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Thread: Let's all go to the lobby, let's all go to the lobby - 11/14 Evening, Royal Theater - Guy/Eliza/Grant/Rubianne

  1. #1
    House Hepburn Grant Hepburn's Avatar  
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    Let's all go to the lobby, let's all go to the lobby - 11/14 Evening, Royal Theater - Guy/Eliza/Grant/Rubianne

    Grant was thankful for the chance to stretch his legs. He was discovering that his attention spans for things like plays was far more limited than he had given himself credit for. But Rubianne seemed to be enjoying the production, and in the end that was all that mattered to him. The bonus of having reached the intermission meant that the play was likely close to, if not more, than half over. Hepburn was relatively certain that he could survive as much as he already had, once more over.

    The open room of the theater lobby was one that was well suited for its purpose. Servants circled the room with trays of beer and wine, pastries and smoked meats. As Grant reached for one of the glasses, his need for expedience got the better of him and he nearly clotheslined a shorter passing woman who was looking back to her escort. Holding his breath as he arched his arm, hoping not to drop any of the liquid onto the lady's head, he was about to make a comment about paying attention until he noticed that said companion was the Knight of Autumn. Whether it was his appearance distracting her, or simply the push of the crowd, Grant nearly lost the entire glass as she bumped into his back.

    "Eliza," he asked with more surprise than he wished he would have had. Grant had not seen the woman since the last time he had been in Brassford to see her about breeding additional Hobbies outside of the Reach. They were friendly, having met years ago when her father had come to Maple Glade to visit James Hepburn's wife, who happened to be Eliza's aunt. What she was doing in Guy Durand's company, and why Grant didn't hear about it, was a mystery for later.

    When she turned to look at him, he gave her a smile and bowed. "I wasn't aware you were in the capital," he lied pleasantly. Not knowing she had been in the company of the knight was one thing. To be oblivious to who was numbered in Rhett's retinue would have been gross negligence on his part. Turning, he looked at the taller knight, who seemed less comfortable than Grant if that were possible. "I wasn't aware you had so many friends in the capital," he added, just as pleasantly but far more honest.

    Rubianne must have noticed the run-in by this point, because she was silent for a moment. Durand was looking at her, and ignoring his comment about Eliza's company for the time. In fact, it wasn't until Grant cleared his throat and motioned to his own date in introduction to Lady Morgan that either of them seemed to come around. "Lady Remington, late of Laurie Hill and her majesty's service," Grant said, indicating the brunette at his side. "Lady Morgan," he told Ruby in the same manner. "Presently of Brassford, or so I thought," he said with a small smile.


    @Eliza Morgan @Rubianne Remington @Guy Durand

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    House Durand Guy Durand's Avatar  

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    Guy had to admit that he was actually enjoying the play and the spectacle of the production. He had not seen anything from the gallery in more years than he could remember, having been in either the Durand Balcony or the Royal Suite for every tragedy or comedy since he was five years old. And while it was far more crowded down among the masses, the knight had to concede that the interactions and observations were far different than the controlled atmosphere of the private setting he was accustomed to.

    There was however, a distinct relief that came with the intermission. The gallery was cramped, and while his view was unobstructed it was also much warmer than the less crowded upper floor. The outer rooms of the amphitheater were connected to the outside, and nobody who had made their way toward the reception area seemed to mind the draft from the cool night that was seeping into the room. Instead, audible sighs could be heard from people who were pleased to bring down their own internal temperature for a few moments.

    The press of the crowd made it easy for Guy to steer Eliza from behind. Even though she was technically leading him, it was far easier for her to travel through the spaces created by his presence, both physical and familiar. It appeared that she was attempting to negotiate to an open patch of the floor, where they could converse in lower voices and stretch out just a little. But on their way, Guy heard a man's voice call out over the din of the crowd, and the knight looked with unexpressed horror to see that the man who was trying to get her attention was Grant Hepburn. And he was with Rubianne.

    Guy hadn't been aware that Eliza had known Hepburn, but the Commander of Dawn was quickly learning that Grant knew quite a few people who he hadn't realized were acquainted with him. It was a credit to the other man, actually. He had managed to build quite the web of associations while remaining mostly off of his and Vivienne's radar. No doubt, the other man had seen Guy and had realized that he was in Eliza's company, but he made no move to add him to the introductions. That in and of itself made it clear that Hepburn was aware that Guy was familiar with Remington, but that wouldn't do much for Lady Morgan's understanding.

