(1866-10-08) A Need to Fill
A Need to Fill
Summary: Talia summons Philippe to receive his opinion on their mutual acquaintances and to provide a little information of her own.
Date: 10/08/1866
Related: General Phil and Talia Stuff
Talia  Philippe  

t'Corbeau Manor - Private Bath
In Scene Set
8th of Octobre, 1866

The interesting thing about working for the Syndicate, perhaps especially for Talia, is one never knows when one is going to be called upon. And it just before the witching hour that Talia had requested Philippe to be brought to her.

Sophia, Talia's lovely and favorite little bird, was more than pleased to entertain her Mistress' wishes and fetch the bard, and bring him to Talia. And Philippe, for all his understanding of the woman might believe he's to play for her while she rests in bed - perhaps as he once did with one of her fly-by-night interests. But he is guided past her bedroom into the Viscountess' private bath. The door is open, and Philippe is gestured inside by a knowing, and entirely amused Sophia. Who will, no doubt, close the door behind the man.

Talia is languidly lying in a tub of steaming, and soapy water. Her head rests upon the expanse of the tub, and long, curving legs just poking out from the end of it enough so that her feet are propped up.

The request itself , at the particular time, is not that odd for Philippe. He has worked at unusual hours before, for various reasons. And…it was Mistress Talia that was requesting his presence. That alone is enough to make the bard rather prompt with his visitation. Sophia was greeted and followed…towards, as Philippe thought, Talia's bedroom.

Well, at least, he thought as such.

As the pair walk past the bedroom, towards the private bath, there is only a moment of confusion upon his face. With the lute upon his back, he glances back to Sophia with the unspoken question in his eyes. The slight nod from her is enough to answer. Yes…he is supposed to go in. Which he does, with the bemused Sophia closing the door behind him.

As the door closes, Philippe offers a bow to the lounging Viscountess, the blue eyes falling upon her own…and nowhere else. "Greetings, Mistress Talia. How may I serve you?" No banter…no clever little play on words. A sign that the minstrel does find himself somewhat off-balance.

There is the sound of water flowing, moving, as Talia shifts one leg, and then raises her hand out of the water to gesture to Philippe. "You will not need your lute, my dear bard. Only your tongue." Talia smiles, pleased, and her tone does not negate that measure of insinuation with her particular remark. Oh, she's certainly doing this on purpose.

For now, she remains entirely beneath the water, save her feet, hand, and head. And the water nearly covered by the frothed bubbles. "I wish to know something, Philippe. Well," she says mildly, "A few things, to be precise. Have you been keeping an eye on Gastogne? How are things there?"

A slight nod, then the lute is removed and placed along the wall. "Of course, your Excellency." The formal title. A sign that Philippe is playing his own hand cautiously. It isn't the first time for teasing…but usually in the presence of others. Alone…like this? It is a first.

The fact that Talia remains submerged mostly is perhaps the saving grace for Philippe…to allow him to actually keep his composure and speak. "Ah…Gastogne." The tone is a little flat…but not wholly negative. "He has remained quiet, for now. It is time to send him on a test, but I have been weighing my options on such. I have a possible idea. However, I do need to obtain your blessing before I do so…"

Talia's other hand unsubmerges from the water, displaying a razor-sharp throwing dagger. She eyes it, and then brushes a finger across it as if to make sure the blade is clean. At the same time, she crosses her ankles. Slowly. "And why would you need my blessing, my dear bard?"

Blue eyes catch the glint of steel in the hand. Philippe clears his throat…then states as straight-forward as possible. "I do not know much of your husband, Mistress. It was my intent to use Gastogne to fill in the blanks I have of him. If Gastogne is caught, then his lessons on stealth have failed…and I will know the type of man that sits by your side. If Gastogne is successful, then I will know more of Lord Dominic…information that may prove useful to me and to you as well."

"How perfectly wonderful of you, Philippe. And ever so devious." Talia's tone of voice seems to suggest approval. Her ankles uncross, and then she raises her hand to begin washing her legs with the sponge she captures in the hand opposite the one holding the dagger. "And what -do- you think of my husband, Philippe? After all. I am with child, you know." Of course Philippe didn't know. Nobody did. Until now.

