(1310-08-25) Dancing Lessons
Summary: Log Summary
RL Date: 16/08/2018 to 06/09/2018
Related: None
irene thibault 

Eresse Townhouse - Noble District

The Eresse residence combines rustique naval charme with a certain noble elegance, as can be seen from the interior of the parlor, where a few windows light the room generously during the day. At the wall hangs a shield with the family crest, the green ship on a field of white. Dark mahogany furniture provides a nice contrast to the green color favored in the upholstery in the furniture. A table with a number of elegantly carved chairs govern one side of room, set before a wall that sports a few paintings of naval scenes. To the other side, there is the hearth, plain dark grey marble, which has a variety of small ship models arranged upon the mantelpiece. Before the hearth, a few comfortable armchairs have been arranged, green cushions thrown in to add more comfort.

A door at the back leads to the kitchens and a stairway leading upstairs towards the private quarters of Eresse lords and ladies currently residing in the city.

A letter is delivered in the early morning to a young lord:

Lord Thibault Charlot,

Forgive me for my impatience, though, you have mentioned your skill in dancing as well as your passion to this type of art. I was honest in saying that my skills are quite poor. Quite a few occasions are coming up during which I will be expected to have a dance or two. I would love not to make a fool out of myself like the last time. I was wondering if we could start the lessons you so graciously suggested, today? I believe it may take some time. We can do that at my place, your place or any other location you deem fitting.

Please, let me know.


- Lady Irene d'Eresse

Lady Irene d'Eresse,

I must say that I wasn't sure if you were gonna take me up on my offer. I am glad to hear that you have decided to accept my suggestion regarding an introduction into the arts of the Ball Room. After all, a lady who can not dance is no true lady at all. As to whether you will make a fool out of yourself or not, that remains to be seen.

We will start the lessons at your family's residence tonight, I believe the familiar surroundings will be good for you for the first lesson. I will be at your home an hour after dinner and will expect you to be properly dressed for the occasion and ready to start immediately.

- Lord Thibault Mercer Charlot

An old but pleasant butler opens the door when the lord Charlot approaches the d'Eresse residence. It seems that he has been waiting for the arrival. He doesn't say much but offers a polite bow and if the guest decides to follow the older man leads the young one toward the main room where a lady is waiting. The hallway is not that long and a servant soon opens the door gesturing for Thibault to enter. The room has a long table which already holds two goblets of wine, a jar and a few plates with various delicatesses and snacks.

The Lady herself seems to be at the further side of the room. Her back is facing the door as she seems to be pacing closer to the fireplace. The young woman has chosen one of her best gowns for the evening of her dancing lessons. The dress has the color of a fully grown pink rose. The lace of the same shade adorns the bodice of this sweet and girlish attire. Additionally to that, a shadow effect throughout the tulle skirt is created since it has a barely visible misty pink tone. This adornment brings dramatic volume and a subtle touch of mystery to this A-line dress. The flattering waist is drawn in by a crystal belt and deep sweetheart neckline that is finished by swirls of edge lace. The bodice of the gown seems to be formed only by the lace and leaves a decent amount of skin bared at the back. The lace seems to form a butterfly motif there. Floral ornaments are represented on an almost lucid tulle which covers the skirt.
Irene's silver earrings are long but light as feathers. They are hanging from her ears so low as to at times tickle the skin of her shoulders. Her dark brown curls are gathered up into a large bun decorated with a silver hair brooch which represent a thin branch of blooming cherry tree.
Though, two thicker curls are drawn out to lay on her shoulders and cascade down in the front. The Lady also has a thin silver bracelet around her wrist.

She seems to be pacing mildly nervously. Her fingers nip on the fabric of the light tulle. With each of her steps, delicate shoes of a similar rosy color appear now and then. They have a medium size heel to make Irene appear a bit taller. Though, she still would be considered quite petite. Those heels are adorned with some small gemstones.
The butler just stands and waits for the lord to enter.

Thibault approaches the d'Eresse residence followed by two servants carrying what looks to be a large, thin rug or sheet of some kind. It is rolled up and around it is bound a broad silk band. A present? Or something else entirely?

The Charlot lord himself is wearing polished leather shoes with a large metal buckle on each, tight fitting breeches of a dark red fabric and a black silk shirt embroidered with the symbol of his house, a prancing stallion, on the back and a smaller, identical embroidering on the right part of the chest at the front. These are both done in a bright red thread that almost makes it seem like the depicted animals are ready to jump off the fabric. The thin, red leather belt holding his rapier is, as always, fastened around his waist. The black hair adorning his head is in it's usual state of stylishly chaotic, with a few errand locks reaching down to rest against the side of his cheekbone.

