[Soirée] I only have eyes for you

Valeria and Darcy, please.

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Caius Gawyne
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[Soirée] I only have eyes for you

Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:04 am

Zida 49, 717


Valeria had caught him by surprise, enraptured as he'd been by Ser Meruda and Darcyanna playing their piano piece together. Her greeting was cheerful while her hands were unsteady, wrapping her arm around his probably because he didn't move or speak to return her hello at the speed she should have otherwise expected of him as a friend,

"V, wait—Ssh," Caius hissed, frowning for a trill. The Lady Burhan had obviously been drinking, "I want to sarding listen."

Either she didn't care or didn't listen, and his frown became a smirk as she teased him about dancing, blue eyes not leaving the blonde pianist and her delicate fingers over the keys, straining to hear the notes of their duet even as his irises shifted toward a warmer, brighter green. He sighed, shoulders sagging, Valeria's giggle a familiar and disarming sound,

"Dance? Me? I no good at it anyway." The young Gawyne whispered shyly, feeling the Elithem lean against him and aware that it wasn't entirely flirtatious so much as necessary in what he could only assume was her inebriated state. They'd been friends for many arcs now, among other things, and while their comfortably flexible relationship allowed them to have crossed unexpected lines, tonight it would be quite obvious who currently held the entirety of Lord Caius Gawyne's attentions, "And you sarding know it—Bogs. Fine—"

His words were reluctant but not a denial, not wanting to be rude but also not wanting to let Valeria linger next to him in a way that may be misinterpreted by those looking on around them, by those who'd already watched him spend most of his evening with the blonde Venora instead,

"—I'd rather like to listen to her play, you know, but I suppose I can do that while moving. Are you sure you don't want to find a better dancer than myself?" The northern noble wasn't in a position to catch Darcy's attention, anyway, the delicate pianist far too involved in her duet. Oliver had been joined by Charlie and when the pair moved to dance with some of the other guests who'd decided this special music was a tune worth moving to, Caius took his chance to lead the blonde Elithem into the dancing crowd. His hands moved with precise propriety, though for a brief moment his smile was wistful and lopsided, almost nostalgic, and he laughed,

"You look especially lovely this evening, Lady Burhan. Surely you could have had your pick of the crowd to dance with instead of just me?" He both complimented and teased her, as was his usual, attempting to find his way into the rhythm of the song he was already so caught up in, glancing over Valeria's shoulder as they moved to watch Darcy and Ser Meruda, but mostly the delicate pianist in an attempt to avoid eye contact should anyone curiously glance in the pair's direction.

He grinned nonetheless, playfully baiting her with the kind of banter they'd been capable of for all of their unusual friendship, carefully falling into proper step despite his usual nervous stiffness about all things related to dancing, the duet beautiful and Darcy obviously far more talented than he'd previously been able to understand, "Someone less taken, perhaps? Well, not that I'm officially anything ... at the moment ... but it's the principle, of course."
Last edited by Caius Gawyne on Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Valeria Burhan
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[Soirée] I only have eyes for you

Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:36 pm

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She was riding the euphoric wave that came from alcohol consumption but that didn't mean that she couldn't pick up on Caius' mood. He didn't seem pleased by her presence and that became a little clearer when he hissed at her. The young woman peered up at him, full lips moving into a pout as she continued to prod him, hoping to wheedle her way into his good graces. She wanted to get her own way, she wanted to see the young man smile, tempt him to give into her charms.

Although he only had eyes for Darcy - a fact that didn't bother her given what she knew - she could see the shift in his expression when it came. She smiled, her own irises changing sluggishly from soft blue and lilac to a warm brown in response to her mood. Valeria could see that she was wearing down his resolve, a fact that delighted her. She giggled, walking her fingers up his arm. Yes, it might be flirtatious, or be construed as such, but she didn't really mean much by it. Well, she didn't have a definite endgame that she was working towards anyway; she wasn't trying to get him to go to bed with her. Of course, her inhibitions weren't as solidly in place as normal so she wasn't on her best behaviour but she was't on her worst behaviour either.

