(1310-09-24) Here We Meet Again
Summary: Lady Phaenne Shaylee Mereliot meets her to-be-husband Ducal Heir Timothée Rafael de Somerville in the courtyard of Grand Palace.
RL Date: 2018/09/23-25
Related: None
phaenne timothee 

Grand Palace — Courtyard

LATER

Phaenne’s Bedchamber — The Dome of the Lady


A tall young woman stands atop the white marble steps leading to the Entrance Hall of the Dome of the Lady. She is wearing a white dress with a long, flaring skirt and blue accents. Embroideries of golden yellow in the shape of two fish chasing each other's tails mark her as a member of house Mereliot if it wasn't already obvious from the lightly golden skin and colors of her attire. The first time in months she hasn't been clad in all black. Her long blonde hair is braided at the top but otherwise kept loose, long tresses swaying gently in the cool breeze of the autumn morning. She is flanked by two guards standing one step behind her on either side, mirroring the stance of the two guards standing in their usual spot on either side of the large double-doors leading into the palace itself. Phaénne herself remains calmly in her chosen spot with hands folded in front of her and large grey-blue eyes idly sweeping the courtyard, occasionally sending a glance back towards one of the guards before returning to linger in the direction of where the large metal portcullis is flanked by the two guard-towers. Her posture is straight and dignified, her face a mask of subtle anticipation. Anyone close enough, however, would notice those large eyes momentarily flickering with a mix of other emotions, emotions kept neatly tucked away behind the proverbial mask.

This is the first anyone outside of her family or those closest to it has seen of the young woman since she returned to Marsilikos a little under a fortnight ago in relative anonymity, under cover of the celebrations of the annual summer tournament. Those with a knowledge about or interest in such things would be aware that this is Phaénne Shaylee Mereliot, second-born daughter of Mélusine Mereliot, Comtésse de Vaucluse and sister to the Duchess, recently returned to Eisande after the sudden and tragic death of her husband-to-be Lucien Sommerville, the son of the Duc de Sommerville, only days before their marriage. Those same people would undoubtedly also know that the young woman's period of mourning was cut short after only a month as a new wedding was planned by the two families, with Lucien's younger brother Timotheé taking his brothers place at the altar, and that she has come to Marsilikos in preparations of his arrival to the city. How the young woman feels about this is unclear to most, but those in the furniture or art business might have noticed an irregularly large amount of new items ordered and requests for repairs for the castle of Vaucluse in the days following her being informed.

A long, deep sigh as her head tilts back a little and those large eyes shift to the sky with a longing gaze, seemingly distracted by memories in her waiting.

The thundering of hooves interrupt the daily activity and, maybe, the tension of waiting to some, as three stallions gallop through the gates of Ducal Palace. The youngest of the riders guide his horse to trot around the two others in a circle making quite a performance to those who are gathered in the courtyard. Then he pulls the reins and the majestic as black as a coal beast stops right in front of the lady Phaenne Shaylee Mereliot that his rider could have a chance to take a look around and down at the woman who has been waiting for his arrival.

The corner of his lips raise up forming a wry grin when intense deep blue eyes scan the lady. Quite an obvious amusement flashes in pale and young features of Timothee Rafael de Somerville before he gracefully dismounts. When his feet land on the ground, it is clear that he is of average height and a build that suggests exhaustive activity but not heavily muscled since his slimness of youth can not be conquered yet. He takes a step forward and offers a bow of his head, "M'lady," is all what he says and then he has to raise his gaze up less than an inch that his eyes could meet hers.

The Ducal Heir's attire can be considered regal but not too pompous. His coat is a three-quarter length and made of a rich black and red tapestry fabric. It displays a velvet collar, cuffs, pocket flaps, and lapels. The elegant patterns of the coat are detailed with silvery thread. In addition to that, thirty-two silver buttons (not that anyone would count!) fasten its lapels and decorate its cuffs and collar. These buttons have ornamental carvings of tree branches. Timothee wears completely black silk shirt under his coat and a dragons pendant is dangling on a short silver chain from his neck. His long black pants show off crisscrossed lacing down the sides of the legs and are tucked into heavy black dusty leather boots.