He greets the awaiting butler with a nod and follows him in through the door, gesturing for the two servants to do the same. When they reach the door to the chamber where the young lady is waiting, he gives the butler another nod before entering. Lips curls into a faint smile at the sight of the young d'Eresse woman and how she is nervously fidgeting with her dress. "Lady Irene." He adresses her in a calm tone, before quickly glancing around the room and turning to the two men carrying the rug. "There." He tells them, gesturing to an area of the room where the floor isn't covered or obstructed by furniture. The two men quickly move into the room to place what they hold in their hands on the floor before looking to Thibault. "You're excused and can return to the Charlot residence. I have no further need for you tonight." He tells them. "The men both offer a bow, first to Thibault and then to Irene, before quickly and silently making their exit.

Lady Irene immediately turns toward the low voice. A trembling smile curls her lips up and she offers a mild curtsy, "M'lord, thank you so much for such a qu-…" Her curiosity is stolen by the two Charlot servants and the rug. She does not oppose to their actions but her attention can not be moved back to the guest. In fact, a young lady takes a few steps closer where servants are arranging something. She leans her head to one side, then to the other, her eyebrows marginally frowns and like an inquisitive kitten even tiptoes a bit in order to take a better peek at what is going on.

After a few longer moments, when she realizes the inappropriateness of her behaviour, Irene offers a sincere apology. "Forgive me," d'Eresse lady giggles focusing back on Thibault. "What is that?" She asks pointing at the rug but allows for the lord to have time to send servants away. She also waves for the butler to leave who follows Irene's order and closes the door behind himself. "Would you like to have som-…" The lady raised her hand gesturing to the table and refreshments on it but then suddenly her eyes grow wide. A crimson blush creeps up her cheeks.The Irises of her beautiful deep brown eyes run from right to left in mild panic. The lady-in-waiting to the Duchess bites her bottom lip. She turns away from Thibault and wraps her arms around the slim waist. "Forgive me, m'lord, I believe we will have to postpone my lesson… I completely forgot to hire a musician…" Her shoulders slump down in disappointment.

The curtsy is returned with a bow at the waist from Thibault, a smirk tugging at the corners of his lips at the sight of the slightly flustered young lady. His eyes then follows hers to the item placed on the floor by the two servants for a moment, before returning to watch her as she tries to figure out what it might be. The smirk turns into a smile as eyes of golden amber grow a little darker with apparent amusement.

He doesn't look back to the butler when Irene dismisses him, his gaze fixed on her. "That, my lady…" He gestures to the still rolled-up rug on the floor. "…is how we learn to dance in Châteaugiron." He offers plainly without any further detail. Then a nod as she gestures towards the refreshments on the table. He walks over to the table and picks up one of the goblets, waiting for her to join him before raising it to his lips, but then she stops mid-sentence and turns away from him. He merely stares at the delicate, unblemished skin of her back for a moment, until she starts speaking. A small roll of the eyes while she isn't looking, before he puts down the glas and walks up to stand behind her, placing one hand gently on either side of her hips, covering her own hands. "If I had required there to be music for this first lesson, I would have mentioned it in the missive I sent you, m'lady." A furrowing of brows as his eyes grow darker still, this time with no trace of amusement, and a slight but noticeable tightening of his hands around hers. "Or are you having second thoughts regarding our arrangement? If so, I would prefer to be told of it now, so that I won't be wasting my own time, or yours." A minute tightening of his hands around hers.
There is an obvious flinch of the young lady's shoulders when Thibault touches Irene's hands. Though, she does not protest, she does not squirm to escape his gentle grasp. Actually, she seems to freeze in the moment as if a little lamb who is scared to move in a grasp of strong predator's maw.

Even her chest stops raising up and down nervously as if she would hold her breath for a couple of seconds. Just when the man expresses his disappointment of a possibly changed mind, Irene immediately springs to turn around and face him. Her cheeks colored in a soft rosy shade. Her dark eyes quickly run to the east and west scanning the man's features. She shakes her head, "No no no! Why would I change my mind? My brother's birthday and wedding is coming. I want to participate and not be a shame. I just thought that music is necessary, m'lord. I promise, I didn't change my mind." Her widely opened eyes have an honest apologetic gaze which lingers on Thibault's.

After a few heartbeats, Irene takes a step backwards and tiptoes to look over the lord's shoulder.Curiosity drags her attention back to the carpet. "I must say this looks quite a unique way in learning how to dance. Did you go through this lessons yourself? Why did you have to go through something like that but your cousin lord Cyriel doesn't know how to dance?" A small giggle escapes her lips.

A moment of silence as the young lady seems to freeze in place, the tall Charlot lord letting his eyes play over the smooth skin of her bared neck and upper back, hands still placed on her waist.

