(1310-11-11) Acknowledgement
Summary: Ophelia requests to have her marque acknowledged by the leader of her salon.
RL Date: 11/11/2018
Related: None in particular?
ophelia jacques-npc 

Office of Jacques Verreuil — Salon de la Rose Sauvage

This meeting can be of no surprise to the Dowayne of Roses. Ophelia has not exactly advertised the fact that her marque has been made in significant pieces over the span of a few months but it has progressed so, and now, evidently, it is done. Or so indicated a message she sent not so long ago, requesting that it be seen and recognized as full and made. Thus her knock on the office door now, three quick taps and then the silence of well-exercised patience.

"Come in." It is the voice of Jacques Verreuil who had obviously summoned the Thorn adept to grant her this meeting. Once Ophelia opens the door, she will find him sitting in his big chair of dark leather, in a posture somewhere between comfortable and slightly negligent. The Dowayne wears a black shirt and black trousers, and his gaze flickers slightly as he lifts his hand to gesture for Ophelia to come closer. He seems content to remain silent for now, as if leaving her the initiative to speak, on purpose.

Unlike so many members of the city's Night Court, Ophelia dresses modestly. Almost as she did when she was a novice, though perhaps her gowns fit more severely; the one she has on today is steel-colored, frosted with silver embroidery, as if she were masquerading as a blade, or a blade masquerading as a woman. As silent as one, save for that crisp swish of silk that heralds her approach: she comes to stand before the desk, hands clasping in the small of her back, and for the sum of two or three seconds looks back across it at him. But the silence is hers to break and she does, in time. "It is done," she says. "My marque is made. Will you see it?"

Jacques shifts in his seat, lower arms settling upon the table as he leans forward, meeting the gaze of the adept. Her approach had been admired in silence, for all its subtle sharpness in body language and choice of attire. His gaze looks all the more darker as he nods his head. "So I heard. And as it is made, I would indeed like to see it with my own eyes." There is a sound of a chair scraping over the stone floor as the Dowayne of the salon moves to stand, a tall figure, even if perhaps not as tall as the Thorn Second Baptiste. At an unhurried stroll, Jacques moves about the table and he comes to stand before Ophelia. "Reveal your back.", he tells her quietly.

Taller than Ophelia, certainly, though there is a slightly defiant lift to her chin that suggests she is used to that. She but bows her head, a little tilt that is given formality by the extra second of duration that she holds it for. This particular gown might've been picked for this purpose, for the ease of the required presentation. Her hands lift, meeting behind her neck where its ties begin. They're tugged at until the silk loosens around her, cording pulled free of its eyes until the whole thing begins to pull apart like some steel chrysalis. And when she's satisfied with that she turns about to present the completed tattoo, black thorns and red rose indelibly limned onto white skin. The upper portion is still haloed in raw red, irritation from the marquist's needle not given a chance to fade.

Jacques assesses Ophelia, and the very faint ghost of a smile begins to curve his lips as she begins to deal with the gown. "Your debut was less than six months ago," he states in that dark pensive timbre he sometimes adopts, "how do you feel about completing what would usually have taken you two years?" He remains where he is, regarding her back as she presents it to him. Whether expected or not, she can feel the touch of his hand, trailing the marque from where it begins all the way up to that newly reddened skin. "It is beautiful, and it becomes you well. But… have you learned its full worth?", he wonders lightly. The touch ends in the moment he pulls back his hand, and she can hear it from the sharp sound of his shoes on the stone floor as he takes a step away from her. "It is finished. Which I hereby acknowledge."

"I never do anything halfway," answers Ophelia, at first. There's a hiss to follow that, an exhale of breath that comes when his touch skims over the reddened part of the marque, no doubt still tender after her final trip to the table. "Now that it is complete, I suppose I shall have to find something new to burn through. Have I learned its full worth?" When he's gone she turns back around, gown held to her chest with one crossed arm, though she as yet makes no move to tie it back up. If that is even possible without help. "It was bought with exquisite suffering, and the final price…" Her head tilts slightly sideways. "You might have some idea of that, as, unless I am mistaken, the primary contributor still has some debt outstanding to the house."

Jacques nods, but that smile dims a little. "I have no doubt about that," he replies to Ophelia. "But I wonder, what you mean when you say you need to find something new? Is it your intention to leave the salon? You are free to choose your path, but I had hoped to keep you at least for another year or two." To the next, he grins faintly. "Of course, I can imagine." Seeing her hesitation with the dress, the Dowayne steps closer again to assist her, if she would wish it. "The Vicomte de Tonnerre and I have struck up a deal some time ago," Jacques muses thoughtfully. "Will he be the new thing you wish to burn through?"

Ophelia turns about again to take advantage of that help, other arm crossing as well to help the dress fit properly once it's laced back up. "Truth be told I have not yet given a lot of serious thought to what I will do now that my marque is complete. At least not in the short term. I am in no hurry to leave the house, though I expect I will be moving my belongings out of the dorm in short order." Bare shoulders lift and fall in a lazy shrug. "The Vicomte is almost disappointingly incombustible."

"You are entitled to have your own chamber now, Ophelia," Jacques informs her, even as he fastens the lacings of the dress with nimble fingers. "And I would be glad to have you here for as long as you like to stay with us. You can have a look at the vacant rooms in the Thorn wing, and choose one for yourself. Any interior can be adapted to fit your taste and whim." A low chuckle then, to her remark about the Vicomte. "And I bet you've tried." His hands come to rest upon her shoulders. "If you'd like the salon to throw a fête to celebrate your completion of the marque, name the time and day. You would certainly deserve to be celebrated."

"I know, and I imagine the novices and remaining adepts will be glad to finally have me gone." There is finally a hint of a smile that shows, thin and sharp as a shard of broken glass, but barely seen as Ophelia remains turned away. It lingers as she nods, regarding the Vicomte. "I have. At least once. Amongst other things he has had to endure, in Naamah's name." The final matter wins a few seconds of measured silence before she responds. "I dare say I should've finished a bit earlier. Now I will have to compete with the Longest Night for attention. But we shall make due. We should celebrate something. The salon's success, in spite of the insults occasionally directed at us."

"Longest Night is still over a month away." Jacques replies. "And if you don't want to go for a fête held in your honor, I heard of an idea Séverine and Baptiste had toyed with. Accept for now, my congratulations, Ophelia Shahrizai nó Rose Sauvage, fully marqued courtesan." His hands leave her shoulders and Jacques returns to his seat at the desk. "Insults have been dealt with in the past, as they will be, in the future. I believe, our stance within the Night Court of Marsilikos is quite unique, growing ever stronger from any challenge that has been posed to us."

"I'll discuss it with them," Ophelia acknowledges with a little tilt of her head. "Perhaps we can combine ideas. Perhaps the house will simply have to have two fetes near together. I doubt anyone but the accountant will complain vehemently." When left alone she straightens up and turns back around to study the Dowayne again before that wraithish smile appears. "Thank you."

Jacques nods to her thanks, accepting them with a dark flicker of his gaze, and he smiles. "Enjoy your new status, Ophelia. But don't take it too much out on the novices and adepts, or they will mourn the days when you were sharing quarters with them."

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