    But Durand was not the kind to wait for someone to ask. "Lord Hepburn," he said to Grant with a nod. "Lady Remington," he added in the woman's direction, with a soft smile. He didn't add anything after that, because he didn't want to intrude on the conversation between Eliza and Grant just yet.


    @Eliza Morgan @Rubianne Remington

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    House Morgan Eliza Morgan's Avatar  
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    While watching the play from the gallery was what was making the experience novel for the Knight of Autumn, Eliza found herself impressed with the whole thing. She'd never seen a production on this scale before; in fact, she couldn't remember having seen a play since she was a child, when traveling shows would stop over in Brassford. They hadn't been through in recent years, even before the plague had stopped all unnecessary traffic, so along with just being a pleasant experience, the play was giving her a sense of happy nostalgia, as well.

    Of course, when she was a child she hadn't had such nice company, it must be said.

    When intermission came, though, Eliza found herself keen for the chance to stretch and get some cool air - just like everyone else in the theater, it seemed. She wasn't the best at navigating crowds, but Guy's presence seemed to work like a field around them, pushing people out of the way without any effort. And yet, despite that, Eliza still managed to nearly get clubbed with a hastily-extended arm in a moment of distraction as she looked back to make sure Guy was still close behind her. With a quick duck and a little spin she managed to avoid spilling anything, but did bump into the man, and she had been about to apologize when she was surprised to hear her name. Only then did she look at the face of the man, and she smiled in recognition.

    "Grant! I'm sorry I almost ran you down, but it's good to see you." She curtsied to him, wondering if she should have used his proper title, since technically he was higher up the social ladder than she was, but for now she didn't worry too much about it. It was easy to laugh off his comment on how many friends she had, and she shrugged one shoulder. "Always happy to make friends wherever I find myself!" She didn't need to advertise the fact that the number of friends she had in the capital was, at present count, two, if she included Grant himself. Although perhaps she could consider her competitors in the tournament as friends, too? But probably they were more like acquaintances.

    Offering Rubianne a genuinely warm smile and a curtsy, Eliza determinedly ignored the awkwardness that was so thick in the air. "Still of Brassford," she clarified, "Just in town for the Coronation. It's lovely to meet you, Lady Remington, and may I just say, your dress is absolutely gorgeous! Those colors work so well with your hair." It sounded, perhaps, like a heavy-handed compliment, but Eliza meant it, and she even remembered to leave off the part where she thought that the beautiful chestnut color of Remington's curly locks reminded her of her favorite horse back home.

    ----
    @Rubianne Remington @Grant Hepburn

  4. #4
    House Remington Rubianne Remington's Avatar  
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    She'd followed Grant out into the lobby. No longer could she count how many times she'd thanked the man for this lovely adventure out into the world. It was her first event where she found herself upon his arm and she couldn't be more thrilled about how it was turning out. The play was funny and intelligent, the writer's wit entertained her greatly. The wine was cold, her company quite hot, and she thought that she sparkled unlike ever before. Though, to be fair, if she didn't sparkle she wouldn't have left her room.

    Ruby flitted around Grant when he stopped short and plucked two glasses of wine off the tray as it passed by. "My Lord." she said, teasingly, in her most proper voice while handing the Hepburn man the glass she'd procured for him. He was carrying on a conversation now though, and it took her only a few seconds to notice who's company she was in. The Remington girl pressed her lips tightly together, and waited for her moment to enter the conversation. It was as Grant introduced her that she allowed her lips to part and reveal a smile which made her face light up.

    She first addressed Guy, in the most even of tones she could muster, a small curtsy accompanied her words. "Sir Durand, a pleasure." Ruby turned to face Lady Morgan and repeated her curtsy with a bow of her head. "It's lovely to meet you as well Lady Morgan." She complimented her dress and Ruby found herself blushing. She'd adorned herself in Hepburn colors for the event, her hair up in curls, and made sure to wear the golden jewelry that Grant had purchased for her on their trip out into the city. "Thank you so much, it is so kind of you to say so! I wish to tell you that your dress is quite beautiful as well." Her focus had now shifted entirely to Eliza and she gave her a sincere smile. "Are you enjoying the play?"


