(1311-03-19) Discussing Roses in Bloom
Summary: Two Red Roses encounter a new Thorn — and engage in brainstorming a possible event to be held at the salon.
RL Date: 19/03/2019
Related: Happens after A New Thorn
clara severine dante 

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.


The sound of stabbing instruments clacking together is not wholly uncommon in the Rose Sauvage, but normally it is knives or flechettes. The gentle clicking of knitting needles in the salon almost universally means Clara is letting off some steam. And indeed the freshly marqued courtesan is sitting on one of the couches in the salon, knitting what appears to be a hat or hood with her feet tucked up beside her and a small book of fabric samples open on the table in front of her.

Séverine enters the salon from the direction of the hallway at the back, perhaps returning from duties she had to see to in her office. The Red Rose Second wears a gown of dark red, long sleeves covering her arms, and skirts that reach all the way to the floor adapting to her movement as she walks. Séverine has held the position of Second for a while now, four or five years. Before that, Clara would have known her as adept and then courtesan. It is known, that Séverine's training and novicedom occurred in Elua, at Valerian House, and that Edouard Shahrizai saw to it, that her marque was bought out on the day after her debut. Ever since she attained her position as Second, Séverine has seen to arranging a number of debuts of Red Roses, and Clara was one of them. The recent completion of the marque had been attested and acknowledged by this Red Rose of somewhat frail looks, and now that she spots Clara in her current endeavours, a smile appears on Séverine's features. "Are your fingers cold? I've heard, knitting can help in getting them warm?", she asks gently. Her hand is placed on Clara's shoulder, as Séverine considers what Clara is working on. "What is this? Some sort of large sock?"

Clara looks up at the approach and smiles at her Second. She looks like she is going to stand, but looks at the yarn; the hand on her shoulder is reassuring. "Well, backless dresses have been somewhat colder than I expected when I was dreaming of wearing them, I will admit. But no, this is for my mind, not my fingers." She blushes slightly, gesturing to the fabric samples. "They are very nicely letting me choose the fabric for some furniture for my new room. And having not chosen furniture…ever, I find myself paralyzed with choice." She laughs at the question, holding the rose red fabric to the top of her head. "It's a hood, for the spring. Although I could knit you some stockings if you need some."

"At the hours of late afternoon, we make sure there's a good fire in the hearth, ensuring that it is warm enough, to wear dresses as this one…" Séverine turns slowly, presenting the dip at the back of her own dress, the marque of red roses on display. "This is a fine hood," she smiles. "You'll get used to the freedom, to the inconvenience of having to make decisions. You can take your time, with the decoration of your room." There is a pause, and Séverine regards Clara with a thoughtful smile. "Perhaps… you'll feel lonely in those first days, out of the dormitory. It is something that needs getting used to. But on the other hand… I am certain you'll love it. You earned it well."

Clara smiles as Severine turns to show her own back and the intricate tattoo there. "Sometimes I catch myself in the mirror and see it, and I am still shocked it is complete," she admits. "If you had asked me I woul not have professed to being indecisive." She laughs. "Quite the opposite. But it is so strange. I didn't have my own room in my father's house — there was a bedroom for all three of us, and Papa's children by his wife had one — and then I was in the dormitory." She shrugs, sighing. "You're right, of course. I am excited, but its natural to also be nervous and a little lonely at first." She looks up. "What were your first few weeks like?"

"Odd." Séverine's grey eyes take on a thoughtful expression, turned towards memories. "It was a triumph, and yet… to have so many possible roads ahead of oneself… I found that to be a little overwhelming. Luckily enough…" And here she leans forward and pats Clara's shoulder gently, "There were distractions. Patrons, eager to contract me as fully marqued courtesan. You have braved the first part of your path, but it is by no means the end of your journey. Explore the freedom of having more choices, and you will find that potential patrons will put so much more effort in to maintain your favor."

Clara listens thoughtfully to Severine's explanation, and nods as it seems to line up so well with her own current feelings. She grins at the woman, and nods. "I suppose that's true. I certainly have things I can do to distract myself more fully than knitting," she says with a grin at her project. "And equally, if more temporarily, warming."

Séverine and Clara are in the salon, the courtesan seated and knitting, while the Red Rose Second is standing beside her, one hand resting on Clara's shoulder, as the two women seem to be engaged in quiet conversation. A warm fire has just been lit in the hearth, shedding a warm flickering light of flames. In this light, the marques of red roses adorning their backs, both on display through the cut of their gowns, seem to come to life.

"Distractions of the sharper kind," Séverine replies to Clara with a fine smile. "Warming you, and reminding you, even for days and nights that follow in their wake."

Danté walks out of the hallway having started to get settled into his new room he decided to take a break and explore some. Spotting the two red roses he makes his way over towards them himself dressed simply in an almost gauzy shirt that allows for the Mandrake marque on his back to be seen, "Good day ladies. Where would I be able to find some refreshments?"

