(1310-09-08) A Basket and an Invitation
Summary: Log Summary
RL Date: Sep 8, 2018
Related: None
esmee piers 

La Rose Sauvage — Night Court

A huge hearth of black marble, with gargoyles of stone adorning the mantlepiece, governs the foyer of the Salon de la Rose Sauvage, which emanates a certain dark air, the interior design of the more heavy sort, that could easily be encountered in a gentleman's club, especially with the dark cherry wood wainscoting used on the walls. Dark leather upholstery is predominant in the furniture of chaise longues, couches and long-backed chairs that are arranged in a half-circle, leaving space in the center for courtesans (or patrons) to kneel for an inspection. Three tall windows with circular stained-glass insets are framed by dark red curtains of heavy brocade, a few golden threads worked into the fabric catching occasionally the light of flickering oil lamps at the walls. The lamps light a pair of portrait paintings, of the two founders of the salon, Edouard Shahrizai and his cousin Annabelle no Mandrake, resplendent in their dark Kusheline appeal; and a cabinet in a corner, holding a number of quality wines and a flagon of uisghe.

The foyer has a high ceiling, and a gallery beyond a balustrade of dark teak wood, carved in the shapes of gargoyles. Sometimes a few veiled creatures can be spotted up there, stealing glances at what is going on below; from the gallery, which can be reached by ascending some winding stairs at the back of the foyer. Beside the stairs leading up is a hallway on ground level, leading further into the building to where the offices of the leader of the salon and his two Seconds can be found, along with the two wings of private quarters for roses of Mandrake and Valerian canon.

When looking out of the windows, you see: It is a summer day. The weather is warm and raining.


With so many nobles attending the tournament the Salon is relatively quiet. There are attendants of course, and they take coats, cloaks, and offer drinks to the slow trickle of potential patrons that come into the Salon. To say that there is a selection available is something of an understatement. Seated in a large cushioned chair is Piers, the young man is weaving leather together and making sure it is loose enough for a good snap. Four leather straps are long, bundled at his feet in a basket. On the other hand of the leather is a handle. It appears he is trying to weave a handmade whip together.

It is perhaps for that reason that Esmee makes an appearance at the House. Thanking the attendent who takes her cloak, she keeps hold of the covered basket that is held in one hand, "Is Marielle free?" She wonders, though is not given an exact answer beyond perhaps searking the salons for the young courtesan. Stepping within, she pauses there, finding herself the center of attention of a few who turn to see who it might be, the looks earning a hint of rose that blooms upon her cheeks.

Piers lifts his gaze up and over towards Esmee when she arrives, pale blue eyes looking at her with a somewhat severe expression like he was judging everything. His gaze flicks down, then up, then settles on her face: "Marielle is Alyssum trained." He states matter of factly and he secures his weaving with a loose tie that can easily be undone later. Rising to his feet Piers moves across the room towards Esmee with a lean predatorial grace like he was stalking her. Perhaps he was: "To that effect to find out if she is available we will need to go to the Solar." He dips his chin in a bow of his head to her: "If you would accompany me, m'lady." He turns to the side and lifts his right arm to beckon with a curl of two fingers. Flick flick.

"Yess… I was merely taking a peek inside as I passed.." Esmee begins to answer the younger male, but her words soon fade off. That blush warms further her cheeks as she gets a good look at Piers, caught by both his looks and that piercing look of his like a rabbit almost caught in a snare. She wears a simple gown, though it speaks volumes of her station, both in cut and fabric. She is silent still when he offers to escort her until the flick of fingers is caught, "Oh.. yes.. thank you."

Whether or not Esmee follows seems to be of little import to the young man, back straight and posture perfect he ascends the staircase under the assumption that Esmee is going to follow to the Solar but they don't even have to go that far. The guard that has been assigned to chaperone the novice moves over and murmurs something to Piers: "Ah." The young man says with a nod. Attention drifts back to Esmee and he looks over his shoulder at her: "It appears she is on assignation and is currently unavailable." He turns the rest of the way around and starts back down towards her: "You are welcome to stay and wait if you wish. There are many courtesans available to attend to your," Blue eyes drift down her again, more appraising than judging this time. It's a slow look, a slightly hungry tilt to the corners of his lips as he wets them afterwards. Eyes slide back up and the Kusheline Scions blue eyes lock on hers, for as long as she will hold it. Holding such a gaze can be… scary for most: "Needs." He finally finishes the sentence.

