(1311-11-13) Taking a Leap
Summary: A courtesan finds herself a very unlikely dinner companion and the surprises only start there.
RL Date: Wed Nov 13, 1311
Related: None
salome seraphin 

Leaping Fish Inn

The Main Room of the Leaping Fish is tidy and well-kept - and warmed by a fire in the hearth to one side on colder days and evenings. An old tapestry depicting a pair of two leaping fish is adorning the opposite wall - a reference to both the ruling House of Mereliot and the name of the inn. The common room has five tables of sturdy oak with chairs and benches, between which two serving maids move to take orders or bring food and beverages. The air is filled with tasty smells of freshly cooked meals, and murmurs of conversation - and occasionally even melodies rippling through the room, when a lute player is around to provide entertainment. The fare is of good quality that even would not disappoint noble tastes.

There are stairs leading upstairs towards a number of comfortable and well kept rooms the inn has to offer.

The days have been the same, mild but drizzling. Every day it seems like the rain comes down whether as mist or light drizzle. At least it is not out right pouring. It would make traveling from place to place something of a chore. Salome takes a respite from shopping to grab a bite to eat. There are plenty of cute little shops within the market district, but every person whom she asked for a recommendation suggested the Leaping Fish Inn. And she could see why! From the moment the young courtesan crosses the threshold, the rich and scrumptious scents waft from the kitchen and fill the main room with mouth watering aromas that immediately make her belly rumble. Slender fingers gently caress the fur lined edge of her cloak's hood, letting it fall back from her head.

"Oh yes, this will do nicely. Hello!" She warmly greets a host. After a bit of conversation, she is directed over to a vacant table and told of the Inn's more popular dishes. "Yes, I will have the beef bourguignon and a glass of cabernet." That's just to start. Salome is known to have quite a robust appetite. She settles into her seat near the hearth and shrugs her dark cloak off her shoulder. The soft hues of her silk gown accentuate the bronze tone of her skin and make her dark hair appear even more lustrous. She's dressed and styled in the fashion of the time; corseted gown, deep square neckline trimmed in Chantilly lace, sleeves that reach the elbows and edged with a feminine ruffle. Her waist is nipped in by the boning of her corset and the skirt is full. Her hair is artfully arranged into a double twist in the back that almost looks like a fancy 'S'. Lovely and exquisite, but not overly perfected. Life is not perfect and neither is Salome.

Séraphin is a rather different sight, seated at a table with another man. Clad entirely in black, with nothing to soften or lessen the effect of the mourning colours, the man seems to be in quiet conversation with the other man, who proves to grow more and more frustrated, until… "Let me make it clear, my Lord. You lack the wealth and you lack the importance for me to consider a contract. Unless you demonstrate a greater quantity of both, we simply have nothing to discuss further. Good day." The man looks about to argue, yet a look from the darkly clad man is enough to silence him and see him off in relative dignity. Séraphin, meanwhile, remains at his table, tracking the progress of the nobleman until he is gone. It's then he notices Salomé, with her table… quite close to his. "My apologies, miss. The Inn is mercifully rarely so… wasteful of one's time."

The glass of wine is presented first while the meal will be just another moment or two. Some freshly baked bread is served in the meantime and the enchanting woman is grateful for something to fill her while she waits. There is something of a heated conversation at the adjacent table. It's difficult not to overhear, but Salome does well to pretend she's not listening. Her lips are pressed to the glass when the older gentleman speaks to her. Large doe eyes widen, offering an expressive look to her face before she even has a moment to swallow her sip. She smirks around the rim then brings the glass down to the table and lightly dabs a napkin to the corners of her mouth. "Monsieur, there is no need to apologize. If business were pleasant, everyone would indulge." She gestures to her table, "Would you care to join me? I am new to Marsilikos and a bit of company would do good for my soul, and perhaps my ego." She teases. There is an exuberance about her; full of life and light, a certain joie de vivre.

"Business, mademoiselle, can be pleasant if both individuals are forthright and not blinded by ego. But at the risk of feeding your own, I would be happy to join you." And so Séraphin does, leaving his table to join her own, while ordering his own drink and food. "I should perhaps introduce myself. I am Séraphin de Fiscarde, Lord of the Black Legion, and likewise newly arrived to the city. And who might I have the pleasure to address?" he asks politely. Though his gaze, even when he looks upon the beautiful young woman, remains steel, he is courteous, manners and words polite.

