(1310-09-17) A Chance to Bloom
Summary: Severine and Bijoux engage in another talk about her upcoming debut.
RL Date: 17/09/2018
Related: Scared but Ready
severine bijoux 

Valerian Second's Office — La Rose Sauvage

Only a little light from the window higher up the wall barely manages to penetrate through the thick curtains of heavy dark red brocade, which means that contracts and other paperwork will be dealt with in the flickering light of an oil lamp at the wall, at the heavy table of dark mahogany, across which the Second in charge may face a potential patron of the salon sitting opposite of her in a heavy high-backed chair with dark red upholstery. Quill and inkwell sit all orderly somewhere to the side of the table, beside a contract that only needs some details to be filled in before it can be signed.

There are days when one needs to deal with paperwork, and Séverine is having one of those days. She is going through contracts from the previous day and also in the process of writing a letter of business nature. On another note, she has sent an adept to look for Bijoux adn tell her that the Red Rose Second wishes to speak with her. Once Bijoux will enter, she will find Séverine in the process of writing a letter. The gown she wears is sleeveless and of dark green silk, dipping low at the back to put her finished marque on display. Her honey-blonde hair has been tied into a knot, as to keep it from tumbling into her view.

There's a light tap on the doorframe as Bijoux comes into view in the doorway, and her cheek rests lightly on the door frame. She says quietly, "You asked to see me?" Her eyes move over the room, and the stack of paperwork that Severine is doing, and she waves a thumb toward the hallway, "I can come back if you want… " She's recently irked her bodyguard and chaperone by meeting Aisan at the docks. Nothing inappropriate happened, but she made it quite difficult for them to keep up with her in the crowds.

"Oh, it is fine, come in and sit down.", Séverine tells her, gesturing towards the chair opposite of her, across the desk. "I want to see you for a number of reasons. The most predominant one being your debut, of course." Her voice is smooth but not without authority. Should Bijoux follow the request, Séverine will use the opportunity to give her a long considering gaze as the novice sits down. "We were talking about your debut, but I believe, we still need to discuss details," she tells Bijoux with a vague smile.

Bijoux enters, and gives Severine a bright smile as she sits at the desk across from Severine. "I can't believe it's coming so soon! Another month, give or take a few days!" She folds her hands in her lap, and takes a deep breath before saying, "I'm still scared, but excited too, in a way. It's a mixture of both. I suppose that's probably normal, isn't it?" Even with her hands in her lap she can't help but fidgeting.

"We need to fix a date.", Séverine tells her, shifting in her seat, elbow coming to lean on the armrest. "Most often we would pick the birthday of the debutant. Or a few days later, unless we have to delay it for a longer time." She lifts her hand to brush a stray strand from her view. "That would be one thing. We have already discussed your basic idea of colors in dress code for those interested in your debut, the other Red Roses and yourself."

"How does October 16th work? I'll turn 16 the day before that." Sophie asks quietly, "I think that gives me time to get a dress made in brilliant red, too." Then she smiles brightly and leans forward to say, "I saw the most delightful fabric at the port the other day. It had just come off of a ship." Then she quiets quickly and adds, "I had a guard and chaperone with me. Both of them. The whole time."

Séverine checks the calendar in her book, and looks up with a smile. "There isn't anything else scheduled there yet, so I believe, yes this should be the day we go for. Red. A brilliant red will have you stick out, this will serve us well…" The thought is digested for a moment, before Bijoux mentions the port. And the guard and the chaperone. It will be here that her smile will dim slightly. "I heard about that," she muses softly, grey eyes looking up to meet the gaze of Bijoux. "I also heard that you were playing games in the harbor, trying to slip away from those that are charged with your protection." Can it be that there is a steely edge somewhere beneath that outwardly smooth tone?

"To be fair, I was not trying to slip away! It was simply crowded, and there were a lot of people. They can't quite keep up." Bijoux is trying very hard not to be cheeky, but she can't quite help it when she says, "The chaperone I was assigned that day, well she's not exactly as sprightly as she must have been in her youth." She sighs, "And the guard, well, he's large. I'm small. It was easier for me to move through the crowds." She adds as an afterthought, "And there was chocolate. I got… excited."

Séverine listens to what Bijoux has to say on the matter, and her expression becomes grave. "You shouldn't have gone there in the first place," she states thoughtfully. "Understand that your protection is vital for you as well as it is for us. How long did it take them to catch up with you?" She tilts her head, grey eyes looking attentively towards Bijoux. "What of that chocolate? Was there someone who tried to lure you away from them?" There is an urgency about her questions, making clear that this could be serious business indeed.

