(1310-12-15) We Have Peaches This Morning
Summary: Breakfast at Emmanuelle Shahrizai’s Elua pied-à-terre. (Warning: Mature, Mandragian themes. She’s got a knife! We’ve all got knives! It’s 1310 and we’re barbarians!)
RL Date: 04/01/2019 - 06/01/2019
Related: Not particularly.
emmanuelle jehan-pascal 

A Completely Made-Up Place

The rhythm of life in Emmanuelle's apartment, at the top of a house she owns in a quiet side street in the heart of the noble quarter, is lazy and yet exquisitely ordered — and one of its sweetest rituals, from the point of view of the Baphinol heir more or less immured therein for her pleasure and his own, protected by roaring log fires against the winter chill, and by her rather alarming concierge against tedious visitors who might interrupt him in the middle of a good book, is the breaking of their fast in her dressing-room each day, not long before noon. (… Or an hour later, if the morning in question should follow her midnight return from an assignation elsewhere in the city.) By then she's painted and coiffed and robed, though not as a rule fully dressed, in her stocking feet rather than her formidable spiky boots — her maiden is apt to be draped in a ravishingly lovely dressing-gown — they nibble at this and that, fruits and pastries and their respective plans for the day, and it's altogether very cosy and domestic… But this morning there may be an instant wherein Jehan-Pascal wonders whether he’s blithely sought admittance to the wrong chamber: the table is laid as usual for an intimate breakfast à deux (though someone has, it seems, already been nibbling at bread and marmalade), the fire is crackling along cheerfully enough, Baltasar Shahrizai is going about his matutinal duties with submissive mien— but the figure upon whom he's dancing his attendance, is a slight dark lady clad in a bodice of finely-stitched black leather and a set of full and floor-sweeping skirts.

Chief amongst these bizarre and incongruous garments is an overskirt of sumptuous heavy silk, striped narrowly and diagonally in dark gold and darker purple, and caught up twice by buckled leather straps to reveal inner layers of purple and black embroidered with a garden of blooming mandrakes outlined in thread-of-gold. The same flowers blossom with greater restraint upon matching purple sleeves, secured to her bodice-straps with thin dark golden ribbons tied in the most discreet of tiny bows; the bodice's severe boning suppresses any hint of a bosom, working in tandem with a fichu of black silk gauze which denies even a glimpse of her décolletage. Laces of heavy dark golden cord criss-cross her spine, and meet in an elaborate twining knot at the back of her waist. The golden brooch in the shape of the Shahrizai keys which so often secures the folds of her neckcloth, performs today a similar office for the sheer folds of that altogether more feminine garment. Her hairpiece is a familiar complexity of blue-black braids, just touched, like her own hair, with white; but it's aglitter now with fabulous jeweled golden key pins, the inevitable three of them, disposed with a casual and asymmetrical elegance. Her lips are painted a brighter and bloodier red. When Jehan-Pascal obeys her low call of "Enter", she is in the act of affixing a black velvet patch below the corner of her mouth. In the language of beauty marks this, of course, is la discrète.

Thus is Emmanuelle reflected in her three long looking-glasses: turning, she reveals a certain sinuous curvature of waist and hip and derrière of which her maiden has ne'er before had cause to suspect her. It can't all be the corsetry, or can it—? She's smiling. "We have peaches this morning, my love."

Jehan-Pascal has no such surprises for Emman this morning; only her sweetest of maidens in a straight column gown, pearl and pink with accents of watercolored purple on the loose-flowing flutes, his shoulders bared, the soft poufs of the sleeves fainting down his lithe upper arms, the neckline quite low, as low as the upper portions of his milky back are bared behind, and the whole held in place by a pale grey suede cincher not quite tall enough to claim the title of girdle or corset, but which belts about his lower ribs and gives the gown an empire drape, hiding his shapelessness by setting him in a silhouette prone to an innocent shapelessness. His lips are stained, his eyes painted, his cheeks and nose demurely powdered when he presents himself for breakfast, his bosom shifting in a surprised reversal of breath below the long silver chain which holds his amethyst pendant down against the cincher below. Pausing in the doorway, he lifts one hand to the doorpost, the other to his heart. "Oh, gosh," he finally speaks. "What a lovely gown!"

