User Tag List

Page 3 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
Results 41 to 60 of 93

Thread: Returning to the Scene of the Crime - 11/10, Late Evening, Dawn Barracks - Percy/Pippa

  1. #41
    House Torgood Percival Torgood's Avatar  

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    154
    Mentioned
    86 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Percival had lost the conversation between the girls from the moment he had spotted his father, and didn't pay much attention to the comment at Xavier's expense. He could always ask Pippa about it later. When she stood and asked about the child, he was out of his chair as well, reaching for the sword leaning against it. "We'll find her," he assured the older man, who was frowning at the guardswoman's response.

    Pointing a finger in the princess' direction, Corran shook his head. "No, you'll stay," he said, making it clear that he wasn't to leave his charge, even if it meant finding Pippa's. He didn't seem upset to find them together, or even that Vivienne was far from the safety of the castle. But Percy soon found that he didn't suspect that the matter was as urgent as the older man had first made it.

    There was a strange noise from behind the man...like someone had been trying to hold their breath and suddenly let it escape through pursed lips. Or perhaps, someone was stifling a laugh. Percy went to look past his father, but noticed that the older version of himself couldn't stop the corner's of his mouth from turning up in a smile. He could immediately feel the blood rising in his face as his father turned and backhanded Somers across the shoulder.

    The old knight was now laughing, and shoved the minstrel a pace or two back toward the door. "You ruin everything," he sighed. "I thought you had training as an actor," he said, admonishing the boy who was now pointing at the look on Pippa's face and chuckling. Corran turned back and shook his head. "You kids try to have some fun," he said to them before giving Vivienne a short bow.

    The man grabbed a tankard of ale from a servant's tray and moved in the direction of Augustus, who was looking on curiously, but didn't betray any knowledge of the matter. As the older men dissolved into conversation, Percy looked at Jesse with a little bit of anger in his eyes. Motioning towards Pippa with his eyes, he threatened the minstrel half-heartedly. "If she doesn't kill you with her bare hands, I still have this sword," he warned him.

    The minstrel however, was still too amused to take the matter seriously. "You should have seen yourself. If Percy was sitting next to you, you might have broken his wrist you jumped up so quick," he told her as he sat down and grabbed the mug he had left there when he had gone to the door. Percy was looking at Pippa and taking a deep breath to calm his own nerves, before he looked at Vivienne pleadingly, hoping the princess would at least admonish the spoony bard for picking on their guest.


    @Philippa Avery
    Last edited by Percival Torgood; 08-22-2017 at 01:07 PM.

  2. #42
    Member Philippa Avery's Avatar  
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    97
    Mentioned
    100 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Pippa, while being ready, was refraining from panicking. In her mind, panic didn't help anyone, and recklessness could cause more problems than it solved; she was much more the sort to keep her head until the problem was fixed and then let all of the emotional reaction hit her at once when it was safe. But already her mind was running at full speed, trying to calculate how fast the girl could move through the city, and where she might've headed.

    The sound behind Corran didn't immediately release Pippa from her readiness, but the softening of Corran's eyes as he fought against the smile did. It still took a moment for it to sink in that everything was fine, but while it did, Pippa's cheeks were reddening just like Percy's. The color deepened when she saw that Jesse was actually pointing and laughing at her, which didn't help matters at all, and she only managed a nod at her boss as he departed.

    Feeling both relief and embarrassment, Pippa started chuckling as Percy threatened the bard, and she shook her head, holding her hands up to show she had no ill intent. Still, she put her hands deliberately down on the surface of the table before she took her seat, and she took a deep breath and tried to take the further ribbing she was getting with good grace.

    Vivienne, though, was not nearly as amused as her beau, and she looked at the newcomer with concern. When she caught Percy's eye she gave a tiny nod, and she fixed Jesse with a Look. "Enough," she said, her tone still soft, but firm. If he'd been in real trouble, she would have used the voice that was normally reserved for when she was Royally displeased. "It was a good joke, but you can stop harping on her now. I think it speaks well of her that she didn't hesitate to rise to action." From the princess's other side, Sophia slid Pippa a fresh drink, and the guard gave her a grateful smile. Sophia, for her part, had found the whole thing quite funny, and while she didn't necessarily think Jesse had gone too far yet, she didn't pipe up and contradict the princess.

    "It's fine," Pippa said, and she was glad when her voice sounded as easy and relaxed as she'd hoped it would. "It's not often Corran jokes like that, but now I get to figure out how to get him back." She took a drink, and then fixed Jesse with an unsettling smile. "You, too." Of course she didn't genuinely think she was going to be around long enough to get any real revenge on the bard, but they didn't know her well enough to know for sure that she was kidding. Whatever intimidation the cute blonde had mustered, though, quickly faltered as she fell to chuckling again, shaking her head at the absurdity of what had just happened and taking another drink.

    ----
    @Percival Torgood
    Last edited by Philippa Avery; 08-22-2017 at 02:33 PM.

  3. #43
    House Torgood Percival Torgood's Avatar  

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    154
    Mentioned
    86 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Percy seemed to relax a little bit when it was clear that Pippa was alright. He wasn't sure what compelled him to get as defensive as he had, considering she was known to carry a weapon that was larger than both of his combined. But the worse the ribbing got the more he felt a pang of guilt that he was responsible for putting her feet to the fire. After all, she was due to return to Eddleton soon, and he wasn't sure this was the way that he wanted her to go, with the impression that he and his friends were ruthless to outsiders.

    Jesse seemed sufficiently contrite after Vivienne had spoken to him, and he looked at Pippa and frowned. "It was his idea," he said, pointing at Corran innocently. Percival wasn't sure he believed that story however, since it would have been entirely unlikely that his father had found them immediately without the bard's direction. It wasn't hard to believe that his father would come to investigate the gathering, if the physician or one of his other friends had alerted him to it, but he clearly knew that Pippa was here before he ascended the steps, and that fact was clearly hanging over Jesse's head.

    Percival wasn't having it however, and he glared at his friend over the top of his mug. "She's a little girl," he warned the minstrel, and his face was stony. "And she's a Kendrick. If you think my father is dangerous, you don't want your jest turning into a rumor that Victoria's father might hear." Percival didn't know Carson personally, but he had heard enough to know that he was more than Jesse could handle on his own. If the Knights of Shade wanted Somers, even Vivienne wasn't likely to protect him.

    "Alright, alright," Jesse said finally. "I'm sorry Pippa. I will try to keep my pranks more innocent in the future, if you promise you don't hate me." Percy didn't think she would. At the end of the day, Torgood thought that his friend while sometimes misguided, was genuinely a caring person. He wouldn't have landed the princess if there was any chance that he wasn't.

