vespertine marigolds, viperous madrigals

p, Evelyn

POSTED: Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:20 pm

ooc: at Millstone, in the evening. (506)

The sun had long since crept beneath the horizon, only the faintest haze of light lingered by the sky and obscured the shiest of stars above. But the moon above was a crisp sickle shape, and soon would be tinted a golden yellow by the darkening sky as it hung low and large, and Cleome watched as the rest of the Family ended their daily routine and prepared to tuck themselves back into their homes. He sat on an improvised stool of a log, a little ceramic mug nestled neatly between his hands and over his lap, trailing out a herbal-smelling plume of steam into the cold air. It was that odd time of day where shadows and lit places mixed together and messed up his depth perception, and cloaked the Kingdom in an ethereal haze. Soon all the torches would be lit up, or the ones anyone cared to keep lit, and the light would nestle away into the huts and cabins along with the pack's denizens.

Cleome sipped carefully into his drink, allowing the tastes to dance over his tongue and the warmth to bloom from his belly to the rest of his chilled body. Besides him sat his spindle and distaff, all the raw wool turned into fine and even line that he has worked away all his day on, and the warm cup of tea was a balm to his worn fingers. Gods and spirits above and below, he missed his spinning wheel. It had been a hefty payment from a woodworker from Portland after Cleome had helped him fix a business partner's nets and sail. It had been a nightmare to stitch the canvas sail that had been torn by a storm some months ago, but it had been worth it in the end for that wheel. However, he had left the trading post so quickly, he had to leave it behind with several other prized items of him. As soon as the roads thawed further, he'd send a letter asking to have his items retrieved and brought back to him. It wasn't the easiest thing to use properly, and he was still getting the hang of it, but that wheel saved so much time and spared his wrists a lot.

With a resigned sigh, he leaned back against the door frame at his back, magenta gaze drifting upwards to the glittering stars and allowed his mind to wander. No regrets, no what-ifs, not now. What was done was done, and there was only the present. Only the spirits knew the future, and only memories knew the past. All there was, was the here and now. His toes flexed against the muddy ground, relishing the feeling of it gather between his toes and cling to his fur, gross as it was. Soon he'd go inside and wash before bed, but for now he'd enjoy this lull of the world around him and try to drink a bit of it like tea, and maybe bring some of this mystical peace into himself.
Cleome Valentine

Salsola
The Tradesman
User avatar
Nina
Luperci All your friends and foes, they thought they knew ya

POSTED: Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:13 pm


(375)

Thank you for starting! <3

_____________________

With Spring in the air, prey was returning to the vast Marshlands of Salsola.

Evelyn had quite the productive day, which was evident with the three hares she had managed to catch, while they were still quite scrawny, one would feed her petite frame much more than the larger males that filled their ranks thankfully. Even the smallest meal could get her through a few days during the famine they had all faced.

Dirt streaked her face and brambles and pine were caught in her messy locks of blonde hair that was starting to resemble some kind of rats nest the prey she had caught might have burrowed in. As she strolled through the old Millstone Village, making her way through the old familiar paths that were wet and boggy from the thaw, her feet and ankles were caked with mud, and the edges of her tattered cape she had worn over the light shift were just as dirty as well. As soon as she got home she intended to wash, but right now she was so thrilled about her kill she could not help but take the scenic route back.

A light, herbal scent caught her attention in the dim light of twilight, distracting the woman for a moment as she lifted her nose up to the air to track where the smell was coming from. Following it like an enticing finger leading her forward, Evelyn found herself in the ruins of an old, derelict group of homes, only one of them really holding together after the aftermath of the storms that raged over the last few months. An unfamiliar face caught her attention, but she knew the other to be an old member that had returned recently from word of mouth.

"Good evening Tradesman," she offered a polite smile and a small wave of her free hand. "What is that pleasant aroma that seemed to drag me off my route to here?" she grinned, eyeing the cup of warm liquid that he cradled in between his hands. Tea was a somewhat familiar concept to her, even if she did not indulge herself, but maybe she had never tried it because it never had smelled as enticing as this particular cup seemed to be.

