(1866-08-01) Apple Brandy
Apple Brandy
Summary: Following a particularly nasty argument, Esyld and Corvin encounter one another again, more calmly this time.
Date: 1866-08-01
Related: He's Been Here Forever
Corvin  Esyld  

Garden Courtyard — Highwater Castle
In set
1st Aug, 1866

It's dusk over Lonnaire; the shadows and encroaching hues of twilight creeping in over the walls of Highwater. Servants busy themselves with igniting the lanterns about the courtyards and grounds, to guide guests and visitors on their way to the main keep. And a timely task it is, seeing as a lone figure makes her way through one of the small corners of garden, a rare patch of greenery amidst all the cobble and flagstone that lends rich scents of earth and flora to the balmy summer night's air.

She's suitably attired that she may easily pass for just another early arrival for the impending wedding and its festivities.. though a trained eye might note a few shortcomings. Her dress, for one. A soft dove grey in colour, with a strapless kidskin bodice and full, voluminously layered drapes of fabric to comprise the skirts, it's nevertheless.. a touch old-fashioned. Not something the Lady Alina would be caught dead in, for certain. But it sits well upon the curvaceous silhouette of its wearer this evening, emphasising a surprisingly fragile, slender waist and shapely bosom, if rather tightly constrained by her corseted bodice. Further on the subtle list of oddities? There's a distinct lack of jewelry. And attendants. In fact, with a handful of her skirts grasped in each hand to keep them fractionally aloft from her booted feet.. wait, booted? Yes. It's something of a miracle that she even owns a dress, slippers would be pushing simply too far. Anyway. The young woman moves at a brisk pace to enter under a covered walkway, which is largely and decoratively grown-over with trailing ivy and other, richly adorned foliage. Dark hair, gleaming and tumbling in silken swathes of ebon and mahogany, is left loose and undecorated to fall to mid-back and..

Oh dear lord. It's Esyld.

It might not seem entirely out of the question, to some. She is, after all, recognised as a t'Maren. And, when she's aware of eyes upon her, she carries herself with enough grace to pass muster. But for any who know the Captain well… this is a highly rare and unusual sight. The gown simply has to be a hand-me-down, yet it's understated, almost antiquated finery rather suits her and, while the gentle rosy flush of pinched cheeks and careful smudging of kohl about those vibrantly blue eyes does emphasise her fair, pretty features, her expression is.. unsettled. Give her a sword and a bloody battlefield any day, over this nonsense!

Finding a moment's solitude, the mercenary 'lady' slows, then draws to a halt entirely within a shaded arbor, exhaling a quiet sigh. This role just never did come quite so naturally to her as that of the blade-swinging warrior.

Corvin Fremont is himself often found in, shall we say, low-level finery. Suitable for a noble…just not a noble of high station. Simple, unadorned, and actually tending to look quite comfortable even when it looks new, and always as close to fashionable as such things can be…thanks to his sister's influence. Such is his attire this evening, as he too moves across the courtyard, headed from the Wraith Tower back towards the keep, possibly for dinner and to retire for the eve, but his keen eyes spot a figure that's ever-so-slightly unusual, and he cants his head curiously, studying them in the fading light.

Wait, is that…Esyld?

He frowns a bit, then moves to follow along into the Gardens. He steps into that shadowy arbor, and pauses a moment, silent before he finally speaks, his tone not cutting, but simply matter-of-fact:

"Well…I don't think I've ever really seen you attired so, Captain."

Aggghhh. Of all the people.. Disguising a wince, the young woman glances up from where she had taken to a momentary lean back against the stone wall that serves as the 'inner' of the covered area, promptly folding her arms about her slender midsection. If it's meant to be concealing, it has quite the opposite effect.. she's far too accustomed to armors and loose clothing to shroud her form. "Master Fremont. No, I would not suppose you have."

Flitting an idle, down-up glance over the Commander, she unabashedly takes in his attire this evening. Even if it is less of a stray from the norm. He wears it both well and with an enviable air of contentment, too. Shaking back her dark tresses, Esyld straightens herself subtly, though still doesn't quite match him for height. "I was invited to dine with my family. I thought it might be.. fitting." Expected, more like.

For the sake of the One, there's no hiding in this outlandish ensemble. No weapons to toy with or any sense of intimidation to be had. The urge to fidget is overpowering, yet she has to remain still. As an aside, there doesn't seem to be any particular displeasure in the Captain's demeanour, this evening. Is it simply that she's been caught unawares, as it were? "Actually.. I confess I am rather glad to have run into you." 'Run into', psssh. "I.. was unforgivably rude to you, during our last conversation.."

Corvin nods, "Yes, that would make sense." He affirms of dinner with her family. Given a few moments he likely would have come to that conclusion, but let's hear it for efficiency! He studies her rather equally unabashedly before he notes, "It is certainly different…but I think the welcome variety of difference, for my eyes." He smiles just a touch, then cants his head curiously, "I don't know that I would go so far as unforgivably, but do go on, though I suspect I will have at least one question for you once you're finished." He moves to lean against the opposite outcropping of stone wall, watching and listening for the moment.

