Fleur was out in the gardens. Admiring the beautiful grounds. They where covered in a blanket of snow. Fleur liked the cold weather, the heat of summer was to sickly for her. With tight corsets and heavy dresses the weather was unbearable in Fleurs opinion.
She had wrapped herself in her fur overcoat. Her husband had sent it along with his last letter. Well he was always good for one thing, if nothing else Fleur thought to herself.
She moved over to the frozen fountain. Leaning over it she placed her hand on the icy layer above the water. The ice stung and she had forgotten to wear her gloves. Her hands turned a shade of scarlett. She moved her gaze to the ground which she stood on. The flowers where out of bloom, laying dead and frozen under the blanket of snow. Fleur felt the same, like she too was being suffocated by an invisible layer of snow. But the snow in her case was her husband. He had killed the Fleur that had once bloomed so beautifully.
She hated this place as much as she hated home. She hated him more for placing her here. There had been some scandal in the court, but Fleur had no part in it or knew much about it. She wished she could gossip like the rest of the court, or pretend to be interested in the Prince's state. But she cared for neither.
She was due her own scandal any day soon surely, wasnt she? Maybe then her life would have some fun and passion injected into it. But she knew the effect scandals had in the end, she would have to be careful this time.# (approachable)
(OOC: Edited so its winter ohh and fleur actually means flower in french so thats why she links with the flowers as well )
((That's the one Seiza, my first blackmail victim!!! I should be more clear Mercy has purposefully always got the Duchesses name wrong as a play for power.))
Mercy smiled from the otherside of the door. He spoke clearly and crisply to her, once he was gone she slipped out of her high shoes and of the sodden blue dress, it was odd but she had hardly noticed how wet it was during her brief walk with Dimitri, and now she hardly cared the state it was in. She poured water from the porcelain jug on the stand into the matching bowl and proceeded to wash before drying herself and switching to her beautiful dove-grey dress, she reapplied make up to her face, touching up the cut on her face ever so slightly as it had healed enough to allow a gentle coat. she applied more make-up to her arm to cover the bruise.
She was about to put the same shoes on when she noticed a crack in the heel. She, with extreme difficulty, bent and picked the shoe up and examined it. The crack was quite visible but was on a section that was not meant to provide support, the were a gift from her husband and now Dimitri's crazy driver had succeed at changing them... was it a sign? She shook her head and called Helena, stressing that she wanted the shoes cleaned and nothing more. She retrieved a different pair of shoes that were slightly lower, there was no way she could walk around in high ones after her accidents of the past two days.
She set off once more for the orangery, this time she was more careful nd made it through to the warm room, she was warm and happy and she could still stare out at a winter landscape that was blanketed with snow, making it all seem... beautiful.
((littlesunshine: Maybe you can have Fleur walking in the Orangery instead? It's like a greenhouse, and that's where flowers are still blooming. Oh, I really like your edited post! Didn't know that "fleur" = flower myself, very nice.
Fayre: LOL! Marie shall have THAT honour that no one can take away, at least. XD
EDIT: I can't believe it. I've been online all day, and now it's 11pm where I am, and NOW we have 5 people viewing this thread. I hate timezones. :eviltongu ))
Duc Dimitri was led to King Edouard’s study by one of the younger aids. He kept his gaze straight, but through the magic of peripheral vision, he could tell when the boy’s eyes flicked nervously towards him, look-not-looking at him. Dimitri supposed, with a long-suffering mental sigh, that these younger servants were not exposed to nobles who openly bore scars on their faces, but who instead hid them behind powders like women.
Dimitri took an appropriate number of steps into the study. King Edouard was at his windows, oddly enough. Or perhaps, considering the circumstances, it was only natural. The King turned and gasped. “I was informed that an old friend had come, but instead I greet a walking skeleton!”
Dimitri was not like the boy; although he noted the King’s bent shoulders and strained voice, he did not give away his observations. He replied dryly, “It is only that your courtiers are too fat, Your Majesty. My cooks keep me sufficiently fed, I assure you.”
“Only with bread and wine, likely.” While Edouard’s tone was already more amiable than his public persona, it did not have the friendliness that was typical between them. After Dimitri’s long absence from the court, it seemed the King needed time before he could truly relax himself within his presence. “You are the only person I know who grows thinner in times of peace.”