His two companions focus on the gates, though. The sound of wheels hitting the stony pavement come as an echo. Quite soon the carriage itself pushes into the courtyard. Timothee then speaks again in a very plain, matter of fact tone, "Is the lady of Marsilikos at home?"

At the loud sound of hooves against stone, the gaze of Phae is immediately drawn from the crisp blue autumn sky to the cobblestone pathway leading towards the large gates, peering towards the riders approaching between the rows of statues of old Hellene style that line the pathway, referencing the origins of Marsilikos' ancient past.%r%rThe slightest correction of her posture and a faint rise of her chest is the only visible reaction of the young woman to the spectacle of the arrival of Timothee, the new Ducal heir of Somerville following his brothers recent death. Her eyes are firmly fixed on the central figure of this little display. After a short moment her long legs carry her down the steps of white marble in calm, elegant strides, her chin rising to let her eyes meet his.

A curtsy of equally lithe and graceful movements, clearly practiced and perfected over the years, are given to the young Somerville lord as he dismounts his steed, those big stormy eyes meeting his, large flecks of violet sparkling in the pale golden light of the morning sun. "M'lord." she greets him. "I am glad to see you arrive safely. I hope your travels have gone well?" Her tone is calm and polite, like that of a diplomat greeting an envoy from a far off land rather than a woman greeting her to-be-husband. A quick shift of those large eyes towards the carriage as it enters through the gates before they return to the slightly lower young man in front of her. She just observes him for a moment before answering his question. "I'm afraid my aunt is not presently available for introductions, m'lord, although I am sure that she will be happy to hear that you have arrived safely and will see you at the first time available to her." The mask remains on her face, not a crack in it.

"How unfortunate," a young lord states without any disappointment in his tone. "I have brought her some gifts. A few items may require a good care in the kitchen that it could stay fresh. Do you think you would be able to find some servants who would take those goods from the carriage and carry them to the kitchen?" His attention very briefly finds the other two men before Timothee is focused one more time on a woman in front of him. "Do you know when she is going to be available? I would also be honored to meet her daughter, your cousin lady Ortolette? I heard she is a very intelligent lady interested into art? I believe I might have something what would make her happy…"

The smile in his features grows filling up with content. "Of course, I did not forget about you, lady Phaenne. There is also something what I would like to give to you as a present for the beginning of our mutual cooperation." The Ducal Heir raises his hand and gives a quiet whistle. Though his eyes never leave the lady's. "Just some trinkets," He adds while Timothee's two servants immediately reacts to the whistle and dismount in order to move towards the back of the carriage. They disappear for a few moments. Timothee gestures to the entrance behind his betrothed's back, "I believe you will want to take a glance at your gifts somewhere more privately?" And then Phaenne can see the two men come back carrying a wooden chest of a decent size. It's lined with velvet and wrought iron. The good work in the iron forge is indisputable, it presents meticulously done carvings of floral ornaments in the different facets of the piece, the decoration continues with work of a row of pointed arches and rhomboidal in way of stained glass.

"No, but like I said, she will make herself available as soon as her schedule allows for it I am sure. She's a very busy woman, as you can imagine." Is the short reply she gives him, her tone a touch cold but still polite, before her eyes shift to the carriage as he starts speaking of gifts. "Of course, m'lord." Phaenne turns shortly to signal one of the guards who promptly gives a bow of his head and turns on his heel to make his way towards the large double doors to fetch some servants to help unload the carriage. "Yes, my cousin Ortolette might be frail of body but she is sharp of mind and spirit, and her love and knowledge of the arts is rivaled by few. I believe you would enjoy her company a great deal and that she will be most pleased by the gifts you have brought."

A smile tugs at the corners of her lips and her chin dips into a faint nod. "You honor me, m'lord." She replies simply, her posture remaining proud and her visage dignified, only the most subtle of hints betraying any sort of emotions that might hide behind the violet twinkles of her eyes. "Yes, we should retire to somewhere more private where we can sit and have refreshments brought out. I am sure you could use a soft chair and a glass of wine after your journey. Please, follow me." She gestures with a subtle motion of one hand towards the doors before turning, her long legs carrying her back up the short flight of broad steps and towards the entrance in a slow tempo that will easily let him keep up, although she does not look back at him. The remaining guard not stationed at the door turns as she walks past him and waits for Timothee to start moving before following the pair quietly.

