diversion


Carmichael Lodge
Western Archenland


Lanisen is plopped in an unobtrusive corner of the anteroom, perhaps not immediately noticeable. It might be surmised that this is intentional. He has a fairly intimidating-looking book open to a page near the beginning and is studying it intently, following the lines of text with one forefinger and mouthing the words to himself as he goes.

Evette walks in from the hallway to the north, speaking emphatically with a gray-haired woman who is dressed in traveling clothes. “Honestly, Vela,” she says firmly, “I do not see how you can object if Rosa does not. I daresay it will be good for me to experience new places before I decide what I am to do with myself, and I have made friends here already.” The woman interrupts her, blue eyes flashing like ice, “That is exactly why I won’t have any of this nonsense. I do not approve of this friend you have made and I very much doubt the Lady Rosalind would either. If I have any say in the matter,  you will march straight back to Lancelyn Green and that will be the end of this business.”

Lanisen glances up at the voices and watches covertly for a moment. His eyebrows raise, but he doesn’t make any noise or draw attention to himself. After a moment he looks back down at his book, but he isn’t obviously reading as before.

Evette frowns, clearly not pleased with that statement. “Vela, I have no intention of staying longer than a week or two, if Rosa grants me permission, and as she does not usually try to /fence/ me in, I have little doubt that she will say yes.” The older woman opens her mouth to deliver a sharp reply, but Evette beats her to it, saying, “Until John returns with her answer, I suggest we put the whole matter to rest, for there is nothing more to be said.” Her voice rings with finality.

Lanisen risks another peek up at the women, the goings-on obviously far more interesting than his book.

Evette takes a deep breath as if to calm herself and glances around the room quickly, apparently looking for an escape from Vela, who is very clearly not done with this conversation. Her eyes light on the man in the corner and they seem to crinkle with relief. “Lanisen!” she calls out, a friendly smile on her face as she moves to face him, effectively turning her back on the other woman.

Lanisen immediately looks back down at his book as she looks his way, trying to look like he wasn’t eavesdropping. His ears turn quite red on being recognized. Looking like he’s not at all sure of what he’s doing, he stands and bows awkwardly in her direction, mumbling, “Evenin’,” and eyeing the floor.

Evette smiles at him, overlooking his uncomfortableness again and not appearing to notice that he was eavesdropping. “And how are you this evening?” she asks in response to his greeting.

Lanisen shifts his weight and glances at the older woman rather than Evette. “I’m– uh, I’m fine, thanks.” He gulps. “Uh. How’re you?”

Evette gives a small shrug. “Well enough, I suppose.” She catches his gaze at the other woman and sighs slightly. “This is Vela, one of the Lady Rosalind’s servants and my chaperone,” she sweeps a hand in the other woman’s direction without looking at her, clearly still annoyed. Vela scowls at the young man, her eyes narrowed suspiciously. She is apparently rather difficult to please.

Lanisen quickly looks down, hiding his face somewhat from her vantage point. This could be attributed to mere shyness. “Hello,” he mumbles to the chaperone.

Evette sighs again as Vela replies coldly, “Good evening.” Evette does her best to ignore the glowering presence behind her and make conversation. She says, “I am considering remaining in Carmichael for a time, if it is agreeable to my sister Rosa, instead of traveling directly back to Lancelyn Green.”

Lanisen darts a glance at Vela and replies, “That’s– that’s good?”

Evette glances back at Vela as well. “We shall see. I think so, and I have always wished to travel a bit, so the idea is favorable to me.” Vela humphs and, giving a tug on Evette’s sleeve, begins to speak again, “Evette…” Evette cuts her off, looking frusturated that her attempt to dissuade the woman has not worked. Evette says, “If you will excuse us, Lanisen, I fear Vela and I must speak in private. Perhaps we shall speak again.” She glares at the older woman.

Lanisen glances again at Vela, almost uneasily this time. “Oh. ‘Course. Evenin’, Miss Evette. Mistress Vela.” He bobs another quick half-bow.

Evette gives him a friendly, if somewhat disappointed smile and leads the woman firmly back the way they came, her lips pursed.

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