    Turning to look at Vivienne, Percival smiled warmly. "Your grace," he said, even though he knew she would not appreciate it given the fact that she had come on an unofficial capacity. "We're very glad you could join us tonight, even though this is probably nothing compared to the party you'll be having tomorrow." He glanced at Pippa and gave her a raise of his eyebrows mischievously. "Unfortunately, I don't think dear Pippa has gotten an invitation, and I think that she would be very glad to be there and support you." It was not his place, and in any other atmosphere, it would have been a terrible breach of protocol. But Percy was sure that the princess would see that he was hopeful for as many chances to see Pippa before she left the capital. "And I have no doubt that Ser Fairfax would be remiss if he didn't have the chance to dance with the newest eligible bachelorette in Hebron." The knight gave Sophia a grin to show that he was only teasing, though he wasn't even sure himself that he was.


    @Philippa Avery
    Last edited by Percival Torgood; 08-22-2017 at 10:14 PM.

  4. #44
    Member Philippa Avery's Avatar  
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    97
    Mentioned
    100 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Pippa hadn't said anything at the time, but she didn't believe for a minute that it was entirely Corran's fault. She was still more than a little surprised that her boss had used Vicky as the vehicle for the joke, too; her safety was never something he messed around with, but she supposed that was why it was such a good prank. There was no way she would have ever thought to doubt him. But, as ready as she'd been to let the whole thing slide, Percy wasn't about to let it go, and he said many of the things Pippa herself had been thinking. Jesse's apology seemed reluctant, but genuine, and Pippa smiled easily. "You're forgiven, and I promise I don't hate you." She may've been parroting his words back at him, but her tone was one of slightly bemused sincerity.

    The guard had wanted to catch Percy's eye, to silently thank him for both standing up for her and for jumping up, ready to help. It seemed that Xavier wasn't wrong when he'd said the Sword of Summer was the first to action. But Percival had turned to Vivienne, and the princess was currently giving him a sour look for once again using a proper title for her. She also looked more weary than excited about the prospect of the next day's festivities, but she followed the look Percy shot the guard and seemed to perk up.

    Vivienne did, in fact, follow Percy's train of thought, and she managed to keep her delight at the prospect of helping play matchmaker subdued. "Well, we'll certainly have to rectify that oversight." Vivienne looked to Pippa and winked. "Just excuse me for one minute, and we'll have this sorted out." With that the princess rose from her seat and made her way over to Corran and Augustus, with both looking back over to the table at one point. An agreement seeming to have been made, Vivienne returned to her friends and sat back down triumphantly. "There, that's settled. Corran has no problem with you attending both events tomorrow, Pippa, and I for one will be very happy to have you there."

    And that, it seemed, was that. "It will be an honor to attend," Pippa said, and she was a little surprised at how much she meant it. Of course, she was utterly unprepared - she had no dress appropriate for either a royal coronation or a ball, nobody to do her hair, nothing - but how could she say no?

    Perhaps sensing Pippa's dilemma, Sophia shot Vivienne a look - which elicited a grin from the princess - and leaned to catch Pippa's eye. "Pippa, would you like to get ready for the Coronation and the Ball with me? Xavier's got to work both events, so I'll be on my own, and it'd be fun to get ready with a friend. I'm sure I've got something in my closets that would work for you, if you need."

    Genuinely pleased, Pippa nodded. "That would be amazing...I wasn't counting on attending anything fancy, so I'm a little unprepared." Little did she know that while they were getting made up and dressed, Sophia would be taking full advantage of the opportunity to ask lots of questions and find out more about her; the thought might occur to Pippa later, but for now she was just too grateful that she'd been saved. "I have to warn you in advance, though," Pippa said, with a glance over to Xavier, "me and dancing? We're not friends."

    ----
    @Percival Torgood

  5. #45
    House Torgood Percival Torgood's Avatar  

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    154
    Mentioned
    86 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Confident that Jesse had learned his lesson, Percival let the matter drop. He was far more interested in the interaction with Pippa and the girls, and he watched with pique interest as the plans for the following day unfolded. For all he knew, there was a chance that once the woman left for Eddleton, he might never see her again. It wasn't exactly as though either of them were librarians. They did dangerous work, and unfortunately they did it on opposite ends of the island. If this was the only opportunity that Pippa would have to attend a royal party, and a coronation ball at that, then he was glad that he could help to bring that experience to her. And, if they did manage to see each other again, this was hardly a bad building block to have in their friendship.

    "You may want to begin smoothing over that relationship," the Sword of Summer told his date with a smile. "Xavier Fairfax isn't in the habit of having eligible ladies tell him no," he said before attempting to hide his face behind his tankard of ale. At the same time, Percy pulled his legs well away from any point beneath the table which might be in Sophia's reach.

    Xavier though had begun to recover from his earlier moodiness and looked at Pippa warmly. Shaking his head as he lifted his own mug again, the man explained to Avery, "That's only true by half, my lady." As he was about to sip, he said quite audibly into the half full vessel, "I'm not in the habit of having ineligible ladies tell me no either." Wearing an innocent expression that stated subtly that he didn't expect that anyone heard him, even though he knew they all did, Xavier set his mug down and looked back to Pippa, still smiling. "But, perhaps if you are genuinely opposed to the dance floor, we shall play checkers instead."

    Percy rolled his eyes at the return of Prince Charming, but he didn't let it bother him. Instead he turned to Vivienne and nodded a thanks in her direction. Then he set his eyes back on Pippa. "Well, aren't you quite the up and comer in high society," he asked with a smile. "I would offer to join you, but sadly tomorrow is my first day at work with a new boss, and I have to show up on time and try to make a good impression. Though I am sure that at least one little girl will be glad to keep you company." Kendrick and Corran would no doubt be in attendance at both events, and he couldn't help be think that little Vicky would be happy for Pippa to be there, if the relationship he saw that morning was any indication.

    The knight looked at Vivienne again and smiled. "But, perhaps if the new boss lets me have a quarter hour break or so, I might be able to see you and not dance," he offered innocently. "That is if Lady MacHeath hasn't lined you up with all of the other dashing young men who will no doubt be there and wondering who the beautiful stranger they've never seen at court was," he added.

    The bard snorted and coughed and set down his mug, sucking air to try and quickly recover and keep his face from turning the color of beets. "Swaren's uvula, Torgood," he cursed as he fished a coin from his pocket and slid it in the knight's direction. Not bothering to see if Percival picked it up, he instead turned to Pippa, now that he had finished with his fit. "Xavier and I will work on him for you Pippa. We'd hate to see you get all cleaned up tomorrow just to be crushed by the runaway cart that is Percival Torgood's charm," he said before pointing at Fairfax. "He was lying, by the way. I think we found the skill Percy needs to work on."


    @Philippa Avery
    Last edited by Percival Torgood; 08-23-2017 at 03:08 PM.

  6. #46
    Member Philippa Avery's Avatar  
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    97
    Mentioned
    100 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Sophia found it tempting to smack Percival for his comment, but it would have felt wrong to hit him for something that was true - or at least, that had been true. It wasn't so long ago that Xavier was known more for his romantic exploits than for his skill as a knight, and even now there were rumors that he hadn't put up his old way of life despite the ring on his finger. What was important was that she knew that wasn't the case, and had no question of his commitment to her, and vice versa.

