09.05.2013: Blessed Words
Summary: Alistair surprises the pragmatic Nora with a visit to Madame Blessed.
Date: 02 09 2013
Related: All logs pretaining to Alistair/Nora dates
Alistair Nora 


Ring Business
N/A
September 5, 3013

A holopic is sent to Nora's tablet depicting a painting of the Southern Wilds. Words slowly appear. "To tempt fate again, one should perhaps go first to where things began. An open mind can indeed learn, though humor instead may have its turn. The choice remains yours, for a memorable experience, one way or another."

Seeming rather patient in the streets of the Bazaar, Alistair is wearing very functional attire again. Navy tunic with neutral cloth pants and boots that seem rather worn. A hood is over his head, attached to the tunic. He is leaning against the wall just a door down from Blue Nirvana, seeming content to take in the scenery and the smells for now.

A destination is to be had and so it is with purpose that Nora strides through the Bazaar and much like the lastime they met, she herself is wearing something similar. The symmetrical black fitted outfit turns shades of purple when she moves and her hair is once more styled and slicked back to allow her distinguished cheekbones to be seen, despite the covering of her hood. There is a flash of bare skin at her midriff where her top criss crosses too high in the front. She cuts an Practical shoes, shorter heels allow for her to be a bit more at ease with her stride.

The Blue Nirvana begins to make its appearance not far in the distance and she begins to weave her way through the others, not seeing him yet as her icy blue eyes scan.

Removing his hood, Alistair notices her in the distance, but remains still, content to watch her from afar, his pale blue eyes only glancing at her briefly before innocently moving around the Bazaar and the artifical environs. He kinda smooths his hands over his pants though.

Even with the obvious motion of his hood being removed, the woman does not notice him right away. In fact, Nora lifts on her toes briefly to get a look around and over the foot traffic in the area. Her brows furrow and lips part before her head swings about again in determination of finding something, or someone.

Having to withstand the continued movement of others, she steps aside, heading closer to the Blue Nirvana and it is then, in her bold strides face her in his direction. Eyes finally catch up and she meets his gaze, slowing as her her head tilts and a nod is offered to him. Her pace picks back up, but this time a somewhat more leisurely in its execution. "Alistair, I received your message."

A simple smile on his face as she approaches, Alistair's eyes seem to have a childish mischief behind them. "I had hoped so, though a part of me did wonder what might have happened if that message had been sent to a random stranger, some poor soul could journey so far away in search for someone or something." Smile broadening a bit.

A bemused smile pulls at her lips, defining laugh lines all the more, "Yes, and with your picture of the southern wilds…it would be no wonder they did not end up somewhere you were not even at. I am glad I can read between the lines. But alas, you are stuck with me, as you seem to have accurate information and I was able to pry myself from my work. Though I will say, I had to really squeeze the value out of my time to be able to get here at all."

His smile will lessen a bit at the end of her statement. "Hmmm…some unreasonable soul caused you to be more efficient? How very intriguing." He smirks still, though there was an obvious flash of something akin to guilt or worry. "I wonder, Miss Nora Istre, Assistant Castellan to House Orelle…" Yes, he does elongate and use every word. "…who just last night wore a stunning dress of Leonnidan blue, if you can tell me the few ones a person can get to truly know another." There's some sort of challenge in the tone of Alistair's voice, as if he's obviously fishing for some 'correct' clue.

"Yes, I shall have to give this person my thanks, I am always looking for ways to improve." His smirk is returned with her own though her attention focuses on the use of her full title and name. A brow arches and she seems amused still, "Hmmmmm I would guess talking would help, as that is how you would find out more. Time. As we have so adequately defined before. And it really depends what way you want to get know someone…because if we are talking physically, I need to amend my answer."

"Hmmm…" The Senator reflects the playful thoughtfulness of the moment. "But what would you do if talking proved futile and time seemed to be unable to improve the lot? Say you still desired to know more about this person, and acquaintances left much unanswered?" He offers his arm with a small smile, seeming amused by the thought exercise.

Whether or not she is avoiding the true answer to his question is not for certain but her next answer is a cheeky one as she takes his arm. Her hand slides in along the inside, not shy in the slightest, "If I were you and wished to know? I would use my endless resources to stalk said person." Which she has done to some degree. Her smile grows and she glances up at him, "I am still not getting it right, am I?"

"Perhaps you are…what about more…unorthodox methods." Alistair smirks and starts to walk, seeming to have a destination in mind. "And, no, I don't mean the utilization of the body, though that too provides its own level of discovery."

