(1310-09-12) Scared but Ready
Summary: Séverine encounters Bijoux in the gardens of the salon and uses the opportunity to address the matter of Bijoux' impending debut.
RL Date: 12/09/2018
Related: This and this.
severine bijoux 

Gardens — La Rose Sauvage

The gardens of La Rose Sauvage offer a different ambience and atmosphere than that of the more oppressive and richly ornate salon. Tall casement windows spill out onto a paved area which gives way to neatly arranged flowerbeds, where a predominance of roses pay homage to the canons encompassed by this salon. The paths are of a dark granite grey which have softened over the years by the enroachment of mosses and lichens, with smaller paths winding off through the beds. It's here along these secluded paths that arborial areas and private nooks might be found, and where privacy is granted to those that seek it through flowering hedges and curtained awnings.

A fountain plays at the centre of the garden, the copper figures of two nude women, long since mellowed to a soft verdigris, spill water from shells into a pool at its base. The main pathway through the garden leads to a terracotta tiled courtyard that sits towards the farthest end, the walls here flanked by creeping ivys which cloak the walls in scarlet and orange during the autumn months. An oiled silk awning hangs over the courtyard to give shelter from both sun and rain, and oil lamps light the area when evening falls.

Early morning it is, and Séverine has decided to take stroll about the gardens. The Red Rose Second is clad in a dress of olive green silk, long sleeved as of to drive of the beginning chill of late summer moving towards early autumn. The marque in her back is on display though, through the dip her dress makes at the back. Reddish-blonde hair is gathered into a bun, as Séverine enters from the direction of the salon. She is checking on the flower beds, and then moves towards the gazebo, her grey eyes somewhat pensive as she seems to be in thoughts.

The gazebo seems to be in use, at least at the moment, though it's hard to tell initially. There's a Bijoux, and she's curled up quietly the corner of the gazebo wrapped in a white fluffy blanket. There's a large book perched precariously in her lap and she seems to be pouring over it quietly. Bijoux's blonde waves have been tamed into a messy ball atop her head and she blinks sleepily as she reads. She doesn't notice Severine as she approaches.

<FS3> Severine rolls Perception: Good Success. (1 1 4 3 7 4 4 6 8 7 2)

The novice may not be aware of her approach, and even if Séverine makes no effort of moving silently, those sandaled feet of hers hardly make a sound as she walks towards the gazebo. Grey eyes flash with a mixture of faint amusement and some, other, more authoritative quality, as Séverine enters the gazebo and settles herself on the bench right beside where Bijoux so comfortable perches. "Good morning," the Red Rose Second greets softly. "Bijoux. You are up early. And already busy with reading?" She angles her head a little as if in the attempt to catch some details of the cover, the title of the book perhaps.

As Severine speaks, Bijoux's chin lifts. She blinks her eyes several times as they attempt to focus, and then her gaze turns to the sky. Bijoux gives a quiet little gasp and closes the book with a loud 'whoomph'. The book itself doesn't appear as though it should be all that interesting. It's a history book, and one that looks brand new.Her voice is quiet as she exclaims, "I'm sorry! I completely lost track of time!" She scrambles to compose herself, sitting straighter on the bench and blushing sheepishly.

The Second studies the novice, as Bijoux notices her and begins to apologize. "I didn't mean to startle you," she qualifies softly. "But you are lucky that it is me that finds you here, and none of our Thorns. Tell me…", she reaches out a glance given to Bijoux as if asking permission, before she takes the tome from her hands. "For how long have you been sitting there?" And for a moment, she turns her attention outwardly towards the book that rests in her lap, one palm of a hand resting upon it, keeping it closed. "I have been meaning to speak with you, Bijoux.", Séverine begins after a meaningful pause. "We need to speak about your upcoming debut. How are you feeling about it? Do you feel well prepared, through your training?" Her voice is soft and calm. "I know it will be your birthday soon. It seems about time that we discuss the details of the fête, my dear."

