Out with the Old

A busy strip along the center of marn, including the Temple, Hospital, and Justice Hall.
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Vicentius
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Re: Out with the Old

Post by Vicentius » Wed Mar 30, 2016 12:52 pm

"Then you'll have my support," he said, straightening with a pleasant smile, "and of course, my library, such as it is, is at your disposal. Looking forward."

Offering her his arm again, he chuckled as though she had said something witty and gently brought her back to where the Ladies of the Auxiliary were trying and failing to watch circumspectly. In other circumstances and in other company, it might have been amusing to toy with them, but he doubted that Maudeen was ready for that quite yet. Still, he had faith that she would surprise them all given half a chance, and with so many like minded young men and women in the theater, he had faith that it would not take her long to spread her wings. He turned his smile to Emogen as they returned, releasing Maudeen back to her family.

"You've raised quite a marvel, Mrs Stone," he said, noting Ivone's return, "her interest in Marn and it's histories are an example to us all."

He nodded to Maudeen.

"I just hope I have enough books to sate her appetite," he said, smiling. "Miss Malatrast, Master Stone, welcome back."

He opened his mouth to say more, but stopped, frowning slightly as he looked past the group, nodding to himself.

"My deepest apologies," he said, looking contrite, "but while the Auxiliary labours heroically, it appears that my dear brother cannot cope without me. May I take my leave? Ladies, Gentleman, I have to rescue someone."

With a nod to each, and a slightly longer eye contact for Maudeen, he offered his arm to Ivone. Beyond the group, Xythen waited somewhat expectantly.

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Re: Out with the Old

Post by Ivone » Wed Mar 30, 2016 4:08 pm

Ivone watched Tius ply his skills. Would she ever tire of it? Slipping her arm through his she fell in step, moving with him as if she deserved to be on his arm. Some would find that uppity of her, but that was the point, wasn't it?

THIS Morrington she knew. Ivone smiled at him as they approached, but remained the second in the conversation. This was Tius' game and she the bait. Observe, listen, be seen. Be the spider, not the little dove.

As they walked, she spoke for Tius' ears only.

"Be careful the role you wear for that one." Maudeen fancied Tius, he knew it. But she was still an unknown. "You might find yourself on your back in some public place for all your skill."
Last edited by Ivone on Thu Mar 31, 2016 12:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Out with the Old

Post by Vicentius » Wed Mar 30, 2016 11:33 pm

He smiled at Ivone's words, as though at some inner joke, knowing that the sense of complicity would annoy his brother something awful. Xythen was likeable enough in his own way, Tius felt, but he still saw himself as the heir apparent for the family, and that coloured his attitude to all things. He didn't blame his brother for his ambitions, it could only serve him well, though Tius suspected he had rather missed the point of their father's lessons. After all, just because he did not adhere to Raemes' opinions did not mean he had not been paying attention.

"Mentor will have to suffice for now," he said, just for her, "but Garaven should hopefully catch her eye. He'd be a challenge for her."

That was putting it mildly, as Garaven's talent had made him overconfident and somewhat... brash, but his passion for writing was undeniable. Maudeen wanted to be challenged, and more importantly, she wanted someone to take charge of, and behind the bluster, Garaven was exactly that. It would take some shepherding for both of them, but neither would know themselves before long. The Lady M would only grow from exposure to real drama, and the theater would benefit from a fresh perspective.

"Though there are worse public embarrassments, I suppose."

He wasn't imagining the way she moved with him, the way her posture changed as she drew closer to him. It was fascinating to watch her claim power in that way, as though she were staking her claim on him. Perhaps she was. He looked up as they approached Xythen, his smile firmly in place. By contrast, Xythen seemed to be agitated, though it could have been righteous indignation too, knowing the reasoning often on display.

"What are you doing?"

"So much for preamble, dear brother," Tius said, pleasantly, "and, if you must know, I'm socializing, as you should be."

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Re: Out with the Old

Post by Ivone » Thu Mar 31, 2016 12:10 am

Ivone let out a soft laugh, a purr of one really and looked to the side.

"Garavan!" came on the softness of her voice. Of course! Ivone looked back up at Tius, eyes shining. He really was very good with understanding people's motivations, wasn't he?

Oh, Ivone, he must have you completely figured out by now.

Ivone's brows raised and that slow smile curved her mouth.

"I'll keep that in mind," another purr of a comment.

Schooling her expression back to the smile of greeting she wore for Xythan, Ivone's brows raised slightly at the man's directness. He evidently had not been listening to Raemes' lessons.

