(1310-08-10) To Do What Is Necessary
Summary: With his usual healer/priest afflicted by an inconvenient respiratory ailment, the Temple of Eisheth sends Gwenaelle de Mereliot to see to the injuries of the recently returned Matthieu de Rocaille.
RL Date: August 10, 2018
Related: Resurrection and the Light
matthieu gwenaelle 

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 evening. The weather is warm and clear.

The last day or two has had the Temple of Eisheth sending over a specific healer to the Rocaille household ever since the word that a long-missing ducal heir has managed to claw his way back from the dead, to oversee his physical convalescence. But circumstances beyond his control - contracting a case of heavy-lung that seems to be going around the city - has prevented the priest from his visit today. To replace him, Gwenaelle has been dispatched to the residence in his place. Guards dressed in Rocaille livery meet her on the temple steps, flanking a carriage and soon, she's carted to the mansion.

After a silent greeting from the valet who opens the door for her upon arrival, she is escorted out into the stone patio overlooking the expansive gardens of House Rocaille's residence in the middle of Marsilikos. The afternoon light passes over the countless summer blooms present in the well-kept greenery and the wooden awning above her head gives her much-needed shade from the weather's unforgiving heat. Things have already been laid out in preparation for her arrival - a flat, portable high-bed to make examination and treatment convenient and easy, and an array of medicines, bandages and poultices on the nearby table. She would find a tall, sharp-featured Cassiline with dark hair leaning against one of the pillars, a knife in his hand and cutting into a piece of fruit. He seems distracted, but that is deceptive - Gabriel de Montreve is notorious for having not just eyes at the back of his head, seemingly, but all over his entire body.

And there is the man himself.

Matthieu de Rocaille, future duke of Siovale, is an imposing presence despite his present state; tall, broad-shouldered and set with hard, but handsome features - as if chiseled from marble - everything about him does away with the flawless androgyny so characteristic with most D'angeline men. He has a shock of hair so pale it is almost white, made all the more so by a complexion bronzed by his travails abroad, that contrasts sharply with the paleness of his eyes. Like ice threaded with silver lightning, and as incisive as a chirurgeon's scalpel. His stare pins into her the moment she arrives, though he says nothing as of yet. The fiery shade of her hair makes his eyes lid.

His shirt is open, and there is a walking stick leaning against his chair, indicative that his movements are encumbered by a leg injury. His visible musculature is bundled in a series of bandages that need changing, blood seeping from aggravated stitches, criss-crossing tightly over his chest and the flat of his stomach. His broken arm is on the mend, out of a sling and in a brace instead.


When the head of the temple calls Gwenaelle forward to attend to a 'special' case, the young woman is more than willing to do so. She may have heard the rumors, but such things are not truly paid much attention by the priestess who has only recently returned to the city herself after two years away to the capital. Nodding to the guards that meet her outside the temple, she climbs into the waiting carriage with her own basket of herbs. She's attentive during the ride, thanking whomever helps her from the carriage as it arrives to the estate.

Stepping into the gardens, Gwenaelle takes a moment to look about, to get her barings, though soon the Cassiline and the future duke himself, gain her attention, and it's there that dark green eyes will alight. Steps close the distance, once she arrives close to the table, she dips her head, "A Good day to you, milord." Her voice is soft and cultured, holding just the right tone to draw attention, dulcet and comforting. "I am Gwenaelle, prietess of Eisheth. Your regular priest could not make it today. I hope you do not mind if I tend you today?" As she speaks, her gaze sweeps over Matthieu, taking in his injuries, making mental notes that go with those given to her by the head priestess before she left.


"Oh hoh," Gabriel remarks, a slice of peach balanced against his blade, grinning faintly at the redhaired priestess when she makes her introductions. "A pretty one, this time. Maybe I should've been the one who was held captive for three years, eh, Matt?"

There's a look shot by the ducal heir his way, before Matthieu returns his attention back to Gwenaelle and after a moment in which he simply scrutinizes her, replies: "I was informed," he says, finally rising to his feet, shoulders proud and squared despite the ravages the three years have whipped into his muscles and bones. "The notes your superior made about my condition are on the table with the rest of the instruments, but they are to remain in this residence for the time being, take a moment to review them." Brisk, long strides are taken towards the high table, walking stick in hand - no indication of an injury on his leg, save for the slight favoring on his right side. But she will discover, eventually, that this is his typical way. Matthieu has long since learned to swallow suffering to appear impervious.

