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Old June 16, 2019, 02:41 AM   #121
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How was the Tattoo Gift to work,
Between the three of them anyway?! Was so curious to find out!
And, oh? Ameilia seemed appeased? Or at least had given up the whole prodding and Talky-Talk enough to have enough to work with?
Never mind,
The growing rosy flush on Éclair’s cheeks,
At the increasing awareness of having become the focus of Her Meli’s attentions,
Not entirely sure Why Her Doll seemed so… Sooo! but between Éclair finally starting to clue in to the notion that Meli seemed about as welcoming of some more… assertive aggressions in the bedroom. That as Éclair tended to find herself as putty in Anna’s hands, it’d never quite sunk in that Her Doll might…
That this kind of Talky-Talk,
Seemed to be… Good? Oh, that more than a little bit,
Confused Éclair given how she’d tried to reap as much of the Rewards of being Lady Thane as she could while palming off the actual Work to Cerys and Meli… umm…
No, the rosy hue was fully intact,
As the Hedonistic Jorelite was slowly putting together the kind of equation that,
At least seemed to imply that it might be in her best Interest to actually do some more political work?!
Melissa really could be Odd,
At least Anna was more straight forward!
”Cerys mentioned the Elegant Cabal and the Cadre,
I’d like for you to make it an…” Éclair hummed, biting down upon her bottom lip,
“The Elegant Cabal, I’d appreciate it if you welcomed their efforts in Riversong so long as they pay tribute.” a decision made, that while Éclair couldn’t remember which she’d intended upon supporting? It was probably best to at least give Ameilia a confirmation on which way they’d go,
”I don’t think the Undercity’s various factions would work here…
Certainly not the Des Dendle, and I have no Interest in the Jacks competing with the Elegant Cabal.”
“There was a group of Olyseran’s in Maeve,
I’ve asked the Roses in the past to deal with them… but, I’d like you to offer them sanctuary if they’re still about.”
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Old June 16, 2019, 03:42 AM   #122
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The Lady Charis either remained blissfully oblivious of the growing dynamic between Éclair and Melissa, or willfully chose to ignore it for the betterment of her sanity. That, too, was included in the 'oddness' that seemed to surround the Jorelite leader.

Only strange individuals seemed to find power.

The noblewoman sucked on her teeth as she considered what Éclair had said. Inviting crime into the town made... no sense at all. The Elegant Cabal? Dangerous. Why would anybody want crime in their cities? The Olsyreans, at least, that much seemed a little more sane, even if she didn't know who these Des Dendle were, or the Jacks, or the Roses.

You know what? Smile. Play along. Ask questions.

"I will make sure to do so as possible," she stated pleasantly, in the most neutral and noncommittal way she could muster. "Might I inquire as to the... grander plan, for which you are having me do this?"

Was there any reason behind any of this?
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Old June 16, 2019, 04:05 AM   #123
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Politics was Hard,
(and soooo Boring!) which was,
T’was why Éclair left it to the Professionals.
But while she quite suspected that Cerys was soon going to end up with quite a lot of headaches in cleaning up after Éclair? It seemed that the young woman had finally found an actual reason to at least Tinker a little bit with her little realm,
The Undercity, after all was easy,
She didn’t really have to Play the Game of Make-Believe down There.
The surface? Far more difficult!
Undercity?
Oh, when the risks were an angry Ice Elemental or ending up in the midst of a Lutran Orgy? It was…. acceptable.
The Surface on the other hand?
Waaaaaay more Dead/Dumb Necromancer possibilities!
“How’s the Egg doing by the way Meli?” came the innocuous query,
Beaming at Her Doll anew before her attention returned to Ameilia. Knowledge of the Game,
Had its own Risks… but for better or worse? Her Doll had claimed the Lady as a subject, and so? Éclair had to work with what she had.
”Power, what you have, what I have,
Is just an agreement. What we acknowledge the other has.” with a rolling of her eyes,
No, why Mister Master Mindrapey had been one for Rak was precisely the kind of stupidity that Éclair had expected of the Elf.
”I’m disagreeing with the Church,
That it has influence in the District of Maeve, or at least as much as it thinks it does.”
“And it has no power over me,
Because there’s nothing I’ve done that I’m ashamed of,
Nor, do they have any means of violence that will… stick.” Well, a small lie.
The Ex? That was perhaps the only part of Éclair’s past,
That she could happily purge from her memory, but well, there’d been Important Lessons learned there,
”But, mostly.
I’m doing it because Change is Important.”
As good as a holiday even!
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Old June 16, 2019, 04:30 AM   #124
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"Comfortable," the Countess purred. She was definitely in a better state than a certain distressed noblewoman.