"Unorthodox…perhaps forcing it out of them through torture," she answers as if that is no big deal. Though torture could mean a great many things. Her head turns, looking up at him as she falls into step at his side. "I am still far off…yes?" There is a great sense of amusement.

"Well, Nora, I must ask you a very important question then." Alistair's expression attempts to be a mock serious one. They have gone a decent way on the street and he stops them at an intersection of sorts in the Bazaar. "How do you feel about the mystical, the spirits, the forces beyond our sight and control?" He sounds like he's mocking these things with his tone joking. Sooo…if Nira is, he's probably not done himself a favor there.

"It sounds like you are asking me if I like to waste my time believing in such nonsense as that which can not be supported by my senses, if that is the case, I would say no," Nora affirms, so he need not worry. "Dare I ask why this is being brought up? Is that how you plan on getting to know me?" There is rather bemused sound to her voice, taking each step with care as she sways into his side, her hip bumping his.

"I must confess to never having tried, but one must improvise on occasion, test their own skepticism, if you will." As they turn towards the right, a sign for a rather old-fashioned appearing shop reads 'Madame Blessed's Mysteries.' "I myself have never been in, but have been assured it's either entertaining or insightful." He nods towards the wooden door with a smirk, seeming maybe excited.

"And a waste of time?" Nora hazards but by the smile she is likely joking. Likely. Her eyes study the sign and there is a wrinkling of her nose as she draws a breath and tenses on his arm very briefly. "For you, Alistair. Only for you will I try this. All this effort just for me, I can be sympathetic to the thought. That is what counts..or so they say?" She will follow him in, despite her earlier voicings.

Shrugging at the question. "If it is, we'll all be reminded about why I have staff that persistently force me to follow the agenda, rather than my darned spontaneity." Alistair is still smiling, probably a bit curious himself, holding the door behind him, looking around at the 'decor.' "See? These objects are quite obviously of the tried and true variety…"

Tucked away in a little corner of the bazaar is the occult shop owned by Madame Blessed. It is accessed by a more traditional door that swings on whispering hinges, causing a series of deep and melodic bells to chime each time someone enters or leaves. The smell of the shop is that of warm incense and herbs, mulling together into a scent that does not quite overwhelm but certainly emphasizes that this is a strange, little place. The cool, metal floors have been dressed in threadbare rugs that are deep and rich shades of blue and red. There are bookcases lining the walls and display tables scattered throughout the space which contain old fashion and modern holographic books, odd knick-knacks, baskets of beaded necklaces, boxes of gemstones and crystals, and other such things. Toward the back of the shop is a long and smooth counter and behind which is another grid of shelves. These little cubbies contain jars and urns of poultices, herbs, oils, salves, and other mixtures that require the Madame or one of her youthful assistance to divide out into smaller containers for sale. A beaded curtain disguises the passage way to the backroom where clients are escorted for a reading from the Awakened mystic.

"I am uncertain if I know what is tried and true when it comes to such practices, Alistair," Nora adds as she gives a full look around the shop. There is a sort of distanced study of each nook and cranny, heels dulled by the rugs that have seen better days below her feet. It is the cubbies behind the corner that draw her attention, the scent far too musky for her like, though it only shows in the wrinkling of her nose. "Seems, interesting…do you often take all of your dates here? I would like to think you are choosing to do so with me to test my thresholds."

Laughing aloud, Alistair does seem slightly uncomfortable. "So, you admit this is a date then?" He smirks and hmmms. "If I had known…" There's a teasing tone to his voice as he seems to be trying to think through the rather strong smells. He'll glance sideways towards her. "And no, I've never brought anyone here before. Though none of my…dates…have seemed quite so interested in knowing me, at least as being direct about it." There's a sound from the back of someone moving.

Her head turns, looking up at him with a grin to pull at her lips, "I have admitted, though I would assume by your clever invitation, that is exactly what it is. Or were you wanting it to be something else?" Nora counters and then adds faintly, "Then they are fools not to wish to know an intriguing man such as yourself. Knowledge is power, Alistair." Though the sound of someone else leaves her further explanation from issuing forth, instead she turns expectantly. "Do we bow?" It is a tease, a brief blue glance cast up at him from the corner of her eye.

"If you do believe this will be a waste of the time you've set aside, there's this great club down the street called Blue Nirvana…" Alistair smiles as a woman appears from the back, carrying various items. She's dressed entirely as you might expect and is half-humming, half-singing to herself. His statement seems to underscore a tone of nervousness and an opportunity to leave the shop as he kinda turns towards the door.

