Medieval-Europe Role Play Forum

RP - Western Northern Europe Kingdoms => *Kingdom of Flanders - Regno delle Fiandre => Historical archive of Kingdom of Flanders => Topic started by: (RIP) Charlotte Seymour on 26 July, 2012, 02:38:25 AM

Title: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Charlotte Seymour on 26 July, 2012, 02:38:25 AM
Lady Charlotte Seymour arrived in Brugge tired and dusty from the long journey. Her trip from London had been long, though quiet, and she had found out how her stomach had not liked sea travel. She had spent the whole time with her head over a bucket, a maid wiping her brow, and fetching and carrying for her. Now Charlotte looked around at the town, wondering how busy a place it was. The street ahead was cobbled and she stood waiting for the sailor to bring her her case. She looked around quietly, spotting the maid not far behind her, and wondering where she would get a carriage from, needing to find somewhere to stay.

A little later Charlotte was sat on a cart seat being jolted about, her maid sat in the back of the cart clinging to the sides looking terrified while the case fought the rope that stopped it falling off the back of the cart. The cart driver clicked at his horse every now and then, glancing at Charlotte and wondering why she was there, knowing that the tavern to which he was taking her would have room, and the owner was a friend of his. Charlotte sat upright and firm on the seat, sitting determined, feeling every jolt as the cart went away from the harbour towards the centre of town.

'ere tis, Lady,
the cart driver muttered as he pulled back on the reins to stop his horse before getting down from the seat and going round the back to get the case, lifting it like it weighed nothing, when in truth Charlotte and the maid between them would not have been able to. Charlotte got down from the seat, her soft shoes feeling the stones beneath her feet, and proudly she followed the man, looking up at the building in front of which she stood thinking it was not extremely large. Entering the warmth hit Charlotte and her eyes took in the wooden walls, the seating and tables, the bar, and hearing crackling she looked to her right and saw a fire burning brightly in the large fireplace. Charlotte jumped as the cart man hollered and a barmaid appeared. She heard the man mutter something, but not what and the barmaid nodded, pointing him towards the stairs, giving him instruction to take up the case before turning to Charlotte.

I 'ave a room Ma'am. If your maid would like to follow me I will show her the way and she can unpack for you,
the barmaid said, lowering her voice, seeing Charlotte's tiredness. Rest yourself by the fire Ma'am and I'll be with you shortly.

With that the barmaid beckoned the maid to follow and within seconds Charlotte was alone, listening to the sounds of feet on the stairs, a thud above as she assumed her case was set down. Turning to look at the fire Charlotte let her feet carry her to it, and seeing a large comfortable chair to one side she sat on the edge of it, reaching her hands out to the heat. The bright orange colours were mesmerising as she watched the flames dancing, and glancing around briefly before returning her eyes to the fire Charlotte found the tavern had a homey feel to it, snug and at that moment quiet, though she was sure it could get rowdy.

A little later Charlotte was sat quietly, clasping the drink the barmaid had brought her on returning from settling the maid in. Charlotte had agreed a price with the barmaid for her room, and arranged for her meals, asking about the area, and if there were other guests currently. Charlotte was told not extremely busy, but those that did frequent the tavern would remember their manners with a lady staying.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) David von Habsburg on 26 July, 2012, 05:18:02 AM
David was lying on the Brugge courthouse roof, admiring the stars of northern Europe when the carriage broke the sleepy silence. Curious, the young Austrian lad sat up just in time to watch the carriage stop by the local tavern where David had a room for the night. Lars the cart driver – whom David had been chatting with during dinner at the tavern – looked unusually solemn and careful. Must be a very important guest, David thought to himself.

Just then a lady with the most beautiful dress David had ever seen emerged out of the carriage. The dress struck David’s senses as it threw ruby red and graceful gold dancing into the picture. Against the dull grey of the pavement and other buildings and the boring brown of the tavern, the colours that the lady brought with her ran riot. Under the moonlight the lady looked absolutely dazzling.

Though the dress was remarkable enough for the young Austrian who had never saw much beyond the walls of his workshop and the valleys of Austria, David fascination was quickly drawn to the way the lady carried herself. She strutted into the tavern with her head held high, not making eye contact with Lars – whose sudden interest in scrutinizing the textures of the pavement betrayed his intimidated self. With bright colours running wild, commonfolk behaving unusually well, and a proud lady in the centre of attention – a scene like this David had never seen – not even in Rome (where David visited with his king on a sales trip). As the lady disappeared into the tavern, David jumped down from the roof and ran up to the still shocked Lars.

“Lars! Who’s that visitor with the beautiful dress?”

“I don’t know, but David my good lad you will do well to stay away from her – even her maid looks frightening. Havent you heard of those nobles and noblewomen who hold so much power and wealth that they can do anything to you as they wish? I heard a guard in Sweden was hanged last month for offending his Italian master. He did nothing but sing! But I heard the song wasn’t too decent...”

Towards the end of Lars’ lecture David found himself attracted to the happenings inside the tavern. The lady was sitting by the fire while the barmaid (David hadn’t had time to speak with her or learn her name – she was busy the whole day) stood by her side. The lady’s maid was nowhere in sight. David summoned enough courage to walk into the tavern – I have a room in this tavern! David exclaimed when Lars instinctively grabbed his arm to stop him from entering. Rash as always David shook off Lars’ grip and pushed into the tavern. The sudden outburst in energy produced a noisy disturbance as the tavern door slammed against the wall.

David struggled to regain his balance and when he looked back up he saw two pairs of eyes looking at him. The barmaid’s looked of horror while the lady looked annoyed. David was about to mutter his apologies when he went speechless in sight of the lady’s beautiful face. Even the slight frown upon her brows was pleasant – for it was the only thing that reminded David that he was looking at a real person, not a statue of an angel. David realized he was staring rudely and quickly tried to remedy his situation (lest it becomes an echo of that unfortunate Swedish guard) by repeatedly bowing and shouting sorry – perhaps a little too loudly. The few bronzes David had in his breast pocket went crashing out onto the floor – loud and raw - much alike David’s amazement and emotions.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Charlotte Seymour on 26 July, 2012, 11:38:42 PM
Lady Charlotte was just having a drink of her wine, relaxed in front of the fire after her journey. She had been quietly contemplating things, her place in London, her work, and the past.

Charlotte jumped, nearly losing the drink she held, as the tavern door slammed open and hit the wall. She looked round startled, opening her mouth in a rebuke but stoppiing herself, thinking if she had been home the person who made such a commotion would have been sacked. Instead, realising where she was, Charlotte looked at the door a little angrily. There she saw a young man, unsteady on his feet. As he looked at her, Chalrlotte thought to herself there was a clear lack of manners as the man stared at her, before beginning to bow and repeated apologising, his voice raised. She watched silently as coins fell from his pocket and hit the floor. Glancing at the barmaid Charlotte saw the disbelief on her face while she herself opened her mouth to speak several times, but something stopped her, the rebuke that reached her lips and went no further lost into the air as a memory returned to her. Charlotte looked at the young man thinking he was obviously a bumpkin, but his behaviour took her thoughts back to another, months before...

Oh, Charlotte said, the sound of her voice low, confusion filling her eyes, a little sad as she remembered that the person she was reminded off was gone from this world long since. Embarrassed and a little nervous Charlotte set down her drink with shaking hand, turning to look at the barmaid.

It's getting cold in here,
she said clearly, referring to the still open door that was letting in a cool breeze, a storm maybe blowing in Charlotte wondered. Turning back to the young man Charlotte straightened her back to sit upright and rigid. You... do you have the ability to speak?
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) David von Habsburg on 27 July, 2012, 05:40:28 AM
When the noble lady spoke with her melodious voice, David was awakened suddenly from his trance- he stood up straight and blinked. Quickly he sought to recover his tutored grace. He bowed, and answered as politely as he could,
No my lady though I was born with speaking faculties, your beauteous presence leaves me speechless and I will not have the ability to speak without your expressed desire to grant me speech.

David closed the tavern door shut before the barmaid made her move, and gave the unnerved bar maid a reassuring smile, before returning his gaze to the noble lady.

I am very sorry my lady, the sight of you distracted me.
That clown was not me, and I am no clown,
unless you desire me to clown and if clowning wins your smile.
T’is not common to witness with mine humanly eyes such beauty of angelic degrees. Please forgive me, David von Hapsburg, for the scene of carelessness.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Charlotte Seymour on 27 July, 2012, 04:34:52 PM
Charlotte looked at David in astonishment as he spoke. The more he said the more afronted she became. He had a nerve. He dared to speak to her like she was some common friend of his. His silvery words, the brazeness of him. Lady Charlotte rose from the chair in which she stood and stood to her full height, glaring at David as she did, aware of the fear in the eyes of the barmaid.