“I don’t digest peace as well as others, I suppose.”
The two men sat themselves down. They did not speak while a servant poured glistening wine from a gold decanter. They still did not speak until Edouard finished two glasses in succession, which Dimitri tactfully refrained from mentioning. In his short time at the Grand Salon, he had heard many unsavoury things. He hadn’t wanted to believe such malicious rumours, despite the sobriety of the castle and the lack of festivities; but seeing Edouard now...
“You must know by now.”
“Yes.” Dimitri replied promptly, coolly, though his heart despaired. “However, I hope you will understand if I do not offer condolences just yet.”
“Nor would I want you to.”
Dimitri was not optimistic by nature, but for Adalita, he would turn every prayer he had towards her recovery. The men exchanged pleasantries. They settled old fencing disputes. After the disturbing conversations permeating the Grand Salon, Dimitri wanted to know many things—most importantly, the actual name of the Prince, and all these whisperings about an “attempted murder”—but could find no point at which Edouard looked ready to provide answers. And so the questions remained unasked, and the topic returned to families.
Dimitri did not want to remind the King of his ill daughter, but it was rude enough to have waited this long to ask about the next member of the royal family. “And how is the fair Queen? I have not seen her since...”
“You haven’t met her?” Edouard started beckoning. “I shall send for her immediately.”
“There is no need to hurry,” Dimitri assured. “You must all be very... tired. I have not even seen my suite yet. I would like to be more presentable when I meet the Queen. I doubt she appreciates the scent of a man stuck for thirty hours in a damp, closed carriage.”
Edouard looked at him, and his eyes suddenly seemed very tired, indeed. “Very well. Do make yourself available soon, however. I should like you two to meet before dinner.” Then his eyes turned inward, and glinted, and it almost seemed to Dimitri that the King was getting An Idea...
((Still approachable for a while, around the east wing of suites that house the ducs and duchesses.
Considering they didn't have any news press at that time, I assume it'll take a slightly long time for the rest of the country to realise that Adalita had married Octavian and not Silvius. Longer than a week, at any rate. Dimitri, like everyone else, had gotten an invitation to a marriage to Silvius. His estate is also rather far removed from the Palace, so add another hurdle towards his news-gathering skeelz.))
Fleur decided to move into The Orangery. The weather outside had became to chilly even for her liking. She couldnt run the risk of falling ill. She made her way into the Orangery.
She smiled as she stepped into the Orangery. There was hundreds of flowers of different colours and shapes blooming infront of her. Was this a sign, that there was hope for her after all. That she too could bloom again even against the cold snow (aka her husband). She picked a soft rose and felt the smooth petal against her fingers. Lifting it to her nose she breathed in the beautiful scent from the rose. It reminded her of the old days, the days where she had been loved by the only person that she had ever cared for.
She felt her eyes sting and tears welled up inside. She shut her eyes and titled her head back trying to stop the tears from falling. She was not alone in the greenhouse. Another woman was there with her to. A little older than Fleur possibly. The woman seemed to be looking at Fleur curiously, probably wondering who Fleur was, or why she was crying. Fleur puller herself together and turned to the lady and smiled. It was a half hearted smile, but she tried to seem as pleasant as possible.
((Edit: i wont have Fleur talk to Mercy just yet but she has still smiled at her and noticed her so they can still rp together later, if u fancy))
((I'll have Amelie approach Fleur. She seems nice. ))
The halls felt empty as she roamed them, but she felt as there was nothing else to do. Amelie fetched her overcoat and and traveled to the Courtyard Fountain, however the fountain wasn't full of water, and it only looked dead.
The chilled air caressed her face and her nose, and decided to turn around back in because of the chill. But in her swift move to look backward, she spotted Fleur, observing flowers, her most favored view ever since she was a child.
She smiled and headed to the orangery. There was a sudden rush of humid warm air as the door opened, and an aroma unlike any other. Amelie immediately decided that this was going to be her favorite place.
"Good afternoon, Comtess Baisez-Corazón," Amelie said in a pleasant voice, bowing low to the comtess.
