Post by Elise Peeters on Apr 24, 2012 16:52:23 GMT -5
It had been a short invitation. The letter was embossed with the Beilschmidt family insignia, but the signature was from the family's young ward. Lady Lili had requested Elise's presence for the afternoon; a catering appointment, the lady had written, but she did not elaborate any further on the invitation.
This was why Elise was standing in front of the Beilschmidt residence entrance, shifting from one foot to another. Being in the nobles' neighborhood always made her a little uneasy - perhaps because it was blatantly obvious that she did not belong there - and wished that the butler or the valet would answer the door now.
She was relieved when the door swung open and the tall, imposing man - the butler, Elise presumed - took one look at her and led her in. Her visit was already expected.
As she stepped in, she tried not to gape; it would only highlight just how common she was. But she couldn't help it. How could someone live in a place that was so...enormous?
Post by Lili Walser on Apr 29, 2012 20:35:43 GMT -5
Ah! There was her guest. And right on time. Lili almost scrambled to her feet, but for the fact that that would be entirely undignified, and began the short trek from her quarters to the staircase.
She paused for a moment, taking in the woman taking in the house. She was well-put together, and prompt, and curious. And her reputation preceded her. All of these things spoke in her favor, in Lili's mind. "Hallo, Fräulein Peeters." When she finally spoke, her voice was gentle and soft. So that her guest didn't feel out of place entirely, Lili began down the stairs, her smile as gentle as her greeting had been. "Shall we retire to the garden? There's a lovely table there where we can speak." By the time she'd reached the ground floor, she had to look up at the taller woman, but that never bothered Lili. She was used to being petite. "I'll have tea brought out for us."
Post by Elise Peeters on Apr 30, 2012 8:35:14 GMT -5
Seeing the young woman, Elise was startled for a moment. Lady Lili was only a little more than a girl, she thought. Yet the lady carried herself with the practiced grace of the most mature hostesses.
Once they were on the same level, Elise bent her knee in a curtsy, as protocol required. She lifted her head and straightened, smiling in greeting.
"Lady Lili," she said. "That sounds lovely, thank you."
She followed the young noblewoman out of the manor, which was a long walk in itself, out to what seemed like a piece of paradise. There were suddenly bright splashes of color and soft sunlight all around them. Elise tried not to gape, but it was difficult. She was particularly taken by the poppies, but she fought the urge to touch them and trailed after Lili to a dainty table set.
She waited for Lili to be seated before taking the seat across from her. As she arranged herself properly, Elise asked, "Lady Lili, thank you for the invitation. I am very happy and honored that you have heard of my business. Since you are considering hiring my services, I would like to know the occasion I will be catering to."
Post by Lili Walser on Apr 30, 2012 9:18:28 GMT -5
Lili nodded and led the way through the manor, speaking idly about this room or that one as they passed. The ballroom, the parlor, the sitting room, a study, the lower level of the library... And then they were outside. She paused a moment to let her guest take in the scenery, smiling the entire while. "Aren't they lovely? They've only just now all started to bloom... The roses will take a bit longer though." A soft sigh escaped her. She really did like roses... even if the lilies were her favorite.
Once she judged Elise felt more at home, Lili motioned to a table off to the side, then settled into a chair, fussing with her skirts. " Oh, no, Fräulein Peeters... thank you for coming on such short notice... I... I would have come to speak with you at your shop, but... well." She fought a smile for a moment. "S-since the reason I asked you here would have likely been visiting your shop with me, it wouldn't have worked. I'd like to give a surprise party for my cousin, you see... Of course, it wouldn't be anything too grand scale... Cousin doesn't generally care for parties... b-but... I'd like for him to have an evening with all of his friends on a quieter scale than any other party we'd attend..." Realizing she was rambling, a faint blush crossed her cheeks and she fell silent, though her eyes never left the woman across the table.
A moment later, Sarah entered the garden, carrying a tea-tray. She sat it down in between the ladies, then carefully poured the tea for them both. When she would have gone to fix Lili's, Lili shook her head slightly, then motioned to Elise. "W-would you care for cream or sugar?"
Post by Elise Peeters on May 2, 2012 11:05:45 GMT -5
The idea of a surprise party was lovely. Elise felt suddenly more comfortable with the girl; though she was noble, she seemed sweet and unaffected. Elise's mind was already whirring with ideas, and it didn't even pause when she regarded her tea.
"Both, please," she replied. Her sweet tooth compelled her to take her tea sweet.