What did any of that have to do with this stuff with the Elegant Cabal? Or the Olsyreans?

There was a tenuous connection of religion for the latter, but the former? Criminal organizations? What did have to do with the Church? Power? Change?

Smile!

"Your machinations are truly beyond me." When in doubt, be supplicant. Seriously, no idea what Éclair was going on about.

"I'll make sure my people are aware of the policies you've handed down." She had decided to move the conversation forward on her own terms. "I'll make sure to send reports where relevant and allow your people to know what's going on here." Oh good, more boring paperwork stuff.

"Please feel free to stop by whenever you wish." Smile! She didn't really mean it.
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Old June 16, 2019, 05:07 AM   #125
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Meli?A-OK!
Ameilia? Somewhat Not,
But all in all? It seemed a satisfactory scenario as far as Éclair could see,
One of them she had to live with,
And the other was the Help, so… yeah, clearly,
Evidently, she’d totally made the correct decision! Ayup!
That Éclair hadn’t really answered the whole of the Question?
Entirely ignored!
Why bother explaining,
That she’d travelled enough of the Imperium to know,
That everywhere had its criminal elements and Aeternian’s and that, she’d much rather have them be Hers than not.
Why bother explaining that Éclair thought,
It was probably worthwhile entertainment to ensure that The Roses,
Had a source of religious conflict to engage in? That of all the Undercity Factions they were Éclair’s Favoured for a reason.
No, that was a whole lot of Talky-Talk for another time!
Now? Now Éclair was far more inclined,
To take advantage of Meli’s infatuation and see to how,
The Tattoo-Gift worked and perhaps… well, as Éclair bit down upon her bottom lip,
There too was the growing suspicion that a different Change was perhaps overdue too in part. And one that was, t’was best left to Her Sweetheart and Doll to direct this time around.
”It’s been a pleasure,
Lady Charis. Thanking you for your hospitality!”
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Old June 16, 2019, 02:03 PM   #126
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It was quite the juxtaposition between Melissa and Annie, one of them being a rather prestigious noblewoman of one of the major Houses of- well, at least of what had used to be Enamoria, and thus in some sense the Empire at large. Even if the Markaan were heavily diminished now, the name still carried some weight, compared to some of the barbari nobility out there. And on the other hand, of course, one had... um, an ex-guard and now-baker.

Stark contrast between the two. The one who 'had' power was all the happier to relinquish it, while the one who 'lacked' it seemed to prefer to take control. And Éclair got to happily be the middle of their tawdry little sandwich.

The Lady Charis remained in the dark about so very many things. Perhaps, with time, she'd wise up and figure out how to maneuver around the chaos that surrounded the Jorelite's sphere of influence - as was only appropriate. For now? She'd taken the first tepid steps into that world, learning how to simply smile and nod and agree when it came to the unknown territory that were Éclair's plans. There were reasons, she just didn't know them, she was sure.

Just do what you were told and try not to die.

Melissa quickly leaned in towards Éclair, cuddling her arm from the side. There was a wave of her arm to dismiss the other noblewoman, who seemed only too happy to remove herself from the situation. The dynamic between her two superiors was something that was slowly dawning on her, which meant it was all the more important that she ensure she did not stand between them. There was a fawning sort of impatience that radiated from Melissa in the meantime.