Turning to follow after him, Esmee does pause as the guard steps up to speak with him, giving the information that her sister is on assignation. "I.." She seems to ponder her choices then, gaze drawn back to meet his, though soon drops as he continues to look at her so, "I do not normally stay. I meant only to visit with my sister and bring her some new perfume that I made for her to use.." Perhaps he had heard of her skills with perfume from a few of the courtesans. A breath escapes her then, a soft exhale when he finishes his sentence, that flush to once more darken her cheeks.

"You do not have to partake of the worship of Naamah that we offer if you do not wish." Piers says with a wry little smirk curling up just the right corner of his mouth: "You can instead stay, have some wine, converse with a courtesan or any of the Novice's, such as myself, who are available." His chin lifts up at the mention of himself, just enough so that he is looking down at Esmee by all appearances: "You have come this far, you may as well stay." He steps down the stairs, moving to brush past her except his shoulders do not give way. They press against her firmly making her give way instead. Once more his hand lifts and he beckons with two forward tilting fingers: "Come with me." It is not a tone that brooks conversation about it, even as young as he is there is a full tone of command there. A man who expects to be obeyed. He walks back over towards where his stuff was and sits back down. Pale blue eyes look up at her again and he pointedly looks at the chair beside him, then goes back to weaving his whip: "Tell me about your perfumes." Another not request.

Undecided at first on whether to stay or go, quiet until he moves past her, the brush of his solid shoulder to indeed, make her give way in a step backwards. "Perhaps I will." She finally gathers her courage up to answer, turning once more to follow him into the salon at the flick of his fingers towards her. Drawn like a moth to a flame. "You are a novice?" Surely she thought with the command he already holds so well, that he would be an adept! Following the silent invitation to the chair nearby, she takes it, slowly lowering herself to sit perched at the edge, the basket set upon her lap. "They are.. a hobby. At least they were until recently. I thought to open a boutique.." And yet things have changed for her.

"I am, yes." Piers answers the question: "My debut is still being arranged but should probably be within the next two months." His long fingered hands continue to weave the whip together slowly, carefully, taking his time. His gaze lifts towards hers again as she sits on the edge of the chair: "I will see to it that you are given an invitation." His gaze remains upon Esmee, holding her gaze commandingly each time until either she looks away, or the Gift that Kushiel left within his blood starts to threaten. Then he will look away, but only then, if she can hold his gaze that long: "You should open a boutique. Perfume and cologne is a good gift for a Courtesan, or another lover. Especially for those who do not have the means or opportunity to bathe regularly." Another row is woven: "What is your name. I know you are Marielle's sister but it must have completely skipped my mind." The Novice is seated on a chair speaking with Esmee, who is perched on the edge of another chair right nearby. Piers is weaving what is likely a leather bullwhip together by hand as they speak. A guard watches the pair nearby to make sure the young Mandrake doesn't do anything untowards.

The offer of being sent an invitation warms her cheeks, tongue to touch her bottom lip before she dares to draw another slow deep breath and releases it. "I would be honored." Such an admission surely heightens the color upon her cheeks, one hand to tighten about the handle of her basket. "I may, but right now, there are many other things I must do.." When asked for the introduction, she ohs softly, "Lady Esmee de Rousse.." There is a slight pause, and she adds, as if forgetting for a moment, "Baronesse De Cargese." She meets his gaze, though it is never so long to challenge him, finding herself dropping her gaze before he might do so himself. It is an odd thing, but understandable on some level.

Piers dips his chin just faintly at her statement of being honored to come to his debut. His eyes glance down towards the basket that she holds so tightly his gaze climbing up towards her eyes and face again, there is a polite but curt nod of his head at her introduction: "When it opens, then I shall have to hope that I receive some as a gift. Do you have any masculine scents in the basket that I may sample or are they all for your sister, Baroness." He continues weaving, it is a slow process to hand weave a twenty foot long bullwhip after all.

