(1310-10-18) Plain and Simple
Summary: Delphine and Inesse visit the salon de Coquelicot and speak with Laurentin about the salon and its canons.
RL Date: Thu Oct 18, 2018
Related: This
delphine laurentin inesse 

Gardens of Devotion — Salon de Coquelicot

There is a playful air about the gardens, especially in spring, summer and autumn, when flower beds of red tulips, roses and poppy flowers add colorful dots to the well kept green that is trimmed to a look of wild romantic scenery, despite the ever present hands of gardeners that keep trees and bushes under their care. The path winds along in generous twists, offering many secret meeting spots to share kisses and vows of love, some of them part of the natural surroundings, while others provide more shelter from the view, arbors of simple beauty with flowery vines twining about posts.

In the center of the gardens is where a second building can be found, pillars of white stone reminiscent of an old Hellene temple. Within, tiles of light rosé marble cover the floor, ten feet high walls are painted a slightly deeper shade of the same color, and interspersed with white columns sporting painted colorful floral ornaments. Curtains of white and lavender gauze flutter faintly before the windows that bathe the Shrine of Love in light during the day. On evenings and nights, the predominant source of lighting is a multitude of burning candles in various bronze candelabras and the pair of chandeliers suspended from the ceiling.

The hall is furnished with chairs and couches of light maple wood carved with flowery designs, upholstered in white and red velvet, with several smaller cushions added for comfort. It also has a medium sized S-shaped loveseat in the center, where two people can lounge, facing each other. A faint scent of roses is ever present, as is the overall romantic mood that is often enhanced with the occasional recital of a love poem over the rippling tones of a lute or harp. While Coquelicot adepts and courtesans of Heliotrope canon attend to the visitors with the pleasant lightness and easy warmth, the salon is known for.%r%rA door at the back leads to a patron room of wildly romantic flair.

Cool fall mornings may have and advantage. Or so Delphine may have assumed, as she decided to pay the Night Court a visit. The woman of Namarrese origin wears a beaming smile upon her features as she steps into the salon de Coquelicot. She did not come on her own, but has a very young lady in tow. How surprised is she to find the salon is not as empty as expected. Which is not a problem that could not be solved. Waving an adept over, she requests to be shown to the gardens, and also to have a courtesan come to hear out her questions and that of her daughter. The name she gives the adept is "Lady Delphine Le Blanc de Baphinol", and thus, she follows the adept that leads them out into the gardens, where she will turn to take in the beauty of nature, even if marred a little by autumn's tinge of transience.

Surely, with the drizzle coming, the novices will urge the pair of ladies to the Shrine of Love in the middle of the gardens to be protected somewhat from the rain and wind at least. The offer of tea or or mulled wine is made, before they scurry off to produce the beverages.
It is after a short time that Laurentin approaches them. His attire is clearly meant more for indoor activities, loose white cloth pants and a shirt, though he has grabbed and swung a midnight blue coat over his shoulder to keep the worst of the drizzle off the clothes as he crosses the garden. Barefoot, apparently, not minding that it will make his feet wet when he slides through the grass.

Once he enters the Shrine, he offers a bow to the two ladies. "Good morning Ladies. Please, do take a seat?", he states, indicating to the pillows and the couch, before he straightens again. "I am Laurentin. How may Salon Coquelicot be of assistance to you this morning?".

"Mama, are salons so busy all the time?" Lady Inesse asks while taking a slow step after another in following her mother. "It's very beautiful. Do they all look the same? Are all of those people there courtesans, or some of them are adepts? Are any of them novices or they are not allow… Look! This is so beautiful!" She points at one of the decorations before stepping into the gardens and inhaling some more fresh air. The young girl smoothes her white skirts and then fixes up her black hair. "Do you think I look proper? Do I look likeable?" She continues asking all those questions. Though, when they are addressed by te stranger, Inesse takes a few steps back and to the side in order to half-hide behind her mother. She smiles broadly though, offers a curtsy and then stabs her gaze to the ground.

