(1866-09-02) A Fatherly Chat
A Fatherly Chat
Summary: James l'Saigner has a brief discussion with his daughter before she departs for the Pacitta Tourney.
Date: 9/2/1866
Related: Related Logs (If there aren't any, use None. Don't this entry leave blank. If there is a log, use full URLs, like logname)
Alina  James  

James' Study
See Set
Septembre 02, 1866 IA

James l'Saigner sits in his study, surrounded by books and missives, working in the fading evening sunlight through the window, with the additional touch of a lantern nearby. It's a common sight, really, for the Duke of Lonnaire. He breaks the seal and unfolds or unrolls each missive in turn, studying it intently, committing the pertinent details to memory, and more often than not feeding them to the nearby fire. However tonight, knowing his daughter is soon to depart for Pacitta, he has asked her to attend him for a time, prior to her trip. He's not spoken overmuch with her beyond in passing and the occasional necessary detail since her wedding, but that's not overly unusual either. They aren't often the "sit around and just converse" kind of family. Or at least James isn't.

"You wished to see me, Father?" Alina asks as she steps through the door of his study. She's dressed more plainly than usual, as she has been since her wedding: simple dresses not made to impress in court, but easier to take on and put off. She had been spending time with her sons, of course, and closetted with her husband for what most assume to be a passionate honeymoon.
Hardly passionate. James would know that Gabriel had grown standoffish and cold since the unmasking. Not unexpected.

"I did. Please be seated. Refreshment?" James smiles faintly, gesturing to the chair opposite his desk. "I would speak with you on a few matters before your departure." He drops one more missive in the fire, then turns to face Alina squarely, "I have heard the Unmasking has been a difficult one." He pours himself a cup of wine from the decanter that sits upon his desk and notes, "Not entirely unexpected, though Ivan reports that he has taken matters better than some, at least."

Alina blanches. "Better?" she sighs. "How could it be better than anything? He's very upset about things. I wish he wasn't." That Tristan would have taken it in stride is left unspoken. She is being more exasperated than anything else, as much as she's hurting from Gabriel's aloofness, she does know things could be far worse.

She pours a half cup of wine for herself, but does not drink yet. "What things need we discuss, Father? I am sure that Gabriel's recalcitrance has not gone on long enough to earn… permanent measures."

"It has not, and I remain optimistic on the prospect of tolerance, if not acceptance." James doesn't enlighten any further on the reasons for his optimism, but he surely must have them, or he simply wouldn't make such a statement. "No, in point of fact my primary matter of discussion this evening lies with your brother. Your half-brother, to be precise." He sips from his winecup and notes, "You are no doubt aware he's taken up with the bastard daughter of Louis t'Maren. I believe you have some familiarity with the woman in question?"

"Some." Alina shrugs, then says simply, "Whom he beds is little of my concern, as long as it isn't cause problems. Is his current daillance causing them?" She seems undisturbed by the idea of Corvin with Esyld, something that is not the case when discussing him with Talia.

"It is not. Somewhat the opposite, I think." James opines, sipping from his wine cup once more, "And it may in fact allow for an opportunity I had not expected." He leans back in his chair, "What is your assessment of Captain Draven? Beyond her relationship to Corvin, that is?" He looks intent on this, though it's always hard to say, given he always looks rather intense.

Alina snorts. "She's a knightly sort. Except the Baroness is an idiot, blocking her spurs. And for what? Pettiness?" She rolls her eyes. "I abhor when a bastard is forced below what they can achieve."

"Pettiness. And a fundamental misunderstanding of our House's mores and expectations." James nods in agreement to Alina's words, "Good. Because this new relationship may bode well for seeing the Baroness…suitably chastised for her lack of vision." James leans back in his chair, resting his hands on the top of the desk a moment, "The t'Myrin lands remain without a Lord to tend them." It seems a change in subject, but there's something in his tone that speaks of that…not quite being the case.

Alina scowls suddenly. "Either you are thinking to have her legitmized or have Corvin legitmized… either way you'll be taking him from me," she says petulantly, "If you give them those lands. Why not just give the girl her spurs and be done with it? One knows Corvin will be bored of her soon enough…" and her tone grows harsh, "and crawling back to Talia. And that I will not abide."

"Because giving her her spurs is not enough to express the full magnitude of my distaste for the woman's actions." James quirks a brow ever-so-slightly at Alina's petulant tone, "You really think Corvin would serve this house any less than he does now with a noble title attached to his name? You haven't yet learned to see quite as many moves ahead…this would not be taking him from you. This would be saving him for you." James notes, "As well as potentially opening an avenue to an…alternative…training grounds for our Wraiths in the future. The t'Corbeau have been effective enough, and while I do not share the personal distaste for Talia's appetites that you do, I am aware of them and that they could lead to difficulties. Particularly if her children pick up such habits."

