Re: An Imperial Introduction

#31
Seraphine had always been graceful, and dancing was second nature to her -- it had been ever since she was a child. She moved effortlessly within Phillipe's grasp as they spun about the floor, one hand in his and the other holding her skirts out of the way while they spun. While her dancing partner had to search for the source of her wicked plotting, Sera's gaze found Etienne immediately, and the fire that flashed within vivid blue eyes was positively scorching, even from this distance. But they turned and then he was out of view again, leaving her to focus on the rather enjoyable dancing of Phillipe.

His question came as a small surprise, and the way her eyes narrowed upon him made it clear she was trying to decide how to answer. After mulling it over for several long moments, she finally replied, sounding somewhat unsure of herself.

"It's been nearly ten years since I last saw him in Paris.. and he's changed very much since then. He does rather have an air of violence about him, doesn't he? That wasn't there before. Surprising, considering how he put his sword in my brother's heart."

That last came out quietly, tinged with bitterness. She wanted very much to know what had happened that night, and much to her irritation, she also wanted to know what had happened to make Etienne the way he was now. When they again turned so that she could see him, or at least where he had been the last time she spotted him, her gaze went in search of her former lover once more. She wanted to see his pain. To know that he was unhappy, just as he had made her -- and continued to make her, by not giving her what she wanted.

She would get it out of him tonight if it killed her.


@Phillipe Gastonne
word count: 320
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Re: An Imperial Introduction

#32
Funny the thoughts which could run full speed through a jealous man’s mind. He watched the one woman he had loved since the moment he met her, dancing happily with a French officer, and he found it so easy to see himself in her arms, as he had been hundreds of times, before a foot of steel had found her brothers heart. It always came back to that moment, where hatred and a desire to protect her had killed one of two men she loved, and had in truth removed both from her. How hard it was not to tell her the truth, but her mind would be forever changed on her twin, she would hate him every bit as hard, if not worse than she did Etienne then. Difficult to cause that much trouble to the dead, it would certainly send him to hell, if none of his other travesties would in the meantime.

The longer he watched the two, the worse it got, and not just the itch to remove the man she had chosen to make him jealous, or so he hoped that was all the man was to her. Though the little glances which she still shot his way seemed to make him wander, and falter slightly in that mindset. There was one way which he could find which it was, but cruelty against her it would be, and perhaps the way she had laughed earlier when the soldier had been so daring as to be forward with her seemed to call for it.

The smile which found the French noble’s lips was not a kind one, but neither was it displeasing to those he was currently ‘speaking’ to. An excuse of a need to dance to that particular song seemed to pacify them easily enough, and then he was on the hunt, someone the opposite of Seraphine, that would cause the most annoyance he imagined. He could not dance with a blonde, lest the once light of his life thing he was finding a way to cope without her. Oh no, as eyes alit upon a pretty brunette, albeit pale, and…ahh, English by her choice of tongue. In every way the opposite of the blonde upon the floor, he chose his weapon with care.

Steps would carry him easily to her, as she seemed to have been abandoned by those she had been speaking to. Right, start with a little flattery, but not overboard, and no doubt perhaps something to bring a chuckle from her, or a blush, or if he was lucky, both.

“It is a bit shocking to see so many English these days in Venice, but I assure you, if they look anything like you, I in tend to keep my eyes much more widely opened for them in the future.”
word count: 472
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Re: An Imperial Introduction

#33
Devony had been in the midst of heading off for some fresh air, with her newfound friends, when yet again, she was separated from her company by the crush of the crowd. All of the jostling was enough that she was actually pushed back toward the dance floor, all by herself. "Oh for heaven's sake!" she muttered to herself, smoothing out her dress with nervous hands. "I've barely been here ten minutes, and I've already had enough of this madness..."

A male voice sounded from behind her, and Devony turned with a startled squeak and flushed cheeks. Particularly since the accented voice was speaking English... which meant he'd understood her little miniature tirade. And yet, he was being complimentary, and... charming. French, if her ears detected correctly. However, it was a relief to be able to speak her mother tongue, so she was very much obliged to keep up the conversation.

