(1312-06-29) The Secret
Summary: Perpetua offers to teach Raimbaut how to make lace, and she tells him of a secret that she's learned.
RL Date: Mon Jun 29, 2020
Related: Memories and Old Friends
perpetua raimbaut 

La Rose Blanche

Through heavy wrought-iron gates, lies the handsome white-washed facade of La Rose Blanche salon. Tall glass doors open into the vestibule, through which lies the salon that's famed for modesty, virtue and sweet forbidden fruit. Spacious and coolly serene, the walls are panelled in the palest blue and white silk, framing to the right of the room an elegantly carved marble fireplace in white. Directly opposite to the entrance are floor to ceiling windows which flank multi-paned double doors that spill into the garden, and these are framed by blindingly white muslin beneath heavier drapes of blue that are accented with silver threadwork.

Silk upholstered armchairs are gathered around the fireplace, and others have been thoughtfully arranged throughout the room in order that patrons might have a choice wherein to place themselves. For those requiring something more langorous, two chaises of velvet are angled near the windows, these affording pleasing views of the gardens. Silver sconces hung with looping crystal chains illuminate paintings on the walls, and these depict figures in various state of deshabille, with blushes charmingly staining their cheeks as if they are only now aware of the voyeur's eye upon them. Whatever the season, an abundance of flowers in shades of white are in evidence; chosen not only for the purity of their colour and fragrance, but to remind patrons that the flowers with whom they choose to spend their time with in the salon are just as fragile, and have many layers of petals to explore and delight in.


Perpetua and Raimbaut have only really seen each other in passing over the last few days, the opening event having kept most of the novices busy as with excitement and anticipation they'd helped with the preparations. It'd eaten up a fair amount of what free time they had that wasn't already dedicated to their regular lessons and chores. Certainly the opportunity to speak in any great depth to Raimbaut hadn't presented itself, but this afternoon as Perpetua sits on a sofa in the salon working studiously at the intricate lace that grows painfully slowly beneath her fingers, she has one eye trained on the main doors in expectation of his appearance.

Raimbaut gets brought back in by his minder. He's almost taller than she, by now; the little bud has been sprouting. Still, with his lanky proportions, his oversized white garb, and the grass-stains he'd sustained, quite possibly doing some free-form tumbling in the Gardens of Eiseth, he's still that angel-faced baby rose in mien. He seems, at least, to be settling into the new place, finding new spots to favor for hiding, or for surprising his fellow-novices, or just for peeking out from behind. He meets Perpetua's eyes, or at least the one trained on the door, and he lifts a hand to wave it in a friendly-spirited hello.

"Raimbaut." Perpetua's voice is warm in its greeting. Despite the softness of her tone, it easily travels the distance between them, and as her chin lifts and her full attention falls on the novice, her fingers still in their toil. "You appear to have been enjoying the fresh air, it's so welcome after the storms we've been having." A pale hand lifts and slides from her lap, and a pat is given the space beside her, her fingers splaying across the blue jacquard cushion. "I wonder, have you a minute or two in which we might talk?" Warm brown eyes that are the mirror of Raimbaut's, catch in his, and a slight cant of her head towards the space beside her reinforces that request. "If you are not rushing of elsewhere, of course."

Raimbaut widens his eyes with a rather enthusiastic nod, nostrils flared in ecitement over the better weather, and he throws out his arms, taking a spin in exaltation of the lovely day outside, closing those honey-colored eyes of his as though basking in the sunlight all over again. Then, turn come full circle, he returns his eyes contact to her, then flicks it downward with a shy smile, a mere reflex, by now, well-trained. His minder leaves him to go and find the next novice to draw about the city, and Raimbaut toddles closer, shedding his sandals and then hopping up onto the sofa, landing on his knees with hislower legs crossed behind him, not really a Red Rose kneel or anything, just sort of the way a child would sit, blinking up at her from below his long lashes and giving her a sweet little flutter of a smile.