Even as he starts to turn, Nora can not help but smirk to herself and she grasps at his arm and pulls him gently in the direction of the woman. "I think you missed both of my questions, but I shall ask them again later," her voice lowers and then she smiles at the shop owner. "Hello, I wonder if you can help us? My lovely companion here wants to get to know me better and I him. We thought perhaps you could help us with that? Did I get that right?" The last is offered to Alistair - prompting him to speak if she even manages to keep him from exiting.

Relenting to her grip quite quickly, the Senator moves with catches the moment with a sincere looking smile. "Yes, yes that sounds about right." Why had he thought of this in the first place? Quiet an embarassing, childish thing to do… He shakes his head and resolves to move forward.

The woman looks betwixt the two of them, exiting her own little revelry. She doesn't say anything for a few moments as her brown eyes survey them over. She's a good deal shorter than either Nora or Alistair, and she hums a little to herself as she turns away and puts the collection of cloth and objects into a box behind the counter. "And just how am I supposed to help with that?" She places her hands on the counter, voice sounding irritated as she raises an eyebrow to the two of them.

Nora is not detered - this is her date, she is going to make Alistair also go through with it as well as she steps closer to the counter and the woman, whether or not he follows. "Well, we were having a discussion of Fate the other night, I think perhaps this is what has spurred this into motion. Perhaps you could tell us our futures…possibly. We trust ourselves to your expertise, madam." She spreads her hands.

A little taken aback by her criticizing glare, Alistair seems to be concerned…until Nora picks up without missing a beat. His lips curve upward into a soft smile. "Everyone knows of your talents, ma'am. We simply wish to see for ourselves. Can you help us?" He seems a terrible liar, and somewhat uncomfortable at the half-truths.

The woman chuckles, relaxing immediately. "Gets 'em everytime, alright you two lovebirds, come on back." She waves them to a dimly lit room that otherwise is rather plain. A round table is in the middle, and the smell of incense and other oddities has mostly given way to something more akin to freshly baked bread. "Well…have a seat and let's see what the cards have to say."

Laughing aloud, Alistair does seem slightly uncomfortable. "So, you admit this is a date then?" He smirks and hmmms. "If I had known…" There's a teasing tone to his voice as he seems to be trying to think through the rather strong smells. He'll glance sideways towards her. "And no, I've never brought anyone here before. Though none of my…dates…have seemed quite so interested in knowing me, at least as being direct about it." There's a sound from the back of someone moving.

Her head turns, looking up at him with a grin to pull at her lips, "I have admitted, though I would assume by your clever invitation, that is exactly what it is. Or were you wanting it to be something else?" Nora counters and then adds faintly, "Then they are fools not to wish to know an intriguing man such as yourself. Knowledge is power, Alistair." Though the sound of someone else leaves her further explanation from issuing forth, instead she turns expectantly. "Do we bow?" It is a tease, a brief blue glance cast up at him from the corner of her eye.

"If you do believe this will be a waste of the time you've set aside, there's this great club down the street called Blue Nirvana…" Alistair smiles as a woman appears from the back, carrying various items. She's dressed entirely as you might expect and is half-humming, half-singing to herself. His statement seems to underscore a tone of nervousness and an opportunity to leave the shop as he kinda turns towards the door.

Even as he starts to turn, Nora can not help but smirk to herself and she grasps at his arm and pulls him gently in the direction of the woman. "I think you missed both of my questions, but I shall ask them again later," her voice lowers and then she smiles at the shop owner. "Hello, I wonder if you can help us? My lovely companion here wants to get to know me better and I him. We thought perhaps you could help us with that? Did I get that right?" The last is offered to Alistair - prompting him to speak if she even manages to keep him from exiting.

Relenting to her grip quite quickly, the Senator moves with catches the moment with a sincere looking smile. "Yes, yes that sounds about right." Why had he thought of this in the first place? Quiet an embarassing, childish thing to do… He shakes his head and resolves to move forward.

The woman looks betwixt the two of them, exiting her own little revelry. She doesn't say anything for a few moments as her brown eyes survey them over. She's a good deal shorter than either Nora or Alistair, and she hums a little to herself as she turns away and puts the collection of cloth and objects into a box behind the counter. "And just how am I supposed to help with that?" She places her hands on the counter, voice sounding irritated as she raises an eyebrow to the two of them.

Nora is not detered - this is her date, she is going to make Alistair also go through with it as well as she steps closer to the counter and the woman, whether or not he follows. "Well, we were having a discussion of Fate the other night, I think perhaps this is what has spurred this into motion. Perhaps you could tell us our futures…possibly. We trust ourselves to your expertise, madam." She spreads her hands.

A little taken aback by her criticizing glare, Alistair seems to be concerned…until Nora picks up without missing a beat. His lips curve upward into a soft smile. "Everyone knows of your talents, ma'am. We simply wish to see for ourselves. Can you help us?" He seems a terrible liar, and somewhat uncomfortable at the half-truths.

