(1874-08-29) Amongst the Roses
Amongst the Roses
Summary: Jasmina and Ludovic talk about recent events.
Date: 29th August 2018
Related: Nothing Really
NPCs: Jasmina's Handmaids
Jasmina  Ludovic  

The Rose Gardens, Rhone, Aequor
A Rose Garden
1874 aout 29

It is a lovely day, not too warm, prompting the Archduchess to be out and about in her gardens this afternoon. A couple of her maids are with her, the younger women walking just behind Jasmina and whispering between the two of them. Guards stand their post as always, this part of the castle as well-defended as the others. Jasmina's wearing one of the lighter dresses she's taken to don while not having to deal with anything officially, her hair left down save her bangs which are held back by a simple band.

From his by-now distinctive hat to the cavalier boots that have been folded down just above the knee, Ludovic's once again favoring that relatively new 'cavalier style' in his dress. It's pretty plain compared to many of the others around here. Even his cropped near black hair and full beard have been left mostly as nature designed them. He doesn't merge into the background though, he never did, and now with that stone orb in place of his right eye he probably couldn't even if he wanted to. He's talking to a pair of pages when he spots Jasmina and looks up with a warm smile before sending the kids off and making his way to her side at a pace more appropriately described as a meander. "Beautiful day."

Jasmina is in the process of trimming a rose from a fairly blossom-heavy bush, the color of which borders between pink and peach, when the Viscount approaches. The snip of the small pair of clippers sounds and the flower is swiftly denuded of its thorns before she turns to address Ludovic. "Yes, it is. Is why I decided not to be held prisoner in my own office today." She looks at the way he's dressed and then up to his face, taking in the 'eye' before motioning toward his choice in attire. "You look…. roguish."

"That wasnt the intention." Ludovic replies with a smile. "I dont think it would be any better if I was wearing an eyepatch though." Another smile. "I can't imagine why you'd have a garden like this and not use it. Its the one thing Daemon's Hall can't really provide for us. Theres a limit what you can do with window boxes afterall." He glances down at the rose and then back to Jasmina. "You should get a scene like this painted. If not for your office then for Hraelfmir. Remind him what he's missing whilst he's away."

Another flower is snipped from the same bush as the first, likewise removed of its thorns, and handed to one of her maids along with the other. "No, if you were to wear an eyepatch you'd look like a pirate," Jasmina intones with a quick grin, her smile staying in place for a moment. Then Ludovic mentions Hraelfmir and it fades, a pang of loneliness taking its place. "Funny you should mention that," she points out with a sigh. "I sent him a locket with a small painting of it a while back." And of course the other side holds a protrait of her.

"We're all slaves to our duties." Ludovic tells her almost gently. "I tried to explain to Pompey that servant didnt mean what he thought it did actually. Been a busy few weeks. I went to Candeo just to prove that I wasn't at war with them then I went to down to Galenthia to talk to Jarret, Helena and Wulfred about the, uh, attack. Don't worry." He gives her a lopsided smile. "I didn't go near Firen." He lets the smile drop. "Admit I thought about it though."

Jasmina darts a look at Ludovic, her expression faintly amused. "They see things differently than we do. It's a cultural difference between our people and theirs. Do not expect them to change in that regards." The clippers is handed to her maidens who continue to gather roses, her own efforts in doing that halted for now. "I see. You've been busy." Raising a brow, she clasps her hands before her.

"I don't expect them to change." Ludovic says. "I'd just like them to stop assuming they are superior just because they do things a tiny bit different. There are more parallels than differences really." He takes in the raised eyebrow and gives her an almost tentative smile. "Now I feel like a little boy who got caught borrowing his dads sword."

"Your trying to change them is not going to be met with any success, Ludovic, just like if they were to try and change us. That's effort and energy spent elsewhere." Brushing a stray snipping of stem off of her dress, Jamina wrinkles her nose. "I invited the Princeps to come and meet with me here in Rhone," she mentions casually even as she tries to make sure she's still presentable. "I figured he might like the change of scenery."

"He's much friendlier when he's alone." Ludovic replies to the last part. "So maybe you'll get somewhere. Just.." He clearly decides not to talk more on that. "When I met him after the duel and everything. I kinda liked him. I mean. He's always been Darius but I dunno." Again he lets it tail off a bit before starting again. "I had hope you know? I thought that between us it might actually be doable even without more help from the rest of the Kingdom."

