[Closed] A Favor

Aurélien takes time to return Palis' clothes to him following the LeClair party.

The capital city of Anaxas and the seat of the government.
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Aurelien LeClair
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Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:37 pm

A Favor
39th of Hamis, 2718
Mid-Evening

The summer had escaped from Aurélien’s loosely threaded fingers. He had been so preoccupied with his own work that he didn’t get to enjoy the one day of the year he often looked forward to: his birthday. He was now a bored and unstimulated twenty-five year old. Like every year, his mother had reached out to him with gifts and propositions for a all-paid vacation, but he had turned her down. Still, that didn’t stop his mother from insisting that he do something to celebrate another year of breathing life. Aurélien relented and allowed her to send him to Brunnhold for a week, allowing him to catch up with old friends and associates. This, however, was under the guise of a vacation when he was actually looking to continue to further his own career. He did manage to find some kind of relaxation in the town he called home for a decade of his life, though, and it was welcome, like a warm hug from a long lost friend.

Aurélien wished now that he had savored the time away from the office in Brunnhold a little more as he lugged his briefcase down the street towards one of the many tenements housing the young professional galdori of the city. The briefcase wasn’t the only thing he carried with him that day; on his back was a pack filled with the clothes of an acquaintance, a young man by the name of Palis Ainu.

Palis was one of the many guests at the latest party hosted at the LeClair manor. Aurélien remembered the young man fondly because of his playfully devious way of being, his strawberry blond and wavy hair, and his enchanting heterochromatic eyes. Someone with features so striking as that - at least to Aurélien - was simply and indisputably unforgettable.

When the party had started to wind down and the guests began to funnel out, Aurélien returned to his mother’s workshop and cleaned up the mess he and Palis made early on that evening. He found Palis’ discarded shirt and vest and collected them, taking them with him when he left the house the next morning to return to his own home in central Vienda. Though it had been quite some time since the party, he had put Palis’ clothes with his when getting them laundered and had been holding onto them since then. A moment had finally presented itself, allowing him the time to return Palis’ clothes to young Ainu.

Dutiful as Aurélien was, he was able to find where Palis lived and worked, and he walked down the street now with a slip of paper in hand with Palis’ address written down on it. He walked with a small flutter of butterflies in his belly, swelling up with each glimpse he took at the path that lay ahead. Aurélien nervously twitched, shuffling the paper between his forefinger and thumb. This nervousness was unfounded, he thought. He blamed it on Palis’ aggravating behavior and how he mischievously picked at the stoic-like calm Aurélien worked hard to cultivate. In spite of how seemingly annoying Palis was, Aurélien still sought out the man. He could have easily sent a courier to deliver the young man’s clothes to his doorstep, but here he was on a mission to deliver them himself.

Several moments later, Aurélien was walking down one of the halls of the tenement Palis lived in. He had forbid himself from feeling the flutters in his gut that reminded him of Palis’ bothersome behavior that he felt ambivalent about. He double-checked the slip of paper in his hand and matched it with the flat numbers posted on the walls near the doors. Once he was certain the door he stood in front of matched his paper, he folded the paper into his palm then rapped on the portcullis with his knuckles.

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Palis Ainu
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Thu Aug 23, 2018 10:02 pm

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Hamis 39, 2718....I
n the few months following his graduation, Palis had been forced to dive into the deep end of independent living less he wished to continue living under his condescending father’s roof. He was lucky to have gained summer internship with Incumbent Siordanti in the government of Vienda and Anaxas during his last two years at Brunnhold; with his graduation, Palis’ position had expanded to a full-time, paid position, taking care of one of the biggest obstacles his contemporaries stumbles over: employment. Even as a mere intern, Palis was paid enough to afford a decent home in a small tenement building shared with nine other young Viendan men taking on the world. So, with a job, a home, and enough money to pay taxes, get food, buy clothes, and feed that damned bird he had been given by some distant aunt for his graduation, he was, for the most part, surviving. He was not quite thriving, however. There was many a day the boy forgot to eat or simply didn’t have the will to cook for himself, many nights he sacrificed sleep to meet a deadline for the politician he worked under, and perhaps a few too many days he nearly forgot to feed the bird, the pretty, long-tailed emerald creature in the clean, gold cage.

