(1311-05-07) Rose Sauvage Observes the Day of Cassiel
Summary: A nobleman seeks knowledge of suffering on the Day of Cassiel, and a White Rose visits the underworld.
RL Date: May 7, 2019
Related: Days of the Companions
raphael vincens elliot nicolette 

La Rose Sauvage - Night Court

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

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

When looking out of the windows, you see: It is a spring day. The weather is warm and stormy.

The Rose Sauvage parlor has been festooned with white garlands in honor of the day, which naturally favors White Roses with its theme of abstinence and purity. The typical amusements of Thorn and Red Rose are toned down this evening (though they are in fact still quite available to desirous patrons who wish to fail in their observance of chastity), while a few White Roses are putting in rare appearances here on the first floor rather than the safe confines of the Solar upstairs. The salon is uncommonly quiet, the sounds of slaps, lashes, commands, and cries replaced with the quiet voices of those conferring with fully veiled representatives of the Alyssum canon while floral tisanes and pale fruit juices circulate in place of dark wines and uisghe. A few Red Roses and Thorns are also speaking with patrons who wish to test their mettle at resisting the charms in which they would typically indulge. Just now, a Red Rose with her hands clasped behind her back is whispering in the ear of a perspiring nobleman seated in a chair, neither touching the other. For his part, Raphael is watching the festivities from the sidelines, standing not far from a wall in order to free up seating for these games.

For her part, Nicolette looks abundantly happy to celebrate Cassiel's Day outside of the secluded, second floor of the Salon. She wears a dress that clothes her shoulder to wrist, neck to ankle. Despite its snug fit about her modest torso, the voluminous ruffles of her skirt help to obscure her figure beneath. She wears a crown of colorful flowers atop her dark hair, which affixes an opaque white veil in place.

As she moves about to offer cookies, tea, and white wine on a silver platter, her white-slippered feet brush briskly against the ground. In passing, she leans toward Raphael so she might whisper. "Is it always so dark down here?" Among the black marble and cherry-red wood, her white and silver looks almost luminous, even without the impressive windows of the White Rose solar.

Soft steps and a figure cloaked in emerald green steps quietly into the salon. Elliot lowers his hood once in, shedding the cloak and peering around cautiously but with a subtle sense of interest. The figure in white causes him to blink and tilts his head as though curious. A soft shy smile is offered to both the white rose and the thorn she is whispering to as he moves further inside.

Vincens folds his own hands behind his back as he briefly eyes the couple playing a game of tease but dont touch. Almost immediately he looks back towards the other side of the room, putting the games out of mind, as he somehow finds himself walking towards Raphael. Since Nicolette and a whole tray of goodies is right there in his path he pauses to claim a cup of tea and give her a warm smile on the way. "Ahem." he clears his throat softly. A touch uncertain how to begin but then he just sort of shoves his nerves into the background somewhere and gives Raphael and Nicolette a bright smile. "What are the chances of gaining some insights into how we might survive this day of restraint. And make sure our lovers dont?"

"Darker yet," Raphael murmurs, reaching out to take tea from her tray without at all coming in contact with its bearer or her garments. "It has been brightened to welcome you and your brothers and sisters, the most modest Marsilikos has to offer on the day of Cassiel." It is in no one's calling in this salon, perhaps, to be quite chaste, but the Alyssum canon's felicitous association with the theme of the day is near enough to serve as an excellent excuse to continue the business of the place. He lifts his gaze to regard Elliot a moment, but no more than that. For presently Vincens has joined him and the White Rose novice. "I would say that the chances depend on a number of things. I've not met you before. Do you come often to our salon? It sounds as if you are perhaps in competition with your lover about who may more piously observe the day?" This is said with a note of dry humor, one corner of the mouth curling just perceptibly as a hard gaze is focused on Vincens.

From a distance, Nicolette greets Elliot with a cheery smile and a polite dip of her head. Her eyes flit toward the offerings on her tray, and her brows hitch upward in wordless invitation. Vincens' arrival plucks her attention from the far-off guest, and deposits it soundly in the realm of the immediate. A quick smile to Raphael, abundant in its innocent ignorance, precedes a turn to better face Vincens.

"Hot tea helps. When your thoughts drift toward impure things, like kissing, a sip of hot tea makes an excellent distraction. It scalds so hot on the lips and tongue that it's sure to shock you out of any momentary weakness." Afterward, the Novice beams her brightest smile, cheeks dimpled. "But I can't give away all of our secrets, so you'll have to do with that one for now."

"Sorry." Vincens gives a chastised grin. "I've gotten into a terrible habit of forgetting to start at the beginning. Vincens d'Eresse." He offers the introduction to both Raphael and Nicolette. Elliot too should he approach. "I haven't been to the Court de Nuit here in Marsilikos for years." When Nicolette offers her wisdom he gives a soft laugh in response. "I hope you invested in the tea markets before coming here today. Such a trick, on a day like this, will make them rich." He falls quiet for a moment and then explains. "I realised the woman I desire has a taste for the hasher pleasures so when I heard about this gathering here.. Well. I thought it seemed the perfect opportunity to learn a little about control."

