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 Confederate Masquerade Ball

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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Confederate Masquerade Ball - Page 3 Icon_minitimeTue Feb 26, 2008 5:40 pm

"Shall we dance?" The words echoed through her head. She could feel her face flush and get warm and it wasn't from the wine she'd just finished. She'd danced before but she was never very good at it. Never one to shy away from a challenge though, she simply held her hand out for him to escort her to the floor.

The dance started off well enough, she knew the steps and and as a Florentine fighter she was well trained in balance and concentration. She was proud of herself, she'd only stepped on Roland's foot once and stumbled twice.

She wound up losing herself in the music, the mood, the moment. For a moment she was no longer a Captain in the rough Caribbean, no longer a battle hardened combatant. For that split moment she was free, she was a little girl running through a field of daiseys.

In a flash it was over. She crossed her feet and stepped on her toes in the process. The master of balance she was saved her from falling over. Instead she stumbled backwards, tangled her feet with another woman's on the floor and went sprawling. Annette landed flat on her back, her dress torn up the left side, one of her pistols had dislodged from her belt and was somewhere across the dancefloor, the other pistol, still tucked in her belt, had landed under her and dischared into the ground.

Bounding to her feet in a single jump, she didnt' even bother to dust herself off, she simply ran for the nearest door she could find and once out the door slouched to the floor and burried her head. This was no place for a Privateer Captain she told herself. She belonged on the water, preying on whatever ships she could find. Hunting pirates and the Brittish alike.
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Confederate Masquerade Ball - Page 3 Icon_minitimeTue Feb 26, 2008 5:47 pm

Whiskey turned to see Josie with her two girls quietly weeping. He was concerned for her well being, but did not want to interupt this reunion. A feeling of relief allowed him time to take in this evening. It was then he realized he had forgotten why he came. It was then he realized that the smell of honeysuckle didn't matter as much now.

A clatter from the window brought him back to this moment. It could have been the slight ringing in his ears, but he could of sworn he heard profanities from the Bishop as he returned from the point of escape. 'St Brendan curse the waters to take you to the depths!' Ballymodan knew the Father had a streak in him as he was a capable captain in his own right!

He turned back to Madam Baudelaire and saw the blood. He quickly removed his scarve and pressed it gently to her wound. Both due to the moment and the soreness in his throat he said just above a whisper 'Josie, we need to get you some help.'
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Confederate Masquerade Ball - Page 3 Icon_minitimeTue Feb 26, 2008 6:39 pm

It took several moments for Josie's emotions to flush themselves out, her attention only slowly returning to that of her own corporeal form. Blinking, as if seeing the room for the first time she looked up at her two friends and Confederates, saying with something approaching the beginings of a smile, "I am afraid my hospitality leaves something to be desired... ouch..."

Letting go of Emily, who slid under her covers to protectively hold her little sister, Josie looked down at her belly, a scarf she hadn't remembered being there pressed into place. She gingerly removed the fine green cloth, seeing part of it come away red. Looking at the wound, she could instantly see it would not be fatal, having cut just across the surface of her skin. She had been very lucky indeed, the fine metal ribbing of her corsette having been just enough to slow the small blade from eviscerating her on the spot. A small shudder ran down her spine at the thought.

She looked up at her two friends, saying, "Excuse me mon amis, if you could perhaps fetch Gaston and Captain Royer, I find myself not fit for Sociable company at present." She paused as she pressed the scarf back against the wound, the bleeding already slowing noticibly as she said, "I seem to have ripped my gown."

She was rewarded by a large smile for her wan attempt at humor, the men's tension released in a good natured laugh that burbled up from below despite their best efforts to quell its untimely arrival. When it looked like the two men might object, she gave them a stern look and said with mock seriousness, "I find myself indecent. Please, give me a moment to refresh myself..."

The two cleared their throats and made slight bows, turning from the room to seek the pair that Madam Baudelaire had asked for.

----

It was several moments until they returned, Aidan and the ever polite Gaston arriving first on the heels of a handful of maids and servants. Josie issued quick instructions, having the estate doctor fetched at once, along with Miss Margo and a handful of other maids to attend to her needs. While the Doctor, a goodly man by the name of Jacques-Guy Tison, cleaned the wound and wrapped a fresh bandage about her waist, Josie was still issuing orders, as if she was spurned into action by recent events. The doctor insisted that she keep still as he wrapped the bandage about her waist.

Around her was a whirlwind of activity. The girls had been given laudenum to calm them, and had been sent to Josie's own bed with Miss Margo, who was under strict orders to stay with them all through the night. A fresh costume was being brought up for her, under the protests of the doctor and the men in the room, for her to wear for the end of the ball. It was that if a white tigress, complete with black stripes and mask. She had commissioned it as her original costume, but had thought it too gouche. Now it was all she had left to wear.

To Captain Royer she instructed him to send a half dozen of their fastest riders in pursuit of man, only to discover that he had already done so, as well as increasing the guard, discretely of course, on the premises. What came as a surprise to her was the information the Captain brought himself, that a wounded sailor, apparently first mate to her missing Ball organizer Seamus O'Flynn, had arrived sometime earlier in the night, causing a stir of commotion. Josie listened in growing concern to the story of her missing friend, embarrassed by her growing frustration at his absence at the ball they were supposed to be co-hosting. Her heart almost broke when she thought of Cathern, but took hope when she heard of Chantilly's galant move to rescue him.

----

It was over two hours later that Madam Baudelaire descended back downstairs, her stiff erect posture seemingly normal inside the white corsette worn over the costume, hiding the truth of her recently injuries. A minuet of George Frideric Händel's composure was playing. Hundreds of eyes turned towards the ball's missing hostess as she made her way onto the dance floor, looking for someone to dance with during the next measure. You could hear the hub bub of conversation wondering where she had been, rumors already spreading, bearing little or no resemblence to the actual sensational events that had transpired over the unknowing guests heads...
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Confederate Masquerade Ball - Page 3 Icon_minitimeTue Feb 26, 2008 7:38 pm

Whiskey Pete was not comfortable with the sudden whirl of activity. The formality was returning and he certainly was not ready for that. Seeing that Josie was attended to, he took the opportunity to slip out. He somehow managed to find his way back through the chateau to the gardens, even though his original journey had been made post haste.

'Where did I leave that mask now?' he asked himself. The now bright moonlight had helped him find it in the middle of the garden. He laughed lightly at the irony. 'The Green Man' Celtic God Viridious, Male spirit of verdure. A rite of the approaching spring and the lush gardens. He picked it up and just held it. 'What would the good Father think about this mask' he wondered aloud. Ballymodan was not into the Paganism of the ancient Celts, but he held tight to traditions of his heritage. He remembers learning a lot about Vodun from the freed African slaves he met in Tobago. He appreciated how they held to their faith after being indoctrined into the Catholic Church.

