(122-08-21) Reunions Over Delights
Reunions Over Delights
Summary: Marsei and some of the Ashfords run into each other at the Good Queen's Cake House and catch up.
Date: 21/08/2015
Related: http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:122-08-17-social-with-the-seven

Good Queen's Cake House - Hightower Square

This is an elegant place, with broad steps that lead up from the Square to a floor that is ten or twelve feet above street level. Two men in gleaming armour guard them.

There are tall arched windows with lace drapes to frame them. Delicate carved and silver-leafed chairs and tables set in front of them, allowing patrons to sit in comfort and look down on the people in the square. The entire place is decorated in silver and pale blue, with the image of Good Queen Alysanne and her dragon Silverwing worked in wherever it can be managed — the pair are in tapestries on the walls, carved into the backs of the chairs, and painted on the ceiling and the window-arches.

The Cake House is a favourite among those too genteel to visit taverns, and among well-to-do women who prefer not to host their friends at home lest it be noticed that they're not as rich as they'd like to seem. One cannot get a proper meal, but any number of cakes and dainties and fancy fruit and cheese plates are served, along with wine and sweet drinks.

The Good Queen's Cake House is favoured of Lady Marsei; while she could easily host anyone luxuriously at the Hightower, she's been a generous patron of the genteel establishment since returning to Oldtown, and today is one such day that she sits inside with a small collection of young women who serve both as friends and handmaidens. Situated near one of the tall windows, the arrangement of ladies has not been here long; only long enough to settle in and set to talking and sharing amusements quietly amongst themselves, led by the most bright laugh of the easy-to-smile Hightower in the middle. Marsei is clad in a pale blue gown of flowing fabrics, not unlike the hue that decorates the cake house, by coincidence (or perhaps not), and her hair is mostly pinned up, braided and jeweled.

"Cake, cake, cake!" is the chant as a five year old boy comes in, clearly making his desires known in an excitable voice. Directly behind him and holding both his hands so he can't run around the establishment is a thirteen year old giggling at his antics and says, "Calm down little brother." Following close behind is Madalyn Ashford, formerly a Hightower and a cousin of a certain patron. Her baby in her arms Madalyn still shows a little added weight from her most recent pregnancy but is doing a good job of working it off after nearly a year.
Besides Madalyn is Julien, her husband and the heir of House Ashford. Directing his family to a table that is coincidentally nearby Marsei's party, Julien allows his children and wife to place orders, all of which sugary, and likely a treat for the family. He seems to settle for a sweet wine and a plate of fruits. After a few moments of low talk amongst themselves Madalyn's gaze wonders and her face brightens like the sun as she says, "Marsei! I thought I saw you the other day at the Sept." as she stands up and walks the few paces over to talk more directly without having to shout, no doubt to give a good view of her baby curled up to her chest contently, as his bright eyes look about at all the colors.

Marsei looks up pleasantly out of her conversation as she hears the excitable child's voice, smiling immediately when she recognizes the family. She waits until they've all settled, passing a quiet word to the young woman on her left to explain who each person is. On her right, Siva, dark of hair and eye and her handmaiden since a young age, needs no explanation. When Madalyn notices her, Marsei beams, gently pushing her chair out and moving quickly around the table to head straight for her Hightower cousin with open arms, careful of the baby. "Madalyn! I did think I saw you as well, but I couldn't be certain." She kisses the woman on each cheek. "How lovely you look. What a happy family you all make," she commends, all cheer, smiling down at the baby and over at the children and Julien. "Lord Julien," she greets, just as bright.

Madalyn returns each kiss in kind and says, "You are to kind cousin." blushing faintly. Julien stands and bows his head respectfully saying, "Lady Marsei, always a pleasure." in a formal, respectful tone. As Julien stands so does the five year old… On his chair, the thirteen year old holding his hand and whispering something to him as the boy offers a bow that could use a lot of work, but then he is still a young child as he says, "My Lady." n a polite tone as the girl offers a curtsey saying, "Greetings My Lady." respectfully.
Julien offers, "Have you met our children? Marcella the oldest, Delrick, and the baby Pascal?" as he isn't sure if Marsei has met them previously or not, though she no doubt knows their name from writing her cousin if nothing else.

