(1311-04-05) The First Roses of Springtime
Summary: The Salon de la Rose Sauvage holds a garden party at which the principal blooms are the Red Roses themselves. (Warning: Slightly mature themes.)
RL Date: 05/04/2019
Related: Discussing Roses in Bloom, Preparations for the Blooming Roses.
severine denise clara raphael dante emmanuelle jehan-pascal esmee cyriel foulque ghislaine isabeau bastien 

Gardens — La Rose Sauvage

The gardens of La Rose Sauvage offer a different ambience and atmosphere than that of the more oppressive and richly ornate salon. Tall casement windows spill out onto a paved area which gives way to neatly arranged flowerbeds, where a predominance of roses pay homage to the canons encompassed by this salon. The paths are of a dark granite grey which have softened over the years by the enroachment of mosses and lichens, with smaller paths winding off through the beds. It's here along these secluded paths that arborial areas and private nooks might be found, and where privacy is granted to those that seek it through flowering hedges and curtained awnings.

A fountain plays at the centre of the garden, the copper figures of two nude women, long since mellowed to a soft verdigris, spill water from shells into a pool at its base. The main pathway through the garden leads to a terracotta tiled courtyard that sits towards the farthest end, the walls here flanked by creeping ivys which cloak the walls in scarlet and orange during the autumn months. An oiled silk awning hangs over the courtyard to give shelter from both sun and rain, and oil lamps light the area when evening falls.


It is still early in spring, and yet, it seems flowers are already in bloom.

Special flowers, arranged for a very special occasion. Red Roses, in various degrees of being clothed, mostly thin gowns of red color. Gowns that have been tied to their slender shapes, and the rest of them too, by the skilled hands of Thorns. A few wooden frames have been erected from which some of these Roses are suspended, captured in nets of rope, caught like tiny butterflies in a spiderweb. There are many of those scattered throughout the gardens, allowing visitors to explore and to linger; and pause to admire the artful arrangements.

A few Thorns can be seen as well, strolling casually about, checking on bindings. Clad all in black, they carry a certain dark and suggestive authority about them. Novices of the two opposing flavors stand at the ready to offer visitors trays with goblets of wine, red or white. And a basket beside the door that connects the garden with the salon offers a variety of black domino masks, for those among the visitors that prefer a certain illusion of anonymity.

Denise is suspended from a tall wooden frame in a complex rope harness: her arms are bound behind her head, her legs spread and doubled over, with the heels bound to the thighs. The strong ropes criss-cross several times over her torso, accentuating her curves. A thin shift of red silk is trapped beneath the bondage, giving her the bare minimum of modesty as she hangs helpless in the open air, swaying lightly with every faint movement. She watches the people starting to spill into the garden with a hint of apprehension, every gentle breath she takes noticeably straining against the elegant ropework.

One of the nobles that arrives is Esmee who is without escort or date for the fete here at the Salon this evening. She wears a dress of red, the outfit cut to be a tad revealing, perhaps more than she might usually show off normally. While one of the dominoes has been picked up, she hasn't put it on, but carries it by the strings in one hand. Seems that she might have gotten distracted by the nearest display to the garden's entrance before she managed to slip the mask on. She stands there quietly, staring with a hint of breathlessness and a soft bloom of color upon her cheeks. Occasionally, she shifts, the small motions unconscious.

Dressed in one of the black 'uniforms' of the thorns, Dante is currently walking through the special flowers testing a rope here and there for some of the Red Roses before he squats down next to a few of the roses in the more drastic of positions to ensure that they're not needing a break just yet. He does snake a glass of wine from a passing novice though.

Black and red is what one sees when the heir of Comte de Vichy. The gown Ghislaine has opted to wear this eve is one of many, blood red gems and glass. In fact, that is all that it is. The intricate pattern offers modesty while still bordering on very daring. Accents of black jewelry causes the redness and glittering of her gown to be all the more pronounced. Everything about the way the Viscomtesse de Moulins moves speaks of perfect grace. She enters the Rose Sauvage Gardens smoothly, a Cassiline at her side (and he looks none to pleased with where he must be). She pauses by the masks and considers them a moment before dismissing taking one. The Cassiline at her side gives away who she is, after all. There will be no getting him to wear as mask as well. With a glance to her companion Ghislaine moves to inspect the display of Roses, for the moment, speaking to no one. She doesn't have the 'keep away' vibe, she just seems to be sending the time admiring what is happening.

The door to the gardens has been opened, and the first guests are filtering in. But where is the Red Rose Second? Apparently, she is not standing at the ready to greet the new arrivals.

Because currently, Séverine is suspended. Even if in an artful arrangement of rope of two layers. For those approaching, the outer arrangement will have certainly more focus. It makes clear that Séverine is merely a part of a bigger and grander arrangement, when the artful twining of rope has created the illusion of a tree of many branches and twigs above her, ends pulled towards the frame of wood it has been put upon. Growing thicker towards the trunk, the tree holds the Red Rose Second captive. She has been arranged into a sideways laying position, suspended by thinner silken ropes that keep her legs slightly angled, tied at the knees and the ankles; more ties keep her in place as they wrap about her abdomen, her torso in a manner that still shows off much of her pale skin. Her arms are angled as well, lower arms bound and her wrists tied, keeping her hands palm-to-palm and resting against the side of her face. As if this Red Rose were sleeping, as she is woven into the roots of the magical tree. Some lengths of red silk constitute an inner layer of an almost undergarment, cleavage and certain other parts of her body mostly covered. A length of red lace has been used to create the illusion of a blindfold — while stormy grey eyes peek through the material, watching those that are pausing to study and admire the rope art that keeps her trapped.

Black and red is the attire of the Vicomte de Chavagne as he enters the garden from the direction of the salon. Cyriel Charlot pauses in his step, to let his pale gaze lift in a brief first inspection of what the courtesans of Rose Sauvage have created for this evening's entertainment. His hawkish features pull into a faint grin, and a vaguely pleased glint in his gaze gives away that the Kusheline approves of the display, and so he approaches, in a slow, predatory stroll among the forest of bound blooming roses. Like a wolf in a henhouse — or so the smile that curls his lips seems to suggest.

While so many seem to come in with confidence, Esmee moves slowly through the various displays, taking each one in quietly. Wide-eyed. Carrying the mask she picked up in one hand by it's strings, the red-clad young baronesse almost seems out of place within the gardens this evening. Some of the members of the Salons may know her as the sister of the White Rose Second.

Raphael is among the Thorns in attendance, and therefore attired entirely in black, soft silk shirt worn somewhat open at the neck. Hands folded behind his back, he circles the salon's living works with a critical eye, watchful lest anything should be out of place. But also, naturally, available to questioning patrons.

Danté is also wandering amongst the guests to answer any questions they might have leaning over to whisper something in Esmee's ear as he passes her by. He takes a sip of his wine before he ends up near the Red Rose Second.

