(2018-04-26) Homecoming
The Contessa Capello returns home with her Conte
amanda baldessare 
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Summary:
The Contessa Capello returns home with her Conte for dinner with the family after handling some family affairs.
Related:
Misc Info:
amadea tizania 

It is evening, in late April. That means a gray sky that has been drizzling on and off all day. Good for the land, good for the corps, good for the… cows. But not exactly good for a Contessa and Conte who have found themselves travelling from Capello lands to Matora. Whatever business they had there concluded, it is time to head back to the big city. And, here, at Capello estate, Amanda awaits dutifully. The maggiordomo would surely not miss the return of her Contessa! And that man she's brought with her.

Nevermind the puddles on the drive, nevermind that it might store pouring again, as the carriage pulls up, Amanda is here. Her dress, a lovely pale blue. Her hair, down, and perfect. Her makeup is done. Her posture is impeccable. One might get the impression that, as the valet opens the door to the carriage, so the pair of nobles can exit, that she might be expecting the Duca himself.

Baldessare is not the Duca. He doesn't look like it, but it's possible that he sometimes acts like it, despite his inferior birth and social climbing marriage; he has that upright carriage and superior lift to his chin. He steps out of the carriage first, not because of rank, but because it allows him to hold a hand up for his wife to take on /her/ exit from the carriage. He just leaves it there, though, like an automatic reflex, as he looks over to the woman who's standing there to welcome them home. "Amanda," he says in a habitually dry tone. "We'd have been better off riding." Through the rain. Yes. Of course.

Amadea is waiting for her husband to get out of the carriage so that he can do his husbandly duty in being a man and helping her out. She fidgets a bit with her mantle to better cover her dress from the weather, the fur lining likely to protect the fine damask gown she wears. "My lord, thank you," she says as she waits for him, and then takes his hand to step out of the carriage. Meanwhile, she just stares balefully at the sky with her pretty green eyes. "Hopefully that baby is asleep already," she mutters mostly to herself. Or maybe to Amanda. She ignores her husband's comment; it's not worth arguing with him over.

There's no acknowledgement of Baldessare as he steps out. Like the help, he is invisible… until he offers up that hand. Then a soft smile crosses Amanda's lips. Amadea, however, captures her whole attention. "Cara mia," … My dear… she says, her tone warm and adoring. She steps forward, and reaches out to delicately take one of Amadea's hands, then leans in to kiss the air beside either corner of Amadea's mouth. "I do hope the journey was not overly harsh on you all. I'd heard rumors of roads washing out," she says, fretting quietly. There's finally a glance over to Baldessare. "That is true, signore. But then we'd have needed the porters to scrub and rinse your coat before dinner," she says. "We need to keep a healthy sheen on it, or else you'll fall in value," she tells the man, ever so sweetly.

Baldessare narrows his eyes on Amanda while Amadea has ownership of his hand, the look just slightly suspicious, as if he knows there are likely layers to her barb even beyond the ones he's sensing. "Yes, it's terribly sad that the house can't support my owning more than one coat," he replies in a bland tone. "The porters are overworked scrubbing the one in between outings."

"Shhh," Amadea demands of her sister suddenly, though it's unclear if she's defending her husband or simply not in the mood to listen to the two exchange barbs. "The weather could have behaved itself better," she explains, not really waiting for either of them to obey her but simply assuming they will both hush on a topic she is not interested in. "There was a great deal of mud, but we pressed on, and we conducted our business as we needed to. Now we are back in the city. Is dinner ready? I am weary from too much time spent in that carriage. It is a pity that riding would have been somehow more miserable."

Without another word, Amanda shushes. She merely gives Amadea's other hand a squeeze, then steps back, and gestures. "Dinner is ready," she assures. "And after two days of negotiation, we've settled that deal. Two hundred head," she says. "Antonella has learned /two/ new ways to jelly cattle brain, and Tizania kept me from murdering half of Matora," she says, with that same beatific tone. "We've also been gifted a case of brandy that I've been assured is quite delicious. I was hoping you could help judge, dear Baldessare?" Amanda asks, addressing the man once more. Is that a barb? It doesn't sound like one. But then, when do they sound like barbs? Though Amadea did order she behave… Might be a genuine offer!

