(1310-12-19) Le Rougir Timide
Summary: A timid blush may not be an adequate way to describe this scene that is more like Namarrese sparring, between a young vicomte and a merry widow, getting acquainted in the City of Elua. Warning: Some pretty forward flirting
RL Date: Jan 01-05, 2018
Related: None
arterre delphine 

La Plume de Paon

The fabulous and famous La Plume de Paon! One simply cannot come to Elua without longing to step through the grandeur of its portals. The front entrance is flanked by large sculptures of alabaster peacocks; their eyes inset with cabochon stones of lapis lazuli, and their head and tail plumes gilded with gold and containing receptacles within which fresh flowers or other ornamentation might be arranged on a whim. Its floors are of indulgent white-veined marble that's inlaid with gold, and trompe l'oeil paintings framed by arches and pillars depict sweeping lawns upon which more of the famed royal birds can be seen. A large water feature is the focal point to the centre of the room, and features a fountain which is crowned by a maiden with peacocks at her feet, a high-necked gilded jug spilling water from her hands. It's about the fountain that the cherrywood furnishings of the restaurant radiate, with the upholstery of its furnishings worked in shades of lapis, turquoise and gold, and with exquisite marquetry detailing upon each chair and table in bands of pale pear and dark ebony woods.

Multiple stained-glass rondels are arrayed like the tail-feathers of the bird for which it's named across the south-facing front of the building; these allowing for a kaleidoscope of blues and greens to bathe the interior during the hours of daylight. At night the many glittering chandeliers of the finest crystal which hang from the ceiling illuminate the windows from within, making the restaurant a striking sight for anyone viewing from the square upon which it stands.

There are a few places one can go when in Elua, and the Plume de Paon is one of them. Bustling with activity at these hours of early evening, Delphine de Baphinol has managed to snatch a table for herself. For now, the dark-haired d'Angeline lady is on her own, but that doesn't seem to bother her overly much. Clad in a fine red dress, the Vicomtesse d'Orange lets her dark eyes roam, admiring both interior and those currently gathered, gaze narrowing just so whenever she spots a particular handsome specimen.

Arterre is, perhaps, one such specimen. He takes in the place with the attentive, open gaze of a newcomer—someone not well used to this establishment's particular brand of finery. Shadowed discreetly by a single guard, the young lord takes all the details of fine wood and glittering crystal, such that his gaze quite accidentally lands upon Delphine, to whom he offers a warm and unguarded smile. "Quite the place, isn't it?" He ticks his head to one side, a compact gesture indicating the Plume writ large.

"It is," comes the brief response from the lady, and she smiles, a smile that brings about a warm quality to her demeanor and those dark eyes of hers. Remaining seated as she is, the woman, who must be older than the young lord glances up at him most appreciatively. "You look lost?", she attempts, that smile deepening even further until a dimple shows in one of her cheeks. And then a gesture, towards all those occupied tables about them. "This place looks pretty packed. Unless you are searching for someone in particular, I could offer you a spot at my table." The word is stressed with a faint crinkling at the corner of her eyes. "I believe I have seen you somewhere before. In passing. Some… official occasion?", she muses further. "You're from Eisande, I presume? As that is where I have spent my last…", she pauses, with a faint grin, "couple of years." An understatement, that, perhaps. In case Arterre has attentive ears, he might note a faint Namarrese accent, hiding beneath a layer of Eisandine pronounciation.

Arterre smiles right back, giving a soft laugh, an unguarded smile on his face that sets his cheeks dimpling. "Lost?" He clucs his tongue and shakes his head. "No, I don't think so. Perhaps overwhelmed? It is only my second time in Elua at this time of year. It seems as though the whole country has poured in from all its obscure corners." He meanders in the direction of her table as she speaks, placing his hands on the back of a chair. "I am the newly-appointed Vicomte of Barreme," he introduces himself. "Arterre Valais. I have endeavored to keep something of a low profile until my feet are better anchored in the position." He does not pull out a chair, as yet. "I would be honored to sit with a lady as beautiful as yourself, if you would have me." Flattery, perhaps, but the kind that seems at least mostly believed.

"Ah!" Delphine's hands lift and are brought together in a delighted clap. "I see! You must be Adrien's son then. How delightful! I mean… I am so sorry that he passed. But I do remember him. Him and his delightful wife. Jehanne?", she half-guesses, half-remembers the name. "She was of Namarrese blood, a d'Essoms, if I am not mistaken. I am of Namarre as well, although I married into House Baphinol. I'm Delphine. Delphine le Blanc de Baphinol. Vicomtesse d'Orange, and somewhat in charge there, ever since my dear Florentin left us for the Terre d'Ange beyond." With introductions seen to, she gestures for a vacant seat, "Please, I would be glad to chat a little with a fellow Vicomte of our beloved Eisandine province."

