(1310-09-27) Still a Novice
Summary: A novice is visited at la Rose Sauvage
RL Date: Wednesday September 27, 2017
Related: None
esmee piers 

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 enroachment of mosses and lichens, with smaller paths winding off through the beds. It's here along these secluded paths that arborial 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 ivys 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 fall evening. The weather is cool and stormy.


The gardens of la Rose Sauvage are a beautiful thing full of roses of white and red variety, but also thorns. Several passages through the plants are available for wandering and the like. Piers is found by the fountain of entertwined lovers in the center of the Garden, there is a guard some short distance away conversing with a Chaperone, of which is always attending the Novice. Partially for his protection, partially for others protection. At the moment the sounds Piers makes can be heard before he is seen as there are loud cracks of a whip popping loudly in the air. Piers has finished weaving his whip together, the bone handled leather bullwhip uncoiled and being lashed through the air to snap a cloth covered target. The cloth is thin and sheer, cheaply made, but all the strikes are near to the bullseye.

Wandering the gardens is Esmee in search of a few perfect roses from the garden. She pauses here and there as she walks the paths, sniffing a rose or checking it out. Each time she shakes her head, finding something not quite right with the lovely bud. It is the crack of the whip that gains her attention, her steps turning away from the roses to take her towards the fountain area where the sound comes from. Pausing at the edge of a path, she watches wide-eyed as he tests the bullwhip out upon the target. This evening, her dress is a deep blue is it nearly black, it's cut to show off her form, though still holding the sublte edge of innocence.

*CRACK*

*CRACK*

*CRACK*

Piers' form is immaculate as he tests the whip's snap and strike. Practice is something that he has had years of but the whip is new, freshly made, being broken in. Not every strike lands where he wants it quite precisely and when a cut is given to the cloth over the target outside of the center ring there is a faint frown in the Kusheline Novice's expression. A set of his jaw and he coils the whip again. Holding it at his side he steps back, arm goes up, and then lashes halfway forwards before he jerks it back to cause the tip to snap and cut the target again. As focussed as he is, he doesn't realize he is being observed yet.

Esmee is not the only one watching, novices, adepts, and courtesans of the red and black are watching as well but from a safe distance.

At just the right angle is Esmee to watch both the strikes of the whip's tails against the target, and to see his expression, the frowns drawing a tilt of her head in curiosity. And yet the young baronesse makes no move to call attention to herself there, not wishing to break his air of concentration. Teeth catch her bottom lip to bite as another crack fills the air, goosebumps rushing along her arms and making her shiver just a touch with unknown emotions.

A final strike cuts the cloth right down the middle in a long strike that marks the target beneath as well with a fine line. Nodding to himself Piers coils the whip up again and hooks it to his belt loop out of the way. Moving over towards the target he pulls the cloth off and starts to help get it put away. After the display many of the other courtesans disperse to do their own thing leaving the fountain square emptier than it was before. The guard and chaperone though remain on hand but their attention wanders amongst several novices to keep an eye on.

Once the target is handled Piers brushes his hands off on the remains of the cloth that covered the target. Pale blue eyes look around then, sweeping the area around the fountain to get his bearings as to whom might be in attendance even still. Catching sight of Esmee there is a faint curl of a smile at the corners of his lips. Just a ghost of a smile that fades after a moment: "Baroness." Piers offers, "It has been some time. Have you been practicing?"

Intrigued is she at this practice, his movements pure art. Each crack of the whip to leave draw that unknown feelig from deep within boiling upwards. It is with a sigh that she tries to relax as his practice is done, and he goes about putting things away. Remaining there, perhaps with the silent wish to speak with him once he's done if he remains, a smile blooms upon her lips when he spies her and calls her by name. "A good eve to you, Novice Piers…" It is only then that she will step forwards, to move away from the white roses she had paused besides, their petals so bright against the darkness of her gown. "I have." Such a lovely shade of pink to touch her cheeks then, "I hope the days have been good for you? " Her hand lifts to gesture towards the place the target had been moments before, "Do you practice often?"

