(1310-08-27) Inn Encounter
Summary: A chance encounter leads to a tasting of Dragon Blood and talk of a wedding.
RL Date: 27/08/2018
Related: None
evelyne helene drake 

Leaping Fish Inn — Market Promenade

The Main Room of the Leaping Fish is tidy and well-kept - and warmed by a fire in the hearth to one side on colder days and evenings. An old tapestry depicting a pair of two leaping fish is adorning the opposite wall - a reference to both the ruling House of Mereliot and the name of the inn. The common room has five tables of sturdy oak with chairs and benches, between which two serving maids move to take orders or bring food and beverages. The air is filled with tasty smells of freshly cooked meals, and murmurs of conversation - and occasionally even melodies rippling through the room, when a lute player is around to provide entertainment. The fare is of good quality that even would not disappoint noble tastes.

There are stairs leading upstairs towards a number of comfortable and well kept rooms the inn has to offer.

Summer is already heading towards autumn, it is evident in the slight chill in the air today, despite a cloudless sky. Morning is progressing to its later hours, and Evelyne de Somerville has done a bit of early shopping on the market place, only to seek refuge now in the cozy common room of the Leaping Fish Inn. The young lady is dressed in a green dress, with a light summer cloak worn above it all as she enters with a guard and a servant in tow, the former emanating a stern sense of duty while the latter is all subservient, carrying a number of packages in varying sizes. "I won't stay for long," Evelyne assures them, "long enough for a glass of wine and perhaps a bit of bread and cheese." A very faint scent of apples surrounds the blonde lady, and while her guard settles at the wall, not far from the table she chooses for herself, she gestures for the serving maid to bring her the same. Wine, bread and cheese. The perfect d'Angeline late breakfast.

Helene is just arriving from the street, dressed down in a fine, but simple, linen dress for the day's work, her leather folio in town. She nods to the bartender before turning to the room, her eyes seeking out any familiar faces. Her guard follows her only a moment later, leaving Helene in peace as he heads to take up a place at the bar itself, watching the petite noblewoman from the corner.

Evelyne is not yet familiar with Helene. But that searching glance is noted, the inquiring gaze met with a smile and a curious return of the look. "My lady!", not that this would keep her from waving over to the other woman. "Feel free to join me, if you like. It's still early, and I would be pleased to make your acquaintance." The words may sound forward, but her voice sounds friendly enough, along with that slightly daring quality of youthful optimism.

If the gesture surprises Helene it hardly shows, as the older woman smiles warmly at the younger and inclines her head, answering, "The pleasure would be mine. Allow me to introduce myself, Lady Helene Verreuil, of the Barony of Poumarous." With that, she curtseys politely before taking her seat with ease, and leaning in to listen, her green eyes bright with curiosity.

Suddenly the door flies open with a bang, admitting Lord Drake Rousse. He had kicked the door open with one booted foot because he has his hands full. He's carrying a small oak barrel. Which he lugs past customers to plonk onto the counter next to the barkeep. "Best wine in the land!", he claims firmly, "Free trial for everyone here!"

The other lady moves to stand, when Helene introduces herself. "I am pleased. Lady Evelyne de Somerville. My father is the Baron of Thiviers." Where Helene's eyes are green, Eve's are blue. She leans forward. "Would you like to join me for a late breakfast?", she asks, just before the serving maid returns with a flagon of red wine and the refreshments she ordered. And just before a certain Rousse makes his booming entrance. "Why look!", Evelyne exclaims, her voice ringing at a pleasant register loud enough for Drake to hear. "I didn't know you were in business. A vintner, hmm? Good morning, my lord."

"I would love to," Helene answers before being distracted by the commotion at the door. Her mouth opens into a small "o" of surprise before closing once more, her head tilting as she adds softly, "I do hope this was arranged with the proprietor…" With that though she is all smiles, her head inclining to the newcomer, whom Evelyne evidently knows. "Good morning my lord, a new wine you say? We were about to enjoy some breakfast if you think it would make an appropriate accompaniment.

The barkeep doesn't seem too pleased initially, but a hushed conversation ensues at the end of which he's brightened considerably. The first patrons line up for their free booze. Drake fills two cups and carries them over to where Evelyne ahd Helene are. "The Rousse family owns some of the best vineyards in the country.", he explains proudly and sets the cup down in front of them. "Our Dragon's Blood is rightly famous in the countryside, but not famous enough among the noble families in the city. So I'm changing that now." Despite not being invited, he sits down on a chair the wrong way round, folding his arms on the backrest while he waits.

