bitterguardian: (tea & books)
[personal profile] bitterguardian
Amarante's first visit to Horvath's home was brief, but the place makes an impression. Deep underground, buried in metal and concrete and layers of wards even his old master would be impressed by, Horvath is an old dragon huddled in a subterranean lair. He may have mentioned 'the vault', and he's told her before of how he guards something the Morganians would gladly kill him to get. His home is a bomb shelter, and he keeps it very tightly under lock and key.

Inside this fortress, he's made a grand space, though. His library fills most of an abandoned train station, with a cathedral ceiling that's mostly lost in shadow and rows of bookshelves that stretch further than can be seen from standing in any one spot. There are throw rugs, plush antique chairs and couches, desks and tables piled with books and papers and knickknacks, and a few display stands and cabinets that hold bizarre and impressive items collected on his travels over the ages. Lamps scattered throughout the place cast just enough light to give a warm and cozy glow to the place, without making it too bright. It's a far cry from the sanctuary Mara took him to, but the place has been molded around him like well-worn clothing or a favorite chair. Every inch of the place is very him.

Winter sent him curling up close to home, in the kind of retreat he tried to warn her he so often falls prey to. The cold has begun to creep into his bones, the past few years, and he hates to even risk slipping on the ice. It's far easier to stay down here, in the warmth and comfort of his books and his cats. He feels a little guilty for it, but with spring, it seems time to make an effort to come out of hibernation. His invitation is tentative, since she's been busy serving her Lady over the winter, and having her visit him isn't much of a step outside himself, but he's trying. With a table laid out for tea, Horvath awaits his guest, while the cats demand his attention simply because they can sense his quiet anxieties.

Date: 2015-04-04 04:56 am (UTC)
sunandshadows: (giggling)
From: [personal profile] sunandshadows
The pinPoint is truly a wonder, though Mara hasn't grown to trust it really, not yet. After all, going through a gate is one thing, there will always be a gate at the other side. But what if one of the coordinates to the little time-space-warp-mechanism-thing is off? What if she disappears and ends up in a wall, or under the ocean, or even out in space? What if it malfunctions?

No, she'll take her gates any time she can. Still - some places she can't reach by gate; and when its to these places she wants to go, this is the means by which she will be there.

And this is one place she very much wants to go.

When she does arrive, it's in a sweetly delicate, fragrant cloud of mock orange and snowdrop anemone, because that's what's braided into her hair this time. Over the holidays she wore deep red rose buds and sprigs of pointed, green mistletoe. But spring has come, at least somewhere. And with it, came the new growth, new life, new beauty.

As is her habit, she's brought a full satchel of something that hangs on one arm, and she sets it down on the floor as soon as she appears under one of the massive arches that rise up overhead. Her grass-green salwar kameez is bordered by bright embroidery, hues of pink and bands of gold. And yes, this time she's wearing shoes.

"Maxim? Maxim, Je suis d'ici! Maxim?"

*kicks DW for you*

Date: 2015-04-05 07:49 am (UTC)
sunandshadows: (very happy)
From: [personal profile] sunandshadows
Most other times she would skip over, gleefully curling into his arms with exclamations loudly in both French and English and kissing him on both cheeks. This time however she had an audience, although it was admittedly a furry audience for certain. And she doesn't want to startle and discomfort them any more than they were already. After all, they lived here. She was just a visitor.

"The weather has been windy and cold this spring, I've not wandered afield as much as I wanted - which means I've been baking quite a bit lately. I'm running out of people to to feed, so I am quite afraid it is your turn to suffer with my cooking, Maxim. Oh, and I brought some fresh fish for your companions as well."

He keeps the lighting just right in his vast underground. Not too bright, not too dark. And so many books! In spite of her initial trepidation, Mara was soon oohing and aahing over his vast library of knowledge.

