07.04.3013: The Solarium Gathering
Summary: Nobles gather at the Solarium atop the Royal Palace for an afternoon at the pool.
Date: 04 July 2012
Related: None Directly
Ellinor Nikomachos Kassandra Sammel Michael Nitrim Sophie Reena Anabethe Soleil Elodie Ronan Kadmus Johana Darious 

Solarium - Palace Towers, Landing
At the very top of the Royal Tower is the grand Solarium and gardens. It is nothing more than a large biodome of transparent composite panels that let the sun, moon, and stars easily shine in. It sprawls, accented with clusters of well-kept gardens. There are secluded sitting areas where trees create soft umbrellas of shade. Most of these trees are fruit-bearing — particular peach trees, which had been the late King Regnant Symion Sauveur's favorite. A modest path loops its way through the solarium, and is crafted of some what spongey material that allows for comfortable walking and jogging. At the center of the solarium is an asymmetrical, manmade pool that looks almost like a natural pond if not for the cement surfaces. It is perfect for casual swimming, and a favorite place for relaxation.
July 04, 3013

Nikomachos has finally been cleared for all duty, but orders have not come down to reduce the Hostile infestations across Imperius, and there are only so many cavalry patrols one can ride before they are ready to fall off their horse and are ordered to rest a bit. And so rest he does, with his jerkin unsealed from neck almost to his stomach, revealing the white silk of the shirt beneath. His swordbelts have been removed from about his waist, and rest on a lounge chair by the pool. The knight himself is within arm's reach of that chair, sprawled out on the grassy sward just shy of the pool. His hands are tucked behind his head, and he looks up at the sky through the transparent composite above, breathing slowly and easily, "I'd never been up here before, Ellie. You should have told me there was a pool, I would have brought my suit."

Ellinor must have assumed that Nikomachos knew about this place, and that there was a pool, because she's in a rather modest one-piece swimsuit that looks as if it has been crafted from iridescent fishscales. It it sleeveless, allowing her shoulders and arms to bask beneath the sun's rays which shine brightly through the domed, clear ceiling. Her legs are equally bare, toes wriggling a bit as she stretches out her feet on the lounge chair. "I'm sure I could find you one to borrow if you wanted… Beau has a pretty nice collection of swim suits." She glances over toward the sprawled out Valen with a bit of a smirk. "He tends toward briefs though instead of trunks."

"I knew there was a pool and still didn't bring one. That's what kind of rebel I am," Kassie grumbles, announcing her presence in a place it may be neither expected or wanted. She does not care. After several days of healing cooped up in a hospital room, the young knight has regained her former swagger, and so she looks a bit like an athlete trying to elbow her way through a defensive line as she exits a side path wedged between two trees and appears beside the pool. She eyeballs the water with distaste, nose wrinkling, and stays at least two feet away from the edge as she circles around to interrupt the interlude between her brother and his betrothed.

"Please do not put him in those," Kassie requests of Ellinor in a brusque, clipped manner as she perches on the edge of a lounge chair at Niko's other side. A shudder runs through her, and she shakes her head to dispel what might be a terrifying image for a sister. "Just throw him in as is." Emphasis on 'throw'.

Michael got the invitation from Nikomachos at the same time Sammel did. He then dressed for the palace and to meet nobles, which means his dappled leather outfit. He walks in just behind Sammel, taking in the awe of the Solarium as he's never been here before. Luckily he has access to the towers through his mother, and then also through Lady Sophie. He'll follow Sammel to the group near the pool, and wave to all of them in greeting.

"Rebel, Kassie?" comes the words from Sammel as he enters, looking around for a few moments. "Does that mean you're just going to jump into it fully clothed, or something?" Spoken a bit lightly as he looks around rather carefully. "Quite a nice location, this." A grin and a nod is offered to the others now.

Nikomachos narrows his eyes just a little at Ellinor's offer, then looks over as Kassandra speaks up, and he nods his agreement with… some of her words. "My dear, there is absolutely no way that I am wearing High Highness's briefs, or anyone else's. You just don't borrow another man's swimming briefs or underwear." He chuckles further at Sammel's words, "Just leave the 'or something' unsaid there, please, Sammy." He sits up from his sprawl slowly, grimacing just a touch at the pull at his neck, "Good to see you both, and you, Young Master Michael."

Ellinor quirks a grin up toward Kassie at her words, and she offers a low and amused laugh. "I don't know… I hear he looks rather pitiful when soaking wet." She flashes Nikomachos a wide smile before she turns her lazy gaze back up at Kassie. "If you wanted to throw him in though, I'll offer my assistance." Then she brightens at the sight of Sammel and Michael, offering them a wave from where she sun bathes. She smirks a bit at Nikomachos as she closes her eyes. "You're boring. I might have to reconsider this betrothal."

Michael smiles to Niko, "Good to see you Sir Niko. I'm sure you could ask for a new pair to be gotten for you though. I could even go to fetch something if you have need." he offers, then his smile (one that's a little telling) floats to the others, "Hello there, good to see each of you."

"Or something, indeed. I am not getting in," Kassie replies to Sammel coolly, looking up to him as he appears and offering a cheerful smile. "Good to see you up and about, Sammy." She looks away then, picking at a stray thread on her shirt, but at Ellinor's address her attention returns to the people present. "Like a drowned cat, even. It just makes you feel rather sorry." She returns Ellinor's grin with a flash of her own, although it is somewhat lopsided; the freshly-healed pink of the scarred skin on her face is still tight. "I just might have to take you up on that offer, Sir Ellinor. I have years of missed torture and teasing to catch up on."

Sammel grins a little as he listens to the others now, with a bit of a chuckle. "Good to be up and about, finally. I thought I'd go crazy in that hospital bed," he offers to Kassie, before he looks between the others again now. "Great to see this nice place too." A brief pause as he hears the last of Ellinor's words, before he offers a grin. "Please don't do that, he'd just try hitting the rest of us with lances again…"

Nikomachos eyes Ellinor sidelong, "You've seen me in my swimming trunks, Ellie. I am rather disappointed in your own lack of daring, however." He finishes unsealing his jerkin, stripping it off his shoulders and tossing the flame-washed leather onto his sword-belts. "You've seen, no doubt, the swimsuits that the Khourni ladies wear… very, daring. One of the few areas where I whole-heartedly approve of their sense of style." Tilting his head back to look over his shoulder to his sister, he adds, "You try to throw me in, Kassie, and you just know you're going too." Sammel's words get a snort, "Trying?" Michael is given a wave over to one of the chairs, "Have a seat. Enjoy yourself a touch."

The Drakefire Knight stretches again before she slowly swings her feet off the chair as she sits up. She smiles up toward Michael as he comes near. "I hear you did really well out there, Michael… how are you feeling after your first major engagement with the Hostiles?" She has to fan her hand over her eyes to act as a sunshield as she looks up at the Squire. "You are lucky in some regard, you know… you are learning to fight against Hostiles first and foremost rather than being blooded in House Skirmishes." Then she glances over toward Nikomachos, and she snorts. "I didn't want to inspire that annoying Valen chivarly by wearing something… daring. You'd just lance anyone who looked at me."

Michael smiles and moves to a chair as inditcated. "Thank you sir." he sits down and nods to Ellinor, "I was told I did well, to me I was just doing what I knew I'm supposed to do." then he smirks at the mention of swimsuits and nods to Ellinor, "I'm sure he would, and I hardly know him. Though, if I were him I'd be proud that other men found his betrothed so attractive." he comments softly.

"Hah! You do not scare me, Niky," Kassie retorts to her older brother with more bravado than she actually possesses. Her gaze darts toward the pool for a moment as if considering whether or not it's worth the bother. Something clicks behind her eyes, and she offers a lazy smile as she oh-so-casually rises from her lounger at the same time as Ellinor. "He'll lance anyone who looks at you anyway, regardless of whether you're in a daring swimsuit or a big, shapeless tent. It's the burden of being Valen, I think." She pauses for a moment, looking toward Michael, and offers the man a curt nod. "On the other hand, you're already aware how beautiful your betrothed is, so do you really need other men to confirm it for you? No. They can keep their eyes on their own business."

"Ah, the Khourni style of ladies' swimwear. Quite nice things, those," Samwell remarks with a bit of a smile, as he makes his way over to seat himself now. Offering a grin to the rest of the conversation at the moment.

Nikomachos smiles crookedly over at Michael, "Pride and possessiveness go hand in hand, Young Master Michael." He stretches where he's sitting, unbuckling his belt with its pouch and setting it over by his sword and jerkin as well. He then toes off his boots, one after the other, kicking them over toward the lounge with his stuff on it. "It wasn't meant to scare you, Kassie. Just informing you of the consequences." Of course, his sister's words about jealousy and beauty cause him to nod quite definitively in agreement. He points to Sammel, nodding his agreement and grinning broadly, "They do have a certain… dash and verve in some things."

Michael chuckles softly at all of them, "Just saying, that if the beauty before a man is appreciated with double take. He shouldn't be cut down for it." then he looks over to Nikomachos and Ellinor, "Congratulations to you both, by the way. That happiness can still be found these days will give many young squires and knights hope and encouragement towards a brighter future."

Ellie flashes a wink to Michael before she starts to stand slowly from her chair. Her crimson hair almost glows under the noonday sun, looking like fire neatly pulled back into a simply ponytail. She steps toward the pool, gently dabbing her toes in the somewhat warm waters. She glances over toward the Valen and Ibrahm squire with a broad flash of a smile. "You know… I don't know if I really know what goes into a Cindravale wedding. I assume that you would prefer some traditions maintained…"

Hmmm. Better safe than sorry. Squinting at Nikomachos, Kassandra reaches down to undo the buckle on her belt, removing it and the tools hanging from it and setting them on her lounger. No use ruining good equipment with horseplay. Lifting each foot, she unzips her boots and slides them free to set aside. "There is a difference between merely admiring beauty, Michael, and eye-fucking someone," Kassie points out dryly to the man. "It isn't has if Niky would 'cut down' someone merely because they offered Sir Ellinor an approving smile."

The young Valen bends over to roll up the cuffs of her fitted pants, folding them to just below her knees. She walks closer to the pool, squinting, and lowers herself to a crouch before finally settling onto her backside. "Traditions? There's…a lot of pomp," Kassie explains slowly to Ellinor as she slips her feet into the water. Her toes wiggle beneath the surface and cause little ripples. "But it's fun pomp."

Sammel smiles for a few moments as he listens now, before he nods at Kassie's words about the pomp. "Yes, most certainly the fun pomp, that's true." Looking between the others again, he nods a bit at the rest of what's being said now.

Nikomachos lies back down again, tucking his hands under his head and smiling challengingly from Ellinor to Kassandra, as they settle down within arm's reach of him after the threat to throw him in, "Thank you, Young Master Michael. I rather agree that hope is necessary in these dark times. If we can inspire that, so much the better." And then he's able to respond to his betrothed, "Feasting, drinking, feats of skill, gorgeous clothes, in addition to the formal vows before the Six, of course. It's all very tasteful." To a Valen.

Michael just relaxes in his chair, listening to the conversation. His mind wandering over the events of the morning, bringing a wide grin to his face.

Feats of skill does seem to spark Ellinor's interest. "A wedding tournament?" She asks wryly. Does that mean the bride wishes to compete? She does glance toward Michael briefly as she stretches her arms above her head. "Does that mean I get to be named the Queen of Love and Beauty?" The Knight smirks a bit over to her companions, looking honestly amused at the idea. There is an unspoken: If I win, I can name myself that?

As if able to read his mind, Kassandra casts a glance toward Nikomachos and narrows her eyebrows in warning. She does not put a voice to it, however, and returns to the conversation at hand. "A wedding tournament, yes, and feasting and dancing and — shenanigans." Oh yes, there's a lot of that going on, too. She swishes her feet through the water, sending up a fine spray toward Ellinor. "You are already the Queen of Love and Beauty. You'll have to pick something new."

Sammel looks between his siblings for a few moments now, unable to hold back a chuckle. "You know, it's just some water," he remarks to Nikomachos, before he chuckles at the rest of what's being said. "Sounds like you like that title," he offers to Ellinor, a bit lightly.

Nikomachos sighs softly at Ellinor's question, "Somehow, I doubt we'll be able to have a full tourney, with the war going on and all. But I bet we could arrange a few passes of a tilt." He narrows his eyes at Kassandra, pulling one hand from behind his head to point up at her, "That was my line, Kassie. Just because I'm too polite to interrupt…" His free hand smoothes down his white shirt, his boot-less toes wriggling a bit in Ellinor's direction from where he is sprawled on his back alongside the pond, between Ellinor and Kassandra. "And we'll have to see, Ellie. It would be bad form of me to name someone else Queen of Love and Beauty when I win, but it is also bad form for a Valen to play favorites, so you would have to actually be the Queen…"

Michael at somepoint is offerred some water by a servant that makes his rounds offering something to drink to everyone. Michael's grin doesn't fade, but he does relax once more into the chair he's in though. Watching the others around the pool, if only he had on something other than nice trousers… or if he could find his journal!

A new face enters the equation. This one belongs to the blonde haired rake of House Khournas, Nitrim Khournas. Still sporting a slight black eye to the left side of his face, he tracks his way onto the Solarium from below with a dark pair of sunglasses over his eyes and a careless, meandering gait to his steps. Arms crossed behind his back, he steps into the area with an unlit cigarette dangling out of the side of his lip. Seemingly unaware that his wanderings would take him to the pool, he's quite overdressed, wearing his long, heavy coat. He raises an arm to them in greeting, and gives Michael a slow, quiet nod.

"I could just name you the King of Love and Beauty," Ellinor says toward Nikomachos as she lowers herself onto the edge of the pool, water lapping up just under her knees. She starts to gather up handfuls of water, rubbing it across her arms to cool her gently pinking skin. She is of course assuming that she will win regardless. "And a small tournament might be fun… since there wasn't one for the Midsummer Festival." She glances over toward the new arrival of the Khourni son, and she offers him a slight nod of her head in companionable greeting. Ellinor is dressed in a bathing suit that looks like iridescent fish scales, her hair done up in a simply ponytail.

"Did I steal your line, or are you just jealous I thought of it first?" The smile Kassie offers Nikomachos is a sly one, and she scoops up a handful of water and flings it at him. It isn't much but a sprinkle, but the underlying threat is still there. "Did you hear what he said, Ellinor? 'When I win', as if he is absolutely sure that it's beyond a doubt that he will win over you. Don't you know it's poor form to beat up your bride at your wedding tourny, Niky? I think all that jousting has slapped the sense clean out of your head."

