(1312-06-02) Familiar Places
Summary: Lingering in the gardens of her home at the Rose Sauvage, Alienor encounters Dante, who has his own advice for her. (WARNING: References to sexual assault.)
RL Date: 2020-06-02
Related: Entwined Souls and others in that thread
alienor dante 

Gardens — La Rose Sauvage

The gardens of La Rose Sauvage offer a different ambience and atmosphere than that of the more oppressive and richly ornate salon. Tall casement windows spill out onto a paved area which gives way to neatly arranged flowerbeds, where a predominance of roses pay homage to the canons encompassed by this salon. The paths are of a dark granite grey which have softened over the years by the encroachment of mosses and lichens, with smaller paths winding off through the beds. It's here along these secluded paths that arboreal areas and private nooks might be found, and where privacy is granted to those that seek it through flowering hedges and curtained awnings.

A fountain plays at the centre of the garden, the copper figures of two nude women, long since mellowed to a soft verdigris, spill water from shells into a pool at its base. The main pathway through the garden leads to a terracotta tiled courtyard that sits towards the farthest end, the walls here flanked by creeping ivy which cloak the walls in scarlet and orange during the autumn months. An oiled silk awning hangs over the courtyard to give shelter from both sun and rain, and oil lamps light the area when evening falls.

It is a spring morning. The weather is warm and overcast.


For the past several days, Alienor has been going to the Temple of Naamah every morning at dawn to pray and speak to a priestess. She has returned from her visit quietly and headed into the gardens to head to the fountain, passing through the salon like a little ghost. She's pale, and her hair is pulled up on her head in a severe twist, and her white gowns are the plainest she owns. She seems quietly meditative, staring mindlessly at a nearby flower.

Danté stretches as he walks into the gardens a cup of steaming tea in one hand as he looks for a spot to relax and enjoy his beverage. Spotting Alienor he heads over in that direction, "I haven't seen you around for a while how have you been?"

"I've… been better," Alienor admits a bit weakly, not even looking over at him at first. She has a tired look on her face, like she hasn't been sleeping well, and even through the veil, she doesn't seem to be wearing any makeup. "I seem incapable of functioning as a White Rose any longer," she says softly, after a moment, now studying him with her green-gray eyes. "Since an incident with a patron."

Danté looks at her and blinks a bit as he sits down to sip on his tea as he looks her over a bit, "Did they mistake you for a Red Rose?"

"A Red Rose would have had a signale," Alienor replies dully, without much of her usual vibrancy, and she closes her eyes for a moment. "I do not want to be a Red Rose. I do not want to be a White Rose any longer, either, I don't think. I am sick of humiliation and I am sick of bruises."

Danté looks at her a moment and then simply nods, "I do believe all courtesans should have a Signale. Have you spoken to any of our leadership over it? I know that the patron would likely be banned from our Salon. Or they can have a turn with me." He takes another sip of his tea, "So what is it that you'll do now? If not a White Rose or a Red Rose?"

"I'm not certain, in the moment, that even a signale might have kept me from enduring the sudden… unpleasantness," Alienor admits with a soft sigh. She blinks in a sort of pained way. "I don't know what I'll do. I was upset. I was angry. I yelled at the Dowayne. I've been dismissed. My debt is to be cleared and my marque is to be finished, and then I will go."

Danté nods after a moment, "So you're able to if you desired become a free Courtesan or seek homage to the Companions elsewhere." He takes another sip of his tea and then just sighs a bit, "I'm sorry this happened to you. If the Dowayne did nothing to the patron then they are so very wrong for it. You should have been protected as we've seen from before when the Red and Thorny roses who were punished for harming your innocence before."

"I expect that the patron is the one who is paying for my discretion in the matter. I have kept the name private, as assignations are confidential," Alienor replies quietly. She tilts her head to one side. "The priestess at the Temple of Naamah is trying to get me to understand that I have much to live for, that I will be able to engage in the physical act of love again without fear, but it is a very fresh wound."