    Meanwhile, Pippa wasn't moved by the suggestion that she suddenly gain an affinity for dancing, and she cast Xavier a look that said as much. She was very glad she hadn't been drinking when he made his correction, though, as she only just managed to bite back the surprised laughter. Vivienne, on the other hand, hadn't been so lucky, and now had her eyes pressed shut and her nose wrinkled, one hand pressed over her mouth, as she waited for the wine to evacuate her sinuses. "Well see," Pippa said, hoping to give the princess some time to recover, "this is why I tell you this now, so you we can skip the part where you ask and I have to tell you no."

    For a moment, Pippa hadn't made the connection that Vicky would also be at the Coronation and the subsequent ball, and knowing that she was made her feel a little less apprehensive about the whole thing. Pippa always felt better when she could be useful, and if she played her cards right she could be there more in the capacity of helping watch the girl and less as just a guest. A guest who was utterly unfamiliar with society on this level, who didn't have a ready companion, and who, it had to be said, didn't exactly fit in.

    Vivienne had recovered enough by the time Percy was asking her without asking her for some personal time during the ball, and she smiled, although the smile quickly turned to laughter and cut off her response when Jesse snorted his drink. Her easy laughter sustained through Jesse's cursing and on to the ribbing Percy got, although it wasn't clear if she was laughing at his expense or simply at the idea that Jesse and Xavier together could save him from himself by tomorrow evening. Finally, fanning herself, she got hold of herself.

    "Get stuck," Sophia asked, the remnants of laughter also playing on her face, although her amusement had been largely due to the princess's inability to stop, and Vivienne nodded emphatically, taking a drink to try and return to some form of normal.

    "Everyone gets a break or two tomorrow night...if they didn't, I think this one might hurt me." She pointed her thumb at Sophia, who nodded without any hesitation.

    "I still haven't gotten to go on my honeymoon yet, for one reason or another," she said with a pointed glance at both Percival, whose absence along with the Caldoran twins had not only deeply troubled Xavier but had meant the Sword of Summer had missed the wedding entirely, and at Vivienne, whose family turmoil had seen her husband conscripted into service filling in one of the vacant Dawn positions. Of course she didn't blame either of them for the situations that they'd been in, as neither had gained any sort of pleasure from them, but it didn't change the fact that she'd been married less than a month and still not gotten any real amount of quality time with her husband.

    "So see," Vivienne continued, although now with a hint of mischief in her eyes, "you'll have some time to track pretty Pippa down and...not dance." The pause before the last two words removed all the innocence that Percy had somehow maintained, and Vivienne and Sophia exchanged knowing glances. Pippa, for her part, could only chuckle and shake her head, propping her elbow on the table and her fingers against her temple and forehead in exasperation.

    ----
    @Percival Torgood

  7. #47
    House Torgood Percival Torgood's Avatar  

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    154
    Mentioned
    86 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Percy had come to realize that he had let the whole matter get out of hand. While he had given Pippa a soft warning, the entirety of the evening had escalated so quickly, and even though she was holding up well enough, he wouldn't be surprised if she woke up tomorrow balking at the prospect of joining the festivities or re-entering the fray with his close knit group of friends. They could have gone anywhere or done anything. They could have strolled down the main thoroughfare and window-shopped idly, or even walked down to the river to observe the nearly full moon's reflection. He could have kept her safe from all of the pressure and speculation that was now threatening to overtake them. In fact, if he didn't get her out of the tavern soon, they'd have him proposing and be pressuring her to choose a dress for the wedding before the next round of drinks was over.

    Percival had thought they would have just been left to talk alone at their table in the corner. He should have known better. The knight suddenly felt awkward. He had walked her into this and now he wasn't sure what she was thinking, or that she understood what he was thinking. Percy desperately didn't want her to think that he was trying to push her into this position. He would make sure after they left that she knew that she was under no obligation, and that he would make the necessary apologies for her if she wanted to bow out of the silly commitment she had just made.

    More than that though, Percival Torgood wanted something else. Something wholly inappropriate. He wanted to kiss the girl. And that was even more problematic, because he couldn't help but feel that she wouldn't feel cornered. If she wanted to go to the coronation, he didn't want her to think it was dependent on her willingness to appear as his date for the event, even if he was posted at the door. There was nothing good about any of this, and he felt the sense of doom rising in his chest.

    When he shook all of the thoughts out of his head and came back to the present, there still seemed to be good humor at the table. Percy hoped that he was smiling, and made a point to do so more obviously. "Pippa, would you rather work tomorrow night? It sounds like a win for everyone. You can wear pants, I'll get to see you, you'll get to be at the coronation, Xavier can have the night off, and Sophia can start her honeymoon." He thought that accounted for everyone. "Oh, and Jesse, you're still in trouble," he added at last.

    Seeing her put her hand to her temple in frustration, he smiled. "Do you want to go," he asked, knowing that things had happened really rapidly and now her boss was here to boot. He wasn't necessarily ready to leave, but he was mindful of her comfort. "If we stay, you might end up playing another game. Somers is a big fan of 'Never Ever Have I' and that usually leads to Xavier and I getting well inebriated. I know it's your night off, so I'd hate to see you have to carry me home," he told her with a smile.


    @Philippa Avery

  8. #48
    Member Philippa Avery's Avatar  
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    97
    Mentioned
    100 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    "Work in place of Xavier, you mean? Because I don't really think Guy will let that fly," Vivienne said with a chuckle and a shake of her head. Her cousin wasn't about to let someone he'd never met replace their Dawn stand-in, but she knew Percival knew that already. Apart from herself, Percy was the one at the table who knew Guy the best, and in some aspects he probably knew the Knight of Autumn better.

    Sophia, too, gave a small shake of her head. "I'm content to postpone things until we've got the time to properly steal away. It isn't as if we're waiting to consummate the wedding until we get away to our honeymoon." She spoke entirely without shame or self-consciousness, and although her expression wasn't overt, when she caught her husband's eye there was definitely some fire there. It wasn't prolonged, though, and she kept on the conversation without missing a beat. "If Pippa would like to change the circumstances of her attendance, or skip going at all, all she needs to do is sing out." This last bit was pointed directly at Pippa with a kind smile. "I'm sure we'd all understand." Vivienne nodded her agreement, but Pippa shook her head.

    "I'm happy to go, I think. As long as I at least have promises from you five that you'll save me if I get utterly out of my depth." She laughed in a pleasant, self-depreciating way, and shrugged with one shoulder. "I've never gone to anything nearly this fancy before, especially not as a guest. It'll be nice to be able to get all made up and pretty for a change." Her smile, when she looked at Percy to hopefully reassure him, pulled in the dimples in her cheeks, and it wasn't hard to imagine that it wouldn't take much effort for Pippa to look lovely and polished.

    That settled, they were on to the next matter at hand, but before Pippa could properly answer Percy's question, Sophia cut in. "Oh no. No 'Never Ever Have I'. I'm outlawing that one right now." She pointed a warning finger at her brother, and then turned it on the knight sitting next to her. "Your dad would kill you if you got plastered in the princess's presence and you know it. And furthermore, I'm not lugging his drunk arse home." She pointed her thumb at her husband, but however level and menacing her tone, there was still the sparkle of a smile in her eye.

