(1310-09-12) Considering Poetry
Summary: Evelyne comes across Eneas in a book shop - and engages in conversation about daring and poetry.
RL Date: 12/09/2018
Related: The Horse Race
evelyne eneas 

Raziel's Sanctum — Grand Plaza

Pedestrian traffic flows past the tall, multistorey temple to knowledge without ever daring to glimpse within. Their loss proves the academic community of Marsilikos' gain. Watery light passing through greenish tinted windows throws a distinctly sylvan enchantment over the narrow ground floor. Awash in jade shadows, the built-in bookcases heave with the treasures of the deep and wide world. Volumes mass-produced by printing press in d'Angeline dominate the front shelves, a wild assortment of topics contained within some obscure system of sorting known only to the regulars. Herbalism and gardening stand abreast of architectural sketches from the City of Elua and Kusheline manuals on horse breeds.

A journey up the twisting stairs past the bric-a-brac acquired by years of travelers trading in their goods leads into the true heartland of wisdom. Candles set before stained glass throw rapturous kaleidoscopes of painted colour over a long hall. The open central aisle hosts low couches set back to back on woven Bhodistani rugs. The most treasured volumes — and hence, the most costly — occupy the floor-to-ceiling shelves overseen by the grumpiest of caretakers, an ill-tempered marmalade cat with his own stuffed chair that no one sits in.

The third floor holds a repository of maps and scrolls, aged texts too fragile to hold, and a bookbinding and mending service at a cost.


A certain lady de Somerville has managed to venture from the Palace to the city. Even at this rather early hour of a late summer morning. Evelyne looks all neat and orderly as she enters the book shop with a guard in tow. The apple scent is almost non-existent at the moment. Perhaps because of the rather sobering effect of books, and so many of them, piling up on tables and filling the many shelves at the walls. The lady wears her hair in a fashionable arrangement using a number of hair needles. The dress she wears is a dark green with a pattern of apples embroidered up the skirts. She looks around, looking for the shopkeeper. A faint rosiness stains her cheeks.

It is interesting how memory works sometimes. The last time Eneas was in Marsilikos has been over a decade ago, and he would mutter it took him almost as long to find the shop again now that he returned to the city. Okay, so it was only a month, but the man is not exactly known for his patience. Or lack of occasional hyperbole. By the time the Lady enters, he is has found a few likely candidates for purchase, the Cameline looking perhaps slightly out of place in the book-store. Not so much for the clean white cloth shirt that is covered by the black leather vest with the silver buttons, or the black leather riding trousers and boots, but the sword hanging by the side, and the narrow space between the shelves being filled out by the bulk of the mercenary. Or the slowly fading colors of yellow and green of the bruise that still sits on the side of his neck and reaches up to his chin. No, he is not a skinny siovale scholar.

A small stack of books has been clapped underneath one arm, apparently candidates to be probed further and potentially bought, and he nods to the shopkeep. "…please do. That would be a boon to me if you could get a copy of it in the original Caerdecci. I know it will come at a steeper price.".

How could Evelyne miss the presence of the Camaeline, when he indeed fills the shop with his somewhat martial air? She does not. The young lady steps closer, blue eyes narrowing just a little as they cut to Eneas. A faintly mischievous smile curls her lips. "Ah. What a coincidence. Here we meet again.", she greets brightly. "Lord Eneas d'Aiglemort. A pleasure! How is your horse?" The question, indeed a bit misplaced, but then again, such seldom bothers Evelyne de Somerville. Her gaze flicks to the shopkeep and she smiles most amiably. "I have time. Please." A generous gesture with her hand, as she turns and lets her gaze drift, content to admire books from afar for a moment.

Ah, the shopkeep surely knows better than to interupt his customers when they are socializing, especially if they are of the noble persuasion. They'll be be back with more orders eventually, right?

Eneas, however, blinks as he is interrupted in his conversation, blue eyes to turn — oddly enough not to Evelyne first, but to her guard that hovers about. It is not an unfriendly look, but one of assessment. Gear, weapon, posture, position taken in, before his gaze sweeps to the young lady and it is then that lips curve into a soft smile. "Indeed, a pleasurable one, Lady Evelyne de Somerville.", he offers, chuckling, nodding to shopkeep briefly to indicate that he will not need his attention for a moment at least. One book ordered, the others he stacked sat down on a surface nearby for the time being. He will go through them later to see if they are what he requires of them.