"You flatter me, Sir." she replied, softly. "In comparison to the opulence of the rest of the ladies here, I hardly stand out over-much. But it is kind of you to say such... Monsieur...?" If they could get introductions out of the way, the conversation might run a tad more smoothly. In any case, her sense of etiquette prompter Devony to offer a delicate hand, even as she quested for the gentleman's name. And she prayed, silently, that she wasn't jostled away from conversation yet again.

The gentleman veritably towered over Devony, and had a sort of presence about him that she couldn't quite put her finger on. Not menace... but... perhaps intensity? It was in his eyes, however much he might smile at her. The eyes were where the truth lay, or so Devony's stepmother had always cautioned her. Still, what that truth was, was sometimes hard to discern.

@Etienne Sebastian Trémaux
word count: 314

Re: An Imperial Introduction

#34
She wanted very much to snatch the woman he danced with from his arms and beg her pardon for the heavy slap to Phillipe's cheek for looking at the woman the same way she wished he'd look at her. Sniffing indignantly, she whirled, knowing she couldn't just leave when she had a job to do and do it she would. With a soft grumble about him, she set about doing just that, finding a man who wished to talk about wine. She refuse, REFUSED to feel like a fool for daring to hope that he shared her budding feelings!

She cleared her throat and began to speak about the cherry notes in the Chianti that was being drank liberally by women who dressed like wedding cakes and men who were so starched that they crackled! Is this what being wealthy was about? Lucrezia wanted very much to tear each and every frothy rosette from her over-the-top gown and kick them helter skelter, and dart out with tail tucked betwixed her thighs over that... that... Gah! Swine.

So why did she feel sad at the thought of his hands on another woman? She sighed and tried to focus on the man who asked about French wine.
word count: 210

Re: An Imperial Introduction

#35
Part of Phillipe had not really been expecting this tall, curvy, lovely woman to have been so graceful upon her feet, and as the dance went on, his enjoyment could not help but rise. Of course with her having pressed nearer to him than was perhaps proper in some circles, he was doing his best to keep mind on other things, so another part of the Frenchman did not rise, one she would have easily discovered with that very closeness. And of course, he lost that battle faster than one would imagine, though smile remained, if unable to be discreet, may as well be proud.

He had not expected the response to his question, or rather the very last sentence that came from her lips. The man did seem to have that air of power about him, danger, but murderer seemed slightly off. Then one imagined the nobility of the world, and there would be a small nod from the young man who had found himself in more than a few duels in his life.

“Yes, I see why the engagement was broken off…I think. What did your brother do?”

Even in that world, Phillipe wasn’t the type who simply assumed European nobleman went around sticking swords in each other for the sake of it. No…that was usually the Greeks, and then usually only from behind, and usually for pleasure. As she was turned yet again, this time moving down the length of the floor, eyes encountered the most unexpected person. The very girl who had once told him she hated fancy things, and bemoaned a while the dress he had purchased her when she had been wet. Unbeknownst to him of her piqued jealousy, a smile was given her in passing, and a wink offered her way, not knowing the war it may begin.
word count: 308
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Re: An Imperial Introduction

#36
Seraphine breathed a sound of frustration, her gaze sweeping back to her dancing partner as a scowl momentarily crossed her face. Leave it to this veritable stranger to immediately touch upon the source of her anger.

"I don't know. He never told me, and refuses to even now. That's what I want which he won't give to me.. and what I'm hoping to drag out of him with jealousy."

Now Phillipe knew why she'd approached him, in its entirety. Sometimes, being honest was better than lying or telling half-truths. She hoped he would continue to play along with her scheme, even knowing the truth. But she didn't linger on looking at him to see his reaction. She was quickly looking around for Etienne again. Her heart seized in her chest for a moment when she glanced back to where he'd been only to find him gone.

Where was he?

With every turn, her head was also turning, letting those sharp blue eyes search across the ballroom for the man who had once been her everything. Every moment that passed made both panic and irritation rise within her. Had he decided to leave before she could confront him? Was he lurking in some dark corner plotting Phillipe's demise? Was he waiting somewhere to ambush her as soon as she stopped dancing?

Then she saw him. He was leaning toward some pale little brunette, a nearly mousy little thing. Something twisted in her chest, a sharp spike of agony that made her breath catch, and she unconsciously gripped Phillipe's hand much more tightly.

