(1312-03-21) An Afternoon of Relaxation and Poetry
Summary: The promise of sweet delicacies and massage lures people out to the salon, people as diverse as a Kusheline, a Tsingano, a baker, a Red Rose and a lady of Namarrese blood and intentions.
RL Date: Sat Mar 21, 2020
Related: None
lois sido foulque ammy justine audrialla clara 

Le Coquelicot — Night Court

Tiles of fine beige colored marble cover the floor in an ever repetitive pattern that is only broken by the circle of inlay work in its center, where through the use of white marble and dark red obsidian a likeness of the poppy flower comes to life, informing the visitor which salon it is he has entered. Long white drapes embroidered with a line of similar earthy dark red to the obsidian used in the floor are arranged to frame the windows, through which the parlour will be generously lighted through the day. Scattered about the room are comfortable chairs, light rattan fletching topped off with comfortable, cream-colored cushions, beside small tables where long slender flagons of wine stand at the ready beside goblets made of clay, glazed in warm earthy tones.

The air is that of relaxation, on more levels than just the physical; this extends to the mind, the soul, and the heart as well. An effect that is enhanced by the soothing melodies played by a lutist in a corner, by the pleasant subtle scents emanating from clay bowls filled with aromatic oils sitting on the tables; the warm lighting of oil lamps through glass shades painted with soothing patterns of waves in orange and dark red. Enhanced further by the soft laughter rippling through these halls where the visitor for once is allowed to take a break from his everyday trials and tribulations, from fears and worries, from tenseness in muscles and sometimes just loneliness.

Archways in old Tiberian style lead onwards to three areas, where patrons can find soothing in the way they wish to. Whereas a stairway at the back curves all the way up to the upper floor, where private quarters of courtesans and adepts can be found.

The Salon de Coquelicot has announced the event a few weeks in advance. Some invitations had been sent out for a special occasion, but there also had been a different campaign promoting the upcoming gathering. Some Coquelicots had been spotted at various locations in the city, citing love poems to people, and not without declaring that the afternoon of relaxation and poetry would be happening soon at the Night Court.

So there they are, nobles, courtesans and even a few commoners making their way in to the foyer of the salon and letting their gazes drift to take in the interior. Oil lamps have been dimmed down a little, creating an intimate and cozy atmosphere, with heavy curtains drawn. Four massage tables have been set up, offering space for the same number of Coquelicot adepts or courtesans to work their magic on tense muscles for those that are in need of such treatment. Side tables hold a number of flagons of various scented oils, and tall floor candelabras made of brass, about five feet in height, act as both lighting and divider between the massage tables.

Light tones of music ripple through the parlor of the salon, dreamy melodies that are played on a lute and a harp by two male Coquelicot courtesan of the Gentian canon. All Coquelicot courtesans present wear white plain tunics that look vaguely Hellene or Tiberian in design, an impression that is underlined further by the leather sandals that adorn their shapely feet and lower legs till midway to the knee. Novices make their rounds with goblets of brass and large amphoras, from which they pour red wine for those that request a drink.

Comfortable seats and benches have been arranged along the walls, for those that like to enjoy the event as a spectator and those waiting for their turn on the massage tables. At one wall, a table has been set up for the Dowayne, Philandre nó Cocquelicot, and a guest of honor that has yet to arrive.

Sido has golden clasps ruching up her velveteen sleeves to reveal the white and red satin lining below, as well as leave her arms bare and her sleeves safe from the massage oils on hand this afternoon. She's finishing up a soothing thumb-roll up the back of a noblewoman presently covered with a fluffy blanket from the buttocks down on one of the massage tables, then using a small silver hammer to ring a soft, sonorous chime to hang in the air near the woman's ear, following it up by tracing the silver hammer down the line of the woman's spine with a deliberate sloth.

One of the other present Coquelicots is Lois, the young red-haired adept, easily to be recognized as such through her youth and the fact that the white tunic covers all of her back. The fiery red strands of her hair have been gathered in part, some braids used to keep it somewhat in check while some of it is allowed to spill in part over her shoulders. She is standing beside one of the massage tables, idle for now, as it seems, yet ready to give a treatment to the back of one of the guests, should one of them step forth for such a task. Her blue eyes look with warm and yet slightly distracted curiosity as she lets her gaze drift over those arriving.