Tonight was already beginning to shape into a particularly rough night as the falling sun drew orange light into the small room that served as Palis’ sitting room, study, and dining room. It was a dull room, with only a heavy desk scrutinizing the room from before the floor to ceiling window that served as a fire escape and a balcony and the primary source of lighting of the apartment, a pair of lazy, cushioned chairs gossiping in the corner, and a narrow dining table with two rickety chairs chatting in the middle of the room. Seyo, that damned bird, slept with her head tucked under her shining wing in her golden cage by the window. She wouldn’t be squawking at Palis for another few hours, as was her schedule. There were only two other rooms in the apartment: a small kitchen separated only by a sliver of wall and easily seen and accessed from the parlor; and a bedroom shut away by a thick wooden door on the left of the room. The washrooms of the tenement were communal- Palis shared the lavatory with two other men, though, through careful observation, he had managed to find a window of time to clean himself each day without running into the two others. A thin covering of a worn rug covered the floor, scratched wooden boards peeking out from the shore of the rug. The room was well-lit and well-warmed by the sun, but Palis had already taken to lighting the sconces on the wall and the candelabra on the table.

It was rare that Palis had a visitor in the private, quiet little apartment, and the place wasn’t prepared for visitors, at least in Palis’ opinion. It was presentable, though rather dull. He was too much of an obsessive clean freak to allow the room to fall into any disarray, but he still found it unsatisfactory. Tonight, the desk was covered in a quilt of papers, documents, and borrowed books. Siordanti had given the assignment of researching the plague and the solutions that had been presented that morning at the Palace to be presented the next day, and, quite simply, it was a lot to take in. For one, he had to research the recorded nature of the plague, then the rate of spread, then the Viendan cases, and then, finally, he could work on what he did know- the political side of it. His desk was a mess, and so was he. The boy had been working for several hours, and he had shed his shoes, vest, coat, and neck scarf at the door. The ensemble of clothing were thrown over the bed to be later cared for, and could be seen through the carelessly opened bedroom door. His hair was a mess, his nervous tick of running his lithe fingers through his blonde locks taking over. He hadn’t eaten, no, there wasn’t time. His left hand as covered in the smudge of his quill’s ink on the page as it drug across his page of notes, smudging the words with kisses the moment it wrote them down. He had made progress, of course, but it was going to be a busy night, yes, and it had only just begun.

Palis nearly didn’t hear the rhythmic rapping of knuckles on his door over his mind’s own ramblings of the exponential rise in Wick plague victims since 2700. He turned to the door, half in a trance of study, and rose from his chair. He was unsure if he had truly heard a thing. Seyo, the bird, as cantankerous and sensitive as she was, had not stirred to see the visitor, but Palis still moved to the door, peering on tiptoe through the small peephole. He almost could not believe the identity of the visitor.

The door swung open with a flurry of scraping locks and pins, and Palis stood in anxious excitement in the doorway, hair amess, feet shoeless, and hands thoroughly inked. He was not expecting this man, nor was he entirely sure how he had found Palis’ address. Despite this, however, he let his light field swell warmly to welcome the unexpected acquaintance, brushing the edges of the other’s lightly. Surely, he didn’t need a field to show his welcome was genuine as his face lit into the bright smile.

“Aurélien Leclair,” he sighed, one side of his smile rising higher than the other. A light pink began to cast itself across his face, growing in saturation in the orange evening light. It hadn't been especially long since he had last seen Aurélien, but, to Palis, it had been far too long. He had loved the night, and he had thought, for some time, that he had lost the man he had met only weeks before. Here he was, though, and Palis could feel his stomach bubbling excitedly like a brook. He didn’t exactly want Aurélien to see the interior design travesty that was his apartment, but, well, he had to invite the man in, not that he didn’t want to invite him to stay. Palis stepped back, opening the door further to allow Aurélien entrance. “Can’t say I was expecting you to be here, nor that I’m not entirely ecstatic to see you. Come in, would you? Put down your bags and stay for a tick.”

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Aurelien LeClair
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Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:42 pm

It took but a moment for Aurélien’s beckon to be answered; the door swung open after a chattering of locks to reveal to seemingly fatigued Palis Ainu. The fatigue had to be inferred because what greeted Aurélien was far from tired. Palis’ appearance, however muddled, only served to bring the fluttering flies in Aurélien’s belly back to life. His smile came involuntarily and forced the apples of his narrow cheeks to appear. He felt Palis’ field brush warmly against his and Aurélien returned the greeting, flexing his field softly to playfully rattle against the other. His field spoke with the whispers of his happiness to see the other, even though those feelings were five-fold inside his heart.

Aurélien didn’t shrink at the invitation inside, and so he stepped into the humble home with the conversational furniture. The abode welcomed him and reminded him of the house he kept when he attended Brunnhold years ago.

