(1312-07-06) Affirmation
Summary: The virtues of alfalfa, willow trees and freshly baked bread are explored, and affirmation is given Jehan-Pascal
RL Date: Mon Jul 06, 2020
Related: None
audrialla jehan-pascal perpetua perrin 

Grand Plaza - Marsilikos

No humble, cobbled, crowded town square, this: the grand plaza of Marsilikos gleams, a true centerpiece of a wealthy, international port city. The marble tiles of the square itself are fitted smoothly together, alternating white and greyish-blue with obsidian equal-armed crosses inset at the intersections. Four raised planters, ten meters square, offer cool travertine seating around swaths of raised ground, grassy and tended in all seasons with foliage best beautiful and suiting to the weather, positioned in each of the corner quadrants of the square, and, in the center, a concrete-laid pool is lined with marble, into which four ichthyocentaurs are pouring cool, clean water from carved vases of striking white marble. On a pedestal half-hidden by the winding tails of the ichthyocentaurs is an ancient obelisk, one solid piece of red granite, imported with great expense from Menekhet, mounting twenty one meters into the sky and casting a winding shadow around the corners of the plaza as the day progresses.

On the western edge of the square a grand marble stairwell overlooks the port and the harbor below; to the north, two strips of marble extend far between the stoate pillars of the marketplace, embracing a well-cultivated spina of greenery.


Summer has well and truly arrived in the Eisandine port city of Marsilikos. The heat of the morning sun where it strikes the white and blue marbled pavings of the Grand Plaza is little diminished by the light summer shower that falls from the skies. It's early enough that the plaza is relatively quiet, with only a handful of merchants and servants going about their business. The rain splatters the surface of the pool into which four ichthyocentaurs pour cool, clean water, though today they are joined by another. Not, that is to say, that the fifth figure is an ichtyocentaur, for it's not. It's a woman of average height whom is clad in diaphanous white silks. Nor, for that matter, does she pour water from a carved vase. Rather she sits on the marble ledge of the pool at the foot of one of those four; her back pressed comfortably to the curl of its tail and her slippered feet joining her upon that ledge, drawn close to form an angle of her legs against which, despite the light rain, a journal is propped.

Perrin walks into the plaza from the south east. He is dressed pretty casually with a white shirt with laces that are loose around the collar, lending to the casual appearance. Boots and breaches complete the look and he has a large bundle over his shoulder that appears to be hay of some sort of grass wrapped in a blanket and secured with two straps. The rain has put a bit of a spring in his step, however he does not run to avoid it. With the plaza being so empty as it is, his eyes are drawn to the woman by the fountain. His path appears to go near, or perhaps he deviated simply to be near. Whatever the case, he does not need to speak overly loud to say, "Good morning…" He then seems to not be able to recall the lovely maidens name. Super smooth way to start.

Jehan-Pascal doesn't mind the rain; maybe it's because he's just on the point of beginning to vibrate with his morning infusion of kahve— maybe because the ambient heat is enough that letting little droplets of misting drizzle collect in his short black hair is a nicely cooling effect, especially when combined with a brisk step out into the square. He draws back his shoulders, taking a deep breath and turning his face up to the droplets, whether to welcome them and that fresh rain smell or else to inspect the sky and see whether this is going to clear up or get worse, in his estimation. He's in his standard casual business garb, though dressed up a little with very fine pale green hose and a pair of delicately embroidered shoes with a short wooden heel that only just cover his toes and the sides of his feet— sub-optimal for puddles, but oh, well. Once he's done sky-gazing, his dew-graced lashes turn his stormcloud-grey eyes toward the fountain and the familiar figures meeting there. Well, one of them familiar by name, the other only familiar by outfit.

Perpetua gathers her thoughts at Perrin's greeting, and her golden eyes abandon her journal as they lift to look his way. "Oh. Good morning Lord Perrin." Keeping one finger folded into the pages of her book, she uncurls from where she sits, and sketches a delightful curtsey to the Somerville nobleman. She's fortunate in that the rain is light enough that it hasn't been the ruination of her silks, but that might also be in part due to the shelter she's been afforded by the statue beneath which she'd been sitting. "My lord looks as if he's on his way somewhere," she quietly ventures, eyeing the bundle thrown up on his shoulder. Jehan-Pascal will also be noted in that shift of her vision, because who could miss a figure like his?

