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Thread: With silver bells and cockle shells - 9/3 late afternoon, Riverwatch Gardens - Gisela/Victoria

  1. #21
    House Darktide Gisela Darktide's Avatar  
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    The priestess smiled the girl's thanks away and turned back to her wine glass, taking a seat on the small couch and inviting Victoria over. "It is less discreet than you might think," she said, knowing that the estate overlooked a small bluff, and the fact that it was difficult to hide any building on the side of a mountain. "But it is unassuming, inconspicuous, and not on the public record." The estate was registered in Stone Forge and Hebron with an assumed name and owner, and most of the meetings were held in the later evening so as to avoid the appearance of too much traffic.

    "Making the meetings too difficult to get to would be a burden for some of our less noble members," Gisela went on to explain, knowing that moving some of their poorer women about without their presences being missed was difficult enough. "But you really have to see it to believe it," she said with an enthusiastic smile. "There is an electricity in the room during our meetings. The hope of our sisters truly does fill the air with a tangible sense of power." Her expressions softened a bit, and she rested a hand on Victoria's knee once more. "But that boldness fades when the meetings end. At the moment, our ideas and words are somewhat tempered. It is my hope that your strength will embolden some of us to act. The girls have all the right ideas. They only need examples."

    Shaking her head, Gisela relaxed back against the arm of the sofa and sighed. "But until then, tell me more about you, Victoria. Aside from what I know. Do you have any idea of your brother's plans for the family? What he expects your role to be in it?"

  2. #22
    House Fairfax Victoria Fairfax's Avatar  
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    Coming to curl on the couch with the priestess, Victoria sighed in comfort as she clutched the wine glass and sank into the embrace of cushions. It felt deliciously indulgent to trade her gown for a robe and sit with wine in the middle of the afternoon, something she decided she'd have to do more often. "Something can be in plain sight and still be discreet, don't you think?" Gisela's words about being inconspicuous and unassuming only proved the point of that. "Regardless, I look forward to seeing it. We have to go to Aston, but I'll just tell Edward I will be late. He'll be fine." Even if he wasn't, he would just have to deal with it. Cat could keep him calm.

    Enticed by the picture Gisela's words created, she nodded as she sipped, listening eagerly. The presence of the common-born women wasn't going to bother her that much. It was Edward who was the snob, much more then Victoria herself. So long as they were intelligent, she didn't care how low or high they were born. The hand on her knee brought her own hand to rest atop it. "I will be delighted to see and speak with all of them, and to get to know them. If I can be of some help or encouragement, you know you can count on me. It is high time that the women of Tuneric were heard."

    Distracted next by her question, Victoria made a face. "Edward plays his cards close to his vest and he doesn't take me seriously, so he doesn't really confide in me, I fear. I am sure he is looking for a wife for himself, and then the struggle to find a husband for Cat may begin. Plus, he is tending to business matters here. I know he plans to talk with Lord Durand, and Lord DeAngelis as well. My role hasn't been revealed, but Xavier plans to ask him to send me to Court as a lady in waiting for Princess Vivienne."

  3. #23
    House Darktide Gisela Darktide's Avatar  
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    Listening to Victoria speak on her family was interesting. Gisela thought on the matter as she sipped on her wine, unsure of how to proceed. "Interesting," she finally offered. Sadly, she had seen situations like this before. The young women confident that there was time to contemplate their futures while they waited for their other siblings to be married off first, only to be blindsided when their own betrothals were announced. "Princess Vivienne is a kind and benevolent woman," Gisela told her. "One could do much worse than to be in her service." That would never happen the priestess knew. Ladies in waiting were seldom from the highest branch of a family. And when they were, it was never for long. As was evident in the marriage of Maera Hepburn to Allison's brother.

    The rise of new lords recently, at a pace that had not been seen since the restoration, was disconcerting for the young women of the island. Brides were in high demand. Ones with Victoria's breeding were coveted above all others. And Edward was practical enough to get fair value for her hand. The priestess would have to move quickly to secure the woman's participation in her cause.

    Sliding back to sit sideways on the couch, Gisela brought one knee up to her chest, letting the bottom of her rob fall about her thigh, unconcerned with the amount of flesh she displayed. They were girls, and she was not expecting other company. "Hebron would be an unfriendly home, as it would relate to our cause," she sighed. Ladies in waiting didn't often find the time to sneak away to clandestine meetings. "But, it is preferable to the watchful eye of the Lord of Suffolk. We could never get into proper trouble if your brother suspected us," she said as she sipped her wine again, and her perfectly pedicured toes slid under the hem of Victoria's robe playfully.