You have a nerve. Your words are disgraceful... where are your manner nave?
Lady Charlotte asked, her tone icy, her eyes looking through him. I wish not for clowns, though its clear to me that you are such. I am no more an angel than you are a gentleman.

Win me? You have a bare faced cheek with your afront...
Charlotte turned to the barmaid and angrily spoke to her. Where is your dining room girl as I am sure it must be time for dinner by now?

The barmaid scowled at David as she turned fully to the Lady and curtseyed, her cheeks bright red with angst spoke nervously. It's through that door Milady. Dinner will be ready shortly.

Lady Charlotte nodded, thank you. Smoothing her skirts she glanced at the young man.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) David von Habsburg on 27 July, 2012, 05:30:46 PM
When the lady stood up and faced David, David’s eyes lit up. With her head tilted slightly upwards she looked haughty but confident. David felt a tinge of respect and it quickly became profound admiration when he heard the way the lady chided him. The lady had an aura of confidence that David has never seen before and her slight pout of annoyance actually made her look cute.

When the lady threw her glance at him, David returned her gesture with the biggest smile he could command – and said,

Yes please do enjoy your dinner my lady. As I have already had my dinner, please excuse me for a moment. Please don’t miss me for I will be back in the tavern soon!
David winked playfully, half expecting the lady to scowl and march straight through the open door while plotting his next move.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Charlotte Seymour on 27 July, 2012, 10:42:47 PM
Lady Charlotte nearly choked at his words, so sure was he of his charm. She looked at him coldly and shook her head.

My dinner is none of your concern,
Charlotte said coldly. If you will excuse me I suggest you go find yourself a master who will teach you better manners. And if that master fails, then I would happily advice him to flog you till you learn.

Lady Charlotte gave David a look that was one of disbelief. She had never known any one dare... but a memory entered her mind, and she frowned slightly, looking at David again, an odd look in her eyes. Shaking her head she turned on her heels, fighting to keep her composure, and without another word walked to the dining room, entering and glancing round at where to sit. Walking to a table, she pulled out her own chair and sat down, struggling to keep her composure, unwilling to admit even to herself David had made an impact, unwilling to acknowledge it that he had reminded herself of a time when she had relented on a situation that had reminded her of feelings she preferred to bury deep.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) David von Habsburg on 28 July, 2012, 12:08:55 AM
David ran out of the tavern when the lady disappeared into the dining room. He ran to the nearest valley where he had been in the afternoon – there were some roses growing there and David was sure that they will make a perfect gift for the lady. David found the flowers and collected nine of them.

When David made it back to the tavern, Lars was outside and looked like he wanted to speak to David. David gave him a polite nod and signaled that he will be back later. David entered the tavern just in time – the lady was done with her dinner and was walking back to her seat by the fire.

David, holding the roses in his hands, knelt on one knee by the fire to present the flowers to her

My lady, pity these flowers for they deserve a better master than I. Aye they need a mistress whose beauty and grace trumps them – so that they may learn from her, and grow better – and there is no one on earth more suitable than you my lady. You need not accept me, but accept these flowers, for although they house my heart and my affection, they are not me – in fact in their beauty they are much more like you.

I can speak with flowers and they tell me that they will really want to know the name of their mistress. Will you please grant them their wish and let me tell them your name?

David thought of the thorns of roses, and smiles, This lady is really much like a rose, beautiful dignified yet difficult to handle. But that’s what makes the rose such a perfect flower, he thinks to himself.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Charlotte Seymour on 28 July, 2012, 04:33:59 AM
Charlotte had eaten slowly, her stomach unsettled from the sea journey she had only hours before ended, but also her mind was occupied. She was annoyed at herself for being affected by a simple man who barged into buildings with no decorum, had the manners of an unkempt child, and confident arrogance in himself to think he could speak to her as he had. Charlotte just would not tolerate it. She would not at home in London and she certainly would not by someone while abroad.

Charlotte finished her food, though simple faire, it had been delicious. Charlotte had thanked the barmaid who had brought in the plate of beef and vegetables, and wine. Charlotte had especially enjoyed the wine, the taste of which she had not tasted in a long time. It had been a while since she previously had travelled, having returned to London on the death of her parents. Taking a breath Charlotte stood up, picking her wine glass up as she did, and deep in thought she left the dining room and stepped back into the main room heading to the fire place, to the seat she had found herself comfortably settled in before.

As Charlotte sat down, adjusting her skirts to keep them safe from the fire that was burning brightly, throwing out heat to warm the room that evening, she heard a sound and looked round to see David returning. She gritted her teeth as he approached her and looked at him in sheer shock as he knelt before her and held out roses. As David spoke Charlotte looked at the flowers, roses, her favourite of any other. She sat silent, anger and amusement at the whole situation mixing. Charlotte was astounded. As David asked her to accept the roses, even if she would not him, Charlotte looked at his face to gauge if he was laughing at her, and seeing him smiling knew he was deadly serious.

Accept... you? Are you crazy? I do not know you... Charlotte started to say, barely keeping her voice level as she exclaimed, her eyes going to the roses again thinking David must think her stupid. She knew flowers did not speak. Why would he say such a thing. She was not going to tell flowers who she was. Then his words began to sink in. His words were of romantic roots, if feeble at that.

 Whose garden did you take these flowers? I am sure some poor person is wondering what oaf stole their flowers,Charlotte said, pausing to replay his final words, looking at him slowly, glancing at the roses, her resolve tampered with by his apparant honesty. Charlotte sighed.

Charlotte... Lady Charlotte Seymour, she said, her voice barely audible as she told him her name, unsure why before lowering her eyes to her hands, a gentle frown appearing on her brow. She was confused.

Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) David von Habsburg on 28 July, 2012, 12:49:38 PM
Though delighted that Lady Charlotte made her name known to him, David could see from her face that she went through a small emotional storm while responding to his abrupt gesture. David couldn’t tell what it was that bothered Lady Charlotte, but he felt a surge of determination to protect the lady before him – though tall proud and confident she had a soft side to her too and David could sense that she was very scared of exposing her vulnerabilities. His cheeky grin dissolved and he sighed softly. David felt an urge to hug Charlotte but he controlled himself.

David smiled, Beautiful name, Lady Charlotte. I consider it a miracle that I met you today and got to learn your name.[/b] Sincerely he continued, I do not dare to tarnish your grace by presenting to you items of ignoble source - these wild roses were found in the valley to the east of the tavern – perhaps we may take a stroll there tomorrow morning?

David placed the roses into Charlotte’s hands. If you desire some quiet time by the fire, I may retire to my room. I am afraid I have caused you much distress with my awful behavior. Once again I apologise. He stood up and bowed.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Charlotte Seymour on 28 July, 2012, 01:21:57 PM
Charlotte listened to David quietly, jumping slightly as he put the roses in her hands, the touch gentle. She found herself questioning the very fact she still sat there, llistening to a man she knew nothing about, and a foreigner at that. Charlotte looked at David as he stopped talking, his request though unexpected, was pleasant. At least he did not push himself, while she saw in him a determination, a strength, and she guessed this was why her manner had not deterred his eagerness. Yet Charlotte looked at him, thinking of the position she held in London, thinking of her family, and she asked herself what she thought she was doing. If her parents lived still she would have been locked in her room.

I don't think a 'stroll' is something I would wish to do,
Charlotte started to say. I think that in light of the fact I don't know you, that you barged in like a bull in a china shop makes me wonder at my safety. If you'll excuse me...

Charlotte began to stand from her chair, her intention to retire for the night, tired, the confusing emotions caused by this man clouding her mind. Glancing at David, Charlotte paused. Sighing she dropped back slowly into the chair, clasping the roses in a hand, unable to leave like this, something making her reconsider, a memory stirring. Shaking her head she looked at the roses, a gentle pink, a finger tracing the petals of one, and Charlotte smiled slightly to herself. They were beautiful, even if she did not say so aloud.

