(2018-05-05) Breaking In
"Does that not seem reckless to you?"
giuliana 
An
Summary:
Giuliana is acting strangely outside the Palazzo d'Albricci, and Benedicte comes swiftly to her aid. Or does he?
Related:
Part of the smuggle theme for the month of May. Log to be completed, because Benedicte's not yet suffered enough.
Misc Info:
benedicte 

Via Principale Matora

In its splendor, the Porta Leone dominates the Via Principale in this part of Matora. This gate is quite a spectacle, massive lions are perched as crests to either tower of the gatehouse that covers the way here. Emblems of Matora itself, facing to the north. Smaller lions adorned with roses join with these guardians of the city. The buildings here are mostly large homes of the wealthy families of Matora. A gated walkway skirts an arch here to the Giardini di Fiorni, and while most are not allowed entrance, the fragrance of blossoms can often be caught wafting from that vicinity. As if to match the gate itself, the homes here are certainly more spectacular, with the towers more grand. It is clear more nobles reside in the north of Matora. The shops and merchants of the area definitely catering to the nobility with more luxurious goods and services available.


It's early afternoon, and with the weather set fair, it's brought more than a fair share of the citizens of Matora out and into it's streets. With Giardini di Fiorni just a stones throw from many of grand estates of the wealthier citizens of the city, the general flow of people centres on the gates that lead into and out of that haven of green. Guards stand at most of entrances to the estates, whether singly, in pairs or more, and the occasional carriage sweeps through and into the driveways, crunching gravel beneath iron clad wheels. It'd take a keen pair of eyes to spot a person that lurks in the shadows cast by the wall of the Albrici Palazzo, for they stand very still, wrapped in a cloak of black that appears bulkier than it ought given the slender arms and shoulders of the girl that is wearing it. Every so often she peeks to the left where the guards on the gates stand, and if a person were close enough to her, then they'd hear the mutter and grumble that's silently sworn.

*

Among the lovely lords and ladies of Matora there are, of course, the cads, rabscallions, and ne'er-do-wells.

On the opposite side of the street from Giuliana lingers a slender, young man. Somewhere in the past, he seems to have eschewed the manly pursuit of bulking up and swinging heavy weaponry, for he instead seems to be cut from the cloth of leisurely men. Fops, some might call them.

Benedicte looks sort of foppish.

But he has spied the shadowed figure, and watches her from where he stands with the casual fascination of a sated cat. He munches on an apple as he does so, with the attitude of a man who expects to be noticed. He is, after all, standing by himself. Eating an apple. Staring at a spot on a wall. And loitering is noticeable on an otherwise-busy street like Via Principale.

He seems to be smiling a little, perhaps knowingly.

*

(>-------<)
| Giuliana (Awareness) |
| -----— |
| Critical Success! |
| -
------ |
| Skill: 4 Mod: 0 Total: 4 |
| Roll: 4 Status: |
(>-------<)

*

There are many things that Giuliana is, and many she is not. Generally she is not known for being terribly aware of what's going on her around her. Generally she has her nose in a book, or is so deep in conversation that a carriage could near run her down and she'd not blink an eye. Generally. But not today. Her eyes lock with Benedicte's across the way, and her shoulders square as her chin comes up. He can stare? Well she can stare… right back!! Except, staring gets nothing done, and distraction comes in the form of whatever it is that's hidden beneath her cloak. It moves. She's quick to tighten her arms about it, but it starts to wriggle and squirm. "Sssh! SHHH!" Her frantic hushing sounds might just filter across the way, but hopefully they won't reach the ears of the guards where a sudden joke that one of them's told brings a fortuitous outbreak of laughter. "Shhhhhhh-hhh!!" A look is shot Benedicte's way, as she twists to one side. It's a look that says 'help'.

*

The foppish young man runs his free hand through his hair, and then holds up a finger.

He looks one way, and then the next. A frown comes over his face — a thoughtful frown. Mm. Thought, thought. And then, a grin. He looks one way, and then the next. Furtively, he gestures towards the Giardini di Fiorni, pointing at it as if indicating to Giuliana where she should go.

And then, he cocks his arm back and hurls his apples towards the guards that, by duty and obligation, are watching over her.

Benedicte's Fruit of Folly isn't going to hurt anyone, but it should get the guards' attention. Especially after it goes *byoink* off of one of their foreheads, with a splash of juice and apple flesh. Grinning at his success, and perhaps the chance of being in a lot of trouble, Benedicte turns and dashes for the Giardini di Fiorni after he ensures that he has the guards' attentions.