"Usually, they are busy more towards the afternoons and evenings," Delphine informs her daughter with a fine smile. She is taking in their surroundings, always has, from the moment they entered the salon, gauging courtesans and adepts, even if perhaps with a bit more experienced eye than Inesse. Perhaps marking one or two down in memory, for a later , solitary visit? Who can tell? "You can tell the novices from the adepts, as the novices are the ones that take your cloaks at the door; those shy creatures that offer and bring drinks. They are not dress to impress. The adepts meanwhile… they would have dresses and attire. They will approach you with the intention to entertain you and keep you company. As long as they are working on their marques, you won't see their backs revealed in public. It is considered bad taste to have an unfinished marque on display. The courtesans, meanwhile… they will show off their marque, and in doing so signal that they are available." A kiss she administers to Inesse's cheek, "You look lovely as ever, little one. It is a good thing though, that I picked your dress."

With a sigh of relief Delphine notes how they are allowed to proceed to the SHrine in the garden's center. And with dark eyes that lighten up once they spot Laurentin, she turns to greet him with a smile. "Ah… Monsieur Laurentin, how delightful it is to make your acquaintance!" The offered seat is accepted, and Delphine makes sure, Inesse sits down beside her. "I am Delphine le Blanc de Baphinol, my late husband was the Vicomte d'Orange," she introduces herself. "This here…", her hand lifts to indicate the young woman beside her, "is my daughter Inesse. She will turn sixteen soon, and I was wondering… whether someone of Coquelicot might be adequate, to introduce her to the arts of Naamah."

Did Laurentin overhear part of the explanations? Perhaps, but if so, he does not offer much of an indication either way. Still, when introductions are made and the two sit down, Laurentin follows them, and offering first the mother, then the daughter a handkiss. "It is a pleasure to meet you, both.". With the nature of their visit given, he tilts his head to one side, as if contemplating for a heartbeat, before he nods, unclasping his own cloak, to lay it over the back rest of one of the seat and instead takes a few steps across the room to pick up one of the cushions and just carry it over to the couch they sit on.

Laying it in front of them, he then sits himself on it as well, legs to be crossed, and his hands to settle on the top of his knees. Only then does he speak again. "Sixteen.", he echoes, lips to curve into a light smile at that, brown eyes to regard Inesse. His voice is low, both in register and in volume, projecting a sense of calmness, now that they are settled and the excitement of the place and being led from room to room is allowed to fall away. "An exciting age: To be finally considered a woman, is it not?", he wonders at her.

Turning his gaze back to Delphine, he nods his head. "I take it you do not plan to have the festivities here? There will be a period of time between it and a possible assignation? I inquire, because otherwise surely we should schedule a meeting with one of the Seconds to discuss suchly, at least at a latter date.". He lets that sink in, before he nods. "As the Lady le Blanc de Baphinol surely knows, our Salon has many fully marqued courtesans that hail from the Mon Nuit in Elua. There are those of House Heliotrope who come to mind as an obvious possibility. A many number of Balms. And of course my own training was completed in Gentian, though I admit that is not usually the House that would spring foremost to mind.". A mixture of pride of his training, perhaps a bit of bias to the Mont shown by him, and yet, he is modest enough to point out that perhaps other choices are more appropriate. "I have only recently joined this Salon, but from what I saw their own blend of the three houses trained here are skillful and delightful, as well."

Inesse settles down beside her mother. Though, the moment the young man approaches her and offers a handkiss, the lady jumps up to her feet and her cheeks ripe in rosy shades as if the apples in an early sunlight. When the man is out to grab himself a seat, the girl flops down back to her mother. She peeks at her and giggles, but then looks at the hands nervously dancing on her own lap. Feeling how Laurentin's eyes are studying her, Inesse rubs the back of her neck and her eyes wander to play in the shelter of that bush over there on an opposite direction than a man is found. Unfortunately, that question which sounds like requiring an answer makes Baphinol lady flinch and peek back at the courtesan. She nods. Three times. Quickly. Then bites her lip and looks up at Delphine.

"Gentian?!" Inesse exclaims when she hears the name and excitement lights up in her eyes. "You… You are the ones known as Diamonds, Sapphires or Pearls of every event! I am so honored to meet you!" She even claps in excitement and slides closer to the edge of her seat. The girl does not yet dare to look straight into Laurentin's eyes but she focuses somewhere on the level of his shoulders. Mildly disappointed exhale follows her last statement, "I am not sure if I am good enough…"

"The intention," Delphine clarifies towards Laurentin with a smile, "is to hold a small fête at the Baphinol residence… and then make this next part of Inesse's natality more of a private affair. The idea would be for her to be brought here, with the assignation already settled in a contract… But I believe she is quite in the state to make her own preferences clear." Her gaze flicks to Inesse beside her, "And that she will know best which adept or courtesan she would like to choose." At this, Delphine would have been content to slip into silence, but it is her daughter again that thwarts any such intention. "Oh, Inesse. You are referring to Lis d'Or. We are at the Salon de Coquelicot. This is another salon. The salon where they make you feel better, using a range of skills…" She looks towards Laurentin with an apologetic lift of brows. "Please, Monsieur… Would you explain to Inesse what canon you have been trained in?"