Bijoux shakes her head and murmurs, "I don't know how long I've been here, but I know it was still dark when I settled in to read for a few hours before bed." The book is readily handed over and as Severine examines it she says, "It was a gift, the book, from Lord Aisan." She shifts to sit next to Severine and her voice takes on quiet tone, "I feel my training has been adequate. I'm… scared, a little.. but I am ready." Bijoux smiles and leans back. "Lord Aisan is quite determined to win my debut. I fear he may bankrupt his entire house is that's what it takes."

"Companions! You are meaning to tell me that you stayed outside during all of the night?" Séverine gives her a look, and a faint frown settles on her features. "You are not to stay outside. Especially now, that the nights will grow chillier. Bijoux. We can't risk you getting a cold." When Bijoux explains about the book, the Red Rose Second turns her attention back towards it. "Ah. I see. A gift of Lord Aisan. Yes. He mentioned he was interested in winning your debut…" The frown fades, and is replaced with a vague smile. "He seems to be very determined. But I assure you, there will be others as well, likewise determined to win that first act of Service to Naamah." The smile deepens. "I hear there are some Kushelines in Marsilikos currently. Maybe because of the tournament. I shall send out invitations to them as well. Who knows, which of them would pass on such a delightful chance." Her other hand reaches for one of Bijoux's. "No need to be scared. Whoever wins your debut will be bound to obey our rules. You can always stop them, if they will be going too far. With your word of Signale."

"I met one of those Kushelines, a Lord Ashton. He is the reason I'm scared. I wasn't before he…. he said debuts are intentionally horrible so that every other assignation will at least not be as bad as the first." Bijoux turns toward Severine on the bench with a little sigh, "I am fond of Lord Aisan. He speaks such words of ardour, but I am skeptical. I think he is taken with me because I am an unknown. I suspect that once he has unravelled me he will realize that I am not quite so special as he thinks." She glances around the gardens and leans in to whisper to Severine "The things he says.. is this normal for patrons to fall in love with novices before they've even debuted?"

<FS3> Severine rolls Politics: Good Success. (2 7 6 5 7 1 2 2 2)

"Lord Ashton?" Séverine perks up at that, clearly amused. "I didn't know he came around for a visit! It certainly has been awhile." Lifting a brow, she meets Bijoux's gaze. "Lord Ashton de Morhban, Vicomte de Malroix. He is the younger brother to the Duc of Kusheth. Yes. He has a certain… dark… air." Her lips purse just so, as she considers. "And I suspect, he merely meant to frighten you. The debut is not horrible. Neither intentionally nor unintentionally. It is true… the debut of Red Rose may differ from the debut of a Heliotrope flavored Coquelicot… But it is because we, the Red Roses crave sharper pleasure." She falls silent then, perhaps pondering the Morhban for a moment, but more likely, listening as Bijoux continues about Lord Aisan. "To fall in love… that is such an awfully strong phrase," she begins after a moment. "Let us say, Lord Aisan seems to be obsessed with you. He is rather young, and yet he already holds such a grand title as Vicomte. Don't you dare to tell me that you are not special. Jacques picked you for a reason. He has a good eye, when it comes to seeing potential. After the debut… they will be lining up for assignations with you. There is nothing as tempting as a freshly debuted Red Rose…"

Bijoux's cheeks flush red with embarrassment and she nods, "Obsession may be a better word, yes. The things he promises.. even when I tell him I won't hold him to those promises. He wants to assign me so often that I rarely or never am unmarked to take other assignations. He says he'll give me as much toward my marque to pay it off quickly. He talks of making me his consort and me giving birth to his heirs. Part of me wonders how many novices have heard this by a fervent young patron just to find that their interest wanes as soon as the… unknown becomes the known." Bijoux shakes her head and sighs, "And Lord Ashton was not here. I went to the bakery for some sweet buns and he was there. He destroyed a wedding cake. He's a foul creature, I think." She shakes her head, "I suspect he intends to attempt to purchase my debut as well, or that he might have some thought of it. I think my fear is something he relishes."

