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[Ravenspire] Rendezvous.

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Deiter had been overjoyed that Corvinus had requested the Umbran An'She to remain behind to work out diplomatic details between their two nations, as well as to bring the Crown Prince and the exotic beauty closer together over the course of her stay. The young man could not help the pleased smile that lit up his handsome face as he dressed himself in more suitable attire and groomed his long auburn hair.

His first meeting with Rou had been an intriguing affair, he sensuality and wit had kept him entertained during the wedding reception, and he had found himself desiring the pursuit of the buxom bandit. Duties,  however; had kept the apart several days after the private dinner with Corvinus, Leoa, Rou, and himself. He had set to the task of modifying his gift to the Empress' specifications and checking the multitude of reports that assaulted him from Caelorum.

It had taken him some maneuvering and the crafty delegation of labor, but ge had given himself some time of peace and quiet. Time he intended to take full advantage of by pursuing the exotic and beautiful Rou Ji. The very thought of her name caused that voluptuous body to sway into his thoughts, igniting a fire in his loins that took a great deal of effort to extinguish. If he gave in now, Rou would have one the game, and hold the dominant position. Though at times he often wondered if that would be so bad. 

He looked himself in the mirror, and after a moment if touching up, he was completely satisfied with his appearance. He pulled a Kadian style coat, with its high collar of white wolf fur from the Cold South. A metal clasp that held it closed at the throat. He straightened it unnecessarily, just to expend some if his nervous energy. Finally he was satisfied and turned away from the mirror.

He left his sleeping quarters and entered the large den. He had servants retrieve two bottles of his best and most expensive wines, a Malbec and a Merlot; intent on keeping his promise to Rou. The servants had been wise to put both bottles in a bucket of ice. Two glasses of Alterion crystal were also set out for him, he wanted to impress their beautiful and exotic guest.

Taking in a deep breath he cradled the bucket in his left arm, pocketed the corkscrew, and held the glasses delicately in his left hand. Making sure he had everything, and satisfied he did, he set off out his door and down the hall. It did not take him long to reach Rou's quarters, Leoa had been cunning when she placed her in the same wing of the palace. It forced them to see each other, albeit only in passing, everyday. He knocked lightly three times, and waited for her to answer.


Edited by Alexei

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The knock went unanswered for a few moments, but there was an unintelligible, muffled rustling behind the great mahogany door that alluded to presence.  "See who it is, then," was the only comprehensible phrase to be made out of the seeming ruckus, as it appeared the Duke's intended guest wasn't alone.   After some time, the heavy setting finally creaked open, meekly, by a short blonde maid in uniform-- she appeared hesitant, if not a little startled.  "Prince Deiter has come to call, my lady..." the docile lady explained mildly, the door swinging open a bit more due to it's gravity.

The chambers were impressive, as the Empire of Kadia's guest, the An'She of Umbra had been treated with the utmost respect.  A four-poster bed was draped with silk banners and covered with fresh down comforters, already neatly folded as if their guest had hardly even slept in them.  A small fireplace opposite the bed was crackling nicely, tended with kindling that filled the room with the scent of pine, to offset the chilling weather of the southern island, farther even past the Cold South of Genesaris.  The door to the luxurious bathroom was open, steam escaping and clouding near the ceiling of her chambers, evidence that the bath had just been used-- it threatened to make the room slightly humid, yet the dryness of the fireplace overpowered it.  Furniture was scattered sparsely throughout the room, effectively making the quarters like a miniature home.  Banners and weapons hung from the walls, all decorated with the colors and emblem of Kadia's regime, as if not to let those within forget where they resided.

From behind an artistic folding screen that bore designs similar to the rest of the room, Rou peered out from behind it to confirm her visitor.  From what little view was afforded him, he could see that her hair was wet, clinging to bare shoulders and the rest tumbling damply toward the floor.  From the way the maid at the door nearly shrieked, it was clear that she had just come from the bath, and had not yet finished dressing, and even that minimal show of skin was likely inappropriate.  "Your Grace, I had not expected you, today," Rou greeted him with a tilted smile and arched brow, prolonging the view of her unclothed shoulder and collarbone with naught but a partition to hide the rest of her, despite the maid's protests.  "Have a seat, won't you?  I'll be with you in but a moment," she offered, pointing to a small table by the fire that sported the remains of her breakfast and a wooden box, cornered oppositely by two elegant, upholstered chairs.