"He is perfectly fine when he isn't," Jasmina points out with a shake of her head. "It's those he chooses to keep company with that I feel the opposite is true." Finding her dress acceptably clean, now, save the hem of the dress' skirt which is long enough to just bruhs against the pathway, her gaze returns to the man's face. "So what brought you to Rhone, Ludovic? Is there something you wished to discuss with me or is it just the subject of the Imperials that you wanted to speak on?"

"Ah. Well." Ludovic hesitates. "I wanted to visit Saralyn." A pause and then he adds. "And I thought it would be nice to talk to you too. And not about business. I know things have caused some strain between us and I dont want you to feel like I dont appreciate your company or that I have a chip on my shoulder or anything like that."

The mention of Saralyn causes Jasmina to fall quiet, pain obvious to be seen in her expression. She was blood, albeit distantly, perhaps, and not someone Jasmina knew well but the loss still hurts. "Put some flowers on her grave for me, please." Silence then reigns for several moments, both to give the Archduchess' hurt time to pass as well as to consider her next words carefully. "Beyond the relation between our two houses, I always considered you a friend. Someone I could confide in, someone I had an equal footing with even if perhaps we were not exactly peers, based on our rank. Then that woman…" She is referring to Imogen, "… came into your life and you changed."

Sensing that their mistress is in need of privacy, the two young women drift to another part of the garden to continue picking roses, allowing for the conversation to continue without eavesdroppers.

Ludovic nods at Jasmina's request. "Of course Jasmina. I always do." He lets the conversation lapse as Jasmina sinks into contemplation. His own thoughts not that far away from hers. Then she speaks again and he looks to her only to frown at the words "I changed?" He rubs at the skin under his right eye. "You sure it was her? Been feeling like I'm out of control for a while now. Imogen actually helped to start with. Then I started frightening her and I'm really not sure why."

"I don't know, Ludovic. I feel like she did something to you. Maybe there were other things going on inside you then that I was unaware of, but from what I could see, she was largely responsible." Shaking her head, Jas moves to another bush. It isn't a rose bush but instead one that bears small, purple flowers used by her healer for when the Archduchess is unwell. "For someone who was supposed to be a knight, she seemed rather… easily spooked."

"She wasn't that timid before the vampire." Ludovic says softly. "I chose to knight her because she'd proven herself. You know she wouldn't have managed that if she'd been to timid." he looks at the bush, almost contemplative. "She kept going on and on about stuff that made me think she was feeling insecure. Thats why I married her. Well part of it." He looks to Jasmina. "I had proper reasons too. Like wanting Georges to have a real mother and the fact I need a countess. Just when I sat down and added it all up I figured there was no way i'd get a wife without putting her aside, you know? Well not the sort of wife I need anyway. I don't really understand what happened with Imogen. I really dont. We were fine and then there was the attack and she would just attack me anytime I was near her and then she'd be offended that I was defensive and angry." He sighs. "Wasn't even real angry most of the time. You know i've always been loud and well.." He shrugs. "theres a reason the lightning brigade called me the stormbull."

Jasmina presses her lips into a tight, thin line as she thinks. "Emotional trauma tends to bring out what's hidden deep inside someone out, for good or for bad. Sounds like she was having problems before you married her, and before the attack, and she was just very adept at concealing those problems." Sighing, she reaches out to pat Dovi's shoulder. "But it's in the past, now and we must move on. I am sorry things went the way they did."

"Not sure i'd say she was hiding them." Ludovic says. "I just figured it would be alright you know? And I wanted the child. I really did." He gives her a nod at the apology. "Yeah I know you only did what you thought was best Jasmina. I was worried about it. Not about her being my wife. If I hadnt been the Viscount then it wouldn't have mattered but she was the Countess and she was.. Well. You know." He sighs. "Just feel like its my fault, you know? Like I should have done something else or something." He gives her a wry look. "Well. Suppose it all would have been saved if i'd just refused when she first made it clear she wanted me." He exhales, looking back off in the direction the maids went before looking back at Jasmina. "Don't suppose theres anyone who'd thrive under the threat thats over my head. Not really."