"I'm not asking for fancy footwork, Lord Pretty Boy. I know you aren't particularly good at this type of dancing," the Burhan commented with a wink. "Come on, Caius. Do I look like I can do anything fancy? I'm in pain and I trust you. You're safe and I don't have to pretend with you. I can whine in your ear and you'll put up with it. That's nice too."

The young woman was pleased when he finally just gave up, realising that his excuses weren't up to muster. He could listen to his girlfriend play while he danced, even if he did have Valeria whispering complaints or sweet nothings in his ear.

She allowed herself to be led, noting the smile on his face and giggling as she found herself reminiscing, memories bubbling up and wanting to be voiced more readily than normal. Luckily for him, he threw her off by complimenting her, the young woman more inclined to slip into a more typical banter with her old friend. Her feet moved in response to his own although they didn't move with much intent, her body swaying idly to the music.

"I always look good, don't act surprised. But hey, no pain, no gain, and I'm certainly in pain. It's why I've drank so much," she admitted, before plastering a wide smile on her lips. "Also why would I choose someone aside from you? I know that you're easy, Gawyne." The blonde giggled, laying hands on him in a relaxed manner, her posture almost sloppy as she leaned against him as much as his hands would allow. If she could then she'd lay her head against his shoulder. Keeping her head upright just took too much effort and it was so much easier to let her companion take some of her weight. It wasn't something that she thought about but if she'd been able to then she might have realised that such a thing would make the pair appear very cosy indeed.

"Pfft, less taken! Shut up, Caius, you love it," the Burhan murmured. "You know I don't mean anything by it. You don't think Darcy's the jealous type, do you? I can talk to her if you like. I can tell her that you looooove her. Oops! I'm not supposed to say that, am I?" She sniggered, lifting a hand to cover her mouth.
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[Soirée] I only have eyes for you

Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:02 am

49th Zi’da, 717


She’d finished the duet, and thanked Oliver. Now, the blonde pianist wanted nothing more than to seek out Caius and gush in her over excitement. Turning around, the short Venora swept the crowd with her lime green eyes, looking to spot the flash of purple in a sea of people. Weaving through the nobles, even standing on tip-toe, Darcyanna smiled as she searched for—

Oh.

The Venora spotted the Gawyne then, with another woman all but wrapped around his person, head on his shoulder. Of course, it wasn’t unusual for nobles to dance together. It was even proper and sociable to do so, a great many things could be learnt from dancing with someone. It was just...

By the Fates was that Valeria?

The lopsided smile, and her far to familiar closeness, Darcy felt a surge of jealously tug at her chest. If anyone was to glance over, it would certainly set tongues wagging. Her cheeks darkened slightly, eyes swirling with dull greys.

Had she assumed too much in her feelings for the northman?

Swallowing hard, she lifted her chin, making a decision. It would be easy to simply walk over and interrupt, with determination she began to walk.

“Lady Venora?” A voice beside her pulled the shorter musician from her what-if’s and stopped her in her tracks. An slightly older man with dark skin, short cropped dark hair and a clean shaven square jaw bowed politely as she turned with a start. Darcyanna pulled herself into the persona of the Ivory Rose with a well practiced smile.

“Yes, my lord?” She said softly, eyes flitting to Caius and Valeria before coming back to the chocolate eyes of the stranger. The man smiled warmly, offering her an elegant bow.

“I’m no Lord, merely a Knight taking the opportunity of his trial off to join the excitement of Lord Venora’s much anticipated gala. Bram Haywood, my Lady, at your service.” The pale woman bowed slightly in return at the Knight, wishing he would hurry up with the banter so she could continue her path to the too cosy couple.

“Lovely to meet you Ser Haywood. I hope you’re enjoying our hospitality?” Her gaze darted again, Bram looking down at his drink and missing it entirely with a chuckle.

“Oh very much so. I must say, you play exceptionally Lady Venora. I knew Venora was renowned for its beautiful sights, but I didn’t realise it was also full of beautiful sounds too.” He said awkwardly, a slight flush to his dark cheeks. Darcy laughed politely.

“Oh you’re very kind Ser. I really must—” She didn’t get to finish the sentence before Bram butted in again with a nervous chuckle.

