Re: Through Dangers Untold

Ashely wanted to scoff at the Prince and his...ego, of course he would think that people would only talk of he; his presence? His ability to function? The fact that he graced Venice at all? It was damn near everything he could do no to roll his eyes.

"You suppose the Turks will protest to my presence here?"

"I suppose the Turks would have a bigger issue that you a child of their treaty is speaking to an American who is here commissioning ships to help fight off their barbarian pirates. Even something as simple as..." He paused at the moment and looked down at his cup, "...tea can come across as secret meetings and give the wrong impression. Don't you agree?"

In his chair he shifted his legs a moment as though to be a bit more comfortable, but looked more like a smug king on his own throne as he rather enjoyed making this prince seem...ignorant.

"But I assume you have been instructed on all of this for your trip? Who to speak to and whom to avoid? I feel that is customary to all foreign dignities upon their travel?"

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Re: Through Dangers Untold

Nicholas sipped his tea and did his best to remain unaffected by the conversation, although it was growing more difficult to do so. It was growing abundantly clear, and more so with every word his guest spoke, that Monsieur Monroe knew a great deal more about, well, everything. While those with superior knowledge did not usually bother him, in this case Nicholas found himself feeling a little irked by it, if only because Monsieur Monroe seemed to be insisting on rubbing his nose in his lack of knowledge, forcing Nicholas to take the defensive.

He had not been aware of Monsieur Monroe's position, or his role in commissioning ships, all Nicholas had know was that his guest was a lawyer of good repute and recommended by the Dodge. Obviously, he was at a great disadvantage and it seemed Monsieur Monroe knew all too well of it.

"Ah." Nicholas said as he resisted the urge to call the older man paranoid, however he knew better than to do so. After all his grandmother was much the same, assuming the worst of every possible meeting or connection, regardless of what actually happened in reality. "Any spy of worth would also know I have no say over such treaties or any such political power." He decided to add, because while he was happy to play along with things to a degree, if it became boring or tiresome, he had no interest. He was the third son of the heir to the throne, he did not wield any particular influence in his homeland, other than the minimum expected for an Imperial Prince.

"Monsieur Monroe, I believe you are reading far too much into my presence here." Of course there had been a brief list of instructions from his Grandmother, however for the most part he had been simply told to leave the Russian Court and try not to father any bastards, which truly showed how little faith his Grandmother had in him. He had been warned to be wary of revolutionaries, of course and most importantly, to make no promises or threats to anyone of importance. He simultaneously did and did not represent the Russian Empire, he was a figure head and nothing more.

"I am here for my enjoyment and pleasure alone, I have no political aspirations and nor does my grandmother hold any for me at this time." His tone was slightly sharp, attempting to put the subject to rest.

word count: 410

Re: Through Dangers Untold

Ashely was rubbing his nose in…and it truly felt like coming to life again, but he could not continue to be so bold. This was a Prince after all and he certainly didn’t seem the sort to be intrigued by the stance of the world, but were any of the spoiled children of a line so pure? Even the young man’s skin seemed to glow with a grace and beauty that came from a line of seraphim, his bones cast with fine ivory and features of a godlike beauty that even Ashley had to admire. And yet…it was now how he held his lips, how he sipped his tea, and how the tension in the room could nearly cause the air to be cut by a knife that had Ashley smirk as he studied the boy—this was too much fun.

Any spy of worth would also know I have no say over such treaties or any such political power,

“Would they? Am I correct to assume then that His Grace thinks of himself so poorly that he could not have such a hand? I dare say that you are mistaken in thinking that your presence here is of little importance.”

At this time…

That was all that Ashley needed to hear, at this time this boy didn’t have any political aspirations sure, but what would the future hold? Could he possibly press the son of cold and snow into a contact in a Court that was so far isolated from the rest that it seemed damn near impossible to penetrate.