Jehan-Pascal will eschew a masque, perhaps because it's not… well… a masque, and neither is he considering getting up to anything he might like to be anonymous for, or perhaps simply because the black won't get on with the fine rich blue of his tails over the supple dun suede breeches he's wearing, with the gold buttons just above the knee and the nice grey hose beneath, the dun suede ankle-boots to match his trou. It's not the most thematic of color palettes to bring before the garden of the roses and the thorns, but it suits his disposition, the effortless smile with which he waves off the offer of a masque, the brightening grin to the little red rosebud who offers him a drink of wine, which he's finished off before he's hardly passed her by— it's easy enough for him to twist his back and return the empty glass to her on his way. He might take another, but, then, there's Esmee, looking baffled by everything. He watches Dante pass by her before stepping along. "Did you need help with that?" he offers, nodding to the masque in her hands.

The appearance on the threshold of a slender woman in black, leaning casually upon an ebony cane the head of which is a bronze wing shaped to fit her hand, sends a ripple of talk through those partygoers gathered nearest the salon proper. Some are drawn toward her thereby: others subtly repelled. Emmanuelle Shahrizai, who was a Second of the Rose Sauvage long before she finished her climb to the heights of Mont Nuit, is dressed in black — high polished boots, breeches fitting snugly about a suggestive bulge, black silk beneath an open frock-coat of the finest and softest black calfskin — save for her favourite red gloves, and the Mandrake flowers embroidered in thread-of-gold upon her waistcoat below the gleaming golden pin in the likeness of a trio of keys which fastens her neckcloth at her throat. She is not wearing a mask. That is, unless one counts her maquillage. The powdered Shahrizai pallor, the wide mouth red as a rose, the shadowing of kohl which heightens the blue of her eyes as, pausing, she casts a long, slow glance over these gardens she hasn't seen in many a year. Any early flower with a bruised petal, any tree with a leaf beginning to curl and to die, must surely shed them at once in sheer embarrassment beneath so cool an appraisal. At length she moves from the doorway; and shadowed by her kinsman Baltasar she commences a circuit of the gardens, pausing here and there to exchange a word with an acquaintance or an old friend, though her unsmiling gaze lingers chiefly upon the Valerian blossoms so artfully displayed. With each step her cane strikes the path in harmony with her boot-heels and the soft jingling of her golden spurs. A formidable music.

Denise sways ever so slightly in her bondage, the harness sometimes turning her a little this way or another from her minute shifting motions. The sound of jingling spurs draws her attention to the Sharizai party, and her eyes widen a little as she studies the still-distant figure of Emmanuelle. There's a faintly speculative glint to her eyes, as if making up her mind as to the identity of the striking woman.

Esmee is lost in thought, so when Dante passes her by, leaning in to whisper something to her, there comes a deeper rose to bloom upon her cheeks. Those eyes of hers widen a little more as she turns to watch him walk away, continuing upon his trek to check upon those Red Roses all tied up. Teeth find her bottom lip to catch upon, a shift made in her stance before she's approached by another. Slowly might she move then, to turn to face Jehan-Pascal, a slightly confused look to show upon her expressive face, "Sir?" And then she catches on to what he means, gaze dropped to take in the simple mask held in her hands, "Oh..I.." Didn't put it on! Cue the blush to darken even further across her cheeks, "I guess by now it matters not if I wear it, hmm?"

Séverine holds perfectly still, and yet how could she move? So perfectly arranged in this trap of knots and ties. There may be the faintest stretch of a limb, as if she were testing them, and yet she watches the proceedings from half-closed eyes behind that decorative ribbon of red lace. The approach of Danté is noted, and the captured sleeping rose breaks out of her role — maybe only slightly, when she murmurs, "Apparently, the fête is quite well attended," her words meant for the Thorn. Then there is a soft intake of breath, when Séverine beholds Emmanuelle Shahrizai, and for a moment, as if inspired by that presence, the Red Rose Second is a good rose, caught in an almost perfect stillness.

Cyriel has not taken a domino mask from the basket. Because truly? What good would that half-mask be, as his identity would still be evident to everyone who has ever crossed his path. That hawkish nose of his, and the extreme pale blue of his eyes are all too striking, and so he goes, devoid of mask and with a confidence that is by no means diminished at the grand entrance of the Lady Emmanuelle. Cyriel Charlot wears his hair as usual, pulled back and tied into a ponytail, which pronounces his shape of head and face even more. His eyes crinkle slightly at the corners, as he turns and offers the hint of a bow to the Shahrizai lady. Before his attention turns to one of the Red Roses, suspended so beautifully. "You do squirm quite beautifully," he tells Denise, in a voice that is heavy with his Kusheline accent. "I wonder… would you do the same if tied to a whipping post?"

Jehan-Pascal lets out a low flicker of laughter, stance easy while chatting with Esmee. "Yeah, I guess not. The jig is up, isn't it? Here, I'll take it back to the door for you, if you'd like," he offers that much of a service, instead, "Save you having to carry it about. Or would you rather have something to hide behind later if need be?" An affable grin loses the focus of attention at the sound of spurs, and turning to spot Emman, he beams, rather, to spot her in public, even at an event at which he might have easily expected her to make an appearance. He lifts up a hand to wave to her from over here.

Danté continues walking through the gardens and glances over with the intake of Severine's breath looking at the arrival of the Shahrizai party and then he glances back over at Severine, mummering to the sleeping rose, "It is well attended yes. I'm quite pleased with how it all turned out your red roses are splendid."

Choices, choices. To keep the mask in hand, giving her fingers something to do as they twist the ribbon ties, or to discard it and be left with… nothing! "I think I shall keep it. For now. I may have need of it later, as you say." Breathless is her voice, a soft husky tone given to it as she shifts once more, following the look given, and the hand raised in a wave he makes to someone else. Surely she will take in the form of Emman with a curious air, soon to ask JP quietly, "Who is that?" She cannot help but wonder, having not had the fortune to make the woman's introduction before.

"My Red Roses splendid? Why? Of course they are," Séverine murmurs back to Danté, lips curving in a faint smile. "They have been trained well." Nevermind, that she herself is one of the Red Roses on display, in this demonstration of rope art of the more sophisticated kind.

"You never do know," Jehan-Pascal seems to approve of Esmee's decision, or at the very least is condoning it through conversational commonplaces. "Oh! That's the Lady Emmanuelle Shahrizai, of Mandrake… just recently retired Dowayne of the very house on the Mont in Elua," he lowers his voice into an excited little rush to impress upon Esmee the stature of the one who has caught her curiosity. "Would you like me to introduce you?" he offers out his arm for her to take if she would care for an escort. What a gent. Even if his gent-ish-ness is broken with a playful smile. "Of course, you'll have to tell me your name, first." A moment, and then, as a good-faith pledge, "Mine's Jehan-Pascal. Of Baphinol."

Such greetings as she perceives during her progress from rose to rose, Emmanuelle returns in her own manner: a sketch of a bow for Cyriel Charlot, no deeper than he accorded to her; another bow in dignified answer to the waving of one Jehan-Pascal de Baphinol; the occasional murmur to someone nearer at hand, her voice husky and low, never lifting above the ambient chatter, never audible to anyone but its intended recipient. Passing Raphael she rests a red-gloved hand upon his arm and awards him a faint smile and a private word. Otherwise her painted visage remains impassive. She lingers longest, perhaps, before the rose who has yet to wake from her long winter's slumber: the twin scalpels of her blue diamond gaze seem to strip away Séverine's petals of red silk and red lace.