"Good afternoon, Comtess Baisez-Corazón," a voice said behind Fleur. She wasnt sure who the voice belonged to. She hardly knew who was who in the court and had spoke to almost no one since she had arrived.
A young lady stood behind her and as Fleur turned around she bowed and Fleur felt uneasy. "I do not think we have meet before. Though you know my name, tell me how is that?"Fleur asked confused. She was anxious of the other woman (Mercy??) behind her, Fleur had been meaning to try and find out who she was. But that would have to wait a moment. She could not be rude to the other girl (Amelie) infront of her.
Mercy waited patiently for the two girls to talk. And busied herself with the hydraynga bush. She wondered what the pink colouring would look like against the Irises she had already collected, oh well she had time to work upon that. After all what else was the Baroness going to do with herself today?
((I know it's not long enough but it's really just me implying Mercy will wait))
Amelie saw the Comtess look a little somewhat confused, and she responded to her with a bow. "I do not think we have meet before. Though you know my name, tell me how is that?"Fleur asked her. "I picked up a good fraction of everyone's names when I can here, and I recognized you right away," Amelie said. Amelie quickly noticed Ms. Flight, and addressed her right away. "And good afternoon to you, Ms. Mercy." She said with another low bow.
"When I can here, the King told me who everyone was when I came here. I recognized you right away," Amelie replied and Fleur let out a small "oh" before looking down at the floor.Amelie then turned her eye to the other woman and bowed. "And good afternoon to you, Ms. Mercy." She said to the woman. Fleur looked up at Ms.Mercy. She had heard her name used in the court before. She had also heard Ms.Mercy was a terrible flirt and a gossiper. "Ms.Mercy, Comtess Fleur Baisez-Corazón pleasure to finally become aquainted with you." Fleur said poliety and bowed.
"I do not think you have introduced yourself yet. It seems awfully rude that you know our names but I do not know yours." Fleur said to the younger girl (Amelie)
"My dearest apologies, I am Duchess Amelie Du Polingac." She said, bowing her head.
She turned to a bush of roses, and leaned down to sniff them. "Lovely roses," Amelie said. "It's a pity that the winter has killed most flowers outside." she continued. There were waves of flowers, irises, roses, daisies, lilies, so many that were absolutely beautiful. Not only was the sight beautiful, but the smell was also.
"My dearest apologies, I am Duchess Amelie Du Polingac." She said, bowing her head. Fleur bowed also.
Amelie turned to a bush of roses, and leaned down to sniff them. "Lovely roses," shesaid. "It's a pity that the winter has killed most flowers outside." she continued. Fleur nodded and joined her at the flower bed. "Yes it is a pity" Fleur replied and looked out of the greenhouse window and sighed. "But prehaps if the spring is kind then they shall bloom just as beautiful as ever"Fleur said turning back to the roses and smiled down at them. She still had one of the roses from the rose bush in her hand and the pricks where pushing down on her palm.
"Duchess Amelie Du Polingac, I hope you do not mind I inquring but how did you come about moving to the court. Or have you always lived here? I was under the impression you are also new to the court, as am I"Fleur asked Amelie curiously.
Mercy raised her eyebrows, firstly she had always been Madame Flight and secondly, she too had a title, true it wasn't as flashy as the two younger womens but it was just as valid. True Mercy had not recieved it in the normal manner threatening the postion of the almost Prince to the point where his love out of desperation sought to appease her but that was of course a secret.
She did not have the energy however to correct the girls and decided to let them eventually realise their mistake from another source. She merely bowed to the young women, "they are not dead merely dormant until spring my dear, fortunately they will return when it comes again. I shall leave you in peace now I have a bouquet to put together." Mercy walked slowly away from the women, with a sudden urge to speak to the Queen about her meagre title.
((I'm playing about Shenan, she won't and i don't expect anything from you!))
((*rushes to Notepad.exe in horror at it being afternoon already* I SHOULD NOT SLEEP/EAT/GO SHOPPING xD Speedy people. I'll edit here with a RP. I know I'm a spammy beast but I have only the best intentions, and I'm ever so slightly hyper right now.))
