(1312-05-27) Boys Can Be Romantic Too
Summary: Bastien and Alienor take a walk in the Gardens of Eisheth, their innocent friendship deepening.
RL Date: 2020-05-27
Related: None.
alienor bastien 

Solar — La Rose Sauvage

Compared to the darker, heavy interior of downstairs, the solar feels like a pleasant contrast, where the use of light pastel tones and white provide a light air that is almost convincing. Floor to ceiling windows overlooking the city are guarded by curtains in light shades of pastel greens and blues. A few thick carpets cover the polished oak floor, where a few high backed armchairs are arranged about a kneeling cushion in the center. Beverages offered here will usually be white sparkling wines, to lighten the mood and keep up a certain innocent air. The tapestries on the white walls are kept to lighter hues as well, picturesque depictions of alyssum flower arrangements along with those of modest maidens in innocent situations, while the darker side to Alyssum canon reveals itself only to the attentive eye, in the details of the woodwork in dark mahogany side tables and the seats, depicting a pair of man and woman caught in obvious amorous entanglement, she faintly resisting and averting her gaze.

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

It's a cool but humid evening, and Alienor is leaning against the windows looking out onto the garden, absently playing with one of her dark curls. She seems lost in thought, though she's a lovely figure in her voluminous white gown, with her flimsy veil concealing demurely her face and hair. She's humming something to herself, perhaps a bit tunelessly, lost in her own world.

Bastien walks to the doorway of the Solar. He leans slightly against the entranceway, watching Alienor for a brief moment. "How would you feel about getting out of here for a little while?" The youth arches his eyebrows, questioningly, but smirks with amusement at the same time.

Alienor turns with surprise as Bastien stirs her from her reverie, and she offers him a smile, then a perfectly executed demure curtsey. "My lord," she says, slipping closer with interest, her silks susurrating as she moves. "What did you have in mind?"

Bastien grins, "Good evening, Alienor. How are you?" He reaches up and rubs the back of his neck slightly, "I was thinking of going to the gardens of Eisheth, and I thought that you might like to get out of the salon." He holds up his hand slightly, "I know you cannot leave unless it is through an assignation."

"I would enjoy being your companion to the gardens of Eisheth, if you would like to have such for your assignation," Alienor replies with a hopeful smile. "I enjoy your company, and would be thrilled."

Bastien nods, "Then let's call your man with the appropriate paterwork and then be away." He smiles, "You never did answer me when I asked how you are doing, or would you rather talk once we are walking? You don't mind walking? I enjoy feeling the night breeze. I used to do my best thinking on nights like this."

"I… have had a bit of a rough time of it, to be honest, if you must know," Alienor admits, dropping her eyes away, though some assistant to the Second is quick with the paperwork for the young lord to sign, full of rules and regulations and handy bodyguards. "But I shouldn't worry you with my issues."

Offering his hand out to her, Bastien looks to her. "If you recall, I prefer honesty of courtesy…. If I didn't want to know, I wouldn't have asked."

Jardins d'Eisheth

Tranquility and beauty of nature is what those coming to the gardens of Eisheth usually seek. There is a playfulness in the arrangement of paths through the greenery, and the way four of them wind to the center, where there is a pond surrounded by a few elm trees, beside an area with wooden benches and tables beneath an arbor, where ivy winds about wooden posts, and a roof of colorfully glazed tiles offers shelter from the sun but also moderate rain.

Bushes are trimmed, and the green is kept short, so that people coming here can enjoy the dramatic view over the coast all the way to the sea, with the harbor and the citadel slightly to the north. Slightly towards the south and close by is the infirmary with the herb garden beside, where a variety of plants used for healing and treating certain illness are grown under the immaculate care of the healers. Towards the east, a path leads towards the temple district, where the dominant structure of the Temple of Eisheth looms, the white marble shimmering almost otherworldly on late afternoons, when it catches the warm, orange light of the setting sun.

It is a spring evening. The weather is warm and raining.