Perrin starts to give a little hand wave as Perpetua begins to raise, but she has already begun to courtsey by the time he has started to signal that there is no need, so he inclines his head and gives her a warm smile, "Sorry to draw you out into the rain, you appear quite cozy there." At the mention of being on his way somewhere he nods his head and pulls the bundle from his shoulder and sets it on the ledge a small distances from the white clad woman. He explains, "A trivial errend to keep be busy. Idle hands are the tool of… something. I forget the saying, however I do remember it was that being idle does no one any good. Also, I was speaking with a rancher north of the city that had never fed his horses alfalfa. Madness." thus also explaining the plant in the bundle.

Jehan-Pascal's figure is remarkable? Well, hedoes have legs for days, doesn't he, below the hem of that tunic and the short, fitted breeches that barely breach said hem? Aside from that, who can say? The tunic is comfy but not exactly his best flattery. But fine clothing will wait for its proper occassion, and Jehan-Pascal, meanwhile, strolls closer to Perrin and the White Rose, catching wind of his errand— his hearing is keen, even if his eyesight isn't. "You're bringing the alfalfa youself? That's what I call industry, Perrin," he smiles at his friend. "You certainly have no need to fear whatever daemones may inhabit idle hands. So many would send someone to haul the feed, but I think it a fine exercise for a morning. Mademoiselle," he dips his chin and shoulders in a casual part-bow to the courtesan, whom he is yet to recognize for certain— and for good cause, it turns out. But he's familiar enough with the veiled maidens of the Roses White that he does expect to know her when she speaks, at least.

"The rain is not so terrible," Perpetua states to Perrin, and her chin lifts as she tilts her face skywards. The veil that covers her from the bridge of her nose flutters a little before settling closer to her features, and there's a little huff of her breath to blow it from her mouth before she notes the newest arrival. Jehan-Pascal might well remember Perpetua when she speaks, if only from the opening event of La Rose Blanche at which they were present. There would have been an introduction at some point, and he'd have learned that she had recently arrived at the salon by way of Mont Nuit in Elua. His arrival sees the White Rose dip into another of her curtsies, and her eyes are warm when they briefly meet with his. "Lord Baphinol. How lovely to see you again," she greets quietly, eyes sliding away. Oh but the conversation moves on, and she listens to the talk of horses, horse feed and idle hands, and she lifts the journal still held in her own, and presses it close to her chest.

<FS3> Jehan-Pascal rolls Mind+Mind: Great Success. (2 7 4 6 2 8 8 8)

Perrin looks over towards Jehan-Pascal and shows an easy smile, then taps the side of his nose with his index finger as if to show that there is a method to his madness. He explains to the other noble, "A grand ranch with many a fine horse. Befriending them would not hurt my chances at being successful here in Marsilikos. Anyway, it is a nice walk there. I was going to ride, but Malta kept getting very distracted by the smell of the weed." He lifts an empty palm and shows the options left available to him, apparently by the empty hand, the number is zero. He takes a step to the side and turns partially, forming a little more space for Jehan-Pascal to join the three comfortably and know that he is welcome, and to give Perpetua a little more space now that two men stand near her and her back is to a fountain. It is a little funny to see how Perrin's movements reflect how he likely calms his horses by carefully minding how he presents himself and assures that they do not feel cornered. So with Perpetua's escape route secured he says, "I hope I did not disturb your writing over much. You looked so lovely here by the fountain that I felt compelled to stop and say hello. Doesn't she paint the picture of tranquility, Jehan-Pascal?"

Weather cannot stop the delivery of fresh breads to the local merchants and noble houses. Audrialla carried a large basket on her hip brimming with baguettes that she hands out to those setting up their stalls, and even knocks on a few doors to hand bread off to sleepy housewives or children. It's another peaceful occurrence on a quiet morning.
Seeing a group of nobles, she makes a polite courtesy and offers a still warm loaf. "Care for some bread? Fresh and lovely today."