To her answer when she turns around with a flustered expression, a faint smile and a nod of approval. Eyes lock with hers and holds her gaze for a long second before he answers. "Good." He answers simply. Another long second. "As long as your brother's wedding is not taking place in the next few weeks, I am sure that we can make enough progress as to not have you make a fool out of yourself." He tilts his head ever so slightly. "Well, on the dance floor at least." A little humor in his voice and a soft squeeze of the hands that are still holding her even after she's turned around.

His eyes sparkle with slight amusement as she mentions his cousin, his gaze remaining on her as she looks to the carpet, meeting her eyes again when she looks back. "Yes, this is one of the ways that I myself was taught. As to my cousins lack of elegance when it comes to the dance floor, he simply lacks the passion for it I suspect. If you'd seen him with a blade you'd know that it's certainly not for lack of swift and precise movements. Or maybe his parents simply didn't deem it a skill he would need." A shrug and an expression that indicates that he finds it mildly amusing but that he really doesn't care either way.

Then he indicates to the table where refreshments have been set out. "Shall we have a drink? I think a little something would be good for you. Once we start there won't be many breaks, if any."

The young woman can not hide her amusement as well when the conversation turns to Cyriel. Though, together with a humorous sparkles one could see some small twinkles of admiration in her deep brown gaze. Irene nods hearing Thibault's explanation. "I am well aware of his admiration to the blades," she admits. "I have seen his collection hidden on the wall of his chambers. To be honest, I have sent him a gift myself. A small dagger I found in the market. Well, to be even more honest," Irene laughs, "It was on the belt of a merchant and I just simply negotiated that he would sell it to me. I was pretty sure your cousin will enjoy it but…" The lady's gaze trails off together with her voice. She stares at the spot on the ground for a moment, "… he did not answer. So, I guess… Well, anyway!"

The d'Eresse lady laughs trying to cheer up and is quick to move toward the table when Thibault suggests to grab a glass of wine before lesson starts. She reaches for the goblet and takes quite a large sip of a drink before asking, "So, tell me more how we are suppose to go about the dancing lessons without any music? Also, is my attire proper? You said I should be dressed properly and since usually dancing is happening at the ball, I thought a ball gown would be fitting?" A beat. "No offense, but you do not look like ready for a grand fete?" A chuckle.

Thibault looks at Irene with a little surprise. "Oh, so he invited you to our family residence? Maybe I /have/ underestimated the depth of your so called friendship." He refers to their conversation some days earlier. "As for your gift, I am sure he'll get around to answering you in due time. He has a lot of things to tend to, you know, being a Vicomte. Just because he's in Marsilikos does not mean that the responsibilities of overseeing Chavagne doesn't rest on his shoulders still, and even the best of stewards can only do so much. Patience, m'lady."

He moves to the table with her and picks up the other goblet, holding it up in a small toast towards Irene before putting it to his lips, taking a generous sip. "You don't need music to dance, lady Irene, only rhythm. Besides, we will be starting slowly, the basic steps of the major dances and how to properly follow your partner as he leads you. Once you have proved to be able to do that, then we can move to the more advanced parts. And music."

He gives her chosen attire another look over, offering a few slow nods as his eyes scan over her body. "I had envisioned something a bit less prossibly obstructive in fairness, but I admire the confidence. And, you do look exceptionally lovely, I'll have to admit." No flirt in his voice, just a state of facts by the sound of it. "As for my own attire, I know how to dance in whatever clothes I might find myself wearing, so I thought I'd wear something more on the comfortable side for tonight." A small shrug. He takes another sip of the goblet followed by a deep breath as his eyes leave the young lady and studies the room where the lessons will take place in more detail. Then the goblet is returned to the table and he extends a hand, palm up, towards her. "Now, shall we start the lessons or are there anything else you need before we begin?"

Irene pouts. Her eyebrows furrow. "Everybody always suggests that I would be patient. Though, I believe that if you ha-…" she squints. Eyes on Thibault as if she would be judging the worth of trusting the man. A very slow slip of a wine is taken before she lowers the glass on the table. No words are added even if her lips are marginally parted as if the impatient little lamb would be absolutely eager to spill a whole pile of her personal thoughts. Though, her fingers press to each other quite tightly as if to provide her with strength to remain composed and more adult-like. The petite d'Eresse lady even straightens up to appear completely ready for an imaginary Grand Fete. When a hand is offered to her, Irene takes a glance at it. A deep inhale. Her own hand is raised up in a slow motion and then she carefully slides her fingers onto the man's palm. Her skin is soft and smooth but there is a tremble in her touch. She swallows a gulp of hesitance. "Let's do it." She smiles. Peeks at the man and then at the carpet brought by him.