"I was never out of their sight, I don't think. It was just a matter of moving from one booth to the next! There was nobody tempting me. Just a man selling chocolate at a booth. The smell attracted me to it." Bijoux's hands rest still in her lap as she says seriously, "I was never actually out of their presence, and Lord Aisan was there as well, making sure I was safe. I had never been to the port before. I just wanted to see it…" She takes a deep breath and says, "I was perfectly safe, the entire time."

"I see." Séverine nods her head. "I believe you. But understand that I shall check more thoroughly with your chaperone and the guard. I will have to report this to Jacques." Even if nothing happened? "Please, Bijoux. The harbor is not a place for you. There are raunchy taverns there, the brothel many commoners frequent. And all sorts of shady people. I have to tell you that I shall forbid you to go there. For the dress… we can make arrangements for the red fabric you told me about, and have your debut gown made for you." The Red Rose Second seems to be pretty decided on this. The mention of the Aiglemort lord has her demeanor soften a little. "Ah. Lord Aisan. I see." Her grey eyes remain attentive as she asks, "You can assure me that nothing untoward happened between you and he — while you were separated from your guard and chaperone?"

Bijoux nods gravely, "I assure you, nothing untoward happened. He has been nothing but a perfect gentleman. I'm sure they can vouch for this. Even if they had trouble keeping up I'm fairly certain they never lost eye contact with me." Her hands unclasp and she says, "And I'll stay away from the port. It's just so… I don't know… I'm anxious. I'm tired of being cooped up in here, and it's so close. Only a month away and I'll be able to go out and do things more! Meet more people!"

"Good." The Red Rose Second smiles. "I know Lord Aisan. I wouldn't have expected any less of him, but understand that I am responsible for you. Please. Be patient. It is only another month. It will pass quickly, considering the preparations we have to get underway. I remember quite well the last weeks of my time as a novice at Valerian House on Mont Nuit… I thought I would die from all that anticipation and excitement."

An exasperated sigh escapes Bijoux's lips and she says, "Can't we have it early? Just a few weeks? What difference will a few weeks make?" She's not serious, and that's pretty obvious, and she follows that up with: "I was thinking… I'd like a chocolate fountain, and fruits and pieces of cake to dip into it. It will challenge those in white to be careful not to wear it, but I think it's sensual."

"You know the reply already to that question," Séverine responds, mildly amused. "We are not allowed to have you enter this phase in your life before your time has come." Even if Bijoux may not be serious, the Second needs to make it clear, once again. The suggestion with the chocolate fountain, however draws a chuckle from her lips. "I like the idea. The heat of molten chocolate, the agony it can cause, when used to punish someone for spilling upon their dress or attire… A nice touch. Or… you could use the treat of allowing some of them to feed with these chocolate treats as a reward for… surpassing the leading bid with their own."

Bijoux smiles bright and nods, "I was thinking… the chocolate fountain could be moved to another room after the gathered, if the patron who wins wants to utilize it." Yes, Bijoux has a fondness for chocolate, that's apparent. "I have mixed feeling about the bids.. as much as I want Lord Aisan to win, if there's another patron that's willing to bid much higher then that gets me closer to completing my marque in the long run. I do like him though, an awful lot." She sighs and leans back in the chair murmuring, "I can't help but think that he may lose interest once he has had a taste of what he is craving, and I might be better off distancing myself from him some."

"It may secure you another financially very capable admirer," Séverine states with a smile. "The height of the bid does speak of a bidder's possibilities. Of his generosity, when it comes to patron gifts given for later assignations. We serve no single patron, but Naamah, and it in following Her example that we come closer to the ideal of our canon." Her smile takes on a slightly enigmatic quality, when Bijoux continues about Aisan d'Aiglemort. "Ah… you know… I have seen people losing their temper when it comes to upcoming debuts. There has been a duel some months ago, about our Thorn Ophelia, who back then was a novice. It is an important day in our lives, and certain lords and ladies obsessed with the thrill of being the first to benefit and test our training…" She reclines with a soft sigh, "Nonetheless… whoever wins your debut may take a fancy to you. Especially Valerians often find long term patrons. If we keep things interesting enough for them."

