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Thread: The Edge of the Map [ 9/1, Evening, Austin and Marianne, CLOSED ]

  1. #21
    House Durand Austin Durand's Avatar  
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    "Are you suggesting that there may be those that do enjoy disappointment? Because I could easily arrange such for those individuals." To do so would be far easier! ... But, unfortunately, it would be far less rewarding. The tease could not be resisted, the smile growing on his lips. He felt self that he could tease her a little and allow some of his more native humor to come out of him. "No, my lady, I will strive to elicit those gasps and shivers of excitement whenever I get the chance. Though, I can't promise it will always be in the form of a beautiful island escape."

    The statement was an interesting one that Austin was picking apart slowly. It was difficult, initially, to tell if she were giving him leave or warning him off. However, it was her body language that told him what he needed to know. She had not pulled away. She had not given him a stern look. If it was a trap, then he would gladly spring it for it would only be a night's worth of disappointment. Yet, he had a feeling... just a small inkling of a feeling that she testing him. "Perhaps it will give a drop of bitterness, but there is only one way to find out, hm?" The finger that traced along her jawline reached her chin to gently lift it.

    Before she had much of a chance to think it, Austin drew in close and stole a kiss upon her lips. It was gentle, but one that was clearly full of promise. This was a man that wanted to give her the kiss he felt she deserved to receive every day... and if that meant making her toes curl, then so be it.

  2. #22
    House Shellten Marianne Shellten's Avatar  
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    A slender shoulder rose and fell in a dismissive shrug at his 'offer.' All too often there were plenty who used disappointment as their basis for a victim mentality, something Marianne found reprehensible. Life was a gamble; one could not always win. The true test of a person came when they lost. Those who accepted the loss, garnered some wisdom from it and carried on were the better for it whereas those who permitted the loss to consume them and dictate their days took a far greater loss than they grasped. She was not always the most gracious of losers, yet she did her best to grow and learn from those times when she did not emerge the victor.

    Nonetheless, the double-edged meaning to his words was not lost on her, bringing a coolly amused look to her features. "No? Reassuring indeed to know you are a gentleman possessed of some creativity, relying on more than a beautiful island to evoke such stirring responses." She had baited the trap, intrigued to test the depths of his courage and audacity, aware that he weighed risk over benefit before moving. The knowledge made the test all the more enjoyable for her, aware by a subtle flare in his eyes that he had reached a conclusion.

    The feel of her chin raised by that finger had her lashes lowering to conceal eyes gleaming with a form of feminine triumph before he leaned in to pursue the risk. Marianne permitted him the merest whisper of a kiss before she drew away fully, placing distance between them deliberately. Acknowledging to herself that she had goaded him into acting, she knew when the time arrived to scale back the game before the stakes reached a level too dangerous for them both. Her lips tingled for a moment before she commented light, "What is life without a little risk, hm?"

  3. #23
    House Durand Austin Durand's Avatar  
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    Austin had a feeling that his lady of the stars was going to be a tease. He had learned the ways of a woman's thinking before. When a woman chose to bed with a man, she was taking a considerable risk of bearing the cost of that action. Some men preferred to possess their lovers completely, never granting them the slightest shred of freedom. Other men took the matter and the consequences rather seriously. And still others did not give the slightest shred of care, wanting nothing more than a night's pleasure and moving on with their lives. The latter was sorely appealing, but even the cost of a few hours pleasure could be too heavy. No doubt the Lady of Stars was wise enough to embrace that way of thinking.

    Yet, there was something alluring about her. Her beauty, her wit, her mind and her desire to live life that had also caught Austin's attention. If he could truly get away with it, he would snatch her way from the world of propriety and show her a life time of adventure. Yet, it would not be as simple as that. Austin would have to earn her capture as much as have the boldness to seize her. The whisper of a kiss had shown him that. There was passion within her, but she had to be careful with just whom she shared that passion. Men were dangerous for a woman like her. "And, yet," he observed her as she moved away, "You crave something more than creativity. You crave something more than an adventurous life. Perhaps... Hmm..." His lips curved playfully as he proceeded to circle around her.

    Was it possible that he was trying to outflank her? Maybe. Or perhaps he was buying himself some time to think. "Oh, absolutely, I agree. Those are are afraid of risk are afraid of life and what it can offer. What do you seek from life, my Lady of Stars?"

  4. #24
    House Shellten Marianne Shellten's Avatar  
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    Marianne excellent in the art of teasing on numerous levels, reluctant to commit or be held accountable when not strictly necessary. Occasionally, that stance landed her into a measure of difficulty, but for the most part, she managed to avoid scandal or marriage. She might appear more easily persuaded to a single night's exchange, yet Marianne was far from promiscuous and indiscriminate. Discretion remained her guiding light, along with finely honed instincts. If she did not feel she could trust her would-be partner, then that person was not further entertained on the matter of intimacy, regardless of level.

    She had not yet reached a conclusion regarding the man before her, especially lacking his name. There were standards that Marianne rigidly maintained at all times, regardless of how others perceived her. Permanence was the last matter on her mind, yet she knew the time was coming whereby she would need to make a choice else it would be taken from her. The prospect of having her fate decided for her lacked appeal. She had begun slowly to take assessments of her options, and one now stood beside her.

