(1312-03-13) Cooking Up An Assignation
Summary: Odette brings a handsome new patron to sign his very first contract at the Lis d’Or.
RL Date: 13/03/2020
Related: As background, Consent.
emilie odette cyrille 

Second’s Office — Le Lis d’Or

White boiseries, discreetly gilded with a pattern of lilies in which a sharp eye might discern the occasional camellia or dahlia, cereus or eglantine, panel the walls of this airy and well-proportioned chamber in which the business of the Lis d'Or is carried out in an atmosphere of impeccable elegance.

Long gilt looking-glasses mirror the positions of long windows framed by lavender silk drapes: each revealed and reflected prospect upon the salon's gardens seems more ideal than the last. Dainty mahogany or gilt furnishings are arranged in perfect harmony about a porphyry hearth, the tables topped with alabaster and the chairs and sofas upholstered some in white silk and others in lavender and white stripes. Flower-woven Akkadian carpets soften footsteps and lend the warmth of their own rich hues. Gentle light comes when needed from curvaceous glass oil lamps upheld by bronze-doré figures of beautiful nude youths of various sexes, for which some of the salon's earliest adepts are said to have posed.

In the corner farthest from the double doors leading out toward the salon proper stands a desk, in an unavoidable nod towards the chamber's more official purposes. The top of it is never cluttered, but laid out with fine parchment and a tray of pristine white quills, and a statuette of a golden lily from which one may draw violet ink like nectar. Above it shelves set in an arched recess hold ledgers leatherbound in soft shades of blue and lavender and yellow and rose.

Even in the depths of winter fresh hothouse flowers bloom in a rotating array of priceless vases and bowls, scenting the air just sweetly enough.

When Odette returns from her outing to the temple baths, escorted not only by her guards but by a fresh-faced and promising new potential patron, word amongst those of her fellow adepts who have come down to the salon so early in the afternoon to chat and laugh and make music is that it’s the Camellia Second’s day to oversee administrative matters. And so she and her swain find Émilie Perigeux nó Lis d’Or in her office, behind gilded doors just across from what the crème de la crème of Eisandine society considers the stairway to heaven.

The air is full of the scent of freesias — and just a whiff of smoke from the fire lit already and extravagantly for Émilie’s comfort. Odette’s knock having gained her attention, she is just laying down her tambour frame: the white linen cloth she's embroidering mingles still with skirts of ruched peach-pink silk, worn beneath a velvety mantua in a darker hue that fastens with several pretty blue silk bows down her flower-embroidered, peach-pink stomacher. Her wide brown eyes are fixed on the doorway to see who comes through it; her smile is serene, her expression politely inquiring as she rises less to greet the adept, than the adept’s guest.

“Why, Odette,” she pronounces, having made it her business to meet and learn the names of all the young people in the salon, whether they’re of her own canon or not. “And who is this? My lord, welcome to the Lis d’Or,” and she favours Cyrille with a dazzling smile.

Entering the salon for what amounts to his second time ever, Lord Cyrille is followed not only by Odette and her guard, but a pair of his own. A middle aged man, with bright blue eyes, and a slightly younger female, with emerald green eyes, both wearing the Rocaille colors as they move into the place. Though as they arrive near the salon, the guards step away, finding a place to mingle within the servants' quarters of the salon.

As they arrive into the office of the Second, Cyrille steps in just after Odette, allowing her to take the lead inside. His shy smile is cast towards Émilie as they move inside, and he bows his head towards the second. "A pleasure to meet you, miss." He murmurs softly, dipping his head towards her in a polite incline.

“I’m Émilie Perigeux nó Lis d’Or,” that lady confides to Cyrille, with a slight and regal lowering of her own exquisitely-dressed, strawberry-blonde head. “And your name, my lord…? Have we the honour of receiving you for the first time this evening…?” she asks pleasantly, as she lifts her hand in a graceful arc that beckons the young man inward, and Odette too.

Odette had to change before she met with the second. She wasn't going to wear a wet robe or have her hair sticking to her. So she quickly pulled her hair back in a dancers bun and put on a soft pink flowing dress that covers her fully. Neck to fingers and down passed her feet. She curtsies to the Second and grins as they make introductions. "He was here last night, Second. His name is Lord Cyrille de Rocaille." She gestures to him before stepping aside and moving to the wall. She was always one of the more quiet Adapts.

"Lord Cyrille de Rocaille." Cyrille informs softly, his lips curling more deeply into that shy smile of his. "I… Well, this is my second visit to your salon. Though it is my first assignation." He admits, his cheeks turning a touch red. As Émilie beckons the pair of them in further, he follow along readily. Then his eyes shift over towards Odette, peeking at her shyly, his lips curling more brightly into a pleased smile.

