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Thread: Chatting Makes the Work Go Faster [10/16, Afternoon, Baptiste Workshop, Lily & Amelia & Eva, Open]

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    House Baptiste Amelia Baptiste's Avatar  
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    Chatting Makes the Work Go Faster [10/16, Afternoon, Baptiste Workshop, Lily & Amelia & Eva, Open]

    Tray in hand, Amelia made her way through the wing of the castle that had been turned into a workshop. The effort to get the medicine manufactured, packaged, and shipped out was running like a well-oiled machine by now, and rumors had been coming in for a few days of their success. It had perked all of them up, but there was still much to be done; there was no time to rest on their laurels when there were still whole swathes of countryside that hadn't seen a drop of what they were making.

    Although the original members of the endeavor - Houses Baptiste, Romanov, and Gardiner - were largely spread over the whole of Balfour, either delivering and administering the cure or working in different places to produce it, most of the work was still happening at South Huntswalk, made possible entirely because of the selfless Tuneric citizens who had arrived just a little over two weeks before. They were all hard workers, but one who seemed to stand out was the Lady Lily Gyrtner. Evangeline had told her mother that the woman had been one of the main people to help with the cure on Tuneric, and so she had a greater working knowledge of what needed to be done here. She picked up on the tweaks and changes they'd had to adopt easily, and her friendship with Evangeline meant they worked very well together.

    It was to those two that Amelia went now, some glasses and a pitcher of fruited lemonade on the tray. While food and drink was prohibited in certain areas of production, since they were working to process the plant itself, shipped in from Baldell just the night before, there was no worry of contamination. And, after all, the girls had been working so hard, they deserved a break.

    Opening the door to their workroom with her hip, Amelia smiled brightly at the girls, although both were bent over their work and unlikely to see. "Break time, ladies, break time." She bustled up between them, setting down the tray on the cluttered work surface. "The refreshment fairy's come to see that you don't get overworked!"

    Amelia caught Evangeline giving a little eye roll, and she bumped her daughter's hip with her own. It was all good-natured teasing, as it always was with such a tight-knit family, and Amelia leaned away from Eva toward Lily, a grin on her face. "Don't mind her, she sometimes hates when I'm silly. She can be a right old sourpuss sometimes...but it won't stop me from telling her own children the same fairy stories I told her when she was little!"

    Evangeline opened her mouth to object, but her words were cut off with a buzzing sound from her mother. "Nope nope nope, you just drink your lemonade. I'll have no sass from you!" Amelia poured three glasses, and then plucked the working knives from the hands of both Lily and Eva, tucking them in a pocket in her skirts before replacing the knives with the glasses. That was certainly one way to make them take a break.

    "So, Liliana...tell me a little bit about yourself. We met already, of course, but I don't feel like I know you well, even though you've been under my roof for weeks. Eva tells me you and your family work with plants back home?"

    ---

    @Liliana Gyrtner

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    House Gyrtner Liliana Gyrtner's Avatar  
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    It had been over two weeks since setting foot on the new land of Balfour and into the arms of the Baptiste family yet Lily felt like she had been here for much longer. It was wonderful seeing Evangeline again and after the two women embraced tightly, their work had begun. It was never ending and hectic but Lily liked it that way. Working with Evangeline again was wonderful and it felt like she had never really left.

    Evangeline’s family had been wonderful hosts and hostesses to her and the Tuneric crew for the past fortnight. Lily could not have asked for a better host family to stay with and the more time she spent with them the more she grew to admire, respect and love them. She was homesick for her sister, her mother and of course for Lexington, but she had a task to do. The harder that she worked the quicker everything would be said and done and she would be going home. That was her motivation, in the mean time she had the lovely ladies of the house to spend time with and connect with, including reconnecting with her good friend Eva.

    Now as her back turned towards the entrance of the workshop, she and Evangeline sat on wooden stools bent over their work. As she placed the knife into the plant to cut it more, she heard the door open and she turned around to see Lady Amelia coming inside holding a tray that contained a pitcher of lemonade. The minute she saw her, Lily smiled brightly as the older woman interrupted their work and the exchange between mother and daughter reminded her so much of her and her own mother’s banters back home.

    Lily accepted the glass of cold lemonade with a bright smile while tucking a piece of her red hair that had fallen from her loose bun. As she took a sip, the knife she was holding was suddenly snatched from her hand and she chuckled a bit.