I took another mouthful of Cognac, deliberating over the flavour. Not the best bottle my men ever produced, but I'm certain it wasn't the worst. I would have to have words with them later over allowing the sale of second-best spirits to the Palace. The brandy didn't take too long to begin its effect. I felt much calmer, much more suave and excellent as it settled those damn nerves. It was just as well, for the next few statements could have rendered me thoroughly lost-for-words had I lacked that artificial confidence boost.
“I have so missed your antics Felix.” said Isabella, putting her glass down. I felt myself redden slightly; embarrasing it may be, a compliment from the Queen was a sure indication that other things were playing on her mind, defocusing her probably. That statement might have caught me off guard slightly, but the one that followed was one much more difficult to deal with. I'd been expecting the question to come at some point, perhaps a few hours ago I even wished for it, but I was nevertheless unprepared to answer correctly.
“Many things have changed while you’ve been gone Comte. While I do appreciate the fact that you have returned, I wish to know what kept you away, and more importantly why you’ve returned.” she said, studying him.
Did I lie to her, exploiting her trust in me in order to buy more time? Or did I tell her the truth and place even more stress on her mind? It was a tough dilemma, one that was made even harder to solve by that damned brandy. If only there was a way to vaguely answer the question, satisfying her mind and not giving away too many potentially harmful details... But then again, the sooner I told someone about it, the greater chance there was for things to be put right. Before something terrible happened. It was just a tragedy that Isabella was the woman I had to tell.
"Why I've returned? Well, the truth is..." I started, playing with the rim of the glass nervously as I decided how to go about this. "Back when I left the Palace several months ago, something came up. I think you might recall, I left to go investigate a certain golden quill, which took me to the marketplace. It was only on the way back to the Palace, I came across a familiar face..."
I went on with the story, becoming ever more expressive and enthusiastic in my illustration of the saga with the more brandy I drunk. I told Isabella of how I'd stopped for a quick drink at an inn when the man approached me, stating that he recognised me as a courtier and would like a small favour. He seemed to know lots about my brother, Silvius - particularly the negative relationship me and him held. Using this as some kind of bribe, he went into further detail about that 'small favour'. I flatly refused to take orders from such a seedy lowlife, telling him where to go and leaving the inn quickly. But curiosity barred my immediate return to the palace; I followed the man under the guise of Monsieur Thénarde, finding out his name, what he planned to do, and more importantly why. I overheard conversations between him and his associates, a few of whom I recognised well. As the dirty plot developed, I spent more and more time in that inn, listening intently to those meetings. Finally, I had heard enough - enough to rush back to the palace and have the man convicted. I may have been too late, though.
I finished the tale along with the last of the Cognac, letting Isabella digest the information I'd just given her.
"Hopefully so," Amelie agreed as she caressed the petals of a pale rose, admiring its perfection. "they are not dead merely dormant until spring my dear, fortunately they will return when it comes again. I shall leave you in peace now I have a bouquet to put together."Mercy said. "I'm glad to hear so, it would be a shame indeed if they had died. I bid farewell," Amelie replied as she bowed to Mercy. "Duchess Du Polingac, I hope you do not mind I inquring but how did you come about moving to the court. Or have you always lived here? I was under the impression you are also new to the court, as am I"Fleur asked her. "I don't mind at all. I came from Versaillies, where I was born. I'm indeed new...and it's quite different, I must say. Ettiquite is much more radical and extreme, but I'm willing to adjust." Amelie said. Amelie walked a little more down the row of rosebushes to the irises, one of her personal favorite flowers, and swooped down to sniff them.
"All of these flowers are absolutely delightful. I wish I had enough time to plant them myself, but unfortunately I don't. It would be marvelous to have a personal garden of my own," She said in a dreamy voice.
"All of these flowers are absolutely delightful. I wish I had enough time to plant them myself, but unfortunately I don't. It would be marvelous to have a personal garden of my own," Amelie said in a dreamy voice. "If I had anything of my own it would be a miracle."Fleur said quietly.
"Have you yet became aquainted with the King or any of the royals for that matter? I do hear they are the most charming and beautiful people you shall ever meet. But then the people of court would say that, if they wanted to keep their heads" Fleur laughed as she began to stroll down the aisle.
