Theater Theatrics Anique Christian

Theatre de Santorus

A startling commotion has erupted within the opulent halls of the Theatre as two sets of luggage appear in the hands of a hired porter running down the stairs from the second floor and out of the opens doors of the building, luggage belonging to Christian von Karlach. The playwright is leaving apparently, and notice was given to the absent Lord de Santorus; albeit a very /polite/ and calculated missive that Christian is leaving.

An actress wailed at the bottom of the winding stairs, seemingly, displaying her imminent distress at the departure of the pale fellow as a courteous exchange and a tip is given to the attendant who has so dutifully maintained his chambers within the Theatre. A new playwright would mean a different set of demands, perhaps refreshing, perhaps disastrous to the theatre’s reputation as well as their professions.

“They love their money, these acteurs, Monsieur, do not mind them.” The elderly attendant sighs inwardly to himself, priding perhaps on understanding the grand reason behind Christian’s departure. “But do you have to do this? Should not there be another solution?”

Such a question is briefly spared an pause by the pale fellow as he stands right on the top of the stairs, coat over hand, his green sights flickering over the gathered flock of actors and attendants.

“None so otherwise.” The pale fellow murmurs, taking one step down the first stair-step.

Outside, the streets are quiet aside from the sudden commotion within the theater and anyone within earshot can hear the dramatic wailing of a woman within. Lighting floods the front of the building from inside, showing the silhouette of a man running through the open doors.

From her vantage point, Anique found a spark of interest in what was suddenly going on. There was never a dull moment in the city of Irae, which seemed to always come alive in the night hours. She’d forgotten that much and with an entertained tug at one corner of her mouth, she pauses near a carriage parked outside the entrance. Auburn locks cast aflame by the lamppost and arms tucked neatly within her cloak, she waits. A few moments wouldn’t hurt.

Was it difficult to come to such decision to depart? The pale fellow thinks not though in a way he would be reluctant to leave the young Rasha alone with that wolf Santorus; but she was not his — they did not share even a singular thought, their worlds did not meld. He who adored the lofty heights of draconic structures while she feared to fall. It could not be. Perhaps, Etienne would see a path for her, despite the immense dislike accrued to him by Christian.

The ivory-tainted fingers slipped themselves into thin, plain gloves; useless to him for he is not concerned of the elementals, merely decorative, like the masques that he and his kin within this building wear. The attendant follows him as he proceeds towards the door, a mute, unspoken creature of loyalty.

The carriage is already awaiting at the entrance, the porter already with much efficiency, packed the luggage deftly into the coach. Christian’s thin frame settles past the threshold, his own shadow lancing into the soft, mottled shades of streetlamps, moonlight and fireglow.

“Would you not consider, Monsieur?” Comes the attendant’s gentle appeal, as he attempts to entreat the pale fellow once more. Christian’s head shakes, once and one more again for emphasis, his back facing the carriage and the waiting porter.

“You know the answer, good Matthew. You have been with us for long, you know of the situation and how it would not benefit either myself or Lord de Santorus if I stayed.”

It would appear that luck had kissed the young Anique upon her temple not once, but twice tonight. How much easier that he would walk right out to her rather than forcing her to shuffle through strangers inside. Brows pulling together as she unintentionally overhears the last part of their conversation, Anique remains propped next to the carriage doors.

Taking a breath, her gaze skims over his stance, trying to decipher his mood before her presence was considered rude and she’d be forced to speak or be accused of snooping. She rubs her gloved knuckles together to create some warmth in her fingertips before she stepping away from the carriage. “Lord von Karlach.”

“Lord von Karlach?”

The address of a youngish, feminine voice reconciles a recollective string, a vague, poignant memory of the auburn haired one who told him a faerie tale. His shoe’s heel steeples against the edge of the Theatre’s stairs that led down to the street; his head turning speculatively after breaking his conversation from the elderly attendant whom automatically lifts his curious glance over Christian’s shoulder.

“Sir, do you know her?” Matthew asks now, folding his hands behind his lean back, his feathery-white brows raising like an inquisitor.

“Her. I suppose so…” The pale fellow replies thoughtfully, his verdant sights affixed upon the minute aspect of her below, just a flight short of those steps he is upon. The surprise at her appearance is somewhat smothered immediately, and his tone turns brisk, very brisk — a little different from the sublime placidity he has assumed within the territory of the Theatre.

“She is my new attendant, Matthew. And she is late, of course. It seems to be a rather poor trait of hers, compared to you.” The pale fellow smiles just bare of a derisive grin. “You need not worry. She can be quite competent. Just make sure she gets into the carriage.”

“Her?” The elderly attendant does look a little taken aback at the change of events and the turning up of a mysterious young woman who is supposed to be the new attendant. “I will do as you ask then, Sir.”

With that reply, Matthew descends down the stairs, and then a bow is courteously offered to the auburn haired young woman gallantly. “My lady, I believe you are Lord von Karlach’s new attendant, if so — do get into the carriage and await my lord’s arrival.”

“You believe…” Two slender eyebrows shoot up in reaction. Immediately her eyes shoot up to her former employer and narrow upon his profile. Very funny, Anique thinks, imagining him laughing to himself. Already the man had loosened her footing without speaking a word to her. A year of failed attempts barraged her senses as she contemplated her response.