It didn't matter anyways, he didn't think he would put the mask back on. Madam was right, he was more at home under the stars then he was in the ballroom. Besides, he felt extremely vunerable at this point. 'Who was I to think that Madam.... Josie' He did not finish the sentence. Allthough fairly mild for February, he realized a sudden chill. He went for his flask and he realized it was in his jacket which was no where to be found. 'ah brilliant, and why the 'ell not!' He laughed at his own fate and set out to find the jacket.
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Confederate Masquerade Ball - Page 3 Icon_minitimeWed Feb 27, 2008 11:11 am

The first dance couldn't have started at a better time for Mariuns. It allowed him to fade and blend into the crowd of costumed guests. For hours it seemed he led the fair lady Lesleque. Taking the occasional break and sharing a glass of the fine product of their host's estate. In it all Marinus was able to become for the first time in years, lost in a moment. A fleeting fragile thing, which if he thought too much on it would be smoothered by the attention, and be lost.

This evening he had been allowed an escape from the pressures which normally prevailed upon his conscience and haunted his dreams. In the presence of the lady before him, he could hold conversations without pretense or nuance. He thought for a minute that this is what life should be, what it could have been...

What was this he felt? Was the gentle seduction of the sweet Siren of delusion bewitching him with her graces? What new torture had the demons who hounded his every step devised for him this time? Before him was a small taper flickering with a dim flame of hope, if he but moved to towards it, the gentle breeze of his advance would be enough to plunge him into darkness. Could he maybe enjoy its gentle glow from a distance, if only for a little while, he wondered almost deperately?

Euripides had once remarked that, "Whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad." Perhaps Marinus thought, he could have them one better, and choose for himself the maddness of frivolity.

He smiled as he took the hand once again of the Lady Lesleque, and led her from the dance floor, the last piece had ended, and Mariuns felt he should have another glass of wine. Above, their host decended the stairs. Her absense had been notable, and all heads turned as she came down to join the multitudes.

Serafie took her leave had left his side to go a sit among the other ladies while they rested between dances fanning themselves and gossiping about the other guests.

In that crowd he strained as he looked about for the Commodore and did not see him. An observation he made with both relief and some anxiety. Surely he had not left, where could he be, and more importantly, where was Marie?

It was then that he was siezed by shock and horror. While he was distracted, Marie has taken the oppurtunity to intercept Searfie Lesleque and engage her in conversation. Terrified and in a panic, he walked instead towards his host. A means of escape which had so conveniently presented itself.

"Bonsoir madame, I hope all is well? Perhaps you might do me the honor of sharing this next dance?"
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Confederate Masquerade Ball - Page 3 Icon_minitimeWed Feb 27, 2008 3:50 pm

Josie looked up as the dapper Monsieur Marchand approached, his gilded mask fairly gleaming in the light of the chandeliers overhead, expression still enigmatic as always. She smiled upon hearing his words, curtseying once before replying, "It would be an honor Monsieur Marchand."

Slipping her arm under his, they glided out on the dance floor together, Josie too wrapped up in her own concern about dancing well with her hidden bandages to notice Marinus' sidelong glance at the pair of woman engrossed in conversation nearby. Settling comfortably into the dance floor near the center, Monsieur Marchand struck up the conversation once more, saying, "Your presence was missed earlier. There were a great many dancers who were disappointed they had not the chance to accompany you. I trust all is well?"

Just then the first few notes of the rigaudon began to play, the spritely tempo set fast as the couples began to whirl across the dance floor. To Josie it felt like she was flying, for to her surprise she found Monsieur Marchand to be an excellent lead. Speaking up loud enough to be heard over the music she replied, "The duties of a Hostess are sometimes burdonsome indeed..." If only you knew the half of it, but perhaps not. Somehow I feel more comfortable that you don't...

Nodding politely, he lead her through the next series of steps seemlessly, adapting to her stiff posture without drawing attention to it at all, making them seem to float across the dance floor as a single unit. Josie was delighted. She smiled up at him, for he was quite a bit taller, and said in a warm voice, "And now I see why Serafie was so looking forward to the ball. You are an exquisite dancer Monsieur Marchand."

It took him a second to reply, as he returned his gaze from the side of the room back towards Josie, saying, "One picks up such things if they spend any considerable amount of time in Society." At this he paused, as if gauging where to take the conversation. After a moment he continued, saying, "In truth I have rarely found much enjoyment in it. However tonight I have been surprised to find it quite... pleasant."

Smiling, Josie saw her dance partner's glance towards the radiant Serafie, her face flushed from the hours of dancing she been doing with Monsieur Marchand. Perhaps he does have some feelings after all... Maybe I was wrong about him... she wondered. In a moment, they whirled past the pair of woman engrossed in conversation.

"You know she cares quite a bit about you, do you not Monsieur Marchand?" Josie said suddenly, not entirely sure what drove her to say such a thing. To her it was obvious, but she had discovered men often do not perceive even the very thing in front of them at times when it comes to such matters.

At her words, Josie could swear she felt her dance partner stiffen somewhat, but she was sure she was imagining it as he took her through the final steps of the dance. Sighing somewhat, Josie said whistfully, "I am happy for you two. It is good to see such joy shared between two without the usual accompanyment of drama and strife."

She smiled as she looked up into the mercurial mask of her partner. Perhaps someday I will be as lucky as Serafie... Her heart skipped a beat, as she was at once terrofied of the idea, yet enchanted by it. In truth, she was scared of the very attention she sought, the end result tearing at her inside...
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Confederate Masquerade Ball - Page 3 Icon_minitimeWed Feb 27, 2008 5:04 pm

The carriage ride from the foundries was short but enjoyable. Except for the lunatics hell bent on some Tampa derby. Arriving at the chateau in one piece. A half drunken Hew spilled out of the side. Before one of Madam’s servants could help. Hew found himself falling like a palsied jongleur. When he opened his eyes he found a deck of cards.


"Well tis a sign to be sure" Hew dusted himself off and gathered his dignity as well as the cards.

Hew examined the deck, finding a marked deck clearly for brag or vingt et un. Missing an ace of spades. Not as good as his deck marked for his monocle. But it will be fine for the lads on board.

"Well off to the party then. Sounds like the dancing has started.. Lad inform your mistress McDraig has arrived." He says to the nearby servant boy. Giving the deck a quick shuffle and then putting it in vest pocket.
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Confederate Masquerade Ball - Page 3 Icon_minitimeWed Feb 27, 2008 6:27 pm

Late in the evening, a lone rider approached the estate at a casual trot, seemingly unfussed by the odd looks that the various servants that were about gave her. She came to a stop right where the carriages were letting off, but her patchwork skirt and plain shirt betrayed that she was obviously no ball guest.

"I'm sorry, mademoiselle, but are you in the wrong place?" a servant approached her, polite yet firm in his assessment of her station.

The woman grinned widely and dismounted. "This is the Baudelaire estate, isn't it?" The servant nodded, giving her an odd look. "Then I'm right where I wanted to be. The Malcontents of Melrose are here, oui? Of course. I'm just dropping by to see them. Never mind me!"

With that, she made a sprint towards the doors of the main house, and the servant quickly followed after her, yelling, "Mademoiselle! This is not an open engagement, you can't just - "

"Tell them Elise Cyprien is here!" she yelled back, letting herself inside, and immediately fixing an honest smile to show to the questioning looks her appearance had created inside the entryway. She the smoothed her skirt and strolled towards what sounded like a crowded ballroom, abuzz with the sound of conversation and music.

She entered the ballroom quietly, scanning the crowd, but found nothing but costumes and brightly colored masks to look at. This won't do, she thought quietly, aware of how much she would stand out. She made her way along the edge of the room without anyone taking serious notice of her, with most enamoured with the dance and related activities, and slipped into a side parlor.

