(1866-11-07) On Hairdos and Kisses
On Hairdos and Kisses
Summary: Adrienne seeks Clara out, to get advice on choosing a fitting hairdo for the wedding feast; instead she is in for some questions, about what happened on the previous day…
Date: 1866-11-07
Related: Palace Encounter.
Adrienne  Clara  

Garden Patio - Sunsreach Castle - Sunsreach - Rivana
In the scene.
Novembre 7th, 1866

After the failed attempt to pay Princess Clara Tracano a visit on the previous day, Lady Adrienne Cassomir has returned on the next morn, as suggested by Clara through her servant. And contrary to the rumors that this Huntress lady had only one single green dress, she wore another today, of lavender colour, the fabric soft and almost devoid of any rustling noises, of plain and slightly outdated elegance. It has some ornaments in purple embroidered at the hems of the skirts and the modest neckline and sleeves that reach to the elbows. A single piece of jewelry adorns her neck, the necklace with the archer pendant she has worn before. Dark brown tresses have been tamed into a single braid. A very very plain hairdo, but oh so practical for a Huntress when on duty; which this Huntress is not at the moment. Leaving her female guard in the courtyard, she waits to be shown to where Clara wishes to receive her.

For this visit, the princess had asked for one of the garden patios be reserved for her pending visit with the Huntress. It was the least that Clara could do for Adrienne…to meet in a more enjoyable environment than Clara’s stuffy old room. Not that Clara’s room is stuffy by any means…but the gardens is such a nice place. And…it is someplace different. So, when Adrienne is received by the servant…the very same servant from the day before…she is led in the opposite direction of the residential halls, into the gardens…and towards a door alongside the right side. The door opens, and in stands a female Lancer…Alaina Cassomir, to be precise. The two Cassomirs may have a glance, maybe even a nod of recognition. But…that is about all, as Alaina remains ever the stoic one, remaining silent for the moment.

However, within the patio is a table. And…at the table is Clara, waiting patiently with a smile upon her face. When Adrienne enters, Clara stands, leaving the table to greet the entering Huntress. “Good morning, dear Adrienne! I am glad you came back this morning. I am so sorry I couldn’t speak to you yesterday. You caught me at a particular plexing time then.” She brightens considerably…”But! I am free now! What can I do for you?”

Adrienne seems to be surprised when the servant, that same servant from yesterday leads her towards the gardens, a place she had roamed, at least for a time, already on the day before. But it is indeed a pleasant surprise. That same servant may have received a mildly curious glance when the freckled Cassomir had noticed it was her whom Aidric had referred to as 'darling girl' on the previous afternoon, even so, she follows along, straightening with a smile blossoming on her features, once she steps outside. A pleased inhale follows, when she allows her gaze to drift over the gardens - reacquainting herself with the autumnal beauty only few appreciate as much as she.

The patio, however, is a new area to her, she has not explored as of yet. The nod of greeting is returned to her relative, with the addition of a faint smile. "Alaina." A brief glance is given the daughter of the Cassomir branch located in Sunsreach, a Royal Lancer like the father. Not too troubled by the stoic response which is quite common actually among Cassomirs, Adrienne moves past her to where the Princess already stands to greet her. "Good morning," the freckled lady smiles. "Oh, I understand yesterday must have been very busy for you. I dropped by without an appointment, so… no need to be sorry, Clara. Not at all…" The inquiry after the reason of her visit, so promptly offered, has Adrienne's brows twitch upwards, when that smile dims ever-so-slightly. "Ah… well… You've already helped me with the dress. I was wondering if you could advise me in regards to the hairdo for the wedding… Or know someone who could."

The roll of the eyes is the answer that Adrienne receives from Clara, in response to the hectic day before. “Oh, you have no idea. With the last week before the wedding, everyone is coming out of the woodwork to try to gain favor. Nevermind the fact that I had this planned solid several months ago. Well…all except the Alhazredi coming…but I had a backup plan for that, just in case.” She guides Adrienne in, closing the door herself, but not before she ushers the servant in. After all…there might be requests that need to be serviced. A shift of a glance is cast to Alaina and a flash of a smile is given to Clara’s personal Lancer as Clara teases the other Cassomir. “Oh, do loosen up, Alaina. It’s just Adrienne. Take a seat!” An offer that, of course, Alaina does not take up…choosing to remain standing.

