(1311-10-26) The Hospitality at Bedarrides: Blood and Birth Fluid
Summary: The jewel at the center of Avignon County's public improvements opens for the public— to mixed reviews from the nobility.
RL Date: Sat Oct 26, 1311
Related: Baphinol Tax Holiday Plot
andre symon gregoire theodosia louna jehan-pascal 

TP Room 3


Bedarrides, October 1311: how different a place, now, that it was even in April this same year. A beautifully lofted stone quai now rises over the river Ouveze as it meanders widely east to south on its way to join the major trade route south, the Rhodane, at Avignon, and on to Marsilikos and the sea. The quai continues its ascent as a viaduct, granting access from the south to the crest-top Villa des Bedarrides on the higher ground to the north of the meander d'Ouveze, where its edifice gleams white and red and gold in a beacon of the hospitality of house Baphinol.

The bridge and viaduct are not the extent of the changes here, of course. On the rolling, hilly lowlands south of the river a winding road has been laid, along which a series of cozy country homes have been erected, and already smaller huts, shops and taverns have begun to dot the land, a nascent village in the shadows of this once quite lonely, quiet Baronial vacation home, as those who have been hired to serve at these country homes, and at the Villa des Bedarrides itself, have begun to make a home and community for themselves here. Even on the northern side of the river, a few roads have been paved, and an enterprising commoner of means has built up an patios inn to either side of the longest street, sure to become rivals in tending to the needs of those who would come to visit.

But that is not, of course, where those nobles who have shown interest in the grand re-opening of the villa are staying: it's a long day's ride from Marsilikos to Avignon, if only about a half an hour further to Bedarrides itself, and, that, on foot, at a leisurely pace, if one were apt to walk. Bedarrides, indeed, is located almost equidistantly an hour's walk from each furthest border of the Baphinol lands, but only now is set to become a true gem at the county's navel.

The visiting nobility is invited to stay in the villa itself, up on the third floor of the estate, where the grand suites have remained largely in place, if refurbished. The villa itself sports a paved courtyard with an awning canopy which can be drawn out or retracted for the weather, and, further back, a large, long garden with a collonaded walkway, paths, and various garden beds, surrounded by rooms with a garden view. The second floor is largely maintained of workers' quarters, smaller chambers of manifold facility, and only the top floor is given over to the sorts of suite that will please the aristocracy of Marsilikos as they spend the evening there. The ones on the western flank of the building are the most choice: they sport airy balconies which look down over the winding of the river and provide tremendous views of the sunset with Avignon gleaming on the horizon.

After the guests are vouchsafed the villa's best evening's rest, they might suspect they will be called down to breakfast, but, instead, they are called up to breakfast: a novelty on the third floor of a three story building. But the rooftop on the northern side of the building and a bit, too, of the western and eastern sides, has been flattened into rooftop gardens and amenities; al fresco they will break their fast together and possibly marvel at the most exorbitant thing of all: that on the eastern side of the roof there has been set a bathing pool which steams slightly in the fall morning chill, if one comes out early enough to see it, marking that the water is heated. Under an awning beside which, there are beds meant for massage and other select treatments, and little tables at which to sit and be served breakfast.

Theodosia must have enjoyed the ride, the girl loves horses, but she loves a good pampering too, so after a good night's sleep, a massage and a bath, she's all ready for some food! She comes up in a light lace dress, her hair done up, still shining a bit wetly, a shawl over her shoulders to keep the morning chill off. She takes a glass of wine and wonders around , seeing who will show up.

The Prince of Brabant wrangled himself an invite, curious to see how the natives live in the countryside. He rode hither with a Flatlandish companion and marvelled at everything he saw. Now he's standing fully dressed beside the pool, staring into it as if the answers to all problems of the universe might lurk at its bottom.

Gregoire just breathes easier out in the countryside. His own locks are damp from sweat after a vigorous ride and his doublet smells of the stables as he gives over his cloak to a nearby servant. A few buttons are loosened to make it easier for him move his neck. After taking off his gloves, he rolls up his sleeves to get more comfortable. There is a quiet exchange with the servant attending to him if his wife has arrived yet.

Symon may or may not even know what exactly today's opening is all about. But he does know that his dear friend Jehan-Pascal is the host, and that is reason enough to turn up in his good clothes. Unlike some of the sweaty and horsey-smelling company, he seems fresh enough that he must have taken the trip in parts or come by carriage.