"Children." Alina scowls. She understand James's explanation for Corvin, and doesn't wish to admit she may be wrong. So she latches on to the subject of Talia and worries it like a dog does a bone. "How can you not share my distaste?" she asks. "The woman is more concerned with what drugs or cocks she's putting into her body than she is anything else. And she tries to lure Corvin into that idiocy because she thinks because she fucked him first she has some claim to him." Alina's hands ball into fists. "A better home for the Wraiths may be in order. One cannot trust an addict, because the only thing they value in the end is the object of their addictions."

"I do not share the distaste because despite her appetites she has not failed me in any task of consequence I set her to. Andre enjoyed his Haze as well, and it never stopped him from doing what needed to be done." James studies Alina intently, "You are possessive of Corvin, and that I think adds fuel to the distaste you already possess for the perceived lack of control Talia's vices represent to your mind." James shakes his head, "No matter, Talia is not the subject here. She will be yours to deal with in time, but be mindful that you do not end up discarding or fully alienating a useful tool simply for…pettiness." James adds, "In any case, any legitimization of Corvin would not yet be for some time yet, and it would likely come along with a Knighting for CAptain Draven, and a wedding for them both…not likely in quite that order." He adds after a moment, "But in time…Lucas will likely need attending to first. Reluctantly dutiful he may be, but he has too much of his mother in him. We should begin looking outward to prospective matches for him. Some not-unpleasant prospect that will remove him from the opportunity for small resentments to fester into complete bitterness."

Alina considers. "Well, with my wedding to Gabriel sealing a tie between us and the l'Corren this generation…" she muses. "Lucas has had a liking for the youngest l'Faust girl… Evelyn. Annoyingly knightly and reminds me of an eager puppy dog, how she nips at the heels of—" she cuts herself off before she says her husband's name. She sighs.

"But my opinion of her is moot. She and Lucas share a mutual attraction and interest, and he's smitten with her: just watch him when she is near him. A l'Faust tie in this generation would be good, and I know the Archduke had been interested in wedding his second son to me." She drums her fingers on the desk. "Perhaps this will assauge any disappointment he has in losing to Duke Cesare."

"A possibility well worth considering, yes." James makes a mental note or three as Alina explains the situation to him. Then frowns, though there's an undercurrent of amusement to his tone, "An odd thing, to potentially see all my children wed to knights. But these are, I suppose, odd times." He grows more somber now, "In any case, we will attend to Corvin, Captain Draven, and the Baroness in due time. More urgently…keep your ears, and those of your entourage open while in Pacitta. It may not be official, but there will be the preliminaries of the Grand Treaty negotiations to be had. Pay particularly close attention to the Pacittan Councillors, if given opportunity. They are most likely the ones who will try to sabotage this peace, or at the very least delay it as long as possible lest direct trade between the Kingdoms curtail their market share."

Alina nods. "If the rat squeaks too much," she says, referring to Mancini, "I'll set my cat on him." She's only half joking. "I may set Wraith to seeing what he can drag in. Ivan I know has his duties, but I would request a few of my guard be Wraiths with infiltration skill… just in case. I've no intention to use them, but better to have that option available and not need it than need it and not have it."

"I suspect Corvin already has a few with those qualifications among the detail traveling with you. If you find it inadequate, no doubt he will provide whatever you ask beyond that." James notes, rising from his chair after emptying his winecup. He steps around the desk, and in a rare gesture of affection, leans over and kisses the top of Alina's head, "I know it to likely be small consolation, my dear daughter, but your mother would not so much as share a room, much less a bed with me for the first weeks of our marriage. We make much of how shocking the Unmasking is for those joining our family, but few would ever understand how draining it can be upon those already within."

Alina's expression falls some, and tears begin to threaten. "What if he never wants to be with me again?" she says haltingly. "He loved me. He wanted us to be happy, and I did this to him. What if I've destroyed everything?" She knows that the answer is that she will do her duty anyway, but that is a cold comfort.

"If he loved you, then he will see in time that you are the same woman he loved. He will understand that the unpleasant truths you have shared are a sign of your trust in him, and you will have a far happier union than my own." James replies, his tone not unkind, but not exactly warm, either. "And if not…then you will do your duty, and in either case…I will be proud of my strong and clever daughter." These moments are again, quite rare from James, but it seems perhaps in this case…more necessary than usual. "Enjoy what you can of your journey, Alina. We will speak again upon your return."

She nods, rising to her feet. "Thank you, father. I must finish my packing, and find where Wraith is hiding. I will be back after the tournament with a report." And then they both know she will return to Pacitta. Faegate travel suits her ill, but she'll suffer for duty. "Good evening." And she turns to leave his office.

"Good evening, Alina." James replies, moving to sit back down at his desk and resume his work right where he left off.


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