“I believe…” She hesitates, her lips clamping shut as etiquette overtakes her. The man was being polite and obviously very loyal. The order given to her however raises her back and she taps her heel against the cobblestone in momentary decisiveness. “..that our Lord has some important business to attend to first. I shall wait here for him.” Smiling gracefully at the elderly man, she doesn’t move just yet to enter the carriage but does take the moment to open it’s door and stand within it, allowing it to cut off the cold breeze against her side.

She seems rather trained in the aspects of attending, Matthew thought, keeping a scrutinizing eye upon the young woman. How even did Lord von Karlach come across this girl and evidently recruited her without anyone’s knowledge; the elderly one just shakes his head and proceeds to wait on the opposing side of the open carriage door.

“I am rather apologetic to keep you waiting, fraulein.” The pale fellow offers a strangely, remorseful manner as he finds now his way oft the stairs and stands in front of the open carriage door, his eyes not upon the shadowed interior with their plush leather seats but on the strands of auburn upon the girl’s head. “And Matthew.” He turns to the old one so pleasantly, “Thank you for everything. And relate my good wishes to Lord de Santorus.”

One gloved hand is placed with much directness upon Anique’s small shoulder now, and the pale fellow leans without much discretion towards her, the small of his back bending to accommodating the difference in height; as he whispers in the same tone, tinged with a faint tangent of guilt.

“Fraulein. We have much to catch up on, would you join me for this ride?”

Listening without really hearing, Anique watches with a rather detached expression as Christian gives his well wishes to the older male, barely registering that he’d just excused him to leave the two of them standing there.

Until he touches her – his whisper vibrating in her ear and her head turns slightly toward the sound. It should have unnerved her that he stood too close, felt the pressure of his hand on her shoulder. The fear that might have gripped her once at being alone with him, whatever her decision had been previously, she nods her head now.

“Yes, we certainly do.” Raising her gaze to look directly into his, she turns slightly to release his arm and guides her step into the darkened carriage.

Upon her agreeable reply, the pale fellow straightens himself back up and the hand that has touched the girl’s shoulder, slipping it to rest on the inner handle of the carriage’s door. He waits for Anique to seat herself comfortably before nodding in silent notion to the elderly attendant; him stepping upwards into the coach easily enough.

And now, ensconced within the enfolded darkness of the cab; and that the only lights are that of lamps shining weakly through the flaxen weave of the carriage window curtains, the pale fellow bades the coachman to be off.

Christian remains in contemplative silence besides the auburn haired one, viridian eyes set carefully into the nave of shadows that has settled upon the empty leather couch opposite of the one they are upon. The ride begins easy, the wheels rolling in smooth motion over the street; the coach-driver an experienced man with reins and horses and barely allows his passengers to feel even a slightest unnerving jolt.

A wisp of hair is twirled around her finger, the eyes focusing in the sudden shadow that falls between them in the close space. From her side view she can make out her companions profile from the dim light offered through the windows, unspeaking, unmoving. Unwilling to remain this way, Anique rises up just enough to occupy the adjacent seat. Her knees brush against his as her movement alone jostles the carriage slightly.

“I met an elderly man earlier, who unknowingly led me to you. I lied to him twice and he never corrected me.” Her words seem unimportant, as if she was thinking outloud to herself but her gaze remained on him. “Did you get my message?” She asks innocently, failing to even question where they’re going. It wasn’t an accusing gaze, but watchful, as if waiting for the shift in his features to give her an answer. A question of why she was here.

“You are always asking something, fraulein. Always.” The pale fellow leans forth, keeping his eyes upon Anique now that she has placed herself in the space where he was pooling his concentration upon, the congregation of shadows replaced by this questioning waif of a girl.

His hand shifts to flatten his palm over the part of his pants where her knee jostled it, not smoothening off the fabric but that his hand just lingered upon his knee.

“I know you are here. It does not require a message to know.” Christian tells her, a blonde brow lifting and the glow from a passing streetlamp wavers in, forcing planes of light to shade across his face, enough to allow her to glimpse just once the indistinct amusement on his face.

“We will not beat around the bush for once, fraulein. Lazy am I to play such a round of jeopardy with you anymore. And after all.” He appear to take in the usual much unneeded draw of breath and tilts his head at her. “It’s been a year, has it not?”

The timbre in his voice shifts to just a very minute hint at a regretful nostalgia; his green eyes settling over her frame and her face in a delicate roam of recollection. Then the fabric of memory snaps, and the pale fellow leans back, arching one thin eyebrow at the auburn haired one.

“We will go to Este.” He announces and leans against the leather backing of the carriage’s seat.

“Alright then. We’ll do it this way if you prefer.” Noting that the pleasant front she’d attempted to start with was now evident in the enclosed space, she spreads her hands out over her lap. Hearing where they were going, a frown turns her thoughts inward. How very… convenient.

Her gaze, darkened by the shadows flickering over her face to show the subtle changes, remain upon him as he arches a brow at her. She was paler, her cheekbones more prominent than they previously were, the fullness that once belied her age leaving her eyes appearing larger and slanted at their corners.

”Why else would I seek you out, if not to ask questions. As fascinating and frightening as I may have found you, it is not within me to catch up as old friends might. I was merely your employee.” Her fingers splay apart, feeling the warmth emanate from the cloth of her gown. Now that the pretense had shattered, she was certain at any moment she’d regret it.

“Yes, it has been a year and rumors still fly around this town faster than actual news. Yet you really know very little about a scrap of a female that was under your unaware guidance.”

A small tug of her lips, perhaps in sadness at her admission, returns the childlike quality that was always hers, if only briefly. “You have something that I want and you’re taking it directly to Nikolas.”

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