It is a bit late but that just makes it fashionable, right? Foulque Shahrizai walks in, not having bothered with a mask, his long silver hair would have given him away anyway. He's wearing a black on black ensemble , slashed satin shiny through muted black velvet, the wide shouldered nobleman giving a smile as he watches the …roses around him. he accepts a glass of cordial, and seems to ponder.

Denise does not notice Cyriel's approach at first, her attention still on Emmannuelle. Then she blinks and turns her head toward the man, in as much as her predicament allows it. His question drives a faint flush to her cheeks, but her lips quirk into a gently playful smile. "I suppose that would depend in large part on who was wielding the whip, my lord" she replies in a low murmur, her gaze flickering over the man's form.

"Oh." The name seems to at least be something she's heard. Allowing Jehan-Pascal to escort her forwards, she moves slowly, each step to chase a hint of some emotion across her face at that point. "Oh, forgive me.. Esmee de Rousse, Baronesse de Cargese." Her name is given easily enough, voice not loud at all as her gaze slides to one of the other Red Roses, Denise, that is hung up on display. Licking her lips, she draws her attention away, to find that their ending path will put them before the sleeping rose, Severine and the intricate knotwork that keeps her hostage. "Oooh.. that is… " A pause, and she speaks again, "I wonder who did the work?"

Raphael stops for Emmanuelle, sharing that moment. Whatever she says deepens the crows' feet beside his eyes as he smiles, naturally in good spirits on such a festive day. "I won't interrupt your viewing," he says, loath to distract from the appreciation of Séverine.

"Would it?" Cyriel's smile looks suddenly just a touch sharper, as he studies Denise in her suspended helplessness. "They say I am quite skilled with the whip. But truth be told, my true calling are blades.", he admits, nostrils flaring from an amused exhale. "What is your name, Red Rose? And what is your specialty?", he inquires, "Apart from looking truly inspiring when… tied up in this manner?"

The Comtesse heir continues her quiet exploration of the bounded Red Roses. Those arriving get polite dips of the head but Ghislaine does nothing to detract anyone from their intended people.

Part of the point of an event like this, of course, is that not everything happens at once. Things evolve over the course of the evening, offering new and exciting sights and sounds for those in attendance. It is in that spirit that Clara steps out of the house, carrying a length of scarlet rope. She is dressed very simply, in little more than a scarlet silk shift the exact color of her hair and not a stitch else. The shift is largely backless, to display the full marque of a Red Rose freshly limned there. With a smile she begins to walk through the crowd, padding barefooted toward the Thorns.

Denise licks her lower lip briefly, giving another slight squirming motion, straining against silk and rope. "Denise Sharizai no Rose Sauvage, my lord" she answers softly, meeting the man's gaze. "And I suppose I like to think of myself as something of a generalist. Though I -have- been told I dance nicely beneath the lash…"

Can Séverine really keep up the charade, when suddenly exposed to such a stare? A faint shiver ripples through her frame, grey eyes widening instantly behind that red lace, as Emmanuelle will easily perceive. Nor is that subtle quickening of the Red Rose Second's breath pure coincidence. It takes another moment, for Séverine to admit that the act of a sleeping rose is no longer a valid concept, at least when it comes to Emmanuelle Shahrizai. "How pleasant to see you," is murmured, just loud enough for Edouard's daughter to hear. "It has been awhile, my lady." It is likely, that Esmée and Jehan-Pascal are able to overhear the remark.

"Oh my gosh," Jehan-Pascal enthuses briskly in recognition of the nomenclature. "You're Mari's sister. Err… Marielle's sister. She's a friend of mine… I don't know whether she's ever made mention of me, yet— I ought to have recognized the pedigree of that blush anywhere," he continues on, prattling away quite amiably and casting a glance around for another source of alcohol, but, finding none just immediately to hand, he will toddle on along with Esmee, making no haste, as Emman's attentions seem presently engaged, and he wouldn't for the world interrupt her contemplation of such an offering. It really is striking to see, and Jehan-Pascal shakes his head to Esmee, "I'm afraid I haven't any notion. I'm sure we might ask, but then— would it be better to let the artifice lie hidden below the art?"

Cyriel's attention is briefly distracted, when Ghislaine passes them, and his head comes up to have his gaze follow the lady. Something in her body language seems to capture his attention for a moment. But then again, his pale blue eyes lower again to regard Denise as she gives her reply. "I am Cyriel Charlot. How delightful. A bound Red Rose of Shahrizai — a graceful dancer? You have managed to catch my interest. I should come here more often. It has been a few months."

"Indeed you should," Raphael says, a step behind Cyriel, and to his right. "Your taste is of course impeccable. And is not the binding fine? Our Danté has been quite busy this afternoon. He is perhaps our most skilled with a rope."

When JP mentions her sister, there comes an easy smile to appear upon Esmee's lips, "I am, yes. Older by a few years." There is no missing the sense of pride in her voice when they speak of the White Rose Second, "She might have mentioned you but, I will admit that I haven't had the chance to really talk to her much lately." Surely her sister has been busy. "It's beautiful work. I.. didn't realize it could be so.. artful. Not that it isn't normally.." But that tree, is just amazing, right?

Denise shifts her weight within the ropes a little, her breathing starting to to grow a little deeper. She glances up as Cyriel is joined by Raphael, her pale cheeks coloring faintly as she bites her lush lower lip. In response to Cyriel's question, she murmurs quietly "I aim to be graceful at all I do, my lord…"

The bejeweled Ghislaine gives a pause when Cyriel's attention falls upon her. Her lashes sweep down as her head turns to study him. The Comte heir dips her head to him and a smile ghosts upon her lips as her eyes briefly linger up on the Kusheth noble. When he speaks to Denise Gislaine's attention is drawn to the bound Red Rose and she is watched for a moment. Then there is Raphael and he is glanced at a moment. After taking in account everyone admiring Denise Ghislaine shifts her body to once more continue her idle travelling through the garden of Red Roses, pausing here and there to linger a moment longer at each one she passes by. The Chalasse continues to opt out of speaking and disrupting people. She is either waiting until someone is free or she simply has no desire to take from the display.

Likewise waiting upon some diminution of Emmanuelle's attention to Séverine, is a novice with a glass of fruit juice: arriving, she made it understood that she's drinking what the Thorns are drinking, rather than the excellent Eisandine wines offered to the salon's other guests… In the event it's her kinsman Baltasar who claims the juice, loath as ever to let anyone wait upon his mistress; the erstwhile Mandrake Dowayne meanwhile leans nearer, until the resinous scent of her cologne, and the warmth of her breath amidst the spring evening's cool, may elicit a shiver from the Red Rose Second she is at last addressing. "Séverine. I wonder," she drawls quietly, her gaze lifting from the pulse in the younger woman's neck, to meet her eyes through the band of red lace which doesn't quite blind them, "do you find that your sap still flows quite freely in such an uncommon arrangement—?" … Her blood. She must mean her blood. Professional interest, you know?

