06.18.3013: Amber and Wine
Summary: Sophie invites Michael for dinner. Poetry and planning commences.
Date: 18 June 2013
Related: None so far! But the night is young… not really.
Sophie Michael 

Courtyard #3 of the Palace
Tucked into a secluded corner of the Palace grounds, this courtyard is used to meet with people discreetly. Normally used for meetings that deal with matters of the state, matters of business, and the like. The courtyard is easily watched from the towers, and easily defended if anyone attempts attack.
18 June 3013

The late hour of the afternoon is marked with the faint sounds of city busy. The courtyard is clear of people however, and a small table has been set for two. There is little to suggest romance though, as the settings are on the plain side. Though still extravagant for Michael, this would be almost boorish setting for Sophie. The courtyard itself is small and tucked away, the trees are well groomed and there is a flower bed ringing a pond in one corner. A stone bench sits just before it so that perhaps two could sit and look into the garden.

Michael enters from a side gate, his citizen station meaning he isn't given much in the ways of entrance options. He's dressed in that very nice dark green tunic with the dappled leather neck and cuffs. His outfit flows down from there with dark brown pants, a nice bronze and copper belt, and his hair is both slightly damp and naturally curling inwards.

Sophie enters through the main gate wearing a luxurious black silken dress, red designs curling across transparent draping sleeves and the fine fabric along her torso. The skirt of her dress glides along the steps as she makes her way down towards the waiting man, Caedmon marching to follow just behind her. An onyx necklace decorates her slender pale throat, while a red hairband holds her opulent golden brown tresses close to her svelte form. Amber eyes spot the man in rich green, picking up her skirts only slightly so that she might reach him just a bit faster. Smiling cheerfully, she bows her head and offers softly, "good evening, Young Master Michael. It is nice to finally meet you on purpose this time around."

Michael smiles as Sophie approaches him and bows gracefully from the waist but not so far as the double over. "Good evening Lady Sophie, and though it is nice to have actually planned this meeting. It is happy serendipity to see you at anytime." he smiles softly, and nods to her guard, still not knowing the man's name but his duty to Sophie means he's a skilled warrior. Michael steps to the table and pulls out a chair with indication he intends it for her. He'll wait until she sits if she does, and then scoot her forward afterwards. "You look resplendent in that dress, milady."

Sophie giggles lightly and bobs her head in response, "I agree, Michael. It is a pleasant evening to have with my friend's squire." She gracefully settles down in the offered chair, neatly spreading out the skirts of her dress, "thank you, Michael. You look very good in your own outfit." She cants her head to the side, "so you promised me some poetry? I would be delighted to hear it, if I may?"

Sitting down after scooting in Sophie's chair, Michael smiles at her and then moves to his own chair, sitting comfortably in it. He nods, "Thank you, and of course. What sort of poem would you care to hear?" he asks, then chuckles softly, "The one I prepared about drakes will be for last."

Sophie chuckles softly, "well, I have heard very few poems in the past. I would enjoy listening to almost any you can come up with, I should think." She smiles at the mention of drakes, tapping her chin, "if not drakes, then perhaps…a poem about war and battle? I am quite interested in how one might write beautifully about such a thing." She glances towards her guard, "Sir Barrow, would you please request dinner be brought to us?" She glances to Michael, "I am curious what you thought to have prepared."

"Ambition plays in the heart of the fray, the sounds are most disturbing. The cries of joy and screams of pain, the fainted death's moaning. A battle's romance is lesser still, to the knight's who go a'riding. Into the heart of enemy lines, for honor and glory's finding. Take up the battered standard, take up your father's sword. Face your foes and resolve your soul, and fight without remorse." he takes a pause, then seems to stop entirely.

Sophie smiles brightly and lightly claps her hands together, "very good, Michael. That was lovely. A combination of the good and bad that comes with battle. Glory and pain, honor and fighting without remorse." She blinks, tapping her chin in thought, "I wonder. Perhaps I could draw something up to couple with your poem, Michael. Before releasing it to the public. Something to give hope in the fight with the Hostiles. I very nearly should have included that with my posters…I do not know how well they were received. I put to much in them…" She shakes her head, "no matter. I believe it is my turn to make good on my promise. So this plan…this mission that I intend to borrow you for. Taryn Wystrel…" She peers at the man, "I think you have met him. Taryn Wystrel had a dream." She licks her lips, "please, do not spread this fact to others. He is Awakened, and such dreams have a tendency to be prophetic." She shakes her head, "anyway, this dream he had was of an eagle, hooded and jessed and carrying a purple and gold scrap in its talons, which was placed in a cage atop the skull of a drake. After conversing with him as well as others, we have come to the decision that the drake symbolizes the Drake Mountains. So I had this thought. Perhaps I might goad the prophecy into reality by heading to the mountain myself. That is, if the eagle stands for a royal. I would implant myself with a tracking beacon, and stand as bait for whatever waits for us there. Upon my capture into this cage in the dream, you and a number of other warriors would track me down and save me."