"Mademoiselle Perpetua," Jehah-Pascal is quick with the name, the sound of the veiled flower's voice enough to spark a smile of recognition that warms his features toward her. "It is a pleasure," he agrees with her assessment, then, conversationally, "I hope that all are settling well into the new salon? I had meant to come pay it a second visit, but… you know how brisk the trade goes in the summertime;" she might not, but he drops it informally so as to be more inclusive, less explicatory, "I feel like I'm seldom enough with nothing to do, and I'm forever at the Harbormaster's," he chuckles mildly over the backdrop of his workoholism. He falls in line with Perrin's expert handling of their group dynamics, easily floating into the most conversational position and barely noticing that Perrin is adjusting him so. A very pliant and well-broken horse is he. To the masterful horseman, "Ah, I see. Yes, it's very good, I think, for the people to see a man of noble birth is not above those sorts of things. It creates a cordial comraderie, over and above being, you know, accurate," he smiles. "Have you been, yet, to the White Rose Salon?" he tries to tie these varied ends of the conversation together. "We should go. It is perfectly serene. I used to adore spending some quiet hours in the White Rose Solar at the Wild Rose Salon… I would bring my correspondence there and complete letters in their quiet and beautiful company. I always felt I was all the more courteous and fullsome a correspondent in those days," he grins, and then turns to welcome, "Mademoiselle Audrialla. Making house calls?" he beams at her. "Of course, yes. I will bring some home to Fav. But I haven't any coin just on me, may I have it sent when I return?"

Perrin draws attention to Perpetua with the compliment he pays her, and compliments, quite naturally, tend to make White Roses blush. Which, again quite naturally, she does. A complexion as translucent as the rarest of opals, suffuses with the colour that finds its way to her cheeks, and thick lashes veil her eyes as she directs her gaze to the ground. Her fingers tighten on the journal she still holds pressed to her front. "My lord is too kind," she murmurs through her blushes, though further adds when Jehan-Pascal speaks of La Rose Blanche, "We are settling in well, Lord Baphinol. I feel that I was fortunate however in that I had not the time to grow attached to our old home, so don't suffer the wrench that others might." A lift of her chin allows her to look briefly between the pair, though they settle for a moment on Perrin as she speaks. "It would be a delight to have you visit with us, my lord. Perhaps when time allows?" Her question, her invitation to Perrin, is left to hang in the air as Jehan-Pascal hails Audrialla, and a quick peek is given in the baker's direction.

Perrin's attention goes to Audrialla as she approaches and offers bread. He offers a warm smile, however remains silent until Jehan-Pascal speaks to her so familiar and he agrees, "That sounds very good." He does have some coin on him and reaches for the coin purse at his belt and asks, "one of the smaller loafs, please and thank you." He seems to sense that Audrialla is known or friendly to the others, so moves again to make room for her in the little circle should she choose. He also looks to Jehan-Pascal and Pepetua, as he has coin on him he says, "Please that fresh bread smells so good. Allow me to treat you."
After exchanging coin for bread he sets his recent purchase down with the bundle he had previously set down. To JP's question he shakes his head and admits, "I have sadly found myself occupied by more horse care duties than I had ever imagined when planning this move. I have had very little free time, however I will take your advice and visit soon. The White Roses I have met thus far have all been lovely, and it does seem like a good place to take your ease." He pauses a moment then gives the other man a little knowing grin as he says, "I can only imagine how joyous your letters were as written from such a delightful place must have been." Perhaps he just has a dirty mind.

The horse lord adds, "I tend to write my letters outside the stables, which leaves them reading as if I were curt at best. Perhaps I should rethink where I take my correspondence." His attention going back to the blushing beauty by the fountain and agrees with her, "I will look forward to it, my dear. You and your sisters are so charming that I am truant by not visiting yet."

"The oven is still too hot for me to bake, so while it cools," Audrialla tells Jean-Pasquale, "I make deliveries to our neighbors. Nothing like fresh bread to break the fast. I'll have a nephew of mine send your kitchens a delivery, but…" she pauses to take Perrin's coin and passes over the loaf. It's hot, fresh, and has a delightful crackle of crust. "Audrialla Mallet, at your services, my lord and gentle lady," she says to Perrin and Perpetuawith a dip of a curtesy. "Maker of fine confections and pastries. And bread delivery girl," she adds with a laugh.

"Nothing of the sort, Mademoiselle Perpetua," Jehan-Pascal rebuffs her rebuff, a it were, the kind of thing kind-lipped people do in public, "I speak only from the heart, and in earnest appreciation of the skill and grace of your salon," he goes on, just a little more earnest than simply polite. The place must have truly endeared itself to him. "But you must be suffering a bit of your own wrench, yes? Moving not only a house further along the way, but all the way from Elua, instead?" he asks after her adjusting to the move.