Marsei looks charmed by each of the childrens' greetings, even the one atop a chair, giving them each a sunny smile and polite bow of her head in turn. "Each time was only too brief," she answers regretfully, though her tone remains nothing but utterly merry. She takes a step back from Madalyn to look at the babe Pascal, as if to underline her words.

Marcella tugs on her brother's hand to get him to sit back down, as he impatiently kicks his legs waiting on his treats. Madalyn smiles as Marsei looks at her youngest and adjusts her grip to give a better look. The baby is adorable beyond words, and will no doubt be a little heart breaker when he is older, he is cuter then his brother by far, though being a year old at most could have something to do with that. Madalyn is clearly overjoyed with the boy as she seems to refuse to put him down though she does ask if Marsei would like to hold him. Julien uses the distraction to draw closer and says softly, "I'd almost swear Pascal more then anything will result in my beautiful wife and myself having more children before long." Clearly implying he is so cute he makes Madalyn want to have more children. Given how red she turns, even down to her neck, he might not be far off. She is clearly embarrassed and grows quiet as she is blushing too much to speak, she does allow Marsei to take the baby however if she wishes to hold the baby.

Marsei smiles gently, not putting a further focus upon her red cousin, saying only, "He is beautiful." She does extend her hands to take Pascal, embracing him to her chest warmly. Her hold on the babe is snug and safe and she looks down upon him with fondness, passing a knuckle softly against his little cheek, there's a slight awkwardness to her pose several seconds into holding him, a quiet nervousness that something may inexplicably go awry. "You are all well, I hope? I expect you keep busy," she says throughout, sticking close to Pascal's mother. Although she had been married to her now deceased husband the same length of time as Madalyn and Julien, they never had any children.

Madalyn nods and says, "We are doing wonderfully cousin." Pascal curls up against Marsei, as the knuckle starts to stroke his cheek his tiny hand reaches up to try and take hold of it, something new to put in his mouth after all. Both parents smile softly at the baby's attempt to at least grab the finger, if not try to suck on it as Madalyn looks to Marsei and leans over to whisper into her cousin's ear softly saying, "You are a natural cousin." in a soft, sympathetic tone.

"Oh, I'm not certain about that," Marsei replies quietly, both modest and earnest in her self-assessment, even as she smiles down at the baby, not minding his exploration of her fingers. "I only have a bit of practice, from the children of my sisters. How fast they've grown now. They must have become even taller since I last saw them. All the more reason you should spend as much time with this little one as you can now," she says to both parents, smiling, a fine cue to hand Pascal back to Madalyn.

Pascal tries his best to put the finger he's grabbed in his mouth, even leaning forward slightly in the attempt. Madalyn smiles down softly at the baby's efforts and moves to take him back and says, "You will have your chance some day I'm sure cousin. And I'll be the first one in line to see your eldest." in a soft, reassuring tone as Julien adds, "We know how fast they grow. It was just yesterday those two were babies." glancing back to Marcella and Delrick, the older of the two doing her best to get bored brother to stop trying to bang his flatware on the table waiting for his treats. Marcella might be too old to be Madalyn's, but the girl clearly considered the boys her younger brothers instead of half-brothers. Marcella does have enough features similar to Julien to prove who her father is, though there is nothing about her like Madalyn. Also obviously Madalyn didn't have a baby when she was ten.