If you would like to sit we can talk... but only if you wish,
Charlotte said finally, looking at David, a gentle colour in her face, her eyes curiously exploring his face, looking for signs of anything untoward. Something was making her stay, and this caused some consternation within Charlotte.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) David von Habsburg on 28 July, 2012, 04:02:35 PM
David’s heart skipped a beat in sight of Charlotte tracing the petals of a rose with her finger and couldn’t believe it when Charlotte gave him permission to talk to her. Yet as Charlotte spoke David could sense a shade of melancholy about her face. David felt a stream of unknown emotions running through his heart – he couldn’t explain it - I don’t even know her, why do I sense that I can feel her?No matter, I must get to know her better.

David smiled gratefully, Thank you my lady for allowing me to stay. I did not wish for it, because I considered it beyond my wildest dreams. Despite the unknown sense of sorrow in his heart, David managed to squeeze out a cheeky line. This must be a dream come true! David smiled and quickly took the other seat by the fire side.

Please allow me to introduce myself; in Austria, where I come from, I am known as David von Hapsburg. However, David was a name I gave myself and von Hapsburg is a surname I took from a statue of Mathilde von Hapsburg – the first sculpture I laid my eyes upon after waking up and walking out of an Austrian tavern of Osterreich. I have no memory of my past, no money, no possessions and nothing but a free spirit.

David looked down and whispered, half hoping that Charlotte will not catch his words, Perhaps a worthless commoner like me shouldn’t even be talking to a noble lady like an equal…

David paused for a second before summoning the strength to look up. I don’t know much about the rules of nobility for these institutions aren’t developed in Austria. I heard from Lars the cart driver that nobles are treated and treat people differently – if I have broken any codes of conduct please forgive me. I have nothing but utmost respect for you Lady Charlotte.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Charlotte Seymour on 29 July, 2012, 02:50:36 PM
Lady Charlotte took her glass of wine from the side table on which she had placed it previously and took a sip as David sat, pausing at his comment about a dream, amused at his audacity. She glanced down at the roses she was still holding on her lap, curious. Is this how people from his country, where ever that was, behaved to complete strangers, or was he simply just a romantic who cared little for decorum. Looking at him as he spoke further Charlotte nodded slightly as he introduced himself finally, his explanation for how he came by his name interesting, if strange.

So Austria is your home country?
Charlotte asked, more a statement as he had just told her so. So thought of her previous travels and did not recall having been to that country, but she could not remember for sure as her mind had been on other things since her return to England.

Charlotte watched as David looked down and was surprised at his next words, almost a whisper. She replaced her drink on the side table and seeing the barmaid looking across at them waved her over. Would you place these roses in a vase? she asked handing the barmaid the flowers, taking her handkerchief after to wipe her hands.

Do you even know what a Code of Conduct is?
Charlotte asked, almost coldly as she was sure this man knew little of anything. You say you respect me, but your behaviour is such that shows little... till now, she added as an after thought, relenting slightly. Charlotte looked at David quietly for a moment. She was in a foreign country alone, apart from the maid, and here she was sat talking to a stranger, someone she had not been introduced to properly. She thought back to her family and how unless her parents considered them suitable she would not have even acknowledged, as also during her tour of Europe which she had been allowed to do, but only if she was escorted. On this she had been supervised daily, never left alone, a maid to do her bidding, a governess to teach her, and then Albert, the man entrusted with authority by her parents to decide for her on where and what she did each day, and who she would see or speak with. Yet never alone. Charlotte shook her head and looking at David realised how so much had changed. Here she was talking with someone, fairly alone, a man she would not have acknowledged in London.

You know my name, Charlotte started to speak again, realising she needed to complete the introductions for herself properly. I am the Vassal of London. Why am I therefore in Flanders you might wonder? I am here because of some poor information.

Charlotte did not explain further, embarrassed at having made a mistake with her travel plans, having gone to Denmark and realising the event she had gone for was not there, and had then arranged last minute transport to get to the mainland Europe, to Flanders.
I have been here before... during a tour... May I ask why you are here? You are far from home too.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) David von Habsburg on 29 July, 2012, 05:22:59 PM
David frowned slightly when Charlotte asked him whether he knew anything about a Code of Conduct. It sounded pretty interesting and important but David couldnt find anything related to it in his limited memory.

He was about to apologize for his bad behavior when Charlotte criticized his behavior, but he was silenced by the sight of a shade of gloom once again descending upon her visage. When she shook her head David was thrown into complete confusion and a state of intense curiosity. He was more eager than ever to find out more about Charlotte - where she came from, what she did back home and what made her so beautiful and graceful.

Yet before he summoned enough courage to ask, Lady Charlotte told him that she was the Vassal of London. This revelation brought back vivid memories - a while ago, David had asked one of his messengers to bring flowers to the new vassal of London!

There were few cities as famous as London and ever since he read about London in one of the state reports, he had been intrigued by the famous city. He dreamed of visiting London one day, and when he heard about a new vassal, the first thing he did was send some flowers to the vassal - making friends was what he always liked to do. Who would have known that the vassal of London whom he dreamt of meeting is now sitting in front of him, in a strange tavern in a foreign country?
Oh Fortune, how strange are your ways!? David thought to himself. And when he heard that Charlotte was here because of "poor information" he was truly amazed. Indeed, Fate and Fortune never give rich information - they operate in the strangest ways, influencing the world with the slightest and poorest of hints, he whispered in his heart.

When Lady Charlotte asked why David was in Flanders, he said, I am here because i was attending a ceremony in France. At a tavern there, I met Lars and he told me of the beautiful valleys of Flanders where wild and beautiful roses and tulips dance in the winds. I was given a short holiday by my king in Austria so I decided to indulge my love for the beauties of nature. I reached Brugge this morning.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Charlotte Seymour on 29 July, 2012, 06:27:21 PM
Charlotte, hearing he was there after attending a ceremony in France, looked at him again, wondering could it be that this man had been to the Coronation. If so then he was not a nobody.

Do you have a role in Austria?
she asked, her curiosity getting the better of her.

Charlotte blushed slightly, realising she asked too much. She sat a moment, feeling uncomfortable, not sure of what to say, wondering if she should end this conversation. Her mind went to what he had said about Flanders. She had seen nothing as yet, arriving as it were in the evening. She would take a couple days before returning to London. She wondered if her absence would be noticed by many, knowing if she was needed, there were those who could take care of anything that might crop up.

I will be here a day or two, Charlotte said finally. I am not sure I will see much. I just wish to rest before travelling on. Nice of your King to give you a holiday, Charlotte said, wondering in what capacity David knew the Austrian King.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) David von Habsburg on 29 July, 2012, 07:14:52 PM
Upon hearing Lady Charlotte's question about his role in Austria, David pondered a little and was about to answer when he saw Charlotte blush slightly. David had never seen anyone blush before, let alone a beauty like Charlotte - he felt his heart skip a beat - he was left was completely enchanted by the sight...

David finally blinked and broke off his (embarassing) trance when Charlotte talked about taking a rest in Flanders. He leant back onto the back of the seat and said Well I run errands for my king, whenever he needs something done i try my best to help - you can call me a butler i suppose. David laughs. He was the one who found me and gave me a home when I strolled down the Osterreich streets the day i gained or regained consciousness. But i became a little tired after doing a lot of work, and so i asked for a holiday after attending my friend's coronation - so i guess i am here for a rest too. I will be here for a day or two as well, hope I will not be intruding too audaciously on your time.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Charlotte Seymour on 29 July, 2012, 10:02:53 PM
Charlotte listened, nodding slightly, unsure what she thought about his running errands. Was he just a errand boy, or was it as he said, a butler? Charlotte found it strange that he called himself a butler. She felt there was more to him than that, but said nothing.

Charlotte listened as David explained how he had been found, and she looked at him with interest. Come from nowhere, no memory of himself, his family, his history... To hear that he had worked hard made Charlotte think. He did not avoid work then. Was willing and able to help his King, she summised. It was for the Coronation, Charlotte thought as he went on, but his friend? Then he was not just a butler. He knew Kings? Hearing that David was there for a few days made Charlotte smile slightly, for some reason that knowledge not unwelcome. Charlotte could not work this man out. He had come from nowhere, literally, and he had ingratiated himself into her space, and despite that she had her lifelong teachings telling her to walk away, to ignore him, that he was beneath her. Yet something in her said different.

