(1310-10-02) A Blood-Spattered Heir
Summary: Belmont comes across Timothée who is busy with bloody work after a bit of hunting. Warning: Some blood and gore
RL Date: 02-04/10/2018
Related: None.
timothee belmont 

Countryside — Eisande

The road that leads from the city winds its way through lush countryside. Drenched by the sun in summer months, it provides a fertile ground for fruits and crops, with well-tended vineyards that produce some of the finest grapes for summer wines. To the south, a rocky coastline slopes down to the silver sands of beaches, and where coves and inlets are littered with fishing boats that plumb the depths of the sea for the fish and seafood that makes up the traditional Eisandine diet. Small stone buildings crouch in the fields to provide shelter from the sun for those that work the land during the heat of the summer months, and there's an open-fronted wooden stall set back from the road where produce such as melons, peaches and a variety of other fruits might be bought when in season.

Trees line the banks of a river where it cuts along dividing fields towards the end of its journey that started somewhere in the Camaeline mountains. Swallowed by a rocky gorge to the south it disappears from view, though a well-trodden path that follows alongside allows a person to track its course towards the ocean.

Before sunrise, the sound of distant hoofbeats clicking on the ground blurred with an audible drumming of rain on window panes of the city of Marsilikos as three riders left through the gates heading to the countryside. They were followed by two large hounds and an excited barking might have awakened one or another citizen. All three riders were carrying a quill of arrows and a bow. They had been wearing leather clothes that the drizzle could not soak them. The cloaks were dark and heavy, adorned by some furs. While two riders seemed to be of a strong build, one of them had a figure of a young and slim boy.

It was a hunting group of the newly arrived ducal heir Timothée Rafael de Somerville. The only trace of his family's name was that silk decoration attached to his saddles - a growing apple tree embroidered on a once white silk. Though, the innocence of the fabric was already almost buried under the sheet of dusts, mud and old blood.

The sky stopped crying when the rough ground was turned into the soft and yet swampy bedsheet. The hooves of strong stallions started to get heavier as they slow down moving forward. That was when the riders approached a small clearing and had decided that this would be the time to end the hunt. It was a successful adventure marked down by a first bleeding sun ray in the distance, pushing through the thick branches colored in the warm autumn shades.

Completely soaked, muddy and trembling from morning's cold, three men dismounted with victorious smiles in their features. They dropped the prey onto the ground and the puddles splashed around. The bleeding body of a young fox had been covered by a few larger rabbits. The youngest of the trio - Timothée, took off his cloak and threw it at one of his servants while extending a hand to another, "Knife." He demanded. Once the equipment had been provided, he leaned down to grab one of the rabbits by its ears. First, he withdraw an arrow and dropped it to the ground. Then without even the tiniest flinch he cut through the rabbit allowing for internal organs to pour onto the grass. When the blade pierced through the skin, blood spat out covering a bit of his clothes and face.

The hounds absolutely entranced by the joy of payment for their loyalty during the hunt, immediately started to chew on the treasure spilled on the ground. Timothée gave a small body of the rabbit to his servant that he could finish up field dressing.

Now, the young ducal heir reaches for another rabbit as he repeats his actions.

More hoofbeats can be heard, on the soft, soaked soil of the open terrain of the countryside, where only a small number of trees are scattered. If one cares to look, he may notice a pair of riders, one leading the way, and the other following along. The pace is a gallop, slowing down to a trot, once the riders spot the hunters. But it takes only a moment, and they are already trotting towards the group.

The man riding ahead is young and of d'Angeline features, that show an expression of attentive curiosity. His attire marks him as a noble, a fine woolen cloak worn over casual riding breeches and doublet. A sword hangs from a belt at his side. The man in his company seems to be a guard, and by the colors and crest showing on his garb, one could recognize him as serving House Delaunay of Eisande. The guard stays silent, hand resting on the pommel of his sword, while the lord elects to address the group as a whole, as he somehow fails to determine the leader.

"Good day. You must have been out in this morning's nasty weather. Is it easier to shoot rabbits in the rain?" An unusual opener for a conversation, but there it is. Belmont himself seems to have chosen a safer time and weather for his ride. There are no traces of rain or mud upon his attire, and even his hair falls in dry curls about his face.

The companions of the young ducal heir care to notice the approach of other riders a bit earlier than their lord. So, they stand watching the approaching pair with cautious curiosity. Both of the Somerville servants are marked by mud up to the mid of their thighs. Their short black hair falls and sticks to the frowned foreheads. Recognizing that they are greeted by the nobility, both men offer polite bows.