Indeed, there is a blink from Laurentin at the moniker bestowed on him, a bit of confusion perhaps, before Delphine explains the confusion of Inesse. It might be a testament to the upbringing that there is not more of a reaction from the man than a faint curve upwards of his lips. "Ah. Certainly.", he begins, lifting his hands to spread, gesture around the Shrine, but surely meaning more the whole Salon. "The Salon is build on the foundation of soothing and healing and it borrows on the canons of Heliotrope, Balm and Gentian.". A pause. "Heliotrope to heal ailments of the heart. We all, at times, have felt lonely or forsaken by those who we love the most. And to be cherished by someone with all their heart may help find your own balance again. My own canon, Gentian deals with the issues of the mind: Dreams that are hard to understand, be it nightmares or just confusing. Worries that do not let our patrons sleep, or wake them in the middle of the night, half remembered. Anything that would block you to be as free of mind as you wish.". Another pause. "And finally Balm, to soothe the aches and tensions of the body. Be it in massage or herbs and tonics. Moving though forms in yoga from distant Bhodistan. There are adepts here that soothe with the application of scented oils. With hot stones. With pressure to secret points, or as I do, with needles or finding blockage of the bones and spine, resetting them so your body can move freely and fluidly again."

A tilt of his head, watching Inesse, to see if it was understood or if he has to explain more. "Even if there is nothing that ails you, no ache to sooth, you can find peace and release in Coquelicot. Take a deep breath, release tension that every day brings: Does my hair look good? Is the dress too tight? Have I said the right thing?", he smiles then. "Gives your mind a chance to relax and grasp new courage and strength. To lift your eyes to meet the next day with a unwavering glance, with just a little more confidence.".

"Oooh! I am so sorry!" Inesse sighs slightly disappointed that she was wrong. The apology is more sent to her mother since the girl grows worried that she ashamed her or something. But then she focuses on every word said by Laurentin. The black haired girl nods now and then, allowing to understand that all points seem to be clear. "I…" She speaks up in a low voice. "am always very worried. I sometimes think that I made a correct decision but then I start to worry that it was a completely wrong one. I do want to be proper. That my mama could be proud!" She looks up at Delphine and smiles. The blush deepens on her cheeks. Then obsidian eyes find courtesan's eyebrows and wander over the edges of it. "My dreams are usually very fast and full of things. As if it would be thousands of different stories of different bards. So confusing at times. Is that true that you can enter the dreams? Not that I need it. I sleep well. I am sure mama would say that I sleep too much!" She laughs. "I find my dreams more exciting at times. It's too hard to… too hard here. Like find friends and know whom to trust. You kinda know it in your dreams." Her eyes grow in excited surprise then. "What about your dreams?! If you can see the dreams of others, do you dream yourself? Or do you dream what others beside you do?"

Delphine's chest rises and falls with a somewhat relieved sigh. She looks ever confident in Laurentin's ability to explain the canons as are trained and followed at the salon. In fact, in case he would look he might notice a certain delight in the Vicomtesse as she seems caught in beginning fascination with this new Gentian. It would be a mistake though, to distract the courtesan's focus from her daughter right now. Especially when Inesse has so many questions. When her daughter looks towards her, Delphine offers her a reassuring smile, hazel eyes then flicking away then to look at Laurentin. "Very good, Inesse," she murmurs. "Ask your questions, and Monsieur Laurentin will have the answers, I am sure."