Perrin is joking on his time with the Roses White, meanwhile, and Jehan-Pascal edges a little closer to him, a glimmer of appreciation for his innuendo, but only outwardly answering him with, "I'm sure I'm not at all clear what you might be insinuating, Perrin, but the maidenhood of the White Roses were in no way an assault upon my purity." As though he might have needed to protect himself from them, rather than vice versa… a little Night Court humor. "They merely lent me a quiet place to write and to be at peace. Yes, nobody wants a letter than seems to have been written in haste," he agrees. "I mean, there are some people to whom correspondence is just not a skill, and to those you certainly grant pardon. But a good letter is a balm to the soul from a person you admire. You know Fav and I began as pen-pals, and I think she may have begun to steal at my heart before we ever met. But yes…. we should make a visit! It will be nice. Let's compare diaries and set a day," he smiles. "And thank you for standing me the bread, but Mademoiselle Audrialla's nephew will have payment at our door— and then I will have my hands free and the break will not get home with the crust nibbled," he laughs easily. "The finest," he bolsters Audrialla's resume into the superlative. "Truly, if you have an event which needs a dessert course, she will delight all your guests."

"Your name is familiar to me, Mademoiselle Audrialla," Perpetua quietly greets the baker. There's a smile to be found in the tone of her words, and her voice lowers a degree as a murmured confidentiality is shared. "The novices of La Rose Blanche claim that your bakery is the only bakery worth its salt in the city." She turns her attention back to both Jehan-Pascal and Perrin. "I would be more than happy to give a tour, not only the salon of La Rose Blanche, but also the gardens." A slow breath is drawn as both their eyes are met with her own. "To the rear of the gardens, and hidden from sight, is a pond over which a willow tree hangs. It is the most perfect of places. It…" She halts herself with an exhale of her breath, her veil stirring beneath the weight of words unspoken as her complexion takes on a further rosy hue. The uppermost arm that folds her journal to her chest is loosened, and she slips her hand into the pocket in the seam of her skirts, drawing forth a white velvet pouch from which some coins are counted. "The smell of your bread makes me hungry mademoiselle. Might I also have a small loaf?"

Perrin cannot help but smile as Audrialla makes her sales pitch and introduces herself. He says, "It is a pleasure to meet you Miss Audrialla. I am Perrin de Somerville, connoisseur and aficionado of fine confections and pastries." He is far too lean for that to be really true, but his smile shows that there is at least some truth to his words. That smile is forced into be a bit more of a grin at Jehan-Pascal's words nearly cause him to laugh. He can only respond with, "I am glad to know that you escaped their delicate clutches unscathed." The talk of letters and JP being pen pals with his new bride soften the Somerville man's smile once more and he nods his head to give way to the valid point, "Aye." is all he can really say about that before agreeing to the two of them going to the White Rose and likely being a lot of trouble, "I think I'd like that. We can compare schedules when these lovely ladies do not have to suffer though listening to them." His attention is then drawn to the lovely rose seated at the fountain and seems to not be able to wrap his mind around her dress having pockets. He is quiet for a long moment before saying, "Huh." Then realizing he sounds foolish he shakes her head slightly and tells her, "I would be delighted. The tour sounds wonderful… Hopefully I am not the first to hear of the willow near the pond and think that it would be a ideal for an afternoon nap." Naps are good for the soul after all.

"I am more than happy to provide for such a lovely flower as yourself," Audri replies with a grin to the Rose. She hands over another thin baguette which is still warm from the ovens and slips the coin into her OWN pockets. Because skirts deserve them. "She instructs Perrin, "The Bakery is in the north plaza. I keep a fanciful display full of delicious temptations," she promises. "Chocolates, pastries, candied fruits… I also make lovely cakes for special occasions. You should have seen the masterpiece I entered into the Art contest." She kisses her fingertips lightly and release the kiss into the air. "But forgive me! I am interrupting your morning conversation!"

"They are maidens of sweetest forebearance, Perrin," Jehan-Pascal attests, keeping a straight face, somehow, as he does so, but only just that long, before he grins once more, and, in answer to his question of being the first to contemplate such a nap, he has recourse to a line of old Tiberian hexameters, the meter (and language) in which his own recently published work, De Quiete, was penned: "Tityre, tu patulae recubans sub tegmine fagi…" he recites with a clear ear for the meter, making the verse sound as song, but trailing off before the next line, with a somewhat grandiose air that a person can barely help but have when reciting old Tiberian verse. Then, in stark contrast, highly conversational, and prosaic, not to mention in d'Angeline, to Perpetua: "Does your gown have pockets?" he wonders at it, gawping a little. Then, to Audrialla, "Does your gown have pockets, too?" Look at this fellow, he's drawing up the hem of his tunic to reveal the short trou below. "My pants don't even have pockets. They have these little lines as though there may be pockets in them, but the pockets themselves, they say, would ruin the fit." And they are exceptionally well-fit to his upper thighs, hips and rear. Though that's not the point. Is it?

