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Forums » General Roleplay » Across a Crowded Room [Victorian Era 1x1/Group RP]

Katherine Wytherine (played by sanahakuryu) Topic Starter

”Mr Rutherford. I had not expected you to be around till now,” the elderly woman said as she came in. Katherine turned to look at her grandmother quickly as she stood, going to help her down to a seat.

She was still processing what had just happened. How had, in such a short space of time, her cousin been able to manipulate her guest into attending such a party? And not only attend it, but accompany her? It was quite confusing.

”Would you like some tea, grandmother?” she asked her grandmother who flicked her finger to indicate she did. Katherine nodded and poured her one, bringing it back and sitting again.

”Mr Rutherford has agreed to escort me to your party, grandmother,” she said, not sure how the older woman might take the news.
Beatrice raised an eyebrow as Katherine ran around helping their grandmother. She slightly rolled her eyes and finally stood “ yes poor Kat thought she would have to wait until the Paris season to have the lord escort her but how lucky he is available for the garden party” Beatrice moved toward the piano running her hand along the top like a cat plotting her next move. Finally after a few pacing moments, she turned toward her grandmother “I must be going Grandmother, my new dress is ready and I have to meat lady Charm for lunch.” She gave a small bow “ goodbye little lady and Lord I will see you this weekend at the party” she left the room and left Katherine in quite a delicate situation.
Emily hopped off the piano bench and gave a small, polite curtsy to the striking woman who captivated her attention. She was pretty, and confident, and spoke in a way Emily had never heard anyone speak before. The little girl’s eyes watched her as she made her way gracefully across the room to leave it. She was fascinated.

Her father, on the other hand, felt like he had made it out of the frying pan and into the fire. Lady Beatrice was leaving, but the grand dame of the household, Lady Victoria-Anne Wytherine, had come in and settled down. Even if he was hoping to make a quick escape after being forced upon Katherine, he no longer had that choice. Not without being rude. Edward tried to never be unintentionally rude. It happened so often unintentionally anyway.

“Your granddaughter has been most generous with her time,” he felt he needed to answer the older woman’s statement somehow, though it was not a question. He didn’t know if it had been meant to convey satisfaction or lack there off. “My daughter and I are both grateful for her willingness to take Emily under her wing”. He didn’t want to say ‘teach’ or ‘tutor’ in case that might create more reluctance to agree. Helping a girl orphaned from her mother didn’t sound so bad, he hoped, that Lady Victoria-Anne would not allow it.
Katherine Wytherine (played by sanahakuryu) Topic Starter

“Your daughter is quite spirited, as I am told. I am sure Lady Katherine will impart some of her charms, if you’re lucky. I imagine that we will be seeing more of you, Mr Rutherford,” the older woman said, her gaze peering out from behind her glasses and beyond the edge of the teacup.

Katherine knee what was going on. She was sizing him up. No match in the house for both friendly and marital relations was made without her grandmother’s say so. If she did not approve, Edward would be barred from the home and potentially society. Katherine dreaded to think of that. Before she could say anything further, the woman spoke again.

“If you wouldn’t mind, I have much to speak of with my granddaughters. I will send a carriage to collect you for the party,” she said. It was clear he was dismissed.
Katherine Wytherine (played by sanahakuryu) Topic Starter

(And a wonderful time skip)

”I look ridiculous. This colour does not suit me at all,” Katherine protested to her grandmother was stood watching as her maid finished dressing her hair. The dress had a deep yellow to it on the underskirt but was adorned with green and floral fabric on the top. It was fancier than anything katherine might choose for herself. But her grandmother had insisted.
“Nonsense child. If we play this right, I might be able to expect two proposals for both of my granddaughters by the end of the season,” the elderly woman said.

”you have someone in mind for Beatrice?” Katherine asked as she pulled a couple of auburn curls out from her hair to frame her face before standing, fastening the polished jade and emeralds of her earrings. Her grandmother made only a small nod as she led her out.
“Child. You are almost 25. Most men would not consider you. Mr Rutherford is new money, but noble in name and supposedly also in character. You could do much worse.”
”you do not approve though?”
“He is besotted still with his departed wife. And then there is the child.”
”must we go into this? Beatrice is more deserving of your time. It’ll be harder to match her. American money is still frowned upon,” Katherine commented before falling silent as they stepped out onto the terrace for the party. The grounds of the garden had been lit with brillian lamps and flowers and the indoor halls and dining rooms shone as well. It was all spleandor and glamour.

