(2018-06-06) A Fruity Wager
Prosperity is the fruit of labor.
arabella raffiano 
Gardens
Summary:
A chance meeting between Raffiano and Arabella.
Related:
Some development related to the Sabastino/Zanetti alliance and wedding to bind that.
Misc Info:
Both catch up on each others lives, or at least, Arabella shares her recent news with Raffiano.

There is Raffiano, near an apple tree. It has bloomed with spring, but in this part of the world, it has yet to bear fruit of course. Most apples are probably shipped northwards from the south at this time. Raffiano doesn't know. He knows sometimes he can by some in the market. Doesn't matter today. There is a cool north wind blowing over the rooftops near the garden, letting a little cool air in. As if clouds could be gathering to sweep over the city. Yet, here in the garden, one wouldn't see them. It is blue skies and white clouds overhead for now. And him, he's lifted a hand to sniff the flower, his brows furrowed, and his nose scrunched. Giving some consideration to this process, like it was science and he was determining some greater quality from that sniff alone of the blossom of that apple tree.

*

It had been a whirlwind since the beginning of the week but today Arabella was taking a moment out of time for herself. Strolling amid the blossoms, she hesitates nearby the pool to fawn a moment over her favorite flower. It is a brief moment before she carries on, nearing the fruit trees, perhaps looking for peach blossoms. It is the man beside the apple blossoms that catches her eye and she approaches him with a tentative smile. "Signor Albrici, it has been some time. Had you forgotten your reading lessons?"

*

That hand still holding out the branch and blossom towards his noise, Raffiano turns to the voice. Then he gives a slight pause, slowly letting go. "Signora Arabella," he grins a charming smile, if he has one that could be called charming. The branch slips from his fingers finally. "It has been. I haven't forgotten, I've been focused on this Vindicti too much, and nothing has come of it. No one has dared to challenge the arm of Raffiano, and I have then been distracted from my reading lessons. Curiously, it is something that comes up often of late too. My necessity to learn to read." He looks from her, to the tree, then back to her, "This will bear apples yes, it is an apple tree?" Perhaps why he was smelling it to begin with.

*

(>-------<)
| Arabella (Awareness) |
| -----— |
| Success |
| -
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| Skill: 9 Mod: 0 Total: 9 |
| Roll: 2 Status: |
(>-------<)

*

Turning to look at the tree, Arabella smiles, "It is the same tree with the same bark as last year," she ducks down a little and indicates a knobby root at the base, "I recognize this here, it will boast apples soon enough. Perhaps you can get pie from some apples if you know how to bake them. My mother taught me baking, once upon a time. Pie is one of my favorite things." Rising again, the smile she turns to him is a touch on the cheeky side. "Perhaps we should concentrate more on teaching you, though I may be having to travel with a chaperone soon due to propriety's sake. Only if my future husband demands it though."

*

"Let me first assure you," grins Raffiano, "Dear Arabella, that my baking is no better than my reading. It may look like a pie, in the end, if I am lucky, but even I would advise against eating it." A chuckle from him, then a nod, "But if I should pick some apples, I should come to you first, I am sure if this is your favorite you are gifted as well in the art if pie-ery." See, he can make up words too, and he's sure there is some art to cooking pies. It fits, he nods, "I wasn't sure, I said it was an apple tree yesterday, but then it looked suspect. What if it was peaches or plums or something else?" He walks closer to her, offering to join and walk about the gardens if she likes. "Oh, this is soon, this future husband is happening. He may be right, a chaperone would be good in my company. For my sake as well."

*

"Perhaps the baking could be a separate lesson. Imagine bringing the lady of your dreams a pie made yourself?" Arabella teases him with a smile and the imaginings. "I think maybe not as gifted as my mother was, she rather enjoyed the baking just for the sake of it. It was relaxing she had said. A peaceful time for her." A smile at the thought. There is a glance to the tree and she bobs her head, "An apple tree. Though the one next to it, I cannot remember. Should we make a wager?" Though she only nods at the chaperone for both of their protection. "Soon, yes. My brother arranged it."

