(1311-02-17) Just See
Summary: Jehan-Pascal takes an interest in his cousin Inesse's marital prospects. Inesse returns the favor.
RL Date: Sun Feb 17, 1311
Related: Some. Several, probably?
inesse jehan-pascal 

Jehan-Pascal's Suite

A sunny little suite of rooms on the western wing of the building, with a glamorous balcony overlooking the beach, accessible by a series of three double doors paned in glass in the main sitting room, outfitted by its current occupant with a long, sturdy oaken table of a golden wood hue, able to sit sixteen or eighteen at a pinch, but only with ten matching seats in the golden oak, big arm-chairs with deep blue cushions of velveteen inset into the seat and back but not on the armrests. It is bathed in natural light and as often as not covered in a collection of books and papers, serving as an organizational space than as a true meeting place. The books seem to have been taken from the winter parlor, outfitted with a collection of cozy sea-green couches surrounding a hearth for the cooler months, which has been set up as a sort of study, with a desk and bookshelves crowding the smaller space— but Jehan-Pascal's work has forgotten to contain itself there. On the other side of the sitting room is the bedroom with a tall wardrobe flanking the bed on either side, creating a dim and cozy nook in which the bed is saved from the light from the copious amount of the wall taken up by windows.

Imagine, if you will, a Sunday afternoon— not twenty four hours postponed from the Saturday afternoon Court held at the Dome of the Lady, there's tea being served in the rather more humble quarters which Jehan-Pascal has let from the cordial lodgings of Les Tanieres. Tea for two, to be precise, and not a servant in sight. Jehan-Pascal, you see, is one of those very odd gentlemen who prefers to set his own table and pour his own tea, as though he had two hands and a brain and were capable, occasionally, of using all three in tandem with one another. He doesn't set a shabby tea, exactly, but there is a certain lassitude from the traditional forms, only the sina and silver set in place that they are actually likely to use instead of the normal gamut of just-in-case place-fillers. As to the tea itself, a rich, brisk black, capable of stunning the nerves with effervescent energies, best served tamed with a bit of cream and perhaps some honey— and so both are on hand, as well as a half-dozen or so almond-cakes from a shop nearby, fresh this morning and kept warm near the hearth before serving. Jehan-Pascal is dressed quite casually, as well, in stockings and woolen breeches and little house-slippers, as well as a robe that hits about to the back of his knee in a deep burgundy velveteen, with a sun in gold thread embroidered to one side of the waist. He has invited his young cousin Inesse to tea and conversation, and expects her by and by.

Lady Inesse is a little bit late. So, she offers a polite curtsy and an apology "I am sorry, cousin." immediately when she is lead to Jehan-Pascal's Suite. The elegance joined by a touch of solemnity of feathers was an inspiration for Inesse's perfectly white dress, which has a flared silhouette, made in crepe with innocent and light floral appliques. The dress plays around the young lady's petite silhouette and enhances her femininity in a very delicate and shy manner. Her off-the-shoulder neckline and sleeves, both trimmed in a combination of feathers and flowers, very well matches with a young woman's coat and its decoration of furs. Baphinol lady has her black curls flowing freely on her shoulders and a wind from outside seems had quite a lot of fun playing with those tresses, wrapping them around the girl's neck as a scarf. Lady Inesse holds a bouquet of white amarayllis in her arms. She smiles at her cousin and takes a step forward offering the bouquet to the man. "I… mmm… I thought I will bring something nice. Thank you for an invitation."

Jehan-Pascal rises from where he's settled near the hearth, watching over the tea-kettle with easy, contemplative eyes. When Inesse is admitted, he sweeps across the ample space of his reception hall with a warm shake of his head to cut off her apologies. "Oh, not at all, not at all. The kettle has not yet begun to sing," he assures her, even if this is the second kettle he's put on. Arms outward, he invites Inesse closer, even as his eyes settle on the bouquet she's brought him and his intended hug of welcome is warded off by the blooms, which draw his hands inward again, toward them, taking them gingerly of her. "Oh, they're lovely, Inesse. Thank you! How thoughtful!" Another bouquet of rather more colorful flowers is set in a place of honor at the center of the long oaken table, at the far hearth-end of which he has set up tea for the both of them. "Let me find something to put these in, please— make yourself at home! It's been a little while. How did you enjoy Elua?" he calls back even as he putters about and finds a suitable vessel for the flowers— and a knife with which to slice the stems for better keep. Hands rather full, he slides along in his house-slippers to the table and sets down the vase, first, and begins to work at the stems and do up a nice arrangement while they speak.

