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A surprise party for Duke Aethan.

We're all so super proud of Aethan and how he will lead us into the next chapter of Kennex's history. Please come help celebrate his achievements.


Oct. 30, 2019, 8:30 p.m.

Hosted By



Carita Evonleigh Gwenna Ian Porter Wash Zoey Gesa Niklas Sabella Sorrel Galen Tesha Lorenzo Aethan Lucita



Arx - Ward of House Thrax - Kennex Kay - Main Hall

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

Jayne, Burly Sailor arrives, following Wash.

Ian has joined the Patterned plush couch set.

Lady Teonia Redreef, Aryka Wyrmfang, 3 Thrax Guards, Marquessa Pudding, a doughy dog, 2 Thrax Elite Guards arrive, following Sorrel.

2 Redrain Guards, Ciro Sclafani, a world-weary manservant arrive, following Lorenzo.

Catalana has told Aethan that they are going to have the world's most boring meeting. Surprisingly he agreed, silly man. While he's distracted she's been sneaking food and decorations into the Kay. Garlands of purple and white streamers hand from the ceiling and bunches of winter flowers are on the table. Plates full of food are set out. Breads, cheeses, meat and of course lots of fish and seafood. She's even got servers ready with wines, tea, rum and water.

Cat herself is bouncing on her toes, excitedly ushering people in. "Welcome. Welcome. Come in. Make yourself comfortable."

Ian is here. He's been sitting here, on a couch, with a drink, for a while now. He looks haggard, but no more haggard than normal.

Even Redrain get chilly in winter, it seems, as Gwenna arrives in brocade and seatouched wool. The hues are somewhat stark black, grays, and white, though there is some rainbow colors glimmering around her wrist to keep her from being /too/ drab. "Do you think he'll like the confetti," she wonders to Lorenzo as the pair enter the main hall. "Or do you think it's too much?" Of /course/ it's too much, but so were no few things she accosted Aethan with in recent years. A warm smile is offered to the many familiar faces and she dips her head in greeting to the hostess. "This was a brilliant idea. Thank you so much for inviting us."

Wash descends the stairs. "Sorry! Sorry! Sorry I'm late. I was... swatches. Needles. Beads... brain is totally absorbed with thinking."

Zoey is keeping watch near the entrance Aethan is expected to come through, ready to warn the rest of the party when the time comes.

Evonleigh arrives, looking up with storm-gray eyes at the decorations and laughing a little. "Someone might need to tell the guards to block the door so that he doesn't turn around and run as soon as he sees all of this," she says brightly, gesturing around, and adding, "and all of us." She makes the rounds to greet everyone, curtsies of course for the royals in the midst. "Poor Aethan," she says, though, glancing toward the door.

Catalana can't help but overhear Gwenna, she tries to keep a straight face, "Oh he will love it I am sure." She admits lowly to the Royal couple, "I expect to get a stern look and a frustrated puff for this. You know how he hates to be celebrated, or even noticed." Greeting Wash to her side, she asks him, "Are you still working on that dress? Am I going to be able to move in it?"

Tesha's gives a smile to people as she hurries past the entrance and there's a smile to Zoey, "Good evening." she greets her. Then she's making sure to keep away from the door and head inside. She gives a dip of her head to those that she knows and gives a curious look around to see if Evander might be hiding somewhere. But he isn't.

Lorenzo arrives alongside his wife Gwenna, the two talking quietly. "He'll probably say it is too much, but it is just the right touch," the Lycene prince turned Redrain says. He is dressed finely and bundle in a warm cloak against the chill. "Besides, there are very few things that might be considered too much when a duchy is concerned." He gives Lady Catalana a warm smile as she greets them. "Some parties need to be thrown. I'm sure he'll forgive you eventually."

When Aethan is told there is a super important meeting to go to, you can bet that he goes to it. Yes, he does. He is very dutiful, as everyone who is present probably knows, and so it isn't as though he's //not// going to attend. So, eventually there are some footsteps coming from the west hallway that herald his arrival, and a few seconds later, he appears. He has his usual expression on his face -- that is, not much of one; he looks as flat as ever, and ready to do some Very Important Business.

Of course, the fact that he's wearing a giant purple admiral's hat does take away something from that impression. It is...well, giant. And purple. And adorned with a very jaunty feather.

Someone may have tipped him off as to the real reason for this gathering. No idea who that could have been.

Sorrel arrives with a child on her hip and a second child squirming in the grasp of one of her guards. Both are passed off to servants to be taken to go play with the Kennex brood so that the adults can socialize in peace. The little one waves to everyone as she is carried off. "I'm looking forward to the party," Sorrel says brightly. "Ah, and here comes the man of the hour, in the best hat."

Ian takes a drink from his glass, and generally seems to be staying out of the whole spirit of festivities and giddy anticipation for his brother's arrival, but again, that's pretty normal for him. The sight of his brother and his enormous hat does get a quirk of a smile, though.