Back and forth it goes, when he seems to hit on a few points in Inesse's nature right away. Not that it is hard to guess that she is shy and insecure because of such worries, certainly not by a courtesan of that house that has seen it plenty of times. As she speaks of the dreams, he nods. "It is true that I have the gift to slip into other people's dreams. It very very rarely happens accidentally, and I need to be close by the person who dreams.", he explains. "Share a bed, really. It usually requires a good measure of trust and connection. If they are not at ease around me, their dreams remain shut to me. Or worse, me being present changes them and then nothing is learnt and nothing is gained.". Calm explanations of the intricacies of his service to the Angel. As for his own dreams, it causes him to laugh softly, for once the lips blooming into a full smile. "When I sleep alone, I do dream, yes. And like everyone, sometimes I remember them. Sometimes I do not quite. I…am like a Mirror, Lady Inesse. If you allow yourself to be seen by me, I can show you what you cannot see of yourself. But a mirror cannot see it self. I need another of gifts to see myself.". With that, he glances briefly at Delphine.

"Your mother obviously loves you. And cares about you. You can see it. It is plain to see for me, and I just met her.", he offers, smiling a bit more subdued now. "And she can feel the love in her chest, but to truely see how radiant she is when she does so, she needs you and me to reflect it in our faces, in our gaze to truely know.", he comments, uses her as a object of teaching, before his eyes turn back to Inesse. "Do I make sense, my Lady?".

Inesse's expression freezes in that 'ooooooh' stage, where she is absolutely surprised, interested, mildly lost but impressed by everything what is told to her. Her plump lips remain slightly parted and quiet for awhile even if the question is asked. She blinks a few times as if trying to remember what has been said, and maybe even find the right points. But then she just nods. It's a blank kinda 'I must nod' nod. It doesn't say if she really understood every word, but a smile which curls her lips up suggests that the girl feels comfortable and curious. "But… do you then go? I mean, do you go to the others? Doesn't it annoy you when you can not remember your dreams?" She slides even closer to the edge of her seat and this time her gaze stumbles right on Laurentin's. It's brief and soon Inesse stares back to the ground. "I heard that dreams can show you the future? It's like signs or symbols which can guide you to your destiny. So, when you know that those dreams can assist you in reaching more, aren't you upset when you do not remember them? And can you understand what those dreams suggest? I remember hearing how one common folk group was discussing the matter of dreams. A man was saying that he dreamed how this very large bear attacked him and tried to kill him but a mysterious stranger assisted him, and saved. Then he said that he got ill. He was told that he is going to die. It was terrible and then a foreign healer showed up in the city by accident and that healer knew exactly what was torturing him, and healed him. He was warned about it! Wasn't he?" Inesse briefly looks at her mother but then focuses back on a courtesan. "I dream of a sunny and very warm days. Always. Very sunny. I am pretty sure that the sun is my mother's love. It's like safety to me!"

It might be obvious why Delphine chose the Salon of Coquelicot to visit with her daughter. Naamah's blood flows in her veins, and thus, she understands Laurentin's explanations all to well — especially the part about the mirror. Her gaze softens, and attention turns to Inesse, watching her, admiring her in these precious moments lingering on the threshold between childhood and becoming a woman. As Laurentin makes reference to her love, Delphine cannot help but radiate with it. Lips curve further, deepening the warm smile that blossoms on her features. "Yes, Monsieur. You do make sense.", she murmurs, in reply to Laurentin. "I admire your insight. And your ability to make such a beautiful thing sound so plain and simple…"

She looks towards Inesse, and her smile grows a bit thoughtful in listening her daughter's musings. "My daughter," Delphine explains to Laurentin, "may sometimes be mistaken for being weak of wit. But I believe, she has a different strength. She sees with the heart, and often brings up the most surprising questions." It is not so much apology but explanation. "Not everyone finds a way to understand Inesse's ways. But… I have a feeling that she will find inspiration right here. That this salon will be the best fit for her to bloom into womanhood."

Laurentin listens to the blurted out questions, pondering for a moment how to best reply, perhaps. "Some dreams are said to be prophetic, but most are not. They are not about the future, at least not in the sense you might think of it.", he explains. "They are about yourself and those around you. Like your example: Yes, you can say he was warned, but how was that man supposed to know a bear meant illness? And how would that have protected them from it even if he could have known?", he cautions the girl. "But it is true, that perhaps the dream showed him that it is all right to accept help from a stranger, and that did in the end save his life, no matter if it was showing him the future or just a tiny little quirk of how he saw himself and others? The Companions work in mysterious ways sometimes.". Perhaps it becomes clear now why so many of his house join the Priesthood of Elua or Naamah after they finish their marques. The explanation of what she dreams about, however is not replied to, gently ignored. Nothing said about it in the presence of others, as his vow binds him not to.