"Hmm…" The manner, in which Ghislaine slips away after meeting his gaze for a moment, and that mysterious nod, offered without a word, have Cyriel Charlot watch her flight with a bit of estranged curiosity. "Grace. True grace is a rare quality. That is sometimes hard to keep up, under certain… strain.", the Kusheline vicomte remarks casually towards Denise. "You got me intrigued though, Blooming Rose. Red is a color both inspiring and provoking at times."

Danté watches a bit but he does go to wander into the crowd again as Severine has a new audience, whispering to the sleeping rose before he goes back towards the center of the room and the Clara who's padded into the gardens, "Oh you look fantastic." He looks out amongst the crowd and smiles some before he reaches over to take the rope from her then reaches over to guide her towards one of the wooden frames, "Kneel my fiery rose. Let us display you properly."

Jehan-Pascal nods his head in a few short, knowing wobbles. "Oh, yes," he agrees, noting, meanwhile, that Emman's conversation with the Red Rose Second is becoming closer and possibly more private in nature, and he takes but a little detour down a garden-path to yield more time to same. "It's been a little while for us, as well. Between her work and the preparations for taking tax in the county, I feel I've seen her hardly a handful of evenings since Longest Night. Oh! And, to speak of artistry, look at that gown," Jehan-Pascal has spotted Ghislaine's all-in-stones look. "Gosh, it must pinch, mustn't it?" he edges a shoulder upward in secondhand discomfort. "But how very striking."

Raphael inclines his head to Ghislaine, since the small jewel-dripping Vicomtesse is looking his way. There is a certain hard glint in his eye. But no pursuit. He, for his part, is drinking nothing. He leaves Cyriel and Denise alone together and moves through the grouping of guests, toward one of the other Red Roses, a woman with dark blonde hair, tied to be suspended in midair without a frame. Reaching down and pulling on a single rope, then deftly tying it off again, he causes her position to invert, so that she is now upside-down, hair trailing toward the earth.

Denise glances briefly toward Clara as begins to take center stage, a smile playing about her lips. Then she returns her attention to Cyriel, inclining her head a little playfully as she replies "You are most kind my lord. One does try to make… an impression."

Not wishing to interrupt such conversation either, Esmee continues to follow after Jehan-Pascal, "Aye, I will be traveling soon back home, to oversee the tax time within the barony, and to help out my father within the Comte." Baronesse and Comte heir is this one, having inherited her older sister's titles. There comes a moment when steps might falter, a slightly quicker one taken before she pauses, seemingly so she might pick up a glass of wine from a passing tray held by a novice. The wine is downed hurriedly, her skin flushed a most delightful shadow of pink. Attention drawn to the dress worn by Ghislaine, and she hmms, "If not pinch, then surely scratch against the skin beneath depending on how the stones are set within the fabric."

Clara beams a smile at Dante as she comes over to him, and offers a polite curtsy—which is interesting in as short a slip as she is wearing, which will drape just this side of too short when she is tied, from the looks of it. "Thank you," she offers with that same smile still going. "And all of your work, and that of the other Thorns, is so fantastic. It's more than I could have imagined," she grins. But then she nods at his direction, kneeling on the frame as she is directed.

Séverine is addressed, and the question posed requires a reply. Grey eyes, trapped even through the hardly protective red lace by the stare of a blue Shahrizai stare, blink slowly, before the Red Rose Second gives her reply, her tone soft and smooth. "There can be pleasure in feeling perfectly tied bonds cutting into my flesh, my lady. You must know.", she tells Emmanuelle. "But tonight, I am merely here to give a display. For as long as I please. I have other duties. And I shall see to them, once I…" She sighs softly, straining faintly against that perfect arrangement of rope that keeps her trapped, "Once I can pull my senses together and end the thrill."

Whether the Comte heir hears the words of Esmee and Jehan-Pascal is unclear. Her expression stays serene, collected even, and her movements are still still as graceful as when she arrived. For the moment, nothing of Ghislaine seems like it faulters from being the 'proper' heir that she is. Whether that is an act is unclear. The Cassiline still following at her side leans down to murmur in her ear at to him Ghislaine looks and says, her voice carrying enough that some could hear if they wanted, "Let you leave? You would leave me undefended, Cassiline? Deprive me of my entertainment?" Likely the entertainment is making him as uncomfortable as humanly possible by keeping him in the salon, where he likely never goes of his own accord. That gets silence from the Cassiline and the pair continue the quiet exploration. The glint in Raphael's eyes clearly did not go un-noticed for the Viscomtesse gives him a second glance, expression having some sort of dare upon it in response. What she is daring him to do has yet to be determined.

Danté guides Clara's hands over her head as he begins to loop and wrap deftly knotting the rope onto her wrapping her chest and body with the ropes as he traps her arms behind her back. Then looping the rope back over the frame he wraps and traps just one ankle as he tightens it down so she's not quite suspended yet pulled up enough that she's barely supporting herself on her free knee, "Thank you it's the lovely roses such as yourself that made this display that much spectacular."

"Oh—" Jehan-Pascal will, likewise, take advantage of a moment being in reach of a tray passing in the hands of a pretty little novice, to whom he issues a quiet but friendly, "Thank you," before he offers the glass aside to the Baronesse beside him, "To the swift and painless conclusion of the tax season, hey? I'll probably take a nap for a month when it's all done," he confesses his exhaustion, although one would never surmise it to look at his bright-beaming personal mien of good cheer. "Oh, here, should we watch? There's another one going together," he notes Dante working on Clara through a gap in the flora, and pauses with Esmee there where they can watch, if she would prefer, or pass through the gap to approach and watch from closer quarters.

There is a flicker in Cyriel's eyes as he assesses Denise for another moment, as if to commit her view to memory. His hands are joined at the small of his back, but there is an intensity in his look, even more so when he cocks his head to the side slightly. "I believe you have, my dear," he tells the Red Rose. "Made an impression." Another moment passes, his gaze locking with hers, before the Charlot lord straightens and steps away. "I will see you soon." It is more a statement than a question. Nothing vague about it. But Cyriel leaves it at that, and Denise to her suspended state as he continues his turn in the garden of roses.

"Shall I, then, be the guarantor of the lady's safety?" Raphael proposes to the Ghislaine's Cassiline, so unlikely to see this man clad in black who has just turned a bound woman heels-over-head as a protector. "Or," he says, moving his line of sight to Ghislaine herself, "Does your Cassiline secretly enjoy his education here, provided you give the excuse for it?"

Denise returns the man's gaze like someone accepting a challenge, even as the swaying ropes make it a little difficult. She bites her lip gently at his words of parting, exhaling a breath she had not quite been aware she was holding. She flexes her bound hands a little, testing her bound limbs, and finding the discomfort still bearable, returns to being a pretty ornament in the garden of roped Roses, her eyes drifting from person to person.

"I am sorry." Esmee would offer aside to Jehan-Pascal at the falter that comes to her steps. Nevermind the way she's blushing, and then downing the wine in a hurry. Flustered just a little is the young woman as laughs then, "Likely I will as well. Or return here to escape from it all as soon as I might manage it." Drawn off to the side so they may watch the work of Dante upon Clara, she does not seem to mind remaining there out of the way, watching, teeth to worry her bottom lip a moment, and the occasional squirm to come to her stance. Before long, she finally looks to JP, "Did you wish to get closer to watch?"

