(1310-10-08) Receiving of Presents
Summary: Another day in the life of Novice Belladonna and it seems one who intends to bid on her gave her a very lovely gift.
RL Date: Mon Oct 08, 1310
Related: (1310-10-02) A First Meeting and (1310-10-04) Belladonna and Gregoire meeting for the first time
gregoire ophelia fenris belladonna baptiste theodosia jean 

La Rose Sauvage

A huge hearth of black marble, with gargoyles of stone adorning the mantlepiece, governs the foyer of the Salon de la Rose Sauvage, which emanates a certain dark air, the interior design of the more heavy sort, that could easily be encountered in a gentleman's club, especially with the dark cherry wood wainscoting used on the walls. Dark leather upholstery is predominant in the furniture of chaise longues, couches and long-backed chairs that are arranged in a half-circle, leaving space in the center for courtesans (or patrons) to kneel for an inspection. Three tall windows with circular stained-glass insets are framed by dark red curtains of heavy brocade, a few golden threads worked into the fabric catching occasionally the light of flickering oil lamps at the walls. The lamps light a pair of portrait paintings, of the two founders of the salon, Edouard Shahrizai and his cousin Annabelle no Mandrake, resplendent in their dark Kusheline appeal; and a cabinet in a corner, holding a number of quality wines and a flagon of uisghe.%r%rThe foyer has a high ceiling, and a gallery beyond a balustrade of dark teak wood, carved in the shapes of gargoyles. Sometimes a few veiled creatures can be spotted up there, stealing glances at what is going on below; from the gallery, which can be reached by ascending some winding stairs at the back of the foyer. Beside the stairs leading up is a hallway on ground level, leading further into the building to where the offices of the leader of the salon and his two Seconds can be found, along with the two wings of private quarters for roses of Mandrake and Valerian canon.

It was a cool and rainy fall morning but that doesn't ever stop Belladonna from making sure all the patrons, adepts and courtesans drinks aren't refreshed as needed. At the moment it seems everyone has their fill of drink and not in need of refreshing and all patrons are being entertained, so in this moment Belladonna is resting her back against the wall and just surveying all present.

Emerging from his private quarters in the Mandrake wing, Baptiste makes his way down into the foyer of the salon. Dressed in dark clothing, red and black, and moving with an unyielding patience, he steps slowly through the front room. His gaze sweeps about, critical and all-seeing, eyes slightly narrowed as if he is either tired or suspicious. Perhaps both. While he surveys his surroundings, he pads slowly toward a chair by the hearth and then slowly lowers his large frame into it. Seating himself in his throne for the evening, the Mandrake second continues to gaze about with an expression that suggests boredom but an attention that is anything but.

Belladonna gently pushes herself off of the way and makes her way towards Baptiste as she inquires, "Would you like for me to get you something to drink Second Baptiste?" A tone of respect she generally only gives him, the Dowayne, and her teachers of her lessons.

Baptiste arches a brow and then shakes his head, "No." the large man waves a hand at the room in general, "You are here for the patrons, not me. But stand here a moment." his tone is dismissive and disinterested. This is not unusual. Still, he is less distant from those in the salon than he is toward patrons or potential patrons. "A month or so now, yes? Do you think you are ready? Ophelia was well-prepared. Well-trained. The transition was easy. What of you, Belladonna? Do you feel like you're ready to become an adept? To begin work on your marque?" his tone suggests he's entirely neutral in his line of questioning. When he's not looking about the room, he is glancing in the novice's direction, brow arched in mild curiosity.

Belladonna kindly responds to Baptiste, "I am ready yes. Been training for this a long, long time. Even if this is a new place to me. I am very eager and well studied. And always looking to take upon more lessons. And I am looking forward to begin the work upon my marque. Just still deciding what exactly I show do for my debut to set me apart from the others."