“Ah, Lord Rocaille,” breathes Émilie, inclining her head once again to the young man. One might well suppose he arrives as a delightful, long-desired surprise.“How I regret that I wasn’t here to receive you last night— though I gather our Odette made you welcome.” She smiles, and gestures the adolescent pair to a sofa they might occupy together, whilst she herself glides nearer to her delicate desk in a rustle and a shimmer of peach-pink silk.

She doesn’t sit, though, but turns toward them again and stands with her ivory hands clasped before her corseted waist. “And have you a letter from your banker, Lord Rocaille, or would you prefer to settle with us in gold?” she inquires courteously of the patron-to-be.

The young woman turns and takes a seat delicately on a sofa. She puts her hands in her lap and bows her head a little, water drips down her forehead and she quickly brushes it away. She doesn't lean back onto the sofa but sits upright and regal as a Lis d'Or should. "I teased him, madame." She grins a little and takes a deep breath. "He blushes well." She points out though at the mention of money, she turns her face away and becomes interested in the wall. She doesn't want to be part of the discussion of money.

At the gesture towards the sofa, Cyrille moves to join Odette, seating himself next to her and maintaining a similarly elegant posture. His back is straight, his shoulders square, and his attention on Émilie. At the mention of him being teased, his cheeks flare into that mentioned blush, and he peeks over towards Odette shyly. Then he peeks back towards Émilie. "I have coin enough for the initial assignation on my person. As I think we intend this to be a long term assignation, however, a letter from my banker will follow shortly after."

<FS3> Émilie rolls Perception: Good Success. (7 1 8 1 2 3 5 6 4 1 4 2 3 6 8)

As the bead of water makes its way down Odette’s forehead, the Second’s nostrils flare almost imperceptibly. Otherwise she’s as still as a statue— a very statuesque statue, the vaunted perfection of her canon displayed in every line and curve of her richly-clad figure. “As you wish, my lord,” she agrees, inclining her head toward the pinkening young man.

“And are there any particular provisions you would wish to see written into your initial contract with our Odette? A particular chamber, or garment, or act…?” she inquires gently.

The young woman turns to look at the second and she grins a little. Her eyes turn to Cyrille and she lightly touches his hand in support. "I will not be offended with anything you say. It is your assignation." She bows her head to him and then pulls her hand back to rest in her lap. Her eyes look over the second as she breathes calmly.

With the matter of payment having been arranged, Cyrille's cheeks flare into a deeper blush, at the inquiry of some of the more specific aspects. Clearly, he didn't think that part of this agreement through. The touch to his hand though draws his attention towards Odette, giving her his lingerly soft smile. Then his attention returns to Émilie and he clears his throat, as though that may give him some confidence and composure. "I would experience her cooking, for every visit." He informs, his lips curling with a bit of mischief. "As for her act, I would only request that they be as varied and unique as she can manage them. Garments…." The last word bringing his timid demeanor back into clear display. "Erm… Whichever… She is most comfortable wearing."

Émilie lowers her perfect chin just a fraction. “… Cooking,” she states, her rose-pink lips forming the word as if hoping against hope to create some distance between herself and it. She looks from one youth to the other and gathers after a moment that it must be a jest between them. Or something. It can’t be his own idea, surely—? Lordlings of that age don’t think about where their dinner is coming from, as a rule. They just assume it will be served on cue.

“Of course, Lord Rocaille,” she decides, smiling again, “if it is your wish, and if Odette consents to fulfill it. But you understand there will of course be an extra tariff for the gift of a skill so far outside what we customarily offer to our patrons, here at the Lis d’Or.” She gives another slight bow of her head and then turns away to take the last few steps to her desk.

The young woman blinks a few times before turning to Cyrille and grinning. "Fear not, Lord Cyrille. I can bring a tray of the finest foods to assignation. I shouldn't cook. We have a lovely cook to feed you." She lightly touches his hand and bows her head a little before lifting her eyes up and grinning at him. She looks at Émilie, "I cannot cook and I cannot accept that. I hope you understand." She pulls her hand back. "Though I am sure you can find another thing. Would you like to listen to my cello or singing?"

Another touch to his hand, and Cyrille gives Odette a soft smile, before casting his attention back towards Émilie. "If it is a cause for concern, then it need not be involved in our agreement here." He informs the second, his expression settling into a composed manner. "Singing, cello, piano…" He decides, then pauses. "Any performance of musical instrument that you are comfortable with."

Drawing out the chair from her desk Émilie turns to smile over her shoulder at the pair of them, her expression wry but kind. She gathers her skirts and seats herself with a Camellia’s easy decorum; several fresh sheets of parchment are laid out before her already, waiting only for her to dip her quill in that elaborate gilded lily inkwell and begin to inscribe in deep violet ink and a flawless hand the Lis d’Or’s own special variation upon the time-honoured phrases via which accord is sealed between courtesan and patron, in Naamah’s honour.

