Title: Blood in the Water
Description: tag - open
Victor Kincaide (Emily) - October 3, 2009 04:19 AM (GMT)
Victor was excruciatingly aware of his sisters' location at all times, but at last he was able to detach himself from the family contingent and focus on his own agenda. He did make a handsome figure, standing slightly aloof to one side of the ballroom without looking altogether unapproachable, but rather just what he was--an eligible young man who happened to have little acquaintance among the crowd there assembled. Being used to solitude, he didn't mind--though it was a strange sensation to feel the familiarity of being alone when in the midst of such a crowd.
Letting his gaze roam almost imperceptibly across the faces (and figures) of the likely-looking young women present, Victor began to take mental notes.
Patrick Grove (Katherine) - October 3, 2009 09:13 PM (GMT)
The melodious giggle of Miss Sarah Bainbridge was a welcome reward after contending a most comical story about her brother, Simon, and his humiliating fall off his horse in front of all his peers at Harrow. The story wouldn't have been nearly as amusing if the horse hadn't been standing stock still at the time Simon slipped off into the mud. Patrick could still feel his sides aching from the side-splitting laughter, just about falling off his own horse in the process. They had only been about fifteen, but such a memory was not one Patrick could pass up sharing. Especially to such a lovely creature as Miss Bainbridge. Simon, standing to the left of his sister, seemed less charmed by it. Poor bloke.
"Ah, come now, do not be cross, sir, I only share the memory because your sister demanded I say something excessively witty." This produced a small laugh from the lady in question, whom he smiled at, then continued, "But, seeing as it was you who made this story possible, I must allow you to take all the credit for Miss Bainbridge's amusement." Simon finally cracked a smile, then began saying something to his sister. While he did so, Patrick glanced over their shoulders in a quick attempt to spot Neil. No luck. But there was a very serious looking character in the center line of his vision.
Patrick nearly laughed aloud. Honestly, man, if you're looking for some female company, do not stand like a vulture off in some corner visibly calculating who was better than whom. "Please excuse me, I do believe I spot a... friend in need of some assistance." He bowed to the siblings, then sidled over to the man's side. He was very deep in thought it seemed, and staring in the general direction of a lovely girl in red. "Would you like me to introduce you?" He asked, obvious laughter in his tone.
Victor Kincaide (Emily) - October 3, 2009 09:45 PM (GMT)
Victor nearly choked on the sip of wine he'd been taking as Patrick spoke to him. He half-smiled to cover for it as he delicately cleared his throat, vaguely recognizing the man.
Grove. That's it.
"Good Lord, is it that obvious?" he replied with a slightly nervous laugh, light enough to make the self-deprecating tone good-humoured over all. "...she is certainly... quite...elegant."
How were men supposed to discuss ladies without either seeming completely unnatural or else utterly vulgar? The line was a fine one to tread, and Victor had the feeling he wasn't as deft in this instance as he should like.
He took another sip of wine. (Oh, alright, it was more of a gulp.)
"...I think that would be a yes. Please."
Patrick Grove (Katherine) - October 3, 2009 11:18 PM (GMT)
Patrick laughed at his nervous antics. Oh, amateurs. "Only to a man who has been in the same position many times." He replied good-naturedly. That was a lie. He had never been a wall flower, but this man didn't know that. Viscount Hawksley, if he remembered correctly. Well, he supposed he ought to remember correctly, otherwise the introduction he was about to conduct would be rather embarassing for all parties involved. "Very well, come." He grinned, nodding in the direction of the petite lady and her mother.
He cleared his throat gently. The pair of women turned towards them and delicately greeted them. Patrick had danced with the younger on numerous occasions. "My dear ladies, how are you this evening?" Both nodded and smiled, returning the pleasantries with just the right amount of demure lash fluttering. "Lord Hawksley, may I introduce Lady Fairen and her daughter, Miss Fairen. Lady Fairen, Miss Fairen, the Viscount Hawksley." As he motioned to Hawksley the women's smiles widened a bit with the knowledge of another member of the peerage in their prescence and curstied.