You know King Richard II personally? Charlotte asked outright, wondering. You have no recall at all of your past, or family? I... I am sorry for your loss, she said, stumbling a little over her words.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) David von Habsburg on 30 July, 2012, 07:06:37 AM
Nah one cannot miss something that one does not even know of. David waved his hands dismissively before pausing briefly, deep in thought. Then he remembered to reply to Charlotte's question regarding his friendship with King Richard. Well the King is very friendly - I dont think I am of the status to call him a friend, but i am acquainted with him. We exchanged a few letters before, and I am truly glad that Scandanavia's future may be blessed by a regent of his grace and stature.

Looking at Charlotte's intent gaze, David was pleasantly surprised by how well this conversation has been going. Beneath the proud veneer of the aristocratic lady hides a sensitive and sweet personality and David smiled, glad to have the chance to know her better.

T'is late and I believe I should bid you goodnight. Yet my heart yearns to know whether you might want to visit the garden valley tomorrow after breakfast? David gazes hopefully at Charlotte, almost regretting his abrupt and rash words.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Charlotte Seymour on 31 July, 2012, 12:41:22 AM
Charlotte nodded gently to David as he began to talk again, feeling sad for him. Her recent loss laid heavily on her shoulders, having had no time to mourn, busy ever since they had died. She could not imagine not having known her parents, and the fact she had always had them there for her, to turn to, advice her, to run to when she had been hurt or scared or upset... now she felt something was missing, and because of how she had been brought up had not allowed herself to get close to anyone, having no close friends.

Charlotte looks at David as he carried on speaking, listening to him, and letting him know she was by nodding slightly every so often, showing active listening.

I have corresponded with your King and yes I would have to say he is very friendly and pleasant, Charlotte said smiling softly. Hearing that it was late Charlotte looked surprised. Had time really passed already? She had not noticed time so engrossed had she been with their conversation. She blushed at this realisation.
She considered his question, unsure where he meant.

How would we get there... is it near?
she asked hoping it was not too far, thinknig she did not have stout shoes, that what she had was alright for a little walking, just not miles. Maybe we can have breakfast together... to discuss it more? she asked tentatively, looking at him closely, wondering if she was being wise.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) David von Habsburg on 31 July, 2012, 08:43:01 AM
David smiled and nodded, elated at the thought that Charlotte is willing to spend more time with him. Yes that will be great! David was shocked at how loud his reply was – it almost sounded like a roar - and felt a little embarrassed, Well, of course if you don’t mind, we can have breakfast together tomorrow morning and discuss about the garden valley. This time a little gentler.

Well the valley is really near – I ran there when you were having dinner. David winked. But I will ask Lars whether he can help us with the journey – maybe he will get us a carriage or two horses?

David looked out of the window and saw Lars chatting with someone elsemay be the prison officerhe thought to himself.

When David returned his glance to Charlotte, he caught her staring blankly at the burning fire. The flames hurled an orange glow to Charlotte’s face that made her look absolutely beautiful (his heart skipped a few beats here) – and there was a queer frown over her face that made his heart ache… the sudden urge to hug Charlotte or just to hold her hand returned…

David blinked and sought to control himself. He shook his head a little.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Charlotte Seymour on 31 July, 2012, 09:41:09 AM
Charlotte nodded, thinking it would give her a chance to get out of the walk if she felt unsure in the morning. She looked at David wondering why, confused that she did feel at ease with his company. Maybe it was tiredness Charlotte thought. Hearing how he had run to the valley as she ate Charlotte realised how near it must be and blushed at the inference.

Don't bother Lars,
she said quietly. If as you say its near I will walk. I am sure I could do with the fresh air and exercise.

Charlotte heard a sound and glanced round to see the barmaid tidying, wiping the bar and watching her Charlotte realised how late it was.

If you will excuse me I am tired,
Charlotte said beginning to stand.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) David von Habsburg on 31 July, 2012, 09:59:19 AM
Just as Charlotte began to stand, David stood up and held out his hand, offering to help return Charlotte's wine glass to the barmaid. She handed the glass over with a smile.

David bowed. Goodnight Lady Charlotte, I hope to see you tomorrow morning. And very well let us have a good walk to the valley.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Charlotte Seymour on 31 July, 2012, 09:45:04 PM
Lady Charlotte accepted the hand and stood carefully. Releasing the hold she inclined her head slightly in thanks.

Till the morning, was all Charlotte said, before turning and heading towards the stairs and her room, pausing as the barmaid spoke to tell her which room she had. As she walked she heard his feet and blushed, realising he of course had a room too.

Reaching her room Charlotte entered, looking round and finding she had a fair sized room, though not as large as she was used to. It looked comfortable and clean and that satisfied Charlotte. Hearing a sound she turned to find the maid exiting a side room, curtseying low to Charlotte. Charlotte quietly asked if her maid had laid out her things ready, and before too long she was changing, the maid releasing Charlotte's hair from the clips that held it in place at the back of her head, and it was with a smile Charlotte felt her hair drop to hang down her back.

That night Charlotte slept a strange sleep, disturbed by dreams and it was early morning when she woke, the sun just beginning to dawn. Waking with a start Charlotte sat, flushed and disorientated. Looking around the room Charlotte sighed. She did not want to sleep.Yet she was tired, the sleep not enough. She listened for sounds and heard nothing, knowing her maid slept in the side room which doubled as a walk in wardrobe. Quietly Charlotte moved her legs to the edge of her bed, and folding back the covers slipped from the bed, grabbing her dressing gown and wrapping it round herself, a chill in the air. Careful of her footing, the room in shadows, Charlotte walked to the window, and looking out saw the sky lightening in the distance, the sun rising, an orange tinge to the horizon beginning to glow. Pulling the chair that was near Charlotte sat to watch the day dawn.

A couple of hours later, sounds from below becoming regular as food was prepared in the kitchen, the table set in the dining room, and the fires lit in the public rooms ready for use. The dawn had changed to day as Charlotte sat and watched and now the sky was bright, gentle clouds floating above the world slowly, a slight breeze in the air. Dressed, her hair bound and clipped to the back of her head, Charlotte left her room, her maid following, and her feet light she descended the stairs, greeted at the bottom by the barmaid.

Good morning Ma'am. I hope you slept well,
the barmaid said as pushed open the door of the dining room to reveal the table already set, a fire burning in the hearth, and the sun shining through the windows at the far side. Breakfast will be about ten minutes.

Thank you, I slept... Charlotte responded, entering the dining room and looking around, the room looking very different than the night before. Now bathed in light she was able to admire the room, realising she had not noticed the wooden panelling, the coat of arms about the fireplace, or the sketches that hung on the walls in places. Glancing round at her maid Charlotte waved her off. I can manage, Mary. Go take care of your own food.

Charlotte walked to the table and pulling out a chair sat, her maid following the barmaid who beckoned her. Charlotte wondered if David Von Hapsburg would be awake yet, a blush rising in her cheeks as she considered that. She was still unsure after yester eve. Spending so much time with a man she had no idea of what his background was, and alone... she had felt no threat from him. His company had been surprisingly pleasant.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) David von Habsburg on 01 August, 2012, 06:38:36 AM
David was sitting on a bench outside the tavern, chatting away with Lars when he heard the gentle voice of Charlotte from the dining room – he left the tavern’s front door open so that he could hear her when she came down from her room. Bidding goodbye to Lars, David stood up and started walking into the tavern to say good morning to Charlotte.

David was up really early, not just because he is used to doing so (accustomed to hard working lifestyle in Austria), but because he was excited about breakfast with Charlotte. She was really enchanting yesterday and David couldn’t get her out of his mind. He had a hard time falling asleep as he was thinking about all the questions he had for Charlotte – what was her family and her childhood like, her studies, her dreams, her favorite colour (most likely red!), her favorite food, what books she likes to read…

He woke up early, dressed himself up and quickly went downstairs to wait for breakfast. Once again Charlotte occupied his mind – until Lars appeared to tell him stories that distracted David for a moment.

David’s heart missed a beat when he entered the dining hall. Charlotte’s back was facing the door –
typical of her! David thought – and her hair was bound up.  She sat with poise and with an air of arrogance that mocked everyone else as inferiors. Her slim face was tilted slightly and David wondered what expression coloured her face at that moment. Time seemed to have stopped.

For who knows how long, David stood there by the door dazed. His reverie was finally broken when the barmaid brought breakfast to the table. Paying no attention to the food she was holding, David gave the barmaid a smile and a nod, and quickly made his way to the table.

As he pulled the chair he said a hearty good morning to Charlotte and beamed. I hope you had a good sleep! Ready for the walk?
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Charlotte Seymour on 01 August, 2012, 08:44:44 AM
Lady Charlotte thanked the barmaid as she brought in the breakfast, turning her head to David as he appeared with no warning, all cheerful and bright eyed. She sighed in exasperation. She needed to wake up properl;y. He had her at a disadvantage, and this she did not like.