Timothée himself turns to face the newcomers only after Belmont speaks. His own black hair is disheveled and heavy raindrops ripple down his forehead and across his cheek. But the drops here and there are mixed up with the blood of his prey. A trace of warm life-juice slowly slides from the mountain of his nose and reaches the corner of his lip while the few other burgundy drops hang from his jawline. The young man's sclera shines brightly in the early light while his whole visage consists mainly of deepest black, including his irises. A wry grin curls his lips up revealing shiny teeth as he raises his both arms up. One hand is holding a disemboweled body of a rabbit and the other has a blood-soaked knife. "Welcome to our little feast!" He greets arriving party. "It's more interesting when conditions are harder!" His gaze scans the stranger, "And you left the city less than an hour ago since I see no traces of rain?.."

<FS3> Belmont rolls Composure: Good Success. (8 5 3 8 1 4)
<FS3> Belmont rolls Perception: Good Success. (6 8 6 3 8 1 2)
<FS3> Belmont rolls Politics: Success. (6 2 7 6 1 1 6)

"Thank you, my lord," the noble rider replies, and with a downwards tip of his chin, he manages not to stare overly much at the blood-spattered youth. "And you are right. I come from the city, left it not too long ago." Looking up, he meets Timothée's gaze. "I am Belmont Eresse Delaunay, Vicomte de Rognac." A sweeping glance is given the men and the horses, and it seems, now he finally manages to catch a detail, that has escaped him earlier. "And you must be… of House Somerville. So far from l'Agnace, my lord? It is I who should bid you welcome.", Belmont offers with friendly politeness, and a bow, executed from where he sits on the horse.

Timothée offers a small bow of his head acknowledging the introduction made. He drops already emboweled rabbit to the other one who is prepared for delivery. He turns away from Belmont in order to raise another. Holding it by the back legs, the ducal heir moves to face a new acquaintance. He holds his fascinated eyes on the dead body for a few moments before raising the obsidian glare at Vicomte de Rognac. His knife pierces through the thin skin as the blade is stabbed between rabbit's back legs and then slowly pushed down across the slim body. The movement is not smooth as bones stand on the way and a more firm push is necessary. Cracking of fragile bones echoes in the early morning silence and Timothée grinds his teeth in satisfaction. He doesn't even have to look at the prey in order to proceed with the correct field dressing. The bowel spills on the man's boots as one of the hounds presents themselves to lick it off and eat.

"M'lord," Timothée speaks up, "We have more than enough. Would you like to get few rabbits? Fits well as a gift to those who await you on the end of your journey, or you can bring it back home." A short pause as he considers the man's assumption. "Yes, I am one of the Somervilles and yet I shall get used to Marsilikos. It will become half my home at some point since I am here to marry a whimsical lady who resides at the side of the lady of Marsilikos. I am Timothée Rafael de Somerville, heir to the Léonidas Frederic de Somerville."

<FS3> Belmont rolls Composure: Good Success. (3 7 7 3 2 4)
<FS3> Belmont rolls Empathy+Reaction: Failure. (3 1 3 6)

It can sometimes be of advantage to be oblivious to certain things. And so, Belmont does not even twitch a brow when he observes the manner in which the young l'Agnacite lord elects to cut upon the rabbit. It is the slithering sound of intestines however, splashing upon the Somerville's boot that makes the expression on the Delaunay's features harden a little. But any comment he might have, is bitten back. After all, it seems safer to reply to Timothée's greeting.

<FS3> Belmont rolls Politics: Good Success. (1 7 8 4 2 4 5)

"Ah. I see.", Belmont says, managing even a smile, "You are the oldest son of His Grace, the Duc de Somerville. I am pleased to make your acquaintance, Lord Timothée. I was not aware you are betrothed. Allow me to offer my congratulations. Might I ask, who the lady in question is?" There may be a flicker of concern, a fleeting thought touching his features, as he remains sitting as he is, fingers tightening a little about the reins he holds in his hand. "A lady of House Mereliot, you say?"