Danté shakes his head a bit, "They are. But you are a White Rose. At least for now. You shouldn't have been treated in such a way that violates your canon or your desires. The Patron should be black marked and no longer allowed inside the Rose Sauvage." He looks to her and simply nods a bit, "You'll learn to love again. But it will likely take a very long time before you regain your trust in it."

"I do not want to cede control," Alienor admits, shaking her head slightly. "I know that is no guarantee to avoid violence, but at least there will be no expectation that I will be compliant." She closes her eyes for a moment. "I have found it incredibly difficult to subtly manipulate my patrons. They want me vulnerable. And they want me at least a little afraid."

Danté shakes his head a bit, "That's not.." He sighs, "That's not the way they should be. They want vulnerable and afraid find a Red Rose. You want a lovely young lady to deflower or at least have the experience of a first time find a White Rose." He reaches over and overs his hand near her shoulder then pulls it away assuming she's not ready for friendly contact like that.

"It's okay. I don't mind if you touch my shoulder. I know that you will not hurt me without my consent," Alienor points out quietly, looking over at him and smiling weakly. She wrinkles her nose a bit. "Perhaps I shall grow thorns to protect myself. The Dowager Vicomtess de Rotheneuf is going to take me in. She has been a beacon of love and hope in my time of anguish."

Danté nods as he reaches over to give her shoulder a squeeze, "I'm at least happy you'll have somebody taking you in and will be treating you appropriately I hope." Another sip of his tea and it's empty so he's setting it down off to the side, "Will you continue your service as a Courtesan or find other way to pay your respects to the Companions?"

"I… haven't actually decided yet," Alienor admits quietly, taking a deep breath, nodding once. "I've also been encouraged to consider my other interests, such as painting or fashion. I'm sure I could be a very fine clothing designer." This does not really seem to thrill her much. "I am used to being spoiled, though."

Danté nods a bit, "Perhaps find yourself a long term patron of sorts? One that would be your guardian as well as benefactor?" He searches for the words for a bit and then just sighs, "I think painting or fashion could be very interesting paths. But you could also seek out another Salon and study with another canon as well. I've always been shocked that the White Roses share our roof. The wrong types of patrons for them tend to seek our doors."

"Yes, there are plenty of options. Monsieur Raphael likes to remind me that I am very young," Alienor replies with a little nod, and she takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. "I don't know what I would be suited for. It's very difficult. What if I do decide to be a courtesan, and then the first time I take an assignation, I freeze up?"

Danté smiles a bit, "Then make sure you take an assignation with a patron who you explain that to. You can spell out what the expectations are for the assignation as well. Don't want intercourse? Eliminate it from the contract. Or spell it out that you're not to be touched without your consent, you're not to engage in sexual acts without your consent and if they violate any of them the contract is broken. And ensure you have guards within earshot at all times."

"Being an adult is not nearly so fun as I anticipated it being," Alienor notes ruefully, though she nods seriously to this advice. "You know it was just a standard contract. Just the normal thing. I think he got excited. Forgot to be careful. You can't do that with people, though. People get hurt."

Danté nods a bit, "I'm sure it was more than that. He's likely been seeing Red Roses. It's the kind of thing they rather enjoy. And White Roses are quite different than that. Did you at least have enjoyable assignations before that to think upon?"

"A few. But I was already rather restless as a White Rose," Alienor explains quietly, sighing deeply. "I already wanted advice on how to make things more interesting, more pleasurable."

Danté smiles a bit as he looks over at her, "You were very much ill suited to remain a White Rose. I think a Jasmine would have better suited you after that first taste. For pleasure's sake. But you'd have to overcome years of thinking of yourself as an innocent to step into the fold of another canon."

"A Jasmine? I feel like I don't know enough about pleasure as it is," Alienor laughs softly, though it's somewhat without mirth. "Being innocent is such a miserable lie. You tell yourself so much that you're innocent, and you want to channel that anticipation into pleasure but… I haven't really managed that."

