(1310-08-07) The Book Borrower
Summary: Eneas bumps into Olivia in the Trevalion Townhouse library, though not by design. Books and journals are discussed.
RL Date: Tue Aug 07, 1310
Related: When a Courtesan a Lord and a Lady Join the Same Bench
olivia eneas 

Library

This room is darker than the rest of the house. More serious. The wood is gleaming, polished mahogany, and most of the fabrics in play are black accented by silver and white. North-facing windows limit the amount of direct light that pours in through four tall windows, paired on either side of a fireplace. Natural light is further constricted by drapes, sheer ones to filter it and heavy damask to seal it out completely. A single oil painting of some grim, scar-faced d'Angeline man is propped over the mantle. Otherwise, art is confined to small sculptures, blown glass figurines, and brass instruments of the nautical and astronomical variety. There is even a large telescope standing adjacent to one of the windows. Most of the space is devoted to books. The walls are lined in shelves, which in turn are lined in volumes arranged generally by subject. That subject matter is quite diverse, spanning history and poetry, religious texts and political treatises.%r%rWhat furniture there is is arranged around a circular table that occupies the middle of the room. It is big enough to comfortably seat six, though most of the time its sole occupant is a large, low vase filled with colorful flowers. A desk is set at an angle in one corner of the room, facing the table, while a pair of plush sofas form a sitting area on the other side. One of the shelves there has been emptied of books and serves instead as a liquor cabinet, stocked with crystal decanters, stoppered bottles, and glasses of various shapes.


What is this? Despite the fair, sunny weather outside, Eneas is found in the Townhouse's library? During the Day, no less. Thankfully the windows are north-facing, which — along with the thick walls of the Residence — make it not quite as hot and stuffy as some places can be, and most of the windows are open to let some breeze from the nearby sea in, but still it is not a place most would chose, is it?

Eneas is at it for some time, apparently, too. The black vest has been hung from the back of a chair in the middle of the room, the white shirt's lacing loosened to further allow the breeze to catch whenever it blows into the room. The belt with the sword is laid across the table, next to several books that he picked from the shelves, though the man is currently pacing with a thicker tome towards one of the windows to lean against the wall next to it, while one hand turns the pages, and the other one holds the spine securely.

One of the tall casement doors that lead out to the gardens opens, and as the muslin curtains billow with the added breeze that's created, in steps a man with a creature in white on his arm. "It has been a pleasure, Olivia nĂ³ Rose Sauvage. I'll leave you here, as promised, to browse the family's collection. Feel free to borrow the one you are looking for should you find it, and Eduard will see you out when you wish to leave." He takes Olivia's hand in his, and there's a gleam revealed in his eyes when she instantly blushes with the kiss to her knuckles. "Til next time then." A bow is given the slender young woman, and then he's gone — back through the curtains without having noted the presence of Eneas.

Olivia remains where he's left her, her eyes fixed on the doors until she's assured that he's not to return. Then, and only then, do her shoulders hitch with the drawing of a deep breath, her eyes allowed a slow blink as she starts to turn to investigate the shelves. It's as she turns that she spots Eneas, and instantly freezes.

Eneas' attention is reculantly drawn from the book to the sound of steps, of voices, and he tilts his head, especially when _that_ creature in white appears through the billowing curtains. He does not say anything, half because his thoughts are still untangling from the text he is reading, half because curiosity is studying Olivia and the man she is escorted by, perhaps wondering if he recognizes them.

When her eyes turn to find him and she freezes like this? Eneas cannot help but to smile faintly, shoulders to shake in subdued laughter. Oh, what a flattering reaction! And so he lifts a finger to his lips and Shhhht! So what if there was no sound for the last couple of heart-beats. "This is a library, you know?".

