(1310-08-08) Resurrection and the Light
Summary: The return of a ducal heir that has been missing for three years has caused a stir in Marsilikos, and the first to act is none other than the woman who fostered him in his youth.
RL Date: August 8, 2018
Related: None
matthieu lucienne olivia 

Rocaille Townhouse

Lavish and refined in its design this townhouse seems to spare no expense while still maintaining a cozy atmosphere. The floors are polished ebony marble, gleaming under the light of many high windows and wrought iron candle filled fixtures. The walls are painted a deep forest green and adorned with various works of art depicting the companion Shemhazai and the lands of Siovale. The main rooms of the townhouse are for entertaining guests, the sitting room and dinning room respectively. Other rooms branch off these and a staircase and well lit hallway leads upwards and deeper into the house where the private rooms are. The building seems to have been constructed around a large garden in which various herbs and flowers are planted. The garden also boasts a small well kept pond with exotic fish at its center. Both the dinning room and the sitting room have large windows and doors that look out onto this garden.

When looking out of the windows, you see: It is a summer night. The weather is hot and stormy.


To say that the Rocaille household was at an uproar in the last few hours would be the understatement of the century - it isn't every day that a years-missing ducal heir returns from the dead.

Messages were sent; there will be no hiding it. As the doors swing open to let the women of House Albert inside, they would easily glimpse two couriers slipping out through the back and the hurried hustle and bustle of staff impeccably dressed in Rocaille livery. Undoubtedly, healers will be called as quickly as they can manage, but the two injured young men that were spoken of in the docks are nowhere to be found and the person who greets them would be the household's Marsilikos-based steward, and with a deep bow from the waist.

They would be shown up the stairs leading to the second floor landing, where rooms were prepared and at the knocking of the door, the first person Lucienne would recognize is Gabriel de Montreve, now a member of the Cassiline Brotherhood; tall, dark-haired and deceptively lackadaisical, he has been Matthieu's boyhood companion for years, well before his family followed Siovalese tradition and sent him to the Brothers like all middle sons. The surprise on his face is emphatic when he glimpses the two ladies - and a curious eye towards the Vicomtesse's veiled companion.

He may be out of armor, but he is armed, and dangerous despite his visible injuries; quick patchjobs by the staff before healers were sent for, to prevent existing wounds from getting worse. He carries himself, however, like they are nothing but nuisances.

"Vicomtesse!" His surprise is palpable. "What are you doing here? And so quickly?"

The suite beyond is large enough, with vaulted ceilings and an expansive bed being the centerpiece of the room, but clearly vacant for some time and devoid of any personal effects that would mark it as anyone's. Despite the word that the Siovalese ducal heir has suffered multiple injuries, himself, he is not upon the mattress. There is, however, movement from the double doors leading to the balcony overlooking the property's gardens, pale curtains moving in the breeze - telltale signs enough as to where Matthieu could be.

—-

Vicomtesse de Seyches is clad in her finest silks and satins. The color of her attire is that of a dark burgundy. Some black lace decorates her gown and a jacket in order to add a touch of elegance. She holds her usual black cane in her right hand and fingers slowly dance on silvery carvings and decorations of that cane.

"I knew this man since the days when his wet nurse's breast milk was not yet dried from his lips!" She explains to Olivia, following servants around the Estate. "I still can not believe of his father's negligence not only in choosing guards for his child, but also in searching for him. Three years! If that would have been my own child, he would have been found in a couple months. It is a shame that he has lost his son to those illiterate Skaldi wildlings…" She pauses in her steps and turns toward Olivia, "… and I will tell that to Duc Fernand. Because it's my duty."

When they reach the room with Gabriel, Lucienne looks the man over and not even a glimpse of warm smile can be seen in her wrinkled features. She actually steps forward and if Gabriel doesn't move aside, Lucienne will tap one of his wounded legs with her cane, "Hmmm… I see you are still standing? Would you be so kind to explain to me, how is it that you are alive and Lord Matthieu was taken as a hostage?" She makes a small pause but then raises her hand up. "Don't answer. You are simply not good enough. Where is Matthieu?"