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Re: Out with the Old

Post by Vicentius » Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:07 pm

Xythen seemed to remember himself after a moment, and bowed slightly to Ivone. Tius smiled, stepping smoothly into the role of escort once more, even as he sensed a suggestive note in Ivone's manner.

"Miss Malatrast, may I introduce my brother," he said, "Xythen. Xythen, Miss Ivone Malatrast."

Xythen was almost of a height with Tius, and of similar colouring, but he favoured Raemes more in the face, and he was slender like a reed where Tius was simply slim. He still looked troubled, but he put a brave face on it for the moment.

"Miss Malatrast," he said, "forgive my abruptness."

"My brother so often must be genteel in his work," Tius said, cutting him off, "and he feels he can be curt with me."

He really shouldn't have, but needling one's siblings was one of life's few pleasures that did not dim with the passage of time, and Xythen was so very easy to wind up.

"Quite," Xythen said, after a pause, "you can tell he detests it."

"So," Tius said, taking the reins again, "why have you sought me out rather than keeping your delightful wife company?"

Xythen's gaze slid to Ivone for a moment, and Tius raised both eyebrows, both inviting him to voice the question, and hinting at his answer. There was a stretched moment, where one waited for the other to cave, and Xythen shrugged, giving up.

"Zidia is here," he said, "and Monetario might appear. The Auxiliary does fine work, but mother and father are beside themselves."

Tius considered that a perfectly acceptable state of affairs, even if he doubted that Monetario would in fact show, but he kept his expression Neutral.

"And?"

Xythen sighed.

"You might consider standing with us, for once."

"I often do consider it," Tius said, "but common sense often intervenes."

Xythen turned to Ivone.

"You see what I must put up with? Perhaps you can talk some sense into him."

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Re: Out with the Old

Post by Ivone » Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:11 pm

Ivone ducked into a curtsy at the introduction.

"Goodness, this keeps up and I will have met all the Morringtons." She inclined her head graciously.

"Of course." She couldn't help the amusement she felt at Tius' needling. It was unfair of him, she was sure of it. But Xythen bore it well.

Ivone wondered why the Auxiliary mattered in the scheme of things or why Monetario's attendance would be problematic. Tius echoed her thoughts.

Ivone's brows raised. That his brother would appeal to her to talk sense into Tius meant, in his mind at least, that Ivone and Tius were officially a couple.

Interesting, that.

"I'll see what I can do." Tius would recognize the mischief in her eyes, but Xythen probably thought it warmth given then the earnest set of her mouth, "But you know what he's like." Her gaze flickered to Tius, to meet his.

A tinging noise sounded and was taken up by several others.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, if I might have your attention for a moment. I have the most wonderful announcement." Aurelio was smiling down at Sparrow, mask firmly in place. Both were. Sparrow was looking up at him, as if doting.

"Miss Moryldar, my beautiful Sparrow, has agreed to be my wife!" Aurelio lifted a glass of champagne.

"To my Lady!"

The crowd around them applauded and lifted their glasses in toast.

Ivone's smile stayed in place. What an odd feeling. On the one hand, it was relief. As if the announcement meant Aurelio no longer looked on her as his property. On the other, she wondered what that meant for her. Then, there was a sense of jealousy and wounded pride. She'd always been his second choice. And now, that was made most painfully clear. Ivone lifted her hands to clap in congratulations for the couple. Strains of music started and the moment passed, though people were still murmuring about it.

She wondered if that is why Xythen was in a tizzy.

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Re: Out with the Old

Post by Vicentius » Sat Apr 02, 2016 11:12 pm

He met Ivone's glance with a questioning eyebrow, though the corner of his mouth twitched upwards at the faux pas Xythen had just made, as well as at the implication in that playful gaze. Xythen did not know how he was, ironically, and very few did, though likely more than Tius thought. He wasn't naive enough to think himself impervious to being read. He opened his mouth to retort, when someone tinged for attention, and he caught his father watching intently. Xythen's nervousness only served to compound Tius certainty that Raemes was up to something.

He watched with idle interest as Aurelio lead the toast to Sparrow, a celebration of their happy union and a fond wish for things to come. He knew better, and he suspected that Ivone did too. They may have been a doting couple as innocent youths, but this was an alliance, hard bought, and Aurelio gained more from this arrangement than Sparrow did socially. Regardless of what gains he had made, Aurelio was still tainted as far as the families were concerned. He made good money, but Sparrow knew her own value too well to settle. Which meant that Aurelio had backing that he had not had heretofore. Tius looked to his father, noting a certain triumph in that gaze, and some calculation as he gauged the crowd's response.