He leaves the stick against the foundations of the bed, before easing his shirt off his athletic frame. "I trust, also, that you have been made aware that I require your own observations of my condition and the treatments you have given me to be strictly confidential. I do not trust others easily, but my recuperation is important enough that I must gamble that you will be just as discreet as the healer that came before you. I am placing my faith on you to do so, priestess."

Out of the shirt, whatever he doesn't say to her about his trials are etched indelibly on whipcord tight musculature; gouges, slashes and strips of skin torn off from between his shoulderblades and spine, left there by leather whips tipped with barbs and broken glass. There are plenty of bruises, black and blue, etched on the breadth of his back. Stitches and staples keep the worst of them closed, metal brackets spiraling over the leavings of curved blades. There are burns, healed enough that they are but mild discomforts now, and entry points where knives have been inserted. The damage is such that even with Eisandine healing, most of these scars will remain.


Those green eyes swerve towards the Cassiline at his words, a hint of a blush to touch her cheeks, "I thank you for the compliment, though I need it not to do my duty.." Such words given before he is somewhat dismissed in favor for the one who is to be her patient. Her gaze travels back to Matthieu, a bob of her head given quietly. The notes spoken of, she hmms, moving fowards to the table where they stand ready for her to look over, the basket she brought with her to be set down. Before she might actually check out the notes, his words has her attention turning back to him, quiet and considering.

"Milord, I am a Scion and Priestess of Eisheth. The only ones I would discuss your care with, would be the other healer who was here before me, and the head of the temple who already knows of your care." One might say that the very idea that he would believe her untrustworthy enough to discuss such things outside of those that know, hurts. "As Eisheth's Scion, I promise that I will not give you reason to distrust me in any way." The words are spoken strongly, perhaps to assure him that his trust is given to one who will hold it well.

His gaze is held then until he begins to remove his shirt, and it's the injuries then that hold her attention. Delicate brows furrow above those dark green eyes, lips pressed together. Whatever pain he may not show, is surely felt in some small way by the healer before him. Papers and basket are to be moved, to allow him the room to lay upon the padded table. Shaking her head at some thought, she frowns more at what has been done in attempt to see him healed.


The notion that she might be anything but discreet may hurt, but Matthieu is unapologetic in the delivery of his words - as he has already explained, he does not trust easily, no matter who it is and where they come from, and he has endured many incidents already to more than solidify the tendency. Her soft, gentle reassurances earn very little from him, his expression the very definition of impenetrability as he regards her with those blue-and-silver eyes, fixed right on the green of hers and leaving upon her the weight of that studious, intense assessment. He looks like a fighter, but he is Siovalese in blood, marrow and spirit. His mind is still his preferred weapon above all.

"I will hold you to that, priestess," he says, finally, and once she shuffles things out of the way, he makes his careful seat on the padded table. It creaks under his weight, but the frame is made of heavy oak - it will hold him, at the very least.

"My mobility is important to me," he tells her. "Your superior tells me that the fracture on my arm is healing, but it will take another examination to gauge whether it is setting properly. If not, you will have to break it again and reset." The suggestion is painful, but it is a medical reality and he doesn't blink in giving it. He holds out his left arm, the brace on his forelimb evident, bent at the elbow. "My right calf was cut into by a scimitar. Your predecessor suspects some tendons may have been severed, but he isn't sure. I would like for you to examine it and give me your diagnosis." He pauses. "…the rest can wait." He refers to the mess on his back…and everything else physical healing cannot reach.


Surely he knows that one in the service of a Companion, is one that knows the value of discretion. The look is held, green to blue, not flinching or looking away at all. Her word is given, a promise made before he and in the hearing of her Companion, no doubt. Again, she dips her head at his words, "Please do, milord." Hold her to her word, that is.

