Domi Posted November 2, 2004 Share Posted November 2, 2004 Uhm... mild Keldorn dislike might show through. Other than that it should not be too bad. 1. Vesper sat on a coverlet of the enormous, if little used, bed in her parentsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ room. Her father, Sir Keldorn Firecam slept in the Order of the Radiant Heart Quarters last night as he did for weeks on end, despite the fact that the building was only a few blocks away from their Athkatlan house. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Let it be his loss,Ã¢â‚¬Â Vesper thought vehemently, Ã¢â‚¬Å“for abandoning all of us.Ã¢â‚¬Â The bed had not been opened last night, as her mother preferred a couchette when Keldorn was absent. Still the maid had turned the blankets over at the first light and changed the sheets embroidered with FirecamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s own monogram. For property, her mother said, it had to be done for property. VesperÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s slight body have not yet made enough indents and folds to destroy the neat look of a freshly made bed. She could well pretend that it was a cosy little room, screened from the rest of the world by the baldachinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s curtains. At any time she could pull on the knotted rope and open them up. But she did not wish to. Filtered through the silks of the baldachin the sunlight was at its warmest, goldest and best ever. Vesper was very pleased with her morning abode. VesperÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lady mother moved around a boudoir, adjacent to the room, singing in a clear voice that would have enabled her to make a living as a minstrel, if she was not born Lady DeLucha and wed to Sir Keldorn Firecam. The tingling of bracelets, the whisper of pearl necklaces and the bouncy chime of dropped rings accompanied the song about roses, as Lady Maria tried the jewelry on and put the rejected pieces back into the tiny perfumed chests and lacquered boxes. Finally came pause of quiet concentration. Vesper knew what it meant. Lady Maria was critically examining herself in the mirror, ready to call the maid to re-curl a non-perfect ringlet, or to re-powder her ladyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s shoulders. The hissing of skirts and the intensified fragrance of jasmine announced Lady MariaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s presence in the bedroom, and Vesper threw the curtains of the baldachin open. She looked at her queenly mother and her mouth opened on its own. Mixed emotions flooded her. First there was an almost unbearable admiration for her motherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s beauty. Then came sharp envy. Why was she born with the dark mop of hair, like her fatherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s and his strong chin? Leona was the pretty one, taking after Lady Maria in every way. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I wish,Ã¢â‚¬Â Vesper said impulsively, Ã¢â‚¬Å“I wish I had enough money to buy a scroll that would have changed my appearance to suit yours, mother...Ã¢â‚¬Â Lady Maria hugged her daughter cautiously, enveloping the adolescent in the waves of her perfume and cool silks. First tickled VesperÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s nose and the second - her arms. A ruby and diamond pendant chilled her jaw. She was almost uncomfortable in her motherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s arms, but sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d not have traded it for anything else. Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m afraid that your father would not approve, my dear,Ã¢â‚¬Â Lady Maria said. Vesper sighed. When has he approved of anything? Ã¢â‚¬Å“But,Ã¢â‚¬Â Lady MariaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s face brightened, Ã¢â‚¬Å“a womanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s beauty is not like a manÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s strength and valor. It can be... acquired. Why wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t we find you something pretty to wear instead of this?Ã¢â‚¬Â And with an elegant disdain she picked up a small symbol of Helm on a thin silver chain that hang around VesperÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s neck. Ã¢â‚¬Å“It is long past the time for you to have real jewelry.Ã¢â‚¬Â Vesper had almost forgotten the pendant. Sir Keldorn had given it to her on her fourteenth birthday, almost a year ago. She felt guilty taking the trinket off, but the guilt disappeared momentarily. She had seen her father since no more than a dozen of times. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Even if he notices, he would not care,Ã¢â‚¬Â Vesper thought and followed her mother to the boudoir. Lady Maria was busy opening the chests and boxes again. She extracted a necklace with emerald drops, put it against VesperÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s narrow chest and turn her around to face the mirror. Ã¢â‚¬Å“It does not suit your eyes.Ã¢â‚¬Â The necklace was hastily added to the jewelry scattered on the marble-topped table for the maid to put away. Fascinated, Vesper looked at the intricately worked gold and gems. They looked so much better all together, the most lavish decoration she had ever seen. It would take hours to try them all on! Ã¢â‚¬Å“But Sir Ryan?Ã¢â‚¬Â Vesper asked timidly. Lady Maria smiled with an air of superiority: Ã¢â‚¬Å“In love, one always leaves another waiting and wanting. Your father did it to me. Now itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s my turn. Do not you worry about Sit Ryan.Ã¢â‚¬Â Vesper snorted. Her father was a fool. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Now, let us try ambers.Ã¢â‚¬Â The yellow jewels went well with VesperÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s eyes, but, according to Lady Maria had to be worn with black dresses, and that was not a color to set off a debutanteÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s freshness. The lady stared at her daughter as if she was some sort of a puzzle, and then clapped her hands. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I know! Garnets!Ã¢â‚¬Â Lady MariaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s excitement transferred to Vesper and together the two women raided the carved boxes and found a tight collar set with tiny cabochons and a single, great jewel, as big as a grape, on a glistening chain that ran from the collar to the secretive indent right above the bodice of VesperÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s dress. Laying there, the gem seemed to hint tactfully to everyone who had missed it, that the maidenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s bosom was starting to take its shape. There was a bracelet as well to go with the collar. The garnets were almost black in color, matching VesperÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s eyes. Apart from when the sunlight fell on them and made them red... Vesper remembered that they called them bloodstones sometimes. Ã¢â‚¬Å“All you need now, are the earrings...Ã¢â‚¬Â Lady Maria said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Here,Ã¢â‚¬Â she took out a few golden coins from her money pouch, Ã¢â‚¬Å“find the ones you like... it should make your afternoon to go faster. I know how it feels to study the whole day on end...Ã¢â‚¬Å“ With a conspiratorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s smile, Lady Maria slipped away from the room and from the house. Apparently, leaving Sir Ryan waiting for too long was not a great strategy either. VesperÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s father made this mistake and now was paying for it. Vesper sighed - love looked to her like an awkward game with too many rules. Yet, she had more money in her belt than she had ever had and a garnet collar around her neck. Cold at first, the precious metal was quickly warming up from her skin. Still dreaming of the afternoonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s shopping, Vesper went to the classroom wishing that she had been taught a spell that would be the opposite of the famous Ã¢â‚¬Ëœtime stopÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ that the wizards used to slow time to a halt. Link to comment
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