"Shall we go?" As far as the Countess was concerned, their business in Riversong was concluded.
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Old June 16, 2019, 09:44 PM   #127
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All things Changed.
Five Era’s with Anna and Six with Melissa,
That it’d taken that long to genuinely clue in regarding Her Doll was a trifle worrisome,
Blink-Blink.
That she had a more or less stable,
Relationship with anyone let alone two people for that long,
Was a different sort of terrifying wonderment, given the ill-advised Ex,
Was, t’was little better than a mere two or so Era’s…
”Huh…”
But as Éclair finally allowed,
The ragged and damp ends of her hair to slip free of the gnawed captivity,
Beaming happily as while she had little vested Interest in Riversong, it was more just about ensuring that the spread of influence around Temperance actually happened rather than focusing too heavily upon the ‘easy’ Undercity.
An Odd Brightening.
Far more about Revelations than Adventure,
But…oh, right, really did need to finish Melissa’s Staff of Arcana one brightening! Umm!
“Definitely!” Éclair beamed,
Her arm slipping about Meli’s waist in turn,
Before delivering a quick peck on the cheek,
Entirely at home with ensuring that anyone and everyone knew,
Where Melissa and Anna stood in Éclair’s life,
”Home.”
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Old June 16, 2019, 10:28 PM   #128
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The trip to Riversong had been their first little foray into the new demesne that Éclair controlled, her influence spreading beyond the bounds of the city limits of Temperance itself. It was progress in the game of Make-Believe, progress towards insinuating herself into the 'normal' hierarchy that strengthened the Jorelite's position.

In a society dominated by the Aetherians and the Church, an Aeternian always had to be on their guard. Repute served as a powerful bulwark and shield, and it tended to be a good idea to provide safety nets for heavy investments.

Expansions or otherwise, it was always good to have a solid base to return to. Home it would be, then! They'd gotten a little treasure while in Riversong, after all, and Melissa was eager to see if they couldn't figure it out together with Anna.

Home, home, home. The wagon couldn't seem to move fast enough for the Countess, but simply being by Éclair's side also seemed to be greatly soothing for her. So it was that the Jorelite constantly had to deal with and feed her attention - sharing kisses, resting a head in a lap, cuddling, smooching - it was a busy wagon ride.

And behold! Temperance! Just how they had left it. Every time they could return to the place having not burned itself down was a positive.
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Old June 17, 2019, 01:26 AM   #129
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Home!
Which, when it was more or less intact,
And hadn’t reverted back to Malice the moment that Éclair turned her back?
No, that was a Good Day!,
How Malice had managed to even function,
As Malice remained a mystery to Éclair given it couldn’t have been easy,
Actually obtaining enough food for everyone just by caravan raids and the like, or,
Well all the nitty gritty boring details that Cerys looked after… so weird!
But that kind of thing?
Well outside Éclair’s Interest, especially when so happily distracted,
Welcoming Melissa’s affections as always,
Even if she really didn’t Understand why there was any great hurry either,
Content as she was to claim kisses and snuggling; of playing with Her Doll’s golden tresses and generally doting upon the Contessa.
Temperance would be soon enough,
And for now? Ooh, should they check in on Asim’s on the way through the city,
Or head back Home, and see if Anna was already there - and if not, well, wait and settle in?!
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Old June 17, 2019, 02:45 PM   #130
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Umm, hmmm. It was a good question, to be honest. As much as the two of them might have wanted otherwise, it wasn't as if Anna was always going to be at home for them.

When it came to these sorts of matters, the Countess was capable of some pretty lucid, rational thinking. Think of the positives and negatives of each scenario. If they headed back immediately and Anna was there, obviously that would be amazing, they could probably get started right away, right? But if she wasn't there they'd probably have to wait for Anna to come back, and it would be torture for Melissa to have to wait that long.

It was important that Anna was there too! Very important!

If they went to the bakery and Anna wasn't there because she'd already returned then they'd wasted time for sure, but that was time spent in transit and was better than time spent just waiting around. Not to mention, they could perhaps pick up some yummy baked goods! And if Anna was at the bakery, then that was good, too!

Having to wait due to travel time was way better than already being there and having to wait because Anna wasn't.