Gwenna's smile broadens at Catalana's words. "Right? I can only imagine his face, my lady. I might have to try to paint it if I can remember it just right. That broad smile turns warm again as she looks back to Lorenzo. "You're right, of course, on all counts. You're the best husband. As for the forgiving me...well, surely he eventually will, as you said." She doesn't sound /too/ sure. The little bits of paper balled up in her hands become apparent when Aethan enters and she attempts to toss them at him. In her excitement, she maybe did this too soon, or perhaps being balled up in her fists so long squished them too much. Whatever the case, most of the bits of paper end up on the floor not even two feet from where she and Lorenzo stand and she blinks a couple of times before chuckling. "Well! That wasn't as exciting as I thought it might have been. Congratulations, Lord Aethan. That hat! It is glorious."

Catalana can't help but laugh at Aethan's hat. She quickly covers her mouth with her hand. She chuckles beneath her hand and shoots Wash a look. Only person she knows who would help create such a giant hat. She can't help but laugh more at Gwenna's failed attempt with the confetti. Through the laughter, she manages to cheer Aethan, "Surprise! Congratulations our Duke-regent admiral lord Aethan Kennex!"

Tesha gives a bit of a smile as she stands just a touch off to the side of those gathered. The hat Aethan wears makes her chuckle a little and she applauds as others do, "Congratulations, Duke-Regent Aethan." she joins in with the cheering for Aethan.

Confetti fail? Oh noes! Lorenzo scoops up a few bits that flutter from Gwenna's fingers and he tries tossing them as well. Crumpled bits of paper don't fly particularly well, though. "Congratulations! Well-earned, I'm sure! And that has got to be the best hat I've ever seen. I might be a bit jealous." He casts a grin at Gwenna. "Do you suppose I can find a hat like that somewhere?"

Turning at the arrival of Aethan, Evonleigh laughs at the appearance of the new Duke Regent. Both hands come up to cover her mouth because it's truly about the most ridiculous thing she's seen. "I feel you need a violet and lavender brocade cloak to go with that hat, set with a giant platinum and duskstone broach in the shape of your finest ship, to truly do that hat justice," she says, applauding when Catalana congratulates him. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you. Please don't decide you can never trust me again," she says dramatically, then turns to Catalana. "It wasn't me who told him, I swear it!" with feigned fear and widened eyes. "Glorious," she adds to Gwenna's little confetti shower... or sprinkle.

Zoey is unable to warn the guests due to laughing too hard when she lays eyes on Aethan's hat. Amused, but feeling rather useless, she grabs a bottle of whiskey and a glass of wine as she heads to the couch to join Ian. She grins at Sorrel, her hands being too full to wave, then takes a seat.

Ian slips a casual arm around Zoey's waist when she comes to join him.

"It's a hat." Wash agrees. "Enormous." Wash says approvingly as he applauds at the base of the stairs.

"I didn't realize it was a hat wearing occasion, or I'd have worn my hat," Sorrel says cheerfully, arching a brow thoughtfully with a measure of amusement. "A girl needs a good hat for these sorts of occasions, and I do. I just never think to wear it."

"The one the spider made?" Zoey asks Sorrel from where she has contently settled with her husband. "I still haven't seen it."

Aethan looks around at the congratulations and laughter, and while he doesn't //actually// seem to be trying to act surprised -- because he is clearly not surprised -- he does say, "Cat, what's this? I thought you had some very boring business for me to attend to." That's about as far as he can go with playing along -- besides the hat, of course -- and a brief smile flashes across his face then as he says, "Thank you. All of you," he adds, looking around at his family and friends gathered there to celebrate him. While he doesn't look precisely comfortable, and he does wait for a second or two just inside the door, it doesn't take him //too// long before he steps inside, a little huff of amusement escaping him at Gwenna's confetti. "Please don't make me a brocade cloak, as it's not very practical at sea." This, of course, to Evonleigh, despite the amusement in his expression.

Gwenna laughs a bit more as Lorenzo doesn't have much more luck than she did with the confetti. To his question, she grins. "I will have one commissioned for you straight away. Even the color is perfect! Though I might suggest a red feather," she tells him with a wink. Evonleigh's suggestion for adornment just make the Redrain smile wider. "A hat pin, yes! That's a grand idea. Something properly shiny enough to reflect all that glorious purple," is said agreeably. Hearing Sorrel and Zoey, and with her husband's remarks about a hat, she says, "You know, I could have worn my beret. Maybe we need a proper hat party sometime soon. It seems a shame for all these wonderful hats to go unseen."

"Yes! The one that the spider made. Which is what I get for hanging out with Nox'alfar. I'm glad it didn't eat me," Sorrel says wryly to Zoey, nodding once.