There is a slow smile that shows upon Esmee's lips as she lifts her gaze to meet his own, however brief. "Perhaps you may.." There is certainly some thought that has waltzed through her head when the offer of the invitation was made to her. When asked, she turns her attention upon the basket, nodding her head as she lifts aside the handkerchief that covers the contents, searching through the various bottles to pull out one that is made of dark glass, simple rectanglar shaped. The stopper is eased out, and the slim bottle held out for him to take a whiff, "It is best to not put your nose inside, but to take your hand and waft it towards your nose.." She gestures lightly with her other hand to show him what she means. When he does so, he will find a scent that might well please him. It is the slap of slick, hot leather punctuated by the warm, sensual embrace of black amber, red musk and dark, lascivious myrrh into an aroma that hints at the dark sensual sensation of pain.

Piers ties off the whip braid again so that he doesn't lose the work he has already put into it. Setting the handle down Piers rises smoothly to his feet and closes the scant distance between the pair of them. He holds his hand out, palm up, not reaching for the bottle. If he is to take it, she will have to put it into his hand. Piers does as she says to do and he tests the scent, nostrils flaring when he breathes it in. His expression goes smooth for a few moments and then he caps the bottle to offer it back to her. When she goes to take it he holds onto it so that it doesn't escape his fingers at first, she'll have to give it a second tug to take it from him: "It is quite a remarkable scent Baroness." He compliments: "I hope someone has the good idea to offer it to me as a gift. I am certain with that scent upon me I would command even more assignments." He reaches to lightly touch her chin with his fingertips, trying to tilt her head up towards him so he can look down into her eyes: "I am impressed." Is said with a dip of his chin. Turning his back to her before he even moves those two steps back to his chair. Turning again he retakes his seat: "Have you been to a debut since your arrival in Marsilikos, Baronesse de Cargese?"

Handing the bottle over to him, she places it in his hand, letting him take it from her easily enough. Watching from beneath half lowered lids as he takes in the scent from within the bottle, she seems to await his opinion, smiling further when he announces his pleasure in it. Fingers close about the bottle when he offers it back, though she doesn't tug on it - that would be rude, would it not? She waits until he lets her have it back, the bottle soon placed within the basket, though set outside the handkerchief. Perhaps she's decided to not pass it on to her sister after all? Distracted, she misses the fact he's leaned forwards, inhaling a little as his fingers come to touch her chin, to tilt her head upwards so her gaze might meet his, "Tt..tthank you." The words are stammered out, that blush heating her cheeks anew then. Licking her suddenly dry lips, she watches as he returns to his seat, his question to bring an answer. Eventually. "I have never been to one, truthfully." Not before or since her arrival back.

"I expect you to be at mine." Piers tells her in no uncertain terms: "I am certain it will be a night to remember, a once in a lifetime opportunity. Your first debut, my debut, it is as if Naamah herself intends for you to be there." He picks up the whip and resets it to start weaving again. The practice of weaving the thing makes his muscles on his arms stand out, the grip on the four streams of leather turn his knuckles white from his grip. Piers' blue eyes move from the whip and up towards her face and eyes: "Besides being a Baronesse and a parfumier, what else is it that you must do before opening your shop?"

The command of his words so softly spoken, leaves Esmee almost breathless, the single nod of her head to be given slowly. "I will be there, Companions willing." This she easily promises, without a second thought. Skin still warmed by the blush upon her cheeks, she licks her lips as he once more goes back to weaving the strips of leather, gaze dropping to watch his hands work. Again, she seems distracted, so many thoughts flickering through her mind, echoed no doubt within the expressions that cross her face - excitement, embarassment, intrigue, desire. "I never thought to hold my sister's title, so I was given free range in what I did. I am left to learn how to tend to my people, to do what Leonide so easily."

"I see." Piers murmurs: "So you are in an unfamiliar situation without the training necessary to perform your duties. You should lean on those who already hold the positions they have. Speak to them about their jobs and duties. How they do it. Learn how they perform so you can gauge for yourself if it is adequate. Get second and third opinions, never accept the first answer told you." His gaze remains on the whip he painstakingly weaves: "If you want to be good, find the best, see what they do. It is never good to learn new things from amateurs. I will have had over ten years of training when my debut is here."