Gregoire's wife arrived, having taken her time and there a few days already to see everything ready. That and her journey was by carriage given the rotund state of her middle. The stairs to the third floor of her vacation home is taken at a slow pace, grinning despite the presence of her spouse and waddling in search of food.

Jehan-Pascal was, himself, here last night, or possibly even two nights ago, seeing to the last minute details alongside his favorite Baroness and making sure everything was set. He'd stayed across the river at his friend Lucius' house, allowing more of the suites at the villa to be open for those who were visiting. The pair of them had taken the trip up the quai quite early in the morning; it's hard for a man to sleep too late when the day promises such excitement. He had not bathed with Theodosia but was around, very likely, when she was doing so, and pleasantries already exchanged. When it comes time for breakfast, all he has stomach for is a bit of tea and a cup of white wine, and he kisses Symon's cheek warmly hello, and greets Andre, too, somewhat less familiarly. Greg is here! "Gregoire," he greets him with open arms for a hug if he'll have one, "You made it," he sounds appreciative of the fact. "Oh, yes, she's— here she is! Good morning, Lady Baroness. Lady Theodosia, Prince Andre, have you had a chance to meet my dear friend Lucius? He's Tiberian, but his d'Angeline is just about to pass my own in excellence," he beams, rather, while Lucius bows to those to whom he's introduced with a sweet-voiced, "Charmed to be of your acquaintance."

Those of a circumspect nature will note that, below, in the countryside, there is something of a gathering brewing. Trails of people, mostly on foot, a few on horseback or in carriages, are trickling in from the southwest— from Avignon— from the west, too, and from the north. From the south itself, it's hard to see from the northern hind of the villa.

Gregoire accepts the hug with a bit of stiffness as if he's not used to be greeted so warmly. He gives a clearing of his throat, "Ahh yes, I managed to get my invitation forwarded to me since I've been traveling as of late." He pauses for a moment to give his wife a polite nod as she waddles off to get some food, "My servant is taking my things to the quarters once he arrives. I was impatient and wanting to get out of the coach so I rode ahead." He turns to those that Jehan-Pascal introduces him to, there is a polite smile given and murmured greeting as Lady Theodosia, Prince Andre and others are introduced.

Theo stands on tiptoe to kiss Jehan-Pascal on the cheek, before she accepts a small plate with what looks like sliced fruit and a crepe from a servant, nodding. "The air is most refreshing, I have to say.." she says, giving Andre a wave, and then she curtsies as gregoire greets her. She gives Lucius a smile too, she has not met him before, so she exchanges pleasantries warmly.

Andre greets the unknown people with a warm smile and repeats of "Pleasure to meet you", adding for Gregoire's benefit: "There's no such thing as strangers, only friends we haven't met yet!" He looks back at the pool longingly. "This is rather ingenious, is it not? I need to know how the heat is supplied. This may be just the right thing for our colder climate in the north."

Symon greats Jehan-Pascal sunnily. "M…morning," he says, grasping his arm and letting it go again so the host can make his rounds. "A charming company as always." He smiles at Lucius, the familiar favorite foreigner. "It's today that we do the, um, thing, isn't it?"

"You could have grabbed a fresh tunic before coming up" Louna calls out sing song as she places fruit on a plate then shifts to lean back and stretch some. "I can smell you from here Lord Baphinol. I can even tell what horse it was that you rode." A smug smile on her face as juice if plucked up and she waddling to a table that is not occupied by her husband. Plate down and then easing down carefully herself. "Please, come enjoy my home and the venture that Jehan-Pascal and I have managed to pull out of a hat!"

This offered to everyone by the Baphinol Baroness.

"Only the things that must be done," Lucius draws close to Symon with a smile, the next to greet him with a kiss to the other cheek from that which Jehan-Pascal had kissed, copying his d'Angeline friend's familiarity with the man. Jehan-Pascal himself, meanwhile, joins Andre by the pool, "Oh, yes, it's a Tiberian piece of technology. If you look across the landscape there to the northeast, you can just see around the next bluff the further meander of the Ouveze… we had an engineer cut a channel for it which we have covered over to stop its becoming too filled with debris, and it shortcuts the hill to a reservoir we have built up along the whole eastern side of the building, which is why the suites on that side have no balcony. From there we can pump water to even the top floors of the building, and it continues to fill from the higher elevation up the next bluff. Our enterprise here will require a great deal of clean, fresh water to be at hand. And the suite directly below us has been converted to house a large copper vat in which the water can be heated and added here, by pump, to this pool, in order to heat it in the winter months, or downstairs when hot water is required at a moment's notice, by simple force of opening a pipe, given the elevation of the vat to the third floor." Look at how fucking proud this asshole is of the thing.