"Ophelia's was well-received." he mentions the newest adept again with a shift of his eyes toward Belladonna and then shrugs, "Be creative. Or cruel. Preferably both. Something that emphasizes your strengths. I hope that at this point you have several ideas and are simply deciding upon which will be the most attention-grabbing and provocative." another shrug of his broad shoulders, "We will see. This place is not like Elua. We are far from the capital and our structure differs greatly, but we are not county bumpkins here. We simply face different challenges here on the coast and our service is no less important than those upon the Mont." Baptiste shifts slightly in his chair, "Have you been building connections with potential bidders? It is important to build relationships and entice people to come out to your debut."

Belladonna looks confused, "Elua? I am not from there. I came from Kusheth. But it is still much different here than home. And I have met a few potential bidders and am hoping they return to speak with me again soon. One made mention of wishing to speak with the Dowayne, a Vicomte Marco. And a few others have as I mentioned, come by and chatted with me, expressing their interests."

Fenris arrives from the Court de Nuit.

Fenris has arrived.

Ophelia arrives from the Hallway.

Ophelia has arrived.

"No?" Baptiste tilts his head and considers before shrugging, "Well, nevermind then." the courtesan is seated near the hearth in a large arm chair, conversing with a novice on the cusp of her debut. He seems disinterested and cool, but that's simply his normal demeanor. "In any event, good. Keep building those relationships. That will be your most important task once you are an adept. Often they will last throughout your service here in the salon. Other times, perhaps not. I feel it is important to have at least a small core group of patrons that mesh well with you."

Belladonna lets a weak smile curl her lips that reaches her eyes as she says, "I intend to do just that Second. And I am hoping that those I have already spoken with will be just that. Time shall time of such things." Her dark eyes curiously looking over the salon to see if any drinks are in need of refreshment.

This lord.. oh lord. He's had a rough few days so his beards been growing in and his hair is a mess. Sticking up at the back and nods styled at all. Fenris is wearing black pants and a black tunic with black boots. His eyes glance around when he walks into the Salon. The giant of a man growls a little and crosses his arms. Apparently, this was the wrong door.

There is a slow, prowling click of heels that is familiar in the halls of the Rose; it is the cadence that heralds Ophelia's arrival. Unhurried but relentless, like the turn of seasons, it warns of her emerging from the hallway that leads to the residential corridor. She dresses like the season too, in pine green edged with fire: red, copper, gold. The latter match the shaped metal roses braided into her hair, vivid against near-white blonde. The clicking pauses as she does, just inside the arch, so that she can survey the salon, attention skimming this way and that, over Baptiste and Belladonna, then to Fenris, then on… then back to Fenris. Her head tilts slowly to the side then, her lips pursing up into a shape of petulant consideration.

"I suppose so." Baptiste turns his attention from Belladonna for a moment or two both to give the foyer a bit of a look, checking up on how the evening is going, and as a result of the door opening. Fenris' appearance draws a frown and a faint shake of his head. The clicking that announces Ophelia's arrival draws his attention and he tilts his head toward where he assumes she will soon arrive. "Adept." he greets the young woman coolly and then looks to Belladonna, waving a hand toward the entrance, "Go see if that unkempt man belongs in here. I doubt it, but I suppose some of the more distant houses of the realm are a bit rough around the edges."

Belladonna looks to Baptiste as she explains, "He is actually one of those whom my bid upon me." Though she moves easily towards Fenris after finishing her statement, offering a respectful nod to Ophelia. A soft smile that seems to lightly echo in her eyes is offered to him as she says, "My Lord, it is lovely to see you once more. Would you care for a drink and perhaps some company?" Her hand gesturing to some of the vacant seating areas as the offer is made.

Fenris turns his attention to the one that approaches him. His eyes narrow a little and he nods his head a little. He grumbles a little and without argument moves over to the seat she selects for him. The giant takes a seat and rubs his hand over his beard. "Good to see you." He finally speaks. "Water?" He pulls out some money and hands it to Bella to get him some water.

