(1310-08-28) Another Lesson
Summary: An absence is explained, thanks are given and lessons are offered. And had.
RL Date: 28/08/2018
Related: This and this.
cyriel irene 

Cyriel's Chambers — Charlot Residence

Sturdy doors of dark red cherry wood open into the main chamber of the suite, which combines a study of sorts with a living area. A hearth governs the wall to the left, white marble chiselled with gargoyle faces peeking out from the mantlepiece. It will be on this side of the room that two comfortable long-backed armchairs flank a smaller table of dark mahogany wood, red and green predominant in the upholstery and the cushions used to provide a certain amount of comfort. In a niche to the right is a rectangular window, shedding light during the day, beneath a smaller round circle of stained-glass depicting a red deer that is pursued by a black wolf. It is here, that the vicomte will usually deal with paperwork, sitting on a plain chair at a desk of mahogany. A few documents are scattered here, next to an inkwell and a neatly cleaned quill.

It is the wall though, opposite the entrance, that draws attention, plastered surface painted a neutral grey, where several iron hooks and spikes have been forced into the stone, to put a number of decorative but no less deadly weapons on display. Sharp blades blink in the flickering light of torches and lamps, expertly made handles and guards drawing the eye, the design mostly d'Angeline, but there are also some curved blades of a saber or two, from far away lands like Khebbel-im-Akkad and Bhodistan. The assortment of swords is flanked by a pair of doors. The one to the right leads to an adjoining smaller chamber with a medium sized orderly made bed beside a wardrobe holding a moderate assortment of courtly garments; while the one to the left is usually locked and most often remains that way.

Not much had been seen of Cyriel Charlot lately. It seems that some business of one kind or other had forced the Kusheline to return to Chavagne. A matter of some import, he had to deal with personally, a fact that caused him some irritation, as he had not planned to leave Marsilikos for the next months. One of the reasons that kept him there, a certain thing he wished to investigate, would at least be pursued further by his cousin Thibault. Or so he hoped. His absence had also taken longer than expected. Instead of twelve days, it eventually turned out to be eighteen. And so, on the morning of his return, he was going through his correspondence, noting with a low curse that there had been deliveries made. The latter of them had been preserved by the cook, in the cool cellar below the house, and Cyriel had eaten some of that cake while reading the letters that had arrived during his absence. The other package, with a letter and name of the sender enclosed had earned a lift of a brow, and after the Charlot had inspected the gifted dagger and its sheath, his brows furrowed.

And so Cyriel Charlot had written a letter, explaining he had been away and received certain gifts very belatedly. An invitation to the lady to visit him later during the day was added. The letter was sent away to be delivered to the Palace, to Lady Irene d'Eresse. The rest of the day Cyriel had spent, dealing with other things, some of them including matters of the town residence and meetings he would have to arrange in regards to furthering talks of trade and politics.

When Irene finally arrives, she will find him seated in his chambers. Yes, again she will be shown to his chambers, instead of the salon, for reasons that remain up to speculation. He is clad in a doublet and breeches of red and black, the Charlot colors, hair bound to a ponytail at the nape of his neck. Pale eyes look up before he moves to stand, and in reaching for her hand, executes a bow as courtly courtesy demands.

Lady Irene d'Eresse takes a few steps into the room she has seen before. Her eyes quickly take a glance at the wall of sharp blades as if expecting to find something quite specific there. She wears a modest pale blue floor-length dress with lace sleeves. Asymmetrical lace is placed on the high neckline and extends down the length of the arms, creating a breathtaking illusion-tulle design. The lace in large patterns is placed throughout the bodice of this gown, extending down through the tulle and A-line skirt. The lace pattern of this gown continues through the back of the bodice and down through the frothy skirt. The back of this modest attire is laced up and these laces are tied into the ribbon on the small of her back.