Isabella listened cautiously as Felix recalled all the details of his time away from the Palace. Isabella’s mind was soon focused on what he had to say, as it really was something of the utmost importance. Unlike the Comte, she did not have the calming affects of brandy to help her digest all he had to say. If he was any other courtier she would have asked him seven times over if he was sure he had heard all of that clearly. Was he positive such a diabolical plot was truth and not the mere fantasy of a rejected man? But this was Felix Delarue Peitou-Charentes, the very man who had gone on many undercover missions for her. Each and every time he had done his job admirably so. She had no reason to not believe him.
After he finished his tale, Isabella stood, beginning to pace the room. What he had divulged to her was most serious indeed. There was a traitor in their midst, one who appeared to serve them faithfully, yet was truly willing to do anything for a high enough price. Who was to say that revenge on Adalita would be enough to quench this mad man? Would the satisfaction of bringing down a member of the royal family only give way to greater desires?
Though this all seemed to come about thanks to the Princess’ indiscression and carelessness, action needed to be taken none the less. However she did not wish to be the person to bear such news to Edouard. No doubt to do so would shatter his heart, the one that refused to acknowledge his daughter for what she was, and for how he had failed her.
“Comte, I commend you for returning to inform me off such plots.” She began to address him. “I fear it may to be late for the Princess, but we need to be sure that the deed is paid back in full.” She looked to him, asking him if he understood the full meaning of her statement. Satisfied that he indeed did, she continued. “When you find the party responsible, I want you to return,” a knock on the Salon doors interrupted her before she could finish. She looked to the opening doors, annoyance written all over her face.
“Pardon me, Your Maj…” the servant began before being interrupted.
“Do you not see that I am busy?” she demanded.
“Yes, I do, I’m sorry Your Highness, but the King himself has sent me.”
The servant’s statement caught Isabella a by surprise, “Continue then.”
“He wishes for you to meet with him in his Salon at your earliest convenience, Your Majesty.”
Isabella nodded her understanding and shooed him out of the room. As the servant produced his low bow and quickly shut the doors Isabella struggled to find where she had just been with her words. Edouard sending for her was a rarity at best, and she feared the worst. He could have bad news about Adalita, or Octavien, or perhaps he had seen her struggle to get to Octavien’s suite. Isabella suddenly felt very heavy.
Her eyes quickly returned to Felix as she began to approach him. “I’m sorry, it appears my husband suddenly requires my presence.” She stood only a foot away from him, taking the nearly empty glass from his hand. “Not a word of any of this to the King.” Her eyes bore into his, communicating she meant business and also reminding him that her business always proved to be very rewarding. “And when you’ve found the party responsible, I want you to send word to me at once.” She suddenly lifted the glass to her lips, throwing her head back and swallowing the contents that had remained in the glass.
As he uttered his understanding she handed the glass back to him, then turned on her heels to make her way towards the King’s Salon. The day was but half done and it had already held more than a normal person could bear. All night she had not slept, the pain of the evening before denied her the comfort of sleep. Then, news of Adalita’s “illness”, an attempt made on Octavien’s life, the revealing of a traitor in their midst, and now Edouard wished her presence. She prolonged her neck, holding her head high as any dignified woman would. There was a reason she bore the title of Queen, she would do it justice.
As she neared the King’s Salon the servants opened the door for her. Her eyes looked expectantly in the room for Edouard’s form. Her brows rose and the usual polite smile planted it’s self on her lips when she realized he was not alone in the room. The men rose to greet her as she made her way to her husband’s side, her hands clasped regally in front of her.
“Isabella…” the king called her name, feigning delight at her presence. “Do you recall my old friend Duc d’Lorraine?” Isabella looked towards him politely as he gave a slight bow. The man seemed vaguely familiar to her, but she could not recall where she knew him from. Though it was most unlady like to forget someone who seemed so important to the King, she took comfort in the fact that at least she had not had relations with him.
Dimitri went to his suite immediately after. To his chagrin, he spent the entirety of the time washing (which was fine) and being dressed by a troop of servants for the meeting with the King and Queen (which was not so fine). Just before departing for the King’s Salon, his aid returned with news collected from the palace grounds. When Dimitri sat with Edouard later that afternoon, he was armed with slightly more information than before, but he was no less disturbed.