"I quite agree. I tend to believe in the institution of honesty; Whether that is in business or pleasure." When the man comes to join her, the young woman rises from her seat and offers him a polite curtsey. "My Lord Fiscarde, it is wonderful to make your acquaintance." She bows her head as well then offers her own introduction. "I am Salome Toluard nó Glycine. I actually completed my marque in Jasmine House on Mont Nuit, but I've since come to Marsilikos and have transferred to the local house here. I've fallen in love with the city." As she is not currently working, her back is completely covered. Reclaiming her seat, Salome gives her skirts a bit of a swish and offers Seraphin some bread from the basket. "I am sorry if your prior business was less than satisfactory, but perhaps I can make the rest of your evening more enjoyable." When she smiles, it reaches her eyes and there's a natural radiance that warms her skin and brings a flush to her cheeks.

"Ah, a Jasmine." There's no disappointment in his tone. Perhaps a glimmer of interest? It's hard to say. Safe to say that the notion of a Jasmine doesn't reduce him to an howling wolf. "A pleasure to meet you then, Salomé of the Jasmine House." he nods to the young woman in polite greeting. "I've not yet wandered through the city enough to be able to tell whether it is love or not, though I cannot argue its popularity. Though I'm curious to hear what has made you so taken with it. Something in particular, or the whole?" He does accept the bread, offering his thanks as he does. "Perhaps. At this hour, I doubt more business can be seen to. One might as well enjoy good company while they can before the morrow, mm?"

"Well," Salome settles in just as their meals arrive. She glances up to the waitress and thanks her for her hospitality then waits until she steps aside to continue speaking. "I think that Mont Nuit is just perhaps the most glamorous of places in all of Terre d'Ange, no?" The tip of her spoon dips into the bowl and a thick plume of steam rises from the hearty dish. Hot and hearty. "But it is overwhelming at times. I had the most wonderful debut and I loved every part of being a part of Jasmine House." A small bite is scooped onto the spoon and she leans forward a touch to lightly blow across the surface of wine soaked beef, carrots, peas, and potatoes. Her movements are subtle and surely anyone would do the same, but they would not execute it with the pure sensuality Salome does. Her lips are full and pillowy, her large expressive eyes become half-lidded and her thick dark lashes are naturally sooty. It is easy to see she does not wear a lot of cosmetics and if she did it would take away from her raw beauty. She takes the bite and it is still a touch too hot. She blushes from being so eager and covers her mouth with the napkin while she chews and eventually swallows. "It was worth the scalding. I'm quite famished." But she continues. "I was en route to visit my family, we are from Siovale; Bordeaux to be more precise. My father was Enguerrand Odilon de Toluard, Duc de Toluard, but he died during my sister's wedding. It was a jousting accident." It is the first time the young woman looks sad. "I was still an adept and could not travel home. It had been years since I saw him last but," Well, that is how nobility works sometimes. "We did exchange letters over the years of course." Of course!

"It should be one of the ironies of traveling for the last ten years that I do not recall the last time I stepped foot in Mont Nuit." remarks Séraphin as their dinner arrives and he begins to eat. Duck for him, along with assorted vegetables. Still, the nobleman has a preference for bread, and even then his enjoyment of his meal is a far cry from Salomé's own experience. "When I came of age, I think. As I recall, it was meant to overwhelm. To impress even we nobles with all the privileges of our station." Luxuries that, the man's tone implies, he could and has lived without. "But I am glad to hear your debut proved successful. Not that I would have expected differently. There's a life to you, an energy, that would describe the Jasmine House very well if ever I had to explain the concept to some of our foreign recruits." He takes another sip of wine before adding. "Not that your beauty is any lesser, of course." Steel he may be, but he has eyes. Eyes that express glimmers of amusement as he adds. "Far be it from me to hold a young woman such as yourself from her food, mademoiselle." And then she speaks of her family. Of her father's death. "You have my sympathies." he says, and seems to mean it. "I hope that these exchanged letters are bearers of some form of comfort. Much as it may be otherwise in the world, parents and children should not be strangers."