Clara allows her body to be guided as Dante moves his hands around her body. She shivers slightly as the rope loops around her chest, and then a little bit more as her arms are moved back over her head to cross at the elbow behind her neck. From there even if she was in the wiggling mood there is not a lot more wiggling she could do as she is bound to the post. The ankle draws a little bit of a laugh from her, her bare foot lifted to rob her of the stability of both ends kneeling. "Well, we do try," she offers demurely, before ruining it with a giggle as she is finished.

The almost lazy meandering of Ghislaine draws to a halt at the sound of Raphael's voice and to him she turns once more, "I doubt he enjoy it. He is a Cassiline through and through." The Cassiline does not move to leave until Ghislaine tells him, "I'll be fine. Ii is much like times in the Houses of Elua." That is enough to make the Cassiline depart. He knows what the salons entitle, even the darker natured ones, so he has no intention of staying when he can leave. Besides, with a Courtesan the only threat is what is wanted by the patron. "See how quick he is to leave me when I come to the Night Court? If only he were that quick to leave under other circumstances." She focuses her gaze on Raphael's now and smiles upwards. "I am Ghislaine de Chalasse, heir to Comte de Vichy and Viscomtesse de Moulins."

There are times when a late arrival is fashionable. And times when a late arrival is simply, well late. And the dark-haired woman is just that, late. But mayhaps late is, in Isabeau's case, better than never. At the least, it would seem that she's arrived in time to see the garden in full bloom, and the flowers of the evening beautifully displayed. There is a momentary pause, as she accepts a glass of red wine, but refuses the offer of a mask, before her steps carry her along the path through the garden.

"It's too bad," Raphael reflects upon the departure of the Cassiline. "He might have made an excellent volunteer subject." He must be joking. "I am called Raphael." It is not necessary for him to include any information as to his house, since they are in it, nor his canon, since they are displaying it. "Ah, but you should not miss this demonstration before our eyes," he says, gesturing towards Clara and Dante. "A rare opportunity to see such a display." He stands alongside her that they may both watch while continuing to converse. "So you enjoy being left alone? Or is that only by Cassilines?"

"… Perfectly tied bonds," drawls Emmanuelle in mild but unhesitating correction of the Red Rose's choice of phrase, "achieve absolute restraint whilst hardly leaving a mark. But I understand very well the tendency of your canon to yearn for the dangers of imperfection. I trust," and she looks away from Séverine to the discreet and shadowy figure of the now-wakeful rose's own assigned gardener, "that that habit in you is tonight as well-restrained as your exquisite limbs. Good evening, Séverine," and it is given to the bound rose to feel that piercing blue glance just once more, for the length of half a breath, before Emmanuelle's attention leaves her as abruptly as first it came. The Mandrake strolls away, golden spurs sounding softly at her heels, drawn not to the display with Clara as its focus but deeper into the symmetrical maze of moss-grown paths. There she finds somewhere quiet to sit and converse with those bold enough to pursue.

"It's up to you… I don't want to put you to anything that would discomfit you," Jehan-Pascal offers in all earnestness to Esmee, brow furrowing in a picture of solicitude while he draws a sip from his wine. "I'm happy to go closer if you are, or else— oh—" he marks the tree-bound Second, now Emman-free, and essays a quick twist of his neck side to side to try to spot the missing person. "The Lady Emmanuelle is somewhere about the place, I suspect, if you would like to see her."

"I think it's safe to say that discomfort in some ways, is to be expected at an event like this. At least for some of us." The quiet words are spoken by Esmee in response to Jehan-Pascal's comment. "I.." She begins to answer, though when he mentions the Lady Emmanuelle who's disappeared from her study of the Red Rose Second, she turns to look about, "Perhaps she found a Rose to further capture her attention."

Towards Dante and Clara Ghislaine turns her attention, watching them silently a brief few seconds. Then she says, "Quite the pleasure meeting you, Raphael." Over to him the bejeweled Viscomtesse looks once more and she says, with a light laugh, "Mostly it is when it comes to my Cassiline. He can be quite overbearing with his protecting and disapproval of my choice to frequent Courtesans." Her shoulder gently nudges Raphael's arm and she says, "Especially since one of my prefered are those of the Mandrake. I don't oft venture into the embrace of a Valerian, though." Ghislaine focuses on Clara and Dante once more in thought, "I am not able to provide them with what they desire to the extent they oft need."

Danté chuckles a bit, "I forgot how ticklish you are Clara." Once she's secured he reaches down to adjust her slip to ensure that modesty is as covered as it possibly could be in her current position, "This suits you perfectly." He looks back amongst the folks that have watched and smiles a bit, "Sorry it wasn't as elaborate as the sleeping rose's but that took almost a day to prepare."

"Disapproval?" Raphael asks, as though terribly surprised. This is perhaps intended with a playful spirit. "Oh, dear. He must lack for understanding of our art." He moves his eyes from Clara and Dante to Ghislaine's face. "Then is it our White Roses you prefer, or do you like your embrace with Thorns?" He gestures back to the Red Rose he has been cultivating. "Did you know that you can tell the time by her?" he asks. "There is a particular shade of red her face goes when she has been hanging that way for five minutes. I wager the horologists could set their devices by it, and not miss a breath on Longest Night.'

Denise manages to keep relatively still now as she hangs in her bondage, her already revealing shift rendered more so by the hint of respiration that is starting to become apparent. She watches Dante work his skill on Clara with a quiet smile, but now and then her gaze drifts off to watch newcomers enter the garden, lingering on Isabeau for a few moments.

The walk along the path is slow and studied, as both the animate and inanimate blooms are given their due appreciation, Isabeau's steps carrying her first towards one display and then another. She offers no questions, but on occasion, a compliment does escape her lips, before she finally arrives at what appears to be the main event, or at least, the current display of skill, on the one hand, and submission on the other. Her glass, that she lifts in both a toast and an acknowledgement, before she steps to the side of the path so as not to block anyone who might yet be wandering.

Séverine receives the verbal correction of the former Mandrake Dowayne with her nostrils quivering, lips pressing together subtly for that brief spell of a moment, as if she had endured a physical slap from Emmanuelle's hand. But a Red Rose — even a Red Rose Second — should be wise enough not to contradict at times as these, when they are supposed to portray a sleeping rose. Too bad, that this rose seems to talk in her sleep.

Moments pass, seconds stretching into minutes, to a quarter of an hour. At which Séverine decides that she is done for now, and in lifting her head as far as she is able, to call over one of the novices. "It is time," she murmurs. "Help me untie those knots. In the right order." It may be an exercise for the Thorn novice in question. But he looks like his debut is not far, and so his fingers move deftly as they loosen the bindings, starting with the ankles and then the legs.

Clara eyes Dante perhaps disbelievingly, which is only confirmed when she speaks. "Well I suppose if you forgot, there is no harm," she offers with almost the proper amount of submissiveness, just a quirk of her lips to indicate that she is having a bit of fun with the man who has tied her so securely. She licks her lip as she takes stock of the sensations in her body, and smiles as her clothing is adjusted. "Thank you."