Baldessare's shushing is much more grudging. One can /tell/ that he doesn't /want/ to be. He lacks Amanda's perfect graciousness. "I had to yell at the driver every half hour," he complains about the muddy trip. (Certainly that made it go so much faster for everyone.) "Andrea?" he asks Amanda next, only to pause warily at her seemingly benign offer. "Well. If someone needs to," he says, muting his natural attraction to the idea.

Amadea looks dubious at the suggestion of two ways to jelly cattle brains, and she arches one perfectly manicured brow at the near-genocide of Matora. "What have you and Tizania been up to?" she wonders suspiciously, motioning the party towards the house and thus dinner. And perhaps brandy. She looks like she could use some brandy, quite possibly. If Amanda is going to stand out of her way, she will then drag her slightly damp and travel-weary husband in towards the dining room. Imperiously, with her hand placed to give the illusion that he is leading them somewhere.

"Oh, that must have helped," Amanda says, to Baldessare. She just can't help it. Still, there's no indication that she's being anything but polite! She does not to the Conte. "Perfectly well," she says, without trying to suggest she might know what Andrea is up to. Children? No thank you. She'll take the jellied cattle brains. Amanda moves along, beside Amadea. "She was with me. Her and Toni both. The owner of the tannery was feeling /troubled/ and /vulnerable/, and was eager to reassurance that he was not overcommitting. He wanted to know Capello supported him. So, the family went, to show him just that. That Tizania was dragged through the foul stench of a tannery… and Antonella forced to sit through impossible boring meetings /and/ answer on our behlf… well." She gives a faint shrug. "It is important we all contribute," she says. Which brings her back to Baldessare. "If I am to gift it away, I'll need to know if it's any good," she says, bestowing that trust souly upon her brother-in-law.

"Sounds miserable," Baldessare says of the tannery visit, as if he hasn't waded into the figurative muck with the husbandry of their horses. (Tanning is /particularly/ gross, though.) He leads Amadea to the dining room, which mostly entails actually being led by her. "If it's any good, you shouldn't gift it away," he adds to Amanda. Logic.

"Troubled and vulnerable. That sounds like a delight to work with. I'm glad you were able to come to some kind of agreement. I'm also glad that I didn't have to go to the tannery," Amadea says with a little shake of her head. She waits near the head of the table for her husband to help her to her seat, as if she's not perfectly capable of just sitting down. No, there are going to be manners. "It gives you new perspective on watching stallions fail to mount. Oh, and sometimes succeed." They are in the dining room, sitting down to dinner. A servant comes to take Amadea's mantle from her, as well. Now that's done, she can wait on Baldessare to seat her properly.

Amanda moves along, beside her sister. The Contessa and Conte have just gotten in, having rode by carriage from Capello lands. It would seem the weary travelers require dinner! "It is just fine," Amanda assures her sister, with a soft smile. "But, if I needn't go back to the tannery in… ever… that wouldn't be a problem," she says, before she gives a soft laugh. Yes, it was miserable. "The contessa is ready for her dinner!" Amanda calls, toward the kitchen. As if the help was somehow not aware of that. As if Amanda hadn't been in the kitchen some five minutes before Amadea's arrival. She finally looks back to Baldessare, and she gives a soft sigh. "If it is good brandy, it will make a good gift. We give good gifts so Capello may forever stay in the good graces of our Republic and fellow man. I /sacrifice/ for my Sister's House, dear Baldo. Even if it means drinking middling brandy," she says.

"Yes." comes a voice from the doorway. Tizania sweeps in; dressed in a shimmering gold silk dress that is >just< a little too low cut. Not quite enough to get her in trouble, but enough to cause the more respectable types to clutch their pearls, and make snide comments about how much skin she's showing. Raven hair is loose, done in ringlets today. "If I never have to see another tannery again, it shall be too soon." She's adjusting her jewelry just a little; the wedding ring gets a slight twisting. The silver bracelet on her wrist scooched slightly. A hot look is given toward Amanda, "One would think that by now, my dearest lady wife, would understand that I prefer the Fiorni di Giardini to tanneries, but such is my cross to bear." She then gives a little curtsy to the Contessa and Conte.