The woman chuckles, relaxing immediately. "Gets 'em everytime, alright you two lovebirds, come on back." She waves them to a dimly lit room that otherwise is rather plain. A round table is in the middle, and the smell of incense and other oddities has mostly given way to something more akin to freshly baked bread. "Well…have a seat and let's see what the cards have to say."

Lovebirds. Nora puts on a beautiful smile that causes her blue eyes to soften and as Alistair falls into step, she waits so she can slide her arms around his and hugs close to his side. "She can see right through us darling, lovebirds!" Oh how she's playing up the part, though he might notice the glint of wry humor in her gaze.

Once they enter the other room, the castellan finds a chair and settles herself, keeping Alistair's hand in her own to play up the part, weaving her fingers with his. "I find it so interesting that cards can give so much detail."

Amused at the entire situation, the Leonnidan seems to be enjoying himself immensely now. He pulls a chair from the table. "If you are ready to hear the voice of the Fates…dear." He attempts a sly wink away from the face. If she takes the seat, his hand will rest on her shoulder for a moment as she sits, and then he'll sit.

"Oh, it's not so much about the cards…" Madame Blessed huffs as she goes over to a dresser and closes her eyes as she briefly rests her hands on the cards. "Hmmmm…these will do, I believe." Returning to the table, she continues her interrupted explanation. "Your spirit knows the cards when you pick, not the other way around." A quick look between the two of them. "Eugenia Blessed don't charge more than you see as fair, and you'll pay after." She nods, though some of her clientle would definitely not get that offer.

The hand at her shoulder earns a glance, but Nora does not speak to the touch, in fact her eyes are soon enough on the Madame. Scooting forward, as always, Nora perches straight backed at the edge of her seat and watches closely. Analyzing each motion before she nods her head, "Very well…do we pick together or by ourselves?"

Alistair will actually seem surprised at the pay offer from the psychic…medium…what is she exactly? He shrugs at the thought. "More than fair." His tone seems far more sincere than before.

Eugenia looks between the two of them, closes her eyes momentarily. Opening them again, she says. "Your paths are not in alignment. The energies would cause conflict…yes…" She hops up and grabs another deck, sets it in front of Alistair, some sort of Roman numerals on the back. She sets another in front of Nora, it has the same eye in each of the four corners. "There's no wrong way to pick the cards. Just don't peek. Let's say…4 each, to start?" She looks to them expectantly.

Nora actually lifts a brow at the energies not being aligned and then narrows her eyes. She doesn't glance over at Alistair, rather invested in her study of Eugenia. As the cards are set down and instruction is given, she hesitates. She hesitates a great deal before finally reaching out to take up her deck. Fanning them out before her, she sets them to the table again, face down. Four cards are chosen by pressing her finger into them and pushing them forward. Once they are half separated from the spread fan, she draws her hand back and glances over to see what Alistair has chosen even though they are not revealed yet.

Efficiently, Alistair picks the top, bottom, and two cards from the middle, passing them across the table. His lips curl up in a soft smile as he waits for the results.

Smiling to both of them, she nods as she takes the cards. "Hmmm…" She turns to Nora, holding Alistair's cards. "And did you have a specific question for the cards?" She's shuffling the cards idly in her hands as she asks.

"A question," Nora is caught offguard as she hesitates, drawing a breath a she trails her teeth to her lip. Finally she nods her head, "I wish to know Alistairs intentions, both personal and public." That is a broad subject, but it seems she aims to hit something close to home somewhere. Blue eyes flicker over towards him before she scoots impossibly further to the edge of her chair to watch.

A raised eyebrow for Alistair, his face a mix as his brow furrows and his lips smirk. "My intentions, hmmm…and I would like to know how much success Nora would meet with if she painted more often?" His question is direct and what he assumes to be a safe subject. Best not to make the date awkward by being personal in front of the card reader.

She opens her mouth to respond to Nora and then waits for Alistair to finish, her face reflecting a look of trained patience. Brown eyes looking to him. "I didn't ask you yet, sonny, so sit on your…question." She seems to be dissatisfied with him for the moment, turning back to Nora. "The cards are going to reveal more if you can be specific. A vague question yields ambiguous answers. And I could give you those for free right now." She smiles to Nora briefly but closes her eyes as she holds the cards between her palms.

"Really, painting?" Nora glances over at him, a faint smirk on her lips that only grows as he is chastised. Biting at her lip, an uncharacteristic motion, she clears her throat and stifles her laugh. "I want to know what he wants most out of life. What he is seeking even if he doesn't realize it himself." This is an intense question, one that Nora focuses on as her eyes fall to the cards.