“It is nice to see you, too, Palis,” Aurélien said in his amber voice. He set down his briefcase against the wall near the door then shrugged off the pack on his back, though he didn’t let that fall to the floor. Instead, he kept it up in one palm while teetering from foot to foot to pull off his shoes with his free hand. During his undoubtedly awkward jig - mainly due to his height - he spied a bird in its cage not far off, but he was unable to tell if it had been disturbed by his untimely entry. He decided not to weigh heavily on it, instead wanting to consider the person in the room he was here to see: Palis.

Aurélien turned to Palis after his shoes were off and neatly tucked near his bag then extended the backpack to the smaller man while he spoke: “You left these at the manor the night of the party,” he said. “I got them cleaned for you and thought I would deliver them once I got some free time.”

A small smile formed again, tugging at the ends of his plush lips. “I finally finished one of the cases I was working on and was able to leave early for once,” he went on.

He waited for Palis to take the bag, and when the young man did, Aurélien tucked his hands into the pockets of his dress trousers. He gave the room a quick scan before settling his dark gaze on Palis.

“So this is where you live, hm? Do you live alone?” he asked as he took his first strides towards the chatting dining chairs. He took note of the desk and its laid out contents, too. He didn’t let his eyes rest there, forcing them to continue looking up and about before coming to rest on the sightly younger galdor.

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Palis Ainu
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: Sad, Sappy Boy
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Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:40 pm

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Hamis 39, 2718....Palis had nearly forgotten his neglected clothing. He hoped, for the sake of all involved, that it was Aurélien who had retrieved the clothing after the party, not some confused servant or family member. He imagined it would be rather strange to find a pile of discarded clothing but no naked man roaming the home. He took the bag from Aurélien, glancing at the clothes inside only for a moment before slinging it across the back of one of the dining chairs for later attention.

The warmth that flooded his face and chest as Aurélien’s field merely brushed his on his entrance reminded Palis just why he hadn’t been able to forget Aurélien or the night of the party.
“I was beginning to think you had forgotten about me, or were at least trying to forget about me,” he pouted coyly at the tall man as he danced his shoes off, yet he couldn’t hold the pout long. His face broke into a lopsided smile beneath his messy hair.

“Yet, I know there’s no way you would be able to forget me.” He added, his flirtatious manner a complete turnaround from his past act of bashfulness. Palis knew, or at least thought he knew that Aurélien had some feeling for him, and he certainly wasn’t going to let Aurélien’s feelings, those he had shown at the party, go overlooked. Truly, Palis would have wished to see the man sooner- the night and the man, his longing stare and his playful touch- had not vacationed away from Palis’ mind, no matter how long it had been, how busy he had become. He understood, of course, that Aurélien had just as much work to do as he had on his own desk, but he could still find something to pout about. That was one of his many talents, after all.

As Aurélien scanned the room, Palis grew uneasy about the visible disarray of his desk. He moved past Aurélien to the desk, picking up the papers in his dry-ink-covered hands and hitting them against the table to align them before laying them in a pile. He flipped closed several of the books and stacked them, biggest on the bottom to smallest on the top, as he spoke.

“I live here alone, yes,” he answered as he finished his tidying up, leaving a thick stack of papers and a thicker stack of books on either side of his black fountain pen and well. He turned back to Aurélien, watching the man’s eyes for whatever other mess he could be gazing at, and he splayed his palms on the desk behind him as he leaned against it. “I graduated in Achtus, lived with my welcoming and not-tal-all degrading father while house hunting and then moving my possessions in Ophus, then taking up residency here in Intas. I’ve been on my own for nearly four months, now.”

He caught sight of the bird stirring slightly in the cage. “Well, not completely alone. Seyo’s here, and annoying as a clock shop at noon,” he nodded towards the cage. He sighed, not completely knowing what to say to keep the man from leaving. He drummed his fingers against the wood of the desk for a second, then gazed up at Aurélien with a certain mischief taking hold of his face. He crossed his ankles from here he stood, and he let his eyes drift over Aurélien’s whole body where the man stood before finally returning his dark gaze.
“If our brief is to say anything about us, it is that wine is our most productive subject of bonding,” he laughed a light, chiming laugh, tilting his head slightly as he untangled his legs and pushed himself away from the desk. “Would you like to stay for a glass of wine?” he asked. He broke his eye contact, shrugging his shoulders with that feigned bashfulness again.

