Snakes

Description:

Savitr Tamboli

    Blood Opal to Sapphire
  • Prince
  • Played By: Jones

    Hayll Terreille
    45 Posts    62 marks
Snakes
« on: November 30, 2018, 01:22:52 AM »

Before Savitr realized it the day was winding down. The races went off without a hitch. Three horses had already been sold, more would go in the coming weeks. There had been discussion of holding more races soon. Something more competitive but outside of the official circuit. Breeding arrangements had been made. All in all, it had been a decent day.

Shame that his wife’s error in judgment had kept it from being an outright wonderful day.

Thankfully he still had a night with his queen to look forward to. Many of them really, but there was something extremely ego stroking about having her in his own home. That was for later though. One item on his agenda for the day had not been settled. After their incident over his father’s arrival Savitr had avoided Jani. She would need time for the indignity of a spanking to settle. And he had a bevy of his own emotions to contend with. It made approaching the priestess a very unappealing idea.

Over the course of the afternoon he had studied her a bit. Watched her interact with his wife and their guests. There was something in her slick charm that reminded him keenly of his father. It did not endear her to him any. But Savitr liked to think of himself as a great lover of people- women especially. Misjudging her wouldn’t do. Easing into a mild smile he approached her from head on. Eyes focused on the clothing she wore and the styling of her hair. Judging every gesture, and making no efforts to hide his attention. ”Lady… Ah, she has told me many times,” He wagged a finger to keep the priestess from supplying her name. ”Mitra. Yes. Pardon, it has been a long day of remembering names.”

They were of the same rank in caste so Savi only tipped his head in greeting. ”I hope you have found the day’s entertainment pleasurable.” She seemed, to him, no stranger among luxury. For that he would not judge harshly. It was natural to want the finest for yourself. All people should. His concerns over the priestess were only in regards to his dear Jani, the poor gullible witch. And if this Lady Mitra was half as clever as the glint in her eye suggested they might just settle this between them without upsetting Jani in the process. ”It was Neha Rejani’s dearest wish that I make the acquaintance of her friend and priestess.” ‘So here I am to judge your relationship,’ his tone implied. Punctuated by the drowsy set of his dark eyes and the thumbs he stuck into the waistband of his trousers.

@kayndred

Satyana Mitra

    Descent
  • Played By:

    11 Posts    65 marks
Re: Snakes
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2018, 09:45:47 PM »
It had been a surprise to receive the invitation to Neha Rajani's husband's racing event. Not that Satya had not anticipated it, eventually, but more because it was an event that put everyone at angles against each other. People had killed for less than a horse bet in Hayll, and Saty had wondered at the make a of a man willing to put up with that kind of tension and potential for bladed handshakes.

But it had been pleasant, if a touch boring, through no fault of the host, of course. It was more that Satyana could see, in every person she spoke with, the same make as someone else who visited her temple looking for guidance and blessings and not particularly caring how they got them. There were more than a few patrons who felt the path to alignment with the Darkness was paved in marks, after all, and it was only the chill hiss of her mother's voice in her mind that kept her from turning too sharp.

This outing was as much to please Neha and meet The Husband as it was to plant the seeds of potential patronage in willing minds. Any little misgivings could be forgiven, even if the only things she came away with were names.

At last, though, the day was winding down. Guests had begun to leave, and while Satyana had decided early on that the last person she would see was Neha, to bid farewell for the evening, it hadn't escaped her notice that she had not yet been approached directly by her host. She'd seen him out of her periphery, in and out of groups, mingling, but never in the same one as she and almost never facing her directly.

Until, of course, he decided to approach. Another thing to file away and add to the image of the man Satya had counselled on but not actually spoken to.