Foulque walks in, the tall Shahrizai looking less formal than usual, a light black coat over a white silk shirt, black breeches into riding boots..his long, silver hair flowing down his back. He nods to the adept welcoming him, and it seems he declines the offer of a massage, instead just waiting to see what goes on at the event

Sido draws up a slightly dampened towel from a pile of heated stones, wiggles it loose and open, then drapes it over the noblewoman's back, drawing it slowly up to cocoon her from rump to nape in a soothing, steamy heat, and let her rest through the afterglow of the massage. She turns to their Gentian-gifted adept with a contented sigh and goes to clasp hands with her. "Are you alright manning the beds? Or do you want to go mingle?" she grins. Lois is, after all, very close to making her marque, and could benefit the most by it.

Ammy slowly enters the space. He's dressed in old but fancy clothing that are a little bit wrinkled. They are simple black pants and a puffy, billowing black shirt that hangs loose over his broad shoulders. The shirt is left mostly unbuttoned, showing the cleft between his muscular chest. He's carrying a very old, worn leather journal with a wrapped leather strap around it. He looks out of place, but after a moment of glancing around, he stands a bit straighter and walks in as if he's absolutely supposed to be here.

No stranger to Le Coquelicot is Justine, and yet, things do look changed this time, enough to make her pause as she enters the foyer. The blonde lady wears an elegant dress in white and green, more Night Court fashion than courtly fashion in that it is more comfortable and flowing and not restricting. "Ah… this looks wonderful," she says, in the moment her gaze drifts and brushes the white haired stern looking gentleman, and then some Coquelicots, and… the rather unusual view of a Tsingano at a salon. "Hello there…" Ammy seems to have drawn her curiosity, and so she addresses him, unafraid to step closer to the man. "Are you…" Her gaze drops to the journal he carries with him, "a writer, perchance?"

Loïs looks a little startled when Sido draws her out of her contemplations. And yet, her slender fingered hands are granted to the other Coquelicot, and the red-haired adept smiles. "I think I'll be fine here, waiting for someone to get a treatment," she declares softly, "you did a good job on the lady." Massage job, of course! "What do you think? This looks like a success for Monsieur Philandre, doesn't it?"

Foulque accepts a glass of wine, and watches Sido work her magic, the sharp smile on his lips not necessarily very reassuring, considering he's a Shahrizai.. but then he hears Justine voice, and turns his head raising a silver eyebrow as he notices the Tsingano. Yes, indeed, not what one would expect in such a setting.

<FS3> Justine rolls Perception: Success. (4 3 4 8 3 5 2)

Ammy offers a giant, friendly smile that's a dimple-laden display of inviting and charming. "Good evening, my lady. Um…" He looks at his journal as well, and he offers a shrug, "Oh, dis? Yes." He nods, "I make de poetry." His chest puffs slightly, "During de tournament of Marsilikos a year or so ago, I won de poetry tourney hosted in de Ducal Palace by Lady Ortolette." He sniffs, and glances around, "I am normally allowed in such places, but I hoped I would be allowed to share a poem today."

Sido kisses just the tops of Lois' hands, bouncing a little with enthusiasm, "Thank you, dear one," she murmurs back, "Oh, I think you're very right. But any time we can bring peace and contentment to the people should be counted as successful as we might wish," she grins, and, releasing Lois' hands once more, "I'll go and circulate, then," she decides, and, leaning in, "Maybe the Lady Comtesse-Elect will want to come and let you pamper her," she purrs sweetly for Lois, the meanwhile slipping past and going to that circulating thing she purported herself to be about. If she can catch the Lady's eye, she gives a cheerful smile. No stranger to the house means, after all, no stranger to her. But Justine is talking to Ammy and his notebook, so Sido will approach with all the unflagging confidence of spirit and a big, cheerful smile in return for the not-so-reassuring one with which Foulque was blessing her. "My Lord," she dips into a curtsey.

The Shahrizai nods as he hears Ammy's words, though there's still a bit of a frown on his forehead…after all, Tsingani aren't well, renowned for telling the truth, are they? Still, as long as the hosts accept the boy.. And then he notices Sido approach, incling his head politely to her. "Oh, good evening to you, mademoiselle." he says.