—-

Olivia is Lucienne's quiet companion today, and their conversation on their way to the Rocaille townhouse has almost entirely been on the Vicomtesse's side, with occasional input from Olivia. When Gabriel opens the door to them, he may or may not recognise Olivia from the few times their paths had crossed in the past, though it'd take an exceptional memory for how a face presents itself when all but someone's eyes are denied the observer. Should Gabriel look closer at the delicate and veiled creature however, he might find that those eyes are a touch familiar. Intelligent and bright they look upon the Cassiline, the blue of her irises all but vanquished to a thin ring of colour about the periphery of widely-blown pupils. A sharp intake of her breath. "Gabriel?" Softly spoken, she remains close to the side of the Vicomtesse that she's accompanied here, though a wince shows in her eyes when Lucienne's cane smacks against his leg. There's an apology for Gabriel in the look that she shoots him, but knowing that her aunt's mood is not to be trivialised in the face of events unfolding, she keeps her own counsel and remains firmly silent.

—-

The verbal whipping he gets generates an emphatic response from the easygoing Cassiline. His jaw drops, and his eyes round into dinner plates. "My lady, I assure you, if I had been dead, Matt would be— ow!" The yelp fills the room, pain worming up his injured leg when the old woman's cane finds his shin. "I scoured three countries for him, Vicomtesse, there was— "

Don't answer. You are simply not good enough.

There's a sigh, but a rueful smile hooks the corner of his mouth; all signs that in spite of the vicious treatment, Gabriel is accustomed to this. Dark eyes fall on the veiled Alyssum and after a moment's intense and careful scrutiny, recognition suffuses his expression. "Little Livvy. Is that you?" His earlier surprise manifests a thousandfold. "Blessed Elua, you look goo— "

A sideglance to the Vicomtesse, and he coughs. "I mean it's good. Good to see you, I mean." To the older woman, he nods to the direction of the curtains. "He's at the balcony." He gestures with a hand. "After you, my ladies."

Through the balcony doors and billowing drapes, summer's waning moon spills its light upon climbing vines and blooms that smell faintly of citrus, and streaks over a shock of hair of such pale gold it is almost white. Upon a chair tilted sideways is a figure who has hardly stirred despite his friend's exclamations from the main entryway of the suite, attention fixed on the distant view of the docks, jaw set in a determined line. There had been a time when Matthieu's very stature was imposing, having grown to eschew most of the stereotypical physical traits present in most Siovalese - he is intelligent, but not bookish, decidedly not a warrior, but a fighter in his own right, tall and broad-shouldered and clearly of angelic stock, if not just by his height alone. But today he is exhausted and wounded; a length of bandage covers his forehead, hinting at blossoms of blood by his temple, one arm is encased in a sling, and there is a walking stick leaning by the side of his chair. There are bruises, visible even upon the tan he has developed in his time away, on patches of his skin that could be seen from the open, long-sleeved shirt he wears. The breadth of his chest is criss-crossed with bandages and their slashes of worrisome red, bound tightly across his abdomen and tracking diagonally towards his left shoulder. Loose trousers hide whatever trouble he is experiencing with his leg, and his feet are bare.

That isn't to say he is wholly unpresentable. One of the servants has managed to give him a haircut and a shave. Angels only know what he must've looked like the moment he came in.

Pale blue eyes and the silver storms within them cut towards the entrance of the balcony when the Vicomtesse appears with her companion and for a span of heartbeats, he says nothing, hard, handsome features, as if chiseled from marble, however battered, betraying little - not even recognition. But this is deceptive, too, and Lucienne would know that; Matthieu has never forgotten a face in his life, and to react so slowly when he is normally so quick is a testament as to just how severe his trials have been.

But he rises, shoulders proud and squared regardless of the hurt - there is pain at every movement, but it is only visible in his eyes and the slight clench of his jaw. It is smooth, otherwise, and so is the subsequent bow from his ravaged waist. He has long since learned to swallow suffering to appear impervious and hence, instead of looking like an emaciated slave, he gives the impression of a captain returned from war.

"Grande dame," he greets, his normally cool baritone softened slightly by the undercurrents of remembered affection. "Forgive the mess, it couldn't be helped."

—-

Lucienne eyes Gabriel when he addresses her niece. She slightly rolls her eyes when the man tries to change the flow of his sentence. She does not make any comment about it. Instead, the woman waits patiently before a direction toward Mathieu is showed. Despite of her old age, she moves quite fast outside. When her eyes land on the man's appearance, the usually grim features soften. "Poor boy, look what they have done to you!" If Mathieu allows, Vicomtesse will approach him and very gently brush her thumb against his cheek. A motherly peck to his forehead will follow, if allowed. Then she looks around the balcony. Her cane points at the table with a few chairs. Her eyes find Gabriel and she states, "Find someone to bring us three pillows. Two are needed for Mathieu that he could settle down comfortably here," she points at a very specific chair. "Olivia, dear, perch over there." A woman points at the chair beside the one where Matthieu was pointed to sit down. "I will need a third pillow." Lucienne moves to take a seat in front of the two other chairs. Her back makes a sound of old bones cracking before she settles down. "Oh, and Gabriel, take care of our wine and some refreshments. Mathieu needs to eat." She then focuses back on Olivia and Mathieu. "Don't stand there like on a first date. Come both, sit." She encourages.

