09.06.3013: Midday in the Garden of Good and Evil
Summary: Eirene Volen and Solon Cindravale go for a walk through the Penthouse Gardens of The Fortress of Phylon.
Date: 03 Sep 2013
Related: None
Eirene Solon 

Penthouse Gardens, Phylon
High up in the Fortress of Phylon, the lift opens to a garden atrium. The residential sections of the tower devoted to the Cindravale family and their guests rise up all around the patch of water and greenery, but here in the center is an oasis of nature. Sunlight is brought down from above by a cunning array of mirrors, and an electrostatic shield protects the garden from inclement weather. Arched doorways open up to corridors on all sides, leading back to private rooms and penthouses. The garden itself is centered around a fishpond with a sunken area at the middle where the waters are held back by transparent composites. A table and chairs allow people to sit and meet while looking out over the pond from water level. Around the pond are a variety of flowering bushes, shrubs, and trees, creating a fragrant, green preserve in the center of the Fortress.
06 Sep 2013

It is the the middle of the day, and Solon has made the decision to offer to take Lady Eirene on a stroll. Today he is dressed in his standard finery, it's rather formal, but he has that reputation for being a bit… overly formal. As he approaches the chambers that were set aside for Eirene, a sudden inspiration takes him and he runs a hand through his brown curls and pats down his clothing quickly. That done, he steps up to the door and knocks politely before taking a couple of steps back to offer the Lady space once she answers.

Eirene is doing much of the same behind the door. She checks her reflection in the mirror again and isn't quite satisfied with what she sees. There, a loose strand of hair is carefully tucked into a proper styling that leaves her face open for view. A simple double twist of her hair meets at the back of her head and is clasped by a dainty brooch. The rest of her champagne waves are curled and hang loosely down her back. The knock comes suddenly and startles the young woman. "Heavens." She whispers to herself and reaches for the knob. Solon is greeted by his guest in a stunning and regal plum and dove grey gown. Once more, Eirene finds herself choosing a Phylon style over her traditional New Atlantis garb. The corset pinches at her waist to emphasizes her feminine form. "Young Lord Solon," She greets with a curtsey. "I hope I have not kept you waiting." As she steps in closer and crosses the threshold, the scent of her perfume catches the air and briefly wafts around the two of them. "It seems like a gorgeous day for a stroll."

Her curtsey is met with a bow of his own. "My Lady, it would appear that the fashions of Phylon suit you quite well." A smile is offered to her, his nose taking in her perfume as she moves closer. "Yes, it is quite lovely. I hope that I did not disturb you by asking you to accompany me on this stroll? I would not want to impose on you in any fashion." Those pleasantries out of the way, Solon takes a step towards her, and then offers his arm. "Shall we?"

There is a little shake of her head while Solon speaks. The butterflies in her stomach keep insisting she interject but good manners and etiquette are firmly ingrained and keep Eirene from doing otherwise. A smile spreads across her lips while her eyes soak in gaze. Yes, he's quite handsome and still manages to steal her breath away. Solon's formal style of dress has prompted Eirene to do likewise. A brief glance is given to her dress, "You think so, my lord?", pleased with his compliment, the young woman no longer feels silly for getting so dressed up for a stroll. "Thank you. Your kind words warm me. I have observed your manner of dress the past few times we met. Your dapper style will keep any girl on her toes. When you reciprocate the visit to New Atlantis, I will make sure to offer you something a bit more casual, so that you may enjoy your time on the beach." Eirene chuckles at the thought and threads her arm into Solon's as he leads the way.

"Of course, My Lady. If you would forgive me for saying as much, I would dare to tell you that the way you look now would cause an entire room to stop and take note of you." Okay, so maybe Solon's way of telling her she looks pretty is a little long-winded, but it all means the same thing, right? As their arms link, he begins to lead her on a slow, but steady pace through the gardens. "As for how I dress? I admit that I tend not to be as casual sometimes as others, it is quite a habit of mine, rather hard to break. I am capable of dressing down though, mostly for training or times when it would be rather… uncomfortable. A trip to the beach does sound rather fun, though I wonder if it would be appropriate to ask if one may ride along the beach?"

Eirene feels the heat of the compliment forming from the center of her belly and radiating out to every inch of her body. Naturally her cheeks redden and she turns her smiling face aside for a moment to catch her breath. Goosebumps ride up her forearms and send the little golden hairs to stand straight up. There is nothing more romantic than hearing a compliment from his lips. Long-winded it may be, Eirene adores the sound, the way his words form and mostly, because he sees her in good light. Her hand grips his arm as they walk with an involuntary squeeze while the other presses gently against her abdomen. "I admire your preference of dress, my lord. It shows great strength of character." And how handsome he really is. Ah, she sighs to herself for keeping that in for now. "I imagine you could. I have not in the past, but there is a long stretch of beach. My family has a retreat house at one of the beaches and right on the sand, near some of the shaded trees, we have a wonderful cabana with this enormous hammock. There is also a fire pit we can light when it gets dark. The beach at night is so beautiful."