"Every day, Baroness." Piers answers with a slight but firm nod of acknowledgement to her saying she has practiced. Walking closer towards the Baroness, Piers comes to a stop just outside of touching range to appease the guards and the chaperones but close enough the young man definitely looms over the beautiful woman: "There are many tools available to us during an assignation. The whip is considered one of the harshest. It is… very easy to cause damage that would leave terrible scars." He explains. One hand comes up and he runs two fingers along the line of her jaw from the corner to her chin before his hand falls away again: "I will be making a date for my debut soon. I hope to see you there still." Pale blue eyes hold hers for as long as she is willing to meet his.

Her gaze meets his, and yet soon hers will fall as he steps up to stand before her. Surely she would have to tilt her head to meet his gaze then, if she actually did so. Lids fall shut at the ever so brief brush of his fingertip along her skin, a tease that causes a swift inhale of a breath to be taken and held briefly before being released, "I still hope to make it to your debut.." Only then does she turn her gaze upwards, to look from beneath her thick lashes, "I dare to say that I have kept my spending at a minimum so that I can put in a bid worthy of you."

Piers dips his chin ever so slightly towards his chest, his hands going behind his back to stand straight and tall before her: "I am well pleased to hear that, Baroness. I would be honored to have you as my first assignation. A first, for a first." He moves to step to the side of her and gestures towards one of the paths with one hand: "Walk with me." It is not a request but a command, even if not violently given. Turning slightly he starts to walk slowly down the path: "Even should you not win my debut, I still expect you to contract me soon after."

It is a simple truth that her words are spoken in, quietly but deeply felt. "From your lips to Naamah's ears that such may happen." With the quiet command, Esmee falls into step near his side, and yet that half step or so behind unconsciously taken as they begin down the path together. "Of course. My wish for such will be made at the time of my bidding, should your Dowayne accept it then."

Continuing the slow walk in no rush to go anywhere, Piers and Esmee are followed a polite distance away by a chaperone and a guard. With her following behind him by that half a step it's almost impossible to see the faint smile that touches his lips at her words: "After my debut, I will be fortunate enough to determine my own assignations Baroness. I will need patronage such as yours in order to complete my marque. I will have a long term contract arranged for you. So that you might never go to long without my touch." His head turns just enough so that he can see her reaction to his words out of the corner of his eye.

There is the soft swish of her skirts to be heard as Esmee walks, the silks a whisper of longing that surely mirrors the feelings that the young woman is coming to know when in his company. Her hands clasp before her, brunette head tilted just so to listen as he speaks. There is a lift of one delicate brow upwards at his comment, the blush to darken slightly, "I only hope that I .. " Words fail, her head to duck, eyes to fall upon her hands that now clutch a little tighter, fingers laced instead of merely clasped together.

Just as suddenly as the started Piers stops with a pivot to stand just before her. It is very likely she could actually run into him if she doesn't catch herself in time. Should that happen he will reach out steadying touches to her hips, the pressure of those two fingers just to the sides of the small of her back noticable in the firm steadying hold: "Continue." Piers looks down into her eyes then. After a moment he takes a single step back, his fingers running a lingering firm caress along her hip and then fall to return to position behind his back before the Chaperone or Guard takes issue: "Tell me your hope."

Her gaze dropped to her feet, Esmee does indeed miss the moment he stops and turns towards her. So quick is his motion that she does nearly plow into him, and only by his quick actions does she keep from tumbling to the graveled path. Her hands lift, touching his chest, though as she realizes what she's done, she drops them just as quickly to once again, lace together. The blush darkens and an immediate apology is given as he holds her there, fingers at her hips, "I am sorry.. I did not realize you had stopped. Please forgive me." The words come at a rush, alarm to show within her expression glimpsed when her head tilts back so she might look to him before surely she checks to make sure his guard and Chaperone do not take offense to her mistake. When he commands her to continue, she ducks her head, "I hope that I do not disappoint you in the end…"

"Baroness."