Katherine waited on the terrace, not wanting to head down into the party or face guests. And if Edward was coming, she didn’t want to be seen speaking with anyone else. He was her escort after all.
Emily insisted on picking his cravat.

Again, Edward had the slightly uncomfortable feeling that he was expected not to play along. That the right thing to do, the proper thing for any father, would be to scoff at the suggestion and send her to do something useful. Instead, he indulged in her company as she arranged and rearranged her favorite ties on his bed, trying to pick the perfect one.

“This one,” she said finally, picking a cream-colored silk tie. “With this clip”. From the tray she had them on, she lifted a wide silver one that he both disliked and thought would not well with the color of the cravat she chose. Still, he nodded his head. “Very well. Now, you best get back to your lessons while I get dressed”.

“Will you be home very late?” she asked. She got very anxious when he was away. The staff had told him that on more than one occasion she had trouble falling asleep. It was another reason he remained home more often than not and why he’d made arrangements for her to stay with her aunt while he took business trips.

“If you’re asleep, what difference does it make what time I get home?” he tried the reasonable way first.

“I always know when you come back because I don’t sleep well until you do”. It was the same answer she always gave and each time it broke his heart a little.

“Then I won’t be gone long”

“I want you to enjoy yourself though” she said, shocking him. She never said that before. He raised surprise eyes to meet hers and saw her blush. “She’s very pretty”. She added.

“I suppose, Lady Katherine is…”

“No, not her,” Emily giggled. “Lady Beatrice”

Edward was beyond shocked now and well into astonishment. “Lady Beatrice,” he said slowly “is not who I am escorting tonight”. Nor did she show the slightest bit of interest in him, other as a means to get one over her cousin. Which he supposed didn’t matter, since it was the cousin he was having a hard time forgetting. “And that is quite enough out of you, young lady.”

“Come say goodbye before you leave” she headed for the door.

“Is that an order?” he arched an eyebrow at her.

“Sorry, papa. Please come say goodbye before you leave”.

***

The carriage Lady Victoria-Anne sent, an unnecessary gesture that baffled him, was quite a bit better than the one he kept. It made the journey over to the grand house pass much more comfortably. He’d even been able to read the newspaper for the first part of the ride, cutting short the amount of time he worried over attending a party he never planned on securing an invitation to.

Thanks for her ladyship choosing the timing, he had arrived in perfect timing. He thought perhaps that was the reason she arranged for the ride. Not too soon so he was one of the first to arrive as if he was close family. Not so late so that Lady Katherine would need to wait for him. As he headed for the door, already open wide to admit visitors, he wondered how she was feeling about the whole affair. Not too badly, he could only hope.
After several quick maneuvers and well-timed distractions, Beatrice dodged her grandmother. Beatrice dashed out on the balcony seeing Katherine. "That's a fun dress" there was an undertone of disapproval as she turned away and leaned her elbows on the railing to watch the line of carriages approaching. Katherine's dress was the opposite of Beatrice's brand new soft blush-colored dress that was made of a light fabric making her look as if she was floating on a cloud when she moved. Her hair had small flowers weaved into it making her look almost angelic. Any well to do man would stop in their tracks to see her, however, Beatrice was unconcerned by the lesser men and only aimed for a duke because unlike her British counterparts she could inherit her family's money, meaning she had more to offer.

Finally after a few moments of silence "Oh look Edward's coming" Beatrice heard a maid running yelling her name and with that Beatrice turned and bolted down the side stairs toward the rose garden and the maze of bushes yelling over her shoulder "You never saw me, Kat"


She slowly weaved around the bushes of the maze until she found one of the sitting areas where she fell on the bench leaning back she closed her eyes and soaked in the sun.
Katherine Wytherine (played by sanahakuryu) Topic Starter

"You should stop flitting about child. I am trying to speak with you," her grandmother said as she came over, looking at Beatrice with a disapproving look as she saw her slouching - "I have someone coming to meet you. And you best make a good impression if you wish to get anywhere with him."