The expression of "surprise" from Aethan draws from Ian a coughing sort of exhale that's probably a laugh.

"I don't even own a hat," Evonleigh says, to all the hat talk, with a smile for Gwenna, She tips her head as she considers the plea from Aethan. "Perhaps I'll make you a beautiful one in colors that suit *me* and then when you don't wear it, I'll just keep it for myself," she muses. "Where did you get that hat, anyway? I'd stake my life that you didn't choose it for yourself, for some reason." Mostly because Aethan is the most understated person in the Compact.

Lorenzo gives Aethan a warm smile. "Just because something isn't practical to wear at sea doesn't mean you won't have other occasions to wear it now. You'll likely need a whole new wardrobe for parties and another for the Assembly of Peers." Gwenna taking his suggestion sersiously gets a laugh, though he plays along. "At least one red feather, yes. That sounds exciting, a wild hat party." He casts a smile at Evonleigh. "We'll definitely need to find you one, then."

"A hat party sounds like fun!" Zoey agrees with Gwenna. "Just give me warning enough to make something spectacular."

Gwenna beams and nods. "A hat party /does/ sound fun," she says and toddles off to fetch a drink and probably make some hat party plans.

Khaavren, a dutiful assistant, 2 Redrain Guards leave, following Gwenna.

1 Saik Guard, Micana, Golden, an Oakhaven bloodhound, Gunther, a Rottweiler arrive, following Lucita.

Golden, an Oakhaven bloodhound have been dismissed.

Gunther, a Rottweiler have been dismissed.

Catalana assures Evonleigh, "Oh I know you wouldn't of. This hat stinks of the Kennex brothers and I would bet that my own beloved has betrayed me in this circumstance." She then beams at Aethan and brings him a drink, "Don't all your very boring meetings involve all the people who love and adore you?"

"I have a hat with a candle around here somewhere." Wash calls after Gwenna. "Think of me if you have a hat party!" He comes down the stairs to collect food and snacks.

"I had it made it for him," Ian remarks to Evonleigh. "Back when the old Marquis made him admiral." He's sitting on the couch with Zoey, holding a drink. To Aethan, he adds: "I didn't know you still had it."

"Yes, a hat party," Lorenzo muses, already making mental notes, and he smiles at Wash. "Of course, we'd be happy to have you join us! Perhaps something like the pajama party, except we'll drink whiskey out of tea cups. Redrain certainly never shies away from parties with interesting themes." He gives a bit of a longing look after his wife after she wanders off, though they'll certainly meet up later.

Tesha gives a smile to those that are in attendance and then there's a moment her guard reminds her of the time, she gives a bit of a nod to the woman. She heads over to Aethan and waits her turn to speak, "I cannot stay long, but I wanted to congratulate you in person, Duke Aethan." she smiles to him. "Kennex is in good hands and if you should ever need help, House Telmar will gladly be available." she tells him.

Tesha is overheard praising Aethan.

Tesha is overheard praising Catalana.

Lucita steps into the area, dogs and guard left behind and trusting in the Kennex guards and family with her safety. There is not a big dramatic entry or even a mediocre one but a quiet one as she steps to the side and glances over those who have gathered. A warm, beguiling smile is given folks as she spots familiar faces.

Zoey is overheard praising Aethan: and his amazing hat! He will make a wonderful Regent.

"That sounds like a fire hazard," says Evonleigh with a frown to Wash, before turning to Lorenzo and smiling. "I don't know why I never wear them. I just don't tend to. In poor weather, I wear hooded cloaks," she says thoughtfully. "It's strange, now that I think on it." She finds a glass of something to drink. To Catalana she adds, "Any male Kennex is suspect, I think, honestly. Including he with the last name Grayson." Her eyes fall on Ian. "But I think Lord Ian may be the culprit."

Evonleigh is overheard praising Catalana.

Evonleigh is overheard praising Aethan.

Zoey has joined the Patterned plush couch set.

Aethan looks mildly horrified at Lorenzo's suggestion, though again there is a bit of amusement there. "I hope not," he says, and while it might have been said jokingly -- sort of -- it is clearly not a joke. "Prince Lorenzo," he continues, inclining his head to him, "thank you for coming. Princess Sorrel, good to see you." When Tesha comes over to him, he turns that way, nodding again as he says, "Thank you, Lady Tesha. Kennex appreciates your support, and please consider the same offer extended to you."

His attention is caught by Evonleigh's words then, but before he can answer, Ian has, and he nods, gesturing toward his brother. "I thought it might come in handy again at some point," he says, "and so it has. It feels appropriate for the occasion." He does have a very admirable deadpan, one of the benefits of his usual flat tone. The more formal greetings finished, he looks over to Wash with another little huff of amusement, as he says, "I think I remember that hat."

Tesha gives a dip of her head to Aethan, "We will remember that. Enjoy your party." she tells him. Then she gives a wave to those that she knows and makes her exit as quietly as she had entered.

