(122-05-12) Butterfly Wings and Lovely Things
Butterfly Wings and Lovely Things
Summary: Dhraegon presents a gift to Marsei in the gardens of the Hightower.
Date: 12/05/2015
Related: None

Lower Gardens - The Hightower

Dhraegon turns up, without a flower pot this time. He is wearing a crown of roses and offers her one and a blindfold. "Would you like to see my betrothal gift to you, My Daffodil?"

"A gift!" Marsei seems more surprised by this than the crown of roses; both make her smile. She's humbled by the notion, dipping her head modestly. She's dressed quite like a rose already, one of of the delicate pink variety. "Of course I would, sweet Dhraegon." Her next words are spoken with more trepidation, although it's outweighed by curiosity as she takes what she'd offered. "Is this a blindfold?"

Dhraegon lightly kisses the top of her head and sets the crown upon it. "It is rather a large present, My Hibiscus. The surprise is better if you see it all at once." He says very seriously, "I give my word no harm will come to you on the way to see it."

"I will take you at your word," Marsei says easily, faithfully; her smile and gaze is warm beneath her crown of roses. Nevertheless, she's not quite eager about the business of the blindfold itself, giving a slightly nervous glance about before lifting it to her face to obscure her eyes. She raises her arms to tie it about her head, beneath the flowers and atop a cushion of winding and pinned hair. "How very mysterious!" she declares, lifting her hand to presumably be led.

Dhraegon lifts the hands to his lips, for the most delicate of kisses to the knuckles, then hold his arm so she might both hold his and and have his arm for support. He leads her further out in the the lower garden. Soon the sound of songbirds and a fountain might be heard. He murmurs, "We are here, My sweet Flower. You may look. The Prince and the Lady wear matching crowns of woven flowers.

A fork in one of the paths leads to this spot, nestled away amid the bushes. The young shrubs and flowers here were carefully selected to attract butterflies, hummingbirds and songbirds. In fair weather and season, the little garden is graced with bright wings and song. There are ornately carved birdhouses, some made to resemble a few of Oldtown's more famous buildings. Hanging from tall spiral-wrought iron hooks are hummingbird feeders in the form of oversized blown-glass lilies and irises in glittering and fanciful colours.

The Butterfly Garden is positioned to have a particularly pleasant view of the ships in the Whispering Sound. A few smaller tables and benches are set among the flowers and rare herbs to take best advantage of the vista.

At the heart of the garden is a stone fountain featuring a statue of a woman strewing water droplets from her fingertips like they are petals from the broad shallow basket she carries. The basket doubles as a bird bath for those avian visitors who might prefer it to the little ornamental pond at the statue's feet, where the droplets from her fingers and the stream from the basket splash among water lilies of pink and yellow and white. The stone lady stands ankle deep in the water, and tiny colourful fish flit about her bare feet.

Well-guided by Dhraegon, and with the familiar enough surface of the garden paths underfoot, the darkness of the blindfold is not so daunting. While she still wears the blindfold, however, Marsei can hear sounds that do not completely match her memory, and so she unties it with extra hurry, compelled by this mysterious curiosity. The instant the sight is revealed to her eyes, in all its beauty, Marsei's fair face absolutely, positively lights up, filling with only the most wondrous kind of shock. She breaks away from Dhraegon's side, simply in order to rush ahead in eager, girlish delight, the flow of soft pink fabric of her gown's long skirts hurrying to catch up to her. She scarcely knows what to focus upon first, and so she whirls about to face Dhraegon, a hand going to her crown of roses to steady it. "Dhraegon! Is this— how did— it's as if it sprung up by magic!"

Dhraegon watches her with pure delight, giggling happily as he trails after her. This is why he did it after all, all the planning and ordering of plants and coccoons and art, the waiting for the rioght momment to ask Ormund's leave, the planting and transplanting. The release of birds, and the hope they would stay in a garden so designed for them and for her. Songbirds twitter on their perches. hummingbirds hover like flying ornaments. The bright wings of butterflies flash and flutter. The flowers were chosen for scent or rarity or attractiveness to the winged inhabitants. All this planning and work for the one glorious moment when he might see Marsei take in the garden he has made for her. He beams at her, "I have been planning it since you agreed to let me Court you in the hopes I might please you, so most was in readiness when you…. when you said yes. I do love it when you smile, Marsei. I hope all our life together will be like this." He lightly strokes her cheek with the tips of newly blistered fingers. "I kept imagining your bright petals surrounded by bright wings and…." He runs out of words.

