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Chaillot is facing a civil war. Rebel Queens have refused to Bless the land and are gathering supporters. Prince Etienne Roux is besieged as female led villages and districts rebel beneath male dominated rule, leaving Dark Haven caught in the middle of the two Blood factions. With the Blood at war the Landen have cast their gaze towards expanding their autonomy. Extremist organizations are rising within their own government as A.C.O.R.N officials move to take further legislative power.
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Author Topic: perfect boys with their perfect lies  (Read 276 times)

Description: Tag: Elle

Offline Chapel Roux

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perfect boys with their perfect lies
« on: Apr 23, 18, 01:57:43 PM »
The Graves Institute was not exactly close to Elle Mason's home, and Chapel had made certain to have someone keep a close eye on his new contractor. Elle provided a number of opportunites to Chapel and his brothers. She was a brilliant scientist in her own right and providing her support and funding could only assist the Roux Court. Yes, war was upon them and there was some argument on 'wasting' money on a Landen scientist, but Chapel offered to take the cost out of his own pockets for the benefit of the Court.

But he had full faith that his investment would be rewarded.

If Elle provided what the Graves Institute were working on then any sort of financial sacrifice would be well worth the cost.

With the commute being what it was, it was easy enough to arrange for one of the carriages to be paid for by him for the day. Elle Mason wasn't in the spy business, so he doubted she'd recognize that the driver was different -- they were likely different each day. He didn't allow himself to appear for the first mile or so, wanting to make certain that they weren't watched. In that time he watched her, picked up on the nuances of how she was while alone. Was it a touch creepy? Oh, most certainly. He'd have to apologize for the necessities of their rendevous.

His throat cleared and he spoke slowly before he appeared. "I do apologize, Mrs. Mason, for these sorts of rendevous." He appeared then, sitting across from her in a gray suit, white shirt and his hands comfortably placed upon a pink gem-encrusted cane that matched the rose of his brooch. "If only social stigma didn't prevent such a public sighting."

Chapel's smile was radiant. "I beg your pardon and your indulgance, of course. I hope you and your family are well? How have you been finding your work as of late?"

Offline Elle Masson

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Re: perfect boys with their perfect lies
« Reply #1 on: Apr 26, 18, 10:53:04 AM »
No, Elle Masson was not in the spy business. ...at least, she hadn't been, before Chapel Roux had effectively turned her into a spy. Still, he was not incorrect in his assessment of her. She paid little mind to the carriages that came and went, and was none the wise when the carriage she climbed into on this particular day was sourced from someone other than the normal transport company. She was rather trained by now to treat the rides to and from work (both to the Institute and previously, to the firm for which she'd worked before) as blocks of precious solitude and silence to be used for decompressing. It allowed her some buffer between the worlds in which she lived, and she had come to rely upon those quiet moments to shift herself back and forth between scientist and wife and mother. One was far less apt to tolerate interruptions, sub-par performance, and a lack of respect for rules and guidelines. The woman she was at home had to let go of the desire for perfection which plagued her working hours, lest she drive her children and husband mad with frustration. And herself as well, most likely.

Now more than ever, she had much on her mind while sinking into the decadent silence of the carriage. She didn't get very far into her processing of the day's events, however, before a sound from the seat across from her stole her immediate attention. Somehow, despite that initial sound of his throat clearing, Chapel's greeting and his appearance still startled her some. It was visible only in the way she tensed, the way her eyes widened and her lips parted. But then she recognized him, of course, and while it would not have been entirely accurate to say she relaxed in response, some of the sudden tension in her did recede.

"Monsieur Roux," she named him, with a respectful nod of her head. She told herself there was no reason for her breath to be short; he'd proven himself to be not only pleasantly-disposed towards her, but interested in her success as well. However, she had a lifelong, culturally-reinforced aversion to the Blood working against her. It was going to take time before she could consider herself truly comfortable in their presence, she reasoned.

"It is quite alright. Though I will confess it... is a little jarring, it is preferable to a public meeting. You understand..." she said, not without some sympathy tainting her tone. But he did understand, they both did. It wasn't Elle's bias that made it dangerous for her to be seen with him in public, after all. It was just the way of things, the nature of the beast. That she was also allowed to be comfortable in her bias at the same time was just a fortunate bonus.

