(1310-09-30) Intentions
Summary: Thibault and Cyriel have a talk.
RL Date: 17/10-08/11/2018
Related: This, this and this.
cyriel thibault 

Charlot Residence

Archways are what appears a central theme within the Charlot residence. To enter the parlor one must pass through an archway, and another leads towards a bigger salon that can be used for holding smaller social gatherings and dinners. The white of the walls provides a clear contrast to the dark woods used in the furniture, mahogany wood chosen predominantly in those high-back chairs and the table that has easily enough space for ten people. Windows open towards the south, providing a pleasant climate during hot summer days. They are framed by long curtains of dark red that can be drawn if in the need for privacy. On evenings and at night, there is lighting provided in the oil lamps at the walls and through the three candelabras where candles can be lit to provide a somewhat intimate atmosphere.

The hearth of white marble is mostly used during the colder seasons, and a number of skillfully carved black wooden horses have been arranged upon the mantelpiece, above which the crest of House Charlot graces the wall, the black horse prancing on a field of red. Through a door one can enter the gardens, and a stairway leads to the upper floor, where the private chambers of the residents can be found.

It had been a while since Cyriel and Thibault had talked. But that was to be expected, perhaps, when each of the two had their own obligations and duties to see to. Or the occasional diversion, as it were. The past week had caused Cyriel some minor unpleasant surprises. Perhaps one particular occurrence overshadowed the rest, but who could tell, from that unmoving mask of a face, that bright stare of attentive eyes, and that wry twist of a mirthless grin that sometimes showed on aquiline features. Cyriel had been busy, with several trade arrangements he sought to make. He had been seen at the palace, visiting with personalities of the court. Whenever he had found time to linger at the residence, the Charlot family entertained in Marsilikos, Thibault had been absent. But… certain developments had inspired the need to talk indeed.

A missive would have found its way — belatedly perhaps, when after not having been picked up in Thibault's own chambers for three days, Cyriel had finally decided to send it to the Trevalion residence, just in case, his relative would have stayed there. A date had been set, for this day, the 30th of September, on late morning, at a time both should be available and at leisure. And so Cyriel waits, seated in one of the comfortable chairs by the hearth, one leg crossed over the other. Attired in black and red colors of their House, brownish hair pulled back in the usual ponytail. A slim dagger is held in one hand, while the other holds the leather scabbard, and the Charlot observes the play of daylight on the blade as he slowly, carefully unsheathes it. Whiling the time away until Thibault will appear.

The unceremonious sound of the front door opening and then shutting close with a low 'thud' is all that announces the arrival of Thibault at the Charlot Residence. He looks stylish as always in the black and red of the Charlot house colors, his rapier at his side in the thin red leather belt and his thick black hair is as always in some state of controlled chaos, untamed yet perfectly flattering his sharp features. He makes his way straight towards the parlor where he expects his always-on-time cousin to already be waiting for him, as the young Charlot might be running just a few minutes late. He walks through the archway and doesn't stop when he sees his cousin there, making his way towards the table. "Cyriel." He greets the older Charlot, and then pulls out a chair to take a seat, looking to his cousin with that tired and slightly bored look that is so often seen on the features of his handsome face. "I apologize for my tardiness… "whether he means the slight delay in his arrival on this day or more in general, who can say…."I believe we have matters to discuss."

Cyriel's attention seems to stay — at least outwardly — on the dagger he inspects, even if the sound of Thibault entering wouldn't have escaped him. Only when his younger relative pulls a chair out to sit down upon, does the Vicomte de Chavagne pull his gaze away from the fine weapon in his hand. There is a soft sliding sound as he sheathes the dagger and then puts it aside upon a small table beside where he is so comfortably seated. Pale blue eyes take in the heir to Châteaugiron, and one corner of his mouth lifts in a wry twist of a smile. "Thibault." Similar greeting of similar efficiency is offered as Cyriel straightens a little in his seat, uncrossing legs to have the soles of his boots rest fully upon the floor. "Apologies, cousin?", the older Charlot echoes, cocking his head slightly to one side. "You have been hard to catch, lately." Ignoring the latter remark, at least not yet getting into it. Almost.

"So I believe my message reached you, at the Trevalion Residence?", is asked in light tone. As Cyriel's gaze stays fixed on the handsome youthful features of his relative.

