(1311-04-10) Something Secret
Summary: Seline and Evelyne meet and catch each other up.
RL Date: 10-11/04/2019
Related: None
evelyne seline 

Somerville Residence — Noble District

There is a touch of l'Agnacite style to the interior of the Somerville Residence. The white walls of the medium sized parlor have black and brown branches painted on top. These ornaments weave throughout the whole room, with leafless trees reaching for the paintings of landscapes featuring lush greenery and animals such as deer, cows, sheep. Also, stuffed animals such as boars, deers, bears, foxes and wolves are incorporated to hang between those paintings or stand in the corner of a room, on both sides of the hearth as well.

Above the hearth of white marble hangs a tapestry with the Somerville coat of arms, a green tree with red apples on a field of white. It is at the hearth where a number of high-backed armchairs of mahogany wood can be found, with backrests carved in the likenesses of branches, and soft cushions in white and green adding to the comfort of seating. Closer towards the wall with the three windows, a long table can be found, offering space for up to ten people, suited for dinners and taking other meals. On the opposite side of the room is a rounded table with eight chairs. Carved into the tabletop is the map of Terre d'Ange and small boxes of chess and cards laying there suggest that this must be a gaming table.

Many many months it had been, when Evelyne had left the Somerville Residence, as would be expected of someone who married out. As had been the case with the young lively daughter of the Baron de Thiviers. How odd then, that this same Evelyne chooses to pay a visit to the place where her stay in Marsilikos began, about a year ago. The young blonde lady is shown into the parlor by a servant who let her in, and Evelyne cannot help but let her gaze drift, in a brief checkup if and what had changed in her absence. She wears a long-sleeved dress of high waist, black and blue combined with silver, the colors of House Basilisque. The cut of the dress is totally in fashion, even if it is not of the sort that pronounces a slender waistline. Evelyne moves gracefully, steps surefooted as if she was used at some time to be out and about. And her pleasant looks betray just a hint of anxious excitement. "Thank you," she tells the servant and then moves towards a door at the back, probably the hallway. "There was something I… had left here. So… as you haven't brought to room to new use, I can as well pick it up?" The question is tossed lightly at the servant, even if she doesn't seem to expect a reply.

Seline is just coming downstairs, a tall woman with medium blonde hair and a rounded face. She is not dressed quite so finely, having not worried about dressing to leave the house, her own dress of green silk, cut in a comparatively simple fashion for better movement. She has a book in her hand, and she moves it between her hands as her brown eyes take in the newcomer. When she catches evelyne's eye she inclines her head and intones, "Good morning Lady."

Somerville kin should recognize each other. Well. Most of them wear that trait, that faint scent of apples that can intensify, unbidden, in the most awkward moments. Evelyne for her part had undergone a change in the past two years — having left Brive and Thiviers behind her to live in Elua at the age of sixteen, and then had relocated when she was seventeen to Marsilikos, as per her family's insistence. A lively Somerville this is and had been, and her father had been quite pleased to see her settled in a match to a Camaeline Vicomte. And so, the Evelyne Seline sees here is far different from the young wild teenager she may have encountered at the few family fêtes at the seat of the provincial duc. She wears fashion, and it seems she has learned to carry herself well. At least to some degree. While… Evelyne recognizes the older cousin, of course! And in doing so, steps forth and takes both of Seline's hands into her own, nevermind that stupid book! "Seline… is that you?", she asks and lowers into a curtsey. Perhaps she wants to show off some of the good polish she has received! "It's me! Evelyne… Remember? The wicked lass from Thiviers!" She chuckles and then she grins, looking suddenly so unlike a Vicomtesse, more like old Evelyne. "I had no idea you were here in Marsilikos!"

Seline stares blankly for a few moments, the book trapped between them, and then answers, "Oh my, you are… older." She turns her eyes down and back up, taking in the older teenager now before her, compared to the one she might have met four or five years previous. Seline has not really been one for many family gatherings for a few years, usually spending her time looking after her sibling's children while others go, rather than seeking out the fetes herself. "I hear congratulations are in order?" she adds more politely, as she does seem to make the connection between Evelyne now and then.

Evelyne's grin broadens at Seline's observation. "Older. Yes," she confirms, "and perhaps a little wiser, but… not always." Her shoulders lift in a shrug. Before the next remark of her cousin causes a faint roll of her eyes. "Oh yes. Thank you. Last October, I was married off quite advantageously, much to the surprise of my parents. Sébastien is a kind man, and I suppose I could have ended up in a worse match. But as it is, he and I are quite content with our lot. As long as I fulfill my part…" Her hand comes to rest lightly on her front, slightly below the waist, "he will make sure that I don't lack anything." Her blue eyes narrow a little then, in curiosity. "Why is it that you are here, Seline?" As it seems unlikely she came here to attend fetes and the like, given her history.