This earns Nikomachos another flick of water, and this time Kassie aims for his face. When Ellinor looks away, the young Valen follows her gaze to spy Nitrim. The man is vaguely familiar, and so gets a cool once-over before she follows it with a polite nod. "What were you saying about Khourni swimsuits, Sammy? He looks a little overdressed. I have my doubts now."

There's a chuckle as he hears the discussion about such a tournament, and Sammel offers a smile. "It would be quite interesting if you two were to tilt against each other, though." A brief pause, before he offers a grin to Kassie. "Well, for those of us that's… appreciating the female body, those swimsuits are quite nice," he remarks. He then notices Nitrim, offering the man a nod. "Lord Nitrim, wasn't it? I mean, there's been a while since the last time I can remember meeting you."

Nikomachos rolls up and away from the water being flung at him, curling his left arm up between him and the splash, "Hey!" He continues the roll up to his hands and knees, then sits back on his heels, "Don't you know it's insulting to let a lady Knight win just because she's a Lady, Kassie? I wouldn't dare insult you to suggest that your successes are for any such reason." Wiping away the splash of water on his face, he shakes his head, "Besides, Ellie has already admitted my superiority when it comes to point control." One gray eye winks shut at his betrothed, and then he's laughing softly, looking over toward Michael, "Enjoying the relaxing atmosphere, Young Master Michael?" Nitrim gets a nod as Kassandra mentions his arrival, but nothing more for the time being.

Nitrim can't help but tilt his head at the words Khourni Swimsuits. A wry, almost sarcastic grin breaches the side of the man's lip as he dips his head towards his open palm. A small haze of heat surrounds him and the end of the cigarette is lit. Brushing the ashes away from the palm of his hand, the slight view of his aura dissipates and he turns on his heel, heading in the direction of the pool. "I present to you all…" He motions to his coat. "…the preferred poolside Crescent fashion. The women we tie up in drakeskins and give them bats to hit their men with." He smirks, taking the first drag off of his cigarette.

Nitrim comes to a stop and nods to Nikomachos and Sammel, replying to the latter. "Yes, I've heard reports of you from the field, Sir Sammel, it's nice to see you again. Lord Nikomachos, Lady Eliinor, Michael, and if my attention serves me correct Sir Kassandra Cindravale?" He asks with a tilted head, making sure he's got everyone right. "For the record, though, I couldn't help but overhear. I'd put money on Sir Ellinor. We've shared the field. It'd be a solidarity bet."

Ellinor continues the slow acclimation to the water as she starts to ease herself down into the manmade pool. She sinks easily into the water, allowing it to lap up to her shoulders and then just under her chin. It is deep with very little shallows, which actually provide to be quite comforting as she can easily sink beneath the surface when she is ready. She draws up her legs under the water, pushing off against the cement wall as she spreads her arms open wide like a bird's wings. She breathes out a slow exhale, enjoying the weightlessness of the water. She glances up toward those who loiter at the pool's edge, chatting. "Though… I suppose it would be bad form to injure the bride or groom on their wedding day. I imagine we will be forced to watch." She smirks up at Nikomachos as she floats out toward the middle of the pool, staring up at the brilliant afternoon skies. She flashes Nitrim a wide grin. "You are a smart man, Lord Nitrim…"

Michael nods to Nitrim as he walks passes, his grin slowly fading and not because of Nitrim. "I am indeed, if I had my journal, I think I could write poetry for how relaxed I am." Then he glances about, "You all mind if I remove this tunic? It's awefully warm." and if he gets a yes, he'll remove the tunic. If not he won't.

Kassandra scoffs loudly as Niko rolls away from the water. "You're such a girl sometimes, Niky," she retorts, but shuts her trap when he starts to insinuate that she insinuated something negative about Ellinor. She gasps and attempts to fling more water, but he has backed out of reach now. "Oh, you're an ass for twisting my words. That is not what I meant. I think a tilt on your wedding would be an awful idea, anyway. No outcome of that mess is without its implications. And there you have it, Niky. At least your future wife is thinking of more than just winning a match."

Hmph. Now that the space around her has been cleared, she kicks at the water merrily and looks up to Nitrim as he speaks. One thin eyebrow arches upward as he calls her by name, and she has to wait for a moment until someone else mentions his own. "It serves you well for now, Lord Nitrim," the Valen answers, but her cool demeanor melts a little under his jest. She grins cheekily. "Can we do that at your wedding, Niky? Beat the men with bats?"

Sammel smiles as he listens now. "Well, that gives the rest of us a chance, doesn't it?" he offers to the mention of the happy couple probably being forced to watch. Another brief grin, as he hears Nitrim. "See, as soon as you mentioned that, she mentioned the possibility of none of them getting to take part."

"I try to be. Sorry to bring black clouds." Nitrim grins broadly back to Ellinor as he reaches into the inside of his heavy, rather Hermetic coat. "Besides, Sir Ellinor, if I understand the human condition right, I wouldn't bet on a man to risk truly hurting his bride. Congratulations, by the way, the two of you. I look forward to your wedding. And for my next trick…" Nitrim suddenly changes gears. From the inside of his pocket he produces a journal, which he bats gently against Michael's shoulder. BAT BAT BAT. "If you remove the tunic, Michael, just remember to pick it up when you leave."

The Khourni lordling finds something to lean against, which he does with crossed arms. "Weddings and pool gatherings at Khournas are sort of the same thing. We all complain about the heat, drink raucous amounts of alcohol, and make a lot of that evil-grade eye contact until someone draws their weapon. The ladies…" He tilts his head, grinning. NONE of this could be true. "…get bats and the men get tree branches. The men have to cut their own tree branches and there isn't a lot of wood to use, and the bats are metal. Whoever can kneecap a mate and drag them to the sept or the Great Hall at the Blackspyre gets to keep them AND THAT…" Nitrim raises his voice just a little, flourishing with his cigarette as he ashes it. "…is romance."

Nikomachos grins broadly at Kassandra, "I'll take that as a compliment coming from you, Ellie, and about a half-dozen other women, Kassie." He waves his unconcern at Michael's words, although he's already stepping back poolside to respond to Ellinor, "Now that is just absolutely no fun. What's the point of having a wedding if I don't get to joust?" Laughter bubbles up in his throat, and he shakes his head at Nitrim, "With a sword, I'll give her the edge every time, Lord Nitrim. With a lance…?" He shrugs helplessly, then settles down at the edge of the pool to roll up his own pants-legs and dangle his feet into the cool water, "And I'm only marrying a half-Khourni, Kassie. If you want to do that, you'll have to find yourself a full-blooded one." Looking back up to Nitrim, he adds, "If you weren't here, Lord Nitrim, I would undoubtedly be making some sarcastic, snarky comment about the Khourni, so please consider it as having been made, although my sense of propriety and decorum prevents it." He pauses at the description of a Khourni wedding, and dips his head to the Khourni, "Nevermind, since you seem to have done it nicely for me already…"

Sophie decided to relax in the solarium today, desperate for some time to think things through. And so, putting on an off-white cut-out one piece swimsuit and wrapping a white sarong about her waist, she opened the door to the beautiful biodome. Within, she comes to a halt, eyes widening in surprise at the number of people already enjoying themselves. She looks around a bit shyly at all in attendance, before shuffling towards the pool. With a bob of her head, she declares to each in turn, "hello, Ellie. I…did not think anyone would be here at this time…greetings Sammel, Michael." She smiles at Nikomachos, "hello, Niko…there is something I wish to speak with you about…when you have the time…" Next, she glances towards Kassandra, canting her head curiously to the side, "I…do not think we have yet met. I am Sophie Sauveur." Finally, her amber eyes settle upon Nitrim, and her cheeks turn faintly pink, "N-nitrim…" She looks away from the man, deciding to distract herself with heading nearly towards the edge of the royal pool.

Michael smiles charmingly at Sophie, "Hello again Lady Sophie, it's been a while. How are you?" he then reaches down and pulls his tunic up over his head. The bandages having been removed earlier, the scars of where the bolt went through the right side of his chest are pink to show they are still fresh. He lays it gently over the chair and then removes his boots before rolling the legs of his pants up to make shorts out of them. Then he relaxes back into his chair to sun bathe.

There are stars in Kassie's eyes as Nitrim describes in great detail the ridiculous lies surrounding Khourni weddings. It's still a dream for the girl, who is far more rough-and-tumble a Valen than some. But still, a sense of propriety keeps her from goading the man too far, and she shoots Nikomachos an amused grin at his words. "I don't have to find myself anyone, Niky, and it's a good thing to."

For a moment she allows the conversation to continue around her without her involvement. She gazes down into the pool to watch the water swirl about her toes, and seems content to be silent until yet another person joins the party. The voice, belonging to a diminutive form, draws her gaze up to Sophie, and Kassie squints in surprise. She gives the young Sauveur a once-over before responding to the introduction in a gruff, "Lady Sir Kassandra Cindravale." Because she likes to use titles, damn it.

Ellinor glances up as she hears her sister's words, and she offers her a smirk. "I'm sure it is alright." She breathes out a sigh as she shuts her eyes slowly, feeling the water wash up against her as she focuses on the sheer feel of relaxation. She doesn't say a thing in regard to Sophie wishing to speak with Nikomachos. She does detect each time her sister stutters and it causes her to smirk a bit. Now she wonders what Nitrim did to cause that…

"See, Niko. I told you the Khourni are interesting people, didn't I?" A brief pause as he looks between the others, before Sammel sighs a little bit. "I should get back to the hospital. They wanted to check up how well things are healing. Hopefully, I'll be out of there tomorrow, or the day after…"

Turning his head to the new arrival, Nitrim's sunglass-covered eyes dip just a little to inspect Sophie's swimsuit like any red-blooded human male would. It looks like a nod of his head. "Yes, well Lord Nikomachos…" Nitrim says sidelong to the man as he offers Sophie a wave with his cigarette. "…I should hope the two of you have many strong, one-quarter Khourni blooded children that know they always have a certain distant uncle that will be quite fond of them." Sly. His smile is genuine and friendly as he turns his gaze back to the group as a whole.

"Of course, being able to control plant life has kept my kneecaps working well for a long time. When a lady comes at me with one of the bats, I just hang out near a tree. I'm the biggest dog on the block for that." He laughs a small cloud of smoke and leaaaaanns far towards a table to ash his cigarette into a tray. "So…" He drops a jackknife sigue. "…how is everyone this afternoon? I've been sampling Landing the last few days. It's been enlightening. Oh and Sir Sammel? Good day. Take care of yourself and I'll see you back on the field."

Nikomachos's easy smile dissipates as Sophie approaches and he pushes up from his seat, stepping back to allow her a place to sit down herself and making his way slowly around the rim of the pool, his footsteps leaving dark spots on the concrete. "Okay Sammy, glad you could make it out for a bit though. Keep healing up." Then he looks back to Sophie, "Of course, Lady Sophie. If it is something you care to share, now is fine. Otherwise, I'm sure we can find a time."

Michael having been handed the journal from Nitrim, which he took of course and thanked him quietly, Michael now opens it to start writing into it. He isn't trying to hide what's written, but he also doesn't seem to pay attention to the conversation. He does note Sammel's departure speach and looks up, "See you around Sir Sammy, I was released this morning." he smiles and then drops back to his journal.

Sophie smiles at Michael, "I have been well. I have not drawn in some time, but more recently I thought to continue." She lets out a slightly dramatic sigh, "I feel rusty and inexperienced these days…" Nevertheless, she asks, "and how are you, Michael?" She winces upon glancing at his scarred and freshly healed chest, "that looks like it was terribly painful." When an introduction requires her attention, amber eyes flicker towards much taller woman and she replies, "a pleasure to meet you, Kassandra." Because she hates the thought of using titles, damn it. Once she has made her way towards the pool, she unties her sarong and lets it fall upon the ground. She settles beside the fallen garment, carefully slipping her feet into the waters as she looks to Sammel and says, "well, it was nice to see you again, Sammel. No matter the…unusual location." Finally, as Nikomachos rises and mentions talking about her proposition now, she licks her lips uncertainly and slowly offers, "please…don't get angry…" She glances to Ellinor for a moment, "but I noticed when trying to join the patrols, they told me I could not." She raises her hands, waving them in a placatory motion, "now, I was thinking it through. And perhaps you are…you are right to have barred me. In that case, I…I was wondering if you might know someone that could personally train me for battle. Aidan has simply allowed me to join the Irregulars in team training, but there is a certain lack of personal attention and very little time learning how to actually use a weapon."

Oh, look at the time. Kassie narrows her gaze at Sophie, but instead of staying to fight a losing battle against a child, she rises up gracefully from the poolside. In silence, she fetches her boots and her belt, offers everyone a polite nod, and takes her leave…barefoot and tracking water along the path.

"Good, means less snoring," Sammel offers with a grin to Michael, before he smiles to the others. "Will do. Was nice to get out of there for a bit. See you all later." And then he makes his way out as well now.

Nikomachos shakes his head slightly at Sophie's words to him, "I do not have the authority to bar you from patrols, Lady Sophie. However, I did speak to several other knights and officers who are friends of mine, and suggested that they not allow you to accompany them." He clasps his hands behind his back, "I'm sure that House Sauveur has skilled trainers, Lady Sophie, far more skilled than myself at teaching." His voice has regained almost all of its smooth tenor, with just a hint of a rasp from the sonic assault on his neck, "But I would suggest that you learn discipline before weapon skills, Lady Sophie. Weapon skills without discipline will only cause more trouble, and end with more Knights and soldiers wounded trying to protect you."

Michael chuckles after Sammel, then turns his attention to Sophie, however he remains silent on the topic at hand. Ellinor is here, and as such he's going to leave it to her and Niko. He's done enough with getting her to promise him she'd drop her plan. He glances back to his journal, then looks up again at the others, now listening in.

"Alright-" Nitrim grunts, the cigarette in his lip tilting upwards as he turns his shoulders back. Shimmying against the weight of the heavy coat he wears, he shrugs it off of his back and into his hands. As before, he's fully unprepared for a pool atmosphere, but at least he's left wearing a simple sleeveless black shirt that is cut enough to show off his muscular sides. Paying no mind to his wardrobe, though, he lofts the coat onto the back of a chair and returns to his cigarette. "So…Sir Ellinor." He starts, looking to the lady in the water. "When is this wedding taking place? I haven't heard anything concrete yet, but is the betrothal period going to remain the same even with the war going on?"