It is a single word, her title, from Piers' lips it is almost more potent than if he had called her name directly: "I am a servant of Naamah. It is my duty to ensure that I do not disappoint you. By your actions, by coming to me, there is absolutely no chance you can disappoint me. That you would choose me for your first is an honor, one that cannot be repeated. One that I will not take lightly." One hand comes up again this time to cup her chin with the edge of his index finger, tilting her head upwards towards his face so his eyes can fall upon hers. Her expression. Her features: "Of all the things you could be fearing, do not ever fear that. I am certain that together we will worship Naamah as she so justly deserves."

There is no doubt that his training has been well done, for that single word leaves her words to fade, her tongue to dart out over her bottom lip in a nervous gesture. As his finger comes to touch her chin once more, to guide her head upwards so that their gazes might meet, her own seem to share a hint of water within, tears gathered but unshed in that moment. "I know.. and yet I know nothing at all.. of what I want or like or.." The 'what ifs' plague her, felt strongly. "I apologize.." Why she speaks those words is unknown, and yet even so softly spoken, they carry a wealth of emotion within. With his Scion's touch, he may well pick up on the fear within that she will not worship Naamah as she should be, that in some way, she is a failure.

"We will discover it together." Piers answers her fears with calm confidence: "We will try many things over your assignations Baroness." The tip of his thumb brushes along the edge of her bottom lip in a single firm stroke that tugs her bottom lip from her teeth slightly to part her lips as he stares unblinking down into her eyes but he doesn't push for more than that intense look: "Everything that is within my purview will be yours to taste. To find that which best suits you and your worship of Her. I will let you in on a secret that should be well known and yet surprisingly is not. We all worship Naamah differently, in our own ways. With time and experience those ways change Baroness. As we explore your limits, your desires, your wants, your needs, Naamah will be served. When we know what best works for you, Naamah will be served. There is no wrong way to worship Her." His hand falls from her chin again and he takes a step back as the Chaperone was starting to approach. Both hands once again are placed behind him as he stands before her.

Word by word, Esmee seems to calm, the novice before her seeming to know just the right words to ease her fears. Her lip is pulled forwards with the light caress of his thimb there, skin reddened from being worried earlier, slightly damp from the lick of her tongue. Held by that gaze of his, she remains still, caught by that look and his words. The secret disclosed, she ohs softly, and by the time his hand falls away from her, that step taken back before the chaperone might reach them, she is calm once again. "Thank you." The words once more softly spoken, her gaze sliding away from he to his chaperone and back again, "I will remember your words.."

There is a slight dip of his chin towards his chest in a faint nod: "See that you do." Piers' words are firm again, the gentleness now gone and replaced with the firmer touch and tone of his voice. Turning he starts to walk again at that slow languid pace, more the movements of a lazy predator than with any intent to the otherwise. As they walk through the garden again: "Tell me your thoughts as they are now Baroness. When you think of me. Of our night together. What things cause your breath to catch in your throat?"

Calmness restored, Esmee once more falls easily into step with him, once more that half step behind. As they pass an exquiste crimson bud, she reaches out, a finger to trace the edge of one petal, his question to be considered as she moves away to catch up to him, "I do not know why you have gained my attention, but you have. In ways that none other have before. I am both anxious and excited in many different ways when I think of the night we might spend together. " There is another pause, thoughts gathered. "My sisters have spoken quite openly of their training, and yet.." There is a gentle shake of her brunette head, "I want perfection, even though I'm not sure what it is just yet?"