"Oh so I suppose double congratulations? I hope you are feeling well," Seline answers, her own eyes darting down once more and stepping back to take a better look at Evelyne for a moment. There is a short flash of concern for Evelyne as Seline considers the implications of the if in the statement made. She considers her own answer and then tells the younger woman, "The same I suppose. I am to be betrothed to the Lord Gaspard Valliers. I came to the city so we could meet and get to know one another while our families complete the negotiations. Fortunately, as we are both unlanded there are… fewer concerns."

"Oh!" Evelyne's eyes widen at the news and she grins. "I hope he is the agreeable sort?" A light shrug of her shoulders then. "Well, it seems to be our fate… to marry for the best of our Houses. Ah… be glad. Unlanded means less strain and less books to read, I suppose." At which her gaze dips to the book Seline holds, and her smile turns a little sheepish. "Ah well. Double congratulations to you for escaping the confinement of your home and to hopefully marry an interesting sort of man. Mine has been a bit of a surprise, in some regards. I'm quite sure that this child he sired on Longest Night in Elua." Her palm rests on what is as of yet only a very faint curve. "The healers say I'm of a strong stock. And everything goes without any complications so far. It'll be the first of three. Three I promised Sébastien. After that… well. I will be free to do as I please."

"Fenris is a bit unusual, but he's kind and yes, agreeable," Seline assures Evelyne, "Though I didn't really care whether I left home or not. I spent most of my time helping with the farms and with my nieces and nephews, and it suited me just fine." She does raise the book so that evelyne can see it, a collection of essays on agricultural challenges for different terrains, and adds, "I don't mind the reading either, but I thought I ought to get to better understand the geology of the Valliers lands. And I hope things go well for you, that sounds… A bit more particular than the marriage I am looking to."

"I've always had a need for… freedom," Evelyne replies with a wink. "Farming and all that never really interested me that much. This Fenris is getting himself a clever wife though. He better appreciate that." Her demeanor grows a bit thoughtful. "The downside of the pregnancy is that I won't be allowed to compete at the horse race of Anael's Day. There was a tourney, last September, where I *almost* took home the win. Are you planning to take part in any of the contests?", the blonde Basilisque by marriage wonders. "It is still some weeks away, but still…"

Seline shakes her head, "No, no I do not. I will probably go and watch some of the events, but I've never been particularly competitive. I've always been happier with a quiet life in truth, the quiet of the fields, time at home and the like. I rarely leave the estate except to visit family. coming here has been rather eye opening. I find it… crowded." She gestures a hand towards the nearest seating, and asks, "Would you like to sit down? I realise I might be interrupting your mission here."

"We should… ride out together sometime, Seline, the countryside is quite lovely, and there is a forest close by. I for my part enjoy a breath of air, to get out of the confinements of court whenever I can. While Sébastien won't let me ride at the horse race, he won't probably oppose me enjoying a ride at a less dangerous pace." Evelyne smiles and accepts the offer, taking a seat, with a soft sigh. "And I assure you, you aren't interrupting anything. I only wanted to check for something I left in my room." A faintly conspiratorial glimmer enters her eyes. "Something a little secret. But today, I thought I'd better come and get it."

"I recently visited a waterfall nearby too. There was excellent swimming there as well, but yes, I would enjoy a ride. Perhaps you can tell me more of what is happening here? I've been out of the loop, admittedly intentionally, but perhaps I should integrate more since it appears I will be staying here quite some time," Seline answers before leaning in and asking, "May I ask what you are seeking? Secret though it might be?"

"Oh, the waterfall… yes, it's lovely," Evelyne agrees with a soft sigh, eyes going dreamy. "I hate winter, in that it keeps us inside so much, and nothing grows and everything is frozen. Whereas… Spring… I love spring. If you want to get into the loop of things, I can only advise to go to the marketplace, the inn there, and also the fine Golden Harbor. People talk. Most recent news is on upcoming wedding festivities, one of House Rousse and one of House Mereliot. And the Days of the Companions of course." Again she meets the gaze of Seline, with a bit of mischief glittering in her blue eyes. "A few books," Evelyne confides then in a low murmur. "Hidden away beneath a loose wooden plank in the floor. But that's all I'm going to tell you."

Seline smiles gently and nods, "Keep your secrets then. And here I was thinking you didn't like reading, but if the topic area…" Seline's voice trails off as she considers the options presented, "Yes, I saw the announcements. Invitations were sent to all the noble houses I think, and perhaps I'll attend one or the other. As for the rest, I've been to the market, but neither the inn nor the 'golden Harbour'? That was it, right. Is it a restaurant or a salon of some kind?"