Clara grins up to Severine at her reminder. "Oh yes. Temporary only compared to the hood, but with far longer a reminder than anything else. I can almost still feel the rope burn from the night I made my marque, when I think about it." She sighs happily. And then someone enters, and she smiles warmly. She stands, which is made more complicated by the skein of yarn and hat in progress she is knitting, and offers a yarny curtsy. "Welcome to the Rose Sauvage, my lord. We would be happy to have some brought, if you wish."

Someone new. At least the surprised glance from Séverine suggests as much, as she looks towards Danté. Attentive eyes take in his attire, and the casual stroll he adopts in approaching them. "Monsieur," the Red Rose Second addresses him, smooth but not without a certain edge. "Refreshments can be brought by the novices, if you so desire." Her grey gaze flicks towards the hallway from which he entered. "Pray tell me, if I can help in any other way. I am Séverine." Clara receives a look at her comment about rope, and the Red Rose Second shares a secretive smile with the female courtesan. "And isn't that the sweetest memory?", Séverine murmurs towards Clara.

Danté notes their marques and shakes his head, "Just directions to where we store the refreshments. I'm Dante no Ma… Rose Sauvage just recently joined the salon." He offers them a smile and a shrug, "I'd prefer learning where everything is as I settle in."

"Oh!" Clara oh's. "Well, that is a different matter. We have a kitchen and a wine cellar, and drink cabinets in certain locations to help with staging. As a full courtesan you can also ask a novice to do it, of course, or an adept if they aren't otherwise engaged. I'm Clara," she introduces herself. She looks back to Severine and grins. "Oh very much so, especially when mixed with all the other emotions of those particular events. If I could bottle the feeling I would either be rich from selling it, or die impoverished from keeping every drop to myself."

"Danté nó Rose Sauvage…" Séverine repeats the name thoughtfully, as she takes a turn about the new courtesan, taking him in from all sides. "A new Thorn. A former Mandrake. Welcome to Rose Sauvage, Monsieur Danté. I am the Second of Red Roses, and this here…" She indicates the younger courtesan, but then she falls silent, as Clara already introduces herself. "The cabinets are here and over there," her hand lifts to point out where they are. "And usually, our staff will keep them well supplied." For a moment, attention turns back to Clara, and Séverine smiles. "We shall see to arrange something, soon, my dear. It has been awhile since last we offered something spectacular to our visitors…", she murmurs towards Clara, loud enough for Danté to overhear.

Danté nods a bit as he looks over at the cabinets before he steps over towards them, "A pleasure Clara, Severine, the Second of Roses." He looks at them both in turn as he commits the faces to the names, "Good to have a face for the name. Would either of you care for something?" He's pulled out a glass and pours some wine into it and looks over towards the two of them, "Oh something spectacular sounds divine. If you need any assistance just let me know. I quite enjoy showings."

Clara blushes a bit as she realizes she stepped on Severine's introduction. "Sorry," she offers sheepishly. But then she grins. "Oh, I am always in favor of something spectacular, especially since I can fully enjoy it now." She hmms at Dante's question, and starts packing up the yarn. "Yes, I would. But I have met me, and have no desire to spill wine on this."

"Some wine would be pleasant, yes," Séverine agrees, with a nod towards Danté. There is something assessing in her look, while she carries herself with the confidence of a Second, a curious combination perhaps when considering her canon. Her lips pull into a smile, baring a glimpse of white teeth. "I think… I remember you, Monsieur. You were a fully marqued courtesan already, when I was a novice still. Can it be, that you were once contracted for a Showing, at Valerian House? Some…", she bites her lip, brows wrinkling for a moment, "ten or eleven years ago?" Her gaze flicks towards Clara, and she lifts her glass, pointing out the work of knitting in progress, "You should put that somewhere safe. To your room. But then you could join us for a glass of wine, and we can discuss…" Her grey-eyed gaze brushes Danté. "Possibilities."

Danté nods a bit as he pulls out two more glasses and pours the wine in, "There's a very good possibility. I'd specialized in ropes and knotwork. If it was a showing that involved intricate rope art then it likely had me there." He heads back over deftly carrying the three wine glasses, "I agree you should put hat someplace safe if you tend to spill."

Clara nods at that, before she pauses for a moment. "Ooh, hold on!" She grins, and turns to one of the novices. "Would you please take this to my room, please?" She asks politely, handing the project over to the novice before she turns back to the others. "That's the first time I've done that," she says with a thrilled laugh. "Oh, rope art…" She shivers slightly.