Olivia's eyes widen at the reprimand that's given, her eyes quickly flitting to the ground at her feet. Still frozen in place, she lowers her voice to scarce more than a whisper. "I am sorry, my lord. I was not aware that you were here." Rosiness blooms in her cheeks, though it is only really visible above the edge of her veils where they sweep to conceal her face, and she hitches the silks of her skirts so a curtsey might be given. "Excuse me for the intrusion my lord." Her eyes flit off towards the shelves of books that line the walls, and her arms wrap protectively about her middle so that the wrist with its bracelet is tucked firmly from sight. Her voice is barely audible as she further goes on to say, "I should probably go. I didn't mean to intrude on your time here." A retreat? Already?

Eneas seems amused at her reaction. Of course, while she lowers her voice almost to a whisper, Eneas does not seem to mind so much to play by the rules, speaking in pretty much a normal tone, for now. The appology of the intrusion is earning her a nod, though the posture she adopts of such vulnerability, of hiding the pendant? It makes Eneas draw a deeper breath, then a narrowing of eyes, as she declares she should better go.

"Nonesense.", he declares, the book he holds closed shut. Not quite slammed, but with a certain finality, as he pushes off the wall. Walking over to the table, he puts it on top of the stack of books he had already selected, freeing his hands, only to then continue his path to the veiled curtesan. "Obviously you arranged for your time here..", he states, gesturing to the entrance she stepped through, "…who knows when you will get the chance again, if you do not sieze it right now?", he wonders. Lifting a hand, he holds it out for her, and if she takes it, will give her a little hand-kiss is usual. "Surely we can pretend to be civilized creatures and share a library for a few hours?".

Olivia stares at the hand, propriety and etiquette demanding that she acknowledge it. Her own uncurls from about her waist, and the bracelet she'd been trying to hide from his attention glints as the small heart swings. "Nobody has ever thought me uncivilized, my lord." And so with a flutter of her breath through her veils, cool fingers curl about the edge of Eneas' palm. He'll be aware of the slight tremble that's to be found in her touch, and her eyes lift to his with that contact of flesh upon flesh. Though there's little to be read in her expression, her thoughts are plainly to be found in her eyes, for an Alyssum's are powerful weapons of war. With pupils blown, she holds Eneas' regard for a fraction longer than's strictly necessary, before her lashes fall and once more she looks away. A breath in, another out, and she's the very image of a deer that's now been caught. "My lord…" She's caught there, her hand upon his, waiting for that kiss to be given. And there's the rub. Will he keep her waiting to increase her discomfort? The thought that he might is clearly there in her head, and the blush on her cheeks intensifies with the turning of her thoughts, as does the elevation of her breathing. An awkwardness of silence falls between them, and it's a silence into which she must speak. "There's a book here I wish to read, I am told…"

Would Eneas intentionally stall the lifting of her hand, the kiss to knuckles, just to cause her discomfort? No, perhaps not, but surely if she wields those blue orbs like weapons, she cannot fault him for meeting them, studying them for the duration that she dares to hold the eye-contact, his own blue eyes caught still caught in amusement of the situation, and her protestations that she never been called uncivilized before. "Perhaps…", he begins, his own eyes to drop down to the swinging heart-pendant for a moment, before the hand is lifted, knuckles brushed by lips lightly, before he straightens again, and does release her hand, "…I was referring to myself as the one who only acts like a civilized creature on occasion, then?", he offers.

With the contact broken between them, Eneas half turns, only to be brought back to her when she fills the silence with the mentioning of a book, and he has to chuckle, in spite of himself. Well, of course there is, given they are in a library and she asked to see it. "And what book would it be, that you seek?", he wonders, his own gaze to sweep the shelves for a moment, before an impish smile curves his lips, and he gestures to the table with the books he stacked. "If you were looking for the Dictionary of Medicinal and Poisonous Plants, I am afraid I already put it over there…".