He smiled, inclining his head to Sparrow in acknowledgement of her event, and he did not imagine the flash of irritation in her eyes when she looked at him. He gently moved his hand again, just to reassure Ivone that he was there. She seemed put out, and no wonder, but he gave her her space, turning his attention instead to Xythen and the crowd, whose response was curious but generally unopposed. Xythen too, had been watching Raemes, and as the crowd returned to their drinks, he visibly relaxed. Tius made no comment, sipping his punch. It was difficult to fathom exactly what Raemes had to gain from this, but, somehow or other, he suspected it was a ploy to gain Monetario's favour.

"An exciting time for all involved," Tius said, "yet strangely hunger inducing."

He looked to Ivone.

"Shall we sample the buffet? I simply must see what the Auxiliary has done for the hors d'oeuvres."

Leaving Xythen to watch after them, they crossed to the buffet table coincidentally just as Zidia had begun perusing some of the more curious looking canapes. Picking up a plate, Tius turned to Ivone, and Zidia spoke without looking at him. He would have been lying if he said it did not make him nervous, but he was not going to scurry and grovel for approval from THE family.

"You've been making overtures," she said, apparently to an ice sculpture of amber leaves.

"Overture," Tius corrected, without looking away from Ivone, "more than enough for the right people to hear."

"And so very many from such a small house."

"Yet only one that matters."

"Why so certain?"

He picked up something an odd shade of green that hinted of lamb, raising an eyebrow at Ivone.

"Better prospects and fewer risks," he said, taking a bite, "without tipping your hand to another party."

"How delightfully vague."

"Public arena, my dear," he said, "such joys. Anything taking your fancy?"

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Re: Out with the Old

Post by Ivone » Sun Apr 03, 2016 4:40 am

Ivone looked up at Tius. Sometimes he said the oddest things, but they often seemed to be just what she needed to hear.

"I'd love to. I'm sure they have leveraged the best of Shim's harvest to celebrate the Harvest Ball."

Ivone kept her eyes on the food, reaching for this or that to place it on the plate Tius held. Ivone gave an expression to say "It's a mystery, but why not?"

She was nervous as well as the pair of Morringtons began to speak in Morrington. Again, Ivone could do nothing more than be amazed and impressed.

"One or two things." She indicated the plate, which held a few items that she had selected. One area had been allocated to little tables, some large, some small - all were well within viewing distance of the dance floor. This allowed those seated to view and comment as much as it allowed the dancers to be seen.

"I do believe we have found all that Shim's harvest has to offer. The Ladies did well."

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Re: Out with the Old

Post by Vicentius » Sun Apr 03, 2016 11:54 pm

There was a certain... lowering of the temperature in the air behind him, and he took another bite, swallowing gently. This was an old game, really, and despite the pressure in Zidia's words, Tius knew he had their interest. Monetario watched everyone like a hawk, and many watched back with equal vigor, while others sought to gain rather more involved attention. Tius himself had never approached the man or his people, being of the opinion that seeking publicity would undermine his credibility, and that played into his hands here.

"That they have," he said, "lead on."

"I need something concrete," Zidia said, taking a sip of wine.

"Dear Aurelio," he said, "is a fortunate man, but rather unfortunate in his choice of companions."

Nothing more was said, and he left it there, carrying on with Ivone as though nothing untoward had happened, which it had not. Now he had little choice but to play the waiting game. Monetario's cooperation, even in the most distant fashion imaginable, would still be required if he was to secure a future for Ivone in Marn. He couldn't tell them more, not until Ivone was safely away at least, but he knew he had the more attractive deal to offer. The names Ivone provided gave them leverage, over Aurelio, Raemes and the Guard, and Ivone was a very sympathetic figure; Monetario would appreciate that far more than the ability to keep a closer eye on what Aurelio was up to.

Pulling out a seat for Ivone, he set his plate and glass down, and waited for her to sit before joining her. A number of other couples or little groups were scattered about, and aside from the customary inquisitive glances, very little direct attention was sent their way. Across the dance floor, Xythen had rejoined his darling wife, and Tius thought he saw Zidia slipping away to another part of the room, but he couldn't be certain. Smiling, he glanced at Ivone and raised an eyebrow.

"Usually," he said, "I would find these affairs dreadfully dull, but you make them seem so much more exciting, Miss Malatrast."

He took a bite, swallowed and winked just for her.