<FS3> Raphael rolls Politics: Success. (3 2 2 4 8 1)

Raphael sips from the mug he has in hand as he listens to the White Rose's suggestion, followed by the nobleman's explanation. "Of course you are wise to come here for advice on the sharp delights, in which our salon has the greatest of knowledge and accomplishment. Tea investments are more in the Bryony line," he observes. "But on the subject of investments…I am sure that you might consider investing a little in a salon which yielded up to you guidance that would lead to greater happiness in your personal bed. Might you not." He makes eye contact along with the suggestion.

Nicolette opens her mouth to speak, though Raphael's strong voice wilts her softer one in an instant. "Sadly not, for I'm a white rose and not…" A red tint warms her cheeks as she inclines her head to defer, and affirm, his words. She curtseys as much as one can while carrying a tray of treats, and circles round the room again to make one last pass. When she nears the couple pointedly not-touching, she enjoins them in brief conversation. A portion of her chatter carries during a lull in the Salon. "… extra sugar cubes, but be careful. They'll make your lips sticky."

Once the guests have been served, she places her tray on an empty table near the center of the room and helps herself to a cup of tea. Extra sugar. Soon, the little white flame in the dark room finds her way back to Raphael and Vincens. "There are none who know more of control than the Thorns and their Roses." Big blue eyes affix on Vincens as she speaks, though her voice slides easily into a low whisper. "And what better investment than in yourself? The Thorns don't yield anything easily, least of all their knowledge, but I'm sure that you could glean some from Monsieur with assignation."

Then, briskly, she glances aside to Raphael. "Though I do know little of the Thorns and their Reds, so perhaps things operate differently down here." With a cheeky smile, and a lean that nearly brings her to brush against Vincens, Nicolette speaks again. "I'm as in the dark as you are, my Lord."

"Of course" Vincens glances back at Raphael, his dark eyes more serious than they have been so far. "The service of Namaah is the service of Namaah even when it is conducted more with words than action." Nicolette distracts him somewhat and he turns to give her a smile. "I'm sure you have many useful insights even now." He turns his eyes back to Raphael. "It is the sense of control that I need to recreate. My tastes dont really run as deep as I worry she might need."

Raphael seems satisfied by this assurance that the proper monetary respect will be paid for service to the Bright Lady. He drinks again from the tea, eyes wandering briefly after Nicolette as she makes her circuit of the room and then comes by to gently encourage the contribution. "If you have not the stomach to lift your hand, there are other options," he says. "There is, for instance, the rope. Might your lover like to be tied?" He turns his gaze to Nicolette. "Of course, we risk shocking this tender White Rose with our talk," he says. "And on such a day as this." But he does not sound genuinely alarmed at such a possibility. For he asks Vincens, "Have you never had the pleasure of seeing a White Rose of Marsilikos blush?"

Nicolette fidgets and demurs away from the topic when it turns to rope. Her dark lashes sink low to veil her blue eyes, which avert themselves away from the two men before her. In a careful, yet expeditious movement, she takes her teacup by the ringed handle and brings it to her lips. As soon as the steaming liquid touches her lips, she murmurs a sound and her hand falters. The tea sloshes about and threatens to overspill onto her pristine white gloves, but she manages to get it over the saucer with little more than a dribble down the side.

While the lone droplet races down the side of the teacup, Nicolette looks between the two. At a carefully chosen moment, she leans in and flicks her tongue against the edge of the ceramic vessel to steal up that droplet. Ever conscious of her propriety, she looks around to make sure that no one saw her do anything so salaciously out of order. This happens just in time for her to catch Raphael's last few words, which promptly hooks her back into the conversation. Her bright eyes bolt open, then dart between the Lord and the Thorn. "Hm? Oh, that's not necessary Monsieur. The Lord came for the Thorns and the Reds."

"I think I might enjoy rope." Vincens agrees. "But what I really want to understand is how you do it. How do you walk into a room, look at someone, and have them falling over themselves to please you five minutes later?" He looks as if he might like to take his words back again only to get handily rescued by Nicolette's sound of seeming distress. When answering the question of witnessing one of Marsilikos' white roses blush he is looking straight at the novice. "Not since I was as fresh and young as this delightful rose." a pause and a smile. "Or perhaps not. I find it hard to imagine I ever had half as much grace." He gives Raphael a wry look. "I am starting to think I've done myself no favors by waiting so long to visit."

