08.29.3013: Trouble In Paradise
Summary: Reena and Devon visit Eirene in New Atlantis for lunch, but the conversation gets problematic, troublesome, and heated.
Date: 29 August 2013
Related: None
Devon Eirene Reena 

The Grotto Restaurant — New Atlantis
See log.
29 August 2013

The day after Lady Reena's Notice Project meeting, Lady Eirene sent word to her sister Devon and future sister-in-law, Lady Reena to meet on Mare Maris for some tea. It would give the women some time to better acquaint themselves and possibly talk a little about the current events in their lives. Eirene was miffed to hear Devon and Victor spent some time with Kadmus on New Atlantis and did not send word for her. Perhaps they had their reasons and ultimately, Eirene blames Kadmus for dropping the ball. With a smile, she moves forward from the feeling of inadequacy and rises from her seat to greet each of the women as they arrive to the restaurant.

The underground oasis provides a soothing vibe with its clean lines and modern furniture. There is a blend of old world and new world charm while keeping the decor simple enough to accentuate the walls of glass which provide the underwater oceanic view that is unique to Mare Maris. Creatures of the sea, both big and small glide and float through the azure water. Within the restaurant, one often has to think who is really watching who since it is the people that are gathered up into 'bowls' in order to live within the depths of New Atlantis. There is soft music that pipes into the restaurant and dim lighting for added effects.

Eirene is wearing a single shoulder chiffon gown in an iridescent teal color. Her long hair is left loose and lightly drapes over her bare shoulder. There is a warmth about the girl as she moves towards the women once they arrive.

Reena has taken a little while to arrive, having had to stop every few yards to marvel at some view of the underwater residents of Mare Maris through the windows. She is dressed in the colors of her future house, with an iridescent strapless dress in flowing blue-greens. She is escorted by a hostess to Eirene's table and holds out both hands to the woman to exchange cheek kisses. "Eirene, this place is too beautiful for words!" she exclaims, her face flushed with excitement.

Devon Grantham nee Volen steps graciously into the oasis in a soft gown of ash-colored silk. Immediately, her gaze goes up just in time to see an enormous whale go gliding past, the rest of her pod seen at a distance. She breathes out a slow breath, an almost sigh accented at the very edge of that exhale. She turns her gaze back toward the forefront, and she smiles softly when her pale eyes alight on Eirene and then Reena. She continues forward, hands clasped behind her back as she nears the table.

Eirene returns Reena's cheek kisses and offers her soon to be sister-in-law a tender embrace. "Thank you for coming. I apologize for being out of sorts and cranky the other evening. There has been much on my mind." Waving off the topic of what could be clouding the Volen's thoughts, she guides Reena towards the table. Devon's lovely petite form comes into view just then. "Sister! You made it. Thank you for responding so quickly to my message. I'm sorry I did not get a chance to catch up with you and Victor the other day." No explanation is given. Instead Devon is caught up in a little sister hug from the taller Volen girl. "I am very happy to have both of you here. This is one of my favorite spots. Everything they make is excellent." Life continues to float on by in slow motion behind them and in front of them. Glass walls surround the restaurant for that 'outside' feel while indoors. Eirene waits for Devon and Reena to sit before she reclaims her seat. The waiter arrives with three menus and asks for their drink orders. Eirene puts in an order for a large pot of citrus hibiscus tea for the table. "Please order anything else you would like to drink. This is my favorite tea."

Reena gives Devon a warm hug before she sits, and has a decidedly hard time tearing her eyes away from the windows. When addressed she turns back and peruses the menu. "That tea sounds lovely. What do you recommend on the menu, Eirene? We don't have all that much seafood in Volkan and I'm curious to try new things."

Devon returns hugs and kisses all around before she also claims a seat. There is a certain tiredness around the young widow, but she does manage to offer a warm smile in turn to the pair of ladies. "I'll have the same," Dee offers in return before she releases a bit of a soft laugh. "Victor actually had some of the rice and raw fish dishes… they call it sushi, after an old Earth technique. I was surprised he actually enjoyed it." She then leans back into her seat once more, gracefully crossing her ankles underneath her seat. "You actually didn't pull me away from anything important, Rene… I was visiting with Mother." She sounds content with that, but Lady Volen has already been more pleasant that Lord Volen concerning their eldest daughter.

Eirene gives an involuntary shudder to the sound of 'mother' and 'father'. While she adores them, she loves them better from afar. "Food? Everything is quite excellent here. I enjoy more flakey fish dishes and yes, the sushi/sashimi dishes are refreshing. Salmon is a bit meatier and Tuna is one of my favorites." Continuing with a reply to Reena first before tackling the parental topic. "I see. Was this the first time mother and father met Lord Victor? I am sure they are happy for you." In their own way, naturally. "I know they must be very excited about both weddings. At least mother seems to be..enjoying the idea of her two eldest marrying so close in time." Eirene's smile broadens as this means the focus has been removed from her for a while. "And then you will both be having babies and mother and father will be grandparents. It will be great!"

