(1867-01-31) Tea Time
Tea Time
Summary: Raimond and Miranda catch up over tea.
Date: 1.31.1867
Related: Brotherly Concerns
Raimond  Miranda  

Some Balcony, The Haldis Manse, Sunsreach
In the Set.

The Haldis Manse in Sunsreach has been playing host to the Giraldis since Raimond, Leander, and Lydia made their way to the Royal Seat, joined later by their Mother. This slightly warmer-than-normal wInter morning finds Raimond Giraldi enjoying some fresh air on one of the balconies overlooking the courtyard (where a few Haldis Knights are sparring below). A mug of steaming hot tea is held in one hand as he pores over a few missives held in his other. It doesn't look to be grave news, given that he isn't scowling or the like. Likely just routine business. A few servants wait nearby and the table is set up with service for up to four if necessary. Just another morning at the Manse.

Though those with a particular eye and ear for the goings-on at the Manse would likely know that a certain Lady of Alhazred paid a visit late yesterday evening and did not depart until early this morning. Something that has become a slightly-regular occurrence in the past couple of weeks. Though certainly not an "every night" type of thing.

Even intermittent visits from those not of her blood are known to Miranda. She's not an idiot; she has a certain reputation for a reason, and the eldest of her Giraldi children isn't different there (though certainly not as infamous, a fact that still makes her grin), so why should she expect her son to be any different? Besides, he's a young man at the very least, lest we forget all those important titles and all he's entitled to when the time is right. In short, it makes perfect sense to Miranda that Raimond isn't waiting for the marriage she's allowed him to have a rather large say in arranging, and that's the excuse she's given to anyone who's dared criticize his choice of bedmate, or that he has one at all.

It appears as though someone has chosen to do so this morning, or, at the very least, sometime recently. When Miranda joins her son and his tea on the balcony, raven hair shining in its loose plait over her right shoulder and shawl pulled tight around her upper body, her face is significantly scowlier than his. If he's smart, he'll need no explanation for the crying maid that appears now off on the outskirts of the courtyard, hurrying toward the nearest exit with a bag beneath her arm. When the gate closes behind her, Miranda lets out an audible sigh, leaning her weight against the wall by means of greeting. Dark eyes flick up from the courtyard to her son and, as she regards him, some of her frustration melts into pride.

"Raimond," she greets, terse and informal.

"Mother." Raimond sets his cup down, and rises to his feet, moving over to give her a peck on the cheek in greeting, before moving to pull out a chair for her to sit, "One of the former Hume maids wasn't she?" Raimond comments after he briefly glances to see the maid wandering off. They did carry over a small number of the old household staff when they took over Watch Hill. Just a matter of efficiency and the staff being familiar with the area they work. "I'm sure we can find a good replacement. Possibly while we're here in Sunsreach." He beckons for a servant to prepare his mother some tea to her liking, and notes, "News from Pacitta is relatively good. With the Council in a tizzy over the Treaty, some opportunities have opened for those that remain focused on their business rather than their politics." He adds, nonchalantly after a moment, "What did she do, by the by?"

"Yes, one of those." With that confirmation, she sees the issue as closed and closes the short distance between where she's standing and where the chair's set out to join Raimond. His greeting had been returned with a brief nod, but once there's a cup of tea in one hand and the other keeping her shawl taut about her, she finally cracks a smile. Laugh lines spread across her face from the corners of her eyes and mouth, a testament of many years of mirth (or, at least, of faking it reasonably well). "As is to be expected," comes her answer to the Pacitta news, though her eyes wander toward his pile of letters to inquire silently about further details.

It's that she's waiting for when Miranda realizes she isn't, in reality, ''quite'' finished with the maid. "If I'd a gold piece for ever time someone told me they disapproved of your evening escapades, Raimond, I'd be twice as rich as I am now." That delivery's accompanied by a shift in her chair and a genuine grin toward her son. "Mother hen must defend the chicks, after all." Jokingly she extends the hand that had been clutching the shawl to pinch her son's cheek, her grip warmed by the plush fabric keeping her warm. All jokes aside, she pulls her hand back, though not before that pinch turns to an affectionate stroke.

Raimond grins just a touch, but knows better than to try to escape his mother's cheek-pinching, "It's still your House, Mother. Though I'm less concerned with their opinions as I am how well they do their job. Still, loose lips are not a desirable trait in a servant." He glances back vaguely in the direction of the Maid's departure, "Fairly sure I never had any nocturnal activities with that one. Perhaps she was jealous." The last delivered with a touch of sardonic humor as he takes up his teacup again. He taps the pile of missives, "Uncle Aurellio has bought up five independent trader's ships in the last month. He doesn't plan on more just yet, but he agrees with me that those new ships should be diverted to Whitewalls to start building our trade fleet there." He adds, taking up his tea and sipping it once more, "We're going to have to start considering a few more escort ships if we're going to be moving along the Bitterbreak sea more often. I think we both agree that counting solely upon the Greycen's Red Sails is not the best course."

"Jealous?" Miranda quirks a dark brow and sizes up her son before burying her hand in the shawl once more. "Certainly plausible. You're a man of many talents, and certainly not unattractive." It's clear something along the lines of ''that part's from my side'' passes through her mind then as she looks away, grin widening before her lips purse against the edge of the teacup for a sip. She nods once, then twice, and finally a third time, all in agreement with those further details she'd asked for and he's delivering. The final nod is longer, and, before her head returns to fully upright, her lip ducks between her teeth. "It's safe to say, then," she begins, eyes firmly upon the liquid in her cup, "that you're entertaining all sorts of betrothal options apart from these aforementioned Red Sails?" Not especially subtle, but then, she doesn't feel she needs to be with him.