Arterre listens to all this attentively enough, nodding and smiling at the appropriate intervals. "Hopefully you do not remind me too terribly much of my mother," he offers to the woman with a bit of a murmur, the humor dry and understated. "But it is lovely to meet you here. I had thought to spend this next year taking the time to more properly introduce myself to all my peers. I do believe my steward suggested I ought present each of you with a suitable gift, as well." He holds up his hands as he settles down. "Alas. I think you have caught me empty-handed, with little to give save my company, such as it is. Have you ordered anything?"

"Would such appal you?", Delphine quips back with a faintly wicked glint in her eyes. "But as it is, please. I am dying for some entertaining company, and yours looks to be quite promising, Lord Arterre. It shall be a sufficient gift, for now." A pause she makes, gaze drifting over Arterre's frame as he settles himself on the chair. "I've ordered a flagon of wine," she replies to his question. "Le Rougir Timide. I was quite delighted to find they have this wine here, it is a rosé wine, that is cultivated by my family by birth, Le Blanc."

Arterre is a fairly athletic fellow, though it's the sort of physique developed through leisure pursuits like hunting and riding moreso than a warrior's hardened edge. His clothes are well-cut and his eyes brightly attentive. "I would be happy to share it with you," he tells Delphine, scratching at his chin. "I confess wine is not my area of expertise. I have always been the sort to drink whatever is put in front of me. But perhaps with time, I might learn to better appreciate the nuances of different vintages. What is the particular virtue of your Rougir Timide?"

"Then, maybe, it would be a better idea for you to try it, than me trying to describe it to you," Delphine responds. She wears her dark hair in an elaborate do, piled atop of her head and in places, held by hair needles. Her hand returns now and the to a necklace she wears, to play with the pendant of silver, that is of star shape, very much like the star that is part of the Baphinol coat of arms. "But… In fact, Le Rougir is a light wine, a blend of red and white with a faint note of lemon, 'innocent' at first but holding the promise of more."

Arterre listens to all that attentively, gaze on Delphine's, before it slowly dips down to look at her necklace, trying to puzzle out its shape—without outright staring at the woman's cleavage. He looks back up again. "That certainly sounds intriguing," he says, after a moment, glancing aside to see whereabouts the table service might be. He then slants a look back at the woman herself. "Have you been enjoying your time in Elua, or have you been largely bereft of entertainment? I am surprised you did not have company already."

<FS3> Delphine rolls Perception: Good Success. (1 1 3 3 8 7 5 5)

That glance towards her necklace is noticed, it might show in that subtle deepening of Delphine's smile. Perhaps she misunderstands that glance, but if so she is not at all offended. The contrary rather, as this lady of Namarrese origin leans just a tad forward to offer perhaps more of a view for a moment. A moment that is then interrupted by the returning attendant. "Another glass, please," Delphine asks the man, dismissing him in a way, after at least the flagon of rosé wine and her glass have been deposited on their table. "My time so far in Elua?", she then picks up where they left off, and the Vicomtesse ponders that question for a moment before she confesses, "It has been horridly bland so far. Can you believe it? I sort of kept myself from going to Mont Nuit as of yet, but I sent my daughter there at least."

<FS3> Arterre rolls Composure: Great Success. (4 6 8 8 8 3 5 8)

Arterre is miraculously able to resist his inner nature, and keep from staring at Delphine's cleavage. It's not that he doesn't want to, perhaps—as much as he doesn't want to be seen doing it. Or at least seen giving in so easily. There's a certain uptick of his eyebrows, and a faint smile, as he watches the drinks get plunked onto the table. "Well, that seems faintly tragic," he tells her. "I've only recently arrived. I spent the first day after getting here loafing around and doing nothing at all; now I'm here trying to see what I might make of the place. I will confess I am not as often interested in the attention of courtesans as some, but I am told that the ones here in the city make all others look as pale imitations. Do you have a favorite House?"

"Hmm…" Despite the sound her lips, even if pressed slightly together curve upwards, as Delphine reclines in her seat, tilting her head just a little while her hazel eyes continue to linger in Arterre de Valais. "My favourite House would be Jasmine. And this is where I sent my daughter." Her nose flares faintly. "A pity, she misunderstood. And went to Heliotrope instead. I suppose, she will be heartbroken sooner rather than later. But at least…" And here she sighs softly, "my request for her to go and visit the Night Court here yielded some sort of success." Brows lift as Delphine shrugs her shoulders just so, attention now fully on Arterre. "Which House, in case you would venture to Mont Nuit… Which House would you frequent, my lord?"

Arterre ponders that for a few moment. "I am not sure that I have gone enough to all of them to develop a particular favorite," he confesses to Delphine, propping up his chin with a fist. He maintains a nigh-unblinking eye contact with Delphine, as the attendant returns to place his own glass on the table. He smiles, just briefly. "But the ones that I have been considering while I am here? In no particular order, I'd say…Dahlia, Cereus, or Gentian, in no particular order."