Reena hmms. "I think the ahi tuna then, with the salad," she decides before setting the menu back down. She blinks at Eirene's words and can't stop a short laugh from erupting. "Babies? Eirene, your brother hasn't so much as kissed me yet. If he takes everything else that slowly, I expect children are on a far distant horizon."

"I'll have the fish and chips, actually," Devon says with a quirk of a grin. She leans back down into her seat once more as she breathes out a slow sigh once more, and then she regards the other ladies with a quirk of a brow. "Dear Gods, I'm glad that no one has asked me about that. Victor and I are only just managing not to kill each other on a regular basis… no children." She shakes her head a bit. Her fingertips brush across her chin before she looks over toward Reena. "All yours," she says lightly with a smile.

Eirene leans back a touch and straightens her posture as the waiter returns with their pot of tea. Three cups are filled and the pot is placed on the center of the table. He takes their orders and leaves the women to their chatting. A warm brown gaze settles on Reena for a moment. There is some confusion in her eyes. "My brother simply respects you, Lady Reena. You are only betrothed and still getting to know one another. Besides, you are an unmarried woman. Kadmus was raised to respect the reputation of women. It is merely a form of his great etiquette skills. I would not take it so personally." Once all of that is said, Devon is given a silly look. "So you say, sister. I have seen the way he looks at you. There is passion brewing beneath the quick fire."

Reena does do herself credit in not choking on her tea at Eirene's words. She sets her cup down lightly and carefully. "I was led to believe your brother had quite a reputation as the playboy of Mare Maris. You can understand my confusion at his seeming lack of desire to be remotely intimate with his future wife." She looks over at Devon and looks exasperated and frustrated. But then she smiles a little. "I do think Victor quite likes you."

"Of course he likes me," Devon says with a bit of a smirk. "But, I'm not about to have children with everyone I like." Then she shakes her head a bit at Reena's concerns about Kadmus. "He is thoughtful and attentive to you, Reena… he was very considerate when we had our last talk. Being a playboy with Citizens isn't the same as trying to find connection and intimacy with your noble betrothed." She shrugs her shoulders a bit. "I think you both need to become friends first…"

"Men seem to be given a bit more leniency when it comes to sowing their oats." Eirene notes. "I would hope my future husband has experimented and learned something so that he may be able to teach me and so that I can learn how to best please him." There's something a little backwards to Eirene's thinking. It's certainly something in that whole Reversion thing. She knows there are plenty of unmarried people, nobles and citizens alike who participate in premarital sex, but she is under the impression most unmarried noble women are still virgins. "I would not deny my brother's reputation, but not with unmarried noble women. There are professional women for this where he can indulge in his desires. A man's desire needs to be sated. You will see, Lady Reena. Things will change for you when you are married." Her cup of tea is procured and brought to her lips for a taste. Eirene concurs with her sister. "Do you particularly feel a rush to be intimate so quickly before actually knowing each other on a deeper, emotional level?" The question comes more from curiosity than a means of interrogation.

"I think sex is a part of compatibility, and it's also about intimacy and comfort levels. I am concerned about marrying a man who may not actually find me desirable. And as someone who rather enjoys sex, I am loathe to sleep in a cold marriage bed," Reena says with a shrug. "Khourni blood runs hot. We have lava in our veins. I want our relationship to contain mutual attraction, rather than just being treated as a baby factory." She frowns slightly.

"You will find that most men are easy to please," the Grantham widow says dryly to her sister. Then Devon frowns a bit as she regards Reena. "By no means am I disagreeing with your concerns, Reena… but…" She glances toward Eirene a bit, and then she rubs her fingers together a bit. "Well, if you and Kadmus are not sexually compatible, there are socially acceptable answers to that. Companionship is something I doubt Kadmus would frown on it if your marriage does lack mutual attraction." Then she shakes her head. "I think Eirene is right though. It may be that Kadmus is waiting to see if he finds an emotional connection with you before sex… which means he's rebuffing you because he wants to know who you are out of bed, before he knows who you are in."