“Would you care to dance, my Lady?” The blonde blinked, lost for words for a moment. At first, she began to formulate a kind way to say no, when suddenly a rush of annoyance filled her. Smiling warmly, Darcyanna curtsied.

“Why Ser Haywood, I would love to dance.” Taking his offered hand, the Venora allowed the tall knight to lead her into the steps, hands resting quite properly on his person, eyes looking over his shoulder to look at Caius.

If he could dance, then so could she.
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Caius Gawyne
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[Soirée] I only have eyes for you

Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:16 pm

The blonde Elithem made sure to commandeer his entire self to dance with, and if a bit of color flushed his cheeks, he wasn't at all in control of it. Still, Caius rolled his eyes at Valeria's complaints, balancing her slightly tipsy self and pretending he felt at all comfortable dancing,

"V. It's your sarding choice to dress the way you do, so don't complain to me. You can always start a fashion trend of your own. The times are ripe for it, I'm sure." He winked to taunt her, though his tone wasn't entirely cruel or without sympathy. He was simply without recourse for her by nature of his gender and lack of such ridiculous requirements for beauty or standards of current fashion. He just had to mostly exist, and he was quite aware that he was attractive enough to get by well indeed.

She leaned far more against him than he expected, and for a moment, he stiffened, smile wearing thin. It was too late, though, as the Lady Burhan settled into her place and he was forced to keep them moving, aware that it was hard not to notice them,

"I'd rather you don't announce my feelings here, not like this, no. I'm not quite ready, or I am, or ... for Fate's sake, I don't really know. I worry it's too soon. Or not appropriate. Whether or not she's jealous—" He couldn't help but look for Darcyanna as he spoke of her, Caius' expression a helpless, needful one as he scanned the room and saw her speaking to someone he didn't know, aware that he was rambling a sober confession again to the now somewhat inebriated Valeria Burhan. She drew the words out of him like a cloth soaked up too much spilled ink, his thoughts so often kept in the busy confines of his mind that a few of them were just desperate to escape. The dark-skinned young man with the blonde Venora was built like a knight, smiling rather broadly at the delicate pianist. While she entertained the young man who was certainly not an unattractive choice in the room, heHe was too far to hear their conversation, but when she curtseyed, he understood,

"—it's too sarding late now. I'll hear something later, I'm sure. We're just dancing, though. It's ... acceptable. This. So long as you keep your hands as they should be, V."

He said more to himself than to Valeria, smirking with a familiar hint of mischief, meeting Darcy's gaze from over the blonde Elithem's shoulder. He narrowed his eyes at her choice of dance partner for a heated trill but his expression softened and his irises paled in hue,

Sorry. I'm sorry.

He mouthed, rolling his eyes in some expression of helplessness, hoping she understood that he wasn't intentionally snubbing her. Blinking, he waited, speaking again so that V wouldn't worry he'd decided to ignore her,

"Easy? Please—" He coughed, a warmth tingling the back of his neck and clawing down his spine, listening to the music again for a bit in order to get into step, somewhat struggling to find the correct rhythm with too many thoughts, looking back in hopes of catching Darcy's gaze again as he continued, chagrined, "You do realize that you have an unfair advantage, right? Besides our youthful familiarity and rather mutual enjoyment of each other's company over the arcs, you, uh, you're more than capable of being quite—how shall I put it? Convincing. I can only be myself, sarding arsehole that I am."
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Valeria Burhan
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[Soirée] I only have eyes for you

Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:14 am

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She might be inebriated and she might be inclined towards happiness right now, but that didn't mean that she couldn't have negative emotions flare up. Although his tone was playful, she couldn't help being frustrated, her eyes taking on a dark brown hue with flecks of red in it. He probably had an idea what that particular colour meant.

"Caius, you do realise that I only have my looks, right? I need to look good, I always need to look good or I... And I don't look good enough because if I did, someone would be trying to court me, right?" she murmured, talking quickly, her words running into one another a little as she failed to define them. "I thought if I looked good enough, someone would take an interest so I tightened my corset. I tightened it too much and it hurts so badly but it hasn't worked." Her voice was teary, her eyes shifting to a watery blue as she found herself on the verge of tears. Alcohol always seemed to make her emotions so changeable, allowing her to spring back and forth between one extreme or another. She'd been happy and then sort of angry and now she was really sad and she didn't like it.