Bijoux's brow furrows and she says, very quietly, "What if he does as he states, and contracts me often enough that no other get the opportunity? How will I know that isn't a patron that suits me better? How will I know what it truly means to be in Naamah's service? What he describes is not at all what I trained for, or what I thought my future would look like." Her voice gets even softer as she says, "What if there's someone else out there… that would be even more… I don't know." She doesn't finish the sentence, not really, but she doesn't know how to express what she wants to say in words.

"Ah… I understand." A soft smile spreads on Séverine's features. "I have asked myself the same, when I was younger. Whether there would be the all encompassing patron, someone who would buy out my marque and then mold me according to his wishes. Or… take me as consort and make me the mother of his heirs. I have found that each patton has many facets, strengths and ways in which they can thrill me — at times differing completely in their tactics. There is no single way of finding pleasure and fulfillment. You are still young, and you have yet to learn the ways, make your experiences and find out which things in particular thrill you. That is way I advise you to take one step at a time. Don't let him rush you. Enjoy your time as adept. And you will fully appreciate the time when your marque will be completed and acknowledged."

Séverine adds, "At no time will you be forced to accept an assignation. That is why I ask you to confide in me if you have concerns and fear that someone might get too possessive of you and your time… I am able to refuse a contract, or even determine a time of recovery for you, Bijoux, when needed."

Tears start to well in Bijoux's eyes and she says, "I do like him. I might even love him, but I'm so young. I don't even know what else might be waiting for me just around the corner. I feel terrible. He's so kind and he seems to care for me so much." She lifts her hand to wipe at her right eye before saying, "I won't turn down an assignation unless I just really can't stomach going through with it. I want to… be with him… I do… I just don't know if I'm ready for everything he wants me to be ready for. I've never even been alone with him."

<FS3> Severine rolls Empathy: Great Success. (5 7 2 7 5 3 4 7 8)

Séverine sits up immediately when she sees tears welling up in the novice's eyes. Without thinking she moves to stand and moves around the table, dark green silk whispering about her slender frame. Her hand is extended to place her fingers against the cheek of her young charge, and the Second leans in to lock her grey eyes that suddenly look anything but harsh and detached, with the gaze of Bijoux. "Don't cry. You have an admirer, but don't let him play you. You say it yourself. How are you to know what life holds in store for you. You are yet to learn our ways of serving Naamah, to get the full grasp for it, to find those last answers. For now… you belong to Rose Sauvage. And Rose Sauvage will act in your best interest, child. We will guide you. We will protect you. We will even release you, when the time is ripe for it. But right now, with your debut still ahead of you… You are first and foremost a Red Rose that deserves her chance to bloom."

Bijoux lets her chin lift to look up at Severine, her lower lip quivering slightly. When she does she wraps her arms around Severine's waist and buries her face in the other woman's dress. She hugs her tightly and murmurs against her, "You will keep me from making a poor choice won't you? I fear that when he's in front of me I lose all of my willpower to keep him at a distance. I care for him so much, but I know… I know that this isn't the way things are intended to go. I want to serve Naamah. If I was going to settle down with one man I could have stayed home with my family and gotten married."

Séverine does not refuse the hug, on the contrary, with her own arm wrapping about Bijoux' shoulders, her other hand continues to touch lightly against the novice's cheek. "I shall. Besides. For someone to claim you for himself, he will need to provide a huge amount of coin. Anyway. He will need us to agree to his transaction, whatever it will be, and I promise you, I will act in your interest." A low mirthless chuckle follows, when the Second catches the latter remark of her novice. "Service of Naamah is the one chance granted to you to become more than a commoner's wife. It is the way of things, that some of us gain in position, in station and in influence. I would advise you to encourage his attentions while staying strong in your convictions. Finish your marque. Have assignations, with him and with others. And then. Once you have become a fully marqued courtesan, you will be free to choose your path, and able to do so." Her voice is low, devoid of any edge, almost motherly. After all, Séverine is here to lead but to guide the Red Roses as well.

Bijoux sniffles once, and nods her head, pulling her face from Severine's dress and reaching up to wipe her eyes again. She nods and says quietly, "I'm sorry… I just.. We had so much training, but I feel completely unprepared for this. I never expected to have someone claiming to love me and wanting to make me his consort before I had even debuted. I thought if that ever did happen it might happen many years from now. I was not prepared for it. I think I might love him, but how can I really know?" She shakes her head and makes an attempt and righting her hair, and wiping her face. She smooths the simple white shift she's wearing and draws in a long calming breath. "In a month… maybe.. after my debut, I'll know. Once I know what he might do." Then she blushes and continues, "in an assignation, that is."

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