Sophie frowns, nodding her head, "exactly. Now I cannot seem to find anyone that is willing to take me on patrols…" She instantly furrows her brow at the d-word however, "but I am disciplined. What makes you think I am not?" She licks her lips, "please, Niko. Leave me out of the patrols, if you wish. I just wish for a skilled trainer to tutor me…" She looks to Ellinor for help, "it would keep me distracted from joining any battles any time soon. And it would let me learn faster than with a bunch of other people focused on teamwork." Presently, Sophie is sitting at the edge of the pool, with her feet in the waters and wearing an off-white cut-out one piece swimsuit. Ellinor is relaxing submerged in the pool, while Nitrim stands beside it and Michael lounges nearby. Nikomachos paces the pool area, certainly deep in thought about Sophie's suggestion.

"I heard there was a party going on," Anabethe announces cheerfully as she makes her way into the solarium. Ready for swimming and a party, she's wearing nothing more than sunglasses and a simple black bikini with a towel slung over her shoulder, hair pulled into a ponytail. She hasn't bothered to reprogram her tattoos, so silver gleams along her right arm, across her side and back, and down her left leg, drawing the eye away from myriad small scars. And, as might be expected, she's in excellent shape. "Ellinor, you still here?" she calls, pushing the sunglasses onto her head to search for the other woman.

Ellinor is doing her best to ignore the conversation between Sophie and Nikomachos so she does not have to respond to any of it. Which is why she's thankful that Nitrim asks his question. She shrugs a bit in the water, which makes for a rather odd exchange. "In a month. I believe Princess Evony is making most of the arrangements for the end of this month. I don't wish to linger around, wedding planning, when we have a war going on." And then she hears Anabethe's voice and offers a shout from the pool were she is floating. "Here, Beth. Come on over!"

Anabethe's voice draws Nitrim's attention away from Ellinor to his approaching sister. A slight grimmace forms at the underside of his lip as he raises his arms to her in a simple wave. "Hey Bethe." He calls out to her, motioning her over in their direction. His lips open and distend as he blows a pair of smoke rings towards the dome ahead. "Sir Ellinor and Sir Nikomachos were just talking about a possible Wedding Tourney. Doesn't that sound fun? I told them all about how Khourni weddings go and how I've been able to dodge them for so long."

"Not for the likes of you…" Sophie turns to glance at Anabethe, anger instantly flickering in her amber eyes. At the same time, she seems to mull over the appearance of the tattoos, as though facing an inward battle between hatred and curiosity. She glances to Ellinor when Anabethe is actually invited closer, shifting from the edge of the pool to slide into the depths of the waters. She slips within, liquid engulfing her small frame, lowering deeply enough that only half her features remain above the waters. She remains that way, sullenly glaring at Anabethe while the waters futiley attempt to cool her fury.

Michael lifts a glance towards the sound of the newcomer and then quickly closes his eyes and rests back in his chair. He swallows softly, but says, "Good day Lady Anabethe." He's in trousers rolled up to make them shorts, shirtless and bootless. He keeps quiet afterwards, not out of fear, but simply not having something to provide to the conversation.

Nikomachos keeps his voice carefully modulated, polite and calm, "Lady Sophie, you charged directly into a fight without the proper training. You have demonstrated repeatedly to me that you do not have discipline in the slightest where knowing when to refrain from combat is concerned." The mention of a trainer causes him to nod, "As I've said, I'm sure that House Sauveur has excellent trainers, Lady Sophie. I would suggest you speak with one of them. I am not the swordsman or the trainer that they are." When Sophie turns aside to speak to Anabethe, Niko nods to the Young Lady as well, gesturing toward her and speaking to Ellinor and Michael, "Khourni bathing suits."

"Hey, Nitrim," Anabethe grins as she heads toward Ellinor, reaching out to ruffle at his hair in passing. "You're looking good. As are you," she adds to Ellinor, tossing her towel to a chair and dipping a toe in the water to splash lightly toward the other woman. "Congratulations, by the way. I don't think I've had a chance to see you since word went out. And Sir Niko. You hurt her, I'll break bones you didn't know you had," she adds cheerfully. "I'll have to, because she'll probably get to the ones you know you have first." Sophie's sulk meets another sunny smile and a wiggle of her fingers.

Sophie looks to Nikomachos, wincing at his words and rising high enough that her mouth sits above the surface of the pool, "b-but I did have proper training. I may not have much knowledge with the sword or spear or axe, but the skill I had in my chosen weapon was well enough to join a fight. Besides, I hardly charged in. I was behind the rest of you, shooting my bow." She shifts uneasily in the waters, shaking her head and sighing softly, "I did not come to argue…my Lord. Nor am I looking for an excellent trainer. I am looking for the best." She gives Anabethe a scowl, striding suspiciously through the waters a few feet away from the Khournas woman.

Looking to Anabethe over the rim of the glasses to show off his mostly-healed back eye, Nitrim leans into the ruffle to his hair like he always does. His eyes wash over in white for just a second as he looks to her and then resumes his perch at the side of the pool. He looks over to Nikomachos, eyebrows tipping over the tops of his glasses as he listens to his reply to Sophie. He smiles faintly and looks down to Sophie in the water. "Lady Sophie, dearest, all it takes is one off-move on the field and you'll find yourself speared to the dirt by a Hostile. Don't be so quick to want to be where the fighting is. If you're not ready to die in an instant, if you've got things you want to live for, then I suggest you not be ready to be turned into Khourni furniture." Also known as drake skulls. "On that thought, Bethe, I think I would make horrible furniture. I'm a little scrawny these days."

Nope. Ellinor is not going to say a word. She just floats there, casting a dubious glance to Anabethe before she drops her butt a bit in the water so she can stretch out vertically in the wet strata. She shrugs her shoulders a bit at Anabethe. "Well, I didn't get my first choice," she says dryly — but Ellie is always poking fun at Nikomachos. "I really wanted that Saimhann son… you know the one I'm talking about." She winks knowingly at Beth before she swims up to the edge of the pool, folding her arms across the cement lip. "But, I'll make do with a Valen."

Michael seems to decide that just sitting isn't going to be fun for the day, so he stands and moves to the edge of the pool. He sits and puts his feet into the water, and rests back on his hands.

Nikomachos shakes his head at Sophie's rejoinder, "Lady Sophie, I have watched the recordings that I and others from that skirmish took numerous times. This, Lady Sophie, is your problem. You do not listen to those with the training you do not have. You are bloodthirsty, undisciplined, and… young. I'm sorry to have to tell you this, Lady Sophie, but it is the truth." He breathes out a sigh, "If you will excuse me, Lady Sophie, I came here to relax. If you want the best trainer, I would suggest you find out who trained His Highness Prince Beau." He blinks at Ellinor's words, shaking his head, "That's it… I'm going to get swimming trunks, if that's what it takes to remind you why you're marrying me."

Sophie looks to Nikomachos, "t-then I want someone that can teach me to…listen." She blinks, glancing to Ellinor, "who taught Prince Beau?" But then she shakes her head again, the motion letting droplets of water whisk across the area of the pool, "b-but I'm not asking to return to the field…N-nitrim…at least not yet. I wish for a trainer that can show me how I can…can…" She blushes, muttering against the pool, "b-be like Ellie…"

"Oh, I know which one you're talking about," Anabethe agrees with Ellinor, winking as she settles on the edge of the pool herself to stick her feet in. "Why do you think he wasn't available?" At Niko's words, she arches a brow at Ellinor. "Hangs past the trunks, does it? Nice work." She grins, unabashed, and flips her shades back down against the glare off the water. "Sophie, you realize teaching you to listen is probably going to involve hitting you, right?"

"Gods know that's what it took me." Nitrim murmurs, again with the sarcasm. Snorting a stream of blue-gray smoke, he turns his back to the pool and leans over the table to stub out his cigarette. He stabs a look over to Anabethe at the explanation about their Siamhann vassal and he reaches out with his boot to lightly tap the sides of her ribs with it. "So help me, if Lord Nikomachos comes back out here and it is hanging down past the hemline of whatever trunks he wears, then I'm going to run, screaming naked through the halls in protest."

Michael won't speak up, he's got other things to worry about. He gently splashes water with his legs, his mind going over and over the list of chores he already has, and the list of things he's seen that he can do. He'll prove to Johana he's serious about this. Then he glances up at Nitrim and then to Niko, finally he comments. "If that's true about Sir Niko…" he glances to Ellinor, "Then I might be inclined to wince for you." he winks.

"My lungs have taken enough bashing from the Hostile from the outside, and that was bad enough." Nitrim murmurs quietly, but perhaps not too quietly, to Michael.

Sophie scowls at the Khournas woman and declares, "I can -listen- if I want to, Anabethe. They don't have to hurt me. Besides, I can hardly see how harming me will help me become a better soldier." She finds herself perplexed however at the mention of trunks, looking around in confusion and asking, "what is supposed to be hanging down past his trunks?" She glances to the location, before turning to Ellinor for help.

Nikomachos has the grace to blush a little at Anabethe's words, although he comments instead on the latter points, "Hopefully running and push-ups rather than just hitting. Far more useful for building strength and endurance." He shakes his head at Nitrim and Michael, waving them off, "Disgusting, the lot of you." Amusement threads through his words, however, and then he turns to depart, presumably to find some swimming trunks and change.

"Fine, go," Ellinor says to Niko with a broad smile before she sinks down into the water to soak her hair — which also means she just barely catches Anabethe's words. She blows out a series of laughter bubbles before she breaks surface to glare at Beth. Playfully. Then she snorts at Nitrim. "No one is going to see Nikomachos's lance." Then she waits to see if Niko is going to go change — and indeed he does. She looks satisfied.

Anabethe face palms. "Sophie, the point of learning to listen is realizing that it's not about when you want to. Also, we are talking about his c-" She stops just as Ellinor uses a better euphemism. "Yeah. Lance. That." You just can't take her anywhere. Clearing her throat, she leans back onto her hands, stretching her legs out in front of herself. "So who's taking whose name, then?" she asks Ellinor. "He going to be on your leash, or you on his?"

"Oh, Ellinor's the groom. Half-Khournas blood has provided her genetic makeup with superiority." Nitrim muses as he grabs the front of his shirt and whips it back and forth in front of his chest to cool it off. Sticking out his tongue for a laugh, he glances over his exposed ribs from the side of his shirt and looks over to Bethe. "Hey, Bethe? I'm thinking about getting some more ink-work done, by the way. I've got a contact with Zakk Pryde here in Landing if you wanna come along some time to get some done."

Sophie slowly nods her head to Nikomachos, "running and push-ups should help. I…have a problem with endurance." She glances down to where the trucks would presumably be in another circumstance, before turning more fully towards the rest of the crowd when the man departs. She glances between both Anabethe and her sister when the subtle conversation is explained. Her eyes widen in understanding, before her cheeks burst into pink, "o-oh…oh my…" She shakes her head quickly, rubbing at her cheeks, "a-anyway, who says I can't listen already, if and when I don't want to? Just because they give me orders doesn't mean I have to follow them." At present, Nikomachos has just walked out, presumably to get swimming trunks. Anabethe is sitting at the edge of the pool, while Nitrim stands beside it and Michael lounges nearby. Sophie and Ellinor are within the pool itself, the former a good deal further away from Anabethe while the latter much closer.

Michael looks over at Anabethe as Nitrim mentions tattoos and then looks immediately at Nitrim. "Zakk Pryde? That's impressive." he comments softly. Then he looks to Sophie, "Lady Sophie, sadly I must inform you that I won't have time for any poetry recitals for a long while. I'll be focusing on my squiring to Sir Johana."

It's probably not entirely uncommon for the Solarium to be full of people— after all, the palace is the social center for the entire system. Or something. Still, Soleil seems disappointed to find a pool-party going on. She has arrived with her cat-thing, to take some air and give the animal some exercise. For a moment, indecision about whether to go or stay has her lingering by the lift door, but when the beast starts tugging at the leash and swiping at a butterfly that dances too close, she leans down and detaches the animal's collar. The familiar click is all it takes to let hi know he's free, and he takes off at breakneck speed, disappearing into the trees.

"Oh my gods, Ellinor, how did she grow up without being strangled?" Anabethe exclaims to Ellinor. "Does she not realize she makes no sense? I don't think understands what the word 'order' means." She looks back to Sophie. "And order is a thing you have to listen to. Period. End of story. No disagreeing. No thinking about it. No deciding for yourself. Someone gives it. And you follow it. Horses understand this, I'm sure you can figure it out."

"I was in the Crescent most of my adolescence," Ellinor explains dryly to Anabethe even while she maintains herself at the pool's edge. She glances over toward Sophie, and releases a sigh as she starts to sink down into the pool a bit more. She tries very hard to make herself as innocuous as possible. Nope. Not getting involved.

Sophie arches a brow Michael's way, all but her face submerged in the waters while her long brown hair flows freely out around her, "indeed? Well, I wish you luck on that endeavor…as well as reciting poetry to Viannea." And then she hears more inflaming words from Anabethe, turning harshly to glare in her direction, "while I am certain you disdain this fact, I am no horse, Anabethe. And I have a greater position of authority than most in the entire system of Haven. Just because a Citizen ordered me to…" She waves a hand in the air, "buy his house, does not mean I have to follow it. Besides, whether he likes it or not, Niko -allowed- me to join the patrol that day. He did not command me to stay back. And despite what you would prefer, Young Lady Khournas, we are not in your territory any longer. So you cannot order me to do anything. Indeed, I have more authority here than you do."

No one's likely to notice. Afterall she's still at the lift. But Soleil lifts both hands and rubs them over her face in an exasperated manner. But now she /can't/ leave. That cat-thing is tearing up turf around the garden and she's going to have to walk around nudging said turf back into place. Gawd.

So she sets off, lighting up the vapor cigarette whose scent at the moment is something annoyingly innocuous like sage.

She sets off, wondering if it's rude not to stop and say hi, and wondering if she cares whether it's rude or not. For now her path wends a little distant from the pool, but snatches of conversation still reach her.

Nikomachos comes back out of the nearest outbuilding, pointing back the way he came, "Is there a big cat back there?" He blinks at the last thing Sophie says, "I failed to give the order I should have, yes, Lady Sophie. And we're not talking about social power or authority here. On the battlefield, everyone does what they are ordered to do." Bowing his head, he adds, "And with that, I am going for a swim, and I aim to try to relax a little while before I have to go back to following orders and risking my life."

Michael sighs at Sophie, he's finding it difficult to keep out of this. "To start, I won't be reciting poetry to Vi." he shakes his head slightly, then frowns at Sophie entirely. "Lady Sophie, that really is out of line. Please stop this. I have only just been released from the hospital, do you wish to send me back in? Your constant need to argue with Lady Anabethe will do just that." he may be speaking softly, but he has a firm tone. He also winces slightly and a hand goes up to his chest scar.