Last time she had visited, Mara had gotten so entranced in a book of Medieval Italian poetry she had been reading that her host had found her fast asleep with her feet over one arm of a chair and her head tipped back over the other. And the book of poems curled protectively in her sleeping arms on her chest.

Ah, last time. She was between messages, from one court to another; from one festivity to the next and the shimmer of the shining ones was bright upon her. And his home had been a soothing balm for a bright-burning soul, giving her a chance to rest and relax in the midst of a crazed holiday rush. It wasn't her home in the forest; but it was majestic and regal, and dignified and yet still comfortable.

Quite like her host in fact.

"Can I tempt you with some lavender-lemon tea cakes perhaps? With lemon-zest frosting?" Giving him an extra squeeze, she pulled away with a smile, just her head and shoulders to look up at him. "I have missed you so! And I brought food to share with Belthazar as well, when you see him. If you don't feast on all of it before his next visit I mean!"

Re: I *think* I have the settings fixed, now.

Date: 2015-04-05 10:45 pm (UTC)
sunandshadows: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sunandshadows
And here she comes to absolutely ruin his attempts at eating healthy for the new year. The tea smells wonderful, and should go with what she's been baking very well. However, first things first. Mara gives her host one last hug, then retreats to where her satchel is, coming out with something that's been wrapped in paper, and wrapped again. This, and a large, clear jug of fresh-from-the-cow milk of course. These things go into Horvath's refrigerator immediately. Because when she says that the fish are fresh, she means it.

She starts talking as she walks toward the kitchen, and then as she's coming back."Oui, now that the festivities are over - well, next is the Belaine celebration, but that isn't for another month yet." She pronounces it 'Bael-sheena" as she comes back to the room. "That one is also rather large, but I am hoping to avoid much of the festivities this year. I always did love the bonfires and dancing on Walpurgisnacht however, the night before."

The grin she gives him is slightly mischievous, slightly knowing. "And you know not to go out roaming in the wilds on that night, oui? Your old teacher would have known to teach you that especially."

Date: 2015-04-07 10:31 am (UTC)
sunandshadows: (daydreaming)
From: [personal profile] sunandshadows
"But is that not how I found you, a roaming in the wild? And good it was that I did, for I'd have been lost without you!" She giggles, and pauses to lean carefully against her host, being careful press to too much of her body weight on the sorcerer. Her eyes follow the direction of his head, and see both of his pets in their activities. With an elusive smile, she shakes her head.

"I sometimes think that the story of le homme that slept a hundred years - Rip Van Winkle? He was out on Walpurgis night, and found a fairy ring." She changes subjects abruptly, as something else catches her attention.

"Shall we combine our foods to make a feast, mon ami?" Her arms snakes around his back to squeeze him gently before pretending she does not see his little furred friends and heading over to her satchel. Crouching down, lifts it, sets it into a chair, and then begins pulling containers of food out of it. The first one, once opened indeed has the lavender-lemon tea cakes. And then out comes a tiramisu, various cookies, a container of fresh cheeses, a loaf of bread, still hot from the oven and drizzled with melted butter (there really are some benefits to this PINpoint, she thinks again).

Date: 2015-04-13 03:12 am (UTC)
sunandshadows: (blue eyed honesty)
From: [personal profile] sunandshadows
"Perhaps I should not have put the fish and milk away?" She watched them out of the corner of her eyes, making sure not to stare in the direction of either cat.

Her head turned, surprised. "Really? Here in the Sunset Lands? I know stories of Europe, I was raised on them. I dis not know that there were stories here as well! Do you know any?" Her excitement was almost palpable as she pretended to ignore the cats and help finish setting the food on the table.

"I think the table is ready. Care to eat?"

Date: 2015-04-21 10:08 am (UTC)
sunandshadows: (let's talk)
From: [personal profile] sunandshadows
"If you can find me paper that I can roll into a ball, I shall be glad to do so, sorcerer." She laughs, choosing a seat where she can watch the cats and their antics easily.