“Or a few?” he added, his voice smaller and more hopeful than before.
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Aurelien LeClair
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Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:48 am

Aurélien found himself smiling at Palis’ words. He wondered how Palis could think himself forgettable. If anyone thought themselves unremarkable it was Aurélien himself. He was nothing more than a lawyer who quietly kept to themselves - aside from the appearances he made for the sole sake of making them. He was the son of a popular politician, sure, and the son of a remarkable socialite-fashion designer, also, but he was the second son and had not yet made a name for himself.

The smile remained as Palis’ tone turned flirtatious. The words were laced with the sweetness of mischief, lulling Aurélien further into the strange comfort he found when around the younger man. He looked at the young man now, secretly admiring the way his hair was upturned and out of whack. It was a stark difference from the well kempt man Aurélien met at the party several nights ago. This was who Palis truly was behind closed doors, racked with the work he was attempting to tidy and hide from Aurélien’s prying eyes. The taller galdor held no judgements, though. Sometimes the papers of his cases also spread themselves in a thin, yellowed layer over his desk.

“You make yourself hard to forget,” he said, voice soft. Aurélien remembered the young man fondly, and though he did not know much about him, the want to learn more was there and prevalent. The want was almost achy and made itself known at the most inopportune times -- namely when he was trying to work. He found his mind wandering to the window in his office. There his gaze would gloss over and visions of the night would play back in the theatre of his mind, and often he was locked in the moment where he realized Palis’ eyes bore two colors: blue oceans locked in by browny earth.

As Palis recited his brief history Aurélien was reminded of just how much younger the junior politician actually was. Here he was, just cusping over his twenty-fifth year of life, and Palis had only just graduated earlier that year. Looking on at the redhead, he supposed his bubbling and lively personality could be blamed on his youth. Then again, Aurélien knew people his senior who still acted with such vitality.

Aurélien quickly turned to the bird he had tried to disregard before. “Seyo,” he said softly. He took soft steps towards the creature with his socked-feet but kept a respectful distance. He wanted to admire the avian, beautiful as it was, but didn’t want to cause a ruckus either. If it was as annoying as Palis said it could be, it could potential ruin the quiet moment residing in the room. He didn’t want that to happen at all, in spite of how detached he may have seemed a majority of the time.

He turned to regard Palis again when their past meeting was brought up, a smile visibly gracing his lips. Agreement was in his eyes before he spoke. “Yeah,” he said, “I’ll stay for a glass or two.” Then his smile broadened. “Hopefully we don’t spill on one another like before. At least if we do, we don’t have any appearances to keep up. We wouldn’t have to find new clothes to wear either; we could just take them off.” His last phrase was said softly, as if trying to hide his outwardly spoken thoughts with little effort.

Aurélien trailed after Palis as the little man pushed off the desk. He hovered near his fast-flirty-friend with his hands in his pockets. One of them fiddled with the pocket watch inside but he kept himself from checking the time, for he was afraid that the rush to be at work - at least in some capacity - would sweep him away. He wanted to savor this moment away from work, this welcome distraction that Palis so happily brought.

Last edited by Aurelien LeClair on Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 673
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Palis Ainu
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Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:08 pm

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Hamis 39, 2718....The light flutters tickling the inside of Palis’ stomach and illuminating the ends of his neurons burst into motion within Palis with Aurélien’s soft but bold suggestions, nearly causing him to quiver with excitement as he looked upon the other man. He exhaled a blushing smile, biting his lip as he shook his head slightly. He had, for some time, doubted that Aurélien would even return into his life, let alone feel anything for him. Aurélien was so calm, so collected, and so mature, and Palis was simply not. Palis was a child compared to Aurélien, both in age and behavior, and Aurélien was not the man Palis tended to attract despite his preference of men like Aurélien, older and professional. Yet, here they were, and Aurélien had not attempted to hide his interest in Palis.

Palis’ face brightened like an emergency flare when Aurélien suggested simply taking their clothes off. He would not mind, of course, but the boldness of it caught him off guard. “Wine it is, then. I suppose spilling a bit of wine wouldn’t be the worst thing, then, would it?” he asked with a laugh threatening to break through his voice.