Is there anybody more susceptible to charms than Justine? That dimpling smile of Ammy is mirrored with a smile of her own. "Just… Justine," she offers in informal introduction. Her gaze drops again to the book, and to the chest that is so coincidentally on display. "Poetry? Now… that is a surprise. I would have thought your kind were more skilled at the horse race." She of all doesn't seem to mind his company. Even if the glance of Foulque is noted and earns him a look from her, chin lifting in some sort of pride.

"Go and… circulate," Lois says to Sido, before the courtesan leaves her side to mingle with the guests. There is a young lord who approaches her, and a few murmured words are exchanged between he and the adept before she helps him out of his shirt and gestures gently for him to lay down on one of the massage tables.

"My kind is skilled in many of de finer t'ings, Just Justine," Ammy responds with a playful tone. He glances at the others looking his way, and then returns his gaze to her own, meeting her eyes with a fearless confidence. "I am Ambrose Kovak, but most simply call me Ammy." With a slight chuckle, he adds, "I once acquired a horse. It was always eating my t'ings. I prefer de company of my cats." With a quick sniff, he brushes the hair from his face and looks at the massage tables where Lois is. "What are de doing?"

"Sido-Zinnifre, of Coquelicot. People call me Siz," she introduces herself, leaving some room there, conversationally, for him to do the same, if the muse thus moves him. "Shall I show you to a seat? Near to the musicians, maybe? Or bring you some tea?" Siz bubbles up a few notions in a row, seeing whether any of them will capture the gent's fancy.

"A pleasure to meet you, Mademoiselle Siz.." his smile turns more charming, kinder even as he bows his head. "Foulque Shahrizai, at your service.." The Shahrizai are a strange breed, preferring their own name to titles and such, even if they have them, their last name is a source of much more pride. "A seat would be great, and maybe…you could tell me more about the salon's plans for the evening.. "

"Ammy." The way Justine pronounces his name comes close to a sigh. "So you aren't much of a rider then?" This seems to amuse her. "I for my part plan to compete at the horse race of this year's tournament." She looks from Ammy to Foulque, observing some of his interactions with Sido, to whom she offers a polite yet playful, "Mademoiselle," in greeting. "My lord." Of course, she caught the name. "I am Justine Chalasse de la Courcel." Interesting, how she chooses to vary her introductions, depending on whom she is addressing. She follows Foulque with his gaze for a moment, then looks back to Ammy and realizes that he was posing a question. "Ah… The Coquelicot has invited to give the guests massages. There was some mention of it enhancing creativity. Poems will come later, I suspect."

Loïs gets to the task. She shoos a novice for some heated stones, she then places on the back of the lord in her care, one after the other and each time making sure where to place it. Some of her fiery hair falls over her shoulder. "I hope they are not too hot for you, my lord," she murmurs.

Ammy smiles when she says his name. "I hope dat I will see you in de horse race." He also offers a little nod to the others who have approached. With an almost humorously casual little lift of his hand in a quick wave, he gives his own name to Sido and Foulque. "Ammy." Looking at the massages again, he tilts his head a little, "I don't… I've never had one." He looks at Sido, "You have de most wonderful hair."

Sido offers one tender hand to Foulque, offering to be his guide and draw him drifting back toward the seats. She's a little distracted by the Mademoiselle from the future Comtesse, and she kisses her own free set of fingertips, waggling them cheerfully in a sweet-eyed reply before she walks backward into the arm of a couch and her journey is suddenly halted with a soft, "Uff!" of surprise, covered over with a small titter. "Looks like a seat just found us. We have music, snacks and massage… later we'll have our poetry contest, if you'd like to present," she draws her arm around her to continue guiding him to settle on the couch while she turns to perch sideways on the arm that had nearly hobbled her. She tips her head toward Ammy, "Oh? Thank you! I like to think it makes up in quality what it lacks in quantity." It is terribly short, after all.

"Won't you be competing? I mean… You said you acquired a horse. Do you still have it? I always thought that Tsingani are fond of horses." Words spill from Justine as she stays close to Ammy. "I for my part am fond of horses. I have a fine white mare. And… somehow the notion to compete against a skilled Tsingani rider such as you… somehow manages to excite me." She tilts her head to his statement of having no experience with massages. "I can recommend Mademoiselle Niobe. She has strong hands."