Olivia is quick to shake her head, her shoulders given a half-hitch towards her ears before she speaks. "My lord seeks to tease me again with his mention of poisons." There's nothing accusatory in her tone, indeed her voice remains quiet, her words softly spoken as she allows her attention to fall on the stack of books that Eneas mentions. She crosses towards them, and her hand now her own, she flexes those fingers he'd kissed as if to banish his touch before curling them in on themselves. As before, she wears no other jewellery about her person, and though her neck cannot be seen, it'd be safe to assume that no necklace encircles her throat. She is simply as she appears; a quiet and unprepossessing creature of a shy and demure nature. A finger runs down the spines of the books that Eneas has chosen, and her eyes cut quickly to his. The briefest flash of amusement shows. "But are you teasing me? Surely my lord does not truly believe that I could? That I would…" Oh fie, she leaves that statement hanging there without its ending, and her face twists towards the shelves once more with another flush of colour to her countenance. "The book ?" A long drawn breath is taken as she quickly scans the shelves, a nervousness showing in the clasp of her hands before her. "It is more of a journal, my lord. It is the writings of a Monsieur Durand on his trips to the Hellenic Isles." So many words, and something that's apparently a strain for Olivia, since another veil of silence descends between them.

Is it a tease? Eneas bears her accusation with a faint quirk upwards of his lips, but he does not deny it. Nor does he assure her it is so. The stack of books lies there on the table, the last book he sat down, the one he had been reading when she came in still slightly askew: "Tiberium's Campaigns". Below it, "Marsilikos: From Hellenic town to Home of the Fleet". Two slimmer spines of local poetry, apparently, and yes, on the bottom said dictonary of plants for medicine and poison. The first book he picked from the library, and yet, at the bottom of the stack, the one he planned to read through last?

As she once more fills the silence that falls between them with the book she seeks, Eneas frowns a little, in concentration, turning to peer the other direction from Olivia for a moment. "I…do not think I saw it during my brief search. Though, even if I did, I would probably not remember where I spied it.", he admits, before he starts to circle the table and thus follow the outer circle of shelves. "Hellenic Isles, hm? Curious interests you have.", he murmurs, giving the spines of the books a scan as he walks. "It is not hellenic literature…", he passes that shelf, "…so perhaps with the other travel journals…" Of course, sooner or later — as it is bound with circular movements — it will make him step closer to Olivia once more. "Or is it the Monsieur Durand that has your interest?".

How close have Eneas' travels of the shelves brought him to where Olivia stands? Close enough to sense flutter of her heart as she retreats a step from his encroaching presence? Close enough to discern the scent she'd touched behind her ears that morning? (White narcissus blossom). "I… Oh no…" A quick shake of her head. "The journal was published in 1238." Which would make the author dreadfully old. Her fingers twist about themselves and an inward breath traps her veils between her lips. "I have heard so much of the isles, that I long to visit. My brother Raoul, he is there now, and he writes me often. Such wonderful pictures he paints with his words." There's a warmth to her voice now, perhaps even a passion, and there's a matching warmth that's also to be found in her eyes when they turn once more in Eneas' direction. Her voice softens. "Have my lord's travels taken him there?"

It might be that he's stumbled upon a passion of Olivia's, for in that moment she puts her shyness aside in favour of honest and open discourse.

Close enough that she retreats, is what the unvoiced rule of their game has been, has it not? Eneas might not be able to be quite as bold like this to take an inhale from the source, but surely her scent lingers in the space she vacated, a deeper breath taken. Once more he comes to a stop, but unlike earlier, the tension does not leave his body, hard to say if it is to tease the Courtesan with the body language that he remains ready to move, or it is just second nature to the man to be at guard when someone else is within 'striking' distance of him.

"Ah, I was not thinking quite in that capacity, m'Lady.", he lets her know, smirking. "Perhaps the good Monsieur were a forebear of yours, or the like.", he explains. "After all, it was a rather specific request to find _that_ journal, rather than any hellenic travel report.". As she explains the reasoning for looking for the journal, he tilts his head a little. It is not so much her demeanor that seems to give him pause, but soemthing else. Enough that he does not reply to her at first, only to the second question, and even then there might be a hint of little cogs turning behind the blue eyes of his as he does. "No, sadly my travels have not brought me that far. The farthest I got was Illyria, and that only breifly. Though there were many of Hellene birth — or at least heritage — in the employ of Caerdicci lords and merchants.", he explains.