Thibault smiles at the young woman's impatience. "There's a time for patience and a time to take action. Learning to decide when either is the appropriate choice is what is hard." When she places her petit hand in his, long delicate fingers wrap gently around her's, almost completely enveloping it. "Yes, let's." He leads her the few steps towards where the carpet is still rolled up with the silken band around it. "One moment." He says, before letting go of her hand and kneeling down to unwrap the silk band. Once this is done with a single pull of the ribbon, he unfolds it, revealing that it does indeed seem to be a large carpet of some sort, with numerous of what looks like small silk straps fastened around the edges. A pattern of a couple dancing on a field set aflame adorns it. Then he rises again to his usual straight and poised position and looks at her. "Take off your shoes, please, you won't be needing those tonight."

"Oh?" Irene seems mildly confused. Her gaze wanders from the carpet to her tutor. "I haven't seen anything like it before. Are you sure I don't need my shoes? Because it's way harder to walk on those. I thought it will be a mo-…" She changes her mind. There is no need to oppose. Another glance is given to the man. He definitely knows what he is doing. So, the young lady moves back a bit to find herself a chair. She flops down and then gathers up her skirt to raise it up a bit that she could untie her shoes. It takes a bit. Laces are long and mildly complicated. Though, after a couple of moments, she withdraws her delicate small feet and sets them on the floor. "Oh!" Irene chuckles. "A bit cold!" She bites her bottom lip to stop another quiet giggle. A young woman jumps to her feet. Her hands release the fabric of a skirt which falls down to the floor. The apprentice moves to the tutor. Irene's hand gestures toward the carpet, "After you, show me how we are going to do this!" She beams broadly like a little ray of sun. Excitement overshadows the rest of her emotions, including nervousness.

Thibault looks at her, entertained a bit by the confusion on her face. "I'm sure." He answers with a faint smile. As she goes to find a seat, he kneels down again to loosen his own shoes which comes off much more easily than those of his young partner. He spends a few moments watching her as her hands work to free her feet from the tight clutches of the rather fancy shoes, eyes following the movements of her fingers. "Don't worry, you'll feel the sweet burn soon enough." He answers her comment about the temperature of the floor as he again offers his hand. "You won't learn anything from simply observing me, come." If she takes his hand, he will lead her to the center of the carpet. Once there, he assumes a proper position and places his free hand on her hip, gently correcting her position and stance a little until he seems to deem it suitable. "Yes, this will do." He mumbles under his breath. "First off, I'll need to see how much you know before we get started with the real lessons. Just follow my lead and everything will be fine." With that, he starts slowly tapping his foot and heel on the floor, setting a basic rhythm for the two of them to move to. Then, the grip of his hands on her tightens faintly and he starts the steps of the first lesson.

<FS3> Irene rolls Dancing: Failure. (4 3 5)

<FS3> Thibault rolls Dancing: Good Success. (6 6 6 3 2 8 7 7 1)

"Of course," Irene nods taking the man's hand. Completely trusting her tutor, the young woman simply follows him to the center and then turns to face him. When the man's hand touches her hip, the d'Eresse lady flinches one more time. It seems that she is not absolutely used to being so close to someone. Even more, her arms are decorated by tiny goosebumps. Her shoulder mildly twitches as if she would have been tickled. A giggle leaves her throat. Irene closes her eyes briefly, but when the man's grip tightens, she looks up at him. He moves and she tries to follow him. Since her eyes are focused on his, the apprentice is not able to look at the carpet itself. Nor that she knows how to place her feet correctly. So, she simply moves alongside the man putting her feet quite randomly. While it is not that disturbing at first, Thibault is able to feel how her toes step onto his soon. Immediately, the lady panics and tries to push herself away. "I am sorry!" She almost shouts out and is trying to turn away from Thibault. "I am just terrible. I am not going to learn it. I should just sit in the corner and sketch during parties, like I have been doing for so many years now…" Not more than two years, but she considers it a lot. She will try to wrap her arms once more around her waist and she rubs her feet into the ground nervously, making her skirt sweep the carpet as if touched by the breeze.

His movements are slow at first, allowing her to settle into the rhythm before starting to move in the correct tempo. There's a slight amusement to his features at how flustered she seems to be. That amusement quickly fades and is replaced by a stern expression as her feet hits his and she tries to pull away. He doesn't let her. His hand on her waist moves a few inches further around her back and his hold on her tightens, enough that she is kept securely in his grasp but gentle enough as to not cause her any pain. He pulls her closer with that same firm but gentle touch and bends down his head to where their faces are merely inches apart. "Don't be sorry….focus!" He says with a calm but assertive voice and a subtle raise of brows. A short pause. "Yes, you are terrible.." he admits to her plainly. "..but only because you think you are. You should have more faith in yourself." He loosens his hold on her again and straightens his posture, eyes still fixed on hers. "Now, are we gonna do something about it or are you gonna run to your room and draw something sad?"