All business is she when his injuries come into sight, his words given a slow nod as she takes them in. Shifting around so she might examine him, she doesn't seem to flinch either from the idea that his arm might have to be rebroken. She's done that before. "Beyond the arm and the leg, I will examine the rest as well, for while they are the worse in your eyes, the smallest of infections somewhere's else, may bring true trouble to you." While the notes are had, she will take out more parchment and a traveling quill and bottle of ink to make her own notes of all that she sees. She will, however, begin with the arm, taking it out of it's brace. Light is her touch, her gaze almost distant as she 'feels' along the bone, taking in muscles as well.


If nothing else, her businesslike demeanor - strangely enough as it is - is the thing that finally produces some kind of give from the unyielding wall the future duke presents. Matthieu is notoriously immune to artifice, able to cut through or dismiss it with ruthless precision, and as equally distrusting of platitudes, no matter how gentle and well-meant, as he is of strangers. The change is subtle, perhaps a slight easing of the prideful line of hard-cut shoulders, but those observant will be able to note it.

He may be stubborn when it comes to his own comfort, but he is at the very least deferential to those who have a greater expertise than him on a specific subject, no matter how Siovalese the Siovalese. Wisdom entails that one make the admission that he knows nothing, and so when Gwenaelle recommends that she make her own examinations, he nods. "A second opinion is beneficial," he tells her. He holds out his arm with his own power, when the woman disengages the brace, and lets light fingertips examine the break from above sinew and bone. She would find tender spots, but save for the slight clench of his jaw, there is no other visible sign of pain.

The bone seems to be setting well, and thankfully, there are no signs of infection, but she would find aggravation along the stitching, where her predecessor had cut him open in surgery, to remove bone fragments embedded in his muscles, and to realign his bones with a frame of sanctified metal that will have to be removed once the bone is whole again.


There is a nod from the redheaded priestess at his words, the young woman otherwise intent upon the examination. If she notices the way he seems to relax a little, it goes unmentioned by she. Hmming softly to herself as she continues to feel along his arm, those brows of hers may furrow in concentration, and yet soon ease as she finds that the bone itself, seems to be set right, and healing as it should be. "I do not think it will need to be reset.." The words are said softly as she continues, taking in the stitching, and the redness that might be found there.

Words may be whispered beneath her breath, a soft plea to her Companion to see to the man's health and healing, a warmth to her touch to be felt, "You have some aggrevation here that will need to be seen too before the brace is put back on. It is inflamed, and we do not wish it to become infected because of it.." Notes are to be made, no doubt salva and bandage to be placed on it before she returns the brace in due time.

Finishing the exam of his arm, she places it against him, urging him silently to hold it there while she continues. Moving to kneel so she might take in the injury to his calf, she will roll up pants as need be, removing sock and shoe as well. Again, comes the gentle touch to the sole of his foot, guiding him into flexing and pointing his foot while one hand slides up along the calf to feel how things move, her gaze watching his ankle and muscles.


There is no reply, when she speaks of the proper treatment on his arm, and holds himself like a statue as the woman examines it, and when she places it against him just so, he holds it - he is, at least, an obliging patient. As she continues her work, Matthieu watches her every movement; there is no impression that he expects her to turn from healer to assassin, nothing so dire and ridiculous as that, but there is the natural curiosity of a consummate academic present and his eyes take in the finer details of her face. It is not the typical way any hotblooded young man would look at her, for she is pretty, as Gabriel has observed, but rather one that is busily deconstructing her features down to the very bone.

She kneels, the trouser leg rolled up - black, and loose. His foot points his toes per her silent instructions and once fabric is drawn away, she would find it - the long, stitched up incision at the meaty side of his calf, starting from the highest point of his ankle and almost to the knee. Had it been moved just a few inches, and just a little higher, it would have been a deadly injury. His femoral artery would have been cleaved in half, rendering him unable to return alive to the land of his birth.

That, too, will heal in time, but it is clear that the walking stick will not do. Weight will have to be kept off the foot entirely - he would need a crutch.

He waits for her to make her observations, before speaking again. "Whose house do you come from?" he asks. It isn't to pry into the woman's depths, but there is something about her that is familiar - perhaps features that remind him of a particular family in which she belongs that he is particularly well-acquainted. It may be the reason why he is looking at her the way he is.