Looking around, she realized that she had picked a poor choice, as the room contained very little that she could use. A chair here, an odd sculpture there, but nothing that would make a proper costume. She stuck her head out of the parlor, and spotted another room down the hall. She could see a long table with a white tablecloth, and a basket full of fresh produce. Elise grinned and hurried over to the other room, swiftly stealing the cloth and a yellowish fruit, and went back to the parlor.

A quick change is a mark of a great performer, she told herself. She managed to quickly wriggle out of her clothes, and then masterfully wrapped the white tablecloth around her like a makeshift toga dress, fastening her belt around her waist to pull the look together. She then quickly hid the clothes behind the chair, and made her way back into the ballroom.

The servants from outside the mansion had come inside in the meantime to search for the intruder, and she spotted them making their way around the ballroom to her direction. She sighed with a touch of concern, then struck a pose, pretending to be quite fascinated with the goings-on around her, and hoping the darkness outside had obscured her face enough...

The servants all walked by her, except the one that had first questioned her upon arrival. She could feel his eyes on her and her odd getup, and she tried to stay calm as he approached her purposefully.

"Pardon, mademoiselle, but that is a most odd... um... masquerade attire. Who are you supposed to be?" the servant asked suspiciously, studying her reaction.

Elise grinned. "Why monsieur, isn't it obvious? I'm Atalanta, and..." She paused for dramatic effect, and brought the fruit to her lips. "I've been distracted by a golden apple." She took a bite and smiled charmingly at the servant, who rolled his eyes and continued on his search.

She swallowed the mouthful of fruit hard. That was close, she thought amusedly, and focused her attention on the crowd of beautifully paired dancers.

She had arrived.
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Confederate Masquerade Ball - Page 3 Icon_minitimeWed Feb 27, 2008 7:15 pm

As Captain Naveaux and her daughter were assisted out of the carriage by the footman, Aimee spied Hew McDraig drunkenly falling on his face.

"Mama, who is that and what is wrong with him?" asked Celena incredulously.

"That, my dear, is Hew McDraig and he is Scottish..does that answer your question?" Aimee shook her head and giggled to herself.

"This way darling, let us find some refreshments, I know mummy is definately in need of a drink"
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Confederate Masquerade Ball - Page 3 Icon_minitimeWed Feb 27, 2008 7:54 pm

Ballymodan strolled through the garden trying to retrace his steps. The stiffness in his neck told him it was not that long ago, but he tried to remember before that when he first came into the garden with her, and that was ages ago.

He was lost in the thought until he stepped on his jacket. He heard the finely crafted glass flask break, the liquid quickly seeping through the green jacket. 'Some innocents 'scape not the thunderbolts' He said quoting Shakespeare. Whiskey was not a formally educated man, but by no means was he unlearned. He was an avid reader, something he considered art. An artist to him, was his own nationality, so William therefore could not be British, but could be appreciated.

"Aye the fates have conspired against me twould seem' He picked his coat up and headed for the stables. This night had shown such possibility if only for a few magic moments. Reality had hit him in his face like a gale off the bow. His distillery was not far from here, and Arthur had flown home to nurse his wounds. 'Smart bird!' Whiskey stated, wishing he was home.

He was able to find his way to the stable and had startled the stablehand. 'Sir, I...' Whiskey put up a hand to stop him. 'Tis okay lad, I dinna mean to startle ya.' Whiskey was not sure if was the suddeness of his appearance or that of his appearance itself that startled the lad. He smiled in spite of himself. What would Marchand think of such an improper appearance at the ball? What would Madam herself say? 'think of the rumors' wasn't that her line?

Ballymodan had found his mount and reached for the flask kept in his saddlebag. It did not take him long to now remember that he had offered it up to the guard at the gate. He corked the empty flask and replaced it back into the bag. Whiskey laughed at the absurdness of his situation. The stableboy, surely thinking him mad, asked him if he was alright.

'Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt' This did nothing to assure the stablehand! 'The Bard speaks lad!' ' Don't worry for me, I am quite fine!' Whiskey neatly laid the jacket over his horse, and laid the mask ontop.

'I am tired of hidin' meself behind the mask lad. I am tired of hidin' behind the Whiskey. The pain , she'll come, ahn ya canna stop it. Time to quit betraying meself lad!' He patted the stable boy on the shoulders and left him standing there with mouth gaping.

Dressed in his Green Pants with Vest and White, or what started as white, but was a little bloodstained at his point. lace shirt, He made his way steadfast for the ballroom, determined to try.

He stopped short of the door to shore his nerves once more. One of the servants went to stop him based on his appearance, but the other one recognized him from upstairs. "Monsieur' he said holding the door. Whiskey went to tip his hat, then realized he wasn't wearing it, simply nodded and stepped in.

He immediately recieved looks from the well dressed ball atendees, but for the moment, did not care. 'I dunna care about rumors when a life is at stake' wasn't that his line? At this moment, to him, his life was someone at stake. At least some kind of change in it.

He caught the eye of a fetching girl he had not seen before. Her lack of mask with a simple toga costume certainly put him at ease. He smiled and thought he caught a smile back. This gave him the courage he needed. He saw who he was looking for across the floor. She was finishing a dance with Mercury himself. Whiskey wondered if this stranger knew that the Romans interpeted the Celtic God Lugas as Mercury, the inventor of all arts. It did not matter, he was not here for a lesson.

He had seen that madam had changed, but he had no problem recognizing her. He was not for pomp and circumstance, but he respected her enough to show the proper formality in this moment, save one. He walked passed the people looking at his attire with some obvious reservation, but he did not care. He stopped in front of Madam Baudelaire and made a proper deep bow. His appearance seemed to startle her too, he hoped from the suddeness of it. Looking her in the eyes, he asked. 'Josie, will you honor me with a dance. You might find that I am left-legged twice over, but I promise to not step on yer feet lass' He lifted his bow with a smile.
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Confederate Masquerade Ball - Page 3 Icon_minitimeWed Feb 27, 2008 11:32 pm

The dance was just ending, the final notes still lingering in the air as the men and woman parted, bowing to each other in appreciation of the dance just had. Josie noticed Serafie and another woman she did not recognize approaching her and Monsieur Marchand, their expressions impossible to read behind their masks. She waved to them as the dance ended, turning to walk towards them as she heard a slight commotion from behind her.

She turned and let out a startled gasp as she saw Whiskey standing before her, bereft of costume and courtly attire, but for the manner of his carriage and composure. The mask she wore helped hide some of her surprise as her heart began beating in her chest like some trapped bird in its gilded cage, but there was no hope fooling the austute Irishman. Josie thought she could barely hear Monsieur Marchand mutter something under his breath as he looked Whiskey Pete up and down, "How provincial..."

As Ballymodan asked her to dance she was momentarily stunned, taken back to a time far before this one, a time where she was happy for a spell, and had the attentions of a young Scotsman and artist when she had lived in Paris. His reckless disdain for Society and decorum had been intoxicating, but not nearly as much so as his attention... One look from him had set her heart in motion, and she felt its equal in the gaze before her now. It terrofied her. The young Scot now lay dead some four years past, and her hopes for love with him. She had kept that part of her locked away, hidden even from herself as the pain was too much for her to bear, yet with inexorable relentlessness the Pandora's Box of her soul was opening once more.