That son of a bitch. How dare he!
word count: 279
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Re: An Imperial Introduction

#37
“Tremaux, Etienne Tremaux.”

There was no need to add in the ‘Lord’ part of that, besides he wasn’t the Duc as of yet, and with how the Tremaux men were, probably would not be for quite some time. Her delicate hand he took easily, and bent over to place a kiss softly to her almost fingertips, before charming smile settled oh so perfectly upon that rugged face. Poor girl had no idea she was a pawn in the game of feelings which had spanned near a decade, and many hundreds of leagues. It did not mean he was going to be cruel in any sense, which made the smile all the more real, and warm.

“Believe me, even after having it bred into me, and having to go to dozens, if not a hundred or more parties, I still find myself feeling as though I don’t belong.”

Words had been carefully chosen, because while he might have been quite the sinner covered in blood, honesty was still among one of the mainstays of Etienne’s life. One did not have to lie in order to keep the truths hidden. He had kept hold of her hand, albeit gently, for if she pulled her hand back, it would be released in easy manner. It was just the continued warm touch which allowed nearness, a familiarity which it seemed he had with her from the very beginning. A familiarity which would no doubt drive his beautiful ex fiancé wild as she moved around the dance floor.

“I was hoping beyond hope that you may acquiesce to my desire to spirit you onto the dance floor, and see if we both can find a little enjoyment, and excitement to cut through the madness of this place?”

@Devony Brydon
word count: 297
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Re: An Imperial Introduction

#38
No matter how much she thought she could do her job without so much as looking at Phillipe again went the way of the devil, for she found herself glancing over every few moments and pursing her lips with every flounce of the blonde woman's skirts that she just so happened to catch as she was whirled about the dance floor. She just so happened to look up as he caught sight of her and winked.... WINKED! She opened her mouth in an "o" in surprise for a breath or two, then her eyes narrowed, her brows furrowed and she pursed her lips for a most sour look on her face, and it was clearly directed at the pair.

She imagined herself marching over to the blonde woman and "accidentally" spilling an entire tray of wine all over the bodice of that one. Lucrezia was green with jealousy, and she was in a rage. That man... That... MAN... She imagined the look of horror on that pretty face as the sticky mess spread easily through her fine bodice. So many things she could do slammed into her thoughts in a short period of time before the man she was speaking to cleared his throat loudly. She jumped, flinching heavily as her attention was dragged away from the farce she had been watching.

"I am sorry, Signore, please forgive me. I was lost in thought... You should detect some sour cherry in your Cianti..." She repeated something she had already said, the man rolled his eyes and her cheeks heated with her embarrassment.
word count: 263

Re: An Imperial Introduction

#39
Despite Devony's best efforts, her cheeks flushed crimson when the French gentleman -Etienne Tremaux, as he introduced himself- took her hand and kissed the backs of her fingers. The touch was like warm silk, and sent a slight tremor through her, but of course Devony did her best to remain as composed as possible. "A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Monsieur Tremaux." she replied, softly, and dipped into a small curtsy, even as he held her hand in his. His grasp was gentle, and so she saw no reason to pull away as of yet. "My name is Devony Brydon."

Monsieur Tremaux commented on how even he often felt out of his element at these parties, despite frequent exposure, and Devony managed a little laugh. "Is it so obvious that I feel out of place?" she asked, and was forced a bit closer when a group of three dashed past, a bottle of wine or two and some glasses in-hand. Out of nerves, Devony had clung to Etienne's hand without even realizing it, and when she looked up, there were a few scant inches between them and she backed up with a blush. "Sorry, I... it's a touch crowded in here."

Her blush deepened at the request of a dance, but it was his repetition of the words she'd spoken when she thought no one was listening that was the reason for the color in her cheeks. 'the madness' was what she'd remarked upon. Coincidence? Probably not. Ah well, it simply meant that talking to oneself could be ill advised, even in a foreign country. "I... A dance would be welcomed, Monsieur Tremaux; it would be a nice reprieve from being jostled about in the crowd."

@Etienne Sebastian Trémaux
word count: 296
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