"Ugh, I'm sorry. I don't really feel very good. It's not the drink although I don't think it's helping," the blonde admitted, groaning softly against him. His previous statement about starting a fashion trend penetrated her wine-addled brain and she started giggling into him. "Do you think I could start a trend where every woman goes corset free and without undergarments? Could you imagine the scandal of it? I doubt you men would complain though; I wouldn't. It'd certainly liven events like these up."

The young woman could envision it in her mind, unable to imagine the men being able to stop themselves from gawking. She could just see certain low cut dresses ending disastrously. It was enough to make her laugh properly for perhaps the first time this evening, something that made her lungs strain painfully against her constricted chest. She started coughing, feeling as if she was drowning on fluid that she was certain was sloshing around and trying to make its way up her trachea. For a few moments, she couldn't breathe in at all, clutching him perhaps a little too tightly as she tried to calm herself down, desperate to get air into her again. When it finally came, she was left wheezing and feeling a little faint, leaning against him for much needed support.

"I don't ask you to fling your heart's desires at me every time we see each other. You do that all on your own. Don't use me as an excuse," she whispered, feeling the slow dawn of sobriety punch its way through the cloud of alcohol. Everything suddenly seemed to have sharp edges again instead of fuzzy ones. She knew that she was still under the alcohol's spell but she was feeling a negative comedown. Suddenly, she could see everything a little too clearly. She was in pain, she was feeling sick, she could tell that she'd drank a little too much. The worst of it ebbed but she was still left with the uncomfortable revelations that had come when the curtain shifted. Perhaps she needed to ask for help but the Burhan really didn't want to do so.

"I'm not being convincing right now and I wasn't when I saw you last either. I'm just being me, minus the special bits," Valeria told him, drawing away from his body a little so she could gaze into his face, lilac-grey eyes slightly glazed. "You just like the sound of your own voice, you arsehole," she added, her voice carrying some affection as she smiled at him. Her eyes closed, her hold on him slackening considerably as she felt illness wash over her again.

"I won't tell Darcy anything, I promise. I'm not that drunk. Not anymore but Caius?" She opened her eyes, feeling the world rock a little around her; it wasn't the dancing. Things were going a little fuzzy at the edges of her vision and she was really feeling ill now, the nausea crawling uncomfortably within her stomach.

"Caius, I don't really trust anyone here aside from you but I'll trust Darcy. I don't have much choice. I think..."

Her voice was waning, dropping so far in volume that he'd probably have to lean in close to hear her. The edges of her vision were black as if she'd crawled into a hole and it closing in around her, her vision tunnelling. The sound around them seemed to have grown more distant too and everything was taking on a surreal quality, even as bile seemed to begin a slow climb up her throat.

"Help... I think I'm going to... f-f-"

Her body went limp, the image before her winking out entirely as she fainted in her partner's arms.
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So things happened way faster than expected. Feel free to skip me next round. Consider V officially unconscious for the next few bits at least. I'd advise bringing her to Darcy's room but it's up to y'all. Let things shape up how they will
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Darcyanna Venora
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[Soirée] I only have eyes for you

Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:02 pm

49th Zi’da, 717


“...and that’s how I ended up as a Knight, although as you can imagine, my father wasn’t impressed to start with.” Bram said with a nervous laugh as he held the Venora with absolute gentlemanly properness, his chocolate eyes looking over her shoulder with a giddy sort of excitement.

The Ivory Rose. He was dancing with the Ivory Rose.

To admit he’d had somewhat of a crush on the blonde woman was an understatement. He’d planned so carefully his night off, just so he could attend the gala. And then his outfit, his most finely decorated formal uniform. It wasn’t enough though, for when he saw her the dark skinned man realised he could never match the Venora’s and their beauty.

Darcy barely made a token laugh, answering the tone of his voice rather than his words as she made eye contact with Caius, her eyes a swirl of indigos and chin lifting a little. She watched his lips carefully, and suddenly the jealousy swept away with a slow smile.