"These seem to be legitimate and well advised choices for a vicomte as young as you are," Delphine comments with a smile that brightens when the attendant returns with Arterre's glass. "Now. You may pour us," the dark-haired Baphinol lady tells the attendant, allowing him this moment to interrupt, while he is attending to them. "And that will be all, for now." Once he is done. "So… this will be your first time here in the Capital, since you gained your title?", Delphine asks then. "I mean… Your first Longest Night here?"

Arterre nods to Delphine, after the business of pouring is finished. He takes his glass half-full, evidently not in a hurry to lose his wits. Once poured, he slides it in towards himself, clutching it by the stem between two fingers, near the base. He does not lift it. "That's right," he tells the woman. "I imagine it will be a rather different experience than any that have come before. Honestly, just being here, I expected to be assaulted by any number of persons who will want either to make introductions—or sell me something, given that I'm in the process of modernizing some of the old holdings. I must look rather free with coin."

A fine smile curves Delphine's lips, but at first she does not seem inclined to comment directly to Arterre's remark, choosing instead to take a sip from her glass, eyes widening in that tiny fraction of appreciation as she savours the wine. "You will be at the Palace, no doubt?", she wonders lightly, "for the Midwinter Ball? There you can watch our beloved King and Queen being approached by a multitude of courtiers." She sets the glass down, fingers playing with its stem, as she adds, "And…? Have you been assaulted yet? Truly assaulted? You certainly don't look as if you have."

Arterre nods towards Delphine, seeming in fine enough spirits himself. "Not yet. No one knows I am here, after all; I came a bit later than everyone else, and haven't really announced myself in any spectacular fashion. I trust people will notice, eventually." He breathes in, "And I will be there for the Ball, yes, that is the plan. It is part of why I came, after all. But I do not expect to be petitioning the royals myself. I am just another face in a vast crowd. I suspect anyone less than a Duke would be an annoyance, for someone who has so many things to tend to, so many needs to balance."

"It should be fun. The Ball," Dephine opines with a wink she tosses effortlessly Arterre's way. "I don't think I'll approach King Léopold de la Courcel and his lovely Hellene wife for anything else, but the necessary introductions. Which need to be renewed," adding this with a fiant roll of her eyes. "But it is as you say, people holding far more important titles than you and I would have matters to discuss with His Majesty, and most probably they will do so before or after the event rather, than during the festivities. The ball is a good opportunity to see and be seen, and who knows…?" Her fingers slide up the stem of the glass until they touch the full shape where the wine swirls within. "You might make an acquaintance or two. Even if my daughter will be absent, I am sure there will be many other daughters their parents might wish to advertise."

Arterre finds his lips curling downwards into a frown at that comment, eyes crinkling just slightly at the corners. "Yes," he says, as if this were a matter for which he had little enough patience, "There will be any number of folk looking to introduce their daughters to the young, unmarried, tractable Vicomte, no doubt hoping to secure influence and advantage for themselves. Part of me wishes I could go incognito, the better to avoid it all. Such things are better enjoyed with out the specter of politics lurking overhead." Laying on earnest flattery, a touch playful, he tells Delphine: "But at least I have met one beautiful woman already, whom I suspect may even not be trying to marry me."

"How can you be so sure?", Delphine quips back, lifting her glass, dark eyes holding his gaze. "I am eligible, a widow. But in case I married again, my brother-in-law would seek to take over Orange, at least until my son is off age." His compliment however is appreciated, as the faint glitter in her gaze betrays. "You are right," a soft sigh leaves her lips, "it is all about politics. That's why I treasure moments like these, sitting here in this beautiful place, enjoying wine that reminds me of my home — and the company of a handsome young vicomte that knows how to flatter a woman like me. No. I am not seeking to marry again. But that does not mean, that I am not seeking to be intimate with someone… so young and handsome." There, she said it. Even if her next sip of the glass could aim to lessen the flirtatious confession that just left her lips.

Arterre holds eye contact, a certain mirth and sparkle in his eyes. "I said I suspect, not that I was certain," he pokes back at her. "It is not so very hard to flatter you," he tells her. "You have wit, taste, beauty in plenty, a figure worth praising…" He trails off for a moment, and then offers, grinning, "Are you quite certain you wish to do that? It could be dangerous; by the end of it all, you might be having second thoughts about that marriage."