((Jeez, I'm just using fill in NPC's left and right. And I have no idea if I did the introduction correctly, but I tried my best!))
Victor Kincaide (Emily) - October 3, 2009 11:38 PM (GMT)
((Haha, looks fine to me.))
Victor bowed graciously, his manner easing into more relaxed congeniality in the presence of the ladies. It was the result of his upbringing, he assumed, that he should feel more at ease around women. It did him no harm, indeed, that he should appear altogether more agreeable in their eyes.
"A pleasure, I am sure," he said smoothly, sparing a small smile for Miss Fairen alone before including her mother in the fullness of a grin. "Lord Patrick is being so good as to save me from my own ineptitude. I was quite at a loss as to how I might inquire if you had a dance free, Miss Fairen?" The girl obligingly agreed to allow him a dance and they fixed upon a set which would suit them both.
Patrick Grove (Katherine) - October 4, 2009 05:11 AM (GMT)
"Lord Patrick is being so good as to save me from my own ineptitude. I was quite at a loss as to how I might inquire if you had a dance free, Miss Fairen?" Ooh, very well done. The Viscount had managed to ease his position in the corner from social awkwardness to endearing bashfulness in one fell swoop. Women always seemed to go mad for a man who was shy or hesitant. It made them feel good about themselves, he supposed. Made them feel powerful, to feel that they were capable of effecting a man in such a way.
He watched as the two interacted. The Viscount seemed rather keen on Miss Fairen. She was quite true to her name, both her blonde hair and mossy green eyes glimmering in the candle light. He decided to let them speak a moment and turned his attention to her mother. "Lady Fairen, how is your son?" And she was off, raving about her son's travels and the letters he had sent to her from the most exotic places! He was listening, but only just, one ear on the thus far quiet conversation between the newly introduced. He noticed Miss Fairen was looking very prettily at Hawksley. He hoped the man would pick up what she was so obviously laying down.
Victor Kincaide (Emily) - October 4, 2009 05:55 PM (GMT)
Finding Miss Fairen's conversation to be agreeably amusing within the confines of the usual banter one heard from young ladies, Victor was pleasantly surprised. She was pretty, young, charming without being overbearing or bold. Of course he would do some discreet inquiring as to her connections and prospects, though she did not seem overly desperate. Her opinions did not seem to be too firmly formed, and a little persuasion would certainly guide her to agree with anything Victor said. All in all, precisely the kind of woman he was looking for.
Not a bad way to start the evening. Now if only there were a half dozen or so more young ladies along similar lines to be met with--I could consider the ball to be a smashing personal success.
With his spirits buoyed up by this happy meeting, Victor was prepared to thoroughly enjoy the evening, such as it was. Everything was going exactly according to his plan.
Patrick Grove (Katherine) - October 5, 2009 01:26 AM (GMT)
The introduction was a success. Well, huzzah. Patrick sighed inwardly, suddenly bored with the conversation. He kept a pleasant smile on his face, but allowed his mind to wander. He wondered what his sister was doing. He wondered what he'd have to do if he lost the bet against Daniel. He wondered what would happen between Hawksley and his little Miss Fairen. Perhaps they would fall in love or something of the sort and end up in a pretty marriage. Something which could never happen if he had not introduced them just now. Perhaps I should take up the art of match making. Patrick thought, raising an eyebrow, nearly laughing aloud at the thought. A terrible hobby, he didn't know how mothers managed it. Always looking for compatible personalities, pretty faces that would breed more pretty faces, wealthy and titled gentlemen eligible and willing to be paired off one by one. Yuck.
Whilst deep in thought, Patrick hardly noticed the ladies curtsying their goodbyes and heading in the opposite direction. He bowed, late, then turned to his new found companion. "Well, Miss Fairen seemed very glad to meet you, sir." He chuckled, the sound rumbling deep in his barrel chest.