Thanks to the angels that Inesse's cousin is occupied with flowers! When he asks how a young woman enjoyed festivities at Elua, Inesse's cheek light up with bright crimson flames. She turns away. Her fingers move to unbuckle her cloak. She takes it off and neatly puts over the back of one of the chairs. She then brings the back of her hand to one of her cheeks as if trying to cool it down. Inesse sighs and moves to seat herself on a chair. "This is lovely," she comments first. "The dinner you have prepared. I would have asked my mother to come as well but she was busy. Plus, your invitation asked only for me. I mean, you did not mention my mother. So, I was not sure…" She drawls and reaches for an empty cup. Just that her hand would have something to play with. "Elua… It was… great. A very large city filled with so many different and so beautiful people. Did you enjoy your stay there?"

"Oh, yes, very much so. I didn't ever get out to see very much of the city, but— I've been there before. I only wanted a quiet holiday in, and… if I hadn't been persuaded to go, I would have as easily spent it here, if perhaps not as luxuriously," Jehan-Pascal smiles, though his smile falters, looking over the tea he's set, "Oh, maybe not as much as a dinner. I hope your mother didn't think ill of me inviting you over yourself. I just thought we might take tea and talk. Now. How lovely!" He's fluffed the flowers into a nice little arrangement and set them on the table closer to where they will take tea, and is taking a moment to enjoy them before he sits down across the corner from Inesse and is smiling for her while awaiting the singing of the kettle. "Did you meet anybody special there? Am I allowed to ask?" he does, anyhow, of course, but with the deferential tip of his chin to indicate she may choose to withhold answer.

While her lips do not speak, her widening eyes which can not hold the fluttering gaze, the blush that creeps up her cheeks and the head lowered down to focus on the ornaments of the cup say more than any words would. "Am… I kinda did… Amm… He came here with me. He is probably going to stay. He is like… I…" Inesse swallows a gulp of modesty. "It was my destiny to go to Elua and meet him at such an unexpected accident of sorts. I… He loves me and I love him. I…" She bites her lip and looks at Jehan-Pascal. "I haven't told anything about him to my mother. I am not sure if she would be happy about it? Because I think I am going to spend the rest of my life with him!" She flinches and chuckles. Her fingers wrap around the empty cup which she sets on her lap and plays with it a bit nervously. "What about you? Did you meet anyone very special to you?"

Jehan-Pascal's lips, parted, are silent for a long moment while Inesse divulges her Eluan affair. "… Oh! Well… that's tremendous, Inesse!" he smiles, no less, reaching across to set his hand comfortingly upon hers. "It's going to be alright— you should tell your mother, she'll be happy for you, I'm sure. And he— packed up and moved here after you, did he? Who is it? What's his name?" he wonders, now eager to know, even if the kettle is beginning to sing for his attention. After it reaches a sustained shriek, of course, he does have to stand up and go get it, but he is back in a moment and setting the tea kettle on its stone tray, setting the strainers over each cup and spooning the tea into each strainer. "Me? I went with a new lover of mine, in fact. She kept me very close all the while," he divulges, not, in the least, embarrassed by it, but glowing, slightly, demonstrating the graceful shamelessness of the angels.

Inesse remains quiet until her cousin comes back. Then she sets the cup back on the table that the man could pour some water in it. The girl brightens up and straightens up in her seat. "Oh, yes! I am sure that she had to hold you very close to herself if she didn't want to loose you. As far as I remember, you are absolutely charming, cousin. I am pretty sure that your new lover is in danger to being stalked by the other ladies who adores to be the center of your attention. Who is she? I mean, who is the lucky one?" Baphinol lady relaxes a bit that her cousin also speaks more about his personal life. So, she leans back in her seat and spills the beans about her own lover, "He is Adrien. A fully marked courtesan of Heliotrope. But this is not because of that. I mean, he loves me truly and not just because he was paid. He gave me a token that I would come to the grand fete and we spent the whole night together. He is very thoughtful… I know little of him but it doesn't matter. I feel very good beside him. Like, I feel no longer afraid!"