Simply nodding, Alistair resists rolling his eyes just barely, though he's paying rather close attention to Madame Blessed. He doesn't need to be told twice, so he remains silent, watching between Nora and the shopkeeper with interest.

The four cards are flipped without further ado, in a straight line facing Eugenia's two customers. From left to right, they reveal a face with closed eyes, surrounded by sunlight. Second, within the mouth of a drake lies a heart. Third, four arrows pointed to the right. And fourth, three tongues of fire in a triangle each one a different color(red, then orange, then yellow.) "Now to your question…we shall talk about your gentleman here. I ask you not to give me any distractions sir." She eyes him again, as she takes in the spread. "Your question, so you select the first card. Pick the one that feels right for you. Feel free to touch them, for some that helps. And no, I won't tell you what the picking means until you've already done so." She anticipates redundant questions, though she seems patient for Nora to take her time.

The cards are given their due, each studied and attempted to be analyzed by the quick flicker of her eyes. Nora is organized, precise and so she is formulating her own beliefs. Though she hesitates but reaches out to the arrows, pausing before she lowers her finger to the triangle. "I think I know what this represents…but it holds the most mystery for me." She keeps her finger upon it until she is told otherwise, keeping that touch. For someone skeptical, the Orelle citizen seems wholly focused. Eyes are now only for the shopkeeper as she lifts a hand to brush her hair from her face, back behind her ear. Unguarded, this is the most she has been so around him.
<FS3> Alistair rolls Mysticism +3: Good Success.

Alistair looks on, continuing his silence, his features perhaps a little guarded, though he seems interested.

Eugenia simply nods, as she considers Alistair for a good moment before continuing "The threefold fire represents the one's inner perception. Flames of differing color, ever moving passions, suggesting that there might be more than one answer to your question…at least in his mind." She pulls the deck and flips over another card and places it above the flames. It is a child, staring back at its shadow. She hmmms. "Which card next?" She asks without looking up from the table, waiting and anticipating.

Nora listens, tilting her head just so though its the card after that causes her to lean forward, into the table. Her lips part, as if to comment or question, though no one ever finds out as she is asked to pick the next of the remaining three cards. She hesitates and then presses her finger to the first, face turned upwards towards the light. She pushes it forward and towards the other woman again - keeping her finger on it until otherwise.

The Senator maintains his relaxed pose in the chair. Or, it would appear relaxed if he'd move from it at all. Almost frozen like a statue, his eyes moving around, he seems to be resisting some expression. What that might be though…

"Intriguing indeed…light and shadow…it seems that the gentleman might find ways to believe in the best, perhaps even like a dream. At times, a childlike fear of the shadows he causes, at times idealizing what might be. So two of the flames he holds are passions towards the same end. To run from failure and to find betterment. What is failure and what is betterment?" She doesn't quite ask yet, seeming as if the cards might have more to 'tell her.' She hmmms and fiddles with the deck, pondering whether a flip is necessary or not.

Nora listens, even if the Senator is suddenly guarded. The assistant castellan lifts her brow and then hesitates, glancing at the card and then over at the man in question. She may not know the true answer, but Nora speaks up in a way to bring the attention off of Alistair's discomfort. "It is based wholly in perception. It depends on what one wants, needs and loathes." THough now Nora glances to the cards, not turning her attention to Alistair to relieve part of the pressure.

She barely seems to register the answer and starts to give a card flip but stops herself. She quickly fans out to the Senator. "Pick one." He leans forward briskly and hands it to her, returning to his reserved pose, legs and arms both crossing as he leans back. Eugenia looks at nothing but the cards, giving it a flip. It's a pit. "Ahhh…" she says knowingly. "So he runs towards the light because of the darkness…part of him childishly separates the darkness and calls it shadow, but it is anchored firmly within. He ignores this and compensates with the light, which he finds outside of himself." She hmmms, sounding interested. "Next card, release your thoughts, just feel the motion. Don't seek a conclusion, just accept the guidance."

Glancing over towards Alistair finally, Nora's expression does not change but its obvious that every bit of information is being recorded, considered before looking back at the call for another card. Her hand extends, slowly, hesitating and finally setting on the one with the dragon's maw surrounding a heart. This she slowly pushes forward. Whether she was drawn to it or not, it is obvious she wishes to know more of it. "THis one," she confirms in a soft voice.

Alistair is nodding a bit, seeming intrigued and trying to relax, unfolding his arms, wishing he had something to do with his hands. Maybe a drink.