One eye still watching Soleil, the bruised skin around Nitrim's eyelid remains clouded over in white as he is performing some kind of Awakened effect. He slips a hand into the empty hole provided by the gap in his shoulder and scratches softly. Sliding another cigarette into his lip, he lights it and waves away the flame. "Sophie? How about we change the subject and talk about…lances…or something? We're your happy and attractive guests here at Landing and I worry for your stress…"

Anabethe leans forward enough to set her chin in one hand, giving Sophie a bland look. "Delusional," she decides after a moment, looking back to Ellinor. "That's all I can figure. Ellinor, your sister is genuinely addled. Luckily, I'm sure there are enough rooms in this place to get one nicely padded for her. Niko," she tips her chin up toward the knight. "Looking good. If a little short-lanced," she winks. "How's the healing going, by the way? Any of the victims in there with you?"

Ellinor chokes a bit at Anabethe's words about being 'short-lanced.' "He hides it well." Then she sinks against the water again before she peeks up at Nikomachos once more. Her brows and eyes express the smile that is unseen under the water. She winks his way before she pops back up again. This time she notices Soleil. She casts a wave toward her other cousin, trying to invite her to come join them poolside. Then she bobs back up again wtih a small kick of her feet through the water. "Yes, new subject. Someone ask me about what my mother thinks a wedding dress should look like." Because if anyone knows anything about Evony Sauveur, they know it is going to be an elaborate, beautiful, magnificent pain in the ass.

Sophie notices Nikomachos out of the corner of her eye, this time glancing at actual trunks. She blushes faintly, before nodding her head, "well, if I am given just a single chance to prove I can listen to an order, I will follow it. So long as it is an order I should take." She glances to Michael and frowns deeply, "I thought you and Vi…" She shakes her head, eyes widening, "of course I do not want you in the hospital again, Michael. Anabethe, she star-…" She sighs softly, "nevermind. Fine, I shall take the higher ground and allow a…" She blushes even more deeply, "c-change in conversation…" She looks to Anabethe, amber eyes full of anger, before glancing meaningfully to Ellinor, as though to prove a point of who started it, "it would seem -someone- still wishes to instigate something, however…" She licks her lips, looking down at the water and brooding quietly. Eventually, she mumbles out, "we already know what Mother thinks a wedding dress should look like. Like something that will nearly blind everyone with magnificence as you walk down the aisle."

Nikomachos looks down at his shorts at Anabethe's comment, then shrugs, nodding to Ellinor, "All that matters is the length of your lance when you're called to the tilt, Sir Anabethe." Planting his hands on the edge of the pool, he slips easily into the pool, raising up his legs to loose the pockets of air gathered within. "And I've already been back out on patrol. The neck is still a little sore, but I'll live, as will twenty missing men, women, and children of the Rovehn, thank the Six." He looks to Sophie as she continues talking about the subject, but merely shakes his head, looking back to Ellinor, "I would guess about six feet of train, acres of lace and silk… far too much for you to be wearing, Ellie."

Michael presses into his chest, and hunches over slightly. Grimicing a little, he takes a few short breaths and replies to Sophie, "No, she and I weren't and aren't and can't. She's a noble, and I am not, that's the end of it." he replies sourly. He stands up and walks to his chair, sitting heavily into it, still with his hand to his scar.

Lady Reena Khournas is newly moved into the palace as Princess Ophila's lady-in-waiting, but it seems she's heard a rumor that her siblings are here. She steps out into the Solarium, clearly not dressed for a pool party, in a pale silvery dress. Blue eyes sweep for her kin, and when she spots them, she heads towards Anabethe and Nitrim. "I haven't been gone three days and you're already visiting me?" she smirks. "Oh, wait, you aren't. You didn't even stop by to say hello. Family, I tell you!"

And now it /would/ be rude not to drift by, with Ellinor's gesture. While blitz-cat rips by the pool, Soleil gradually approaches.

"Weddings aren't for the bride and groom anyway," she says, tossing her opinion out despite no one likely being interested in it, since she's just arriving. "They're for the people, for your parents, for the papers. No one cares what you wear /after/ the wedding so then it can be as little as possible." She gives the group in general a small nod of the head once she reaches the vicinity of the pool.

She glances at Reena when the woman arrives.

"I think I should be married in my armor," Ellinor announces firmly. Though she does smile toward Nikomachos now that he is in the pool with her. She turns a bit against the wall, and then kicks out her feet so she can send a series of splashes at the Valen. Then she hears Reena's voice and immediately offers a wave to her and a quick smile.

Ellinor glances toward her cousin, flashing a grin. "Fuck that. My wedding is going to be all about me. Bring on the massive drake hunt."

"High Lord Jevon put me in charge of my sisters' wedding gowns when they marry." Nitrim comments, grinning broadly towards Anabethe's bikini-clad back as he puffs on the end of his cigarette. "You know, I'm pretty sure some blinding-white dress covered in diamonds and sequins and mirrored plating would go excellent with an ornate sword on your hip at the ceremony, Ellinor." Nitrim starts, but then the arrival of Reena drags his attention away from the pool. "Well…I came in to visit someone. Michael and I had some business and I've been creeping around this place for just a little while. I was going to get around to tracking you down eventually, Sister." He laughs, reaching for the back of his head.

Nitrim's eyes turn back to Soleil, all the while watching her from behind his dark sunglasses. His smile pulls into something far more flat-lipped and awkward. He nods hello to her. "I could use a good drake hunt."

"I'm sorry, do you not remember my wedding gown?" Anabethe arches a brow at Ellinor, smirking entirely unsympathetically. "The monstrosity with the twelve foot train, the black lace, the fortune in gems set in the bodice? It's a good thing I'm six feet tall or I would've collapsed under the weight of the damn thing. I swear it weighed more than my armor." She looks up as she hears Reena, lifting a hand to wave. In typical Bethe fashion, she's at the pool in nothing but a black bikini and sunglasses. "I had to tell Ellinor congratulations on snagging The Lance here," she offers as an excuse.

As Nikomachos slides into the water, his trunks change from golden yellow to a metallic red, evidently changing as the material touches the water. He laughs at Ellinor's response to Soleil's words, "If more of the Hostiles make it through the Navy in this next wave, we might get married in our armor, Ellie." Getting splashed in the face causes him to sputter, and sweep an arm towards Ellinor, sending a spray back in response. Anabethe's words draw a laugh, and he shakes his head, turning his back toward her to display the metallic red and gold tattoo there, "They've been calling me The Phoenician lately, thanks. Drakefire and the Phoenician." It may have more to do with the holographic fiery wings that burst out of his armor on a hit than his tattoo, but he's accepted the name quite happily.

Elodie has the natural grace and bearing of someone born to a noble family, but there is a humility in her gaze and countenace that gives one the idea that she is more approachable. She shares the dark hair, fair skin and light eyed coloring with her eldest and youngest siblings, but her features are a bit softer and rounder, as is her figure, being more average, tending to neither slender or plump. Her dark hair, when left loose, waves down past her shoulders, but she often wears it pulled back in a practical ponytail to keep it out of her face.

Sophie flushes deeply, "gods, I c-cannot b-believe you are s-still talking about l-lances…" She whimpers softly, forcing her attention back to Michael. Her expression softens at his words, "that is…unfortunate. I am sorry, Michael. I did not know. I am certain you will find someone. You are a very caring man." Her eyes light up at catching a glimpse of Reena, smiling brightly, "Reena! It is so good to see you again! We should really go to that tavern sometime…maybe even tonight." She gives Soleil a grin and a nod, "I doubt anyone will think poorly of the wedding if they wear what they want though. I suggest taking whatever Mother has to say with a grain of salt, at least. She can be…well…you know Mother, Ellie." She waves, "I have not seen you in a while, Soleil. I hope things have been well?" She glances to Ellinor at the mention of a drake hunt, putting in her two cents on the matter, "perhaps a hunt to locate wounded drakes and give them the care they need…" At present, Ellinor, Sophie, and Nikomachos are within the pool, while Anabethe sits at the edge and Nitrim stands beside it. Michael is lounging nearby, Soleil has recently walked closer, and Soleil's cat is making a mess of the Solarium too far away to easily notice the damage.

Soleil barely looks at Nitrim. What little look she does give him is a touch exasperated.

"I don't know why you don't just do what makes the 'rents' happy, Ellinor," She says, turning to Ellinor. "You're marrying someone you love. You know you're probably the one Sauver this generation they let do that. Sophie and I are going to get saddled with a couple of old guys who haven't managed to make any kids yet. WE'RE the ones who should get to choose our wedding clothes. Make 'em happy." She turns to Sophie, lowering her cigarette while the vapor masked her real feelings. "Amiright?"

After a moment she moves closer to Nitrim and seems to say something to him.

"The Lance? Should I wish Lady Ellinor congratulations or good luck in that case? Anabethe, did they not have that swimsuit in your size? Were you forced to buy one two sizes too small?" Reena coos at her sister, finding a place to sit near her brother. "Oh, sure you were, Nitrim. If anyone believes that, I have an igloo in Volkan to sell you." Sophie's words have her biting her tongue but looking exasperated at the purity of the girl. "I am sure we can visit the tavern soon enough, Lady Sophie, but I'm still buried beneath unpacking my things. I haven't quite gotten to the swimwear yet."

Alright, that makes Ellinor laugh. She smiles up at Soleil. "You and your logic," she grumbles good-naturedly before she casts Nikomachos an almost shy and adoring smile. Then she smiles toward Reena, shaking her head a bit. "I don't need oodles of congratulations, Lady Reena… certainly Nikomachos might, for we all know how sensitive the Valen ego is, but I am just fine." She then smiles toward Nikomachos. "'Of the Pheonix'? The Phoenician?" She shakes her head a bit, though she does offer him a crooked grin. "I approve. Though 'The Lance' is better."

Michael shakes his head to Sophie again, this time though the pained expression seems to have waned now. He looks over to Soleil for a moment, eyes study her with a curiosity, "Lady Soleil? May I speak to you about something for a moment?" he asks softly.

"Don't be jealous, Reena, just 'cause I got grandma's figure," Anabethe singsongs cheerfully to her sister, leaning back further until she's resting on her elbows. "Phoenician's kind of a mouthful," she muses to Niko, a wicked grin spreading before she raises a fist to her mouth to say under a cough: "Or that's what Ellinor said." Really, you can't take her anywhere.

Sophie giggles at Soleil and nods her head, "Reena and I were talking about this just last night. I never thought I'd have the chance to marry out of love. So I just pray to the gods that my future husband is at least marginally a good match." She shrugs her shoulders, "though I'm sure the Sauvuer could afford a dozen luxurious dresses, and those would merely be what the bridesmaids wear." She glances to Reena, "if you need any help unpacking, I would be happy to help. Gets my mind off…what I am not allowed to do."

"No, Reena, you don't pack light, do you?" Nitrim says sarcastically to his sister from his perch at the edge of the pool. Once more, he pulls at the front of his sleeveless shirt and flaps some wind over his abdomen as he glances suspiciously to Soleil. As she leans in, so does he, as if preparing to be whispered to. To whatever she says, he leans back in to say something in return.

Tapping away the ashes of his cigarette, he rubs at the remains of his black eye and loops a thumb in the belt buckle that normally holds his sword. A guest at the Saveur's palace, he's unable to wear it, but the snarling drake that sits in the center of his lips, hanging a little low, is a rather ornate piece for its dull, nonreflective metal.

Nikomachos treads water near Ellinor, shaking his head in amusement at Sophie's suggestion, "I think we have enough problems with the Hostiles without increasing the number of hungry drakes out there troubling the Khourni, Lady Sophie." Actually that would be the Saimhann, but he's a Valen, what does he care about the various types of un-fashionable people. He offers a smile to Soleil then, chuckling softly, "I'm sure they won't be too old, My Lady. They will undoubtedly want grandchildren." Ellinor's words draw another laugh from him, "The Valen ego is just fine without additions from others, I assure you. And There have been plenty of others named The Lance since the Reversion." Anabethe's words cause him to laugh aloud, stopping treading water through sheer shock. That's enough to drop his head under water, and he comes back up again sputtering through his laughter. He manages to get out, "No comment."

The walking gown of pale rose that Elodie wears wraps around and is tied with a golden sash at her left hip. The front v-neck shows a deeper mauve colored bathing suit top, and she wears sunglasses as she steps into the solarium. She pauses as she looks around, trying to find Sophie… then, forgetting to look for Sophie as she looks instead at her surroundings. She walks slowly, looking around at the plants until she finds herself approaching the clearing around the pool.

"Please do forgive my sister, Lord Nikomachos, Lady Ellinor. Apparently she was out sniffing lava vapors rather than attending classes on etiquette. Or cooking. Or speaking like something other than a brothel madam," Reena quips. She looks at Soleil as she whispers to Nitrim, looking curious a moment before she looks back at the others.

Sophie all but jumps out of the pool when she notices Elodie looking around with wonder. The sarong lying at the edge of the pool is forgotten, dripping heavy droplets from her soaking hair as she patters across the way. She gives Elodie a cheerful hug when she arrives, before taking hold of her hands and smiling brightly, "Elodie! It is so nice to see you again! Thank you so much for the flowers. They're lovely."

Nitrim continues to gossip in hushed tones with Soleil, but his eyes are up and over the pool. He tilts his head, looking over the rims of his glasses towards Reena and gives her a wide grin. His eyes are clouded over in white, holding some kind of effect. He points to his black eye and mouths the words she hit me. a lot to her. Eyes rolling playfully, they come to stop on Elodie, who he gives a wave to. She is of the Iah, who he was recently found in defense of less than a few weeks ago.

Kadmus arrives at the Solarium, shedding a robe which he hangs over a nearby pool chair and leaving him in just his swimsuit as he looks out across the gathering of nobility about.

Soleil continues to exchange a few whispers with Ntrim, looking vaguely irritated. And it seems she's abut to respond to him, fueled entirely by the irritation, when cat-thing bounds up to her and drops…a dead bird at her feet. "Oh FUCK me," she says. It seems the cat has managed to intercept the anger meant for Nitrim.

Reaching down quickly, Soleil is suddenly very intent on hiding the evidence.

Anabethe lifts her glasses enough to wink at Ellinor and Niko, grinning unrepentantly. "The sweet smell of sulfur," she sighs dramatically, setting her glasses back down low enough to look over them as more people arrive at the pool.