There is a short glance towards the dagger being handled by his cousin before it is returned to its sheath and put away on the small table, studying the piece as much as he can in the short time and at a distance. Thibault then reaches for a bowl of fruit set on the large table, fingers dancing over the contents of it before finally deciding on a bright red apple that is summarily picked up and brought closer for inspection. "Yes, I am aware. Hence the apology. I hope all is well?" He says in a slightly uninterested tone, eyes still on the apple. The fruit is turned in his hand a few more times before it is judged worthy and he brings it to his mouth to take a large bite out of it. "It did, yes, and so, here I am." He adds after a few seconds. "I was able to finally have words with that handmaiden you mentioned a while back. I assume that is what you wanted to talk to me about?" He has a suspicion that there might be another subject that the Chavagne Vicomte might want to address today, but no need to open up that potential can of worms just yet. Or at all, if it can be avoided.

The wry smile on Cyriel's features shifts a little, from a more detached to a faintly amused cast. He notes the look Thibault gives the dagger, and also how the younger Charlot then chooses to take an apple from the bowl. Brows lift, as the Vicomte de Chavagne leans forward to take the sheathed dagger once again with his hand, pulling the scabbard off fully to hand the weapon then to Thibault, shifting it so that its handle points to the younger man, as he offers it, with a pointed glance at the apple. The dagger is of fine quality, with ornamental engravings upon the blade. While Cyriel's statement is aimed more in response to Thibault's words.

"All is well," the man of hawkish features states flatly. There is a shadow though, of a thought, lingering behind those bright eyes. A thought that remains unspoken, when Thibault's mention of the handmaiden gives their conversation another twist. "Ah." The vowel rides on an exhale as Cyriel reclines in his seat, hands coming to settle on the armrests in a loose grasp. "It took you awhile. I had assumed you had forgotten about it. Distracted, as you have been lately, Thibault." He snorts, it is a low sound of a snort, not really executed with enough effet to be considered offensive. "So. What of her? What of this Noelle, and what did she tell you? That our relative is hiding in the dungeons below the palace somewhere?" There is an edge to his tone, and Thibault would know by now definitely, that there will be other matters addressed, most probably, during the course of their conversation.

The gaze of Thibault is once again drawn to the short blade as his cousin picks it up, unsheathes it and hands it to him. He slowly reaches out to accept the dagger as offered, long fingers carefully wrapping around the handle and bringing it closer. He turns it around in his hand a few times, testing the weight distribution and examining the delicate engravings of the blade. There's a small, almost exhausted-sounding sigh when Cyriel needles him about being distracted lately, but his eyes stay on the blade for now and his expression doesn't change at all. He then brings the edge of the dagger to faintly grace over the skin of the apple on the side where no bite has been taken, testing the sharpness of the fine blade. He puts down the apple and retrieves a handkerchief from one of his pockets, wiping off what little of the fruit might have stained it before flipping it over in his hand and offering it back to Cyriel with the handle pointing towards his cousin. "A fine piece." He offers. "A recent acquisition, is it?" He adds a moment later, clearly getting the hint about what subject this conversation is likely to turn to at any moment and seemingly not in a particular hurry to get there.

"Not much, I'm afraid." He then answers the inquiries as to what the handmaiden mentioned earlier was able to provide in terms of answers. "She proved quite unwilling to betray the trust of the Duchess, and what might have been spoken off, in any way. I was able to see the Duchess personally, though, and confirm a few suspicions." The apple is picked up again and another bite of the red fruit is taken and devoured before continuing. "Esekiel is almost certainly not in the city anymore, although he did apparently spend a few months here earlier in the year, during the time of the Spring Festival. Seems like whatever he has gotten himself mixed up in has to do with the recent changes to the leadership of Kusheth, and that he has been lending his aid in whatever capacity to Lady Charlene Morhban de Fhirze regarding this matter. Where he might be now I was not able to find out more about, but I was all but assured that he should be safe and in good health, wherever he might be at the moment." A short pause as Thibault's slightly lidded and as-always-melancholic eyes comes to rest on his cousin firmly for the first time during the conversation. "What about yourself? Have you been able to dig up any leads? What about those Baphinol's you had talked about?" He then adds, still obviously trying to keep the focus on the current subject for as long as possible and avoiding the 'elephant in the room' as subtly as he can.