Emmanuelle's freight of fine fabric rustles about her legs as she takes a few steps nearer and then holds out her hands to her maiden, whom propriety dictates must cover the rest of the distance to clasp them. Her shoulders have a new line today; her hips take a greater part in directing her walk; her feet can't be seen but the sheer slightness of her suggests she can't have any shoes on yet. "Do you think so?" she drawls, that smile tugging harder at the corners of her mouth. Some mornings she's tired still and says little; today she seems on the chipper side. "I grant you, I've always been fond of this skirt. The cloth falls so well. I am in two minds about my jewels, however — perhaps you'd like to help me choose."

Jehan-Pascal is also in his stocking-feet, a little less intimidating in sheet loft than in his usual footwear. He shuffles along, sweeping his hand down from the doorway to his skirt to lift it the mere nothing it takes to allow him to drift gracefully to Emman's waiting hands, then, releasing the skirt, to take them both and dip in a curtsy he's really been working on these last few days. "Of course— do show me," he puts the subtle effort of a plea behind those words, holding her hands as though a suppliant. "And the skirt is tremendous. I love how it shows off all of its facets, falling just so," he sighs.

The curtsey raises Emmanuelle's eyebrows, drawn today to sharper points; she herself raises Jehan-Pascal, and leads him by both hands to the breakfast-table. The chaise-longue is for him, of course, because he does so like languishing upon it like the kept mistress he is this month, and the straight-backed chair for herself. "Baltasar, the box," she directs, without glancing back to her valet.

There are hothouse roses on the table with the breakfast things; black tea and green; Emmanuelle's favourite pomegranate juice; the promised half a dozen peaches; a curious small knife Jehan-Pascal hasn't seen before, laid at her place with the usual polished silver cutlery. And then the box is carried across the chamber in Baltasar's tender hands, and every spare inch of space on the table is soon taken up with trays of jewels glittering upon black velvet. Necklaces, bracelets, earrings, pins — no rings, he's never seen Emmanuelle wear a ring — come to think of it he's only seen small, discreet pins fastening her neckcloths, and the black pearl earrings she wore sometimes in Marsilikos and the sapphires she gained on the road… He's had no hint, till now, that she possesses such a queenly collection, every piece of the first quality, the stones predominantly sapphires or amethysts, set more often in gold than in silver, and almost any one of them suitable to be worn with her present costume of black and purple and dark golden silk. Sipping green Ch'in tea from a fragile cup held between the fingers of both hands, she watches her maiden watching the revelation of her private wealth.

<FS3> Jehan-Pascal rolls Fashion: Good Success. (2 8 4 4 6 3 7 6)

Jehan-Pascal could go wilt upon his chaise, but, gosh, there are so many more things to be eager over, just now. Drawn on toward the table, he shuffles girlishly almost upon his toes, slipping along after Emman with a titter of excitement to go through her jewelry box— it pulls some deep strand of nostalgia, doesn't it, getting to look through mother's jewelry, draping himself in this necklace, those bracelets, that tiara, until the woman herself was framed in the doorway, looking at her jewel-bespangled son with a look of— well— nevermind that, anyhow. He flits about the table as each tray is unloaded, swooning over a piece here and there, but also decidedly keeping one eye toward his task of finding the pieces that will best sit with the outfit itself. "I think— earrings, yes, are going to be the stunner piece with an outfit like this. A necklace would only busy itself with your brooch, and bracelets will be a nice accent, but hardly the focal point… we only need to find… the right… pair…"

From Emmanuelle his enthusiasm for the sparkly stuff receives only fond indulgence; she soon puts down her cup of tea and opines, "With that gown you ought to borrow these… But of course your ears aren't pierced," she muses, flourishing a set of amethyst earrings against her pale palm and then whisking them away again to their assigned place in a tray of matching trinkets. "Choose what you like and I'll wear them," she offers, knowing there aren't any poor choices to be had amongst a collection she herself has curated with such care over nearly thirty years. "… Shall I peel you a peach?" she teases with her next breath, taking up the mentioned fruit in one hand and her curious small knife in the other. It's a fléchette: though Jehan-Pascal is hardly likely to have seen one of those before, let alone in use, as it is now, in Emmanuelle's skilled fingers.

Jehan-Pascal's lips open just slightly at the offer of the earrings, and then their very reasonable retraction, the grounds for which were halfway up his throat before they sprung first to Emman's lips, and he shakes his head quietly in affirmation that his ears are, indeed, intact. He adores beautiful things, but draws the line at having holes poked into his person, thank you. Then, brightening, he resumes his search for the perfect highlight piece. He's looking now at something which dangles, but he's not really feeling the dangles, and so he sets them down, eyes flicking to the knife when she offers to peel the peach— oh! It's a knife for peeling fruit. How delightful and rather more innocuous than it looks. "Oh, of course, thank you," he beams.