A step taken in the direction of the lady then, ungloved hand to reach for hers, to continue the tradition to greet her with a hand kiss, though this time it is a decidedly proper one: No touching of her skin with lips, merely the tease of his breath against her knuckles, though the smile that widens might hint that he does so quite on purpose and in contrast of their last meeting. Straightening then, he lets go of her hand. "Poly is doing quite well, thank you for asking. He has been enjoying a pasture the last few days to have aching muscles recover, but I think the old rascal is doing quite well.". A chuckle is given then. "I would inquire about your steed, but, I admit I am more interested in your own well-being.".

The guard is a Mereliot guard, a fact that may run contrary to expectations about a Somerville lady. He is unobtrusive though, and offers a respectful nod to Eneas as he catches that attentive look. Evelyne, meanwhile, seems all the more pleased that she is to be gallantly greeted, despite, well, a certain contact of lips to knuckles is being denied to her. She does not wear any gloves today, the fingers are delicate and look as if kissing them could feel nice. Sensing what Eneas is doing there, makes Eve roll her eyes at him, just a little. "Poly, hmm? Interesting name for a stallion.", she replies. "Precious is fine," said even if he doesn't ask about her mare. "And I am fine as well." As if to emphasize that fact, she deepens her smile. "I daresay, you found an apple for Poly?", she asks of him.

Well, the eye-roll has Eneas chuckle at the young lady, apparently pleased with himself that he annoyed her by the lack of skin contact. Well. At least other than fingers to fingers. Blue eyes holding a more mischievous, playful expression for a moment, the d'Aiglemeort apparently not above playing games with the Sommerville, and perhaps sensing that the bold beauty is used to getting what she wants and attention heaped on her, that denying her that might give her a more memorable impression of himself. Vexing perhaps, but memorable.

"Well, Polynieces.", Eneas admits, when she comments on the name. "At least that is the name the Hellene horse breeder gave him when I got him, and I saw no reason to change it. But shortening it to Poly is easier on the tongue.". Still, when she explains about her own mare, he laughs. "Precious? Well. That is a curious name. And given that you inquired about my horse first, you seem to give more thought about horses than humans. Or is that an unfair assumption to make?", he wonders, lips curved into a one-sided smirk, to perhaps take a bit of the sting out of the words. "But yes, he has gotten his apple. And enjoyed it immensely. Couldn't have him chase the scent to your…home.", he states, eyes to flicker back to the Mereliot guard for a moment. "Apparently. The palace?". It is an odd way that the teasing mood seems to change to a curious one in that last sentence of his.

"Polynesis?" If Eneas wishes to play games with her, this Somerville is not adverse to it. Perhaps she loves to be teased and vexed. "I don't see, why Precious should be an odd name for a horse. I love my horse." Stating this, as she stands a bit straighter, chin lifted. "I am of Anael's province, should it be surprising to you that I value horses and other animals?" Belatedly, the scent intensifies just so. "I am glad, Poly got to enjoy his apple." His inquiry, and the sign that he had been able to read the detail of the guard correctly makes Evelyne shoot him a glance. "The Palace. Well. Yes. For now.", the lady clarifies. Leaving it at that then, as to pay him back for the tease. At least a little.

"Close. Poly-nices.", Eneas repeats, then grins. "I never picked up Hellenic, but hawker assured me it would translate to 'many victories'.", Eneas tells the lady. then smirks. "Of course, I have been since told it might be closer to 'many battles', but I suppose that is close enough.", he explains. As she shows that streak of pride in her province, in the care for animals it is known for, though, Eneas has to laugh. Tsk. "Oh, I value my horseflesh as well. I do not call it 'precious' though. Or inquire about its well being before its rider's.", he points out, letting that sink in a little. "Or at all.". Oh, she did that, didn't she? Never asked how was doing. Leave it to Eneas to point it out so brazenly, though. Well, playing, teasing, vexing? Perhaps it might dawn on her that the Lord _is_ of a line where conflict is literally in their blood. Apparently he enjoys it even when it is verbal. Then again, if the scent that rises from her is any indication — and you can be sure that Eneas' nostrils flare briefly as he takes a deeper breath —- she is indeed not too adverse to such either.

