The coroner's assistant opened the drawer and pulled back the sheet, and Calla saw a living woman. Lucy's face was intact, her eyes closed, her long red hair fanned out around her head. She was breathing softly, chest moving just the slightest bit. Even her clothes were there--gray sweater, dark jeans, a chunk of quartz on a thin gold chain. Calla bit down hard on the inside of her cheek and concentrated on now. The image flickered and blurred and vanished, leaving only the waxy, jawless corpse, naked and autopsy-scarred.

Bodies remembered what they'd been.
Post of the Month
Keep Reading >>
Join

Learn More

Lurk
The Sacred And The Profane
CBOX
The Sacred & The Profane



 
Reply
New Topic

 Dinner For Three, Cassandra, Adrien
Jean Bonfils
 Posted: Feb 6 2015, 10:16 AM
Quote


“Adrien,” Jean purred, reaching across their small dining table to straighten the collar of his shirt, “Stop fretting. Mlle. DeRosiers has just texted me that she is here, and you look fantastic, so there is nothing to worry about it.” He gave his partner a catty look and settled back into his booth, smoothing out a wrinkle on his own shirt. “You’re making me nervous now.”

They had waited a few weeks to offer to meet Cassandra, though not perhaps by design; Jean had misplaced her business card and the two had only found it recently. Truth be told Jean had forgotten about the event at all, but, after all, Adrien had been more struck by their first impression than he. Anyway, the two had arranged to meet her, presumably to discuss prices and artwork, but really they were both excited to 1) form a relationship with someone outside of themselves, and 2) speak French like civilized people again.

And, well, after seeing her name again Jean was reminded of how enchanting the young photographer had been, and was happy to see her for other reasons as well. He just hoped she was as open to more of a social meal as they were.
PM
^
Cassandra DeRosiers
 Posted: Feb 13 2015, 11:09 PM
Quote
Cassandra DeRosiers
Neutral Parties


Cassandra, truth be told, had almost forgotten about them. Handsome and charming came cheap; they hadn't bought anything or called...so she'd filed them in the back of her mind and gotten on with things. She'd sold a piece, turned in a project, started sketching out the concept for a new series. Always be working on something, that was her rule. Even if something was just the opacity layer.

But when they'd asked to meet her for dinner, she'd said yes right away. Another sale was always good, and besides, it had been too long since she'd actually gone out. (Dropping into a pizza joint with her friends to collectively bitch about midterms, while fun, did not count.) Dressing to kill was standard for Cassandra, but she'd put some extra effort into her makeup just for this. Those were some sharp wings, if she said so herself. Still--this was technically a business dinner. She wasn't going to forget that.

She was more excited than nervous, though. If she'd read them right--and she was pretty sure she had--this would be fun. And if it wasn't fun, well, they were paying.

This time she took the metro and walked the rest of the way, since she could pull off flats this time (the cute lace-up kind; they wouldn't come if she had to run). She fired off a text to Jean saying she'd arrived and headed into the building. Finding them was easy enough; it wasn't a big restaurant. "Hey," she said in French, smiling brightly. Not quite as brightly as she would have if she were coming on to one of them, though she could feel her face trying to go there and had to consciously keep it dialed back. Just close. "Good to see you! How are you two? States still treating you well?" She was, she found, actually interested in the answer, which didn't happen a lot with people she'd only met twice so far.

PM
^
Adrien de la Roche
 Posted: Feb 21 2015, 04:00 PM
Quote


They had requested a small, round dining table for the occasion; somewhat old-fashioned in their social endeavors, neither Jean nor Adrien thought it would be a good idea to squabble over who got to sit next to their guest, and that they should be sitting next to one another as well was an unspoken constant. Adrien fussed with his shirt collar one more time, adjusting it to roughly where it had been sitting before Jean reached over to intervene. He only perked up from his fretting when Cassandra arrived in the flesh. Digital reassurances were so ephemeral—he would probably grow to trust them as he had the physical exchange of letters, but not just yet. It still seemed like some kind of magic to him, and one with which he was not yet comfortable.

The boys didn’t really have business on the mind, although that was not such a sinister happenstance as it may have sounded. They were both socialites by nature—Nico had assured this was the case before selecting either of them—and it had been a long time since either of them had kept regular, pleasant company with anyone but each other. True, Adrien had not been able to shake the impression of Mlle. DeRosier’s photograph that had lingered in the back of his mind since their viewing. Unlike Jean, he had given Cassandra much more than a passing thought on several occasions, and purchasing the photograph had been high on his list of reasons. Now that they had the capital to do so, well—why not?