"Rope art." Séverine repeats the words, inclining her head in a nod. There is a faint glitter in her gaze as she looks towards Danté. "I remember. It must have been you." She sits down on one of the comfortable chairs by the hearth — no kneeling abeyante, as she is not in conversation with a potential patron. "Edouard Shahrizai bought out my marque on the day after my debut at Valerian House. He had me relocate to Marsilikos and join the salon he had helped establish in the city.", she explains to Danté. There is a bit of warm amusement in the look she gives Clara, seeing how excited the courtesan is to send away a novice on an errand. "A few of us Red Roses are interested in Rope art, Danté. Denise, for instance. And I can imagine, Clara would like to be involved as well in such an event, should we host a fete of that theme…"

Danté smiles and nods a bit, "Then it was likely my work then. I'm glad you enjoyed the showing though." He hands over the glasses of wine as he moves to take a seat in one of the chairs near the hearth as well, "Well if any of the Red Roses would like some time with me showing them the ropes I'd be more than happy to assist with instruction. It only makes us all better suited to serve Naamah and Kushiel yes?"

Clara moves to sit again as well, mirroring her second. "Oh yes, I wouldnl be very interested in such a thing," she agrees, face lighting up. "I have been tied up of course, and some of my patrons have been very skilled; but its never been for the purpose of art." She grins. "Not that I would have been in much a state to judge artistic merit, with how must of it went. Would the theme be something like Roses in Bloom? We could be on display in the garden, with the thorned roses as our gardeners."

"We shall see about that," Séverine tells Danté, eyes narrowing just so as she lifts her glass to her lips. "The view of someone so artfully bound and restrained tends to affect people. Yes, I am definitely favoring the idea, to have an 'exhibition' of Red Roses arranged in the most beautiful and alluring manner of Valerian canon. I will ponder particular motifs we could capture, and then perhaps discuss ideas with you?", she asks lightly. But then there is a delighted chuckle, when Clara already contributes some ideas of her own, and Séverine nods. "I like the idea. Roses in Bloom."

Danté chuckles and nods, "Hmmm Roses in Bloom…." He drums his fingers on his thigh in thought, "I've only been through the gardens once. We may need structures built for it. Something to attach the extra ropes to." He looks at Clara and grins, "Oh I use ropes for just binding as well but I take pride in all my knotwork even if hastily done. But true rope art? Oh it's a sight to behold."

Clara beams at Severine when she likes the idea, the picture of the girl in class who gets the right answer. She looks over to Dante. "We could build, we have before for debuts. I don't know what you would need exactly, beyond knowing what it takes to suspend me or someone similarly built." Have to know when to quietly suggest to patrons their home sex swing isn't quite up to code, after all. She giggles a bit at the man's words. "Well I would hope you use them for more than just display. Idle hands are a terrible thing. Which is why I knit when I have the misfortune of not being tied up."

"An event such as this one will need some preparation," Séverine states. "But Clara has the right of it. We have had other events staged here at Rose Sauvage. I look forward to making the arrangements. We should take some time in the next days, to discuss details such as when we should hold this event. Spring should be preferable, as it would work fine with the theme of flowers in bloom." The Red Rose Second turns her gaze towards Clara. "You. Denise. Perhaps some others. I believe, you'll look lovely."

Danté looks over the two of them and nods some, "Would you want them all to be suspended and displayed or perhaps some bound in such a way that they can still serve beverages to the guests? I could do harnesses that hide just enough to be revealing. Perhaps even bound arms to just be able to manage a tray." He does nod at the spring time frame, "Gives time to get everything properly prepared and perhaps to ensure those who are going to be displayed have been properly prepared as well. I've heard that it can be grueling to be bound into one position for long periods of time."

Clara nods. "Denise would look amazing. Maybe with little placards, explaining our breed of rose. Which could also be a reference to our personalities," she grins.

"Clara, I like your ideas, they are so inspiring," Séverine declares. "Breeds of roses? Wild? Shy? Frail?" To Danté, she says, "We need to make sure the ropes are not bound too tightly. Red Roses can endure for quite awhile. If anything fails, and the fete may go on for awhile, we might have to switch out Red Roses inbetween. Freeing one, and tying up another, as spectacle for our visitors to watch…"

Danté nods some, "That can easily be arranged I would prefer you lovely red roses to not wilt from lack of blood circulation. And that's a perfect idea. Turn it into a show with the changing of the flowers."

Clara nods. "Part of the training is endurance, and helping to ensure we aren't tied in such a way that we will pass out or lose a limb. And to not fall asleep, which would be useful in a warm spring evening in the garden," Clara muses. "But switching out is a good way to do it, and ensure no one is jealous or left out."

Séverine is distracted, attention pulled away for a moment, when a nobleman is led into the salon. There is that brief flicker of recognition, and the subtle incline of her head offered to the man, just before Séverine addresses Danté and Clara, depositing her glass of wine on a side table, as she moves to stand. "We need to discuss this further, and I'm certain that we can make this event of Blooming Roses spectacular. But for now… please excuse me. My presence is required. Elsewhere." She smiles towards Clara, and then she looks to Danté. "This conversation has been inspiring. I shall look forward to work out the details with you." A faintly enigmatic smile accompanies her words, a last glance given to them, before Séverine leaves Danté and Clara to their conversation.

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