Date: Apr. 19th, 2017 12:19 pm (UTC)
languir: (Default)
From: [personal profile] languir
If nothing else, the gift of the cockerel had left an indelible impression upon everyone who came across it. Never before had there been such a ceaseless stir in the courtyard, nor quite that many unannounced guests in a single day. Word spread more quickly than coin amongst the adepts of the night court, and soon enough everyone had heard of the incident. Alcuin, for his part, bore the sudden notoriety with as much grace and amiability as the cockerel itself would allow. Adepts from the eternally jovial Orchis House took turns telling progressively obscene jokes for the entertainment and titillation of the crowd, for which he did the polite thing and blushed his way through. Then there were the canny and calculating adepts of the Bryony House, whose coined bangles chimed merrily about their face as they whispered counsel in his ears from their cupped hands.

They advised him against acting upon the gesture until the gentleman in question had been properly bled dry of his assets and, sitting in front of his escritoire with a stack of ledgers several inches high, their proposal was, admittedly, tempting. Alcuin had invested a great deal into the upbringing and education of his favored pupil, and although it wasn't entirely unheard of for an adept to discover latent desires it was an inconvenience for one such as Lucy nó Alyssum. He knew at least half a dozen noblemen who would have happily paid her marque for the opportunity to despoil that which was most sacred. The Dowayne expressed her displeasure with pursed lips and cannily suggested deception – an ampoule of animal's blood hidden beneath the sheets to provide patrons with the illusion of innocence.

Alcuin politely declined, knowing his young pupil would take to the second phase of her training poorly, and requested the counsel of Didier Vascon of the Valerian House instead. If she was to be shamed for her indiscretion, he thought it best that the flail be in the right hands.

Alcuin wondered idly if she hadn't already found them in the mysterious stranger hailing from Hellas. He had seen, time and time again, what expert hands could do to willing flesh. It felt like a lifetime ago watching his foster-sister arrive home half-mad and hobbling, her eyes glassy and unfocused with exhaustion, yet eerily ablaze with some divine imperative. A part of him wished she hadn't gone; the greater part of him thumbed their sacred edict like an old coin. Alcuin had done it for so long that all its hard edges had been smoothed down, and with each swipe of his thumb it became harder for him to remember the impression of Elua's smiling face.

Alcuin leaned back in his seat and sighed, letting loose his quill to scrub at his eyes when the hoarse shrieking of his newfound feathered friend startled him from his reverie. A quick glance at his schedule confirmed what he already knew long before the stamping of his servants' feet up the staircase behind him. Alcuin gathered up the hem of his dressing gown to stand and requested a platter of hors d'oeuvres to be served in the courtyard with a courteous smile that belied the twinkle in his eyes before unlatching and thrusting open the twin doors to the patio overlooking the courtyard. “Monsieur Minuit is fond of his white-feathered hens,” he called down to the cursing stranger whilst gliding down the steps.

“He screams and leaps at the shadows of eagles above.” Alcuin paused midway down the steps to point with a single slender finger heavenward. He wore a crisp white satin dressing gown that settled heavily about his shoulders, the sleeves of which were loose and bell shaped toward the hem, with intricately woven lace spilling down over his hands and frosting the steps about his bare feet in a ghostly train. His body was otherwise bare save for the sumptuous wrap of a silk waistcloth patterned after his dressing gown.

He could have made his would-be suitor wait in the courtyard while he dressed himself a little more appropriately for companionship – and might well have on any other occasion – but the warm weather was amenable enough and he couldn't deny the fact that the spontaneity of the handsome Hellene was more appealing than petitions and financial ledgers. Even if the gentleman was the cause of at least some of his current headaches. “Ah, but he is beautiful! And quite entertaining, or so I have been told.” Alcuin leaned down to gather up the cockerel, the creature pecking curiously at the lace of his sleeves before being hoisted up to settle against his bare chest. His slim white fingers vanished in the thick mass of Minuit's glossy black pinions. “You've my thanks, monsieur.”
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