Now that she had arrived, Adrien felt some of his nervous energy beginning to dissipate. He smiled broadly, and though he sensed their new companion was holding something back, he certainly was not. “Better now that fate has blessed us with your presence,” he said warmly, standing to pull out a chair for her (an automatic gesture, rather than something he was clamoring to do). “You look lovely this evening. I especially love what you have done with your eyes.”

There was no tactful way to say “makeup was primarily reserved for prostitutes in my youth,” nor did it at all reflect what Adrien would have meant by the statement, so he avoided thinking that altogether. The 21st century had introduced him to the concept of women wearing makeup simply because they wanted to—because it represented their own personal sense of style—and he quite delighted in it. “How have you been since our last meeting?”
PM
Email
^
Cassandra DeRosiers
 Posted: Feb 28 2015, 12:06 AM
Quote
Cassandra DeRosiers
Neutral Parties


Cassandra laughed. She wasn't sure if he was serious or not, but it sure sounded nice. She'd take a good compliment where she could get it. "Fate, hm? Here I thought I took a train." She shrugged out of her coat and was reaching to pull out her chair when Adrien did it for her. Which was not something, generally speaking, that usually happened. Papa did it for Maman, whenever they went out for dinner someplace nice; but neither Michel nor anyone else she'd ever dated had done it for her. And he noticed her makeup, which was frankly more of a surprise than the chair. She could like him if she let herself--and, for right now, she was going to go right ahead and do that. Why shouldn't she?

"Thank you," she said, taking her seat, "You don't look so bad yourself." Not that she was noticing. Noticing too much, anyway. There was nothing wrong with a little bit of looking.

"Oh, you know, the usual for a university student. Over-caffeinated, juggling deadlines, enjoying all of that for some reason. I made a sale--terribly exciting, until you realize it vanishes almost as fast as a normal paycheck. You know what I mean." That to Adrien. She purposely didn't mention that it wasn't the one they'd been looking at. For one thing, she knew people got more interested when they had to chase something, just as long as they didn't have to chase it too much. And for another, it would be beyond tacky of her to start talking money before the waiter even showed to take their order.
PM
^
Jean Bonfils
 Posted: Mar 2 2015, 09:58 PM
Quote


“And do you like the trains here? What they lack in cleanliness I would say they make up in convenience, which is more than I can say in some cities.” Jean sat back down from his partially risen since—though they had stood to offer her a seat, Adrien’s good breeding had beat Jean to it. He had beaten him to the compliments as well, and he didn’t want to overdo it. Which, he noted with a smile, was a shame because Cassandra looked perhaps even lovelier than she had at her gallery opening. It was probably owing to her Frenchness.

“I remember my first publishing was terribly exciting. I didn’t get more than a pittance for it, but being able to rub it in the faces of my friends was worth a million Deustche marks.” He paused, recalling a scrap of information he’d picked up recently. “Or is it euros they use these days? Eh, anyway—I spent more time in coffeehouses than I was out of them when I was in school, and slept wherever I could lay down. Occasionally, that somewhere would be the bed in the room I was renting.” He grinned, taking a drink from the cocktail he’d ordered. “I didn’t see much of it, I don’t think.”
PM
^
Cassandra DeRosiers
 Posted: Mar 11 2015, 05:03 PM
Quote
Cassandra DeRosiers
Neutral Parties


"Like? Like is a strong word," Cassandra said jokingly, "'Have to use to get anywhere without burning my entire paycheck'--that's better, but a mouthful, so let's go with 'live with'. I live with the metro." She shrugged. "It could always be worse. There could be a fare hike." The metro wasn't for liking. It was for using and then getting off as fast as possible, before someone tried to pick her pocket or get handsy.

There was something Cassandra did when she was particularly interested in what someone had to say, or thought it was especially witty--she inadvertently focused in on them very intensely. (Well, it had been inadvertent when she was younger. And it was right now. But it was one of the ways she'd hooked Michel, back when she'd liked him, because she knew it could flatter people if she did it just right.) She was doing it to the two sitting across the table from her, particularly Jean.

"Deutsche marks? Very nineties of you." She revised her estimate of his age upwards. They'd stopped using those when the Cold War ended, hadn't they? Or something like that. Maybe early 2000s? Close, anyway. (Admittedly, Cassandra had spent a lot of her time in her high school history class texting. Or doodling. Or passing notes to Monique. Or anything else that was even one iota more interesting than Mssr. Bonacieux's droning.) Also--and more importantly--those were German. She tilted her head quizzically, raised her eyebrows. "You went to school in Germany?"

