The Christmas Tree

A very interesting and odd little sight stood in the middle of the beautifully decorated boudoir shared by the Theatre's established actors and actresses; a real pine, a tiny one, but perfect in every verdant detail. The tree has been plucked from one of the winter forests perhaps north of the City and brought here, its bottom buried into a rustic wooden bucket and sweet smelling dried rushes packed into it. [Etienne]

Yet the pine is undecorated, virgin-like, nothing festive hung from its branches, and perhaps the whiff of melted snow could still be smelt from its drooping branches. The attendants would be come by later to get the tree decorated just for the enjoyment of the troupes and companies but for now, only closed boxes are placed about that tree, holding the glittering baubles and trimmings. [Etienne]

Rasha was coming down the hall way, the scent of pine was heavy in the air and she sighs. Was it that time, again? She hated it when they made such a fuss. She didn't like trees, the out-doorsiness of it. Why would they want to bring the dirty thing inside? She pauses at the open door, the deep blue gown she was wearing hugs her waist but the yards of fabric in the train swirl around her feet. "Why must they insist on this quaint little tradition every year?" she says to the air. This was certainly not going to improve her mood today. [Rasha]

"Because, it is suppose to be… festive." The voice rings out from close behind the actress, the woman following behind Rasha nearly perfectly dressed, as always. "You have to admit, it does make the place more cheery. If that sort of thing appeals to you." The recent nights spent in the theatre with the woman had been interesting, to say the least. And Emberlyna was always watching, observing. Like she was now. And so, she moves to slip past the other woman carefully, through the doorway, and into the room. "Rasha, you should come in and see it. This tiny tree is almost… cute." Oh, that word felt strange slipping from her lips, and a gloved hand smooths over her skirt, nearly impatiently. [Emberlyna]

The tree stood at the height of an average young woman; any girl can easily reach up and place a decorative topping right on the crown of the pine. It looks very green, verdantly out of place in the soft lights of the boudoir, massively adorned with vases of pale white and pink winter roses amidst the gentle glowing glided Victorian lamps. [Etienne]

As Emberlyna finds herself walking into the room, and making that rather quaint comment about the pine; the sight of a leather shoe slips into view, arching outwards from behind the triangular bottom of the pine and the shoe places itself onto the ground; the pressed indigo-black linen pant-leg falling down over it.

"A large one would certainly be out of place in such a lovely room."

The shoe and leg comments, and now a hand, pale and vaguely dusted by the lamp-glow in the room moves into view, the emerald ring circling one of its fingers glinting. The voice does not sound like Etienne d'Santorus — it appears a little less faux happy and seemed almost uniquely sincere. [Etienne]

Rasha looks back over her shoulder at her new found companion, sending all that glorious red hair in a shower over her shoulder. "Cheery? Cute? Gracious, perhaps I really have been too long dead." she says the last part a bit under her breath but pastes on a smile for Ember's benefit. [Rasha]

"I suppose the tree is nice enough, for a tree, but they belong out of doors." she says, striding in gracefully, she walks up to the small thing and touches the branches, her expression is completely disdainful. She glides away from the little bush and takes a seat on one of the satin covered chairs, sitting straight, her back not touching the back of the chair. [Rasha]

She smooths out her skirts and places her hands on her lap before looking up, her grey gaze now centered on Ember. "I find the entire concept far too fussy. However, I find it…pleasing, also, if it brings you some…joy." she says, those words play over her lips like words she was not used to ever saying and she wasn't. But then that voice draws her attention and she rises from the chair and into a curtsey, she was so taken by surprise. "My lord Etienne." is all she says. [Rasha]

Again, with the fussing over her clothes, and as Rasha speaks, those gold-flecked orbs roll ever so lightly in their sockets. Words are about to be spoken, the sound catching in the back of her throat as the actress sits, and then stands again. That gaze drifts to the man idly, and those almost spoke words die completely. Instead, Emberlyna moves to take a seat where Rasha once
did rest, crossing her booted feet daintily. [Emberlyna]

With a quick push of her hand through her hair, the dark-haired woman stifles a yawn, and returns to observing, absently picking a piece of fuzz from her blouse. "It does smell wonderful." The statement is made to nobody in particular, voice merely hanging in the air for a long moment before drifting away. [Emberlyna]

"Ma cherie Rasha can recognize me even when I am behind a tree." The tone of the Lord's voice is highly amused and he rises up from the chair he has been sitting upon all night; the soft round marks made on the chair's velvety cushion loosened from the pressure as he stands up. The decor, the surroundings, all make the blonde man seem very harmless looking and now he appears to be taken with quite a slathering of curiosity at the stranger who has found a place in one of the chairs. [Etienne]

"And who might this young mademoiselle be, ma cherie Rasha? A guest of yours?" The Lord steps away from where he has stood behind the dainty pine, his poise bent just slightly — a polite bow or not, towards the dark haired girl on the chair. "A friend perhaps?" [Etienne]

Rasha rises carefully from the curtsey to look at Etienne, yes, she knew him very well by his voice alone. She offers a cautious smile. "Forgive me for not introducing her to you sooner, I did not see you there. May I present to you, Emberlyna Volonte, my new companion." she says, though the girl would certainly be more than that, once Rasha figured out how best to use her. Ember, may I present, my lord Etienne Santorus." she says, giving another quick curtsey. She couldn't sit down, one Ember was in her chair now, and two..she was a bit too nervous which shows in the grip she has on the sides of her skirts. [done] [Rasha]