His attention did not go unnoticed, and there was a moment where she wondered what sort of notes he was taking about her attire. Was the blue too dark, the delicate gold embroidery too much? Was the neat, intricate plaiting of her hair ostentatious or intriguing? Did he price the pins there with a practiced eye, or wonder if her jewel was hidden among them, rather than as a ring or broach? It was something Saty wondered at, sometimes, the image of herself that other people built. Surely, just as she pulled someone apart, they too must attempt to divine her layers and motivations.

"You have had quite the attendance." She agreed, dipping her chin in kind, eyes unwavering. "I am honored to be remembered." And curious as to how frequently Neha actually mentioned her, or if her husband was simply granting an importance where there might be none. However much Neha spoke of their meetings, it could be just as likely that he had remembered her name immediately as not.

Satyana allowed a touch of genuine enjoyment to curve her smile honestly."I have. I did not grow up with horses, they are a pleasure to see." While she was more familiar with them after having moved, the locale that she'd grown in had been too narrow and densely populated for large animals, and horses were something of a novelty and a delight. It had been one of the more enjoyable parts of her day, observing the races rather than mingling with the guests.

Savitr's tone was not lost to her, although she let her expression remain vaguely lightened by the memory of the races rather than smoothing out into a mask. It was, after all, highly unlikely that Savitr had not noticed his wife's frequent forays to her temple. And if she had mentioned her 'many times' then it was reasonable to assume that he was as curious about the woman who had his wife's ear as Saty was about him. "She has made it well known to me, as well, that she desired our meeting." She replied, "She speaks on you so often I feel as though we have already met." She weaved her fingers together at her waist, interested at which part of her statement he would pick at.

Savitr Tamboli

    Blood Opal to Sapphire
  • Prince
  • Played By: Jones

    Hayll Terreille
    45 Posts    62 marks
Re: Snakes
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2018, 01:24:59 AM »

The priestess left something to be desired, Savitr decided almost at once. Subtly projecting an affinity for luxury instead of overtly displaying it. Fabrics that were silky rather than sensible. Trimmed gold about the hems of her dress. Ornate hair he was sure a servant would have to aid in accomplishing. Altogether an effect that, annoyingly, did not give weight to his suspicions of her motives. Yet it did not lay them to rest. From the choices of her wardrobe to the set of her expression Lady Mitra lacked a certain humbleness he had grown accustomed to expect from the caste.

It was better this way. If she had been some pious prude that believed the penance she had doled upon Jani fair then he would have had to dispose of her. There was no other solution. Very messy business.

Thankfully the clever sweep of her eye told him there was hope she could be dealt with in more genial terms. So he carefully articulated a smile. Not too strong, but filled warmth he did not feel for the woman. It was easily done, because it was done for his wife’s benefit. And there was no fire he would not walk through to see her happy. ”I can accept no praise. The party has all been Neha Rajani’s brilliance.”

”Few things in life quicken the heart the way a flowing mane and pounding hooves do.” Savitr answered. Heartened by the interest she seemed to take in his livestock he offered his arm. Now they could speak mostly alone. Pallav hardly counted. Even if he listened he rarely spoke. ”Then please, allow me to give you a tour of the stables. You can see the racers from today, and a few of our young foals still ‘in the nursery’ so to speak.” They usually released mares and their newborns to the pasture after a week. With the party looming near he had decided to keep a few close at hand. As examples of the strong stock his horses put out.

Free hand lurking in his pocket Savitr looked ahead as they spoke, rather than turning to the lady. He was a good escort, despite his personality. Staring would attract unwanted attention, and put whatever woman was on his arm on guard. There was an art to his position. Presenting a lady without overshadowing, or fading into the background. Leading without dragging. His new little wife was proving a refresher on his training. So meek and easily frightened.

”I admit she has told me very little of of you beyond cursory facts.” What did she say when she spoke of him? They were certainly not close. Yet. It made Savitr worry. No about the priestess’ opinion. In the grande scheme she didn't matter. Neha Rajani, however, did. She spoke so very little to him he couldn’t help wondering what she said about him to this dealer of penance and serenity. ”She is a very special young woman, my Jani. It will be a joy to watch her blossom. I am eager to see what changes will come as she leaves the notions and naivety of childhood behind.”