Of course to peel a peach isn't a necessary precursor of eating it — it isn't like an orange or an apple — and nor is it customary to do so by Emmanuelle's method, the blade of that small knife caressing round and round the fruit, its blushing skin coming away in a single long piece in response to a touch slow, expert, and tender. Not a whit more pressure than is needful. Not a scrap of the peach's soft, juicy flesh left clinging to that lengthening peel as it curls down and down onto her plate next to half a slice of bread smeared generously with orange marmalade. "And what do you intend for today, my love?" she asks, idly enough.

It would, no doubt, be quite an erotic display— were Jehan-Pascal's fancies better aligned with the slicing of flesh, or even if his candle-weakened eyes were not drawn back almost immediately to poring over the earrings, finally coming up with a pair of studs bearing dark onyx shield forms, tips just angled to slightly below the earlobe, in the middle of each of which is inset a small dot of gold and two ruby flakes in the shape of the Three Sisters asterism. "Oh, these. They're so pretty! I mean, they're all so pretty," he laughs warmly, looking up, then noticing the long snake of peachskin Emman is making, "Look at that. How clever. Is it all one piece?" He comes closer to investigate at a more intimate proximity.

"Of course," Emmanuelle remarks mildly, as the whole and complete peel comes loose with one last flick of her fléchette. He's beside her now, hovering, in his flowing pale gown; she licks a droplet of juice from a blade hardly besmirched by its work, so gentle was she, and half-turns in her chair to lift the naked fruit toward her maiden's lips and offer him a bite of it, and then another…

Jehan-Pascal's fingers are busy, or he would toy with the fuzzy skin left like the leavings of a snake in the springtime on top of the plate. But his fingertips are all occupied keeping hold of two tongue-lozenge earrings, and, as such, his arms remain perfectly still at his sides, fingers delicately poised with the jewelry in extension while he looks for a place in her nest of skirts for his beautiful behind, making himself well at home upon her lappers while she brings the peeled peach to his lips and he opens his mouth somewhat more widely than is ladylike, presenting a glimpse of The Damsel, Gagged With A Peach before his lips withdraw slightly to take a bite that won't quite fall all out of his mouth again.

They're blind alike, these two, to the difference in his size and hers, the incongruity they might present to an uneducated gaze; besides, it's nothing Baltasar hasn't seen before, whilst occupied just as he is now in packing Emmanuelle's black leather chirurgeon's bag with certain objects not commonly employed in that profession. To the eye of love it's all deliciously appropriate, and as Emmanuelle plants her feet and angles her thighs just so to support her maiden's familiar weight, as she gazes up at him out of the corner of her eye, she can't suppress a vivid, blossoming red smirk. She's not utterly changed today: there's something under her skirts the shape of which he knows well, though it's sitting a bit differently now that it's muffled by so many layers of silk instead of artfully stretching her breeches. Her knife-arm curls around his waist, the blade pointed away from his body but by its presence adding subtly to her pleasure in her easy capture of the beauty in her lap. She turns the peach and turns it again, feeding him the rest of it with loving solicitude, favouring him with a smile of approval as he eats from her very hand… And then she presents him with her fingers to be licked, as so often before. "You'll put in my earrings for me, won't you?" she nudges, caressing the fullness of his painted lower lip with a tender fingertip.

Jehan-Pascal is usually not of such ravenous appetite as to finish a peach in such few swallows, but there's something so very engaging about this sort of play, he forgets his bird-like appetite— or else his nether appetites augment his upper ones. Her peach-peeler gains no particular attention from him, further than having marveled at how she'd peeled the peach with it, evidenced amply by his having trusted her to move it to stop him from impaling himself on it on his way onto her lappers. He suckles sweetly on her fingertips, his elbows still in at his sides as fast as though bound there, his hands on his lap holding the earrings each to a one. He bobs his head gently in affirmation that he will, indeed, do so, but waits for her to be done molesting his lip before he tenderly leans in and lifts one of the onyx tongues to her lobe. This is a task he's not quite familiar with, but he's… oh, he's so very careful not to hurt dear Emman, murmuring soft, inquisitive coos into her ear as he makes to achieve the hole, front and back, asking after her comfort as he does so. He can hardly fathom that such a thing would not be painful.