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"Evelyn speaks."

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image by the lovely Despi <3 c:
Salsola
The Arbiter
User avatar
Mads
Luperci Collettore 2020 SoSuWriMo Champ! SL Top Poster!
Witchlight Winter

POSTED: Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:44 am

ooc here! [406]

As his mind idly flitted from one thought to the next, Cleome watched the few birds chirp shy and tired on the branches of the sparse trees around the village. In their songs, he heard calls to head to sleep, headcounts of the flocks and whispered news from across the forest as the feathered creatures retold their days to one another. Their lowspeech was vaguely familiar, it was like listening to that one traded going on a tirade in Spanish. The words distantly similar, but the accent and different intonations made it difficult to fully understand what was being said. He didn't mind, actually. They made for idle noise for his thoughts, as night loomed closer by the minute.

So lost was he in thought, that he barely heard or noticed the approaching woman. His magenta gaze was caught staring up at the steam from his cup as it melted away into the aether and the twinkling stars above. It was the cold breeze that caught his attention before her voice did. The familiar smell of a fellow Salsolan, and of a bloodline he also knew, coupled with the coppery scent of a fresh kill. For a brief second, he looked towards the unexpected visitor and was confused why it wasn't young Eden standing there instead of the woman, but after a second of blinking away his surprise, he put two and two together.

After such a long day it was difficult to find the enthusiasm to properly greet her, but Cleome made the effort and smiled with all the warmth and pleasantness he could muster. Good evening upon you as well, Miss! He said, answering to her wave as well and glancing down to his half-empty cup. Ah, that would be the wondrous scent of honeysuckle, rose and white pears, my dear. Nothing better to wrap up a productive day! He recited as his thumb traced back and forth over the rim of the cup. His pink gaze drifted to the rabbits in the girls grasp. And I see I'm not the only one who has prizes for the day's work. Would you like to come inside and celebrate with a cup of your own? He offered, standing up and gesturing to the door. His back twinged in pain from having been sitting down for so long, and he stopped himself from rubbing at the sore spot, it wouldn't do to make such a poor first impression. It had been a while since he welcomed a member of the Family that he didn't yet know into his home, but the Valentine didn't let it show how awkward he felt just then.

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Cleome Valentine

Salsola
The Tradesman
User avatar
Nina
Luperci All your friends and foes, they thought they knew ya

POSTED: Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:56 pm


(365)

-

_____________________

The scent was heavenly as it slipped up into the air with the steam of hot liquid clasped gently in his hands. The slight breeze had drifted it closer to the pale woman's nose enticingly drawing her in with every breath. He seemed to be a little lost in thought when she approached and was not sure if he had spotted her or heard her footsteps. She could be a little light on her feet due to her usually hunting and requiring absolute silence, and therefore carried herself in such a way that she could sneak up on even the most observant and aware.

A slight note of confusion was the first thing she noted in his facial features when he realized, but it was quickly shaken into a more pleasant smile and emanating all the warmth that even half those within the Thistle Kingdom could even muster up. He greeted her before diving into explain each of the ingredients that made the engaging beverage. Already she was quite keen on getting to know this man, whose softer and more feminine appearance gave her a strange sense of ease with familiarity as if he was Eden. Her guard was already down.

Evelyn's ears perked at his offer and her pale blue eyes lifted with her smile, crinkling the edge of her vision as she nodded appreciatively. "Well, I definitely can't say no to an invitation like that. Are you hungry at all?" she asked, raising the pair of rabbits by their ears in her grip in front of her face in offer. Perhaps they could also share a wonderful meal as well, the rabbits could be quite delicious if dressed in some enticing spices like her Papa had done them over a fire. The meat a little greasier than most rodents and small creatures, but just as good when there was no venison or other choices of meat.

"I don't think we have ever formally met," she said with a quirk of her brow as the effeminate male lead her inside. "My name is Evelyn de le Ulrich," she grinned, waiting for him to show her where she could be seated in his lovely home.