The playful surprise of Raphael gets him a laugh from Ghislaine, "Occassionally I am tempted to see if I can force him to come into an assignation with me but I do not disrespect his choice of the way to live even if I set about making him uncomfortable." At the comment of White Roses the Viscomtesse shakes her head, "I would fear breaking them if I were to take assignation with them. They are such shy and timid creatures." IT is doubtful the heir of Comte de Vichy really buys into their canon but she clearly admires their skill.

"You would put your courtesan in a difficult spot in so doing, more's the pity," Raphael opines. "No, willing corruption is the tactic /I/ would recommend." He smiles faintly, gazing at the Red Rose he has strung up. She is indeed starting to go pink in the face, bit by bit, as the blood drains to her head. "Just when she is starting to go numb and feel the pins and needles," he says, "I shall flip her again. The blood will flow and she will feel a rush from her head to her feet that will leave her tingling. It is true that our Red blooms bear up to more than the White, a delicate varietal."

Danté smiles a bit and nods, "You are quite welcome there." He leans in to whisper in Clara's ear before he stands to his feet and glances over towards Severine being untied by one of the thorn novices and offers Clara a nod and a mischevious smile before he heads back over towards Severine to observe the novice's work but not stepping in on his work.

This may be the first time that Bastien has ever stepped into the Rose Sauvage, but unlike most newcomers to the salon, the young noble does not have that look of amazement. It is more of a look of mild curiosity. The teenager moves with a practice grace as he makes his way into the garden.

"What would you guess my inclination if I had not vetoed the Reds and the Whites?" For the moment leaving the talk of torturing her Cassiline. "I always wonder how Courtesans determine if someone is a potential patron. Some approach me, some do not." The Red Rose being discussed draws the eyes of Ghislaine once more and she watches how the girl slowly starts to flush. "I assume she takes quite the pleasure in even that kind of.. play."

Eyes are everywhere, and yet, there is something about being looked at that draws the eye, and Isabeau's as yet untouched glass is held with just the fingertips of her left hand, as she moves away from the point at which she came to rest, and makes her way over towards the bound beauty with hair as dark as her own. Though she does approached the woman (Denise) she makes no attempt to touch, or even to approach far enough that she would obscure the line of sight of any wishing to observe her. "A rare beauty, in a garden filled with beautiful things."

Séverine smiles, when the Thorn novice unties her hands and lower arms. Her legs swing around, touching the ground so that she can stand. This enables her to slip out of more loops of rope, the white rope, that is. While the red silk tied about her shape remains in place. After all, this is not a patron room, but a social occasion. Her hands move over her arms, rubbing as to encourage her blood to flow again as it should, and only faint marks are visible, fading soon. One of her Red Rose novices steps forward and hands her a silken gown, and Séverine slips into it. Sleeveless red silk of a sheer quality. It will be now that she removes that fake blindfold of red lace and hands it of to the Red Rose novice for a moment. Gathering her red-blonde hair, she ties it into a knot with that same band of red lace. Catching Danté's gaze, she remarks, "The tree is now free to capture some other Rose." She looks towards Raphael and offers the senior Thorn a nod from afar. Letting her gaze roam over the garden of tied Red Roses, Séverine cannot help but smile, clearly pleased with the view.

Denise keeps her head tilted up, keeping herself as beautifully on display as she can, a strange mixture of embarassment and pride in her eyes as she feels the eyes of guests linger on her. Isabeau's comment draws a faint blush to her cheeks, however, and she inclines her head with a gentle smile as she murmurs "You are much too kind, Milady…"

Catching sight of the young visitor, Séverine approaches Bastien and greets him with a curtsey that looks flawless, considering that she had been tied into a complicated arrangement knots and rope for awhile. "My lord. Welcome to Rose Sauvage," the Red Rose Second greets the young baron, even if it doesn't look like she knows him.

At a distance from the main path deftly calculated to allow private conversation to blossom amid the bosquets and the hedges, Emmanuelle Shahrizai sits in a simple wickerwork garden chair softened by red velvet cushions. She has removed one glove to hold her glass of fruit juice and sip therefrom. The fine red calfskin holds still its shape, as though she were resting a hand upon her own thigh. Her cane, tipped with that bronze wing suggestive of her angelic ancestor, is propped neatly against one arm of the chair, her free arm draped over the other; her booted and spurred feet rest crossed at the ankles upon Baltasar Shahrizai where he's crouched on his hands and knees upon mossy stone. A Red Rose of the salon is kneeling close by at an angle to her chair, abeyante, with her dark head bowed and her hands clasped behind the small of her back: her gown of red satin reveals the marque of Valerian House and an implicit history with the Dowayne of Mandrake. But at the approach of Jehan-Pascal de Baphinol and the young lady he has in tow, Emmanuelle drawls under her breath some brief word of dismissal — and the rose rises, curtseys deeply, and retreats with petals rustling.

"Naturally, she does," Raphael replies. "She is my favorite footstool as well. Altogether terribly useful around the salon." He smiles. "It is difficult to say now that you have given me two points of information how I would peg you," he says. Is that double-entendre? "But perhaps the fact that I came to speak to you in the first place suggests one guess." He smiles at Séverine and returns to her a deep nod, respect for her beautiful performance clearly communicated in his body language and expression.

Bastien turns to look at Severine, as she approaches him. There is a casual smile on his lips, as he lowers his head in a polite nod. "Thank you. I have to admit that I have always wondered about the salon. " His smoky grey eyes gaze across the garden, as he slowly draws his canine over the corner of his lower lip, "It certainly does live up to its reputation."

Danté nods a moment as he looks over the blooming roses and then back at Severine before he nods, "I think Denise would be ideal there." He looks back over at Clara, "Although…" He makes his way over towards Raphael, "I remember hearing about some special ropes you'd designed? Care to see if any of these lovely Red Roses would care to see how that would feel?"

Isabeau's gaze is appreciative, of both the Rose and the skill with which she was suspended, "Perhaps I am known to be, in some ways, but in this case, my words are truthful, Mlle." Her eyes lifted, examining the knotwork that bound Denise to her display, "The work of the newest of your Thorns, I would presume?"

Denise arches gently in her harness, subtly showing off the way the ropes complement the contours of her body. "It is Dante's work, yes" she replies with a soft smile. "The man has a deft hand with a rope… and something of a devious mind in devising new patterns of restraint, too."

Séverine seems to enjoy the attention of the two Thorns Danté and Raphael, both seeking brief eye contact that she meets with a pleased look of her own. To Bastien, she replies, "Well, then it is a good thing that you came, my lord. I am Séverine, Second of the Red Roses. Perhaps your would like something to drink?" A gesture of her hand, and already a novice approaches with a tray of goblets, some with red and others with white wine.

Back to the suspended girl Ghislaine looks and says with some bemusement to her voice, "Foot stool. Do many enjoy being used as such? I've yet to find someone I wold let take me to the darkest of depths. Such things are based on trust, no?" Back her head tilts to look up at Raphael at his words and the Chalasse says, "This is true. It seems to be a talent belonging only to the Night Blooming flowers." She pauses, "To know what someone desires with but a short time of observation."