“We shall leave out the adventures of the kitchen, then,” she suggests, that having been the result of the tender negotiations on the sofa, “and write only of the adventures of the bedchamber… The standard contract,” she explains to Cyrille, the neophyte. Her quill is already scritching over the parchment, each word bringing him nearer to joy.

Odette keeps her hands in her lap and her chin up. She doesn't speak further on the mention of cooking or food. She doesn't comment on the contract either. She sits quietly waiting for her Second's approval and Cyrille to agree to the terms.

Watching carefully as Émilie moves to claim her seat behind the desk, Cyrille keeps his posture held with the practiced grace of his station. His composure holds, until the mention of what shall transpire in the bedchamber, his cheeks flaring into a deeper blush. Still, he keeps himself collected, at the very least, patiently waiting to hear of any further questions Émilie might have on the terms of the contract.

With one ear tilted toward the young pair on the sofa, who seem to have fallen together into a shy adolescent silence, Émilie continues writing. After three and a half months at the Lis d’Or she knows the standard contract by heart— she knows it as well as she knows her own… Her words unfurl elegantly, line by line, to cover a full page, and then she lays it aside with the ink gleaming dark and wet upon the pale parchment, flexes her right hand a couple of times, and commences the second, identical copy. “… My lord,” she murmurs slowly, pausing to glance again toward Cyrille, “I gather Odette has made known to you her price—?”

Odette looks at the papers and looks down to her hands. She finally lifts her chin and adjusts how her dress falls around her. She's staying quiet for the time being.

As the paper is presented forward to him, Cyrille rises and steps forward, moving closer to Émilie's desk. "Certainly." He informs, pausing near the desk to allow the ink on the parchment some time to dry. He has the practiced patience of a Siovalese scholar, then he signs his name along the indicated space gracefully. Afterwards, he straightens himself and moves towards the door, to fetch a novice, so they may fetch the guards and present his initial payment.

There’s a novice waiting just outside in case the Second has need of his sturdy young legs; and Émilie raises no objection to Cyrille’s commanding the boy, understanding the need. She continues writing out the second copy and then sets it precisely next to the first. “Please, my lord,” she suggests to Cyrille, restoring the quill to his hand, “take as long as you require to ascertain that both copies are identical, and that the terms are to your liking.”

With the novice moving to fetch his guards, Cyrille returns to the desk, leaning in closely to view both of the contracts, appraising them with a careful eye. His mother was a lawyer, and so he knows all of the legal terminology that may be required. After a moment, he nods his head and leans back. "I am comfortable with this." He mentions, signing the second contract.

Émilie’s paperwork is faultless, of course — she’s not only a Camellia, but a Siovalese Camellia. Woe betide the marqued courtesan who turns in something hasty and sloppy on her watch. “Thank you, my lord,” she murmurs to Cyrille, and then she accepts the quill from him and holds it ready for the adept who must be the next to sign. “Odette…?” she inquires, her voice lifting in question as she looks to the girl still sitting on the sofa.

Odette stands up and moves over to the table. She takes the quill and signs it with a beautiful signature. The woman takes a step back once it's complete and hands the quill back. She puts her hands together in front of her and turns her eyes to Cyrille, watching him carefully.

As Odette signs her name the novice knocks and pushes the door ajar, to notify the lord of his return with the two Rocaille guards — and, more importantly, the thousand Rocaille ducats — in tow. Whilst Cyrille steps out into the corridor to decant his retainers and settle with them the details of his evening and when and where he’ll require their services, Émilie hesitates a moment and then, instead of signing her own name, tucks the quill back into its place on the inkstand and clasps her hands in her lap, swiveling slightly to look up into the adept’s face.

“Odette,” she says, quietly, to ensure she isn’t heard through the open door, “have you some reluctance to assign with Lord Rocaille…? I gathered from the fact you brought him to me, that the choice was your own, but…” She tilts her head and studies her, waiting.

Odette turns her eyes to Émilie and when she doesn't sign, her face turns neutral. She turns to look back at Cyrille and listens to him a moment before she speaks. "He is very kind and when he asked I wholeheartedly said I accept. I'm sorry I am not overly expressive." She shakes her head. "I signed because I accept him. I would not sign if I did not. He is kind and I know he will continue to be kind."

<FS3> Émilie rolls Empathy: Good Success. (2 4 3 8 2 4 5 8 3 2 6 1 6 7)

Émilie gazes up at Odette with warm and intelligent brown eyes, studying her as she listens to these reassurances of intent, of consent, perhaps even of desire, after a fashion. Wanting someone simply to be kind, is all too natural. “Very well,” she says at last, “I might have found some impediment— but if you’re certain of your wishes, I’ll sign.” And then the young Rocaille lord returns with a heavy purse in tow, and the remainder of the arrangements are soon made, the coins counted by the Second’s eagle eye and her name inscribed upon each copy of the contract, above the heavy and glittering wax seal of the Lis d’Or.

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