonia. Thus far this country has held my interest but it perhaps the people that do so more than the environs." She looks to Jehan, peeking at the note and then brushing a soft, feather-light kiss to his cheek. "I'm so sorry."

Finally Marielle says, "Enjoy your evening, Jehan-Pascal. You really do not need to worry about you're coming into my room at whim if I decide to accept An.. Viscomte Antoine's offer. You're my Jehan-Pascal until the end of days." Upwards at Marco she glances, watching him a moment. Then to Jehan-Pascal, "You know you're always welcome to borrow anything of mine that can fit you." You'd think an Alyssum would be all flustered by someone crossdressing, given the alyssum thing is innocence and modesty but in that aspect she completely fails. To Marco MArielle leans and places a shy kiss upon him before standing up to accompany Jehan-Pascal back to her room. To Aedhwyn, "Are you going to come with us or you going to stay here a while?"

"Ah, yes," House Valais' prodigal daughter affirms to Aedhwyn with a murmur. "Out of all the subjects in the world, it is also people I'm interested in the most."

Though the future's comte's own laugh turns her attention back towards him. "Something tells me, my dear Jehan-Pascal, that you'll manage somehow," Isabelle says, before she catches the eye of her valet, who has somehow managed to shadow-walk across the gardens, somehow; the man is talented for being unseen unless he feels the need to reveal himself, the mark of a distinguished servant. Dexterous fingers find a timepiece in the folds of her dress, checking the hour and it is with quiet reluctance that she slowly rises from the chaise and making all the overt signs of a young woman ready to depart.

Not before addressing the vicomte, however. There's a smile directed his way, easy in its bent, radiating so much saccharine innocence that all the courts within a thousand miles would convict her on the spot immediately, so decidedly suspect as it is. But she knows it, and it is deliberately obvious, filled as she is with mischief and good humor in spite of being bested by Jehan-Pascal in a financial duel. "You need to cross the seven seas and climb the most harrowing mountain ranges of Khebel-im-Akkad," she tells Marco with exaggerated seriousness. "Or get absolutely inebriated for a month straight during the Bacchanalia season in Hellas. Or give it to yourself, and tell anyone who would listen that you've done all of these things. The trick is, as with almost everything else in this world, to make it convincing." She flashes him a wink, before she addresses the rest. "Time flies, however, and I must depart. A good evening to all of you, mes amis. Until the next."

And with that, she turns to head out of the gardens.

Aedhwyn looks to Marielle as she invites her along before Isabelle is making her polite excuses. The two boys are glanced between as well, "I am not certain though it does sound as if it might be interesting though I think I must have misunderstood something…crossdressing?"

Marco smiles at Marielle responding with a kiss on her cheek, "Oh? I am invited?" He chuckles softly in amusement considering the two, "I suppose one should not say no to such invitations but I'm not sure what is afoot." He offers warmly even as he rises a little to bow to Isabelle looking thoughtful at her suggestion, "Khebel-Im-Akkad does sound intriguing."

Jehan-Pascal raises a brow with a somewhat elusive glance when Marco tries to pin him in a mental picture, then Aedhwyn is apologizing to him for his win-loss, and he leans in, offering up his cheek and giving her a friendly little snuggle in return before beginning to stand, as well. Stand up from the bench, that is. Not. Yes. Hem. He offers Aden a hand while smiling warmly to Mari. "Oh! Well, you'll want to be sure that's what he has in mind before you come to any arrangement," he warns softly, but caringly, deeply so. "Good night, Isabelle, it was lovely to see you again," is for the departing designer. "It's not really crossdressing if it's just a robe, is it? I mean, certainly it's a ladies' robe, but men wear robes, as well," he reasons. "Marielle has the softest and most beautiful robes for the boudoir," he explains, "I'm going to borrow one to bring back here, since I'm going to be, ah, escorting Lois into her life as an adept, and I want to be dressed nicely for the occasion."

"Not," Jehan-Pascal does add, "That I have anything against cross-dressing. I'm actually rarther fond of it," he's not ashamed to admit openly, either. "I suspect somehow that it runs in the family," he grins. Mari will get it, at least, knowing his brother.

Since Isabelle leaves Marielle, lowers her hand to take MArco's and tug him up to accompany her since Aed is invited, "He wants me to be his." says Marielle to JP, "He is giving me as long as I need to decide what I wish to do." A glance is slanted to Marco and he may catch a devilish look in her eyes at the mention of cross dressing. To Aedhwyn she says, "You're welcome to borrow anything of mine too." She does not mention that everything is falsely modest. She has a /small/ mischievous side.

Marco considers JP at that and raises a brow, "Oh? Something to keep in mind. I think." He says playfully watching the other man with a careful grin before agreeing, "It's not really cross-dressing… depending on the robe. Enjoy." He points out and then considers Marielle, "Oh? Are you to be someone's?" He asks clearly amused

Aedhwyn looks so very confused as Jehan explains, "I believe that I will go, perhaps experience a bit more of d'Angeline culture?" She rises, brushing her skirts to have them fall in place, "Perhaps I need a bit of a guide and who wishes for you to be his? I'm afraid I am quite lost."

Jehan-Pascal offers down his hand to Aedhwyn while Mari tries to tug Marco up off of the bench, giving her his arm to use as a leverage point for standing, and then to take while they begin to trail out of the gardens. The Baphinol folds his acceptance letter and tucks it into the back of his trousers, then flips his capelet in a dashing fashion to escort Aedhwyn across to the Rose Sauvage behind Mari and Marco, to whom he smiles, "Well, you'll have to look, and then judge for yourself," he offers up, maybe a little flirtatious in tone. He's got a task in front of him, to-night, and he's going to get a little ramped up for it. Being a courtesan's first is just… so much pressure. This is why he doesn't try to win debut, like, ever. Well, that and trying to look like a responsible steward of his family funds. But it's high time he got out a win; he thinks dad will be pleased with the news. And thoughts of comte responsibilities and paternal judgements are just the sorts of things he's going to need wiped from his brain before he returns to deflower Lois.

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