The peach pit is set down in a nest of peel upon Emmanuelle's plate; she retains her fléchette, and thus her maiden who hardly seems to understand he's as good as held at knifepoint by a practiced sadist, bless him a thousand times over… The delicacy with which he addresses her ears, those worried little murmurs confided therein with each breath that tickles her skin, prompts her to a low purr of laughter which interrupts him mid-fret. "Shhh, my love," she soothes; "you're hardly impaling me with knives, you know." One corner of her mouth lifts in private amusement. Impaling people with knives, ho ho ho. "If one doesn't wear earrings for a long while sometimes the piercings will close, and to open them again stings for an instant," she explains, "but no more than that, and not today, mmm?"

She passes the fléchette from her right hand to her left, and reaches out to claim a second peach from the dish, which naturally is nearer to her side of the table, lately become theirs. And, arms around Jehan-Pascal but eyes on her work, she begins subjecting it to the same smooth and expert denuding as the first fruit — but with the knife held in her other hand.

"You haven't answered my question yet," she nudges, for to ignore her words even in the presence of umpteen sparkly distractions, is the sort of habit she hardly wishes to instill in him. "What do you intend for today?"

Jehan-Pascal is somewhat soothed that he is not actually hurting Emman in any manner. But still, it looks very uncomfortable. Nonetheless, he powers through, answering in sweet whispers that he intends to help her with her earrings and then do whatever else it is that she will have of him, and nothing else. He had thought… thought of going outside of the house and maybe even enjoying the city a little bit, after his first few days of confinement, but now, here, in her lap, he would like little better than to be put in his room once more and left quivering in wait at any sound of the door or footfalls in the corridor, in the middle of copious bottles of wine, endless access to books to read, clothes to try on and naps to take. Maybe he will have his quiet vacation, after all, just in Elua and not in Marsilikos.

The second peach-peel uncurls as exquisitely as the first; Emmanuelle, tenderly applying her fléchette, and picturing to herself something rather grander than a mere fruit, encourages her maiden's confession of desire — whispered just below Baltasar's hearing! — with a quiet purr, and another… "I should like nothing better, my love," she confides in response, "than to stay in today and take you to bed and convey to you how charming you look in that gown; but in a few minutes I must go out. I am not certain," she says candidly, "how long for… You must go out, too," she decides of a sudden, "for a walk if the weather holds — a little fresh air to put real colour in your cheeks — a bite of luncheon at La Plume de Paon, or somewhere of the kind. Amuse yourself," she directs, as the peel falls away from her blade in a single perfect piece, "and gather a tale or two to tell me — and be here when I come home." Though how he's to manage that, when she doesn't know herself… Presumably that's part of his task. She's smiling as she sinks neat white teeth into the flesh of her own peach.

Jehan-Pascal did not need for Emman to stay home with him all day— but he had rather hoped she would keep him possessively of her own, as she does sometimes quite care to do, keeping her princess in her castle. Still, he said to her that he will do her bidding, and he will— there might be fun in that, as well, mightn't there? To go out into the city, alone, but under her command. His back shifts, he begins to work upon her second earring, just as slowly and carefully as the first, but without quite so many anxious sounds. Instead, he gingerly probes to see how much more of an automaton he might make of himself for the journey into the city, "I will take luncheon at La Plume de Paon," he murmurs, "What will I have there, to eat, Madame?" Her peach-peeling— if only he had any idea— it might intrigue him the further— but it's the trouble that comes when your submissive is no masochist, isn't it? Peeling a peach seems very much to him like the act of peeling a peach— not the most common action in the world, but certainly there are those who don't care for the fuzzy feel in their mouths.

What shall he have to eat? A sensible question. Intimately acquainted with the restaurant, its menu, and the specialities likeliest to be offered in this season to the City of Elua's hungriest but most discerning aristocrats, Emmanuelle sketches out what she considers would be the ideal luncheon for her maiden, right down to selections from the Plume's deep and venerable wine cellar, and one or two possible substitutions if the dishes that comprise her first choice should happen to be 'off'. There are two places where it is suitable for him to sit: if the establishment is too crowded he is to use her name to obtain just such a desirable table for himself.

And so on; and so forth; until her earring is in place, her fingers are once again well-kissed and innocent of peach juice, and the passage of time requires that she stop stroking her maiden's thigh through his silks and ease him up out of her lap. Baltasar has finished arranging her bag and laying out her favourite leather coat, her dark red gloves, a smaller and more ladylike tricorne hat adorned with a magnificent ostrich plume; he kneels to slip onto her feet with loving hands a pair of lower-heeled boots, very fitted to her calves, and to lace them up to her knees with ribbons of dark purple watered silk. Then away she must go into the world — and her maiden as well, under his new marching orders. To her way of thinking it really is time that he got off his aforementioned beautiful behind.

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