Being without armor, he has the advantage in a footchase.

*

Giuliana's eyes roll as the apple -*splats*- on the guard's forehead. Dear. God. She'd know better than to ask for help the next time she tries smuggling something past the guards. She winces at the (justifiable) anger of the guard as he zips past her intent on hunting down Benedicte and for a moment she's torn; slip into the gardens in their wake, or attempt to innocently walk past the one guard remaining. Whilst the odds were better in her favor than they had been before, the wriggling beneath her cloak intensifies, and it's with a quiet grumble that she abandons (for now) her plans and slips through the shadows in the wake of the guard. "What an idiot! Now I'm never going to get you in there! Let this be a lesson to me not to rely on others!" And hugging the bundle close to her stomach, she lifts one hand to pull high the hood on her head, shielding her features from view. Just in case she bumps into that guard.


Giardini di Fiorni

A mix of cobblestone walkways wind through this open space lined with gardens and boisterous blooms in a vibrant display of colors that spill from planters of varied shapes and sizes. The grass is bright green and well cared for. Stone benches dot the sides of the paths throughout. In some areas there are rarer flowers centered in planters with circle benches around them that make for seats to visitors, others line along the ground or surround exotic trees.

Centered amid the garden there is a small pond with a natural spring that feeds a small waterfall. Jewel colored fish dart to and fro, all amid the euphony of occasionally chirping birds and peaceful sound of the running water. Floating along the edges of the pool are lily pads and lotus flowers. A few cattails gently move in the breeze.

The Giardini di Fiorni is a splended place only accessed through covered walkways from the surrounding streets of Matora. Access is controlled by gate, this location is reserved for the nobles of the city. This allows the sights, sounds and, indeed, fragrance to be readily enjoyed in a peaceful harmony not always found elsewhere in the city. With the conversion of the courtyard here to such a public space, many of the noble estates surrounding this piazza have taken to more secure doors here.


Well, no one ever accused Benedicte of being a rocket scientist.

It takes some time to lose the guard in the maze of greenery. It also probably takes some time for the two young people to finally meet again, seeing as how one is trying to avoid the ire of someone with a sword and apple-paste on his face. Wisely, Benedicte stays nice and low. And, thankfully, he's just slender and slight enough to find a nice shadowed place under a large shrubbery, the only sign of his presence from the general square being the tips of his toes.

Presuming Giuliana finds him, Benedicte looks around with casual suspicion, which isn't eased when she draws closer.

He's definitely a cad. A silly man. Who's dumb enough to impugn guardsmen? Obviously, someone who's up to no good. It's like the start of a bad romance novel, but these are the times for such. And young men with little to do are the worst makers of mischief by far, but foreigners — he looks foreign — really ought to no better.

Apparently, he is waiting to be excoriated.

*

Giuliana knows the value of watching and waiting, and since she's no intention herself of skulking around the gardens in pursuit of Benedicte, she settles a shoulder to the trunk of a tree and waits until she spots him. And then she follows. It's only a few minutes later and a couple of halts amidst some of the more fragrant shrubs that her toes eventually join with his, poking from beneath that bit of greenery. "What. Were. You. Think-ing!" Excoriate? Well no, not exactly. Her words are sharp however, clearly enunciated and bitten off neatly to separate syllables. Eyes that are generally warmed by a candid good humor, bore into his, and the color in her cheeks is high. Her mouth settles in a flat line, and a whimpering starts that might appear to be coming from her, except it's birthed south of her chest, not within it. A hiss. "Now look what you did…" She's blaming him.

*

Benedicte first reacts by just lifting his eyebrow.

"Look what I did?" His voice carries a thick Avicorsan accent. "Look what — ?" He looks up at the sky, and then chuckles shortly. "All I did was get myself into a situation, I think, a lot of trouble. And don't ask me why I did that, because you may not like the answer." He looks a little winded from the running and dodging, but he manages to keep his voice low and quiet, so as not to attract more attention.

He clearly doesn't see what Giuliana may be carrying.

He probably doesn't care. He just keeps his blue eyes on her, watching her as she reacts to his words. The smile that followed his laughter lingers, showing that he too probably has a sense of humor about him. After all, it's just an apple, right? Who doesn't like apples?

Philistines, that's who.