Another pause for a heart-beat. Two. "Why would you look for a journal almost a century old, if your brother writes you regulary with tales of how it is now?".

Eneas' questioning earns him another retreat from Olivia. Not just physically, but emotionally too. Inky-dark lashes flit down, and a hand that shows the smallest tremble in its fingers, fiddles with the silver-stitched edge of her veil. And yes, yes, he's still too uncomfortably close to where she stands, and so another measure of distance is put into the space between them with a small backwards step. It places her at the shelves of the bookcase behind her, so she makes a small half-turn towards it, thus denying him the chance to observe her face. She twists her head to read the spines of the books before her, a finger trailing the tooled leather bindings. She's started to hunt and to search, and covers her eagerness to do so by answering his question. "I have read most of what I can find on the subject already." Her response to his question is barely audible, and is in fact so quietly spoken that it might have been more imagined than heard, especially given that she's mostly turned from him now. "Why would you not go to Hellas, when you easily might?" This last spoken louder.

There is no pursuit once more, when she retreats further. At least not physically. Eneas form does not move, other than the faint tension in musles to seem to relax when she steps out of that magic bubble of two out-stretched arm-lengths. That does not mean his eyes do not track her movements, however, even as she turns away from him, speaks so quietly.

There is a subtle shift in his expression then, the humor in his voice draining away and a hint of chill to enter it, when he replies. "There was no profit to be had in Hellas.", he replies simply. "Or at least, the Caerdicci paid better.". Simple as that, revealing a bit of the mercenary nature in Eneas, apparently. "So why don't you?", he turns around the question, persuing that line of thinking further. "If old manuscripts are running out, and your brother's letters are no longer enough, surely you could join him to see for yourself? What is it? Two weeks by ship?", he tilts his head, giving her attire a critical look over that has nothing to do with beauty or grace. "You clearly have the means.".

Eneas' questioning earns him another retreat from Olivia. Not just physically, but emotionally too. Inky-dark lashes flit down, and a hand that shows the smallest tremble in its fingers, fiddles with the silver-stitched edge of her veil. And yes, yes, he's still too uncomfortably close to where she stands, and so another measure of distance is put into the space between them with a small backwards step. It places her at the shelves of the bookcase behind her, so she makes a small half-turn towards it, thus denying him the chance to observe her face. She twists her head to read the spines of the books before her, a finger trailing the tooled leather bindings. She's started to hunt and to search, and covers her eagerness to do so by answering his question. "I have read most of what I can find on the subject already." Her response to his question is barely audible, and is in fact so quietly spoken that it might have been more imagined than heard, especially given that she's mostly turned from him now. "Why would you not go to Hellas, when you easily might?" This last spoken louder.

There is no pursuit once more, when she retreats further. At least not physically. Eneas form does not move, other than the faint tension in musles to seem to relax when she steps out of that magic bubble of two out-stretched arm-lengths. That does not mean his eyes do not track her movements, however, even as she turns away from him, speaks so quietly.

There is a subtle shift in his expression then, the humor in his voice draining away and a hint of chill to enter it, when he replies. "There was no profit to be had in Hellas.", he replies simply. "Or at least, the Caerdicci paid better.". Simple as that, revealing a bit of the mercenary nature in Eneas, apparently. "So why don't you?", he turns around the question, persuing that line of thinking further. "If old manuscripts are running out, and your brother's letters are no longer enough, surely you could join him to see for yourself? What is it? Two weeks by ship?", he tilts his head, giving her attire a critical look over that has nothing to do with beauty or grace. "You clearly have the means.".