--

"My Lady. Lord Rutherford has arrived," one of the servants mumbled to Katherine who nodded, heading through the home to the front door, past a few of the guests who were still all arriving. A butler was helping him out of one of the carriages and Katherine stood by the open door, looking down at him with a small soft smile. She wondered if her grandmother had sent word of her dress, hence the yellow-cream cravat. But she doubted it. Slowly, she headed down the stairs to meet him, even though her grandmother would probably disapprove of that.
"Lord Rutherford. Thank you for coming," she said to him gently, curtsying in greeting before brushing down the front of her dress.

He looked handsome. But in that stoic manner that Katherine appreciated. She was of no doubt that he would have been a sought after bachelor in his youth. Now, he was a widower and the world was judging him for it.
"I'm sorry about my grandmother's insistence on the carriage," she continued, not knowing what else to say.
Thomas Delagney (played by sanahakuryu) Topic Starter

"Anyone would think I was taking you to a funeral, Ignatius," Thomas chuckled to his friend who was looking less than impressed about being dragged along to this event. Thomas, however, was elated. Most people received just a simple invitation. He'd received a written on from the lady of the house - the hostess no less. Which meant what? In their last discussions, Thomas had indicated that he was ready to marry. Perhaps she had found a suitable match for him.

As the only son in a prominent family, Thomas's father sat in Parliament and was the British envoy to the royal family of Russia. The surname Delagney was well known in Russia, as was the wealth and favour they had received from the Tsars. It was well known that Thomas was a Viscount and that he was one of the most eligible bachelors on the market.

"This is just a waste of money."
"Nonsense. This is one of the social events of the year my friend. We'd be fools to refuse the invite," Thomas explained. Arthur was a friend, but more well known as the family's personal guard. It was rare for someone in the Delagney family to go somewhere without their protective escort. Thomas opened the door to the carriage, stepping out. On his finger, the golden and ruby sealed ring of the Russian court flashed on his hand.
"Just don't go around flirting with everyone this time. You've already broken the hearts of the Russian court ladies," Arthur said as he stepped out after him.
"You, Arthur, had no sense of the game."

Entering the home, they paused at the back of the garden as they were announced by the staff - "The Viscount Delagney and Mr Turnbull."
Instantly the room's unmarried women were a twitter, Thomas chuckling smugly to himself as he headed down the stairs.
"How can you be so cold faced in the presence of all these pretty flowers, Arthur? We might even find you a wife."
"I doubt it. I have neither enough wealth or title to be thinking of such things," Arthur commented, scanning the garden for dangers, as he always did, making Thomas chuckle again as they began to wander about, looking casually for their host.
After Beatrice was found by her grandmother she begrudging returned to the garden party. Stood on the edge of the yard sliding her shoe back on and a slight frown on her lips. She finally glnced up at the stairs where some girls near her were mummering about the man coming down them. Her frown became a bit deeper and her stomach sunk as she locked eyes with the man. She quickly turned her back from the stairs and glanced around the party for another escape or at least to see if she could find Kat to annoy.

the cold hand of a maid snaked out grabbing Beatrice. "Your Grandmother needs you" She tried to protest but the maid just drug her along depositing her in the seat next to her grandmother. "Hello"
Thomas Delagney (played by sanahakuryu) Topic Starter

(I play Thomas as well for Beatrice)

"Don't look so glum girl. I have introductions to make," the older woman said, adjusting her granddaughter's shoulder straps and blonde curls before leading her across the garden courtyard to where Thomas stood.

The viscount turned when he noted the older woman and bowed deeply, taking her hand and kissing the top of it.
"My Lady Wytherine. You look as elegant as always," he said, coyly, looking at her with a smile.
"You are a flatterer to no end, Viscount," she said to him before motioning to Beatrice, "this is my granddaughter, Miss Beatrice Vanderson. Beatrice, this is Viscount Thomas Delagney of the Delagney family," the woman introduced.

Thomas looked Beatrice over and chuckled internally. American, he thought to himself as he bowed his head politely, as his keen green eyes analysed her. Like a fresh blush rose in a garden. She was ethereal. But she was still American. But that meant she probably had more money than she knew what to do with. He had heard rumours of the Wytherine's relatives in America. It was oil, e believed, that had made them their fortunes.

"Miss Vanderson will be joining me and Miss Wytherine on tour in Paris this year."
"Then all the other young women will be put to shame," Thomas said as he bent to kiss Beatrice's hand as well, meeting her eyes a moment before he straightened again - "I trust your trip here to visit us was not too exhausting, Miss Vanderson," he continued.
Beatrice nodded to his question as she pulls her hand back from the Viscount, Beatrice's face became a bit twisted like she had eaten a sour lemon, but she quickly plastered a fake smile as her grandmother turned to look at her. "would you join me on a stroll Viscount, I will show you the roses" She seemed to be a bit distracted like she was daydreaming as she spoke, but mostly the Viscount wasn't a bad companion and he would get her away from her grandmother then she could ditch him somewhere.

