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    Batchelor Number 1?

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    elanya
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    Re: Batchelor Number 1?

    Post by elanya on 09/02/13, 11:55 pm

    Vedran smiled, his tone candid. "A solid, stable marriage would be a good start."
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    Josh
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    Re: Batchelor Number 1?

    Post by Josh on 10/02/13, 12:21 am

    Derenn smiled, appreciating Vedran's candor.

    "Well, I like to think I've proven myself capable of such, certainly, and I can't pretend I haven't had some mild insistence I pursue that path again. I feel I should comment, though, that our match seems less...personally fair to you. However amicable it may have been, your first marriage ended not long ago. And, as is painfully obvious, I am quite a bit older than you."
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    elanya
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    Re: Batchelor Number 1?

    Post by elanya on 10/02/13, 12:41 am

    "I think your age troubles me less than mine troubles you, maybe? In terms of personal fairness... I don't know that it is very straightforward on either side, but I don't think there is necessarily anything that would make an arrangement unworkable. At least, I hope not." And here it went - he'd hoped it would be a little easier after he'd been through it once with Ardith, but she and Derenn were such different people that her knowing her reaction didn't help him any now, and he felt his heart race a little faster. "That said, there are some...complexities in my private life that you should probably know about if it is a notion you might wish to entertain. I just would prefer, though, that they do stay private."
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    Re: Batchelor Number 1?

    Post by Josh on 10/02/13, 01:04 am

    "Well now, you offer me confirmation on some of the rumors about you, then swear me to secrecy. I think maybe you could use my help," Derenn said, his now-familiar smirk remaining. "However, in the interest of a successful relationship, in whatever capacity, you have my word whatever you have to tell me will remain private."
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    elanya
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    Re: Batchelor Number 1?

    Post by elanya on 10/02/13, 01:19 am

    Vedran was sure he had enough friends in society that someone would tell if if anything really concerning was going around -- Brenn at least, and Beryl if anything came her way -- but maybe he should have gone through with a little more reconnaissance before this meeting at least. He hadn't wanted to worry either himself or Aleyn, though. he gave a half-laugh. "Thank you. I suppose the fact that I'm not giving these things enough consideration is sign enough that I'm not really ready for politics - if I knew what'd you'd heard, I'd know what to confirm and what to correct."
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    Re: Batchelor Number 1?

    Post by Josh on 10/02/13, 01:34 am

    "Oh, I'm sure you're aware of more than you think."

    Derenn made a sympathetic face.

    "I think few in the social scene believe the entirety of your amicable divorce; at the very least, you've been much more publicly happy since. And, on that front, common speculation lays the blame with one of your teammates. Everyone has their suspicions, but it seems I may learn the truth soon."
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    Re: Batchelor Number 1?

    Post by elanya on 10/02/13, 02:02 am

    Vedran nodded, smiling thinly - it wasn't surprising at all. It still made him feel a queasy to hear it and he took a sip of his cooling tea, wishing it was doing a better job of settling his nerves. "Well, I suppose that is about what I expected. While there's truth to both sets of rumours, I suppose, there's no real correlation between them. The...business between ...Jacinthe and I was... personal. We were entirely unsuited to each other. By the time I could see that... well. It was too late to try and recover." He forced himself to glance up, but his shame and anxiety were too strong to let him keep eye contact, or even to look long enough to see whether or not Derenn was smirking again. At least the rest was a little easier. "As for subsequent relationships... By the time I had even met Aleyn, I already...I knew at least on some level that things were ...unsalvageable. But I wasn't ready then, for anything new, and nothing really happened between us until after the divorce. Despite how well things have been going, I know I'm still ...not wholly recovered."
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    Re: Batchelor Number 1?

    Post by Josh on 10/02/13, 02:07 am

    "Lord Vedran, as much as I would like to know these things, are you sure you want to share them? All political and social maneuvering aside, you don't really know me, and these seem like particularly difficult issues. I appreciate your wanting to be honest, but I don't think it should come at your own expense."
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    Re: Batchelor Number 1?

    Post by elanya on 10/02/13, 02:26 am

    He took a deep breath, trying to let go of the urge to run screaming from the the room, find Aleyn, and hide from society forever. One of these two had better work out because he really didn't think he could go through this again. After he felt more composed, he gave Derenn an apologetic smile. "I think after that, 'Lord' is probably overly formal. It is a difficult subject for me, yes, but anyone who might marry me ought, I think, to be at least...aware." He continued with more confidence. "The other point in revealing so much is perhaps more immediate - I'm not willing to set Aleyn aside, as I both love and rely on him very much."
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    Re: Batchelor Number 1?

    Post by Josh on 10/02/13, 03:00 am

    "I can understand that...Vedran, particularly as it seems he has been here for you through some trying times."

    Derenn's expression remained sympathetic a moment before returning to a more business-like neutrality.

    "As to this revelation's effects on any marriage prospects between us, I should think it would be minimal. I find myself in search of a spouse, not a romantic partner. So long as such a relationship were kept reasonably private, I have no objections."

    He gave a small, bitter smile.

    "Gods know my late husband an I arrived at a similar arrangement, though he was not as polite as you about asking first."
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    Re: Batchelor Number 1?