Eirene bristles a touch when she comes to learn of Reena's experience. "Forgive me, Lady Reena, I assumed you were saving yourself for marriage." Perhaps Kadmus already knew this? There is a quizzical expression on her face that gives away the notion she is thinking something. "My mother always said, one cannot have a warm bed if they do not have warm hearts. She also has said, and I tend to believe her, men are fickle creatures. They hold a place in society that is innate to them and their primal needs. They are the providers and we are the nurturers. When a man is treated like less of a man, his desire becomes non-existent. It is very likely you come on far too strong for him, Lady Reena. We were not raise in Volkan where everything seems to be brash and bold." Her delicate hand rises and gestures to their surroundings. "We are children of paradise. We are not in a rush for anything because we love to slow things down and savor every last moment in order to capture it and keep it forever. I doubt Kadmus is not attracted to you. You are a beautiful woman." Eirene pauses for a moment to collect herself. "One needs not to give themselves in body to know when two people are incompatible. If you feel you are incompatible now, there is little hope for later."

"Maybe," Reena says, but she doesn't look entirely convinced. "But he's been so busy, how will he ever get to know me at all?" She looks out the window and props her chin in her hand. "Anyway, at least New Atlantis is beautiful." She seems content to drop the subject but Eirene's words have her grimacing. "I see. I was not aware that House Volen thought such things. I was told that our views on the status of men and women were much alike. But I am not here to be someone's nurturer, Eirene. I am here to be someone's partner and equal."

Devon glances toward Eirene at her words, and she frowns a bit — but it is a thoughtful frown. She hesitates a moment before she regards Reena. "I don't think Eirene was suggesting that you are Kadmus's nurturer." she says gently. "Nor do the Volen view women as lesser to men… but there is still no denying the roles of our sexes. Until men are born with wombs and ovum, there will always be a nurturing role for a woman — even if it is just for the period of gestation. Even the Mother embodies this, but the Chantry would never say that She is lesser to the Father." She shrugs her shoulders a bit. "But the Volen are not a hasty people… regardless of philosophical debates of gender roles… the Khourni and Volen cultures are not easily comparible. It will take you both to find commonality and comfort… I worry that you are rushing it." She frowns again. "I do not want you to be an unhappy bride, Ree."

"Everyone has a role to play, Lady Reena. I never once said my mother was a slave and beneath my father. We do pride ourselves on reputation and discretion." There is a soft smile that paints itself on Eirene's face. "But clearly there is a bit of a culture clash between Volkan and New Atlantis. You have fire on one side, and water on the other. I am sure you and Kadmus can come to a mutual understanding of your sexual needs. I presume he is aware then of your previous experience. Perhaps he feels inadequate." Eirene looks thoughtful towards her sister with the same tender smile she shares with Reena. "Yes, I too wish for this to be a happy occasion for both of you. You must understand, Lady Reena, I love my brother dearly and no one can speak ill of him. I will defend him tooth and nail if I must. I understand your concern for a passionate and romantic marriage, yet, that is all I have heard from you regarding what you think of him, how you feel about him, or what you wish for your marriage; What you can bring to House Volen as the wife of the heir. I do hope it is much more than just sex. And I do hope that you can one day come to love him for the great man that he is."

"I am not the one rushing it. Our culture is. I am twenty years old, Devon, and I am engaged to be married to a virtual stranger who only seems to pay me any notice when I am at a public event and he needs to make an appearance or otherwise look rude," Reena points out. "I have done everything I can at this point to try and get to know him, to no avail. So going forward, it will be at Kadmus' pace. I will return to Volkan until he desires to be in my company, or we are at the altar, whichever comes first." She rises and excuses herself. She looks at Eirene flatly. "I have no idea what sort of man your brother is, because he is never around to get to know. And those times I tried to get to know him, he offered nothing up of himself. Perhaps it's him you need to speak to about his greatness." She strides out, forgoing the meal and the accomodations to head back to the Ways.

Devon blinks. "Reena…" The widow looks after the departing Khourni with a bit of loss in her expression. She almost stands to chase after her, but she sinks back into her seat on second thought. She reaches up to rub a bit at her temple, looking after the departing woman before she glances toward Eirene. There is a moment of hesitation before she releases a sigh. "Not every woman is like Mother, Rene," she says after a moment, and then she reaches for her teacup. She takes a drink, and she tries to not look displeased that it isn't mead. "I know you love Kadmus dearly," Devon says, though she can't really disguise the hurt there that she hardly knows her brother after two decades of separation, "But it would do this whole match some good if we could try to bridge this gap that seems to be ever-growing."

Eirene sighs as Reena leaves. She looks down and shakes her head a touch. "I do not want her to be like mother, or anyone other than who she is. She is frustrated by Kadmus, who is, quite frankly, an enigma. Trust me, I will be speaking with him as well. Relationships are a two way street. I had hoped Lady Reena would listen to my words and digest them in order to better understand Kadmus. Kadmus in return must do the same for her. We both know he's a stubborn ox. There is a far better chance of Lady Reena 'bending' in order to show Kadmus it is possible to come to a mutual understanding.

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