<FS3> Irene rolls Dancing: Failure. (1 1 4)

<FS3> Thibault rolls Dancing: Great Success. (7 2 7 8 3 2 1 7 3)

Irene squirms in the man’s grasp for a few seconds trying to escape his hold. Though, her struggle is not that much eager. It’s like she pretends her desire to free herself because that would be proper but she doesn’t want that he would let her go. So, after those few moments she calms down. Her shoulders slump a bit. She raises her gaze to look up at Thibault when the man scolds her. The young lady pouts and a small twinkle of sadness appears in her eyes. Though quite soon it’s lighten up by determination and she straightens her posture one more time together with the lord. A swallow. She is ready to continue. No words are given. No. Just a nod and she follows the man’s lead again.

Though, instead of being a graceful swan the d’Eresse lady is as if a recently born very young kitten who stumbles at each of her steps trying to learn how to walk. She keeps stepping on the man’s toes with her own, letting out a quiet apology each time. “I am so sorry. You have to be so patient to actually not drop the lesson yourself. Why did you even agreed to help me?”

The feigned strugglings of a partner held close draws the faintest of smiles from his lips, even if her performance is less than convincing. Then the stern look on Thibault's features soften a little as the young woman relaxes once more and indicates to him that she is ready to proceed. "Good, let's continue." he replies simply before slowly starting the steps again.

It goes well at first but it doesn't take long for the feeling of dainty toes on his to resume. If he does feel the pressure of her small feet stepping on his, however, he doesn't show any sign of it. "I told you already, don't be sorry, it only serves to distract you. You can be sorry later." To the question, he gives her a pensive look. "You know, I'm not quite sure about that myself. Call it…intuition. Companions know you certainly need it." A smile is offered at those words before his expression turns serious again. "Now, Focus. Try not to think, just….feel."

<FS3> Irene rolls Dancing: Success. (8 6 3)

<FS3> Thibault rolls Dancing: Great Success. (2 8 4 8 7 6 7 1 2)

“Try not to think. Try not to think. Try not to think…” Irene repeats. Her grasp tightens on the man’s hand and his shoulder. “Feel it. Just feel it.” She closes her eyes as if losing the sight will help her in feeling the rhythm better. And what a surprise! The young woman actually starts moving with some more grace and… she no longer steps on Thibault’s toes. One two three. One two three. One two three. Even if there is a high tension in her body and she is far from being flexible, the lady Irene manages to keep up the pace and follow the man’s lead.

She still holds her eyes tightly closed and she even bites her bottom lip as if afraid to say a word and then screw things over by falling over or stepping on the lord’s feet again. But there is something. A thought. What draws a smile in her fair features and she can not hold a quiet chuckle at the end. But she tries not to be left behind and follow. One two three. One two three.

A small satisfied smile forms on Thibault's lips as they continue the dance and Irene starts to move with something reminiscent of elegance and he no longer feels the gentle poking of small clumsy toes on his own. Her movements are still stiff and tense but she manages to follow his lead and place her feet somewhat correctly, for the most part. From afar they might even pass for a couple who have been partners on the dancefloor before, but up close it is obvious that the young lady is having to concentrate a great deal to keep up. He doesn't speak, not wanting to break her concentration, allowing her to simply focus on the rhythm.

They continue for a few more minutes, managing to complete the steps of the dance. As they come to a halt exactly on the center of the carpet, Thibault takes one small step back, still holding her one hand in his and offers a courtly bow to his partner as would be expected were this an actual event taking place at the Palace. "Very good." He says with a polite smile, before quickly moving on. "Now that I have seen that you can manage to complete a full sequence without stumbling over your own feet, I think we can start the lessons in full." The smile turns into a faint smirk before he moves around the edge of the carpet, pulling on a few of the silken straps fastened there. As he does, the carpet darkens in certain areas and as he continues to pull on more of them, a pattern emerges that roughly follows the contours of the flames depicted. He pulls one last strap and looks over the pattern formed, pondering it for a short moment before a small "Mm.." suggests that he is satisfied.

Then he steps back to Irene, feet carefully avoiding the places where the darkened pattern has formed. "Now, let's try that again, shall we? As long as your feet stay close to where they are supposed to be, you shouldn't feel a difference. If you make a wrong step, you'll be reminded of it by the Tapis de Piqûres." He gestures to the carpet as he speaks the name.

Irene smiles and even straightens up with a tad of pride when the man compliments her quick ability to follow Thibault’s lead on the dance floor. In addition to that a childish giggle of a very honest and very simple joy leaves her throat. She claps her hands excitedly and follows the lord to the edge of the carpet by her curious gaze. “What are you doing? What is this?” She asks and observes how the carpet grows darker and darker. Her jaw drops down in surprise. “It looks… what is it? Is it?.. Can’t be… Woow!” Her eyes meet Thibaults once he is ready to continue.