It is safe to say that Gwenaelle doesn't seem to notice the way he stares at her, his gaze to quite intense while she works. Her attention is whole-heartedly upon her task at hand, looking over the injury to his leg. Again, there comes that slight furrow of her brows as she seems to find something that doesn't settle well with her in some way, a slight shake of her head as her hand feels the injury to his calf, "You will need to stay off your leg if you wish it to heal properly." The words are given quietly as she continues to examine his calf, fingers tracing just aside the stiches her fellow healer put in, "Crutches or bedrest. No weight at all for at least a few weeks. Each step you make upon it, is risking you never walking again.. truthfully, if you rip the stitches, you may do more damage, even death." Harsh it might sound, but it's truth. If he tears things, the injury could reach the artery.

Only when she's done does she look up from her kneeled position, green eyes to meet his of blue above, "Mereliot, though my family are unlanded. Gwenaele de Mereliot is my father.." He may have heard of the name, a rather sucessful merchant of import/export from the port city. A gesture made to his calf, "I'd like to wrap it… " Rising to her feet, she will set about cleaning her hands, fetching what bandages she may need to wrap the calf, "You are lucky that the tendons are not severed. Merely the damage done is bad enough that you must give it time without your weight put upon it, to allow the muscle to heal properly."


Crutches. Bedrest. Something boils from within the cool and inscrutable facade, visible only in the way a set of his fingers bunches tightly into the cover of the padded bed and gripping there - a controlled gesture, perhaps, to prevent himself from sinking further into bitter, fiery frustration. Matthieu's jaw sets, eyes as hard as marbles, but there's a stiff nod. Always, always, with the relentless willingness to do everything and all that he has to in order to achieve a particular aim. He wants to be able to move, as well as he can again, but he is too practical in the end to make an existing problem worse.

Gabriel remains forever his attentive shadow. He is still savoring his peach, but utter silence from the Cassiline, always so ready with a joke, quip or mischief, speaks volumes. They say that the two men have been companions since their very early childhoods, able to gauge one another's moods and thoughts without even speaking. They are not, nor they were ever, lovers; celibacy is a vow that the dark-haired man holds as seriously as his promise to defend his best friend to the death. But they are closer than friends, closer than brothers. They are mirrors of one another's spirit.

Her confirmation of her family name earns her a look of acknowledgment from Matthieu, something clearing in his expression. "The duchesse's family," he remarks. "I thought so. Your father brokered a particularly sensitive trade agreement for mine in one of his travels east. I heard he had a child that was promised to the priesthood." As she rises, she would discover that whoever prepared her present set up was meticulous - everything she would need, including a mortar and pestle for her herbs, made out of Hellene marble, is on the table.

You are lucky that the tendons are not severed.

That is a relief, but he doesn't voice it - it is more sensed in his air. "As it stands, I would be happy if no infections developed. The blade wasn't clean when it cleaved into me."


There's a flicker of her gaze upwards, the knowledge of how her words are received to be taken in. It surely doesn't take a mind reader at all to pick up on the fact that he doesn't like the sound of bedrest or crutches. And yet, for once, a male doesn't try to argue with her about his care. That's got to be somewhat of a first! No doubt, she'd been bracing for a refusal, and when none comes, relaxes. It allows her to focus once more, her steps almost a dance as she begins to mix herbs and compound the salve that will go upon his calf.

She truly gives no thought to Gabriel, much as many do when one of his brethen are present and on duty. She's taken care of a few back in the City of Elua, but does not even attempt to distract him from his duty to his ward. Kneeling again, she begins to sooth the salve over the stitches, once more murmuring beneath her breath that odd prayer. Surely he imagines the heat from her hands - perhaps it is something in the salve spread upon his skin. If nothing, the pain that might have been felt is somewhat eased with her touch. With salve spread, bandages are taken up and wrapped about his calf from ankle to knee, tied off to keep it in place as she reaches to unroll the pant back downwards.

"That would be me, yes. I have been with the temple since I was six." Gwenaelle offers the information as she then turns attention back to his arm, "Would you be more comfortable without the brace right now while I tend to your back, or would you prefer it back on again? " The choice is his - she ultimately wants him as comfortable as possible.