"I am well, thank you; I hope you are as well," she returned, by rote more than anything when he inquired about her and her family. He asked about her work, though, and she took time to consider her answer more sincerely. "It is early, still. To a certain extent, I am still finding my bearings at the Institute. There is more of a press towards collaboration than I anticipated, though we are still afforded time to work on our own projects. Apparently it was Monsieur Graves himself who funds the work of most of the researchers there. I believe I am in the minority, having private funding of my own. It makes for an odd cross of priorities, in some moments. I was initially concerned, but I now believe I will be able to carry out my intended studies unimpeded. Perhaps just not as exclusively as I initially imagined." She blinked, something clearly occurring to her, and she looked back across the cab to focus on the Blood who watched her.

"Were you hoping for actionable information so soon, Monsieur Roux?" She frowned slightly at that thought, though it wasn't clear whether she was insulted by the thought or merely displeased about disappointing her sponsor. Maybe it was a little of both; she wanted to tell herself that he knew better than to expect results so quickly, but why else would he be here, risking a visit? "I am sorry, but if that is the case you may be disappointed for some time yet. Things move slowly in the realm of science, most of the time."

Offline Chapel Roux

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Re: perfect boys with their perfect lies
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 18, 12:59:32 PM »
"Ah." Chapel opened his mouth to let out a breath that was half a sigh and half a laugh as he placed both hands solidly at the crest of his cane. "Doctor, it's Prince. I do not mind overmuch between us, but if you speak to a male of the Blood, best to err on the side of caution with the title of their Caste. But, I do understand. This is all very new and I'm here secreting away into your carriage like a teenager." His smile was a little wan, the tease in his mien as he pulled the cane up to sit across his lap, his hands taking hold of it by neck and stem.

"Quite well, thank you! War has not yet taken any of my loved ones, nor caused much distress to me and mine. My brother is doing exceptionally well. He may have even found someone he might -- dare I say -- love enough to marry? Ahh. If you knew my brother, you'd know that to be a miracle in and of itself."

That was just gossip, of course, but it made it clear he felt comfortable speaking to her in a friendly and relaxed manner than as puppeteer to plaything; a thought she may well have taken into her mind given their relationship. The Landen often thought the worst of the Blood.

Chapel nodded along slowly as she reported what she'd found at the Graves institute, his flirting smile having faded into just a look of deep interest. When she shifted to her question, he blinked a couple times, seemingly confused by it.

"Hrm? What? No? No, I did not expect anything of the sort. I believed that it would take months. If you hear something earlier, that would be wonderful, but my purpose here wasn't for a report.

I wanted to get to know you better, as I'd suggested before. I'd very much like to hear more of your research. I was hoping that you'd indulge me for a dinner?"


He lifted a hand, his slim fingers lingering in the air as he half gestured back toward the driver, or indicating his smooth, glossy hair perhaps. "We've access to the winds, so it could be a more private affair if you're concerned about visibility, or we could go to the coast for some excellent fresh seafood.

I guarantee you, you wouldn't be recognized in Beldon Mor."



Offline Elle Masson

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Re: perfect boys with their perfect lies
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 18, 11:49:09 AM »
Elle's stomach dropped, and a hand shot to her mouth, covering her lips.

"Yes, of course, please forgive me, Prince," she said, quietly but sincerely. That hand fell to her chest, and she started to apologize further but stopped herself. He wasn't berating her for her foolish mistake, and she knew it was only her nerves that made her want to be effusive in her contrition. He even said it didn't bother him overmuch, though that hadn't stopped him from correcting her with an almost instinctive quickness, she noticed. Still, he softened the moment with that smile that was saturated with charm, and Elle told herself it wasn't as grievous a slight as it'd felt. This time, at least.

The subsequent topic was a macabre one, despite how easily the Prince spoke of matters such as his brother (the ruler of all Chaillot! - such a casual reference to such a powerful man!) and the war that ground on around them. She did not miss the 'yet' that made the matter feel so much more grim, and she couldn't argue against it.

"It is a terrible thing," she said, with a concerned frown and a shake of her head. Her parents had expressed concern over some of the supplies for the restaurant getting noticeably more expensive, but they'd been blessedly free of any direct violence, so far. She was grateful for that much, though those felt like more personal thoughts than what she be offered here. "But I am glad for you that your family is safe, thus far," she said instead, with a nod.