"I do not know how the others are trained." Piers answers with a confident tone: "As a novice I am not privy to how the Red's or the Whites are coached and taught. Perhaps when I am a full courtesan I may assist with such things but it may be something for the Second to handle directly." His steps pause after a few moments when she stops to test that red rose bud, waiting for her to finish and catch up again: "So I do not know what your sisters have told you of their training, or their assignations. It is unusual that a lady of your standing go so long without a visit to the Salon." That much is obvious: "I will say this - I have been training for this moment, our moment, for over ten years. We will discover perfection together. I will not rest, until you have found as many moments of perfection as can be found in our worship."

"They do not speak of their assignations except in the most broadest of terms." To speak of such would break a certain confidentiality, of course. Esmee would not wish to get her sisters in trouble by mis-speaking. There comes a slow nod of her head, however, "All in good time, you will likely then learn of the other training." Color still stains her cheeks as she murmurs, "I have heard that in the City of Elua, it is not uncommon for Mandrake and Valerian to do Showings together.." The very idea seems to make her shiver anew. She dares to step forwards, to come to his side if but for a moment, her hand to touch his in passing only, "I traveled as much as I could, and while other countries know of our ways… " Shr sighs, for surely it is difficult to find understanding of Elua's precept on foreign soil.

Piers dips his chin in a nod towards his chest: "It is done here as well upon occasion. Sometimes for display and educational purposes. Sometimes a Patron will request assignation with both Valerian and Mandrake to learn, or to simply enjoy the performance. Some wish to direct what is done and be in control without doing anything themselves." He explains: "I did not mean of the exact particulars of the individual assignation, but more what occurs between a man and a woman, or a woman and a woman, or a man and a man should such an assignation occur. Certainly you have some idea of the mechanics of it, at least."

There comes that innocent little 'oh' as he explains, a bubble of laughter to escape as Esmee flashes a smile towards him, "Yes, I understand the mechanics of sex even if I haven't had it myself." Another white rose catches her attention, the bloom at it's peak of perfection, petals open and yet not yet fading. Teeth catch her bottom lip, biting, then releasing as she murmurs, "If I was a piece of clay / where waiting for you I would lay… / Tell me…what would you make of me? " The rhythm of her words suggest a bit of poetry, voice soft as if she may not realize she says them loud enough for him to pick up on them.

"I would not have a goal in mind Baroness." Piers pauses again as she does, allowing her to spend the time she wishes on that perfect blooming rose: "I would use my hands and all the other tools available to me to spin the wheel and shape your into a general mold of a woman. From there I would tease and prod. I would carve away the excess clay. I would mold until the clay that is you became the perfection that lies at your core." Pale blue eyes settle upon her there: "Every person is a unique block of clay. Beautiful in their own right if allowed to shine. I would use every bit of skill at my disposal to reveal the perfect you that remains yet hidden."

Her hand moves towards her skirts, a hidden pocket dipped within and when it's pulled out, a slender sheathed knife is held, soon used to carefully cut the rose from the bush. The knife is tucked back in it's sheath, disappearing back into her pocket, the bloom held up to her nose so she might take in it's aroma. As he answers, she turns attention from perfect rose to the novice before her. "So you would study me

Her hand moves towards her skirts, a hidden pocket dipped within and when it's pulled out, a slender sheathed knife is held, soon used to carefully cut the rose from the bush. The knife is tucked back in it's sheath, disappearing back into her pocket, the bloom held up to her nose so she might take in it's aroma. As he answers, she turns attention from perfect rose to the novice before her. "So you would study me / feeling me completely / the shape that I am / and what, in your hands, I could be?" A brow lifts upwards in silent question, a soft hiss soon to come as her hold upon the rose shifts to reveal one finger pricked by a most wicked thorn, a small bead of blood to well up on her fingertip.

Turning, Piers walks over towards where she stands with that blood welling up on her fingertip. From a pocket he draws forth a black handkerchief and offers it to her for her finger: "I would do all that and more. Every touch will elicit a reaction. Each reaction will reveal more of yourself to me. Each revelation will guide me to new ones until I have learned you. Every last bit of you. Body. Heart. Soul. So that when you worship Naamah with me it is the most beautiful and complete worship possible."

