(1312-06-04) A Much Anticipated Gift
Summary: Hearing of Andre's indispsition, Desarae pays him a visit.
RL Date: Thu Jun 04, 1312
Related: Koningsdag
desarae andre 

Flatlands Suite

Word got around the city that the Prince of Brabant was taken ill after his own Koningsday celebrations. A rumour is repeated and getting more lurid that he fell victim to a poisoning. For a few days he didn't see anyone except the healer who came over from the temple every day. But as he begins to recover his strength, it appears he is willing to receive visitors. Though only a few chosen ones and they need to pass by the Brabantian guards at the door of the suite first.

Someone whom will not be refused entrance to see the young princeling, is one of the duchesse's very own nieces. Desarae is shown into the sick room by one of the guards whom is dismissed with her thanks. She's only recently returned to the city of Marsilikos from her estate at Chavaise; a place where, for a number of months now, she's been preparing and being prepared for her future duties as a marquise, as well as deepening her relationship to her cousin Leonard to whom she's betrothed. She looks to be in fine spirits as she enters the chamber; her gown a pale buttermilk ivory that complements not only her her hair and complexion, but also her youth. "Lord André," her greeting is bright. Plentiful skirts swish to one side with the curtsey she offers, but she's quick after that to seat herself companionably on the edge of his bed. She brings with her a basket, which she places down on the covers beside her, and she conveys to the patient the smallest of smiles. "They're saying you were poisoned. I brought you some gifts."

André blinks at the apparition. Clearly he must have a fever dream. "Lady… Desarae?", he asks, blinking again as if to see if she might disappear, "I thought you had left the city? What a pleasure to see you… I wish I could…" He makes an effort to get up, but fails. At least he manages to sit a little straighter and run a hand through his messy bed hair.

Desarae gives a dismissive wave of her hand. "Now don't exert yourself for me, my lord. No need to stand on ceremony. I have seen worse." Her hands collect in her lap, and she smoothes the wrinkles both real and imaginary, from the sumptious folds of the fabric. "There are no plans to dally overly long in the city, but it seemed prudent to call upon my aunt and my cousins this close to my natality before continuing on to Elua. Then I heard the news of your confinement, so likewise, thought it important to visit." Her eyes lower to the basket. "It's not cheeses I bring," she teases him lightly, "but wine from my vineyards. You do like wine, I hope?"

"Of course I do.", André smiles, "That's very considerate of you.. thank you. Please do take a seat." For now it's his servant who'll bring some fine Flatlandish wine and refreshments. The man doesn't bat an eyelid at the woman's chosen seat and simply places the tablet on a small table within her reach, then withdraws quickly. "I wish you had been able to attend the Koningsdag. Despite it's sad outcome for me I dare say it was rather a success overall."

"It sounds… intriguing," Desarae smiles, and there's a sincerity that shines through the tone of her voice. She's changed since their paths last crossed; her demeanour and presentation having been polished and honed as befits a future marquise. Diamonds flash as she turns her attention to the tray of refreshments. "Will you join me? I'd rather not drink alone, especially not in a bedchamber. But tell me, were you resident in the Flatlands when winter had come? I had imagined you skating upon the frozen canals, and wrote you a letter about that. If my letter were received, you owe me a painting of such." She leans and lifts the bottle of wine, hovering the neck of it over the glasses whilst she waits to see if she'll be joined.

"I may attempt to.", André replies thoughtfully, "The healer insists on me drinking some terrible tea only and I confess, I am rather sick of it." The servant did thoughtfully provide two glasses after all. "I did receive your letter, yes.", André confirms and looks rather sheepish, "I meant to send the painting, but by the time it was finished, it was clear I would return here to become an official Ambassador, so I thought I'd rather give it to you in person. But then you weren't here when I returned…"

A roll of those sharp green Mereliot eyes, and wine fills but one of the glasses. "My aunt Emmanuelle would never forgive me were she to hear that I had deliberately circumvented the instructions of your healer." It's an apology of sorts, but that would seem to be that on the subject, and she cradles her glass within the palms of both hands. "I'm hoping to meet with my aunt in Elua later this week, should she still be there. " A pause is taken, and the tip of her nose crinkles as she further adds, "I waited and waited for that painting to arrive, but I suppose it is a terribly long way from the Flatlands to Chavaise. But," and a gleam brightens her eyes, "you have it here, you say?"

Sigh. "I'm sure the healer wouldn't mind me testing if my stomach has improved.", he grumbles, but the grumble fades to an amused smile at her sign of impatience. "My dear Lady, do you think paintings just fall from the skies?", he teases her, "They need to be painted first and that takes a little while if they are to be good. But yes, I have it here." And that seems to be it?

Desare twists the stem of her glass in her fingers, and her eyes lid as she briefly scans the walls of the room in search of said painting. She finds nothing. "You mean to tease me." The faintest of sighs escapes the frame of her lips as she lifts her glass towards them; wine stains her tongue and darkens her lips. "So be it, I have learned patience in the last few months. But tell me, is it true what they are saying? That you have been poisoned? What cause have you to believe this?"

André smiles a little enigmatically. He may be about to call for his servant, but then she changes the subject and there's a new fire in his blue eyes. "Oh, I'm quite sure.", he mutters, "Someone was NOT pleased at all by my return here. So I can see why she would seize a chance to get rid of me."

