(1311-03-09) A Garden of Roses
Summary: A casual midday meeting
RL Date: 3/9/2019
Related: None
aurore marielle perenelle raphael 

La Rose Sauvage — Night Court

A huge hearth of black marble, with gargoyles of stone adorning the mantlepiece, governs the foyer of the Salon de la Rose Sauvage, which emanates a certain dark air, the interior design of the more heavy sort, that could easily be encountered in a gentleman's club, especially with the dark cherry wood wainscoting used on the walls. Dark leather upholstery is predominant in the furniture of chaise longues, couches and long-backed chairs that are arranged in a half-circle, leaving space in the center for courtesans (or patrons) to kneel for an inspection. Three tall windows with circular stained-glass insets are framed by dark red curtains of heavy brocade, a few golden threads worked into the fabric catching occasionally the light of flickering oil lamps at the walls. The lamps light a pair of portrait paintings, of the two founders of the salon, Edouard Shahrizai and his cousin Annabelle no Mandrake, resplendent in their dark Kusheline appeal; and a cabinet in a corner, holding a number of quality wines and a flagon of uisghe.

The foyer has a high ceiling, and a gallery beyond a balustrade of dark teak wood, carved in the shapes of gargoyles. Sometimes a few veiled creatures can be spotted up there, stealing glances at what is going on below; from the gallery, which can be reached by ascending some winding stairs at the back of the foyer. Beside the stairs leading up is a hallway on ground level, leading further into the building to where the offices of the leader of the salon and his two Seconds can be found, along with the two wings of private quarters for roses of Mandrake and Valerian canon.

When looking out of the windows, you see: It is a winter day. The weather is cold and clear.

A cold day in Marsilikos leads people inside. Usually, Perenelle spends such days curled up in her own rooms with books and mulled wine. The clear sky lets bright sunlight shine, however, and that has been in short supply recently. Thus, Perenelle finds herself taking to the public spaces of the Salon. Even still, she is reading, a small, purple book held in one hand. A dress of black laces clings to her form, the sleeves loose and trailing all the way to the floor in a dramatic cascade. A keyhole panel has been cut in the back, revealing her marque. Reading is her current preoccupation, but should someone come in seeking a midday assignation, Perenelle could find herself available. More likely, though, things will remain quiet and she can get through her book - And her still steaming cup of mulled wine.

From the direction of the offices comes the young White Rose Second, her steps as demure and smooth as one comes to expect from her. She is wearing very pale blue today, though, the typical veils and deceptively modest one comes to expect from the Alyssum. She is murmuring with a white Rose, undoubtedly one soon to debut. Once their talk is done the young girl is dismissed and she scurries up the stairs to do as ordered. When Marielle turns to give a quick glance around the sheer panel on her back displays the Rose Sauvage Marque on her back. It is here that she notes Perenelle and to her she smiles gently, her eyes betraying the upturn of her lips more than the visual of them. Beyond the smile Marielle does not interrupt the Valerian, she'll speak up when ready.

Raphael comes in at the end of a file of two Thorn novices. One, a boy, has a bucket of water and a handful of rags, the other, a girl, has a soft leather case in his hands. "Sharpen and clean those," he is saying to the one with the soft case, "You know how. Gleaming and that they will split a hair. You," he says to the other, "Clean and dry the wheel and anything else a patron may have been on since yesterday. Check that it is oiled. Wastewater goes in the garden when you are finished, without disturbing anyone. Do /not/ distract one another from your tasks. They will be checked and this is not a salon of lax discipline." He claps his hands together once, not very loudly, and off they trot. Raphael keeps an eye on them until they are out of sight. Although patrons have not yet appeared, his posture is as straight-spined as ever. Turning one foot to open himself up to the rest of the room without otherwise moving, he takes quiet note of Marielle and Perenelle. The latter he has seen little of since his return, and therefore his gaze lingers.

Perenelle is generally very good at focusing on tasks. Reading, however, is something she needs absolute stillness for. So when the Salon starts to come alive for the day, the Red Rose closes her book softly. Doesn't seem bothered by it, contents herself with a sip of her wine, and then looks up to see who all has started to move about. Marielle earns a nod from the older Courtesan, polite and quiet as she sets her book aside. "Good morning, Second." She offers to the White Rose, shifting her weight slightly for better posture. Raphael's voice makes her blink - She'd heard he returned, but she had been out on an extended assignation herself and had not yet seen him, it's almost surprising to hear him in these halls again. Glancing that way, there's a flutter of a smile at one corner of her mouth, and a bow of her head in his direction. She doesn't speak to him as she had Marielle, but she has most definitely acknowledged his entrance.

When Raphael arrives the Second glances to him and dips into a curtsy to him. Then back to Perenelle she looks and says, "Hello, Perenelle. I am still just Marielle. I expect no one to use my title as Second unless a White Rose or in an official capacity." As demure and modest as one expects from a White Rose, perhaps surprisingly so from one as young as Marielle, given it is rare for one her age to be named Second. To Perenelle she moves to carefully kneel on the ground beside her, as graceful and clearly habit since the Solar has cushions for the flowers of that Salon branch. To the book Mari tilts her head in question, "Was it good? I only read language books and what is now needed for my new position."