The young lady offers a smile when the man reaches out for her hand, "Welcome back, m'lord. I hope nothing bad has happened back at your home?" Once her hand is released she brings it to the other and folds them both in front of herself. She shakes her head marginally to push aside a curl of her hair which falls over her fair features while the rest of dark brown locks are gathered up into a bun. "Your invitation, though, had come as a surprise, I must admit." A chuckle escapes her lips and Irene looks around the room again, taking a peek at the pile of papers on his table.

Her glance towards the wall of blades is noted, and Cyriel gives the table a pointed look as if to indicate her dagger resting on the scarf there, as if he had just unwrapped it. "I shall find an appropriate place for it later," he explains after he has offered a light gallant kiss to her knuckles, straightening then, as he keeps her hand in his to guide her over to the seats by the hearth. "Anything requiring my immediate presence at Chavagne can hardly be considered good," is the reply he gives her. "But I don't wish to burden you with any details. Rest assured that the matter was settled." He will help her into one of those seats. "I did manage to surprise you?", Cyriel counters then with a lightness that he so rarely displays. "Even if you said in your letter, that your gift wouldn't put any obligation on me, not even for a reply, I felt it appropriate to offer my thanks in person." With Irene safely seated, he sits down in the other armchair, which stands at a slight angle as to facilitate conversation. "My absence wasn't planned, and I fear my lack of response could have been perceived as rudeness. I suspect, the delivery of cake was another of your attentions? You see me surprised, that after how our last interaction went, I had very much expected, I wouldn't hear from you ever again."

Irene squirms in her seat mildly uncomfortably when the man speaks of her gifts. She bites her bottom lip and nervously brushes of unexisting wrinkles from her skirt. Her gaze roams the room scared to land on the man himself. So, she finally focuses her attention on the hearth. "Do you know where this dagger comes from? I was not sure. It seems to be old and the merchant barely spoke our language. I just liked the design. I remembered the style of the rest you had. So, I was sure you do not have a similar one." She smiles.

Then she looks down at her lap where her fingers are gently nipping on each other. "The cake…" The lady chuckles. "Mistress Audrialla is very talented. Everybody has been enjoying her deserts. I thought you could use one too… To sweeten up your mood." Irene looks up at the man, finally. "I cannot. I tried. I tried to bury my thoughts deep underground, m'lord. But I cannot. So, I have decided to simply do what I want and I want to spoil you with my attention. Forgive me, but you simply have done something to my mind. You make me act the way I would have never thought of acting…" She sighs.

When she references the dagger, Cyriel gives it a glance from afar, before he turns his gaze back onto Irene. "I would say… Ephesium. I could be wrong though. I assure you, I have no blade of that kind yet." Pale blue eyes linger on the young lady, noting her tiny squirms and the manner she evades his gaze for a long time, until she dares to meets it again. "The cake was delicious. But it didn't change my temper, if that was your hope. Nor the reply I gave you to your request." He leans back in his seat, crossing one leg over the other, as his eyes remain fixed on her. "What exactly is it that you want from me, Lady Irene?", Cyriel asks, quietly and looking somewhat thoughtful. "I told you that I won't marry anytime soon — despite what my relative, the Comte de Charlot may think. I also doubt that I would be the right kind of match for someone as you. But that…", he straightens with a sigh, "is another matter. I know that I promised you a lesson in the use of blades. And other lessons, if requested. I see you have a keen mind. Would you like something to drink? I happen to have a fine Kusheline Red here." He reaches for the flagon and pours a glass, before he slides it over to her as if in an offer of reconciliation.

"Thank you," Irene wraps her fingers around the glass. She lifts it to her lips. A young woman lingers for a moment at the touch of cold edge before taking a small sip. Then she lowers the glass down to her lap, where she twirls it slowly and her eyes watch how the red liquid waves inside. "I know that you will not marry me, m'lord. I have never been too worried about the marriage. It was an improper childish outburst of mine when I requested my brother to contact your lord. As I said, it was not me." Irene straightens up as if to give some weight to her words.