They hadn’t much time to speak—certainly not enough for the Duc to analyse the glint he was certain existed in his lord’s eye—when the doors opened, and the Queen Consort entered. As they rose to greet her, Dimitri was like a black shadow beside the King’s immaculate white clothes and that ever-present powdered wig. His black hair was tied back in a loose ribbon (not more than one, he told an insistent servant); his suit was dark and well-cut.
The Duc took in the Queen’s dress and bearing with approval: if even half the rumours in the Grand Salon were true, then Isabella was holding up remarkably well in his eyes.
“Do you recall my old friend Duc d’Lorraine?” Edouard introduced him. Anything amiable about him had disappeared. Dimitri sighed inside. Edouard still didn’t realise his wife and Queen was not another audience to act before.
The Duc did not like people wasting time, bandying about silly chit-chat while desperately attempting to remember something about someone. He would save the young Queen the embarrassment of having to guess. He bowed low.
“I oversee the province of Lorraine, Your Majesty, to the far west of your domains. We have the most beautiful forests to walk, the fattest deer to hunt and the most intricate embroideries. I do not believe Your Majesties have visited, but the invitation has always been opened.”
Then he smiled politely, his next words ending the formal introduction. “But I am sure the Queen has more important issues on her mind than to remember an old man like myself. I merely am a friend of the King. We studied together.”
“This is the scoundrel, my dear, who attended our wedding but did not even stay for the hors d'œuvre.”
“An estate needs its overseer,” Dimitri explained simply.
He was terribly calmer than usual around the Queen, like a serene mountain in the horizon, and indeed he was taller than either royal. He did not know what skittish deer might exist under Isabella's royal demeanour, and so he only gestured to take her hand, so that he might kiss it, and then they could all sit down; but he did not snatch it from her side, in case she had no desire to be greeted as such.
((Haylifer: Anything from Felix is worth the OOC and wait! *wants to pinch his cheeks so bad*))
((OOC: lol Seiza- I love how you tune into Edouard. However, Dimitri will eventually learn, there’s no skittish dear in that pretty little queen. ))
“I oversee the province of Lorraine, Your Majesty, to the far west of your domains. We have the most beautiful forests to walk, the fattest deer to hunt and the most intricate embroideries.” The Duc listed the fine points of his land as if they would help Isabella remember how she knew of the man. “I do not believe Your Majesties have visited, but the invitation has always been opened.”
That would be Edouard’s fault. Isabella had always loved the idea of going about, seeing lands other than their own. But Edouard would not hear of it. He was quite content holed up in the Palace of his. However, she would not allow her eyes nor her words relay the fact.
“But I am sure the Queen has more important issues on her mind than to remember an old man like myself. I merely am a friend of the King. We studied together.”
Isabella smiled and nodded her head about to greet him properly when Edouard abruptly interrupted her. “This is the scoundrel, my dear, who attended our wedding but did not even stay for the hors d’oeuvre.” Now that Edouard had given her the where of how she knew the Duc, the pieces started to return to her. She realized that she stood in the presence of a man whom Edouard highly esteemed. She much pictured Edouard following him around like a lost puppy, wishing to belong to him. She had tired of hearing so much about him that she was actually pleased when he reattached himself to his beloved Duc of Mollier. How times change.
“An estate needs its overseer.” The Duc quickly excused his shortness at their wedding as he gestured his willingness to place a kiss of greeting on her fair hand.
She raised her hand signaling her willingness, and her pleasure in the fact she finally had her turn to speak. “How could I possibly forget the tales of the legendary Dimitri, Duc d’Lorraine?” she spoke as he took her hand. She wished to make a comment in jest of Edouard’s tales of his friend, however she decided against it.
As the three of them prepared to sit, Isabella was curious as to the exact reason Edouard had sent for her. Did he see his friend’s arrival as something that needed her prompt attention, forgetting the fact that his daughter was to be seen after, and that there had been an attempt on the Prince this day? Was he really so short sighted that he felt she had nothing better to do? Whatever Edouard’s reasoning, or lack thereof, she would have to dwell on it later. Now was her time to play polite hostess, and ever perfect wife. A mask she had perfected some time ago.