Victor Kincaide (Emily) - October 5, 2009 01:41 AM (GMT)
"Indeed--I am much obliged to you for the introduction. Have you any more pretty young friends to be met with?" asked Victor with a grin, feeling very well pleased with himself and grateful to Lord Patrick for getting the ball rolling, as it were. The encounter with Miss Fairen left him feeling very optimistic for the remainder of the evening.
"You have a sister, as I recall?" he added, after a moment's thought, taking another sip from his wineglass even as the crinkling at the corners of his eyes betrayed the joking nature of the inquiry. There would be prospects enough in London without annoying this brother in particular by pursuing his sister for no real reason--Lady Whatshername was likely too discerning to give him a moment's thought, if her brother was any indication.
Then again, one would be very wrong to judge Victor's sisters as being just as no-nonsense as himself, but he hoped that his family was the anomaly, there.
Patrick Grove (Katherine) - October 5, 2009 02:20 AM (GMT)
An emphatic laugh came from deep in Patrick's throat, as he wrinkled his brow at the Viscount's comments. "Indeed I do." He smiled, rubbing his chin carefully. Where had Penny got to? He honestly had no idea. Perhaps now was not the best time to try and find her. It could take hours in this crowd.
"I'll introduce you to mine if you introduce me to yours." He managed to keep a straight face for two reasons. One; to practice his skill in the art of lying (which he was absolutely horrid at) and two; to decipher how this man acted at the prospect of another man possibly flirting with his sisters. If he didn't seem to mind at all, then Patrick could perhaps be his passing friend, and nothing more, for he could never befriend a man who didn't care for the well being of his sisters. If he seemed to care, then it meant that he and Patrick were alike in that sense, and could perhaps be friends... Perhaps. He did seem an agreeable sort of fellow.
Victor Kincaide (Emily) - October 5, 2009 02:43 AM (GMT)
"I would, but I have already made the most bungling misstep in introducing them to Lord William Gosling...and I'm afraid my hands are rather full, as a result. The acquaintance of a saint would tip the balance too far, for all that," he mused dryly, rolling his eyes slightly and hoping he wasn't wrong to assume that the Earl was no great friend of Gosling's.
"It would have been preferable to keep them locked up in Norfolk, but they are rather tired of the small circle of acquaintance there, and were I to come to London for the season without them, I should not hear the end of it. In bringing them I believed to have chosen the lesser of the two evils. Now I am not quite so convinced." Victor pulled a face and finished his wine, placing the empty glass on a passing salver carried by a footman.
"In any event, it seems they are bound to drive me mad, no matter what I do," he said with a rueful smile.
Patrick Grove (Katherine) - October 5, 2009 03:06 AM (GMT)
Very good. A sensible man, he was. Patrick smiled knowingly at Hawksley, thinking briefly upon the grief Penny would no doubt be giving him this season. Damn suitors, they were only up to no good. And obviously none of them would be good enough for her. She was quite the catch, after all. He would simply have to sift through them one by one, and then scare them off.
"In any event, it seems they are bound to drive me mad, no matter what I do," Patrick smiled sympathetically, and in reply merely plucked another glass of wine from a passing tray and handed it to him with a meaningful look. "I may tell you now, my friend, that you will not get used to it," He wrinkled his brow, "Ever."
"And so, welcome to the elder brothers club." He raised his own glass and before taking a swig finished dryly, "Yippee."
Victor Kincaide (Emily) - October 5, 2009 03:12 AM (GMT)
"Cheers," said Victor in a correspondingly lacklustre tone of voice. "Being the elder and only brother wasn't so bad...now I must act as a father for them, as well," he said with a shrug, though his pensive expression belied the gravity he felt at the thought. He shook off the mood for the moment and turned his mind back to the gaiety at hand.
"In any event, this is neither the time nor place to dwell overmuch on the responsibilities which pinch and press us--now tell me which young lady has caught your eye."