There is something thoroughly scrutinizing about Cyriel's manner as he observes his relative in dealing with the dagger and the apple. Perhaps it was a test of sorts, in the first place. When Thibault hands the dagger back to him, Cyriel accepts it, giving the blade a glance before he stows it once again into the leather scabbard and puts it back onto the side table.

"You've become soft.", is his verdict, stated dryly, before he adds: "And yes. It is a fine piece." A reply of sorts, even if only in part addressing the questions. But it will suffice, given that Thibault is quickly getting to the topic of the handmaiden.

Cocking his head a little to one side, Cyriel Charlot listens in silence, features losing some of their dark amusement as they shift into an earnest expression. "So it is true. Esekiel got himself into some trouble.", he finally remarks with a pensive smile softening the hard look in his pale blue eyes. "He is not in Marsilikos, but he is well." Words that leave his lips in a low drawl as if in immediate consequence of his thoughts. The older Charlot looks towards the window, elbow on the armrest, fingers scratching lightly over his chin.

It is the questions that follow, that will force his attention to return to Thibault, and sitting up, Cyriel gives him a look of brightening eyes. "I have made my own inquiries," he tells Thibault with a vague smile. "Esekiel hasn't been visiting the Baphinol relatives here in Marsilikos. Apart from… one visit to the Night Court. Rose Sauvage, in the company of a woman with dark hair wearing a half mask. But that was many months ago. Probably around the time of that Spring Ball you mentioned."

If the younger Charlot notices the way his cousin's gaze lingers on him as he tests the blade against the skin of the apple, he doesn't make any show of it, neither in the handling of the objects or in his expression as he hands back the dagger to its owner. The following remark, however, does indeed draw a reaction from the Châteaugiron heir.

One brow is raised and a sardonic smirk forms on Thibault's lips, accompanied by a scoff of mild amusement at his cousins words. "Have I now? And what exactly do you base that on, if I may ask?" A beat. "Are you sure it isn't just you who have grown rigid and stale?" Another bite of the apple is taken as amber eyes stay firmly on Cyriel just as the smirk remains on his lips even as the soft flesh of the fruit is ground between his teeth. He knows that he should just ignore the comment, but how could he? Besides, it doesn't seem like there's going to be any way out of their conversation turning towards the subject he assumes this comment is a hint at anyway. No need to be coy.

Any amusement in his expression quickly fades though as Cyriel continues, and the slightly tired and mostly indifferent expression returns as the conversation returns to the topic of their relative. "That is what I was told." He states in a casual tone. "Were you expecting to hear otherwise..?" Is added in the same tone shortly after as the pensive look on Cyriel's features is noticed.

"That is all?" He then says with mild disappointment as his cousin informs him of his own inquiries and their results. "Did he make any mentions about his at-the-time situation while there that you were able to find out about? Or are you telling me that, for all intents and purposes, it was a dead end?" Another bite of the apple to leave the formerly lush red piece of fruit nothing more than a pale carcass which given a quick look-over for a moment before being sat down delicately on the table directly between himself and the older Charlot.

Ah. So Thibault wants to get into that.

"You have lost your edge, Thibault," Cyriel tells him with a faint lift of a brow. "The way you are testing a blade, instead of using it. Preferring to dig your teeth into the apple, instead of slicing it, hmm?", the Kusheline jests lightly, but somehow the jest comes off a little dark. "Your mother is a Morhban… I wonder what her thoughts would be, could you see you here, in Marsilikos…" Whatever hint of mirth there was, it fades. "Oh, don't worry. You will still do. You are young, and you will learn…" Says the wolf to the cub and lifts a shoulder in a light shrug. Ignoring Thibault's comment at first, even if it is tempting. Too tempting.

"I didn't dig up much information, I'll admit that," Cyriel tells him quietly. "But then again… I thought you would handle things, in a timely manner. It seems both of us got lucky. Cousin Esekiel was able to save himself. Had he been in need of our help, he'd be dead by now." It seems the light part of their talk is finally over, when the Vicomte de Chavagne's tone changes ever so slightly into a cold and detached quality. "I shall write to Esekiel, in the hope that he will write back. With him being out of immediate danger, or so I hope."