*

A blink, incredulous is the look he affords, "Really, that would be romantic, bringing a pie to the lady of my dreams?" As if Raffiano doesn't believe that, and questions, directly. "If you can cook a pie and it tastes good, then it is better than I could imagine. Doesn't have to the best." He gives a pause there, "See, now I am thinking I need to get a pie. You have brought the conversation here on purpose I suspect." A plot, to make Raffiano hungry, only one culprit present. "I'll take this wager. It will be some time before we know the winner. Your brother is looking out for you in this I hope." No telling with the nature of marriages and who one is likely to get. "But good news, maybe .. depending on how soon, we'll have a chaperone to judge who shall win this wager myabe."

*

"I think the lady of your dreams would like a pie accompanied by an entire picnic out by the twisted olive tree perhaps? Or on the grassy hill near the Dominio Mare. Either would suit." Arabella muses over that thought and wonders of her own future only a moment before giving him a smile. "I think the tree next to it will be a peach tree. That makes a good dessert as well. Is there one fruit you favor over others?" She had stated her choice of tree without naming the wager yet, but he had agreed without naming his own wager or guess of tree." Another smile at the mention of her marriage, but she makes no further reference to it.

*

"A picnic, I may try this," ponders Raffiano, curious himself. Maybe some mixed advice, but he's keen to playing by ear too. "Or like a hard ride out to some ruins, find some privacy." Or maybe that's not approprite either. Turning attention to the tree, he rubs his chin, "I will wager on a fig tree then. I think its about the same size?" He's sure cherry trees are thinner, but imagines fig trees as robust as apple and pear trees. That is is final answer. "But we have to agree to some terms of this wager, I want to know what i'll win here." Grinning, he drops the marriage topic for the now.

*

"Oh a ride out to some ruins! That would be so very fun to do, and eat then explore. You should certainly do that with someone. I wish I could do something like that. I know nothing about the man I will marry. Perhaps he is someoe who would like adventures such as those." LIke him, she ponders the tree and smiles when he names his choice. "Perhaps you are right. What if neither are correct? What if one or the other is? We do need to set the tarms."

*

"Oh, I'm sure he is, what man wouldn't enjoy an adventure," grin Raffiano, "Aside from my brother most likely." He meant it in a good way, but might not help with reassurances. "Well, I think, if you tell him, surely he would accomodate. I'd take you on an adventure. But it would be scandolous, you're to be wed after all." A smirk, he doesn't mind scandles it seems. As for the tree, he condiers. "If we are both wrong, then we must choose another wager. As for terms. It certainly can't be trying to see how many Poppy's we can eat, I don't think that is suitable. Maybe the loser needs to bake a pie for the other? From whatever fruit the tree bears?"

*

"Perhaps. I know he does help to write poetry, but it was a little on the dark side. Or something along those lines." Arabella muses thoughtfully. "I think I will wait and see how he is first. I realize you would take me, but the scandal would affect myself and my house and perhaps ruin the work my brother has accomplished thus far. You will just have to tell me how it was once you have gone." Eyeing the tree still, she laughs and gives an agreement. "Choose another wager or a pie from the loser. I accept the terms, but only if you come over and learn how to make a pie properly first."

*

"Dark poetry you say," returns Raffiano in contemplation, "I don't think mine is so dark. This is something I should work on, it has a certain charm to it?" There is a nod of agreement for him, "Yes, see how this man is, better to be safe, especialy as concerns scandal." The way he says it, includes hints of inneundo, its certainly the wrong kind of scandle, maybe in the right ways. For Raffiano at least, like he doesn't mind this scandle he's speakig of. Good thing the trees are here at least, something to occupy the mind it would seem. "So, in order to enter the wager, I must first learn to bake a proper pie? I think you are testing my ability to learn Signora Arabella. I fear I might disappoint. But I'll agree to this term, I shall try to learn how to bake a pie, that should I lose .. which I won't .. I can bake a pie worthy of being enjoyed."

