(1311-01-31) Diamonds for Dinner
Summary: Balian calls unexpectedly on Desarae, bringing a gift, along with a request.
RL Date: Thu Jan 31, 1311
Related: None
balian desarae 

Courtyard - The Dome of The Lady - Marsilikos

It's morning and Desarae is told she has a visitor. The man that steps in, she's met at a day at the harbor, ate dinner with, and then he found himself lodgings somewhere and said his goodbyes. Likely with a little bit of flirtation to follow, in his own way. Balian is clad in chainmail this time around, however; likely just returned from a smaller contract or just making sure his armor isn't rusted while he's at court. His swords are surrendered to the guards, but he doesn't need them in the safety of the Palace, not really. The Camaeline is made to wait in the courtyard for Desarae, and he passes the time watching as people pass by.

It takes more than a while for Desarae to appear in the courtyard, but this isn't due to any lack of willingness to once more meet with Balian, but because she simply hadn't been expecting any visitors to be calling upon her this morning. The news he was waiting to speak with her had been met with curious smile, and the wheels of preparing herself to greet him had been set in motion. Hair that had been set in braids for the hours of sleeping required brushing out and putting up, her skin perfumed, a flick of kohl to accentuate the cat-like slant of her eyes, and finally the important selection of a gown to be made. It had been a laborious task to say the least. Finally, dressed to her maid's and her own satisfaction, she'd made her way down through the palace and out to the courtyard. "My Lord Balian." She offers him a respectful curtsey, curiousity gleaming bright in her eyes as they lift to meet his. "What brings you to the palace today? I don't remember an arrangement to meet again so soon."

"I decided to make the arrangements myself." Balian replies, moving closer to Desarae and staring at her for a longer moment. "I see the morning takes well to you," he notes, in a pleased tone, as he gets closer to the Lady. Offering his hand, palm turned up, to her, his eyebrows lift. "As always a pleasure, Marquise Mereliot. I brought you something that might be to your liking. But first, I must ask: what's your favorite gemstone?" Because he's not about to presume things beforehand, and certainly he hasn't asked her lady's maid for details in the arranging a meeting, has he? "I'd rather not have made this journey in vain, after all. Gift-giving is a complicated art."

Desarae pales at the title bestowed. "I'm not the Marquise, nor shall I be for another two years. A simple Lady Desarae is fine." Her voice sounds slightly hollow as she informs him of her preference, and she looks to the hand that he offers before placing her own within it. A deep breath is drawn, and she takes a moment to compose herself before she lifts her gaze to his. "My preference is, and always has been, diamonds my lord. I was told that I should never wear anything but, and so I don't." Her words are spoken with a faint note of apology, though no real regret. "It makes me popular amongst my cousins and the ladies-in-waiting at court, for I tend to gift them with pieces which I cannot bring myself to wear."

"This is a Hellene piece." Balian replies, reaching into a purse and offering it to Desarae. "Which is why the goldsmithing is so accurate, and the pieces of diamond are this well-cut." It's a necklace depicting a cluster of roses, with the petals studded in multi-faceted diamonds. There is the occasional thorn, which might catch the skin, but only if someone is truly intent on it. He bends down, nevertheless, and presses a kiss to her knuckles, meeting her gaze and holding it. "As you were the first person that I met in the city, and you gave me a warm welcome, I thought to give you a gift to remember me by, though I hope to provide many other moments for such as well."

It's a beautiful necklace, and it drapes across the span of Desarae's fingers where Balian places it. The early morning sun catches in the facets of the diamonds throwing prisms of rainbow light across her skin. "It's too exquisite a gift to give away simply because a warm welcome was found…" Eyes lift to his, and her teeth catch upon her lower lip, dragging it lightly, and her desire for the piece shows naked in her face. "Oh but it is exquisite." she eventually says. "Hellenic, you said? But it's too generous a gift to give, and I feel as if I'd be depriving you of some wonderful memories that you might have connected to it."

"I spent most of that year fighting Akkadians and Ephesians on a bridge. It is no problem at all to part with such things. Money is not as important as life, and celebrating it." Balian presses his thumb against the delicate curve of her hand; firmly, and almost enough to hurt. Almost. "Take it," he tells her in a voice that brooks no argument, "it is yours, now." He takes a step closer, leaning to murmur, "There will be more, in time, if you accept this one. That's how much the warm welcome means to me." Pressing his lips to her cheek in a kiss, afterwards, he draws himself only a certain modicum, to study her overall reaction.

"My lord is too generous." Desarae's breath catches at the press of Balian's thumb, and something quite unreadable flares in her eyes, though she quickly dips her chin to hide her thoughts. From where he stands he'll easily be able to see the small bump of her spine at the nape of her neck, the fragile angle of her jaw and the proud sweeping line of her shoulders that already define the woman she's becoming. Perhaps such things are what leads tohis decision to press that kiss to her cheek, so bold a move something that's enough to lift a blush to that Mereliot complexion. Her fingers close tightly about the necklace, and she gasps at the unexpected prick of one of the thorns as it catches the delicate skin between her second and third digits. "I don't expect you to drown me in gifts, my lord, and it'd be unfair to continue to accept them when I have nothing to offer in return."

"Your company will suffice." Balian states as he traces the outline of her hand with his calloused fingers, the slow strokes prompting him to meet her gaze once again. He can notice those delicate features, yes, and the blush, and the catch of her breath when she feels the thorn. His thumb angles just enough to breach the threshold of discomfort, a little shy of pain, but it is, in its own way, a caress on its own. "And, in time, perhaps you'll favor me," he says, drawing closer. His frame, muscular and honed by war, is also a contrast to her delicate curves and modest frame. "Which is to say, will you honor me with accepting a dinner invitation? I would be, for that evening, the world's happiest man."

"Then you are easily pleased," comes Desarae's quiet reply. Her eyes catch once more in his, so dark and so blown that the green of her irises merely clings to existence. Eyes lid, casting shadows upon her cheeks, and teeth snick at her lower lip as he continues to explore the vulnerable parts of her hand. If he is hurting her, then she does nothing to stop him, and she releases her lip with the slow exhale of her breath. "I agree to being your dinner guest, for who am I to deny you the experience of being the world's happiest man. Even if for one night only."

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