Of Song and Spirits
The rich dark wood of the bar gleams along the entire length of the tavern's back wall. The flickering light of tallow candles within several hand-blown crimson ceramic holders reflecting off its well-oiled surface. Behind the bar, tall shelves stocked high with assorted specialties boast a proud display of colorful glass carafes, sultry rich ports, and ornate silver ale tankards. Equally dark mahogany booths cushioned in plush fabrics line either side of the tavern. Patrons are invited
into the dim-lit secluded part away from the usual clamor of the foreign and local patronage. A massive iron chandelier, suspended by thick black chains above the very center of the tavern, casts its variegated shadows over the tavern.
Exits: [north] east
The vigil barkeep of the Singing Rose tavern watches the ongoings in mirth.

Rasha says 'Mister Klein, a pleasure to see you again.'

Rasha holds out her slender, gloved hand. Her face reveals nothing but her flawless features.

Alexi takes the hand slowly, and drafts a light kiss upon that gloved hand. A smile, faint as it is, drifts across his face as he lifts up his head. There they have the usual same booth, a similar bottle of wine, and two candelettes upon that table, flickering to chase shadows away. [Alexi]

Rasha watches him, grey eyes glittering, but this meeting would be becoming serious all too fast. She takes a seat, fixing the folds of the black gown she had chosen. Her jewelry makes quite a statement, her neck ringed by rubies, a true, blood red.

Ear bobs dangle down from her lobes, matching rubies that swing with each movement of her head. "I trust the night finds you well?" she inquires politely. [Rasha]

Her hand is released all too fast and the dark haired youth drifts into his place, opposite the alluring facade that is Rasha. He seems slightly transfixed by the gleam of the rubies that she wears, that glint and the enchanting aura about her. [Alexi]

"The night finds me well, Miss Moncreiffe. Alas, the last night I will spend in this beautiful city of yours." The youth replies, his voice grafting a tinge of regret upon it. Whether such regret meant more than just departure, his eyes does not. betray any other emotion; other than that little smile he has on his face. Sincere as much as he had made his offer a week forhence towards Rasha, Alexi is not confident of her decision. He does not sit as yet, standing up and crooking his waist to pick up the bottle of wine opened for them, a half of which is poured into her crystal glass — gentlemanly gesture though he knows she would not drink it. [Alexi]

Rasha smiles, a warm smile that doesn't quite reach her eyes. "I do hope you have enjoyed your stay in the city of lions and that perhaps, you will visit again some day." her meaning plain, she has declined his offer but not his possible friendship…as much as she tolerated such…affections. "Thank you." she says as he finishes pouring the wine. "Many opportunities abound, if one looks closely." [Rasha]

His back straightens a little as the bottle is glided in mid-air, gracefully to dip its neck near to his own glass. "I am always welcome to the City, Miss Moncreiffe. The hospitality is not denied to me." Alexi's eyes does not meet Rasha's, nor does he seem to look at her; instead his own sights are centered plainly on the constant stream of glittering white that is rippling out from the bottle's mouth into his glass. "Opportunities are many if I look around. But it is just an excuse, isn't it?" [Alexi]

He stops pouring, and the bottle arches up, with the same fluid grace exhibited earlier; and Alexi sits himself, half-filled wine glass in his line of sight, the gleaming wet rim lanced with fire reflected from candle-flame. [Alexi]

Rasha smiles, this time a bit more genuinely. "Then you will visit me at the theatre, perhaps, when next you come to Irae." she would just love to have him on her arm at the theatre right under Etienne's nose, keep him wondering. Actress that she is, that little game of cat and mouse would be thrilling. His next words though show the smile falter, just slightly. [Rasha]

"Excuses? Who has time for excuses. There is what is, Mister Klein, neither of us deal in black and white…its always blood red." she says, looking at him. He was certainly handsome, but there was too much too risk on a pretty face. [Rasha]

"I will visit whenever you send me an invitation to be with you, Miss Moncreiffe." The dark haired youth returns her request of visitation with a solemn tilt of his head. His wine glass does not move from its position on the table, as if he had set it there deliberately for wine, crystal and flame to reflect each other, forming an distracting showpiece in between him and the actress. "We both make many excuses, Miss Moncreiffe. Perhaps you saw through whom I am." [Alexi]

Alexi says 'Because I have been too hasty in my requests. I apologize. And would not overstep my boundary of a gentleman in forcing my hand or the wont of a promise on a lady.'