"He's been in here before," says Ophelia, regarding Fenris. "Last time he was horrifyingly hung over and lost. It seems little has changed." She watches him, and Belladonna by proxy, right up until that last moment where their visitor pulls out money. A momentary look is flicked at Baptiste, along with the barest, tiniest hint of a twist of her mouth, but then she moves again. Faster this time, that click of heels now not a warning but a threat sounding as she approaches them. "What is that? What are you doing?" Her voice is soft as silk, but there's an edge underneath, like a razor hidden in the fabric. "Does this look like a tavern?"

Baptiste graces Ophelia with a faint smile, apparently thanking her for her informational aside, "It seems beyond coincidental the number of people that end up here apparently lost or looking for any other place but here. I refuse to believe this city is filled with so many directionally challenged people so I can only assume that shame is their driving factor. An unwillingness to simply come here openly and honestly and face what it is they desire." the second shrugs, remaining seated in his arm chair, "So be it. I can only assume these lost souls come seeking the attention of one of our branch. I doubt there is much shame involved with seeking the company of an Alyssum or Valerian." the man shrugs once more as he makes his commentary, vaguely in the direction of Ophelia. A brow arches at the offer of money and Ophelia's reaction and then he falls silent to observe the interaction amongst the three.

Belladonna tries to not take the money and pushes it back into Fenris's hands and is about to say something when Ophelia swoops into her rescue so to speak. She calmyly says, "Adept Ophelia is correct, that isn't how it works here. And I am not accept assignations until after my debut. If you are wishing to be broken now, you could always seeking out her strong hand. As mine won't be available for a month." She pauses before she inquires, "Now then, did you want a drink and company to discuss a possible assignation now with Adept Ophelia? Or were you more curious about chatting with me about my debut?"

Fenris turns his attention to Ophelia and her outburst. His brow lifts slowly. "Not at all." He grumbles to her. "I feel all should be compensated for services whether here or in a tavern. If paying for water is an insult to your good sensibilities then forgive my brashness. I will not bring my money here again to avoid further insult to you." He flicks the money away and pushes himself up. He turns his eyes to Bella. "I will not take assignation. Be well in the coming months." His voice rolls around in his chest as he speaks. He moves for the door easily.

Gregoire arrives from the Court de Nuit.

Gregoire has arrived.

There's a little swish of silk as Ophelia draws to a halt a few paces from Belladonna - and Fenris, as it were, though it is he that has the bulk of her attention just now. That cold Shahrizai stare. "What insults me is the idea that you think our novices require your coin as compensation. She is not your servant, she is Naamah's. Her service is solely devoted to the Bright Lady, not some lost barbarian who could not find his backside if someone gave him a map and a hunting dog." But he's fleeing, so she but lifts her chin and takes a little breath before glancing sidelong at the novice. "I fear you'll come to regret not having been left in Elua. There are so many pigs to sort through here, undeserving of your pearls."

Gregoire arrives at the salon, his doublet partially undone on account that it's a warm day. He murmurs a polite greeting to the novice that greets him as he enters. His sharp eyes scan the room, seeking for a certain novice that had caught his attention before. However, the words from Ophelia give him a bit of pause. He notices a rather large gentleman coming towards the doorway that he just entered from, and steps to the side to avoid detaining the man. He does give Fenris a curious look before moving forward to see if he can catch Belladonna's eye.

Fenris turns a little to Ophelia and with a small grin nods his head. "Yes. All that was on my pig like mind. I really wanted to treat her like a worthless servant." He dead pans to her, the sarcasm dripping from his tongue. "You know me so well. Thank you for revealing this to me." He doesn't mention her insults further. He turns his eyes to Bella and shakes his head before taking a deep breath and moving for the door. He does though look at Baptiste. "Perhaps it's a lack of respect and they enjoy feeling belittled without a contract. But what do I know? I'm a pig." And he leaves.