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"Evelyn speaks."

table image credit: Hyssie@da

image by the lovely Despi <3 c:
Salsola
The Arbiter
User avatar
Mads
Luperci Collettore 2020 SoSuWriMo Champ! SL Top Poster!
Witchlight Winter

POSTED: Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:07 am

ooc here! [505]

There was a keenness to the young woman's gaze, in the way she sniffed the air with a look of genuine appreciation and the way she regarded him. Cleome brushed a stray curl back in place and away from his eyes, and his smile grew more fond by the second. Her curiousness wasn't fabricated or made to start a conversation, or just for idle flattery, that much the Tradesman could tell. If there was one thing he quickly learned in Fort Preble, was to tell apart the usual Salsolan games of seduction and charms, from those that came from Outsiders, and both of them from honest words and reactions. There was a lot of opening for nuance in these distinctions, but he had learned where the lines usually lied in the sand as it were.

He noticed how her body language quickly relaxed and opened up after he invited her in, and Cleome could feel his own shoulders and back loosening from his previous anxiousness. He chuckled, bending down to pick up his tools and the spools of yarn before opening the door and welcoming the young lady inside. His mind was quickly going through all the things he'd need to do, stoking the fire of the hearth to heat the kettle for more tea, light some of the candles, when the Arbiter's question reached him. Ah. Well, now that you've mentioned it, I am a little hungry. Cleome said with a bashful smile at the sudden pang of hunger in his belly as the pale lady presented the rabbits in her grasp. Part of him wanted to politely decline, he had some salted fish in a clay pot somewhere to offer instead of eating part of the lady's bounty, but her smile and perked ears cut the refusal right on his tongue. Then, an idea came. Mmm, how about this, we share some roasted lamb over some tea, and if you like the taste as much you've liked the smell of it, I'll let you have some of the blend. Sounds fair? He proposed as he put away his distaff and spools with the rest of his sewing tools.

It's a pleasure, Lady de le Ulrich. I'm Cleome Valentine. He said with a short bow, as much the required submission to one of higher rank as it was to fully show his appreciation of meeting her properly. Please sit, make yourself at home, my lady! The Valentine gestured to the pillows and rolled out furs near the fireplace with a smile. It wasn't anything like his couch of down feathers, but it would have to do for now. Trusting her to make herself comfortable, Cleome busied himself in striking up some kindling and letting the fire grow into licks of flame over the sticks and split branches. De le Ulrich. You're Eden's sister, right? He asks as he waits for the fire to settle before throwing the larger logs into it, and confirming his initial guess seemed as good of a topic as any.

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Cleome Valentine

Salsola
The Tradesman
User avatar
Nina
Luperci All your friends and foes, they thought they knew ya

POSTED: Tue Mar 31, 2020 11:38 am


(374)

-

_____________________

Even with the male only recently settling back into Salsola, his home was already so warm and welcoming and Evelyn visibly relaxed as she entered through the door, following him inside. The hearth was not anything grand, but the furs and pillows that decorated his seating area around the fire was more than extravagant enough for the woman. A broad toothy grin stretched across her features as she gave him a nod.

At the offering of lamb meat and tea, Evelyn's mouth instantly watered, she was worried for a moment that if she opened her mouth to accept the drool would drip right out between parted teeth and hit the ground below. Giving a quick, hard swallow, the woman nodded briefly, before being confident enough that she would not drool over the meal he proposed. Her stomach growled in agreement, ready for the soft, tender flesh of lamb compared to the tough, gamey meat of the rabbit she had initially proposed. He even went as far to offer some of the herbal batch to take home with her and Evelyn knew already she would be back for more to barter with the young man.

"How can I argue with such an offer? You have my sincerest gratitude," she said, moving gracefully and on light footsteps to the welcoming furs that were sprawled in front of the fire. Making sure she was not too dirty, she brushed off the little bit of dirt that had settled on her pants before sitting down in the soft bedding, making herself comfortable as she sat cross-legged watching him stoke the fire, coaxing the flames back to life as the embers crackled and burned with searing, orange heat within the hearth. Evelyn's pale blue eyes glowed with warmth as the flames flickered upwards, enjoying the heat on her stiff, frozen fingers. She held her hands out to warm them.