The counter-tease of just confirming where she stays, without eleborating on it? Well, it makes Eneas narrow his eyes a little at the young lady, and he takes another half step towards her, and to the side. Evil d'Aiglemort, for that would place her between himself and her guard. Well, if she gives no information willingly, he apparently plans to gather it by other means: How attentive is her guard, how does he respond when the armed man steps closer and uses his own charge as obstacle. And once more he lowers his voice, to a whisper. Not because it is needed, but because of the implied intimacy it provides, "Oh, dear to the ducal family, are you?".

Evelyne nods her head, to the explanation about the horse's name. Even if the ghost of a frown touches her features at the… well… barely hidden rebuke. Her cheeks flush instantly. "Oh, you look fine to me, so a question about your well being would either have seemed inappropriate or unnecessary," she quips back, holding her ground, as the d'Aiglemort elects to circle her. "But if you were taking offense, I do apologize." Her head turns, and the rest of Evelyne follows that motion, skirts flaring just a little from the momentum, as her gaze finds Eneas, and she lifts her gaze to meet his eyes. A blink at his whisper - the fact of the whisper or its contents? - and she murmurs back. "My lord. I am one of the ladies that wait upon Her Grace. It is… only a temporary arrangement. My initial thrill at receiving a chamber at the palace has dimmed a little. As it means… less freedom. It will last another month and a half, and then I will be free, though."

So many things are learnt there by the d'Aiglemort. That the guard is not reaction more decisively? It means the young lady is not in active danger currently, that he is more a honorary courtesy, rather than a necessity, but it is not given voice by Eneas, mostly to not get the poor guard in trouble, perhaps. As the murmur comes back to him, Eneas leans back just enough so they can look at each other without getting cross eyed, and yet the man makes sure to keep his body rigid and separated from the lady, even going as far as to cross his hands behind his back. A play of closeness and distance: Stepped too close to be quite proper, but not touching, and yet, the way he inhales, obviously to draw attention to her scent once more, and the whisper to be inappropriately intimate with the girl he barely knows.

"Freedom. Hm. And that is something you value, i take it? More so than the honor of being a lady-in-waiting? My, aren't you a rebellious young woman?", he teases her, chuckling. Only then does he circle back to the topic of her lack of inquiring. "Offended? No. And no apology is needed. It is just a curious…quirk, m'lady.", he tells her, tilting his head, studying her. "Perhaps a glimpse at…where you lay your priorities. And other people, well. It seems it is not on them. Or am I mistaken on my first impression of you?".

Evelyne's hands will go for quite a contrary course. Instead of folding them at her back, she lifts her fingers and brushes a non-existent stray strand of blonde hair from her view, while the other hand comes to rest, merely with the fingertips, on the area between neckline and collarbone. She doesn't mind his inhale - my, she would be used to it - and still, as if drawn forth by the flare of his nostrils, the scent intensifies just so. She doesn't mind the scandalously intimate appearance of the whisper either, as the wide grin betrays. "Freedom. Yes. It is really ironic. To be released from one cage to be trapped in another," the blonde Somerville confides, her eyes brightening when she realizes she managed to add to his amusement. "Don't mistake me to prefer the company of animals over that of men." A wink she tosses at him, along with a grin. "I do appreciate your kind, Lord Eneas."

"And which cage was that?", Eneas is bold enough to ask. "Unless of course you refer to your debut? It cannot have been that long ago, can it?". Well, he can probably see she is young, but then with d'Angeline, it is sometimes hard to tell their true age, is it not? Tsk. Was that a roundabout way to ask a lady her age?

With the increase of her scent, Eneas chuckles once more. Yes, he enjoys her reactions, and the way she responds to the game the two play, the somewhat shameless flirting and teasing, only to blink at that last murmur. My, there she goes and be bold again, and he laughs out a bit louder at that, even if only for a moment. "My, you mistake my mind for being dirtier than it is, m'lady. Though I am glad my …. kind… does not offend you.", he chooses to twist her words once more, slightly. "So, what brings you to the bookstore? Well. Books, obviously, but, I am curious what an mind like yours would seek to learn more about?".

"My debut?" It seems easier to respond to the tease rather than to the question. "Oh… my debut was almost two years ago. On Mont Nuit. A befitting abduction, my lord, and one that marked the start of me…", Evelyne pauses, as if pondering how to put it. "Embracing Naamah's arts." A candid statement, she offers to the blonde d'Aiglemort without the slightest awkwardness. It also serves as indirect reply to his unposed question. A chuckle, silvery and light, ripples through the bookstore at his next statement. "Oh… my lord…! As if she hadn't wished to infer any of the kind, and see, how a blush now adorns her cheeks? That turn of their conversation somehow did the trick. Her hands drop to lace fingers before her, and she lowers her gaze, when the topic drifts into less dangerous waters. "The bookstore? Well… I was pondering on submitting a poem to today's poetry contest. Truth be told, I was looking for some inspiration."