Olivia's finger pauses upon the top of one book, and she gives the edge beneath her finger a gentle tug so it slides from its place and into her hand. She doesn't open it, but uses it as something upon which to focus her eyes as Eneas questions her. "Is that what is important to you my lord? How much coin fills your pockets?" Such a bold question from the veiled young woman, and her question is asked whilst the tip of one finger traces the fine tooling in the leather binding of the book she holds. Not once do her eyes lift to his, not even at the conclusion of her question, though since he's asked one of her, she does go on to say, "It is only within the last few weeks that I have been appointed to the position of second in my salon, and it would be negligent and selfish of me to abandon my duties to satisfy needs of my own." And then she does dare a look at him, the veiling of her lashes making her eyes appear almost amethyst in colour, so deeply do the shadows fall on her.

Ah, here they stand, Eneas merely granted the view of Olivia's back as she peruses the library, studies that book's spine which is likely not even the book she was looking for. The question, bold as it might be, is answered, though only after a heartbeat or two of consideration. "It is one of the many important considerations.", he replies, only to finally cross his arms in front of his chest, his head tilting to one side, studying the courtesan. "As you are well aware, coin affords one with certain freedoms that one has not if it is lacking. Even before we begin contemplating luxuries, ameneties and other things that one can get oh-so-used to.".

When she answers his question in turn, dares to turn to finally meet his gaze again, speak of her position, Eneas meets her gaze, the darker shade of blue, holding it. "You could have turned down the position.", he points out. "That would have absolved you of duty.", he says, simply enough, before he once more takes a step towards her. Apparently the reprieve she has been granted over, for now, though it is a half step to the side so he can more fully regard her profile rather than just the shield of her shoulders and back. "But it did not really occur to you, did it? To do so. To put your own needs before anything.". It is not exactly disapproval in his tone. It is a faint frown, perhaps a bit of wondering what drives the lady in front of him, at the core. Eyes fall back to to the books she picked then. "So an escape of sort, to read of far-away places? A distraction of the mind when it is not your…duty….to distract another?", he wonders.

Olivia's eyes instantly avert from Eneas' face when he takes that step closer. "I fostered to House Alyssum at six years of age, and dedicated myself to the service of Naamah at twelve. My life has been one of privilege, but it has also of necessity been sheltered and protected." A breath is drawn, and there's the smallest of hesitations before she lifts the book and slides it back into its place between its companions. Such an action leaves her hands empty of course, and she chooses to wind her arms about her stomach, one shoulder pressing to the shelves behind her. A shake of her head as she stares off to the middle distance at a point somewhere beyond where Eneas stands. "It is an honour to be appointed a Second, and whilst I doubt I would ever rise to the lofty heights of Dowayne, I am proud of what I've accomplished." Her weight shifts between her feet, a slight awkwardness showing in her at being pinned so completely on the spot. A softness of colour rises in her cheeks as her eyes return to Eneas', and beneath her veils the line of her mouth where her teeth bite into her lower lip can just be seen where veils cling with the drawing of her breath."I could not turn down such an offer as Jacques made me. To do what? Disappear for six months to follow that dream before returning to life as a courtesan and nothing more?"

Odd turn this conversation took, and yet Eneas seems more chilly disposition seems to thaw once more, oddly enough. She speaks of her upbringing, of her life of priviledge and shelter, and of course the way her body language changes back to a form of vulnerability. For a moment Eneas half-scoffs, half sighs. "Things are rarely just one thing, Lady Olivia.", he finally says, taking another step, though this time not towards her, but towards the book shelves, his own arms to uncross, so he too can lean a shoulder against them, making their conversation more static at least in the physical realm. "Duty. Honor. Pride.", he says, simply. "They are often bought with regrets and sacrifice in other ways. It does not diminish them that you feel such.", he comments. When she continues, speaks of such an offer, Eneas tilts his head. "I do not know who Jacques is…", he reminds her, with a faint curve of his lips upwards. "But why would you want to turn down such an offer? Yes, a life as a servant of Naamah is self-sacrifice. But even She would argue that one should not neglect their own desires completely, I believe.", he points out. "Is the timing unfortunate, with only two weeks since your appointment? Perhaps. But surely you are not so prone to hubris to think only you can fill the role you are given within your Salon.". A shake of his head is given. "As one who left or far longer than six months, let me tell you what will happen: Life here will resume, the sun will rise and set without you. In fact, if you are not careful, they might have half-forgotten you by the time you come back.".