Chapel's assurance that he wasn't yet expecting an update on institute matters eased her nerves considerably. She knew how unreasonable it was to expect results so quickly, but a non-scientist couldn't be counted on to always view matters as rationally as she did. It was a relief that the Prince seemed to, and his assurances won a small and grateful smile from the woman. It faltered a little, a touch of that nervousness returning when Chapel moved into explaining that he'd only come to try and have dinner with her. Again. Elle began to decline, as she still had no desire to have to lie to her husband about her whereabouts, and she hadn't told him about her arrangement with Prince Roux. She happened to recall, however, that Benoit would be none the wiser. He had taken the children to his parents' home, where they would stay overnight so that they could go fishing with their grandfather very early the next morning. Benoit enjoyed that sort of thing, and was well aware that Elle did not. There was literally no one at home who would even know she wasn't there, she realized. Quick on the heels of that realization was another: that it was extremely convenient that Prince Roux had chosen tonight to ask for her time again.

So if there was an oddly speculative pause there in response to the Prince's invitation, it was only because she was weighing odds in her mind, and trying to map out the probability of one scenario over the other. Moreover, she was trying to decide whether she minded if it wasn't entirely coincidental.

It felt illicit, even if it was nothing more than a dinner and conversation. It was a secret thing, hidden from her husband and all who knew her, something she alone would know and keep. That should have deterred her, but on the contrary she found the notion strangely enticing. And if he was speaking truthfully, Prince Roux merely wanted to hear more details of her research. Wasn't that fair, considering how much he was doing to help further it?

"I... am... concerned about visibility," she confirmed, her words slowed by thought, and by the last traces of uncertainty while they faded away. "I have..." she said, pausing while she dipped a hand into her bag to withdraw a small ring box. Inside of it was the owl pin the Prince had given her, and she showed it to him. "...to change my appearance, but would it not still draw attention to you to be see dining with a Landen?"

Offline Chapel Roux

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Re: perfect boys with their perfect lies
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 18, 03:59:08 PM »
"Oh, Doctor!" Chapel quickly laughed and quickly reached out to her. He might have caused a start, but as he touched her hand he gently held it and gave a whisper of Seduction Craft into her skin. He, himself, a Doctor, knew that the art could be used to induce a source of relaxation as well as heightened arousal. He used it in that moment just to put a bit of calm into her, a whisper of a magical sedative. "Do not worry, you've not caused me any offense. I know your meetings with the Blood are infrequent, I am just trying to remind you so that it's habit."

The Healer Prince slid his hand back and returned it to the top of his cane. "Then again, come to think of it, it is rather rude of me to think you would know their Caste intrinsically. I forget that you cannot detect the psychic scent of a Caste like I can. Where as I walk up to a Warlord Prince or a Queen and without even looking at them or hearing a word I know what Caste they are -- which already gives you a fair starting point to understand who they are as a person."

Chapel paused, thoughtful, and he tapped his cane into the ground as if punctuating a sentence. "Hmm. I apologize Doctor. I did not look at it from that perspective. I'll try not to assume so much in the future."

They shifted to the topic of the war, but Chapel chose not to delve into it too much. He had a number of thoughts on the matter, some darker than others, but he generally kept things light in most of his conversations. Doctor Mason, especially, he did not want to drag into the politics of the situation at this present time.

...Even if she was already in the politics of the situation, whether she knew it or not.

Nodding when she retrieved her pin, he smiled broadly at her intuitiveness. Her brilliance continued to be a welcome and attractive trait. "Not at all. I have many business associates who are Landen, have had dates with Landen women, and served with Landen men during my stint in the navy. While it's not wholly common, it's not as uncommon as you may thing.

So, dinner? Do you have a specific food I should avoid or is it open season on the restaurants of Beldon Mor?"

Offline Elle Masson

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Re: perfect boys with their perfect lies
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 18, 12:17:26 AM »
"Yes, yes of course, thank you," Elle agreed, a moment of relief allowing a small, softly embarrassed bit of a smile to surface. It was as natural as breathing, sitting back into her seat with her cheeks slightly pinked, amused at her own slip. She was fortunate, she thought, that he was so gracious about such things. There were stories of Blood whose tempers flared at the smallest of slights. As unnerved as Elle was by the Blood in general, and as strange as it still felt to be conversing with one in such a setting, she had never truly felt any malice from Prince Roux. Never anything, in fact, but kindness, interest, and patience.