"Not necessary?" Raphael's voice is quiet, but his eyes glitter as they focus sharply on Nicolette. "It has been some time since a novice has told me what is and is not necessary." In his voice, a velvet cloth is drawn back to reveal a naked steel blade. "You will help me help this lord." He looks to Vincens. "This woman is your lover, is she not? Why should you hesitate to take what is yours?" He passes his mug to another passing novice without a word, so that he may be unencumbered. He stands facing Nicolette, closer than arm's length to her. "How do you suppose this man's lover would feel," he asks the novice, "Should he walk into their chamber and tell her exactly what he wants? Should he first tell her, 'Raise your left hand into the air above your head and cross your right wrist in front of it?' What would you do, were you she?" Just questions, no transgressing the spirit of the day, though coincidentally, at this moment the perspiring gentleman in the corner with his Red Rose lets out a moan.

At once, Nicolette bites her slender bottom lip, and casts her gaze askance. "I hope you will forgive me, Monsieur," she bleats out as a chastened reply. "It would be my pleasure to offer what meager expertise I can muster." Hastily, she takes a second sip of her tea. This time she closes her eyes through the sting, and runs her tongue over her lips to sweep away the lingering sheen of the bitter brew.

Like Raphael, she passes her saucer of tea off to the nearby novice, but does so without any of the certainty. She yields it like it were a lifeline keeping her tethered to shore, and without it, she has to fight the urge to fold her arms protectively over herself. At first she nearly fails, but the white-clad novice dutifully intertwines her fingers before herself to keep herself suitably poised.

With the question weighed upon her shoulders, she closes her eyes as if to envision it, but the thought inclines her to shy away from the topic. When her eyes open, they peek through the fringe of her lashes to fix on anything *but* Raphael and his charge, the Lord Vincens. As soon as her pink lips part to offer a reply, the sound of a moan from across the room cuts her off. As quick as a flinch, but as graceful as the winding descent of falling rose petals, Nicolette turns her head away from the pair. In doing so she exposes one cheek, the line of her delicate jaw, and the beginning of her throat to the two men she speaks with.

"I would ask what had gotten into him. He has always been so compassionate and tender before, but now he seems… impatient." Nicolette turns her blue eyes onto Vincens. Her imaginings of the scenario must have corrupted her image of him, for now she looks with wariness, and no small measure of vulnerability. "Hungry."

Vincens watches Raphael's transformation with an appreciative smile, his gaze flicking from the man to the girl as the conversation continues. He very carefully does not look towards the source of the moan instead eying a tray of treats for the few moments it takes him to claim a morsel. But as Nicolette starts to explain her thoughts on it he gives a firm nod. "That is what I would think if someone did it to me too." He looks between them. "I might even be offended."

Raphael watches Nicolette with hardened eyes, though there is secret approval hidden in that icy gaze. "I shall show you the difference between a Red Rose and a White," Raphael tells Vincens, turning his head slightly over one shoulder before at last stepping out of Nicolette's space. "Camille," he calls, summoning a woman a number of years older than Nicolette away from a neighboring group. She obeys his call and he steps into her space. "Put your arms over your head, crossed." Given her training, the obvious Red Rose immediately does as she is told and Raphael grips her wrists, though with no more than a thumb and finger, perhaps in observation of this day of limited contact. The two come closer together still so that Raphael is nearly speaking into her ear. "How do you feel?" he quizzes.

"My heart is pounding with excitement," the Red Rose answers, a flush rising to her face that is quite different in quality from a White Rose's maidenly blush.

"And what do you want?" Raphael presses.

"I want him to grip me tighter. To tie me. To…to do what we ought not to do on the day of Cassiel." Raphael looks to Vincens. "You must understand the difference between your own tastes and your partner's. You cannot imagine her desires as merely the mirror of your own."

Nicolette again wilts away from the display before her, this time with a hand raised to lay slightly-parted fingers across her mouth in a fragile expression of shock. A shiver wracks her form and shakes loose one of her locks from beneath its white, soft prison. Once the shock of the Thorn and his Red Rose wear off, she lifts her hand to corral the stray wisp of hair back into place. Still, for all that she attempts to evade the carnality that Raphael and Camille oozes, one can notice that her blue eyes flicker back with starry curiosity — first to the Thorn, and then to the Lord.

Vincens watches Camille explain her feelings with a seriousness that turns to a very slight frown. "I think I might have guessed wrong." he admits slowly. "Maybe it is just a need for reassurance.." He looks to his tea, uncertainty written in his eyes, and then looks back at them both. "Thank you for this discussion but I think I need to speak more with /her/ before we continue."

"Be sure of her," Raphael says, turning his head to look at Vincens. "Consider a signale. We always use them in this salon, as you may know. If you would play with the sharper pleasures, you must always be certain that what you do is to her pleasure, however rough it may be." At this, he releases Camille, whose arms drift slowly down. "You are wise to consult her frankly on this question. Asking what she likes and what she wants and dreams of can be as exciting as seeing it through. Now I must dismiss Camille before we dishonor the day," he says, sending the Red Rose on her way with quickened breath.

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