Jehan-Pascal gets everything settled and then pours the hot water over the tea leaves, gently shifting the kettle to and fro to dampen every piece of the tea in the strainer, to nudge the leaf down into the bottom of the strainer where it will be covered up by the top of the water and submerged to steep. He pours Inesse's tea first, then his own, and then tongs one of the almond cakes onto her dish, and one onto his own before he sits down and rests an elbow on the table, leaning in to hear about his cousin's boy. "Oh! A courtesan," he realizes. "Of course not," he agrees with her in her statement of defiance, "He would never have moved so far away if only due to money." He KNOWS Inesse isn't sporting that much of an allowance. "I'll have to meet him, soon. Do you know the Lady Emmanuelle de Shahrizai?" he identifies his own most recent amour. "I can't imagine that she has any trouble with being stalked. But you're very kind to say so, Inesse," he chuckles.

Inesse's smile is replaced by a frown and confusion. She stares at her cousin for a few moments. Her lips part and then close, and then part again. She slowly reaches for the fork and takes a piece of a pie. The young lady uses her chewing time to think of what she just heard. She swallows and chases the bite down with a very small sip of a warm tea. When her gaze finds Jehan-Pascal again, she tries to wear a smile but it trembles a bit. Hesitation and confusion still quite vivid in her features. "Forgive me, cousin, but are you talking about that lady who is like older than my mama? Why are you… she could be your mother!" Inesse shakes her head. "I am really sorry. I mean no offense but she is going to die soon and then you will be left alone. And you will also be old, and then you will have hard time finding someone of your age because they all will have their own lovers. And so…" She sighs again. "I am sorry. I am like rambling but… is she at least kind to you or treats you like a child?"

"Inesse, gosh," Jehan-Pascal shakes his head, "She's hardly so old as to be on death's door, for goodness' sake. She and I find each others' company pleasant, and that's all that counts. She certainly doesn't treat me like a child; she and I are both grown people and we treat each other as such. And when I am old, I really hope that people don't consider me unworthy of spending time with, at all." A pause, and a smile, "Your mother has no trouble finding company, does she?" he lifts a brow in scurrilous curiosity, perhaps getting Inesse back for calling Emmanuelle old in such crass terms. "At any rate, I'm glad you are contented, where the heart lies. To speak truth, I had called you here to see what you thought of that young man who came to sit with us at court yesterday. I know your heart is very much caught up right now and it can be hard to think of these things, but I think you might enjoy to get to know one another. He's really the sweetest fellow. I've known him for a while, yet— when he came to sit with us, I couldn't help but think."

"Oh…" Inesse lowers her gaze down apologetically and quietly listens the scold! Her eyebrows furrow slightly basically confirming that she is very sorry for her words. "I didn't mean, cousin. I am not saying that old people should be alone. I guess, I just think you could find yourself a bit more pretty companion and of your age. But if you have them, that's okay. I guess…" She takes another bite of a pie and flushes it down with a sip of a tea. "Oh?" Then she looks at Jehan-Pascal curiously. "Someone took a seat beside us? Ooooh… I feel so bad now. I really do not remember. I was so focused on what the lady of Marsilikos was speaking, and then I had to not loose the sight of my mother, and then I was a bit overwhelmed by all the people around me, and everybody where whispering and talking, and so many people made introductions, and… I am not sure who are you talking about. Is he of my age? I really would like to have some friends. Just friends. Nothing more. I love Adrien and my heart belongs to him till the day I die. But I would like to have friends. Like, just friends!" She chuckles nervously. "I am so oblivious…"

Jehan-Pascal is going to start taking this personally, soon, pausing briefly when Inesse impugns Emman's appearance so soon after her age. But he told her off once, and again would be a little bit of overkill. So he settles for taking his strainer from his teacup and applying a modicum of cream and a mere drop of honey. "His name's Symon— he's about my age, in fact, if that's not too decrepit for you," his eye sparkles in mischief as he glances across to her. "He's also in line for the Marquisate of Perigeux, and is come to Marsilikos in search for a wife. Now, I'm not saying, go marry the man, but at least maybe meet him with an open mind. I know he's already taken a lover of his own fancy here, but there is love and there is marriage, and this could be a good one for you, Inesse. But there's little worse than to be unhappily wed, so maybe meet with him, have him out for drinks, see, at least, if you would be on friendly terms with him. Do you think you could?"