"It's not that bad." Wash says. "Sort of good for cold wet nights actually, when visibility is bad." He fills a cup with something to drink. "I'm just glad that the house is unified. The most important role model for Darion will be the regent, right?"

Catalana now wanders to her husband's side "Indeed. The house already feels happier."

Lucita slips over to Catalana and Wash and murmurs. "Sorry am so late. I had a couple of lessons I was scheduled to give before the reminder came for this and my students did not show up for them. I waited for a while and then decided that though late, would drop by."

Ian exchanges low conversation with Zoey at the couch, then looks up when Lucita arrives. "Baroness Saik."

"Baroness Lucita. I meant to sent you a messenger, but then I forgot. So we'll have to put our heads together at some point," Sorrel says cheerfully, getting herself a beverage of some sort.

Zoey waives to Lucita when Ian calls to her, grinning broadly.

Catalana gives a very fond smile to Lucita. "Baroness. You're always welcome here. Please. Come get something to eat and drink."

Aethan's expression softens //just// a bit at Wash's words, almost imperceptibly, but to those present who know him, it's noticeable. "I hope I can help him grow into a good man," he says, "but luckily I have a lot of help in that." This to Wash, before he looks from Catalana to Zoey, and then Ian, including them all in that. "Baroness Saik, thank you for coming.

Wash offers Catalana finger foods from his plate. "As a sounding board for Aethan's support and Kennex' continued success..." Wash says. "This is a positive endorsement to that end." He gives his attention to Lucita. "Do you have a drink Baroness?"

Lucita gives a mischievous little grin. In such a gathering as this I can say "Lords and Lady Kennex and wind up greeting the most of the people." Ian and Zoey and Aethan gain a portion of her attention with that comment then she adds. "Princess Sorrel, of course, I'd indeed like to get with you. And thank you Lady Catalana, Lord Wash, I'll get something." She finds a drink and a bit of food on which to nibble. "Thank you all for having me here."

Aethan's soft smile and inclusion for the rest of his fellow Kennexes draws a look of admiration from Evonleigh. "Hear hear," she says. "To House Kennex," she adds, lifting her glass. "And its very worthy Duke Regent, and its very small Duke who has a full host of role models to look up to."

Zoey lifts her glass as well.

Ian also lifts his glass when Evonleigh calls for the toast. "To House Kennex," he echoes.

Lucita joins in the toast. "To House Kennex!"

"To House Kennex," Sorrel agrees, lifting her glass and smiling slightly.

Catalana lifts her glass and toasts, "To house Kennex and Lord Seth's. Without him, we would be lost."

Lorenzo lifts a glass in toast. "To House Kennex," he calls out before taking a drink. "I believe you're all due some quiet days for a while."

Porter strides in as if on cue, lifting a bottle of rum and calling out "To the house and my brother." the man tilting back the rum as he makes his way over to Aethan to take him up in a great bear of a hug regardless of what he might or might not be doing.

Aethan lifts his glass that Catalana gave him as well, nodding once as he says, "To House Kennex. I don't know if Catalana's words are strictly true, but I hope we're on a good path now." Just then, he turns in response to Porter's voice, only to find himself caught up in a giant hug. A little breath escapes him since clearly Porter's hugs are lung-crushing, but it sounds a bit like a laugh, at least.

Wash joins the toast. "The next path involves pirate hunting. I'm looking forward to that."

Ian is sitting on the couch with Zoey, drinking and looking a little bit haggard. He brightens at Porter's arrival, though, a genuine smile twitching, at least for a moment, at the corners of his mouth as his older brother gets bear hugged.

Catalana picks at Wash's plate, mostly stealing all the best bits of food. "Pirate hunting?" She waves to Porter and asks him, "Can I come on your boat Porter? Wash keeps threatening to lock me below deck if I come."

"Maybe after you can make it through a conversation like the other night without fainting," Zoey teases Cat before the men can chime in.

Porter shakes his head slowly at Catalana before taking another deep swig of his rum "What have I been missing where Was wants ya to get drowned if he starts taking on water? Doesn't sound very loving to me." a roguish smile pulling at the corner of his lips as he shakes his head in faux dismay

Lorenzo passes off his glass. "I'd better go see if I can chase down Gwenna. Have fun, everyone," he says, then slips out mostly unnoticed, in the way he does.

2 Redrain Guards, Ciro Sclafani, a world-weary manservant leave, following Lorenzo.

Ian just shakes his head and stays out of this particular conversation. Since Zoey brought whiskey over with her, he tops up his glass.

"Well, not if she is wearing the proper armor." Wash amends. "She'll be fine if she's in good armor."

Catalana assures Wash, "I got good armor. Sharkskin and everything." She warily reminds Zoey, "You discussed exploding bee corpses." Even just those words turn her a little green.