“You don’t think this is a bit too much of a pressure?” Her eyebrow raises but her hand is extended toward the Charlot lord. There is no hesitation. She wants to proceed and seems to trust in her abilities. A young lady closes her eyes and tries to focus on the lead again.

Thibault looks at Irene with a flat look at her question. “If I had thought that, I would not have brought the Tapis de Piqûre in the first place lady Irene, I assure you.” He gestures towards the pattern around them. “This is the difficulty I was started at when I was six, the pointes are only raised minimally and only around the very edges of the area required for this particular dance. I am confident that you’ll be able to manage just fine.” His expression turns less rigid as her body language, despite her words, shows that she is determined and ready to continue. “If you /should/ happen to feel the sting of a misplaced step, try not to show it.” And with that, one hand takes her’s and the other is placed around her waist before they slowly start to repeat the steps of the dance finished minutes earlier.

<FS3> Irene rolls Dancing: Failure. (6 4 4)

<FS3> Thibault rolls Dancing: Failure. (2 4 4 4 1 3 2 4 4)

Lady Irene nods at the explanation. A barely noticeable tremble may be felt in her arms and her legs, but she tries her best to follow the lead once more. This time, it’s more important! This tension caused by the darkened parts of the carpet motivates the young apprentice quite well and that is why she seems to make no mistakes. One two three. One two three. She follows each step of a Thibault not losing the quickness of the pace. Her grasp loosens up as she relaxes a bit feeling such an unexpected success. D’Eresse lady even opens her eyes and raises her chin up to take a look at Thibault. “I am doing it! I am doing it! It’s not that ha-…”

Concentration has been lost in the ocean of pride and joy. Even if tiny but still sharp spike kisses the middle of Irene’s bare toe. She squeaks as if someone would have cut her leg off and a petite girl immediately springs up and forward toward her partner, not only landing on his toes but also trying to escape his grasp with a quick pull of her hands. Then if succeeded Irene would flail her own arms in the air and quite randomly try to wrap them around Thibault’s shoulders as if to hold herself up in the air, in order not to land on more of those needles. Her sobby voice exclaims, “I DO NOT LIKE THESE LESSONS!”

Thibault notices the slight tremble of her body but pays it little attention. It is to be expected, after all. He can remember the first time he was introduced to this particular ‘motivational’ piece of equipment, not his finest moment. Not that he would ever admit that to anyone, naturally. Soon her tension seems to fade and she starts to relax more. It all goes surprisingly well. Until it doesn’t.

When she relaxes and seems to have found her pace, it causes him to do the same, his hands on her loosening their hold just a bit. But in that same moment her feet makes their first contact with one of the Pointes now raised around them and, rather than ‘not showing it’, she does the exact opposite. She manages to slip the grasp of his hands, jumping on to his feet and almost starting to climb up him in a seeming attempt to escape the ground below, catching him in the middle of one of the more delicate movements of the dance. “No, don’t do th…” Is all he manages before her movements make him to take a step back to hold her, his foot impacting with several of the Pointes under their combined weight and causing him to flinch and lose his balance, sending them both tumbling sideways toward the ground.

He manages to pull her in close and make a slight turn of his torso to ensure that he lands on his back with her on top, sparing her from the rather nasty impact of slamming onto the Pointes. With his hands around her and no way to soften the impact, he comes down hard, all 6’4” of him. His eyes widen and a deep exhale escapes his mouth as they land and the sharp kisses of the Tapis de Piqûre riddles his back and knocks the air out of him. Stepping on to one or two of the pointes is bad enough, landing on several with your full weight and someone elses on top, that is something only a Valerian could find joy in. After a short moment of catching his breath, his head comes up to look at her, still held in his arms, the golden amber of his eyes swirling with a mixture of different emotions and his brows knitting together. Judging by the way he looks at her, you would think that he was about to scold or reprimand her, but instead his words are spoken softly and with a hint of honest concern. “Are you alright?”

Irene’s cheeks are flaming. Her hair are sticking this way and that since her bun has been tangled during all this sudden chaos. Some of the curls fall over her fair features tickling the corner of her eye, and the tip of her nose, and even a part of her lips. She quickly nods, “I am alright, thank you. I am sorry… I am not used to pain!” She blows some air to push aside that curl which lays on the tip of her nose. Then she looks down at the man under her. “You really had to learn it being so young?” Her brows furrow in very honest pity. But then her eyes widen when realization comes.

“Are you hurt?!” She quickly looks around but seeing no other options, she simply pushes herself aside if the man allows. “You must be in so much pain. I am so sorry! I am so so so sorry! Do you need…” She would try to stand up. Her face would frown because of the unpleasant needles tickling her feet. Irene would try to escape the carpet as fast as she can adding but simple ‘ouch ouch ouch’ on her way. “Are you hurt? Do you need a healer?” She would extend her hand for the man to stand up if she manages to escape the embrace of Thibault and a dangerous area of a very very evil carpet.