PM
^
Adrien de la Roche
 Posted: Mar 18 2015, 08:26 PM
Quote


“Jean is fascinated by trains,” Adrien mentioned casually, taking a sip from his water glass. He snuck an affectionate smile over the rim, but hoped no one noticed. “They make me nervous, personally, but he insists.” Trains also made Adrien motion sick, but he didn’t mention that part. Even his outdated sense of decorum allowed him to make the distinction between ‘cool’ and whatever getting motion sick from the city’s primary form of transportation turned out to be.

His partner often led the dance where women were involved, and Adrien was more than happy to let him. He could get to know Cassandra quietly, interjecting amicably when appropriate, and by the time she had questions for him, perhaps his initial apprehension would have faded.
PM
Email
^
Jean Bonfils
 Posted: Apr 10 2015, 06:58 PM
Quote


“Oh, yes! I grew up in Strasbourg near the border, and despite my pride as a Frenchman I attended university in Weimar, Germany. It was the home of both Goethe and Schiller, of course, and Liszt and Strauss made the town a musical center. Fascinating history, gorgeous town. It really inspired the poetic heart, if you will excuse the cliche.” Jean grinned, taking a sip of his drink. “Nietzsche actually had moved there when— uhm, at the turn of the century, I believe?” He hid a wince behind his glass as he took another drink. Indeed it had been the talk of the university when Nietzsche had moved to spend his final days there, but it had been in 1900. Obviously neither Jean nor his parents had been alive then. That would be impossible.

“I only attended for two years before leaving to travel, and then…” he shrugged. “I found my niche in other places, though I am still a patron of the arts.”
PM
^
Cassandra DeRosiers
 Posted: May 12 2015, 08:10 PM
Quote
Cassandra DeRosiers
Neutral Parties


She caught the end of Adrien's smile, and moved her estimation a little further from good friends to dating. That made her relax, a bit--it meant she wouldn't have to dance around her relationship with Monique, if she was right. (Although, she thought cynically, things might still get weird if she brought up Michel, too. Her stomach twisted at that, and she had to plaster the smile on her face for a second. No crying. This was supposed to be fun.)

Weimar--she'd heard of it, when she took a course in music history her second year and been buried in facts about white men in the 1800s. It was a little sleepy for her tastes, but then Paris had spoiled her. Everything under a million seemed small now, and Bethune was unspeakably tiny. Still, all that history--had to be fascinating, didn't it? Not someplace to live, but it would be interesting to visit. "If it's true you can be as cliche as you like," Cassandra said, "Might not sell, though, right?" She reached for her own water. A waiter appeared, notebook out, and there was a brief pause for orders.

"So where'd you go? Is that how you two met?"
PM
^
Adrien de la Roche
 Posted: Jul 26 2015, 08:52 PM
Quote


There was observant, and then there was too observant. Adrien had mastered the careful art of looking like the former when he was, in fact, the later, and said nothing of the forced smile on Cassandra’s face. Everyone had their demons, some more than most.

“Jean and I shared a…benefactor, of sorts. More like a father figure, if we’re being honest,” he returned freely. He’d spent more time (if only marginally) mulling over the differences in the acceptable version of their story and the honest one. “If I remember correctly, they had been traveling for some time before we met?”

He did not wait for Jean to answer. They had ordered their meals, which meant there would be wine soon, and just the thought of decent wine made Adrien feel bolder. “Jean has always fallen victim to his wanderlust, and I must confess the same. Do you travel much, Cassandra?”
PM
Email
^
Cassandra DeRosiers
 Posted: Jul 29 2015, 08:57 PM
Quote
Cassandra DeRosiers
Neutral Parties


"Mm, not really," Cassandra replied, "We visit Maman's side of the family every other summer, but this is the furthest--actually, wait, no. The flight to Antananarivo is longer. That's in Madagascar; we do have airports. They come with major metropolitan areas, just like everywhere else." She said all that perfectly conversationally; by now it was routine. After one too many people had expressed total shock that one could, miracle of miracles, take a plane to a city, she'd started automatically saying something like it. Some things she just didn't have the time for.

"It does feel farther away, though. Probably because I'm not surrounded by my cousins every waking moment. I didn't know anyone here when the plane touched down." Which had been such a relief; for the first time in months she'd been able to breathe right.