"Ha ha ha!.." a low laugh roars through the clearing. The more muffled laugh of the two servants comes as an echo to their master's amusement. The young man steps closer to the lord Belmont after throwing that third rabbit with the others. He cleans off the sharpness of a knife to the side of his trousers. The ducal heir will come so close to the lord Belmont that he could extend his unarmed hand and wrap his own bloody fingers around lord's calf, if he does not move the stallion away, of course. Then Timothée gestures with a knife toward a small blanket and some refreshments set out to get one's strength back after a long hunt. He, of course, looks up at the lord and grins, "Would you like to join us, m'lord? I see that you lack knowledge of southern politics? I could spare some time to introduce you to some nuances. You see, I am the eldest living son of Duc de Somerville, and I am about to marry lady Phaenne Shaylee Mereliot. She is a niece to the duchess. Have you been long around the court of Marsilikos?"

<FS3> Belmont rolls 4: Success. (3 2 5 7)
<FS3> Belmont rolls Riding: Good Success. (3 1 4 4 8 7 4 3)
<FS3> Belmont rolls Composure: Good Success. (7 8 1 7 3 2)
<FS3> Belmont rolls Politics: Success. (7 6 5 6 5 5 2)

The horse of Belmont begins to prance nervously as the man with the knife approaches. It is probably the smell of blood that clings to him, or… the fact that its rider's emotions, outwardly kept in check, translate to the animal. The Vicomte de Rognac reigns his horse in, and makes it back away, before Timothée's blood-smeared hands can grab at him.

It seems, the young Eisandine lord's skill at diplomacy is being put to a hard test.

"Lack of politics, my lord?", Belmont echoes smoothly, raising a brow. "You introduced yourself as the heir. I was merely going by that. My condolences, about your older brother. To find yourself matched to a niece to the Lady of Marsilikos… must be quite pleasant." Even if the fact that his match is not another particular niece to the Duchesse makes him exhale softly with relief.

A wry and absolutely amused grin lights up in the young man's face overshining the rays of sun which poke through the branches and leaves to warm dead bodies of those unlucky animals laid down around. When lord Belmont withdraws from Timothée's touch, he brings his hand up to his lips and brushes with a thumb across the bottom one, leaving a trace of fresh blood. His thoughtful gaze prowls across manes of Vicomte's stallion. "It's a magnificent beast, m'lord," the ducal heir compliments. "As if trained by one of the Kushelines. Though, a tad timid, isn't he?" The man takes another closer step to the rider.

His tongue pierces through the lips and cleans them off leaving them more pale rosy than in a luxurious burgundy shade of vitae. "Excuse me," he gestures with his hand in the air, the sharpness of a knife almost sparkles upon catching the light of a brighter ray. "For being not precise in regards of my family. But you are right, it's /very pleasant/ to be engaged to the niece of our duchess. You know, she is a bit complicated." He chuckles at that and bites the tip of his tongue in a mildly lustful manner. "I enjoy taming wilder mares!" And his next step closer to Belmont might suggest that he also perceives their conversation as a game between a cat and a mouse.

"But, lord Belmont Eresse Delaunay, I feel mildly at a disadvantage. Is this a common practice in Eisande to make new acquaintances while one is standing on the ground and the other is comfortably seated in one's saddles?" Thoughtful but humorous emotion frowns his eyebrows. "I have some vintage apple brandy and hard cheese on offer. Of course, if your travel is not an urgent one?"

"It is a steed of Eisandine stock," Belmont informs Timothée, "I haven't had him for long and he is yet to get used to… certain circumstances." An apologetic smile tries to gloss over the vague nature of his words. Should he have spelled it out more clearly? "Excuse me, you are threatening my horse with your blade, and you are stinking of blood?" Probably not. Instead, he allows a smile to appear on his features, nodding his head. "I hope you are referring to the niece, not to Her Grace." A mild jest, that. At least this mouse is still in joking mood.

"Forgive me." With a soft *THUMP*, Belmont's boots touch the ground as he dismounts. A glance he gives the guard in his company, before he leads his horse off to the side where the other horses are, fastening the reins to a branch of a tree. "Luckily for me, there are no pressing matters that require my immediate return. Apple brandy, hmm? Do you have anything less potent, perhaps? Red wine?", Belmont asks, as he returns and walks over to the blanket, Timothée had pointed out to him.

"I see…" Timothée lets out a content sigh. "You have always been better sailors than riders, in my personal opinion." He answers in regards of a choice of a stallion or the means used to train it. But then he grows quiet, simply observing how another lord finds his way around the clearing and prepares for his company. The jest in regards of Her Grace drags out a laugh from the ducal heir but that is where it ends.