Perpetua's hands are now both occupied; one with her journal and the other with the freshly baked and still-warm baguette. They're good things to be holding. Her face dips as she lifts the bread close to her nose, and she inhales through the gauze of her veil that comforting smell. "Mm. Wonderful. I believe the novices are right." Her eyes settle upon Audrialla with that compliment, but with a small furrowing of her brow she recalls a question that'd earlier been asked of her by Jehan-Pascal. "I do miss Elua, Lord Baphinol. However, it was simply time to come home." It's a good an explanation as any to his question, and she cannot help but allow the chime of a laugh which thereafter escapes her lips. "Skirts," she eventually says, "especially those designed for us of alyssum canon, are not meant to be close-fitting. Thus there is no line to be ruined." Given the sparkle that lights up her eyes, Jehan-Pascal's bemusement amuses her, and gentle swish-swish is given her skirts with her hips. "A nap, my lord?" she returns to Perrin. "I cannot think of a finer place to rest your head than upon the grass beneath a willow."

Perrin tells Audrialla, "I will be sure to stop in some time soon. If the smell of the bread is any indication, I will need to remain vigilent on how many sweets I allow myself to get." His attention going to JP who is admiring pockets and marvelling that his pants fit so well. Once again, Perrin nearly laughs at his friends antic, but manages to keep a mostly straight face other than how the corners of his mouth tug upwards with the losing struggle with the grin he is supressing. That Perpetua humors his comment about a nap causes his grin to finally show. He doesn't comment further on the topic, however his good humoured expression seems to hint he at least was happy that she commented on it. He does say, "A fine fit, to be sure. I suppose there is a benefit of skirts and dresses in that a pocket could be cleverly hidden. Still, a fine fit on a woman, even with pockets." He picks up his bundle of alfalfa and the still warm bread before saying, "I am looking forward to visiting all of you again, but as my calendar is filling with places to be and I have yet to complete the first on the list, I must take my leave. It has been delightful to see you again Lord Jehan-Pascal, as well as you lovely rose, Perpetua." whose name he only learned from Jehan-Pascal moments before. Finally to Audrialla he says, "and to you Mademoiselle Audralla."

Audrialla looks at what is on display. It would be rude otherwise. "A very fine cut," she agrees politely, eyes drifting back upward. "Pockets are quite common in women's dresses when they are broad enough to conceal them. It's actually a separate pocket you tie on under the gown to allow for easy storage. Consider that a woman's secret revealed." She curtsies for Perrin and adds, "I look forward to seeing you at the bakery then, my lord. A pleasure to meet you."

"Hm! Well, you learn something new every day," Jehan-Pascal beams slightly to have lived up to the adage. He's swatting down his fluffy tunic back into place so that all and sundry may have permission to stop admiring his shapely buttock. He's going to have to investigate this secretive pocket business further, but now isn't the time or the place— that might be in the White Rose Salon, after all. "Oh, yes," he remarks to Perrin, "It was so good to see you, dear fellow, and we'll meet soon, again, at the threshold of the White Roses," he grins. "Good luck rubbing elbows with your rancher," he bids him farewell, and will dip in for a half-hug and a bare cheek-kiss in valediction. As to the resting place, "It does sound regularly serene," he admires the description of the place, even if he's yet to see it, himself. "A willow is sort of the White Rose of trees, isn't it? With its own veil."

Perpetua dips a curtsey to Perrin as he confesses his need to take his leave. For the most fleeting of moments her eyes meet with his as she rises, but as is the nature and the doom of such meetings, her own promptly avert. "I am in the salon most evening, my lord," she shyly offers. "Just ask for me by name at the door." She stands quietly on the heels of that invitation, dwarfed by the icthyocentaur behind her, and it's not until Jehan-Pascal addresses her again, that her silence is broken. "You are right, Lord Baphinol. Beneath the willow's branches you can create a new world of your making. The light is dappled from the sun and you're hidden from the sight from all others by a magical curtain of green." The girl waxes lyrical, but it's only for a moment, as the outpour of her thoughts and the volume of words she has spoken, which is many for her, sees another blush forced to her cheeks. Her eyes downflit and she draws a sharp breath. "Truly, my lord, you should visit."