    “As you wish Lady Amelia thank you very much….oh me? Well you can call me Lily if you wish my lady, Eva’s been calling me that since the day we met back in Tuneric. As you know already, I am from Devonshire which is close to the capital of Tuneric, Hebron. Yes we do work with plants and flowers back home. Our family for generations have been producing them and growing them in our conservatory and grounds of our castle. Recently other nobles and even the royal family have commissioned us to plant flowers on their lands to help with gardening but mostly to make the castles stand out more to make it beautiful. We love doing it and my sister and I are becoming quite popular with demands especially since she’s the head of our House now since my father and brother both have passed away."

    @Amelia Baptiste

    @Evangeline Baptiste

  3. #3
    House Baptiste Amelia Baptiste's Avatar  
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    "Oh please dear, just call me Amelia. There's no need to be overly formal, after all."

    Amelia leaned back against the counter and listened as Lily spoke of her home. Evangeline had spoken some about her time on Tuneric, but there hadn't really been a whole lot of time for casual catching up. What time they did have had largely been devoted to things like Eva's sudden (well, sudden to her parents) engagement, and the events surrounding their abrupt and unexpected return home. From what little she knew, she tried to picture what Tuneric might look like; she knew her mental image was likely far from the truth, but now she could see in her mind's eye a castle surrounded by gardens, somewhat like Baldell. Perhaps showier than the Gardiner's city, if this family was known for their landscaping more than their horticultural work, but of course it was just a best guess. She knew she likely wouldn't ever see the shores of Tuneric, though, and so it was the best she was going to get.

    "It's lovely that your sister is the head of your House! I had been under the impression that Tuneric wasn't as open to females holding any real power. But of course I am deeply sorry to hear of your family's losses. There are too many families who have known that suffering lately...this plague has taken too many, in both countries." She was silent for a moment, in respect to those who had passed, although she knew very well that her own family had been exceedingly lucky.

    After a moment, Evangeline broke the silence. "When I first went to Devonshire, I could only think of what Reed and Rosemary would do. The Gyrtner gardens and greenhouses are amazing, and the plants there are different enough that I didn't recognize a lot of them. I feel like those two would spend days and days just poring over the plants and asking a million questions." Eva laughed lightly. "Perhaps if there's time, Lily, we'll have to get you to Baldell to see their setup. I'm sure you'd find it quite interesting."

    Amelia chuckled, and nodded. "Yes indeed, but maybe after there's less work to be done. I don't want to lose the lot of them to their mutual interests before we can spare them!" Amelia laughed and nudged Lily lightly, teasing her. "I do hope though that after this work is done, it won't be the last we see of you. I'm sure everyone would agree that it would be wonderful to open up free travel between countries, and while I'm sure I'm a little too old for that sort of adventure, you're welcome back here any time. It'd be a pleasure to host you so you can see what our country is like when it's not in the middle of an emergency.

    ---
    @Liliana Gyrtner

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    House Gyrtner Liliana Gyrtner's Avatar  
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    Lily smiled brightly as she took another sip of her cold lemonade; she had not realized that she had been so thirsty. Running a hand through her already messy red hair, she listened to how Lady Amelia wanted to be addressed as and she smiled while nodding, “If that is what you wish to be called my lady then it will be done. I prefer to be called Lily so I understand where you are coming from. My sister Lady Nolana and my family call me that. Eva…Evangeline does and even the man I am courting calls me that…yes Eva he finally asks me to court him the moment you leave Tuneric.” Lily smirked with laughter at her friend’s reaction to her news.

    “I promise you that if I ever were to get married then I will send you all an invitation and I really would like all of you to come and see the beautiful lands of Tuneric and Devonshire. I feared that we would have had to drag Eva out of our conservatory alone,” She said teasing her friend with a laugh, “It is strange indeed to have a female be the Head of House and until she gets married to someone who doesn’t have lands of his own, she will be that. She cannot pass the title to me unless she dies which I hope that won’t happen for the longest time. She will probably ask me to return in charge of the Hebron conservatory and business affairs in the capital so I can remain close to Sir Lexington…the man I am courting forgive me for not being clear before Lady Amelia…I mean Amelia,” She replied blushing a bit before taking another drink, “Yes…that is why Nolana and I are so devoted to finding and administering the cure. Our brother died from the plague very quickly and we do not wish for anyone to deal with the pain that we both have experienced. The heartache still remains with me, but it also keeps me strong.”