Foulque bows his head to Ammy, though not very deeply. "I hope you enjoy your night, Ammy.." he says, the same amused grin on his face, then he leans in to press a soft kiss on Sido's lips, his fingers holding her hand showing the calluses of a swordsman..and maybe quite used to a whip too, then he lets her guide him to his chair, where he sits, crossing his legs, chuckling a bit as it seems the girl is a bit of a clutz. "I shall enjoy the music for now, and a drink, my talents are not towards the creation of poetry, but it does not mean I cannot enjoy it."

It is strange how her hands following the usual routines manage to strengthen Lois's focus. She leaves the hot stones to warm the tense muscles in the lord's back, before she removes them, one after the other. Pouring some scented oils onto the back of the man, she then gets to the task, warm hands beginning to massage along the spine from the tail bone upwards. Ammy with his remark catches her attention, and Lois looks up, blue eyes focusing on the Tsingano for a moment.

Ammy nods at Sido, "It's de color. De red is quite beautiful." To Foulque, he grins, "T'ank you, my lord." Returning his gaze to Justine, he shakes his head, "Unfortunately, I sold it for profit. It was a fine horse, but I am but a simple chandler wit' little need for such an animal. I'm more of a scrapper den a rider. Perhaps you could enter de fisticuffs tourney and we could tumble against one anot'er." He smirks a little, clearly making a bit of an innuendo. "I am sure de maddam Niobe is a fine massagerer, but even if dey were to allow me to do such a t'ing here dis evening, I am certain it would be beyond my means."

Sido is, yes, possessed of two left feet, sometimes. When the sudden halt brings the Lord closer to her and he all lip-touches her with his lips, she's startled, a supple quiver rolling up her spine, but then she melts in against him and parts from the kiss with a smile before settling him into the seat beside her, where she can tower over him from the armrest. "A drink… tea, or something stronger, my Lord?" she asks, getting the attention of one of te Heliotrope adepts to come listen in and bring what's needed. "What about a massage? If you don't care to go bare in the room, I could give you a scalp massage from right here."

"The fisticuffs tourney?", Justine echoes, clearly amused. "Are you meaning to insinuate that I would be willing to compete at some sort of wrestling match, against men? I'm but a weak woman." She regards Ammy for a moment before she continues. "The motto of tonight is relaxation, so they will give massages for anyone, without charging. I think I heard that any extra service would cost, though."

Ammy laughs, shaking his head, "Oh, Just Justine, I would be far too humble to ever insinuate dat you would be willing to do anyt'ing except dat which you want to." He rolls his eyes and his neck a bit, "And you are clearly not weak. In fact, my experience has always been dat de men may have de muscles, de women have all de strength." He glances at the massage area again, and shakes his head just a little, "It is kind of you to say dat, but I understand my place. I would never ask for dem to to dis massage on me, even for no charges."

Audrialla's rarely one to miss a social event, though she has been gone from the city for quite some time. To make up lost time, perhaps, the Malet bakery and their pâtissière has offered to provide sweet freshments at no charge to the Salon. A table of candied fruit and sweetmeats are on display; coco-dusted orange slices, strawberries encased in dark chocolate, caramel apples, and pears in a light honey glaze. The baker wears a pale blue dress of simple silk in blue with pretty cherry blossoms embroidered for the springtime - watching over the table and ensuring it stays neat and beautifully laid out in design.

"a massage would be great, mademoiselle.." Foulque smiles, noticing Sido's embarrassment, and he chuckles a bit. "Well, I could take off my shirt, of no one minds.." Then he looks at her, his hair is very long, almost to the small of the back and smooth. But then as she was speaking, his attention is drawn by the aromas of fresh pastry. "Now..that looks truly decadent." He says, inclining his head towards Audrialla, who's probably too far away to hear his sotto voce comments.

Maybe it was the scent of candied fruits. Maybe it was the promise of some chilled white wine poured. The lord, after enduring some time beneath Lois' hands, finally lets out a sigh and moves to rise from where he had been so comfortably settled. "You have magical hands, little one," he offers, before leaving the massage table for someone else to claim.