Marsei's red head tips down ever-so-slightly, casting a faint shadow on her expression; she smiles kindly, politely, to Madalyn, but her heart is not quite in it. "You are too kind," she says, and is quick to move on, turning to sit back down at her table. She chooses a closer chair, this time, so that she is still close to the family. Across from her, her handmaidens ae engaged in whispers; rather, one is, and Siva is doing her best to quiet her. Marsei reaches for one of the small cakes laid out on her table. "The Cake House is perfect as ever, Lord Julien. It seems to be faring well under your guidance," she comments.

Julien seems surprised by the compliment about the cake house and looks to Madalyn who simply gives him an overly adorable smile as though trying to distract him or look too attractive to get upset with. He simply smiles softly and shakes his head, seems he can't fight that face and finally just says, "Thank you My Lady." to Marsei simply. Marcella can be heard saying, "No." firmly as she pulls Delrick back into his seat, a hard look from his mother gets the boy to grumpily settle back in his seat before making a scene as the ordered pastries arrive at their table and Delrick emits a squee of excitement and reaches out to snatch one, at least till there is a light smack on the back of his hand by his sister causing him to rub his hand and look at her for a few moments as though he had just been hurt badly. As she is unfazed he simply says, "Sorry." to everyone nearby and properly picks up a pastry to place on his plate and eat it properly. Marcella smiles softly and does the same, followed by Madalyn with a single hand as the other arm is occupied holding her baby. Julien picks up a piece of bite-sized fruit and eats it slowly watching his family contently.

Marsei watches the interactions between the family closely, though her gaze is far from prying. She eats her little cake daintily, and moves on to the next. "Do you like to race horses, Lord Julien? Prince Dhraegon and I are thinking of hosting games for our wedding."

Julien says, "I can ride well enough, not sure if it is good enough for such a race however. Swimming is more what I enjoy doing in my free time, though there are few places to swim here compared to home."

"But we have the Whispering Sound and the Honeywine instead of the Cockleswent," Marsei replies in good humour, raising a bite of fruit halfway to her mouth and joking, "Though I've never seen swimming as part of any games; I suppose it would be difficult in the sand at the tourney grounds."

Julien smiles softly and says, "Only a little. However it makes it difficult for those who are not fit enough." chuckling softly as Madalyn simply shakes her head with a soft smile. Delrick then pipes up, "Daddy can swim good. He teaching me." with a beaming smile. Marcella says, "He swims well." correcting the boys grammar.

Marsei gives a soft, quiet chuckle before finishing her fruit. "You will swim like a dolphin, soon enough." She looks commendingly to Marcella and Delrick, then, pointing out in continued good humour, "Who needs a septa when you have such a sister looking out for your grammar." She smiles knowingly and apologetically at the parents after the fact, lest she set the grounds for rebellion later.

Delrick says, "Marcella does that, but she is fun to play with." Marcella smiles softly to her brother and bows her head respectfully to Marcei and says, "You honor me My Lady." in a polite and respectful tone. Julien and Madalyn smile as Julien says, "Marcella loves her brothers to death and is very protective of them. She takes after her father a bit as I am much the same with my own siblings."

It's a feature that Marsei recognizes and looks well on, knowing it herself; she smiles empathetically. "As am I," she answers. "Protective isn't the right word in my case, I suppose; they hardly need it from me." She hardly looks as though she could protect anyone, modest and delicate in appearance as she is, but more to the point, among her siblings are her brother lording over the Hightower and Oldtown, one commands the City Watch, and her sister sits on the throne. She's more likely to be the one well-protected. "Family is everything," she adds and smiles over at Madalyn.

Julien nods and says, "On that we can indeed agree. Any who doesn't understand that or betrays their family deserves the worse for such actions." in a serious tone, perhaps with a touch of personal experience as well. Madalyn reaches over to give Julien's hand a gentle squeeze as he looks to her and smiles softly, as though forgetting whatever might have been brewing under the surface.

Marsei nods her head deeply in agreement and alignment without voicing it. Rather than focus further on that serious note, however, she focuses upon the cakes and fruits.

Madalyn looks to her cousin and starts to talk to her directly, mostly just catching up since last they spoke.

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