With a laugh, Clara finds her chair once more, lounging in it rather comfortably. “Oh, forgive the direct line of questioning. I fell into the habit recently…helps to get the requests right out into the open without terribly much hemming and hawing.” There is a brief pause, as the Huntress declares her desire for a hairdresser. “Ah! I see! How to wear our hair…a most welcomed inquiry. I myself wouldn’t know the first thing about extravagant hairstyles…as I tend to favor more easily manageable hairstyles.” In fact, Clara’s hair, though a vibrant red, is in a similar braid as Adrienne’s, draped lightly over her right shoulder. “However, I do know someone who would be quite willing to advise us both on whatever we shall do with our tresses.” There is a bit of a smirk, as Clara adds on quietly. “However, perhaps you should ask your companion from yesterday….the one you walked out with. I would assume that you would want to ensure you look as ravishing as possible for him.” Oh yes, a blatant teasing from the Princess. Who, for the moment, is hardly princess-like…but more like a teenage girl, gossiping about boys.

Clara doesn’t mention exactly where she heard about the other day, but the servant that remains in the patio blushes a fierce red. Clara herself giggles and waves off the undoubtedly shocked expression from Adrienne, unless that famed Cassomir stoicness can rein it in. Even Alaina is smiling….slightly. “Yes, I know you walked out with Aidric yesterday. I found out about that after receiving his scroll. I certainly hope my cousin was a worthy replacement for my company.” Yes…there is that lilt in her voice. Clara is rather amused.

"I can imagine," Adrienne replies with a sympathetic chuckle. "And to be honest, it sounds awful. I mean… to see to all these arrangements… foreign guests… the feast and stuff." Now it is time for her to roll her eyes. "As for planning, I'd prefer to plan an attack on some bandits in the woods, you know, than such a social event." She chuckles, a truly amused heartfelt chuckle. To Alaina she glances when the Royal Lancer remains standing, a brief twitch of a smile indicating she knows why her cousin chooses to do so.

With both Princess and Huntress seated, the talk turns to hairdo's, and Adrienne notes with a smile the braid Clara is wearing today. "Yes. Manageable, practical hairdo's," Adrienne sighs. "I believe I am expected to wear my tresses in a slightly more fancy way… Not extravagant! I mean…" Again a chuckle threatens to rise in her throat. "But yes… if you know someone… I mean, you certainly must already have planned your own for the wedding, Clara. With tiny braids and jewelry worked into your hair?" She being the princess, and all.

Again, Adrienne seems to be in good spirits. Such good spirits that Clara's next remark almost does not throw her off. Almost. Well. The mirth fades indeed, when green eyes focus on Clara in a slight glare. "My companion from…", she echoes flatly, when her cheeks turn a deep shade of red, and her hand moves to cover her mouth that is gaping with astonishment. Tease hit home, right into the bull's eye, with her famed Cassomir stoicness deserting her in this one crucial moment. She swallows, seeing another blush from the corner of the eye, before she turns her head and glances towards the poor rosy-cheeked servant. "Right…", the freckled lady drawls, nodding slowly as she bites her lip. "We came across each other by coincidence, well… in fact…" And here Adrienne's gaze shifts from servant to Clara with a slightly mischievous glint. "He came rushing into the salon, searching for a certain 'darling girl'…" The strategy of diverting the curiosity towards another target, not uncommon among Huntresses. A light tilt of the head there, towards the poor servant girl, a slight roll of the eyes. "But nevermind… Of course he wasn't a worthy replacement. Why, I doubt he would be capable or even willing to advise me on how to wear my hair at the wedding feast… And yes… we walked towards the Entrance Hall, together, if you will. He had some business to do, and I was going out for a stroll in these gardens."