    Pippa chuckled, and when she caught Percy's eye again, she gave a small shake of her head to answer his question. She could see how someone might find all this interaction overwhelming, but she was still enjoying herself, and although it felt a little like being thrown right into deep water, she felt she was doing a pretty good job staying afloat.

    "Alright Pippa," Vivienne said, with an air like she was finally saying something she'd been thinking about for awhile. "I know you've probably already gone through the usual quizzing these two give new people they meet," she said with a nod toward Jesse and Xavier, "but I came in after that'd happened, and I have to admit to being really curious." Pippa was preparing to be asked to go through the whole introductory bit again, when Vivienne put a hand on her shoulder. "For fun, though, and because he brought you, we're gonna see what Percy says." The princess shifted so she was leaning back nearer to Pippa, who smiled at the prospect and leaned forward so they were both looking expectantly at Percival. "So, Percival," the princess went on, "who's your date?"

    ----
    @Percival Torgood

  9. #49
    House Torgood Percival Torgood's Avatar  

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    154
    Mentioned
    86 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Whether or not Percy agreed on the princess' assessment of Guy Durand was a moot point, since it was clearly out of the question in her mind. She seemed to be genuinely interested in having Pippa as a guest, and Pippa seemed content to be one, despite her concerns about her limited social circle. Sophia didn't seem to mind having the company either, and Percy was again suspicious of just how well the women seemed to be getting on.

    The ruling out of the game was not a surprise. And MacHeath was not wrong about his father, though Percival was quietly hopeful that the old man would have one ale and then be on his way. This wasn't the kind of place he normally appeared, and Percy could only assume he had done so out of politeness. But all the same, she probably knew what was best, especially when it came to the rowdiness that she had often witnessed first hand. Also, she was probably protecting the knight from embarrassing himself in front of his date.

    Speaking of whom, Vivienne decided to use her privilege to ask about the girl, and ask about her from Percival. The Sword of Summer could feel his face draining color as he leaned back, looking at the girl with a discerning eye. Who is your date, he wondered to himself in response to the question. He honestly wished he knew. "What," he asked. "You mean Pippa?" The knight wrapped his hands around his cup, interlocking his fingers on the other side as he contemplated the answer. "Hell if I know," he finally said. He was trying hard to keep his face straight this time.

    "She just kinda showed up at the barracks today, all distressed, you know, like a proper damsel. Walks right up and knocks on the door and says, 'Excuse me sir, I'm looking for the most handsome knight in all of Tuneric,' in a very timid voice, right," Percy explained, though his impression of Pippa's voice was far more squeaky and unsteady than hers was in fact. "Naturally, Lexington told her to hang on a moment while he fetched me, and assuming there was some kind of trouble or injustice, I came straightaway. But when I asked her what was the matter, she smartly says to me," the knight went on, his voice fading into the drawl of a man who was neither to be believed or supplied more alcohol, because he probably already overindulged. "She says to me, 'Nothing, m'lord, I simply wanted to bask in your presence for but a few moments.', and I being in a rush due to this previous engagement says, I'm late for a party, miss. But if it will comfort your soul to do so, you may walk with me to this party. So we come to the party, and all me friends think the lass is my love interest, and who knows, maybe she is and maybe she isn't. The old seer did mention that all the lovely strangers would come to fall in line at the sight of me, and sure enough, 'ere she is."

    Lifting his mug, the knight sat back in his chair and took a deep swig of the amber liquid, cooling his rambling throat. Looking at the girls, his voice returned to normal, and he nodded his head. "And that's the truth, upon my word," he told them, toasting the half empty mug in Pippa's direction.


    @Philippa Avery
    Last edited by Percival Torgood; 08-24-2017 at 03:49 PM.

  10. #50
    Member Philippa Avery's Avatar  
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    97
    Mentioned
    100 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    "You mean Pippa? Hell if I know."

    Pippa snorted back a laugh, and found herself incredibly curious to see what he would come up with. For a half second she'd expected him to tell the truth, but it didn't take her long to realize how foolish that had been. There was only the barest kernel of fact in the tale he spun, and Pippa wasn't sure which was more amusing - the story itself, or watching Vivienne's face as he told it. The princess was wavering between amusement and disbelief, sure he was lying and yet unsure how much. Every so often she'd glance to Pippa, perhaps to try and suss out what was true, but the guard had her expression partially masked by a hand loosely hovering over her mouth.

    Sophia, too, was listening with amused interest, leaning back in her chair with one brow arched. Percival's story was a typical sort men liked to tell, but more blatantly so, and it wasn't at all something that was meant to be taken seriously. It took some effort for the Lady of Westbury to not laugh out loud at some parts, but at the end all she could do was shake her head and chuckle.

    When Percival had finished, Pippa was left wondering if he truly began to drawl like a common man when he got to a certain point of inebriation or if that had been an affectation simply for the sake of the story. Fake or not, though, it had put her in mind of nights around the fire in her old company, and although there wasn't the same kind of companionship - she hadn't been through any fights with these people, after all - she could see a different sort developing quite easily, given more time. Whether it would happen once they all left this party and returned to their normal lives was the big question, and one the answer to which she wouldn't even begin to guess.

    Vivienne, as she'd been processing Percy's story, had an idea dawn on her. "I've got it! This could be our next game. Everybody tell how Pippa came to be here!" Saying it out loud it sounded weaker than it had in her head, but she still thought it sounded funny. "Do you mind?" She turned to Pippa with a face that the guard couldn't have really said no to, and Pippa shook her head.

    "Just as long as you don't mind that after all that, the truth is going to be really, eye-wateringly boring," she said with a grin, and Vivienne waved away the concern.

    "It'll be fine. I'm sure there are plenty of good details we can wheedle out of you later. So, who wants to go next?"

    -----
    @Percival Torgood

  11. #51
    House Torgood Percival Torgood's Avatar  

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    154
    Mentioned
    86 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Percy pulled a frown and folded his arms over his chest at Vivienne's suggestion. "Do you mean to imply that what I told you guys wasn't the truth, even though I ended on the point that it was upon my word, as though my word carries no weight at this table?" He was being sarcastic of course, and the hurt on his face was plainly false. He turned and looked at the princess and huffed. "And what do you mean, does she mind?! What if I mind? What if it's something deeply personal, that I wish to keep close to my chest?"

    Jesse broke in, his voice cool and flat. "Your father already told me how you guys met," he said, clearly excusing himself from the game. "It's not that personal," he relayed even as he rose from his seat. "But I won't spoil the fun of the game," he assured them, picking up the fake breasts from the middle of the table. "Be back in a few. I need to make sure all the guests are having a good time."

    Percy watched the bard bound off, and then looked at his father, narrowing his eyes into the man's back. With a shrug, he looked at Xavier. "Well, in that case, take your best shot Fairfax." Torgood wasn't upset, in fact, he shot Pippa a small glance, wondering if she had spoken to Corran about the tour this afternoon, or if Victoria had, or if Somers was simply bluffing about knowing the truth.