    Glancing back at him, she lifted a brow as he prowled around her, musing on her personality. Marianne stood on her guard, cautious when it came to a man such as he. He was the gravest sort of danger for her - temptation in a handsome package, without knowing too much about him or what he stood for. If she gave way to his blandishments, she could not be certain where it would take her or what it cost her. Some risks were far too grave to take blindly. "Perhaps what, my lord of the sea? I do not recommend taking rash action. The consequences for you would be... grave indeed."

    If he was thinking, so much the better. That meant her warnings permeated his more reckless tendencies, and spared her the need to check for room to flee. At his question, she smiled faintly. "Balance, my lord of the sea. Opportunities to attempt some risks while fulfulling my obligations. The occasional flight of freedom and the trust from others that I will return to my nest. To see and hear, touch and taste as much of life as I may, yet do so in a way that brings honor and credit to my name. What of yourself?"

  5. #25
    House Durand Austin Durand's Avatar  
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    Austin was acutely aware that he needed a wife. Granted, he was young and the pressure of time was not upon him. It was easier for an older man to find a younger wife, though he would never consider himself wise enough to debate just why that was the case. Society was full of strange double standards such as those. More accurately, though, Austin was not strictly opposed to the idea of having a wife, just more what it represented. To Austin, there was an entire life still be lived and to be tied down by a woman did not hold much appeal to him. A woman that understood his need for freedom would be ideal, but he knew they were rare, indeed.

    Yet, there was something about this lady of stars that appealed to him. The answer to his question made him smile almost enigmatically. In essence, it had been exactly what he had hoped to hear from her. "The security of a nest appeals to both of us equally, it seems. A nest is there to provide shelter, safety, and comfort. However, one should never feel as though they were bound to it for all days of their life. That sounds far too much like a prison, no?" Austin found himself nodding at the rest of her words. "It sounds as though stars and sea are of a mind tonight, my lady." The circling stopped, finding himself a few feet from her.

    "Will you be in Aston for the Sheridans' festival?"

  6. #26
    House Shellten Marianne Shellten's Avatar  
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    Marriage was a fact of life for anyone of their rank and station; it was unavoidable and in certain enviable cases, a source of joy. For Marianne, she did not seek to avoid the state of matrimony, nor was she in any great haste to embrace it. That did not mean, however, that she did not keep her eyes open to possibilities. A man such as the one with whom she spoke this evening had potential, if she was keeping a list of suitable candidates. Time would tell if he remained on that list.

    The quiet that fell between them was not uncomfortable, a true sign of companionship to her way of thinking. Anyone could fill silence with words and meaningless chatter, but someone with whom she could be silent without discomfort was a worthy companion indeed. When he broke it to share his perspective on desires of life, she smiled faintly, finding that they shared a rather similar mindset. "Yes, and that only fosters resentment, something I do not want to occur. Homes are meant to be a haven, not a prison." Amused, she quipped lightly, "The stars reflect the sea, you might say."

    His question surprised her, but she nodded. "It's on my itinerary, yes. I do not know if I will be there in time for the commencing ball, but I ought to arrive in time for the yacht race. What of yourself?"

  7. #27
    House Durand Austin Durand's Avatar  
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    Austin enjoyed her little play on words as was evident in his smile. "Oh, resentment built over the years is toxic and I have no desire to get wrinkles or gray hairs anytime soon." Fortunately, most of the Durands seemed to age well. "The haven I possess is a comfortable one, indeed. A nice nest, even during the seasonal storms." They could be a bit windy, but the walls always managed to stand strong against them. "Indeed, one can say it's a good place for the stars to come to rest against the sea."

    He drew closer to her so that he might take gentle hold of her hand. Dark eyes locked with her own as he lifted it, pressing a kiss upon her knuckles. "Then come seek me there, should you wish to learn of me. I know I'd certainly like to do the same of you." The hand was dropped, the Lord of the Sea stopped away, and gave a warm smile, "Good evening to you, my Lady of the Stars." And with that, he walked away.

  8. #28
    House Shellten Marianne Shellten's Avatar  
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    The thought of grey hair and wrinkles was abhorrent to Marianne, her hand instantly flying to the luxuriant dark hair framing her face. "Perish the thought of such things! I have no wish to court advancing age just yet." Intrigued as he made mention of his haven, she tilted her head with the subtle invitation. "Tell me more of this haven? Obviously, it is located near the sea." He did not bear the telltale fair looks of the Sheridans, however. That family was often and easily spotted by their blond hair and blue eyes, and this man had dark hair and eyes. Interesting. She would have to tax Charlotte's memory when she returned; her lady in waiting had a good grasp on the majority of the noble families in Tuneric.

    Her hand taken, Marianne brought her gaze back to his, a soft smile curving her lips at the gallant gesture. She noted the invitation, but offered no reply as she watched him go, the kissed fingers resting lightly against her heart for a moment. The next few months promised to be quite interesting indeed.

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