The maid at the doorway bowed and ushered the Prince in so that she might close the door, skittering ahead of him to pull out his chair for him to be seated where the An'She had directed.  With a huff, the maid had shooed Rou behind the screen, and while disapproving of her charge's comfort with nudity, she made no arguments.  Giving in to the fussing of the Kadian maid, Rou proceeded with her dressing behind the screen, the semblance of the shadow outlining her silhouette as she was helped into a skirt, buttoned up into a dress, and slipped on boots and gloves.  Finally to the maid's and propriety's satisfaction, Rou appeared whole.

"It took nearly a week for my wardrobe for this weather to arrive," Rou mentioned offhandedly, holding out the ends of her skirts to admire the fashions as she passed by a full-length mirror; having taken up on Corvinus' request that she extend her stay in Kadia, the An'She found herself ill-equipped for the cold.  Kadia's chilly weather seeped in at the dawn and chilled to the bone for the day and dropped to freezing lows at nigh-- most of its residents were prepared with wools and fur stoles natural to the climate, but Umbra had been of much fairer conditions, and Rou's few packed garments left her unprepared.  She'd spent most days wrapped in front of the fire or pruning in the baths, smothering herself in pelts at night to keep from the cold.  Rich, velour velvets like that of her blood red dress underneath were too heavy for the court of Umbra save for when the snows came, complimented by a grey wool button-up overdress and red fingerless gloves.  Giving a twirl for Deiter to likewise admire it, she flashed him a sarcastic smile, "If I had to go another day, I thought I'd simply freeze to death."  Leoa and Deiter's siblings had done what they could to offer Rou garments to keep her warm, though they hadn't quite fit for her more voluptuous proportions-- chests burst at the seams and backsides proved to thin to wriggle into; only the cold ever made Rou curse her own tits and ass.

Sauntering over to the table with a curious look, her gaze perused his ferried gifts: glasses and not one, but two, bottles of wine; the man came with options.  "Having a picnic, are we?" she jested playfully, taking the seat opposite him and gathering her wet hair into a rolled ponytail that tumbled down her shoulder, "I'm afraid you've forgotten your basket, Your Grace."  The maid came to whisk away the dirty plates quickly from between them, and made a stretch of her arm to take the wooden box, though Rou held up a halting gesture.  "Leave it," she commanded, and Rou fetched it for herself.  Flipping open the top, it was filled with enamel tiles with letters written upon them, in the common tongue's alphabet.  "A game, of which I often like to play at home with my two attendants.  My keeper of the house, Beatrice, sent this along with my things, thinking that I might like to occupy my time with it."  She perused through a few of the tiles, before letting out a sigh and discarding them back into the box.  "Alas, it is a game of words--" she paused, as she directed a glance at the back of the busied, simple maid; Rou held up a hand to shield her whispers meant for Deiter, "--and my only company can't fathom one more than three letters long.  Not exactly a challenge."

Either unbothered by her comments or simply just keeping her nose in her own business, the maid went from one task to the next, her dishes ready to be brought to the main hall, but she had to first take care of her charge's hair.  Fetching a hairbrush from the vanity, she waited for the approving nod from Rou before taking on the brushing of her long, sable hair, careful not to let her hair dampen the back of her wool overdress.  "Do not stare at me so," Rou cautioned, knowing that Deiter's eyes were on her, though the half-smile told the truth that she hadn't been offended-- it had been more to spare herself the red blush in her cheeks.  Straightening her back, she put one knee over the other beneath her layers of skirts, folding her hands atop her knee, a proper and intrigued posture.  "Tell me, what are we toasting?"

Edited by Narcissa

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For an instant, Deiter thought the door would go unanswered, his heart nearly skipped a beat when he heard a familiar, although muffled voice on the other side of the door. He let out a low chuckle, amused and relieved. He offered the maid a smile when she opened the heavy door, revealing the stately room within. He wondered what Rou thought of her accommodations. 

The An'She's rooms were impressive, it seemed she was given better treatment than the Carmine Emperor when he had visited. It would not be a stretch to say thay she was being treated like one of the royal family, instead of just an honored guest. It also looked that the servant staff kept the room quite tidy, one might have thought it had not been lived in, if not for the fresh steam from the open bathroom door or the warm fire. He took in a deep breath of the pine, admiring the scent of pine. A scent he often enjoyed.