Symon grasps Lucius briefly by the arm, too, though their acquaintance is briefer. He looks off toward Jehan-Pascal and Andre. "Tiberians are clever, aren't you?" he says to Lucius. "P-pumps and reservoirs…"

Andre listens with rapt attention though, bragging or not. One can almost hear all the gears in his brain whirring as he tries to keep in mind everything that's being explained. "If you wouldn't mind, I would very much like to see the plans.", he asks with a bright smile, "I would love to implement this… Tiberian marvel of engineering back home.""

Gregoire grinds his teeth for a moment after his wife's comment on his scent, but then forces a smile, "Of course, once my trunks arrive by carriage, I'll be sure to attend to my wardrobe." A sardonic sense of humor has to add, "Perhaps sitting down wind will help in the meantime." He gives pause as Lucius goes on to explain the marvel of the pools and how it gets it's water. The feigned interest is given as perhaps the intricacies of engineering are beyond him. He does compliment the Tiberian, "Truly a marvel then by all accounts."

"They call it the aquae ductus," Jehan-Pascal goes on, "And, what's more, they've had them for over a thousand years," he laughs. "But, of course, I'll be happy to let you see the plans. The engineer, however, who made them will be able to explain them better. There are a lot of numbers involved. It would be wise to find one already knowledgeable in the skill and hire him or her along with you to survey the land and create a plan," he advises, clapping Andre pleasantly on the shoulder and them moving to find Louna again. "Well, Baroness, is it time we laid to rest the mystery of our endeavor here?"

"Of course, thank you.", Andre smiles warmly and as Jehan-Pascal wanders off, he, too starts wandering. If anyone would be looking for the Prince of Brabant, they would later find him in the bowels of the building with servants, explaining the intricacies of the heating system to the royal visitor.

Theodosia nibbles on a piece of fruit thoughtfully as she listens to Jehan-Pascal's explanation, then nods, taking a sip from her glass of wine. "That does sound..most useful, especially in areas which aren't blessed with lots of water.." She says, moving to the side of the terrace, to look into the distance.

'I shall hold my breath." Sniped back to Greg before Louna looks to Jehan-Pascal and levering herself back out of the chair with a nod. "The great unveiling of our great work. Months in the making and journies to Tiberium and back. Many days out here overseeing everything between the both of us and now, fruition. But this is more Jehan-Pascal's pet project. I only graciously lent him the land and part of my home to see it brought to reality.

Andre has left.

"W…where is it w-we're going, exactly?" Symon asks to no one in particular. "Some sort of…" He squints into the distance. "I say, are all those p-people coming this w…way?" he asks.

Gregoire admits to Jehan-Pascal, "Ahh yes, I am curious to see what has caused my wife's absence." He levels a glance to his wife and back to Jehan-Pascal, "The quiet halls of course have been hollow without her resounding tones. So empty without her larger than life presence." He further adds, "And she was rather secretative on the matter, not wanting to spoil the surprise I'm sure."

"The Lady Baroness is too humble," Jehan-Pascal counters. "She has not only been very gracious in allowing the county the use of her ancestral land and her beautiful Villa des Bedarrides, she has been a help-meet to me in this entire endeavor, without whose dedication and learned wisdom I would have been lost at the start." Thus having made sweet words to the Baroness on whose lands the Villa sits, Jehan-Pascal takes a deep breath, squaring back his shoulders and looking— just— about to burst of pride. "Yes, Symon. The villa grounds will be open today not only to those of you who came to tour them, but also to the whole of the commons of Avignon county and its incorporate territories, whom you already see have heard the invitation and are coming to look. For this villa today opens as a hospitality for the whole county, staffed and run at county expense so that any and all of its citizenry may have access to thorough, modern, and, more importantly, free medical care. The whole of the lower floor and some of the second is prepared to receive the sick and the injured and give them a fine place in which they can be cared for and made whole, to whatever degree is possible. There are too many who cannot afford the care of a doctor, and our temple of Eisheth can only take in so many in need. The villa is outfitted with carriages, and a messenger sent at any time of day or night will be paid for his service in guiding a carriage back to the location of anyone too injured or infirm to make the journey on foot. You see how a village has already begun to grow up around the place to house those who will work here and make this a home and a community… with the ill and injured will come families and visitors, and between revenue increases from the new economic activity and keeping the top floor of the villa's suites for the let of the nobility and the wealthier of our commons, we have every anticipation that within two years the hospitality at Bedarrides will be financially self-sufficient." Which is only to say that, at present, the villa is being opened at a cost to the local nobility; see Louna and Gregoire, and Jehan-Pascal, who is helping them foot the bill.