To Asim's bakery, then! Was Melissa's judgement call on it, anyway.
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Old June 17, 2019, 09:34 PM   #131
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That, as much as Éclair wanted to see Anna?
There as ever remained ulterior motives when it came to an excuse,
To visit Asim’s Bakery that was in large part why, Éclair even with the nigh daily Ballet practice?
Continued to struggle to retain that middling height between Her Lovers,
And depending on the time of the Era? Clearly had issues in doing up all of the buttons on her Crimson Tea Dress. Petite and athletic tended to cave hard into voluptuous and sensual,
It was a Problem,
But it never quite seemed to stop Éclair from finding any and every excuse for sweets and treats,
No Anna? Could still get Sweets!
Was an Anna?! Could claim Her Love and Sweets!
It was after all, a win-win situation insofar as Éclair was concerned,
Well, except that little voice at the back of her head,
That insisted she had no right to grump when people implied she’d put on a few pounds,
To the Bakery!
All but darting out of the carriage,
Pausing, hesitating only long enough to help drag Melissa along with her,
In the frenetic rush to see Her Anna Sweetheart! And if not? Maybe a nice strawberry tart or a cheesecake or, umm! So much goodness awaited!
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Old June 17, 2019, 11:02 PM   #132
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The both of them, darting right on out. Not even any need for hesitation, the noblewoman was right behind Éclair!

Into the bakery. Immediately met with the smell of sweet breads, sugar, chocolate, creams, so many various yummy things. A bit of a startle for some of the other customers who had been browsing or in the midst of buying their goods.

Anna looked up from where she'd been restocking some egg tarts, breaking out into a smile. Taking one in hand, she simply held it out in front of her, inviting the Jorelite to come over for a bite. No, wait. She set aside the tray and then held out a second, waving it at Melissa as well.

Come!
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Old June 17, 2019, 11:40 PM   #133
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Beaming,
Grinning from ear to ear,
There was a vibrance from Éclair,
That was never really matched when seeing Anna,
A different sort of heady glee,
From when being with Melissa, or returning to Her Mister Plushy Jorel’s!
Something, when push came to shove? Éclair quite suspected had everything to do with the faint scent of vanilla that always seemed to accompany Her Lover,
Sweets really did just make everything better!
“Hi-Hi!” Éclair beamed,
Ignoring the whole, other customers thing,
Given that they weren’t in any way relevant to what she wanted!
”We’ve been working!
Came the proud, possibly not entirely believable statement,
As there was a brief, “Aaah!” and CHOMP! as Éclair happily claimed the offered treat!
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Old June 18, 2019, 12:00 AM   #134
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Bite!

Chomp!

Both Éclair and Melissa had absolutely no hesitation making their way right up to Anna and claiming their prizes. The Countess grabbed hers so that Anna no longer had to hold it for her and, if the Jorelite was too distracted with the eating, held onto Éclair's as well so that Anna's hands were free.

They immediately went to petting the both of them. "And I'm sure you did a very good job with your work! How did it go?" Anna asked proudly, mussing their hair and giving the both of them smooches. It was feeling just a little like a mother was congratulating her two young daughters on successfully running their first errand or something.

Anna had been working too, of course. "We've some fresh pies that'll be done soon," she noted, happily watching the two of them eat her hard work. "Shall we bring some back with us? There's a bunch of different flavors!"
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Old June 18, 2019, 12:38 AM   #135
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Bite!

Chomp!

Yum!

Beaming, munching away quite happily and making no effort to slow down when Melissa claimed the treat so that at least Anna’s hands were free. Utterly intent upon devouring the egg tart and not so much as a crumb was spared!
Licking Melissa’s fingers clean,
Ensuring that every part of Anna’s craftmanship was where it belonged!
Which, for better or worse,
Appeared to be in applying additional strain upon the laces and buttons of her dress,
“Wonderfully! Suburbly! No, wait, Superbly!
Affection radiating from Éclair, utterly proud of Anna’s own kisses and fondness as,
“Went shopping too!” Which, given Melissa’s attendance? Probably as much a forgone conclusion as Éclair’s penchant for bee-lining to kitchens - but it felt Important to say! Hadn’t been all work!
”Pies sound A-Maz-Zing!”
Was the ready agreement, reluctant still to allow Melissa’s hand to go free once claimed,
Idly licking at the digits and watching Anna thoughtfully all the while,
”Gift for you too! But Meli can explain that ‘cause, well, her idea!”
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