They cut easily through the dwindling crowd. Savitr did not stop though several of his friends attempted to waylay him. Softly spoken farewells given without breaking pace. The stables were not far. Part and parcel of the yard, just pushed back from the lane. When Savitr had built the ranch there had been raiders on occasion. Horse thieves and bandits. So he had structured the layout to give warning of any approach. ”Mind your lovely shoes, Lady Mitra.” Savi told her with a smile. They were not in the clean yard now. And the less desirable evidence of horse ownership littered the ground.

Satyana Mitra

    Descent
  • Played By:

    11 Posts    65 marks
Re: Snakes
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2019, 12:02:07 AM »
There was a flicker of a moment where Saty debated keeping her hands to herself, just to menace the man, but decorum and Protocol won out, and she took Savitr's arm. The fine hairs on the back of her neck stood on end, keenly aware of the disparity of power between them. Only Neha Rajani and their own tact and practiced double speak would stand between her and the Prince if the situation fell out of hand.

It was not a thought she appreciated entertaining, but one that had to be considered.

"Thank you. I'd hate to impose," she didn't, but. "And I must agree, having seen them now. They are singularly unique in their beauty." And, even if Kindred, Satyana doubted a horse would ever lie or betray her. Animals held an honesty about them. Maybe she'd purchase birds or some other type of pet on the way home. Her shadows would likely appreciate it.

Speaking of shadows, Savitr seemed to have his own silent watcher. No doubt as useful as her own, if not more so with his age, she'd have to be doubly careful of her words. Another coil to be careful of.

As they moved, Satyana found herself appreciating the 'distance' she was allowed, although not enough to relax recklessly. Enough to move with grace, helped by the fact that they were almost of a height. Being escorted could get so difficult with males shorter than her. She wondered at how Neha took to being handled, an occurrence she hadn't seen since she always arrived at her temple alone. It was likely that Savitr was different with her, though. There were rules for escorting a lady not one's own, after all.

Saty hummed lightly in commiseration. "That is understandable, considering her situation." And that Satyana wasn't exactly overly forthcoming. She would consider Neha Rajani a friend, but she was still an intensely private person. Knowledge of herself existing out in the world could mean danger if she weren't careful.

"It will be intriguing to see. One clings to the strangest parts of one's youth in the process of growing up." Like her vows, perhaps? Or some other affectations Neha hadn't made her privy to. She could tick off at least four different things that had clung to her, despite her best efforts. It had taken some years to make a majoritive peace with the parts of her that remained rooted in the past, and she still found herself turning daggers on those parts in moments of anger. In Neha Rajani's case it would be different, doubtlessly, especially with a husband in such singular pursuit of her 'growth'.

She tracked the people who Savitr turned away with gentled farewells, cataloging faces. More and more to unpack once home.

Then they were at the stables, which smelled markedly close to how the fields smelled after they'd been tilled by the farmers with their oxen, full of noises she wasn't used and was immediately intrigued by. Her attention flicked back up to Savitr's face when he spoke, carefully schooling herself back into contained interest. "I appreciate the warning. They can be cleaned, of course, but one would always rather not." And Saty was always the one to clean her own things.

Savitr Tamboli

    Blood Opal to Sapphire
  • Prince
  • Played By: Jones

    Hayll Terreille
    45 Posts    62 marks
Re: Snakes
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2019, 07:59:20 PM »

Eyebrows threatening to meet over his nose for a moment Savitr’s lips puckered in disagreement. ”One clings when they are insecure. Consider the climbing of steep hills. You cling to the rock when the next step feels impossible, but when offered you will not hesitate to reach for the reasurraning hand of a more experienced climber above you.” Impossible, like vows that made her body ache. Experienced, like a husband who could offer a thousand priestesses with differing opinions. ”Thankfully my Jani will never lack for that support. No matter what changes she faces, I will be just ahead. To catch her before any missteps might bring her down.”