Perrin returns the farewell with his friend and says, "I promise not to just take a nap and bore everyone on our visit." The comment about a willow resembling a veil gets a nod and he admits, "It does have a sense of mystery to a great weeping willow." He gets the bundle of alfalfa on his shoulder again as Perpetua speaks more than she has since he approached her. He smiles a bit at that and nods to Jehan-Pascal as if he should require no sweeter an inviation. He has already said his godbyes, so with his package secure he heads on his way, allowing the other three to speak in whatever formation then which without be herded by the horse lord.

Audrialla says, "I should continue my deliveries, and allow you both to converse about the lovely willows and other such refreshing moments."

Jehan-Pascal sees Perrin off, and Audrialla, too, giving her a respectful hunch of a bow, not too pronounced as to be desultory. "Good day, Mademoiselle Audrialla," he tells her, then, standing straight again, he tips his head to one side and lets his brows furrow a little bit, just a sweet litle nuzzle of concern between them. "Hey, don't worry," he reaches out, almost moving to touch her veil with the backs of his fingers in a gesture meant to comfort, but, then, remembering decorum, he draws his hand back again and tucks his hands together at the small of his back. "We'll turn up soon," he tells her, not a promise, but with a calmly assured confidence. Then, well, it's his own turn to blush, slightly. As though life among the White Roses had taught him better to be one than to prey upon them. "I wouldn't be surprised, you know, if some of the other girls have spoken to you about my particular preferences." Now they're alone, he might raise the topic. And, of course, for them to spread word outside of the house would be a breach of Naamah's trust, but in among themselves… well, so many of the White Roses have gotten to know him from in the past, he wonders if it might be something like ego supposing they must have spoken of him to their new comrade. Uh-oh. Being egotistical. That just fans the flame that pinkens the tips of his ears toward red. "I mean, not that they certainly must have, I'm hardly the center of their world," he fumbles slightly, trying to back up from it a short ways. "I only…" want to know if she understands him? Feel awkward, sometimes, having that conversation, despite all convention of acceptance, and would love to have it as read instead of needing to say anything out loud? "I only wouldn't be surprised, or upset."

<FS3> Perpetua rolls Perception: Great Success. (8 1 3 2 8 6 4 8 6 8 2)

Perpetua listens intently to Jehan-Pascal as he navigates his way through his enquiry. The careful selection of his words, the nuance he places on his phrasing and that show of his embarrasment in the pinkening of his ears is noted ain the sharpness of her intellect. There's a softness that shows in her eyes when she speaks. "There are some that speak of the 'Baphinol Curse'. I'm not sure that I would call it a curse, my lord, for we are what we are, are we not?" She hesitates, and sensing a need for affirmation by the manner in which he'd spoken, she traps her journal beneath the press of the arm in which the baguette is held, and touches the tips of her fingers to the sleeve of his tunic. "Know that I know, my lord. I am given to understand by my Second that you are a favoured patron of our salon, and when time and duties dull the brightness of your days, we remain your retreat." A press of her fingers reinforces her words before she withdraws her hand and curls her arm loosely about her waist. "Though faces at the salon may change, the sanctuary found in our arms will not." And having been so frank, she blushes and looks to her feet.

Jehan-Pascal flutters his lips through a further flash of heat when she names the so-called 'curse,' as it is known in the colloquial amongst the commons of Avignon, at once bashful and at the same time comforted by the familiarity of the terminiology, which, after all, is used more playfully than in a derogatory fashion. "Well, we can hardly be anything else, can we?" he replies with a quick rhetorical twist, joking a little bit because that's a more comfortable way to relate. Then, with that art so wonderously trained, she makes him feel seen, understood, known. The touch to his forearm— it might be a small gesture, but the touch of a White Rose has an electricity to it, like amber rubbed with wool, and he, too, tips his chin downward and smiles at the ground, a mirror of her own gesture. "What a dear, kind maiden you are, Mademoiselle Perpetua. And so well-spoken," a trait he evidently admires in his companions. "I do have to be home and to see what the post has brought. But I will be certain to come soon; I'll bring some wine, and maybe we could drink it together."

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