She watched him watch her, his eyes catching at her every curve and her smile grew wider.
"I know who you are," Alice said, admiring his tangle. A delicate wisp of curiosity, bright and golden; touching it, she strummed. The strands, spun fire and shinning, wiggled under her spell. They breached the depths, swimming in the shallows of his mind, weighing over the vibrancy of his thoughts. "The most beautiful of all the roses, right?" She laughed, crisp and clear as cold sunlight.
Her eyes flickered to the painting, "He's a talent. I mean, the king wouldn't have hired him otherwise," She encouraged the artist's discipline, her fingers lying on his shoulder, steeling his resolve. "But when has a painting ever done a Venora justice?"
"I'm Alice Endor," she sighed, like the name was a weight she'd be desperate to push off. "Bears. Can you believe it?" Alice asked, her voice echoing into the higher timbre of incredulity. "I tried desperately to have them change our coat-of-arms to anything else when I was younger. A horse, I asked. A willow tree, I begged. I even considered the mountains, once." She'd paused, taking another look at the portrait. "He is quite good at this," Alice allowed her lips to curl into a grin. "Isn't he?."
"And what about you, Lord Venora? Were you always proud to be a rose?"