(1312-06-25) A Plethora of Peach
Summary: It doesn't take Perpetua long to find Boniface in the gardens of la Rose Blanche, and a tour of the gardens is made.
RL Date: Fri Jun 26, 2020
Related: Related to Sea Glass, and continues on from Old Friends
perpetua boniface 

Garden - La Rose Blanche

Tall, white-painted casements connect the salon to a terracotta-tiled terrace that spands the width of the building. Small orange trees in pots, lemons and clipped bays are organically organised around groupings of tables and chairs, and these perfume the air whatever the season. A pale sandstone balustrade separates the terrace from the garden, and two wide and shallow steps flanked by urns from which white roses tumble, invite a person to step down and follow the paths that wind between well-tended beds. Here, fan-trained peaches sprawl on south-facing walls, and night-blooming jasmine scrambles so that the senses are sweetly indulged by the ever-changing scents that envelop the soul. The thrill of an intimate meeting can be arranged within any number of the verdantly entwined arbours and hidden away nooks.

Following the natural course of the path further through the gardens, an oasis is unexpectedly discovered. Hidden from view of the house by the flowering hedges and greenery, a mature willow droops its delicate fronds above a tranquil pool of water. Embraced by grass and moss-covered rocks, pale green lily pads spread across its surface, and in the summer months the translucent pink-edged blooms of waxy white that open to the sun are a delight to behold.

Its very tedious, when responsibility gets in the way of play time. And that's just what happened to Boniface, having been intercepted by one of his 'minders' soon after entering the salon garden, and being whisked off to deal with some task that had slipped the young bon vivant's mind. That done, he's back! Even if he seems -slightly- more exasperated upon his return. Stupid duties!

It doesn't take too long at all for Perpetua to find Boniface again; mostly because the garden's not a haystack, and he's hardly a needle. It'd never do to look as if she'd been hunting him however, so after refreshing her own glass from the jug of elderflower water, and acquiring one for him, she drifts his way across the grass. "My lord," she greets quietly, effecting a graceful curtsey despite the handicap of balancing both glasses in her hands. Her eyes meet shyly with his as she comes to the upright. "How lovely to see you again." An embarrassed pause. "Truthfully, I was not certain that I would. Would you care for some elderflower water? It is delicious, made freshly this morning." A glass is held towards him, her fingers wrapped lightly about the bowl of the glass where condensation collects.

That exasperation fades -just- a little bit when Perpetua approaches him- a brighter smile blossoming on his lips when he hears her voice and turns to face her. "It is lovely, isn't it?" he greets in return, a teasing lit to his musical voice as he takes the offered water from her, "And it's certainly a pleasure to see you, Perpetua. Though.. I'm curious. Why were you not certain I'd come by to see you? I thought our last outing was fun!"

Relieved of the glass, Perpetua's hand joins the other so she can cradle her own within the framework of her fingers. "Oh yes, my lord. I had a lovely time, and the sea glass we found was especially pretty." Her eyes flick up to his, and there's a vulnerability to be found in their honeyed-brown depths. There might be enough time as they linger there a moment longer for Boniface to see his image reflected there in her pupils but she's fated to lower her lashes as her chin dips away. "It's just," and she hesitates, flustered for a moment as her fingers tighten about the glass. "Oh it is silly of me, my lord, but I did so hope to see you on the night of our opening."

Boniface finds himself trapped just a little bit in her gaze- ensared so much that he doesn't or can't really speak until she lowers her eyes, breaking contact- after which he quickly takes a sip of his water. "Oh, that. My apologies, but I don't have a fondess for big crowds, most of the time- it usually takes a debut or something similar to get me to suffer them, and even -that- is a rare occassion!"

"Oh," Perpetua murmurs. "I hadn't realised." Her head remains dipped, but Boniface will easily be able to track the progress of her blush as it deepens and claims not only her cheeks, but also her ears. Such pretty ears they are too; being as fine and as delicate as the shells that dot the sands she loves so well. A hand loosens its clasp about the glass and she lifts it to anchor stray hairs behind the right one of the pair. "I hope my lord finds our new salon as pleasing as the last," she quietly adds, her eyes drifting away to a point beyond his shoulder. "The gardens are particularly lovely here, designed just for us and not for all."

Bonbon takes another little sip of his water, his attention focused squarely on the courtsan he's speaking with. Gardens? What Gardens? At her question though, he does glance around. "Oh yes, it's very lovely here. And it makes a lot of sense for white roses to have their own garden to..ah. blossom in." Yeah, he thinks he's incredibly clever with that little turn of phrase.

Perpetua looks down to the glass she holds in her hand, though makes no attempt to lift it or to drink. Her veils billow as a fresh breeze springs up, and she lifts her face from her glass to the skies, her eyes closed to better enjoy the kiss of the cooler air. "Would my lord," she eventually says, that shyness audible in her voice once more, "like a tour?" She tilts her head enough that her eyes might open to find his.

"I'd love one," Boniface answers, perhaps just a little too quickly before he drains the rest of his water, closing his eyes briefly to savor the touch of infused botanicals, "I'm curious to see the rest of this place!" That said, he offers Perpetua his arm, so she can lead him around, as it were.

Perpetua's gaze falls to Boniface's arm when it's offered. "Of course," she murmurs as her hand claims the crook of his elbow. Her touch is light as her fingers curl over his sleeve, and her head tilts towards the left fork of the path that winds through the gardens. "Perhaps this one, my lord? It leads somewhere quite magical, which I'm sure you will love." Her glass is passed to one of the novices, allowing her the full use of that pale hand to lift her skirts clear of the grass.