Philippe opens his mouth as if to respond…then finds that he, for once, lacks the words. It is, especially for him, a rather unique sensation. "With child? Then congratulations are in order…" It is a minor distraction from the question that was asked…and only affords Philippe a moment to consider the question carefully.

But then, usually…a moment is all Philippe tends to need.

"I don't know much of him, as I mentioned previously." The fact he admits to seems to irk him, somewhat. "Of what I have seen….does not impress me. He seems to be rather possessive of you. The looks he has cast in my direction….are laughable. He is jealous, and that jealousy amuses me greatly."

Philippe leans against the wall, besides the lute, as a small smile curls the corners of his lips. "It is also a weakness."

"Is it, Philippe? Do you wish to bed me, then?" Talia asks, curiously. She pats her stomach, beneath the water. "And, I only need one child. One, healthy child to take my line. To teach. I have prayed. And it will be enough. I've little desire to go through," she wrinkles her nose, "That nonsense." The whole giving birth thing, "But it is a necessity of blood. And lineage." She does not seem to be entirely grateful to have the expected condition thrust upon her. "But. As I did with other adversities, this, too, I shall overcome."

Ah…that question. That is the one that Philippe needs to tread carefully to answer. And so, he starts…but first, with the jealously. "Yes…jealously is a weakness. It can be used to manipulate. To control. A useful weakness for those we wish to coerce…but not one for our enemies to exploit." The second question….that deserves nothing less than the truth. "I could not possibly hope to bed you, despite the desire I may have. For anyone would be foolish indeed to not have that desire when within your presence." He doesn't speak of his other thought…that Talia can bed whoever she wishes.

There is a nod as Talia speaks of the necessity of blood. "Nonsense…It is an apt description. Necessary, yes, to secure succession…but nonsense, nonetheless. I have no doubt you will overcome this, as well."

Then…a tilt of the head…and a statement. "You are not fond of Dominic, either." An informal address…and a straight statement. "He is only a means to an end. He only had the one use. One that, once the heir you carry is born, he will no longer be needed for." The bard actually chuckles softly…shaking his head. "I should have seen that sooner."

"Are you losing your edge, Philippe? Shall I need sharpen it again?" Talia closes her eyes, submerges further into the warm, steaming water of the bath. "He filled a need. Yet, I will not throw something away. Perhaps, yet, he can be shaped. He knows, after all, knew, what I was. And was willing to embrace it. We shall see what he's made of. But if you, or Gastogne are caught? Well. I shall have to react according to my station, you realize." Her eyes focus tightly on Philippe, not addressing his chances to bed her, or not.

"I understand, Mistress. Which is why I send Gastogne…and not myself. I may have not realized the need that your husband filled immediately. But I understand how to use Gastogne." Philippe meets Talia's gaze, but there is no challenge in his eyes…only respect and understanding. "If he is caught, then he will pay the price of such. Be it either with the vial of poison you had entrusted to me, or via Lord Dominic's own hand. In either case, the measure of the two men will be told."

The bard averts his eyes…eyeing the lute sitting beside him. "I also know what you are. You are my life….my existence is because you deem of such. If it comes to the point where I no longer serve any purpose for you, then I will expect a reaction according to your station. As Viscountess, Capofamilia, and arbitrator of my entire being."

Talia then rises out of the bath. Naked. And, not yet showing the pregnancy that she already knows is coming. That will be soon, though. She is unashamed, and unrepentant for this act. She makes a gestures, for her towel to be given to her that is on the rack while she remains with her feet in the tub. "It is good to have awareness, Philippe. And to know where you stand. Together, we can be quite powerful, we Syndicate, we t'Corbeau." She smiles, sharply. "Use him as you will."

A hand reaches out to liberate the towel from the confines of the rack. With it, Philippe steps around, so that Talia's back is to him as he approaches the wet nude form. It is another small token of respect…a simple gesture that again shows understanding…of exactly where he stands. The towel is gently draped upon the shoulders, even as the bard steps to the side, to allow Talia to view him while his own are elsewhere. Finally, Philippe's gaze shifts up, to take in Talia's face…her smile. A smile of his own greets hers as he replies.

"As you wish, Mistress Talia."

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