Preparing to Dine

Margot returns to her private wing with a smile on her face. Her steps fall quickly, her excitement hardly contained. How can you be so foolish, girl? It will be no time before the walls whisper of how easily you were charmed to the point of acting like a simple harlot, her conscience begins to admonish; but even that could not dampen her elation.

She was bold, many of her actions rash and without concern of consequence. She could not continue to behave with such abandon; lest she never be taken seriously. Yet, he made everything feel so natural; like she was the only woman in the world at that moment. Woman. Not girl.

She barely realizes it when she actually reaches her chambers, but she feels grateful to be able to shut out the rest of the world for a while. She hardly makes it to her bed chambers before peeling out of her filthy clothing. She smiles fondly as she removes each article, remembering walking in the sand, the cold wave spraying both she and Kendall, feeding him small morsels on the blue swirled blanket, his smile and his warmth.

Desrianne collects the garments, watching the dazed princess meander around the bedchamber in search of a robe. Margot eventually pulls one on before heading to her writing table and her diary. "You have been gone much of the day on your ride, Princess," Desrianne observes.

Margot smiles, cheeks reddening. “It was a wonderful day.” She looks up at her attendant. “Please, would you pour a bath for me? Something warm and soothing; but not too hot. And… I would like scented oils… something light but pleasing to the senses.” Her eyes are far away, starry.

“Does the Princess… have additional plans for the day?” Desrianne asks cautiously.

“Margot,” Margot corrects, smiling widely. “And yes. I will be having dinner in Maeve’s Vigil with Lord Kendall.” There can be no secret that Margot is quite smitten with the Chaosian Lord, her eyes bright at the mention of his name.

“Have care Margot, he is…not of Amber,” Desrianne advises. “How would it appear if the Princess was consorting with the Chaos Lord?”

“He is a gentleman who has more in common with me than many here. Amber is foreign to him, as it is to me,” Margot explains patiently, trying to keep her voice even. “I am learning about Chaos; and he is learning about my shadow. It has been educational; his presence has been a…comfort to me.”

She smiles at Desrianne. “It will be fine, better than fine. He is kind and intelligent. He is patient with my questions. He has been a source of peace for me. Rest easy, Desrianne, I am not in danger because I choose to spend time with a charming man.”

Desrianne measures Margot for a long moment before letting the conversation die for the time being. “I will start your bath.”

Margot nods, eyes focusing on the single blossom Kendall had given her just the day before. There is no such thing as love at first sight; he is entertaining you because he is required to do so, her conscience starts in once more. Her heart sinks at the prospect, but then the braid falls over her shoulder.

Someone who takes the time to comb and plait my hair is not taking advantage of me. He did not have to do that; that was something he wanted to do. Her smile returns; sighing contentedly as she picks up her stylus to capture the perfect day.

Desrianne collects Margot once the bath is prepared. A fire roars in the hearth, but the water is just barely warmer than body temperature. Margot slides into the water with a slight shiver as she sinks into the tub. She relaxes, lathering her hair with honeysuckle scented soap. Working it carefully, she sinks below the water line, letting water completely envelope her. It was several moments before she resurfaced, smoothing the soap from her tresses. With a loofah, she scrubs her skin clean, removing any indication of a day at the beach.

I will be pleasing to the senses -– his nose and fingers. The thought brought color to her cheeks; but at least she was being honest with herself. Once scrubbed, she relaxes with her eyes closed, replaying the intimate details of her day in her mind. Just thinking of his lips against hers quickens her pulse. She could feel her entire body awaken with prickling energy as she imagined his fingers against her skin. It took great strength for her to calm herself to the point where she could leave the water with modesty.

Desrianne waits patiently with warmed towels. With her hair wrapped in a towel and a terry robe warming her body, she pads to her clothing room to begin perusing her options. Her eyes fall on a midnight blue velvet gown, luxurious to touch with scalloped neckline and a short train flowing behind. Another gown catches her eye, this one of copper silk with delicate lace overlay and beading. Margot frets, uncertain what would have the look and feel she wanted to achieve.

Desrianne watches as Margot struggles to choose. “May I make a suggestion, Margot?” she asks at last. Margot nods, happily looking for another’s advice.

The maid flips through the gowns until she finds one as red as the ripest cherry. Pulling the gown out, she holds it up to Margot so both may admire in the looking glass. The gown is tailored to the hips, flowing out to the floor. The neckline was V-shaped, resting upon where her shoulders meet her arms. The sleeves are form fitting to the elbow, where they hang like wings to the floor. Beading covered the entirety of the gown, enhancing the contours of her form.