A smile is offered to Delphine then. "You flatter me, my Lady. All I say is the truth how I see it. Truth and Vision.". When she speaks of her daughter as a bit dim-witted, however, Laurentin takes a deeper breath, gauging his next words carefully. "You are wise to recognize your daughter's strengths. We all have our limitations. I will never be a soldier or hero that vanquishes a million foes. And if you promise to not tell anyone, I will even admit that I am probably the worst dancer in all of Conquelicot.", he offers a faint, rueful smile at that. "I have my weaknesses as much as you or your daughter has. And we have our strengths that are born from those tender spots, if they are given the protection they need so they can form.".

"OH!" Suddenly a young woman exclaims and jumps to her feet. She claps three times with her palms and smiles as broadly as she can. Her eyes are focused on the man. "I can teach you that! Dancing is very easy to learn! Even I learned it! I am not the best but I would love to teach you. I have never tried to teach anyone before. It would be so interesting!" Her excitement about potential lessons pushes aside all those serious and philosophical conversations about dreams. Inesse quickly turns to her mother and slips back to her seat. If allowed, she takes mother's hands into her own palms. Two little sparkling glasses of kitten eyes are stabbed to the mother's gaze when the younger lady starts pleading, "Mother, please, can it be him? He is very cute. Please… I think it would be fun if that could be him!" She briefly glances at Laurentin and then back at her mother, "He is very clever, and has a good heart, and he could teach me about dreams. Interesting things like that! And I would teach him how to dance. Mama, can you make a contract, please? I want him!" Though, her pleading sounds more like a child is asking her parents to get a new fluffy adorable puppy.

A light silvery chuckle escapes Delphine upon hearing Laurentin's admission of his dancing ability — or lack thereof. "Your honesty honors you, Monsieur. And I understand you are not permitted to speak of your dreams. I assure you though, that I won't tell anyone any secrets that have been offered to me under the oath of keeping them confidential. And even without, your confession will be safe with me." A nod follows, as the Gentian flavored courtesan continues about weaknesses and strengths, "I am so aware of this, Monsieur, and totally agree."

The mother falls silent then as she observes her daughter's enthusiastical outburst, and as Inesse's mind so swiftly made up, Delphine places her hand on her arm. "You are quick to make up your mind, Inesse, but you haven't seen any of the other adepts and courtesans yet. How can you be so sure, that Monsieur Laurentin is the best choice…?" Her hazel eyes look towards Laurentin then, glittering appreciatively, "Even if I understand how he must seem such a perfect fit." The Vicomtesse shifts in her seat leaning forward then to touch her hand upon Laurentin's arm, should he allow. "The question is, Monsieur Laurentin, with your wisdom and insight of my daughter's nature… would you be agreeable to be the one to introduce her gently into Naamah's arts and teachings? Or do you perhaps have other engagements already on the day of her natality, the 3rd of November?"

Laurenting actually makes a little face at Inesse's exclamation and then he puts his finger to his lips, shhhting her. Didn't he just say to not tell anyone? "Oh, I had dance lessons, Lady Inesse. I…am just not terribly fond of it.", he half-whispers in her direction. Still, brown eyes do study her with a hint of amusement, especially after the pleading starts, and his gaze wanders over to Delphine, studying her response to it.

It is then, that he clears his throat a little when Delphine reaches out to touch his arm, and his opposite hand lifts to cover her hand there on his arm. "I do not believe the date is taken, no.", he states easily enough, though there is a glint of mischief in those brown eyes. "And I agree you both should see to the other adepts and courtesans in this salon as well the others before you make a decision.". It is then that Laurentin once more turns his eyes to Inesse. "But perhaps it bears reminding the good Lady Inesse that it is not a simple matter of picking and choosing either. We night-blooming flowers are not trinkets to be bought and set down as your fancy strikes. Not only do you have to make a choice, my dear, but the adept or courtesan will have to accept to assign with you before a contract will even be considered.".