The Ducal Heir simply nods at his to-be-wife words and recommendations. The expression he holds is now simply formal. The young man turns toward his servants and also gestures them to follow. The trio has no issue to keep up with the hostess. Timothee, remaining one step behind lady Phaenne, takes his time to observe every detail of the interior of the Ducal Palace. Though, none would be able to guess if he likes the design or dislikes it. Though, he finally speaks up after a couple of steps deeper into the hallway. "Duc L onidas Frederic de Somerville has mentioned that he was making an arrangement to acquire a piece of land in the countryside. I believe there was some sort of an old manor there and we had to rebuild it as well as redecorate it. It will be interesting to see what has been done if anything. I can not imagine staying for too long in a port city. The streets seem to have a smell of a rotting fish." The young man makes a brief pause stabbing his glare to the back of a lady Phaenne. But then he follows her further, "But I see that you are enjoying yourself here. You left Brive quite devastated but now you are blooming like a fresh lily in the early spring. No traces of a loss which has burdened your frail shoulders. Good." He once more states as a matter of fact, putting an accent to it with a nod. His hands clasped behind his back idly play in the air when he glances at one of the paintings. "Ah. Horizon of the Avignon. Lovely."

Phae walks with her usual graceful and unhurried gait as she leads Timothee and his attendants through the large doors and deeper into the interior of the palace. A small nod is given to a young woman dressed in the simple gown of one of the Palace's servant as she and a few other's move past the snake of people with Phae at the front and the men carrying the large wooden chest at the back. She doesn't look back at the people currently following her, not even once, and if not for her reply you might think that she was blissfully unaware that they were even here. When the words do come, they're spoken in a slightly detached tone. "That sounds lovely. I assume you will be taking up residence there for the remainder of your stay here in Eisande? Once the redecorating and maintenance have been taken care of, naturally." A faint spark of actual interest in her voice? Perhaps. Then a miniscule narrowing of eyes and a faint wrinkle forming on her nose breaks the mask for a split-second as he besmirches the good name the jewel of Eisande so casually, but with her back still turned to the small entourage it remains unseen. "Lingering on the past serves no purpose." She answers him shortly in a quote of words she has so often heard from her mother's lips, especially in the recent months, her tone still formal and devoid of emotion despite the subject. "I hope the rest of your family is taking the loss as well as you are, m'lord." She states rather than answers, this time with a little bite to the comment, although so subtle as to not be picked up by anyone besides the most seasoned attendants of Terre D'Anges courts. "Please, this way." She gestures to a hallway leading off from the one in which they're walking, leading them to her chambers where a servant already stands ready to open the door.

The door is opened as they approach and Phae steps into the spacious sitting room connecting to the rest of her chambers with no pause in her step. The walls and ceilings are white with a deep blue mural in the pattern of blooming flowers adorning one, the others hung with paintings and pieces of exquisitely crafted art. There is a writing desk standing against one of the walls, empty save for a few pieces of paper neatly stacked and placed to follow the angles of the desk itself perfectly and two slim pens and a small, squared flask of ink, equally well aligned, placed above. A chair draped in a dark blue fabric with yellow accents is placed before it. On the opposite wall stands a tall cabinet and in the corner there is a larger chair, a large harp and a small table holding two smaller instruments, lyres, of Eire or Alban design. In the opposite corner there is a small lounging area clearly meant to entertain guests, with a few chairs and two couches surrounding a finely carved tea table that has already been set with various different snacks, a flagon of wine, a flask of apple brandy and glasses appropriate for each type of drink. She walks to the already prepared lounging area and comes to a stop before turning around, not giving Timothee any attention for now but looking to the men carrying the chest. She gestures to a spot near one of the couches with a lazy flick of the wrist. "You can put it there." She remains standing in her place, for now.

The men give a small nod and carry the chest towards the suggested area. After the chest is placed, they leave and close the door behind. Timothee takes a walk around the room studying the interior as well as some objects found here. "It's quite nice chambers. A bit too bright to my liking, though." When he approaches the window, a young man takes a look down to the courtyard. "You can also see everything what is going on. But too much of a noise in the early morning, I would say." He leans against the sill and clasps his arms on his chest. His deep blue eyes focus on a lady. "So? Aren't you going to take a look?" He gives a nod chest's direction.