—-

"Thank you Gabriel," Olivia returns, a gentle hand pressed to the Cassiline's arm as both she and Lucienne are ushered on past. There might be more that she'd say to him, but she's swept along in the wake of her aunt as the older woman heads for the balcony. And there he sits. They may have met only a handful of times in the past, but despite the inherent changes that his traumas have wrought upon him, Matthieu's face and features are still quite familiar. "Welcome back, Matthieu…" Her voice cracks at the edges with that greeting, and she stands quite awkwardly as Lucienne swoops in to mother hen and fuss over him. Her eyes glisten suspiciously bright, and she's so lost in a turmoil of thoughts that she almost misses Lucienne's orders when given. Sit? She can definitely sit. In fact her legs feel a little weak as she sinks quite gratefully into the chair that's indicated.

—-

And thus, the walking silver typhoon of House Albert sweeps into the balcony and proceeds to rearrange things and people in accordance to her whims. Anyone would be offended, but these two young men have been away for a long time, and spent all that time facing unknown dangers apart and together. The Vicomtesse's fussing, if anything, is a welcome reprieve from three hellish years. Gabriel's smile only grows, and he says nothing but a deferential: "Yes, my lady." Followed by a bow from the waist, and moves to do what she has asked.

The staff of House Rocaille is quick to respond to the woman's demands. Even they know to listen to Lucienne d'Albert. Pillows are brought and arranged, food is served on tables, with a discreet valet waiting unobtrusively in the wings, to fetch whatever else is required.

Matthieu, on his part, allows; he could hardly refuse the older woman anything, and when that gnarled, but gentle hand lifts to touch his cheek, his own - bandaged across the knuckles - covers hers and if she allows, he will take it and bows his head above it. There is no kiss, but a ghost of one is pressed into the air above her skin, eyes closing to mask deep-seated relief that he is reluctant to show anyone. Understandably so, for he has spent the last few hours wondering whether he wasn't trapped in some fever dream brought upon by his suffering, hallucinating of home. The gesture also lowers himself enough for the woman to reach his forehead and the bandage wrapped around it.

He straightens and turns his attention the quiet voice from the veiled figure standing slightly away from the Vicomtesse. If those eyes do not give away her identity, her voice does, and a wounded hand lifts, palm up, in silent permission to take her own and should she allow him, he performs the same gesture. He hasn't forgotten his courtesies, nor has he forgotten her. There is a careful squeeze, just the slightest pressure of index and thumb over whatever delicate appendage she deigns to lend him. He was never one to miss anything, certainly not the suspicious damp in her stare.

"Olivia. I hope you, Raoul and your family are doing well."

Her weakened knees has her solidifying his grip, and helps her to that chair, and despite what Lucienne says, he remains standing until the ladies are seated, and even adjusts the seat that Lucienne intends to occupy, so her bones can have some respite. Only then does he claim the pillowed chair.

—-

Lucienne smiles warmly watching how Matthieu assists Olivia to take a seat. There is this pride in her eyes which tells 'I taught him well' when the man is not in a hurry to take a seat despite his pain. Manners. They always were highly important to her. However, once they settle down, Lucienne leans back in her seat. She sets her both hands on the cane. A brief glance is given to the servant. She is imaptient about that upcoming wine. But then she looks back at the pair in front of her. "I am glad to see that you both still remember each other. Tell me, Matthieu, what happened there and who shall be blamed for your misfortune?"

—-

Olivia stares, simply stares at Matthieu through all of his greetings and the air-brushed kisses. Gone for the moment is the need for her to play the artifice of her canon, and her eyes dig deeply into his, holding him tightly in her regard as he assists her to sit on her seat. There's a welcome pause whilst Lucienne speaks in which she's able to gather her thoughts as Lucienne, and her voice has regained some of it's usual composure when next she speaks. "We thought so many terrible things when you disappeared, Matthieu. You cannot even begin to imagine." One hand is lifted to her face to tuck away a strand of her hair that's escaped its concealment, and whereas she might have a thousand further questions to heap upon the returned from the dead Rocaille, she keeps them firmly unspoken and allows her aunt to play the role of inquisitor.