Coming back to the present, she realized everyone was staring at her. Serafie and the other woman stood nearby, staring. Mercury looked on, his expectations as unknown as always. The crowd of eyes that had followed the unmasked Irishman across the ballroom floor stared. And directly in front of her Whiskey looked her squarely in the eyes, past the mask, past the facade, past the pomp and the circumstance, past the carefully manicured defenses she had woven around herself for so many years.

By sheer force of will, she stammered out a reply, "W-why of course Whiskey." Taking some confidence from the sound of her own voice, she finished by saying, "For your two left legs, I will offer my two right, so that combined we may yet make it through this next dance intact." As she finished she returned his bow with a curtsey of her own.

As he reached out his arm to escort her back onto the dance floor Josie paused, removing her elaborate White Tigress mask and handing it to her friend Serafie, saying, "My dear Serafie, would you mind holding this for me a moment for this dance? I do not feel like being anyone besides Josie at this moment..." She walked away, leaving Monsieur Marchand with the two woman.

----

A moment later she was out on the dance floor, her unmasked face the equal of her partner as the first tunes of the new dance began to play. The crowd of dancers hesitated momentarily, then much to Whiskey and Josie's surprise they all one by one began to set their masks aside for this dance, unsure as to whether it was expected of them or not. Josie looked across at Whiskey and could not help but smile, leaning in close as she said, "You are quite the trend setter. We better be careful, or else everyone in court will don the appearence of handsome Irish rogues..."

Whiskey chuckled as he replied, "As long as they don't dance like me as well, were bound to be safe."

The song began in earnest now, the fast notes of the Courante filling the hall as the couples began to move through the steps of the courtly dance. The name literally means 'running', and is quite a lively dance. The current French Court version of the dance had been slowed somewhat, giving it a graceful, romantic pacing. Or at least if you knew the steps.

It became instantly obvious that Whiskey had never danced the Courante before, despite his best attempts to fool those around him. Josie giggled a bit and leaned in close, saying, "My good Captain, I do not know this version of the dance... Is it Italian?"

He replied gruffly, "It's the Irish version. All the rage in County Cork back home..." as they stumbled through another measure.

Still close to him, Josie said, "What dance's do you know best mis ami? The gigue perhaps? Oh, how do you say it? The... jig?"

"Aye, I know that one quite well." Smiling at her and putting on his best grin he said, "Truth be told, I've at least danced that one before, if that's what you're askin."

"Then perhaps we should pretend this is a jig with slightly different timing, no?" she humbly suggested.

His only reply was to change his dance steps immediately, slipping into the dance he knew extremely well. The change in his ability to lead her on the dance floor was like night and day. Suddenly Josie began to whirl, barely keeping up with her partner as they moved at speed. Josie was a very accomplished dancer, and used some of that talent to do what experienced follows have been doing for years - making their leads look good. She threw in extra flourishes with each spin, swishing her long white ball gown around her each time she did so, the alabaster white cloth catching the light radiantly.

Josie lost track of time, lost track of where on the dance floor they were, lost track of the pain and stiffness she felt in her ribs, and in the end lost track of herself. She giggled like a schoolgirl as they spun and spun. The difference between dancing with Monsieur Marchand, by far the better more experienced dancer, and Whiskey were night and day. Monsieur Marchand had literally decades of experience, and had danced every French Court dance so many times he knew the moves by heart. He knew them so well in fact that he rarely paid attention to the moves, as he didn't need to. During his dance with Josie she had felt like he wasn't truly there, despite the gracefulness of his steps and timing, his attention everywhere but on the person he was dancing with. Whiskey, in sharp contrast, was entirely present, the whole of his attentions and being immediately at one with the moment, and no where else. She found it intoxicating.

----

As the music drew to a close several notables smiled and clapped for the pair, while yet others politely turned away and instantly began gossiping, no doubt about them. The Governor of Tampa tipped his hat and said amiably, "That was the most unique Courante I have ever had the pleasure to see..."

Josie smiled back and replied, "Merci Monsieur. It is the Irish version." She turned and walked off the dance floor before the Governor had a chance to ask any follow up questions, arm still under Whiskey's as they stepped to the side of the room.

Squeezing Whiskey's arm slightly, she said, "I find myself parched and flushed after such an invigorating dance. Care to join me for a drink in the garden?"

"I thought you would never ask..." he replied, steering them towards the wide French doors, thrown open to the night air. As they filed out they passed a striking young female Captain dressed almost entirely in red, and a darling little girl, wearing almost as much finery as her mother, following closely behind.

Josie smiled as she recognized Madmoiselle Naveaux and nodded to her as they passed in the doorway. Both her and Whiskey stopped long enough to exchange warm greetings with their fellow Confederate, before the need for something to drink overwhlemed them, and they set out once more, stepping out into the night air and the surrounding gardens. Spying a nearby outdoor bar manned by an attractive female maid dressed in her cat costume, the pair steered themselves that direction, Josie's head a whirl from the heaving ups and downs of her emotions of the day's events, tossed like a corvette before the gale...
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Confederate Masquerade Ball - Page 3 Icon_minitimeThu Feb 28, 2008 9:09 am

Roland tried to grab Annette as she fell backwards but she was out of reach. It all happened so fast, Annette was out the nearest door before he could even utter a word. He followed after her into the night, hopping she was not hurt, but more to try and comfort her from the embarrassment. He saw her sitting, burying her head in her hands.

"Annette! Are you alright madam?" She did not even look up at him. "Annette, it happens, perhaps we should have practiced a few steps before trying that dance. I do apologize." Hoping to console her even if just a little. Putting his arm on her shoulder "I know a capitaine of your skill and daring wouldn’t let a stumble stop her dead in her tracks now would she?" "If you would rather leave then go back inside, I would understand and back you." "Your decision madam"
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OxBaker
Privateer Captain
Privateer Captain
OxBaker

Number of posts : 410
Registration date : 2007-09-10

Character sheet
Locations: Grenville
Production: Hemp, Rope, Canvas, Cotton, Sails, Textile Unrest Bundles
Requirements: Tar

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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Confederate Masquerade Ball - Page 3 Icon_minitimeThu Feb 28, 2008 12:12 pm

Bishop McDermott took a moment after retrieving his mask to lean against the hallway wall and gently prod at a rib to verify it was indeed not broken. “Bruised and perhaps cracked but I think you may have been saved from a break” He thought. “Thank ye St. Brendan for the loan of thy angels in the resolution of this ordeal”.

After the confrontation with the assassins, Aidan had done what he could to help ensure that the remaining matters were dispatched with all due discretion. A good deal of time and planning had gone into this ball and Aidan felt that this night was chosen by the culprits to bring as much ruin as possible to the good Lady Baudelaire. The Bishop would do all he could to ensure that they received no satisfaction from their efforts.

Adjusting his robe, Aidan once more donned his mask and proceeded down the stairs to join the other guests. His rib may not be broke but it indeed felt as if it was. However Aidan did not let his discomfort show in his step. The pious Bishop had gone through a time of testing in his youth in which he truly felt his flesh was evil and needed to be brought into submission. It was through these years of self inflicted lashings that he learned to give no outward face to pain.