"As to the topic of you, dear cousin…" Cyriel finally gets to the point, considering Thibault for a long moment with eyes of watery pale blue, "I would like to speak with you, and hear you out about this liaison of yours."

"I don't use a blade unless there is a need for it." Thibault answers easily, his expression not changing in the slightest. "And I do always prefer to test out the keenness of a blade before putting it to use, if given the chance. That doesn't mean that I am unwilling, or unable, to use it should the need arise, I assure you. I'd be more than happy to take a 'stroll in the gardens' to demonstrate as much to you, should you feel the need for such." He then adds with a smirk bereft of humor. "Probably the same as your own would think if she could see you." He says shortly to the comment about what his mother might think if she could see him here in Marsilikos, a small lift of one shoulder as he says it. The rest of his cousin's initial comments merely earns him another raise of one brow.

A faint roll of eyes, then, as Cyriel speaks of the possible consequences of the time it took to finally dig up some information. "I'll admit that I took longer than expected, and probably longer than needed. Then again, I didn't expect you to simply sit on your arse regarding the matter simply because I was looking into one angle that might lead to something." He counters with not the slightest hint of apology in his voice. "It's not like a few weeks would have made a difference in that regard, anyway." Then, to the comment about getting in touch with Esekiel, there's a bit more honest interest in the depth of his amber eyes. "I had already considered that myself, but seeing as I am unaware of where he is located currently, and the chance of any letters getting into the wrong hands before I was certain that he had returned home safely, I had abandoned the idea for now. Where did you think of sending this letter?"

That interest quickly fades as his cousin gets to the real point of why the two are meeting this day. Here it comes, the part he had hoped to avoid, as futile as that faint hope might have been. "Liaison?" He muses to himself, unable to hide a flicker of amusement in his tone. Hadn't heard that expression as a descriptor for their relationship before, despite so many different ones being used over the last months. "Fine, let's speak, then." The younger Charlot says at the end of a short sigh, his tone earnest. Might as well just get it over with. He leans back in his seat. "I assume we're talking about Lady Ailene?" He asks, despite knowing fully well that this is, indeed, the case. "What part of my relationship with her is it that you feel the need to speak to me about?"

Thibault's counter about using blades seems to amuse Cyriel, as the low snort betrays. "Timid and careful," he remarks with a faint smirk, reaching for the dagger in its scabbard, fingers toying around a little with it but leaving it in its sheath. "But also. Courteous. Respectful. Which are not bad assets at all. We Kushelines adhere to old values and customs." That smile fades. "Don't you dare to speak of my mother, and about how she would judge my conduct. I am not at fault here. As it was not I who elected to kiss a lady on her mouth, in the open, at a courtly occasion. Before Her Grace, the Duchesse of Eisande…" Pale eyes flick up, to meet the eyes of Thibault. "It is our conduct that defines us, Thibault. Be careful. And act in a manner that does not bring shame upon our name."

This perhaps an unexpected turn of the conversation, but maybe not so much. At least it is a good point to continue from. "The Lady Ailene Trevalion, yes," Cyriel confirms the other Charlot lord's assumption then. "And the part of the relationship I would like to ask you about, is what exactly your intentions with this Lady Trevalion are." The look Cyriel gives Thibault is grave, no matter how light the tone he adopts.

"As for Esekiel? A letter of little content, merely inquiring about how he has been wouldn't be compromising in any way. I could send one to Châteaugiron, where he would most likely be if he is not up to some sort of mischief…" The words trail off, tone dimming into a thoughtful murmur, when belatedly the sting of Thibault's remark manages to get through. Cyriel's brows furrow and cocking his head a little to the side he decides, "I should probably see for myself. I've been away from Chavagne for quite a while now. Yes." He blinks, brows lifting as he sits up. "Consider me soon on my way home. Chateaugiron is not that far from Chavagne. And perhaps," here the vicomte's lips curl into a faintly sardonic smile, "you would for once look forward to hearing from me, cousin."

The smile fades, and pale blue eyes land their gaze on Thibault, as Cyriel waits for a reply to the other matter, his brows lifting in obvious invitation for the other Charlot to speak.