Beatrice quickly slid her arm in his and started to yank him down a side path toward a small gazebo adorned with rose bushes. Her eyes glanced around and she drops the Viscount's arm walking toward the bushes and smelled a few. She was innocent looking and for the first time in her life was not forcing a conversation. Finally, she turned and crossed her arms over her chest and her eyes bore into the man. "what's your game here Viscount, because I am about to leave you here alone unless you give me a reason to stay"
Thomas Delagney (played by sanahakuryu) Topic Starter

”You’re as sharp as the rumours out of America say,” Thomas commented to her, chuckling a moment before going over to touch one of the roses softly.

”your grandmother is no fool. And I know you’re not either,” he continued, sniffing at it lightly before he took a seat on the bench in the rose garden as he looked at her, his green eyes all knowing. He couldn’t play the game with this girl. She was too sharp - ”you’re in america to be married. To find a land titled husband. Your grandmother wants it to be me. Am I not to your liking?”
Beatrice’s eyes narrowed sharply at the man “my grandmother is tactful but she is just a tactful fool, ruled by traditions” she step closer to where Thomas was standing. Her hair was becoming looser falling a bit and making her look a bit wilder as she began to speak. “Land and money does not concern me, but those Astor’s” she clinched her small fist a bit letting the words trail off “my parents worked a small piece of land struck oil and built an empire. but here and just like in New York with the Astor’s it doesn’t matter how big a dowry I have or how perfectly mannered I am I’ll never be enough without a title or being one of the original 400” her hand turned white and her eyes seemed a bit glossy like she was in another time and place. She had just let the all the words fall out at once she let out a long sigh her eyes turning the rare golden color she is known for again“I do not dislike you Viscount for I don’t know anything but the rumors about you. And I don’t believe rumors. See I dislike these parties, if it was for my cousin Kat, I may never have survived this long” Beatrice winked at the Viscount taking another step closer so there was little space between them she leaning in his ear as to make him more uncomfortable and push his limits “but don’t ever tell her I think so highly of her” Beatrice raised a hand running her fingers along His cheek as two young girls passed by the gazebo giggling watching them. “But now that you know me and my opinions about your lifestyle would you really wanna be married to an American girl like me or is this all just a kindness to my Grandmother?” she dropped her hand and stepped back.
She looks beautiful, Edward thought as she saw her approaching. The dress complimented her figure, and while the color was not one he thought particularly striking, the green brought out her eyes so fiercely they shone like jewels. He lost his tongue for a moment, though being as close mouthed as he was, who could tell the difference between when he didn’t speak and when he was rendered speechless.

He regained his senses enough to offer her his arm. “Not at all, it was a kindness” he said as they walked up the path to the gran house. “It is superior to mine, I admit. Made for a far more pleasant ride”. He slowed his step a little, knowing she would match her pace to his. He was not eager to get to the house and join the big event. Walking outside in the garden would be much preferable to the commotion they’d encounter inside. Dozens of members of Britain’s upper class, trying to outdo each other in style, sophistication and acidity. He never did very well in these types of surroundings. Give him a complex dilemma of conflicting interests and he will be able to draw up the middle ground and argue its merit with the best of them. But put him in a room with people who drew up by pulling others down and he’d sooner melt into the walls than try to keep up.

Did I tell her she looks lovely? he asked himself. I must have. He wasn’t sure, but he couldn’t very well do it now. Too long had passed. “Will you be playing tonight?” he asked instead.
Thomas Delagney (played by sanahakuryu) Topic Starter

"My dear Miss Vanderson. I believe you mistake me for someone with which land, money and title are important," Thomas said to her with a wry smile, keeping her hand clasped as she tried to pull away - "I have all of those three things already. So people might wonder what my interest is? After all, I have plenty of noble women from Europe to consider. The Tsar and Tsarina have even made offers to help me secure a wife of proper breeding. Yet I'd find it all too much of a hassle if I was unable to select someone for myself," he continued before taking a step back.