*

"Dark poetry. I admit he interests me, simply because I have met no one like the Conte di Zanetti before. However, I know so little about him except that he is quite serious and so rarely smiles, at least in my presence. It was all so emotionless, setting up the terms for the marriage. I know it is a business arrangement and I am good at those even myself. I will see how it goes and let you know. You are one of the few people I talk frankly to." Perhaps medieval friendzoned. "I would wish no scandal for myself or my house though, but we could talk. I would like that." Her smile returns and Arabella nods easily enough. "Certainly you must learn to bake a pie in the Sabastino kitchens. There will be plenty of proper chaperones there, and ample time for learning. Then I would look most forward to losing and having lovely pie."

*

Raffiano listens and is little distracted, a feat for himself. His arms have folded over his chest for comfort while standing certainly. "Business, serious, dark. I think I should affect this at some point, mysterious and alluring. I would have to work on it to have it just right." Mostly teasing, as he is friendzoned. Though mostly for nobles, it probably goes that way with the prospect of arranged marriages. "No scandle then, maybe tomorrow. As for baking, it is agreed then. What, are you saying I have ample time Arabella?" As if he should be offended, though his eyes speak otherwise. "I do plenty for Albrici. I'll make a list, some day, just to prove this point. YOu'll see."

*

Arabella has partially disconnected.

*

"Mysterious and alluring?" Trying to fit those to the man she had met. "Certainly mysterious, I suppose I never imagined seeing him in any certain way. He is nice looking, that is true, if a bit serious. I wonder how he would look with laugh lines beside his eyes. I have a feeling he is quite a lot older than I." Her smile returns again and Arabella laughs a touch. "I am saying there is plenty of time before the tree blossoms in fruit before we will know what fruit it bears. So, if teaching you to cook takes as much time as teaching you to read, then there is ample time."

*

"One for two, I'll take it," returns Raffiano, as if proving his ability to fathom the unknown, when all he did was say mysterious after she said as much. "Seriously mysterious it would seem. Wait, how much older. We're not talking white hair are we?" There is a limit to how old he'll take. One hand comes up out of the fold at his chest, hand to chin. A very mild scratch of the scruff there as he responds. "As, so we have time to learn before fruit is born by the tree. You think a season or so is enough to teach me baking of pies? One thing I am good at is eating them. Namely apple pies. But if it turns out to be peach, I suppose I can attempt to make a peach pie too. I shall incorporate elements of the lotus flower in this concoction, it will be a masterpiece when I am through with it. If I had to make one, but I'm confident it is a fig tree."

*

"I have no idea how much older. I am nineteen years, so perhaps quite a bit older than that. I know to head your own home, there is a law of ages, so at least that." Arabella considers, but shrugs it off. "Maybe there is some white hairs in there, but I think mostly not. He is not a doddering old fool or anything. He is sharp and quick of wit." Her smile falters some, "I have not a whole season, my marriage is expedited due to the happenings in Vinchia, in case there would be wars or invasion. We have time to make and eat pies before then. I hope we can practice with a variety before the masquerade party in a couple of days." Her eyes lift to his, he remembered her favorite flower. "I am not sure if lotus is edible."

*

Pursed lips, nodding head, Raffiano takes in the description of this man. "Sounds suitable, head of his own house you say, sounds formidable. Quick of wit and a few grey hairs at best, he is in his prime perhaps." Not tht Raffiano needed to measure the man, he's more being agreeable. "Whoah, no time left at all. And practice before this party. Its like, a few days away, how much baking do you think I can get in before then?" That is for her to answer, that would leave little time for loafing about or slacking, a hard schedule to keep. The smile in his eyes, he looks down to meet hers, he remembers some things certainly. "Well, then, as a decoration for the presentation. Like garland during celebrations. Something just for you. Peaches and Lotus. Its a thing now."

*

"He does sound suitable and I will be a Contessa," Arabella tells him in a 'la la la' sort of sing song voice with a measure of amusement. "I guess he must think I am suitable as well, since he approached my brother about the arrangement. But it is all business, because he needs an heir and Sabastino is doing very well for itself currently. Hopefully I can assist Zanetti the same as I have my own family." Finding that smile there in his eyes, she smiles in return. "Perhaps you will save me a dance at the Masquerade Ball? If you should go, at least. And I think it is a wonderful idea, you help me decorate with peach blossoms and lotus flowers. You are now recruited!"

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