The Prince was afforded the gracious view of Rou's bare shoulders, his eyes openly admiring the dark skin, and the way her wet hair clung to her flesh, the rest tumbling toward the floor. She was lovely, and the hint of her nudity behind the folding screen sparked the small fire of arousal in his chest. He gave Rou a hooded gray-eyed stare, she had already made it known she knew he admired the view of her form. Though he politely made sure not to stare overlong. He gave the maidva calming smile, to show that no offense was taken. "Apologies, my lady, in my excitement to meet you I forgot to send notice." He replied with a sly smile and a dirty chuckle that made the maid blush. He was lying of course, but he wanted to take some initiative. His own brow raised in obvious appreciation and thanks for the prolonged view. 

"Thank you." He said simply as he was ushered inside. He moved smoothly, there was a lightness to his step and a fluidity that could not be fully appreciated while in armor. There was perhaps, a sensuality to his movements. He set the bucket of ice with its two bottles in the center of the table, one glass by her end and the other by his. He removed his coat, nearness to the fire made it quite unnecessary, and handed it to the maid. He sat and waited patiently as Rou finished dressing, even opened the bottles to let them breathe.

"The winters in this part of Kadia arrive early." He said, offering the buxom woman an apologetic smile. He admired the way she moved, and though her outfit covered most, it allowed his imagination to run wild with what might be beneath it. "You look lovely, my lady." He said as she twirled to give him full view of her outfit. "I wouldn't have allowed such a thing." He said, a smile touched his lips, hinting at a deeper meanining. He had heard if his sisters' attempts, wishing he could have seen suchba spectacle. 

An amused chuckle rolled from his chest. "I had made a promise to have you experience my wines, I intend to keep it." He gave her a wink, it was a half-truth, he also simply just wanted to see her in a more private setting. He watched with interestvas she sifted through the tiles, and explained their nature. Offered a chuckle at her conspiratorial whisper. "I am more a man of dice and cards." He said apologetically. "I might prove to be less than a challenge, though I am more than willing to learn." He said with a wink.

He blushed when she caught he staring, though he knew her chastisement was in good humor. "Forgive this prince, it is that you are stunningly beautiful. I cannot help but to admire you." He gave her a wink. "To you, and that our nations have a prosperous relationship." He said, choosing the malbec and pouring first ger glass and then his.

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"That you did," Rou answered toward his promise, meeting him halfway to fetch the glass with a lean, dragging the unfortunate maid with her.  Ignoring the annoyed grunting of the maid who resumed brushing (albeit wrangling her long tresses a little forcefully), she swirled the red malbec around the glass like a whirlpool, taking in its floral aroma.  She balanced it delicately as the wet-haired An'She was pulled by the scalp, the usual morning's tormentous routine for the sake of beauty-- no doubt with so many sisters, it wouldn't be the first time he'd been privy to the female preening process.  "To Kadia and Umbra," she toasted back with a raise of her glass and an arch of her brow, "and the fortuitous opportunity it has provided us both."

Rou quickly found it hard to enjoy the subtle sweetness with the maid at her back, effectively sloshing her drink with each pull of the bristles.  "That's enough; just arrange it in a ponytail for me, and you may be excused," she ordained authoritatively; she hadn't been born into the sort of privilege that gave orders, though it was certainly a hat the An'She wore well, now that she'd earned it.  The maid seemed relieved, making quick work of the task she was bid; gathering up the dishes she'd set aside, she curtsied to both her charge and the Prince before leaving them to skitter off to the kitchens.

Finally able to enjoy her wine in peace, Rou closed her eyes as she took a frugal sip of the malbec, contemplating it awhile, deep and dry.  "You should consider yourself proud, your Grace," she said finally, licking her lips and dipping her chin in a reverential nod.  Obviously satisfied, her gaze found the Prince over the rim of her glass as she went for another fair sip, "It is a marvel."  His choice had obviously pleased her, as she made moderately quick work of the glass and returned it to him to fill again.  It had been so long since she'd had the pleasure of a red that wasn't a foul Orisian, as was favored by the allegedly tasteless East Genesarian populace, and wasn't going to let the opportunity for a more refreshing and sweet palette to go to waste.

"You wouldn't like me very much at cards or dice, I'm afraid," she commented slyly as he tended to her glass; Rou proved not to be shy about most things-- her liquor, included.  However, her half-cocked smile hid her true reasons as she indulged in her second glass of wine, "...because I don't even need sleeves as long as this to cheat."   The Buxom Bandit had spent a great deal of time in the taverns and inns during her prime, and Rou could make a deck of cards do whatever she wanted, and charmed dice like a pair of snakes.  Too many victims found themselves signing away their life savings across from her in a hand of cards... whether they slid it coin by coin across the table to her, or unsuspectingly invited her back to their room on a drunken winner's high, only to find their valuables stolen by dawn.  "I make quite the sore loser," she humored him with a feminine, sweet smile, Deiter seemingly unalerted to the dark thoughts beneath, with how often he cared to wink at her.