Sorry. I’m sorry. The words were easy to understand from here, especially with the eye roll. The pianist giggled softly, hiding her face a little against the Haywood’s shoulder, much to his immediate delight.

“L-lady Venora, perhaps you’d like to step outside for a little?” He asked in a warm voice, drawing back slightly so he could meet her eyes. The musician did her solid best not to frown at the distraction, leaning back with a quick calculated smile intended to show she was interested in his conversation even if she had no sarding idea what he said.

“Sorry, what was that?” She asked, completely oblivious to the nervous young knight’s intentions, her attention on the far side of the room where Valeria and Caius were in deep conversation.

“I hope you don’t think this too forward, but the stories of your beauty don’t do you justice my Lady.” Bram almost breathed with a strangely dreamy look. Blinking and forcing herself to pay attention to the tall military man, Darcyanna suddenly clicked with a deep blush.

“I uh...uh....that’s very sweet of you Ser Haywood but...” There was a sudden buzz of gasps and movement across the room, right where Caius and Valeria had been dancing. The Venora snapped her gaze up to see the tall diri standing helplessly with the blonde woman limp in his arms.

“By the fates! Bram, with me!” Darcy exclaimed with a gasp, grabbing his hand and all but dragging the nervous man through the crowd to the suddenly very much centre of attention couple. Pointing at the woman, the Ivory Rose pushed him forward gently.

“Pick her up and follow me.” She instructed, putting a hand on the Gawyne’s shoulder. Seven, if this didn’t start a rumour then nothing would. Turning her eyes on the crowd of rubbernecking nobles, Darcy flashed a smile that spoke volumes.

“A little too much excitement I’m afraid. I’m sure she will be quite alright.” Her hand curled into the purple fabric of Caius’ jacket as she guided him away from the floor with Bram carrying Valeria in his arms behind them.

“What by the sarding Seven happened?!” She hissed as they walked, leading the two men into The Red Room. A side galley, away from the main hall that contained plush cream leather chairs and a beautiful chaise lounge, it’s walls decorated in various artworks and a scarlet red wall paper.

“I might note, you seemed awfully friendly with Miss Burhan here.” She muttered as they entered the lavish room, made for smoking cigars and drinking cognac, and occasionally taking tea.

“Put her there Bram.” The pale woman said, pointing to the chaise lounge as she shut the door to prevent any further gawkers. The knight did as he was bade, stepping back with a frown.

“Shall I fetch someone my Lady?” He asked dutifully, chocolate eyes flicking to Caius with a polite yet stiff bow. Darcyanna looked over the unconscious woman’s face with a frown, before glancing down.

“No, just shut up for a moment.” She said firmly, her hands now patting down the blonde’s torso in what could be a most improper way. The man faltered for a moment, looking at Caius again this time with a frown of confusion.

“My Lady?” Turning suddenly, Darcy gave both men a sudden glare.

“Turn your back’s gentleman.” With one quick movement, and a blush to rival Faldrun’s bloom, she shoved the Lady’s skirts up around her to reveal the culprit. A damned corset. The Venora chose not to wear the silly things, but clearly Valeria did and more clearly it was too sarding tight. Tearing at the knot that held the laces together, she pulled quickly to loosen the string, before taking both hands and pulling firmly outwards. Grabbing the poor singers skirts, she adjusted them so they were back in their proper place and leaned over the woman, patting her face firmly.

“Valeria, can you hear me?” She asked with concerned blue eyes.
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Caius Gawyne
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[Soirée] I only have eyes for you

Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:56 pm

He'd made her smile, at least, which gave Caius a hint that perhaps she'd forgive him later, dancing as he was with Valeria. Still, he couldn't help but watch the young man she'd chosen as her dance partner warily, the Knight at least thoughtfully proper with his hand positions on his delicate pianist. He had that going for him, if nothing else, though the northern noble was somewhat vaguely aware he wouldn't have been able to take the other man in a fight should the need arise. Maybe.