"Armor won't keep you from swooning," Zoey points out before taking a sip of her wine.

Once he's been put down, Aethan steps away, and toward Evonleigh, reaching to touch her arm very briefly. He looks at her and smiles, a possibly slightly uncomfortable but nonetheless genuine smile, before he looks over to Zoey and Catalana at the discussion. His eyebrows raise, and there's a glance at Ian, as though his brother could illuminate something about this, but he doesn't look like he's //really// holding out hope.

Ian is in the middle of saying something to Zoey when Aethan looks over at him. He finishes and, catching his brother's look, just shrugs.

Evonleigh watches the interplay between siblings and siblings-in-law with amusement, glancing at Aethan when he draws near and smiling, leaning against him and putting one hand over the hand on her arm. Trapped! She tips her head to murmur something quietly to him.

Catalana murmurs something to Wash and gives him an elbow to the ribs before glancing covertly to Aethan and Evonleigh.

Zoey notices the glance Aethan gives Ian and promises him, "I will give you the story later. Now is not the best time."

Lucita laughs softly, well aware of the ways between the various Kennex. "Not sure I can help much with the hunting part. I mean I'd try but.. I'm not a sailor or medic or very good in a fight but I can sure sing out a rowing rhythm or a chanty to set a sailor's work rhythm.

"Well, you should learn to lead from behind." Wash tells Catalana. "Because you don't want to catch an accidental arrow."

Porter sagely offers "Ya know I heard that sharks piss through their skin. Some scholar told me that."

Ian snorts. "That makes the couple of times I've wrestled with one a lot more disgusting."

Catalana gapes at Porter, "Ew. I'm wearing that?"

Porter nods along at Catalana, "You are. This is also why when cooking up shark you remove the skin."

"Does anyone plan on going to the Masquerade tomorrow? I'd love to see the Highlord's reaction if one of you tells him," says Zoey. "Baroness, you can help by keeping this poor lady company while they family is on their excursion." At the exchange between Porter and Cat, "They only do it while they're alive. Once they're properly processed the skins are fine."

"Why wouldn't they just... piss like regular fish?" Wash asks confused. "Wait, do all fish piss through their skin? Or is this just sharks? And who figured this out about sharks in the first place. Did they capture one and then ... drink it's water or something?"

Ian shakes his head to Zoey. "I can't really see the high lord caring. He's gotten a lot worse on himself than shark piss."

Porter lets out a long suffering sigh and claps wash on the shoulder "My friend isn't it obvious? They fed the sharks a ton of beets then kept it in a tank. Which if you line that up with what we know of scholars and their need to know that which is pointless, it all makes sense."

Aethan doesn't inquire further after Ian's shrug, and Zoey's words. His smile does fade a little bit at the whole exchange, but whatever it is, he seems to push it out of his mind for the moment. Instead he murmurs something back to Evonleigh, before moving them both toward a seat to sit down. "I wasn't planning on it," is what he said, possibly in response to the question about the masque. Shockingly.

Lucita wrinkles her nose. "Ick. I have no idea what leather my armor is made from, just glad it works.. fairly well... most of the time, at least so far."

Catalana checks with Wash, "Wouldn't the shark's water just taste salty?" She remarks to Porter amusedly, "Eww."

Lucita says, "I do plan to go to the Masquerade on tomorrow, but do not have an escort. So many who are not Lycene are uneasy around the celebration." She says gently then looks toward Zoey. "That I could do, keep you company while they are gone. Hopefully I will not be gone at the same time.""

"The tailor assures me that Cat's dress is almost done. The first draft was... not accurate." Wash explains.

"The last masquerade, someone thought we were a princess and prince," says Evonleigh with a grin toward Aethan. I'm not sure which ones. I did somehow persuade him into going to one, yes, believe it or not! But I will let him off the hook this time," she adds, taking a seat beside him.

Ian looks to Zoey. "You could escort her," he points out between sips of whiskey. It should probably go without saying that Ian couldn't be dragged kicking and screaming to a masquerade ball.

Zoey laughs behind her hand and something Ian said loud enough for only her to hear. "Yes, Lucita, I will go with you to the ball. It will be fun!"

Wash shakes his head at Porter. "Sharks will eat anything." He admits. "Even beets." He wrinkles his nose with disgust.

Catalana asks Wash "What's wrong with beets?"

"I may have been exposed to them too early as a child. Basically the worst food I've ever tasted." Wash explains.

"They did," Aethan confirms with a little laugh, somewhat subdued but still genuine. "Someone who hasn't seen many, I suppose, though that's hard to believe in Arx. I can see you being mistaken for a princess, but to mistake me as well was a little surprising."

Porter brings a hand up to rub at his brow and apologizes "I hate to get going already but my head is killing me and I've barely had anything to drink today which might somehow be responsible for that. I'm going to go lay down."