Belladonna sincerely offers to Fenris, "Then I look forward to the coming months," though she not call him a pig. Soon she reiterates to Ophelia, "I came from a salon in Kusheth, not Elua. But I trust the Dowayne's decision and thoughts about bringing me out here for my debut. And it would take me an awful lot to regret." Her eyes curiously following Fenris out to then land upon Gregoire, a soft, warm smile that lightly echoes in her eyes as she says, "Baron, it is lovely to see you once more. Might I get you a drink and offer you some company?" Her hand gesturing to some of the same empty seating that she did for when Fenris stopped in.

A young woman walks into the Rose, a light red lace dress draped on her body, hair cut short…when a big , large Skaldi walks rather frecefully towards the door, causing her to sidestep quickly to let him go. She does smile, remembering him from the Games.. She looks to the other people in the Salon, smiling to Belladonna, then taking in the others, accepting a glass from a servant, sipping at the wine and walking in, cheeks flushed a bit as if she feels she intruded.

There won't be any move to stop Fenris. Ophelia only tilts her head at Belladonna, as if to acknowledge what the novice says, before she turns away, leaving her to the attentions of their other visitors again. This time she makes her way to where Baptiste has been so quietly minding everyone else's business. "I half wonder if one of the Glycine hasn't decided to play some elaborate practical joke by telling people that we are an educational facility. If I had ten ducats for every person who came in here lost, or looking for mundane lessons, my marque would be finished."

Fenris leaves, heading towards the Court de Nuit [O].

Fenris has left.

Gregoire gives another curious look towards the other man that exited and then looks back at Belladonna, "Yes, please…that would be lovely. Something light and refreshing." He gives a shake of his head, "It's hotter than I'm used to." He gives a polite look to Baptiste and Ophelia before moving towards the seat that is offered. He notices the movement of Theodosia's arrival behind him but doesn't let his intense gaze leave Belladonna, "I hope I am not being too forward, but after meeting you last time, I was inspired to procure a small gift to show the appreciation that our previous coversation gave me." He brings out a small box, wrapped in black and tied with a red bow.

<FS3> Belladonna rolls Composure: Good Success. (7 6 5 8 6 8)

Jean arrives from the Court de Nuit.

Jean has arrived.

Belladonna guides Gregoire to the set as she grabs a glass of blush wine for the Baron and looks surprised for a mere moment at the box. Her hands taking it as her smile echoes more in her eyes as she says, "Thank you," as she curiously studies over him before she looks down to the box and begins to carefully untie the bow and unwrap it. Hints of excitement echoing within her eyes.

At the moment Baptiste and Ophelia are speaking where Baptiste is seated by the hearth in a large arm chair. Theodosia had just shortly entered, but Belladonna is currently distracted by gift wrapping.

Theodosia smiles, actually enjoying the look on Belladonna's face as she sees the girl receive a gift. She claps her hands a little , then sips at the wine, moving around the room , admiring the paintings, not wishing to intrude on Baptiste and Ophelia's apparently private conversation. She is holding a little, delicate clutch purse, and she tilts her bare neck to take in more details of the Shahrizai depicted in the portrait.

When Belladonna opens the gift, there is a black box and inside laying on red silk is a thin rose thorn vine that has been dipped in white gold and fashioned into a necklace using a series of hidden hinges that allows for the wearer to look as if her neck is encased in brambles. At the tip of each thorn there is a hint of red where ruby dust has been skillfully applied to give it the illusion of blood tipped thorns. Gregoire tells her softly, "I do not expect you to wear this now or even at your debut but I do hope that it shows my admiration and the sincerity of my intentions to attend your debut."

It's always a tomorrow's party for Jean, and the gaggle of courtiers he brings with him is remarkably less dense than usual, for this time of day. Nevertheless, they all disperse to their usual darlings, while the Vicomte searches the assembled crowd for someone, his steps easy-going enough.

It really is not much of a conversation. Ophelia loiters there by the Second of Thorns for a few minutes, though while he's sitting she is content to stand, motionless as some peculiar statue brought into the salon to vie with the gargoyles, light to their dark. And likely no softer. She spends a sliver of time watching Theodosia loiter before Jean and his gaggle of nobles roll in, whereupon there's another tiny sharp twist of her mouth that isn't anything like a smile. "Do send one of the novices to find me if anything interesting bothers to happen," she tells Baptiste, before stepping away, now headed for the gardens.