The ‘darling girl’ comment elicits yet another blush from the servant girl, if she wasn’t already embarrassed enough. However, Clara wasn’t focused on the poor girl…but rather the Huntress before her. And, that deep shade of red is all the reward that Clara needs. A positively girlish giggle escapes from her throat, as Clara delights. “So! There is something there! I knew it!!” The giggling passes…but not the smile. That sly, knowing smile. “Oh, I am sure that Aidric would not know the slightest thing to do with hair. Although, I would assume he would have other worthwhile topics to discuss and entertainment to offer.” It is only then that Clara glances over to the servant…and her blush. To spare the poor girl, Clara calls out. “Could you be a dear, my darling girl, and fetch all of us some water? Yourself included.” The ‘darling girl’ was used again…this time as a gentle jab towards the servant girl, who is more than happy to depart from the patio to fetch the water. So, yes…the distraction was somewhat effective, but the princess of course had a counter.

Then, with the servant gone, Clara turns back to Adrienne. “You know, you are so adorable when you blush. It’s so hard to get a reaction from most Cassomirs. Alaina here humours me some of the time…and Emilia. Well…you know how hard it is to get Emilia to do anything resembling a smile.” There is a soft laugh. “So…when I catch you in a blush, I consider it a small victory. Please think nothing of it. If it offends you, I will surely stop.” Clara certainly means what she is saying, it seems. She really does not wish to annoy Adrienne. Leaning in conspiratorially, Clara whispers. “So…you mean to tell me that you and Aidric were perfect little saints in that salon yesterday? Or the prior run-ins happened to be pure circumstance? Because….I certainly hope not. How dull a story that would be.”

Fortunately, Clara doesn’t dwell on that for too long, giving time for Adrienne to answer while she runs through her schedule in her head. “As far as that hairdo question…I had planned on having my hair set just before the grand parade to the cathedral, to give it less of an opportunity for me to spoil it.” She pauses, turning to regard the Huntress. “you will be in the parade, won’t you?” It really isn’t a matter of Clara not knowing….after all, she was the one that organized the parade. It was more a matter of confirming…and restructuring her thoughts. “My hair won’t take that much at all, since I already have the image in my mind. So…you could come in with me to my session. My stylist and her team can get me ready, and then turn to help you. Would that be suitable?”

Green eyes narrow just a tad, while her cheeks remain positively rosy. “Something…?”, Adrienne continues the echoing game, raising a brow. Her gaze turning into a slight glare at the word ‘entertainment’. An objection, however, does not come, as the freckled Huntress shuts her mouth, her brows furrowing in a slightly irritated expression as she shoots the ‘darling girl’ another probing glance. A hint of irritation, nothing more. Even so, she clams up. Hands fold before her, as she notes the servant leaving rather eagerly, and Adrienne needs a moment to gather her composure, which may be hard to do, when Clara Tracano continues with such obvious amusement about the rarity of a Cassomir blush.

“We were speaking of dresses,” this blushing Cassomir finally admits. “And my preference for a more practical attire.” Her hands unjoin and brush over the fabric of her skirts. Her lips curl. And even if clammed up slightly, her green eyes glint with some mirth as she meets Clara’s gaze. No, she is not annoyed. At least not at Clara. Maybe more at herself. Adrienne’s eyes flit down, her brows lifting while she evades the Tracano’s gaze. “Perfect little saints…”, she repeats in slightly amused contemplation. The corners of her mouth twitch ever so slightly. “Aye.” A good thing perhaps that the talk turns now to the matter of the hairdo. The freckled Cassomir lifts her gaze and nods. “Yes… I think that should work. And thank you so much, for helping me out there.” A beat. “What kind of hairdo have you envisioned for yourself, Clara?”

“Oh, a relatively simple affair, really.” Seemingly derailed from the topic of Adrienne’s dealings with a certain member of the opposite sex, Clara sits up and assumes an explanatory tone…one that Adrienne feels Clara has had a lot of practice in recently. “It is going to be a bit of a twist, actually. Pulled up so that it just touches the top of my shoulders, rather than the middle of my back like presently. Some loose curls to frame the face. I could draw it for you, if I had some paper.” There is a slight shrug. “It will be something nice, but not too elaborate. The day is about Alysande, of course. I just want to make sure I do not detract from it.”