Eneas glances over his shoulder out of the windows for a moment, before his eyes return to study Olivia. "Part of it may be selfish of you, but the Olivia that returns, reannoints herself to the service of her Companion — if she does? Will she not be less prone to doubts? Stonger for a lack of regret? A more substantial pillar both to her Faith and her Salon for the wonders she saw, the experiences she had while she was just…herself, for a time?", he wonders.

Olivia's chin dips again, her arms tightening where they draw about her middle. "My lord misunderstands me." Her shoulders rise and fall with the soft, slow breath that she takes, the exhalement of it filtering through her lips to flutter the edges of her veils. "I do not think that I am the only one capable of being Second to our Dowayne, and that is exactly why I had to sieze the chance when it was offered. There are two, no three others that would have been asked had I failed to accept, and it would have been years before another opportunity arose. If ever." Even with her head dipped down, it's likely that Eneas will be able to see the way that her brows pull together and the smallest of frown etches itself upon her forehead. Eyes flit back up to his. There's something in the look that she gives him, something in the way that her gaze holds with his that would give an insight into the Olivia behind her mask of veils. It's brief and fleeting, perhaps even gone before Eneas might notice; and in that moment no longer does she look like a shy little maid who was trained to censor her thoughts before they reach her mouth, but instead a reserved yet intelligent young woman who might sometime enjoy some mischief. "Of course, I could always return and poison my rivals."

And just like that Olivia moves from topics of hypotheticals and a world the Camaeline Soldier only knows from outside looking in to something he understands first hand. Blue eyes light up at her admission, lips to curve upwards, and he ahs softly. "Ambition. Of course.", he half mumurmurs, as if he is amused that he missed that part of the puzzle. Those blues eyes once more move, give the courtesan before him a once over from veils to toes, as if wondering what about her made him disregard that obvious answer until now. "Well. In that case I am sorry.", he says, sounding surprisingly genuine. Sorry? Sorry about what?

The brief glimpse of the intelligent, mischievious woman? Well, perhaps he misses it. Perhaps he does not. The reaction ot her poison threat however is a surprised laugh, not having expected her to circle around to that so easily, perhaps. "Ah, how common and pedestrian of you. It is such a cliched move.", he counters, before he glances at the bottom book once more, if briefly. "…of course, that might be because it often works and is effective. So? As Caerdicci and Hellas does it? With Hemlock or Aconite? Or would it be more poetic irony with Belladonna and…Mandrake?". Ooh, he is bad. And apparently he spied into that book before he set it down!

Olivia laughs, but it's not a nervous laugh, and nor is it a shy laugh. It's warm, and possibly infectious laugh were a person inclined towards joining her. "Well those would work well, but I would tend towards foxglove or laburnum myself, they're harder to detect." An arm unwraps from her stomach, and a hand lifts to gently tuck back a couple of wisps of hair that have fallen upon her cheek, her laughter fading now as a more sober mood descends on her. "I have a passion for flowers," she explains to him. "I believe that I can name every flower that blooms in Terre d'Ange, and quite a few that do not. Each have their meanings, and each their character. I also, therefore know, which will poison and which will not. That book you have," her eyes cut to the stack of tomes on the table, "… is one which I have in my collection. Not in order to cause harm, but in order to not." So many words. They come quietly on the heels of the humour which she'd found, but there's a sudden blinking of her eyes, together with a shake of her head to what else has been said. "Do not feel sorry for me. I am certain that there will come a time when I'll be brave enough to cut myself loose, to buy my passage to Hellas and brave the sickness which I am certain I shall feel the moment my foot hits the deck. That moment, well, it's just not now."