Taking a deep breath, the woman flips another card quickly in silence. What is revealed is a small figure climbing a mountain. "He sees insurmountable challenges all around him, ones that might even destroy him. His heart is more fragile than he believes, and that may very well lead him to some dark places. The lone man on the mountain…he does not wish to share his burdens, preferring to get lost in those of others…or does he…" She flips another card, two arrows facing differing directions one up, one down and closes her eyes for a moment.

All of this is getting rather deep and Nora can not help but press her lips to a thin line. Knowing how he must feel, she hesitates and then watches the second card. Before Madame can speak, she lifts her voice. "Alistair, if this is too much, too close to home. You say this and we can leave." She doesn't look at him, rather holds the Madame's gaze to be sure she doesn't speak just yet, eyes searching the other woman's. "Sometimes it is best to allow these things to come up in time and not bear your soul."

Looking to her confusedly, he'll give a smile. "I'm just antsy for when it's my turn." His posture eases. "I'm simply following given protocol, though I'm sure I'll have my own spin on things soon enough." He gives her a supportive nod and wink, leaning forward.

The woman will pause, looking up between the two. Eugenia seems insistent at the moment but patient. "I'm pretty sure he's just trying not laugh." She says. Madame Blessed has been at this a while and is rarely wrong about those who come seeking her as true believers. Alistair's face turns red and he releases just a chuckle before composing himself again. Rolling her eyes, she looks back to Nora. "But we can stop here if you like, dearie. My goal is not to ruin a date. You did ask me."

"I did, but I did not expect such a complex answer, nor something that would…" Nora hesitate and considers. "If he wishes, continue then," her hand motions for the woman to continue, though a icy blue gaze is sent his way again. Concern? If it was it was a brief instant before it slips away and leaves her entirely. "Go on, insurmountable odds, turning from the dark that he thinks is within himself, but what about the new one, the two arrows." Her finger points.

Giving a hard look between the two, Eugenia closes her eyes and breaths again. "I tell you what, let's move to the last one here." She touches the arrows. "And I'll cut to the chase about your question and we'll cut the rest, okay?" She sits up in her chair some, spreading her hands across the table. They are well manicured and clear of any adornment. "The arrows are pointing rightward, which is a forward, progressing motion. They are moving somewhere. And here," she places two fingers on the flames. "are where they are pointed. Three arrows for three flames. What he wants, quite simply and ambitiously, is to have it all. He wants to mount gargantuan obstacles, without being a burden. That he wishes to do alone, but he contrarily desires to never be alone. Any more than that'll take you another question." Madame Blessed sits back at that with a knowing smile between them.

As everything is so neatly laid down before her, Nora is silent, studying the cards without glancing to either of them. Finally she nods, "I was given one question and I have my answer, if a bit undefined." She seems satisfied, but the thought is obvious while her brows draw into a furrow. "Thank you," she finally manages, like an afterthought before she glances up at the Madame and Alistair. "I believe he gets to ask his question?"

"I think I'd prefer dinner and perhaps a drink?" Alistair smiles to Nora, seeming actually relaxed now - and in good spirits. "My question was handled with skepticism after all…"

Madame Blessed takes up each card, one at a time, with great care. "Eugenia don't believe in stupid questions…but boy has she met some stupid folk." She shakes her head with a smile now, easing out of her serious tone from the cards, putting those back in the deck. The other four remain on the table, though she doesn't reach for them.

"If that is what you prefer, but you have a question, Alistair. It is yours for the taking," she returns his smile, a light echo of his own that doesn't quite reach her eyes. She openly searches his face before she glances curiously at the woman behind the table. "Ask it, Alistair. I insist." Despite her earlier skepticism, she now seems intent on learning more of the practice of perhaps giving the Senator a fair shake at the exchange. "Otherwise, if you insist, we will go."

Returning an analytical look, Alistair seems amused at first, though there's some hesitancy. "Only if Madame Blessed will progress quickly to the answer?" He's smiling sincerely though, hoping to get back in the woman's good graces. "I simply wish to know if Nora here would be happier…if she painted more often." It's definitiely a lighter question, maybe also obvious.

"Eugenia reads the cards as the come, but let's take a look at your…unbiased question." She takes the cards and shuffles them, closing her eyes as seems to have been established as her pattern.

That question seems to amuse Nora to some end and she smiles, giving a nod of her head and motion of her hand. Perhaps she is eager to know as well, watching the cards before she casts a quick glance over to the Senator. So much goes unsaid before her head dips and her lips are brushed at by her knuckles, icy blue eyes centering on the cards and keeping quiet as a form of respect.