Palis smirked, one of his brows raising as he tilted his head. His messy strawberry-blonde hair swayed down over his eyes, and he brushed it out of his peachy face quickly. He smirked at Aurélien, then flitted across the floor lightly towards the kitchen. He caught onto Aurélien’s forearm with his svelte fingers, spinning the taller man around gently towards the kitchen as he smiled up into his dark, slanted eyes. He nearly skipped backwards to the illuminated kitchen, practically dancing with Aurélien’s arms in his. It was but a few steps to the kitchen, a small, open room with a sleeping wood stove in the far corner, a cabinet of dinnerware on the far wall above several closed drawers, a shelf of ingredients and jars of dried spices above the stove, and a small island of counter space below a hanging display of pots in the center of the room. The room was well illuminated by the orange light of sunset pouring through the window. Palis pulled the two of them into the room, then, after releasing the arm of Aurélien, he turned to the wine rack beside the door.

He waved a hand casually at the kitchen surrounding them. “A bit of a tour for you,” he explained. “There’s the bedroom, too,” he added, glancing coolly into Aurélien’s face. “You may get to see that part of the tour later.”

Despite the sparseness of the apartment, the wine rack was full of colorful bottles of varying wines. Palis brought his hand to his jaw thoughtfully, eyeing the wines. A carved cork on a yellow-labelled wine neck. It was several levels up. He reached up, his fingers grazing the neck of the bottle lightly. He stretched his socked toes to reach the bottle, sliding the white wine out of its compartment. He read the label to himself, then held it up for Aurélien’s viewing, causing the light yellow liquid to slosh against the clear sides of the bottle.

“How’s a Chardonnay?” he asked, beaming. It was one of the most expensive wines he had bought, but the guest before him was worth every drop and cent. “The white wine won’t stain our clothes,” he shrugged before his smirk broke through again, tucking the wine under his arm as he moved to the cabinet of utensils.
He pull open the cabinet, a plethora of various shaped wine glasses filling nearly a whole shelf. He pulled two down, manipulating them through his fingers so as to hold them both in one hand, then pulled open one of the drawers below for the corkscrew. He leaned absentmindedly against the drawer to close it. Palis, laden with corkscrew, bottle, and glasses shuffled back out of the kitchen.

“Come on, we can have a chat at the table. It’ll be dark in here soon,” he suggested, nodding his head towards the parlor door. He haphazardly dropped off his burden, catching the wine bottle as it threatened to roll away. He plucked up the corkscrew, pointing it at Aurélien like a fencing sword.

“Care to open the bottle?” he asked, his eyes bright and cheekbones sharp in the horizontal light flowing into the room from the window.
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Aurelien LeClair
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Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:31 pm

There was no reason to be subtle in Aurélien opinion. Perhaps it was bold to outwardly declare his interest and wants, but he tried to do so in a way that was still charming and classy. Infatuation was clear and cut here, and Aurélien was open enough to see where mere infatuation would lead. In fact, he wanted it to lead somewhere, anywhere to validate the fluttering in his belly whenever he laid eyes upon Palis, even if it were only for a moment. Bells and chimes! He wanted anything to make sense of his jumbled mind when he so much as thought about Palis when he was supposed to be thinking about something else entirely, something actually productive.

“I can imagine much worse,” Aurélien replied. He didn’t hide the smile that filled his face - a reaction to the peep of a laugh that threatened to bubble up from Palis then.

Aurélien followed Palis as the young man danced away towards the kitchen. He stayed close, trailing behind until his arm was taken up and his hand was forced out of his pocket. Aurélien’s face bursted into glee, the barely contained disposition exploding then and there as laughter erupted from the taller man. Voice deep as it were, the laugh was like staccato claps of thunder. He picked up his pace to keep up with Palis’ dancing, no longer dragging his feet but letting himself push up onto the tips of toes and bound from foot to foot until they had tangoed into the kitchen.

He saw Palis clearer in the kitchen’s light, and Palis could see him, too! So revealed was the reddish tinge to his otherwise dark hair and the toothy smile plastered to his face as he took deeper breaths to refill his sails. A hand went to comb back his fringe that has crashed down over his eyes when his arms were his again.

Before Palis had waved about the room for him to see, Aurélien’s gaze had already began to lift and bounce around, and he chuckled at the mention of the bedroom. Palis was just as bold in his suggestions, not even holding back the volume of his voice. How good it felt to not be in the presence of someone intimidated by he, Aurélien LeClair. Here, Palis seemed to enjoy it, or that was the air he gave off! Aurélien savored the warm welcome and want to be in his company.

His attention returned to Palis as the young man stretched to reach to wine of his choice from the upper racks of the stand. Aurélien couldn’t help but think Palis a mixture of cute and foolish. Cute because of how he stretched to reach the wine, and foolish for putting the wine so high in the first place. He supposed, though, with the rack so full, Palis may have had no choice. Still, Aurélien tried to spy around for a stool. Sometimes he forgot that not all galdor were as tall as he. In fact, most weren’t at all, at least in Anaxas.