Morning, Charlotte said quietly, looking across at him. Sleep was elusive... but when I have had a cup of tea and some food I will be ready for the walk.

Charlotte looked at the food for a moment and then reached out to take some toast from the plate, reaching for the butter. As the barmaid re-entered, this time with a pot of tea, Charlotte smiled. Thanking the barmaid she told her she would like a cup, then turned to look at David again.

You were up early then, she said thinking of the most beautiful dawn she had watched that morning. Her maid's shocked face when she had woken and come in to her mistress to wake her. Charlotte smiled to herself at the thought.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) David von Habsburg on 01 August, 2012, 08:51:40 AM
Yeah I was up early, was chatting with Lars just now. David saw that Charlotte was smiling and was curious why. A penny for your thoughts? He said as he reached for the toast and butter. David gestures to the barmaid for a cup of tea too, smiling.

Breakfast looked very good. Normally David didnt have much time for breakfast and it was usually two pieces of plain cold bread. Old Marty the guard at the Austrian castle used to say "Busy people have no time for breakfast." This was perhaps the best breakfast that David had ever had (at least in his limited memory).

Well I didnt have much of a sleep too, but the morning here is really beautiful isnt it? I think we will have a great time. David smiled, thinking about how beautiful the garden valley will look with Charlotte in the picture.

The barmaid served tea and David watched (with a smile) as Charlotte sipped her tea.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Charlotte Seymour on 01 August, 2012, 09:19:34 AM
Charlotte blushed as he asked after her thoughts. It was bad enough that he confused her, made her forget that she did not socialise often, and most certainly not with just anybody.

I... I, Charlotte began, losing the ability to speak, thinking of how she had sat by the window looking out, watching the sun rise, her thoughts on the previous evening, the strange man who had invaded her space and now invaded her mind. Taking her tea she took a sip to buy her time to steady her pulse, unsure why she was so mixed up. Placing her tea down again she looked steadily at David to speak.

I woke very early... watched the sun rise,
Charlotte said quietly. It was beautiful, though I don't usually waken so early. Charlotte chuckled thinking of her maid's face.

Charlotte ate a piece of toast, drank her tea and sat quietly, her mind in a whirl again. Why was she at ease with this man, she asked herself glancing at him as she sipped her tea. He was lacking in courtly manners and was a nobody, and yet...
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) David von Habsburg on 01 August, 2012, 12:28:07 PM
David's eyes widened when he heard Charlotte saying that she woke up early to watch the sun rise. It will be really romantic if we watch the sun rise together! David caught himself being cheeky again and stopped before suggesting that they watch the sun rise together tomorrow morning.

He quickly changed the topic. Weather this morning looks good doesn't it?

David took two pieces of toast and ate quietly, taking his eyes off the bread crumbs on the table and the simmering tea only occasionally, to steal glances of Charlotte. Her manner was graceful and though they were silent David felt very comfortable. The silent companionship had a calming effect on him - and he found himself enjoying the breakfast.

As he took his last gulp of tea from the cup, he found himself fearing the end of the "one or two day" that Charlotte is going to spend here in Flanders. Am I ever going to meet her again? David shook his head a little, vowing that he will treasure what remaining time he had with her.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Charlotte Seymour on 01 August, 2012, 12:51:39 PM
Charlotte ate quietly, feeling nervous. She avoided looking across at David, through curious and wondering what he might be thinking. Unable to eat, nervous butterflies fluttering in her stomach making food impossible to enjoy. Finally she gave up. Only having eaten half a slice of toast she turned her attention to her tea, holding her cup in her right hand, her left brushing a lose strand of hair from her eyes that had escaped. Lifting her eyes Charlotte looked at David.

When I have finished my tea I'll be ready for that walk... clear my head, [/b] she said, a slight flush colouring her cheek.

Charlotte sipped her tea and when finished set it back down, looking to David, waiting for him
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) David von Habsburg on 01 August, 2012, 01:08:30 PM
When Charlotte brushed that lucky strand of hair, she plucked at David's heart string - and the sight stole a heart beat. David was left dazed until Charlotte teacup touched the table. David jolted a little and (partly to conceal the shock) completed the motion by standing up and offering to pull Charlotte's chair.

If you are ready, we may begin our journey, Lady Charlotte. I believe the weather is going to be just fine.

Together they walked out of the tavern and into the bright morning. Under the generous sun, Brugge's stone buildings shone white with pride, and song birds filled the air with summer music. Cheered by the sight of a beautiful morning, David was tempted to hold Charlotte's hand, but controlled himself, thinking that it may not be appropriate (yet).
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Charlotte Seymour on 01 August, 2012, 05:12:23 PM
Charlotte heard David and nodded quietly. She accepted his help and once stood straightened her dress, her maid appearing from nowhere, fussing to put a shawl round her shoulders. Charlotte held her shawl to her and waved the maid away. The last thing Charlotte wanted was her maid being her shadow. Since leaving London Charlotte had felt even more oppressed with being stuck on the ship for the journey over the channel. She wanted to walk and relax, and she hoped the trust she was putting in David was not misplaced.

Lead the way, Charlotte said quietly to David, following him outside.

Once outside Charlotte waited for her eyes to readjust to the change in light. Looking round she smiled. On arriving the previous evening she must have had her eyes shut. She remembered bery little, almost wondering if she had woken in another world. A little disorientated Charlotte slipped her hand through David's arm, conscious of the uneven roadway on which they stood.

You don't mind I hope, she said quietly, her voice revealing some shyness. Charlotte looked around them, avoiding David's eye knowing he would see her confusion. The architecture of the buildings caught her eye, and she smiled in appreciation. Turning her head she looked along the cobbled road that led out of town.

I missed all this when I arrived last night. Which way are we going... to get to the valley? Charlotte asked David, smiling, feeling relaxed.

Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) David von Habsburg on 02 August, 2012, 06:20:32 AM
As Charlotte slipped her hand through David’s arm, he felt a warm flush flooding his face. He quickly turned to face the other way. Erm we will head East. David felt his voice shaking a little.

Charlotte’s hand felt soft and her grip was gentle – when David recovered from the surprise he took the other hand and squeezed Charlotte’s hand gently. He stole a glance of Charlotte and saw her beautiful smile. It was a miracle that David didn’t trip, for his eyes were fixated on hers for a while. You look beautiful, Charlotte. David whispered, almost like a sigh. He knew he was going to blush (and perhaps her too) and quickly turned his attention back to the journey. Had they been stationary, David probably would have kissed Charlotte, he realized shortly after, with a tinge of regret.

The journey was, as David promised, very short. Perhaps too short for his liking – for with Charlotte’s hand holding on to his arm, he felt like he could walk the whole of Europe. Buildings flashed by in a blur, and the grey-white colour of the picture changed gradually into green and blue. The cobbled road led them to a small hill, and David led Charlotte up the hill, holding on to her hand.

The scenery was beautiful.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Charlotte Seymour on 02 August, 2012, 09:14:32 AM
Charlotte saw the colour in David's face and realised she had caught him off guard. She began to pull her arm back, then stopped herself. She did not wish to draw attention to this. It was her turn to blush when David actually squeezed her other hand, his grip gentle. Walking beside him Charlotte looked around, her eyes very aware of where they were walking, placing her feet carefully, not wanting to trip.

Hearing his whisper Charlotte turned her head and looked at David silently. She was stunned. She had only just heard the sound as he breathed it out, but his words hit her hard. Charlotte's foot slipped slightly and her grip on his arm firmer to keep from falling, returning her eyes to where they were, getting her balance. Embarrassed at her clumsiness Charlotte went red.

As they continued Charlotte saw the buildings end, and the scenery around them became lush and green. The final bit of the walk was up hill and a little harder than Charlotte had expected. She was glad when they came to a stand still, and she looked around them, the colours and scenery eye catching, beautiful.

It's beautiful, Charlotte said, her voice low. She turned her eyes to David and smiled at him. So this is where you came yesterday eve... You founf yourself a lovely area. I would never have known it was here.