This thought was then confirmed by the man's following observations, and his voiced consideration of how Landen were at a disadvantage with such things by their very nature.

"Please don't apologize," she told him, that little smile breaking forth once more. "You did tell me when last we spoke; I simply was not being careful. I must admit I am often quite thrown by the unexpected. It was only an oversight on my part." He graciously let the matter rest, and Elle did as well. She did wonder what it must be like to be given such critical information about a person just by walking up to them. It struck her as strange, for the Blood seemed more at odds with one another than the Landen. Shouldn't they understand each other better, with their castes and their extended senses?

But the conversation moved on, and Elle continued to focus her attention on Chapel. She nodded in understanding at his assurances, and looked down long enough to affix the little talisman to her lapel. She shook her head when he asked about what to eat.

"Almost all of Beldon Mor's restaurants will be new to me, and I will try almost anything once," she assured him, with a trace of amusement shining through her smile at last.

Offline Chapel Roux

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Re: perfect boys with their perfect lies
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 18, 02:52:55 PM »
"Ah! At that, Doctor, I fully understand. My life has become a field of unexpected surprises as of late, otherwise I'd likely still have as averse a reaction as you, heh. The world has become a great deal stranger since my brother ascended to the Territory Seat and took me along for the ride." After all, Etienne Roux had apparently taken over the Territory in a coup. It was the source of the civil war at present, a struggle that so far remained only between the Blood but would, as time went on, embroil the rest of the Territory.

As she affixed the talisman, Chapel blinked in obvious surprise. "Ah... I'm sorry Doctor it's... well it's suddenly like I'm faced with a different person. Even your voice changed, just now. It's quite remarkable. I've known my Seer to be capable of some truly extraordinary feats, but much of the Hourglass Coven's arts are a mystery to me.

Fascinating."
He leaned closer, his eyes narrowing just a touch in wonder-filled thought. "No flaws at all in it. It's as if you've become an entirely different person, still wearing the same dress.

Well."
He sat back for a moment, his smile broadening from one of amazement to mischeviousness. "I suppose introductions are in order! It's best if I know your name before we get to our dinner, wouldn't it?"

He extended his hand toward her as he leaned forward. "A pleasure to meet you madameouseille. I am Prince Chapel Roux. And you are?"

Chapel tapped his cane in the floor, and the carriage took a sudden shift as they began to leave their pedestrian roads behind and take to the winds. "Allow me to wist you away, madame, to a restaurant without peer upon the shores of Beldon More, Le Cinq."

Offline Elle Masson

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Re: perfect boys with their perfect lies
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 18, 11:52:41 AM »
"I cannot even imagine," she lamented softly with a shake of her head. She was sincere in her quiet bafflement; her life was normally so uneventful and ordinary, and she found herself at a loss for what such a tumultuous course would be like. Violence was almost entirely foreign to her, which was part of the reason the Blood typically unnerved her so. They so often seemed like walking combustibles, just waiting for some unwitting flame to wander too near. It was stressful just thinking about what it must have been like to take the throne of the Territory by force and power.

Chapel's surprise surprised her, and she mirrored his expression for a beat before understanding drew a modest smile back to her lips. He leaned closer to marvel over the change wrought by the talisman, and she lowered her eyes and held still, letting him appreciate his trinket. The fingers that twined idly in her lap, she noticed, even sported a slightly different tone of skin color. She turned her hands over and found herself amused by the subtle details, the little marks and idiosyncrasies that made the disguise look wholly natural. She had no need to pull out her cosmetic mirror and inspect the strange face; she had spent longer than she'd admit staring at it in the privacy of her washroom at home already. None of the layman's tests she'd run on it had revealed it to be an illusion, and she'd already come to terms with how fascinating (and somewhat eerie) the effect was.

"Remarkable, indeed," she agreed, her smile deepening with some amusement. She looked up when he sat back once more, but was then caught off guard by his 'introduction'. She lifted a hand on instinct in response to his outstretched one, but the need for real thought made her pause, made her hand hover a moment rather than landing immediately on his. Her eyes cut to one side and her brow surrendered a thoughtful crease. "Oh, I hadn't..." she started to explain, but quickly began sifting through potential names. Something not too unique, but not so common that it seemed intentionally so. The names of colleagues and family members flew through her mind, but she denied each one out of fear they would be uncomfortable to hear.