“Now where did I leave that pastry? Waste not, want not.” Aidan thought as he made his way trough the sea of guests.
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Confederate Masquerade Ball - Page 3 Icon_minitimeThu Feb 28, 2008 5:55 pm

Approaching the small outdoor bar, flanked on either side by hooded lanterns hanging from long wrought iron poles, Josie smiled as she felt her heart rate returning to normal. She fanned herself lightly, not out of some need for social niciety, but because she was genuinely hot, and had a distinctly unladylike sheen of perspiration covering her skin. Whomever in Society had decreed that woman don't sweat must clearly not have been one themselves, as far as she could tell. Glancing over at Whiskey, she hardly thought he minded or indeed had even noticed. Here I am, wondering if my sail colors properly match my hull trim, when the ship is taking on water and foundering. Learn to let it go Josie she scolded herself mentally.

"Bonsoir Madam Baudelaire, Monsieur. Is there anything I can get you?" asked the young bartendress, a slight smile creeping on to her face as she looked at her madame's companion.

"Whiskey lass, if ye have it..." answered Whiskey Pete, somewhat predicatbly as he leaned against the bar.

"Je suis monsieur désolé, we do not have any of such beverage at this bar, a thousand pardons. Wine or ale perhaps?" the waitress suggested, her cat eared head cocking to the side as she spoke.

Josie smiled and spoke up, saying, "I will take a glass of the Sang de la Sirène Cabernet Sauvignon, s'il vous plaît."

"Oui, Madame. One glass or two?" she asked, looking over at Whiskey, who ran his strong hands through his wiry red hair and eyed the expensive glass of wine warily.

Smiling, Josie answered for him, saying, "On second thought, perhaps you could simply leave the bottle with me." She turned to her companion and said, "I know a few individuals most likely laden with fuisce who might appreciate an exchange of wine for their spirits."

"Ya dunna have to go through such troubles on my account Josie. I'm sure your wine is o the first order..." Whiskey spoke up.

Taking her glass in one hand, she handed the bottle in the other to the protesting Irishman, saying, "I must insist. It is the least I can do for the man who saved my life..."

The young bartendress watched them leave arm in arm, a coy smile on her lips as she wondered at her mistresses last words she should chance to overhear, relishing the first opportunity she would have to tell her girlfriends and co-workers.

----

Josie wandered through the outside of the gardens and through the hedge maze, walking in a comfortable silence for a turn as the two enjoyed the stroll. As they turned a corner in the hedges, Whiskey letting Josie lead as she knew the path through the small maze better than any save the gardener, for she had a hand in designing it, they came upon a pair of amorous lovers kissing each other passionately. Josie smiled and stepped lightly around the pair, passing them as discretely as possible in order to leave them undisturbed. They didn't seem to notice what so ever, the man dressed as a unicorn, the woman a swan, their clothes and masks in disarray.

As they rounded the next corner, leaving the lovers to their passionate designs, Josie squeezed Whiskey's arm and said, "It is good to see that passion is not entirely dead in this world. I have seen so much pain, so much bloodshed as of late, I sometimes forget that... Don't you agree Whiskey?" she asked as she looked up into his eyes.

"For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings, That then I scorn to change my state with kings..." he replied enigmatically, his voice low in the darkness.

Josie cocked her head to one side with a quizical look on her face, saying, "I am afraid I do not know the line... Your own, or another?"

Smiling and returning her look as they exited the darkened hedge maze at last, he replied, "William Shakespeare, playwright out of London. He can turn a phrase well enough, he must be Irish despite what they say."

Laughing, Josie nodded, saying, "Oui, I am sure you have the right of it mis ami. I had not known you to be so well read! I think you might enjoy the people we are to meet and procure you your fuisce. They are actors and playwrights themselves, albeit Scottish and not Irish."

Snorting, Whiskey replied, "Well, we all canne be perfect, can we?" as he held himself up erect and pushed out his chest, looking as stoic as possible. After a moment they both began to laugh easily, walking towards the crowded stage area that had been setup between the Chateau and the small cove along the waters edge.

----

The Malcontents of Melrose were in full swing, their handbuilt stage ingeniously designed to include trap doors and changeable scenery. Currently they were doing a series of small skits, most of them involving making lewd jokes about the British, several actors dressed in ridiculous parodies of British Navy Uniforms being lead around by their noses and other larger than life limbs towards their untimely and often gruesome demise. The crowd seated and standing around the stage was of an entirely different sort than seen inside at the Ball proper. This was were all of the First Mates and Bosuns and Navigators went to spend their time, the crowd being far more rowdy and boisterous, often jeering or giving cat calls to the actors on stage as they drank and enjoyed the show.

Around the back of the stage the Scottish acting troop and their various hangers on and assistants readied themselves for their big number which was due to begin in less than half an hour. They were a frenzy of activity, sets being prepared, last minute make up being applied, and of course the traditional pre-show drinking. Despite this flurry of frenetic work, they all paused as their patron and friend Madam Baudelaire walked up to them, a wide smile on her face.

A tall Scotsman, dressed in a black dublet and stage make-up, walked up easily to her and took an amazingly theatrical bow, involving more hand waving and obseqiuos bowing than either Josie or Whiskey had thought possible, before rising and saying, "My most humble and heartfelt greetings Oh Radiant One. Salubrious salutations to you and your companion of this eve. How may we, your humble servants in all things, be of assistance to you? Be it of Heaven or Earth, it will be yours."

Josie leaned to her side and said in a voice loud enough for everyone to hear, despite it being obviously intended for Whiskey, "And this fop is none other than Macauley MacIntosh, ringleader of this band of Malcontents, and more recently Captain of my Mignone." Turning back to her friend, she said, "I offer you parlay, and entreat you to consider my offer. Prisoner exchange."

Slipping into the role immediately, Macauley took on the airs of a Captain bartering for the very life of his crew as he replied with mock seriousness, "Terms and conditions?"

Josie, also with mock graveness, responded, "It is known to me that you are holding, against their will, several aged bottles of whiskey, of which I demand the immediate release and surrendering of unto my person."

Raising one eyebrow severely, Mac retorted, "And in exchange?"

Josie turned and nodded to Whiskey, eyeing the bottle of wine held in his hand meaningfully, until he understood and held it forward for all to see. She then said, "In exchange I offer you the life's blood of this fine French Nobleman, given to you upon successful transfer of said Whiskey."

"Deal" Mac replied, stepping forward with his hand out. Josie stepped forward and shook his hand gravely, until they both broke into a wide grins and hugged each other briefly, pounding fists on each others backs as they laughed, joined in by the laughter of those around them.

----

Soon ample supplies of whiskey were produced, and then promptly consumed along with the wine. The show was delayed by at least fifteen minutes, but no one complained, at least not very loudly. Josie made introductions for Whiskey to the actors and friends she had known since Paris, and soon they were engrossed in a deep conversation about life, literature, plays, the questionable parentage of the British Admiralty, and a number of other unsundry topics. Whiskey couldn't help but notice the attractive young woman he had seen wearing the toga flitting around the edges of the crowd before his attention was drawn back into the conversation at hand...
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Confederate Masquerade Ball - Page 3 Icon_minitimeThu Feb 28, 2008 6:51 pm

Elise masterfully skirted the crowds of people waiting for the Malcontents of Melrose, skillfully making her way to an outside position on the left side that gave a clear view of the stage but allowed her plenty of room for a quick escape should one be needed. Not that she was worried about it anymore; the estate itself had been quite lively during the ball, and although she seemed to attract more than her share of attention due to the costume, most of the guests seemed content simply to whisper to their escorts rather than strike up a conversation.