Ophelia leaves, heading towards the Gardens [GA].

Ophelia has left.

Belladonna carefully picks up the necklace and fondly looking over it as she says, "It is utterly lovely Baron, thank you. And it does indeed convey your admiration and sincerity." Her fingertips carefully dancing over the thorned necklace before she just as carefully puts it back into the box and holds it close to her chest as she looks to Gregoire as she says, "It is wonderfully thoughtful." Her eyes conveying how badly she wants to kiss his cheek but she is properly restraining herself from such as she carefully closes the box and has one of the other novices put it into her person things in the dormitory. Her eyes watching the present briefly as it leaves and landing upon Theodosia, offering a soft, warm smile that echoes a bit in her eyes before returning her attention to Gregoire as she inquires, "And did you happen to have any questions for me Baron?"

Theo returns Belladonna's smile as she watches Ophelia go, and then she raises a hand towards the servant , and asks a few question, as if she was curious about who was available to take an assignation…giving Baptiste a little curtsey too, then she turns her head and raises a slender eyebrow as Jean and his coterie invade the salon. She lifts her glass in salute, a smile blooming on her lips.

Gregoire clearly returns the carnal interest with his own piercing gaze. It's clear that he is quite enchanted with her, "No, I think our previous conversation clearly outlined what my hopes are if I should have the honor of winning your debut." He does force himself to sit back and take a sip of his drink to cool himself. He takes a deep breath and looks aware to regain his composure. He manages to spy Theodosia at this point and gives a polite nod. The brief eye contact of another allows him the strength to contain himself. He does let her know, "Even if not, I do hope to bare myself to your command in the future." A little more aware of his surroundings now that the gift has been received and accepted, he does notice Jean and his retinue. Polite greeting is given if they look his way.

Belladonna notices Jean and his entourage and offers him a warm, welcoming nod as another novice comes by to offer him a drink and inquiring if there is anyone in particular he was seeking out. An yet another to make sure Theodosia doesn't need her drink refilled. Though soon she is gazing back upon Gregoire as she says, "And I look very forward to it as well Baron. And just think, my debut is but a month away as of today. It is ever so exciting isn't it?"

"Hello." Jean greets all at large, nodding to both Gregoire and Belladonna as he sips from his newfound goblet of wine. He approaches a fully marqued courtesan for a moment, exchanging some words, before approaching the twosome he greeted earlier. "Jean L'Envers, Vicomte de Tonnere, at your service."

Theodosia smiles as she moves through the room, inclining her head at Jean. "My lord, a pleasure to meet you, we are both Namarrese.. Theodosia de Fhirze, at your service." She says, looking in delight at how Belladonna flirts with gregoire, clearly the girl is building up to have an interesting debut. She sips at her wine and adds. "Isn't she a lovely, sharp Thorn?"

Gregoire is sincere in his words as he tells her, "I am counting down the days." There is a pause as Jean introduces himself and a flicker of recognition the man's name, "Vicomte de Tonnere, it is a pleasure to finally meet you." He adds the context for the man, "I am Gregoire Basilisque de Baphinol, Baron de Monteaux. I believe you are acquainted with my sister, Aurélie." He looks back at Belladonna and comments on Theodosia's words, "She is beyond compare." He glances back at the Vicomte, giving way to the man so he can meet the lovely Thorn, "Forgive me, I don't want to monopolize your time." He glances at the other man, "I shall leave m'lord in her very capable hands."

"Ah, so you are Aurelie's brother." Jean nods to the man, staring at him with some intent focus. "She and I are quite close companions, as a matter of fact, my lord. I'm sure you know that, regardless." There's a tug of a smile to the Camaeline before he asks, "And how do you find Terre d'Ange at present?" He nods to Theodosia's introduction, before looking at Belladonna. The adept's question prompts a chuckle. "I am partial to a Thorn in this salon already, I'm afraid," he goes on to add, afterwards. "But I do like visiting my kinsman's Night House from time to time."