    “I would love to pay a visit to Baldell if it means not intruding on the Gardiners. I think both families could learn and develop from one another’s talents and abilities. Yes that would be lovely once the work has settled down. Perhaps I will write to Lord Reed and ask him if he would like a visitor…” She trailed off before beginning to cough a bit. She held up a finger and nodded letting both women know that she was alright before she stopped and took another drink, “I apologize for that.”


    @Amelia Baptiste

    @Evangeline Baptiste

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    House Baptiste Evangeline Baptiste's Avatar  
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    "Did he finally get brave enough to?" Eva grinned, happy to see the joy in Lily's face. Turning to her mother, who was watching the whole exchange with a bemused smile, she clarified: "Everyone knew they fancied one another except for the two of them." She spoke with a light tone, a bit of a teasing sparkle in her eye. "It was adorable, although it was severely tempting to meddle and just put them in front of one another and state the obvious." Amelia laughed, and she was almost surprised her daughter hadn't done just that.

    Evangeline smirked as Lily recalled her reluctance to leave the Gyrtner conservatory. It had just been such a fascinating place, full of plants that were completely alien to her, that she'd felt she could spend hours wandering the paths with her hands behind her back, taking in the sights and smells. "You'd love Tuneric, Mum," Eva agreed, hoping that when the time came and there was a chance to go that her mother would take the opportunity. Amelia might not have been in the prime of her youth, but she was certainly not too old for an adventure. Or at least, if she were, Evangeline was not ready to admit it yet.

    "I'm sure they'd love to meet you," Eva said, smiling at the idea of Reed's excitement at finding a kindred spirit. Perhaps Lily and Rosemary might not click as well over anything but their shared passion for all things plant-related - in fact, Eva thought Lily might find Rosemary to be a little shocking! - but it would be a meeting that certainly should happen. She had been about to speak up when Lily began coughing. Waiting patiently for her to catch her breath, Eva could sense her mother tense slightly although no outward sign of it showed. When Lily was recovered, Eva offered her a sympathetic smile. "Tickle in your throat?"

    ---

    @Liliana Gyrtner

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    House Gyrtner Liliana Gyrtner's Avatar  
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    Lily blushed a bit and nodded, “Yes he did Eva dear. He asked me very romantically in the gardens at home in Devonshire. He spoke of how much he cared for me and then asked me to court him. As soon as I accepted, it began raining of us and we had to run back to the castle. When we got inside, he kissed me and we told my mother who was beyond ecstatic. My mother and sister love him so I knew they would be thrilled…along with you Eva of course.” She replied and then laughed while placing a clean washcloth in front of her face hiding the blushes, “Wait a minute, I was waiting for him to make the first move. I had liked him for a really long time and when we reconnected after the war, it just made us stronger. Although you and Nolana ganging up on us might have made it quicker indeed.” She replied laughing some more.

    Taking another sip of her lemonade Lily smiled at Lady Amelia and her conversations with her good friend. Like mother like daughter, she thought to herself. “Lady Amelia I assure you that you will feel the same about Orchid Palace and the conservatory. Tuneric is beautiful. It’s busy and noisy in the capital however once you reach certain towns, then you will simply be able to enjoy the silence and beauty all around you.”

    Opening her mouth to speak once more, Lily suddenly began to cough violently. It was unlike anything she had ever experienced before and it worried her. Silence surrounded them as she took a big drink of her lemonade and carefully swallowed it. Taking a few moments to relax, Lily wiped her forehead with the washcloth in her hand and fanned herself, “Oh I’m fine. Just a cough. I’ve had it for a couple days now. Don’t worry.”


    @Amelia Baptiste

    @Evangeline Baptiste

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    House Baptiste Amelia Baptiste's Avatar  
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    Amelia grinned. Ah, youth and its antics. Young love was so amusing when seen from the distance age gives. She could never understand why so many young women who felt strongly for someone waited for the man to make the first move; had she been like that? Surely not, she thought, although truthfully at this point she wasn't sure if she could remember. But it was endearing to see a young woman so smitten as Lily was, even if it did remind her that two of her own daughters were about to be married and leave the chaos of their home behind. Winston was always telling her that it was a joyous occasion, that she should be happy for her girls, and she was with all of her heart. But that joyful heart also broke, to know her girls were no longer going to be calling South Huntswalk home. At least she still had Henry and Yvette at home.