Thibault rolls his eyes and gives a faint shake of his head when the word 'timid' is used, but he doesn't say anything for now, letting his cousin finish his lecture. "Timid? Oh come now cousin. If you're gonna try and be witty, at least come up with something that holds a modicum of truth. And I wasn't talking about your conduct…. If you do not wish to get into talks of parental expectations then don't bring up such matters." He says in a calm tone to his very unmarried and equally heirless cousin.

"But…" His gaze lowers for a moment and a couple of faint nods make his head bop before his eyes return to meet those of Cyriel. "…you are right regarding the aforementioned kiss. I shouldn't have displayed my affections in such a way at a courtly event. I let myself get carried away and acted tactlessly." His tone is earnest and while there is no hint of shame in his voice or features, there is, perhaps, a small element of thoughtful regret there, as anathema as the concept of regret normally is to the young Châteaugiron heir. "Then again, let's not make it a bigger scandal than it is. It's not like I had my hand up her skirt or my tongue down her throat. I'm sure her Grace and any of her guests that might have felt offended can find it in their hearts to forgive me that faux pas." He adds shortly after with slight raise of one shoulder.

The look his cousin then gives him isn't lost on the younger Charlot. "My intentions? Nothing but honorable, I assure you." A short pause. "For now we are simply enjoying one another's company as often as we can and are getting to know each other better, but if things keep going the way they are, and I expect that they will, I'd like to see about the possibilities of making our relationship more official in the near future. It's not something that we have discussed yet, not directly, but I have a good feeling that she'd be more than amenable to the idea." While he doesn't actually use the word 'marriage', it should be obvious that that is exactly what he is talking about. Thibault's head then tilts slightly to one side, his expression turning to one of mildly amused skepticism. "Why? What's it to you? Why the sudden interest in my intentions as far as lady Ailene is concerned? Something tells me that you aren't simply looking to offer us your well-wishes on the matter…" A hand comes up to rake long fingers through the thick mane of ink black hair on his head as he looks at his cousin and waits for an answer to his own question.

Cyriel narrows his eyes, the smile turning a bit sharp around the edges; such a Kusheline expression. "Oh, come on now, Thibault. Don't take my comments as something they are not. You are so much younger than me, even you cannot argue I am more than a decade ahead of you in experience. You are a Charlot, and moreover, you will be Vicomte de Châteaugiron one day. One of the two vital vicomtes our Comte de Charlot has to rely upon. This is why I thought I'd address the matter. As for your conduct with Lady Ailene, or rather, her conduct in general, the occasion at the closing feast wasn't the only occurrence. I hear you danced with her bare-chested at some doubtful Alban event during the tournament, but even that, I could excuse, were it not for the general lack of respect in this lady — both in regards to people as well as rules and the simplest courtly customs." Oh yes, he is getting into that, and Cyriel Charlot's eyes take on a quiet intensity as he progresses in his speech. Until his disposition is that of a quiet, rational chill.

His brows furrow though, at Thibault's admission of potential roads for the future, and it will be here that his pale blue gaze flicks down, eyelids moving in a slow blink. Immediate thoughts held back, perhaps. Considerations there for a moment, of how to reply, before the older Charlot's gaze is lifted to meet and hold that of his young cousin.

"I am not your father, Thibault," Cyriel intones, his demeanor earnest and yet somewhat detached. "And it will be not on him alone to agree to such a match — if…" His lips curve in a mirthless smile, "you decide to go the route of marriage. The Comte will have a say in that matter, for the reasons I pointed out to you. The Comte is a man of old values, just like I am and so many of our House are as well." There is a pause, made for effect perhaps, pale eyes holding the gaze of Thibault captured with their stare, unless the younger Charlot would elect to break eye contact. "You might argue, that your liaison with Lady Ailene is none of my business. To tell you frankly, I don't disapprove of you and her spending time together. She must be a captivating diversion. Should you elect to plan wedding her though and seek approval from your father and the Comte… Know that I will advise the Comte against the match. Lady Ailene's conduct makes her a highly unlikely candidate for a union with House Charlot. A fact she is to blame for herself. She has done everything in her power to prove herself unfit of holding a position of note. A future vicomtesse would need a modicum of sense — for subtleties. And the notion when gifts aiming to ridicule are quite out of place." His voice is calm, and a faint shimmer of regret flashes in Cyriel's demeanor, as he adds, "I am sorry, Thibault. But I think, you of all deserve my honesty. I won't resort to games of deception, just because it would be more comfortable - or convenient." At which he moves to stand, unhurriedly but with determination.