Interesting, indeed. Rasha's well-hidden nervousness was still apparent to the dark-haired woman, and she pulls herself from the seat she sits in, to mimic the actresses curtsey with one of her own. So this one caused some sort of reaction from her 'companion.' "A pleasure to meet you, of course." [Emberlyna]

And back she sits, into that same chair, legs crossing to once more assume the same position she had held before. "Are you a figure here in the theatre as well, like Rasha here?" A gloved hand gestures toward the redheaded woman, and the smallest of grins slips over crimson-slicked lips. [Emberlyna]

"A figure. You could call me a figure, mademoiselle." The reply is seamlessly pleasant, unperturbed, as if expecting that kind of comment coming from the dark haired one. His eyes follow the dark haired girl's every tiny gesture, tone, motion; the flicker in the variegated blue of his irises noting the peculiarity of the girl's breeding and background. [Etienne]

"Etienne d'Aquitaine. Ma cherie Rasha and the others would call me Lord d'Santorus; and this Theatre belongs to me." [Etienne]

It is not a flowery introduction but it is sufficient for this mademoiselle. [Etienne]

The Lord's head tilts askew, in thought, a few curls of blonde slipping over one ivory ear. His brows are set low, the blue eyes blink for one vulnerable moment and he just tips a smile onto his lips easily towards the dark haired girl. "Mademoiselle Volonte, we are charmed to have you in this Theatre. It is important, mademoiselle, you follow ma cherie Rasha where she goes. And only where she goes." [Etienne]

"I would suppose the mademoiselle Volonte has met Monsieur Klein prior to our little rendezvous this evening. Or not?" The blonde man's eyes slip a implying gaze towards the seated Rasha, but the look is short, rapid and then both his eyes return to solicit an answer from the dark haired girl. [Etienne]

Rasha wasn't sure what to do with herself. She was rarely ever caught off guard and it was odd that she wasn't quite recovering as quickly as she was like to do. "No, she has not." she says, still on her feet. She wasn't sure what to do with herself suddenly and it shows. Perhaps it was just nerves, she has yet to meet up with Etienne since her last meeting with Alexi, though she was sure he knew how that had turned out. [Rasha]

"As for Ember, she has been a dear in accompaning me about the theatre, as you know, I rarely leave it." she says, a hint of challenge in her tone. [Rasha]

Granted, Emberlyna had only known Rasha for a short time, at least, in the general span of lifetimes that were housed in the theatre, but it was quite entertaining to watch the usually stoic and restrained Rasha so…uncharacteristically uncomfortable. And so, that voice rises, as does the woman from her chair again. [Emberlyna]

"If you do indeed call this establishment yours, then I must tell you that I have enjoyed it here, so far. The shows, and the talent you have within these walls are quite amazing." Those flecked orbs shift to Rasha quickly. "And Rasha here has been more than a wonderful hostess, and employer." And back to Etienne that gaze goes, tongue slipping out ever so quickly to brush over her lips. "And no, as Miss Moncreiffe has said, I do not believe I have met this person you speak of." [Emberlyna]

"Sometimes, sometimes, ma cherie Rasha; an overwhelmed curiosity would result in disaster." Etienne links his gloved fingers together loosely, contemplative on the dark haired girl instead while addressing Rasha herself. "Even here and outside, you would watch here you are going."[Etienne]

"But I must mention, ma cherie. Your companion is very candid, very sharp, very straight in her assumptions. I suppose after all, these are very attractive attributes." [Etienne]

The last of his observative comments seem like a gently-stretched irony, and the blonde man's eyes return to vaguely inspect the exquisite tree in the boudoir's middle, and smiles one more time as he leans against the soft-padded arm of one chair behind him. "Like a l'arbre de Noel. Without its baubles." [Etienne]

Rasha keeps a small smile playing on her lips but she wonders at that slight change she notes in Ember, she would have to remember to watch the girl carefully. Her focus though now was Etienne, she could hear that tone in his voice and knew exactly what it was and she smiles, a bit flippantly. "A much more desirable trait then some possess that you would have me keep court with." she comments, perhaps overstepping her bounds a bit there but she was still upset about asked to mold Amelie. The girl was…not one of them. [Rasha]

That gaze continues to shift back and forth between the two. Wait long enough, and the eccentricities eventually come to the surface. Speaking of traits, a small spot of dust grabs Emberlyna's attentions again, slightly angular features drawn to a tightly laced boot once more. [Emberlyna]

The evil mess was quickly subdued by a gloved finger, and she returns her attentions back toward Rasha and Etienne, nodding once before answering. "Yes, the tree is.. pleasant as well. It is sure to bring a smile to the faces of the theatre patrons." With the faintest of chuckles, Emberlyna turns to face Rasha completely. "I would hate to be an interruption. If you two have things to discuss, I am not one to get in the way." Oh, the offer to exit was made, but it was merely made out of politeness. Gathering information was always so much more fun. [Emberlyna]

"Only the coming festivities, mademoiselle Volonte. It is my wish and desire you will stay for what is to come this winter." The Lord smiles with overwrought thoughtfulness and lays his sights onto the dark haired girl and the beautiful Rasha who has strangely fallen silent. [Etienne]

"And I will leave you two to your discussions of the tree. Bon soire, medesmoiselles, and I bid you a good evening." He bows just once, not lingering, and picks up his glass of claret, hidden upon a small, petite table just behind a pine branch, and departs from the boudoir. [Etienne]

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