Danté chuckles, "Well my only advice is to find another path. This one doesn't seem to be suited for you. I'd recommend visiting the other salons. You said you'd been dismissed from the Rose Sauvage correct? So you'll be a free agent. Go seek out another salon spend time there with them and see if it's something you could enjoy."

"I will ask about that. Perhaps I can take a bit of a tour. I have to explore all of my options, and right now, I'm just waiting for the end. The official dismissal. Although, I do want to visit sometimes," Alienor admits quietly. "I will miss all of you."

Danté smiles a bit, "Well. When you become a successful young Courtesan come take an assignation out with some of us. So we can go eat and drink and have a good time without anybody bothering us."

"Oh, it's a nice thought, to not worry much about money, isn't it?" Alienor replies with a small smile, blushing a little. "Maybe someday I'll get to that point, and feel secure. Right now… I hardly feel secure in the least."

Danté reaches over and rubs her back and shrugs, "It takes a while to get that sort of high class patronage. But you should definitely look at your options. I look forward to seeing you get back onto your seat. And perhaps seeing you without a veil and smiling."

"It'll be nice, I admit, to not wear a veil," Alienor admits with the closest thing to a real laugh she's managed all day. "Not have to be particularly careful when going up or down stairs of a long dress and decreased vision."

Danté chuckles, "You should still be careful going up or down stairs. And watch out for ladders. They're all dangerous."

"I could wear colors. Be all dapper and foppish," Alienor suggests, amused now. "I'll just dress all in rainbows and have people guess my inclinations."

Danté smiles a bit as she starts to act amused, "I don't know about rainbows. But I'd say dress the way you want. Wear what you want. If you want to show off skin show off skin. If you want to cover yourself in rainbows do it. Heck if you want to wear layers of veils over your entire body to hint at what may be beneath but showing nothing… Do it."

"I admit that I'm not entirely comfortable showing skin. Being naked with someone is really a bit awkward for me," Alienor admits, wrinkling her nose. "What if they think my body is poorly-shaped or asymmetrical?"

Danté shakes his head a bit, "I wouldn't worry about that. Not that I've seen your body but you've descended from Angels. Your body is likely as perfect as anybody else that bears a Marque. It's why we serve in the capacity that we serve in."

Alienor laughs softly at that. "I suppose so. I just hope that I can feel comfortable serving Naamah again," she replies, sighing softly. "I don't know what'll happen. I'm just trying to linger and recover as best I can, until I move out."

Danté smiles and nods a bit, "It'll happen. Or it won't. But time will be the biggest factor in your healing. I do look forward to you being the smiling little lady that you are."

"And you'll probably get to see my face! What color do you think I ought to wear? I sort of want to try to dye one of my gowns green. I think it might bring out my eyes a bit," Alienor muses, trying very much to sound hopeful.

Danté hmmms and shrugs a bit, "I'm not actually sure. Lets try a dress of all the major colors? Green, Blue, Black, Red and perhaps brown. Go with modest but seductive. Did I ever tell you I was originally to be trained as Alyssum? I took too much pleasure from the others eating that candy that they sent me to Mandrake but I had that basis. It can be used to your advantage elsewhere."

"Did you? How did you transition from Alyssum to Mandrake?" Alienor wonders curiously, perking up a bit with interest. "I feel like that there are a lot of useful skills that I have learned, but they're not always easy to apply."

Danté grins a bit and shrugs, "I was still young. So the transition wasn't difficult. But I still apply some of my Alyssum training to what I do with the Mandrake training. It helps put people at ease that I'm an extremely nice guy. Which isn't completely untrue. I just also have an extreme fondness of ropes and all. But you can tie it into any canon really. Playing games you can always act like it's your first time rolling the dice. Or Jasmine and be a modest but seductive little minx. The doors are wide open."

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