Since she was six, she says. The age Olivia had been when she was promised to Naamah's service. Matthieu's tracking attention follows her to the table where healing accoutrements are assembled until she returns to his periphery. The balm stings and soothes all at once; underneath her touch, he is like stone, hammered into shape by responsibility and toil, but he doesn't twitch in discomfort nor is there any needless tension. If there is any reluctance in being touched, even for this purpose - and it would be understandable if there was, considering the damage wrought upon him by unforgiving hands - he is devoid of any sign of it. He lets her work without any resistance at all, and takes her recommendations to heart. Too many people dismiss the opinions of an expert to their detriment - he is not, and knows better than to be, one of them.

But there is a curious air there, too, when her prayers chase away invisible and evil humours, leaving a tingling warmth on his skin that marks her not just as a devoted member of the clergy, but also a scion. The demands of his own angelic heredity respond to it readily, a resonance of a kind reached, recognizing it for what it is and accepting it, thus rendering it all the more effective.

"The brace can be reattached later," he says, ever a decisive creature. "The humidity is intolerable." And with that, he waits, to let her first unwrap the bandages that are wound around him, before he lowers himself on his chest, lying prone with his cheek pressed against the cushion and exposing the ruin of his back. Some of the stitching is bleeding, it can't be helped considering how extensive they are and the bruising and discoloration makes it difficult to determine any burgeoning infection by just sight alone. There is no smell, thankfully, no telltale signs of it, save for the coppery tang of blood and the metallic notes of sanctified steel.


She moves with grace and ease, one could almost imagine her within Balm, if not for her family's choice to send her to the temple instead of Mont Nuit. And yet there's a sense of innocence as well, the priestess faithful in her practices to her Companion. If he twitched or showed discomfort, one would be certain she would seek to ease it in some way, to the best of her ability. A breath is released as she finishes wrapping his leg, soon to move on to his other injuries.

With but a nod of her head to his answer, she sets about unwrapping the bandages about his chest, to give her sight to further injuries. Once more, there is that faint furrow of her brows, a look up from his back as he lies down to his Cassiline, perhaps for the first time, as if to ask him if Matthieu truly lived through such injuries without a show of pain. Surprised, yes. That and so much more. One might see the faint sheen of tears in her eyes, of very nature shaken for a moment before she takes a deep breath, releases it, and centers herself to continue.

Leaning forwards, she inhales again, likely using her nose to see if she might catch the scent of infection before moving on. Her hands are washed again before she picks up cloth and disinfectant to dab after warning him, "This is going to sting, but there's a few places the bandage stuck and tore. I want to make sure you are healing well before I put more salve and bandages. If you think you'd be comfortable on the table, I would leave it open for a little time so it might get the air?"


He remains well-formed despite his toils; Gabriel once told him that his foresight is formidable and there was most definitely a point in the last three years in which he realized he has to prepare for escape as best that he is able despite the abuse he suffered in his captors' hands. Matthieu is no hulking mountain of muscle. He does not have the sleek and speedy musculature that his Cassiline friend has, nothing like those who stake their reputations as duelists where lightning reflexes and compact builds are optimal. Neither is he one of those delicate androgynous men who fill the halls of the Night Court whose litheness can put the famed veil-dancers of Bhodistan or Khebbel-im-Akkad to shame. He is in some point in between, a wiry survivor who looks like the sort who enjoys a long and vigorous swim or run, or a bare-knuckled boxing match.

His threshold for pain is the stuff of legends, not because he is reluctant to acknowledge its existence, but because exposing such vulnerabilities in a dangerous situation is akin to bleeding in open water; more sharks will only follow. Were he more of a stereotypical Siovalese, bookish and focused on learning, he might not have endured the indignities heaped upon him. Even in the earliest stages of his growth in his home province, he has not discounted the importance of physical strength for precisely these situations. He may not win every contest, but he will live through most dangers, and he is no good to anyone - not his family, friends, or country - if he is dead.

Gabriel catches the look Gwenaelle gives him, shot only when Matthieu's eyes have finally left her face and his own turned away by the way he is laying, unable to see the exchange that follows. At the tears in her eyes, there's an encouraging smile and a slight nod of his head. It isn't permission, but acknowledgment - the woman is doing Eisheth's good work.

