Wintery Intentions

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Wintery Intentions

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby IridescentMoon on Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:43 pm

"Mother, please!" The strangled cry sounded from Dahlia's throat as she gripped the bedpost so tightly her knuckles whitened.

Her mother didn't relent. "Dahlia," she grunted, yanking the ties to her daughter's corset tighter, eliciting another yelp from the young woman. "You are too old not to have a suitor at the very least. By the time tonight is through, you'll have a steady stream of them lining up at our door!" With a final tug, she knotted the ties so Dahlia's already naturally-slender waist would remain as thin as possible.

Madame Winters dabbed at the sheen of perspiration from her brow with her handkerchief while Dahlia shakily rose to stand upright. Although her mother had seen to it that she was used to wearing a corset at all times, her mother pulled her strings especially tight when they were attending a ball for the evening.

Madame Winters shuffled to the closet of Dahlia's bed chamber. "By the time she was your age, your sister Rose was married and had a child on the way!" With her back turned, Dahlia rolled her eyes to the ceiling and silently mocked her mother as she continued, "And Lily is younger than you, yet she still has had callers knocking at our door." She flipped through the myriad of elaborate dresses Dahlia had received as presents from her wealthy parents or just as wealthy neighbors and friends until she found wat she was looking for: a lavish aqua gown that was the precise shade of Dahlia's unusually bright eyes. The dress was made with fine silk and embroidered with her namesake--dahlia flowers with beading that accentuated their brilliantly colored petals. A gold-colored shawl completed the ensemble.

"You're wearing this; it makes your eyes pop," her mother muttered as she helped her daughter pull the dress over her corset and layers of underskirts, being exceedingly careful not to muss her curled hair, half pulled up with subtle sprigs of baby's breath pinned into it. While Dahlia was, admittedly, enamored by frivalous attire, she personally thought the baby's breath was a bit much.

"Mother," she tried again with a huff as her mother tugged at the dress to make sure it was sitting properly on her daughter's small frame, "I have had multiple suitors, do you not recall? They've come to the house and made their grand show of asking father fo permission to call on me."

"Until for some reason," her mother muttered as she hunched to tug at the hem of her dress, "they have seen fit to stop calling altogether." Her voice drooped in vague suspicion, and Dahlia smiled clandestinely to herself, creating that telltale crease in her nose that revealed when her thoughts were bordering on mischievous in nature.

Of course they had stopped calling. Dahlia herself had seen to that. It was simple enough with well-aimed words and whispers that ensured she wouldn't have to worry about marriage any time soon. Dahlia was no fool; she knew those men were only interested in marrying her for her father's money. They tried to disguise their interest in her with sweet words declaring her to be the epitome of beauty, but again, a fool Miss Winters was not.

Her mother stepped back to admire her work. "Ah! Lovely!" She grasped her daughter's arm and began pulling her from the house with the rest of her family, "Now let's be on our way, or we'll be late. And remember," she paused only a moment to slip a gold-lace fan into Dahlia's hand. "Engage. Gentlemen are not interested in women who do not possess the art of conversation."

One side of Dahlia's lip folded up in a smirk. "Oh, you won't have to worry about that, Mother. I am quite the conversationalist."

They entered the large home at the Carlysle estate, a sprawling property peppered with azure and sunshine-yellow flowers--their color scheme of the year. Upon crossing the threshold, Dahlia's mother was greeted by Madame Carlysle, effectively pulling her away from her daughter, to Dahlia's delight.

"Dahlia!"

"Lucy." Dahlia smiled and engaged her close friend in a hug.

"Oh, Dahlia you look delightful!" Lucy gasped, holding her friend at arm's length.

"Oh, stop it, you're the delightful one!" Dahlia replied, taking in the sight of her redheaded friend in a pastel green gown.

"Take a turn with me around the ballroom, will you? I have missed you so!" Lucy wound her arm through Dahlia's and led her to the high-ceilinged room that guests were gathering in. Musicians sat in one corner, poised and playing their instruments beautifully while dancers skimmed the dance floor.

