(2018-05-14) In Sabastino Gardens, They're Family
“Cristofano is not so proper that he is afraid to drink after his brother in a private garden.”
alvise cristofano 
A nap is interrupted, with dire consequences.
Will life in the Palazzo Sabastino ever be the same?
Misc Info:
Actually, everything is kept very chill.

The garden of the Palazzo di Sabastino is always beautiful, but there is no time when it is more beautiful than in the late spring. A riot of blooms color the vegetation here and spring fruits burden the boughs of trees. The steady droning of bees competes with the gurgle of water from the fountain, both lending and almost sleepy quality to the warm, scented air.
Perhaps this is why Cristofano is asleep. He is in a chair by the fountain with a book in his lap, though it lies open and unseen, his eyes closed against the spring sunshine and his mouth hanging slightly open in relaxation. His favorite dog, Diana, is curled up asleep near his feet, basking.

And at such times, it's quite relaxing to take a walk in the garden as well. Enzo is making his way along the walkways, looking quite relaxed as he does. He's not carrying any books or papers with him, seemingly just intending to relax for now. As he starts to approach the fountain, he sees Cristofano, and walks a bit slower, not wanting to wake his brother. He moves for one of the other nearby seats, trying to make as little noise as possible.

| Alvise (Dex) |
| -----— |
| Failed |
| -
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| Attribute: 10 Roll: 11 |

Alvise is not asleep, yet, but he is, also, spending time with a favorite. In this case, he is heading out into the garden with his favorite bottle of wine, which can easily be recognized as such by the fact that it is the most recently opened nonempty bottle in the vicinity. He walks into the garden, into an impromptu brotherly reunion, which is not at all unlikely on this day, as beautiful as it is. He nods to Enzo as he approaches another chair and tries to slip into it somewhat silently. He, instead, makes a bit of a clatter as he settles in. Not enough to wake the dead, but surely enough to wake a dog.

And indeed the dog does wake. Diana's first instinct is a low growl, but her nose lifts to the air, and, smelling two very familiar figures, she emits a yawn and places her head back on the warm stones. The growl is enough to rouse the Conte, however. Blinking his eyes, Cristofano fights the bright light as the vision of his brothers swims into focus. "Oh. Heh. How long have you rabble-rousers been here?"

Looking over to offer Alvise a grin, Enzo pauses a bit as the dog wakes up. There's a pause as he hears Cristofano's words, and he shrugs a little. "Hours?" he offers, a bit lightly, before he shakes his head. "No, we just got here, really."

Nodding pleasantly, Alvise concurs with Enzo. "We haven't been here nearly long enough to cause any trouble, or even to contemplate it. Not that the opportunity wasn't there…" he trails off a bit as he sets the wine bottle down on a nearby stone bench. "I'd give us credit for an admirable level of personal restraint, regardless of the exact timetable." He glances skyward for a moment to gauge the time and asks, "And when did you come out to the gardens today? Do you happen to remember, without looking, the title of the book you came out to enjoy?" He laughs.

"Well that is good," Cristofano says with a lopsided grin to Enzo. "I hate to imagine what you might have been up to for hours while I was sleeping away." His gaze slides to Alvise, suspicion written on his features before he barks out a laugh. "The day I praise you for your admirable level of personal restraint will be a glorious day indeed," he teases. Then, confusion reigns. "Book?" It would seem he has forgotten the book in his lap completely. He blinks down on it. "Oh. Silly adventure stories. Just something to take my mind off of work for a while." He nods to the bottle. "Like that. I don't suppose you brought a glass with you for your brother?"

Enzo grins, "To be honest, I hate to imagine what I would have been up to staying here for hours while you slept as well." There's a grin as he looks between the others, nodding a bit at the mention of the book. "Did you even start reading it before you fell asleep? Or should I try reading that book if I ever have trouble sleeping?"

Looking around for etiquette-minded servants and, you know, sisters, Alvise admits, "Actually, I didn't even bring a glass for me." He laughs again, tips the bottle briefly to his lips like a complete lout, some sort of northern barbarian, then holds it by the neck and extends his arm to bring it within reach, if either brother is willing to put up with the indignity.

Cristofano is not so proper that he is afraid to drink after his brother in a private garden. He eyes the bottle for a moment, then reaches to take it, pulling down a swallow and wiping his mouth with the back of one hand before extending it next toward Enzo. "I think I read a few lines. Maybe." He grins. "A bad book and a full belly usually does it to me. I smuggled some local cheese out of Vierguers. Smells like death, but delicious. I ate a little too much of it, I think." He rests a hand on his belly.

"A good book for helping you sleep, then," Enzo offers, before he takes the bottle as it's handed over. "Less to clean up, good plan," he offers to Alvise, before taking the sip. "Ah, it's rather good," he offers, handing the bottle to Alvise again. "I wonder why it's often the foulest smelling cheese that tastes best," he says, thoughtfully.

"Your instincts were good with Vierguers, the cheese aside," Alvise says to Cristofano, accepting the bottle back and then thanking Enzo for his appreciation of wisdom displayed. He takes another small drink and passes it back to Cristofano. "I've no idea how much it cost you, of course, but the Ventura you hired held the town, and we seem to be generating some good chatter with the success. Actually, I have to admit, you've made a strong showing across the board this season," he notes appreciatively.

"I have a working theory about that," Cristofano says to Enzo. "I think the worse it smells that more you expect it to taste bad. And when it doesn't, your tongue is so relieved that it actually thinks it tastes /good/." He grins, then turns and bows his head to Alvise, his expression growing more serious. "It was a bit of a gamble. Actually, it was thanks to Arabella's hard work that we were able to not only throw the Feast but also send soldiers. I'm still figuring this out, of course, but my current tactic is to be aggressive about spending. I hope it doesn't get us into trouble later."