"It's not a sacrifice when you don't even particularly like brandy," Baldessare says somewhat accusingly to Amanda. /His/ is the sacrifice, clearly. He pulls out Amadea's seat for her without even really seeming to think about it. "If the stallion is failing to mount, it is usually a problem with the handling," he notes dryly to his wife. His gaze slides over to Tizania, and where his gaze might otherwise linger, he's too distracted restraining himself from rolling his eyes. "I think she understands quite well," he says, shifting to take his own seat now that he's done his husbandly duty in seating the Contessa.

"Sometimes the problem is with the stallion's attitude, but most mares are clever negotiators and still manage to get the job done," Amadea suggests to her husband with a little smile. She barely looks at Tizania or Amanda at this point, motioning for a servant to come wait on her, to pour the drinks and get things moving with the food. "Lady Tizania, I spoke with your brother the other day. He hopes your wife is treating you well," she notes, glancing up briefly, then noting, "You might want to lower that neckline just a smidge if she's not, but be careful not to fall out of it, hmm?" She looks to Amanda as if something utterly important has been forgotten. "Andrea?" she wonders, echoing Baldessare from earlier.

"Do I not like brandy?" Amanda asks, curiously. She lifts a single shoulder in a half-shrug. Before she can say more, Tizania is arriving. She turns to the dark-haired woman and offers a polite smile. "Oh, vita mia… Would that we could all have exactly what we want. Nothing but long days laying in the flower gardens… But some of us get tanneries, instead of flowers," she says, as she watches the woman. She offers then a hand out to Tizania. Such an affectionate gesture! And then talk of her other brother-in-law. Amanda gives a faint sigh, before looking to Tizania. Then down to the neckline of her dress. She stares for a moment longer than might be polite, before she looks away. "Of course, how could I not want my darling nephew to join us for dinner…" she says. "Do please fetch our little lord, his mother wishes to hold him," Amanda says, to a passing servant. No, /she/ is not going to go get the kid herself!

"It is much too tight for that, my lady." says Tizania to Amadea with a sparkle in her eyes. Her fingers slip over her wives and she says, blithely, "If you're not getting what you want, my dearest, you're clearly not negotiating good enough." She'll find herself a seat next to her wife, reaching out to trace her fingers over the line of the other woman's shoulders. Completely unabashed at being a nuisance to her wife infront of the Contessa and Conte.

As soon as a servant has poured /anything/ alcoholic in front of him, Baldessare is reaching for the glass to lift to his lips and drink deeply of. "You see?" he says to Amanda. "Your wife wants to negotiate on your behalf. You'll have to send her back to the tannery. Perhaps in a lower neckline as the Contessa suggests."

Amadea leans over slightly to confer with her husband, not waiting for him to finish gulping down his drink before asking, "Is my neckline not low enough?" And then she takes up her own glass to drink deeply from it. Finally, after sitting very primly for quite some time with perfect posture, she allows herself to relax for a moment, closing her eyes and holding her glass as if it is a lifeline.

Drinks are served - wine, of course. Food is coming after that. And not too long after, a nurse is bringing down the one year old. Amanda, meanwhile, is busy relocating a hand. She carefully takes Tizania's hand and puts it back in the woman's own lap. And she probably has to do this more than once. This all done while maintaining her own perfect posture, and keeping her expression wholly polite. "I do think Tizania did very well in negotiations, unrelated to the amount of flesh she had on display," Amanda offers up. "And I do find, dear sister, that my spouse is particularly accommodating when I find a dress with a plunging neckline," she says. As if Tizania isn't trying to touch her, right now, sans scandalous dress.

"You're full of wonderful ideas." says Tizania to Baldessare. Her hand, does indeed, lift almost immediately to walk fingertips down Amanda's arm until it is removed. It's like Gomez and Morticia— in that Amanda looks vaguely bored while Tizania paws at her. The dark haired woman picks up her glass of wine and keeps her hands to herself once the child has arrived. Her gaze flickering over the little lord, lips curling up slightly.