    Xavier had just had his mug refilled and took a small sip, licking a small fleck of foam from his upper lip as he contemplated it. "The pants are curious," he admitted. "I would have guessed you hired her, if I didn't know better," he told Percy, though he turned to Pippa and waived a hand. "No offense, Lady Avery, but Ser Torgood doesn't usually pull this well on his own," he told her with a smile.

    "Just because I spent years entertaining the ugly friends of your conquests, doesn't mean you need to be bitter because I've shown you up now," Percy spat back, before looking at Sophia and smiling. "No offense Lady MacHeath," he added in the same manner Xavier had excused himself from offending Pippa. The knight could sense Fairfax's hands pushing off the table, and he was out of his seat just as quick as he had been when his father had arrived, now without the benefit of Jesse separating him from Xavier.

    The taller man's chair slid back as he rose to meet Percy, but in that moment Bosleigh Hepburn reached between them and picked up the bard's mug. "I shagged them both," he said casually, lifting the mug as the two combatants paused to look at the intrusion incredulously. "They're both incredibly beautiful, and you're both extremely lucky" he assured them before draining the glass and putting it back down on the table. "You know, except for the fact that I shagged them both," he said with a grin, before winking at the girls and turning away to rejoin the party.

    Torgood turned and looked at his friend, the need for confrontation fading away at the ridiculousness of Hepburn's statement. Xavier was smiling, almost to the point of laughter, and slowly lowered himself back into his seat as Percival did the same. "Maybe it would be safer to just let the girls hypothesize while we drink," he offered, and Percival nodded a slow agreement. "Sophia? Perhaps you'd like to give it a shot?"


    @Philippa Avery
    Last edited by Percival Torgood; 08-25-2017 at 09:25 PM.

  12. #52
    Member Philippa Avery's Avatar  
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    97
    Mentioned
    100 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Vivienne seemed unmoved by Percy's indignation, and gave him a level look as he protested. Her gaze lingered for a beat after he'd finished, at which point she turned to Sophia. "Do I look that gullible? Because I really hope I don't look that gullible." Sophia responded in the negative, and the princess looked relieved, although through it all there maintained on her face a look of levity which kept her from needing to be taken too seriously.

    As the bard flounced away to resume the Eleanor mantle, Pippa looked after him with a somewhat puzzled expression. Did Corran really know? It did seem like the sort of thing Vicky would have mentioned, in telling the older knight about her day. Pippa had to wonder what he thought of the whole thing, and if he also knew why she'd gone out tonight seeking his son. She hadn't meant for it to end up being an extended social call, but she wasn't upset that it had; and for that matter, Corran hadn't seemed bothered by her being here, either.

    Pippa wasn't entirely certain whether to be flattered or put off by Xavier's guess at the circumstances of her being here. He'd assured her that no offense was meant, but in that way that simply served to theoretically absolve guilt and blame when saying something terrible. She answered his smile with a raised eyebrow, and if he'd bothered to look, he'd have seen his wife looking a little aghast. But Percival answered in kind, though perhaps with more bite, and at his comment Vivienne hissed a breath in between her teeth. In the blink of an eye both knights were on their feet, seemingly ready to exchange blows, oblivious to the reactions of the girls.

    All three of them were tense, with Pippa genuinely wondering if she should stand and put herself between them; she was the only one really equipped to physically stop an altercation, although Sophia was banking on being able to pull Xavier back if need be. Vivienne was a few seconds from putting on her official voice when Bosleigh intervened, defusing the situation before it could come to blows. Pippa didn't know the man at all, but she gave him a grateful smile as he paused to wink at them before retreating back into the crowd.

    Sophia, however, was not amused, grateful as she was that things seemed back to normal again and, sensing this, Vivienne shook her head. "Maybe the safest route is to just ask the lady herself," she suggested, and she turned to the guard. Pippa nodded, and glanced to Sophia to make sure she didn't mind skipping the rest of the game. The slender lady looked like she was starting to relax again, but she still assented with a small nod.

    "As you might've guessed from earlier, I work for Corran," she began, shifting a little so she was speaking more directly to Vivienne, "as a guard. Started out working for the Costas, then at the Beacon for Lady Delarose, and then for him." She paused; the question had been who she was, but how did someone adequately answer that? "I'm from a town a little ways outside Eddleton. Family of guards and tradesmen, mostly. Plenty of cousins, but no siblings." There was plenty to extrapolate from just those few statements, but from there Pippa wasn't sure where to go. She raised her hands and shrugged. "I dunno what else you want to know? It'd be easier with some direction."

    "Well," Vivienne began, glancing through the crowd idly to see if she could spot Jesse, "maybe it is time to play turnaround on the five questions game. Who wants to start?"

    -----
    @Percival Torgood

  13. #53
    House Fairfax Xavier Fairfax's Avatar  
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    152
    Mentioned
    18 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Xavier almost chuckled at the absurdity of the whole exchange. Almost. Had it just been the boys, the matter would have been entirely overlooked. But ever since his marriage to Sophia, and maybe it was a testament to her, slights like the one Percy had just made, even in retaliation, wouldn't be allowed to pass in her presence. He might even have snarled at one point in the exchange, such was his annoyance. But once the women and Hepburn had intervened, and things seemed to simmer down, he retook his seat and relaxed a little bit, though he imagined that he and Torgood would have words later about the matter. Bosleigh he would likely let slide, since it wasn't his business or his fight, and Xavier thought the man was just roguish enough to cut him with a dagger in a fistfight.

    Fairfax listened as Pippa shared her vague, and in his opinion, terribly uninteresting facts about herself, though he noticed Vivienne's eye searching the room. He was less concerned about what trouble Jesse was getting himself into, nor was he of the belief that the bard would bring any kind of soothing voice to their own table. But when the princess suggested that the questioning of Pippa again, Xavier cleared his throat. "I'll start," he said, seeing it as a way to atone for the stress he had caused in the last moment.

    Percy might have shot him a glance at his eagerness, but the taller man simply ignored it. "Lady Avery," he began, as though he didn't even need a moment to consider the line of questioning. "I'll give you all the questions up front, and you may fee free to answer them in any order," he told her. "Or, don't answer them at all, if you're a scaredy cat," he added with a smile.

    Holding his hand up in front of his face, he ticked his fingers as he counted off the questions. "What is your preferred pet," he began, wondering if the woman imagined anything more exotic than the obvious choices. "What's the one thing you are particularly proud of about your figure," he continued, making the question a little more dangerous than the first. "What's the one thing that surprises you about the future queen, now that you have gotten to meet her in her civvies," he asked, smiling at Vivienne placatingly. "What is the one thing you would want a man to do for you that would be considered a woman's job by society," he wondered, giving Percy a wink that was sure to be noticed by everyone. "And finally, what's a spot on your body that you don't like touched, either because it's ticklish or erogenous?" The last one might have been his own curiosity, but he asked casually so as not to seem too interested.