She waited patiently for the performers to start with tempered excitement. She had heard of the Malcontents of Melrose when she was back in Paris. They were one of the favorite topics of the artistic elites, as if dropping the group's name was some mark of their own prominence in the social circle. It had always been a mixed bag of commentary, generally lined with proper respectful comments about how their talent was obvious, yet surely God had made a mistake to bestow it on individuals of such low and dirty heritage.

Elise had always listened with an acute jealousy of the exciting life the actors likely lived, and could always detect an undercurrent of the same emotion in the voices of even the French detractors. So when she'd heard they were here, going on in Tampa, she could hardly believe her good fortune. As a servant to Monsieur D'Autry, there was no way she would have had the opportunity to ever see, much less meet, the people who had inspired her imagination so, but now...

The Malcontents were late to go on, but the crowd seemed slightly tipsy on the whole and did not seem to notice. Elise, however, was terribly, terribly sober - not out of her own wishes, but this time her performance and awareness was too critical, considering her less-than-proper admittance to the party. She was unsurprised by the delay, but the thought of tempering her curiosity for even another moment felt too much to bear. She quickly moved out of her prime viewing spot, which a couple happily took the minute she'd stepped a few paces away, and quietly snuck her way around the platform until she'd reached the back.

The sounds of laughter and merriment grew louder and louder the closer she came to the rear-side of the stage. Slowly she peered around the corner to observe the racket. She saw them all together, half-dressed for their performance, drinking and carrying on in such an amusing way that she began to fail at stifling her excited giggles. Fortunately they were all so loud that she did not think she would be noticed.

Suddenly she noticed that not all of them were costumed; she focused her eyes and saw that it was Madam Baudelaire herself, along with another man that she had noted dancing with the good Madam earlier. He's cute, in a way, Elise noted, smiling to herself and happy at Baudelaire's good fortune. Suddenly Elise stiffened, realizing that the man had indeed noticed her presence, and she began to worry he'd alert the Madam. Not wanting to be caught invading on the party by the hostess, Elise quickly began to move back out of sight and onto the edges of the anonymous crowd once more...
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Confederate Masquerade Ball - Page 3 Icon_minitimeThu Feb 28, 2008 6:58 pm

The Evening was going very well, just as she had hoped. Serafie could not thank her dear friend Josie enough for bringing France to the colonies. The dances shared with Marinus were even sweeter. Serafie had a chance to shine on the dance floor, practically growing up on dance floors in France; Marinus was an exceptional partner as well. Despite the heat that she struggled with, gliding along the floor in the arms of such a gentleman made all of her worries disappear.

Marinus could tell Serafie was struggling with the hot, humid conditions; the Florida climate was even warmer than the southern coast of France in summer. After a glass of chilled wine, they were back on the floor just as she liked it.

‘There was Josie so dressed up and adorable’ Serafie thought to herself while amid the growing number of people at the Ball. ‘Oh and there is father McDermott, his costume makes him look so sad, I wish he had dressed in something cheerful for this occasion. I do not wish to feel like I am in a stuffy church; this is a Masquerade Ball after all.’

Serafie’s eyes scanned the room, expecting everyone to notice her of course, but she also gazed on in admiration at the strong people she knew so little about yet wanted to. There was Whiskey Pete, he would wear a cute hat and looked so rugged. Over there was Commandant deMontfort, though he looked troubled, his very presence gave an aura of order and stability. Noticing Argyll walking in, he was holding flowers and that alone made Serafie smile and respect him because she knew he was a fierce Captain of ships and men. So many people, so much luxury nestled in an untamed land that she would often refer to as “savage”.

Getting some time to actually sit down and talk to more of the ladies such as Annette and Aimee, in the Society. In their own way they looked so out of place but in another way they looked like they belonged, if only for this day to enjoy and make more friends. Then there were strange individuals that Serafie could not make out, such as a woman in a patchwork skirt and plain shirt that hastened from the ballroom. There was the man that was near madam briefly at the door. Oh, and the exotic woman that walked in with Lisette. Dihya was her name; Serafie first met her at the social in Grenville days before. The lady seemed so improper and then disrespected Seigneur Marchand. At one point it seemed the woman would lay a hand on the monsieur and the look she gave Serafie, she could not soon forget it.

-----------------

The locks of Serafie’s wig dangled between her fingers as she gossiped with other ladies, a cold wine in her other hand. For a moment, as she often does, Serafie daydreamed. Would she find a home in this crazy land where she was so weak and was only held up on a pedestal by the graces of Nobility. Many things were beyond her understanding, the forces at work in the world meant nothing if they did not shine and sparkle or if she could not wear them to feel good. While months before she dreamt of being back home on her father’s estate in Aumane, now she would dream of what else was out there to explore. The stories from conversations at the Ball were enough to drive her imagination wild.

Her daydreaming was broken when a handsome gentleman approached and gently took her hand as she looked up from behind her white mask. As she was whisked off to the dance floor again, some wished they could be like her, others were glad they were not. A sweet glance to Marinus to make sure he was okay with it, he was so smooth with just a nod. The musical tunes danced along with them, for yet another moment the cares of business, of warfare, territory and duties could be left outside.
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Confederate Masquerade Ball - Page 3 Icon_minitimeThu Feb 28, 2008 10:40 pm

Whiskey looked back for a moment, realizing he wanted to thank the young woman for helping him to steal the courage to walk unadorned through the festive crowd earlier, but she was gone. Odd he thought.

His attention was quickly brought back to the rather boisterous thespians before him. There was a royalty about this group that did not come from birthright, but rather from the way they enjoyed life. Josie fit right into them as if she were their queen. He couldn't stop the smile from his face at this revelation. She looked over, seeing the smile, and gave her head a slight tilt as if she were trying to figure him out.

'The good Madam here tells us you are a fan of Shakespeare, give us a line there lad' Macauley's request caught Whiskey off guard. Truth be told, Whiskey did not usually go around quoting the Bard, but there was something about tonight that had his head full of prose. His eyes locked with Josie's and he started, never looking away. 'If music be the food of love, play on; Give me excess of it, that. surfeiting, the appetite may sicken, and so die.' MacIntosh clapped him on the back, breaking his trance. 'Well done lad, you should try acting' 'It seems me whole life, I've been an actor, tonight I am finally me' Whiskey said, looking once again at Josie.

For a moment, he was slightly embarrased, hoping she didn't think he was showing off. He realized though what was so special. She made him belong. He had grown to truly respect the members of the Confederacy, but he didn't always have a place. With her he did. The moment on dance floor, he felt like he was king to this queen. Whiskey had not had any of the 'water of life' yet, but he was intoxicated by this evening. He knew then that no matter what else, everything was all right in the world.