It is with forethought and not a little alacrity that Perpetua traps the bobbins between her fingers and the cushion to prevent them tangling as Raimbaut lands. They clatter against each other musically, but at least the pairs keep their order. A low laugh filters through her lips and stirs her veil at the near catastrophe, and her head twists to look at the novice beside her. "Well that is enthusiasm if ever I saw it," she says, a smile still held in her voice. "I wanted to ask you whether Mademoiselle Alienor was able to find you two days ago." A furrowing of her brow. "She brought me daisies and seemed in good spirits, but I was unable to speak with her for long, because there was someone else whom I wished to speak with. I suggested she seek you out if she had enough time, knowing as I do that the two of you are friends."

Raimbaut rests his hands, first, on his legs, then brings them together to clap in front of his mouth at the keen clutching that has kept Perpetua's lace project from a shambles. He's hiding a grin behind those hand, though— it shows up in his eyes, which are keen with mirth until Perpetua makes mention of Alie and he sits up rather straighter in a moment of piqued interest, then draws his chin in toward his chest, giving a slow shake of his head accompanied by a dizzied sort of blink that seems almost out of sync between his two eyes. Alie was here.

Perpetua watches Raimbaut carefully, and observes in particular the covering of his mouth with his hands. "I'm sorry that she missed you." she says quietly, and her gaze falls from him to the cushion in her lap. She separates out each pair of the bobbins, ordering them from left to right as she prepares to work across the row, her pale fingers nimble through her many years of practice. Without looking up at him again, she continues on to say, "I quite expected to hear you laugh just then, and I expect that you have a lovely one too, hiding somewhere inside." A small pause is taken as she gathers a breath, and she takes the opportunity to lift her eyes and study him again from beneath a veil of dark lashes. "It must take a great deal of effort to stop a laugh before it escapes. I'm impressed."

Raimbaut is sorry, too. It shows in the laxness of his brow, and, though he keeps his smile aching from ear to ear, it no longer matches the rest of his face. Fortunately Perpetua is doing something fascinating with the cushion she's holding, and he watches the way she moves the bobbins, reaching out to trace his fingertips along what has already been crafted. He flicks his honey glance back upward when she speaks of her expectations, and it brings a comely blush to his cheek— indeed, a proud moment, being recognized for the willpower he has honed so to the fabrication of his own White Rose persona, but possibly not quite used to being complimented on said craft. And, to speak of crafts, he lifts both his brows and looks down briskly twice to the work on her lap, bringing his fingertips from the lace to his sternum in a gesture of admiration for her own.

"I'll let you into a secret," Perpetua's voice lowers to one of confidential tones. "Lacework isn't as difficult as it first looks to be." She lifts the first two sets of bobbins, one set turned from a dark walnut wood, and the second from maple. "You work the pairs in sets of two at a time, which is why it's important that they don't get muddled together." Another small laugh escapes her as a gentle bump is given his shoulder by hers. "Then you move them right over left, left over right," she explains, demonstrating those movements with the set in her fingers, "then this and this, and then you leave to one side." A pause. "I'm making an edging that will be sewn to a handkerchief. It's to be a gift for my sister Celeste. I'm hoping to see her in a week or so, and there's still quite a bit left to do. I could teach you if you would like? The basics are quickly picked up."

Raimbaut is already following along, not an unintelligent kiddo by any length of the imagination. He grins at the shoulder-bump, leaning in to return bump for bump with a boyish wiggle, then returning a finger to the lace, toying with it with just his forefinger, running the flat of his fingertip along and around the raised edges. And soon this will be affixed to a handkerchief and given to a Celeste whom he has neer met, nor heard of 'til just now, and she will touch the edge that he just touched, and it will be like they've touched. It's enough to make his ears go a little red at the top, heated up between his angelic curls. He looks up, again, at the offer, blinking a few times, then nodding in studious enthusiasm.