Alistair is smiling and has returned to his typical penchant for glancing at Nora occassionally, though he does seem interested in the results of the cards. His knee will nudge hers briefly as he looks very pointedly at the table. The nudge is brief.

Madame Blessed quickly flips the spread from a different deck. The artwork differs dramatically than the other deck previously used. From left to right, two white birds on a perch looking up, a locked box, a badger's head emerging from a hole looking right, and an ocean with chaotic seeming waves. Eugenia looks closely at Nora before motioning to Alistair to pick a card.
<FS3> Alistair rolls Mysticism +3: Good Success.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Nora=Alertness Vs Alistair=Alertness
< Nora: Success Alistair: Good Success
< Net Result: Alistair wins - Marginal Victory

As the cards are flipped, Nora distinctly studies the lockbox the longest before moving on to the last two, the nudge of his leg catching her attention. SHe looks down at it, then up at him as her smile remains, faintly. Blue eyes search his face and then she nudges him back to take a card from the deck the madame presents. She has little to say but her eyes flicker back to the cards, more of her smile fading as she waits to hear the results. While he is reaching for the card, her hand slips down to grasp his thigh then release quickly.

Just as he quickly selected his cards, Alistair seems to have no hesitation, either having previously decided or 'feeling' his choices. His face might have flashed a goofy looking grin for a moment, but it was fleeting.

Madame Blessed has returned her attention to the cards again, seeming to be parsing her words to get to the point for Alistair. "The lady here, a badger is a sign of commitment, usually stubborn and unwavering. As you can see, the animal is looking to the right. Hmmm…" She flips quickly, revealing a shield. She seems to be conflicted. "I need you to pick your next card." She looks up, smiling between the both of them, but her brown eyes seem to have a different recognition for Nora than they did earlier.

Looking from a moment bewildered by the new found attention, Nora returns the Madame's gaze moment for moment - unwavering. Stubborn indeed, as if anyone needed a card for that. The Assistant Castellan chews at her cheek unconsciously and after a few moments stops the motion of dragging her teeth to flesh. Instead she briefly glances away to look at Alistair, considering him with a far more guarded expression now. Likely due to the fact they are now looking into her personal habits.

Seeming concerned, this is exactly why he didn't want to ask a question. Alistair seems somewhat relieved that Eugenia is moving along faster. He had wanted to have some laughter, maybe the businesswoman would see the sense in that? "Badgers, like my dear snookums here, also need to be protected, that's the shield right?" It's a fairly lame and unremarkable effort at a tease. He points to the birds, those seem friendly and uncontroversial.

Madame Blessed reacts to his statement by giving no noticeable response, instead turning her attention to the doves. "Hmmm….and the next one?" Eugenia knows when secrets are not meant to be shared. If she knows anything out of the ordinary though, she doesn't seem to give much further notice besides the earlier glance. She is moving more quickly now, but that might have just as much to do with Alistair's request.

Swallowing heavily for some odd reason, Nora shifts in her chair and glances over at him with the snookums comment. Her mouth opens, closes and then clears her throat as she ushers a smile forth, "Yes, of course, protected…" that sweet as sin smile turns on him as she tilts her head and eyes find him once more. "By you, of course. Who else." Her hand openly touches his leg as she leans over towards him as if expecting a kiss. She can play along as well.

Chuckling, Alistair will give her a quick kiss, almost awkward in its brevity. He glances at the cards and picks the ocean one, still grinning but now pretending like he's focused on the cards. There's something about him in the moment, a relief perhaps, that Nora would not have seen in the Senator before. His eyes seem less hyperactive, and even his brow seems less strained.

Eugenia now definitely realizes she has tred in difficult territory, she looks from the birds to the ocean, summarizing with a smile. "Well, she's certainly got the drive to succeed whatever she wants to." Alright, Madame Blessed can't resist that much. "The Doves are paired together and looking upward. Between that and the badger, I figure she'd be happy painting if it were in partnership…" She pauses, taking the route of entertainer for a spell. "While the ocean represents turbulence, it fuels her greatest work. And she knows that." Eugenia was getting ready to turn another card, takes it halfway off the deck but seems conflicted. She pulls a card of the deck. Two women are revealed, one older and taller than the other. Madame Blessed ignores it. "And so we come to the lockbox…" She closes her eyes, taking a deep breath.

Easing back into her chair, her hand remains on his leg in an odd sense of persisting connection. Though as the Madame explains, her hand flexes in its resting place and she catches her breath. Her expression smooths over quickly enough as her brows furrow and she glances at the cards, attempting to entertain the idea still. Her hand starts to slide from his leg as she adopts a closer look, leaning in to try to study the last card flipped, brows furrowing deeply as her gaze glues there. Teeth trail over her lip unconsciously and she sucks in a breath.