"Oh, so you know whom it is?" Comes Desarae's lightning response. Another sip of her wine is taken and her gaze is heavy where it falls on his face. "A 'she' you say? What is it that you have been doing, dearest André, to invite such ire upon your head?"

André knows better to drop a name. But he smirks nonetheless. "My dear lady, you know as well as I do who was very much antagonized by last year's … tragic turns of events. And who accused me of all sorts of things. I thought time would have softend her cold heart towards me, but it was not to be."

Desarae's lips press into a line, and her brows knit above her eyes at André's suspicions. "I do not see that myself," she finally states. "The vicomtesse is not one to strike at an enemy through such cowardly means. She would look that person in the eye and watch their lifeblood bleed from them as she buried her sword to its hilt in their chest." She paints a charming picture. "No. I cannot believe it her, though shall be sorely upset if I'm now proven wrong." Her hand finds André's on the top of the covers. If it's a surprise to him, it'll be moreso as her fingers wind briefly through his. "Whomever it is," she sternly adds, "they will be most severely punished. As the ambassador for your country, you're a guest of my aunt. In attacking you, they strike at her."

"She wouldn't have done it herself.", André points out, "And I can't think of anyone else who hates me even half as much as that woman…" But then Desi takes his hand and he gets all confused and his train of thought derails. "I… uh… yea. I hope the guards will find out who was behind this… Thank you." His fingers, rather cold for someone tucked up in bed in the middle of the day, give hers a light squeeze. "How have you been then?"

And, still Desarae's hand remains where it is. "I'm sure that they will," she smiles encouragement. "And I have been fine, thank you for asking. Leonard has been completely wonderful, and is easing the transition for me, making it less difficult than it otherwise might have been. He truly loves me, and for that I am grateful. Chavaise is, at the very least, in the very safest of hands. But," and she pauses, a frown finding its way back to her brow. "You seem cold." She sets her glass carefully back on the tray, and scoots further up the bed, lifting André's hand to her lips. A press of soft lips to his knuckles. "You need a warming pan in your bed. I'll instruct the maid when I leave."

"It may be the after-effects of…. the poison." Well, he isn't going to regale her with stories of how many hours he spent on the privvy, not when she's holding his hand and actually being kind to him. "I appreciate your loving care, Mylady.", he smiles warmly, though he does use his free hand to ring a bell and summon his own Flatlandish servant, telling him something in Flatlandish. The man nods and withdraws again, leaving the door slightly ajar as if he will be back soon.

Desarae pulls a face, a moue forming upon her lips. "You have the entire staff of my aunt's court at your disposal to ensure your good health. Make use of them?" The discourse between André and his servant isn't something that Desarae can follow, and nor should it be given it's not a language she's studied, though her irritation of that failing shows as a tic in her cheek. A sigh when the servant withdraws. A frown. "Does your man not speak d'Angeline yet?"

"Oh, he does.", André replies with a bright smile, "And thank you, I appreciate the good care here and rest assured that my father will hear about it." And then the servant does return, bringing with him a roll wrapped in oil skin, which he hands over to André. He then withdraws, leaving André to untie the wrapping to check the canvas within to make sure it's the right one and not those hot nudes he brought, then places the wrapper back and offers it to Desarae. "Your painting, Mylady. I apologize for the long delay, but I am pleased to be able to give it to you in person."

Desarae releases André's hand, and her fingers close instead around the oilskin wrapped canvas. She holds the roll of canvas as if it were the most precious thing in Terre d'Ange, and her teeth catch lightly at her lower lip as if she dare not unroll it. Dare not peek at the treasure within. "Might I?" she eventually asks, a glance sideways given the prince where he lies.

"Of course, of course.", André encourages her, eager to hear her judgement and perhaps a little afraid as well. "I had an artist paint it nearby our chateau."

And thus the canvas, inch by inch is revealed. A leaden sky that's touched with gold, a tree stripped naked of its summer finery. And finally, the frozen canal is revealed; congested with muffled up figures that skate hand in hand or ride upon sledges. Painted with the eye of someone in love with their subject, and a master of their art. It is magical in its composition, and unlike anything the future marquise has laid eyes. "It is beautiful. Quite beautiful," she states breathlessly. "Thank you. Are you quite certain you wish to part with it?"

"May it find a good home in Chavaise to please your eyes whenver you look at it and perhaps spare a thought for me now and then.", André assures her with a warm smile, "It is the Grote Nete, that flows past our chateau and through the countryside… such as here…" He names one of those unpronouncable Flatlandish villages, and then before the mood gets too sappy, adds: "And the offer to take you skating on the canals still stands, Mylady." But apparently the effort has brought the prince to his limits and he seems to fade away visible. "Would you come and see me again before your departure?", he asks hopefully.

"Of course," is Desarae's instant response, her fingers returning the canvas to its rolled-up form. "And I shall hold you to that offer of teaching me to skate too, should I ever have time enough away from duty to travel beyond the borders of Terre d'Ange." She pushes to her feet, then pauses to turn, to bend, and to smooth André's hair from his brow. "Feel better soon, I should like to think that my return trip through Marsilikos might afford us the opportunity to spend a little more time together. Infuriating as you are, I find I enjoy time in your company." But the moment slips from their fingers, and recognising the signs of exhaustion that gathers in his expression, she nods her head and takes her leave.

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