The sound of dripping water gives the young Iah a small inkling of warning before she's hugged, as she's trying to maintain balance for both of them, she misses the lack of title before her name. "Lady Sophie, thank you for the invitation," she replies. Once the hug is finished, and she is now wet with her gown clining slightly to her, she gives a smile and tiny bow of her head. "Say nothing of it, it was a small token of appreciation from House Iah." The smile holds firm as she lets the embrace fall to holding the woman's hands briefly. "This is quite lovely. The gardens are always my favorite place wherever I am." Her gaze wanders again, then pauses upon a certain blonde youth, before she takes a breath and turns back to Sophie.

Reena mouths back at her brother, You probably deserved it. Ah, sibling togetherness. For all their teasing though, the Khourni are very tight. "Beth, are you deploying again soon?" she asks, with a bit of a concerned expression. "I won't be at the Blackspyre barracks to patch you up anymore. You'll need to come here."

Nitrim looks down to the dead bird and his teeth bare in an open, throaty laugh. Unlike the others, he's not dressed for the pool. Instead he's wearing a sleeveless tunic that shows off the firey serpent tattoo that threads down his arm. "Looks like it's love, Soleil." He says, taking a step to the side to give her the room to pick up the second degree murder evidence.

Eyes flitting back up to Reena, he cups his hand over the side of his mouth so that as few as possible can see, and mouths I'm gonna find a man that'll beat YOU. He winks and slips his cigarette back into his mouth. Oh the joys of pooltime.

"Well, if you insist, Beth," Ellinor says in response to being asked not to forgive Reena — though she does wink at the younger Khournas woman. She leans forward to whisper something in Nikomachos's ear now, leaning back to offer him a wide grin. Then she starts pushing up to the edge of the pool, using her upper body to heave herself out of the water. "Alright, Niko owes me some time at the tilt." There is something moderately husky in those words, maybe calling back to some other discussion, though she does try to also look serious. She looks at her sister and cousin, pausing a moment before she offers both a smile and then steps to fetch her towel.

"Probably," Anabethe nods to Reena, lounging comfortably. "Though I don't think there's any hard plans yet. Might go with the Granthams and see what's up with that mining facility of theirs, return the favor for them sending the Ash Legion to help us out. I promise I won't stop bringing you my boo-boos, though," she grins back to her sister. Niko and Ellinor get an ever so helpful catcall of a whistle.

Sophie shakes her head, grinning and chuckling softly, "it is nothing, Elodie. I am simply glad you came." Eyes bright, she declares, "well, you can tell House Iah that Sophie Sauveur appreciates the gift." She bobs her head excitedly, looking around the Solarium, "it is beautiful. Though I much prefer the natural gardens around Haven. Much more fun to draw." She presently wears an off-white cut-out one piece swimsuit, completely soaked from just getting out of the pool, golden brown tresses dripping with water. She turns back towards the pool, only to notice her sister getting out. Smiling faintly and tugging Elodie to join her at the pool, she nods her head and replies to her sister, "I wonder when the next tournament is…"

Michael looks once more to Soleil, then shrugs and returns to his journal. Perhaps Taryn did get through, perhaps he didn't. Michael will just focus on making notes into the book and listening to the converstation at hand.

Nikomachos shakes his head off, spiking back his hair once more, and then leans over to listen to Ellinor's whisper, one hand lightly touching the small of her back as he does. Her words have him laughing, "I just got into the water." The teasing words are not an actual complaint, as he turns around to push himself up and out of the pool with both hands as well. He's only a step behind Ellinor, although he moves over to pick up his boots, sword, belt, and jerkin before going back to her side, "If you'll all excuse me, I owe my betrothed a chance at proving she can match my skill at point control."

The cat-thing curls itself around Soleil's legs, panting as a large cat will sometimes do, while she starts to shove the corpse into her pocket— only to have it begin flapping frantically. It's not even dead. In fact it launches itself right out of her hands, and all hopes to conceal the entire mess are quite lost. She glances at Ellinor, and smiles faintly, fluttering her fingers as if nothing at all just happened.

"I'm sorry did you say something to me?" she then asks Michael.

Reena rolls her eyes at Nitrim before she purses her lips at Anabethe's words. "If I didn't have my duties here, to the Princess, I'd see about coming with you as a field medic. But Father would likely spit magma."

Sophie nods her head to Nikomachos, "of course. Good luck, Niko."

Michael looks up to Soleil, and gently motions for her over to him. "I was hoping to ask you something. If you don't mind whispering with me for a moment." he smiles but also is speaking softly.

Elodie smiles to Sophie, her brow creasing only momentarily at the continued informality, but she allows herself to be lead by Sophie. "Natural is alwasy splendid," agrees, lightly, sneaking a peek across the pool. She returns the wave from Nitrim, but her attention is caught by the bird flying from Soleil's pocket. She watches it with a little smile before Sophie's next words catch her attention. "Tournament?"

Sophie nods her head to Nikomachos, "of course. Good luck, Niko." She waves her sister and her betrothed off, before glancing towards the cat-thing at Soleil's feet, "I have to ask. I do not think me and your pet are yet acquainted. What…sort of breed is he?" She notices a bird starting to flap ferociously at Soleil's pocket, furrowing her brow in bewilderment, "are you trying to take a bird with you? Is that…is that what he eats?" She glances to Elodie, bobbing her head, "yes, tournament. I wish to prove my skill in archery, though I do not know if I could ever win the tilt in even my proudest dreams…"

Casting a confused look to the bird as it is suddenly alive again, Nitrim bares his teeth at it and steps over to one of the chairs. He plucks the cigarette from his lip and sets it into an ashtray, and then pulls his black shirt over the top of his head. As he does so, the flash of his Awakened aura recedes and his eyes uncloud back to a dark green. He drops the shirt to a chair and moves over to the edge of the pool near Anabethe to lay down and splash some water over the top of his head. For fun, he splashes his sister, too, and quickly rights himself. "If there are Awakened duels at this tourney, I might partake." Nitrim admits to everyone around." Bare-chested, he offers a little salute to Kadmus as he steps back over to the tables, brushing his wet hair back over the top of his head.

Soleil nods a touch to Michael, stepping away from Nitrim as he too goes to do his own thing, and gesturing toward a place slightly distant. She tells Sophie over her shoulder, "An Aberrant Cheetah," and indeed the thing is sort of cheetah like.

"Mmmm, watch me sizzle," Anabethe drawls with a smirk when Nitrim splashes her, leaning forward to return the favor. "I might take on the melee. Or an unarmed match, if there are any. But tournaments are all about the lances, everyone knows that. Lots of Valen, giving off lots of flash."

Once Sophie reachs Soleil, she slips her hands from Elodie's own and half-crouches, staring at the cat-thing, "an Aberrant Cheetah? That must have cost a fortune. What's his name? It's a he, right?" She laughs upon hearing Anabethe's words, "as though you were skilled enough to win anything in the tournament, nevermind a melee."

Michael stands and moves in the direction Soleil indicated. When they reach the area indicated, he'll begin to whisper with her.

Reena eyes Nitrim. If he even THINKS of splashing the good silk of her dress, there will be hell to pay. She watches all the whispering going on in amused silence.

"he didn't cost me anything," Soleil tells Sophie before she moves away with Michael. "Mother was a Biological engineer, she designed biospheres on the Ring, so she got him when he was a kitten. The new male's been making things tough for him and he always acted too tame anyway so they let me take him." She gives the cat-thing a scritch before leaving him with Sophie.

Catching the look from Reena, Nitrim grins broadly and brushes a hand over the tattoo on his now bared chest. With a devious look in his eye, his aura flashes and his eyes milk over into solid white. The tattoo of the snake of his chest seems to rise off of his chest in a heatless wash of red flame and begins to swim around his chest.He reaches out to the water and a ball of it lifts off of the pool and stares to float over towards Reena in a menacing manner. "And thus begins the game of how much does my sister love me…"

Eyeing Michael a moment, Soleil nods to him and then answers in a low voice.

Michael nods to Soleil gently, and replies in the same low voice.

"Your sister loves you enough to inform you," Reena says calmly to Nitrim, "that if you get me wet, I will ask the Wall to use you for a practice dummy." Sweet smile. "You can ask Michael how much fun that is, darling brother."

Anabethe replies to Sophie with a simple lift of a single finger - and no, it isn't a polite one. "I think she's serious, Nitrim," she notes, leaning toward her brother with a wry smile. "Of course, she's also assuming that Thalo's wrapped around her little finger…" Tease two siblings at once! Achievement unlocked!

Sophie arches a brow at Soleil's explanation, "how interesting. Did you ever give him a name? Is he as fast as normal cheetah's?" She crouches down more fully to give the cat-thing a scritch behind his ears, smiling cheerfully, "you're a spirited creature, aren't you. Kicked from your home, huh? Well, at least you're now free…in a way." Noticing that impolitely lifted finger, she scowls and tells the cat-thing, "your owner is much nicer than some people. Some people just can't be nice."

Elodie would like to get a better look at the cheetah as well, but she doesn't want it to feel crowded with Sophie already there, so she backs to the side once loosened. She finds a chair close by and sets down her little traveling tote, looking around to the others. Anabethe and Nitrim draw a quiet, amused chuckle. "I do enjoy Archery," she says quietly in regards to Sophie's mention of the tournament. "But I'm not sure I'm good enough to compete in any sort of competition." Then Nitrim's ball of water draws her attention, and her gaze flickers back and forth between the two as they 'battle'.

Seems to be looking at Michael with a fair dose of skepticism as he speaks to her, but she nods slightly. "I'll keep that in mind."

She calls to Sophie, "We named him Toka. Careful of his tongue, it's like sandpaper." Toka yawns enormously at Sophie, baring dangerous teeth before butting his head against her hand. Soleil turns back to Michael.

Soleil then begins to move back to the pool, and ads to Michael wryly, perhaps audibly, "I'm pretty good at getting men to move on."

Michael nods to Soleil, his own look of concern mixed with understanding. He speaks softly once more, "Just know, I'm putting the ale tab under you name." he smirks with the tease.

Holding the ball of water in place, Nitrim turns his white-eyed gaze from Reena to Soleil. Settling a quiet look to the blonde, his eyes narrow just a little before he turns back to Reena. Smirking, he flicks a fingertip and a single drop of water splashes towards Reena. "I love my sisters. Both of them." Nitrim laughs and then opens his palm. The ball of water falls back to the surface of the pool with a splash. Casting one final, almost raw look to Soleil, he heads back over to the table where his smouldering cigarette rests. "So…Lady Elodie." He starts, flashing Sophie a smile as he passes her. "How are things back at Niveus? I sent Lady Iah a letter expressing my support, but did not hear back from her."

Sophie giggles lightly, nodding her head, "hello, Toka. Toka is a wonderful name." She smiles as the little cat-thing bares his teeth, feeling the cold touch of his nose bump against her hand. She gives Toka a slightly more firm scritch behind the ears, knuckles pressing inwards in a gentle massage. Without looking away, she replies to Elodie, "it doesn't hurt to at least try out, Elodie. We could even practice together, though I don't know when the next tournament will come around…" When Nitrim heads closer, she glances up, only to notice his smile and send her blushing all over again. She turns silently back to Toka, listening to the nearby conversation while giving Toka all the attention she possibly can.

The droplet hits Reena in the nose but, as her dress remains dry, she doesn't get up to message Thalo. Instead she steps out of the Solarium, returning moments later with her embroidery in hand. She sits back in her chair once more, the hoop in her lap, and works on stitching the Khournas arms on the corners of handkerchiefs.

Soleil laughs a little at what Michael says, but the laughter is quick to vanish. Back at the pool she drops onto the turf beside the cat, who lolls his head back to look at her while Sophie gives him attention. By then all humor has faded, all signs that the girl ever laughed a single time in her life, gone. She drops her head and rubs her eyes.

But then she's on her feet again. "I'm going for a walk," she mutters.

Michael moves back over to the group, coming over to kneel with Sophie and offer attention to Toka. "So, what have you been up to Lady Sophie?" he ask softly.

"I would like that very much," Elodie responds to Sophie with the archery. Nitrim's approach, and Sophie's response are noted, but then he's addressing her directly, and she looks over to him. "Niveus is as snowy as ever, my Lord," she replies with a wry smile. "You are kind to do so. I am not sure if she has seem it, yet. She has been going through all of Mother's old correspondence and catching up, as it 'twere, on all that she needs to do in her new position. I am sure she will respond soon." The curve of the smile turns gentle as she speaks.

Sophie cants her head to the side, frowning at the expression on Soleil's face when she first lies down and then gets right back up, "are you all right, Soleil?" She glances to Michael when he settles down beside her, smiling faintly, "not much. I recieved word from the librarian about that…adventure. Details I asked for. Nothing seems to identify how I thought it would…" She smiles even wider at Elodie's words, looking back for only a moment, "then we can train together soon. Maybe even after I take a bath." She licks her lips, scritching Toka behind the ears a few more times before slowly standing up, "on that note, I think I should retire for now."

Dropping into a seat near Elodie, Nitrim smirks wryly and reaches out to the center of a table so that he can stub out his cigarette. Flexing his ring-covered hands, he leans back against the chair and folds his hands in his lap. "There's no rush, truly. I figured that your Lady Sister and her Lady Wife have been rather busy as of late and a meager message of honors that had no actual requests attached to it has been triaged to the back of the line. I would hate to interrupt their important work. A friend and I were just recently talking about the differences between Volkan and the part of Niveus where Iah lives." His lips part in a genuine laugh. "All of us Khourni were hopping in our boots out in the snow. You should have seen us trying to not slide everywhere we walked."

As Soleil and Sophie start to depart, his grin wanes as he turns his head to look to them. He raises his harm to wave to them. "Be safe, you two. Be safe." He grins to Reena and Bethe. "Niveus was a balmy what, minus four thousand when we were there?"

The Young Lord of Volen, Kadmus, has returned, appearantly having taken a comm call. He steps back into the pool room, and lets his gaze drift a little here and there once again.

Having soaked up some sun, Anabethe slips into the water of the pool without comment to cool down a bit. "Niveus was what's known in the scientific community as fucking cold," she answers Nitrim, smile quirking as she moves to fold her arms on the edge of the pool, making herself comfortable.

Soleil is evidently just heading off into the garden, since she's left the cat-thing to lounge by the pool.

Reena shivers, either at the mention of snow, or at the icy looks Soleil gave her brother. "I would like to visit Niveus sometime. Though I'd have to remember not to bring my orchids with me. I don't think they'd survive the trip. They are delicate, like so many things hereabouts." She watches Sophie and Soleil depart with an arched brow, looking back at Nitrim.