    @Eliza Morgan @Grant Hepburn
    Last edited by Rubianne Remington; 11-05-2017 at 06:41 PM.

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    House Hepburn Grant Hepburn's Avatar  
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    Between the greeting with Eliza and the introduction of Rubianne, Grant had managed to politely accept the proffered glass of wine and sipped at it lightly. The vintage was one that he was familiar with, recognizing it immediately as a product of Welch Run, and the man wondered how much profit Dastan De Angelis was making at Aloise's expense on the grapes he grew there. ""My Lady," he said, lifting the glass slightly in thanks, though it almost appeared as though he were toasting her very presence.

    Noticing the short exchange between Remington and Durand, Hepburn turned his shoulder in a way that opened his posture and brought all of them into the conversation he was having with Eliza. "Lady Morgan brokered the deal that brought the latest batch of hobbies to Maple Glade," Grant explained to Rubianne casually. "No doubt that Ser Durand is interested in a few more chargers for his order, though if I recall, Epsilon is only a few years old," he said, trying to remember the first time he had seen the knight ride the large white steed in competition.

    It was all Grant could do not to roll his eyes at the bit of chatter between the females. Dresses and hairstyles and all of the other things that women were obligated to compliment each other on. As though he were completely oblivious to the fact that they would claw each others eyes out if they had found the seamstress with only one dress that they both wanted, or the ball with a single eligible bachelor. Not that it was an indictment of these two women specifically, but Hepburn was always suspicious of the fairer sex. Society bred competition into them, and from what he had seen it was almost second nature anymore.

    "Ser Guy," he said, pulling the lapel of his coat aside. "Aren't you going to compliment my jacket," he asked with a chuckle, and then quickly steered the conversation away before there was any chance that the other man could. "I think that Nashe has done a remarkable job, considering how quickly the rumors say he put the production together. And the presence of a female in the cast was surprising, but I think once you are past the scandal of it all, she's doing quite well on stage." None of this mattered to Grant either, but since he was forced into the interaction by circumstance, he figured he would be as polite as he could about it.

    Turning back to Eliza, Grant leaned in closer to lower his voice. "Are you in the royal box then," he asked, knowing that if she was, she would have met Aloise, and he wondered if the young girl was enjoying herself. The Lord of Maple Glade had shifted his stance now so that Guy and Rubianne would be hard pressed to ignore each other. As much as he was defensive of the woman he had brought with him this evening, he was curious to see how the two responded to each other in public.


    @Eliza Morgan @Rubianne Remington @Guy Durand
    Last edited by Rick; 11-10-2017 at 04:45 PM.

  6. #6
    House Morgan Eliza Morgan's Avatar  
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    Eliza beamed at Rubianne's compliment. The excitement of having a reason to wear beautiful things and get prettied up hadn't worn off yet, and add to that being in the company of a handsome and decorated knight and being complimented by a woman who was so effortlessly stunning...it was almost too much for the Morgan woman to bear. But, happy as she felt, she remembered herself and how these things were supposed to go, and simply thanked Rubianne.

    There was a bit of pride as Grant explained how they knew one another, and Eliza nodded. "A fine lot of hobbies they were, too. We've made a tweak or two since then, though. You'll have to come see for yourself if you're ever down Brassford way." Keeping bloodlines pure while being able to deliver animals with certain traits was a specialty of the Morgans, and something Eliza herself was incredibly good at. Not that it made good conversation in situations such as this, of course, but in Eliza's mind that didn't diminish the achievement. The implication that Guy was in her company only because he sought horses from her didn't register, mostly because she didn't expect it, despite the knight's warning.

    "I am enjoying it, very much," Eliza replied to Ruby. "Players are pretty rare at home, so I'm glad I didn't have to miss a show on such a grand scale." She nodded with Grant's observation, not bothering to remark on the presence of a woman. She'd never understand why girls couldn't act anyway, so the inclusion of a female player seemed to her more the natural way things should go. Who wanted to see a boy pretending to be a lovely lady anyway?