Once the wine was down and Aurélien’s worries had dissipated, he followed Palis back towards the table and watched as Palis dropped his payload. Aurélien reached out as the wine bottle threatened to roll away but pulled back as Palis grabbed it. He watched the young man curiously, his attention cutting to the bottle-opener as it was extended. He grabbed the tool and bottle, turning the former around with deft fingers so the point pressed into the cork. He pressed, turned and turned, looking towards the window the light streamed from. His gaze came to Palis and rested there, admiring how the rays carved out the features of Palis’ face. His own eyes were lightened in the rays, looking like sweet caramels laced with focus as he began to pull at the cork of the bottle.

With a small strain and soft groan, the cork came undone with a satisfying and loud pop, freeing its sought after contents. Aurélien put the corkscrew down on the table and grabbed the glasses. He began to pour, his sights drawing away from Palis to watch what he was doing.

“So,” he trailed as he poured, “care to exchange a question for a question? Maybe a fact for a fact?” He peered at Palis from the corner of his eye before starting on the next glass. “I can go first if you prefer.” His brow raised but he proceeded anyway.

“As you know, my name is Aurélien LeClair,” he said. “My middle name is Henri, with an ‘i’ instead of a ‘y.’ I’m named after my mother’s grandfather.” He hummed in thought and set the bottle of wine down. He didn’t start again until he was offering Palis a glass. “I’m the youngest of two sons. My older brother is named Renard - not sure who he is named after, if anyone. I was born on the 29th of Roalis, and my favorite color is blue. Oh, and chardonnay is my second favorite wine. Riesling is my first.”

Aurélien savored the first drops of wine as he drew from the well of his glass. After the first sip, he set the glass down and started to unbutton his waistcoat. He slid from it then, and hung it on the back of one of the chairs. His hands started for his dress shirt, then. First he untied his bowtie and let it hand from his collar. He then undid first button of his dress shirt, letting his neck breathe.

“Tell me about you,” he said. “I can’t say I’ve heard much of your family before. Are you new to Vienda?”

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Palis Ainu
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Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:22 pm

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Hamis 39, 2718....The booming laugh that had emanated from the very depths of Aurélien’s belly as they danced to the kitchen caught Palis off-guard, leaving his young face grasping an puerile, haphazard smile. He couldn’t recall if he had heard more than a polite chuckle from the man before- and Palis was so glad to hear the laugh so unabashed and vibrant. It bounced around the room as if it were the very palpable sensation of happiness and love. It was a sign that Aurélien was more comfortable, a sign that he was enjoying himself truly, and a sign that made Palis, as he stood across from Aurélien in the dimming light of the parlor, become even more infatuated with those warm-coffee eyes that he so wanted to drink up. He craved to hear the rhapsody again in this moment and those to come, but, for now he would simply sit silently and drink in every echoing vibrato that hugged Palis’ very heart.

It was rare for Palis Ainu to be silent, but this was a silence that he enjoyed. He wasn’t sure if the rich and smooth honey of Aurélien’s voice, the warming beams of sunshine of his jubilant laugh, and simply the way his hair laid, his lips danced, and his persnickety fingers planned would ever lose his complete captivation, at least not now as he hoisted his frame up to sit on the table, resting his weight on palms splayed slightly behind him and simply watching. He watched Aurélien’s hands as they plucked the cork out the bottle’s neck and poured Palis’ pale ambrosia into each glass, watched his face as he concentrated on pouring the right amount of the chardonnay into each bottle, watched the way the setting sun painted his face with orange water-colour paints on the pale canvas of Aurélien’s face, the colors bleeding together so brilliantly.

“Fact for fact,” he echoed, a soft hum buzzing on his lips afterwards. Palis took the wine that was offered to him, the glass nestled in his upturned palm as he swirled the contents and watched the pale yellow-white whirlpool in the basin of the glass. He took a sip, perhaps too large a sip, but he wasn’t afraid to test the limits of his low alcohol tolerance in his own home. He noted each of Aurélien’s facts- and opinions- away into his mind. Each was crucial information, each a gemstone that Palis would covet. Henri was a cute name, especially with the substitution of the ‘I’. Palis found it a simple and comforting name hidden between the proud accents of Aurélien’s full name. He wondered, too, if his namesake held his same success.