A pair of La Rose Sauvage's guards accompany them with whatever entourage Bastien might have brought along with him, just to make certain nothing happens to their precious adept when she's out and about, even if she does have the young lord to protect her. She seems a bit thrilled to walk arm in arm with him, and she steals glances at him through her veil as they walk, coy and girlish. "It's a pity the weather's been so damp lately," she murmurs to him, apparently not terribly eager to answer his question of how she is doing. "I rather hate to be muddy."

Bastien does in fact notice that she pointedly does not answer him but walks around the topic, but he's not going press the subject. "I know what you mean… I used to sneak otu of the Lis D'Or and come to the garden at night and just lay amongst the flowers." There is a pair of guards in Mereliot blue and gold livery following a respectable, but safe distance from their charge. "I would have brought my lute, but the weather is terrible on the strings."

"In some ways, I envy you that you never went through a debut," Alienor admits softly as they walk together, smiling shyly at him. "I know it's what you wanted. I thought it was what I wanted, but… I have since learned that I don't particularly enjoy… Well, I enjoy this. Walking through the gardens, talking and enjoying your company. This is the most pleasant of assignations." There's a pause, and she seems on the verge of asking a question, but thinks the better of it.

Bastien frowns, "I am truly sorry to hear that. I looked forward to my service to Naamah. Have you spoken to your dowager of this? Surely they would understand. To endure it when you are not truly willing is an athema to the precept of Elua. How long until you have made your marque?"

"I have spoken to the Second, and she has encouraged me to finish my marque, which is not nearly half done," Alienor replies softly. "She said to seek out counseling from a priest or priestess of Naamah." She looks down for a moment, then looks to him. "I looked forward to it, too, but I didn't think it'd be painful or that I'd end up crying so often." She smiles almost bittersweetly. "I wanted it to all be like this, beautiful and romantic, gentle and sweet."

Bastien shakes his head, "I am afraid that your salon has a reputation for being less than gentle…. I think most people expect the White Roses to be pure and innocent waiting to be despoiled and ravished." Walking past one of the spring flowers. He reaches down and plucks it. He grins slightly sheepishly. "I am one of her scions, I am sure that Eisheth will not mind." He offers the flower over to Alienor.

"Thank you," Alienor replies as she takes the flower and looks at it a moment, then looks up and meets his gaze. "It is painful to be despoiled and ravished," she says softly but very seriously. "It is frightening. When I cry, they strive to hurt me more. They take my vulnerability and they humiliate me, and I am not experienced enough to defend against it, because I *am* pure and innocent."

Bastien's gray eyes look at Alienor. "All I want is the pleasure of your company, and for you to speak truly and truthfully with me. Don't be coy or anything. Okay?" He sighs, "There are enough people in my life that treat me like I am some political plaything as it is."

"I am speaking truthfully with you. I am telling you why I am hurting so much," Alienor murmurs with a serious nod. "You are not a plaything to me. You are a real person. I want to be treated like a real person, and I will endeavor to treat you as such."

Bastien plats the hand that is on his arm. "I know you are… " He shakes his head, "Everyone treats me differently just because of me being part of her Grace's family and will soon be named baron Auzonnet." He grins, "You had said that you wanted to hear me sing again. Are you still in the mood for it? If so, then I shall sing for you."

"Yes, please. I would always like to hear you sing. When you're with me, you shall always have a willing and eager audience," Alienor replies, brightening quite a bit.
<FS3> Bastien rolls Singing: Great Success. (5 6 6 3 5 4 8 7 5 4 4 7 2 3 7 5)

Bastien sensing that Alienor's emotions are right below the surface, he opts for something happy and pretty. There is something almost ethereal about his voice as he sings. Once it is over, he smiles… "Feeling a little better?" He hopes so, as that was his intent at least.

Alienor closes her eyes for a moment to feel the music better while he sings to her, and she's got one of those dreamy, girlishly romantic looks on her face afterwards. "That was beautiful, my lord," she murmurs, smiling at him. Cautiously, she pulls up her veil so that she can gaze upon his face without it between them.

Bastien smiles, "Thank you.. but please… call me Bastien… Speak to me as you would a friend… that is what I wish to be, Alienor." He smiles, "So have you drawn anything interesting lately?"