Moving along the path, Solon watches her for a moment, sensing that perhaps his intended compliment may have worked a little too well. Offering her a reassuring smile, he reaches over with his free hand, to pat the hand she has on his arm. "I am who I am, Lady Eirene, but I thank you for the compliment all the same." After a few more steps, he inqures, "Would you be opposed if I brought a couple of horses then? There is a white mare we have in our stables that I think will be quite fitting for you. She is gentle, good of temprement, yet quite graceful. Have you ever ridden before, My Lady?"

The reassurance causes Eirene to chuckle softly. Fingertips from her free hand now lightly press against her lips, hiding her forming smile while she glances at him with a mirthful look. There is a quiet moment between them. The young woman is settling in and feeling more at ease in his presence. Continuing the path, the gardens seem to bloom right before her very eyes. It is clear to note from her expression she is impressed and amused by the array of flora in variant shades. "I would not be opposed to such, my lord. You are more than welcome to bring anything you desire on your travels. My family will accommodate you without question." They reach the center of the garden now and Eirene turns to Solon. Her arm unwinds from his and her hand slowly glides down to his. The touch is as light as a feather. "I have ridden before. I enjoy it greatly but it is not something we often partake in at home. The mare sounds lovely. I would like to go and meet her before my stay here in Phylon ends, if that would be all right with you." Behind Eirene is a 'wall' of roses. Each more brilliant and more lovely than the next.

"I sense that you are impressed by our little garden here, My Lady? It is quite beautiful, and I enjoy spending time in quiet reflection by walking these paths." Upon reaching the center, he glances around, taking in the sight with a pleasant expression on his face. "Ah, this is my favorite spot." As her fingers trail down his arm, he turns his hand so that their hands can meet palm to palm, and should she wish it, take hold and hold her hand. "Riding can be relaxing. It is just you, the horse, and the wide open world around you." He closes his eyes and smiles, picturing a ride through the Plains of Ares. This reverie lasts momentarily as he opens his eyes and takes in the sight of her in front of the roses. His eyes widen slightly along with a sharp inhilation of breath. It seems that his gaze goes a little distant as his mind begins to picture the scene before him.

It is not only a wish, but a desire to touch palm to palm (as holy lovers kiss). Her fingers move, their hands turn slowly, effortlessly, and finally lace together into a secure but tender hold. A touch that is meant to be. Solon's voice is the brush to the canvas in her mind. He paints and weaves beautiful images that leave her wanting more. "I enjoy the freedom of running a horse and feeling the wind through my hair. I am not accustomed to it being pinned up this way. It is the same exhilaration I receive when I am swimming. I love the sensation of the first dive into the water, being bathed by cool silk. I sense there is much we must share with one another, Lord Solon." Eirene catches Solon's glimpse and the distant look in his eyes. Warming up to her companion, the young Volen lady takes a brazen step forward, closing the gap between them a bit more and lightly taps on his nose with the pad of her fingertip. "Daydreaming about riding? Such a Gallant Knight you are!" Teasing him with an assumption.

"No." The word comes out rather breathlessly, as Solon slowly comes to himself. "I can lose myself in thoughts of such things, I admit, but no, seeing you standing there, it…" He trails off, a slight blush coming to his cheeks as he struggles to communicate his train of thought without making him look foolish. Swallowing, he realizes that he nearly forgot what she told him. "Yes, there is quite a good deal of freedom, especially once you have the horse going at a full gallop, I cannot compare it to swimming in the oceans of Mare Maris, of course. I do look forward to experiencing Mare Maris and seeing if both things are comparable. As to my… state just a moment ago?" Taking in a deep breath, he lets it out slowly, then repeats it for good measure. Finally he says, "I enjoy painting from time to time. There are times when my mind captures a certain image as something of a muse, or an inspiration. Just now, when I saw you standing there with the flowers seeming to flow around you, I had this image in my mind of a possible painting."