The compliment, such as it is, elicits the faintest of smiles. Little more than a slight twitch at the corner of her lips, but it's there. It doesn't exactly put her at ease, either. Though the conversation proves a suitable distraction. "Is there more to say..?" Esyld enquires, arching a slender brow. Though, given the way she averts her gaze and looses a sigh, the question is rhetorical. "I was.. unsettled. And I took it out on you. For that, I apologise." Just for that, is the implication. Nothing else. Wetting her lips and smoothing the front of her bodice with a nrief downward glance and a sweep of both palms, the Captain then forces herself to meet Corvin's gaze once again. "There. You have your apology. Now, what did you wish to ask?" Is she.. nervous? Perhaps it's as simple as being in such unaccustomed attire. Perhaps.

"I'm rather curious as to when you spoke to your half-brother about me." Corvin notes, frowning a bit, "He didn't quite outright accuse me of seeking to do you harm or ruin, but his implication seemed clear enough." Corvin tilts his head, "Or he simply is perceptive enough to tell that I was not telling him all. About our brief meeting of a few nights ago, for example." Corvin sighs a bit, "Still, it was a rather awkward affair, so if you might convince him that I'm not some horrible devil just waiting for my moment to enact whatever nefarious plan he seems to think I have, I would be rather appreciative." He actually seems…a little troubled by this.

It's not entirely unexpected. Though Corvin's own disquiet over it seems to intrigue her. Pushing up from her lean entirely now, Esyld takes a half-step forward into the centre of the arbor, gently shaking her head. The motion sends a few locks of dark hair tumbling forward about her cheeks and throat. "I knew he wouldn't leave well enough alone.." The statement is softly uttered, and explained after a moment's pause. "I didn't speak poorly of you, Corvin. I just.. tried to have him avoid you, if you must know." Still regarding him with those formidable eyes, she unwittingly softens her usual expression and mannerisms, seeming vaguely imploring as she continues. "It was the morning after.. that. And I just.. I wasn't quite ready to cope with things if he should meet you and form an opinion either way. My brother, if you hadn't noticed, is not exactly shy in giving his views."

Biting gently at her lower lip for a moment's pause, she then soldiers on. "I don't know what would have been worse. If he liked you or.. if he didn't. I wouldn't quite know what to do, either way. But apparently, in trying to keep him at a distance, I only piqued his curiosity." It's Esyld's turn to cant her head a little askance now. "..what did he say to you? You usually simply brush off such things."

"He inquired as to the relations between the Wraiths and the Foxes. I assured him there were no difficulties and few personal conflicts. He brought you up and I noted that our own relationship was more complicated." He meets Esyld's gaze and adds, "I informed him of my ill behavior towards you when we were younger, and that it had seemed to have left a lasting impression. And when I expressed that I held some hope that the relationship, such as it is, might be improving, he quite bluntly expressed his opinion…well, that he either disapproved or did not believe such possible. His exact words were that he was "not encouraged" by my statement.

Corvin shrugs, "So I informed him of my own opinion that you had had some issue with the matter of Wraiths being more relied upon than the Foxes for critical missions. He did not seem to accept that this was a significant factor in our occasionally-contentious exchanges." He looks a bit rueful, "While I was attempting to be as honest as possible, you'll forgive me if I did not bring up our little chat from a few nights ago…For the moment I did not think it his business and I had no desire to…make your judgment seem suspect in his eyes."

He glances towards the Gardens proper, then back to Esyld, "It is troubling if only because he will likely be Alina's vassal in time. So far as I am aware, there is no plan to remove me from my position or the Duchy, and so I will likely have to work with him in the future, and would prefer a…at the very least not hostile interaction."

In spite of herself, of all this, and of Corvin's sombre tone.. Esyld snorts in amusement. Then chuckles. Then simply begins to laugh outright, resting one hand upon her abdomen. Damn, it's hard to catch your breath in a corset. The throaty, velvet cadence of her laughter resounds around the arbor for a long moment, before she shakes her head again, keeping her eyes downcast even as her other palm rises; a gesture to both ask forgiveness and grant her a chance to speak further. "I'm sorry. Oh! No, I am sorry. It's just.. all so ridiculous!" By all the heavens, she's actually grinning when she raises her head again to look upon the Commander. "I don't think I could have made things any worse if I had tried." Sobering, with difficulty, she clears her throat. This is clearly a matter of genuine importance to him and so she does her best to treat it as such.

"He's right about one thing, obviously. My occasional distaste for you and your men hoarding all the glory.. that's not reason enough. My brother knows me very well. And.. well, I do thank you for not telling him anything beyond the superficial. I imagine that wasn't easy, with him interrogating you. He can be.. well, a little abrasive." Pot, kettle, black. But on to the heart of the matter.