"It's alright, my lady." His smile turns subtly teasing. "I'll whallop him if he bites."

The warning gets an acknowledging gesture from the future duke of Siovale - his fingers on his uninjured arm moves. "I'll endure it," he says; his baritone is low, to smother any signs of pain there might be, but it is confident and assured. Even broken, even bleeding, even while living the very impression of broken bones and stitched-up meat, his tone is laden with the pride expected and necessary of those who are expected to shoulder the heavy burdens of rule. "I would appreciate the respite, priestess."


Legends, indeed. His fortitude and resistance to pain is something she will discuss with the head priestess no doubt, a small sense of awe given at what he had endured, and still does. It is something she has not seen herself, and for that reason, the tears shine in her eyes. The teasing of the Cassiline draws her lips upwards, the faint tremble of her lips shown, "Perhaps I should check him to be sure he is not rabid as well?" She jokes!

"I know you will, but still I would warn you. Please, if something hurts more than what you might see as normal, let me know?" She urges a promise from him, if he would offer it, "I need to know such things, milord, to better attend you and your injuries." That said, she gives him a moment to brace, and then begins to clean the various wounds upon his back, working quickly, but with her usual gentle touch. While she works, soft words of prayer fall from her lips. When the antiseptic is set aside and the salve jar picked up, that warming touch comes into play again as she chases any infection away.


She jokes, indeed! It is that sense of humor that wins from the Cassiline the growing breadth of his smile, equally blessed and cursed with a face suited for it - the angels only know how many fists it has attracted his way, after all. "Perhaps you should, my lady. I've often wondered, myself."

"Maybe you should come over here," Matthieu replies in a grumbling grouse from his prone position, facedown on the bed. "So you can find out for yourself." An unyielding wall most days, most hours, but his best friend can effortlessly coax him out of it, a glimpse of the man underneath, and one not so hollowed out by his experiences that he can't brandish his own wit.

At her pleading, there is silence - nothing to hint at hesitation, ever inscrutable even in that, always when it comes to any admission of his own weaknesses. "I will inform you," he says, as the healer manages to wrest the promise from him. And his word is good as his bond.

She gets to work, cleaning his wounds, disinfecting and soothing, applying balm and ointment wherever he needs. It's the nasty, carving wound that runs towards the small of his back that forces him to hiss a breath. "There," he says, fulfilling his oath. And in every pass of her fingers where it gives him more than just a twitching discomfort, he lets her know. They are marked with deep discoloration, trauma embedded on the muscle, but at the very least, nothing additional is broken.

Tension bleeds out of him, bit by bit, when her prayers do what her hands cannot.


Amusement shows then, unseen by the lord, but certainly visible to the Cassieline as the banter continues between the friends. "No telling what he might have picked up.." Lightly does she joke as she works, "Infection being the least of our worries." Soft is the husky chuckle, the glance given to Gabriel before turning to ther duty.

Unseen is the nod given in answer to his promise, her hands working quickly, but thoroughly over his back. When pain is shown in the larger wound, she hmms, checking it to be certain there is no infection under the surface, making sure stitches are still in place. It is that area, and those others where tenderness is shown, that she will pay the closest of attention to, warmth offered as she works.

It is likely the Cassiline that will notice with his keen eye to attention, that the priestess looks a tad more exhausted than she looked when she first arrived. Time does get away from her as she works, but still, something more is at work here.


Long moments pass - the Cassiline does notice, but does not bring attention to it. He is Matthieu's closest friend in the world, but this is his house.

Finally, whenever Gwenaelle concludes her work, sapped as she is of the vitality with which she arrived, the ducal heir will follow her directives whenever it is time for him to sit up. He feels better, looks better, and he rolls his shoulders experimentally once he's righted up again in a seated position, knees curled over the edge of the padding and his feet just a touch off the ground. Matthieu extends his arm to her, for the healer to finally balm up the visible stitching, to be met with bandages before the brace returns in its place. There is more work there, but it is the tail end of the session.