Theodosia follows Jehan-Pascal with her eyes widening as he mentions the many purposes of what she had though was just a pleasant retreat and she blushes a bit. "Oh, that sounds…very…enlightened." She moistens her lips with the tip of her tongue, then takes a quick sip from her glass. "Would you accept…donations? I am sure I can spare..the money I spend on some Night Court assignations for a higher purpose.."

"M…medical care?" Symon asks, looking dubious. "You mean…you b-bring all the sick p…people there and p-put them all, all together? And then they…? B-but doesn't it create…m…miasmas and things?" he asks, an unaccustomed expression of concern on his face.

"That was already thought of Lord Symon. I'm a chirurgeon after all. It has been carefully laid out, the low buildings. No more than two to a room, and the height of cleanliness. This was taken into account when we set about to planning. Jehan thought to large wards but he has been educated otherwise since then. You can tour later if you like, while it is relatively empty. So long as there is no packing in of patients, it should not prove to be a haven for pestilence or the like." Louna supplies, gesturing to the building in the near distance. "And those who came from Tiberium are the finest educated and some are those that I schooled with." Greg's comments are blithely ignored, a h and going to her lower back to support it and only a glare sent his way.

Gregoire gives a pause in his attention on Jehan to give a look of concern towards his wife, "Are you feeling well Louna?" His sharp tone is soften with concern, "Perhaps you should rest…you have been doing too much." In those words shows that the sniping that he plays into is perhaps not at the core. He looks to Jehan as if to silently ask if they should continue. He steps closer to his wife but doesn't not put a hand on her, just carefully eyeing the large belly that carries his heir.

"B-but there aren't sick p…people there n…ow," Symon seeks to confirm, looking Jehan-Pascal's way. "Not yet. Right?"

"I'm sure we would be very gratified to accept donations, Lady Theodosia," Jehan-Pascal smiles at her, then, looking back to Louna, "In fact, it might be a nice touch to leave a place near the entryway where donations can be left by those families who can afford it. Many might well feel the urge to chip in for such a common good." Symon's concern, he lets Louna take to that one, beaming softly about the eyes when she lays everything out so clearly. "Yes, the Baroness has been my guide in all things medical from the start, and we will be observant of the best safety. Once breakfast is finished we'll go on a tour— I'll— I'll take you on a tour, in fact," he catches the look from Gregoire. "Lady Baroness, might you like to lie down, indeed?"

"And how much will you charge her for a bed in her own villa, Lord Baphinol?" comes another voice, from the periphery of where all and sundry are standing. A tall man, grey-and-black at the temple and broader at the shoulder than at the belly, but with enough of the natural corpulence of age and leisure. He's dressed smartly, with a fine, handsome face that wears his age quite well, a strong jawline and keen blue eyes that narrow with a dignified crow's foot at each far end. "You speak of generosity and you bleed your barons to pay for it. With what blandishments you called us all together in Avignon this winter past, speaking of tax holidays and extra money in our coffers at your expense. And then you pulled the rug from under us— and all our coffers, too. In two years, the money the Baroness is out will magically re-appear somehow? And what of mine, gone into a new dockyard at which my interests have not even priority of access?"

<FS3> Gregoire rolls Politics: Good Success. (1 4 7 2 7)

<FS3> Louna rolls Mind + Politics: Good Success. (1 7 1 8 2 8 4)

<FS3> Theodosia rolls Politics: Great Success. (2 1 8 7 5 8 8)

"Really." Louna snaps. "I'm pregnant, not an invalid. I do not need to rest. I have been resting." Greg's shuffling toward her hans her one hand not perched at her back shooing her husband away with an angry look. "No, there are no sick people in the place yet. There was a worker who fell and broke his arm, but as things have not officially opened yet, no. And if there were, we would not be trotting everyone through to regard them at a time when they are not feeling well." And there's an asshole Baron. Louna eyeballs Fabrice and she rolls them. "Baron Sauveterre. Have you come to have the stick removed from your nether regions? I am sure I'm not so far gone I can't offer to excise it. And not charge you a ducat."