"Take some Hair of the Dog with you," Zoey suggests to her retreating brother-in-law.

Micana have been dismissed.

1 Saik Guard have been dismissed.

"Feel better," says Evonleigh to Porter before shaking her head at Aethan. "I don't see why you're any less likely to be considered 'regal' than I am," she says with a laugh. "Of course, we did have our faces covered. I never did figure out who she thought we were, either. Ah, well. That is the fun of a masquerade, I suppose. I think I have my hands full of 'masks' as it is, so I'll forego a night of wearing one." She smiles over at Wash. "I dislike them too. The color is garish and they taste like soil to me."

"Exactly! Aethan! I've changed my mind. I like this one." Wash says overloudly and with a smile that indicates he never said anything to the contrary to Aethan to begin with. "The only thing they are good for is dying clothing."

Ian has settled into silence, listening with an understated amusement to the conversation as it plays out.

Aethan looks up at Porter when he excuses himself, and there's a lift of his hand as well as another one of those brief smiles he tends to give, before turning back to Evonleigh, his expression making it obvious that he thinks it should be very clear why she would be considered regal, and he would not. Wash's words, though, do draw a laugh from him -- a real one, not just a huff of air that's sort of laugh-adjacent.

"Clearly you've never had them prepared correctly," Zoey says of the beet-haters.

Evonleigh matches Wash's theatrics with a faux-scandalized jaw drop, and a stage whisper of, "You told me everybody loved me!" to Aethan -- very convincingly, given she's an actress. But quickly enough she too laughs. "There are plenty of foods to have that don't need some sorcerer's touch to make them palatable so I'll stick to those," she says with a grin at Zoey. "Besides, they stain too easily and I tend to wear colors it would show. I'm a messy eater." That last bit might be a lie. "They are good for dying food, and even hair. I once played Valeria Redrain in a play and we used beet juice to get my hair red," she says with a nod to Wash.

"How did you sleep with the smell of them in your hair. You didn't... you didn't shave your head afterward did you?" Wash asks hesitantly.

Ian shakes his head to Evonleigh. "You shouldn't take half of what Wash says seriously, unless he has a few drinks in him. If he has a few drinks in him, you shouldn't take any of it seriously."

Catalana beams at Evonleigh, "We'd love you even more if you were a Kennex." She agrees with Ian, "Never listen to Wash."

"Unless he is professing his love for his wife. You can believe every word of that," Zoey adds.

The laugh is quick, and it doesn't take Aethan long to recover from it, but he does currently seem predisposed to smile, unlike usual. His expression settles into a contented one as he looks over at Evonleigh apologetically -- though there's a fair amount of amusement there, too. "I didn't want you to feel badly," he says, again in the deadpan that is so dead it's likely to be cold by now. Almost. Ian's words have him shaking his head, too, but he certainly doesn't argue.

"If I were too honest a man," Wash opines. "No one would ever trust me."

Lucita says, "Beets aren't too bad if they are pickled with some spices. My least favorite is turnips." She finishes her drink and then says. "I expect it is about time I started getting back toward home. I bid you a good night and my best wishes for House Kennex.""

Ian shakes his head to Zoey. "Still shouldn't take it seriously, if he's been drinking," he maintains. Then, of Aethan, he asks: "Remember the time he threatened to write a poem about her that would take a lifetime to recite? I don't think we saw him for days." He studiously does not comment on Catalana's declaration to Evonleigh.

"I know your dress. I will find you tomorrow!" Zoey calls after Lucita before she goes.

1 Saik Guard, Micana, Golden, an Oakhaven bloodhound, Gunther, a Rottweiler leave, following Lucita.

"You're so thoughtful," says Evonleigh to Aethan. She doesn't comment on Catalana's decree, though her cheeks flush a little, and she turns her attention to Wash and Ian and the discussion of whether Wash is trustworthy. "I think to be safe I shall trust you as far as I can throw you. Shall we see how far that is?" she says with a grin. It's not likely very far, as Aethan and Ian know she's hardly a warrior.

"I finished that poem." Wash says. "I had to write it in shorthand obviously or I'd still be there. And I had to invent some words... like the sussuration of the waves, or the careful and slow chatter of wind and surf that craft the beauty of the cliffs." He pauses. "They are very long words to pronounce." He explains.

Catalana has the attention span of a gnat tonight. She asks Wash, her expression playfully affronted. "Why have I never heard this poem?"

Aethan does look over at Catalana -- a little belatedly, maybe -- but she's onto the next thing, and so he does not comment. Very surprisingly. Instead, he nods once at Ian's words, and confirms, "I remember. I nearly beat down his door when he finally decided to come out, because we were due to sail in a few hours' time."

"Sounds worse than Sabella complaining about Niklas when he gets into his writing," Zoey notes as she sips her wine again. It's only about half-gone now.