"Consider carefully with whom you will shoulder your future responsibilities. I should perhaps…", he smiles, "take your criticism to heart as well, and upon my return to Kusheth, look for a fitting candidate among the families of old Kusheline blood. It would certainly please our cousin, the Comte." His lips curl as if he had made a particularly exquisite jest, but the look he gives Thibault retains that same concerned intensity.

"Her conduct in general?" The younger Charlot replies with a raised brow and faint amusement in his voice before his expression again turns more earnest after a short moment. "I mean no offense cousin, but I don't think you're qualified to comment, let alone judge her, on her conduct in general. The faux pas at the closing feast was my fault, as I have already admitted to. Don't put that on her, she could hardly do anything than what she did at the time without causing even more of a scene. Regarding the Alban event, I hardly think the word 'doubtful' is fitting. The event was held and attended by Princess Aedhwyn herself, an official diplomat from Alba, a Princess of the blood and, as it happens, a personal friend of lady Ailene, as well as being officially sanctioned by the Duchess I assume. Anything that me and the lady Ailene did while attending was quite in the spirit of the evening and nothing more than what happens at any given fête held in one of the salons or that other guest were already partaking in, meaning that anyone who should have felt offended by such things would surely have left already." A beat. "You say that she has a general lack of respect for people, and while she still retains much of the wild of spirit and playful nature of youth, I'll grant you that much, the fact of the matter is that she after three months in the city is more well connected, and well liked, than many people I have met who have lived all their lives in Marsilikos. In fact, I don't think I have met anyone besides yourself who seems to have a problem with her or her conduct in general, as far as I am aware." Another beat. "As for rules and courtly customs, a little…… 'polishing' might be needed, I'll admit, but name me a young lady who hasn't been groomed for a position of rulership where that doesn't hold true. Those things can be learned and I am more than convinced that she would be willing to do so as required if it should come to that. She is still young, just like I am, and even if it should end up with an official union between myself and her, it will hopefully be many years still before I'll have to take the mantle of Vicomte and she the mantle of Vicomtesse." The younger Charlot doesn't seem to mind getting into that, not in the least, clearly feeling that he has the stronger end of the argument here. Whether he does, however, that remains to be seen.

Thibault's gaze remains on his cousin, his features unmoving and eyes ready to once again meet those of his cousin when the latter raises his own gaze again. "Don't apologize, Cyriel. It doesn't suit you." He says rather pointedly in a firm, almost scolding tone, before waving it off with an annoyed flick of a wrist. "And you have nothing to apologize for anyway, I know your words are only born out of the best of intentions for myself, House Charlot and Kusheth. I appreciate you honesty, and despite what you might think, your advice as well, even if I do not happen to agree with parts of it." A short pause. "Well, most of it in this particular instance, now that we're being honest and all." He then adds with a flat smile that somehow still manages to hold a grain of mirth. "The fact that I am still sitting her should tell you as much, had it been most other people I would have been done with this conversation when I was done with that apple." Thibault's eyes flicker momentarily to the stripped core of the fruit still placed on the table between them, then return to meet the gaze of Cyriel with a look that more than shows that his words are not some simple exaggeration or an attempt at idle flattery. "I have no wish to play games with you, nor deceive you in any way. I respect you, Cyriel, far more than I do most everyone else, as much as our opinions differ on certain issues. I hope that me being nothing but truthful about this particular matter has shown you as much." He adds, that look still on his face to underline the sincerity of the words that might otherwise be lost due to the almost constantly half-bored and detached look that normally is seen on his features even when he's being sincere. "And just for clarity's sake, the cookies she sent you was not meant to ridicule, at least not in the way you seem to think." He holds up a hand. "Yes, she told me about that, and I can assure you that I told her that it would likely not be well received and that she should refrain from doing anything similar in the future." A short pause then as Thibault's head angles slightly to one side and one corner of his lips curl into a faint smirk. "Still, if it doesn't take more than a playful remark at court and a box of cookies to rock your boat, then perhaps I'm not the one going soft here, hmmm? Maybe a return to Kusheth would do you good."