"Bernard," she said, her eyes returning to Chapel's face as she settled on a name. She took from two of her favorite painters, the surname from one and the given name from another. Neither was terribly common nor unique, and both pleased her to hear. "Adele Bernard." She placed her hand into his with a relieved smile, though it was quickly tempered by the realization that her hand was then in his. Adele apparently harbored the same modesty as Elle, because even the illusion's cheeks betrayed a dusting of rose while her head dipped.

But then, as she sat back more fully and Chapel reordered the carriage towards Beldon Mor, it suddenly felt as though she was playing some sort of game. A smile surfaced, nervous but pleased, as she considered how enjoyable it would be to be able to sample the fare from the capital without having to worry about being seen there. Prince Roux seemed easy enough to talk to, for one of the Blood, and there was the chance he would speak freely about his experience as one of that race, and that was exciting from a research perspective as well. The longer she thought about it, the less Elle thought of the dangers of what she was doing, and the more she thought of how much she could gain from the evening. Genuine excitement began to flicker nervously in her breast, and a smile came more easily when he asked to take her to Le Cinq.

"I would be honored, Prince," she told him, rising for once to match the humor in his tone.

Offline Chapel Roux

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Re: perfect boys with their perfect lies
« Reply #8 on: Jun 11, 18, 02:08:10 PM »
"A pleasure to meet you Ms. Adele Bernard." Chapel's smile bloomed into a mischievous, Cheshire-Cat like grin. "I am most excited for you to see the capital. It's truly remarkable if you've never been. And yet for all of its wonder; it's architecture, it's people, it could always stand for improvement."

They took quickly to the Wind then, and faster than ought to have been possible, they found themselves setting down into the raucous livelyhood of Beldon Mor's beachside district. Resorts, restaurants, businesses, and all manner of smaller shops dotted the beach-side that lead up to a tall cliff that overlooked the sea. Chapel removed himself from the carriage first, extending a hand to help her down and then offered his arm for her to act as guide and protector. The Master of the Guard moved with calm and warmth and he made sure to move at perfect pace for her to never feel like he were rushing her.

Along the route there were several waves to him, to which he replied with a smile and wave in return -- his face well known here, and he even had an occasional 'Prince' said to him as he was passed by, with lingering glances toward her. "Do not worry for the wayward gazes. People do love to gossip here." He said toward her with a raucous grin as they made their way upward along a winding marble path to the restaurant.


Le Cinq was as advertised, a lavish restaurant with a perfect view of the sea. There was a small crowd at the door, all seeking entrance, but as Chapel stepped forward he moved past the waiting, hungry patrons to a valet who recognized him and bowed his head deeply.

"Prince Roux." The man said with obvious deferment and respect. "It is our honor to serve you today. Would you like to dine inside or outside?"

"The balcony would be lovely, Renard. Thank you."

"Of course, Prince. Madameousille, please allow us to bid you to the beginning of an experience unto like no other." The valet, a dark haired man with a blocky face and gleaming smile gestured with a pair of menus along the way. A thin blonde waitress in a golden dress appeared and took the menus smoothly from the valet's hands, smiling at Chapel and greeting him immediately as 'Prince Roux'. As they moved through the restaurant, Elle noticed a few of the patrons stop in their conversation and turned to look up at Chapel and her as they passed, though the Healer Prince paid it little mind.

Set to a table next to the balcony with low shades, Elle had a perfect view of the sea and the boats that moved along the sunset. The smell of a fresh ocean breeze wafted up to her, along with the warm biscuits and lobster and butter that were being served to a nearby table. Chapel pulled out a seat for her, then moved to sit himself despite the waitress beginning to do so herself.

Once sat, he smiled warmly at the woman who handed them their menus. "Thank you, Ines. Just water for now for me." He nodded to Elle then to voice any immediate orders, then settled into his seat. Both the wine and full menus had no prices upon them.

The Healer Prince turned his eyes to the sea, taking a slow deep breath. "I love this view. It has all of the beauty and majesty of being on the ocean without having to be on a ship full of sailors." Shifting his bright gaze to her, his smile lingered. "Do you know anyone who served in the navy, Adele? Besides myself, of course." Smoothly the Prince played at the game of their cover, making sure not to name father, brother, husband, or son -- a blank slate for her to create whatever she desired and place upon it.

A menu with no prices.