"New dresses, mostly," Alienor replies with a delighted smile, her green-gray eyes glimmering in delight at him. "Bastien." She seems pleased to be able to call him that, and then she glances away shyly. "I am so glad to be your friend."

Bastien smiles calmly, "Friends are good things to have." He glances back at the four guards, "So… you ever play ditch the guards?" He grins impishly, "Never have I ditched four of them at once… could be tricky."

"Bastien!" Alienor hisses, laughing in spite of herself. "We cannot ditch the guards! We will be in so much trouble, and the salon will be angry at you as well as me!"

Bastien chuckles. "Alright… that white dress of yours would have made it too hard anyway… " He shakes his head, "Maybe if you were wearing a dark blue…" He jokingly muses. He grins, "My men are quite used to me ditching them… it's become a game… okay a game for me, less for them… but I treated them to a round of drinks if they can catch me."

"I am not particularly stealthy in white, I admit, but… maybe next time you can bring me a cloak?" Alienor suggests with a soft laugh. "But I can be stealthy if I need to be. I'm small, right? Slink into tight places."

Bastien grins, "Maybe if we let them know that it's just a game, they'll be content to play along." He looks, "Though in winter time you would be practically invisible." he chuckles.

"Can I ask you a personal question?" Alienor wonders, looking down and away as if she is embarrassed a little just to be asking if she can ask the question.

Bastien smiles and nods, "Sure. You can ask me anything you like." He momentarily bites down on his lower lip as he waits for the question.

There's a bit of awkward shuffling, and then, she attempts to muster her courage. "Are you… I mean, did you ever decide, since you weren't having a debut… Are you a virgin still?" Alienor wonders, and then refuses to look at him.

Bastien shakes his head. "No… I have slept with someone several times and another once." At the latter, he seems a little saddened. "A year ago, I performed in Her Grace's Spring performance competition. I treated it as if it were my debut… and I did have several people courting my hand. The difference is that I am the one that made the choice… well mostly, I was a little coerced…" He smiles at that. "Do you mind if I ask why?"

"I wanted to know if you liked it. If you enjoyed it," Alienor replies, shrugging awkwardly. "But you made the choice, and I hope that perhaps it was pleasant for you." She turns away slightly. "I wanted to make sure, if you ever… decided you wanted more from me than just a companion, that we wouldn't both be completely fumbling."

Bastien chuckles, "Well, I would still be, if we did… I prefer the company of men, so I have never been with a woman before. It was uncomfortable at first, but once I got used to it… it was very enjoyable, and he made sure that I enjoyed myself, not just him."

"Well, that's good. I'm glad that it was good for you," Alienor says softly, still glancing down and away a bit awkwardly. "I am glad you like my company, though, as your companion," she adds. "I feel safe with you."

Bastien pats her hand softly. "You are safe with me." As they stroll through the gardens, "And I do enjoy your company… I'm glad that my cousin badgered me into going to the Rose Sauvage that day…." He smirks, "Of course Marco can talk me into just about anything, I think."

Alienor smiles weakly for a moment, and she nods quietly. "That's good," she replies, squeezing his hand gently as they walk. "It's very nice that we met. And that I've had the opportunity to hear you sing. It's very pleasant."

Bastien smiles, "Well, let's get you back, before you catch your death… I fear that we may yet have one more cold snap before it finally warms up."

"Thank you for the walk and the conversation," Alienor says with a soft smile, squeezing his hand again. "You may not prefer girls, but you've got a lovely romantic sense nonetheless."

Bastien looks aghast. "What? Guys can't be romantic?" He laughs. "Thank you… I think it comes from my training, obviously, not something that is easily born with, though it might go along with my gift… but anyway, thank you for the walk." Once they return to the salon, he takes her hands and says, "try to not weep… a soul as pretty as yours should never have to cry." He bites his lower lip and presses several gold coins into her hands, as he kisses her cheek fondly. "Hopefully this should by you an inch of ink."

"I'll show it to you someday, so you can see how pretty it is," Alienor says with a warm smile, kissing him on the cheek in return. "I can only see with a mirror. But thank you for the gift."

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