Eneas grins at the candid answer. Well, it is not exactly coming as a surprise, given the boldness and forwardness the young lady has displayed so far. "Embracing Naamah's arts.", Eneas echoes that, laughing lightly. "Mhm. That is a way to put it, I suppose. In Elua no less?", he wonders, shaking his head. "And taking to it like a fish to water, from what I can tell.". Amusements, still in his voice, no censure. Yet, as it is her turn to laugh, at the apparent scandalized reaction of where he took the conversation there? Well, Eneas might look decidedly too pleased with himself then, at managing to get the blonde to blush. Smug, almost. "Ah, my apologies for misunderstanding you.", he dares to pretend it was not intentional. Still, when she actually demures, speaks of poems and inspiration, his mood sobers a little and he draws back a fraction. She managed to surprise him again, and apparently play is play, but that she seems to take a more heartfelt interest in this topic is enough for Eneas to give it a touch more respect than their earlier banter. "I see. A poet. Hm. What topic did you have in mind?", he wnders, half turning to peer at the rows and rows of books. "Or was that the inspiration you hoped for? To find a topic to write about?".

"In Elua," Evelyne confirms, "and yes. I suppose." The latter two words added perhaps to have it sound less… forward. As for the awkwardness that follows, it is soon resolved by them manoeuvering towards a proper topic at last. "I wouldn't call myself a poet. Not a true poet, that is. I do like to write, to juggle with words. But for the poetry contest, a poem is needed. Hmmm." She smirks at his question, "The topic to write about can only be love and the like. More 'the like' perhaps. It would be interesting to see how the jury reacts to a relentless ode to pleasure and lust." A thought that brings a slightly daring smile to her lips. "I hear this shop has some translations of the work of Catullus? I've heard somewhere, that his poems may even be a challenge for our d'Angeline sensibilities…"

Eneas nods his head at the information of her debut and her admissions. As the conversation turns to poetry, he snorts a little however. "A poet writes poetry. If you write it, you are a poet. Perhaps you do not think you are very good, but that is not for you to decide, but for your audience.". Oops, is he lecturing her? Perhaps a touch. And yet, when her self-confidence returns to give that daring smile, Eneas has to laugh in spite of himself, blue eyes lighting up in sympathy for the young one. "Oh, my, you have a one-track mind.", he teases, shaking his head. "Ode to pleasure and lust. I have heard some of Catullus works in Tiberium, but I admit I am not…intimately familiar with all his work.", he tells her, then grins. "Though I am sure you are on the right track. There were many hedonists in the old Tiberian republic and influenced by the hellenic writers that came before them.", he pauses. "We d'Angeline like to think we were the only ones who idolized pleasure and lust and especially love above all else, but we were not the only ones. Nor the first.", he comments, before he grins. "Aiming to scandalize the jury. Hmm.", he tilts his head at her, before finally uncrossing his arms from behind his back, and he waggles a finger at her. Scolding? Well, yes, but perhaps for a different reason than she expects: "You are not planning to win by embarassing the judges because you think you cannot win any other way, are you? You would disappoint me if you took that cowardly way out, my Lady. Play boldly, play daringly, but play to win or go home.".

"It is our primal driving force, is it not? Pleasure?", Evelyne counters with a slight lift of a brow. "So don't accuse me of having a one-track-mind. I would wager, every noble roaming the Ducal Court is quite occupied with the question, of who to choose for warming one's bed for the next night?" The statement is posed in supposed innocence, where it not for the wicked twisted of her smile. "It is nothing to be ashamed of. Truly not. If I were to win with such a poem, then it would only be possible here in Terre d'Ange. It is more the consideration what my family would say. The scandal. The fear that this would affect upcoming arrangements…" She chuckles in reaction to his wagging finger and shakes her head. "No… to craft the verses in a way that deserves a win, that would be my aim. To manage the feat of… stating candidly with the subtlety of a poet. Oh Eisheth, do I make any sense?"