Charlotte blushed, realising she was rambling, and freeing her hand she turned around to admire the view, berating herself to calm down. Without realising it Charlotte pulled her shawl tighter around herself, feeling a coolness in the air despite the sun.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) David von Habsburg on 02 August, 2012, 11:33:04 AM
The intruding breeze robbed David of Charlotte's hand but gave David an excuse to put his hand around Charlotte's slender waist, pulling her a little nearer. The fabric of her dress felt soft (could it be silk?) and her body heat rivaled that which flooded his cheeks.

It wasnt as beautiful yesterday - partly because the flowers' colors were dimmed by the dark, and partly because you werent here. Well you see, the flowers can sense a beautiful lady and they rush to show their best colors and scent when she is near - such is the purpose of flowers dont you think? David felt comfortable enough to be cheeky. And not only did i find a lovely area, i found a lovely girl. If I had known that she were here, I would have been here 10 years ago!

The cool breeze took with it the faint fragrance of Charlotte's hair, but her hair were bound up and David found himself wishing that she would let her hair down and let it flow with the wind. How lovely would that be? He whispered in his heart.

Should we sit by that tree? David suggested, worried that Charlotte may be tired from the walk.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Charlotte Seymour on 02 August, 2012, 01:49:32 PM
Charlotte was shocked as she felt his arm go around her waist and she looked at him quietly with an odd look in her eyes, unsure how to react apart from to slap him for having the nerve to touch her with such familiarity. Lowering her eyes Charlotte simply removed his arm from her waist and stepped back.

If you don't mind, she said, her voice low, glancing at him with slight anger in her eyes. Looking to where David had pointed she nodded. A sit down would be good, she thought to herself.  Quietly Charlotte stepped over, and looking at the area wondered how dirty her skirt would get. As a thought came to her Charlotte listened to David, removing her shawl and covered some grass, sitting down carefully, still not sure how to let him know there was a limit to how much he would get away with. She had met him only the evening before and he behaved as though they were familiar.

You're very brave in your words. Just try to remember... Charlotte stopped, unsure how to vocalise what was in her mind. 

It is pretty here... You like the outdoors?
she said, changing the subject. Charlotte glanced at David shyly. She was not sure of him. His words made her nervous even if she did not feel threatened.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) David von Habsburg on 03 August, 2012, 04:01:36 AM
David felt a sharp stab of loss when Charlotte removed his arm from her waist. His heart sank a little, but her look of annoyance reminded him that this was the same lady who sneered at him the night before. David sighed a little, knowing that he had probably pushed a little too far.

Remember what? In his despair David kept quiet but duly sat down beside her. Ashamed of his behaviour and grateful that she had consented to spending more time with him, David did nothing but stare at the endless fields of flowers, yet not registering any colour in his head.

He sensed Charlotte's glance upon him after asking him the question, and without turning he nodded. Yeah it makes me feel less alone, having trees, flowers and rocks as brothers and sisters. You see, I have only myself in this world. David was very surprised at how wild his mood has swung from just a few minutes ago - perhaps the intimacy he felt towards Charlotte being crushed by her subtle rejection made him feel as though the trees are mocking his loneliness. He didn't like to feel lonely. Thats why he made lots of friends, talked to many people - just to mask his inner sense of lack.

Get a grip on yourself, David told himself. He took a deep breathe and returned the strained smile to his face, facing Charlotte - to assure her that he is alright. Please forgive me, I promise I will behave myself.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Charlotte Seymour on 03 August, 2012, 09:32:02 AM
Charlotte was quiet after sitting. She heard David's words and did not reply immediately. She was troubled by something and tried to think how her mother or father would have behaved, but did not like the thought knowing she should get up and return to the tavern. Charlotte looked at David quietly, his last words loud in her head.

Charlotte asked, finally deciding to let it drop, to ignore the misunderstanding, wanting to say something but not. She looked at him and frowned, thinknig he hides a different side to his character, that he is not just the clumsy uncouth person shown so far. She was intrigued slightly.

When do you have to return to Austria?
she asked curiously. It was only then that she was distracted by the colours around them. Turning her head she looked at the flowers, the field of colour. Charlotte could lose herself here, she realised. It was beautiful. She chuckled to herself that she could have not noticed this when they arrived, but then she remembered why and loked at David sobering up, becoming serious again.

Charlotte brushed the same strand of hair from her face thinking her maid had done a poor job that morning.

I have no family,
Charlotte started to say, unsure of herself revealing anything about herself to this man. They left me an inheritance... its supposed to ensure my 'happiness', she said scathingly thinking how it instead controlled her, made some think that as she was noble that she was useful. She wanted people to like her for herself, not for money or power, or anything else. She sighed and looked down thinking how it did not mean she had friends. She had no close friends and the look in her eyes was of sadness.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) David von Habsburg on 03 August, 2012, 11:32:00 AM
I might have to go back to Austria soon. We have a busy season coming. David said solemnly. What about you? When will you return to England?

Upon hearing that Charlotte has no family, David pouted a little, I understand how lonely that feels. And I suppose the inheritance doesnt make you happy, or less lonely? I am a poor man with nothing in my pockets, but I have the sky as my roof and the flowers for my bed - I am happy that way. Money bothers me not. David said, facing the great wide valley.

Charlotte was silent and David became curious enough to turn to face her. Charlotte was looking down, and looked a little sad; but David wouldnt dare to touch her hands nor pat her shoulder.

David turned his eyes back away from Charlotte. The wind stopped blowing, and the day was getting a little hot. David feared that an awkward silence will fill the void left by the breeze.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Charlotte Seymour on 03 August, 2012, 03:38:52 PM
Charlotte nodded as David said he would have to return to Austria. She envied him that need. She did not share it. She had no demands on her now. Sighing Charlotte looked at David.

I won't be returning to England, Charlotte said firmly, her voice shaking a little. I have no reason to return... I sent a missive last night of my resignation as Vassal and I would imagine the Queen will receive it soon enough.

Charlotte moved, having become uncomfortable where she sat, and looking away from David she stood up slowly, reaching to pick up her shawl and shaking it off before wrapping it round her shoulders.

Can we walk please? she asked quietly. I need to stretch my legs. I... Charlotte stopped, unsure of what she intended to say to him, yet wanting to express herself. She frowned slightly.

Having an inheritance means people expect things of you, demands, requests... People are your friend because they think you useful, Charlotte said sadly, averting her eyes while she composed herself, too close to tears for her own comfort.

I don't know where I'll go. I have nowhere... I don't know,
Charlotte turned to face David, looking distantly at him.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) David von Habsburg on 03 August, 2012, 07:27:47 PM
David was shocked when Charlotte mentioned that she has resigned as vassal. But he shrugged it off - money and status matter little to David.

He nodded when Charlotte asked him if they may walk. But Charlotte moved too fast and David missed the chance to help her up like a gentleman.
Weather is getting hot, would you like to walk back to the tavern? Lunch might be ready soon.

As Charlotte spoke of the troubles she got as a result of her inheritance and that she didnt know where to go, David nodded in sympathy. Just then the breeze came back again, and blew straight into David's face - urging him to follow his heart. David summoned enough energy to stretch out his hands and gently held Charlotte's, looking into her eyes.

I will never treat you as a friend because you are useful, Charlotte. I care about you as a person, as a friend, and i want to get to know you better. If you dont mind, perhaps you may visit humble Austria? Treat it as a holiday perhaps?
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Charlotte Seymour on 03 August, 2012, 10:26:41 PM
Charlotte glanced at the sky above them and smiled. It was warming up, and unlike earlier the breeze was warm. Charlotte's shawl was draped around her shoulders loosely, and she waited for David to get up before she spoke.

Yes I think we should walk back... Charlotte consented, looking around her for a last view, putting the scene to her memory, to look back on when she remembered today.

Charlotte listened as David spoke on, her face showing her surprise at his words, he catching her hand in his. Charlotte tensed automatically to withdraw her hands sharply from his grip, but the look in his eyes, the tone of his voice made her pause, and she listened. Blushing Charlotte heard his sincerity, the request... she was stunned.

I... I... Charlotte tried to speak, embarrassed, confused. It seemed this man was never going to stop surprising her. His declaration made her head ache. She blushed. He liked her as a person... friend... She could not grasp what was happening to her. She had known him such a short time... but he wanted to know her better? Charlotte opened her mouth to speak again before shutting it and looking down at her hands, the touch warm, gentle...

Austria is far from here... I need to think, Charlotte said finally, her voice a whisper, shaking. She was angry at herself for showing weakness, and looked at him with mixed feelings. What had this man done to her? Charlotte knew she should pull her hands back, should walk away... but she did not, could not.