"I'm in your debt."

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Re: Out with the Old

Post by Ivone » Tue Apr 05, 2016 1:40 pm

Ivone remained silent, careful not to be still as the predators circled and nosed around. Finishing making selections, she cast her gaze toward the tables and led the way to one. She inclined her head when Tius held her chair for her.

“Thank you, Mr. Morrington.” Ivone turned her gaze fully on him, no mask.

“I can’t imagine how horrifying this would have been without you here to protect me.” Her eyes widened slightly.

“Nonsense. This is but an installment payment on everything you have done for me.” Ivone held up a canape for him to take a bite from. Her mouth had opened slightly as part of the gesture.

“Ah…”

She’d barely had any wine. It must be the dancing.

A voice spoke from behind her.

"Don't you two make the sweetest little couple..."

Sparrow and Aurelio also held plates.

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Re: Out with the Old

Post by Vicentius » Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:09 pm

He put a hand to his heart, looking pleasantly shocked at her suggestion. He was somewhat humbled by the trust she was placing in him, especially given the risk involved. He doubted that she was in any serious danger, not immediately, as she was low on the list of priorities for the family, but it did not do to understate things. She was a brave woman, braver than him in many ways, but she did not need to be coddled. Whatever else tonight was going to be, he was going to be as genuine as he could be with her. She deserved that much.

"Protect you? My dear, Miss Malatrast," he said, smiling slightly, "it feels more like I am protecting them from you."

He smiled at her, eyes twinkling, and decided to push his luck just that bit further.

"And how could any party be horrible," he continued, "with your blossom to brighten it up."

Raising both eyebrows, eyes twinkling, he smiled unexpectedly at Ivone's offer. She raised the canapé, mouth slightly open, gazing at him expectantly. It was a little unorthodox, and quite candid, had he stopped to think about it, but he wasn't about to let Ivone escape it either. Someone spoke, but he held up a finger for silence, and then, quickly and delicately, ducked to bite the offered canapé. Chewing, he savoured the taste for a moment, then swallowed before turning to see who was there. A trifle impertinent of him, perhaps, but it was fun, and that was the point.

Of course, Sparrow and Aurelio looked like they were having an entirely different kind of fun. He was wont to indulge in a certain amount of schadenfreude himself when the situation demanded it, but such a thing was to be handled tastefully and in private. Perhaps that was an unfair thought, however; perhaps they were only there to offer their congratulations to Ivone on her business. Snap judgements could be so unfair after all. He straightened, taking a sip of his drink and inclined his head to them both.

"I've been accused of being many things," he said, politely, "but sweet has never been one of them."

He looked from one to the other for the moment, resting his hand lightly on Ivone's forearm, then smiled.

"Congratulations to you both," he said, "I must say, it warms my heart to see two people find each other in the modern world."

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Re: Out with the Old

Post by Ivone » Thu Apr 07, 2016 1:06 am

Ivone looked amused. Protecting them from her? Ivone turned her head,

"Such a flatterer. This must be where the butter in butterfly comes from."

Speaking of schadenfreude, Ivone wouldn't lie. Tius' insisting on making the pair of them wait while he nibbled a bite from her fingers was very satisfying. Especially, given the subtle body language Aurelio exhibited. She knew his moods well, having been subjected to them in intimate detail. Ivone looked down, delicately wiping her fingers on a napkin, and considered the next treat. A slight smile curved her lips, which she did not bother to remove.

"Yes, congratulations. You two are perfect for each other." Ivone inclined her head to the pair of them. "Have you set a date yet for the wedding?"

Sparrow smiled sweetly, voice lilting in that way that had earned her her nickname.

"We are planning on a Spring wedding. I do hope you will be able to attend." Except, of course, she wasn't planning on actually sending an invitation to Ivone. Giving Tius' current interest in the woman, though, she might have to plan on Ivone attending regardless. Aurelio, for his part, remained silent eyes studying the pair of them.

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Re: Out with the Old

Post by Vicentius » Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:22 am

At any other time, Tius knew, the four of them would have made for fascinating viewing to the keen observer. It was clear from the stances and the methods of approach that Aurelio and Sparrow both had, and were fishing for, information. That was always interesting. Tius was fishing too, though he wasn't certain exactly what he was looking for. What information the pair had was anyone's guess, though Tius suspected that it had something to do with Ivone's recent misfortunes.