Dahlia was eying the guests with a ghost of a grin on her face; whose ear was she going to slip whispers into tonight? How would she create mischief at this ball?

Lucy squeezed her friend's arm in giddy excitement. "What gentlemen catch your fancy, Dahlia?" She inquired, mistaking Dahlia's calculating gaze for a girlishly enamored one. "Are you looking for any in particular? Such as... Mr. Bingle, Sir Withers, or..." She smirked wickedly, "Mr. Al-Bomani?"

Dahlia's head instantly whipped toward her friend. "Miss Carlysle! How dare you make such an accusation! I would never hope to find that man at any ball. Ever." She snapped open her fan to fan herself, as if she could rid herself of such an idea with each flap of the lacy fan. "I would rather become a spinster than even allow that man the pleasure of a dance with me!"

Lucy's mouth formed a perfect 'O.' "Well, well, Dahlia! What a response! I was only suggesting--"

"Yes, well..." Dahlia interrupted as they paused by the window, which streamed with moonlight. "That is... as if I would ever allow such a pleasantry to be bestowed him. Or on Sir Withers or Mr. Stringle."

"Mr. Bingle."

"Mr. Bingle. Right." But Dahlia's mind was far from the proper pronunciation of names; she was now on alert for Mr. Al-Bomani. Not that she needed to be. He was not worth it in the slightest.

Dahlia did not have time to dwell on him much longer, because a pair of gentlemen--friends of the Carlysles--approached the young ladies at that moment to converse.
~*~Oh, what fools these mortals be!~*~

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IridescentMoon
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Re: Wintery Intentions

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Sprezzatura on Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:41 pm

Seth nodded to the ladies and gentlemen who passed him at the door. Many of the ladies wrinkled their noses at him behind their fans. They thought he did not see, but he always saw. He was a cat among dogs, the lone black sheep in this English flock. Some of these people had the gal to turn their noses down at him because he was dark in skin. Seth glanced down at a puddle near his foot. The murky water from last night's rain showed stars and lamps, but nothing of his face. The more he thought about it, the more Seth realized he had not seen his own face very many times.

He shrugged. It had its way with the young ladies. Seth looked up from the puddle to meet the eyes of Mister Carlysle who had stepped out on to the terrace for a quick smoke. Seth smiled and greeted Mister Carlysle with a firm hand shake. Seth and Wilfred Carlysle were friends in a loose sense of the word.They ran mostly in the same social, and sometimes business circles.

If Seth listened close enough he could hear the rasp of Wilfred's lungs. Smoking that pipe was doing him no favors. Their conversation drifted from business, to idle goings on within town, and finally to his daughter.

"It'll be sad to see my Lucy become a lady of her own house," Wilfred commented with a small shake of the head.

"She had many suitors I take it?" Seth had met Lucy Carlysle a handful of times, but she never impressed him. He suspected her father was glad of that fact too. It was one thing to be friends with an Egyptian, but to have your daughter marry one? That was scandal!

Wilfred nodded again. "There are so little men these days. Are you courting any young lady yet? You aren't getting any younger." He winked.

How little you know, he thought. He had remained this age for a very long time. He was set for eternity. "I've had my eye on a few. Maybe I'll met the right one tonight."

Just then a faint sentence caught his attention. Mr. Bingle, Sir Withers, or...Mr. Al-Bomani? It sounded like Lucy's voice. Another voice following it. It was unclear first; Seth couldn't make out the words over the din of music and laughing. The latter part of the sentence was clear. I would rather become a spinster than even allow that man the pleasure of a dance with me! He fought the urge to look over his shoulder at the terrace doors.

Seth excused himself with a bow and returned to the ballroom. His eyes adjusted quickly to the brighter lighting. He sought out a particular scent as he searched the room. Lilies...he smelled the air again. He took a step in the direction he thought the voices had come from. The smell of lilies grew stronger. Underneath it lay another scent of water and sunlight, and something absolutely terrible. He identified the second voice by the scent. Dahlia Winters.