I want to go back to the tavern, now,
she said clearly, glancing at her hands, then him. Take me back to the tavern... I need to think. Then I will decide.

Charlotte held her head up, her back straightening, as she remembered herself, but her hands stayed, the heart she ignored for the most part, fighting with her common sense.

Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) David von Habsburg on 04 August, 2012, 06:37:38 PM
David noticed the intense emotional struggle that Charlotte went through - and reminded himself never to betray the trust that she was putting in him. I understand that you need to think. Dont rush into any decision. And right, lets go back to the tavern now. David held on to Charlotte's hand as they walked back to the tavern, and the sense of intimacy that he felt during the journey blurred the scenery around him - he couldnt focus on so many things when his whole mind was filled with the gentle grip of Charlotte's hand and the smoothness of her skin, right?

When they reached the tavern, Lars came running. David, David! There is an urgent message from Austria, delivered by a pigeon! As Lars ran over, David anticipated that Charlotte might withdraw her hand, and so he gently let go of her, giving her hand a slight squeeze of reassurance before letting go. David ran towards Lars and received a piece of paper from him, after thanking him.

The letter was from the king of Austria - and the handwriting was the scrawl that David had gotten used to.

David, we need you back here immediately for the expansion campaign of Austria. Ostrava, Morava, and Trencin need conquering right away and we need you here now.

David glanced at Charlotte - worried that she might be angry with him - he promised to stay one or two days and after just one morning David needed to rush off? That wasnt the best way to show that he was trustworthy... And he was intending to spend the rest of the day and the next morning talking to Charlotte, to know her better and let her know him better. At this point, he didnt know whether she would be willing to travel to a foreign faraway land with a stranger, and yet David was sure that he didnt want to lose her. If he had a choice, he will never want to leave Charlotte again.

But David had to leave.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Charlotte Seymour on 04 August, 2012, 06:57:42 PM
Charlotte felt her hand in his burning with the gentle hold and she nodded to David when he agreed they needed to go to the tavern. As they walked Charlotte was very aware of their closeness, and very conscious of the importance of the decision she needed to make. This man had caused such turmoil in such a short space of time.

The walk to the tavern was a quiet affair, and during it Charlotte thought hard, reminding herself she had no responsibilities and could go where she liked. However she was a woman alone, and this had proved interesting as she had travelled to Brugge with little more than a maid who was so scared of her she proved not to be a companion. Glancing at David she smiled slightly, feeling she would be safe with him, and he intrigued her.

As they approached the tavern Charlotte saw the big lumbering cart man come running towards them and she drew in her breath, intimidated, only just feeling the squeeze on her hand  before David released it. She stayed quietly beside David as he took a note and read. She saw the expression on his face and with concern looked down at the letter in his hand. It seemed short, and gently she reached out a hand to take the letter from him and read quickly, looking up at him with a look of sheer pain in her eyes as she realised he was leaving.

You need to leave,
Charlotte said, her voice low, almost a whisper, handing back his letter. Her mind went back to his earlier request and she felt physically ill. Stay or go with him. So simple an option, and yet such a big one.

I will come with you,
she said with finality, determination that she ahd not felt in a long time. Charlotte's cheeks held a gentle blush as she realised what she was saying. She knew propriety yelled at her to stay, to remember her position, and yet she now held none. Do you want to go as soon as our things are packed? she asked quietly, reaching out her hand to lay it momentarily on his arm, concern at his silence.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) David von Habsburg on 04 August, 2012, 07:18:18 PM
When Charlotte took the letter from David's hands, he felt as though Charlotte was taking control over his life - it was a special feeling. He felt as though he is no longer the only person in the world - Charlotte was now another significant stakeholder. Someone who will care. And he almost died of joy when Charlotte told him that she was going to travel to Austria with him.

For a while David was speechless, so touched and grateful that he was almost going to cry. Her gentle touch and question reminded him that this was no dream - it was reality - and he beamed.
Yes let us pack our things and leave immediately.

He put his hand over Charlotte's and asked her whether she needed a rest. She shook her head gently, and David speculated that she was probably tired, but hid it as she was concerned for him and his responsibilities. David was touched.

They promised to meet at the tavern door after packing up. Soon David was down, saying his farewells to Lars, while waiting for Charlotte and her maid.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Charlotte Seymour on 04 August, 2012, 07:32:57 PM
Charlotte had walked into the tavern with David and hurried to her room where she had found the maid doing nothng, jumping as Charlotte entered and looking guilty. Charlotte waved her off and explained briefly they were going to Austria, and seeing the maid's startled expression she had stopped talking. She suddenly realised how far away from the only home the maid had ever known and now she was telling her she was going into a world unknown to her.

 If you would rather return to England I will leave you money to do that, Charlotte relented quietly, feeling a little scared that she was going to venture on alone. The maid's look of relief on her face was answer enough to Charlotte and she instructed her to help her pack. Once Charlotte's cases were packed she had them carried down for her, giving the maid money and strict instructions.

Outside Charlotte saw David was ready, and with him Lars.

Lars, please see that my maid is on the first ship back to England, Charlotte asked him, avoiding David's eye as she did. She was not sure what he would be thinking now, and knew she would reveal her growing panic wondering if she had been rash just a little in all this.

Turning to David finally, after wishing her maid a safe journey she tried to smile. Are we ready now? she asked nervously.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) David von Habsburg on 04 August, 2012, 07:54:23 PM
David nodded at Charlotte's maid as she took her leave with Lars. He noticed Charlotte's worried look as her maid left, and instinctively stretched out his hand to hold Charlotte's. He gave her a reassuring smile.

Yes we are ready now, David picked up Charlotte's cases, wondering what beautiful dresses they may contain, and stepped out of the tavern, after Charlotte.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Charlotte Seymour on 04 August, 2012, 08:22:13 PM
Charlotte followed David and looked at the carriage that awaited them. She waited for David to place the cases down and for the carriage driver to place them in the racks at the back of the carriage. She was glad they would be travelling in some sort of comfort. During the journey they would be able to talk, and be out of the wind and weather.

Thank you, Charlotte thanked David as he offered her a hand to get into the carriage. She settled herself, straightening her skirts and making space for David to join her. Once they were both sat Charlotte glanced at him shyly, nervous. As the carriage door was closed on them she tried to relax back against the cushions of the seating but found herself a little tense.

How long will it take us to get to Austria?
Charlotte asked eventually once the carriage was moving. She looked out the window at the lush green landscape knowing they would be soon headed into a colder climate, and she pulled her shawl close around herself. This would be the first time she had travelled without a maid, and with a man she had known only a day.

Turning to the window again she watched at the landscape changed, the town of Brugge changing to open fields. The carriage left Brugge behind very quickly and Charlotte was silent.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) David von Habsburg on 09 October, 2012, 02:24:33 AM
A messenger took David's letter to Charlotte:

Dear Charlotte,
Hope this letter finds you well. I have neglected you, and I am truly sorry.

How are things? Hopefully the weather up north is better than what we have here. I am heading down to Venice soon to train though - good chance to enjoy the warm italian air.

Hope to see you soon,

Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Charlotte Seymour on 09 October, 2012, 03:44:22 AM
Charlotte was surprised when a messenger arrived with a letter, and taking it she thanked him before taking it and moving to a window where she broke the seal and read with the light from outside. As she read Charlotte's face took a guarded look, and she re-read the letter.

Quietly she folded the letter in her hand before glancing round and leaving the room she was in to go to her room and write a reply. 
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) David von Habsburg on 12 October, 2012, 01:29:46 AM
Letter from Osterreich:

Dear Charlotte,

Do enjoy Brugge! And no matter how busy I may be, I will still come to your aid if you need it.

Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Sofie Falkenburg on 03 June, 2013, 01:37:13 PM
some day in May 1313 - at the harbour

Sofie smiled while looking at the waves reflecting the harbour lights. Listening to Aelfred's words siltently, she replied "True, it is fascinating ... though also scaring when the waves are too high and the passage is getting a bit ... uneasy." she then chuckled softly.
With a gentle move of her head she suggested to walk on. Standing there in the breeze of the evening wind coming from the sea made her freeze a bit.

"My mother passed away when I was only six years old, my father died about one and a half years ago. He had a weak heart, the medico said."
Slowly moving on Sofie shrugged hardly noticeable. "Alone..." Tilting her head obviously pondering for a moment, she then looked at Aelfred with a warm smile. "Well, yes, I guess you are right, though I do not recognise that fact too often, I have to admit. My tailoring and studies do not give me much time to miss company." Sofie explained with an almost excusing smile. "Or maybe I do not allow myself to think too much about it."