"You do write in the common tongue, do you not?" Rou asked as she delved into the box, withdrawing a number of enamel pieces and sliding them across to Deiter, and collecting an assortment for herself.  Each white square tile was perfectly polished and shiny, with a dark letter carved in ink upon the center of its face.  "Since you're a virgin to the game," she said, glancing up at him keenly before returning to the tokens, "We'll play with the easiest rules.  Players begin with ten tokens, a different letter upon each.  Every turn you draw three new tokens--" she held up three fingers, and with a flamboyant snap, exchanged it for one-- "and you may exchange one for a letter you wish, should you need to.  The longer word you create, the more points you get; once a player has used all their tiles, you earn fifty points to add to your score, and the game is over."   Rou started to peruse her own tiles, sliding them across the surface of the table as she tested out combinations, not taking her eyes off them as she paused for a sip of wine.  "The gimmick of the game is to intersect the new word with a letter from the previous word played."

"Fair enough?" she propositioned him with a lift of her glass, the keen challenge in place.  "Ladies first?"  After fetching three new ones to her assortment, the tiles softly scraped at the wood table surface as she slid them into place, displaying the word CORSET in front of him.  "That's six points for me; now you must create a word that intersects with mine."  Rou's yellow eyes watched him carefully over the rim of her glass, silent and half-hidden in the glass of malbec.

Edited by Narcissa

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Though he knew of the routine’s rather painful obligation, he admired that women did so much for beauty. He remembered a saying, that women did not do it for men, but for themselves. Though whatever the truth of their reasons, he felt no shame in admiring the product of the work. He was currently admiring her dark and silken tresses, curious if they felt like they looked. He sipped his wine with a smile as she returned his toast, amusement brightening his gray eyes.

He chuckled when she finally set the made to a simpler task. It had been amusing to watch Rou attempt at drinking while her hair was being tugged back. At last she settled for a more simple task so that the maid might not lead to an accident. Though he entertained the thought of an angry Rou was quite intriguing to him. He gave the maid a nod of parting as she curtsied. His attention returned to the buxom bandit, pleased to have some time alone with the beautiful and intriguing woman.

“Hahaha! Thank you for the praise.” He said, his appreciation for such words evident on his face. “I have sought to produce the best for my nation. To add more to our budding culture.” He said, swirling the dark wine in his glass, gray eyes drifting off into some distant reverie. He smiled as she finished the glass, he in turn had finished his own. He took her glass, and filled it along with his own before returning it to her. Perhaps she will yet develop a taste for Kadian flavor.

“I am no stranger to losing at dice or cards.” He said with an amused tone. “Or my clothes in the process.” He said with humorous smile. There had been often a time when a lucky comrade had made off with his clothes, much to the amusement of those who were playing with him. It was an amusing if unfortunate experience when he had to walk back to his tent during winter. “Perhaps one day you could humor me with a game of dice?” He teased, intrigued now.

“I do.” He confirmed with a nod. He watched in interest as she drew out the pieces and passed them to him. He took them, looking them over with curiosity as he noted the craftsmanship. He gave her a raised brow of amusement at her little quip. He continued to listen intently as she laid out the rules. It seemed a fairly straight forward game, regardless of his inexperience with such things. Hopefully he would prove to be a proper challenge, or at the very least a challenge.

“Fair enough.” He confirmed, raising his own glass as he accepted her challenge. “Always.” He watched as she drew and then placed her letters. He chuckled his low, melodic, and dirty chuckle at the word she spelled out. “Alright, then.” He said, drawing three before placing his down and spelling out STOCKING, intersecting down from the ‘S’ of her word and downward. “Does that count as six, or seven?” He asked curiously.