Patrick Grove (Katherine) - October 5, 2009 03:40 AM (GMT)
The man's words struck a chord with him. If things for his father kept going as they were going now, Patrick would be acting as father for Penny too. He already felt like the head of the house, often being the person his siblings turned to for decisions and leadership, but for it to become so real. He nearly shuddered at the sad thought. And his poor sister, how would she cope without the Marquess?
His own dimming gaze flickered back to the subject at hand, and felt a rumbling laugh vibrate in his chest. "Many ladies have caught my eye, considering the girls this Season are uncommonly pretty, but alas, my heart belongs to none." He raised his eyebrows in an amused manner then returned the inquiry.
Victor Kincaide (Emily) - October 5, 2009 03:59 AM (GMT)
"Alas? Why this 'alas'? No doubt more men have been brought to ruin by losing hearts rather than losing wars. You're fortunate to be unscathed," quipped Victor.
"Still, if you are bent on joining the ranks of the pitiable besotted, there is no doubt a lady under this very roof who will do very well. And you have given no specific answer to my question," he added, with a shrewd glance at the other man and a bemused smile.
"I have never been in town for a Season before, so I will take your word on it that they are uncommonly pretty this year; but tell me--was the view so very bleak in past seasons?"
Patrick Grove (Katherine) - October 7, 2009 02:07 AM (GMT)
Patrick let rumbling laughter roll from within him, his eyes shining with delight. He held his hands up in a gesture of surrender. "Ho there, my sharp-tongued friend, I see you have a retort for all my comments." He continued chuckling, his cheeks dimpling with his merriment.
"To your first repartee, I can only say that I am all too cheerful to have been thus far 'unscathed' by the wiles of women. As you say, many a good man's passion has been extinguished by a harmless pail of water in the hands of his lady."
"To your second, I say that you may find the pitiable besotted think themselves not so pitiable, for love blinds one to where seeing one's own desolate situation is nearly impossible."
He lowered his voice and continued slowly, "And to your third, I say nothing, for fear of being overheard and swatted mercilessly with a fan." He grinned, then patted the Viscount brusquely on the arm. "Ah, I spot my sister. Come, you have most certainly earned your introduction. Shall we?" He motioned through the crowd, to the spot where Penny and Neil stood quite close together. What on earth... ? Oh, she was laughing at him. Good, that's a good sign.
((Sorry this took so long!))
Victor Kincaide (Emily) - October 7, 2009 05:09 AM (GMT)
"Excellent, and you shall meet my own sisters in due course, when I happen to stumble across them, we must hope...in such a melee." Victor laughed and shook his head, following along with Patrick as they wended their way towards his sister. "Forgive me, the wine...er--spirits in general tend to make me rather merciless at the expense of everyone around me, and I think everything a fine joke. I made Juliana cry last Christmas after a single glass of port when I would not stop teasing her for a particularly wretched green gown she insisted on wearing to a neighbour's party."
He lowered his voice to a mocking kind of conspiratorial tone.
"She is a dear girl, but she has not Eleanor's taste for simplicity and elegance, I find. When a gown gives a man a headache after five minutes, it can argueably be branded a travesty."
He glanced back over his shoulder as they walked.
"A girl in yellow tonight comes to mind..." he added. "Surely you've seen that one."
Patrick Grove (Katherine) - October 7, 2009 05:42 AM (GMT)
As the pair ducked and dodged ladies' feathers and fans Patrick chuckled along with Hawksley's words. He honestly had no talent for imagining things, and such a dress he was sure he could not conjure up, so swiftly decided to simply take the man's word for it. He glanced over his shoulder as well, then grimaced sympathetically, "God, how could you not? Poor girl would be more useful in a light house. She could simply stand on the shore and the ships would stay clear." Then he shrugged and shared a bemused smile with the Viscount before they reached their destination.
"Ah, Penny, Neil.."
((And I suppose we shall move to the Neil/Penny thread? Do you want to post there next?))