"A good theory," Enzo replies to the part about the cheese theory. He nods as he listens to the part about Vierguers. "A good decision, even if it was a bit of a gamble. And aggressive spending is a good thing, as long as it's used where something can be gained from it."

"I love that modesty you have," Alvise nods self-seriously to Cristofano. "It plays very well to the pretty Signorine. Crucial to get that foot in the door," he adds. Leaving that suggestive comment right where he placed it, Alvise next adds to Enzo's observation, "Something seems to be gained from the handling of this siege. There were plenty of people there outside of the Ventura that were fighting. I don't know who, really, I've no head for names and faces. But the credit around town seems to be limited to Sabastino, Arbore and Farro. Sacario all. So the politics of the situation is successfully skewed in our direction at this point."

Cristofano opens his mouth to reply to Alvise, but seems at a loss for words, so closes it as color creeps up his cheeks. He is quick, therefore, to seize on the other topic of conversation. "Now…how best to take advantage of that perception? Perhaps we might meet with the nobility there to discern where their politics lie? And if they might be shifted, should it be required?"

Enzo offers a brief grin to both of his brothers as he looks between them. "Might be a good idea to meet with them to find out a bit about that. Probably better to do so while they still remember who helped them?" Looking around briefly, before adding, "After all, people tend to forget such details after a while."

"Exactly," Alvise says sagely to his brothers. "Your good deeds are quickly forgotten, if they are noticed at all. But if you should tip just one prized breeding cow, no one forgets. It is a great sadness." He manages to look serious, even solemn, for half a moment at this point. Then he grins again and continues the other conversation, saying, "But the point is still a good one, that you both have made. There is an opportunity. The question seems to be whether to continue your aggressive stance and try to seize it yourself, or to invite in political allies to spread the risk, and the possible reward, around."

"At this point, I think we want allies more than personal power. The climate is uncertain, but with the Sacario strengthened, we all gain. I'll send a message to Vittore and ask him to meet. Perhaps together we can secure important allies in the area." Cristofano stifles a yawn, then reaches out for the wine again, pointedly ignoring Alvise's other remarks. "What have the two of you been up to lately? Anything of which I should be aware?"

Enzo raises an eyebrow as he looks to Alvise. "I'm not sure I want to know when you tipped a prized breeding cow, Alvise." It's said with a brief grin, before he nods again at what's said. "Allies are always good. And I've just been doing the normal business, mostly. Nothing terribly interesting."

"Oh, I actually saw some action at Vierguers," Alvise mentions. "A few of the mercenaries penetrated into the town to set fires, and I was personally on hand to help subdue one. The others got away," he admits. "I did take one blow during the scuffle, but my armor held. Just a bruise. Alas, it's completely covered by normal clothing and, thus, entirely useless to me. It is an honorable war wound, of course, but not displayable at all unless you've already won the engagement at hand, so to speak. Otherwise, nothing much. Is there anything you would have us know?"

"It sounds like a good excuse to walk around without clothes on," Cristofano jokes to Alvise. Then he pauses. "Um. I'm kidding. Don't do that." Just in case. Drawing in a deep breath he shakes his head. "Nothing at the moment. As you likely know, the Prince is staying with us for the foreseeable futue. He has not been forthcoming about the reason for his visit, so if you can learn anything, that would be good."

"I'll see what I can learn," Enzo promises, with a brief smile. "Hopefully we will find out something about his reasons." Nodding as he listens to the others, he looks a bit thoughtful.

"And I'll keep my clothes on," Alvise seemingly promises. Pausing to think on the Prince for a moment, he asks, "Does the Prince have a large retinue? Anybody other than himself that seems at least somewhat knowledgeable about the situation?"

"He has a small number of servants here with him," Cristofano affirms with a nod. "It may be possible to get one of the to talk. To be honest, I had expected he would have been more upfront about the reasons for his visit by this point. I mean, why would he come all of this way only to remain silent about how we can help him." He shakes his head and reaches down to scratch idly at Diana's head.

Enzo looks a bit thoughtful as he considers that. "Maybe he's still trying to decide if we can be trusted? Although why would he decide to stay with us if he couldn't trust us?" Another moment, and he adds, "Probably a good thing, speaking with his servants, that's true."

Alvise takes a drink from the wine bottle and says, "I'll see if there occurs any natural opportunities for my unique charisma to exert itself. But, regardless, I remain confident that you will crack the nut eventually, Conte. I will mostly try to see to it that I do not somehow topple your diplomatic success to the ground like some sort of very valuable, sleepy cattle." He follows this with inappropriate laughter.

"Cracking nuts, indeed," Cristofano says with a smirk. With a grunt, he pushes himself to his feet. "Very well. Let's all see what we can learn. If I hear anything, I will let you know. Please do the same. Come, Diana." The hound pushes herself sleepily to her feet and starts to trot off after her master.

Cristofano has left.

"Of course we will," Enzo offers to Cristofano, watching him head off. There's a brief pause as he looks around, before he looks back to Alvise. "I'm sure you'll find the opportunities for that unique charisma, brother," he offers, with a smile.

"Absolutely," Alvise says. "I've always thought that one should always be mindful of opportunities, even moreso than of successes. The one can never be greater than the other, after all." He shrugs a bit and adds, "But I suppose that someone who had actually managed to turn every opportunity into a success might have a different philosophy entirely. In any case, I hope that your various activities are proceeding to your satisfaction."

Enzo nods a bit, "So far they have been quite well, yes." He goes quiet again, leaning back a bit in his seat.

"That is excellent news," Alvise says. He stands up and continues, "But, I should also be on my way this evening. Be well, brother." He then heads out of the garden.

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