The way he looks at her changes for the shortest of moments. There is something awfully attractive about the way her pale skin is reddened by the fluster of the situation and her hair is torn from it’s usually meticulous styling to fall freely around her features. The expression on his face relaxes a touch as she assures him that she is alright and he replies with a nod, his breath still coming back to him. “I can tell.” He answers to her claims of not being used to pain, a hint of ironic humor in his voice as the words are spoken.

He tries to help her up as best he can from his awkward position, raising up a long arm for her to steady herself on while getting to her feet. “I’m quite alright, no need to apologize. I just need a moment.” He answers before he slowly sits up and starts to get to his feet with careful movements. He holds up a hand to indicate that he is quite capable of getting up without her help. Falling over like this is embarrassing enough. An amused smile breaks his features for but a moment as she suggests a healer might be needed. He shakes his head. “No need for that, I’ve experienced far worse without the need for a healer afterwards, but I appreciate the concern. I could use a drink though, I’ll confess. Maybe we should take a short break and get ourselves a little refreshment before we continue, yes? I think we could both use it.” He indicates toward the table with a nod of his head. “Unless you insist on continuing without, of course…?”

“Absolutely!” Irene cheers up and is quick to move toward the table. “I could use a full glass of wine. And to be honest? I think that it would be enough for today.” She smiles making a stop at the table. She gestures with her hand for the man to take the drink or a slice of a snack. He will have to serve for himself since a servant is not present. “I must say that you are an amazing tutor! This carpet, though… Is it necessary? I believe that you would be able to teach me how to dance without it.”

She will reach for the glass of wine after Thibault. Irene takes a few sips before continuing, “Do all lessons come with some sort of motivational items?” Her hand idly points toward the carpet. “I can only guess what has been used in order to teach you literature or history!” She laughs. “Would you mind telling me more?” She pulls a chair up to take a seat.

A small nod before Thibault moves to the table to join Irene there. He reaches for a bowl of fruits, two fingers grasping a grape and gently twisting it, releasing it from the vine before bringing it to his mouth. "Very well. I guess since it's our first lesson that we can end it for the evening." He answers. He then pours first Irene and then himself a glass of wine, pushing the one glass towards the lady as he looks to her. There's a slight shrug there. "Necessary? Perhaps not, but I am sure that it will hasten your progress. The Tapis de Piqûres doesn't only help to teach proper placement of you feet, it also helps teach you to not let distractions or mistakes fluster you and break your concentration. But if you feel more comfortable without it, we can discuss that."

He picks up his glas and tilts it toward her after she has done the same, taking a healthy sip of the crimson contents before answering her question regarding motivational items used in his own lessons growing up. "Nothing more than what was needed and probably nothing more than what many others have experienced." He assures her with a faint smile that, as usual, doesn't reach his eyes. "I am not sure would make for very interesting conversation, if I am to be honest. If there is anything in particular you are curious about, I'll be happy to answer but I think it would be far more interesting to hear more about your friendship with my cousin." He remains standing when she takes a seat and raises his glass to his mouth to take a small sip of the wine, his eyes resting on her.

Irene sways her bare feet to the sides while sitting on a chair. The fabric of her dress flatters the fair skin of a young lady. Her gaze is cast down to watch that slow dance. Her fingers slowly circle around the edge of her goblet. Even if her eyes are not focused on a dance tutor, she does hear him since her head slowly nods at each sentence the man makes. However, the way he casts her questions aside and raises his own instead, makes Irene look up with a mildly bewildered expression. “I am sorry, if I touched a wrong or unpleasant subject. I heard many things about Kushelines… Terrible things.” The lady-in-waiting sighs. “That is kind of a part why my friendship with your cousin is… strange.” She looks down to her lap again and takes a moment to ponder.

“He tells me that he doesn’t want to develop any relationship with me,” she explains later. “He tells me that he is a very bad wolf and I am nothing more but a lost lamb. He defines me as not of his type. But I believe that he is trying to push me aside because he is afraid to become vulnerable, m’lord. So often kindness and a good heart, and feelings are perceived as weaknesses which can be used against you. And this is true,” she nods being assured with her thought, “But I still would wish very much to stand beside him even if this is dangerous. He is so different, lord Thibault. Everybody is beautiful.” Irene looks up at the man again. She takes a sip of her drink. “Beauty has become so plain, too common. I go to the streets and everybody seems to look the same. Identical. And then I saw your cousin. He was unique. So different in every step he took,” she chuckles and shakes her head.

“I am sorry. I am blabbing now. I accepted the fact that he is not interested into me. I think I did. Not that I have another option. But… What about you, m’lord? Has your heart been stolen?” The lady peeks at the Charlot and sips her wine curiously waiting for an answer.