“I suppose the chardonnay was a good choice then, hm?” Palis half-sang, his socked feet barely grazing the floor. He watched his kicking feet for a moment, then turned to look at Aurélien, the light of the window catching in his eyes like golden butterflies in brown nets against a blue sky. “I suppose it’s my turn, then.” He brought his glass to his lips again, but simply held it there in thought, cool glass against warm skin.

“Hmph, okay, here: My middle name is Kilapu, given to me in memory of my father. I’ve lived in Vienda with my father my whole life, but my mother passed when I was young. I never had any siblings- don’t think I would even if my mother was still alive- and my best friend in childhood was a human gardener named Zephyr. Most importantly, sunset is my favorite part of day, especially in this apartment. The windows provide the best view,” Palis finished, his eyes gazing off out the window as the orange faded into the dark blues and purples of night. The room darkened quickly, leaving the two of them in dim, dusky light.

“Darkness would be okay if I didn’t want to gaze at your face,” Palis nearly whispered in the dark, squinting his eyes to adjust them as he pushed off the table and onto the floor. “Excuse me a second.”

He padded over to the desk, hands fumbling loudly for the rattling drawer. He pulled it open, then felt in the darkness for the box of matches. Finding it, he brandished it to some unknown partner, then slid a match out and, striking it across the box, illuminated it.

“So, you-“ he began as small window of light appeared into existence, a halo just around Palis’ face in the dim blue light seeping through the window. “What else do I want to know, hmm? Facts are fun, but I prefer questions, if you don’t mind.” He moved to light the sconces, casting the room in warm, flickering light. “How about something hard, something secretive, something so scandalous,” he suggested, his face devious in the halo that surrounded him as he approached the table with his match. He finished with three stubby candles in a low candelabra on the table, waving the match out of existence. His grin was pointed as he gazed at Aurélien, the echo of scandalous still surrounding his thoughts.

The devilishness of the grin faded as Palis tilted his head slightly to the side, still standing beside Aurélien as he reached for his own glass of wine and sipped it between thoughts. The sound of Aurélien’s laugh met his ears again.

“So, Aurélien Henri Leclair, what brings a busy man with lots of important responsibilities and a few people to do those lesser responsibilities for him to the home of some irresponsible, immature- and incredibly handsome, of course- young fool like me? Surely the original motive was not merely to deliver clothes,” Palis asked, again leaning his weight onto the table. He knew some of the answer, of course- Aurélien had some inkling of feeling for him- but Palis wanted to hear it from the man, wanted to hear what brought someone like Aurélien, responsible, put-together, into the home of someone like Palis.
word count: 1054
tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 2699
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Aurelien LeClair
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Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:00 am

“I’m sorry to hear that,” Aurelien said politely at the mention of Palis now-deceased mother. Palis didn’t appear bothered by the passing of his mother, which led Aurelien to believe that her death took place far in the young man’s past or he wasn’t particularly close to his mother in the first place. Whatever the conditions, Aurelien didn’t press on. Instead, he listened and found himself rather plain-faced at the mention of Palis’ childhood best friend - unimpressed that they were a human but unwilling to share his relationship with his passive nanny.

He took his glass up from the table and drew from the well of nectar again. His sights went to the windows to take in the sunset’s residual rays before darkness overtook them and the city around them. Again, he found himself smiling at Palis as the little man slid from their conversation to take care of the lack of light.

Aurelien looked to the bottle of wine in the dim light, thinking that this meeting for a glass of wine or two would turn into the entire bottle and however many glasses - big or small - that would entail. Aurelien turned his attention to Palis as soft firelight was introduced to the room, and he knew then that he didn’t have any objections to the night encroaching earlier than anticipated.

“I don’t mind,” Aurelien said. His tone was wholly accepting, if not encouraging.

He pulled out the chair his waistcoat hung on and sat down in it with his legs splayed out comfortably. He held his glass of wine in his center, both hands hugging the stem as the candelabra was lit. A curious smile still rested on his lips as he waited for Palis to decide on what to ask. He was open to the secretive, the scandalous, and more should Palis be so bold. Patient as he was, he took another swig from his glass and waited.

The question came, bold indeed but smartly open-ended. Aurelien quite liked the way his name sounded in its full breadth when it came from Palis’ mouth. His attention was piqued, and he let himself be drawn in to the intricately woven web of subtle seduction.