    Leaning in as Grant did, Eliza heard his question and shook her head. "No," she replied, just as quietly, "we're just in the gallery." It was hard to imagine a world where she'd be sitting in the royal box with the Queen watching a play. Upon thinking about it, though, she supposed that's where Guy would probably be, if he hadn't chosen to accompany her. She hoped he didn't mind missing out on the nicer seats and better view, but her sense told her that if he'd minded, he would be there instead. "Why do you ask?"

    ----
    @Rubianne Remington @Grant Hepburn

  7. #7
    House Remington Rubianne Remington's Avatar  
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    Her new company's face lit up at the compliment and Ruby smiled her to match. Her thanks for the kindness was received and the Remington girl attempted to move on to ask her more about herself when Grant began to inform her without request. She listened to him explain how he'd met Lady Morgan as she sipped at her wine. It seemed as though the woman before her was much more accomplished than she was. Ruby had to make sure she wasn't chewing on her lip while the connection to Guy's business with her was made. Frankly, Ruby didn't want to imagine why they were spending their time together, it was none of her business.

    Rubianne found herself at a loss once more, not knowing what to say when the topic of the play was brought up. Grant was right, her social skills needed a bit of work, but she was not accustomed to having to make such small talk with complete strangers. She missed having Vivienne as a buffer to the outside world. Her best friend was always able to carry conversation and allow Ruby to stand off to the side and simply smile, nod, and agree with what she said.

    When Grant leaned in, to speak with Eliza, he left Ruby and Guy to talk among themselves. She was at a loss, so she gave Guy the warmest smile she could before lifting her glass to her lips. What was she supposed to say? Or was she supposed to ask him how his day went?

    She used to ask him that, when she saw him.

    @Grant Hepburn @Eliza Morgan

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    House Durand Guy Durand's Avatar  

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    If there was anything that Guy Durand hated more than not being in control of a situation, he couldn't think of what it might be. And at the moment, he was most decidedly not in control of the current situation. In fact, he would rather be surrounded by assassins, and trying to get Vivienne through the room than to be surrounded by socialites and having no way to steer the conversation, or his date, away from the hazards that populated the lobby of the theater just now. He had almost missed the question of the other man, and looked up quizzically at him. "Huh? Oh, ummm...it's very nice?" Was it a rhetorical question?

    The knight could tell by the small chuckle from Grant that the other man hadn't really been expecting the compliment, but he gave him a nod regardless. The conversation moved quickly to business, and Guy allowed himself to relax a little bit. He had only heard a little from Eliza when it came to her responsibilities in Brassford, but he was not surprised to find that Hepburn kept her efforts in high esteem. "Actually," he said, a little put off, "Lady Morgan and I are here socially," he said, somewhat disturbed by the fact that there was even an assumption that he could demonstrate no interest in the woman outside of her abilities in the breeding of horses. "Though if it is your recommendation, I shall have the royal groomsman speak with her about stabling some steeds from the Ridge."

    The knight wasn't sure if he was being overly defensive, or if he was just this awkward, but he found himself taking a deep breath as Grant and Eliza fell into a side conversation. He wasn't particularly looking to enter into a chat of his own with Ruby, but it was either that or return to being anti-social. "You look well," he told her with something of an odd smile. She looked better than well, in truth. Confident, comfortable, even happy. He was glad for her. "The castle wants for you, I am afraid," he told her, though he laughed uneasily, so as not to make her self-conscious about her decision to leave.

    There were still things left unsaid between them. Still apologies to be made, and explanations for actions to be offered. But this wasn't the place. "Are you happy," he finally asked, knowing this wasn't the place for that either, but also knowing that a simple yes would be all he needed to put much of the internal struggle to rest. He wanted her to be happy. He knew now that he wasn't ever what was going to make her happy, and there was some solace in that, but he still loved her enough to be happy for her if she had found something better than him.


    @Rubianne Remington @Eliza Morgan

  9. #9
    House Hepburn Grant Hepburn's Avatar  
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    Grant was going out of his way to ignore the interactions of Guy and Rubianne. He had made a point to not listen in on their conversation, and to only check Ruby's facial expressions occasionally for signs of distress. He hadn't anticipated this difficult of a test for her on her first night back in public, but now that it had presented itself he would need to see how she handled it. She had done just fine in dealing with Thomas and Bosleigh, and working around his ideas on Vivienne and where the future might lie for all of them. But Guy Durand was someone who would challenge her emotional strength. And he needed to be sure that she could handle it, if she was going to handle him going forward.