“Then what is it I can do for your pleasures and enjoyment? I am hand to the Doge, and care for his legal matters; I can promise you that I am well versed in what Venice has to offer.” Which was a old faced lie, Ashley had little to do with any of the parties or the social graces of Venice He spent most of his evenings drinking alone and brooding further into his depression.
word count: 341

Re: Through Dangers Untold

It was not as though Nicholas desired to speak so poorly of himself, however in this situation he seemed to have no choice but to do so. The only way he could convince Monsieur Monroe of his disinterest and avoidance of anything political was to point out the very flaws which had resulted in him having such opinions. He had no desire to play spy, informant or negotiator. In fact Nicholas firmly had the desire to avoid anything of all seriousness for as long as he possibly could. If his grandmother wanted him out of her way, then he would obey in abundance!

"Monsieur Monroe -" Nicholas started in defence of what felt like a charged accusation, albeit one which portrayed him as somewhat more competent than he actually was. "-If you are hunting for intrigue and schemes, I suggest you look elsewhere. I have nothing to offer you and I assure you, I am not of a mind to tolerate your frankness any further than I have already." Nicholas put the tea cup down, prepared to stand and end their meeting without hesitation, should his guest persist on his line of questioning. Nicholas was prepared to bear a good deal of questioning, however even he drew a strict line.

Thankfully, Monsieur Monroe knew when to change his tactics and allowed the conversation to change. Nicholas relaxed a fraction, although keenly aware that a man as clever as Monsieur Monroe seemed to be, would not have trouble finding other ways to gain the information he required.

While it would be impolite to not answer the man's question, Nicholas was hesitant to speak the truth, if only because he worried Monsieur Monroe himself would offer his own person as regular company - something Nicholas was not sure he could stand. If every conversation they had were like this one, Nicholas was keen to leave it at one!

"Would you believe me if I say I have nothing specific in mind." Nicholas replied, rather dryly since it seemed that nothing he said was taken with any seriousness by Monsieur Monroe. "If I am supplied with healthy conversation, art and wine, then I am a happy man." Which was to simplify his desires, but he Monsieur Monroe was a stranger, he needn't know anything more.

word count: 383

Re: Through Dangers Untold

Though the Prince did speak, Ashley was no longer listening. He heard them then…the drums of a memory that served more as a nightmare that came even when he was awake. Her dark hair and thick hips paraded around the fires again well past midnight, and it was then that Ashley knew his time with the Prince was finished.

If you are hunting for intrigue and schemes…

His eyes were blue and that same color that one would compare the sky but just like the heavens without the sun everything was dark. The look of absolute disgust that replaced his false manners and politician’s grin made him seem all the more illuminated. It was smoke and mirrors—this life, this space between them that they now shared. The tension in more than just anger and egos—annoyance and the length of one cock to the next. He had to wonder if the boy’s balls had even dropped.

“To be placed at the head of a state and of a nation no matter…how small one’s place may be is an honor that many of us will only dream of. Myself included,” He looked down on his nails half to prove that he was as bored as any prince may be.

“But I suppose that is luxury that a title may bring, but I fear that wine and…art,”
He scoffed at the very thought of it, “Have little interest to me, and with that I will conclude my time here. It is very precious as you may know and I shall not wish to waste it on…nothing specific

Ashley sat his tea cup down and stood to bow before the prince as courtly as ever, though of course…he was so tall that his eyes never did get that low on anyone.
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Re: Through Dangers Untold

Flabbergasted was properly too mild a word to describe Nicholas' response to Monsieur Monroe's behaviour. Never in his life had experienced any one like Monsieur Monroe. When the Dodge had claimed the lawyer to be a unique individual, this was not what Nicholas had imagined! He had expected a intelligent lawman, not an arrogant lunatic with a chip on his shoulder the size of Russia. While he was admittedly confused and somewhat perplexed by the entire situation, he was satisfied knowing the ordeal was over - for now.

The Prince really had little else to say, nor did he particuarly feel the need to make small talk or offer any particular pleasantries to the politician. Why waste any further attempts at geniality on such a brusque and disagreeable man?

"God help any man who requires conversation from you Monsieur Monroe." Nicholas snipped as the older gentleman bowed, proceeding to excuse himself. Nicholas leaned back, not bothering to rise from his own seat, deciding Monsieur Monroe was not deserving of any further consideration. It was only once the older man had made for the door and headed out of the sitting room, that Nicholas stood

After such a conversation, he needed a drink to wash the sour taste from his mouth.


End Thread.
word count: 213
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