Last edited by Whiskey Pete on Sat Mar 01, 2008 2:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Confederate Masquerade Ball - Page 3 Icon_minitimeFri Feb 29, 2008 12:48 am


In the days leading to the Masquerade Ball, time seemed to fly by far to fast for William. He looked around at his crew hustling to get things prepared for him, listening again to the instructions that had been droned into his mind constantly about what to expect. It was a crash course for him in etiquette, attire, and dance that he had forced himself to grasp as much as he could with the little time he had available to him. He smiled watching his crew, his family putting so much effort to make things as perfect as possible for him. He looked at himself once more, his jade and gold outfit fitted perfectly on him. He looked over once more to a black outfit that rested on a chair beside the mirror, considering if he should change into that one instead.

“If you’re thinking what I think you are, then no you are not changing. And please tell me we don't have to go over all of the protocol...again.”

William looked over to see two of his oldest crew members, Jean Rainier and Renee Mieux joining him in by the mirror. He laughed softly and nodded.

“Alright, so where are these masks I have to choose from?”

Right on cue, he was guided to a table where a cloth covered the masks. The cloth was quickly pulled away to reveal a small assortment of masks ranging from small to full face masks, simple to very ornately crafted. He raised his eyebrows impressed, looking over the selection till one in particular caught his eye. He pointed to it, walking over to pick it up.

“This one. This is the one for me.”

He held up the mask which was a golden mask of a lion. The two crew members standing near him nodded and smiled to each other, the female member speaking up.

“We thought you would like something that reminded you a bit of home…we were fortunate to find it in time.”

William walked back to the mirror covering his face with the mask. His mind instantly flashed back to the lions that lived in his homelands. Proud, noble beasts he always admired. Pulling the mask off, he turned to his crew members.

“Alright. How much longer till we arrive to pick up mademoiselle Angevin?”

The answer never came as the ship was suddenly rocked without warning from behind. He rushed to a window to see what had collided with the vessel only to find a ship coming out from a cove preparing to fire again. The last thing he wanted was a battle right now. He rushed outside to address his crew.

“Set course full speed! I want us out of their range and out of this battle as soon as possible! This is NOT in the mood for a fight!”

The order was one that didn’t need to be given as the crew was already working hard to evade the assailant. It was one thing he admired most about his crew, but there was no time for that. He only watched as another volley came in, most of it missing them as they sailed along out speeding the would be attackers.

“Pirates..” he cursed under his breath, shaking his head seeing that he was clear out of their range.

“Good work everyone,” he exclaimed and then quickly wish he hadn’t been too hasty with the congratulations. In front of them, another ship was coming out quickly and the ship they previously escaped was hot on their trail. He growled silently gripping the rails.

“Alright then! Give them hell, and make this fast! You know what to do!”
With that, there was nothing but the roaring sound of cannons launching their volleys through the air…

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

The Freedom Runner pulled into port much faster then he expected, and with minimal damage. The previous battle was no where on his mind however as he docked and made his way off of his ship as quickly as he could with a few members of his crew, also dressed in matching attire appropriate for the ball. William motioned them on to grab the carriage they had prepared in advance, bringing it out for William to give a quick inspection.

“Excellent. Now, we must make haste to pick up the lady.”

To his dismay however, he was quickly informed that Chantilly had already left. He sighed, frustrated that day was already going all wrong. He could only hurry on to the ball now, and hope that Chantilly would not be too upset for his tardiness.

On the way to the ball from where he was to pick up Chantilly, he couldn’t help but reflect on the events leading up to tonight. The situation he could himself in was certainly a complex one that made life in the Caribbean even more interesting. In the love triangle he was involved with, he knew he was not exactly the first choice of Chantilly. The man in that position would be Emile deMontfort, who he knew she had been desiring and knew much longer then William. This made him wonder if he was just the convenient second option, or someone she truly did have feelings for. The last thing he wanted to be was someone else’s fallback, second place to another. Time would only tell if that would be the case.

It was a relatively short trip to the location of the ball. The carriage pulled up and William along with the accompanying members of his crew exited the transport and made their way inside. The music greeted them first as one song was ending and another was beginning. Slipping the mask he selected for the masquerade on, he took a deep breath and let it out, looking to the others and nodding as he was announced, leading the way into the ballroom.

Hmm…so where are you…

His eyes trailed along the room searching for Chantilly, looking for some clue of her presence but finding nothing.

Perhaps I beat her here or maybe she’s getting some fresh air. Who to inquire too, around here?
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Confederate Masquerade Ball - Page 3 Icon_minitimeSun Mar 02, 2008 11:30 am

The Malcontents were prepared to go on. Josie had led led Whiskey to a corner seat to the side. 'I knew you would fit in well, they seemed to be kindred spirit' Josie said smiling at him.

Whiskey Pete was at a crossroads right now. He had this fine bottle of fuisce carefully procured for him, but he more so wanted to drink in the moment. He had worked very hard at hiding the pain in his past, both figuretively and literally.

'Josie, if anything else, you have saved me from myself tonight' Whiskey said as he produced an ornate skeleton key that was attached to a chain around his neck. 'What is this for?' The puzzled look clear on Madam Baudelaire's face. 'It is the key to my past, and perhaps, my future. It is in your hands now.' He said placing the key in her hand folding it shut and keeping his there. He looked into her blue eyes and couldn't help but smile.
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Confederate Masquerade Ball - Page 3 Icon_minitimeMon Mar 03, 2008 7:11 pm

Josie looked felt a rush of warmth envelope her body, slowly rising through her finger tips and up through her arms from where Whiskey had placed the key and closed her hands with his. Her body tingled and sang in tune with her soul as he looked her in the eyes. His gaze was so intense, she could only bath in its light for but a moment before she ahd to look away, overcome.

"Whiskey... I... I don't know what to say..." she began. She had no idea what the key might open, but she did know what it might signifie... trust. Not the trust that one might put in a worker, or a Captain, or the like, but the trust that one might have in a friend, in the assurance that your children love you... trust with one's inner motivations and feelings.

"'Nairy a word need be said lass... Your eyes speak volumes..." he replied softly.

Josie laughed easily, looking up at him and smiling, a small tear beading the corner of her eye as she said, "More Shakespear?"

"Nay, that be naught but my own."

"Come, I have gone from the Ball overly long now... Will you accompany me once more my brave Captain?" she asked hopefully.

"Not but the Lord would stop me... or my own two left feet..." he said, rising easily and gathering their things.

Josie took a moment to slip the chain around her neck, feeling its reassuring weight against her pale skin as she tucked it under her blouse where it hung amongst her bosom. Once the task was done, she stood, somewhat more uneasily than her Irish companion, and made to accompany him back towards the Ballroom. He reached out and slipped his arm under hers, steadying her as he did so.

Flushed in the cheeks, Josie said in a low voice, "I am afraid the drink has made me somewhat dizzy Whiskey... Perhaps we shall take the long route back to the dance floor after all..." The pair meandered slowly back towards the hall, arm in arm, speaking of little as they felt a peace come over them they had not felt in some time...
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Confederate Masquerade Ball - Page 3 Icon_minitimeMon Mar 10, 2008 5:15 am

The return to the ball seemed more a matter of duty to Chantilly now than a grand event, and as she pulled up as she had before all this started, she realized that she truly did dread what was coming next. The servants showed her inside, where dancing was taking place in a ballroom not far from the entrance, and she peered inside behind her butterfly mask.