"Well, it could be lower," Baldessare tells Amadea as a matter of course: yes, it is physically possible for her neckline to be lower than it is. His gaze lifts when the nurse arrives, and something in his expression lightens; he actually gets out of his seat to stride around the table and intercept before Andrea can be handed off to his mother. He murmurs a quieter greeting to his son, smiling a private sort of smile as he totally hogs him there where he stands for a few minutes.

Amadea narrows her eyes and tilts her head to one side as she watches her husband with their son, as if annoyed that he has the boy and she does not. But her expression softens after a moment and the smallest of smiles comes to her lips; her mossy green eyes are smitten by the image of the child with his father, and for that one moment in time, both are utterly perfect and loved. For that one moment in time. She adjusts the lie of her gown as surreptitiously as possible, then takes another drink of her wine, relaxing in her chair.

Amanda takes a sip from her own wine. There's no reaching for food. Eating is what one does in private, and only to stave off death. Eating with family, well, that simply won't do. But she can drink! And watch. And watch the parents with her child. A look starts to cross her face. A look that's vaguely… ill? It's dropped quickly, and then Amanda leans aside, to whisper to Tizania. Words are murmured, then she rises up to her feet. "Cara mia, I need to go attend some matters. Welcome home. And I do hope you enjoy your dinner," she says, smiling once more. "Baldessare," she adds. She turns far enough to look down upon her wife, and fix a /look/ upon the woman. Then she's turning to head into the estate.

(>-------<)

| Tizania (Lustful) |

| -----—— |

| Success Lustful |

| -----—— |

| Lustful |

| Trait: 12 Roll: 10 |

(>-------<)

Tizania tilts her head up toward Amanda, her eyebrows lifting at the other woman. She picks up her wine, and drinks all of it at once, then stands. To the passing servant— who was just setting her food down —"I shall take the rest of my meal in my chambers." And then she's off following her wife.

Baldessare barely notices Amanda and Tizania leaving until they're almost gone. Andrea is still held close in his arms as he steps closer to Amadea's seat, voice lowering. "If Tizania were getting her way," he says dryly, "the answer to your earlier question about what they've been up to would be 'fucking like rabbits.'" Cursing in front of the children what? "I'm starving," he adds, depositing Andrea emphatically in Amadea's arms now that he's had his immediate fill.

Amadea takes the baby and cuddles him, though her attention is mostly on the father. "We can't stick with horse euphemisms here? I suppose not," she sighs, cradling her son against her arm. "Eat, Bal. We can discuss mounting after you've had your fill." She lets the baby sleep while she attempts to eat one-handed, Andrea drooling quite contentedly on the top of his mother's breast, back in the land of the blissfully unconscious.

"Horses aren't prolific enough breeders," Baldessare points out, like it's all totally reasonable for the sake of metaphorical accuracy. He does eat, though, and drink. Fairly prodigiously, after their long journey, but likely not to such an excess that he won't be bringing up mounting negotiations later in the evening when Andrea has been put back to bed and they've retired to their chambers.

"And when horses breed, you get beautiful little horses out of it, rather than more bunnies. And by 'more bunnies,' I'm pretty sure I mean screaming arguments that wake the baby," Amadea says softly, eating her dinner slowly but carefully around said baby. She kisses the top of the baby's head tenderly, smiling just slightly. He's so pleasant when he's quiet. She probably feels that way about her husband most of the time, too, though.

"You should move them to a different floor," Baldessare suggests dryly. "Avoid both kinds of interruption to the peace of the manor." He of course gets to eat with far more than his wife at the moment, and he downs his dinner with a hunger.

"If I thought that would work, I would! At least when they are noisily fucking, they generally do it in private. But the noisily arguing with one another, that happens all over the house," Amadea points out smoothly, shaking her head once. She's hungry, but she has a figure to maintain, though she eats enough to keep her curves in the right places. She drinks more than she eats, as well.

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