"I think they may be plied only on a volunteer," Raphael replies to Danté. "They are as Thorny as our canon and our Roses may not wish to bleed today. "Although perhaps Camille may be persuaded." That red rose is indeed just now turning that special shade that Raphael mentioned earlier, so he moves back over to her bindings, unknots, releases, and re-knots a rope and inverts her once more so that she is right-side-up. "For Denise, I can set her flying like a swallow under the branches of that tree." He looks back to Ghislaine. "Some do, and some do not," he says. "There is a taste for every star in the sky. But we are raised to read the patterns as well as the astrologers. But trust, I agree, is paramount. We cultivate it in this salon."

"I am Bastien…" He pauses and corrects himself, "I am Lord Bastien Aubrey Mereliot." That still rolls of of his tongue unnaturally. The young lord smiles and looks briefly at the choices and takes a goblet filled with red wine. He looks to Severine as he lifts the drink to his lips. "The roses are quite beautiful. The entire salon radiates with their beauty tonight."

"I think that she may be down this way?" Jehan-Pascal leans back from their cozy little floral voyeur's nook to keep down a pathway, then, "Ah, yes, over there, shall we go say hello?" he asks, more as a matter of politeness than elsewise, since Esmee has already made her interest in meeting Emman very clear. And there's Emman, sending away her other petitioners when she sees her Jehan-Pascal en route. He waits kindly for the Red Rose to take her leave, giving her a kind smile on her way off, and then, stepping into her spot, he issues a bend of greeting no less a curtsey than a bow, if possibly not more of one, either. And yet it doesn't seem awkward, or strange at all to his form— merely natural. "My Lady Emmanuelle," he addresses her in formal words, but with a lack of formality in tone of voice, which is, as ever, calm, kind, casual. "Have you met the Lady Esmee, the Baronesse de Cargese, of Rousse?" he makes introduction in one direction, and then, in return, "Lady Esmee, this is the Lady Emmanuelle no Mandrake de Shahrizai," eve though he'd already gone over that at a distance, such that Emman needn't feel put on point to do it herself.

"It is the mind, isn't it? That differentiates the true master from the pretender?" Isabeau allowed her eyes to drift down from the suspension work and back to the woman suspended, "From one who plays at beauty and one who understands it in all of its particular nuances." She tips the glass as if in offering, "Are you also prohibited from partaking in drink, as well as from movement, while you are on display?"

Denise lets her lips quirk faintly "Indeed not" she replies, and if allowed, leans in to take a faint sip from the offered glass. "Thank you Milady. You've come at the right time to admire this particular display, I think I shall need to be let down for a bit in a moment."

"Ah… the newly minted Baron of Auzonnet," Séverine realizes, and in snatching a goblet of red wine for herself, raises it towards Bastien. "You are too kind, my lord. Why don't you go and explore the beauty of this particular garden?" It looks as if the Red Rose Second would accompany him on this potential exploration, but… there is one of those novices that approaches Séverine and murmurs a message into her ear. "Please, my lord, you must excuse me for a moment… I shall be right back," Séverine then says, with an apologetic smile towards the young baron. A flicker there in her grey eyes, before she turns to attend to some business that requires her attention.

Danté nods a bit, "I think we can find at least one volunteer." He looks over at the tree then Denise and nods, "I think that would be fantastic. Would you like some assistance?"

Isabeau approaches, now, having been given Denise's tacit permission, lifting the glass so that the bound woman can drink comfortably, and withdraws it only once Denise indicates that she is momentarily sated. "Then perhaps I will take as much enjoyment as seeing you unbound as those who arrived before me had in seeing you so suspended. And, if it pleases you, you may call me simply Isabeau. Though I have not caught your own name."

The interactions of the two Thorns has Ghislaine looking from one to the next then to Denise when she is spoken of being set up like swallow under the tree branches. "From what I have gathered in my research of the night Court of MArsilikos you guys are as private as the Mandrake and Valerian of Elua are. I ventured here a time or two when I was younger but I had my duties as the heir to Comte de Vichy to tend too since there were.." Ghislaine trails off a moment before saying, "..Complications." Then she steps peer at the now flipped up right girl and studies her a long moment, eyes drifting over her in curiosity, likely to see her reactions. Then to Raphael she turns once more, "You seem like you are very selective about those you choose to take interest in." Ghislaine's hand waves to encompass the garden, "THere are many here that you could have taken interest in. Some likely far more tempting than I can be. Corrupting the innocent.." Her head tilts to Esmee, whom she's noted blushing, "Or tempting someone who hides themselves behind a mask. You have a buffet of personalities here."

Bastien is not completely surprised that his name is recognized by the Red Rose, but at the same time he is a little. There is a slight blushed hue to his cheeks, "Thank you, Severine." As she is called away by her duties, the young Auzonnet heir nods his head, "Of course. Duty and responsibility never waits until it is convenient, do they?" He understands this all-too-well, especially recently. He remains where he is until the Rose is gone, before he turns to venture further into the rose garden.

Denise smiles a little broader, meeting Isabeau's eyes as she murmurs "Denise. Denise Sharizai no Rose Sauvage, at your service." Catching the eye of a Thorn adept, she gives a brief nod, and a moment later two young man are carefully unharnessing her from the wooden frame, letting her down to the ground where she sighs in relief. She rises to her feet, letting the Thorn remove the remaining ropes, her pale limbs marked with fine red lines. "A pleasure to make your acquaintance" she then murmurs to Isabeau, essaying a graceful curtsey.

Emmanuelle surveys the Baphinol heir performing his own unique and characteristic obeisance to her, and nods in answer; and then she glances to his companion of the moment and looks her over with brisk blue cool. "Lady Esmée. No," she pronounces in an easy drawl, "I believe we have not met before. How do you do?" And, in mild-mannered marking of her territory: "Not too late this evening, mm?" she remarks to Jehan-Pascal. An encouraging lift of her boldly-drawn dark brows. "I have ordered us what I suspect will be an unusually charming supper."

"Yes, it will be quicker," Raphael says to Dante. "We shall need a sheet. But I think perhaps we ought to wait a moment. She is due a rest. There is no good in bringing new sensation to a numb body." He looks to Ghislaine. "I am selective," he says. "I can afford to be. It is not necessary to run after each possibility. The others may catch my eye on another visit. Of course," he says with a smile, "If you would like me to release you to take pleasure in other conversations," he makes a broad gesture, "Be free to do so."

Denise's introduction, and the curtsey offered bring a smile to Isabeau's lips, and an equally polite incline of her head, "A pleasure to make yours, Denise. And that we might be more formally introduced, I am Isabeau Cherevin, the Vicomtesse de Chailland. And I thank you for allowing me to observe you. For it is a rare gift, and one I have not seen before." The glass of wine, she offers once again, though this time for Denise to take, should she be so inclined.