*

Giuliana scowls at Benedicte. Scowl scowl SCOWL! "Look. I need to get into the estate. With this." Cradling one arm beneath her burden, she parts the top edges of her cloak with her free hand. A black nose pokes out. "It's the runt. The city stablemaster was going to have it drowned in the river, but I smuggled it away. So…" The tip of her fingers trace overthe button nose, and a soft pink tongue quickly wraps about it, bringing a smile to the young Albrici's face. A purse ofher lips. "Look. I was this close to sneaking it by, and now I'm stuck. You have to help me. Again." Eyes lid, and she looks at Benedicte from beneath a thick fringe of lashes. It's the kind of things that girls generally tend to do quite well, especially when angling for a favor. A beat. That fatal word. "Please?"

*

(>-------<)
| Giuliana (Flirting) |
| -----— |
| Success |
| -
------ |
| Skill: 8 Mod: 0 Total: 8 |
| Roll: 2 Status: |
(>-------<)

*

Tsk.

"Into the estate?" Benedicte's face is close to chagrin. "You did not say anything about getting into the estate." Well, of course not. He puts his hands on his hips, and lifts an eyebrow. "Aside from all of the trouble I have already caused for myself, you want to ask me again for help?" His lips pull to the side for a moment.

There's a pause.

"I don't even know your name." His voice lowers a little. "And while people have always told me that beautiful women will be the death of me, I fear that my time may be at hand." His mouth forms a half-smile. "If I knew your name, though, I could at least mumble on my death-bed the cause of my end, and then, maybe, a worthy story could be made of this, my day of infamy."

He offers Giuliana a hand, palm up. "I'm Benedicte."

*

(>-------<)
| Benedicte (Venery) |
| -----— |
| Success |
| -
------ |
| Skill: 15 Mod: 0 Total: 15 |
| Roll: 10 Status: |
(>-------<)

*

"Carmella. Carmella di Ricci," Giuliana smoothly lies, pulling that name easily since it was one she'd heard earlier. It would appear that Giuliana is only prepared to offer the first of her names, and a fake one at that, in return for the one she's been given. Eyes drop to Benedicte's hand, and there's a reluctant taking of it. She's have to suffer this foreigner's touch if she's to win him to her side after all. "Look. I will pay you, if I must. I just need you to hm…" She halts herself, pausing as she wrestles with the idea of just what Benedicte could do that she might slip past the guards. They're Albrici guards. And highly trained. Momentarily she looks lost.

*

Benedicte isn't that poor to look at. He's sort of handsome, as scoundrels often are.

"Look — " He holds up a hand. " — ask yourself something." He gestures at the runt. "This creature has not even lived. Yet you wish to save it. That gesture is noble, but is it wise?" He gestures at himself. "And to get me involved? Draw me in for a price? Does that not seem a little reckless to you?"

Is he questioning her judgment? Mr. "Let's Chuck Fruit at Bored Armed Men"?

*

(>-------<)
| Giuliana (Reckless) |
| -----— |
| Success Reckless |
| -
------ |
| Reckless |
| Trait: 10 Roll: 5 |
(>-------<)

*

"It is precisely because it has not yet lived, that I am doing this," Giuliana says, and despite her desire to sway Benedicte in her favor, she can feel that scowl starting to settle once more on her brow. She huffs a breath and casts her eyes to the skies. "But I'm not reckless." She is. Oh she so very CLEARLY is if she's attempting to get something into the palazzo that's so obviously not wanted there. She pulls back her hand from his to pet at the hunched up bundle she carries, and her eyes fall on something on the way back to him. "A tree! We'll use a tree!" This could be bad.

*

"If you understand that, then you know why I've decided to help you."

Benedicte looks back towards the palazzo, and thinks on the problem. "I suppose I could just lead them away on a chase again." He then looks towards a street vendor. "Or, you could put it into a basket, and claim that you're bringing in some food," he remarks, gesturing in that direction. Calmly, he continues. "But climbing on a tree? You could drop it to its death. Or yourself."

He sighs heavily, and then gives Giuliana gets a suspicious gaze.

"Wait a moment." Beat. "You said your name is Carmella di Ricci?" Beat. "Then why are you trying to get into Palazzo d'Albrici?" Benedicte sets his hands on his hips, and lifts an eyebrow. "Did I mis-hear your name?" That's not really a word, but that's what comes out of him.

The plot thickens.

*

To be continued…

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