"And as to that, I do not know if you know whisper so well as you think you may. For I know her father, and though he says he may prefer a calm life, I can tell you now that there is an adventurer within his heart. It is that adventuring spirit that keeps me coming back again and again. Like will ever call to like, and the adventuring spirit in me shall always cry out to the adventuring spirit in you."

As he has poured the tea, so then shall she serve him the first of everything she has made, everything that he wants to taste or try before filling her own plate.

"I must beg you, whatever you do, whether you change your lifestyle choices to include more meats and less creams, more fresh vegetables and less baked goods? Whatever you do, please never say the word 'diet' in my hearing. It is an evil word, Maxim. And in fae it means loss of taste and serving size. Non, it is true!"

And now that the holiday is over, several of the things she's chosen to make for him this time do actually include less refined sugars, a larger variety of meats. Except of course for the desserts. Those she can't - and won't - skimp on.

Date: 2015-04-25 08:24 pm (UTC)
sunandshadows: (Clear cold winter)
From: [personal profile] sunandshadows
"The flesh is wonderful. And adventure does not have to mean slaying dragons, or capturing castles my friend." She's in bright spirits, lots of soft spring-like laughter and gentle touches on the edge of his hand when she can reach it (when it's not occupied with holding a cup, or fork). "It can be as much or as little as joining me on a walk around some of the land I care for, to be make certain that all is right with the new life that now grows there."

And yes, that is a tacit invitation to come strolling in the forest with her.

"We could bring packs, and perhaps help replenish some of your older herbs, roots and seeds. And too, fresh air does every body good." Picking up her tea cup, she lifted it to her lips, flicked her tongue out to test the heat of the tea within, then took a long sip. All ladylike, almost.

"Ah, I understand" She crumples up paper, makes a ball of it, then tosses it in Smoke's direction. Not at Smoke, but just close enough that the cat can watch it go by. She laughs to herself to see him start eating already, and her lessons come to mind immediately. She knows what the rules are - never eat anything offered by the fey. the Fae. But the fact that he trusts her enough to simply dig in to the offerings she made for him widens her smile.

"So I shall be bold with one, more gentle with the other and perhaps in time they both will come to accept my presence here." She gives a soft cough that sounds suspiciously like she's hiding a laugh.

Date: 2015-04-26 06:12 am (UTC)
sunandshadows: (In the vineyards)
From: [personal profile] sunandshadows
Mara is determined to feed the world. And as she cannot do that, she will be more than happy to indulge those within her small circle of close friends, which Horvath is very much included in these days.

she watches Smoke play with her teacup in her hand, forgetting her own plate and her food get cool for a while.

"Spring was delayed a bit, winter held tight with both fists. But now, with the spring rains? The forest is in new bloom." She pauses and remembers her food, so she hastily picks up her fork and begins to eat. "I would suggest rain boots for you, it is quite marshy in areas. The only real question is - should we plan a day trip, or something for overnight? And too, is there anything in particular you need to reacquire?"

Date: 2015-04-27 09:40 pm (UTC)
sunandshadows: (giggling)
From: [personal profile] sunandshadows
Oh, if only she knew that she could get him to tell more stories, she would be trying so much harder right now to tempt him into coming along with her. But right now she's blowing into her teacup, cooling the tea a bit more and taking sips between bites of her food.

She doesn't bother to mention that she won't be wearing rain boots, or any shoes really. He probably knows that anyhow. She had spent time outside during the longest night this past winter, dancing in the snow on bared feet, a little rain and a few deep puddles won't hurt her at all.

Mara perks up at the idea of going through his cabinets to check out his stash of medicinal, possibly magical herbs. It was a game to her now, what name did one culture call a plant, as opposed to another culture's word for it? Was there anything new on his shelves that she couldn't identify? This whole nexus that he had introduced her to gave her sudden access to plants, to herbs and spices that she'd never known before, even with her own training. The faeling's foot began tapping excitedly before she realized it and she had to forcefully keep herself in her seat rather than going around to give him an impulsive hugs of thanks.