Belladonna manages to not let a flush cross her cheeks though perhaps whispers of it are peeking through as she says to Theodosia, "You flatter me ever so much my lady thank you." Her attention then back upon Gregoire as she offers to him, "As do I Baron. And soon it wouldn't be considered monopolizing." Her attention then upon Jean as she introduces herself, "It is a pleasure to meet you Vicomte l'Envers. I am Novice Belladonna Charlot nó Rose Sauvage and Marsilikos is very different from Kusheth but I am slowly growing quite fond of it." Her eyes flitting to ensure they each have a refresh beverage and if not, waving a fellow novice to tend to such things.

Theodosia looks towards Baptiste, curiosity in her eyes as the Second seems to gave grown quiet. She nods to Belladonna. "I shall let you stay in the good company of these two gentlemen..if they don't behave, I am sure I do not need to teach a thorn on how to..discipline them." She laugsh softly, then moves towards Baptiste smiling and dipping into a curtsey. "My lord, forgive me if I intrude, however you were recommended by lady Emmannuelle.."

Gregoire gives a polite nod as Jean confirms that his acquaintence with his sister, "Please send her my love. Now that I know she's in the city, I shall endeavour to visit and wish her well." He gives a motion to his partially undone doublet, "I'm afraid the heat in fall is a bit new for me. In the mountains, it would have already had a sharp chill in the air." It's clear the baron hasn't adjusted to the change in weather. At the mention that Jean doesn't have any aspirations on Belladonna, there's a relaxing of the shoulders that is subtle. His smile has more warmth to Jean, "Well, then may I wish you a good visit." There is a quiet apology to Belladonna for his behavior, even if it was a bit subtle, "Sadly I do need to be on my way." He lets her know, "I do not nearly have enough time in the day."

"Likewise, novice." Jean nods politely to Belladonna, before looking at Gregoire. "I shall do so, my Lord. Do send word ahead of time so I can prepare a proper feast for dinner when you do visit." He chuckles at the man's words about the Eisandine weather, nodding affirmatively in clear agreement. "A hassle," he goes on to quip, firmly enough, "to buy clothes that are fashionable and yet light enough on the body we don't find ourselves drenched in sweat here. It is why I like to walk around in just a robe within the confines of my house during the summer. Much more comfortable."

Belladonna curiously inquires to Jean, "Might I ask who is the Thorn you perfer?" Her attention then upon Gregoire as she says, "Be well until we see one another again Baron." A hinted fondness echoing in her eyes before she looks to Theodosia as she muses, "Well it seems one of them is leaving and I would object if you not join in said company, but I shant stop if you do indeed wish to not." A hint of mischief briefly echoing in her eyes before she glances to the hallway, perhaps thinking she heard something once more, then she follows Gregoire out with her eyes before they return to Jean and Theodosia.

Gregoire leaves, heading towards the Court de Nuit [O].

Gregoire has left.

"Ophelia." Jean states to Belladonna. "She's a delight. And I do so love her way of mastery." He smiles at the novice, straightening. "I'll seek her out later, perhaps." He drinks the last of his wine and hands it away to a servant.

Belladonna softly smiles at the name, it flickers in her eyes as she says, "I am quite fond of Ophelia. I tend to listen quite intently to her lessons." Her eyes watching as he finishes the wine and passes the empty glass to a novice who attempts to offer him another upon the serving platter.

"I should be on my way, but yes, you are well to pay proper heed to her." Jean states, flashing the woman an easy-going smile on his way to the exit. "She's a Mandrake through and through, in ways many can't quite grip without experiencing it."

Belladonna offers a single nod as she says, "Perhaps one day you may learn of just how much I am. But I am unsure of the assignation you have with Adept Ophelia. And of course not wish to step upon the toes of my fellow courtesans."

Jean offers a nod to Belladonna's words before departing. He offers no reply either way.

Jean has left.

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