"You are already acquainted?", Evelyne asks, looking from Helene to Drake who know settles himself with the casual matter-of-factness and impertinence that earns him no less in esteem from the Somerville. "Make yourself comfortable, and thanks for joining us," she says towards the redhead Rousse, then turns towards Helene, "My lady, this is Drake Rousse. And my dear Drake, this is the lovely Helene Verreuil." Her gaze flicks to Drake. "I am glad to hear. And curious about the taste of that Dragon's Blood. Tempted. Very much tempted. It is tasty? And would you enjoy a glass of it together with us?"

"No, we are not yet acquainted, but I am certainly delighted, and happy to sample," Helene answers with a laugh, shaking her head softly. She tucks her folio away, protecting it from any stray sloshes before taking the glass and raising it to Drake and Evelyne, "Well, here is to what hopefully turns out to be an excellent venture for you and your family milord." With that, she takes a sip.

Drake nods towards the second cup he had brought and set down. "All yours, Evie.", he smiles, "You be the judge. I know our vintage is the best." He looks from Evelyn to Helene with an expectant look.

Evelyne lifts her own glass of Dragon Blood. "My vintage? My family dabbles in apple brandy. That's a different league, my lord Drake." Her lips curl in a smile as she brings the rim of the glass to her lips. A good sip is taken. And then another. "Oooh. Drake. This is good!", the Somerville Lady declares in enthused approval. "Delicious. Can such a cask be delivered to the Somerville Residence, I wonder? As… sort of promotion? There is a wedding coming up." Oops. Did she say that? Her hand lifts, as if to cover her mouth.

"Oh a wedding? Is it your own?" Helene answers, rather leaping on the topic actually. Her enthusiasm abates for a moment as she tells Drake, "A little headier than my tastes tend towards, but it is exceptionally well made." She does continue to sip at the wine, seemingly with great enjoyment. She leans back towards Evelyne with an expectant smirk.

Drake looks very pleased by their comments, even more so when Evelyne orders a cask. "Of course, Mylady, I'd be delighted. Consider it the Rousse's wedding gift then and make sure your guests know the vintage's and vintner's name." But it's Helene who asks the most interesting question and he cocks a brow, awaiting the answer.

That hand remains lifted, finger held across her lips, Evelyne's eyes still wide with astonishment at herself, that she actually let it slip. "My own? Umm… yes… It is still a few months till then. But a date has been named. And it will happen here in Marsilikos.", she confesses at a low volume, a sideways glance shot Drake, whom she offers an odd little wink. "As it will be a grand affair of sorts, it would be in order for friends and acquaintances to come to the feast and celebrate with us, as would be expected."

"Well congratulations then, and many happy returns. Whom are you marrying, if I might be so bold? Of course, all will know soon enough," Helene answers with a gentle chuckle at Evelyne's reactions. She takes another sip of her wine, near draining the glass before setting it back down. "Someone you have met here? Or someone from home?"

Again it's Helene who asks all the right questions, while Drake tries not to grin at Evelyne. "And so the trap springs shut. Seeing as it's still so far away, I shall send a barrel over now as an engagement gift, so to speak. Enjoy it, recommend it, use it to drown your sorrows.", he winks and gets to his feet, apparently preparing to leave.

"Sébastien de Basilisque." Evelyne looks a little surprised that she forgot to mention this very important detail. "The Vicomte de Montmarlon. I've met him here in Marsilikos. But it was arranged rather quickly, to my suprise. My father is pleased with the match. It will be of benefit to my House.", she explains. "As for the trap. There are worse traps, I believe." A smile is offered to Drake as he moves to depart. "No sorrow to drown in. My lord. I'm glad you got reconciled with your sister. The other evening, you seemed quite anxious to face her."

Now it is Helene's turn to listen more, though she does gently prod the conversation along, "I do not know your sister? What is her name? You can hardly leave us at such an interesting moment." She gestures towards the chair once more, inviting him to take his seat again.

"It's certainly a golden trap.", Drake points out when she mentions the Vicomte, "And I'm always anxious to face my sister. But since she has not yet asked for my head on a platter, I live in hope. Alas, I must be on my way, business waits for no man.", he tells Helene with an apologetic look, "I'm sure Evie here will be happy to fill you in on all the gossip." He winks at Evelyne and leaves them to return to the barkeep and some other patrons to discuss wine.

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