—-

Throughout Olivia's stare, he holds it - wounded, yes, but unafraid. Within glacial blue and silver lightning shards is the look of a man who is fully aware of the ghosts of his trauma and the wrongs subjected to him…and the determination to crush and address them. It is a stare liable to pin someone to the far wall with its gleaming, incandescent intensity, and flay him alive, if it meant it would yield him the answers he needs.

The servant quickly pours them the wine, and cups are passed - first to the ducal heir, and then the Vicomtesse and her niece. Matthieu sets his aside, and upon setting on the chair, he sinks heavily into it, relief more detected in his air than any reflection of the kind over his bruised and battered mien.

The questions are expected and he turns his attention to the Vicomtesse; Olivia gets a glance, when she speaks of terrible things.

"I won't recount all of them," is what he says at first, in reply, after a long moment of silence. His time under Lucienne d'Albert's tutelage has molded him to become two out of many things: an unrepentant gentleman, and a ruthless defender and protector of the things and people he considers his own. The d'Alberts count among them, Lucienne most of all. He won't trouble their thoughts any further than necessary.

"My father wanted me home after a year in the border," he begins. "A few weeks before I was due to return, we were ambushed by the Skaldi. Gabriel and I were separated and when I came to, I was at a camp. I don't have the tendency to wear finery of any kind, save for this." He rolls the signet on his finger - the mark of his house. "So for a while, the Skaldi didn't know what to do with me, whether to kill me or ransom me. I convinced them of the latter and when they asked for a name, I gave it." There's a glance at Lucienne. "To them, I was Christophe d'Albert. Gabriel and I used it in the times we went carousing together as boys. If he was alive, and I knew Gabe would be, he would be able to track me through that."

His eyes darken visibly. "A Vrailian spy paid my ransom, instead. Through methods I've yet to discover, she knew my true identity. She and her entourage took me and we fled north to Norstock, and then on a ship bound for Vralgrad, the Vrailian capital. From what I understand from Gabe, he managed to arrive just an hour after we cast off. Before we reached our destination, however, pirates attacked our ship. They killed everyone on board, saw the look of me and that woman and decided to spare us…only for the purpose of making a profit off us in the Akkadian slave markets."

—-

Olivia accepts the wine that she's handed with a look of gratitude. Slim fingers cradle about the circumference of its bowl, though she doesn't lift it to her lips. Instead it's left balanced upon the angle of one knee, the fragile White Rose leaning forward where she sits. At various points of the tale that's related, there's a drawing of her breath, or the smallest of exclamations, but not once does she speak to interrupt the flow of his words until it appears he comes to a natural halt. Clearly it's not at a resolution of his travails, since he breaks at the point of the Akkadian slave markets. "You must have been in such despair. Such terrible things have I read of the slave markets. Poor Gabriel too." Her eyes cut to the Cassiline, and there's genuine distress to be found in her countenance. A shake of her head is given, and her gaze downflits to the glass in her hands. "You must have given up all hope by then. Is that when Gabriel found you?"

—-

His eyes look far away, for a moment - recounting even just that much pours inside his head images soaked in blood and the smell of burning flesh, the memory of javelins of pain carving up his back and fileting his arms and legs. A moment, just a moment, before a single blink returns him to the present. Matthieu turns his head to regard Olivia - a smile, finally, lifts the corners of his lips. Thin, yes, but present, though it doesn't touch his eyes.

"I did." He admits it without so much as batting a lash. "Lose hope. But I found anger to be an adequate enough a replacement. To make a long and distressing story short, he did. We fought our way out of the bazaar, and stole away in a caravan heading for a port city. We eventually found a D'angeline ship to return us here."

He finally lifts his cup and takes a sip - just enough to wet the inside of his mouth. "I suppose my time would have been more tolerable if I held onto the better angels of my nature, but a man can only hold onto his patience so much after three years of continuous pain and abuse." His eyes find hers over her veils. "They meant to break me, Olivia. To be more malleable for the tsar."

After a moment's pause, he sets his cup aside. "It's a small blessing that you arrived after I've been seen to, there's no need for the both of you to see more than you already have."