A chuckle rises in Delphine's throat, and it may not be coincidence that her other hand resumes its play with her necklace. "I assure you, there is no danger. Marriage is political, and living and following Elua's Precept is another matter entirely. Even if… certain shared memories in a bedroom might make you more of an ally than an indifferent acquaintance. I assure you, for me Longest Night has to hold the thrill, the spirit of Naamah. The Midwinter Ball is a masque, and there can be fun and diversion in sharing conversation and other pleasantries while in such a guise. Oh yes. There is danger." The Vicomtesse d'Orange brings the rim of the glass to her lips and has another good sip of the Rougir Timide, an expression that is so totally absent from her features at the moment, as she lets her gaze roam appreciatively over the frame of Arterre de Valais. "But are you meaning to tell me that you are the timid kind…?"

<FS3> Arterre rolls Seduction: Good Success. (3 4 3 4 3 5 7 8 2 7 2 3)

Arterre nods, the words that come to his mouth an arch jest. "As timid and reserved as a Yeshuite," he deadpans, leaning forward a bit, after he sets down his wineglass. "Lady Delphine," he speaks her name, a preamble. There is a faint…something, in the air. The shift is subtle, and slow to build, but it begins to become apparent that he is invoking a Scion's grace. Something about his eye contact grows uniquely appealing, hypnotic, almost; a sense of grace and peace settles over Delphine, so potent as to be like the smallest dose of an opiate. "You are a gorgeous woman, and I would be honored to spend my first full night in Elua with you." He lets that sit a moment, the haze of peace lingering over her as he reaches anew for his wine glass. "And perhaps even the second."

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

Again, there is that subtle widening of her eyes when Delphine beholds the beautiful young Scion of Naamah working his magic on her. As if such would be needed. Because, who is the hunter, and who is the prey? And how to respond in any other way to this thrilling display of his charm, than counter it with her own? A soft exhale leaves the enticing lips of the Vicomtesse as she leans a tad forward, and for a moment it seems as if her features look all the more fresh, enhanced by an almost ethereal beauty. "Lord Arterre," she addresses him, in a soft and yet so persuasive timbre, "you are the tastiest morsel that has crossed paths with me since my arrival in Elua. I don't think I would want to resist the temptation. To find out and explore, the fullness of your taste…"

<FS3> Arterre rolls Composure: Good Success. (8 8 1 2 5 6 2 3)

Arterre reacts immediately to the sudden enchantment that weaves itself across Delphine's face. A faint hitch of his breath, a gentle and lingering inhalation, as he is momentarily overcome by the fullness of her revealed, angelic beauty. His blood stirs in echo, the grace of Naamah that dwells within him deepening all the more, tangible in Delphine's flesh, setting her scalp and spine to tingling with a faint, almost electric numbness, that echoes faintly throughout all her being. The young Vicomte is an uncommonly powerful inheritor of his Scion's lineage. "Kiss me," he tells her, his heartbeat elevated, fingers touching the back of her palm. "Before I beg you to taste me beneath the table, instead."

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Arterre=Seduction Vs Delphine=Composure
< Arterre: Good Success (4 2 4 3 3 5 7 8 5 8 1 3) Delphine: Amazing Success (4 8 8 4 8 7 3 7 4 8)
< Net Result: Delphine wins - Solid Victory

"What a naughty Vicomte you are…", Delphine murmurs, eyelids lowering so that the lashes almost shield the glitter in her gaze from his view. For a moment it seems as if she were considering his scandalous suggestion, those both parts of his statement, before she, blessed with many years of experience in the arena of politics and Naamah's blessings, leans away, reclining against the backrest of her seat. "I shan't kiss you here, in public. Imagine the scandal! Nor will I…" Her gaze flits pointedly down, "give you satisfaction by climbing beneath this table, my lord." Her lips curl just so. "But of course, I won't keep you from any such risqué imaginations. You have, I assume, been provided with chambers at the Eisande Ducal Estate here in Elua?" The question is posed lightly, but there is something in her tone, suggesting she is considering possibilities.

Arterre is young, and has a young man's passion. He practically glowers for a moment when Delphine pulls away, and with a tangible effort of will, an exhalation of breath, he does the same, eyes narrowing faintly for a few moments as he selects his words. "You are right, of course," is what he finally says, shifting somewhat uncomfortably in his seat. "As loathe as I am to admit it. And yes, that is, I believe, the general understanding that I came to for lodgings. I am…open to alternative arrangements." He drinks.

<FS3> Delphine rolls Empathy: Good Success. (2 3 6 3 7 7 6 8)

"I am staying at the Eisandine Estate as well," Delphine confides lightly, even as she notes Arterre's dimmed enthusiasm from her rejection. "I believe our chambers adjoin to the same corridor. It seems likely, our paths will cross again. Perhaps a bit later tonight? We could… discuss alternative arrangements then, maybe?" Seeing him drink, she lifts her glass as well, but finding it empty, gives it a refill. "It is still quite early in the evening," she muses, giving Arterre a pointed glance. "And yet I have made a new thrilling acquaintance. Who would have thought?"

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