Good thing there was a table in the way, or Maxim would have his arms full of gleeful and excited young woman, who would drag him away to chatter as she dug through his bottles and jars.

Date: 2015-05-01 11:44 pm (UTC)
sunandshadows: (Outside skies)
From: [personal profile] sunandshadows
Mara wants to deny it. After all, it's the polite thing to do, isn't it? But she can't out and out say that, because that would be a lie, and she simply cannot lie. But she can try to stop her tell-tale toe tapping, and shoot Maxim an innocent looking smile over the edge of her teacup. Teacups come in so handy, not just for drinking tea!

"Anxious? Whatever do you mean?" A soft tap on her foot has her suddenly leaning down to look under the table at the tail of the retreating cat. Eyes full of laughter rise above the table to look up at Horvath's amused face. "I think that your friend likes my shoes."

Her toes can stay calm and quiet for only so long, and as she eats she glances over at his plate to see if he would like more food. Or to see if he's getting full, because she brought more than enough.

Date: 2015-05-02 04:09 am (UTC)
sunandshadows: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sunandshadows
"I am always eager to spend time with you." Comes back the enigmatic reply. But really, she realizes at once how terribly rude she is being, and to one she calls friend. So her squirming slows down to something barely there - except for the occasional toe-tapping that is as much a game now between her and Smoke as it is an outlet for her excitement.

"Eat, eat my friend. I have plenty of time, and do not have to return until the morrow. And hot food is best eaten that way."

Who knows, perhaps she will be able to talk him into a small trip to the nexus, or stories on a loveseat until the dawn, or so many things they could do!

Date: 2015-05-03 04:17 am (UTC)
sunandshadows: (fun in the surf)
From: [personal profile] sunandshadows
She sits back in her chair, sets down her cup, and gives him that look. The one with the head tilted slightly to the side, and the single eyebrow raised.

"Bore me? You?" Her very tone says it all. Of course he wasn't boring. Not to her. Not with his warmth and his stories and his hugs and his wisdom and knowledge and courage. Here comes a slow shake of the head, and a grin. "I dance circles about you and everyone else, because I dance in circles!" It seems very logical to her.

The cat has made another playful strafing run at her foot, and she ducks down to look, then pops back up again. "What I may do, once we are finished and I've helped to put away the dishes? Is to put on something more comfortable than my travel clothes, and explore your spices, and your imagination, and perhaps even your bookshelves some more! What treasures you have accumulated over time, mon ami!"

"Now, are you ready for dessert??

Date: 2015-05-04 10:41 am (UTC)
sunandshadows: (Angel 2)
From: [personal profile] sunandshadows
"We must explore it together!" Amarante raises her fork up into the air for emphasis, and at the very height of the thrust, the piece of cake falls off of the tines, to be caught deftly in her other hand. Easily she pops the food morsel into her mouth with a half shrug and a laugh. And, if I am staying the evening, you must at least let me help you pick up - either now or later. After all, you helped me."

Fair is fair after all. "If you wash, I shall dry. Or vice versa that is. I shall do whatever half that you enjoy least." Now she stacks some empty plates, and lifts her teacup up for second helpings from Horvath's willing hands.

Now comes the lavender-lemon teacakes, with their delicate icing. As Mara leans to the side to lift the container out of her bag, she gives a little finger-wave to the cat under the table as she lifts the desert up onto the top of the table, placing it between her and Maxim, and lifting the lid off. The sweet-tart fruit and herb scent wafts up as soon as the small cut and icing-topped confections are seen.

"I made plenty, so your friend Belshazar stops by, he should be able to have a piece or three before they are gone."
And indeed, there is another container still in the bag.