"You are intriguing, Miss Vanderson. So, if you don't believe the rumours about me, of which there are many, what do you believe? I would rather you be forward with me, as I can tell you do like to speak your mind. In truth, I asked for the introduction when I heard you were coming," the man continued, plucking one of the roses from the bush and ignoring the pricking thorns, her eyes glancing back at her and he smiled. In truth, he wanted to know what she thought of him. It was rare that anyone other than Arthur spoke openly and plainly to him. He was not partial to being bestowed with false flattery. He'd rather know of people as they were. There were plenty vying already for his name and wealth and all that marriage would bestow upon them and their family if he were to wed. But he wanted more. His father and mother said he was just being picky at this point. Even Arthur was growing a little tired of it, not that he said anything. He tucked the rose into the lapell pin on his suit jacket and glanced back at her again.

"If you will indulge me then? Surely one dance will not lead you astray?"
Katherine Wytherine (played by sanahakuryu) Topic Starter

He said nothing about the dress.....I told them all this was a bad colour on me, Katherine said iritably to herself before realising she had actually cared what he thought of her and how she looked. It was a rare thing. Normally, the opinion of men did not really bother her They could have their pretty little girls in blonde curls and white dresses if they wished. Katherine was opposed to such a thing. As he spoke again to her, she drew her attention away from her thoughts.
"I am not expected to. But I am sure I will be asked," Katherine explained, "my grandmother brings in musicians from the Paris Conservatory every year, so I will not be on the preference this evening."

What now? What did they speak of? Katherine felt acutely aware as she walked beside him that people had noticed and had begun to speak behind their fans about them. It was uncomfortable, to say the least. But there was no place to hide at this party as there were too many people are far too great a chance that hiding would elicit far more insatiable gossip.
"Do you dance, Mr Rutherford?"
Beatrice was a bit taken aback when Thomas said he asked for the introduction no one had formally asked to speak with her it had always been forced upon them. As he spoke she felt these deepening connection to this man who seemed to be just as rebellious as her. “I think you are a reckless sprit trap in a noble mans body,” she let the words hang there no more explanation on what she really thought about him. “Fine but then I’m going to eat a hundred of those finger sandwiches,” she was blunt to the point but also answered nothing clearly.

As they walked back Beatrice’s white blonde hair was falling loose to frame her striking golden eyes she was in contrast to Thomas suit and regal appearance. Many turned and looked toward the pair and the gossip began right away. Beatrice’s grip on his arm tighten just slightly as she scanned the people for anyone she knew personally and finally she saw Kat and Lord Rutherford. A small smile crossed her soft pink lips, she watched the two interact in a sweet way that made Beatrice jealous of Kat. she took the position to dance with Thomas and rolled her eyes up to Thomas’s strong jaw and face since he was almost a foot taller then her. “tell me Viscount Can you shoot well?”
Thomas Delagney (played by sanahakuryu) Topic Starter

"It depends on if you are talking by rifle or by an arrow. I can do both. The Tsar has a panachant for archery from time to time," he said, following with her on his arm as they reached the dance floor, which was the hall's courtyard that opened into the garden, turning her around a little to pull her into a proper waltz position, chuckling a little bit.
"But I hunt, if that's your question," he said, "my bodyguard enjoys it more than I do. He's a bit of a kind-hearted brute. Why, do you? How unladylike of you," Thomas chuckled as he began to lead her across the floor in a confident waltz, capturing her lithe frame securely before smiling a bit.

In all honesty, Thomas preferred to just ride. He enjoyed horses. In fact, it was a passionate hobby of his. With his father's estate so expansive, Thomas had taken the time in his youth to set up a strong side business and hobby of horse riding and breeding. A lot of his horses sold to the noble class of Europe for the purpose of hunting. But they made fine animals pulling a carriage too. It was a wonder that he hadn't given up on his horses now he was away a lot, but it made Thomas love them more as he was always eager to return to them.

"Do you ride, Miss Vanderson? I enjoy that far more than hunting."
A small giggle slipped from her lips as he asked “I like guns And horses a lot see when I was young I would sneak out to the bunkhouse on the ranch and the grumpy cowboys taught me to shoot and everything about horses” Her eyes looked a bit wistful “but then I moved to New York and had my debutante season” she smiled still but it was a little less full. “You talk about Russia a lot, it’s the only time you seem at peace, I dream to go one day, I hear the court has bears in it but I’m a bit skeptical”

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