Symon surely notes the emergence of this dissenting voice, but he doesn't look particularly engaged with the financial debate surrounding the new facility. In fact he looks as thought his mind is elsewhere.

Gregoire raises his hands and backs off from his wife's shrewish words, "My apologies wife, I shall stifle my impulse to check on your well-being more in the future." He pauses as she then turns her razor sharp tongue on their guest, "Baron Sauveterre…" He's more polite in his words, "Perhaps these matters can be discussed elsewhere, in less…" He motions around him, "Public setting."

Theodosia turns as she hears the voice, and she takes in a small breath as she recognizes the Baron, but she remains silent, only sipping on her wine thoughtfuly, it's not her place to interfere in such matters, besides, the hosts seem to have this well in hand.

"No!" barks the Bulldog Baron, "Let all these people stand as witness. I charge you, Lord Baphinol, as having gone beyond your bounds as heir to this county, and in the foul redistribution of wealth that is ours by birth to whomsoever your personal whims please you. I challenge you; stand and fight me." And, in punctuation of this lattermost command, he draws his blade.

<FS3> Jehan-Pascal rolls Composure: Success. (7 5 1 5 1 4 3)

A blade with the like of which Jehan-Pascal himself is not equipped, having both not been prepared to be accosted with a blade this morning and also never been given to the martial arts. "I would rather not fight you, Lord Baron. But if you are so blind to the fact that the good of the commons is the good of the county, and that your good is mine — and vice versa — that you would duel… I will choose for myself a champion to fight in my place." An unconventional move, perhaps even cowardly, but Jehan-Pascal is at least keeping it together. Barely.

"Hah!" the Bulldog answers back. "Of course you would. Like you tried to send your puppy dog Vicomte d'Orange to get me to put down my Barony for you. You never had a single testicle in your life; no wonder you wear dresses to bed with your virago. I only wonder whose child it is she's passing off as yours. Fine! Choose your champion. You won't see me back down."

Gregoire calmly turns and murmurs something to a servant, sending them to fetch his axe. He steps forward, motioning for Jehan to stand back as Gregroire stands for his wife, "The Baroness, my wife, carries my own child." He doesn't seem at all concerned with the blade in the baron's hand, "I care not for whatever grievance you have towards our liege but bringing my wife's virtue is beyond the pale." He turns to Jehan to see if he minds, "I think since my honor and yours is directly being challenged, perhaps I can 'kill'…" There's a deep smile at that word, "two birds with one battle."

Symon turns to look at the nobleman insisting on a duel, blinking rounded eyes. "W…what in the w-world," he breathes.

Theo takes a deeper breath, her chest fluttering, and she shakes her head. "This is rather…taking the rustic to the extreme…" she says, even before Greg calls for his axe. "I…Are you sure there isn't a better way to settle this?"

Louna's calling for guards is what she's doing, a scowl on her face and discomfort about what's happening, looking to Greg as he's volunteering. A dramatic roll of her eyes as she waddles away from where it looks like the duel might just literally throw down, coming to settle beside Theodosia and Symon. "Ridiculous" Muttered in her breath.

Jehan-Pascal opens his mouth , brows lofting in momentary concern when Gregoire steps up for him— or for Louna— he's quite mistaken on the Bulldog's implications, of course, but somehow it doesn't seem like the time to bring it up. His heart's a little fluttery, for sure, and he falls back amongst the observers, picking at Lucius' tunic-sleeve anxiously, though the latter seems only too astounded and amazed by this entire production, as though it were some sort of play being put on for his entertainment.

The Bulldog doesn't even care that Gregoire is being outfitted with an axe— Gregoire doesn't know that he's wearing armor, and that gives him an advantage in the fight. To stop things now and try to even things out with a change of weapons would only call into question other planes of equality. Plus, he's seeing red. He knew he could take down Jehan-Pascal in a walk, but now he's too far in it to back down, even against an opponent quite possibly vastly his superior.

