(1311-02-20) In Want of a Wife
Summary: Symon has just returned from lunch with a perspective wife and tells Étienne about it.
RL Date: 2/20/2019
Related: Trying to Get to Know Each Other
symon etienne 

Symon and Étienne's Chambers in Les Tanières

This small sitting room is wood paneled and cozy. It has a small fireplace with a shared flue, with two comfortable chairs in front of it, with a small table on a green and black rug between them. There is a small writing desk and an X shaped oak foldable chair in front of it.

Symon had gone out at some point in the afternoon, summoned by a note from Jehan-Pascal next door. But now he has returned home and draped himself the wrong way over some furniture, legs dangling over an upholstered arm, a wine glass sitting on the floor where he can reach it. "Just m…make something simple for dinner. Or b-bring it in, that's as good. And then you m…may have the rest of the evening if you like. Though I daresay you had p-plenty of rest w…while we were gone. Still, it's b-been topsy-turvy w…with new things m…moving in and all… Anyway. Do as you like w…with the night." All this he is saying to Robert, who makes a bow and quits the room to see about something plausible for dinner that will still allow him to skip out as quickly as possible.

Étienne wanders out of the bedroom where he's been working on Math al afternoon, looking disgruntled, but he smiles at Robert, and pipes up, "Thank you! I'm ravenous!" He comes to drap himself near Symon, "Sohow was your day? I don't think I'll ever get the hang of navigation."

Robert mumbles something on the way out like, "Yes m'lord." He hasn't been /disrespectful/ since Etienne's arrival in the flat, but he has not excessively concealed his feeling that he now has twice the work to do. Symon never seems particularly conscious of the attitude. That lord now shifts to put his head on Etienne's lap. "Navigation?" he asks. "Are you going to p…pilot a ship?" He looks up to Etienne's face, viewing it from this unusual angle. "Jehan-P…Pascal has a cousine he sent m-me out to lunch w…with."

Étienne wriggles into a better position for being a lap pillow and absently strokes his hair. "I don't know, ut I'd like to try, bit not if I can't get better at the equations." He smiles down at Symon, "So we'd sort of be related if you married her. What's she like?"

Symon squints, murmuring, "Equations…" He doesn't seem to know /exactly/ what that means. But then to the matter at hand. "Hm. W…well. Generally sweet-natured. B-but says /everything/ she's thinking. Young. Innocent. Not known for b-being too clever…"

Étienne laughs, "So me with breasts, is what you are saying." More seriously, "Probably not up to do your accounts, which is a problem. Jehan-Pascal is so clever. I wish I had his brains. I don't suppose she is concealing hers in hopes of being more pleasing?"

Symon laughs and waves a hand. "No, no, quite different," he says, looking up at him. "I don't…/think/ so. She told me she could not love me as she is in love w-with…a Heliotrope. Can you /imagine/?"

Étienne laughs, "Ah, quire different then. She thinks love is a simple one to one prospect instead of an endless gift of the gods. It is a shame though as it might be fun to call you Coz. What was her name."

"Inesse," Symon says. "On the other hand I w…would feel less guilty taking in such a young thing if she had no illusions of love. Still. A Heliotrope is…w-well, aren't they trained to m…make you feel loved and w-wanted? To me it seems as if that w…would b-be the /last/ type you could fall in love with and trust it. No?"

Étienne nods sadly, "Which means she is far too foolish to make you a good wife. You need someone sensible. She clearly isn't. If only my oldest sister were a couple years older and a lot richer." He sighs, "I supose having the first girl presented be perfect was too much to hope for."

Symon shrugs. "It w…wasn't an unpleasant m…meal," he says. "B-but she thinks she is too young for me anyway. She is p…probably right." He squints at Etienne's face. "Do you think I have w…waited too long and all the good p-prospects w…will think I am too old?"

Étienne smiles down at him, "She is definately too young fr you." He considers the other question seriously, then asks, "Are you set on a wife who's never been married before? A young widow with a heavy purse who's used to managing a household would be less prestigious, but she would be closer to your age and likely have more sense than a girl of seventeen."

Symon tilts his head. "I don't know," he says. "It's complicated if she already has children, my b…being an heir…" He straightens his legs out into the air. "I never really thought of m…myself as getting older."