    Leaning back, he looked at the others, making sure that everyone was satisfied that he hadn't gone too far, and then focused on Pippa for whichever she chose to answer. He did his best not to smile when he saw the Sword of Summer lean in with particular interest. There was something about the woman that was oddly charming, and despite the earlier spat, Xavier was hopeful that the girl liked his friend. They looked well together in his opinion, and Percy deserved the same chance at happiness that he and Jesse had already found.

    @Philippa Avery

  14. #54
    Member Philippa Avery's Avatar  
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    97
    Mentioned
    100 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Xavier's eagerness didn't necessarily surprise Pippa, given his whining earlier about not being able to properly quiz her, and she leaned forward on her elbows to meet the challenge head on. As he fired off his questions she concentrated more on remembering them than thinking of an answer, and she mirrored his counting, pressing her fingertips onto the surface of the table as each of his was ticked off.

    "The last one is the easiest, but most foolish to answer." As a rule she avoided giving people weapons to use against her, but something about the situation made her throw that to the wind and give a genuine answer. "I'm stupid ticklish on my feet, and, having said that, I hereby disavow any responsibility for damage taken should anyone get any bright ideas to try it." She narrowed her eyes and looked, if not genuinely intimidating, then at least very serious as she swept her gaze over everyone at the table. There were, of course, other answers to that question, but they were vulnerabilities she wasn't about to admit to.

    Considering her options, she decided to work backwards. "One thing I'd want a man to do for me that's considered a woman's job..." Pippa winced as she struggled to think of something, feeling somewhat at a disadvantage having been raised with atypical gender norms. "I'm going to guess bearing my children is an unacceptable answer," she said with a smirk. "Obviously I need a handsome handmaiden, to brush and braid my hair every day." It would certainly come in handy. Pippa's hair curled just enough to be annoying to get tangles out of, but the one time she'd tried to cut it short it'd turned out awful and she'd wrapped her head in a scarf until it had grown out enough.

    "Preferred pet would probably be a bird, even if that's a boring answer. But a little bird," she said with a glance to Percy, clearly picturing peacocks in her mind's eye. "I had one once as a kid that my Da had saved from a cat up by Green Gate, and it used to sit on my shoulder, sweet as you please." Perhaps she might like other pets, but although she'd known working dogs and barn cats as a girl, she'd never had one as a dedicated pet before. "As to the future queen," Pippa began, looking to her side and casting Vivienne a smile, "I think the most surprising thing is how normal she is? Which sounds terrible, I know, but in lessons royalty was always just a bunch of names going back into history that we were meant to memorize, never people, if that makes sense. So it's amazing to find out that the woman who tomorrow will be my Queen is also a person whose company I genuinely enjoy." Vivienne didn't seemed bothered by the dehumanization that Pippa spoke of, but instead leaned over and gave her as much of a hug as was possible, with both of them sitting.

    "And now you can say you've been hugged by the Queen!"

    Pippa laughed and returned the gesture, and she idly wondered when the next time she'd be home was. She wanted to see the look on her mother's face when she told her that not only had she met the Queen, but that she'd hugged her, and spent a night out drinking with her. Her parents would hardly believe her, but she could truthfully tell them that she spoke not one word of a lie. Returning once more to the matter at hand, Pippa asked, "What was the last one?"

    It was Sophia who answered. "What's something you're proud of about your figure." She didn't seem bothered in the least that her husband was asking about another woman's body, and in fact her annoyance from the flare of tempers a few moments ago seemed to have ebbed away entirely. "Which I have to admit to being curious about, too, since we haven't had a chance to get a good look at you." There was the lilt of a leer in her voice, and she had a sly smile. Sophia might not've had a preference for girls, but that didn't mean she couldn't admire them.

    "You'll get plenty chance to do that tomorrow when we're trying to get me looking pretty," Pippa answered in kind, the suggestive tone in her voice somewhat ruined by the amusement that went along with it. "As for the answer, I guess...I dunno. I worked hard for the whole thing, and I like it because it's useful. But I think, despite earlier commentary, I'd have to say if I'm going to be smug about one bit of it in particular, it'd probably be my butt? I think it's a pretty pleasing size and shape."

    ----
    @Xavier Fairfax

  15. #55
    House MacHeath Sophia MacHeath's Avatar  
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    128
    Mentioned
    35 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Sophia liked that Pippa was willing to play. She had met plenty of women who would have been appalled at the idea of another female checking them out, but Pippa hadn't missed a beat. It spoke well of her, and the Lady hoped the girl stuck around - and maybe even paired off with Percy. He deserved laughter in his life; she hadn't had anything against Kivennah, but she had found her to be very serious. She could hardly blame the girl with the amount of emotional baggage she had, but it seemed to consume her so much she didn't had enough room in her heart for the knight who so wanted space in it. As much as she wanted the best for them, she couldn't really summon up too much sorrow that the relationship had ended, and she couldn't help but imagine that the sunny blonde could be good for their beloved Sword of Summer.

    "Okay, my turn," Sophia said as she finished off her drink, but she kept her hands on her cup for now. "I don't know if I'll have five, but I'll ask them one at a time. You can pass on any of them if you want. Good?" The guard nodded, and Sophia began. "What's one physical feature you notice on a man right away?"

    Pippa didn't have to think much. "Hands."

    "Hands," the princess asked, curious for clarification.

    "Hands. You can tell a lot about a man by his hands - if they're calloused, soft, well kept. It speaks to how they use the and how they take care of themselves. Plus there are shapes and traits that are just more pleasing than others. Nobody likes a man with tiny weak baby hands," she added with a laugh. She didn't look to see if either of the men were now looking at their hands, and she also hadn't had a chance to look for herself. It was a pretty safe bet though that neither would be entirely objectionable.

    "Okay. What's your weapon of choice?" She was sure Percy probably already knew since he'd met her when she was working, but Sophia couldn't remember if it had been mentioned yet. Again, Pippa's answer came quickly.

    "Polearms of various types, with a sideline in short blades for close encounters. Right now it's a sort of halberd, six foot pole with a blade, hook, and spike on the end." She could almost see the question on Sophia's face, so she elaborated. "It's good for me since my reach could never compete with someone built like Xavier, for example. So it gives me some distance and versatility - the hook is good to pull a rider from their horse, the spike can split through maille pretty easily, and the whole thing works like a staff, good for tripping and setting people off balance." Sophia, although she didn't grasp the nuance of the thing, nodded appreciatively. At very least, Pippa had puts lot of thought into the choice, and it was kind of interesting to see someone who didn't default to some sort of sword.

    Sophia finally pushed her cup to the middle of the table to sit near the tray that they'd all been snacking from, unsure if she was going to keep drinking or not. The last thing she wanted was to be puffy or hungover tomorrow. "Last one I think. Where would you live, if you were free to choose?"

    This required some thought, but eventually the guard shrugged. "I'm not sure, really. Anywhere has its good points and bad. Home will always be where I grew up, but I don't really feel a strong pull to put roots down anywhere, or to feel settled. And even the nicest place can seem hellish if, for example you're living in a tent and the weather pours down rain." Her tone was one which left no doubt that she'd experienced that very thing, but it was something that the girls couldn't really begin to relate to.