Then, his expression turns more earnest once more. "And yes, I am aware of the views on traditions and old values that Comte Etienne holds along with many others of our house, yourself and my parents included, as well as the role he will have in agreeing to a possible match. But I assume that he is also a man who is able to see the bigger picture. To see potential. And if there is anything that a possible match between myself and Lady Ailene holds, it is potential I would argue, both for House Charlot and for Kusheth. Not only is she a member of the Trevalion family, one of the most respected families in all of Terre d'Ange and a tie that a house like ours should find plenty of potential in in-and-of itself. She is a Scion of Azza. She is the daughter of the Marquise d'Evreux and niece to the Duc de Trevalion, part of one of the most respected and influential branches of the Trevalion family. Her older brother is the famous Knight of Swans and her other brother is a highly respected man in academic circles as I understand it. She is very close with her cousin, Lord Thaddeus Trevalion, the future Comte d'Amiens and a successful and respected businessman in his own right. She is a cousin to the Lady of Marsilikos herself as well as to Lady Desarae Mereliot, the future Marquise de Chavaise. She has known since childhood and is on good terms with Lord Matthieu Rocaille, the recently returned heir to the Duchy of Siovale. She is also a personal friend of Princess Aedhwyn, a Princess of the blood and official diplomat of Alba. As for the woman herself, she is beautiful, intelligent and both quick and willing to learn, as well as having a way with people, despite what your limited exposure to her company seems to have lead you to believe. And as I mentioned already she is also a Scion with the blood of Azza running through her veins, no doubt she would bear strong and capable heirs to Châteaugiron one day."

A short pause then, perhaps to let his cousin 'digest' the long list of positive elements that, in Thibault's own mind at least, a marriage with lady Ailene would hold, or possibly just to gauge his cousins expression. Thibault's own expression is one that clearly shows that he feels fully confident in his arguments while still being open to any words his cousin might have in response. "I would go on, but then again you're not the one I need to convince, are you, as much as I would like to." The dark haired Châteaugiron heir then says with a small shrug of one shoulder and one hand held in front himself palm-up. "And in any case, even half the things I just mentioned, let alone all of them put together, should more than make up for any minor lack of courtly refinement she might need to improve upon, I'd say. I hope that my father and the Comte can see the truth in that as well as the obvious potential that a possible match and ensuing alliance between our houses would hold. You have to look at the entire 'package' when it comes to matters as important as this, at least that is what I was taught."

Thibault remains seated in his chair when his cousin moves to stand, merely correcting his posture slightly. "I will, and I am. I'm not a fool, Cyriel, despite what you might think, and I wouldn't even entertain these thoughts if I did not feel confident that the match would be a good one both for me and for House Charlot. I might be young and inexperienced in your eyes, but I am not blind to my responsibilities or the fact that it is not up to me and her alone to decide, should she indeed prove positive to the suggestion. And neither is she, I am sure. You'll just have to trust me on that. If it eases your mind, I have no intentions of approaching my father about the matter before I am absolutely certain that lady Ailene is willing to take the steps necessary for the union to be a successful one, whatever those steps might be."

Thibault finally rises from his own seat, moving to stand next to his cousin, putting an arm on the man's shoulder and returning the jesting smile offered. "As far as you finally looking for a suitable match, I weep for the poor woman already." A short, low-pitched chuckle. "I'm sure the Comte would be thrilled with any match you might be able to secure as long as she has a pulse and enough life in her to bear you and heir or two, eh? Even more so if she should happen to be of Kusheth." The hand is retracted and goes to ruffle through his thick black hair. "As for myself, you know that I am not overly fond of Kusheline girls when it comes to partners, let alone when talking about something as permanent as marriage. They're so….full of themselves. So certain that they know everything and that everything they know is the perfect truth no matter the subject. The last thing I need is a female version of myself running around trying to tell me what to do. The thought of it alone….." A faux-shutter followed by a wink and a self-deprecating grin to match the words. The humor might seem odd, given the gravity of the subject they have been discussing and how important it, seemingly, is to the tall young Charlot, but he doesn't appear phased by it in the least. Then, he chooses to address the matter of Cyriel possibly leaving Marsilikos to return to Kusheth for the time being. "So, when are you planning to depart for home? Any plans to return here anytime soon?"