  4. #24
    House Fairfax Victoria Fairfax's Avatar  
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    If Xavier was her brother, Victoria wouldn't have to worry about any of it. He wasn't going to force Aaliyah into anything, and he had her best interests in mind, not what he wanted for her. It was a pity that Edward didn't take a page from their cousin's book on this matter. "So Xavier has said, and he's intending to ask her if she'd be willing to include me in her entourage. It will probably take some time to complete the preparations, likely not until after we've gone to Aston for the Sheridans' event." She shrugged, not concerned with the prospect of marriage. Edward had to find someone for Cat first, and that was probably going to prove downright difficult if not impossible, if she was lucky. She'd have to tell her sister to be very selective in accepting the potential offer, what-ever it proved to be.

    Still, it was nice to think of being away from Edward, no longer under his thumb and under his control. Smiling over at Gisela, she patted the woman's hand. "You worry too much. Princess Vivienne travels a good deal, Xavier says, so I imagine there will be plenty of time for me to take part. Besides, Edward sees only what he wants to see. If it isn't right under his nose, it might as well not exist." She laughed, patting the toes that tickled against her leg. "It will all work out, you'll see."

  5. #25
    House Darktide Gisela Darktide's Avatar  
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    Watching as the girl reassured her, and patted her hand, Gisela smiled. "Of course, you are right," she confirmed to Victoria. "And we are supposed to be relaxing," she added, hopping up to grab the wine bottle and refill both of their glasses. After setting the bottle back on the table, she moved around the back of the couch, rather than retaking her seat. "If we were going to dwell in such worries, we might have left our corsets on," she said with a soft laugh.

    Instead, she stood behind Victoria, placing her hands down onto the other woman's shoulder and gently massaging them. "Your skin is so fair," the priestess said with a sigh. Sometimes Gisela wondered if she might have walked a different path, if colors other than those of Mink-Asa had suited her light olive skin. She knew that she still would have walked the path of the moonlight, but sometimes she dreamed what she might look like in the soft yellows and pinks that the other ladies wore.

    Lowering herself to her knees behind the sofa, Gisela tilted her head and lightly kissed Victoria on the side of the neck, inhaling the scent of her perfume. "And smooth," she added, as her hands stopped massaging and her fingertips trailed lightly along the front of her collarbone.

  6. #26
    House Fairfax Victoria Fairfax's Avatar  
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    Victoria laughed, shaking her head. Gisela was incorrigible in the best of ways, precisely the kind of friend Xavier encouraged her to make. The lady was intelligent, spirited and she knew how to manage what was proper with what was fun. "Then it's a good thing the corsets were removed. I know the time will come when we have to put worry on like a corset, but surely we have a few minutes where that isn't strictly necessary, don't we?"

    She jumped in surprise when Gisela's hands landed on her shoulders, but quickly relaxed with the kneading motions. It felt so good, her head bowing a little on a sigh of pleasure and released tension. There was talent in Gisela's touch, Victoria could definitely feel it, but wrinkled her nose. "Too fair. I have spots and I hate them. Not even lemon juice is working on them." She referred of course to the sprinkle of freckles across her nose and hands, covered when possible by powder. "I refuse to go out in the sun without a hat on, or a sun-shade, though."

    Not knowing what the other woman was thinking, she blinked when she felt the light kiss and then the fingers fluttering over her collarbone. For all her airs, Victoria was still rather innocent. Edward might be surprised to know it, but she'd barely been kissed before. Gisela was making her feel something very odd. Not unpleasant, but strange and new... and maybe she liked it. "As is your skin, though. Very soft."

  7. #27
    House Darktide Gisela Darktide's Avatar  
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    "There more than a few minutes," Gisela whispered from behind the girl. "Tea is not for another two hours at least," she told Victoria, her fingers drifting out to the pale shoulders before sliding back to the base of her neck. The top of the robe had shifted open only slightly, but the priestess stared over Victoria's back with pointed interest. "If I never put on a corset again, I think I should be just fine. Even if there is cause for worry, why should we wrap our chest in it?" As if to accentuate her point, the woman pushed her elbows forward and let her fingertips fall around Victoria's breasts, just brushing the outer edges of them before she withdrew.

    Standing, Gisela strolled around the couch again to stand before Victoria, as if examining her. "I think they give you character, my lady." Pulling her legs under her, the priestess sat on the floor at the other woman's feet. Looking up at her, she smiled. "There is no need to wish away who we are, or to wish to look more perfect in the eyes of society. Those are the expectations of men," she said with a sigh. "The mother made you beautiful. Who are we to question her blessings?"

    Holding out her hands to her own observation, Gisela smiled in reaction to the compliment. Setting the tips down on Victoria's knees teasingly. "I'm glad it pleases you," she said innocently. "I am comfortable in it," she said with a soft laugh. The pads of her fingers trailed around the woman's leg for a moment more, before they came together and flicked playfully at the hem of her robe, turning it back only subtly. "Are you comfortable, Victoria?"

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