    "Alright, Percy, you want a go?" She used the phrase deliberately, but didn't layer any further innuendo into her tone. She liked teasing Percy, but she didn't want to get heavy handed.

    ------
    @Percival Torgood

  16. #56
    House Torgood Percival Torgood's Avatar  

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    154
    Mentioned
    86 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Percival had been listening and absorbing so intently that he had almost missed Sophia's question. In fact, he was still reworking the query in his mind when he felt Xavier kick him under the table. He picked up his eyes and looked at Sophia, but patently ignored her innuendo. She knew him well enough to suspect that he probably did want a go at the guardswoman, but also was well enough acquainted with the knight that she understood that Pippa was still too new for him to admit anything so crude in front of her.

    Instead, he looked at Pippa for a moment, and found himself folding under her expectant gaze. Slowly, he shook his head. "No," he said hesitantly. "I don't think I do," he finally admitted. He had questions, of that there was no doubt. But he had no desire to simply ask them and learn all of the things that he could spend weeks or months or even years discovering if she gave him the chance. No, he would rather not know her at all at this point, than to know everything that he might have to give up in just a few days when she departed for Eddleton.

    "You're kidding," Xavier said aloud, before looking at Percy and realizing that he wasn't kidding. Percy was still looking at Pippa however, and didn't acknowledge his statement. So Fairfax simply leaned back and looked into his mug. "Shit," he mumbled and took another drink, knowing all too well that look in his friend's eye. He might not be saying anything, but every unspoken word recalled the old tales of Kivennah Calderan, and the virtues of the woman who couldn't possibly break his heart, and then succeeded at it with remarkable efficiency.

    It was Jesse that saved the day again however, returning just before the other three at the table could feel too awkward in the silence between Pippa and Percival. "Do you have any identifying marks," he asked, his eyes alight with the fun that the others should have been having. "Tattoos, birthmarks, oddly shaped freckles," he offered as examples. The bard could see that Percy was about to object, but the minstrel wasn't about to let his friend put an end to their fun. "You shush. She agreed, and we told her she didn't have to answer if she didn't want to. So, if she declines she declines. But I still want to see her blush," he informed his friend, and stuck out his tongue at Vivienne before she could admonish him. "Does a female guard fancy bloomers," he asked. "Or does she prefer the feeling of leathers on bare skin? Does her position of authority make her an aggressive partner? Does she prefer to press her advantage, or to yield in hopes of mercy?"

    The bard could sense that he was crossing the line, and he leaned back from the table, holding up his hands to Vivienne and Percy defensively. Smiling at Pippa, the man shrugged. "Nine lives," he said with a grin, and pulled one of the servers over and alleviated her of the tray of mugs she was carrying, setting them onto the table and passing them around. He noticed that Percy didn't reach for one, but not likely because he was upset. Jesse knew that it was Vivienne's presence keeping him in check.

    The knight mouthed an apology again, for what felt like the hundredth time. He wanted to leave. He wanted to walk his date home. The longest way possible. But he knew that wasn't likely to happen at the moment.


    @Philippa Avery

  17. #57
    Member Philippa Avery's Avatar  
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    97
    Mentioned
    100 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Pippa was genuinely surprised that Percy skipped on his turn. She met his eyes, holding his gaze and searching it without caring that the others would surely notice. He looked...almost subdued, and the guard began to wish she knew the knight well enough to be able to recognize his moods. Perhaps if the world were different she would have been able to stay and get to know everyone better. But what role would she play? It wasn't as if she were noble. Maybe the palace needed a guard; but that would mean leaving Corran, and she was find of the man, and had much more she could learn from him.

    Jesse's return brought with it more questions, and these ones had an agenda. Pippa let them all fly her way before she even thought about answering, but unfortunately for the bard, he didn't get to see her blush again. "A few scars, but no big ones. This one's probably the worst," she said, and she leaned forward and stretched her arm across the table for Jesse, and thus the other boys if they wished, to see. She made a fist with her right hand, which brought to focus a silvery purple line running across the back of all four fingers. It looked defensive in nature, but wasn't too deep and looked fairly old. "Oh, and a birthmark on the back of my left calf, but if I have a tan you can't see it."

    The other questions required careful consideration, and Pippa approached carefully. "A guard of any gender will tell you that bare skin against leathers means chafing, and only a sadistic bastard would find any pleasure in that." She paused, looking around the table, ready to disappoint everyone. "The rest I pass on. That sort of thing is privileged information, and the only people who know it wouldn't share it." She didn't look sorry in the least, but she was also still smiling. She didn't blame Jesse for trying.

    Catching Percy's eye again, Pippa gave the tiniest shake of her head to dismiss his apology as unnecessary, and with another small motion flicked her eyes to the door. He didn't look as jovial as he had earlier, and she wanted to let him know she was okay with leaving if he wanted to. Content as she was to stay, it would be responsible to head home soon anyway, especially with how busy her tomorrow had become.

    ----
    @Percival Torgood

  18. #58
    House Torgood Percival Torgood's Avatar  

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    154
    Mentioned
    86 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Jesse didn't seem the least bit disturbed that he didn't get all the answers he had been searching for. If his friend was lucky, the bard might someday find out, and he was hopeful for Percy. But he didn't press. Instead he simply looked at Vivienne and stifled a yawn. Whether or not he was tired was not really the matter of the question, so much as it was to send the girl a subtle reminder that she should be tired. The party was beginning to wind down anyway. Corran and Augustus had in fact already left, though he wasn't sure that anyone had noticed. Bosleigh would probably fall asleep in the corner at any moment, but that wasn't out of the ordinary for him either.

    Percival had caught Pippa's eyes flashing towards the door, and tilted his head slightly, as though he were trying to understand what she was saying. Turning to look, he noticed the absence of his father and wondered if that was what the girl was pointing out. The knight hadn't actually expected Corran to leave without summoning Pippa to return with him, but apparently he figured that she would be alright getting back, and Percival would make sure that she was. He had no doubts that she could handle herself should any rabble approach, and he was already working out a plan for escorting her without making it look like he was being protective.

    Unfortunately, Percival also knew that now that Corran had left, there was no way he could leave the tavern without seeing Vivienne safely back to the castle. Xavier might well have been on the job temporarily, but should the princess be spotted returning without a proper Dawn escort, there was no way that Guy Durand would not take him to task over it. His eyes darted to the woman in response to Pippa's inquiry, and he didn't make any move toward the now full mugs that were in the center of the table. If Vivienne decided that she wanted to have another, then he could always excuse he and Pippa and explain it to her, though he wouldn't likely be able to hide his disappointment.

    It was well within his power to force the issue, but it simply wasn't in his nature to boss the royals around. That, and whatever authority he had now would be the queen's tenfold tomorrow, and he wasn't looking to give Vivienne a reason to make him miserable. After all, she had been instrumental in making Pippa feel a part of the group, and Percy was grateful for that. "Smart as a tack," Percival complimented Pippa's refusal to answer, even though it took no real wisdom to see that they were leading her to a place she didn't really want to visit. "Nine lives means he only gets to be curious nine times. And if memory serves, curiosity has killed that cat about eight already," he said, giving the bard a warning glance.