However, the quick detour is not enough to detract Clara from the former topic. “So…you mean to tell me you did nothing at all with Aidric? Either he is slipping or his reputation is all bluster and no bite.” Clara leans back in her chair, those brown eyes upon Adrienne intently. “I will tell you this. We could banter about and skirt around the issue…or you can tell me what you really think about my cousin, rather than echo back whatever I say.” There’s a slow smirk spreading across Clara’s face. “I know avoidance when I see it, my dear Huntress. And, Adrienne, you are avoiding my inquiries. Which only serves to make me wonder more….and inquire more.” A slight wink is given. “And…we don’t want me making any more inquiries, do we?”

It seems Clara’s casual remark about the ‘simple affair’ which may refer both to hair or a dalliance of some kind leads to a brief knitting of brows on Adrienne’s freckled face. A breath is drawn, as if she were to retort something right away – a protest perhaps, judging from the way even more blood seems to rush into her face. But then, as she allows Clara to continue, air leaves the Cassomir lady’s lips, instead of any words she was about to say, her lips curving into a smile of eager attentiveness. “I see. That sounds lovely. I’m not sure as what to do with mine… It should be let down in part, I think, while another part of it… well should be done in a manner that makes it look a little fancy… I don’t know. Perhaps a ribbon of sorts…?” Adrienne attempting a bit of creative brainstorming there… Not her forte, in fact.

It seems Adrienne got her hopes high too early that the Tracano princess may have dropped the subject of the Carling cousin. With her complexion somewhat back to normal it takes that simple question, Clara poses to her next, to make the blush return and bring a slightly alarmed flicker into her green eyes. So alarmed in fact that she lowers her gaze, while she tries to figure out how to reply, leaving Clara the time she needs to complete her verbal manoeuvre. When Adrienne looks up and meets the princess’s gaze after a moment, the alarm has faded somewhat from her expression. “You are right. I shouldn’t… but then again…” She shrugs, leaving those half-sentences dangle in the air for a moment before she starts anew. “What I think about your cousin is… that I like him. Even if he seems such a sardonic rat now and then.” Her lips curl in fond amusement. “Even if he has been a Thorn, and yes… that part might become a problem…” Her gaze goes distant for an instant, before it focuses on the Tracano once again. “It is in fact a problem. My Huntress sisters won’t approve of me socializing with his kind. So… I must ask you to keep it to yourself, any of what I might tell you, in reply to your questions. ” Her smile deepens, green eyes narrowing in a light tease. “If there is indeed anything to tell…”

“Anything to tell, indeed.” Clara does seem to know a little more than she is letting on. As the servant returns, with a pitcher of water and glasses for everyone, Clara offers Adrienne something to calm her. “I swear that whatever is said will not leave this room.” Then…immediately on the heels of that, Clara leans in, murmuring softly. “So, are you going to admit that there is something between you two? No exchange of any kind…like, a kiss?” The glance Clara casts to the servant as she pours water, then back to Adrienne betrays much. Such as the fact that the servant may had seen something…and the fact that Clara
had kept it under wraps, as well. “You can tell me. It wouldn’t be the first secret I have kept, nor will it be the last.”

But…Adrienne isn’t here to gossip, even if Clara wants to or not. So…back to the hair. “Oh, it can be whatever you want, dear. Ribbon, hair pins, jewels…whatever you set your heart on. It is just a matter of deciding what you would like.” A flip of the hand…then another smile. “If you like, I could see about having my hairdresser come early…so that you can have more time to decide. I certainly don’t need the extra time. Would that help?”

Clara’s assurance does indeed calm Adrienne, if she really had been in doubt about the Tracano’s discretion all the while. The return of the servant earns the poor girl a long glance though, before the freckled Cassomir shifts her green eyes back to Clara, when that murmured question comes. A moment of hesitation there, then a nod is offered, along with a lowering of her gaze, lips pressed momentarily together before they part to draw a breath. It does indeed seem as if the Huntress is about to confess something. Her eyes lift, meeting Clara’s as if to draw some assurance from there, and finding it, Adrienne murmurs back. “Yes. There is something. Your servant… I thought she hadn’t seen any of it, but yes… we’ve shared a kiss.” Cheeks colour anew as she admits as much.