Valeria was both teasing him and decrying the lack of assets she assumed were at her disposal. Returning his attention to her as she murmured, leaning against him in her somewhat inebriated state, challenging him to keep their motions fluid with the music, he smirked, "I don't see anything wrong with that trend, personally. Not every woman in Rynmere feels obliged to follow that sarding corset trend, anyway—" Caius bit his lip to keep from saying too much about how, exactly, he had such inside knowledge, but it wasn't as though the blonde Elithem couldn't guess,

"—By the Seven, I'm sorry that I was rude the other trial, but you don't need to bring it all up again."

He cleared his throat, glancing back to Darcy before Valeria pulled back against his hand to meet his gaze, her words confusing. At least until she fainted.

For Fate's sake.

Caught off-guard, it was of course all the young Gawyne could do to keep himself proper and keep the Lady Burhan from falling out of his hands and onto the stone floor. It was awkward and embarrassing and very public, there with everyone else dancing and watching and ... talking,

"Valeria. Now's not a—damn it." He hissed, but he already knew she'd really passed out by just how limp she was in his arms—

Oh, bogs.

"Darcy, look, I—" The delicate pianist wasn't focused on him right away, having dragged her soldierly dance partner with her and in typical, attractive fashion, telling him exactly what to do with himself. The confused man took V from Caius with a nervous expression and they made eye contact for a moment, the northern noble unable to hide the brief expression of judgement from his expression. It was just a trill of fleeting thought before he was once again caught up in the tide of concern for his friend. Opening his mouth to say something, Darcy's fingers curled tightly into his coat and she began to drag him away from the dance floor with Ser Haywood and Valeria behind them. In her far superior graciousness, she dismissed the crowd and their curiosities, though Caius feared his own hand in it all would be much-discussed once he was absent,

"She just fainted, Darcy." He whispered back, "I mean, Valeria was admittedly a little bit tipsy, but I do believe this is a—well, how should I say it—fashion accident. Her corset—"

The blonde Venora cut him short, her accusation stopping the rest of his words and stealing his breath for a heartbeat or two. A bit of color rose to his cheeks without his control and his eyes paled to a silvery hue,

"We've known each other since childhood, if you must know. She's a friend of my sister's ... and a friend of mine." He was quick to answer her, but there was an edge to his voice that she hadn't necessarily felt before, for it was neither chagrin nor guilt. He felt neither for his prior intimacies, but this was just not the situation nor the place to even attempt to explain his reasonings, if he had any worth explaining at all.

Instead, the young Gawyne found himself standing next to the Knight, awkwardly looking on at the unconscious blonde Elithem while his Lady Venora attempted to figure out the issue all on her own,

"Darcy, I was saying about her cors—Fine." Caius grumbled as she shushed him for the second time, deciding that in this case silence was the better part of valor, though when he saw her make the connection he nodded and placed a too-warm hand on Bram's shoulder and turned him around forcefully. Though he lingered himself for a moment as if he was about to offer assistance before he realizied the kind of self-implicating mistake that would have been and turned his back to the women as well. Rolling his eyes, he kept his hand where it was on the Knight's shoulder while his other came to rest in his pocket,

"Enjoyed your dance with my Lady Venora, did you, Ser?" He grinned devilishly, keeping his voice low but unable to help himself, not at all ignorant of the way the other man had looked upon the delicate pianist, "I'm Lord Caius Gawyne, by the way. Pleasure to meet you. I appreciate someone looking out for Darcy when I get called elsewhere for a few moments. Are you a Moseke Knight, then? Stationed in Andaris?"

The rustling of skirts informed the northern noble to what Darcy was doing, and so he knew to keep the other man facing away until at least there was some sound of a return to propriety. Giving the ladies an extra bit or two, he released the young man's shoulder and turned, looking first to Valeria to see if she'd wake up and then to the blonde Venora anxiously.
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Valeria Burhan
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[Soirée] I only have eyes for you

Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:28 pm

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The Burhan was slow to wake, consciousness returning with a syrupy slowness. Memory of events was even slower, the young woman entirely reliant on sensations of the present to enable her to come to grips with what was happening. Pain came sharply, cutting clearly through everything so that at first, it was all that she knew. With the ache came the desperate need to breathe, to fill her starved lungs with deep gulps of air. She gasped in, the pain of it almost putting her under again, the agony more intense now that the bruises had the chance to stretch.