Sofie looked at Aelfred. "Is this the reason you have been to the army and travel that much? Avoiding thoughts of solitude?"
He was right, she recognised, she often was alone, though she met many people. But those daily encounterings were quite superficial.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Aelfred Ulricsson on 06 June, 2013, 09:52:22 PM
     "Well, now that you speak of it in such a way, perhaps yes, but it was more than loneliness. I was also almost destitute and felt there to be little else. I knew of men who had come back from many conflicts with coin and profit, and with little or no experience when they began. I do not enjoy war, but it is necessary. And sometimes profitable. The trouble is it is also very dangerous and difficult. I am much happier toiling away at growing or building." Aelfred looked at Sofie, curious as to how she seemed to have him talking and thinking about things in a different way. 
     "Perhaps I should get you back to your Inn. We have a good long journey that starts tomorrow, and I wouldn't want you to be too tired at the start of it.  You'll have to tell me more about your business so I can build the shelves right."
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Sofie Falkenburg on 07 June, 2013, 12:57:35 AM
Sofie listened to Aelfred's explanations, nodding every now and then. She did not like war either but knew that it was unavoidable at times. Thoughtfully she watched the Scotsman while he was talking, then smiled at him as he looked at her. "Well, I hope your days in the armies were as profitable as you imagined they would be."

A fresh breeze blew from the sea and Sofie pulled her cape tight around her shoulders. "You are right, we should head back, it's getting late."
She did not want to rush back but enjoy Aelfred's company while slowly strolling the way back to her inn.
With a soft chuckle she shook her head hardly noticeable. "Oh, there is nothing special about the shelves in a tailor's workshop. They're just to store things, like cloth, scissors, maybe little boxes for ribbons, buttons and the like." She offered Aelfred a wide smile. "You will see it, when we'll reach Osterreich." Sofie could hardly believe that she found a guard to escort her back home and a craftsman who would help her with the needed shelves that day. "Aelfred, I am really grateful that you offer your help and service. Maybe this is supposed to be your special night..." With a smile Sofie turned her eyes towards the sky before looking back to Aelfred. "... but for me it was a lucky day."
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Aelfred Ulricsson on 11 June, 2013, 02:26:47 AM
     The cool breeze picked up as they got closer to Sofie's lodging. Aelfred had little to offer to help keep her warm other than his very soiled travel cloak. Embarrassed by its condition, he nonetheless held it out for her. "I am sorry I have nothing better, but I stand before you in most of what I own. I am not a rich man, nor noble, but I am a happy fellow for all that, and your company this evening has made me happier still." He smiled at her, still wondrous that she had asked him to accompany her on her trip.
     "At what time should I call for you in the morning? With the summer upon us, it may be difficult to travel at midday, and I have no idea how quickly you must make this trip." This last was spoken just as they arrived in front of the Inn where Sofie was staying. "I can be free anytime after breakfast, my business is early in the morning."  
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Sofie Falkenburg on 15 June, 2013, 12:07:10 PM
Taking Aelfred's cloak with a smile she pulled it around her shoulders. "Thank you so much, sir Aelfred." She would have been quite fine without it but she would not want to offend Aelfred by refusing his friendly offer. "Silver and nobility is not all that matters. Very often responsibilities and heavy burden go along with them, I would not want to change my life either."

Arriving at her inn Sofie handed the cloak back to the Scotsman. To his plans about their leave she replied with a nod. "You are right, I did not consider the strong midday sun ... so, how about the eights hour then?" That would give her enough time to prepare.

Sofie offered a cordial smile at Alfred. "Again thank you very much for that wonderful day and evening and your company, Aelfred. It's been a pleasure. Be safe and rest wait until we will meet again in the morning."
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Aelfred Ulricsson on 18 June, 2013, 04:25:27 AM
     Aelfred watched as Sofie went in to the Inn, then once he knew she was safe headed back to his own lodging. His mind was racing over all the small details he would have to tie up. The stars above were clear and bright, so at least weather should not be a challenge tomorrow.
     Upon arrival at his Inn, Aelfred spent the better part of the next two hours packing and preparing his gear. He had not been expecting to leave so soon, but was glad nonetheless to be doing so. What a day he had had, being invited to hunt with the King upon his return to Flanders and having met a woman whose face would not leave his head, quite a day.
     Eventually, he curled up in his travel blanket in a corner of the common area, reasonably close to the fireplace, and gradually fell asleep with the most pleasant of dreams to fill his head.
     As the morning broke, Aelfred was already up and had all his belongings packed onto his small cart. He briefly went to visit the street of the bakers where he made promises of delivering a new batch of honey in the fall season to several of the shops.
     That done, he eagerly made his way to Sofie's Inn and waited patiently on the doorstep for her to appear. The day had dawned clear and already the warmth of the summer sun could be felt. He hummed a tune in his native Saxon while he waited.
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Sofie Falkenburg on 21 June, 2013, 09:10:01 PM
Waving back over her shoulder when entering the inn Sofie smiled at Aelfred. There was not much she had to pack, so she soon made herself comfortable on her simple, yet practicable bed, pulling the rough linen blanket up to her nose and falling asleep pretty soon.

In the morning she got up early, prepared herself and left the inn after having her usual morning cup of strong tea. Sofie went to see the tailor she had met the day before and after having exchanged the latest news about fashion, cloth and colours and buying some proviant for the journey the young woman went back to her inn.

Just when she descended the stairs from the upper floor again with her luggage and paid for her room she saw Aelfred standing in front of the building. Stepping out on the street she offered him a cheerful smile. “A very good morning to you, sir Aelfred. Isn't it a wonderful morning? I hope you did not have to wait for too long.“
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Aelfred Ulricsson on 24 June, 2013, 12:06:55 AM
     He had been going over something cheerful and humorous to say to greet her, but upon Sofie's appearance Aelfred was suddenly at a loss for words. She looked so wonderful in the morning sun, he could do little but mumble and awkwardly gesture to his cart, taking her packed belongings from the young boy who had brought them to the street and piling them carefully upon his own in the mule drawn cart. He passed a small coin to the lad and bid him on his way.
     "I...I....Ermmm...." he searched for something adequate with which to impress her, but finally blurted out "I sharpened my weapons last night. You will be safe with me, I swear it." He choked back a sigh, aware of how uncomfortable he felt, and even more likely how foolish he looked. Staring at the ground, he whispered softly to himself "Courage above all, find your courage."
     "Shall we go then?" He looked back up at her, still expecting an excuse to dismiss him, and when none came, he pulled upon the mule's rope. Angrily, the stubborn creature yanked back, tossing Aelfred into the water trough at the side of the street. A great splash ensued, and a drenched and embarrassed Aelfred found himself in the most disconcerting position he had been in in many months.
      "I guess a bath was overdue, at least he thinks so."
Title: Re: A Visitor in a distant City
Post by: (RIP) Sofie Falkenburg on 25 June, 2013, 01:01:51 AM
Before Sofie was able to react Aelfred already packed her belongings on his cart and paid the boy. She smirked and winked at the lad, because now he had been paid twice. She did not say a word though, because the poor clothing of the boy made her assume that he would be grateful for every single copper coin.
Upon Aelfred's words she nodded with a smile. "Thank you so much for your escort, sir Aelfred, I really do appreciate that." Again she saw his lips moving without being able to understand his words, something she recognised already a few times. Sofie tilted her head a bit and was just about to ask what Aelfred had been saying, when her guard and companion suddenly was sitting in the nearby water trough, splashing water wide enough so that she had to jump aside not to get drenched as well.

Sofie put her hands to her mouth and looked at Aelfred with huge eyes, while her loud, cheerful laughter could be heard. His comment even made her laugh harder. Trying to surpress the laughter and calm down again, she looked at Aelfred, still chuckling. "Heaven, I already though that Snooks, my father's horse was stubborn, but your mule even seems to be worse." Sofie could not avoid starting to laugh again. She motioned towards the inn. "I assume you need to change your clothes? I will wait here ... keeping a safe distance to your mule." Every now and then a soft chuckle escaped her throat. Aelfred looked as he would wish to be somewhere else, he must have been really embarrassed. She stepped towards the trough and reached out her hand to help him out, a blithe sparkling in her eyes. "Excuse me, it surely is not very polite to laugh at your situation, I am so sorry, please forgive me." she snickered.