Ian snorts. "Scared the shit out of him is what you did," he chuckles to Aethan. "But I guess there's no need to break down the door if he dives out the window before you're done."

"I think we need to hear a little. Perhaps," Evonleigh says with a grin, "not the whole thing." She leans against Aethan. "A verse or two, and then I should see my way home, I think, and let Kennexes be Kennexes."

Wash offers Catalana his hand. "I think I'd embarass you if I started reciting in front of all these people." He glances at Evonleigh and leaves the decision up to Catalana. "But if you like..."

"Mm," Aethan replies to Ian with a nod and a bit of a wry look at the memory, reaching to take Evonleigh's hand. He doesn't put in his vote for Wash to recite the poem or not, but he does wait to see whether he //will// recite the poem or not. Since clearly if there's going to be a poem recitation, he's here for it.

Catalana beams at Wash, "Love. I have busted you out gaol naked and with a fish covering you privates. A few verses so not even compare to that embarrassment."

Evonleigh glances from Catalana to Wash and then over to Aethan with a smile. As the decision is being made between the Kennex couple, she murmurs something else to him softly, fingers curling around his when he takes her hand.

Ian seems to have decided that the beginning of Wash Poetry Hour is a good time to excuse himself and flee. In slow motion, because Ian.

Ian has left the Patterned plush couch set.

Zoey watches her husband retreat with a sigh, then motions for Sorrel to come join her at the couch.

"It was a large fish." Wash points out to those present. "Deboned." He runs a hand through his hair and sighs. "Alright. The fact is, you have heard of the poem. Do you remember, after we married, when I insisted we take the Serenity's Kiss around the island to the Tssau coast and just sit in silence and watch the cliffs? That was part of the poem. I decided that the only way to make a poem worthy of you that would last a lifetime, would be to live that poem every day. To appreciate how the most beautiful artworks of nature only serve to complement your beauty every day. The poem, such as it is, is the one I am living every moment I am with you. And the moment's where the reader pauses to catch their breath. Those are the moments when we are apart. Because every moment with you takes my breath away."

2 Grayson House Guards, Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting, Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting, Clark, an exasperated guard arrive, following Sabella.

Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise, Sabella arrive, following Niklas.

At the revelation of what the poem is, which is less a recitation and more a romantic philosophy, Evonleigh makes that face that women, especially women Evonleigh's age and younger, make when something is sweet or cute. She doesn't say 'AW!' but her expression surely does, and she beams at the two of them. "A little short on rhyme and meter, but an epic nonetheless," she says with a smile for Wash, before rising. "On that note, for surely it is a high note of the night, I shall retire. Thank you, Kennexes, for a lovely evening, and again, con... what was it, congrolences?" she says to Aethan, squeezing his hand before releasing it to make her way home.

Catalana can't help but give Wash the most sunny grin ever. "A masterpiece truly. Yet it took you days to write?"

Catalana and Wash are having their moment near the middle of the room, Evonleigh and Aethan in his fabulous hat are off ton one side, and Zoey beckons to Sorrel from the couch when Niklas arrives.

When the house guards open up the door for him, Prince Niklas Grayson walks in like he owns the place. Hey, maybe if mom and dad had gotten their shit together he would! But instead he's just poor ol' Prince Niklas, with the Grace of Grayson on his arm and a retinue of nannies both mean and less mean but not nearly as good at their job. Also, guards and stuff. Once he gets into the main hallway he holds open his arms and calls out, "All hail Duke Darion, and his right hand man and number one buddy, Duke Regent Aethan!" No pumpkin spice today, he's all blacks and slightly blacker blacks now.

Wash shrugs. "I never claimed that I wasn't a little slow." Wash admits. "Niklas! What are you wearing?"

"What isn't he wearing?" Sabella laughs to Wash's inquiry, gesturing to Niklas, "I knew I was marrying a playwright, but no one said anything about a peacock." She beams a smile at the room, which brightens considerably when it lands on Aethan, "I'm not sure if congratulations or condolences are in order, but as an optimist I shall lean towards the former! I can't wait to see how you steward Kennex while Darion grows and am sure that you will leave him an incredible legacy."

Aethan does not look quite as 'aw' as Evonleigh at Wash's words -- or really at all -- but he does say, "Very pretty." He starts to say something else, but Evonleigh's last words have him looking up to her, and another laugh escapes him. "That sounds right," he confirms. "Good night. I'll see you soon." He's distracted then by Niklas and Sabella's arrival, though, and his expression shifts a little more wryly, though still with some amusement. "I'm relatively sure I'm his least favorite of all his cousins at the moment," he says, his smile softening a little bit at Sabella's words. "Thank you. I hope so, too. Unexpected, but I'm glad to be able to serve the House and the Duke."