Lois offers a curtsey to the departing nobleman, once again left idle and on her own.

Sido is hardly embarrassed; simply surprised. The Lord neglects to say what he would have to drink, and so Sido passes straight over it, as well, easy enough, "It looks like our darling Lois is just about free to oblige you, My Lord. Would you like to go over and get started, and I'll bring you over a plate of sweets?"

<FS3> Justine rolls Composure: Great Success. (2 5 6 7 8 8 8 8)

"Justine," the same clarifies towards Ammy with an amiable smile. "Rest assured that I am never put into a situation that I don't enjoy." At which she gives Ammy a wink. "You flatter me, Ammy. But well… I suppose there is some strength in my blood. A damn shame…" The latter offered in response to his denial of trying out the massage. "Then… I'll be left to hope that you may find a horse to compete against me?"

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

Her name is mentioned, and the voice that carries that name is the gentle tone of Sido nó Coquelicot. Lois looks up and offers the courtesan a warm smile. That glance soon encompasses the lord in her company. "My lord," the adept says, inclining her head with just a hint of nervousness, appropriate, considering it is a Sharizai that has his attention diverted towards her.

Ammy tilts his head again, his hair tumbling off his ear as he gets a quirky grin on his face, "Why is it a shame?" He laughs a little, "Maybe I'll acquire anot'er horse before den. I would hate to disappoint you." He notices the pastries. "Can I get you a sticky bun?" he asks, as he motions toward the table. He moves to the pastries and picks up a fine roll, takes a bite, and then shoves it into his pocket before selecting another to eat now.

Audrialla gives Ammy a slight frown at the shoving of one of her delicious palmier rolls. "You'll damage it that way," she says of the saved pastry. "And then both the interior of your coat -and- the roll are no good any more." Her pout is deep.

"I shall have a snack first, those things are too delightfully looking." He says, offering a nod of apology to Lois, before asking Sido. "Is there any of those that you'd enjoy? Will you choose one for yourself..and one for me?" It might be a little test too, or he's just hungry .

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

Sido looks over to Lois, as well, unsure in general whether this delay is purposeful or protracted. Still, she'll pop up from her perch and take to the challenge offered. "Very well, let's snack together, then," she grins. "I'll be right back," she lowers her voice just a little for that part, as though it were just between them. Then, tucking both her hands at the small of her back, she turns and flutters her fingers at him as she flits across to the offerings, just in time to see the Great Pout. "Oh, goodness. What's the matter?" she wonders, looking sad-eyed, all of a sudden, that something might be amiss.

"Nothing," Lois assures Sido with a sideways glance and a quirk of her lips. Before her gaze settles once again on the Shahrizai lord. "Please, my lord. You would honor me, of you'd allowed me to attend to you," she tellls him softly. "Mademoiselle Sido has quite the distinguished taste in sweets." Which may be a wild guess or a lie. "But I… am versed at putting patrons at ease."

Foulque nods to Lois and smiles. "Oh, that would be…something novel for me then.." Yes, it's not being put at ease that a Shahrizai usually seeks. But he demurs, for once..and unbuttons his shirt, slowly taking it off to bare wide shoulders, muscular arms, he's no longer a young man but he's in very good shape..except there is a great scar on his right side, just over the lower end of his ribs about two fingers wide and a palm long…and it's mirrored on his back..it looks like he was run through at some point , maybe with a sword..though it's well healed and old..at some point he must have been inches away from death.

Listen. Listen. Sometimes late nights to in to early mornings and so certain redhaired courtesans didn't get out of bed until way after they planned on, and so they end up showing up late to events. Unrelated entirely to that concept, Clara enters in a dreen silk dress that shows off the completed Rose Sauvage marque adorning her delicate back and which is only mildly scandalized by the presence of suspicious red lines across it. She beams a smile as she enters in to the salon, and oohs a bit at someone taking their shirt off. "That is quite a lovely scar, my lord," she offers appreciatively.

Audrialla is pouting up at the Tsingani man but covers for him as she flashes Sido a warm smile. "He was crushing a palmier. It will get crumbs all over his vest. And then the taste will be ruined," the pastry chef says as the pout quickly fades. "More's the pity for dessert and eater both." She certainly keeps her gaze averted from patrons disrobing, even if it's just a shirt.