The matter of the hairdo seems to be of minor significance suddenly, even so, Adrienne is quick to assure: “A ribbon, no jewels. And yes… I should be around earlier, so your hairdresser can see what to do about this.” A tug there at her braid as she draws it into view from behind her, presenting the orderly appearance of currently tamed dark brown tresses.

A nod is given…then a smile. “Yes…then it is settled. Come to the palace about an hour or two before the parade and we will ensure that those brown locks of yours shall see the attention they so richly deserve.” Clara’s attitude may be a bit infectious…she is most certainly happy to be able to help. And helping those she knows, where she can see the results immediately…that always seems to brighten her day. “We will have you all prim and proper for the parade, wedding, and the feast later on that day. Why, people may be hard-pressed to identify you as a Huntress once we are through.” A little joke. But, a harmless one given.

“And…as for the other matter. I am glad you finally admitted to the attraction to Aidric being more than just having a verbal dueling partner.” Clara takes the glass of water, allowing herself a sip before continuing. “As you already surmised, my darling girl here did catch the tail end of what appeared to be a kiss between you and my cousin. And…when the two of you departed, I was the very next person she saw…as she had to deliver the song scroll to me. Of course, I had suspected…” A pause from Clara as she considers how long she had her hunches. “I had suspected from the day you visited me…when you selected your dress…that there was something more physical going on. But I couldn’t catch you on it then.” Then…a calming tone is heard. “Don’t worry….no one will find out from anyone here. I promise. I won’t even breathe a word of anything to Emilia.” A most serious promise, considering how close the princess is to the ‘touched’ cousin. “So, if you feel the need to tell someone….anyone…on the relationship between the two of you, please consider me as an open and willing audience.”

As the Huntress may have caught, the Princess just promised to be an open and, most important, secretive confidant to Adrienne. At least when it comes to matters of the heart. Odd…but not to Clara. After all, it is merely an extension of her willingness to help her friends. “If you don’t wish to speak anymore about it, I understand. But…if you do, then I am at your service, Lady Adrienne Cassomir.”

Adrienne seems to be pleased with Clara's suggestion. She smiles and nods, that final remark about people unable to recognize her as the Huntress she is draws even a slightly amused chuckle from her lips. The light jest enough to loosen her up a little before the talk becomes slightly more serious.

"It wasn't the tail end, actually," the freckled young woman admits then, lowering her voice, "rather the beginning of a kiss we had to interrupt." Her green eyes flicker towards the servant and then towards Alaina who stands a bit further away. A smile tugs at her lips as she continues: "It was he who started it… and believe me, that encounter wasn't planned, by either of us…" A glance is shot Clara's way when she voices her suspicion from the day of her previous visit. "Oh?" A slight colouring of her cheeks there. Still, she will leave it at that, instead commenting on the Tracano's offer of secrecy. "It's not like I could tell anyone really…" Her hand is extended to seek Clara's. "You would do that? You wouldn't speak of it to Emilia? I thought you and her are the best of friends?" This in fact a thing, that may have kept Adrienne so far from seeking her out as a potential confidante.

That next statement is accepted with a nod, Adrienne's eyes meeting Clara's gaze and holding it for a moment. "It's… perhaps not what you think it is. It isn't, like, I am in love with him."

Clara places a hand over her heart. “I would. I swear before the witnesses here that I would not speak of it to Emilia.” As her hand settles to the table, Clara regards Adrienne with a pleasant countenance. “It is true that we are very close, indeed. However, I know she has already spoken to you about her concerns in regard to Aidric. And…while I do adore your cousin so, this particular issue has nothing to do with her. So then, she does not need to know.” That same hand then reaches forward, the fingers gently laying down over Adrienne’s own. “I wouldn’t breach your confidence. One knows I have enough secrets of my own to keep. I wouldn’t dream of encroaching upon the trust established.”

A slight squeeze of the hand, then Clara withdraws her own. As she does so, her eyebrow raises in curiousity. “Oh, you are not in love with him? So, then, this is a game between you two? A quite flirtatious game, if the two of you were almost caught kissing in public.” Clara says almost…the closeness could still have been explained away…and it was only the servant that saw. “I know I said that you should know well enough your actions to judge for yourself the best course of action. However…if it is a game, then I would humbly advise that you play with strategy and caution. For, there are few better than Aidric in the art of what the men may vulgarly call ‘wenching’. Of all the people I know, only Tristan is better…and you know as well as I how close my two cousins are to each other. Thick as thieves, they are.” A finger lifts up to Clara’s nose, tapping the side of the tip lightly. “I would keep my eye upon him…and his hands.”