Michael smiles at first, "Thank you milady, you're very kind. I wrote that after my first battle… it was a life altering experience." his smile fades as he listens, the flicker of knowing in his eyes. "Indeed, Taryn and I are very close friends now, even only knowing each other for a few days as we have. We have an understanding, that speaks to our respect of the other." he pauses, "He told me of his dream, but nothing of your plan… you do realize why so many are against it? I have the confidence in you to survive, and I'd be at the head of the rescue… but, you put yourself into danger by waiting over long. Taking too many people with you, and hoping that any enemy isn't smart enough to detect the tracking beacon and remove it. I'd suspect they wouldn't be kind to your beauty when they did remove it too." he takes a moment to think, "I am trained, though I've not seen much combat in my life, and with Sir Barrow, I would think just the few of us should be enough to scout the mountains to determine if there is actual danger."

Sophie sighs softly, "I can certainly understand that, Michael. Though mine was not…quite as intense as I am sure yours was, I did have enough difficulty that I will likely never rush into battle blindly again…" She laughs softly, "Ellie would love to hear that, I am sure." She arches her brow at the mention of some sort of understanding, though nonetheless continues to listen with obvious interest, "it is not so certain that they could so easily locate the tracking beacon, Michael. And I know my plan is very dangerous, but…b-but I think it is the best option we have. Perhaps this dream that Taryn has had intends to warn us away from inaction. Perhaps if we do nothing, those in the Drake Mountains will grow to become a serious threat." She blinks at casual mention of her beauty, flushing lightly to the nonchalant comment, trying to return to the conversation just as Michael finishes speaking, "w-what? Oh, well, I cannot say for certain…do you truly think that might be best? What if this threat turns out to be too great for such a small company of scouts?"

Michael speaks softly, but there is a certain amount of confidence to his tone. "I would carry you back in one piece, still breathing, even if I were inches from taking the next journey in life. I may not be a hero, or Awakened, but I know when the battle is lost and I'm an excellent sprinter. Sir Barrow, I'm sure, would agree that he'd put his life in the way so that I could swift you away if this course of action proved too great." he pauses, having locked eyes with Sophie during saying this, he looks down to his plate. "However, if it is possible for us all to wear scout suits with color changing properties.. this could easily be explained as a hunting trip to teach you the rudiments of it."

Sophie shifts uneasily in her chair, imagining the events described as they play out in her mind, "t-thank you, Michael. It is…i-it is nice to hear you speak so…confidently…" She blushes gently, looking down awkwardly at the table and fiddling nervously with the skirt of her dress. She purses her lips in thought after all goes silent, letting her cheeks return to their normal tint before declaring, "I…I d-don't know, Michael. I should really tell my sister, at least. And…well…the plan was to use me as bait. If I am captured as the dream seems to suggest, then we should bring as many people as I can muster to save me…" She shrugs her shoulders lightly, "b-besides, for those that know me, they should already realize that I am a capable forester already…for those that believe I have done more than learn my Awakened powers while in the Arborenin Woods. I imagine I could teach you a thing or two about hunting."

"The light of youth within her eyes, encased in liquid amber. A heart of gold within her breast, filigreed with love. Beauty's caress of her skin, can't not be remembered. Tressel'd hair so soft and pure, a clear give from above. Resplendent in all she wears, from January to December. Her ambitions high, her skills enough, the chance to prove her worth. She seeks to walk to lion's mouth, and from it's clutches pluck, the right to call herself. A woman, possessed of those traits of delicate grace, and battle hardened beauty. Yet softer is her normal state, to which she will revert, whence she spies a drake." his poem concluded, the servers who'd arrived just as they were talking quietly walk forward to serve Sophie first, and see to her needs, then bring Michael his meal and see to his.

Sophie flushes a deep pink as Michael abruptly breaks out with poetry, listening to his words and feeling her heart flutter at their meaning. She smiles in wonder, awed by the talent the man possesses, looking deeply into his eyes only long enough for her shy demeanor to settle in and force her to look away. She glances down at the skirt of her dress, drawing the fabric into her dainty grasp, the heat rushing through her face while she quietly holds audience to the delightful words. She flinches with surprise when the servers come to place a meal before her, drawn in so closely to Michael's sweet poetry. She tries her best to actual as natural as she may, nodding her head and waving her hand to relay agreement or denial to the varied selection of food to be set upon her plate. At last, only when the servers have disappeared from the courtyard once more, she shyly offers, "t-that was beautiful, Michael…t-thank you…"

Michael smiles at Sophie with a look of warmth, and kindness. "You're welcome, Lady Sophie, each word spoken truthfully. I wanted you to know that I understand why you desire to be in combat so much, and to go off on fantastic quests such as this. Place yourself into danger… and if I can, I'll walk with you there. You shouldn't have to feel like you need to prove yourself, you're rather important and proven as you are." he stops, and takes a light sip of his drink, "Now, about this hunting expedition where you'll be showing me a thing or two about hunting?" he smiles, "I'm not the biggest fan of the outdoorsy, but I can learn in time I suppose."