    Post by elanya on 10/02/13, 11:50 am

    Vedran winced a little in sympathy at that, but was not surprised. "My hope would be that we could all be on friendly terms - I am also hopeful that you will agree to meet him as well, and that should we pursue this further we could come to some clearer accord on where the bounds of such privacy would comfortably lie for all of us. Along a similar vein, I'm interested to know what you are looking for in a spouse. For myself I am looking for something that would be more than a purely business arrangement - that we can at the least be good friends."
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    Re: Batchelor Number 1?

    Post by Josh on 11/02/13, 08:06 am

    "I'd be amenable to a meeting, certainly, and a certain degree of amicable relations would be preferable. As to friendship, I believe time will tell. For the time being, you've certainly piqued my interest as an ally, which may be more immediately useful."
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    Re: Batchelor Number 1?

    Post by elanya on 11/02/13, 09:17 am

    Vedran smiled, nodding, though it was less encouraging than his first meeting with Ardith. It would probably also be a lot more straightforward to pursue, however. "An alliance, even on purely political terms, would I hope be beneficial to us both. As for Aleyn, he is upstairs if you'd care to meet him now. If you'd prefer some time to consider it more first, we could make arrangements for some other time."
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    Re: Batchelor Number 1?

    Post by Josh on 11/02/13, 07:05 pm

    Derenn's face maintained a polite neutrality as he responded.

    "I see no reason to delay. Any contemplation of the nature of an alliance going forward would benefit from having all the information. By all means, bring him down."
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    elanya
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    Re: Batchelor Number 1?

    Post by elanya on 11/02/13, 07:52 pm

    "Indeed - I realize this is probably not a very conventional first meeting." He smirked a little as he got up to ask one of the maids hovering the other room to ask Aleyn to come down. "Thank you for indulging me."
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    Re: Batchelor Number 1?

    Post by Curtana on 11/02/13, 08:09 pm

    Aleyn had been sitting upstairs nervously, re-reading the same paragraph in his book over and over without really retaining anything. When the maid came to indicate that he was wanted downstairs, he jumped up and hurried to the room where Vedran and Derenn were meeting, arriving a little flustered and breathless and taking a moment to compose himself before walking through the door.

    "Good day, my lord," he said politely to Derenn, before glancing over to Vedran to get a sense of his mood. "Thank you for this chance to speak with you."
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    elanya
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    Re: Batchelor Number 1?

    Post by elanya on 11/02/13, 08:38 pm

    Vedran smiled reassuringly at Aleyn, standing to make the formal introductions. "Aleyn, this is His Lordship, Sir Derenn Doumens. Lord Derenn, Mister Aleyn Harrowden."
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    Re: Batchelor Number 1?

    Post by Josh on 11/02/13, 09:48 pm

    Derenn rose to extend his hand.

    "A pleasure to meet you," he offered with perfunctory politeness, "and likewise. I imagine we have bit to talk about."
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    Re: Batchelor Number 1?

    Post by Curtana on 11/02/13, 09:55 pm

    Aleyn shook his hand, feeling a little self-conscious as he usually did at the moment when people would be likely to notice his scars for the first time, but tried to smile and remain calm. He waited until everyone was settled once more in their seats before continuing. "Perhaps you could give me an idea what you've already covered, so I know where things stand, and where we ought to start?"
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    Re: Batchelor Number 1?

    Post by Josh on 12/02/13, 04:37 am

    Derenn gave Aleyn's hand a firm shake before resuming his seat. He responded to Aleyn's question with studious, if somewhat brusque, politeness.

    "Well, Lord Callais has informed me of you and your teammates' current endeavor, which I heartily support. After some extended discussion, we broached the subject of a more formal alliance of our Houses, which I have assured his lordship would remain strictly contractual in nature. He explained your situation, and, while I would require a manner of public fidelity, I would have no interest in interfering with your relationship any more than necessary."
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    Re: Batchelor Number 1?

    Post by Curtana on 12/02/13, 08:22 am

    "I appreciate that," Aleyn said, trying not to be rattled by Lord Derenn's brisk tone. "I suppose I would be curious what you might consider... necessary."
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    Re: Batchelor Number 1?

    Post by Josh on 12/02/13, 09:44 pm

    "Well, people of our station have certain social requirements, as I'm sure you're aware. A degree of discretion would be necessary to maintain the fiction of a contented, monogamous relationship to the outside world. A limit on your public time together outside of your work, for instance. Refraining from public displays of affection beyond friendship, similar constraints. Such standards can easily be relaxed over time, but, and I believe Lord Vedran will agree with me on this, they would be very important in the early stages."
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    Re: Batchelor Number 1?

    Post by elanya on 12/02/13, 11:06 pm

    Vedran nodded, slowly. "Yes, and we had talked about that some, at least in the abstract, and many of the specifics are I think fairly common sense. I suppose my question is whether you think it would require stricter care that we have been taking to this point. I know there have been rumours already."
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    Re: Batchelor Number 1?

    Post by Josh on 13/02/13, 12:23 am

    "No more than usual for someone in your situation. Your current level of discretion seems satisfactory, though I would hazard to suggest regular public appearances with all of your co-workers when possible, so as to avoid specifics."
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    Re: Batchelor Number 1?

    Post by elanya on 13/02/13, 12:25 am

    Vedran smiled at that. "I think when they get back there will be plenty of public appearances to manage, yes."

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