Inesse's expression slowly changes from a cheerful, excited and pleading to a frowned and pouting one when she hears the conversation between two adults, and when the courtesan addresses her again. She looks at him and then lowers her gaze down. A young girl rubs her feet into the ground and clasps her hands behind her back. "Is this… is this a nice way to say that you do not find me beautiful, and you actually do not want to spend time with me?" She kicks the air gently and then digs her toes back into the ground. "You could at least be open about it and not… just… tell nice stuff!" Then she straightens up and raises her nose up quite haughtily. The girl prances closer to her mother. "He doesn't like me, mama. I think we shall leave and find someone who would desire someone like me!" The girl tries to wrap her arm around her mother's and she looks toward the exit. There is a brief moment where she peeks at Laurentin as if to check out if he is not changing his opinion and her actions do not make him regret, but then she sighs and pouts, and looks back to her mother with a sad puppy eyes. "Unless he would change his mind. Then I would want him. We wouldn't have to look for others."

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

"Oh Monsieur, forgive Inesse, it is as I said, she speaks her mind too openly, perhaps. But it is her heart that speaks," Delphine tells Laurentin with a wink. "But… Monsieur Laurentin is right, Inesse," her gaze sweeps towards her daughter. "You cannot command Monsieur Laurentin to accept you. I believe he is making a little jest with you." Observing the pout that is about to form on Inesse's features, the mother shakes her head a little. "He said he is available, which generally means he is not opposed. Darling? Would you please stop pouting and acting in that manner? It is alright?" Her arm snakes about Inesse, pulling her closer to keep her from running off. "An assignation is a delicate thing, my dear. It is important that courtesan and patron match, in a way. It is only that, which Monsieur Laurentin meant when he said, that patrons do not *pick* a courtesan like you would pick a grape from a bowl of grapes. Each courtesan is different, as is each patron. As such, I believe I am not required to ask Monsieur Laurentin to make up his mind, when he already signalled being agreeable to it." Her smile deepens, warmth spilling over in that gaze she gives Inesse, love and reassurance. "It is going to be fine."

It is not something any courtesan, especially from Mon Nuit would do lightly: To risk hurting or offending a noble potential patron. And yet, here Laurentin sits, cross legged, letting the haughtiness, the poutyness of Inesse wash over him. There is no cringe, but certainly no delight either, the man keeping a neutral expression as words are traded between her and her mother, before he finally speaks again. "Your mother is quite right.", he finally says, studying the two. "I am not a foregone conclusion, but yes, we seem to have a connection. I find you quite pleasing, in fact, but…", he nods to Delphine, then glances back to Inesse. "You will find any d'Angeline, courtesan or not, be more appreciative of yourself if you do step in front of them, look them in the eyes and ask instead of assuming. Will you pay me that modicum of respect so I may be assured that it is a young woman's desire that is asking for my service to Naamah, and not a child's fleeting excitement of something shiny in the corner of her eye?". With that he lifts his hands to hover above his knees, palms up, as if to invite her to take them into hers, place hers into his, and he waits, studying her.

Inesse looks down at the man's hands. Her cheeks blush brightly and the girl nods. "I apologize. I promise that I will do what you ask. Just to prove to you that I want that it would be you who will guide me. Thank you for accepting me!" She steps closer, glances at her mother but then rushes off toward the man. Instead of placing her hands on his, she would lean in to just give him if he does not withdraw. It is a brief hug and then Inesse moves back to her mother. "Thank you." She repeats and to both adults in the gardens with her.

Delphine le Blanc de Baphinol reclines in her seat, her arm resting about Inesse. But this time she will remain silent. It is her way of granting Inesse for once to speak for herself, to settle things on her own, in a new way of coming off age. Hazel eyes glitter though with affection for her daughter, and encouragement towards Laurentin. A faint nod she gives him, signalling she very well understands what he trying to do there, and her approval. Her arm is suddenly left vacant when Inesse rushes towards Laurentin and matters are cleared. "I believe we are getting closer to an arrangement of sorts," she smiles. Then looks to Laurentin for his reaction.

There is no hesitation or drawing back from Laurentin when she leans in to hug him. In fact, his hands lift to wrap around her in quite a warm hug, despite the somewhat akward position the two are in. "You are quite welcome, Inesse.", he offers her, and even goes so far as to turn his head to place a kiss on her cheek, before he loosens his hold on her, allows her to step back and slip free of the hug if she so wishes. Of course, while he had her hugged, surely Dephine muse have imagined him giving her a wink? "I am sure we will come to an agreement.".

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