Sophie flushes even further to Michael's words, drawing inwards in bashful anxiety, "I-I…I appreciate it, Michael…truly, t-thank you…" She chews uncertainly upon her lower lip, picking up a glass filled with wine and idly watching the liquid flow along the edges as she rolls the vessel about her hand, "I hardly think I am proven yet. So few people believe I can do anything more than sit safely in my bedroom during the war…" She sighs softly, taking a tiny sip of her drink. Still, when the hunting trip is mentioned once more, she ever so slightly relaxes, "you'll get used to it. The outdoors is beautiful and wild and magnificent. I was nigh raised in the forests of Arborenin, with my Awakened tutor, Eadric Peake. Though…it is less us that are hunting, and more our enemy that I intend to get me captured. I had a plan where I would be taken and others would secretly track me, so that we might learn where their base lies, whatever or whoever they are. Though the Drake Mountains are a very large place, I thought the prophecy might be persuaded to become fulfilled by simply going there. In the worst case and nothing happens at all, we simply return home after an entertaining night of camping out."

Michael smiles again, "I may not have been entirely clear… I meant our camping trip." his lips twitch slightly at a smirk that tugs on them, "You had said you'd teach me the bow, and I'd like to learn how to use one." he locks his eyes with hers for a moment before letting them float gently down to his plate. He begins to politely eat his meal, making sure to speak without food in his mouth. "Unless… such a trip would be inappropriate. I am only a citizen, so I understand."

Sophie blinks at the suggestion, slowly setting her glass back down on the table, "I-I…" She flushes yet more, chuckling softly, "I g-guess we could go on our own camping trip…it would be nice not to feel so worried about the dangers that lie on the Drake Mountains, and simply enjoy the trip itself…" She nods her head, "very well, perhaps I can show you the Arborenin Woods…" She glances up, only to be locked in a gaze with the man. She falls silent, heart thumping faster in her chest, only finding her voice once more when Michael returns to his food. She samples the meal, chewing lightly on the platter set out before her. All the while, Caedmon frowns deeply behind her seat, staring almost suspiciously at Michael. For Sophie's part, she shakes her head nonchalantly, "not at all, Michael. I've gone on trips with friends before, and some were Citizens like yourself."

Noticing the knight-guard's frown and stare, Michael swallows a bite of food and looks into his glass. Wine? Not having had it before Michael simply asks Sophie, "Wine… is there some casual ritual to it's consumption? I fear I've never tasted it before." he looks up at Sophie and finds again her eyes, "It would be nice to finally see the Arborenin woods, or even just Arborenin its self. I haven't traveled a whole lot, surprisingly, so I'm eager to travel as much as I can. Where ever you'd think is best, Lady Sophie, I'd like to see." then he smiles again to her, "I could make sure to prepare ever more poetry for you for our trip… also, if you'd like me to, I can always come to see you to recite poetry for you, or even draw. You'll have to teach me to draw though."

Sophie completely misses the silent exchange between Michael and her guard, simply smiling and picking up her glass of wine, "well, not ritual that I know. Though I have seen some people scenting to aroma of the wine and slowly tasting it, rather than merely drinking it down." She shrugs her shoulders casually, "I just drink it." She nods her head excitedly at further mention of the Arborenin Woods however, taking a single sip of her wine before responding, "the forest is absolutely beautiful. There are so many wild animals to draw or simply watch. I could get lost in there forever." She giggles softly, blushing faintly yet again to Michael's words, "maybe we can trade skills then. I can show you how to fight with a bow and how to draw, while you can teach me how to use the sword and speak poetry like breathing air."

Picking up the glass, he runs it under his nose. Inhaling slightly and getting the sweet scents of the wine. He tests a sip of it, sweet but also light and airy. He chuckles softly, "The wine matches the woman it seems…" he starts before catching himself and cutting off. He listens to her speak about the woods, and smiles, "Well, a trip together to the woods would be a great way to teach me how to draw." he smiles, "And of course, if you'd like to learn to use a sword, I could teach the basics without problem." then it's his turn to blush, "Thank you, your words are kind about my poetry. I'd be happy to recite poems to you whenever you wished."