Date: 2015-05-05 11:13 pm (UTC)
sunandshadows: (pensive)
From: [personal profile] sunandshadows
"Well, he shall have to suffer and make due with these then. Strawberries are not yet in season." Oh yes, there was mock sympathy there, and barely disguised sauciness. And Mara knows - and she knows that Max knows - that she could coax the strawberries into early bloom, early fruit if she wished. And perhaps someday she will. But not today. She made these with Horvath in mind, the tartness of the lemon, sunny and spring-summer like. And the soothing balm of lavender. Fresh and refreshing.

Or, more specifically, she made them with the idea in mind of coaxing him out of his winter underground hibernation, and back out into the wild woods once more.

"And you can eat as many as you desire. They are for you after all. Ah" She presses a finger to her lips for a moment. "With the caveat that you do not eat so much that you fall asleep there in the chair at the table. I cannot curl up with you if you fall asleep there."
Edited Date: 2015-05-05 11:15 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-05-09 12:07 am (UTC)
sunandshadows: (giggling)
From: [personal profile] sunandshadows
No rolling the eyes at her! Even if he is correct, and she is just teasing and being bratty. And they both know that now that he has mentioned not only Belshazar's favorite food but the word 'birthday' that she will be all over that and preparing a dessert for Maxim's friend that is sure to leave him speechless.

In fact, Mara is already starting to plan it.

"Well we can, as they say, compromise? We can bring this tray with us to the couch later, and we can eat to our heart's content and then fall asleep with sticky fingers, and sticky lips!" Not that she's never done that before, oh no.

But then again, sticky fingers mean that cat hair would stick to them, and cats like to be petted. So perhaps there is a compromise for the compromise?

Date: 2015-05-15 01:07 pm (UTC)
sunandshadows: (giggling)
From: [personal profile] sunandshadows
Mara's own birthday is coming up as well, but since her's is technically a holiday; she simply enjoys the revelry and imagines that some of it is especially for her.

"Just one? But of course ma chere!" She holds out the tray of precisely-cut edibles for him, but as Horvath reaches for it to take one, she pulls it away with a minxish grin. Laughing, she gets up, goes around the table and with one hand she takes his lunch plate away, then hugs him from behind. As he gets the one-armed hug, her other hand is setting the entire container of desserts in the place of his former plate.

"Oh Maximus, I would never be so cruel as to force you just one! Please, take a few if you like them. We've lots of time to explore your cabinets and shelves! And lists, oh yes!" Yes, if it sounds like she considers this just another adventure, he's right. Delving into places, retrieving forgotten artifacts... who cares if they are only bottles and jars of ingredients? To her the idea is fun!

*short reply is short, sorry!*

Date: 2015-05-28 03:17 am (UTC)
sunandshadows: (giggling)
From: [personal profile] sunandshadows
"And down here, so long as the lights stay on? The day can go on forever!" She leans forward, just far enough to kiss his cheek before letting him go to eat some of his dessert in (relative) peace. But when the faeling straightens her back to head back to her own seat, she suddenly realizes that she may have to fight for her spot. And by fighting she means to play.

Or at least, to pet a certain someone. "Mmmhmm, so that is how it is, mademoiselle petit chat?"

sunandshadows: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sunandshadows
Her seat was taken, hmm. Mara eyed the challenger for her place at the table with a mixture of curiosity and mischief. Her very first instinct was to simply use the end of her hair, that tuft at the end of her braid to play with the cat for a while. To use her hair as the cat toy, but no. No, the faeling decided at the last second; that would get Smoke used to swiping at her hair, and it might be best if she used something other than what was attached to her body as a toy for those claws.

So instead, as she came around the table, Amarante dipped her hand into her bag, pulling out a few dried, woven-together stalks of lavender. Crouching down, the woman began to play with the cat, forgetting the food, forgetting even Maxim for a while as she tempted and played back and forth with the cat. Not yet touching it with her hands, but getting it used to being close to her, in a game that they both were enjoying.


bitterguardian: (Default)
Maxim Horvath

March 2016


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