Adrienne’s lips twist into a smile and she inclines her head to Clara’s oath not to tell Emilia. “Such a secret will not damage your close relation to her?”, she inquires, more out of concern than doubt in the sincerity of the Princess’s vow of discretion. Green eyes shift to the hand that is placed on hers, another nod coming when the freckled Cassomir admits: ”I appreciate that.” When her hand is released Adrienne leans back in her seat, when Clara’s questions bring a bit of bewilderment to her freckled countenance. “To be honest… I am not sure, what it is exactly.” Her eyes lift to meet the gaze of the Princess and she chuckles, biting her bottom lip. “All I know, is that our conversations turned towards rather theoretical consideration… especially one we had at the ball in Pacitta; it was a spar of words, nothing more…” She exhales, cheeks moderately rosy. “And yes, I am aware of his reputation… very much so, in fact.” The words of advice, to keep an eye on him and his hands draw a chuckle from her lips, and the Cassomir lady shakes her head, clearly amused.

“Emilia already knows you fancy Aidric. She has already given you her opinion. In truth, it really is no major secret to keep…that you are entertained by him.” There is a pause, then a glance towards Adrienne. “Really, unless you shared more than a kiss with him, then I can assure you that it is of no major import. And…even if you did share more than a kiss, that is not the sort of topic that one would share with others. “ Clara does indeed seem rather serious, at least in this regard. She is not one to take the trust of others lightly, it would seem.

Then…a slight shift. “So, is there anything else I can do for you, my dear? I fear that even though I have hidden myself well within this patio, soon the world will find me and I must carry on with the tasks that have been set before me.” A sideward glance to the door, as if Clara is willing it to remain closed, then a subtle side towards the Huntress. “Did you want to confess to anything more? I fear I am not quite a priestess, but I can be an impartial ear, should you need it.”

Adrienne's mirth dims somewhat, when Clara mentions once again Emilia's suspicion. "Right," she drawls. "Entertained. Yes. That's the word for it." Her smile returns, green eyes glinting for a moment, before the freckled Cassomir looks towards the Princess, raising a brow. "We are speaking of a kiss here," she states after considering Clara's words briefly. That smile shifts into a more sensible expression, closer to the good old Cassomir stoicness. "Even so, I thank you for your understanding." She extends her hand to take Clara's in hers, giving it a light squeeze. "Enough confessions for today," Adrienne declares then with a faint upturn of her lips, she has of course noted the signs of unrest in the princess. "And I have already taken your time for too long. With the hair matter settled… and oh how I thank you for your help, it is so much appreciated." The Huntress moves to stand, her hands moving over her skirts to smooth the fabric, and she looks to the door with a sigh. "Just… maybe we can talk again, after the wedding feast? You may have less to see to then…?"

The princess stands almost immediately after Adrienne, stepping over to stand beside her, rather than opposite her. With a nod, Clara intones. “Of course we can talk again later!” She pauses, running through her schedule in her head. “We have Raelyn’s wedding in a scant few days…then the tournament after that. But, I don’t have to plan the wedding…and the tournament is all squared away anyways….so yes! I should be able to be free whenever you have need of me!” Then…as an afterthought, she adds. “Or…at least quicker than the next day.”

“Alright, no more confessions for today.” Clara repeats the Huntress’ words back, with a bit of a light-hearted lilt to her voice. “though…next time, I will tell you of my little infatuation, just before coming to Rivana. You thought the Huntresses would give you grief if they found out you like a former Thorn. Oh…if I told you now, why you might stop enjoying my company right now.” Clara holds up a finger…”But…that is a story for later. For now, please be well and enjoy yourself. Not only at the upcoming feast…but just in general.” Then…to cap it off, a hug. Typical of Clara. “And don’t you worry. You are going to look simply fantastic. This I promise.”

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