Valeria moaned, hand fluttering to her chest, horrified by the tenderness. Someone hovered over her, blonde, beautiful, familiar: Darcyanna Venora. Her eyelids had barely flickered open, almost squinting at the young woman. She made to curse softly and began to cough instead. It felt like her chest was full of fluid, gurgling up her throat so that she choked wetly. Moving her torso a little to the side, head bent over as she hacked violently. When the spluttering finally abated, she flopped back down, utterly drained. Still, tired as she was, she was a bit more alert, even though alcohol was still churning sluggishly through her veins.

"Water," she murmured. "Please, some water." Her irises were a dull grey-blue but they shifted to a startling bright shade of blue as she saw past the pianist and realised the full humiliating circumstances. Her formerly pale cheeks took on new colour, a flush moving rapidly through her face as she wrapped an arm almost protectively around the bodice of her dress.

"Sard it all! Who's he and why is he standing there while I'm-I'm... not exactly presentable?" Valeria questioned sharply, eyes fixed on Ser Haywood, squirming a little beneath the knight's gaze. It was bad enough that Caius had to be witness to this, but he'd had opportunities to see her at her worst before. Darcy was another matter but it was a necessary evil that she be here, especially as her old friend probably hadn't worked out what was up, even with her whispered hints before she fainted. This knight was a highly unwanted witness though and honestly, she wanted him out of here.

Her gaze moved to the Venora, reaching towards the girl's arm, almost ready to pull her close. "Please, can you get him to leave? That other man?" she begged softly, her gaze silver and streaked with green in vulnerability. The blonde didn't want to say anything about Caius but she guessed that if she said nothing, the pianist would probably shoo both men out. It was different with the Gawyne though because he was someone that she trusted intimately and she needed to be able to speak with him, to apologise. Though she could remember what he'd said about the girl before her, had trusted her with his feelings and though nothing of the sort had been said between them, she guessed that he wouldn't want Darcy knowing about her past with her. Unfortunately, the damage might already have been done when she'd danced with Caius. Valeria was still inebriated but she was certainly sober enough to know that she'd screwed up.

"Caius, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to put you in that position, and Darcy... I'm sorry too, but thank you," the noblewoman said, her voice full of remorse and almost teary, irises a gloomy blue-grey.
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Darcyanna Venora
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[Soirée] I only have eyes for you

Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:06 pm

49th Zi’da, 717


Staring at the closed door ahead of them, Ser Haywood lifted his chin and kept his eyes most gentlemanly on the ornate wood, right until Caius spoke. Quick as a whip his head snapped at he looked at the northern noble with eyes that spoke of a long standing dream crushed like some bug under ones shoe. His shoulders dropped slightly and he frowned.

“Your...Lady. I uh...good evening Lord Gawyne. Yes I uh....apologies I wasn’t aware.” He stumbled through his words, dealing with the sudden recap of the evening, realising that the woman had indeed not shown as much interest as he had imagined.

“Yes my Lord, part of the regiment that looks after Mid-Town on the late trial shifts. We do our very best to keep the streets safe.” He said with a touch of defensive pride. Behind them, the blonde sighed with mild relief as the Burhan began to stir.

“A friend, right.” The blonde muttered as Valeria came too, sitting back quickly as the recovering woman turned slightly to cough wetly. Rubbing the woman’s arm as she lay back, Darcy frowned, moving to reach for a glass and a small crystal jug of water on the bar by the back wall. Bringing it to the blonde, she glanced back at Bram and Caius, before looking back again as Valeria pulled her closer.

“That is Ser Haywood, and he was your co-rescuer my Lady.” Putting a reassuring hand on the other woman’s own, she smiled back at Bram apologetically.

“Could you give us a moment, Ser?” She asked softly. Bram turned from his stoic study of the door, eyes a little wistful and nodded firmly.

“Of course my Lady.” Bowing stiffly to Caius, the Knight took his leave from the room, thankful for the reprieve. What a fool he had been! Lovesick over a noble woman he’d barely known anything about. A Venora no less. Of course she was spoken for, by another noble too. Face flushed with embarrassment, the deflated military man stood by the door, ready to stop any others from entering. He might not have his hearts desire, but he was still a Knight and a gentleman.