    He knew of course, that he ran a certain risk of rekindling whatever feelings the two of them once had, but the presence of Eliza Morgan was something of a safety blanket. First, it gave him something else to focus on, and second, if she was here as more than a business interest for the Knight of Autumn, then it would help alleviate any chance of Remington and Durand running off together during the intermission.

    "In the gallery," he said, curious about the statement. He knew well that the Durand Family had their own balcony, separate from the royal box, and Guy could have easily arranged for them to watch from a more comfortable setting. Grant wondered, almost with a newfound respect, just what his predecessor's motives were in watching the play from the floor. "Merely curiosity," he said in response to her question. "I have a young ward in my care at the moment, and she has made friends with the queen. She is watching the play with her grace, and I was just wondering how she was enjoying it." All of that was true enough that he didn't think he needed to consider whether or not she would suspect him of bluffing.

    Hearing Guy's voice at last, Grant changed the subject with Eliza in order to keep the conversation going. "I can't believe the festivities are practically over and I am just now running into you. For the sake of decorum, I won't ask for any gossip," he said, referencing her appearance with Durand. There was a roguish smile on his lips, but he gave a shrug that implied that he was almost as fond of secrets he didn't know as those he did. That of course, was a bluff. "But I do feel like we have missed an opportunity. I am due to pay my sister a visit in Stone Forge over the winter solstice. Perhaps you might speak with Lord Rhett and see if I might pay a visit to your stables before I return home. I don't mean to impose of course, but I wouldn't miss an opportunity for business, and a chance to catch up more thoroughly."


    @Eliza Morgan @Rubianne Remington

  10. #10
    House Morgan Eliza Morgan's Avatar  
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    "Actually, Lady Morgan and I are here socially."

    A little flush of pink rose to Eliza's cheeks, and she was a little glad conversation moved back to the firmer ground of horses, since she wasn't entirely sure her smile hadn't been turning a little bashful. She was still a little giddy to be getting such attention from the Knight of Autumn, but she was trying desperately to be composed as she knew her cousin would want her to. 'Keep control of yourself, Eliza. We don't need your...enthusiasm making the wrong impression.' Rhett would have everyone as quiet and stodgy as he was if he had his way, but nevertheless, Eliza had to play by his rules if she didn't want to end up never leaving Brassford again.

    Grant seemed interested to learn where they were sitting, and she found herself nodding to confirm. It was nice, she thought, that he was curious about how his ward was doing; she'd heard plenty of tales of people taking in wards they neglected or didn't care about, and while she wouldn't expect Grant to be like that, it was still good to see. "The queen seems like she's wonderful company, so even if your ward isn't keen on the play, I'm sure she's still having a good time." Although she was curious, Eliza didn't ask who his ward was or how he came to have her. That was really a conversation for a different time and place.

    The woman smiled, dipping her head demurely at the mention of gossip, but was genuinely pleased that Grant seemed to regret not seeing her more while they were both in the same place. "Of course," she said of his offer. "I'm a little surprised he didn't seek you out this week, but I'll absolutely tell him of your interest. I'd certainly be glad to see you for more than a fleeting chat, and I've got some animals I think you might be interested in." It would be easy for her to slip into telling him more about what had become her personal project, making a side branch to the bloodline of the hobbies so favored in the Glade, but she resisted the temptation.

    "How is your sister doing, by the way? I hope all is well with her and her twins. We haven't heard much from Stone Forge lately."

    ----
    @Grant Hepburn

  11. #11
    House Remington Rubianne Remington's Avatar  
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    The wine she'd picked for herself, white in color, was sweet as it rolled across her tongue. Breathing in she could smell the alcohol and she opened her eyes when Guy spoke up. She glanced over at Grant, he was now invested in his conversation with Eliza, it was instinct to look for him at this point. It was now that the conversation was entirely her's to have and she smiled.