Denise reddens faintly again at the compliment, though she is also generally a little flushed from the exertion of her suspension. Accepting the glass, she takes a soft sip before handing it back, giving a sly little smile as she replies "It is always a delight to be observed by someone appreciative…"

"Nay." says Ghislaine to Raphael with a smile, "None of the others intrigue me enough to speak to right now. You are proving to be an entertaining temptation." Towards Dante Ghislaine looks at his orders to collect Denise then she turns back to Raphael. "If you wish to focus on displaying Red Roses I can go back to watching them change after their duration put on display."

Danté nods a bit as he looks over towards Denise before he pulls the novice that had untied Severine's bindings, "Go inform Denise we have another display in mind for her."

"And have a sheet brought," Raphael adds to the novice's instructions. To Ghislaine, he inclines his head. "Duty does call," he says. "But perhaps you will take an interest in this binding. It is less taxing than others," namely what he has been doing to his poor footstool, "And I hope beautiful."

Bastien begins to wander the garden, giving each rose he passes a moment of respectful observation, complimenting some of them as he does. He meanders the garden slowly.

Isabeau accepts the glass easily enough, her eyes drifting to the two thorns sorting the quantity of ropes which had been required for the suspension, "Are such displays a regular offering of your Salon? You will have to forgive my ignorance as I have only arrived in the city." Whatever else she seems about to say is forestalled by the approach of one who seems of the Salon, given that she catches sight of them being directed to Denise by Dante.

Denise smiles softly "Something on this scale is not exactly a constant occurrance. It is an attempt to show the city what the house has to offer. But smaller Showings are arranged more regularly…" she looks up as she is summoned for another display. She gives an apologetic smile to Isabeau, before making her way toward Dante and Raphael, the faintest hint of trepidation on her expression.

The Thorn novice and a Red Rose novice spread out a sheet on the ground and Raphael moves to select lengths of rope and lay them out in parallel lines along the length of the sheet. "Have you all your feeling?" Raphael asks Denise. "I would have you lie on your back first atop those ropes I've laid out."

"Perhaps I will." says Ghislaine before she steps back to watch the work of the Thorns. She says nothing more and seems content to watch.

Denise stretches a little in front of Raphael, making sure she is well rested from her earlier suspension. She idly adjusts her thin shift before stepping onto the sheet and gracefully sinking down to lay on her back.

"Not at all, Mlle. Tonight is for you, in many ways, much more than for myself." Isabeau turns, handing off the nearly spent glass and exchanging it for a full one, white this time, before she makes her way towards where the newest entertainment is underway. Again, she settles into a respectful distance from the courtesans at their work.

As one of the roses is being put up for display, Bastien wanders over that way to watch with rapted interest. He takes a sip of wine as he watches the novices prepare for Denise's display. He watches the process with professional curiosity as much as personal. He does not speak not wishing to interrupt.

Raphael kneels, taking one length of rope, looping it around the back of Denise's neck, and tying it off to another rope so that the loop will not tighten on her neck. This rope passes down the centerline of her chest, tied off at multiple points to the ropes Denise is now laying on, the knots ornamental. Raphael trusts Dante to match his choice of knot. Then Raphael rolls Denise prone, lifting her arms up over her head. Quite a number of suspension points are prepared, knotted a couple of feet above her back, to distribute the load so evenly that she will appear almost weightless in the ropes and they will not sink in deeply. As the tying develops — and it does take some time — Denise is guided into a prone crescent shape with her hands and feet as the highest points, the arm ties wrapped so that she may hold herself into a deeper curve with the strength of her arms, or relax into the dependable strength of her bonds. Ropes are thrown over the various branches to keep the weight distributed so that the curve is at just the right angle, and the Red Rose is hoisted aloft.

Isabeau is quite content to watch the display, turning to find herself a bench or other such offering on which to sit, so that she can take her time in the observation. Once again, the glass remains untasted, as though it were some some of affectation, or perhaps simply being held for some future event, as she watches the work of the two thorns and that single exquisite rose.

Danté takes an appropriate step back as he assists Raphael with his ropes watching the older Thorn begin working before he starts to match the knots with deft confidence, "You're quite the artist."

Clara is content to be just one among the roses in the garden, watching as the two artists hoist her fellow rose in to the air like a crescent moon. She would clap appreciatively, but of course she can't. So she wiggles appreciatively.

Denise gasps audibly as she is finally lifted up into the air, hanging like some sensual ornament from several branches. She bites her lip hard, gazing down at the assembles guests below, an odd expression of serenity gleaming in her eyes.

"Oh, I think quite probably not," Jehan-Pascal agrees off-handedly with Emman's edict, after his usual quite affably compliant fashion, "Oh! And mark," his lips twist in a hint of a mischief about to play upon them. "The moon is already rising."

Isabeau's eyes tracking the Rose, as Denise is lifted first, from her prone position into that exquisite crescent and then into the tree, suspended in just such a way that the light that filters in through the high windows highlights the paleness of her skin. It would be a difficult thing, indeed, to look away from such a display, and so, Isabeau gives the performance the attention it is more than do.

Bastien watches as Denise is bound and transformed into a piece of living art. "Breath-taking." He says purposefully loud enough for the bound rose to hear. After all she deserves the praise as much as the one who bound her.

Raphael looks up at Denise with a certain satisfaction, nodding. "I think a garden is most beautiful by moonlight," he claims. "And this moon gleams gorgeously." From her eyes at the very least.

Danté watches Denise for a bit after she's hoisted up into the tree and smiles some before he starts to head over towards Clara again pausing long enough to look over at Ghislaine, "Have you been enjoying yourself my lady?" He pauses only long enough to to be polite before he starts to stride away towards the red haired rose.

Denise exhales deeply as she is fully hoisted up, settling in for her stint as main decoration. It's a bit hard to tell to what degree she is actually paying attention to the goings-on below as opposed to the sensation of just hanging in the intricate ropework, as evening slowly darkens all around.

Isabeau rises from her seat, having given the highlight, quite literally, of the evening her admiration. The glass she hands off to one of the servers, novices, perhaps?, still wandering the garden, before she begins to make her way back down along the path towards the exit to the garden.

Clara is fairly well trained in the art of being tied in uncomfortable poses, so she doesn't look too discomfited as Dante starts walking toward her. "Well done, Messire; both you and Messire Raphael. It was quite a show."

"Well enough." responds Ghislaine to Dante before inclining her head to him then everyone else. Towards the exit the bejeweled Comte Heir moves, "IT was a pleasant enough evening. Thank you." she adds to the Thorn before slipping from the garden to head out of Rose Sauvage, undoubtedly joined by her Cassiline the moment she leaves the salon.

Danté nods a moment, "It was a wonderful show but it's not just myself and Messire Raphael who made this work. If it weren't for you lovely roses it would have been just ropes." He motions towards the ropes, "Care to be released to mingle or should I gather up some of Messire Raphael's thorny ropes for you?"

And come moonrise, lovers inspired by the salon's floral arrangements consider repairing to environs even more intimate than alcoves amongst the greenery, to indulge in their own personal celebrations of Nature. Thus the fête continues into the night enlivened by a sweet little item of gossip: did you see the former Dowayne of Mandrake House ushering the Baphinol heir ahead of her out of the gardens by means of her red-gloved hand on his bottom—? He looked glad to be goosed, too. Any amorous miracle at all may occur, at the Rose Sauvage!

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