    Liliana's coughing instantly set Amelia on edge. It didn't sound like just a tickle in her throat, and the older woman's eyes took on a grave seriousness. "As long as you're sure you're fine," she said, not unkindly, although her tone made it clear she was not speaking lightly. "We've already had to send a few workers home after they fell ill themselves. I don't think I need to remind you that any contamination of the serum at any stage would have dire circumstances: the loss of weeks worth of work, a delay in delivery...it's not exaggerating to say that if someone who has caught the plague is working on the cure, it could cause the deaths of hundreds of people."

    Evangeline put a hand on her mother's arm, in an attempt to soothe her worry. "If Liliana says she's fine, then she is. She's responsible enough to know whether she's ill or not, and I'm sure she knows how important it would be to step away and seek treatment if she were sick. There's no need to frighten her with one of your lectures."

    Amelia took a deep breath, and nodded. "Yes, you're right. I'm sorry, Lady Liliana. I didn't mean to be unpleasant toward you. I suppose it's just the pressure of all this has made me more - well, my children would say paranoid, I'm sure - than usual. It's just so vital we keep vigilant...one slip is all it would take to kill people instead of save them. The lives of the whole kingdom are in our hands. That is a responsibility I cannot take lightly."

    ---
    @Liliana Gyrtner
    Last edited by Amy; 09-23-2014 at 03:48 PM.

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    House Gyrtner Liliana Gyrtner's Avatar  
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    As Lily’s cough started to settle down a bit more, she took a large drink of the lemonade to get her heartbeat began to get back to normal once again. She knew that she couldn’t afford to get sick or the least bit ill right now so she fought it off and dismissed it like it was nothing. Yet she saw the concern on Eva’s face while her mother’s face was a bit sterner and her tone told her not to play around with the issue and not be stubborn about it. Gulping a bit in nervous Lily immediately nodded, “I understand Lady Amelia. I assure you that I do have any other symptoms of the plague. I will be honest and tell you that I am more tired than normal, but I have been working very hard and losing sleep so I can only blame myself in that aspect and once I was dizzy, but I assure you that was only one time. I promise to inform the both of you if something else happens. Please do not be angry with me Lady Amelia, I don’t want to worry you all or delay any work we have accomplished so far. I would truly hate myself if I were the sole cause of any more illness or delay in the work.” She said softly feeling as if she was being scolded by her mother or her sister. She was perfectly aware of what could happen if she got sick, she then decided to be honest with them from now on. No being stubborn, no more secrets.

    Eva reassured her mother that everything would be alright and Lily felt herself a bit more relaxed and then she heard the apology from Lady Amelia and she slowly nodded.

    “There is no need to apology Lady Amelia; I understand why you are concerned. I really do. I meant every word I said. I do not wish to delay anything. I understand the pressure and the paranoia as well. I have experienced it once more before on Tuneric and it’s more pressure and paranoia here with many more people sick. I promise you from the bottom of my heart that if I feel worse then I will stop working and separate myself from everyone until I am better so I do not risk the lives of anyone else.”


    @Amelia Baptiste

    @Evangeline Baptiste

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    House Baptiste Evangeline Baptiste's Avatar  
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    Evangeline could see that her mother had distressed Lily; the older woman was somewhat notorious for her upbraidings, when she felt strongly enough about something. Amelia spoke to Lily as though she were one of her own children, and Eva almost began to feel the burn on her ears as she remembered lectures with a similar tone. She didn't move to negate her mother's message, though; even if Amelia had perhaps spoken too harshly, she wasn't wrong in what she'd said.

    "Doing better now?" she asked, her hand going to Lily's back comfortingly. While Amelia was right in that they all needed to maintain their health for the sake of countless lives, Eva's concern for her friend was more personal. She didn't want Lily to have come all this way, leaving behind her family and friends, only to work herself too hard.

    "We're reaching a point where we don't have to scramble as much," she said, and her mother nodded her agreement based on what she'd seen elsewhere in the workshops. "We can call it a night early this evening without sacrificing any productivity, and I think we should take the opportunity. I know I'll be happy to be in bed early." She smirked; although Lily hadn't seen much of it, as she'd been working pretty much all of the time they'd known one another, Amelia knew well of Eva's fondness for early evenings and late mornings. "Once we're through for the day I'll come visit you and we can have some tea and unwind a bit...how does that sound?" Evangeline looked to her friend, hopeful that she'd accept. She knew well that downtime was important when people were working so hard, and she hoped that some tea (with some additives, to help them both build up their strength and sleep well) might provide some much needed comfort to Lily.