"Corvin.." Her tone quiets and gentles considerably, another step ventured toward him, though she's still beyond his reach. Common sense and habit. "..I will fix this. As you say, we will all have to work together for the forseeable future and it won't do to have animosity between certain factions. Dealing with me is one thing. Dealing with the Baron of Bloodfield, as he shall one day be, is quite another." The humour is fading from her countenance the more she goes on. "He was only being protective, you know. It takes a lot to rattle me.. or at least it always has, in his experience. But you do it without even intending it and.. clearly he leapt to the worst conclusion. I didn't help." The ghost of a smirk plays across her lips. "But do you know what he said to me, when I was trying to persuade him not to cross paths with you..? That he had always believed me to be fond of dangerous men." A long pause, as she considers it. "Yes, my brother is an astute man."

Corvin tilts a brow, but at least does look mildly amused at Esyld's laughter, "Well, I'm glad to see you accept responsibility for all this." Corvin notes with a faint smirk. He doesn't seem put off by her laughter, but when she moves closer, after a moment…so does he. He doesn't reach out for her, at least not at first, but does nod to the remainder of his words, "And I've a fondness for capable women, though such never came up in our conversation." He adds, "But the interrogation was not too fierce. It did catch me a small degree off guard, and I'm sure you can well imagine that is…irksome to me." He grins just a bit, "I may have to demand some small measure of reparation." And -then- his hand moves to rest at her hip. A perhaps-familiar gesture….

"Honestly, it's a pleasant change of role to have you be the one left feeling irritated." Well, honesty appears to be something of a theme here this evening. "Perhaps I ought to take the time to find new ways to catch you off guard, Master Fremont..?" She doesn't back away when Corvin chooses to close the distance, only tilts her jaw upward a little in order to maintain her gaze on his. When his hand settles lightly upon her hip, though, Esyld quirks a brow; eyeing that devilish smirk less warily than she had the first time they were in such proximity. "Are you quite certain you have no roguish intent? Because I am.. apparently.." She lowers her gaze, fluffing out her skirts with both hands and a wry expression. "..only a helpless damsel. I'd hate to ruin that illusion by giving you a black eye."

Ohh, she shouldn't. She shouldn't she shouldn't. Common sense beats soundlessly somewhere in the back of her mind but then.. an inhalation of his scent, a glance upward through dark lashes to study his features up close.. shouldn't. Common sense is beaten into submission by the sheer thrill of provocation and, with a breath, the Captain leans inward; for the moment offering only the softest caress of her lips across his, the fingertips of one hand coming to rest, featherlight, at his jaw.

"You might be able to convince me of a great many things, Esyld, given time and effort, but convincing me you are ever a helpless damsel? I wouldn't count that among them." Corvin notes with a good-humored grin. When she leans in and seizes the initiative this time, it would seem it's his turn to react. He does, after that first moment, pull her a bit closer, but the embrace is a relaxed one. Whether or not she realizes he's trying not to muss her attire prior to her dinner is entirely up in the air, but what's not is that he follows up her own kiss with one of his own, and it's not the softest caress, though neither is it roughly impassioned, though there's certainly an undercurrent of it there.

He also doesn't let it linger too long…a few moments, before he pulls his head back, inhaling deeply through his nose, perhaps taking her scent as well, before releasing it slowly with a smile, "As tempting as it may be to make mischief and keep you here…I shouldn't keep you from your family." Corvin notes, then grins, altogether wickedly, "Though you're more than welcome to call upon me afterwards. I'll likely be in my rooms."

The state of her damned dress is not exactly foremost on Esyld's mind. In fact, her thoughts have a habit of departing entirely when he kisses her, she has noted. Still, if he chooses to be gentle with her, she'll follow his lead. Her fingers stroke lightly along his jaw, down the side of his throat as she returns the kiss; content to take more time. Lorelei is going to kill her. The suggestion of an answering desire is less restrained on the Captain's part; she looses a hushed sound against his lips that implies a certain reluctance in withdrawal.. but she doesn't fight when he pulls away. She simply lingers a beat longer before opening her vivid cerulean eyes to regard him. "So.. I am offering apologies and you are avoiding mischief. The world is, officially, topsy turvy." Corvin's own teasing words are rewarded with a backhanded thump to his chest, even if she is smirking, offering him a look with a heavy lidded gaze. Does the suggestion appeal to her? She'd never admit it plainlt even if it did. "..don't push your luck, Fremont." Drawing a deep, steadying breath, she straightens up, both in stance and presentation, before glancing toward the keep. "You're right, I suppose. I should take my leave." The gaze flits back to him, darkly amused. "..you have a pleasant evening, hm?" With that, she begins to pivot on a heel, set to walk away.

"No? I'm told that fortune favors the bold." Corvin replies to Esyld's suggestion of not pressing his luck, grinning just a touch impishly. He does have a great deal of mischief to him, but Esyld hasn't really been privy to that side of him. "Though if you'd prefer just conversation over tea or wine or a lovely apple brandy I happen to have a bottle of in my quarters, I suppose that could be arranged as well. If not nearly as exciting." He teases, then bows slightly at the waist, "Good evening to you as well. Do enjoy your dinner."

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