(2018-05-08) Chance Encounters of the Betrothal Kind

**Arranged marriage is like walking and you get bit by a snake. Marriage for love is willingly dancing in front of the snake and taunting it.

- Indian Proverb**

Rossana and Livino meet for the first time to discover they are to marry each other. First impressions are hard to take back.
Misc Info:

It is a spring night. The weather is nearing the warmth of summer aside from lingering spring showers that are cool on the skin the skies overhead fill with white clouds that start to linger as if lazy and prepared for the heat of summer to rise.

Out in the cooling evening air, Livino is shopping at a couple of the booths. This one has several woods on display, for carpenters and building. But the standard woods that most would want to seek out is not what he is looking for. He's currently haggling over the price of some olive. Dressed down, the leathers he wears marks him not as a noble, but more a craftsman.


Rossana is not dressed in armor or leather today. Instead she is dressed like a lady and doesn't look put out by it. The dress sways around her ankles in a very unlady-like manner though. It is obvious as she walks that she is used to simply striding fast. Though her skirts are held up she had that same determined step.
here is a look of seeking on her face as she strolls the booths and vendors. As she rounds a corner she spots the wood merchant and makes her way across the plaza. "I need wood," She says to the vendor as she comes up to his stall, hands coming to rest on the counter with a light smack. "Something very hard and sturdy," She adds with a faint smile.


With Rossana butting in the middle of his negotiation, Livino arches a brow for a moment at the tiny and bulky woman that puts her hands down on the counter. "If you do not mind waiting a moment, signora, I was in a moment of negotiation with the merchant for some olive wood and cork." he comments dryly to the lady with her ankles that are so dangerous to look at.

Turning his attention back to the merchant, Livino draws his lips into a thin line. "I will need enough to make a small box. I presume my family will want me to present her with a gift and I have just enough time to work one together for her."


Rossana's turns to look at Livino as if she hadn't seen him there. Surprise in her eyes. "Oh! Yes of course, senor, my apologies. I've been trying to find this booth for an hour. My frustration lost me my manners," She says with a wave of her hand. The skirts fall to cover her ankles again at the glance and she waits.

As she does her fingers trace over the various woods, listening to the man's negotiations with the merchant. The mention of olive has her peering at the sample block with some interest. "Oh, that is quite lovely," She muses to herself as her fingers trace the variegated patterns.


Perhaps it was something in what Rossana said that cause Livino pause. "White oak." comes the suggestion. "It is sturdy, unwielding, and if you bind it with steel band, nigh-unbreakable." He should know, he usually builds with it. Lifting his eyes to the blonde that he's only barely taller than at five and a half feet, he considers the blonde for a moment.

Then his attention returns to the merchant. "Olive is good for decoration. Splinters easily with heavy use, though. But.." he lifts the small block and sniffs it and there's a small smile before offering it to Rossana for a moment. "It's armoa is enticing."


"White oak? Hmmm," Rossana's eyes scan the other blocks and squints at their labels. It is the kind of squint of someone who might read just a bit slow. "That is what I need. Sometimes I don't know my own strength and *bam* hammer handle snaps," The woman lets out a regretful sigh.

What's this though? The block is given another thoughtful once over as he offers it to her. Leaning forward she sniffs a little awkwardly and then seems surprised. "Oh…I…never noticed," She sniffs again and smiles faintly. "It's…a little fruity?"


"Yes, that means that it has had a good life." There's a blink at the woman and then arches a brow. "I did not realize you were a 'Chevalieri'." he responds to her with a tilt of his head. "Unless it was an axe?" comes the curious question as he takes back the olive and hands it over. "I have recently learned that I am to be introduced to a signora, and wanted to make sure I have a presentable gift for her. Would you be pleased with a carved box lined with cork to keep your trinkets?"


"Good, I wasn't trying to be in that guise today," Rossana tells Livino with a smirk. "No, very much a hammer. The axe is all well and good, but nothing can actually knock a big Brutta senseless like a hammer. I had one where swords just bounced off it," Maybe she's exaggerating, but she is animated as she speaks. Hands gesturing here and there and her face alive. But his question draws her back and she pauses with a raised brow looking thoughtful. "Well, I admit I have few trinkets. But the wood is quite lovely. I tend to like things with a practical use. Form and function, no? Do you know this signora's likes at all?" She turns back to searching for the white oak among the selections. "Which one is the white oak?" She finally asks with a heavy sigh.


Something in what Rossana says that causes Livino to stop for a moment. And he finds himself looking a little longer at the woman, studying her with a tilt of his head that does nothing for the bird-like appearance that he has. He considers the block of wood in his hands. "From what my sister has told me.." he says quietly as he turns his attention back to the vendor to take out some coins not to pay for the olive, but for. "Make sure she has a few strong logs of white oak. I can recommend someone to prepare it."

"Because the woman I am to meet hunts Brutta as well. Even if they are the stuff of fairy tales and myth."


Rossana raises a brow at the sudden scruttiny of the man across from her. When he goes to pay for the white oak it catches her by surprise. "You don't need to do that," She says with a faint red to her cheeks. "I really only likely need one or two, it's just for a replacement handle about yay long," And she spreads her arms.

Still not having a clue she smiles cheerfully at Livino "She -is-?" Well how delightful!" She says with obvious delight. "What's her name?"


There's a thoughtful pause as he considers her one more time and then chuckles as he moves to pay for his own olive as well. "Better to have extras in case." he responds to her before he shakes his head in thought. "I believe that my sister has said that she was small but attractive." After gathering the wood and cork, he waits for the white oak to be handed over to Rossana. Just in case.

"I was informed she's named Rossana Gaspari and will be joining the Arbore house."