He might have been wrong, in fact, he was more than likely wrong on that score, but Aurelio and Sparrow were predictable in temperament if not in action. Aurelio was not the type to let a pet leave willingly, and if Raemes was involved (which Tius also suspected) then Aurelio was the ideal candidate to put pressure on Ivone. He doubted that the details of their shared history was in the open, but Raemes could be observant about those things. Sparrow, on the other hand, did not truly need a reason beyond her own amusement, but there was always the chance that she was using her new alliance to taunt him. She had not taken his refusal well, and missing out on becoming a Morrington was not something one forgot.

What they sought was slightly easier to gauge, as every other guest looking over at them was after the same information. Why were Tius and Ivone there together? What did it mean? Were they together, or together? What had transpired between Ivone and Melika? What had Ivone spoken to Tius about? Were the Stones involved? While few proper rumours were circulating, he did not doubt that their every interaction had been observed and catalogued carefully by Marn's gossips. Hovering above all those little questions was the central question; how can we use this to our advantage?

"A spring wedding," he said, smiling, "how wonderful! I cannot promise my attendance, familial obligation you understand, but I shall endeavour to get you a gift befitting such a joyous time."

He kept smiling, noting Aurelio's continued silence. It could have been simply observation, or civility in letting his bride to be have the floor, but Tius saw discomfort and anger, and it seemed that Aurelio was focused solely on Ivone. Tius leaned in conspiratorially, and lowered his voice.

"Of course, I feel I should warn you," he said, "the committee may involve itself. Mother does so love influence social gatherings, almost as much as father loves business."

He paused, glancing at Aurelio.

"Did I read that you and father were going into business together? He's been expressing interest in the theater, of all things," Tius said, as though it were just another flight of fancy. "With wedding season approaching, though, one feels that couture and accessories would be a wiser investment."

He looked up brightly, turning to Ivone.

"There's an idea," he said, "perhaps a perfume specifically for the event. An Ivone exclusive as it were."

He looked from Sparrow to Aurelio, sipping his drink.

"Or perhaps some centrepieces for the tables," he said, "small additions here and there can really make or break an event."

He narrowed his attention to Sparrow.

"But that's neither here nor there," he said. "Marriage ; what a blessing. I confess, I never quite imagined the songbird nesting. Have you any plans to start a family, now that your wild escapades are behind you?"

Or beside her, as the case may have been. Or indeed, under her, over her, strapped to the bed or covered in welts and strange bruises in some cases. He wasn't one to judge.

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Re: Out with the Old

Post by Ivone » Sat Apr 09, 2016 2:18 am

Sparrow widened her eyes and gave a fluting little laugh.

"Or perhaps my wildest days are ahead of me! As for children, perhaps. I know Aurelio has been wanting to have a child for years."

Aurelio's eyes narrowed slightly, a cruel smirk etching his lips.

"Quite, but I knew I had to wait my darling Sparrow out, or I would never get the child I deserve."

Children. That one stung, though Ivone just raised her eyes and tilted her head.

"Perhaps a scent will come to mind that suits the pair of them. I'd need to think about it."

Shit, perhaps. Or, corpse flower.

Ivone smile was beautifully sparkly, thoughtful.

"Business is business and a business must be profitable to be successful. I am sure if Raemes considers the theater a worthy investment, others will as well."

"Oh, I agree,."responded Ivone, "... which is why I sought out Tius' advice. His ideas are wonderfully supportive of Marnian growth."

Ivone anticipated Sparrow's next question regarding Tius' interest in her and decided to ensure Tius retained his most eligible bachelor title, despite Ivone feeding him a canape.

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Re: Out with the Old

Post by Vicentius » Sat Apr 09, 2016 5:52 pm

He raised an eyebrow at Aurelio's response. Predictability was not a very fetching attribute in people, he felt, but it did make surprising them so much easier in the long run. He smiled a small, knowing smile at the theater comment, taking another sip of his drink. His father was a great man for backing a horse that already had a win or two in the bag, but he had a poor eye for opportunity.

"I suppose the obvious path does suit a lot of people," he said, "although those same people panic so easily when things don't go to plan."

He smiled a little wider, meeting Aurelio's gaze, and gave Ivone's arm a gentle squeeze.

"Thankfully, Miss Malatrast is a little more foresightful than that," he said, "and it is so refreshing to find a lady as passionate about the future of this great city as I am. Her ideas for cultural outreach to our less fortunate citizens are inspiring."

He took another, longer sip, scooching closer to her on his seat and smiling a little wider.

"She was even nice enough to help me irritate father by showing up as my date tonight," he said, covering the rest of their bases, "she really is such a wonderful woman."

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