As she watched Lili delicately prepare Elise's cup, Elise leaned forward slightly, deciding to ask about the details. "What sort of party will this be?" Elise was poised to take mental notes. "A small soiree? Or an afternoon garden occasion? Or something else?"
She couldn't imagine a military officer sipping tea daintily the way the young noblewoman was doing now. But she had seen stranger things.
"The kind of party sort of determines what kind of fare is appropriate," Elise went on. "Of course, other than that, I have to take his personal preferences into account. The sort of food and desserts he likes, colors and styles he prefers...The more I know, the better we'll be able to set up the party."
Post by Lili Walser on May 3, 2012 23:45:17 GMT -5
Lili nodded. She liked her tea different ways depending on the time of day. In the afternoons, it was just with sugar, but as was proper, she served her guest first - even if her guest was a station below her, or more... that didn't matter to Lili. Elise was here because Lili had invited her, and therefore, the other girl would be treated as a guest should.
"I-I... I was planning on early evening through the night, th-though I hadn't talked to any of his friends about it. I-it will just be Cousin Gilbert and a few of his closest friends... b-but goodness, y-you ought to see the f-food they can eat." A light smile flitted across Lili's face as she raised her cup to her lips.
"They're.... th-they're really n-not particular... Cousin enjoys his beer, a-and prefers darker colors... L-like this ribbon... Th-this is his favorite color." She motioned to the dark blue bow in her hair, then continued. "He's m-more of the simpler, no-fuss sort... th-though he doesn't mind a little extra... a-as long as everything points to j-just how awesome he is." At this last, she allowed herself a giggle before she sobered again, and tilted her head, looking at Elise. "W-what else sh-should I tell you?"
Post by Elise Peeters on May 5, 2012 10:55:26 GMT -5
All the details that the young lady was providing Elise began to assemble themselves in her mind, painting the most basic layout of the party. A celebration for a military man who loved beer...it was bound to get rowdy sooner or later.
One word struck her. "Awesome?" She wrinkled her nose, suddenly recalling a drinking challenge she was issued in a tavern by an officer bellowing about his "awesomeness" beating her. She realized who that officer was now.
"Oh dear," she said, and paused for a moment. "Is one of your guardian's friends a grocer? And the other a noble?"
Post by Lili Walser on May 7, 2012 17:31:47 GMT -5
Lili nodded. "J-Ja. That's Uncle Toni... u-um, Herr Antonio Carriedo, and Lord Francis Bonnefoy." She paused, reaching for her tea, to consider this question. Finally, she couldn't stand it any longer. "W-why do you ask...?" Had the three of them done something to Elise's shop? If that were the case, Gilbert would get a stern talking to and then he'd be going to apologize... and Uncle Toni... and Francis... She'd go with them herself to make certain of it, even if Gilbert didn't usually let her go along with him when the three of them were doing things together. She could always bring Sarah and then go straight back home.
Post by Elise Peeters on May 8, 2012 7:22:44 GMT -5
The small, worried crease between the young girl's brows made Elise chuckle. Her concern was kind of her (and were the men really so bad that Lady Lili could only jump to a bad conclusion?), but Elise did not need it. If anything, she wondered if Lady Lili was given a hard time herself.
"Oh - no, of course not." Elise waved a hand dismissively. "It's just...I think I have met your guardian. And Antonio is a friend."
Now that Elise recognized who the party was for - and the most important guests - she had a better idea for the event. She gazed at Lili thoughtfully, wondering if she should voice out the thing most necessary for this party.
"I suppose you would prefer it to be a pleasant, proper affair, yes?" Now how could Elise reconcile this with the sort of occasion men like Lili's guardian preferred?
Post by Lili Walser on May 9, 2012 20:25:36 GMT -5
The men were so unpredictable that Lili oftentimes went to concern first, and amusement later. Hearing that Elise knew Uncle Toni and had met Gilbert set her worries at ease, however. ... Mostly.
She smiled slightly and sipped her tea while Elise considered. And then couldn't help a faint giggle. "N-nein... Well... perhaps just the first part... I would like to have dinner with them... but then I had planned to retire to my room or call on Tante for a visit." More likely the first option. "I want Cousin to have a good evening, the way that he would prefer to... without having to worry about him getting home safely." That was always a concern when he went out... whether she'd admit it or not, she often stayed up, reading by lamplight, until she knew that Gilbert had returned home. Even some nights when she knew he was on patrol... she'd stay up. Never once had she told Gilbert, however. She never planned to.