"I leave the question of my marriage to my brothers. For now, I serve the duchess and I will try my best to complete my duties to the best of my abilities. But still I am allowed to want what I want and that is your lessons. Simply put, I admire you and I would like to be as you are. Intelligent, strong, emotionless, focused on the business and usually completing it with grace and swiftness. My both brothers are away and my time with the rest of the ladies bores me. I must say that I enjoy the…" a pause for a brief thought "… lessons your cousin Thibault gives to me. But again, it's merely dancing lessons. It adds a touch of grace to my movement but not sharpness to my mind."

"So this is what he has been upto?" Cyriel reclines against the backrest, holding the glass he has poured for himself in a loose grasp. "Thibault has done what? Given you dancing lessons?" The notion seems to amuse him, if one can tell from the faint glint in his eyes as he takes a sip from the wine. "I thought I had given him a different task," a faint frown forms on his hawkish features. "But. If it is a sharpening of your mind, you are after, I might be able to help." All of her flattery is not even commented on. "But I'm glad you have come to accept my reply. You must understand, it was no rejection, but… an act to save you." Lips curve slowly upwards, but there is little mirth in the smile.

The Charlot falls silent, content to observe the swirl of red wine in his glass for a moment. "I am still in your debt, for the information you were so kind to provide to me. My question is… do you want to start with a lesson in blades? Or would you prefer another sort of instruction to start us off?"

Irene snorts, "I know, m'lord. It was not a rejection. But I also know it was not for saving me. It was for saving yourself. Lord Cyriel, the negative answer has been given to me by your fear. Fear to become weak. I can see that you value outer and inner strength more than anything. My kindness and admiration, as well as my personality might have affected you wrong. I would become a weak spot and you can not have any weaknesses until you conclude whatever plans you have schemed in this room," She casually gestures with a hand in the air as if indicating the place. Her voice is very calm and very assured. To add to her confidence, her eyes are focused on the man when Irene talks. She takes a sip of a wine. It's a prolonged sip. She holds the gulp up in her mouth before swallowing it and then letting a deep sigh out. "What would be proper for the first lesson with you, m'lord? You are the tutor. You should know where to start."

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Cyriel=Composure Vs Irene=Perception
< Cyriel: Failure (5 1 2 6 2 3) Irene: Good Success (4 8 2 7 3 7 5 4)
< Net Result: Irene wins - Solid Victory

His eyes narrow, and the smile fades until his lips form a line. "It is a bold thing to accuse me of fear and cowardice," Cyriel murmurs. "Especially, when you are such a delicate creature, Lady Irene. You think you could become my one weakness?" He lifts a brow, "You have obviously no idea." But something has changed in his demeanor, a faint crack is showing in his composure, when Irene's almost impertinent confidence is causing some sort of irritation. "A proper first lesson would be blades," the Kusheline Vicomte answers her question, tone only outwardly detached. "The use of them. And they do have many uses." His gaze flickers slightly before it brightens. "We should relocate to the gardens, for some fencing exercise. Which brings me to the question: Would you mind getting your dress ruined? And would you mind it to happen out in the open, where everyone can see?"

Irene sets the glass of wine aside. She raises to her feet. "My dress is expensive. I do know the value of silver. It would be pity to ruin the dress." She smiles broadly, "If you wanted to start your lessons today, you could have informed me in the message. Then I would have dressed up more properly!" She rolls her eyes at his later remark. "My dress getting ruined where everyone can see? M'lord, if you want to take a better look at me, you can simply ask. There is no need to destroy the fine silk and we do not need a public eye!" The young lady chuckles. Though, her joke makes her turn the gaze away and the cheeks bloom in a light shade of red. "To answer you question, I would mind. You need to think of something different, that wouldn't make us move to the gardens and destroy my gown."