After Marsei has had a moment to take in the unspoiled splendor of the garden, Camillo unobtrusively makes his entrance and begins to lay out the accoutrements of a picnic: a blanket first, then food and plates and cutlery.

"I— " Marsei is distracted and charmed by a hummingbird just then, and her enchantment blossoms all over again. She smiles wide and radiant while her brows tense, only partly holding back the overwhelm that goes hand-in-hand with her delight. "I have never received a gift so beautiful as this, nor one with such sentiment," she expresses, pure and sweet and insistent. "Thank you!" She squeezes Dhraegon's hand with one of hers (careful of the blisters) and twirls off to drift here and there like one of the butterflies, admiring every flower and colourful wing she can lay eyes upon. It's only then that she notices there's someone else in the magical garden, and that it's Camillo — prompting her send a triumphant look from the servant to Dhraegon, for she has realized they must have been in league.

Dhraegon squeezes back gentle, then lets her go to watch he flit with that same simple joy. He catches her look at Camillo and giggles again, "He helped with the planting and chose the lily feeders. The Irises are in honor of your brother…." The Lady in the Fountain is idealized, but there is a bit of Marsei's look to her, mostly about the lips and hair. "I got Ormund's permission before I dug up the garden, you see…."

Camillo looks up, perhaps sorry to have been caught in the act, but he's just finishing putting a few blooms gathered from the garden into a little bowl at one edge of the cloth. Perhaps a bit redundant, but it will help keep the blanket from flying away. He stands and makes Marsei a small bow.

"Oh, how wonderful it all is! I thank you as well for your part then too, Camillo," Marsei says, a soft laugh escaping, for she's entertained by everything she sees; most recently, the irises. "Irises for Ormund? I must remember to thank him as well for allowing this to happen — it's no wonder; everything is such a beautiful addition to the gardens." On her way toward the picnic arrangement, she circles around the fountain, looking up at the statue with admiration (and not modesty, so it may be a fair bet that she hasn't quite realized it's in her image).

Dhraegon nods, "Irises for Ormund, as a thank you for… for everything really." Given the deliberate subtlety of the resemblance it is no surprise. "Are you happy, Marsei? That is the thing I most want. You….I was very… unwell for some time before I first met you at,,, at the feast. You have made be well again."

Camillo gives a glance to Dhraegon that suggests he is pleased at being acknowledged. But he doesn't look unseemly about it.

"Of course I am happy," Marsei replies in lofty spirits. "You are so sweet, Dhraegon, and look at all you have done for me. And that you are well … I— I am glad for that. That alone is great cause for happiness." She looks to him with her sincere seawater gaze, levelling into seriousness just enough to be clear through all her delight. "I would very much like for you to be well." Approaching the picnic, she gives Camillo a cheerful gracious smile and looks down at the blanket like its position on the ground is a somewhat foreign and curious prospect.

Dhraegon says just as seriously as she, "I am better than I've been in a long time, Marsei. Your friendship has been good for me." He flops down on the blanket comfortably enough, "What better way to start an adventure than a picnic?"

"The meal is prepared," Camillo announces, since Marsei seems curious, and Dhraegon follows her lead. "There are cushions, should you want them." He signals a servant waiting inside, who comes forth with some beverages.

"I will manage," Marsei decides optimistically. It's no trouble at all to lower onto the blanket, tucking her legs neatly to one side under the layers of her gown, but the lady does seem rather out of sorts to be on the ground. Still, she's content to adapt, taking a drink from the servant who nears. "It is adventure already," she says and beams at Dhraegon, though the look in her eye is softer and more thoughtful than all that.

Dhraegon smiles back at her, bright and happy over a drink that he sips without checking to see what it is first. "I have brought lantern for later if you like. I… there is so much to explore, My hibiscus."

Camillo steps back toward the house to give the couple some privacy, and organize anything else that needs to be brought out to them.

"Good!" Marsei's head bobs with an exaggerated but earnestly pleased nod. She sips from her cup, although she paid mind to what was in it first. "The Hightower holds many a mystery," she says, trying to sound mysterious but by and far just sounding sweet and silly.

Dhraegon giggles contentedly, "Then I shall fit right in!"

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