"Her attitude," Cyriel clarifies, his gaze tightening just that the pale blue flashes a bit more brightly. His tone, calm, his pronunciation distinct and clear. "What I have noticed in my rare interactions with her. The kiss…" His nose wrinkles a little, "was as much her faux-pas as it was yours. She does not care about rules and customs. As for the cookies 'incident'… This is just another example." His gaze flicks down as he inspects his fingernails. "And her timing couldn't have been worse. So you knew of this, and tried to convince her it was a bad idea?" Pale eyes find those of Thibault, and the older Charlot chuckles, in a low rasp of a somewhat mirthless sound. "Isn't it apparent to you, Thibault? She thinks everything is a game. But. Games can go wrong. Especially if you don't play them well."

Pausing then in his words, the Vicomte de Chavagne glances thoughtfully towards the window. "It is curious, that you go to such great efforts to emphasize to me her possible worth as a pawn in the political game, when your intentions with her are as diffuse as you initially stated. I don't need to be convinced of the advantageous position, lady Ailene has been born into. Her relations are an asset, not a merit, though. Call me stubborn, but I prefer to base my view of a person on their actions and their character, not on the fact that they have friends and relations in high places. Granted, my interactions with Lady Ailene have only been few, but I think they have been thorough enough for me form an opinion of her. Unless…", here he turns, leaning slightly against the window frame to regard Thibault, "you wish me to make further inquiries about her reputation and general conduct?"

The way he says it, it sounds almost like a mild threat, and his features have never looked more hawk-like — before they twist in a wry grin.

"I was merely jesting, Thibault."

And Cyriel laughs, at his cousin's comment on the poor creature, the older Charlot of them might single out as future wife, his eyes gleaming for once with true mirth colored in twisted Kusheline humor.

"In a few days," Cyriel replies to Thibault, turning to leave. "And I am not sure, I'll return. My business here has been seen to. And with Esekiel no longer here, I would need a good reason to travel all the way south to Marsilikos again. I shall send you word though, once I have arrived."

Thibault gives Cyriel a flat look. "I know what you meant.." He answers in a slightly tired tone that suggests that the clarification was less than needed, "and I still think you're blowing things out of proportions and are jumping to conclusions. Like I said, I haven't even spoken to her about it yet or even decided if I am going to. Let's see what the coming months will bring."

The Châteaugiron heir's brows lower and lips curl into a conceded smile at his cousins jest, a sharp smile that nevertheless clearly shows the younger Charlot's appreciation of the humor. "Just because I haven't come to a final decision on the matter yet doesn't mean that I haven't given any thought as to how best to present the idea to my parents and the comté in case I do choose to pursue it. I thought I might as well hear your response to those parts of a possible argument." His eyes shift to meet those of Cyriel. "I guess I need to work on my presentation." He then adds, followed by a thoughtfully amused sound from behind closed lips. "I can't say I'm happy about how you have chosen to advise on the matter if it should come to that, but I appreciate that you're being honest with me. I guess I'll just have to see what can be done to change your disposition regarding this."

"So soon?" Thibault nods a few times at his cousins reply to when he'll be leaving Marsilikos. "I see. I wish you safe travels then and look forward to hearing from you once you've arrived back home. I'd appreciate it if you didn't speak of this to anyone until anything should come of it." A beat. "Oh, and if you do happen to find Esekiel at home, give him a kick in the backside from me and tell him to write me. After the content of his last letter the least I'd expect is that he'd let me know if he was home and safe."

"Ah, Kushiel…", Cyriel sighs with a slight roll of his eyes. "It is what I am trying to tell you. Have fun with her, engage in all kinds of debauchery, I don't care. Just please refrain from the intention of giving your relationship any official tinge and legal grounding." Said as he moves to stand, snatching the dagger in its scabbard from the table to hold it in a loose, casual grasp.

"It is not your presentation that is at fault," the Charlot of hawkish features tells his younger relative, brows furrowing slightly even as a faint smile tugs at his lips . "Your argumentation is flawless. Fact is that it fails to convince me, as I have seen some sides of Lady Ailene's character… sides others of our family will notice as well." The faint smile turns into a wry grin. "Rest assured. You are good with words."

Fingers toy with the dagger, as pale blue eyes alight. "I shall convey your 'greetings' in person, Thibault. To Esekiel. And to your father." At which the Vicomte de Chavagne turns to head off to his chambers. With preparations for his impending departure needing to be seen to.

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