Sophie flushes at Nitrim when he waves to her, "y-you…you as well, Nitrim." She looks to Elodie, offering a genuine smile, "it was good to see you. Thank you again for the flowers. I have them in a vase in my bedroom this very moment." She glances to Michael, "we should talk sometime. Or at least let me watch you practicing, if you're too busy. I need to learn some fighting techniques myself." She looks to Reena, "when you have the time, I would love to go to a tavern with you." She waves at everyone besides Anabethe, giving the Khournas woman a bit of a cold and challenging stare before picking up her sarong and slowly edging towards the exit of the Solarium.

Elodie can't help chuckling at the aspersions cast on her home planet. "There is a trick to walking on snow that one learns," she shares. "Of course, it's easier for those of us who were born on it. All Niveuns are dipped in ice water at birth to acclimate them to the cold, so we don't feel it as much." She glances as Sophie leaves, "oh, I didn't bring my bow with me, though…" but Reena's comment catches her ears. "Oh, your orchids will be fine if you take the waygate into Shelter. Inside /is/ temperature controlled."

Michael stands himself and looks at Sophie with shrug, "I will be under Sir Johana's command, you'll have to ask her if you can be present while I train." he smiles though, "However, it would be nice if you could come by and watch. We can certainly take some time to talk too." then he waves to her, "Be safe Lady Sophie."

Reena flits Sophie a smile as the girl leaves, and she looks back down at her embroidery. "How goes your training with Johana, Michael?" she asks cordially. She inclines her head to Kadmus at his arrival.

Nitrim's eyes look to the spot between Soleil's shoulderblades as she walks off, and then tilt to Sophie. Once again, he flashes his pearly-white teeth to her and closes his fist to his chest in a mock salute to her. "It was good seeing you again, Lady Sophie." With that, he turns back to his sisters and Elodie, motioning for Kadmus and Michael to join them.

"Well, I don't know about you, Lady Elodie, but my trick was to blow fire at all of the snow in my path and then swim through it." It's a joke. "It wasn't so bad fighting where we did, but on the way there it was like jumping over hurdles in a training yard. After all of that running I was about to pass out. We'll have to host House Iah at some point at the Crescent, I'm sure we can turn up the air conditioning in the Blackspyre to fridge temperatures for convenience." He laughs, reaching to his forehead to adjust a stray lock of his blonde hair. "Anabethe, Reena, how does that sound to you? I think Father would love to meet them."

Kadmus offers a nod towards Reena in return, "My Lady." He greets, his attention wandering briefly only to be caught by Nitrim's gesture and he offers a bit of a smile, "Ah, Lady Elodie, Charming to see you again. And it is good to see so many of the Lords and Ladies of Khournas as well."

Sophie shakes her head, smiling pleasantly to Elodie, "you can borrow a spare of my own. I'm sure it will work well enough for training, at least." Glancing to Michael, she nods her head cheerfully, "I will have to ask her then. Be safe as well, Michael. It looks like you need it more than I." She looks to Nitrim and blushes again, "i-it was good seeing you too, Nitrim…I think we should talk sometime…" At that, she disappears out the exit, presumably to take a long bath in her luxurious royal apartments.

Anabethe gives Sophie a one-finger salute with a cheerful flash of a smile from the edge of the pool. "Sir Kadmus," she calls to the knight, waving a bit more politely in his direction. "Good to see you again." At Nitrim's suggestion, she looks back with a quirk of a brow. "Hmmm? Oh, sure. I mean, we've got the Grantham's coming and going, I'm sure there'd be no problem with a few more visitors from the Lashes. Though High Lord Orelle might start to wonder what we're doing with his vassals," she grins.

"Being awesome hosts, that's what we'd be doing." Nitrim one-lines to Anabethe.

"I am certain that Father would be most pleased to host House Iah," Reena agrees with her brother, smiling her kindest smile. "I do believe Lady Sophie has a crush on you, brother," she notes. "She kept asking about you earlier today."

Michael smiles and moves over to a comfortable distance from Reena. "Well, if I could figure out how to not dig the hole deeper…" he pauses as she speaks again to Nitrim, and chuckles softly, then continues, "My training is about to become so much harder, it would make the stoutest Khourni cry I believe." he sighs and sits down on the grass.

Elodie's eyes go to Sophie, and she gives hr a smile, raising a hand. "Thank you, Lady Sophie, I will look forward to it." The arrival of Kadmus is greeted with a warm smile, and she dips her head. "My Lord Kadmus, it is indeed wonderful to see you again. It appears that my invitation card is being rapidly filled, I shall not know where to go next. My head is spinning," she glances sidelong to Nitrim with the mention of invitations, then manages to turn her gaze away from Kadmus towards Reena. "Thank you," she says quietly. "I will be sure to pass along your regards to Lady Iah when I return home." At the mention of Lady Sophie's crush, she falls silent, but her eyes turn to Nitrim, curious.

Darious sits down under one of the fruit tree's and bites into of all thinks a peach as he tightes the strings on his Guitar and strums a few cords. He shakes his head as its not sounding right and makes a few more adjustments until he gets the tone where he wants it and begins to play a local favorite.

"I'm no Knight, Young Lady Khournas." Kadmus says, flashing a smile her way, "But it is good to see you again as well." He adds, "And indeed, Lady Elodie? I can understand why you would be so popular, however." He says with a flashed smile.

"If you've learned by my example, Michael, you'll have learned to dig a hole as deep as humanly possible until you find gold, and when you find gold you can pay people to dig you back out." Nitrim grins to Michael before he's placed on the spot by Reena, Anabethe, and all of the eyes. THE EYES. He bares his teeth in a quiet, awkward laugh. "Is that a fact? Well…if that's true I'm rather flattered. I…don't quite know what to say about that other than perhaps that she must have taken a knock to her head in one of the battles she's been in. I'm not exactly the jewel of the Crescent that my sisters and brothers are, aye?" He lofts his brows to the group and avoids eye contact. Where are his cigarettes? He dry-coughs into his fist and starts digging through his coat.

"Lord Kadmus, I do not believe we've been introduced, nor you, Lady Elodie," Reena notes. She sets her sewing aside and stands, to offer her hands to both. "Lady Reena Khournas. You are acquainted with my siblings I take it?"

"She probably hopes he can get her into a battle," Anabethe rolls her eyes in regards to Sophie and Nitrim. "I swear, I've never met anyone that incredibly oblivious." She tips her sunglasses up onto the top of her head, the better to be involved in proper introductions.

Michael notes Nitrim's lack of cigarettes, and reaches into his trouser pocket and produces a pack of them. He hands them over to Nitrim with a smile. "I picked these up on my way here, a gift from a friend." he comments lightly.

Darious polish's off the peach as he sets the seed next to him to be later disposed of he can hear in the distance people talking and decides to lightly increase the volume in hopes to see how well they enjoy the sublte sounds of the tunes he's playing.

Thankfully, all eyes are on Nitrim, so Kadmus's mention of her popularit bringing some pink to her cheeks may go unnoticed. "Actually, I think Lord Nitrim did his level best not become acquainted with me," she says with a smile, turning to Reena. "He was not under my care after the battle, and I was not allowed out in the field." The talk of after the battle on Niveus brings a cloud to her eyes for a moment, but it dissipates with a quick shake of her head when she takes the offered hand with a polite nod in greeting. "Lady Elodie Iah.

"Thanks, mate." Nitrim says to Michael, taking a cigarette from the man. Once again, his eyes flash over in white as he lights the cigarette with his own blend of Hermeticism. After the first drag, he laughs aloud. "I was not avoiding you, Lady Elodie, not in the least. My Lady Sister Reena…" He motions to Reena. "…was rather specific that I needed to be tended by her and who am I to ignore the wisdom of my beautiful and intelligent older sisters? SoItsHerFault." He smirks, throwing them under the bus. With a shake of his head, he winks to Reena and then turns his head to Anabethe. "I still, in the case of Lady Sophie, think she's rather sweet and means well, but yes…she needs to slow down. Many of us do."

Reena squeezes Elodie's hand with a warm smile. "I am most pleased to meet you. And I do apologize. I had to insist on treating my little brother, personally. I couldn't bear for him to be any more scarred in his physical form, as he is in his damnable brain," she quips.

"Indeed, Lady Reena, it is a pleasure." Kadmus says, "I'm acquainted with the Young Lady Khournas, and your brother by reputation, at least." He says with a nod of his head towards Reena.

Darious shifts as he leans against the peach tree and decides to wander around and in doing so closes with the group in some form of converstaion as he keeps playing, his tune while not being extremely loud as he keeps the tunes at proper level to be heard but overly distractive.

Michael nods to Nitrim, "The whole box is yours if you want it." then he takes a seat again on the grass. Laying back to let his bare torso display not only the light bruising he has, but also his tan. He smiles softly at a thought and seems to relax.

Reena turns her thousand-watt smile on Kadmus. "How long are the two of you staying in Landings? I'm still unpacking my things, admittedly, but I'd love to have a good game of cards tomorrow or the next day, if anyone is up for it." She looks between the Volen heir and Elodie.

Elodie shakes her head with a smile, "please, Lady Reena, there's no need to apologize. Since I completed my trauma surgery training, I feel the same way about Ronan. Although, I admit, part of it is because I want to know how injured he truly is, so he can't pull the wool over my eyes saying he's fine when he isn't." She looks up to Kadmus, and nudges an empty chair next to her out a bit, her mouth opening to invite him to sit, when Reena gives him that smile and she pauses. "Oh. I'm not sure… I accepted Lady Sophie's invitation, but I hadn't intended a long stay." She pauses once more. "But I do enjoy cards."

Sufficiently cooled, Anabethe levers herself out of the pool in one smooth motion. Because that black bikini just needed some water to make it more revealing, right? Unabashed, she reclaims her towel from the chair to dry herself off a bit. "I'd never lie to Reena about my injuries," she grins innocently. "She might be inclined to lie back about them."

Michael makes certain he doesn't look at Anabethe, or anyone for that matter cause the glimpse he cause forces his eyes closed. He also smirks at the topic of hiding wounds and unruly patients and the like.

"My ears are burning, dear sister… " Ronan says as he walks up. A devillish grin decorating his lips. "Feel the same way about me… in a perpetual state of awe and wonderment." He scrunches his nose, as he is joking and not actually /that/ conceited. He smiles, giving a slight nod to those about. He has a glass of white wine, about half empty, in his hand.

"My sister knows me well," Reena admits, grinning at Anabethe. "Oh please do stay for a few days, Lady Elodie. I could use someone else as lost as I am in Landings while I'm settling in," she insists.

Soleil has to come back eventually. She left the cat-thing rolling around in the turf near the pool. So come back she does, gait casual, air nonchalant, like nothing has irritated her all day long. Once at the pool, she sits down and begins to take off her sandals, the more 'Roman' part of her simple but multicultural garb.

"I think it likely I'll be here at least tomorrow, if not another day." Kadmus says, "Though that depends on when the Titan's Wake leaves port as well." He adds, "But I could play cards if I am about, certainly." He agrees, then flashes a smile towards Elodie as he moves to accept the seat, settling down beside her.

Noticeably averting his eyes as Anabethe gets out of the water, Nitrim pockets the cigarettes from Michael and leans back in his chair. A chirp sounds from inside of Nitrim's coat. "Hey Reena, Bethe, did you guys see my new ink?" He motions to his back as he fumbles inside of the coat pocket. He pulls out his tablet and fires the screen to life, reading one of the messages. "Motherf—" He whispers, catching himself before he slips the tablet away. More good news, apparently. He sighs and watches Soleil slip back to the pool and snuggles back into his chair, quietly enjoying his cigarette and tending to his thoughts.

Darious finaly he comes into view of those talking as he continues to play his Guitar and hopefuly entertain whose assembled as he keeps it to local Arboren tunes which are lively and at times fast paced.

Sandals off, Soleil tugs up the hem of her silk robe and dips both legs into the water. the cat-thing comes to explore, batting a large paw into the pool and then lifting it to lick water off of it. Soleil is, for now, a quite boring presence, immersed in her own thoughts, not here to entertain— these are someone else's guests, certainly not hers, though she seems to be the only Sauveur present now. She but glances at the new arrivals as they come, doing little more than tolerating their presence.

"You got more?" Anabethe arches a brow at Nitrim, though a faint smile tugs at one corner of her lips. Helpfully, she comes over to slap a hand to the back of his shoulder. "Lean forward, lemme see. You know," she continues, "Da told me the last time I came back with more that if I got any more, he'd remove them himself, and it wouldn't be the nice, medical, laser way with anesthetics."

Reena's datapad beeps as well, and she plucks it up to stare at the screen. "Oh dear. Beth," she says, handing it out to her sister. Displaying a lovely new rumor about their little brother. "I'd love to play cards tomorrow then. It's a date for all of us, provided my brother doesn't shame the whole house out of existence."

Elodie chuckles and leans back to look up at her approaching brother. She chooses to 'ignore' Nitrim's almost slip, to focus on the youngest Iah. "I do happen to carry a cure for burns, if you need," she suggests sweetly. Kadmus receives a smile as he sits, and she nods to Reena. "I could stay tomorrow, but after that I cannot be sure. We'll put Lord Nitrim under wraps until then, just to be sure that you can play, miLady."

Michael finally attempts to look up and nope. He catches sight of Anabethe and closes his eyes and rests his head back down again. He draws up his knees and keeps in his laying down position. He keeps quiet, and just enjoys the moment, inwardly comtemplating what he'll do to make it up to Johana.

A sharp gah escapes Nitrim's lip as he is slapped on the shoulder. He leans forward showing off a rather large back piece in Hermetic symbols done in the same technologically enhanced ink that his sister favors. As he leans, he looks to Soleil as she tests the pool, but is suddenly distracted by Reena's sudden announcement from her datapad. "No, Bethe, you don't need to see that. Gimme." Nitrim reaches out to try to take the datapad from Reena. "And if Father asks about the ink, please, remind him that I need mine to focus my energies." He pauses for a drag from his cigarette. "Put me under wraps?"

Soleil slowly, slowly looks over her shoulder, notes the Khournas drama unfolding— datapad, rumors about little brother? she looks /shocked/. Nitrim gets a focussed stare before she's back to looking at the water again, swishing her legs ever so slowly.

"Yeah, I don't talk about your witchy stuff," Anabethe smirks back at Nitrim, shaking her head. "Besides, it's on your back, and I don't think you're going to be wearing a lot of backless dresses any time soon. You should be good. What's up?" she asks Reena, reaching for the data pad and arching a brow as Nitrim snatches it away. "Okay, seriously, both of you realize we're all on the same team, right?"