    "Thank you." She noted his smile and it pained her. It had been so long since she'd seen it, but in the end it didn't feel the same as it used to. "I do miss it, I'll be honest, but you knew I had no choice but to leave." Their last conversation was not pleasant. She shouted, a lot, and he made excuses and never raised his voice. The fact that he never shouted back irritated her more than she would admit. By the time all was said and done, they'd each said things that could not be taken back, and it left Ruby feeling empty.

    She took another sip of her wine after adding her own opinion to their conversation, "you, too, look well." Ruby gave him a warm smile before raising her glass to her lips again. She took little sips, with no intention of getting drunk at the play, but she felt she needed something to help her be casual during the conversation.

    When Guy finally asked if she was happy, it gave her pause, and she took in a deep breath before looking up to him and tilting her head. It was a moment of silence before she found the words to answer. "Guy." She addressed him quietly, "a while ago I would have said no." A small smile stretched her lips before she continued. "It hasn't been easy, but a lot has changed. I'm in a good place now."

    Ruby looked down to her glass before turning the question back on him. "And yourself, are you happy?" She gave a glance to Eliza who was smiling and talking with Grant.

    @Guy Durand
    Last edited by Rubianne Remington; 11-17-2017 at 08:29 AM.

  12. #12
    House Durand Guy Durand's Avatar  

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    As one of Hebron's most prominent citizens, it was hard to believe that Guy felt as out of place as he did. It hadn't really occurred to him that he was the kind of man who needed a social buffer, but now that he considered how awkwardly the conversation with Ruby was going, and how easily Eliza dissolved into her own interactions, he wondered if part of why he had failed so miserably in relationships was the fact that he simply wasn't good at being around people. It was in fact, one of the reasons why things had not worked out with Rubianne. And he was coming to the conclusion that his poor showing in public outings such as this, probably led Remington to the conclusion that she was a part of the problem. That her name or her station was the reason that he hadn't taken her out more. This wasn't the place for it, but he would have to reassure her later, when he had the chance.

    Her return compliment was taken in stride, though it helped to know that he looked better than he felt. The setting didn't suit him near as well as the joust or other tournament games, where he could talk through the cheering and make educated comments about what was going on. Guy actually understood very little about the theater, and because it was impolite to talk during the production, couldn't exactly ask questions.

    The revelation that Ruby had found herself in a good place was a relief to Guy, and he smiled to let her know that he was glad for her. In hindsight, he probably should have been prepared for the return question, but oddly enough, he wasn't. He didn't really have to consider his answer though, and he almost laughed at himself as he shook his head. "No, not really," he told her quietly. It was of course, not a reflection on Eliza, whom he had only known for three days. Guy was simply not the kind of man who allowed himself forgiveness for his mistakes, and that was another contributing factor in his failings with Ruby. Had he simply been able to let go of some of the conflicts within the castle, and their outcomes, he might have been friendlier, or a better companion. But it simply was not his nature.

    He caught the glance at Eliza, and followed it before looking back at Remington with a smile. "But I haven't given up on trying to be," he assured her. He would need time to get over Ruby, and the sudden appearance of Eliza wouldn't make him forget the time he had spent with the Remington girl. They had enough good moments over the years for him to hang onto, and he had seen first hand with Cailen what happened when people succumbed to their depression. "If you need anything," he said, allowing the statement to fall away. Rubianne knew that she was always welcome around the castle, and that he and Vivienne would make sure that she was still an important part of the queen's life.

    The meeting had turned into one of those stories about how people were put into awkward situations when on a dance floor and they had to change partners, finding themselves in an unfortunate pairing. Guy was about to suggest to Ruby that they collect their respective dates before the play resumed, but it appeared that Grant was having the same thought, as he and Eliza were rounding back on the two of them.


    @Rubianne Remington

  13. #13
    House Hepburn Grant Hepburn's Avatar  
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    Grant noted the orchestra music starting back up to announce that it was almost time for people to return to their seats. He hadn't spotted Aloise, but supposed that the queen mingling during an intermission would be a security nightmare and that anything the royal box required for refreshment was probably brought to them while the other balconies and the gallery emptied for the interlude. He would simply have to ask Aloise about her time at the play when they returned home.