Perhaps one of the most underrated courtesan skills is perception and being able to read a patron's desires from their unspoken language. Salome is quite in tune with those she spends time with and getting to know Seraphin proves to be intriguing. There is a certain serious tone to his voice, but behind the weight is mirth. His gaze is penetrating but a glimmer still shines behind the dark veil. He has good taste when he orders duck; a fatty foul full of flavor but also enjoys comfort. He offers his sympathies with honesty and appears quite genuine. "Thank you, my lord. It has been nearly two years and the lack of correspondence from him is certainly felt. But, he lived and loved exuberantly. He would not want me or my siblings to stop pursuing our dreams." While she expresses her grief, she remains light and uses her work to honor his memory. "And you do not keep me from my meal. You've only made it more enjoyable." She scoops up a blend of the stew and leans over the table just enough to be able to extend the bite to Seraphin. "Try it. You will love the flavors. You can tell the meat has soaked in all the wine and herbs. It warms your belly and makes you feel as though you are being hugged from the inside." Salome extends the spoon and keeps her other hand cupped just beneath it to prevent drippings onto the table cloth.

"I see. And your mother?" he asks. Salomé had only spoken of the father, and while most aristocrats would have stopped at that, finding the link to nobility the only one that might matter, the question is once more asked with honest interest. When she offers him a bite from her meal, however, he arches a brow. He doesn't refuse, once more that glimmer of amusement showing, though his lips do not curve. "If you insist. Are you quite certain you've only just arrived? Or were you able to tell all of that from a single taste?" he asks, even as he leans over and then takes it. He leans back again as he considers the taste, before ultimately nodding. "It is as you said, though I would not have been able to put it in so much detail, or be so precise. You've a fine eye, or should I say tongue, for food, mademoiselle. A shame you've already found your calling, else I might have hired you merely to pick the meals for me." He tilts his head to the side, another sign of his curiosity. "Do you cook, yourself?"

"It is good, no?" Salome's sparkle with delight, as if she made the dish herself and were proudly sharing it with him. "My lord, I have a 'fine' everything." She coquettishly winks as she begins to lean back in her seat. By now the stew has cooled enough to thoroughly enjoy. A sip of wine is taken and she makes a 'Mm' sound when he brings up her mother. Holding the glass by the actual globe rather than the stem, she uses the pads of her fingertips to wipe away at any droplets from her lips. "My mother is Lady Caterina di Milazza de Toluard." And at this point she rambles off a few details about her mother in Caerdicci. It's perfect. Her fluency is exceptional, as if she were from Caerdicci Unitas proper. And now it makes sense, her coloring; her exotic appeal is not all d'Angeline.

Another arch of a brow, though less surprise and more amusement. "Once again, mademoiselle, you find me unable to argue with you." he says as to her fine everything. The man, it bears repeating, has eyes. When she speaks of her mother, and switches languages, the man doesn't display the usual confusion one might expect from one who does not speak the language. Perhaps his composure is simply that good. Or perhaps… "I see." he says, answering in fluent Caerdicci. "I spent more time in Milazza than I did La Serenissma or Tiberium, the Duc having more need for mercenaries than the latter. Especially when it comes to Skaldia and Illyria." he remarks. He takes another piece of bread and another of duck, enjoying his dinner at a leisurely pace, though with the efficient manner that comes from having had to dine on far less in the past.

Impressed does not even begin to describe what Salome is feeling. Her eyes widen a touch the moment Seraphin begins speaking in Caerdicci. She takes a sip of her wine, effectively draining the glass only to set it aside for now. "My Lord Fiscarde, you surprise me in only the very best ways." She looks to the meal which has been devoured and the empty bottle of wine between them. "I could see to order more, but I am not hungry for more food. Perhaps there is room for dessert, but I am far more interested in continuing our conversation. I feel as if I have shared so much of my story but am only beginning to learn about learn about you. Could I perhaps entice you to come visit the salon of la Glycine, Lord Seraphin?" Hopeful but also tempting is the tone of her voice. "I promise to make your night quite exceptional. You will not regret it."

"Does dessert prevent conversation to be held?" asks Séraphin, but it's not a serious question, his way to tease as his tone makes clear. "Perhaps you have interpreted correctly that I do not wish to share too much of myself. Or that I have little interest of talking about myself. I much prefer to hear of you than to fill my ears with tales of where I've been and what I've done. There has been quite enough of that, truth be told." But he doesn't seem opposed, should she have questions. He simply won't volunteer the information so freely. "You could, and have, enticed me to visit. I had already considered the notion, before you made the invitation, and now I find myself moved not only by my own intention but also the desire to keep you from being disappointed by refusal." Again, that flicker of a smile. "No, mademoiselle. I don't think you could make me regret." The man has eyes. And he is, after all, a man. "Shall we, then?" he asks as he stands and, quite politely, offers her his arm.

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