Ronan grins widely at Elodie's remark about Nitrim. "You know… they say that in days long past… A fool was not some drunken lout, but a wise man disguise to the contrary. Though such, seemingly shameful antics, he distracted those around him from their woes… Often even showing someone or something else's shortcomings in such a manner to not be directly, or at least seemingly directly, insulting… And if it was insulting… then it was just the antics of a fool."

Reena curls the datapad back out of Nitrim's reach, and then walks over to show Anabethe up close. "Brother's been to a brothel." She grins.

Darious grins as he see's the group and slowly backs up as it seems music isn't on anyones mind so The Arboren knight slowly backs off letting the music he'd been playing fade out as well.

Making her rounds it seems, Johana is in yet another place she seldom visits. As she was arriving in the Solarium, she'd heard something more about Nitrim. Thus as she continues on towards the garden with the pool and the peach trees, her lips are twisted in a wry, half smile. The group ahead of her catches her attention, noting several Khourni and even her squire. A single brow quirks a silent question to him as she closes the distance, but it's not him her gaze settles on, it's those from her liege house. "New tat?" Eyes raking over the body art, she murmurs an approving sound.. whether for the art or the body is up for interpretation. "Nice.." A glance is tossed between Beth and Reena as she stands near the both of them, amusement in her eyes as she greets them both with a grin. "A brothel? Aww Nitrim, surely you could do better than that?"

"God's sakes." Soleil speaks up for the first time since she returned. "Brothel? Big news. My father practically lived at a brothel from 2008 to 2010. And since the princes and princesss of the realm set the trends, I suppose he's being very princely." Whoa nelly. Was Soleil just defending Nitrim? Probably not. It just looks that way.

Nitrim's eyes center onto Reena's with a look of warning as she successfully takes the datapad from his hands. "Yes, we are on the same team but the bloody tabloids report on things that aren't true an make them look li—" He starts, but then Reena has to go and blurt out that he's been to a brothel in front of Soleil, Kadmus, Elodie, Michael, Ronan, and Soleil's fucking cat. The Khourni lord glares daggers at Reena and leans back in his chair, dragging on his cigarette. He gives a cool, relaxed looks to the others present and a tilt of his eyebrow. Johana's comment gets a snort from the lordling. "I wasn't there on pleasure. I was there for other reasons." Nitrim says to the air around them with a degree of finality to it. "I seem to have picked up some…" He slows as Soleil backs him up. Blink-blink. "…yes, but still, I don't partake. On my word."

"Oh please, Soleil. As if a Khourni ever needs to pay for it." Reena rolls her eyes. She leans over to kiss Nitrim's cheek. "I believe you of course, brother. I'm just grateful the paparazzi are so busy hounding you, they've ignored me entirely." She smiles.

"That's what you're grinning about?" Anabethe arches a brow at Reena, then shrugs. "And? I showed Flint where the best one in Volkan was. Brothels have their place in things." She wraps the towel around her hand, squeezing water out of her ponytail. "Doubt Da's going to care all that much either, honestly."

"Mhm, that's true. He probably prefers amateurs doesn't he, kitty?" Soleil purrs to her feline. Uh-oh. See? She WASN'T defending him.

Kadmus laughs a bit, "It makes it worse when you say you were there for something other then pleasure, Lord Nitrim." he says with a smile, though he gives a slight shrug of his shoulders at it as he lounges a little, hmmning a bit at the various nobles about.

Michael has his eyes closed and thus doesn't see his knight walk in. As for now, he seems to have fallen asleep.

"Clearly, Soleil, considering who he's been found in bed with," Reena shoots back, giving the blonde a significant look. No one picks on her brother but her, dammit.

"Thank the Six they've left me and my ah… love life alone too." Without waiting for an invite, Johana gracefully has a seat at the side of the pool but not before plucking up a peach and holding the fuzzy fruit in her hand. "Course he doesn't have to pay for it." But with interest, her gaze flickers over Soleil at the defense. "I'm sure you had your reasons." Lifting her chin, she glances over to Kadmus and offers a wink. "Great minds think alike and all that. I was just wondering what such a good other reason could possibly be."

The young lady from Iah doesn't appear at all shocked at the talk of the brothel, although her brother's talk earns a puzzled glance. His glass of white wine receives a subtle loof of longing, but then she turns forward again. "I was not aware that there was anything wrong with visiting brothels, whether to partake or otherwise?" Elodie's brow furrows.

Soleil shrugs with a "Why would I argue with THAT?" kind of look over her shoulder toward Reena.

Ronan chuckles as he looks over at Reena, "Trust me, m'lady… there is not a man that doesn't pay for it. Perhaps not at a brothel… " He finishes off the glass of wine. He looks over at Kadmus, "It is good to see you again, Young Lord Kadmus… Showing my sister more sights?"

"Not if I was there to try to pry the girls away from their tumultous lives and plead on their behalf for their virtue." Nitrim places his hand over his little black heart and gives Kadmus a sweet, innocent look. "I care so much for people, even the amateurs." He says, eyes flitting to Soleil. The cigarette returns to his lips and he rolls his eyes behind his dark sunglasses. Then Reena speaks again and he nearly eats his cigarette. "We should probably get some drinks up here."

Michael begins to humm softly to himself. Obviously not so asleep as it would have appeared.

"And yes, Johana, the tattoos are new. Thank you, here let me…" He turns his back a little so that she can see the whole of the back piece, which seems to swirl in dark blacks and reds, the inks enhanced.

Reena returns to her seat, and picks her embroidery back up to keep her hands busy with the mundane task. "Ah, Lord Ronan, I'm sure you're right about that. The price varies, but all men pay it, especially when their hearts are stolen."

Whaaaa. Soleil looks over her shoulder at Nitrim when Reena mentions stolen hearts. Her fingers tighten into a fist where her hand rests at the edge of the pool. It's all very subtle, easy to go by unnoticed.

At the invitation, Johana sits up, dropping the peach onto her lap as she leans in to look over the tattoo, trailing a fingertip over the curves of the new ink. "Looks hot, Nitrim, excellent work for sure. Love the coloring, House Ibrahm colors." Her lips curve into a slow smile, but she's teasing him and she winks over his shoulder to Reena.

Michael begins to mumble softly, stopping now and then to humm his tune. He's still relaxed back onto the grass, as he flexes his arms up to tuck under his head now. His legs straighten out and his ankles cross left over right. Full relaxation for him, cause he knows that any minute he could be marched off for his due.

Anabethe shakes her head to the chatter, smile wry as she spreads her towel onto a lounge chair and settles in to take in some sun once more. "Personally, I think I'm going to have to start taking lessons from Nitrim in the heart-breaking department," she drawls, tucking one arm behind her head. "I'm starting to feel like I'm falling behind the curve or something."

Reena smirks. "Come now Beth, surely the noblemen are scrambling to wed the heir of Khournas."

Stretching out the muscles in his back, Nitrim's cheeks flush just a little at Johana's touch and her comment. A little, soft laugh escapes his lips and he looks over to her. "Thanks, Ana. Truly." He smiles quietly and catches from his forward plane of view a brief moment of eye contact with Soleil. His eyes flash white and the snake tattoo on his chest seems to lift for a second…but then is gone. "Ohhhhh Six, Bethe." He laughs a sick, tired laugh and slicks a hand through his pool-wet hair. "Exactly, what Reena said. My oldest and far more beautiful sister has a line of hearts, I'm sure, waiting to be broken. Pay no mind to me. I'm a small thing by comparison."

"The Lady elodie actually was here when I arrived, Lord Ronan, though I was quite charmed to see her again indeed, it was rather unexpected none the less." Kadmus says with a nod, "And Lord Nitrim is quite the philanthropist, isn't he?" he says, casting a sideways little glance at Johana before looking back to the Khournas lord.

Ronan looks to Reena, "Aw, you see though… To have your heart stolen means that you had it locked away… Is it not better to share your heart with any who might fancy it… " He grins, "Just a bit of it though… :looks to Reena, "Aw, you see though… To have your heart stolen means that you had it locked away… Is it not better to share your heart with any who might fancy it… " He grins, "Just a bit of it though…

Soleil is still staring at Nitrim, and she seems to mouth something at him.

"Sadly, Lord Ronan, as I will have no say in who has sway over my hand in marriage, I find it silly to give my heart away," Reena says with a smile. "And as Nitrim said, he and I are on the bottom of the list of eligible Khourni. No one is scrambling for a banns with us."

"Whoa, now," Anabethe laughs to Reena. "I didn't say anything about weddings. I said heart-breaking. Different story."

"No…no one is, are they?" Nitrim says rather strangely, then looks from Soleil to Reena. "If you'll all excuse me." He stands and empties his pockets. All of his electronic components are dumped out onto the table at his side, and his cigarette is stubbed out. Eyes flashing over to white again, he smiles broadly to the group. Boots, pants, belts and all, he strides over to the pool and flops in, causing a large splash of water. Sweet sweet escape.

As her brother decides to be impertinent with Lord Kadmus, Elodie's back hand finds a connection with the side of Ronan's shin. As the two men talk back and forth about her, her cheeks do turn a shade of pink to match her wrap around gown. "I think I'll take a swim," she decides, letting her brother ramble on with Reena. The conversation between the Khournis is now going over and around her head as she unties the gold sash and lays the gown on the chair, revealing the modest mauve bikini. She takes a couple of steps and dives into the deep end without hesitation to get away from the lads.

"Anytime, Nitrim. Anything for you." Johana smiles, slowly drawing her hand back from his body while settling back where she had been just moments before. Picking up the peach from her lap, she bites into the juicy fruit, savoring the flavor. "No need to break a lot of hearts, Ana. Just find one that meshes well and go for broke." Looking briefly at Michael, she grins, he looked all relaxed.. so she comments on it. "Looks like getting drunk agrees with you, Michael. I've never seen you so relaxed. Usually you're all jumpy." When Kadmus glances at her, she looks back at him and smiles. "It's good to see you again, Young Lord Kadmus." Nodding to Elodie and Ronan as well.

Ronan cants his head, "Marriage and love are not necessarily one and the same. Ideally yes, of course… but if you wait to taste something just once… and that one time is not to your liking… how then do you know if all taste the same." Then he gets smacked by his sister. "What? Were you not sight seeing with him before?" He looks over at Kadmus, "My sister's mind is obviously in the gutter…" Shrugging slightly, "I really have no idea where she gets it from… I certainly meant nothing by my earlier comment." He grins like the cat that ate the canary as Elodie heads off to the pool for a swim.

Michael grins slightly when Johana calls to him, "Thank Lord Nitrim, he showed me a better way to get drunk than how I attempted it. It helps to have such a friend as him." he pauses, "Then of course, it also helps to have such a nice place to relax in." he takes a deep breath, finally one that doesn't really hurt him.

Soleil is, unfortunately in the splash zone. So is cat-thing. The latter shrieks, or howls, or makes whatever ungodly sound angry felines make when surprised with water, and darts with a snarl into the trees.

Soleil's vocalization is no less irate, though it's likely a far prettier kind of 'howl'. One has to wonder why she'd be so bothered, though. She's not wearing anything special, not in makeup, her hair's loose and completely naturally colored— maybe it's just a chance to vent some rage.

Half-soaked, adorned in wet black silk, she looks as if she might dive in after Nitrim and hold him under. And it probably has little if anything to do with the splash he just literally made in her life.

Anabethe peels open one eye from behind her sunglasses at the splash, smile tugging at one corner of her lips. "Nice one," she calls over. "Next time, spread out your arms a little more, maybe you can get a bigger one." She's wet anyhow, the rest can just suffer the water. And then, content, the Khournas heir settles in to catch some sun. She might even fall asleep.

With Nitrim and Elodie jumping into the water at the same time, he rises to the surface in a tangle of arms and legs. For the moment, he laughs and tries to sort things out by trying to both swim away and reach out to help her get upright at the same time. Laughing just a little, he whips his hair out of his face and casts a grin over to the Lady of Iah. "Sorry about that. Got tired of not packing a suit." He dips his head back under for just a second and then turns to see what happened with the last of the conversation he just fled. First, he sees a half-soaked Soleil and frowns. His lips pull back into a cringe. He did just do that, didn't he? He mouths the word sorry to her.

Eyes still white, the aura of the swimming, firing snake rolls up over his shoulder in the water and back under again. "Thank you, Ana. You've always been a kind friend. Your squire and I have become good friends as well. He's redoubling his efforts to tend to his knight." Nitrim laughs. "Next time I'll remember my suit. This feels…awkward." He laughs. "Reena! Jump in."

"Oh, I think we all sample here and there, Lord Ronan," Reena notes. "But afterall-…" Sploosh. Now she's wet. "NITRIM KHOURNAS BY THE SIX I AM GOING TO DROWN YOUR ASS!" The embroidery gets set aside and, she hitches up her skirt to jump in on her brother's head.

"Oh son of A—" Nitrim gets out before he scrambles to try to swim away from his angry sister.

For all of a moment, Johana considers things, the better way to get drunk and the reasoning Nitrim gave for being at a brothel earlier, then she immediately dismisses it as too ludicrous to consider. Surely not. "Well whatever happened, it looks good on you." Taking another bite of the peach, she continues just enjoying the time by the pool, enjoying the splash of the water. "You're good for him, Nitrim and of course, you have been too. You ever need anything you always know where to find me." When Reena jumps into the pool towards her brother, Ana laughs, "Get him Reena!"

Ronan casually takes a step or three away from the pool. He glances down as a bit of water manages to darken the satin on one of his sleeves. He watches the display in the pool. As several of the seats are now vacant, he settles down in one, placing his hands behind his head.

Reena seems dead on intent at holding her brother under the water, at least for a little bit. The woman is no warrior in the physical sense. "This dress is Arboren silk you jackass!" Splash smackety crackety.

Intent on getting away from her brother's teasing, Elodie doesn't notice Nitrim taking his own dip, and she almost swallows water in her surprise at bumping into him. She splutters, her hair covering face so she can't see, and goes under again. She manages to tip her head back so that her hair slicks back away from her face, and resurfaces just in time to see Reena headed their direction. Although she doesn't even try to swear, she does make a rather hurried, undignified attempt to swim out of the woman's way

Reena pretending to drown Nitrim may get in the way of Soleil /actually/ drowning him. Soleil sits thee a moment before she draws her legs out, finding the revelry between brother and sister unbearable for whatever reason. She passes the back of a hand over her mouth and then sweeps her damp and clinging hair back from her face. Walking a few yards from the pool, she calls out into the garden, trying to keep her exasperation out of her voice, because exasperation never made an animal come faster.