“Rest assured my husband holds you in the highest regard’, she started politely. “It is a rarity that he wishes I meet any of his guests. What, may I ask, do we owe gratitude to as the cause of your visit?”
((Whoa! Did anyone else get a scary "forbidden" message for the night? I've been trying to access the site like crazy! Man, if I don't get back on, someone please find me on lynnchama[AT]gmail[DOT]com.
Swirly, I'm sad to see you go, but good luck with other RPs!
Shenan: Well! Let's hope Dimitri won't have to learn that first-hand, eh?
Atropa, I figure if anyone will know what happened to the 'murderer', it will be the King. He didn't mention any names, but if you'd still like it removed, just PM me and I'll edit that part. ))
“How could I possibly forget the tales of the legendary Dimitri, Duc d’Lorraine?”
He was amused. Young Edouard once bothered him extensively about his “stories,” but never did he imagine those same tales would be told to this young queen. To a son, perhaps; but not to Isabella, with whom he had conversed once, on her wedding day, and barely any more thereafter. Dimitri bowed again at her compliment.
“I hope Your Majesty remembers only the legendarily good, not the legendarily bad.”
“Rest assured my husband holds you in the highest regard.”Isabella was properly gracious. “It is a rarity that he wishes I meet any of his guests. What, may I ask, do we owe gratitude to as the cause of your visit?”
“I came to offer my congratulations for your daughter’s wedding. Unfortunately, a host of transportation mishaps delayed me extensively, so I just arrived this afternoon.” His eyes turned sympathetic. “I have also just found out the Princess’ condition.”
“How is she?” Edouard asked his wife.
“The physicians remain with her,” the Queen looked down, but returned to the men a soft, solemn gaze. “But there is always hope, my lord.”
“I only pray she was not disturbed by the commotion. I don’t suppose you heard, Dimitri? An attempt was made on the Prince’s life in his own suite.”
“Ah...” the Duc breathed, surprised and a little aghast that Edouard spoke so openly about this. In front of his wife, no less! “It is a popular topic among your courtiers right now. I presume Prince Octavian is all right?”
“I believe so. I was informed the Prince ordered the man imprisoned.”
Edouard and Isabella didn’t even blink at the name, which confirmed at least one of his questions: Adalita had indeed married Comte Octavian Lahance, not Duc Silvius Peitou-Charentes. It was a truly odd situation (an attempted murder wasn’t nearly so, in Dimitri’s experience), but one he would file away for now. While Isabella was quiet, Dimitri mulled over this information. However, the King seemed unusually chatty today, and spoke over their silence:
“A dreadful affair, all of this. Your arrival strikes me the one positive sign of the new year, Duc, which I shall not waste. You mayn’t have heard, but I have long searched for someone capable of taking up the departed Duc d’Mollier’s position. With the assistance of my fair Queen.” Dimitri raised an eyebrow. Surely he wouldn’t be asked to...
“I will be frank: it has been quite futile. Yet despite what has happened, I will continue the search. I wish that you stay and help us.”
“Edoua—Your Majesty!” Dimitri almost forgot his place, although his exclamation was controlled into a murmur. The King knew he didn’t stay at court for a reason, so to be asked to do this! “But my estate—”
“Do not think me unaware of the horde of competent managers you have at your disposal.” The King spoke with some joviality, but under it laid a near-order.
Dimitri had no illusions of his choice in the matter. But he took long enough to answer, considering everything from the cost of travel to the reaction of Her Majesty herself at this, clearly, surprising suggestion. Edouard seemed to remember her too; Dimitri saw him looking at her, and could only assume he was seeking her support.
Isabella had asked the Duc d’Lorraine politely about the reason for his visit. A question that was partly fueled out of proper cordiality and partially out of sincere curiosity.
“I came to offer my congratulations for your daughter’s wedding. Unfortunately, a host of transportation mishaps delayed me extensively, so I just arrived this afternoon.” Isabella’s polite regal smile decreased a little in size as she knew the conversation was bound to turn to Adalita’s ill fate. “I have also just found out the Princess’ condition.”
There it was. “How is she?” Edouard asked of her.