Rossana has a servant to carry the wood for her because, well, she is dressed n a nice dress. And despite being a chevaliari, she doesn't like getting her pretty things messed up. It is as she is turned to the servant, telling them, "Thank you, dear," That Livino drops her name.

The blond hair flies and bobs about her face as her head whips around to stare at Livino. Those bright blue eyes are wide and the smile has kind of faded to a round 'O' of surprise. For a few seconds she is just struck quiet and staring. "I…uhhm," She turns from the servant, who is at this point trying not to giggle, "I'm Rossana Gaspari." The redness in her cheeks is becoming prominent as her eyes begin to go up and down Livino. The shock hides a lot of what she might be thinking of what she sees.


"I.. see." Apparently he had put two and two together - but she had just confirmed his suspicion as he finds himself looking anew at the dimunitive knight that he's apparently going to marry. His own cheeks darken in color. He knows the scrutinizing look from the young woman and that she could do much better than him.

"I.. suppose that I should ask you what type of design you would like on the box." he comments quietly, unsure of what else to say to his betrothed.


Rossana does a good impression of a fish there. Her mouth opens and a hand comes up, but she closes it and seems to think, only to repeat the process a few times. Finally she huffs in her own frustration, "Sorry. Uhm…I haven't even been told your name yet," She admits finally. His question for the moment shelved as she focuses on that point. "I was told to come home, that Cosimo had found me a match that would benefit the house…He hadn't told me anything else yet," Typical men, letting such a thing linger.

Once more her eyes sweeps Livino and she smiles faintly, though it is lopsided. Behind her the servant has stepped away with the package, letting the two have a bit more privacy. Certainly there would be much snickering in the Gaspari kitchens and servants quarters tonight. "So you're a…a crafter?" There is hesitation as she speaks, hard to tell if it indicates uncertainty or vague disappointment. Her features have been schooled to a startled but vague smile. Flustered. That is a good word for how she looks. She doesn't even realize she has balled her hands into fists and is opening and closing them


"My sister, Elizabetta, informed me of the same last night." Livino may be crushing the cork in his hands as he thinks and tries to say the right thing in the moment, unsure of what to say. "Livino… Livino di Arbore." To her question, he draws out a breath and chuckles. It's a dry thing, one he's not sure of doing and it seemed to die half-way in his throat. "I am a crafter of sorts, yes. I design and help build siege engines and the like. An engineeer." he offers to her. "Though I suppose we should talk some more when we meet formally to be introduced as betrotheds."


Rossana's eyes snap back to his as he mentions his name. "Livino…" The way she says it is reminiscent of someone trying out something, tasting it, feeling it, making decisions. But she doesn't give away what her conclusion is just smiles awkwardly and curties. "It -is- nice to meet you," She says trying to impress on that part.

There is a lightening to her face and an actual spark of interest in her blue eyes. "Oh, an engineer!" Like that is somehow different, but apparently for her it is. There is more cheer in her tone. Which probably isn't as flattering as she might think. The servant coughs and Rossana turns to stare at her in puzzlement.

In the slightly ditzy way that she has, Rossana is almost adorable. If the situation wasn't so awkward and serious anyway. Turning back from her un-helpful aide she returns to her awkward smile and blush. "Ah…I suppose that would be more proper. Though I'm far from the most proper of ladies that you will meet. I fit in better with mercenaries if I'm being honest." Says the woman dressed in a soft blue underdress and surcoat with her hair done up in curls and braids. She looks nothing like a chevaliari that's for sure.
-— New Activity ---
| Livino (Flirting) |
| -----— |
| Failed |
| -
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| Skill: 10 Mod: 0 Total: 10 |
| Roll: 19 Status: |

"I am sure my sister would agree.. she is a fan of the blade herself." In fact, Livino had almost suggested that Elizabetta be Rossana's match for this agreement. Awkwardly, he tries to take her hand and kiss her knuckles, but it falls somewhat short. Apparently his experience with dating and the fairer sex is far more limited than she could have imagined.

"And it is a pleasure to meet you as well. As we are to be married, after all, Rossana." And like her, he seems to be testing the waters of her name, to see how it sounds to him as well as he reaches up to brush some hair over the curve of his ear, glancing down at the ground. "I'm afraid that you are getting the much shorter side of this deal." Oh lord, did he just pun on accident?


The hand kissing has Rossana going beet red and glancing at her aide as if she might help. All the other woman can do is watch and try not to giggle as she holds the purchase. At least she doesn't wipe the slightly too-moist kiss noticably off in her skirt. The hand reaching out to tuck the hair back had her very wide eyed and she sways slightly back, so that too falls a bit short. It's horribly awkward for them, laughable to anyone else. "Ohhh? IIIis she now?" Her voice squeeks a bit.

Clearing her throat she shuffles in her soft boots and her eyes go to the tiles of the Piazza. Then he goes and makes a pun and strikes a nerve. Not knowing it was unintentional doesn't mean it doesn't flare her temper a bit. Fists are suddenly on hips and her lips thin into a line as she frowns at him. "Oh, ha, ha, ha. Yes, I'm short. Thank you for noticing," She says and turns on the ball of her foot to start walking away. The servant leans in and whispers, "She is -very- sensitive about her height, signore," Then scampers after the woman


As if he's so tall himself. "Rossana.." he starts to say, unsure of what he just did, and when the servant speaks up, Livino frowns. Balling a hand into a fist, that some hand that had just held hers just a moment ago digs into his chin in a self-punishing move. "…I will have to find a way to make amends." he says quietly to the servant, before she scampers away.

And Livino is left standing in the square, holding the olive branch that he had planned to offer her. And then looks back to the merchant. "Going to take more than this, isn't it?" The merchant just gives him a nod of emapthic understanding. He didn't mean to, yet he did. That's how it works, after all.

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