Phae stays standing in her spot while the two men move to place the large chest where she had instructed them to, her eyes attentively following their every move, staying on them until they have left the room and closed the door behind them. Only then does her gaze move to Timothee as he takes a stroll around the room. "Thank you, m'lord, I find them to be just bright enough myself." Then he gestures towards the chest and Phae's eyes turn to the large wooden container supposedly containing gifts. The polite smile widens just a fraction and she offers him a slight nod in return. "Yes, of course. Please, won't you sit? I made sure to have the best of the apple brandy from your home province brought out." She asks hims gesturing to one of the chairs. She then moves to the chest and opens the heavy lid, her eyes glancing over the items held within.

Timothee nods moving towards the table. He takes a glass and pours himself some brandy. The glass is filled just halfway. Then he glances at the lady and leans against the table. His hand carries the glass to his lips. The man's nostrils flare as he scents the drink slowly waving inside the goblet.

"Ah. Fresh. Not held long enough to be refined." Despite his comment, Ducal Heir takes a sip glaring with those ocean orbs at the woman. He swallows the gulp of brandy and not even a frown flashes in his stony features. He takes a seat and sets the glass on a table. He puts one leg over the other and rests his hands on a knee. The man simply looks over the side of his to-be-wife while she inspects the content of the container. His tongue moistures rosy lips when a couple of different thoughts run through his mind while his gaze slides across Phae's frail arms, and then jumps up to her chest but only to crumble down to a flat belly and hang for a moment on her no longer boyish hips. Tim's finger slowly taps on his knee when he observes those womanly forms quite boldly since the lady is distracted by a pile of trinkets. A mischievous grin curls his lips up.

When lady Phaenne opens the chest, she can see that it's full of many different items. Each of them is nicely separated by a layer of an almost transparent gray silk. A choker would be the first to catch her attention as it lays on the top of the rest of the trinkets. Black lace lines the top and bottom of this choker, while a colored strip of satin forms the middle. A silk bloody red rose with a ribbon is the focal piece of this choker, giving it quite a dramatic appearance. The second item laying very close is a black ring bracelet. Combining intricate black lace and beautiful silver trimmings, the bracelet has a frail femininity and perfect elegance of a fair lady. The design connects a finger ring to the bracelet by a chain. Suspended between the bracelet and ring rests a silver framed pearl accent that matches the ring design and teardrop pearl beading. Chains were made to extend from each side of the accent, draping over the hand.

The next treasure found in the wooden chest is mildly standing out in the rebelliously elegant style it has. It's the teardrop-shaped hat made from a thick black satin and silk. The top of the hat is covered with a layer of deep crimson lace. The back of the hat is counter weighted with multi layered net and lace black rose on top of black almost transparent silk stripes. The hat also has a wide netting which can hang down over the face as a veil. And this is also not over since lady Phaenne can find elegant summer shoes under the hat. The patterned black lace shoes look not only stunning but also quite comfortable and light. Both of them are decorated by a silver rose buckle.

Of course, the chest contains also something less expensive but still very fashionable. It's the muted burgundy sheer gloves which have a quilted diamond pattern. Gloves are elbow length and soft to the touch. Then there is the bracelet which consists of six black birds, all with their wings spread out as they flock and fly. Bound in chains, the ravens are meant to encircle a wrist while also showing off an array of darkly gleaming gemstone accents. Another bracelet looks less grim in the style as it emulates the twisting shape of a bramble of thorny vines. Bound within the vines are droplets of blood, represented as elegant hangers of red gemstones.

Finally, a beautiful gown is folded on the bottom of the chest. If the one chose to raise it up, they would see that the black dress has an intricate open back while tiny pieces of precious diamonds beading covers the bodice and straps creating an illusion of starry night. An intricate beaded pattern also lightly goes over the open back joining the collar with the fabric at the waist. The skirt is made of layers of horsehair hemline tulle that is billowy and quite romantic. It flows down from the open back and waist, creating the wide more for a ball suitable gown silhouette. Lace is lined with the same intricate bead work as the back and is embellished with careful attention to detail.