He misses nothing - his eyes aren't anything like Gabriel's, but what he lacks in actual physical skill, he makes up for with his perception. After a moment of that intent, quiet scrutiny, he speaks in his usual decisive notes: "You may rest here a while, priestess, before I have my guards and carriage escort you back. Is there anything in particular that you require for your relief?"

He is hardly cordial, brusque at best when it comes to strangers - people he doesn't know, or has yet to get to know. But he spent most of his boyhood as a ward of the formidable Vicomtesse de Seyches, Lucienne d'Albert. He is a ruthless, occasionally monstrous protector of those people and things he calls his own, but her tutelage has also molded him to become an unrepentant gentleman.


Gwenaelle isn't seeking to heal him completely. Not even mostly. But she does her best to take the edge so that with continued rest and care, he'll come out of this better than he could have hoped. But even giving the smallest of her energy, it will tucker her out over time. Given the arm, she finishes up this last bit, bandaging the wound, then seeing that the brace is put back on properly, checking to make sure it doesn't rub anywhere's it should. Fussing just a little over it.

Only then might she step back, offering the man a smile, "If perhaps a bit of tea? If you might join me as well?" Surely there's a reason for that, "I want to make sure you are well before I leave." She's had a few who have had need of further care before she left. Better to be safe than sorry, yes? "I will send your guard back with some crutches as well. There are pins that you can remove to set them at the proper height for you."


With the brace returned, a pair of callused fingertips reach past her to hook underneath the collar of his shirt. With his own power, he slips his broken arm through one sleeve first, before another, leaving it open and the laces undone. He proceeds to ease off the padded bed, most of his weight upon it, and keeps his left knee bent, to keep his weight off it. He finds his walking stick and the Cassiline moves to assist, relieved of the need to do so entirely when a strong arm brackets across his shoulders. Neither will let Gwenaelle shoulder the burden - Matthieu is not the biggest man, but that is deceptive given his muscular density. He is heavier than he looks.

Her request for tea will be granted and Matthieu nods, eyes turning to a servant, who takes it as his cue to go fetch a tea cart. Even in his state, leaning against his friend, he insists on standing on his one good leg, gesturing for her to take a seat at the circular table meant to entertain guests. It is only when she is seated that the Cassiline moves to deposit him on a chair directly in front of her. The future duke drags a wicker ottoman over, propping his injured leg up on it.

House Rocaille is always staffed with good employees, but Matthieu's return has made them almost militaristic in their efficiency. The cart is wheeled out in just a few minutes, with a uniformed valet steeping tea. The scent of black leaf and the citrus notes of bergamot fill the air.

"What else would you like to know?" he asks, eyes falling on her once again, glaciers chased with silver.


Gwenaelle does not take long to find a seat there at the table, not wishing the lord to stand longer than needed. Having gathered the notes his prior healer kept, she will add her own, glancing towards him when he questions her, "Do you have issues at night? Fevers or sweats? Do you sleep well?" Yes, she understands that a man who's been through what he has, may not sleep well. A silly question, some might say. But it is obvious something she wishes to hear so that she might take it into further consideration in his care.

The arrival of tea has her smiling, a deep inhale taken of the scent that fills the air, "I thank you for the tea…" The words given even before it's poured. "Is there anything you might add, or think I should know?" She finally asks, quill poised, ready to jot down his answers upon the parchement before her.


Matthieu's tea is served first and then Gwenaelle's, the cup and saucer situated where it properly should. The valet then moves away to stand at the wings, to be summoned once needed again. Gabriel doesn't join them, preferring to return to his place against the column, that same easy lean, arms crossed over his chest.

Do you sleep well?

It hits a mark, but one wouldn't know it by looking at him. The silence is answer enough, however, even if Matthieu doesn't deign to open his mouth to explain. The tea might as well not be there; anyone or anything else might not as well be there with the way his attention is so fixed on his guest.

"No," he says. "I do not. I would be grateful if you can prescribe an herbal remedy - enough to ease me to sleep but nothing else. Massages would be more than I can endure at the moment, and I will not avail myself to the skills of a Gentian."

Whatever she prescribes, he will take to heart. But with tea consumed and the recommendation made, Gwenaelle is thus escorted to the carriage by his guards, the small entourage seeing her safely back to her temple.

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