Étienne nods, "So maybe one who married an older man, was more of a nurse than a wife and so may not have had a chance to bear children, as it were. Alternately, you may have to… lower your standards for attractiveness or pick someone a little less… what other men look for personality wise. You'd be a catch to most families and it's not like you're actually old, just older than most heirs start looking.

Symon sighs, turning onto his side. "W…what do you suppose other m…men look for that I should give up on?" he asks. "I didn't think I'd really b-be in /trouble/ w…with the whole thing. B-but then of course I w…wasn't thinking of…the whole situation."

Étienne says, "I think a lot of them want young and pretty and malleable like this Inesse. The ones who don't often want someone like the Lady Emmanuelle de Shahrizai. She was the one dressed as Kushiel at the Cereus Masque. There are women in between though, clever and not willing to pretend otherwise; not sweet and malleable but also not the sort to make a man beg for a whipping. There are women who's looks are awkward as young girls, and come into their beauty later than average and so aren't snatched up young by the men my age. There are women who are challenging or who have particular academic interests that they focus on more than on flirting and the art of attracting. You might do better to look amoung the women who frequent University circles, for example."

"Academic interests?" Symon asks, his eyes tightening uncomfortably. "Etienne, a w…woman in University circles, she'll have no use for me. She'll w…want someone who reads b-books and says smart things."

Étienne laughs, "Not necessarily, sweet Symon. She might like a husband who will listen to her talk instead of telling her what he thinks even though she knows more about the subject than he. She might like your charming conversation and the way you dance and your temprament. She might like if you asked her questions about what she is reading. People cleverer than us often have interesting stories from the books they read and the like. And you are very handsome. You listen well and you are fun. She might like a bit of fun with someone who enjoys her as she is instead of asking her to be something she can't be." He runs a thumb lightly over his lips, "I think you underestimte your charms."

"I w…won't understand a thing of /that/ sort of talk," Symon predicts, but reaches gently for Etienne's hand. "Do w…women w-want handsome husbands?" he asks.

Étienne laughing takes his hand, and lifts it to his lips for a kissing, "Women are still people. Just as you might like a beautiful wife a woman might often erfer the same if she has a choice. If you don't understand, you can always ask her. Imagine how much fun it might be for her to explain things to you as lng as you are really interested.

"She'd get frustrated," Symon predicts, but Etienne's laugh alone seems to buck up his mood. He gives his hand freely. "She said she'd heard I have a lover," he says in a somewhat teasing tone. "I said w…what if I had and she said she's w…want to get along w-with her."

Étienne kisses his wrist, still playful but with a inviting edge too it. "Not neccessarily. I liked sword dancing with you. I think it could be fun to show you more sword steps. She might feel the same about history or poetry or the like. I certainly enjoyed you teaching me kottabos." His eyes turn a bit more serious andhe peers over the wrist he is teasing with his lips, "Do you? Have a lover, I mean. I know you wanted to just be friends who have sex sometimes."

"I understand m…moving," Symon says, tilting his head as he looks up at Etienne. "I didn't say either w…way. I assume Jehan-Pascal said something to her. B-but he must not have said m…/much/," he says with a smirk. "Is that w…what you w-want to b-be? Do you w…want me to tell p-people things?"

Étienne pauses in his kissing, thinking, those lovely eyes unclouded by distress, "I am happier than I've ever been sweet Symon, and we can can this whatever makes you happiest. I admit, I am hoping I will like your wife once ou find one."

"I hope so, too," Symon admits. He slowly sits up to put an arm around Etienne's neck. "I have b-been closer to you than I originally expected," he admits.

Étienne curls his arms around Symon, the better to lightly kiss him, "It's all right that you can't love me. What time we have together I will enjoy." He strokes his curls, "You are you you are and I'm enjoying watching you become who you are going to be. I love watching you flirt with other people and I love dancing with you and having adventures." His lips curl up, "I admit I am enjoying closer."

Symon looks thoughtful. "I don't know w…what I'm going to b-be," he says. "I just w…want to have a good time. Like w…we do." He pats Etienne on the chest. "Robert w…will have dinner any m-moment."

Étienne kisses his nose, "And we should try to look respectable for the servants," He grins "Even though Roberts knows better."

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