“The physicians remain with her,” her eyes dropped slightly. With what she knew, she doubted the princess could possibly pull through. But she would not allow Edouard to see her admit defeat so easily. She returned her gaze to her company along with a solemn smile. “But, there is always hope my lord.”
“I only pray she was not disturbed by the commotion.” Edouard continued. “I don’t suppose you heard, Dimitri? An attempt was made on the Prince’s life in his own suite.” Isabella looked towards the king startled. To speak of such things quite plainly and openly, perhaps the grief for his daughter had managed to affect his reasoning.
Her eyes soon darted from Edouard to Dimitri, if she had read his expression correctly, his thoughts weren’t that much different than her own. "Ah… It is a popular topic among your courtiers right now.”
I bet it is.Isabella thought to herself. “I presume Prince Octavien is all right?” Isabella continued to sit silently, as if she were not in the room at all. “I believe so. I was informed the Prince ordered the man imprisoned.” I want him hung. she continued to think to herself, her face and demeanor not giving the slightest hint that she had any thoughts about the matter at all.
As Edouard quickly changed topics to that of the seemingly ever vacant advisor’s position, Isabella was left to brew in her thoughts. The day was so filled with strife, but one thing stood out above the rest. She wished to see personally the condition Octavien was in. “With the assistance of my fair Queen.” Edouard’s statement demanded her attention once again.
“I will be frank: it has been quite futile. Yet despite what has happened, I will continue the search. I wish that you stay and help us.” That statement did more than demand her attention. It grabbed a firm hold of and shook her.
“Edoua- Your Majesty!” Dimitri’s statement did not quite match the surprise in Isabella’s own mind. “But my estate-“
Yes! Her mind wished to holler. His estate! His forests full of fat deer! Do not keep the man here against his wishes! Though she was riled interiorly, her exterior only showed a look of surprise with wide eyes.
“Do not think me unaware of the horde of competent managers you have at your disposal.” Edouard interrupted. The man was usually such a weak diplomat, bending and giving to whatever breeze blew that day. What a fine time for him to find his back bone.
That’s when the look on Edouard’s face registered with her. He was expecting her full support in such matters. Though every inch of her disliked the very core of the idea, she simply smiled towards him, communicating she understood his wishes. Her gaze returned to Duc d’Lorraine as she quickly settled any nervousness she may have had, making sure none of them came through her voice.
With her warm welcoming smile she addressed Dimitri, “It seems my husband, the King, is intent you make up for your absence at weddings by staying with us longer. Please do consider it, as I fear the Princess may require more of my presence in short time.”
Whatever opposition the Duc once held towards Edouard’s suggestion, it quickly melted away after Isabella’s words. With a simple nod he conceded, “I shall send for more belongings.”
“Good, good…” Edouard stood shaking Dimitri’s hand, and continuing to babble on about looking forward to the times they would spend together, and the tales they would have to pass along. Isabella had stood as well, as to not seem impolite, the royal glad smile firmly on her face. Interiorly she tried to console herself. This didn’t have to be a bad thing. She was assuming Dimitri’s ideas of what was best for their kingdom would clash with her own. Perhaps she would be pleasantly surprised and their views aligned more than she thought.
As those thoughts ran through her mind, she had absentmindedly followed the unlikely duo to the salon doors. She quickly concluded that she had to meet with Duc d’Lorraine without Edouard in their presence. It was the only possible way she could get a good feel for if this man would be her friend or foe. Now that Comte Charantes had returned, she had every intention to pull him up the ranks. He was going to be the King’s advisor, that was all there was to it in her mind.
“Duc d’Lorraine,” she began during a lull in Edouard’s seemingly ceaseless chatter once they now stood in the doorway of his Salon. “I wish to give you a proper introduction to our Palace. Since you will be staying with us for some time it is my duty and privilege to make sure you are well acquainted with your temporary home.” She clasped her hands together in front of her, lowering her voice a little in preparation for the next sentence. “However, as I’m sure you can rightly understand, there are matters I must see to this afternoon. Will you please grant me the pleasure of your company tomorrow morning?” she looked to him with the same look she had had when attempting to persuade him to stay. If it worked once, surely it would work again.
((OOC: Seiza- After he's accepted or denied, feel free to part ways. Or, bring up something else if you like. ))