Eirene is both amused and touched by Solon's reaction. The sound of soft laughter escapes her lips and she brings a hand to cup his rosy cheek. Her interlaced fingers squeeze onto his a little more while he tells her secrets. He could have lied and brushed it off, but instead, Solon chose to give her an honest answer. "Your sincerity inspires me, my lord. I was unaware you are an artist. I did not think I could invoke such feelings of inspiration the way you have done with me." More secrets reveal themselves as layers become unveiled. "Do you share your paintings with others or do you mostly keep them private? For many years, I would not let anyone hear my original songs. I find it somewhat difficult to bare my soul in such a way, only to be left hurt and fragile." Eirene captures her lower lip into a nibble and wonders a moment. The hint of a playful grin emerges. "Are you saying, I could be your muse, Lord Solon?"

Solon's eyes roam over Eirene's face, and it seems that he is comforted by what he has seen. It says a lot that he doesn't blush as she reaches up to take his cheek. Smiling softly, he leans against her touch. "I am not sure that I could be anything other than sincere, Lady Eirene. I am something of an artist, I cannot claim to be as skilled as those who have dedicated themselves to the craft for their entire lives. The things that I have finished are mostly landscapes, but if you would like to see them later, I can make them available for you to view." Silence as he considers the revelation about her music, he can understand where she is coming from. "I am not sure I quite consider them my soul, I use the time as a way to relax my mind and to think about things. I do not think I would compare what I do with what you do. Your music is who you are. Your music is your soul. I think the thing that I would equate to that is my status as a knight. Being a knight is who I am. If I was suddenly unable to continue being a knight, well, I'm not certain what I would do, and I would rather not think on that." There's the slightest hint of a shudder as he tries to put such an unpleasant thought out of his mind. There's definitely nothing positive about such thinking. "A muse? I suppose it is possible that you could inspire me to do great works, My Lady, or rather at least the one I just pictured in my mind. That singular work would far outclass any of my previous works."

Her fingertips linger against his cheek for as long as they can without over staying their welcome. There is an urgency and a need to twine her fingers into his curls, but the act would be far too intimate at this juncture. Eirene does think on it and imagines what he might feel like..in other ways, too. For certain the thoughts bring the lady to lightly fan herself. "Forgive me, I'm not used to wearing so many heavy layers of fabric." It is a lie and she realizes she has lied to his face. However, necessary to do so in order to maintain the veil of propriety. "I can understand how you feel about being a Knight. If I were unable to sing again, well, likewise, I would not wish to think on that." She shares a smile with Solon and continues, "I would very much like to see your paintings. I am sure you are quite talented. A soul is comprised of many different desires. Did you always know you wanted to be a brave and gallant Knight, my lord?" As Eirene inquires more about Solon, she leads him towards a shaded seating area. "I hope you do not think I am prying too much. I have enjoyed your company greatly and wish to know you better."

The light pressure of her fingertips on his cheek remains, and while Solon would probably have started blushing in other circumstances, he doesn't this time. Perhaps there's something about her that tells him not to push away, not yet at least. Or perhaps his mind is somewhat lost within the cloud of thoughts that wonders how it would be to put her visage to canvas. 'Lady in the Garden at Midday' sounds like a good working title. A slight smile is given to Eirene as she begins to fan herself, "Ah, yes, I can imagine how wearing something you are not accustomed to can bring about slightly more discomfort than normal." He allows himself to be led to the shaded area, and gestures for her to take a seat before he sits down. "Being a knight is what being Cindravale means, Lady Eirene. My older brother and one of my younger sisters are knights, my mother and father are both knights, my uncle is one, as are all four of my cousins. It is what my House is, we are Valen Knights, one and all. Our birth alone destines us to take to horse and lance and serve."

In the shaded area, Eirene immediately feels cooler and calmer. She sits down and waits for Solon to join her before she speaks again. He tells her of his family, his prestigious lineage, and he does so with great pride. Her head cants slightly and once he finishes, she leans in a touch closer, like one of the garden flowers leaning towards the sun. Her hand presses softly to his chest, just over his heart. Here in the shade, secrets may be shared and no one will ever hear word of it. "But is that what /you/ have always wanted? Your love and devotion to your family is admirable and I can see why you would want to make them proud. But is being a Knight who Solon is?" Even as she asks, she feels that it is. Though she could be mistaken, she's never met anyone who takes such pleasure in the honor and dignity of his family.

"Of course it is what I've always wanted, Lady Eirene." The smile Solon offers her is slightly more than polite, there is a hint of embarassment in it as she touches his chest, the slightest hint of a blush creeping into his cheeks. "It is not just devotion to my family, but also the people of the Vale. I believe I learned how to ride before I could walk. It may be true that I am what my family require of me, but it is not something that I would shy away from." After all, he's the heir of the house, he's locked in to whatever path his parents would like for him to tread.

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