Cyriel takes another sip from his glass before setting it down as well. When a lady moves to stand, a gentleman should better follow her example, and so he rises, pale blue eyes taking in the dress she now speaks about. "It does look expensive, yes," he allows, his tone detached. As he slowly begins to circle her and regard her from different angles. "It was a jest. Forgive me. And a very poor one. I should know better than assault the supposed modesty of a lady-in-waiting to the duchesse." He pauses, leaning a little around her to catch her expression. "There are of course other options." Arching a brow a little, when he notes the blush she so tries to conceal. "Maybe there is a riding dress in my sister's room you could use. She is about your height. I could summon a maid to assist you, with changing into a less expensive but more practical dress that is suited for fencing lessons." Completing his turn about her, Cyriel Charlot comes to stand before Irene, his gaze lowered a little to meet her gaze. "But you got me curious. Would you prefer to… grant me that better look at you, instead? Somewhere more private than the gardens of this residence?"

Irene holds her breath. Her fingers clench on the fabric of her skirt when the man circles her. "I…" She quietly whispers but then stops. A small shake of her head comes when the man offers a dress of his sister. Her breathing becomes a bit more deep and a bit more quick, when she nervously takes a step away from Cyriel. Though her eyes find his and she gives a small nod. That small nod is followed by the other, more assured. She almost whispers, "Perhaps, m'lord… You would be…" A heartbeat. A few, actually, before she speaks further. "You would be the first granted with a permission to take a better look." And then Irene immediately wraps her arms around her waist. While her body suggests a hesitation or some sort of discomfort, her eyes stare into Cyriel's with an adventurous flare.

"Is that so?" One corner of his mouth lifts in a wry twist of a smile. "Are you meaning to tell me, your brothers didn't have the decency to fund you a befitting sixteenth birthday on Mont Nuit, or here, in the local Night Court?" He remains standing where he is, but his hand lifts, to brush a stray curl of her hairdo out of the way. It is a comparatively gentle gesture, it is over as swiftly as it occurred. Cyriel Charlot cocks his head slightly to the side, his pale eyes considering Irene d'Eresse at her most vulnerable moment - at least in regards of what he has seen so far of her. But there is no mockery in his gaze; but faint astonishment at the revelation. "So there has been no one? No courtesan? No lord? No servant?" The latter added with a faint flaring of nostrils. "How curious. And so very un-d'Angeline." His index finger touches below her chin, lifting it, in the moment his gaze sweeps from Irene's eyes to the column of her neck and the temptation of her modest neckline. "I am honored," he finally allows, "that you would consider me, for this task." Again, a very faint ghost of a smile. "Consider this the payment for your debt."

With that, the Charlot steps away from her, granting her a moment of recovery from his previous proximity. Taking up the flagon of wine and their two glasses, he casts her a glance. "Would you like to see where I sleep?"

Irene's gaze is downcast when the man once more studies her and asks all those questions. "My brothers have arranged quite a proper birthday to me. Though, I was not interested. I simply… had more important skills I desired to learn!" She slowly sways to the sides, definitely grinding her feet into the floor, but her action is concealed by the long skirt. When the man touches her chin to raise her gaze up to meet his, Irene's cheeks are flaming. She looks at him and her trembling lips provide the answer, "Neither courtesan, nor lord, nor servant, m'lord."

Though, one of his last remarks makes Irene frown. She takes a step backwards. Her back straightens up and she even tiptoes a bit. Narrow eyes glare at the man. "Excuse me? Your payment for your debt?" She shakes her head. "I may be shy, m'lord, but I also know that not many lords have a chance to… to steal the innocence. It's always the courtesans… But look! A little lamb who has escaped everyone else's grasp comes to a big bad wolf and asks him to nibble on her. Unusual, isn't it? A wolf chased by a little lamb. A predator chased by a prey. A new exciting experience to both sides. There are no debts to pay, m'lord. But there is a connection between you and me which you can not deny. Why not simply enjoy it?"

She only offers a nod at the last question and her gaze finds the door framed by those sharp blades.