As she explains her passion for plants, and her own choice for poisons? Eneas tilts his head for a moment, then pushes himself off the shelf he has been leaning at. He does not step closer, no. He turns to walk away from her, to the table, a piece of paper grabbed, and he makes a note on it. "Foxglove I hear is hard to prepare, but laburnum, you say? Hm. No taste or smell?". Oooh, bad Eneas, actually using her as source of a suggestion what to use. Ahem! Still, once written down, he smiles a touch mischivious at her. "Ah, knowledge can be used for either, m'Lady. I hope you will find that knowledge of yours useless, the time to learn it squandered and never be called to use it for neither.". An odd way to phrasing it, perhaps, but surely she gets his meaning.

With that out of the way, he soon turns to face her fully again, placing his hip at the edge of the table, using it as a makeshift stool of sort. "I do not feel sorry for you.", he lets her know. "But here I went stirring up pangs of regrets and doubt about a decision you already made long before you met me, quite keenly and rationally.", he shrugs his shoulders. "My hubris. To think you required my advice. Or even would have wished for it.".

"Oh no. I mean. No…" Olivia falters, her shoulders hitching towards her ears as she watches Eneas write on the parchment. "Please don't do that, it's only a game that we've been playing…" There she's admitted it (again), and the confidence that she'd so briefly displayed, abandons once more. "And I am as much open to advice, as I am happy to listen when an ear is required. But…" and her eyes flit his way, "I should go. I have already stayed here longer than I'd intended, and I have to speak with someone at the Salon before its doors open for the evening. Will you think me terribly rude if I take my leave now?"

As she once more admits it is a game, Eneas laughs softly once more. "Of course it is a game.", he says, tilting his head. "Do you know why boys play with wooden carved soldiers?", he wonders, countering once more, before finally he pushes off the table to once more step closer to her. "From some games there is insight to be gained. They are good suggestions, your poisons, I am sure. I have plenty of knowledge how to position troops so an ambitious lord is not defeated in battle. I know my way around a sword to fight off someone coming at them with a hidden blade…", he lets that sink in, even as his steps slow, as he once more reaches out for her right hand. "…but your game reminded me that I know little about how to protect one from poisons.". How is that for an explanation?

At her question if she would think her rude, Eneas nods his head. "Very rude, yes. After all, you did not even find that Journal you were looking for. Which leaves only one explanation: That you are being polite with claiming you need to speak to someone but really only use it as an excuse to flee my revolting presence.", he claims, lips curved up slightly at the corners. He is teasing her, right?

Eneas reaches for her hand. Their fingers touch. He holds her captured. Flesh meets flesh. The smallest shiver runs through Olivia, and her eyes quickly lid, downcast to the floor as the deepest of blushes finds her cheeks. "It is the truth, my lord. I have put together an important contract for the newest arrival to the Salon, and the ins and outs of it need reviewing before tonight." She speaks quietly, though with the distraction of her hand being taken by his, there's a fluttering of nerves to be found in its tone. "Truly, I do not find you revolting, my lord. Indeed," and her cheeks darken further, "I live in a shell, so I cannot honestly blame people when they don't want to crack me. But occasionally there are people like you who dig deeper to see who I am. It's people like you who are the reason that sometimes I leave the safety of my fortress." A breath. "But I truly must go."

Eneas watches her as she explains further, adds meat to the bones of the supposed excuse he accused her of. Of course he was fishing for a compliment there, and she delivers, denies the revolting nature of him, and indeed claims his probing to be welcome. For a moment Eneas lets silence fall between them once more, before he sighs, that hand of hers lifted to once more given a hand-kiss, proper as it may be, just lips brushing her knuckles. Okay, so perhaps not quite proper that skin touches skin at all. Proper enough for Terre d'Ange! "If you must go, then I shall let you.", he states, before a spark of mischief once more lights up those blue eyes of his. "At least, this time…". And with that, he does. Let go of her hand. Her comments about cracking her shell? They are not commented on. "Until next time coincidence leads us to meet, then, dear Olivia. And hopefully you find your Journals with less interruption from me, by then.".

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