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A masculine display of lechery, check.  "Your Grace, you are positively foul," she hummed with a mischeivous raise of her brow, though she herself was no stranger to a game of strip poker (a fact she kept to herself).  Swirling the malbec red 'round her glass, Rou paused only to indulge in another sip.  "Surely a Prince of Kadia isn't such a common degenerate..." she said, words seemingly barbed with judgement, until she delayed a pause long enough to forfeit the humor within, her smirk visible through her glass, "... to lose them again in contest with a proper lady."  Rou nasally chuckled at her own egotism, the statement both a warning for his pride and a brush of her own hubris.  Men had lost their fortunes over the roll of dice with the Buxom Bandit, and though Lady Luck had taken often to spurning her relationships, the cards still held her favor.  Though, as she looked across at Deiter, he seemed to know the sort of demon he was getting into bed with-- forgive the pun.

Hitching one knee over the other, Rou busied herself with the shuffling of letters, the enamel subtly clacking as they clattered against one another as she drew three new tiles.  "Eight, actually," she corrected him, not looking up from her process, as her index finger took residence against her cheek, and the remaining fingers beneath her mouth, all the more accentuating the thoughtful purse of her unpainted lips.  Her process was slow and methodical, as evidenced by the typewriter-like shift of her golden eyes, her eyelashes batting gently across her cheekbones with the occasional blink.  "Aha," she murmured gently, before sliding the tiles across the surface of the table one by one with a pointed finger, utilizing Deiter's O to spell the word TROUBLE.  "That makes thirteen points for me."

As she watched the revolving burgundy liquid in the sphere of her glass, commanded by the steady roll of her wrist, Rou mulled her lips together as she appeared to be holding back a question.  After many long moments, however, curiosity won out.  "Forgive my inquiry..." she started, still seemingly hesitant to put her query to words for the sake of propriety, "but it appears this position has been fostered upon you, no?  The crown, I mean."  Rou had personally invested years of her life, now, in acquisition of a throne-- since she was not born into the royal life, the only other way seemed to be taking it by force, or marrying into one, and the former Buxom Bandit found herself properly equipped for only one of those choices.  She'd been blindsided at the Kadian Wedding that Deiter was Crown Prince, the next in line to the throne, by his adoptive father's admission.  "Corvinus and Leoa have so many children by their own blood-- older children, even.  Please don't think that I don't assume you worthy; it's not that, but..." her posture turned with the thought, feeling awkward for asking such a question.  Considering that the Melisende family tree had such foliage, it was hard for someone like Rou to understand why the royal family of Kadia would appoint someone from the outside, without any obvious circumstances.  Even if their oldest son had turned it down, it would fall to the next child, and then the next; there hadn't appeared to be any passing of succession.  Finally, her eyes shifted to Deiter.  "Why you?"

Edited by Narcissa

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He rolling chuckle escaped the chest of the crown prince, a wink responding to her raised brow. “Well, that’s not the worst I’ve been called.” He said, flashing a grin. “Is that a proper challenge from a proper lady?” He asked, though amusement tinged his voice, his eyes conveyed that he was more than willing to make such a wager. There was confidence in his tone, though he was not so concerned with losing. If anything it might prove to make this visit with such a lovely woman all the more memorable. Especially a lovely woman with a vicious fire.

Gray eyes watched the woman across from him with undisguised interest. While there was no doubt a level of attraction towards the Buxom Bandit, it was not some hamfisted display born of the need to rut her. There was genuine interest, as if he desired to explore the layers of her person as much as he desired to explore the layers of her clothing. “Oho, well done.” He said, giving her a light applause. Interesting word choice, he thought. It was almost as if the woman was sending him another challenge. “I suppose it is my turn then.” He said, drawing his allotment of tiles.

His movements were more instinctual than methodical. Though there was a hidden sense of consideration. “Pay it no mind, these are questions I would expect.” He said, offering her a charming smile, pleased she actually had the courage to ask. “Yes, it was fostered on me. Though it was not something granted to me easily.” He said, striking easily at the thoughts he knew she harbored. “Do you see the great ships that soar the skies? The advanced armors that our soldiers wear? The guns and swords they carry? Even the running water and electricity that brighten homes and streets, all possible due to me.” He said, pride in his voice, though there was a measure of humility to it.

“Father and Mother granted me the crown due to my accomplishments and hard work. I have poured my sweat and blood to help build this vast empire. I believe that is why they have placed the crown upon my brow.” He chuckled shaking his head. “A mere peasant boy from Orisia, crown prince.” He chuckled again. “Aha!” He placed his tiles, using Rou’s E to spell out ECSTACY. “I believe that makes fifteen, no?” He picked up his own wine glass, taking a sip. “Tell me of yourself, Rou. I fear you have me at a disadvantage, I only know some from when we fought in the Ellwood.”

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