It was entertaining to wonder what Miss Winters thought of him. Seth grinned. It was nothing good. Smart girl. Seth crossed the room towards the girls just as a pair of men floated over to them. Even though he was in no danger here, Seth still stepped silently and disappeared within the crowd with ease. He was tall and bronze skinned, and would usually sand out in a crowd, but he had a gift for not being seen when he didn't want to. He broke away from it when Miss Winters had her back to his direction.

"A spinster, huh?" He chuckled close to her ear. "I'm a great dancer, I promise."

He stepped back to avoid any swats--just in case she was in a particularly feisty mood this evening.

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Re: Wintery Intentions

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby IridescentMoon on Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:48 pm

"Oh!" Dahlia gasped when she heard an all-too familiar voice in her ear. She turned instantly and met Seth's dark eyes. The scoundrel! How dare he step so close to a lady! And to her, no less! Closing her fan, she forgot herself for a moment and took a swipe at Seth's chest with it, but he had already stepped away from her. After she missed, she pursed her lips in frustration and turned back to the group. The gentlemen glanced at each other and chuckled. Lucy, being the daughter of the hosts of the party, was the first to remember her manners.

"How do you do, Mr. Al-Bomani?"

"Mr. Branaugh," Dahlia spoke over Lucy to address the gentleman closest her. "You were just speaking of your travels to Bath." She slid open her fan again and waved it flirtatiously beneath her chin with a bat of her eyelashes. "It sounds simply exquisite! Won't you please tell us more?"

"Bath? Exquisite?" The second gentleman, Mr. Costas, piped up, stepping more into the small circle. "Miss Winters, one small trip is nothing for a man as well traveled as I. i've traveled all over England; I have many tales to tell you that will excite and intrigue you, Miss Winters, much more than Bath."

"Really?" Dahlia turned her attention to Mr. Costas, shifting her smile from Mr. Branaugh to him. Lucy's eyebrow arched up at the display, understanding; she knew Dahlia at her feistiest and most mischievous, and she could already sense her friend swaying in that direction. "Oh, Mr. Costas, have you really been to so many places?" She lowered her eyes coquettishly. "I certainly haven't, but, oh, a girl could listen to stories of far-off places for hours!"

"Bath isn't the only place I've been! I've been outside the country!" Mr. Branaugh stepped back into the conversation, not one to be one-upped. He glanced at Mr. Costas with something akin to frustration and possibly jealousy.

Lucy, though usually one to silently enjoy the amusement Dahlia always brought to gatherings, was also the first between the two friends to remember her manners. "Dahlia, dear, are you not going to greet Mr. Al-Bomani, as well?"

Dahlia dropped her flirtations almost as instantly as Lucy fnished her question. She half-turned to Seth, falling into a quick curtsey. "How do you do, Mr. Al-Bomani." She thought for a moment, and then added in a forced tone, "And I'm certain you're a, as you put it, 'great dancer,' but I'm afraid my dance card is full and I wouldn't dream of going back on my word on even one of the offers I've received."

Although Lucy was the more polite of the two friends, she was also the slowest. "Oh, really?" She inquired with innocent sincerity. "I say, Dahlia Winters, magic must've been involved, because you've been by my side this entire time and I certainly don't recall any other offer than Mr. Al-Bomani's."

Dahlia rounded her eyes at her friend, silently telling her to hold her tongue, that that had been the point before her cover was blown.

Sensing her mistake, Lucy's eyes fluttered in embarrassment and she added quietly, "Though I'm... certain you'll... receive a great many offers, Dahlia."

"Speaking of magic... those vampires have done it again. Another attack, if you can believe it!" Mr. Branaugh chimed in.

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Re: Wintery Intentions

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby RedPitbull on Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:12 pm

(May I join?~)
Animal rescue is to lose your mind, but in losing your mind, you awaken your soul.

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