"You wouldn't wish to disappoint me," Justine counters towards Ammy, tilting her head just so, with her brows just furrowing slightly as to indicate her disappointment at being disappointed. "Whether today or some other day… I am sure you will make it up to me. A sticky bun? Certainly, why not?"

Ammy lifts his brow a bit, "I will be sure to make it up to you, Justine," he offers. To Audrialla, he shrugs and opens his mouth to answer, but then others arrive and he doesn't respond. He selects yet another bun for Justine and instead says to Audrialla, "Your pastries are incredible, and I apologize if I offended you." He shrugs just a bit, "But if dey weren't so good, I would not want one for later." He smiles, and then takes a bite of one of the pastries in his hands and gives the other to Justine.

<FS3> Lois rolls Composure: Good Success. (8 1 6 2 1 5 7 3 8)

Even for an adept, a moment of pause would be deemed appropriate for acknowledging that scar. Lois waits for a moment, blue eyes flickering slightly as even the new arrival of Clara nó Sauvage acknowledges the scar of Foulque Shahrizai - the lord that now seems inclined to experience her art of massage. Such task would usually be far less stressful, were it not for the repute of the Shahrizai and their preferences in the bedroom. "Lay down, my lord," Lois tells Foulque gently, "and relax. I shall work the muscles in your back shortly."

Sido looks aside to Ammy, but Audrialla is covering his ass and Justine seems entranced by him— and she's certainly never one to spoil anyone's good time, or harsh the mellow in the least. So she will content herself to leave it be and ooh and ahh a bit over the candied fruits. "I'll take, hm. A slice of the honey-pear for me. For my Lord, I think… the cocoa orange slice. And I will bring my darling Lois a strawberry," she decides, either narrating her selection as she picks it or else declaring her choices for Audrialla to arrange on a plate for her, if she seems likely to do so. She hears a familiar voice, and gives a peek behind her, but doesn't greet Clara, yet, only grins.

Foulque laughs a bit at Clara's words, clearly the young woman is not easily discomfited. "Thank you, miss…I don't hear that every day.." He says, before nodding to Lois and following her instructions, quickly gathering his long hair up in a knot at the back of his head, then laying down on the massage table. He seems to be watching Sido, and grins at her choices.

Clara shoots a beaming smile to Sido, and a slightly apologetic one to Lois. "Sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt," she says genuinely, before she looks back to the man in question. "I'm Camaeline, my lord, and no one ever gets to be much in my family without fighting the Skaldi. I appreciate a scar because it says you've had something worth fighting for, and you survived fighting for it," she explains. She moves over toward Sido to give the other courtesan a kiss of greeting, if allowed.

The baker nearly preens at Sido's ooh-ing and ahh-ing. "Thank you, my lovely," she says brightly. "We're getting the first fruits of spring and I thought a delightful assortment of choices would be perfect for an evening of relaxation and restoration." She takes a carved wooden platter and starts to pick the choicest selections out of the requested listing.

Loïs wouldn't ever object to strawberries. Nor is she allergic to them. Towards Sido, the adept inclines her head in gratitude and accepts the offering, with only the faintest blushing of freckled cheeks. Lord Foulque is settled comfortably on the padded table, and Lois touches her hand to his back gently, to get him adjusted to the soft feel of her fingers.

Justine accepts the pastry from Ammy with a smile. "Thank you, Ammy, that was kind of you." But her attention is diverted, by Kusheline, Rose Sauvage courtesan and baker, and so she falls silent for just a moment, excused perhaps by the fact that she is savouring that pastry Ammy offered to her.