“I have lovely hairpins to pull your hair back with," the maid adds. "Rubies. They will add a nice, sophisticated touch.”

Margot hugs the other woman, which the matron returns before stepping back to hold her young charge at arm's length. “Now, Margot. Before we go any further, I need you to listen to me,” she advises. “He is a charming gentleman. But I want you to guard your feelings, child. It can be intoxicating when a handsome man pays attention to a young woman.” She pauses for a sigh. “I just don’t want you to discard your virtues because he has shown you kindness.”

Margot nods in understanding. Her eyes warm at the woman’s concern. “I know. I will not do anything tonight that I will regret later. I promise you,” she reassures, pressing a kiss to the matron’s cheek.

Desrianne pats Margot’s hand; giving her a knowing smile. She knew she could only protect the child so much before Margot would have to make her own decisions -– and her own mistakes. It was not her job to tell her when she was wrong; only to be there when she discovered it for herself.

The process of primping took hours, but when complete, Margot was stunning. Red gown, ruby drop earrings, and her hair swept up in a soft nest of curls held in place by ruby hair pins. Red velvet shoes, heeled, were secured with red ribbons at the ankle. Not as secure as her boots, but something she was accustomed to. Her lips were stained the color of pomegranate juice.

“You are a vision of loveliness, child,” Desrianne compliments, unable to contain her pride at the woman standing before her. “Enjoy yourself, and be safe, child.” She presses a kiss to Margot's cheek before sending her on her way.

Margot takes a cleansing breath as the clock chimes the quarter hour before seven. With one last glance in the mirror, she departs to make her way to Maeve’s Vigil. She wanders through the castle with few interruptions. By now, it was no secret that she had spent time with Kendall two days in a row… And now an evening…her conscience points out. Where else would she be going dressed like this other than an engagement with a fine gentleman? The thought made her pulse quicken, both excited and embarrassed. She would have never been so bold at home; the thought made her blush.

Servants disappeared into shadows as she maneuvered the corridors. She chose to hold her head high and confident rather than skulking through the halls as someone doing something wrong. She was flattered that Kendall had invited her to dinner, offering hospitality even before all the intimate exchanges on the beach. Another blush blossoms. Girl, you need to keep this under control if you want him to see something more than some free-spirited wild-child.

She tries to slow her breathing, suddenly wishing she knew some of the meditative tricks Belle used. Reaching the high doors guarded by Amber sentries, Margot indicates that she is expected. A slight nod, and they let her pass without further ado.

Stepping onto the glass bridge, she is enthralled once more by the power of the waves below. She pauses, watching the crashing waves and the spray above the cliffs. Again, her mind drifts to the events on the beach earlier in the day. Her heart hoped the time spent was real; that he wasn’t playing her the way her conscience tried to convince her, or that she should be worried and distrustful as Desrianne warned.

No, he is a good man, a gentle man. He had every opportunity. Were he a monster I would not be here now. She stands above the waves several more moments, a contented smile pulling at her lips. Drawing another breath, she continues across the bridge and knocks at the door.

Bows, nods, salutes. Lord Kendall hands off the saddlebag to Siorys immediately upon entering the tower housing the Chanicut contingent after his outing on the beach with the Princess. He proceeds with hardly a pause to his own chamber, not worrying himself to check on preparation for dinner. That would be better handled without his interference. He had given his instructions, so nothing more was required. Instead, preparation of his own was on the agenda, and he summons Rory to see to it.

A bath is prepared immediately while Kendall sheds his clothing, draping it carelessly on a chair to be attended to and donning his robe. Clothing for the evening already lay arrayed on the bed, brushed and ready. He surveys the garments thoughtfully, pausing to run a finger along a green velvet sleeve.

The door opens behind him, and he turns to see Rory bow. "Your bath is ready, m'lord," the servant says.

"Very well." Kendall walks to the door, but pauses to turn back. "I will need something different prepared. Unofficial." He nods to the clothes on the bed before continuing on to the bathing room, though not before the gratification of catching Rory's look of surprise. It was occasionally amusing to throw his capable and experienced servant a bit of a curve.

The bath is cool enough to be pleasant, and he basks in the water for some time before climbing out, the red-haired servant appearing as though by magic with towels and his robe. The sun is shining its full glory through the balcony doors when he returns to his chamber to find a completely different set of clothes now resting on the bed.

Dressing is accomplished quickly and without fuss, and the rest of afternoon is spent on the balcony, tuning and then practicing with his lute until Siorys lets him know the Princess had arrived.

Back to the list of Kendall's threads.
Dinner at Maeve's Vigil

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