Alistair will ignore, or pretend to ignore, the flipping of the other card that Madame Eugenia has passed over. In fact, he's just trying to send non-verbal cues to Eugenia, because he's all out of distractions or misdirection other than just standing up and leaving.

Even if she weren't an attentive person, Madame Blessed would have taken note of Nora's reactions, so different from the reserved responses of before. "To get to the point directly, here's your answer. Nora would be happy if she painted more, but she'd not be happy doing it for her life. The cards show a different destiny desired for her. And she's probably already been told she needs to get out more, art can do that." Eugenia smiles, trying to be reassuring to both of them before her. "Though it might also weaken that lock." She says with a wink, as if to encourage something before putting the cards up with the same respect as before. She pushes her chair back and gets ready to stand.

The simple placidness starts to slip back but she stops, hesitating before she reaches out her finger and leaning over the table very pointedly touches the card of the two women. Blue eyes find the madame, "What does this mean..this card in general. And what does in mean in regards to everything else?" She is not a fanatic and she seems to be taking everything with a grain of salt but there is a singular need to know in the way she asks. She remains standing, bent over the table for her answer, her other hand bracing herself.

Alistair stands to go, smiling and pulling out a card from his wallet. "See? Perhaps a view of the Southern Wilds could inspire you?" He pauses as Nora takes the card in hand, cocking his head in interest as he moves closer to her, pondering whether or not to put his arm around her, instead he kinda just leans forward to look along with her, standing really close.

Madame Blessed's brown eyes look with a knowing, deep sadness to Nora. "Dearie, that card represents a matriarchal bond. In the context of the specific question, it could mean a thousand different things. Is it your mother? Is it your future? It would take more consulting with the cards." Is Eugenia bluffing? Whatever it is, she takes a deep breath. "But I'm quite worn out. It is a rather late hour for a double reading." She takes the cards up and moves around the table, taking the card from Alistair as he whispers something in her ear. "Whatever you deem fair, sir."

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Nora=stealth Vs Alistair=alertness
< Nora: Success Alistair: Good Success
< Net Result: Alistair wins - Marginal Victory

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Nora=Stealth Vs Alistair=Alertness +1
< Nora: Success Alistair: Good Success
< Net Result: Alistair wins - Marginal Victory

Something slips through that cool gaze ever so briefly before Nora withdraws her finger. "I see, well I would hate to take up anymore of your time," the mistress intones, offering a wan smile before straightening up and brushing her shoulder with Alistair's in the process. Her head turns, looking at him before he steps away to address payment. It is then that her eyes lower to that card and attempting to not draw attention she lifts the card and turns it in her fingers to fit to her hand. The other palms some coin and leaves at the end of the table, just out of notice before she slides the card up her sleeve. She is not the best thief, but she tries to do so nonchalantly.

Alistair smiles at the bump, as he strives to remain positive. He has a distinct urge to roll his eyes as Nora awkwardly leaves a tip on the table. Receiving his card back, the Senator will wait for his date to lead the way.

After accepting Alistair's payment and generous quote for her rates, Madame Blessed was just about to turn before noticing the card on the table and the coin that was placed as well. There's a shimmer of sadness in her eyes as she ignores the motion. "Please forgive an old woman and her ways, sir, ma'am." She nods to both of them. "Blessed's always here, just come back while there's daylight programmed out there!" She gives Alistair a friendly pat on the shoulder as she moves around the couple and towards a room even further back from the entrance.

A nervous edge briefly taints her movements when Alistair finishes with the woman, his card returned. A brow arches before she clears her throat and nods her head towards the departing Madame, a breath drawn before she glances to the other cards and then finally to him. "Dinner and a drink then?" Her eyes search his and then she is turning, heading for the door as she rolls her shoulder back and lifts her hand to the hood attached to her clothing. Wetting her lips, she glances over at him as they begin to exit - if he follows. "That…that was far different than anything else I have ever witnessed."

Following her out the door, he's apparently not gleaned much from the night, probably marking it off any date ideas ever again. "It certainly wasn't what I expected. She's quite convinced of herself." He leans into Nora slightly, trying to defuse some of the tension. "This is your turf, what's open and good?"

Eyes lower, trailing to his feet as he leans into her. There is a brief smirk before it fades and her head lifts to look at him. Cool blue eyes search his and she laughs faintly, "It's the Bazaar, everything is," she reminds him and then looks out over the businesses, still tough to read and still not all together letting go of the tension. She does however tilt her head in the direction of a small restaurant and says, "Take me there….snookums?" She can be funny, sometimes.

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