Eneas listens to her rebuttal, and his lips turn into a grin at them. "Oh, my dearest Lady Evelyne de Sommerville. How cunning, but I am afraid building a strawman to attack will not work with me.", he tells her. "I have not condemned you — or anyone — thinking of who to warm their bed with, as you so aptly put. I condemned — if at all that is what I did — to do that to the exclusion of everything else: Ergo, a one-track mind, as opposed to having a mind on multiple tracks.", he tells her. Ooops, there she got an Eneas that is actually rather versed in debate and arguments, almost of the philosophical kind. "As for the drivign force? Pleasure is surely one. Avoidance of Pain, in all its form for many, though, clearly some take pleasure in some forms of pain.", he muses. "Duty and Wealth and the like. Surely, you will argue it are only manifestations of Pleasure, but we both know you meant carnal pleasures more than…the other aspects.".

With that volley out of the way, he does nod his head at her. "You make sense. If that is what you plan to do, I retract my reservations. But I met too many who will set themselves a challange like you did, then blame the lack of understanding or vision of those who judge them for their failures. I have little sympathy for those, and I am glad you are not one of them.". As she speaks of her family and her plans, he smirks. "Rebellious indeed. What arrangements are you trying to sabotage, my Lady?".

"I have been accused of acting on instinct rather than on what my sense would dictate…", Evelyne confesses sweetly as if boasting of an asset. "There are those that argue the fact that I have a mind after all…" The upturn of her lips becomes a bit more pronounced. "As for pleasures… Yes carnal pleasures is what I am referring to. Our attempt to conquer elysian heights, to find those delicious moments of intense fulfillment. Can it be so wrong?" Shifting her weight a little from one leg to the other, she considers the tall d'Aiglemort. "And you mistake me. I know that whatever judgment will be placed upon my oeuvre, it shall not mark my failure. But my victory, over the odds of being judged, and to meet that verdict with pride." There is a slight tilt of her head to the side, as she meets his gaze with a smile blossoming upon her features. "Now that I think about it, sabotaging those arrangements would not be to my benefit. Perhaps I should reconsider after all. And make this a poem not to entertain at a poetry contest, but a wicked confession of my preferences, to offer to my husband-to-be upon our wedding night."

Ah, here she goes and self-deprecates herself again, and Eneas smirks at that. Perhaps because he used the same tactic before, plenty. To fish for a compliment, and it is his turn to roll his eyes a little at her. "Nothing wrong to act on instinct on occasion. And you are bright enough of mind, as you know, so please. If you want me to compliment you, I have plenty of other ways to do so than on such a cheap and basic level.", he tells her. As for the pleasures she seeks, he shakes his head. "Wrong? No. Especially at your age, you should seek them, experience them, fill a portfolio of them so you are armed with the knowledge and experience of what there is to find within the arms of a man or woman.". Nope, no prude is Eneas. And yet when it turns back to the poem and judgement, he laughs softly. "Well, what irony then, that I try to good give advice to my own detriment now.", he says. "Surely composing a poem with passion that is meaningful is more fitting than just to enter a contest, but alas, I robbed myself of hearing it now.". As for the marriage she implies, he shakes his head. "Ah. Perhaps you should.". It seems a puzzle piece falls into place then, for he gives her a almost patient look. "Do not think of the marriage of curtailing your freedom, of putting you into yet another cage, perhaps, but as a blessing in disguise to rise to a new challenge, and shape that arrangement into something you can work with, yes."

Is it really self-deprecation? Or rather making a statement of being rather unimpressed with what others may think? "My lord. I know how to earn my compliments," Evelyne Somerville states with a smirk. "I do not need to go fishing for them, as if they were the most treasured things in the world." At this she takes that step back from him, adding more proper distance between the unwed lady and the lord who seems to be so fond of whispering. "Who knows? If you are interested, I could recite this poem for you, one day. It still needs to be written!", she adds with a bright smile. "As for my future cage. I believe I have chosen it well. There are worse cages. Perhaps… if Lord Sebastien is in attendance next time, I can introduce you to him? The Vicomte de Montmarlon, of House Basilisque. Of Camaeline stock, just as you." And slowly information trickles, the closer she gets to depart. "My lord d'Aiglemort. I fear I must return to the Palace. And thank you. It seems you have managed to provide the inspiration I had come for. Companions, and you are not a book. Have a good day!" Said as she moves to the exit, with the Mereliot guard following in her wake.

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