Rasha's smile returns. "Ah, Mister Klein, I have meant no offense to you." she says,leaning forward in that form fitting black gown, the rubies sparkling in the fire light with a fire of their own. [Rasha]

"Sometimes it is better to keep the power…on a level field, yes? I would deem to elevate myself on a level with you for fear of the fall I would take." she says, the words very pretty, sounding sincere and in her own way, they were. He was an attractive man, to a degree, but she herself, must walk a fine line and always know where her feet will land before she takes a step. [Rasha]

Alexi does not speak for a long while, holding a pensive silence between the both of them. His expression seems settled into a form of dignified acceptance at the precise, careful, diplomatic way that Rasha has rejected his offer. [Alexi]

Then, his fingers drift from his lap upwards, to move that wine glass away from his line of sight; and it is pushed towards the corner — as if it is a game and his chess piece is moved, voluntarily and dumped. [Alexi]

But it seems as if, an afterthought occured to him, and that glass is picked up; his head tilts askew, and his soft gaze no longer watched Rasha; but the contents within his glass, and he takes a sip, a gentle one. And he closes his eyes, along with a small, almost understanding smile. [Alexi]

"I believe now I know what you want, Miss Moncreiffe." Alexi says, quiet affirmation lasting in his tone and his glass is placed down, in front of him again. Emptied but in his field of sight. [Alexi]

Rasha watched the wine and the man and the movements of the glass with little interest showing in her eyes. She was good at schooling her expressions. "I am glad, Mister Klein." she says simply, taking up the glass in front of her, she places it under her nose, smelling it before taking a small taste, then replacing the glass. She fixes him her grey eyed gaze, the one he was yet to meet this evening. [Rasha]

"You do not have to drink it, Miss Moncreiffe. The wine glass is just an excuse to sit here." The dark haired youth does not seem to be bothered even if she ventures to take a large or small sip, and his fingertips touch the rim of his empty glass, meeting her gaze with his own blue one fully; his features set straight, smiling, seemingly mirroring hers, seemingly sincere.

His hand move, grabbing the emptied glass and then with fluid force, tilts it and a minute droplet of wine forms, one drop he did not consume, slides down the inside of the glass and upon the candle-fire; extinguishing it. "The power can never be kept on a level playing field, Miss Moncreiffe. I applaud your bravery in saying such words." [Alexi]

Rasha replaces the glass, giving a light shrug of her slender shoulders, her red curls spilling forward, playing over the low cut of the front of the dress. "Then you understand the position from which I stand, Mister Klein." she says. She may not have liked admitting that she was in a lesser place to him, but truth was truth. [Rasha]

"Perfectly, Miss Moncreiffe. Your existence is the fragile balance between myself and Etienne, is it not? That you are making this so clear to me." Alexi's reply appears almost wistfully poetic in its rendition. He watches her once more, taking in the beautiful face that has left many wonting. "That you must not be touched, or moved." [Alexi]

"I will visit you when you call, Miss Moncreiffe. I would not ask of this request anymore of you; but if." [Alexi]

Alexi says 'My next decision is something which you find unpleasant regarding. I can only apologize.'

Rasha's expression is blank, the smile gone but she was not frowning. She watches him levelly until that last statement, raising a delicate brow. He leaves her a lot to think over but, she could live with what he says. She smiles, nodding her head slightly. "Thank you, Mister Klein, for the wine and the charming company." she says, ever polite. She rises slowly from her seat, the silk dress hugging her form makes only the slightest whisper of sound. She offers him her hand once more. "I look forward to our meeting again." [Rasha]

The hand offered is politely grasped once more, and a kiss pressed to that delicate hand of hers, after which the dark haired youth also removes himself in two small steps away from the table. "Christian von Karlach stands on my side, Miss Moncreiffe." He tells her in a soft whisper, not letting go of her hand yet, and then allows that slender hand to fall and rest by her side. "Would you be against him too?" [Alexi]

The dark haired one steps back, and bows lightly, before he turns and leaves the tavern in a series of mild, seemingly subdued steps. [Alexi]

That one name gives her pause and a flutter where her heart was once housed. Her expression falters, and was likely noted but is quickly schooled. Pulling herself together, she leaves the tavern to return to the theatre, his words echoing through her mind. [Rasha]

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