Ironically enough, Irene's sudden ire seems to amuse Cyriel. The grin reaches to his eyes, making them shine brighter than before, but again, this expression fades soon into a more earnest cast. "Forgive me." A brief downward flick of his eyes. "Were you a novice this would be your debut, but you aren't a Servant of Naamah. This does not give me the right to make cruel jests on your behalf, however." The apology is offered in a flat tone. He follows Irene's glance towards the wall with the blades, and with a faint apologetic smile, Cyriel announces: "It is the the door to the right."

As his hands are busy with carrying their wine and glasses, he simply leads the way, pushing the door open with his shoulder before he enters the room beyond. A bedroom, where the interior is dominated by the red and black colors of House Charlot. It holds a medium sized four poster bed which is orderly made and a wardrobe at the wall to the side. A carpet from Ephesium covers the polished dark wooden floor. The two glasses are placed on a side table, and Cyriel refills them before he puts the flagon down beside them. Turning then to regard Irene - should she have followed him - he makes a step towards her, moving closer but not too close. "Do you wish for me to assist you?", he asks as his hands move to the sides of her waist. "You said after all, that you wished to grant me a look."

Irene smiles quite warmly and offers a nod in accepting the man's apology. Then she is more than happy to follow him to the indicated room. Though, her steps are slow. She takes her time. The flames are still dancing on her cheeks. There is a tremble in her shoulders but only caused by a mild excitement. When she walks in, her curious eyes scan the room. "Beautiful. I do love how black and red match together well!" She nods and stops somewhere around the middle of the room.

The young lady waits for the lord. When he moves closer, her eyes stare into his. Her lips are pressed together tightly. She does not make a laudable answer to his questions and remarks. Though, she slowly turns her back at Cyriel. Her hand slowly pushes aside a longer curl of her dark brown hair left free from the bun, this way revealing the laces of her dress.

The Kusheline does not shy away from the task she presents to him, of neatly tied laces that need to be undone. His fingers shift from her sides to her back, treating her dress with the required respect while loosening the bodice with his efforts. "This won't change anything about what I told you earlier," Cyriel clarifies in a low murmur, as he stands behind her and the palms of his hands find her sides again. Leaning in, she might feel the inhale of his nose, close to her neck, somehow reminiscent of a predator that takes in the scent of its prey. But then he lets go of Irene, as the Charlot backs away, his eyes bright and attentive as he watches the young lady in her dress that clings only vaguely now to her frame.

Irene's skin is adorned by the smallest goosebumps when Cyriel's hands brush against her arms, sides and back. Though, even more of those signs of excitement appear when the warm breath of his can be felt close to the back of her neck. "I… I know," The young lady exhales. "I only hope it's not going to be our last meeting. We don't have to marry to…" She turns her head just a bit to the side. Her blushed cheek, her eyelashes slowly closing and opening. The tip of the tongue touching her rosy lips. And her gaze turned towards a meaningless spot on the wall can be visible to the Charlot's eyes. "…to love." Irene finishes the sentence.

On these words, her hands gently tuck the fabric of a dress down making it slide. Soft silk brushes gently against the spine and her young curves followed by a squirm and tremble of her body. Once her gown lays at her feet, the d'Eresse lady looks away again. Her eyes study the door. She raises her hands up in order to withdraw a couple of thin wooden pins which were holding up her bun. Thick glimmering brown curls fall down on her shoulders and go down to her spine.

Attentive ears would be able to take in the low whisper of fabric, of a doublet being unbuttoned unhurriedly, even as Cyriel Charlot remains somewhere behind her back. She might feel his eyes though, taking in the view of her bared skin, the pallor of which contrasts so nicely to the dark waves of her hair.

"Love as Thou Wilt," he cites Elua's Precept in response to her declaration at a low volume, his voice taking on a faintly darker quality. "Rest assured, the wolf will try to be gentle with the lamb. But it is a Kusheline wolf, Irene. We cannot deny our nature."

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