Jasmina shakes her head. "Just don't rush into things as important as relationships anymore, Dovi." She's back to calling the Viscount by his nickname, so perhaps things are starting to be soothed over. "Even if a child is involved, be it Georges or any other child. Their wellbeing and happiness are too important. They deserve better than to be tossed into a maelstrom of emotional turmoil." Looking up at the sky, now, she can't help but to snort back laughter. "What threat is that, Dovi?"

"Actually." Ludovic says. "I don't think I should be picking my countess at all. Think you could do it? I don't care if she's ugly, blind and stupid. Just as long as she'd be a good Countess." He gives her a sudden grin. "Ok so maybe I do care if she's stupid." Theres a blink at her laughter. "There are quite a few aren't there?" A half hearted little smile at that. "But I was thinking about the same monster that broke Imogen. He said he was planning to destroy everything I cared about."

Jasmina shakes her head. "No, Dovi. I'm done with matchmaking. You are a wise man, when you don't let your impulses carry you away. Just don't rush into anything and you'll do just fine." She softens her response with a touch to his arm as well as a smile. "And I am sorry, but one has to have some intelligence to be a good countess, Dovi. Just keep that in mind, if nothing else." The mention of Teleko has her freezing. "Perhaps you should take care of that before marrying."

Ludovic shrugs at her refusal as if its no big deal. And to be fair it probably isnt right now. "Too soon anyway. Still feels like cheating." He just looks at her when she says he should deal with Teleko. "Isn't that giving him just what he wants too Jasmina? I mean i can struggle because of what he said, making myself unhappy, and trying to do without the countess that both me and the House really need, taking him seriously, and refusing to try and have anything good again just because he'll take it away. But if i think like that then the only right choice is for me to die. Least then he might leave them alone."

"And where would your son be if you were to die? No child, especially a child that young, should be without their parents." Jasmina feels strongly on the subject, having lost both her parents and her brother when she was but a girl. It causes a twinge of anger to come to her voice as well as a bit of tension to her posture. "How would fighting this… thing be giving him what he wants, anyhow? He's expecting you to run, to hide, to… do whatever. If you fight him then it shows him you're not weak…"

"Alive?" Ludovic suggests. "But I'm not gonna kill myself Jasmina. I'd rather fight him tooth and nail till my last breath. I was just pointing out that if I dont do stuff because he might, maybe, attack someone then i'm already giving up." He gives Jasmina a considering look when she asks that question. "Jasmina. The only reason i'm not dead right now is that he wants me to suffer. He picked me up and threw me away like a ragdoll. This." He taps the area next to his missing eye. "This? All he did was backhand me. If i'd not attacked him before, even knowing the futility of it, all it woulda done is cracked some bones."

Jasmina is not exactly sure what this thing is, not having even so much as seen Teleko so she has no idea what he's capible of doing minus what she's seen of the aftermath. Frowning, she nods slowly, not sure how to respond. "Do what you feel is right, Dovi."

"Jas." Ludovic says. "I'm sorry if I was acting out of sorts when everything was going on. I've been under a lot of pressure and I wasn't dealing with it all that well. I'm a bit better now though. Imogen's gone, which is both good and bad, but at least she's not causing everyone to complain anymore, and I've got over losing my eye. Kinda. Least. It doesn't hit me every morning anymore. So I'm sure i'll be more like the old me. Just been a rough couple of years."

"Just go back to being the man I admire, Dovi. Return to being selfless and strong and someone we all can look up to. That's all I ask. Everything else beyond that… it will all fall back into place, eventually, if not soon." Jasmina's maiden comes up, her arms positively full of roses, all in various stage of bloom. The other young lady's arms are equally as full. "They all are beautiful…" Shaking her head, she sighs. "If you will forgive me, I only just returned home a few days ago and I find myself still weary from the trip. I should rest. Do feel free to have my cook make you a meal if you hunger. She put a leg of lamb on the spit this morning. I imagine it's ready by now."

"They really are." Ludovic tells the maidens before stepping back to give Jasmina one of those rediculously over flamoyant bows she finds so entertaining. "I shall do my best Your Grace." He grins then. "I was planning to eat in the Knights Hall but I appreciate the offer. I'm not sure a leg of lamb would touch the sides though." Another grin and then he puts his hat back into place and starts off towards the exit.

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