    Guy's comment was not lost on the man, and he gave Eliza something of a wink when he said it. For all his disagreements with Guy on political matters, and the Rubianne situation, Grant recognized that Durand was a man of quality, and was generally well meaning. From the few interactions he had with Eliza Morgan, he was not unconvinced that he was a suitable match, and it was nice to see the woman joining the more prominent social circles of the island. "Quite the prize," he said in her direction under his breath, though it wasn't immediately clear if he was referring to her or her date.

    The matter of Maera was a complicated one, but only because Grant had been very lax in paying attention to it. "Thinner now," he said with a chuckle. The twins had caused Maera to almost double in size, and he remembered her waddling about her home fondly on the one occasion he took to visit. "But I believe quite satisfied with herself and her litter. The boys are amazing, and I am quite fond of them," he added. Grant was determined that he would be the cool uncle, in a family of cool uncles, and was actually trusted by his sister to look after the boys.

    Realizing that he had lost track of time, and wondering if Rubianne needed a rescue, he turned and extended a hand in her direction. "We shall have to catch up more before you leave," he insisted. He would stop short of suggesting a double date for breakfast, but made sure to inform Eliza of where she could find him. "I'm leaving in a couple of days for business," he lied, not sure if Guy had told her anything about the situation in Welch Run. "But tea is served regularly at three, if you care to drop by one afternoon before you head home."

    He turned and spotted Guy, and gave him another nod. "Ser Durand, I shall return your very enchanting date to you, and beg your forgiveness for taking up so much of her time." He gave Ruby a smile that asked if she was ready to head back to their balcony. He wasn't in a rush to sit through more of the play, but he also wasn't keen on being seen to be late in rejoining the production.


    @Eliza Morgan @Rubianne Remington

  14. #14
    House Morgan Eliza Morgan's Avatar  
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    Eliza could only smile and blush, it not being clear who Grant was referencing, and she was secretly relieved when the conversation returned to firmer ground. Despite stepping out with him, she hadn't really allowed herself to think much on the nature of her relationship with Guy. Well, that wasn't entirely accurate. She'd done a lot of thinking about it, but in the end she'd resolved to let it unfold organically, without the need for examination or labels. Flighty and idealistic as she could be, Eliza was in many ways grounded and realistic, and she knew well enough to keep her expectations in check.

    She laughed along with his observation on his sister's decreased girth, and looked genuinely pleased at his assessment. "Aww, it's good to hear they're doing well. Twins can be so dangerous, especially to a new mum, it was hard to not worry." She kept quiet her relative relief to hear that the twins had both been boys; she didn't want to think about what it would have been like to bear a boy and a girl, only to end up losing them both to the Hallward traditions. Such practices may have kept the family safe from the wrath of the volcano god, but Eliza just couldn't think too much about them without feeling queasy.

    "We shall have to catch up more before you leave." Such an obvious cue that the conversation was wrapping up pulled Eliza out of the bubble of conversation, and the orchestra's playing came into focus from the background of her mind. She accepted the open invitation with a gracious nod, and shifted her posture so she was more open to the other two.

    "I'd like that. I'm not sure what my cousin has planned for the remainder of our stay, but if I can manage I'll do my best to stop by." Rhett hadn't even told her when they were leaving, so she couldn't make any firm promises, but she hoped she'd be able to take Grant up on his offer. Surely if there was time her cousin couldn't begrudge her a visit to someone like Lord Hepburn!

    Finally - although she still felt for some reason like she was invading something personal - Eliza turned her attention more fully back to her date. Looking up at him, he looked somehow troubled, and she gave him an encouraging smile. She took a step closer to him and, hoping he wouldn't mind, slipped her hand under his elbow to rest on his forearm. She was nervous about initiating physical contact - was she being too forward? Did she seem possessive? - but Guy had said already that they were here socially, and it was appropriate in any situation for a man to escort a lady on his arm, especially in a crowd, so it seemed fairly safe.

    "If I don't run into you again before we leave, Grant, it was great to get to see you, and I'll be sure to let my cousin know you're interested in visiting." Eliza looked to Ruby, and offered one of her broad, genuine smiles. "I'm very happy to have met you, Lady Remington. I hope to see you again sometime."

    ----
    @Guy Durand @Rubianne Remington @Grant Hepburn

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