Turning her gaze back on Valeria, Darcy’s eyes swirled with a touch of indigo at the woman’s apology.

“Nonsense Valeria, there’s no need for apologies. I’m sure we’ve all had our...moments. Silly contraptions those corsets really. You’re beautiful enough without one.” Looking back at Caius, she shoot him a raised eyebrow.

“I’m sure Lord Gawyne, you’d like to say something to your friend?” She prompted cooly, knowing already that the man had more of a relationship with the Burhan than herself. If anyone should be calming her it should be himself.

Satisfied Valeria was okay, the delicate pianist moved to the bar and picked up an ornate crystal bottle, the same one that housed the whiskey Oli had been consuming, and poured herself a small shot, hand trembling slightly. It wasn’t what she needed right now, but it was better than nothing.

Picking up the glass, she took a small sip, forcing herself not to shudder at the overwhelmingly strong taste, before crossing her arms and watching the two.

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Caius Gawyne
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[Soirée] I only have eyes for you

Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:00 pm

"Late trial shifts in Mid-Town, huh." Caius grinned like a prey animal, listening to Ser Haywood falter at the northern Gawyne's revelations, his too-warm hand still on the other man's shoulder, "Those are my breaks, in a way, those preciously strange breaks before dawn. I work as an apprentice printmaker for the Rynmere Gazette—perhaps you know Ser Renault?"

The northern noble chuckled, about to speak up on how the Knight he named had treated a slave in the streets off-duty when Darcyanna's tone of disbelief caught him. He scowled and didn't turn around to face her, hearing instead the appropriately dramatic sounds of Valeria recovering from momentary unconsciousness.

Her request was a valid one and Caius released Bram with a nod, waving him out with only a cursory return of his stiff bow. Maybe he'd enjoyed that moment a bit more than he should have, considering just how much he felt the sting of Darcy's suddenly jealous ire. He'd admitted too much as well, it seemed, and now he would pay for it.

Turning at the delicate pianist's question, he looked first to her, "There's something you're insinuating with your tone, Darcy." The young Gawyne grumbled, holding her gaze firmly. Regardless of what had indeed gone on between himself and the blonde Elithem, the northern noble perhaps possessed a remarkable ability to compartmentalize and objectively detangle himself from the emotional implications, both because of his birthright and because of how well he, indeed, knew Valeria Burhan. Their fun had been enjoyed within the bounds of friendship and he couldn't bring himself to feel guilty for the experiences that entailed.

Perhaps he should have or at least should have tried, but so secure was he in his feelings for Darcyanna herself that he felt almost indignant to the need to do so, "All you have to do is ask if there's something in particular you'd like to know." Watching the blonde Venora walk away toward the bar, he sighed and looked toward Lady Burhan,

"Sorry for what? I'm sure you gave the Soirée plenty to talk about there on the dance floor, V. I agree with Darcy on the particular fashion trend of corsets being ridiculous and unnecessary, but I'm confident you'll only take your own advice." Caius offered a taunting smile in his teasing effort to comfort his friend, finding it much easier to fall into familiar wordplay than to come up with any serious sincerities, "Bogs. I don't sarding care about the social implications, you know that, if that's what you're apologizing for. Please—better this happened with a friend—myself—than with a stranger, I suppose."

His next words were spoken with every intention of being heard not only by Valeria but by the delicate pianist as well, the northern noble not at all defending himself so much as willing to clear the air, "Though I think Darcy suspects we have history because of your friendly, inebriated dancing." Glancing to the blonde Venora and not missing the motion of her hand before she crossed her arms and met his gaze, he sighed and looked back to Valeria, "You are okay, though, right? I can never keep up with you anyway, Lady Burhan. Maybe I can convince Ser Haywood to volunteer as your escort and protector the rest of the evening. I fear I've said too much all around for both himself and for my Lady Venora."

The young Gawyne smirked and shoved ink-stained hands into his pockets awkwardly, stuck in the middle.
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