"Thank you." Accepting the handkerchief, Esmee presses it to the prick on her finger, holding it there for a passage of time until it doesn't bleed. Only then might she offer it back, though she offers, "If you would rather I have it laundered for you.." As if that small drop of blood could be seen upon the black cloth. Still, there is that shy smile given in return of his words, "I believe Naamah has drawn me to you, Piers…" It is something she's come to realize. "That you will help mold and make me into a better example of myself. "

<FS3> Esmee rolls Poetry: Good Success. (8 7 8 2 5)

Piers reaches out with his hands to fold the handkerchief in her hand: "Keep it." He tells her as he looks into her eyes: "A promise of what is to come soon enough my Baroness." There is a touch of possessiveness in that 'my', not enough to truly claim her as his and only his, but it is there never-the-less. Long fingers wrap around her hands to give a firm squeeze then he draws them away to once more clasp behind his back: "I believe Naamah has drawn you to me as well Baroness. That after so long you would find me, so close to my debut, and you finally willing to accept her Love. It can be nothing else. Even should another win my debut, I will hold my first assignation as an adept for you."

The warmth of his hand is felt as he holds her, pressing the soft cloth within her hand. "A promise." Such a thought appeals to her, that touch of possessiveness within his words not argued with at all. No other of his House has caught her eye in her visits here, only he. "Let it be so then." The quiet promise returned, should she not win his debut. "You inspire me in ways.. I have not been inspired before." She ducks her head, only to lift it again to peer at him, "Is it too forward of me to send you a note?" Uncertain if he could accept such things while a novice before his debut.

"I can receive notes and letters, but my second will surely read them as well. Until I am an adept at the very least I am under rather… strict… rules of behavior." Piers answers her question. Stepping closer towards her until they are nearly brushing body to body Piers looks down into Esmee's face and eyes: "I would be pleased, if you won my debut Baroness. Naamah willing, so it shall be. I have no doubt that no matter what the future holds, I will be a part of yours, and you mine."

"I do not mind that they do, if that is what happens." He will receive a letter penned by she within a few hours of her leaving. Too eager to even wait till the morning. He'll recognize many of the words within as those spoken to him earlier. Slowly, her head tilts back as he moves closer to her, seeking that intimacy of his gaze with her own. "Aye.." The rose held so carefully in her hand is lifted then, those perfect petals to be offered in a soft caress of his cheek, following the strength of his jawline towards his chin before offering the bloom for his own sniff, "I should go.." And yet she does not wish to do so yet.

Piers doesn't move for the time she strokes the flower along his skin, acting almost as if he were a statue but she can see his nostrils flare at the scent of the rose when it is drawn across his face and cheek until it rests beneath his nose against his lips: "Perhaps you should." He acknowledges her words but there is no demand in them for her to do so: "If you feel you must, until then I have time yet to spend in your company." As the chaperone starts over again Piers leans down to whisper into her ear: "I trust that once my debut is finished that the words I will receive from you, note or otherwise, will be all the more poignant." Then he steps back to create the requisite space between them for propriety's sake.

"I do not wish to, however.." Esmee whispers softly in turn once he's taken the rich aroma of the rose in, "I do not wish to get you in trouble." Again, her lids fall closed as he leans in, the caress of his words against her ear to leave her shivering, biting her lip again.

"Trouble is not something I will be in, just from speaking with you. Trouble is what I would be in, if we were to linger to close together. If we were to tempt that which so calls to you before my debut is won. It is a trouble that is appealing all the same." Piers considers her for a few long moments and unfortunately Piers had spoken to loudly, or the Chaperone had drawn to close and overheard enough to clear his throat: "Novice, you have other duties to attend to." Piers doesn't even look away from Esmee's eyes as a faint frown flicks across his expression: "So I do." He answers without argument: "Until next you visit me, Baroness." Then he turns on his heel and starts away from the woman in the gardens, heading for the salon proper and the duties of a Novice still.

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