His words make sense to her, another of those slow nods to come from the brunette perched upon her seat. Relaxing a little, she sighs softly, "I hope to do that. I haven't been in town long, and still meeting people." And yet to a discerning ear as his might be, that is a lie in some way. If she is as passionate about her perfumes as that basket suggests, then she's likely been holed up working on them instead of getting out and about. "Ten years?" Surely she's heard of this from her sister at some point, but with it said again, it is a surprise, "Do you feel ready for your debut?" The question is asked of the novice quietly, gaze once more to fall upon his hands as he works the leather.

Piers inclines his head in a dip of his chin towards his chest: "I do." He answers her question: "Mandrakes take a bit longer to be… ready, as unlike the other Salons if we do something wrong we could seriously injure, or kill. Just a second to long on the wind pipe, just a fraction of an inch and we could cut an artery and the patron could bleed out in seconds." His pale blue eyes find hers again: "Especially for those of us who have Kushiel's legacy in our veins. They always watch us closer, so that we do not… get out of hand. The debut has to be at the perfect time or…" His voice trails off.

His words draw her forwards a little, her slim form to lean in as if they share the most intimate of secrets there within the salon. Esmee ohs softly, another nod given as he explains the reasoning behind the late debut. "Yes.. I understand.." Still, there is that note of curiosity to come after his words, "What does Kushiel's legacy bring to you?" There is a note of understanding in her voice, a knowledge of what it means for one that shares the blood of a Companion.

Piers cinches the braid tight with a firm yank. He still has a lot to go. Pale blue eyes lift to hers and he stares into her eyes. He holds there for a few long moments and then he leans back into his chair, setting the whip aside. Stretching his legs out to flex his heels on the floor he plants both feet firm on the ground with his knees spread to the edges of the chair: "Come." He lifts his hand up and beckons her towards him with two fingers straight and bending only at the third knuckle twice in a 'come here' motion: "And I will tell you." He taps his eat and then taps his bottom lip. The meaning is clear.

Esmee dares to question, and one might wonder if she dares to actually seek the question when he sets aside his work and motions her closer. Her gaze flicks to his guard, then back to him, her expression saying plainly she wishes not to get him into trouble. And yet he is a siren, for her basket is set aside, and she slowly rises to cross the distance, skirts to brush the inside of his legs as she stands there, uncertain.

Piers reaches up to lightly take hold of her chin between his thumb and the side of his forefinger. Drawing her down towards him his mouth is close to her ear: "No kissing. No more than light touching. No hugging. Those are the rules. Whispering in your ear is completely acceptable." His words when he speaks them brush his lips against her earlobe and the side of her ear. His breath is hot and moist on her skin as he speaks, Piers murmurs: "Kushiel is vengeance, justice, and punishment all in one. I can see your deepest, darkest, secrets. I can weigh them on your soul. I can then punish appropriately. It is a calling all of us can do. One could say that we are driven to the darkness, and react appropiately." As he speaks his thumb tip moves to caress along her bottom lip, just the edge, a faint touch. As he finishes his words he drags the tip and pad of his thumb over her bottom lip.

Drawn downwards is she, leaning over him as she stands between his legs, only her skirts to brush along the inside of his thighs. Tremble she does under the light touch upon her chin, his words to gain a slight nod of her head to show she understands these rules of his Salon. With a flutter, her eyes lid then, the whisper of his words to bring another shiver through her as he explains, the tickle an erotic sensation she had not realized would please her so. "Ooh." It's a sound, a breathy little exhale as his thumb caresses her bottom lip. A faint touch that sends off a rocket of sensations.

And suddenly his touch is gone. The fingers part and his hand opens, falling away from her chin, from her lip. Piers leans back in his chair to sit comfortably: "For some the desire to punish is so strong it can be highly dangerous." He studies her face then, the way her cheeks flush, the way she responded to every touch. His hands fall to rest on his thighs and he tilts his head back and to the side slightly: "Do you understand?"

How her heart races with that touch, and when it disappears, she draws in a deep breath and releases it, trying to bring some sort of calmness back to her life. Lids flutter back upwards so that she is left to meet his gaze, "The touch of Eisheth pushes me to be the best at my work with my perfumes… I understand in some way?" Slowly does she straighten, though she doesn't immediately step back to the chair she was seated in before. "To persue a passion, always urging to be perfect.." Yes, she understands.