<FS3> Evelyne rolls Composure: Failure. (3 6 2 6 6 1 4 4)

Perhaps it would be wise to follow Seline's advice. But here she is. Evelyne, on the verge to spill some of the secret. Perhaps provoked by something her cousin said. "I dislike reading tomes merely for the sake of gaining knowledge," the younger of the two ladies admits. "But… I do like reading fantasy tales filled with romance, and occasionally, wicked constellations. These books, Seline. They are a secret because I have so far shied away from publishing them." Straightening a little in her seat, with an author's pride. Odd as it may seem, Evelyne shares the title of her work in a low yet so audible whisper: "The Wild Adventures of Tarinesse de Fourcay." A nod then, "Yes, the Golden Harbor is a fine place for eating, located not far from here, opposite the opera. It also has a wine cellar close by." And Evelyne smiles, slumping back into her relaxed poise of a young lady and wife and soon-to-be mother.

"Ahh, had you just said notebooks I would not have questioned you further, but I am certain the city can provide an audience for some more… scandalous tales?" Seline answers with understanding, leaning forward instead as the younger glows with pride. "Do you have any favoured authors for reading? Would you publish them under a pseudonym were you to seek publication?" She turns her head to spy a servant and holds up a hand to pause the conversation as she asks for tea to be brought, pausing a moment to give Evelyne time to make a request as well.

"I'm glad you asked," Evelyne replies with a fine smile. "And I am sure that there is an audience of sorts. A pseudonym, yes. I doubt I could ever publish them under my real name. I mean… Sébastien would probably laugh at it all, but there are his relatives. Camaelines in general. They tend to be a rather sober sort, devoid of humor and a certain… lax view on things." When Seline asks a servant to bring some tea, Evelyne nods her head. "Yes, I would enjoy a cup of tea.", she confesses and puts a comely smile on display.

"I am marrying a Camaeline as well, but he is rather atypical. I somehow doubt he would care, just find it rather odd, but he spent much of his life in Skaldia. It is a bit odd - he still holds to their faith and their customs, at least for many things. It takes a bit of getting used to to be honest," Seline tells her as the servant ambles off.

<FS3> Evelyne rolls Empathy: Success. (3 8 4)

"Oh… that is… interesting." Evelyne shifts a little in her seat, leaning forward now, her features showing her curiosity rather candidly. "A Camaeline… with Skaldic attitude and beliefs? How very extraordinary. I personally haven't met any Skaldi. But I know, from what is known, and especially, what Sébastien has told me… The Camaeline border to Skaldia has not been quite as peaceful in the past. Indeed. It was Sébastien who insisted that I should learn a bit of the Skaldic tongue… to know the language of… 'the enemy', or that is how he at least put it. I have picked up a few bits, words." Her demeanor turns a bit more thoughtful — a strange expression on features that are usually so lively and in an attitude that had been so careless when she left the Somerville lands. "If things are as you say, your Fenris… — Gaspard? — will find himself quite the stranger in a land that is supposed to be his home."

"I believe that when he first returned here he did not remember any of the language from when he was little. He had to relearn it, and still makes mistakes. I can't imagine it is.. well, easy for him," Seline answers with sympathetic nod. "and he goes by Fenris, it's his Skaldic name. He was born Gaspard."

"Oh, I see." Evelyne nods, and her gaze retains some of that pensive quality. "His family must be glad to have him back. So you call him Fenris?" Her smile returns and she glances towards the attendant that now returns with the tea. Waiting for him to pour them both, before she turns her attention to Seline. "So. Betrothal negotiations, hmm? And I trust these will soon be finalized? How do you feel about it all? To be engaged, and sometime soon wed to someone? To be honest, this was a notion I dreaded so much…"

Seline simply shrugs as she takes a cup of tea from the servant, setting it down on the table in front of her to cool. "I like him well enough, and yes, he asked me to call him Fenris so I do. I believe the negotiations will be completed fairly soon? I was only sent here when the families were close. for all I know it is settled, just not yet announced. I would only fear it if we had never met, and I was never given the option of refusing."

It seems to please Evelyne, the reply Seline gives to her question, and the overall attitude the older Somerville puts on display. "I was… quite the unreasonable young thing," she confides to her cousin. "I would have suspected my father to match me to an ugly old fat baron. But in the end… it would run against Elua's Precept, wouldn't it? Love is to be given freely, and never forced. He seemed relieved when I apparently came up with my own suggestion, a suggestion he found agreeable. Looking back on it now, I am quite certain that my father would have given me the option to refuse — any of the matches he'd proposed to me." Her smile deepens at that thought. "And still, I'm glad it never came to that."