    ---
    @Liliana Gyrtner

  10. #10
    House Gyrtner Liliana Gyrtner's Avatar  
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    Lily knew deep down that the Lady Amelia was not trying to be harsh intentionally, she was deeply concerned and Lily could easily sense that. Running a hand through her messy hair that was sticking to her face after the coughs, she smiled weakly reminding them that she was alright and here for the long run. Nothing like a cough was going to keep her from not working and both of the women in front of her had enough to deal with already. The last thing they needed was to stop production of the distribution because of her illness. No she would be fine, Lily told herself mentally.

    As she finished her lemonade, Lily nodded at her friend’s question, “Yes much. Thank you.” She replied with a big smile as she then glanced over seeing both Baptiste women smiling at her and then Eva’s suggestion of calling it an evening early made her raise both of her eyebrows. Sleep sounded lovely after a long day of working…a long few weeks of working so hard. She was right, they didn’t need to scramble as much as they had to do when the crew first had arrived in Balfour.

    “If you insist my Lady, however I feel bad now…guilty. I hope I am not disappointing either one of you by accepting this offer. I think a nap is long overdue if that is alright.” She asked curiously hoping that the ladies would be alright, “Yes a cup of tea later sounds lovely thank you.” Lily murmured with a smile.


    @Evangeline Baptiste

    @Amelia Baptiste

  11. #11
    House Baptiste Evangeline Baptiste's Avatar  
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    "Of course not," Evangeline said warmly, putting her arm around her friend's shoulder and squeezing lightly. "There's no need to feel guilty. It's hardly as if taking a break is any inconvenience at this point. It's probably quite good that we do."

    Amelia nodded her agreement. "Being able to admit when you need to step back for a moment is something to be respected, not a disappointment. Better to be responsible about your limitations than end up pushing too hard and wearing yourself down." She reached out and took Lily's hand, and she gave the girl a motherly smile. "You've been such a blessing, so helpful and selfless. You more than deserve to take it easy for a night."

    Releasing her hand, she took a step back, a smile still on her face. "I'll let you two girls wrap up here. I have a few more things to see to, not least important of which is to see how dinner is coming along." She grinned and winked, and, placing the tools she'd taken from the girls into Eva's hand, took her leave.

    After she was gone, Eva turned back to the table they'd been working at. She set Lily's knife back in front of her, and her hands set back to finishing the task they'd been working at. "You'll have to forgive Mother," she said gently, after a moment. "She can come off quite harsh, but she does mean well. She just...I guess after years of dealing with sailors' and laborers' wives cussing while pushing out a baby she lost a bit of tact." Eva laughed, not hardly realizing that her phrasing was less than ladylike.

    Their hands made quick work of what was left to process, and before long Eva set her tools down. "That's about it, I think." She wiped her hands on her skirt. "Shall we go get cleaned up and then see what Mum's figured out for dinner?"

    ----
    @Liliana Gyrtner

  12. #12
    House Gyrtner Liliana Gyrtner's Avatar  
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    As she felt her friend’s arm wrap around her shoulders reassuring her that there was nothing wrong to feel guilty, Lily smiled and rested her head against Eva’s shoulder gently realizing just how heavy her own head was feeling. A rush of dizziness swirled around her and she stayed there for a few extra seconds extra before she took another deep breath. As she straightened up a bit more, she watched with a smile as Lady Amelia took her hand and complimented her about how well she had been doing lately and she smiled.

    “Thank you Lady Amelia, those words coming from you means the world to me. It gives me the motivation to keep working as hard as well. I know some people doubted me before I left Tuneric to come here however I know deep down that I made the right decision to come here. Plus I get to work with your lovely daughter again.” Lily replied with a smile giving Eva another smile before the older Baptiste woman squeezed her hand once more and made her way out of the conservatory and Eva turned her friend apologizing to her friend.

    Lily smiled yet dismissed the unnecessary apology, “There is no need to apologize Eva, I adore your mother and her concern. I do not blame her for her attitude, yet she remains kind and considerate of others.” She replied with a smile as she helped Evangeline clean up their work area and she was more than grateful to call it an early evening. Running a hand through her hair and her hand trailed down to the necklace that Lexington had given her the night before she had departed. She missed him terribly that it hurt sometimes when she thought of him.

    “Supper sounds wonderful my dear. Let’s go.” Lily said with a smile as she wiped her hands on her apron as she took it off, hung up on the desk and followed her friend back to the castle hoping that she would feel better soon enough.

    The End (?)


    @Evangeline Baptiste

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