A roll of the eyes and a soft exhale through the nose is offered at her excuse, before Thibault's expression changes to one of amused skepticism. "I honestly have no idea what I've said or done to make you think that. Like I said, I simply don't believe it would make for very riveting conversation. I doubt you'd find it more interesting to hear about than I would find it hearing about how you learned to sketch or set your hair." A small shrug at this. "Terrible things? Really? And what would these 'terrible things' be? If you're angling for something that you think will help you understand my cousin better, you'll have to be a little more specific." He states in a flat tone before taking another sip of his wine.

The eyes of the young Kusheline starts to wander the room as she starts to speak again, only a short, amused scoff at the mention of the old 'wolf and lamb' comparison disturbing his features as he waits for her to finish. "Yes, that does sound like a strange 'friendship' indeed." He agrees with a nod and a curious glance at the young woman. “I can't claim to agree on the point that beauty being abundant makes people look all the same or that it makes beauty a plain thing, but then again my eyes can't see what yours do." He adds shortly after.

A slight shake of the head at her final question. "No, thankfully not, and I have no intentions of letting it be." He replies very matter-of-factly with a polite smile. He reaches for another grape and pushes it through his lips as he looks back to Irene.

“Never say never, m’lord. You do not know when and what the destiny brings upon you. I was thinking exactly the same, to be honest,” Irene nods slowly and sighs in a mild disappointment. She takes another sip of a wine. Another sigh and a shake of her head follows. “I have never had any intentions on falling in love or marrying unless my brothers would demand for it in the benefit of our family. Oh, I was pretty sure my opinion will never change!” She laughs and looks at Thibault. “And look where am I now? Lost. Questioning all what I thought to be true!”

After a small pause she continues, “You will find Marsilikos as a city of surprises, m’lord. You may think that you know everything but, you know simply everything of your small little world where you grew up. Once you start living in a large city as Marsilikos, surrounded by so many different people, you realise that so many things are different. At first, it’s amusing, exciting even. But a few months are more than enough to realize that it all starts to strangle you and the large town becomes so small, and you a drowning… because you forget who you are, you become simply lost or you become what others rumor about you…” She sighs again. Drinks some more wine. Again.

Thibault simply shrugs and looks at Irene with a small smile, reaching for another grape and idly twisting and turning it between his fingers for a moment with a pensive look. “Hmm, well, maybe you are right, to think that one knows for certain what is in ones future is the territory of fools, after all.” He agrees with a reluctant nod, pushing the grape through the guard of his lips and into his mouth. “I’ll maintain that I don’t see it as a likely thing to happen, and seeing what it is doing to you, making you feel lost and questioning what you know, only makes me wish that it doesn’t, if I’m to be honest.” He takes another sip of wine as she continues to speak after a short pause.

“Perhaps…more than likely true….but I don’t think that I will be staying in Marsilikos for long enough for that to hold true for me. I haven’t come here to settle in and live in the city for a longer time, merely as part of a travel around the country to see the capitals of the other provinces and introducing myself at court and to those people with which my family has connections or would be interested in having them. And to be fair, I haven’t exactly found Marsilikos or the people living here much more ‘amusing’ or ‘entertaining’ than in any other large city in the country, except for you, of course.” He raises his glass towards her, his voice holding no sarcasm. “And if what you say is true, then all the more reason to not linger here for longer than necessary. I have no interest in neither drowning nor forgetting who I am. I hope that you aren’t truly as lost as you claim to feel, and if you are, there must be greater things than a sudden infatuation with my cousin as the cause for it, I would think. If you should ever want to talk about it with someone completely random who doesn’t know you well enough to judge whether you have changed or not, but simply listen, I’d be happy to lend an ear, although I can understand if there are others that you would go to first for such.” He leans a bit forward at the words, his expression becoming more serious, under-lining that he means the words he has just said, not trying to mock her or make fun of her situation. A small sigh as he considers her, seemingly toying with some thought in his head.

Whatever thought remains in his head rather than be spoken, as he gets to his feet, finishes the glass of wine and puts it down on the table and looks back to her. “But, I think that will do for tonight, I sadly have some other, far more boring matters than conversing with you to attend to. Family business and all that….” He rolls his eyes at his own words and gives her a slightly exhausted look. “So, I hope you will excuse me for the evening, I should be taking care of that before my relatives realize quite how far behind schedule I am on some of these matters.” An expression that says little more than ‘ooops’ is offered before he steps to and offers her his hand, and if she takes it, places a kiss on the back of it. “It was a pleasure spending time with you lady Irene, even if my backside will probably hurt for a few days as a result. Feel free to contact me when you find yourself free to continue our lessons. I hope you will be well until we meet again.” With those words and a courtly bow, he turns around and makes his way towards the exit, leaving the Tapis de Piqûres where it lays on the floor.

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