(1312-05-13) Kitten Love
Summary: New patrons stray into Le Coquelicot, to be welcomed by that salon’s most beguiling inhabitant.
RL Date: 13/05/2020
Related: None.
zephyrine soleil alejandro 

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.

Curled up in a comfortable armchair with a book is Soleil, and lying on the back of the armchair is a ginger kitten who is casually destroying the upholstery in the casual way cats have of destroying things. There is incense burning and the atmosphere in the salon is very soothing. Light music floats through as well, pleasant and soft and fairly unremarkable.

Zéphyrine slips inside, peering around at the tiles and decorations. She's got the look of someone exploring a new space. Behind her trails a guard who looks like he spends a lot of time indulging his mistress' flights of fancy, which today have apparently brought her here. At least there's very little he'd likely need to defend her from in these soothing halls.

It had been perhaps a month since Alejandro's first adventure within the Court de Nuit —- the singular location within the exotic Marsilkos he was most looking forward to seeing since the wedding ceremony with Sofia. He had read much of the (in)famous courtesans of Terre d'Ange in his youth, and after the wedding night had proven… underwhelming, the aging Aragonian was eager to discover what companionship could be found in the faithful servants of Naamah. That look upon his face as he enters Me Coquelicot any belonging to the salon may know well. A certain casual demeanor, a thinly veiled hunger lurking within his aquamarine eyes. The hint of trepidation only a foreigner could possess. His silvered hair shimmers around the finger of his bronze ears in the hushed light, and for now the flamboyantly dressed noble remains content minding his own business, a polite smile offered to anyone he passes, an eye for the Tiberian elements of the room's architecture capturing most of his interest…for now.

When guests arrive, Soleil looks up from her book, slips a ribbon into it as a bookmark, and leaves it upon a side table. She rises to her feet, a dainty woman all clad in gold, with a gentle tinkling of bells as she moves, for her sapphire bracelets are belled. They match the collar the ginger kitten wears, and she tsks at him to discourage him from clawing things before turning to the nobility. "My lady, my lord," she offers with a curtsey and a smile, the blood of Namaah in her veins certainly an influence in the exquisite beauty of the petite blonde. "Welcome to Le Coquelicot. May I make you both more comfortable?"

Zéphyrine laughs delightedly and beams at Soleil. "You kept telling me I ought to explore the night court and so, here I am." Her dress today is a watered green silk which brings out the green in her hazel eyes. Tilting her head to one side, she asks, "How were you planning on making me more comfortable? Oh! It's the cat." And she's darting over to scritch the kitten.

Alejandro had merely glimpsed the blonde belle lounging within the armchair at the far side of the room, though as she approaches her cat grabs his attention almost as much as her loveliness. "Oh, hola," he offers on a thick, accented chuckle, the greeting apparently offered to the cat as he stoops to slowly extend a hand. "I have not seen such a creature since I was a boy," he continues as he casts a glance to its owner, his d'Angeline a bit rough, but perfectly comprehensible. "Mama did not allow us pets in the villa, but there were plenty of cats roaming the grounds…" He rises to introduce himself properly. "I am Alejandro Velasco de Mereliot," he declares with an overabundance of flair. There is only one appropriate demeanor in public for this man, and it apparently involves addressing everyone as if they were royalty. With a bit more reservation he bows to Zephyrine, her companion making her social status so apparent. The last thing he needs is gossip of his presence here reaching Sofia's ears…

The kitten steals the show, as always. He rubs himself on Zephyrine as she pets him, purring loudly, his little golden collar glinting with sapphires and chiming with bells, for he is a most spoiled animal. He does not turn down petting from Alejandro either, glad to be the absolute center of attention, even as his mistress watches him with hands on her hips. "A glass of wine, perhaps? And all the kitten love you can manage?" Soleil suggests with a soft laugh to the nobility.

Zéphyrine smiles a little sheepishly at Soleil. "Wine would be nice, yes. Perhaps a rose? Or a nice, unoaked white? And kitten love is always appreciated. Even when it comes with sharp little claws." Then she blinks at Alejandro and blushes before curtsying to him. "Zephyrine Rousse. It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance." She glances around. "It really is such a lovely ambiance here. Have you been enjoying it?"

Alejandro probes the kitten clumsily, his mannerisms proving his aforementioned unfamiliarity with the furry animals the truth. "That would be delightful," he concedes, granting the courtesan a longer look, evidently impressed by the gold luster of her dress. "I am not in any hurry, but I had hoped to discuss an assignation with the Dowayne. Is he present?" The masculinity of the salon's manager an assumption, of course. Bertrand was a man, after all. Did not it require one to manage so many beautiful young ladies?

"The current Dowayne is Philandre Chalasse nó Coquelicot, but I do not believe that he is presently available. I will be happy to answer your questions and help to arrange a contract for the courtesan of your choice," Soleil offers to Alejandro as she returns with a tray of glasses of wine, offering one to each noble and keeping one for herself. She smiles indulgently at Zephyrine. "It is always pleasant to work under these conditions, I must admit. Everything is meant to relax and soothe."

Zéphyrine gives an amused glance Alejandro's way, though she's subtle about it. "Soleil is a full courtesan, you can tell by the marque." There's a small pause, while she continues to scritch the kitten behind the ears. "Do let me know if you wish a bit of privacy for discussing your needs and the contract. I can always wander a bit and give you space." She sips from her glass with the hand not playing with the cat. "Oh, this is a lovely vintage. Where is it from, did you say?"

If the foreign noble is embarrassed by his assumption, he is good at hiding it. Still, he seems a tad restrained as he accepts the glass, sipping quietly as he observes the initial exchange between his companions. The lady's offer is tempting, though he would hardly be so rude as to chase away a new acquaintance. Speaking of… "The two of you are acquaintances?" he poses, eyes drifting towards Zephyrine. "Are you a frequent patron of this salon? What is it like? I have never set foot in this place before…"

"We are, though Lady Zephyrine is as yet but a friend of mine," Soleil notes with a charming smile as she holds her own wine glass and keeps one eye on the kitten to make sure he behaves himself. "This salon specializes in the healing arts: the body, the mind, and the heart. There are those who attend to chronic pain and help rehabilitate their patrons who have suffered injuries. Some use dreams to puzzle out anxieties and troubles, soothing the minds of their patrons. And some ease the heartbreak their patrons have suffered."

Zéphyrine smiles brightly at Alejandro. "We are acquaintances, yes," A little impish smile given to Soleil, "Perhaps even friends." Back to Alejandro, even as she continues scritching the kitten. She's very good at getting that spot behind the ears and the one under the chin. "I do enjoy chatting with Lady Soleil, but I must admit, this is my first time here. We've mostly met up other places - often by happenstance. Each of the salons specializes in a different way of loving. In Elua, where Soleil was trained, they are even more exact. The marque on her back symbolizes where she was trained and that her obligation to that house is complete."

Alejandro nods slowly, dark eyes shared between the two ladies in equal parts. The noblewoman's empathy towards his cultural confusion puts some of his apprehension to rest, his broad shoulders easing their erect posture. "You must possess great standing here," he directs to Soleil. "If it is true you completed your marque in Elua." One night in La Glycine taught him something. "Yet I understand you each regard the contract between Naamah and King Persis from the old stories, in your own way? What is it you believe she gave of herself?"

"Indeed," Soleil replies, and she turns a bit so that Alejandro might get a better look at her marque, which is intricate and has clearly been inked by a master, beautiful purples and blues in the design of the Gentian violets, with swirls and stars, all with a dreamy mystical artsy sense to it. It stands out boldly against her golden skin, and she watches him over her shoulder. "Namaah gave much of herself to try to make the king relaxed, pleased, and comfortable. She shared with him an intimate moment to soothe his mind and body. My marque is Gentian, not Coquelicot. I have much experience and I am considered an expert at what I do."

Alejandro finds his eyes helplessly drawn to the exquisite artwork inked into the courtesan's back, having not even noticed it was bare for all to see until this moment. Despite the nonchalance with which she displays it to him, he now cannot chase the notion of seeing the rest of her from his thoughts. "That is exceptional," the man admits under a breath of genuine astonishment. "And I must admit, I am intrigued. Surely someone of your experience would know who best within this salon to recommend, to an uninitiated lout such as myself?" And he deprecates himself through a swift grin that spreads his shaggy cheeks.

Zéphyrine grins and sips from her wine, letting the courtesan take over the discussion. She does keep distracting the kitten, though, almost unconsciously.

The kitten loves on Zephyrine with the charm and playfulness that comes with being a kitten. He plays with her fingers and gives her little love bites. Soleil, meanwhile, turns around slowly to face Alejandro, and she smiles pleasantly. "Thank you," she says to the complement on her marque. "You should speak to any of the courtesans or the adepts here and see if one suits your fancy. I find that when you take the time to attempt to make a connection with someone that the assignation is much more pleasant."

Alejandro takes another sip of his wine, the rich nectar causing his brain to tingle. He was no stranger to the drink, but some of these d'Angeline wines could put a sailor out after a few sips. "And what if one already has?" he muses aloud, very gently laying a hand over Soleil's as his dark, aquamarine eyes search hers. "Or would you be loathe to part with your friend?" And he glances at Zephyrine with an apologetic smile.

Zéphyrine laughs and waves the hand which had been scritching the kitten, drawing a small protest from him. "Oh, don't mind me. I can always come back another time. I really was just looking around. I keep being reminded that I haven't really explored the night court and I ought to." She returns to petting the cat and sipping at her wine.

"I'm sure the lady understands the time constraints that a courtesan of my stature has," Soleil replies with a lovely smile as she meets Alejandro's gaze. "I would be happy to draw up a proper contract for you to inspect immediately. I suspect that Le Chat Roux will entertain my lady awhile longer."

The Aragonian looses an easy chuckle at Zephyrine's comments. "I'm afraid a little wine very quickly turns my thoughts only one direction," he admits a tad sheepishly, meanwhile eyeing the courtesan with naked intent. "Nevertheless, I am in no hurry to defer things to more private matters. Let us enjoy this pleasant atmosphere a bit longer." He runs his bronzed fingers over the girl's delicate knuckles as he admires the color of her eyes. "I have made but one assignation before. I welcome your assistance in preparing this one. I do not yet know how much you are willing to offer…"

Zéphyrine grins and settles into a chair where she can still play with the kitten. "I have wine, a cat, and a comfortable seat. Most soothing. Please don't concern yourself. Should I get called away, I'll entrust the kitten to one of the adepts so that he doesn't wander too far."

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