Raphael nods once at Marielle. "Good morning," he says, though it is nothing like. For people of the Night Court it is by no means unusual to work late and rise late also. His gaze shifts and a nod acknowledges the Red Rose as well. "Perenelle. It's been some time." It is hard, in this moment, to read his expression.

"Very well." Perenelle says with the gentle correction. Titles are safety, and if there's one thing Perenelle has been taught from a very young age to respect, it is someone's proper form of address. There is no world in which she would be inclined to argue, however. A glance to her book. "It is well enough - A compilation of poetry. Decent light reading in the morning." Because yes, this is Night Court morning. When she looks again to Raphael, it's a more proper smile that she offers him. "Yes, it has. Welcome home." She says, tone warm and seemingly legitimately glad to see him.

"Good morning, my lord. I hope you are well?" It is only looking into Marielle's eyes that reveal anything of her thoughts and she has her head tilted just so. Which means the only way to fully see into them is by drawing in close. At the explanation of the book of poetry, Marielle nods her head, "I see." Then she falls silent to leave the MAndrake and Valerian a moment or two to do their thing.

"Thank you," Raphael returns quietly to Perenelle, a certain warmth in the eyes. Then he looks to Marielle and smiles. "Are all the Thorns here called 'lord,' now?" he wonders, perhaps teasingly. "You did not know me before, but Perenelle," he says with a small gesture, "Will tell you I am a butcher's son."

"Honorifics for the Thorns have become something of a trend the past few years." Perenelle offers with a little smile and a touch of amusement in her tone. "But it is true, I can corroborate that claim." Nimble fingers take up the book and offer it down to toward Marielle, "You may borrow it, if you like - Give yourself something different to read." A beat, and that smile turns into a smirk, "And they're not the most," A hum, "/Tame/ of poems." Red Rose she might be, but Perenelle has her own kind of sharpness.

A glance is slanted to Perenelle with a slightly amused look to her eyes. Then back to Raphael, "Unless I know the person well enough, it is always 'my lord' or 'my lady' with me, unless they request otherwise from me. Even Lord Jehan-Pascal and Lord Antoine are called that." A pause here, "In public or a setting I am not referring them in capacities that requires me to not be who I am to them but a White Rose." To Perenelle her head shakes gently and she says with a laugh, "I would likely just be confused and not understand it." Probably a slight, if smooth, lie because 'dumb' people do not make it to being Second. At the comment of tame Perenelle gets the embarrassed look she was likely expecting, "I..er.. see. Probably best I do not borrow it then."

"That is wise for patrons," Raphael says mildly. A hand goes out to stop a passing novice, but gently. "Bring a tisane," he says, and, after looking to the others in case they have orders to add, she will make her way to the kitchens to fetch what has been ordered. Then to Marielle, "Perhaps it is all the more of a challenge to maintain one's innocence in a position of power," he remarks. "Though I am sure the art of this salon is equal to producing the White Rose Second who can gloriously rise to such an occasion."

"Oh, Marielle, I insist." Perenelle says with a smirk, not unkind but definitely amused, "Perhaps someday you'll have someone who might want to read them to you - Or have you read them for them. An interesting prop, don't you think?" The arts are worthy of respect, and Perenelle does not doubt the Second's skill, but she is willing to break the illusion in small moments to talk shop, as it were. Or maybe she just likes the squirming. Everyone did expect her to be a Thorn long, long ago, after all. To the Novice that Raphael sets off to the kitchen, Perenelle simply shakes her head - She does have a cup of wine at hand, though it seems to have been well and truly forgotten.

At Raphael Marielle glances and studies him through lowered lashes before saying, "Innocence takes as many forms as a Red or Thorny Rose." At Perenelle's insistence of borrowing the poems book Marielle flushes more, perhaps instinctively falling into the 'White Rose' mentality. The Valerian in the White Rose shows as she lifts a hand to accept the book. One does not refuse such an insistence, "Lord Marco will probably see it upon my nightstand and take pleasure in making me sit with him while he reads it." Mari is probably being demure with her saying 'sit with' since that particular lord has a title of 'Lord Slut'.

"Ah yes," Raphael is reminded by Marielle's remark. "I dined with Lord Marco not long ago, and he mentioned that you, Marielle, were the one to convince him of the pleasure in the fragrance of White Roses. You must be very proud." Of course, talking of pride to a White Rose is surely a form of bait.

"That's a good lass." Perenelle says with another small smirk, handing over the book and resettling in her seat. Very pleased with herself, this one. Humility isn't her art style. Folding her hands in her lap, she falls quiet, letting the two of them speak for a moment. Oh right, wine, she has wine. That could use drinking.

"Lord Marco does not need much convincing of anything." says Marielle, "I am sure any would have won him over." It is likely more demurity over anything. Then to Perenelle Marielle glances, taking the book and bring it to her chest.