"Toka! Kitty-kitty-kitty!"

Michael chuckles softly, "Well thank you… I think I'll be a lot calmer now sir. And with that he returns that whatever musings he's been having, making sure to keep his eyes closed so as to not accidentally look at certain people who are dressed a certain way and thus embarrass himself.

One would think that Nitrim was being attacked by a shark. When Reena catches up to Nitrim, he turns his head to her and laughs. "Don't you mean ARBOREN LETTUC—" An explosion happens in the water, as Nitrim's black-clad pants and heavy boots are upended in a sudden blender-like fury of legs and thrashing arms. SOMETHING underwater makes Nitrim take in a lungfull, and as he rises, he does so into a heavy coughing fit. Smacking Reena's arm twice to let him go, he reaches for the pool's edge and climbs out, laughing and painfully coughing up pool water as he tries to find his breath back. He may very well be choking.

Ronan rises from his seat and walks in Soleil's direction. "Would you care for some assistance, My Lady?" He smiles, and says in a much more hushed tone, "You know they say that one of the best revenges is to make sure to appear to be doing better than they are at any given point." He flashes a bit of a smile, "Whoever they might be, of course."

Reena finally climbs back out, sopping wet, the dress definitely ruined. She wrings out her skirts in her hands, helpless with laughter as she reaches over to ruffle Nitrim's hair. "You're lucky I love you, little brother."

Ronan's the only one who will see. When Soleil half turns her head toward him, her face seems damp with moe than just pool water. Or maybe it is pool water. But she seems…really pissed r upset or something. She rubs her hands over her face again and just nods at Ronan, unable or unwilling to utter another word. She doesn't even call for the cat again.

Clash of the Khourni. Amused, Johana continues to watch the splashes and crashes, making quick work of the peach. At the reassurances from Michael, she nods tentatively. "Well getting drunk definitely seemed to do the trick. Wish I had helped you with that at the beginning. You seem much easier to get along with now." When Ronan moves off to the side, she nods to him, but then Nitrim has his coughing fit and draws her attention so effectively back to him. Rising, she walks over and pounds his back. "You okay?"

With her arms on the edges of the pool, Elodie has backed as far away from the brother/sister conflict as she can, and watches with mixed amusement and apprehension. She glances towards her brother as he gets up and goes over to join Soleil, her eyes narrowing slightly with a curious tilt to her head. However, the Khourni Lord's coughing causes her attention to snap back around, assessing his color and the timbre of his wheezing

Face only a little blue, Nitrim coughs out a little bit of pool water and then flops over onto his back. Tattooed forearm braced over his eyes, he smiles quietly and lays there on the floor, trying to catch his breath. A hard, wet cough rumbles from the center of his chest and he pats Johana's shin in thanks. Eyes still white over, he lays still, trying to recuperate.

At least one is a gentleman present, as Ronan offers Soleil his arm. He makes no remark or even reaction to the fact that she is upset. "Toka…That is your little creature's name?" He smiles as if they were having a relaxing walk in the most beautiful garden on the must beautiful day. "I was never allowed to have a pet… of course, your options on Niveus are fairly limited." He smiles again, "Now, let's see if we can't find him…"

Soleil sniffs, still no saying anything though she puts her hand on Ronan's arm. Hellcat she may have been in another lifetime, but she knows how to be a lady too. Another sniff, and, swallowing, she says, "Yes. Toka. Not really a pet." She's practically lost her voice. She sweeps a hand over her face and head again, more subterfuge to pretend her state is all due to water.

When Nitrim rolls over on his back, Johana kneels beside him, noting his blue color and the sound of water. She reaches for his arm and roughly turns him to his side. "Cough it out, Nitrim, don't leave it in there." There's intense concern in the depths of her blue eyes and she pats his back a little more gentle this time. "What happened? You seemed fine.. then you didn't.."

Reena crouches down beside Nitrim. "I think he's fine. But if you want to give him mouth to mouth, I'll take a photo for the next tabloid."

Michael hears all the commotion and sits up. he sees Nitrim in his predicament and is on his feet and at Nitrim's side in a matter of movements. "Cough it up and walk it off like any other Khourni. Where's the badass with the glowing snake who took all those wounds on the field huh?" he teases Nitrim in an almost brotherly way.

Nitrim's white eyes gloss over in an unspent laugh at the jokes being made at his expense. Even Michael gets a playful middle finger as he's pushed over onto his side. That middle finger is then directed to Reena and he finally laughs. A small blarg of water is coughed out and his color starts to return to normal. Immediately, he starts laughing and he rolls back onto his back. His hand rubs up and down his face. "Gods…you guys are the best." He mumurs, reaching out to squeeze Johana's knee. With a deep, exhaled breath he starts to push himself back up to sit. "I think I'm going to dry off and disappear for a little bit. I'll see you guys back home?"

Ronan smiles as Soleil takes his arm. "Here, little one.. kitty-kitty.." He is only slightly leading her, but overall allows her to take the lead should she make any indication of a desire to.

Only after reassuring herself Nitrim is indeed fine does Johana gently cradle his cheek with her hand and brush her lips over his in an ever so brief kiss. "Be careful you.. and if you ever need to talk, let me now." Rising, she nods to the others and makes her way out.

Reena kisses the top of her brother's soggy head. "Not I. I live here now, remember? But be safe out there, Nitrim. And make sure they send you to Landings for patching up if you get injured in the field. I'll be ready. Beth and Ana too."

Soleil glances back toward the pool, but more than just a few yards separate her, in total, from what's going on there. Off she wanders with Ronan, barefoot with her sandals abandoned back by the pool.

After a few moments, she spies the cat crouching in some bushes, and with a soft sigh she heads toward him. "Bloody people, right Toka?" she says, leaning down and reattaching his leash, as well as offering him a wet treat from her pocket to coax him into compliance.

Michael nods to Nitrim, a smile on his lips. Then Johana makes her leave and he sighs a little, a mixture of relief and also a little let down. He moves over to the chair to reclaim his tunic and boots and other things. Then he sits in the chair.

Leaning into the kiss to his head from his sister and the short, brief kiss from Johana, Nitrim quietly smiles to them and pushes to his feet. "We'll talk, then, Ana. Soon. Thank you for the beating." He laughs hoarsely and stalks back over to the table. Grabbing his wet shirt, he looks him and his sopping, wet clothing over. "You're a great sister, Reena. I really am sorry for the dress." Eyes fading back to green, he wipes at his face and nods to Michael. "Interesting day, right?" Sighing, he casts a look over his shoulder towards Soleil and Ronan, watching their conversation in silence for a second. Eventually he separates his eyes from them and smiles to Lady Elodie in the pool. "I'm leaving Landing tonight. If your sister gets the message, write me. We'll do lunch with my sisters. I promise to not cause trouble." Drying off with his shirt, he peels it over his head and strays to the other side of the pool where he might find a towel, intent on leaving with his coat and things in arm.

Reena gathers up her embroidery. "Good night, Michael, Lady Elodie, brother." She raises a hand to wave to those cat-hunting, then heads inside to dry off and sleep.

Ronan stands at Soleil's side, as she retrieves her cat. He makes no attempt deal with the cat-creature. He has heard how tempermental that cats can be. He does smile at her, "Well, not all people are bad."

Soleil manages to tempt the cat out, and once he's risen and come, he walks gracefully by her side. She offers a vague smile to Ronan as she begins to walk back to the pool. "No? The good die young though, which means most of us who are left are bloody awful. I suppose we'll have a huge surge in good dying young too, since it's the young who trot off to war." As she heads back toward the pool and whatever remnants of guests are there, she does offer, "I'm Soleil Saveur. Maybe you've heard of me. I think I am the most recent member of the royal family who got to look like an ass in the papers. The rest of the time it's my father."

Michael simply sits now. Doing nothing.

Ronan chuckles, "Ah, but I'm too pretty to get killed." He offers a flourished bow to her, "Lord Sir Ronan Alik Iah at your service, Lady Soleil." He smiles, "Oh, I have found myself under the scrutiny of the press before… Often though what the cameras do not tell the whole story…" He grins, "Perhaps one day you might choose to tell me your version the picture."

Soleil pauses, again just a few yards short of the pool. It seems almost everyone has left, but the one who lingers is the one she stares hard at.

"It's not really an interesting story," she says, looking across at Nitrim as he prepares to go too. "It's not a long one either. Doesn't even qualify as a between-terms-fling." Her lips go wry, briefly, but she can't sustain the wryness. "This has to happen sooner or later. Maybe if it happens now I can sleep tonight." She turns back to Ronan. "Thank you for helping me find him. The cat. I hope you don't mind Sir Ronan but I need to deal with this."

Michael stands up now, he doesn't have anything to do and he's not sure he should just stay here. He supposes he could return to Obsidia then. He starts to make his way out.

Ronan nods his head to Lady Soleil. "You're most welcome, Lady Soleil." He notices that his sister has wandered off. "Well, I leave you to your business… and no witnesses should there be cause for them… " He grins, "I think though the story might be a bit more involved… Comm me sometime… maybe we can burn the town down together…but for now, I have to make sure my older sister doesn't get herself in trouble. Good night, lady Soleil." With that the rather youthful looking Iah knight heads off himself.

Hovering near the exit back down into the Palace proper, Nitrim has been busying himself with toweling his clothing dry. Watching as the others leave, he glances down his shoulder to Soleil, waiting in silence for her.

Soleil offers Ronan a bow of her head, watching him go before she starts moving again. As she goes, she takes her electric cigarette from a concealed pocket of her robe— but damn, seriously? It's not lighting. She stares at it for a long moment. Even the most expensive things break so easily. Huh.

By now she's reached the area near the lift, where Nitrim's trying to leave as much water behind as possible. She doesn't look at him, despite all the stares she's been giving him.

"What do you even want from me?"

Finally dry enough to travel, Nitrim throws his coat over his shoulder and looks to Soleil with a long, quieted stare. He tilts his head ever so slightly and then looks to the side, breaking eye contact long enough to gather his thoughts.

"I want you to know that you're not some thing I threw away." He says, looking back to her face. "I want peace, between us. I want forgiveness, eventually, but mostly I want you to understand that I never meant to be a black stain on your soul. I hurt you. I understand this and I do feel guilt. I just want you to understand that what's happened between us is something that was impactful enough to have a heart-to-heart with Anabethe over, because I was bothered by my actions, too."

She looks up at him at last, a very spent look on her face, like it's just too much to even try to be angry. "See that's the thing Nitrim. I could stand here and say…I love you. I could say /don't/ move on, and quit making me pay for a hasty answer to a hasty question. I could ask you to go back in time to when you said you were going to try to be 'good enough' for me and I said I knew you already were— but I really know what the answer to all of it is. And if I did that, it just makes me the fool. And yet you want peace? You have moved on. I didn't— you did. Your guilt— it just doesn't really help me."

Nitrim frowns, suddenly made sad by the words coming from her mouth. He looks to his feet and growls softly at them, knowing full and well the pain that's laced in them. He's wanted forgiveness and peace, but there's far more to it, isn't there? He looks back up to her eyes and quiets, lips tugging downward in a soft frown. He opens his mouth to reply, and his words catch in his throat. He deflates. "I thought you were done." He says, shaking his head bitterly at himself. "The looks, the anger, the lack of contact. At some point I just buried myself in getting better. I don't know." He brushes his hand to his eyesocket to kill the twitching. "There's a degree of shame that I've carried around with me for the results of my decisions and the only place I turn to when that shit happens is within."

Pausing, he slips his hands into the back pockets of his lightly wet pants and shakes his head to her, sadly. "If I knew what would help you, I would. The fucking tabloids and the things I've done, Soleil, I'm trying to be so careful in my footing. Brothels? They took those pictures when I was leaving after helping someone else get laid for fuck's sake." He shakes his head again. "You and I need time, Soleil. If we act hasty we're going to kill each other eventually."

Her lips can barely get the energy needed for a slight, wry curve. It flickers there before vanishing. "I don't care what you fuck, I told you that. But I'm going to be first in /someone's/ life. I don't even get that from my father. I thought with you— but then I just feel like a naive, stupid little girl. You either were sincere Nitrim, which means you'll fight for me, for my trust and for everything else I offered you— or you won't, you weren't, and I was just a passing fancy. I guess it's your call."

"I'm sorry, I can't be wrapped up into absolutes like that, Soleil. I know it's not comfortable but the truth is that I'm always going to feel a bond to you, whether or not you and I are together. You're not a naive, stupid girl, and I'm not insincere. I fought for you. You were first in my life. I don't want to have someone first and fuck someone else. You weren't a passing fancy, and with how so many things in my life have been these hollow, stupid things, the fact that I asked if you wanted me to push for the match was an important thing." Nitrim shifts, holding up a finger to try to stave off an interruption. "I'm not scorned. Things shifted. I got hit by a bus. You and I all but started stabbing each other. There are important things to be regained before you and I can be friends again, and one of those things is trust. I've come to understand that I played with hearts and I'm not going to do that ever again."

He flattens his lips and takes in a deep breath. "So that's why I'm going to tell you, directly, that there's a someone, a reason why I can't set my feelings aside. I don't move quickly, but I know when I'm holding things in the balance now. I don't feel good hurting people, and so I'm asking you to trust me and see that I'm changing, and that I'm putting myself becoming a better person as a priority. I'm going to be open and honest with you. It hurt. There's hurt on both sides of this fence, you and I. There's also caring and hope for better things so no…it's not black and white. It's not a simple equation as to whether or not you're some piece of trash. You have no idea how much of an impact you had." He leans back against the doorway and sighs softly. "But I can't commit the same sin again."

She watches him for a long, glacial moment. "You don't move quickly, Nitrim?" she asks, softly. "Has it even been a month since we met?" The irony drips from her tongue more heavily than the water did from her lashes after she got splashed. Without another word, but in no rush, she moves past him, pressing her thumb to the button for the lift. It opens instantly, and she and the purring cat step forward.

Nitrim closes his eyes at what she says, but moreso as to what she doesn't respond to. He turns to watch the door open and her and the cat get in. While waiting for the door to close, he moves to stand in the door way and considers stepping in. He stops though, and watches her quietly. Of what she's done, she's brought his guilt to the surface, and it forces him to break eye contact to look to the floor. He closes his eyes once more, and with a shake of his head, he sighs.

The door closes without her needing to suggestinsist he take the next lift, and she's gone

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