Two fingers raised up in the air are more than enough for Timothée's servants prepare two goblets of apple brandy and a plate of hard cheese. Though, the young lord himself is not moving towards the blanket. Instead he gestures to the last rabbit and the fox waiting to be prepared, "Do you mind?" He asks. "Timing is quite important. We wouldn't want that the meat and the furs would go to waste!" Before even receiving an acceptance, the man falls to his knees in front of the fox and pierces his knife as deep as he can.

His both hounds excitedly lurk behind Timothée's back waiting for the last drops of their prize. The Somerville lord looks at Belmont while digging his hand deep into the fox to push the bowels out. "You will have to forgive me, I am a man of a brandy. But we could water it for you, m'lady?.." He laughs, obviously joking. One of the servants presents unwatered goblet of brandy to the lord Belmont. Timothée on his end cracks one of the ribs of his furry prey and then throws it into the distance for his dogs. They both bark and rush to be the first to catch it.

There is a light shrug of his shoulders, to the decline of wine. "I believe it would be a crime to water down apple brandy," Belmont Delaunay states with a vague smile as he accepts the goblet from the servant, taking the insult with only a light twitch of a brow. He remains standing and turns to observe Timothée in his bloody work, his blue-grey eyes narrowing a little. "I've never been much of a hunter myself," the Vicomte admits then. "But I doubt, most other lords and ladies I know would engage in this work you are doing there…" The observation is made lightly, as is the addition, "Ah, and by the way, I heard a Somerville is to be wed in our city. Perhaps this is another reason for your visit? You will no doubt be present at the wedding feast?"

Now it's Timothée's turn to offer a light shrug of his shoulders. "I am not /most/ of the lords," he explains, "I prefer to finish the work I started. Why would I throw this to my servants? If I had conscious to kill it, I should not be afraid to dirty my hands with their actual blood." He makes a pause while taking out the last unnecessary parts of the fox and then raising to his feet. He cleans off the knife and exchanges it to the goblet of apple brandy when the servant presents it. While dogs enjoy the parts thrown out, the servants start to tie the prey up and prepare for the journey back to the city.

The ducal heir takes a sip, rinses it up inside his mouth before swallowing and then speaks further, "I noticed that there is this tendency within our nobility to be more a pompous show-off in their stories than actually handling the dirtier part of our life. That we leave for common folk and many of them I respect more than my fellow dandies." He looks Belmont over while taking a second gulp of his drink. "It would be an honor to hunt with you, m'lord, if you ever desire and I could teach you of this," He gestures to the small pile of rabbits. "You do not strike me as a narcissist. I might enjoy your company. But then again… I can't judge them. Aren't we all a bit of narcissists? I also like to show-off and so, yes, that is exactly why I have to participate in the other wedding and my gifts shall be the best!" Timothée laughs.

"There is nothing wrong with getting one's hands dirty," Belmont opines, standing as he is, and he lifts his goblet of apple brandy as if in some sort of toast. The next has him look towards Timothée with a wry grin. "You hardly know me, nor do you know if I am good with a bow at all. I am not. I am a passable rider. I know how to use a sword though, but that is a talent that gets rarely used when on a hunt." It is a statement, nothing boisterous there.

"Well. You are the ducal heir. I suppose, your gifts will be expected to be grand," is the Delaunay lord's next comment. "I heard the feast will be at the Palace." Sipping more from that apple brandy, Belmont looks a bit thoughtfully to where the hunting dogs fight over the innards of the rabbits and the fox.

Timothée accepts the gesture of a toast by raising his own goblet and taking a sip as well. "I didn't say that you are a good hunter, m'lord. I merely suggested that your company might be pleasing. I am fast to make my judgement about people." A beat. "Majority of the times, I am right. But if you do not want to stand eye to eye in the battle with a stag… however amusing it might be… I can suggest falconry? I bring a couple of my own birds. Does that interest you?" The young man chuckles. Why? Hard to say. But then he simply finishes off his goblet and makes a gesture of request to get a refill. One of the servants immediately conforms.

Belmont isn't as quick in finishing his drink. A gesture of his other hand towards the servant and a shake of his head makes it clear that he doesn't wish for a refill yet. "I can't say I'm interested in falconry. Never tried it. Isn't this more of a ladies' sport?" He winks, as he pays the ducal heir back for his own comment earlier. "I don't evade battles, my lord. I have fought in them. But… there were no stags involved. That was… a few months ago. Now," and here he smirks faintly, "I am fighting battles of another sort. Those my wife approves of. In regards to you and your intended… has there been a date set, already? Or are you merely starting a long phase of betrothal, unsure when that fateful day will come?"