A flicker of Raphael's eyelid marks Perenelle's manner toward Marielle. "Lord Marco said otherwise," he replies. Just then the novice he'd sent off returns with his tisane, a contrast in scent and color with Perenelle's glass of wine. He takes this preparation from the tray and helps himself to a seat near Perenelle's, sitting with both feet flat and his spine straight.

Perenelle can be sharp. This is not news to the world, with any hope. Even still, the smile she wears now is warm and actually approving. The Red Rose has fallen quiet now, curling her legs under her, not nearly treating her seat with the same dignity as Raphael treats his own. The three courtesans sit talking around midday, the salon bright from the clear day outside, but the fire warm to ward off the late Winter chill.

Aurore is dressed in a forest green velvet overdress, with a lighter coloured green and silver brocaded underdress and a black cloak. This is a day dress, sturdy and warm, but cut to the latest fashion. She is wearing sturdy forest green boots dyed to match the overdress. Her chestnut hair is up in an elaborate braided hairstyle, held in place with a fashionable matching headdress and several mahogany combs. Her fur-lined cloak is discarded with her guards on arrival. She strides in with a man's confidence and looks the place and it's occupants over with a discerning eye as she removes her gloves. She addresses Raphael with a sharp smile, "Ah good you are here." She marches that way. "I was thinking about lunch. Who are your companions?"

The White Rose continues to kneel comfortably at the feet of the Red and Thorny Rose, unbothered by such things. It is likely part of the world of a White Rose. Perenelle gets a glance, leaving her be since she seems content to just observe. Then Raphael gets glance and a flush, "Lord Marco speaks far too kindly of me, my lord." she tells Raphael. Being so close to Marielle reveals far more than anything how expensive her tastes are, even if the outfit is deceptively demure there is no mistaking the quality or the expensive of it.

Raphael watches Aurore make her entry. He may notice her before the others because he knows her. But he watches over the rim of his mug. This he sets aside as Aurore addresses him, and turns up both empty palms on top of his knees. "I am here," he confirms, then makes a gesture to the Roses. "This is Marielle, our salon's Second of White Roses. You see her to best advantage with a faint flush on her pure petals. And this is Perenelle, a Red Rose who began her time here, as you might guess, around the same time I first did." For no Courtesan in the houses of the Night Court, begins her career late, though there are those who change salons. "May I present," he says, without getting up, "The Vicomtesse Regent de Chalasse."

Aurore looks the women over with a jaded eye, "Charmed." She arranges her skirts and sits by the Thorn, upright and commanding in posture and attitude. There is something in her expression that suggests this is a test of some sort."

To Aurore Marielle glances then dips into as much of a bow as she can on her knees, "A pleasure, my lady." she says, quietly. Whether she notices the feeling of a test there is no indication by the veiled Secon. She just watches Thorn and Viscomtesse through lowered lashes. Perenelle is left to her own devices until she is ready to speak to them.

The cup of wine is put aside once more when a new person enters the Salon. Far be it from Perenelle to interrupt anyone looking for one of the Thorns, however. She stays still and quiet until she is introduced. When she is, she rises from her seat with an easy grace, dipping into a low curtsy, her eyes turning down, though she lifts from the curtsy in her own time. "A pleasure, my lady." She offers in a low, soft voice, and does not retake her seat, her hands neatly lacing before her.

Raphael watches Aurore watching the Roses. Perhaps he knows the meaning of this look with which she is fixing the women. He picks up his mug again. He drinks from it. He sets it aside. Time is allowed to slip by in silence. At length, for reasons that are perhaps not obvious, he lets out a laugh, low in his throat, and is immediately up on his feet. "Lunch, I think," he says to Aurore, as though confirming something. "Let's go out."

Aurore gives a shallow nod in acknowledgment of the bows. She waits, eyebrows raised, expectant. When Raphael agrees about lunch, she turns an approving smile on him and offers him her hand, "I thought you'd never ask." She rises, "A pleasure to meet you, Roses."

The lowered lashes hide anything Marielle might be thinking at the expectant look from Aurore. White Roses are not bold creatures so if it was expected for the lunch invite it would not have come from Marielle. "Enjoy your lunch, my lord, my lady." Says Marielle, offering a sweet smile from behind her veils, the crinkle of her eyes betraying it. The White Rose has no expectation of being invited. The only ones she can read are those she sees on the regular so she goes with the assumption it is an intimate lunch for the two. To Perenelle she glances, likely seeing if the Red Rose will do.

"And you, my lady," Perenelle answers easily. There's a glance to Raphael, the flicker of a smile, and the Red Rose is gathering up her cup. "And bon appétit to you both." It seems the Red Rose is inclined to see to other things with her afternoon and isn't fussed in the slightest.

Raphael takes Aurore's hand with firm support underlying a gentle touch. He has his own type of Thorn's grace. The mug is abandoned. But just about this time, the novices come up from the basement with the bucket and rags. So there will be someone to clear it away soon.

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