"Now you do sound like a mother," Inesse sighs. "I know that there is a big difference between marriage and love. If you think that it would be of value to our family, I would be more than happy to meet lord Symon with an open mind. Of course, my marriage will be a decision made by my mother. I will do whatever she will decide, and I will be happy to please my mother." The lady explains and a smile comes back to her features. "Of course, you should be the one who should make a proper introduction then. After all, nor lord Symon nor I know each other and it would be quite awkward if I would suddenly invite him for a tea. And maybe we could make that a double date? You could invite your dearest lover lady Emmanuelle and I could meet her as well. Oh, and we should invite my mother. She would be quite excited to meet the lady of your choice as well."

Jehan-Pascal lifts his hands in gratitude, "That's all I'm asking. Meet him. If you don't like him, I'll press no further. If you do think you might be happy with him, I'll bring it to your mother as a possibility. I wanted to bring it to you, first… I didn't want you to feel under any pressure if you were unhappy with him. I'll set it up, though. let me know what days this week you're free, and I'll talk to him, as well. He's staying in a different suite in this same building, as it happens. I'll schedule something for the two of you— I think a double date might only be awkward, and the Lady Emmanuelle is not much given to going out, anyhow." He takes a sip of tea, then sets it back down again. "I should warn you he has a little bit of a speech impediment. It's nothing I've been bothered by, but just so you aren't taken aback by it. It's actually kind of adorable," he admits with a smile.

Inesse shrugs. "I am not feeling pressured at all. I knew it's going to come up soon. I am, actually, pleased for your concern about my future. I also do not care of his speech impediment," Inesse waves it off. "I care about the heart of a person. He could be even as ugly as a monkey, I still would grow fond of him if he would be kind, and good, and fun! It's all about personality!" She smiles broadly and takes a few more sips of her drink. "I am free anytime around this hour. I become a bit more occupied later in the evening with my lessons." The young lady takes her time to enjoy another bite of a pie. "This is really tasty. You should let me know which bakery makes it. Oh, and cousin?" She focuses on the man. "When are you going to get married? Aren't there any ladies with whom you would feel comfortable?"

"As long as he is not too old," Jehan-Pascal can't help but remark. "Well, that's very good-natured of you, Inesse. But he's very cute, as well. At least, I think so. Your taste in men and mine may well be different," he smiles. "Me? Ah— soon, I should think. I am somewhat in talks with one Lady, whose name I will not announce for fear of causing a jinx upon the arrangement. But still I don't know whether it will work out— I give it even odds, at present. She makes me nervous, but I don't know if that's only because we've just met and there could be a whole future on the line. At any rate, if it falls through completely in the next month or so I will resume my search. I thought of marrying Marielle and being done with it, but… as much as I love her, I don't think she would be what I'm looking for in a wife," he opens up, since they're opening up a little bit to one another.

"Oh, what are you looking for in your wife?" Inesse grows quite curious. "And why this other lady makes you nervous? Is this a pleasurable nervousness or nervousness of hesitation? Hmmm…" She ponders tapping the edge of a table. "Well, I am sure that you are capable of resolving it by yourself and you don't need an advice from a sixteen years old!" She laughs. "But… How I understood if Adrien is the right man to me? I didn't need to talk to him. I just had to stand with him and hold his hand. And, you know, what? I felt safety. I think you should do the same. Just stay with your lady in silence for a bit, listen for her heart, hold her hand and if you will feel safe, that means she is your home. Then you should marry her!" Inesse beams broadly. "You should definitely meet Adrien. You would love him…"

Jehan-Pascal opens his mouth to answer the first question— then the second— but she keeps asking questions until he just leans back and laughs, listening to her explanation of how she knew her love for Adrien. "It's very sound advice, Inesse, thank you," he issues quietly. "And I'm sure I'll meet him soon. Now, tell me what else you saw in Elua during your trip…" he guides the conversation on toward less matrimonial pastures, and concludes tea with his cousin chattering about landmarks and sightseeing in the capital.

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