"No, thank you. It's a perfectly presented offering and nothing could be better," Sido returns as she takes the carved wooden platter in her hand, letting them both hold it together for a moment while she looks into Audiralla's eyes and appreciates her not only with words but with expression before stepping back and turning to go join the Lord at the massage table, only to take a few steps and be presented with a Clara-kiss. Which she allows, but with a feigned coolness, one that she can't feign quite well enough, in fact, but a smile keeps breaking through it. "Kiss me if you must but I didn't bring you any treat. You are late and I am yet to forgive you," she plays at being stern, because she knows Clara enjoys games of that variety. "But go and find a nice morsel of your own, and I'm to my delivery," she returns the kiss, anyhow, and then giggles and cautiously side-steps to the table, where Lois is waiting to accept her morsel, which Sido plucks from the platter and holds up with a gently poised elbow, looking into her eyes with a certain impish mischief and guiding it to Lois' lips instead of to her hand, feeding her the little morsel with a cozy familiarity, presumably as an appetizer more for Lord Foulque than the adept herself.

Ammy points at Foulques scar. "Dat's a good one. I have similar. How did you get it?" He begins unbuttoning the last buttons on his shirt and slips it off, revealing his muscular young upper body. Turning a little to the side, he gestures to his right side and back. There are two stabbing scars and one long slice scar that runs from his side to his back side, about 9 inches in length. It's apparently time to show off your tough guy scars.

There is a soft gasp from Justine as she is exposed to a bared male torso in such close proximity — and how comely that torso looks, and masculine with all those scars. Ammy might be able to sense her attention on him in the moments that follow his discarding of the shirt, and then her touch, a finger tracing along those scars. "Companions, how did you get those," the lady murmurs in half-question.

Loïs accepts the morsel offered by Sido with a brief moment of intensely locked gazes. "Thank you," the adept says after chewing on and savouring the candied strawberry. Not objecting to the familiar gesture, Lois eats the piece of fruit from Sido's fingers.

Audrialla's green eyes flutter as she looks away. Politely. Mildly embarrassed. She's not blushing but she's trying not to be rude. She busies herself with re-arranging the desserts into a pleasing shape of a flower.

Foulque lays his head on his arms, smiling as he feels the touch of Lois' fingers on his back, soothing and warm. "Oh, I am afraid it is nothing so brave, mademoiselle." he tells Clara. "I was merely a youth..who got into a bad spot of trouble with some ruffians.. and well, while they were not left untouched, they had the better of me, and I was left to die in a ditch in a puddle of blood. Had it been not for Eisheth's mercy and her healers, I might not be here today." he says, closing his eyes as Lois touches a soft spot. He grins at Ammy's showmanship…and nods. Then he looks towards Sido, to see if she brings him his treat.

<FS3> Lois rolls Massage: Good Success. (6 8 4 4 2 1 4 7 6)

"Well, sometimes what you believe in to fight for is 'not being killed by ruffians', and you did survive. And I am certain that everyone here is glad," Clara offers with a smile. She looks over to the Tsingani man and grins. "I take it you have a similar stories?" She asks, as she makes her way over to Audri. "I've been ordered by my dear friend," she offers with a sly grin and look over to Sido, "To avail myself of your treats in order to earn back her good graces. What would you recommend?"

Audrialla beams at Clara as she finds someone to focus on who isn't handsomely shirtless. She makes a quick dip of a curtsy and then gestures open-handedly to her work. "For the springtime? I suggest the honey-pear. It's sweet but with a slight crisp taste, like the chill still lingering in the air from winter. The candied almonds are also a delight," she offers. "And a refreshing way to clear the pallet after wine." She puts together a little plate and adds, amused, "It takes little to win my good graces. Just don't abuse my food." The last said with a slight wink towards the food-stealing Tsingani to show no hard feelings.

Loïs is demonstrating her skils on the Kusheline, hands feeling the warm flesh and instinctively taking opportunity to bring relaxation to tense muscles. "Did you find peace then in the city of Marsilikos?", the adept muses, kneading the tense areas of his back.

Sido rather mis-timed her effort, didn't she? She looks down to Foulque after Lois has her treat and he's in the midst of his story, possibly not even having seen. Oh, well. Sido kisses Lois sweetly on the cheek for the effort, anyhow, then returns her attention to the Lord on the table, picking up the cocoa-dusted orange slice and lowers herself to one knee — one knee, rahter like a gentleman about to propose, less like her dear friend Clara might kneel on both — "I hope I pcked the right one." And she tucks one end of the slice in between her lips, angling her head from that angle to offer it to Foulque's lips with her own.