The party had indeed wound down, and there were not too many couples dancing anymore, with many more lining the sides of the room. She went down the line of wallflowers one by one, attempting to find someone, anyone, she knew. Perhaps they could tell her if William had ever arrived, or if Cathern and Seamus were here...

Her eyes focused for a moment. There was one person she recognized - the Commodore. But it was not him that her eyes fixated on so suddenly, but the beautiful woman attached firmly to his arm. Chantilly's heart sank as she watched the woman flirt with the Commodore and converse with the other guests. There was a grace about her, a poise and manner that seemed to fit perfectly with the surroundings, and she looked every bit the part of the noblewoman Chantilly had been working so hard to become. Her own sense of inadequacy lodged in her throat, and her eyes involuntarily filled with tears.

Chantilly caught the attention of one of the servants, and asked him quietly, "Who is that woman there, with Monsieur deMontfort? And did they arrive together?"

The servant answered, "Why, that is Marie Marchand, the sister of Marinus Marchand... and if I recall correctly, they did come in the same carriage, yes."

Chantilly thanked the servant, who, sensing his answer had displeased her, seemed grateful to return to his duties. I was much too late... she thought bitterly. It is no wonder that Monsieur Marchand always laughed at my affections for the Commodore, for he must have known all along... And as for Monsieur deMontfort, I have completely misjudged him - surely he should have had the decency to say that he was involved, and that my attention was hopeless. But perhaps he is a coward as well as he is a tease, enjoying the misguided love of some stupid girl like myself, toying with me...

Was I a fool to think... Yes, I was. Forget toying with me, I was never anything to him in the first place. He avoids me unless I approach, merely tolerated my presence because I fought by his side so many times before. And when I thought that maybe, just maybe he loved me back, when he came to New Orleans to save me... I was the biggest fool of all.

The thoughts burned at Chantilly for a few minutes, until she was sure that the entire room could see straight through her mask to the hurt and anger she bore underneath. She was so consumed in her feelings that she did not even notice William Brown approaching her.

"Chantilly..." William began, his voice snapping her back into the present. "You look amazing."

She was grateful that the mask was hiding her thoroughly angry and broken heart behind its beautiful facade. William had always been kind to her, and she knew his feelings for her were genuine, selfless ones, especially considering the situation. Chantilly mustered a smile. "Sorry I'm late," she said lightly.

"Only by a few days... but I'm happy enough to see that you're all right," William said with a hint of concern in his voice, kindly placing his hand on her arm.

Am I all right? That's up for interpretation.
Chantilly accepted his gesture, and slowly removed her mask to reveal her eyes, still brimming with tears. "It's been a rough few days," she admitted quietly.

Upon seeing her distraught face, William pulled her close to himself in a protective embrace for a moment. "It's all right now," he said uneasily, unsure of the cause of the distress, but solidly knowing that she would need his comfort. He kissed the top of her head gently. "Let's get out of here, all right?"

Chantilly nodded, and he led her back outside, where he called for a carriage. The two of them got inside, all the while William holding her closely as if to shield her from the world. As the carriage made its way slowly back to Tampa, she began to cry soundlessly, muffling her own sobs so as not to alarm William further.

"Chantilly, what is it? You can tell me..." William pleaded, but she would not speak a word. No, William. I can't tell you, because you deserved better than this, and I wish that I had loved you instead... for both our sakes.
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Confederate Masquerade Ball - Page 3 Icon_minitimeMon Mar 10, 2008 3:46 pm

The Ball had run its course, couples breaking off into solitary pairs as they made their departures and said their farewells. The staff, nearly dead on their feet from the days activities, tried to discretely tidy up around ther guests, as a few drunken pairs still swayed back and forth to the few lone musicians that played on, despite the orchestra long having since put in for the night. Empty wine glasses and goblets were scattered across the tops of tables, the fine linens now splotched with stains and crumbs here and there.
But for all of that, the place still had a magical quality about, the diffused light becoming more ambiant in nature as it refracted off of the light fog that was blowing in from the coast, suffusing everything in a pale, other-worldly light as it floated gently into the grounds. It even seemed to have a dampening effect on the crowd, whose boisteroius noises were soon curtailed and diminished.
Josie walked with her arm slipped under Bally's, a tired smile on her face as she drifted through few remaining guests, saying her goodbyes and stopping to chat with one or two fortunates with whom she knew. Whiskey stood at her side, politely nodding when need be, but his eyes not stopping from searching the grounds, just in case danger may once more present itself. At long last Josie found Gaston, the old Major Domo still somehow awake, despite his advanced age and him having more or less single-handedly ran the event during his mistresses earlier disappearence.
"Oh good, there you are Gaston. Could I have a moment?" Josie asked, the fatigue of the day creeping into her voice for the first time.
Stopping and bowing curtly, the impeccably dressed man replied, "But of course Madame. What is it that you require of me?"
"Could you please see that the guests are properly seen to their suites and carriages for me? I am fatigued, and feel I must rest at this advanced hour" she said simply.
"Naturally. I shall do so at once. Is there anything else I could do for you Madame?" he asked mildly, his eyes shifting briefly to Whiskey at her side.
"I... yes. Well, the girls... They are asleep in my bed, yes?" she asked awkwardly.
"Yes, indeed they are. Miss Margo has not left their side, as you instructed. Shall I make up a spare guest suite Madame?" he asked, politely dodging any question as to whom it might be for.
"That, uh, would be wonderful Gaston" she finished. Seeing him nod and turn to go, she stopped him one last time and said in a quiet voice, "And Gaston... thank you for making tonight a success. I could not have done it without you."
The elder man simply smiled and bowed low, but Josie could see a hint of pride in his eyes as he stood once more before bustling off to see Josie's wishes carried out. A few moments later Josie had saidher last fairwells, and wondered back upstairs with Whiskey to turn in for the night. Outside the first hint of dawn was making itself known, turning the now all encompassing mist into a diffuse glow.
----
The Ball had been a success for the most part. Many had come, and from all reports most had enjoyed themselves, if not for a few embarrassing moments, but they were quickly forgotten over time. Many connections were made, and even more bottles of wine were drank. For days afterwards people nursed headaches and sprains from the night's festivities, a true testement to the intensity of the merry-making. In the true fashion of Society, people would speak of the events of that night in ever mounting importance or make-believe, attributing all types of fairy tales to them with each retelling.

[Out of Character]
This is for me the last post on the Ball. I would like to thank everyone who participated to make this one of the best multi-person Role-Play events I have ever had the chance to partake in, let alone host. Thank you all. You have my deepest admiration and respect.
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Confederate Masquerade Ball - Page 3 Icon_minitimeMon Mar 10, 2008 4:10 pm

((Agreed that this ball was great fun and a complete success. Thanks to all that participated!))
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Confederate Masquerade Ball - Page 3 Icon_minitimeMon Mar 10, 2008 4:17 pm

A great read and a great set of stories! I commend all who participated.

Bog
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OxBaker
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Number of posts : 410
Registration date : 2007-09-10

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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Confederate Masquerade Ball - Page 3 Icon_minitimeMon Mar 10, 2008 4:17 pm

I really had a great time too and have to admit that some of the players we lost really have a way with words and a knack for RPing. So I guess I just hope that all of you who are now allies will continue to feel welcome in either posting or participating in any future RPing threads here or in the game.

Untill next time!
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