—-

Olivia possesses an indefinable something about her character; it shows in the aura of quietness and serenity that clings to her like a second skin. It's a gentleness and a concern for others that reveals itself in the way that she takes the time to simply listen to others and be their quiet support. She unwraps one hand from her glass and presses it lightly to Matthieu's arm. "But they didn't break you Matthieu. They failed. Look at you. The Companions didn't abandon you, and they saw you safely back here to Marsilikos. To Aunt Lucienne. To the healing prowess of the Eisandine healers. Isn't that right, Aunt?" Her eyes cut to where the older woman has listened to the unfolding events that cover the whereabouts of the ducal heir's absence. The smallest pressure is given his arm, before she pulls her hand away, unwilling to impose herself upon him more than he might find comfortable.

—-

"Mhm…" leaves Lucienne's lips after she takes one more sip of her fine. It's hard to know to what questions this exclamation of air should answer. Though, the woman seems to be quite indifferent to the horrors and events described. She nods her head slowly, "As expected. Skaldi has never been known for their knowledge. Obviously, they did not even recogbize the symbols! Good that you came up with a convincing story. But it's easy to trick their weak mind…" A woman drawls. "However, future is more important than the past. What happened, happened. It taught you a lot and helped you grow a thicker skin. Nobody will be able to break you after such experiences. But tell me, what are you planning to do, Mathieu?" A brief nod is given to Olivia before old woman's atention goes back to Mathieu.

—-

She touches him and there is tension there, not out of discomfort but due to the stamp of remembered hurts; steel-cable musculature standing out from underneath his skin and through the thin fabric of his shirt against her hand - as if unable to remember what it is like to be comforted. Underneath the gentle pressure she applies, he is a wall of muscle and bone, hammered into shape and solidity by trials that have haunted him since he was a boy, frightened and uncomprehending when he was brought to Lucienne's door. He is no duelist, no acclaimed knight, but his life has molded him into a hardy, wiry survivor, and with enough cunning and experience and awareness of his blood and power to be dangerous.

Matthieu says nothing for a long moment at Olivia's encouragements; there is no censure, no hint that it is not appreciated, but in that moment of time, he is utterly inscrutable. When he speaks up, the gentler, more familiar notes of his baritone surface - spectres of the diligent, responsible, considerate boy that he once was, though he doesn't look at her: "You've always been very kind."

After a breath, he looks over at Lucienne. "First, to inform my father that I am alive, and that I'll be convalescing here in the immediate future…and to let Her Grace, the Duchesse de Siovale, know that her firstborn son will not be taking my place after all. Second, to make discreet inquiries. I want to know how the Vrailian woman knew who I really was." Stormclouds pass over the ice-and-silver depths of his stare. "I have my suspicions but considering the seriousness of the matter, I can't be reckless."

—-

Finally, as Matthieu continues on to answer each of Lucienne's questions to him, Olivia lifts her wine to her lips. She's well practiced in the art of dipping her head enough that her veils fall away from her mouth enough that the glass can slip beneath and a sip can be taken. "I expect that your father will wish to come here. Has Her Grace, the Duchesse Armandine been made aware of your presence? She might wish to host both yourself and your father within the ducal walls, at least for a while." Or she might not. One can never tell with such things. The retrieval of a ducal heir is, however, politically important, and as she settles her glass back on her knee, the smallest of frowns now puckers her brow. "You suspect a deliberate attempt on your life and your freedom?"

—-

"I will try to take a look into this matter as well. Something doesn't sound right…" Lucienne taps a finger on the edge of her goblet. The old woman seems to drown in her own thoughts. Maybe she thinks of a all what has been said and tries to tie missing ends. A sigh soon leaves her throat. She looks up at the pair. "I hope you both won't mind if I leave you? I actually have to pay a visit to an old friend and then I will have to take my…" She does not finish. Vicomtesse sets the glass on a table and pushes herself up. "I will stay here for awhile, Matthieu. Be assured that I am here to help you. Whenever you will need my assistance."

—-

"Not yet," Matthieu replies to the Alyssum's queries. "Not from me, directly, but the Lady of Eisande is an expert in delicate inquiries, I'm certain that she probably knows by now. As for my father…"

He falls quiet, but it is silence weighted down by everything that he doesn't deign to say. His relationship with the Duc of Siovale has always been cordial, but complicated, though to say that it is utterly devoid of affection is an exaggeration. If Fernand did not care, he wouldn't have sent him to Lucienne in the first place.