Piers says, "Yes. And my passion is to punish the guilty."

"They why not become one of Kushiel's bronze masked priests instead?" Such a curious nature at times does Esmee have. "Would that not give you a better chance to exercise Kushiel's wishes held within your blood?" Words given softly, her gaze to rise to meet his own then though her boldness does bring the color to her cheeks again.

"Because Naamah chose me." Piers says to her with the faintest of a smile: "I was taken in when I was six. I know that my gift can be used for much more than pain and punishment." He steeples his fingertips before his chin: "Naamah was the purist of all the companions. I honor Blessed Elua by following her path. There is more to be given this way. More to be gained. I can do, more, for more people."

There's that smile of hers again, "You sound like my sisters. There are two others besides Marielle who are in Her service." Briefly, there's a sadness to her expression, a longing she may not quite grasp as of yet. Ducking her head, she moves then to step back unless stopped by he in any way, her skirts once again to tease the inside of his thighs as she goes.

There is a snap of his fingers, loud, to draw her attention back to him and Piers locks his gaze on hers again: "Have you been taught to kneel, Baronesse?" His voice is only slightly curious: "I am wondering how much I will have to teach you when you purchase your first assignment from me, whether it be on my debut, or the day after, or the day after that." Two fingers reach up to stroke along his chin and down his throat towards the hollow of his throat just above his pecs, bared by that deep collared shirt: "I will be seeing much of you. I know."

"Kneel?" Esmee does question him then once her attention is drawn back to him after the snap of his fingers. It's all too plain when she puts his question together with his House, the blush growing as she offers the faintest of shakes of her head, "I have heard only a few things about your House from my sisters but nothing more before I left to travel. I.. could kneel, I know how to do that." But obvisously not in the exact way he means. There's that peek of her tongue to come, darting across her bottom lip as she follows the trail of his finger down, "I could only hope to.. there will likely be many who will seek to win your debut." She is but a mere Baroness. Her coffers are only so deep.

Piers mmms thoughtfully and then there is a slow but firm nod: "I understand. What is it your sisters have told you about my House." He rubs his thumbpad over the fingertip that he had just snapped. Slow circles that press firmly enough to the tips of his fingers that they go pure white with the blood chased out of them. All the while his gaze moves over her slowly like he was visualing just what each part of her might feel like beneath those fingertips.

"The basics so that I would better understand?" Esmee answers then, though there comes that pause as she ponders her words before speaking further, The press of his fingers, the way he watches the movements, captures her attention, and yet another shiver traces it's way down her back. "That you and Valerian deal in the shaper pleasures. Your House dominates while Valerian submits." The words tumble out quickly, yet remain softly spoken, that slight tremor to come to her voice when speaking of his House dominating.

"In the shallowest terms." Piers says with a nod of his head again: "There is much, much, more to it than that of course. Why have you waited until now to contemplate a contract with a courtesan? You have not, have you, except for perhaps your sixteenth."

"This I know.. " Esmee answers as it being only the shallowest of understanding about his House. To his question, she shrugs, "I have been busy pursuing my dream of being a mistress of perfumes. I have traveled to Caerdicci, Hellens.. and for nearly the last year, Tiberium." Mention of her sixteenth birthday has her blushing quite furiously, "I.. didn't wish to.."

"But now you do." Piers murmurs with the faintest ghost of a smile curving the corners of his mouth: "I wonder if you have the patience to wait. To wait for me, to be your first Mandrake. To be your first actual and real contract. That would impress me."

A single dip of her head, the gesture speaking loudly. "I do." For reasons unknown, Esmee is drawn to this novice. "There are other firsts you would be." The admission is given even softer then before she lifts her gaze to study his face, the wish to impress him openly worn upon her own features.

Piers studies her, so much older than he is and yet, it seems to make no difference to him at all. He is what he is and she is what she is: "See to it that they remain firsts then. It will be interesting to see how far you can be pushed, how fast until you scream out your Signale. How many times, I wonder, will you call it for me?"

Older she may be in years, older is he in experience, even as a novice. Seh ducks her head then, his words to make her tremble, hands to clasp her skirts, wrinkling the delicate fabric as words paint such an image in her head. It is likely far from what may come between, still shrouded in virginal ideals and secret desires. "That is for the Companions to know for now."