Cassandra shifted, leaning slightly forward. "How did you decide on New York? Chance? Job offer? World traveler's cecklist of major cities? It can't have been the rent rates."

PM
^
Jean Bonfils
 Posted: Aug 4 2015, 12:36 PM
Quote


“Mm, Madagascar, really? And you said your mother was from there?” Jean paused. “Seems dreadfully interesting. The best I have is that my grandmother was German. It’s curious, I’d always thought Madagascar seemed like the more interesting of the African colonies when I was a boy—I’d wanted to see those, uhm. Small monkey things, you know? And I’d heard they built that railroad there, I do wonder if that’s still operating,” he continued glibly. Unfortunately for Jean, the dissolving of European colonies was not yet something he’d had much opportunity to study. That and he hadn’t ever been particularly good at keeping false identities straight for long; there was a reason he was a poet and not an actor.

Jean chuckled at her comment about New York’s costly living expenses and studied his fingernails. “Actually, we’re uhm,” he began, “Our—Niccolo, our friend, is a businessman of sorts and we lost contact with him after he left for America a few years back. We’re hoping we can find him in New York, see if he still remembers us, right Adrien?” He grinned, feeling more cheerful than bitter for once. “If only we had his telephone number, but…” Jean sighed dramatically, toying with his cell phone laying on the tabletop. “The line he gave us was disconnected some time ago. But! What is America if not the land of adventure, right? I’m sure that’s what you were thinking when you decided to school here!”
PM
^
Adrien de la Roche
 Posted: Aug 7 2015, 12:21 AM
Quote


"Lemurs," interjected Adrien softly. He was accustomed to contributing those nuggets of information occasionally.
PM
Email
^
Cassandra DeRosiers
 Posted: Aug 9 2015, 09:05 PM
Quote
Cassandra DeRosiers
Neutral Parties


Cassandra arched an eyebrow. "Interesting? Not really. I mean, I love it there, but it's only a country. Better food, though." She wasn't offended so much as thrown--well, actually she was a little bit offended, to be totally honest, but more surprised that Jean apparently didn't know decolonization had happened. But schools could be iffy about colonial history, and had been iffier still when those two were kids. So maybe he got a pass on that.

It was always the lemurs, for some reason. "Oh, you're better off with a zoo for the lemurs. And--I think you mean Network South? They're always doing construction somewhere on the line. It's old." She'd guessed right, though she didn't know they weren't talking about the same kind of construction.

"And his email doesn't work either? That's bad luck," she said sympathetically. Even with the internet, it was hard to find someone in a city this big and chaotic, especially if they didn't know you were looking. In a brief burst of cynicism, she wondered if maybe he just didn't want to see them--but she really had no reason to think the worst of this Niccolo person. He had what seemed, so far, like good taste in people; that said something nice about him, didn't it? He'd probably just lost touch. That happened. "But I'm sure you'll find him."

Land of adventure? Close enough. "More or less," Cassandra said, "It's not home, though."
PM
^
Jean Bonfils
 Posted: Aug 20 2015, 08:32 PM
Quote


”Ah, home…“ Jean murmured, taking a second to linger on the thought. “Home is sort of difficult to pin down these days. Everything so fast paced, always moving. We’ve been tossed around so much lately that I’m not even sure where home is any more.” Jean squeezed Adrien’s hand under the table and smiled tight-lipped. ”But I’ve been in New York just long enough that I know one little apartment I can find a bit of it.”

Before he had opportunity to say much else sappy, the trio’s food arrived. Steaming hot, mouthwatering, and accompanied by dark glasses of wine, the meal was suitable enough distraction from both melancholy and lulls in conversation.

”I suppose, in the end, my dear Cassandra, that looking for home is the root of why Adrien and I are searching so long and hard for Niccolo. We were both in school when we met him…You could say that he, uhm, offered us shelter when we needed it. Quite literally in my case. The two of us were always grounded if we knew we could reach him, and now…” Jean chewed a bite of food with gusto before swallowing and dabbing at the corners of his mouth. ”Personally, I’m rather put out that he’s left us but how can I give him a proper Frenchman’s piece of my mind if he’s gallivanting about, eh?“ He grinned, clapping his companion on the back. “And Adrien! You should see him when he’s mad, my love. He doesn’t look it but he absolutely rages.” Jean had been on the frontline of that time enough to know that from personal experience.
PM
^
0 User(s) are reading this topic (0 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

Options
Reply
New Topic


 


 



RPG-D