Sophie watches the man do precisely as she suggested, chuckling gently while she observes the act. Of course, when Michael seems to complement both the wine and herself, she simply cannot help but blush at the words, "i-it is good wine…" She nods her head lightly, doing her best to distract herself from words that induce such bashfulness, "I would very much enjoy teaching you to draw, both an arrow and a pastel." She takes another sip of her wine, "I know very little about using a sword, so you will almost certainly have to teach me from nearly the beginning." She flushes when he flushes, seeming never to be capable of escaping her blush, "they are beautiful poems, Michael. I am surprised to have met such a refined squire." Throughout it all, Caedmon is frowning deeply enough that his lips threaten to slide off his chin.

Michael chuckles gently, his blush returning. "Again I thank you." he takes another light sip of the wine, it tastes good but he notes the hint of alcohol and stops drinking. "Wine… is an alcohol?" he asks softly, then shakes his head slightly, setting it down. "I'll need to be cautious with it then, I don't have a drinking problem, but I'd prefer not to be too bold with you Lady Sophie." he smiles and lets his own eyes meet hers yet again, "You're far to beautiful for me to ever want to have dislike me. I much prefer your company over alternatives." his look is a little serious for a moment, before he looks away. "They blaze in glorious flames from high, the winged masters of the sky. They dance with grace on currents of air, at whim they go most anywhere. Their scales are made from hardened sleek, the scent of danger they doth bespeak. A drake of fire from mountains high, passes close and then goodbye. To Lady Sophie, she rides them upon… her face shows luminescent fun."

Sophie waves a hand lightly in the air, "it is only the truth, Michael. Thank you for letting me listen to them." She chuckles softly, nodding her head, "only some alcohol, I think, but not too much." Naturally, the man just has to elicit yet another blush from her, her amber eyes gazing into his own until her head quickly turns towards her meal. She continues to fiddle with her skirt while Michael begins a third poem, though her ears are wide open to listen to his intriguing words, "oh, if only were that to be true. I dream of the time when I might experience such an event, as flying atop a magnificent drake." She relaxes back in her seat, heart beating faster than it rightly should, "that was an excellent meal, Michael. I really enjoyed it. I am excited to go camping with you sometime."

Having also finished his meal, Michael nods to Sophie. He then glances up at Sir Barrow before once more gazing into her eyes, this time on purpose. "Perhaps the evening doesn't need be finished? There is always the garden to look at, I'm sure there are many splendid stories you have to tell. And I'm sure I could think of something interesting for you to hear." he waits to see if she'll accept his offer of sitting on the bench and looking into the garden. His suspicions were nearly on the right track he thinks, and he'll see just how far he can push. "Of course, we can also go for a walk together somewhere. Perhaps see Matthius at night? He might be more awake at this time…"

Sophie shifts uncertainly in her seat, licking her lips and fiddling even still with the skirt of her dress, "w-well…I…" She takes a deep breath before shyly replying, "I w-would like that…though I still need to speak with my sister about my plans…Taryn has been urging me to tell her. And well…I think it would probably be best if I do." She giggles lightly, cheeks flushing with heat, "but I promise, I would very much like to walk with you in the garden, and show you what Matthias looks like at night. Just…I should speak with Ellie before she sleeps…" She winces slightly, looking reluctant, "might we enjoy the gardens and a walk through the zoo tomorrow? I would so like to hear more of your poems, and I can hardly wait to venture into the Arborenin Woods with you for a camping trip…"

Michael smiles softly at Sophie, "Of course Lady Sophie, and it is a good idea to speak to your sister… just leave my mention out of it if you would." he glances up a the sky, "I do not think I'll sleep for some time, if you find you have freedom, I'd be happy to make more early morning than tomorrow's day." he smiles again while look into her eyes one last time, a soft gentle look, almost like a smolder. "And again anytime after that, I am happy to spend time with you Lady Sophie, I always enjoy your company even if for a brief moment it may seem." then at mention of the trip, "As do I look forward to it." with that he stands, and offers his hand to her to assists her if she'll stand as well.

Sophie smiles pleasantly, nodding her head, "I will, I'll keep you from the discussion. If she does agree to it however, I may tell her who has joined me on this endeavor." She chuckles lightly, "I may have time later, though tomorrow would be a better day to walk the gardens and relate stories I could tell. Of course, I am sure you have far more than I." When the man gazes so strangely into her eyes, she shifts uneasily in her seat, chewing at her lower lip and glancing towards the table. Only when he speaks once more does she raise her head, replying, "I have enjoyed your company as well, Michael." When he stands and offers her a hand, she gratefully takes it and gently rises from her seat, "thank you for the lovely dinner, Michael. I will send a missive when next I am available." At that, she begins making her way towards the steps out the courtyard, Caedmon offering a silent warning stare to Michael before quickly moving to follow.

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