Olivia asks another important question and he decides to answer that first. His face turns to regard her and her veils, moonlight catching the striations of color in the most vibrant parts of her that are visible - her eyes, the gold in a stray tress, the outline of her cheek through white fabric made translucent by ambient illumination. A far cry, now, visually, from the girl he remembers, peeking curiously whenever he, Gabriel and Raoul went off on some pretend adventure with wooden swords, helping her down steep stone steps. Tending to the occasional scrape, if not just because seeing anyone in pain has always distressed her.

As he stated earlier, she has always been kind.

"It wouldn't be the first," he tells her, finally.

With Lucienne begging her leave, he rises when she does. "Knowing my lord father, he'll send an agent," is what he decides to conclude. "To verify my identity." His eyes wander over to Lucienne. "Though there may not be any need of that, if the Vicomtesse de Seyches writes him a letter confirming the fact. He trusts you still, grande dame, and you would know me even if I'd been torn to pieces and scattered to the four winds. Would you be willing?"

—-

Which makes three of them rising. Setting her glass aside, Olivia stands with the others, her brow still etched with the remnants of that frown as she turns to cast a look in the Cassiline's direction. "You have Gabriel, at the very least, to keep you safe." The sudden expulsion of a long held breath, billows her veil at its edge, and there's just a hint of the curve of her lips beneath. "But you need your rest, Matthieu. So I shall leave with my aunt and grant you that. Perhaps we might visit the temples together in a day or two, when you've had more time to recover. Some offerings should be made in thanks for your return." There's another touch to his arm, but only so that she might steady herself as she leans in close and presses the gentlest of veiled kisses to his cheek. "Be well, Matthieu. We are so very pleased to have you back."

—-

"Who says, my dear Matthieu, I am not taking my leave to write that letter?" Lucienne smiles at the man and then is ready to take a leave. But then Olivia is also standing up. Lucienne looks at her, "You can stay, dear. Matthieu could still use someone as charismatic as you to distract him from the pain." After an encouragement for Olivia to stay, Lucienne takes her leave. She seems to be in a rush and she is not willing to wait for her niece. The sound of her cane slowly fades leaving the young pair alone. Hopefully. If Olivia stays.

—-

Gabriel treats Olivia with a lazy salute and a smile from where he is viewing the proceedings, his back to the wall, but situated in a way that he could see well beyond the balcony, and the rest of the suite. Lackadaisical, yes, occasionally impertinent and a contrast of opposites with his best friend - but again, his outer facade is a deceptive one. There is no artifice, however, in his willingness to defend his friend - to the death and his own, if necessary.

"Don't worry, Livvy. He'll still be alive for when you drag him to the temples. Of course he'll come." At the sight of the kiss Olivia gives him, his grin gets wider. "I'll even make my best impression as a potted plant, the two of you won't even know I'm there."

Eyes lid when the Alyssum dispenses that token of gentle affection on his cheek. "Take care, Olivia," he replies in parting. "And I wouldn't expect anything less, grand dame," to Lucienne. His need for rest may be obvious, but Matthieu isn't the sort to admit it - he could be missing an arm and a leg, and he would still call them flesh wounds. Still with both visitors leaving, he remains on his feet, though he shoots the Cassiline a look at his words. It is equal parts exasperated and resigned, but he has always borne the other man's needling with good and silent grace - at least in public.

Not today, largely because he's tired, for he says: "Yes, do that. And I hope someone's poodle relieves itself on you in the doing."

But with that cane clacking away so quickly, he watches the Vicomtesse leave with a slightly furrowed brow. "I wonder," he remarks, wryly of Olivia. "If I ought to take that as a blow against my pride when she clearly deems me unthreatening enough to leave you in my care."

—-

An exasperated look is given her aunt's departing back. "Interfering old goat…" Olivia's words are spoken so quietly that a person would most likely need to have an ear pressed to her veils to hear what she says, and her chin lifts as she turns to face Matthieu once more. "Regardless of what Aunt Lucienne says, I don't intend to take up more of your day. I'm cognizant of the fact that you must have a thousand thoughts and worries pressing on your time." She pauses, her eyes flitting to Gabriel when she catches his remark of acting like a plotted plant. And that, that causes a blush to darken her cheeks and her arms to wrap tightly about her middle. "I had best leave." Mortified, Olivia dips a graceful curtsey, every aspect of her canon exposing themselves in that moment as she turns, and beats a hasty retreat in the steps of her Aunt.

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