<FS3> Timothee rolls Composure: Failure. (1 3 2 3 5)

When lord Belmont dares to call falconry a sport of ladies, the young lad shoots him a glare as cold as the tip of an arrow. His right hand tightens around the goblet that one can swear the man is trying to break it or bend the metal, while his left hand fingers are curled up into a fist and one can let a sigh of relief for he does not hold the knife. A few drops of blood run across his knuckles and fall onto the ground. Hard to say if this is the blood of a fox or his nails dig so deep. "And what about being the puppet of your wife?" He hisses through the tightly pressed teeth. His hand which grasps the goblet tightens and the man suddenly throws it aside. The goblet spills brandy over the back of one of Timothée's servants when it hits him in a full strength. The young lord immediately turns around. His back trembles for a moment before the ducal heir straightens up.

He smoothes the fabric of his leather jacket and withdraws a handkerchief to clean off his hands. Then it is put back in the side pocket of his trousers. Still keeping his back turned to Belmont, Timothée continues in a much lighter tone as if nothing has happened. "We did not yet set the date, m'lord. I am about to turn eighteen this winter. Then we are going to discuss my… our wedding date. Plus, she is currently in mourning." He waves to the servant one more with a harsh slap of an air by the gesture of his hand. The servant immediately raises the goblet, cleans it off, pours brandy and brings it back to Timothée. Then the lord of Somerville turns back to Belmont with a smile in his features that still carry signs of the hunt.

There is the faintest upwards twitch of brows at Timothée's loss of composure, and Belmont's fingers relax a bit more about his own goblet, still holding onto it, as if in exact opposite of what the ducal heir's reaction. Only a faint flare of his nostrils gives a hint at the bewilderment the Eisandine Vicomte otherwise successfully conceals, at the outbreak of the young noble lord. Those hissed words reach his ears, and Belmont lowers his gaze, considering the goblet in his hand, and the apple brandy swirling within. "There could be worse things," he dares to reply to the comment, that was probably aimed to insult, and the smile comes less forced now, inspired by thoughts about his beloved wife. "You will see in time, my lord, that matrimony can hold pleasures, that help with putting up with certain inconveniences." At which he lifts his gaze and regards Timothée with a faint knowing smirk. Which remains, even as the blood-spattered heir turns around to present his stained visage to the comparatively gentle Delaunay. "My lord? Are you alright? Perhaps… May I ask, have you paid the Night Court a visit yet?" The question may be less impertinent than it sounds, as it is posed out of concern and the intent to help. "Your tenseness could be soothed… That is, if you are so inclined."

"I am quite alright, m'lord. Thank you for your fatherly concern," Timothée answers before emptying the goblet of brandy in one breath. He cleans off his lips into the sleeve and then throws the goblet back on a blanket. "But what am I to keep you away for so long. If the matters out of town will be prolonged, your wife might get concerned. We for sure do not want that, do we?" He starts walking to his own black as the darkest night stallion. "And I shall present my catch to my personal cook." He runs his fingers across the mane of the horse, closing his eyes for a brief moment and then Timothée leans in to untie the animal from a tree.

"I'm not old enough to make fatherly concern look plausible," Belmont counters, one corner of his mouth lifting in a wry twist of a smile. "I'm about seven years older than you. I was merely offering… a suggestion." A faint shrug then, when Timothée decides it would be time for them to return to the city, and Belmont hands his goblet to one of the Somerville servants. "My wife," he tells the ducal heir, "is not the kind that worries too much about me, when I give her so little reason to." Walking over to his own horse, Belmont unfastens the reins and swings himself back into the saddle. "Perhaps, if you like, we could ride together for a bit. But even if not… " His features soften into a smile, "Take this advice: Get yourself properly washed and cleaned before you visit your intended - you don't want to scare her off, do you?"

Timothée snorts, "My to-be-wife is very well aware of my entertainments. She was supposed to marry my brother. After her mourning, she will have to get used to some dirt instead of silks and jewels!" He states and swings himself back into the saddles. "I think we go different directions." He adds and clicks his tongue for a horse to trot off from the clearing and back to the city. His servants remain to clean up the mess and gather all the equipment.

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