"Well, marriage needn't be about love, and the precept doesn't preclude also doing one's duty by one's family, just also not restricting people from seeking love where they find it. I doubt your father would have tried to marry you to someone you found repulsive; after all, it is beneficial to the family if it is a success, rather than a constant state of feuding and ignorance," seline suggests instead, taking her cup now and adding a small amount of milk before sipping.

"Love!" Now this draws a chuckle from the younger Somerville born lady, and her eyes glitter. "I wasn't referring to that, but well, to see to those duties, you'd better have someone whom you don't detest in your bedroom. Sébastien is handsome, and he is considerate, but he and I are not in love. It is more of a…", she pauses, searching for the right word, "partnership. An alliance." She smiles. "Benefitting both Basilisque and Somerville." She takes her cup in hand, leaving it without milk. "As your marriage will certainly be of benefit to House Valliers."

"As I said, I doubt your father would force you to marry someone you found completely repugnant, and well, as long as someone is kind, you would be surprised what you can grow to tolerate in a person whose personality you admire," Seline answers with a bit of a smile. "and yes, I think that is not untrue of my marriage. Fen thinks we will fall in love. I am… Let's say I do not know, and do not expect it, though it is hardly impossible. I like him well enough though, and we both think the other person sufficiently attractive to do as expected."

"That sounds promising," Evelyne tells Seline. "Love… Well, I think it'll be highly unlikely to occur in my case. My heart is too flighty. And apart from that, there is little risk of that, when I know that Sébastien sees me more as a friend than someone he could get truly passionate about." Her voice ripples with the soft contentment of a brook, as if she were not at all mourning her lot in life. "But for you, Seline…" She sets the cup down and leans a bit further forward, her hand touching against that of the older cousin. "I wish such could happen, and that you and Lord Fenris can become as close as he hopes for."

Seline smirks slightly and shakes her head, "You are young, and a romantic. I'm a bit more pragmatic than that, but what I hope for is a companionable arrangement that works well for us both, and for his Consort Gregoire. I know that gregoire's marriage has presented difficulties for them, as he and his wife are not on good terms. I hope ours is better."

"Hmmmmm…" Evelyne narrows her eyes just so, as she leans back. "Romantic, me? Didn't you hear about my many escapades in Elua, that had father send me away from there, just to keep my living costs at a reasonable amount?" Lips curl in amusement. "When Sébastien and I agreed on this, it was the most pragmatic arrangement I made in all my life. Pragmatism isn't a bad road to take. It can add to a certain safety, and also contentment. But. I know there will be pleasures ahead. Especially, once my commitments have been fulfilled." But enough talk of Evelyne herself. She adds, "If Lord Fenris and you feel that you can get along well with each other… That is the best start you can expect, I suppose. And I can see a good relationship can evolve from a good start." At which she smiles and leans back, reclaiming her cup of tea for another sip.

"I still think you sound like a young romantic, if perhaps slightly lessened with time. Of course, if Sebastien expects three children, you could be looking at five years easily enough before that comes to pass," Seline points out. She seems amused more than anything at the moment.

"Ah, you don't know anything of what I've been up to.", Evelyne drawls, considering Seline over the rim of her cup. "Yes, I'm young. Maybe I'm a fool. But I can't think of myself getting really attached to anyone, permanently on a spiritual and physical level. As much as I adore Elua, I am so much more thrilled with Naamah. Which I have toned down a little, but only for now." But she lowers her gaze, and her features soften, as if to make her statement less harsh. "We could talk in five years from now, and I am curious of where we will have gone, and how our feelings may have changed."

Seline shakes her head, "No, nothing, only what you have said now. I took that to mean that you would not seek relations outside of your marriage until after providing your husband with three children, though if only pleasure is sought, there is naught stopping you now." She takes another sip of tea and nods, "Yes, things will not doubt change in five years, just as they likely have if you were to compare us to ourselves five years past."

"My husband, the vicomte, is quite particular, in what he expects of my conduct," Evelyne smiles, rolling her eyes only slightly. "He has forbidden me any visits to the Night Court, at least when it comes to seeking pleasure for myself. But… This phase will pass. And until then…" She sets the cup down onto the table, empty as it is by now. "I can at least delight in theory." Skirts give a soft rustle as she rises, and the faint scent of apples is lingering in the room. "Which reminds me. There was something I need to retrieve… back in my old room. It has been nice talking to you, Seline. Perhaps, I can meet your Lord Fenris soon?" Words that linger, as much as the scent, even as Evelyne Somerville de Basilisque is heading towards the door, behind which is the corridor that leads to a chamber she once called her own.

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