    @Philippa Avery

  19. #59
    House Shellten Vivienne Shellten's Avatar  

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    380
    Mentioned
    151 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As it turned out, Vivienne didn't need any hints that she should probably be leaving, subtle or not. The next day loomed large over her, and although she endeavored to enjoy the night as unclouded as she could, the anxiety was always there at the edges of her mind. If it were a case of 'shoulds', then she shouldn't have even come. She should've scrubbed herself to within an inch of her life, should've had her hair set, should've reviewed the plans for the ceremony tomorrow, should've been in bed hours ago. She'd need to be up extra early tomorrow so the army of maids that it had taken to replace Rubianne could dress her body and her hair, in all the layers that looking the part of a Queen required. But for one last night she wanted to be the princess she'd been as a younger woman, when life was easier - the princess that snuck out late at night, to get a drink and maybe some mischief.

    But, as she saw Pippa and Percy glance toward the door, it hit home again that even now she was impacting people more than she wished. He likely felt a responsibility to see her back to the palace, even though he wasn't on duty tonight. If she'd thought ahead she would have gone with Augustus; the old man was one of the two people besides herself here who knew of the secret passages she used to get here in the first place, and she could return the way she'd come while still giving the appearance of being escorted. As it was, she'd have to be craftier to make her escape without having to go through any of the main doors.

    If she was being realistic, though, that couldn't happen. There was no way she was getting out of this tavern without a visible escort of some kind, and while it was something she should have thought of earlier, she had more or less been banking on luck to get her home the same way she'd arrived. As it was she'd have to settle for going the visible route to the castle, and then sneaking her way from there into her room. If the party didn't last too much longer, she hoped Jesse would follow in her footsteps and come to her room; she craved the comfort of his company, and she knew she'd have a better chance falling asleep if she could do so with her head resting on his chest.

    "Well, boys and girls, it has been a pleasure, but the time has come for me to go back to reality." She smiled, but there was some unmistakable sadness in the expression. Her friends all knew, to some extent at least, how much Vivienne longed for the normalcy and freedom that was denied to her due to her royal blood. Even Pippa would have been able to glean such a truth if she were observant enough. "Percy, can I drag you away from the party long enough to walk me home?" It was a question for formalities only - she knew he'd feel obligated to do it anyway. "I'm happy for you to come, too, Pippa. I'd hate to break up your date." The princess winked at the girl, and then pushed back from the table, pulling the cloak she'd discarded over the back of her chair back around her shoulders. What Pippa might not realize, but Percy almost surely would, was that it was a longer walk from the palace back to Torgood's estate than it was from the tavern. If the knight ended up walking the guard home, he would have that much more time with her than he otherwise would have.

    Pippa nodded, and looked to Percy for confirmation that he'd like her to go, too. She could have stayed longer, but without him it might've gotten awkward. And anyway, since she suddenly had a much fuller day tomorrow than she had anticipated, it would be smart to call it a night and head home.

    Sophia, taking it for granted that half the group would be on their way in a moment, smiled at Philippa. "I'll send someone over to bring you to where I'm staying in the morning. I should have most everything you'll need, but if you have formal shoes with you, bring those. Oh, and the girliest unmentionables you've got." Sophia flashed her a grin, and Pippa laughed and assented.

    With a sigh, Vivienne stood. "Alright. You two," the princess, began, pointing to Xavier and Sophia, "enjoy the rest of your evening." She moved around to stand beside Jesse, and she bent to kiss his cheek. "You, I'll see later, if the party doesn't go too long?" It was a question, asked very quietly, but not necessarily one that needed an answer. She'd find out in the fullness of time. Finally, she put a hand on the back of Percy's chair, leaning lightly. "I'm ready whenever you are, Ser Torgood."

    ----
    @Percival Torgood

  20. #60
    House Torgood Percival Torgood's Avatar  

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    154
    Mentioned
    86 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Vivienne's signaling that it was time to leave only confirmed Percy's belief that when the group of them were together there seemed to be a hive-mind type of thought process that linked them altogether. Sometimes that meant that one of their bad ideas was all of their bad idea, but for the most part it limited indecision when it came to things like where to go, what do eat, or what to do. It also meant that for now at least, Vivienne was going to be amiable about the escort. And that her invitation for Pippa to join them wouldn't mean that the knight had to bid his date adieu just yet.

    Giving Pippa a confirming nod, Percy looked at Sophia and smiled. Not at the mention of whatever Pippa might decide to hid under her dress, but more because she had been so kind to his new friend, and for once it didn't smack of pandering to lonely old Percy. As he rose, he turned his glance to Lady MacHeath's brother and answered on his behalf. "He'll be along," Percival assured the princess. "If I have to come back and drag him by the collar to your rooms." Though as he was picking up his sword from where it lay against the wall, he lowered his voice by Sophia's ear. "Not that he's ever needed coaxing from anyone but her," he said with a small laugh.

    "Lady Avery, if you're ready," he said to Pippa, and then bowed to the others at the table. "I envy you all the ability to continue this party tomorrow," he said, knowing that he would be stone sober the entire day. Even conscripted into duty, he was sure that Xavier would find at least a glass of wine or two, and nobody would question it. Vivienne wouldn't let him quit or be fired. The worst he might get is a disappointing frown from his wife, but those rarely lasted very long. Percival put a hand on his shoulder, reiterating that there were no hard feelings from their earlier exchange, and Xavier gave him a nod.

    As they crossed the door toward the stairs, Jesse motioned to the musicians, and the band struck up with Vivat Regina, and Percy frowned at the bard blowing the cover of their royal guest. Those who hadn't retired or passed out didn't seem to mind however, and began singing along with glasses raised. Tomorrow they would all bend the knee to her, but tonight she was their best friend. And the knight couldn't help but swell a little bit with pride for the motley group of revelers.

    When Vivienne had acknowledged them and they had descended the steps, Percy put himself between Vivienne and the street as he waited for Pippa to collect her dagger from the doorman. Protocol should have demanded that he take it, as long as the guardswoman was in the presence of the princess. But Percy had no reason to suspect treachery, and he didn't want to embarrass Vivienne any further. And as long as Pippa returned it to her boot where she had pulled it from, he would be hard pressed to think her quick enough to draw it again before he could react.

    "I would ask you ladies if you had a good time, but I'm selfish, and I want to go first," he told them. "I want to thank you both for a nice evening. Even though we were all guests and the Spoony Bard was primarily responsible, without the two of you, I would have had plenty of excuses to excuse myself altogether, and I'm quite glad that I did not." He let Vivienne lead the way. It didn't matter to him which entrance she preferred. Both were likely safe and clear at this hour, and he wouldn't have to clear any halls for her. Turning to check on Pippa, he gave the woman an additional smile, as though the simple thank you had not been enough.


    @Philippa Avery

Page 3 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •