(1312-05-26) Clams
Summary: Sweet, playful, and fun. Also clams.
RL Date: 2020-05-26
Related: None.
alienor sido 

The Golden Harbor

Situated close to the Opera and upon the famous wine cellars below, the Golden Harbour Restaurant offers the same refinement it expects in turn from its clientele. The name has influenced the choice of interior, where walls have been painted in sea green with golden ornaments, and one wall features the outline of this city's harbor in gilded painting that will catch the warm light of candles and oil lamps. Candelabras made of brass show the likenesses of mermaids and seasnakes. Tables and seating are of dark mahogany, cushions and upholstery done in dark green velvet, heavy drapes of similar color set into the ceiling that can be drawn to allow a certain privacy when such is wished for. Staff is attentive and discreet, and up to the standards of high nobility in their quality of service. They are clad in the unique livery of the place, sea green gowns, chemises and trousers, always tidy and well kept.

Meals served here are mostly local seafood dishes prepared from sophisticated recipes with inspired seasoning. Finest wines are available, both red and white, a supply never ceasing as they have the wine cellars below, to acquire even the most exquisite and costly vintages if requested. High windows offer a view over the city, especially where it slopes down to the harbor, with masts and sails of ships moored there visible in the distance.

This room has places, see +help places for more information.

When looking out of the windows, you see: It is a spring day. The weather is cool and drizzling.


Sido usually hits up the Golden Harbor in the morning, her preference for a quiet place to sit and chat with friends, but tonight she's meeting a young adept for the first time, through some mutual acquaintance's letter of introduction, as it were. No doubt she would have met Alienor in the fullness of time, but such a freshly debuted adeptling is usually busy in her own salon, making at her marque. Well. Let's not put too fine a point on it, hum? At any rate, she's managed her favorite table, on a platform a half-floor up from the main dining floor, where there are a few small tables along the railing and a longer one in the back. She's at the rail, though, sitting slightly sideways in her seat and poised with a sleepy effortlessness, in a long, golden velvet gown, with long sleeves looped over her middle fingers with rings of silver inset with amber studs; a net of silver-wrought threads holds a web of amber beads across her white throat and chest. She cherishes a chalice in one hand, looking out over the heads of the dinner crowd.

Clad all in white, with a proper escort in La Rose Sauvage livery, Alienor makes her way in carefully to meet Sido, looking a bit young and nervous. Her gown is beautiful, if fairly plain, covering her from throat to toe in soft smooth white fabric, with underskirts that susurrate as the silk shifts in voluminous layers. Her very fine veil is pinned in place on her dark curls with a couple of fresh white roses, and she smiles nervously as she slips up to Sido. "Hello," she offers in a friendly tone.

Sido uncurls her legs and rises with a big smile when Alienor is escorted to meet her, setting down her chalice and stepping from between the table and her seat in order to welcome Alienor with both hands— not for a hug, that would possibly be too forward for a White Rose, but to clasp hands, at least. "Alienor," she greets, then, looking to the escort, "I've got her," she promises. "And my guard and I will walk her home when we're done," she pledges further, so that they can have some peace with their meal.

Alienor's hands are bare, and she does not wear any jewelry or anything fancy on them, but she does squeeze Sido's hands gently when she takes them. "I'm so glad to see you, Siz. It's very nice being able to get to know people without fear," she says with a measure of warmth.

Sido's eyes squint into merry little moons at the squeeze, which she returns before letting go, gesturing to the chair across from hers and letting Alienor be seated before she settles back in herself. "It's nice to meet you, too, Alienor. I think it's nice to just get out with the girls, you know. Especially from outside my own salon. Don't get me wrong, I'm in love with my salon-mates, they are the best. But you can get a little myopic inside four walls, you know?" she tips her head with a smile. "Some wine, to start?" she asks. "I ordered us a bottle and I'd hate to have to finish it myself," she grins.

"I feel like I never leave the solar. Except to go to the gardens, which I can see through the window of the solar," Alienor admits with a soft laugh, dipping her head a bit demurely. "I would love wine. It's very nice. And it's very nice to be able to breathe a little bit, without worrying. It's been a very difficult adjustment for me, but I'm trying to take a stronger interest in diversions like fashion. I would like to design some gowns that are both alluring and conservative."

Sido waves in the nice server who comes to pour the wine for Alienor, nodding enthusiastically, as well, to the offer of a top-off on her own chalice. "Do you like clams? I love the clams here— I ordered us some, anyhow, but if you'd like something else we can always add it later," she smiles. "And— yes, that's what I mean, sort of— that feeling," she goes a little deeper as the server leaves them again. "Like there are places you're meant to be and you always have to sort of… be there, like a figure in a painting. You should let yourself be diverted! I was, even before I debuted, and it has only enriched my service to Naamah."

"I don't know! I've never tried the clams here. I've never been outside of Marsilikos, and really, I don't know anything about the city except the salon and the temples," Alienor admits with a bit of a blush, laughing girlishly. "I thought that after my debut, my life would really start, but it's quite a bit like being a novice, but with more difficult duties." She ducks her head a moment. "I feel like a figure in a painting sometimes. Pretty to look at, but hardly thought of as a person, most of the time."

"Oh, boo," Siz gives a cheeky little pout, but, then, smiling more fully, "It's understandable, though. You're only just debuted, basically. But we should explore. You like fashions… that's never really been my thing, so long as I get things that are very comfortable to wear. But there are some fine clothiers on the promenade and in the square who I'm sure would be delighted for the interest," she chatters on pleasantly, then sips at her wine, taking in the sudden melancolia. "You still know you're a person, though, yes?" she tries. "There will always be… you know, that aspect, sometimes, even sort of lurking where you don't want to look at it. But try to think of it like this… you're not… really what they're looking at, anyhow. You're a conduit for Naamah's joys… it's your job to bring that to them, and sometimes… if not most of the time… that requires abnegation of your own self. But you're still there."

"I still haven't really figured out …the whole joy thing," Alienor admits sheepishly, taking up her wine and sipping from it, having slipped it under her veil subtly and expertly. "I'm supposed to go to the Temple of Naamah and see about… you know. Getting advice. And I've been reminded that I may be choosy when it comes to patrons. Which helps. It helps to remember. Sometimes, one is bored or lonely or just trying to make one's marque faster, after all."

"And you should be choosy," Siz agrees, "I mean… to a degree. There's a reason having an assignation or having one of us on someone's arm for an event is considered a mark of honor… because they've been selected for that honor." A pause, "Have you considered that as a propective avenue? Going out on the arms of the nobility? Especially if you're fashionably dressed, they love a nice ornament… and sometimes they don't even want to come in after, they just… want the prestige," she proposes. "And if you're bored, find something that will unbore you. Fashion, as you mentioned, or another hobby. You never know when you will find someone who has interests in common with you. Those are the best patrons. The ones you can talk to all night long," she looks all swoony-eyed.

"Most of the time, I feel like they just want to make me cry," Alienor replies, taking a deep breath and letting it out before having another sip of wine. "I've spent a lot of time drawing and painting. Lately I've been sketching the clothing of those in and around the salon. It's interesting to see how the Reds dress compared to the Thorns. And the patrons are always beautifully dressed. It's quite nice." She giggles suddenly. "Is it really like that? I've read some novels, and I always wanted something romantic like that."

"It certainly can be," Siz smiles, then, eyes sparkling, "And if it isn't, I must make it so anyhow… it's my canon, after all," flutters the Helio-balm flavored Coquelicot. "It does help that I have the big romance sign hung up over my door… but there's no reason you shouldn't embrace it, as well. I can see a romance to the virginal fairy-tale you offer. The shy bride on her wedding night, yet untouched, but feeling safe in her husband's arms," she muses on the notion for a moment or two. "At any rate, you can set the mood as you like… but you really ought to strike that mood and then defend it, you know? Build your brand as a courtesan. Mine is… mmm. Comfy, fun, cuddly, if I had to describe it in three. Try that. We all sort of know what a baseline assignation with a White Rose will be… but take away all that shyness and all those maidenly tears… give me three adjectives that you would want a patron to write out on a report-card after being with you."

"I've… never really thought about it that way. I want them to think of me as sweet and playful and fun, in spite of all the shyness. I'm not really that shy, if I'm comfortable, but my patrons don't seem to care about my comfort, in general. I want adventures! I want to learn new things!" Alienor explains, a bit more lively now that she's settling in. "I don't want new experiences forced upon me, though. That's kind of traumatic."

"Well, then, when you get home, find a space, maybe inside of a book or something, where you can write the words Sweet, Playful, Fun… and when you're unsure what to do, open up the book and just read those words. And whenever you're with a patron, keep them in the back of your head like a little prayer. And remember to add something sweet, to add something playful, to add something fun. You set the mood, you know? They'll follow along… and if they don't, they're not a right match for you. Clams!" There are clams, look. In a fragrant white wine rosemary sauce, and with lemon slices. It isn't long until Siz has taken a long fork and poked one of the clams with it, bringing it to her own little dish.

"Sweet, playful, fun. I can do that. I really want to learn to do this well. I don't want to be hurt. It's hard to direct things sometimes when one is being demure and gentle, but I suppose a firm hand is warranted," Alienor agrees as she takes up a fork to experiment with the clams. "Somehow, it's easier when they're not yet signed. When they're trying to take liberties for free. Boundaries are easier to establish."

"Mm," Siz looks like she's about to melt with that clam in her mouth, but she waggles her forktines as it reminds her of something to say after she's swallowed. "In the contract, too. If there are things you won't abide, just have them included in your standard constract when they're drawn up for you— your second can help with that. 'Be gentle with our little flower,' and what-not, you know?" Siz advises, prodding another clam. "You'll be alright, kitten," she smiles. "Growing pains, is all. We all have them."

"Yeah, patrons often surprise me with the sorts of things they want. There are places I never imagined they'd… uh… hrm, try to stick things," Alienor explains, blushing bright red. "I was so sure of everything before my debut, and now I'm quite sure I know nothing." She samples the clams and beams. "This was a very good idea for a meal! Thank you!"

"Oh, I always get these," Siz waves off the gratitude. "They're my favorite. I could eat three dozen but I'd make myself sick. Still it might be worth it," she grins. "Oh… poor bebe," she titters a little bit at the reports of her adventures being stuck. "Are you quite better, yet? It can all take some getting used to, but if there's a… place in particular you can't manage, you can also put that in the contract."

"I'll have to think it over. I suspect that a lot of things would be more enjoyable if they weren't done in such a way so as to make me cry," Alienor replies a bit ruefully. "But I suppose we could discuss the details more privately later? It's better just to enjoy the pleasure of our meal at the moment. These clams are delightful!"

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