"I would advise you, to wait and watch this evolve. Or not. Let us take one step after the other. First, the debut. Then. If Lord Aisan maintains that fondness, he may consider contracting you for a longer term, if he so wishes. It seems rather rushed to consider you being the mother to his heirs. He seems to be very impulsive.", Séverine declares softly, her smile taking on a reassuring quality. "Paying off a marque will take time. And it is not the purpose to shorten that period of service and learning, overly much. We serve Naamah. It is an honor, and a holy service." Again, she falls silent and listens, tilting her head as Séverine learns of Lord Ashton's misdeed. "Would it shock you, if I confessed he has contracted me, some time ago?", the Red Rose Second wonders with a faintly mischievous smile. "Yes. I suppose, he was in a dark mood, wishing to impress with his Kusheline heritage…" Straightening in her seat, she adds: "Lord Ashton too is very fervent in his desires. It seems often the case, with a certain kind of patrons our salon attracts…" That sentence trails off, and with it, the topic of Ashton de Morhban.

"We need to discuss the particularities of your debut fete, Bijoux. I was wondering… Do you have any ideas? Preferences? We need to pick a theme for the event. Our debuts are highly coveted occasions. Especially, since the last Red Rose debut was cancelled…" Her demeanor clouds for a moment, "we have some coin at our disposal to make your debut an unforgettable event."

"I understand. I've given some thought to that.. the theme, I mean. I was thinking perhaps a masquerade. The potential patrons in black, our courtesans and attendants decked out in white. Perhaps red would make me stand out, and…." She blushes again, "It might remind some of those that could bid of the potential for later, if they should win." Bijoux nibbles on her bottom lip and murmurs, "I quite like the idea of receiving bids from masqued patrons. It would eliminate some of the unpleasantness if Lord Aisan doesn't win, because we could claim ignorance of who the winning bid actually came from before they were unmasked."

"An interesting idea.", Séverine smiles. "A black and white theme. Patrons black and courtesans that will not be on offer, in white. Very much like a chess board. And you, Bijoux will be the red, all deciding piece they crave for." She nods, the idea growing on her the longer she considers. "Yes. Following the usual customs of Rose Sauvage, I would suggest silent bidding. Masks would still require those bidding to sign their bids with their names. You might be oblivious, my dear. But I will not.", she says, declining the anonymity the novice asked for. "The question is… Would we make this an auction, or merely ask for a one time bid, for them to place through a discreet note sent to me? And shall the bid be the only factor that is to decide the winner of the debut?"

Bijoux's head falls back against the side of the gazebo behind her as she lets out a long sigh. "I thought to ask if Lord Aisan's could be given a little extra consideration, but in the end that would be your decision and Jacques'." She pulls the blanket tighter around her, "I do like him, though. Quite a lot." Bijoux is fading now that the book has been removed from her lap, and her hand flutters to her mouth to stifle a yawn. She apologizes quietly, "I'm sorry Severine. I think I should sleep and continue this conversation with a clear head."

An expression flashes on Séverine's features, a face so pale and sprayed faintly with a few freckles; an expression that hovers somewhere between faint amusement, almost motherly concern and that slight edge of a Second that considers the novice under her charge. "Indeed," she confirms that the eventual decision will be up to the Second and the Dowayne. "And don't worry. If he is as fond of you as you say he is… You shall not see the last of him, regardless of how that debut goes.." Moving to stand, she offers Bijoux a hand to help her up, whilst holding the book tucked beneath her arm.

"You should take a few hours to rest. I will check on the dormitory personally tonight, and in the nights to come. This better not happen again, hmm?" A very faint smile flashes there, as Séverine considers Bijoux. A soft tsk leaves her lips before she accompanies the novice into the building and to the hallway that leads to the dormitory. "We shall talk more once you are rested. The day of your debut is approaching, and we need to have gowns tailored, and preparations need to get underway.", Séverine tells her as she hands her the book and then leaves Bijoux to the tranquility of an otherwise deserted Red Rose Dormitory - and some very much needed rest.

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