Phae's eyes scan the items held within the large wooden chest, a hand delicately picking up the black lace choker to bring it closer for inspection. Her head tilts slightly as she turns it between her nimble fingers before placing it on one of the smaller tables flanking one of the couches. She doesn't look to Timothee as she speaks, instead reaching for the ring and bracelet to give it a closer look, her eyes seemingly only focused on what is held in her hand. Seemingly. "Well, I always though the drink should fit the man…" Comes her answer to his remark about the brandy, the faintest hint of a smirk playing over her lips betraying the casual tone she speaks it in. The bracelet is placed next to the choker on the small table before the hat and shoes receive a similarly thorough inspection by those large, violet flecked eyes and long nimble fingers. Then the long gloves and two more fine bracelets are given the attention that she deems suitable for each item before she finally reaches for the dress folded at the bottom, standing up straight and holding it out in front of herself, her gaze tracing the lines of the garment from top to bottom and back up again. A slight widening of the courtly smile before she drapes it carefully over the empty chair. She then turns slowly to face Timothee in his seat, looking back into those deep blue eyes with her own, quietly regarding him for a moment before she speaks. "These are all very lovely, even if a bit…. somber for my tastes." A beat. "But then again, you knew that." An almost overbearing smile is sent his way before she moves to take a seat on one of the couches.

Timothee raises an eyebrow at her remark in regards of the mood of his gifts. "Do I?" A slow question leaves his lips. He also now looks over the trinkets placed around lady's room. "The last time I saw you, you were crying as if all liveliness would have abandoned you." The young lord takes a pause that he could straighten up in his seat and then raise up. He walks towards the chair on which the dress is hanging. When he speaks up again, his finger gently slides across the fabric. His back is turned at Phaenne. "On the other hand, many years we have been calling this beautiful shade as a grim one and it has become a representation of sadness. But is it?" His finger freeze on the edge of the chair. Then the man turns to look back at his lady. He folds his hands behind his back. "I am pleased that you like them. If we will go through our arrangement smoothly and you will keep your temperament locked behind the bedroom door, you might receive more precious trinkets to cheer your frail heart up!" Timothee grins at the idea but the amusement fades within a couple of heartbeats. "I actually have to take a look at the mentioned manor. I do not have time to linger here for too long. It would be great if you would inform me once the lady of Marsilikos will be there to receive me. I plan staying here till my eighteenth birthday. I will arrange various different events. This city seems to be dead from a first glance. But again, I heard I am late to the tournament? One way or the other, I will expect you at my side." He adds the last demand.

Having taken a seat on the couch, Phae reaches for the flagon to pour herself a glass of the deep red wine before leaning back, slowly swirling the glass in her hand. "And the last time I saw you, you were eyeing me and smiling like a butcher's dog at your brothers funeral." She replies easily with a flat smile, a more distinct edge to her tone this time, before bringing the glass to her lips to take a sip of the crimson liquid. When the Ducal Heir rises from his seat and walks to the chair with the dress draped over it, turning his back on her, the glass is set down on the table and her hands clasp in her lap. She stays silent as he speaks, her eyes remaining fixed on his neck as the words he spoke to her that day repeats over and over again in her head. She doesn't reply to his musings about the color black.

When he turns back to face her and speaks again, his initial comments and grin is met with a narrowing of eyes and her lips purse together in little sarcastic smile, the mask not only cracking but threatening to shatter completely. Her lips come apart as if to speak but his next words has her remain silent and her expression to relax again. She rises from her seat, clearly ready to escort him out. "Oh, that is really too bad, I had hoped you would have more time to stay but I wouldn't want to keep you from anything important needing your attention." She takes a few steps towards the door, clearly ready to see him out. "I am sure you can have one of your servants inform you when the Duchess will be ready or make an appointment, I am not involved in the details of my aunts schedule." A beat. "And perhaps you should wait with passing judgement on the city until you've been here for more than a couple of hours." She suggests before his last 'demand' is uttered. Her jawline clenches, her lips purse together again and the knuckles of her hands held clasped in front of her whitens. But she manages to hold her composure for now, although barely. "I'll do my best to make sure I'm available when my presence is required, m'lord."

Timothee’s wry grin comes back to his features when his to-be-wife complies with his demands. “Very well. It was a pleasure to meet you, m’lady. I wish you for a beautiful day.” He bows his head. And just before he steps out through the door, he gives her a second glance adding. “You do look lovely today.” And then he is off down the hallway in a proud stride.

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