"Yes, I am. Did you meet him recently?" she asked, with a small tilt of her pointed head in his direction. "Also, do you need any help? Please, put me to work if you need me to!" she offered, not wanting to be impolite or feel like the male had to wait on her hand-and-foot because she was a guest.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

"Evelyn speaks."

table image credit: Hyssie@da

image by the lovely Despi <3 c:
Salsola
The Arbiter
User avatar
Mads
Luperci Collettore 2020 SoSuWriMo Champ! SL Top Poster!
Witchlight Winter

POSTED: Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:03 am

Cleome, Cleome, what have you been up to? >v> [663]

Cleome didn't miss the pleased look in the girl's face at his humble sitting area, and he barely held himself from smiling with the private knowledge of luxuries the other Salsolan probably never got a chance to experience. Luxuries that he and a few select other enjoyed, living in the hub of commerce and trade that was Portland. Certainly nothing like the stories he heard of Barbados, New Orleans, and oh, Barcelona! The second-hand stories he could tell the young Arbiter! The thought of it, of not being the one constantly mesmerized by scintillating tales, but the one mesmerizing, enchanting, ah yes, this was where he was at his best.

Slowly but surely, his measured movement grew less tense and flowed one into another, almost a dance of gestures and moves, domestic as they may be they held an allure all of their own, mastery of the craft of being a host. Cleome's eyes crinkled with a smile at the young lady's reaction to his offer, hopelessly pleased at her eagerness. Wonderful! Then so it will be. He said with a dainty clap of his hands, and the Valentine stood from his kneeling position by the fire, going to fetch the strips of lamb from the pantry. It was more empty, some of his own provisions hardly filling a corner of it, and he would never admit the providence of this meat but at the end of the day, did it even matter? Food was food, after all!

As he brought out an old iron pan back to the sitting area, a small jug of oil and an almost empty tin of spices balanced on the crook of his elbow, he smiled serenely at his guest. Now, how do you like your meat, my lady? Rare or well-done? He asked, having learned to always make the question lest he embarrass himself again with an unpleasant meal. Spirits above, he dreaded to remember that particular business dinner, what a disaster. But as he glanced at the young lady across from him, so open and earnest, Cleome wondered why was he ever so worried to begin with? Had it really been this long since he actually enjoyed entertaining guests, as something beyond just going through the motions as was expected of him? The thought was so outlandish, and yet, it was true wasn't it?

The fire had bloomed into a nice enough flame, and throwing some logs into it he let the heat eat away at them. The sound of the crackling wood and dancing flames made for a wonderful tune to his ears, and with a spare twig, the Tradesman pulled a few coals away from the hearth to set the pan over them. He grinned at Evelyn's reply. I have! A couple of days ago, if I remember it right, we met in the garden. He is a joy! Cleome said, honest in his praise and warmth. Eden had made him a great impression, and he had wondered about meeting his sister back then. At Evelyn's words and hearing the edge of enthusiasm in her offer, the Valentine grinned and chuckled. Since you've offered, my dearest, do bring over the rest of the tea set here, just to your left there. He said, nodding his head towards the kettle and stacked cups resting quietly on their tray next to one of the pillows. There is water on the jug next to them, refill the kettle and we'll get it on the heat. Cleome instructed, not quite feeling the pinch of dread of asking Evelyn to perform this simple task. How many guests and possible trade partners did he have to pamper and dote over back in Portland, he didn't dare count for his own sanity. Playing the Game was one thing, being turned into a doormat was a whole other. With the young lady here, however, Cleome felt a freedom and lightness of heart he hasn't felt in a while. It was good.

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Cleome Valentine

Salsola
The Tradesman
User avatar
Nina
Luperci All your friends and foes, they thought they knew ya

Salsola