Foulque beams as he feels Lois' hands so skillful, making his muscles relax, his wide shoulders clearly loosening a little, but then he opens the mouth to take a bite of the cake..his lips brushing against Sido's. He lets it linger ike that for a moment before he pulls back just enough so he can munch..and after swallowing, he says in delight. "Mhhm, most delicious indeed. Both Miss Audrialla's skill..and the..um.. fashion of offering it."

Ammy smiles proudly, "I'm still a yout' who gets in trouble," he tells Foulque. "Dough, I may also be de ruffian sometimes." He shivers a little at Justine's touch, but doesn't otherwise react. "Oh, um," and he points for Justine, "Dis one was when de gadje ran me out of Welldenberg. Dis one was from de husband of dis very pretty red-headed seamstress who was trying to help me. Oh, and de cut is from when de gadje ran my kompania out of Jorkensvilla." He shrugs, "People don't like my people."

Clara oohs. "I do like the sound of honey-pear, I will admit!" She says, watching as the baker prepares a plate. "I'm Clara Valliers no Rose Sauvage," she introduces herself to the woman, as she looks over to see Sido feeding and kneeling. "You know, darling, if you want to practice kneeling we'd be more than happy to set up some time for training…" she teases wryly. She takes the plate from Audrialla. "I have no plans to abuse it, my dear, only consume it," she grins.

Sido giggles sweetly at the praise, giving Lord Foulque another kiss and a sweet caress of the cheek and standing, again, to tickle her fingers along hte back of his neck while Lois works his back muscles. "Oh, sweet one, I wouldn't dream to impose upon your canon," she banters back with Clara. "I kneel only for the sake of geometry."

"Audrialla Malet - or Audri," the baker responds to Clara with a curtsy. "I'm the pâtissière of Malet's Bakery. Four generations of Malet women," she says with genuine pride. "It's always my pleasure to serve the Night Court and the Salons."

Foulque can feel the quick sharpness of the citrus juice on his lips, before he closes his eyes again, enjoying the courtesan's touches. "Now…this feels most delightful, I must admit.." He says, slowly. "But maybe I should let another one …have their turn with a massage.." he says, slowly raising up from his position..

Clara responds to Audri's curtsy with one of her own, fairly at ease with giving the courtesy while holding a plate. "A pleasure to meet you, Audri. I think I've had delights from your bakery before without having the pleasure of your acquaintance." She grins. "Well, if there is ever anything we can do in return, please let us know," she offers with a flirtatious but genuine smile.

Sido gives one little tickle more and then goes to gather Foulque's shirt, meeting him when he sits up with the shirt gathered up and ready to draw it up over his arms and head and smooth it down into place with a long, soothing caress of her hands. "That's very thoughtful of you, my Lord."

"Buy more dessert," Audri quips at Clara with a laugh. "I'm quite adept at display pieces and the more artistic qualities of bakery. I consider myself an artist with food, creating temptations for the tongue to try to compete with the temptations of the Court. I rarely win," she finishes with a wink. "How can I compare. I am instead pleased to compliment the pleasure — and pain - that is to be found here."

Clara laughs. "Oh I would love to, my dear, but there are only so many desserts a girl can eat before she won't fit in to her clothing. I do like my dresses a little flowy,b ut there's only so much forgiveness. I will do my best, however, to keep the bakery going," she grins, and looks over to Sido. "We don't mind a little infringement on our canon, as long as it is for a good cause."

Ammy slowly slips his shirt back on as Justine heads off. He buttons the bottom button, and then moves back to the pastry table. He just kind of lingers there. After some silent observation, he takes another roll and quietly slips it into his other pant pocket.

Audrialla sighs and hands Ammy a small platter of her desserts. "Just.. be sure the tray makes it way back to me, please?" She gives him puppy-dog-eyes and another pout.

Speaking of trays, Sido is on her way back, soon enough, with her tray, slupping the honeyed pear along the route and returning the carved wooden tray on her return, snugging up to Clara in the meanwhile. "Alright, alright," she smiles.

Clara grins as she is snuggled up to, reaching her free arm out to wrap around her friend. "Now that I'm forgiven, has it been a successful event?" She asks, looking around. "It looks like it is. I'm sorry that I wasn't here from the beginning, I had an excitingly late evening."

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