Evonleigh smiles at Aethan's farewell, releasing his hand just in time to see the Graysons' arrival. She dips into a graceful curtsy in a rustle of seatouched wool, before straightening again. "Your highnesses," she says warmly. "It is good to see you, if only for a moment. Have a lovely evening, everyone." The Whitehawk heads for the exit, handed her cloak by one of the servants, to make her way out of the Kay and to the snowy beyond.

Zoey rises from the couch to greet Sabella and then Niklas with smiles and hugs. She whispers something in Sabella's ear when she does so.

Catalana squints at Niklas's outfit, "Good gods Lord Niklas. How many outfits do you own? I don't think I've ever seen you in anything twice." She briefly brushes a hand against Wash's jaw, "You're not slow. You just had to make sure your work was a true epic. Better than Nik's last poem."

2 Whitehawk Guards leaves, following Evonleigh.

"Ah, Prince Niklas, Princess Sabella," Sorrel greets with an amused smile, looking up from a quiet conversation she was having with Catalana that seems to have been making her a bit grumpy.

"He's practically still a toddler. Of course he hates you. You knew his father at that age. He must have been a complete turd. So worst case scenario you now have a young duke with better influences." Niklas makes a brief face. "Well, mostly better influences." To Catalana he says, "Cat! We live in a world with a year and that year is made up of seasons and those seasons are made up of months and each month deserves its own look! This," he gestures to his umbra and black brocade, "is for midwinter. Previously it was all white for early winter. And I, of course, have Mistress Petal and Mistress Josephine busily working on a nice look for First Bloom. Lots of green, I think." He tilts his head toward Sabella. "I never hear you complain, my love."

Wash laughs. "His peacockiness was suppressed by the limitations of his wallet."

Zoey giggles in reply to whatever Sabella whispered back to her. "Oh, Nik, Green will be a wonderful color on you! Just go easy on the pastels."

Catalana groans at Niklas, "It makes me so glad you are a Grayson. Imagine how our coffers would be effected by your style."

Sabella reaches out to take Niklas' hand, giving him a fond smile, "I never complain about anything! At least, not out loud where people can hear. Everything is just wonderful and you look amazing as always. I'm quite proud when you walk into a room and everyone stops to stare." She grins at Wash's explanation, "Perhaps, but somehow I think if he was still a Kennex he'd be finding ways to wheedle that silver out of you! So, you're welcome for that favor. And Princess Sorrel, you'll be happy to know that I still hear people talking about all your Metallics songs! Just the other day someone was asking me about them."

"Ah, that's lovely to hear. I know that people want to know more, once they've heard the songs," Sorrel says brightly to Sabella, nodding a bit. "I should have a new gown made. It'd be quite nice to swan about like Niklas."

Aethan does have to let out a little snort at the mention of Ford at four, and while he doesn't //confirm// it, he certainly doesn't deny it. Mostly because he's not a liar. Instead, he just nods, settling back on the couch and stretching an arm across the back as he falls silent again, just listening to the conversation for the moment.

"I absolutely killed it with pastels last year, Zoey!" Niklas reaches up and plucks the star iron coronet off of his head, gives it a spin and drops it back down. "No more outfits unless I can justify a coronet, though. My poor head gets lonely without one." To Catalana he says, "I can pay for my own clothes, Cat. I'm a big boy. Though if someone wanted to buy me a pretty dress I wouldn't say no."

Catalana laughs at Niklas, "You would look so beautiful in a dress. I hope that's your plan for tomorrow night." She brushes her own gown against her hips. "This was one of the few that still fit." Looking to Wash as if he is magic, "Wish to help me with that endeavour?"

"I think I can make it so none of your dresses fit." Wash agrees.

"Almond paste rolls will do that," says Niklas, stepping down to look for the snacks. "I hope Marquis Turo is enjoying his elevation as well. Soon Marquessa Carita will join him, I'm sure. Well. Not sure. Lot of bad history there. But I'm sure if anyone can overcome all that black mountain nonsense, it's her."

"I'm running out of clothes too," says Zoey to Catalana. "Oh, what I would do for a new wardrobe! I had to throw away my aeterna gown this week."

"You've just reminded me that I haven't gotten a dress for that yet," Sabella says to Catalana, grinning a bit more, "Although that's a silly thing to prompt it since Niklas' many trips to the tailor should have done that for me. And then there's the Clearlake Ball and the Grayson Ball and...I really should have thought of it sooner, things have just been so busy!"

Catalana laments for Zoey, "The loss of an aeterna gown? How dreadful. I just put mine aside for once I'm not so house like." She laughs after at Wash. "It's your fault nothing fits now."

"I was wearing it when-" Zoey stops mid-sentence and reconsiders how she wants to say the next part. "When I went out the other day. Aeterna may not stain, but some smells never come out."

"Yeah, the other day was messy," Sorrel agrees, nodding to Zoey with a little frown. "I have a bit of luxury brocade I could give you to have a new dress made.

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