Piers mmms softly: "Yes, yes it is. You should think of a word, one word, that you would never say unless you were overwhelmed. That you needed me to.. stop. For a time at least. You will memorize this word. Do you understand?"

One word. When there are so many? And yet there comes another nod from the brunette before him. "I will think upon this, as you wish." Her gaze lifts then, to meet his own, to hold it for the passage of a few moments, longer than she has before. A silent promise to do as he wishes.

"That word will be your Signale. It will be what holds me back. It will be put down on the contract, so make sure you know it." Piers rises smoothly to his feet and walks over to her with slow steady steps, measured perfectly: "What do you imagine I will do to you?" He asks softly, not quite touching but the heat from his frame can be easily felt: "Tell me." He bows his head, ear to her lips.

"I will know it as surely as I know my own name." Esmee answers in turn, hands slowly releasing her skirts. As he rises then to cross that short distance, her gaze is drawn to him, her mind sent whirling at his question. When presented with his ear to whisper her most secret desires into, the first thing that comes to her mind is quite simple, "Anything that you desire?"

Piers turns his head then so he can whisper into her ear: "Then you wish to submit, wholly, and true, to the will of another. My will. I wonder if I will be able to get the Signale from your lips, or if you will simply be… subsumed."

"I find that I do." Esmee murmurs then, eyes falling shut as the whisper of his words once more send that secret thrill through her, legs pressing together beneath her skirts. Once more, her heart beats quicker, harder within her chest. "I could only pray it so."

"It will be so. In time." Piers' lips brush across her ear and the corner of her jaw again as he whispers into her ear. This time when his right hand lifts he runs just one fingertip lightl along her jaw from the other corner down to her chin. His wrist turns and he lightly rakes his nail directly down her throat to the hollow there: "Tell me more about you. Tell me about your sixteenth. Tell me what firsts I will be."

The assurance is accepted, his words to calm the wild fluttering of her heart in her chest. The light brush of his lips to her ear and jaw but makes her offer the softest of sounds beneath her breath. Such a sweet, unconscious moan offered to him then before his hand lifts to tease her so with first the lightest of caresses followed by the first hint of sharper pleasure in the play of his nail along her skin. Captivated is the young baroness by the novice, his questions come and moments pass before answers are given in a voice now breathlessly husky, "What do you wish to know about me?" She cannot help but question, though she soon sighs, glancing away, "I did not wish .. I believed that love would come.." Such foolish notions of a young girl. "And when it did not, I became caught up pursuing my passion of perfumes." She turns her head slightly, to meet his gaze, "I have been kissed a time or three?" Much more than that, well.. a strange one is she.

"Oh?" Piers murmurs softly: "You did not take a courtesan at your sixteenth? Not ever?" As he speaks his hand turns over and he runs the pad of his index finger back up her throat but it presses in harder. It is a curious combination, soft skin, pressed roughly into her throat until it hooks under her chin and lifts: "Have you never known a man intimately?"

My, how she blushes at his words, her head beginning to dip down only to be caught by the rise of his finger, sliding, pressing into her skin as it traces the path his nail took in reverse. Chin lifted, her gaze meets his, "No." A single word, embarassment shown in a nervous lick of her lips. To have three sisters in Naamah's service, and then she, who has never known such pleasures? Odd.

Especially for a noble.

Piers mmms: "I hope you win my debut, Baroness." He steps away to retake his seat: "So many firsts." He reaches to take up his whip and starts weaving it back together: "My debut, your first, the first blooding of this whip, and so many other firsts." He snaps leather together. Twists. Folds. Snaps. It's on purpose possibly, or just timing, but the hiss of leather on leather, the faint crack of it as he tightens it down into a long flexible length twist by twist. Inch by Inch.

A noble who had other ideas and wishes. And perhaps has only now realized what she might have missed. "Many.." As he returns to work on his whip, each crack and hiss of the leather has her shivering with anticpation now given life within. It's then a servant might peek in, offering word to the young baroness, "Your sister is free now.." A nod is given to her before she rises from her seat, her basket taken back in hand. "A bid you a good day.. thank you for allowing me to sit and talk with you."

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