Gregoire takes the axe that is delivered, the handle of the favored weapon has fought many a Skaldi in it's day. It's clear by the way that Gregoire drops into a stance that he's not a dandy. There's a fierce warrior standing before this bulldog. He ignores his wife's annoyance now that they're about to go into battle, "To first blood. I have no interest in paying restitution to your family for your headless body."

The Bulldog lifts up his blade: "To the yield," he counters with an almost-literal growl, "A scratch isn't going to end this between us. At you!" he shouts, and lunges in for an attack, carried on by rage and aristocratic indignation.

Gregoire moves in with the vicious single-mindedness, bringing his axe to bear to strike his opponent. When the metal ring of armor under cloth sounds off, there's a raised brow of suprise, lowering his guard, "You're wearing armor?" There's a growl as the blade sinks into his arm, "Poor sport old man." He backs off to recircle, knowing now that he needs to be careful now that he knows he's at a disadvantage.

A poor sport, maybe, but alive— that axe might have cracked his rib and spilled all his breath, but it has yet to spill any of his blood beyond a graze where the broken links ground into him. "You're wielding an axe against a blade, I would say that evens us out." he pants, trying to regain his breath even as he goes after him again.

Symon finds in the end that he cannot watch and turns his head aside from the battle. He looks rather pale.

"Speaks the man who came planning this farce and wore -armor-" Snaps out Louna, resisting finding something to throw at the man. There's a scowl - she hasn't seemed to stop - the baron gets a strike in. But not the win. There's a turn to a servant, instruction to send for the physicians from the buildings.

Gregoire nods with a grim look, and then starts to fight in earnest now that he knows he's up against someone that doesn't fight with honor. His brutal swings bear down on the baron after a quick miss. The resounding crack as a second swing to the chest rings in the hall, causing the other man to fall to his knees. Gregoire is bleeding on his arm as he stands over the fallen man, "Guards! Take him out of here. Let him lay in the stables till his people come get him."

Symon flinches at the crack and looks up to see Gregoire bleeding. He stands up and moves to go back into the villa.

Jehan-Pascal can't much look, either; he winces one eye almost shut and clings in against Lucius' shoulder, only watching in partial bewilderment when Lucius' eyes grow more eager with each swipe and miss, his arm tensing as though battling along in his mind. When the Baron Bulldog's partial maile gives way and lets the axehead perilously deep into his gut, Lucius shouts out, "Habet, hoc habet!" in a sort of Tiberian cheer, and he grins back to his flinching companion. "It's over, Jehan-Pascal. The man is down." Down and bleeding all over the very nice outdoor patio. With his last bit of rage-fueled effort, he throws his blade as though at Jehan-Pascal, but it clatters short. Jehan-Pascal is trembling a little, but only such that Lucius can feel it. "His people may be some time at it. But I will send a message to his heir abroad. I think it's time she took a fuller hand in his administration," he breathes out while the guards — finally — arrive and begin to heft up the downed Baron. "What do the omens say, Luci, about a place of healing inaugurated with a draught of blood?" "I dare say there will be more blood here, Jehan-Pascal. Bedarrides had better learn not to be shy of it," he answers cheerfully, while Jehan-Pascal heads to Gregoire. "Are you alright, Gregoire? You— didn't have to do that for me. Thank you," he issues, eyes glittering with nascent tears.

Its inaugural fluid is not just blood— fluid beneath Louna's feet and her slippers and the brunette's jaw tight. The physicians weren't just for the baron bleeding on the floor. "A child too." Louna bites out as one hand cradles under her belly and move to lean against a table. "Gregoire, go get stitched up, someone see the baron taken to a chirurgeon, Jehan-Pascal, I need help walking down the stairs to my rooms."

Gregoire turns to Jehan and tells him softly, "It was my duty to fight for my liege. I am honored to serve you in such fashion." He looks at the deep cut on his arm as his wife calls to him to see the chirurgen, "But I should retire, see to my wound before I disrupt this gathering even more." He nods to the servants that are dragging out the unconscious man and tightens his smile, "I will see that one doesn't cause any more problems during this visit." He leaves without noticing the wetness on the floor under his wife.

Jehan-Pascal's eyes widen— he tries to reach for Gregoire, but he's too far away— or yell for him, but his voice is stuck in his throat in panic. Finally, the dams break, "Oh gosh, oh… gosh," he flutters to Louna's side, "It's OK, Louna… I have you," he tries to assure her— though he looks quite possibly more nervous than she does. Blood and birth fluid… indeed.

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