Aurelien licked his plush lips, catching the droplets of crystal nectar left there by the glass. He brought his chalice back to his center and looked at Palis. His brown eyes strolled from the wavy, strawberry hair to the fair brows and finally they fell into the encircled pools of the other’s eyes. In the same moment, Aurelien’s field rippled with the nervous energy held within him and the butterflies in his belly suddenly were revived and he failed to hide the flair of his mood from his field. He drew it in but saw the futility of it now. Palis no doubt felt it, and so his careful game was lost.

“I just wanted to see you, Palis,” Aurelien said. “I got your address from the public records and it’s not too far from the office I work at. I thought I’d deliver your clothes myself and say hello.” He paused and took a sip from his glass before returning it to his center. “I liked talking to you at the party. You weren’t someone I had to impress, and you didn’t seem like you were trying hard to impress me either. You seemed… genuine. And, to be truthful, I don’t have many friends who aren’t somehow connected to my time at Brunnhold, my parents, or my career.”

Aurelien drummed his fingers against the curve of his glass. “I think a good question would be, why did you invite me in?”


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Palis Ainu
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:48 am
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Location: Vienda
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: Sad, Sappy Boy
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Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:36 am

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Hamis 39, 2718....The widening fault line of Palis’ straight-toothed smile pushed his blue-brown eyes into little more than bowed crescents below the arch of his light brows. Elation coloured his face and spread across his skin like a wet brush of water colour paints dipped onto a woven canvas and traced soft fingers lightly up and down the inside of his stomach. He took another, long drink from his glass and drained the glass to half capacity, but the corners of his pink lips would not fall.

Aurelien Leclair had wanted to see him.

Of course, Palis had figured this, but to hear it from the man himself- well, Palis felt rather like a school child who was watching from a far as his must trusted friend aske whichever boy or girl he fancied if they, too, fancied him. Aurelien had wanted to see him. He was ecstatic.

“Well, I’m happy to be your friend,” Palis answered rather childishly, analyzing the contents of his glass before flicking his eyes up to Aurelien as a slow smirk tugged his mouth to the right. “Or more.” His smirk split into a full grin before the meeting of tooth and lip hindered the view of straight teeth. A sigh, as light and sweet as a flowered breeze, escaped his lips. His smile diminished ever so slightly in size, but not genuinity. He pulled his chair around the table to sit closer to Aurelien, nearly knocking his knees against the other man’s as he leaned his own elbows on the table and cradled his chin, wine glass nestled in the tent of his arms over the table. Palis flexed his field out slightly, wrapping his own field around Aurelien’s and allowing his feelings to rather forwardly present themselves to reinforce what he would say.

“I’m glad you came. I was scared you wouldn’t reach out to me again, because, well, we’re just different people, you know? You’re you- you’re intelligent, collected, calm, and responsible, and it’s clear from the very moment you introduce yourself. And, of all the many things that I am, none of those words have ever described me,” he chuckled, but a slight absence of happiness presented itself in his eyes as his hand- nervous, vulnerable- rushed to brush his hair away from his face.

“But you came to see me. It makes me just feel good about me, and you, and us. That someone like you would still choose to go out of his way for someone like me.” He felt he wasn’t making any sense, instead shrugging it away as his face reddened further. “I-I don’t know. That probably doesn’t make any sense but, well, it’s what I feel. Feelings don’t always make sense.” He looked tentatively up to Aurelien’s face, hoping for- he didn’t know. Something, something he’d recognize.

Palis chuckled lightly at the question Aurelien rallied back to him, his seriousness melting away. “Why did I let you in?” Palis contemplated, echoing the question while pushing himself up from where he leaned heavily on the table. He took a moment to think, tilting his head back and forth as if trying to shake the words loose. “Well, I suppose I could say that it is the polite thing to let a guest in, but, then again, I didn’t have to ask you to stay or invite you for a bottle of wine,” he admitted, watching his hands as he ran his thumb around the lip of the glass.

“I let you in because I wanted to see you, wanted to prolong this moment we have together so as to savor every second now, perhaps so I have something to hold onto between now and our next meeting, if you’ll have me,” Palis explained, his voice quieting slightly from his bold laughter. He picked up his glass and leaned back in his chair as he drank. “I wanted to drink in more of you- I got but a taste at the party.” His field buzzed pleasantly with a calm excitement.

“So, we’ve covered the why’s of us being here,” he summarized, lifting his glass slightly as he spoke. “What do you want from tonight?” He asked forwardly as if this hindrance of the typical go-with-the-flow nature of such ordeals was completely normal.
word count: 763
tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 2699
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