Boniface ditches his empty glass as well, givn the oppertunity, though the novice is paid little more mind than that. At Pet's suggestion, he grins. "You're my host," he says, his voice dripping with curosity, "I put myself in your hands. At least as far a tour goes. If you think it's magical, I'm sure it is! Lets see!"

Though the garden isn't overly large, being as it is within the busy heartland of the City where property prices are premium, the nature of the path as it weaves its way through the shrubbery and flowerbeds, means that there's plenty of time for the pair to converse. Perpetua points out to Boniface the south-facing wall with its fan-trained peach trees, the arbours hidden amongst the greenery, and which flowers, despite her having been in residence a mere week only, are already her favourites. She's an easy conversationalist away from the more public setting from whence they'd come, though her opinions and directions are always offered with that shy charm of hers, and a demure casting down of her eyes. Eventually the path brings the pair to the furthermost corner of the garden, where a tall weeping willow spreads delicate boughs above a pool of water filled with lilies, and it's as the whole comes into view that she finally lifts her eyes to his. "Magical, is it not?" she breathes.

For his part, Boniface is an enthused talker- it doesn't matter what they discuss, the young man just seems happy enough to be chatting with the veiled woman, his sing-songy voice never wavering. That is, until, she leads him to the little pool of water and he falls silent, taking it in. After a moment, he turns back toward her nodding, "Oh yes, it's gorgeous," he says, his voice a little softer than usual.

"It is," Perpetua breathes, happiness showing in eyes when caught by Boniface's. "Already it has become my retreat." Her skirts slip from her fingers and a gesture is made towards the willow, its branches cascading like a ballerina's tutu to the grass at its feet. Beneath the boughs, blankets have been spread, and there's another low table with further jugs of refreshment, including wines, along with glasses and a selection of fruits. A quiet tightening of her fingers upon his arm is given. "Would my lord care for refreshments?" she asks when his attention is reclaimed with the pressure of that touch.

This salon has really thought of everything! Boniface is clearly impressed by the thoughtfulness of it all, and he gives a little bit of a nod. "Oh yes," he says, his voice soft in response as he gracefully moves to settle down on the blankets, his gaze lifted up at her, "Only if you'll join me, of course."

Perpetua acquiesces to Boniface's request with a nod of her head, and she releases her hand from his arm when he lowers himself to a sit. She returns from the table with a tray, upon which she's place a chilled glass of white which he'd expressed a preference for, along with a plate, a knife and a singular perfect peach, blushed and ripe from the sun. This she sets down on the rug where he sits, then drawing a cushion up close, she lowers herself to a kneel. "From one of the Lignières vineyards, my lord," she informs, claiming the glass of white wine, but only that she might present it to him.

The peach is ignored for now. After all- there's wine! Grinning a little bit, Boniface takes the glass from her, nodding his head in approval. "It's no Le Blanc," he comments with a little bit of a tease, "but I -suppose- it will have to do. Thank you, Perpetua." All that out of the way, he finally takes a sip of said wine, his eyes closing for just a moment as he takes in the flavors. Soon after though, they open and he looks at her. "So are you getting settled in the city now?"

Perpetua lowers her eyes when the wine is claimed, waiting demurely with that downcast gaze until Boniface has wetted his lips and shown satisfaction for the vintage. "Mostly, my lord," she replies, breath stirring her veil as she slides the plate with the peach and the knife neatly onto her lap. Deft fingers start to remove the skin, the keen knife slicing just beneath the surface to reveal the ripe, orange flesh it protects. "It is very different to Elua," she admits as she works. "Not so glittering as the capital, but then I'm not much of a one for ostentatious show, my lord. Marsilikos has a charm of its own however, and one which I'm finding I truly enjoy. I especially love being so close to the sea, as I feel drawn to it in a way that I hadn't expected to be."

"That doesn't surprise me," Boniface says, taking another sip of his wine as he watches her so carefully peel that peach, a little bit of fascination in his blue eyes, "Your family is legendary for it's sailing prowess, after all. There's probably a little bit of salt in your veins!"

"There probably is," Perpetua shyly admits, rotating the peach one last time so the knife can slip beneath the remaining inch of skin. It falls in one long, satisfying curl to the plate, and peach juice paints the tips of her fingers as she carefully slices the fruit from the stone. It's a wonder that she manages this feat without allowing a single sticky droplet to stain her silks, and her eyes flick briefy up and settle on Boniface. "My cousin, Lord Athanasius, is perhaps the finest example of that." Setting the knife neatly back down on the tray, she selects the plumpest slice of peach from the plate, and holds it out for Boniface to taste.

"You're very good at that," Boniface comments, his voice soft and low now- he's almost mesmerized by her skillful peach preparation. That is, until a bit of peach is offered up- and rather then take it from her with his hands, he leans over to take a nibble right then and there.

Of course Perpetua is good at it. Fourteen years of tutelage under the best that Mont Nuit has to offer ensures that she's good it. Beneath her veils a smile curves that precious mouth of hers, and her hand trembles at the touch of Boniface's lips to her fingers. But see the way her blush lifts her complexion to something rare and extraordinary, marvel at the soft intake of her breath that accompanies it, wonder at the widening of her eyes and the way her lashes brush her cheeks as her eyes drop to the plate in her lap. It's naught but pure art, and a plethora of peach yet remains.

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