"Oh yes, the Red Sails have practically been besieging me with offers." Raimond notes dryly, his lips quirking in that sardonic expression still, "Unfortunately aside from them progress is somewhat slow. Though Darren had a suggestion in that regard that I'm now obligated to at least allow the possibility of." Raimond notes, "I considered the Moreno for their money and their mindset, but they wouldn't be appropriate for me…they'd be one knife away from controlling the Company. I considered the Farrant for an old name in need of fresh coin, but they need to have their house in order before they can seriously entertain options. My other thought was…unrealistic in its' aspirations, as Darren quite emphatically informed me." Raimond's wry expression is accompanied by a chuckle before he notes, "Darren wants me to approach Jon-," Raimond clears his throat and uses the proper title, "Baron Haver." One of the few houses in Eastfield that has been welcoming of the Giraldi.

The raised brows on his mother's forehead will surely betray to Raimond Miranda's desire to learn just how her boys have been, well, fraternizing. "Haver," she repeats, eyes finally wandering from the tea across the table to meet the dark ones opposite her. Her nod of recognition, different from that of approval, is slow and steady, and significantly less emphatic than the ones she'd offered previously upon hearing of Raimond's handle on the family business. Sure she knows the reasoning behind Darren's advice herself, she asks next for clarification only to hear that said advice has been properly received. The hiccup in which a given name was nearly used is ignored dutifully. "I think that could be a positive situation. What reasoning did he give?" She sips the tea again.

"For his own part, he wants to consolidate the houses in Eastfield that he knows to be trustworthy and loyal." Raimond sips the last of his tea and sets the now-empty mug aside. "For our part, it would be a step up in station, which is a considerable boon to a…newly-established house such as ours. Perhaps not as high as we might hope for, but as I said…Darren seemed quite emphatic that we can only hope for so much in that regard." She'd know her son well enough to know that being told he can't do something isn't something he enjoys, but also that he's reasonable enough to accept it…if grudgingly. "And in the meantime…" A more warmly-humored grin, "As you know, I've been furthering the cultural exchange between Rivana and Alhazred." He pauses, "But still, the Haver. I like the Baron, I do…he's been a friend to Darren and to me. And Darren was quite earnest about me making the inquiry. So I have to do at least that. What comes of it? I suppose we'll see. Jonn's children are too young…but there are cousins that are of age, from what I've been able to ascertain."

Matching his grin, Miranda nods and drains her own cup. "Cousins, indeed. Nothing wrong with them, especially if they've the same surname." Because connections are especially important, particular for a family in their situation, as Raimond has already astutely noted. Seemingly much better humored than when she arrived on the balcony, Miranda sighs again, though this time in a less frustrated and far more relaxed manner. "I'm glad to see you two working together, and that you're taking this seriously. Not as though I thought you wouldn't, mind you…" There's teasing there, the kind that ruins children when they're young if they fall too deeply into thinking their parents are their friends rather than their superiors. "And any further comments from the staff on anything relating to the Alhazred Empire I may have directed to you. Seems you've earned enough respect with how you're handling all this to deal with the naysayers yourself, too." She tucks a loose lock of dark hair behind her ear before prompting the servant for more tea.

"Of course I take it seriously." Raimond smiles a bit, "It's my future, after all. And as much as I've enjoyed my fun, we all have to grow up sometime." Raimond laughs, "Even Leander, eventually." He teases lightly, and nods, "If I see any problems, I'll deal with them. I knew the relationship, such as it is, might be controversial, but it also draws eyes, and right now, for good or for ill, we need to make our presence known at Court. The Queen appreciates those with open minds, from what I can ascertain, so…" He gestures vaguely in the direction of the palace, and laughs warmly, "if it just so happens I get to enjoy the lovely and charming company of the Mirza Ania Khare while I prove that open mind well…I suppose I can bear that entirely not-horrible burden."

All Miranda replies with then is a scoff. It's not derisive or meant in contempt; rather, it's soft and more out of a lack of surprise at her son's reply than anything. With her teacup refilled, she shifts in her chair again until she's upright, swallowing more meaningfully than before. It's clear she means to at the very least change the subject, if not depart. "You did always have the devotion to family I've had since I was very young. It's an exceptional quality, I daresay, but then again, I'm partial." Beat. "What's the rest of the day hold in store for you?" Draining her cup, she replaces it on the table before her.

"Training, as always. Darren's all-but-mandated that too. He seems to think I should be taking on the Circuit next year." Raimond grins sidelong, "After that, I will be doing the final signing of the contracts for our own Manse here in the city, so we can be out of Darren's hair. The former Sorez Manse, as it were, so it should be more than large enough for us." He rises from his feet, moving across the table and placing a hand on his mother's shoulder as he leans in to peck her cheek once more, "But I should be finished in time for afternoon tea, and we can discuss some more." He lifts the small pile of papers and slides them across the table towards Miranda, "Until then, you should likely look over these as well. They were headed your way next, in any case." He smiles once more, "Unless you've anything else for me?"

Shaking her head at his last question, Miranda rises. "Not for now, anyway. You seem busy enough, so I'll add to it later." Smiling over at him after his departing peck, she laughs briefly. "Maybe even at teatime." Without waiting for anyone to pull her chair back she rises, leans over toward Raimond, and plants a quick kiss atop his forehead before brushing his hair back and stepping away. "By then I should have a better idea of just what new challenges this day will bring us." It's cryptic but true, in a sense, and she looks rather determined as she begins her exit toward the door. "I wonder, will your ''ally'' be joining us for tea one of these days? That might be interesting." Teasing again she smiles over her shoulder and, with a final swift step, she leaves the balcony.

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