"Then teach you I shall," Perpetua smiles. The sheer layers of her veil drift beneath the weight of her breath as her head dips once more, and she draws a copper pin from the side of the cushion, and pushes it beneath the fresh knots she'd created. "I have another cushion in my chambers, so you can keep your work on it whilst you learn. Perhaps, once you've been mastered the basics, you can make a piece to gift to Alienor." She chats easily to Raimbaut as she works, segueing quite easily from the matter of the lace to something else that's on her mind. "I was speaking with Mademoiselle Virginie yesterday evening, and she told me something that quite surprised me. Can you think what it might be that I learned?"

Raimbaut resumes watching Perpetua's hands, and he lets his legs slip out from under him, resting on a hip and the back of the sofa while lounging out his bare feet over the soft fabric and seeming just barely stopping himself from trying to fuss with the arrangement on the cushion himself, beginning to assume from the patern so far the next moves involved. Alie might like some lace— but then, she might not. Still, she might know he was thinking of her, and it seems a nice sort of thing to give to a girl. The copper pin's gleaming warm color is inviting, though, and he almost forgets to nod his agreement to the end product, so distracted is he at how she manipulates said metal. The mention of a surprise, though, that catches his attention. He's had one few too many surprises, recently, so it makes his heart beat fast. Are they moving again? Are they moving back? Is Alie coming home? He's caught with his heart in his throat between hope and fear, and his wide eyes are fixed on Perpetua.

"She told me," Perpetua says in hushed undertones that will carry no farther than the space between them, "that you have a lovely voice." Her eyes slide Raimbaut's way, and she scans his face carefully, searching his expression for tell-tale nuances or shift of his features that might give the game away.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Raimbaut=subterfuge Vs Perpetua=perception
< Raimbaut: Great Success (7 1 1 3 7 1 7 1 8 8) Perpetua: Great Success (1 7 6 3 5 3 8 3 8 3 8)
< Net Result: Raimbaut wins - Marginal Victory

Raimbaut is already leaning in to hear what Perpetua will reveal to him, eyes wide, then eyes, somehow, even wider when she tells him the news. He opens his mouth, as if he might even speak, but he's just drawing in air, eyes unable to focus but wandering wildly hither and thither for a spot of safety from the shame that heats his throat, his cheeks, his ears a deeper hue of blazing pink than ever she has seen upon him. Oh, yes, it's true— he has been caught— this impure, tawdry boy has spoken— to a woman. Where will lie the depths of his depravity? He covers up his scarlet features in both of his arms and buries face, arms and all into the back of the sofa, hiding there in his shame.

That didn't go quite as Perpetua might have hopes, and the cushion in her lap, bobbins, lace and all get quickly removed to the arm of the sofa. "Raimbaut," she says softly, drawing up her knees so that her legs can fall to one side in a perfect mirroring of his. One hand presses lightly to his shoulder and she dips her head close. "Why are you upset?" she gently enquires. "You had me fooled, and that's not something that many achieve. You have perfected something unique." She blows a light breath from between softly formed lips, billowing out her veil so that it brushes to Raimbaut's hot cheek. "I was talking with Mademoiselle Virgine about your upcoming debut, and had expressed worry to her that there was a sadness about you that seemed unshakeable. But I think now that I was wrong, that perhaps it was simply the upheaval of leaving La Rose Sauvage for here. You seem much brighter today."

Raimbaut draws just his eyes upward from the swaddle of his arms, meeting Perpetua's through the gauzy ephemera of her veil. It is so peculiar how well matched they are in color— and when she pines over his distress, and seems to do so in earnest, his eyes go from wavering on the point of tears, in a snap, to something more mischief-filled, and he unfolds his arms to pook her veil just to the tip of her nose with his fingertip. All is well with him— but the yet-unfledged White Rose can certainly stage a show. Settling in more comfortably and letting the color take its time in descending from its suffused state once more, he's got a curious tip of his head for her talking to Virginie about his debut, but he'll nod along that he is feeling somewhat more settled, here. He'd still go home in a heartbeat if it were allowed, of course, but that's not likely to happen, and it just sits there as a base of hopeful resignation.

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