They were too out in the open for Savitr to make bold accusations. He was not afraid, but he had damaged his wife’s trust once already that day. Nothing could be said where others might hear. Nothing that could be turned against him or called insult to Lady Mitra, at least.

Lady Mitra’s eyes were not wide in confusion, though. She held her carefully controlled expression without flinching. Leaving no doubt she understood the promise in his metaphors. She might have entered Jani’s life first but his wife had weighed her options and found living without her father’s fortune too great a burden. Greater than the risk to her vows. Now that she was his the disgrace of being returned to her parents would ruin the family. And perhaps stain a temple, when the Worthy in his inner circle heard what he had to say.

A fight was not what Savitr wanted, however. Why make enemies when friendship could prove a faster means to his ends? At the stables he nodded genially. ”There is usually less of it, but when the horses are in and out… well. We’ll just walk very slowly. Yes?” He flashed her a boyish grin that contrasted with the careful image his wardrobe and court station elicited. At the very first stall a large brown muzzle turned to sniff at Savitr’s curls. He stroked a firm cheekbone and asked the gelding, ”The champion of the day. Have they rewarded you well?”

From his cabinet he called in a small square of sugar, holding it out to Lady Mitra rather than the horse. ”If you would like. Just keep your palm flat, this one never bites.” Just lipped at what he was tasting until the flavor was gone or the treat in his mouth.

”Returning to our previous subject.” He ventured, guiding her to another stall, this one holding a young mare and her newborn filly. ”It has been very enlightening, this party. I met many of Jani’s friends at our wedding. Getting to know them now has helped me to see which are the sort that leave a person clinging, and which will benefit her with fair minded guidance going forward.” He chose each word with precise intent. Not then, he had thought enough on the matter to have decided weeks before. It was important that his motives not be twisted, however, in case this priestess did have some affection for his wife. ”What I want, most in this world, is to see her grow into herself once again. To be happy. The purpose of penance is to find peace with the mistake you made, to pay for it. And I am aware of precisely how much my father-in-law has paid up to this point. Yet my wife has not found any solace yet. Perhaps between the two of us, we might divine why that is.”

Satyana Mitra

    Descent
  • Played By:

    11 Posts    65 marks
Re: Snakes
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2019, 02:54:30 AM »
Satya wondered at how easily those words came to him. Did he practice? Satyana did, in the quiet of her mind, where only the Darkness could hear. A place far beyond even the memory of her mother, creeping softly where she was not wanted.

Much like Satya's own nerves, unwilling to be pushed aside. Even his smile could not abate them, and she had been partner to them long enough to heed their warnings. Nothing about him could be taken without being pared to station, caste, jewels. She would be wise not to forget the distance between them. And exactly how easily that distance could be bridged, and not by her.

She hummed in reply, keeping pace with him as they walked. The first horse, beautiful and brown, gazed out at them with big, placid eyes. She took the sugar cube carefully, let it rest on her palm, fingers flat. His muzzle was velvet soft against the skin of her hand, and she caught herself in a smile of genuine pleasure before she had a chance to turn it fully on her escort. Maybe allowing herself to get a real pet wasn't such a good idea if this was the way she was going to act around horses. Animals may not have been able to lie to her, but Darkness if they weren't making her quiet the ridiculous sight.

Schooling herself, she turned back to Savitr. Ah, so it was that conversation. It was something Satya had been expecting, at some point. It wasn't exactly a secret for her temple that Neha Rajani was a visitor. Whether or not she told anyone at home where she was going was beyond Saty's control. Still, it hadn't escaped her that it might be something... of a crutch, for her friend and patron. And Satyana had never claimed not to look out for herself. "You are right. We become penitent to atone for our mistakes. Has she told you of her reasons for coming to see me?" She presumed that Neha Rajani had, likely as part of the agreement to their marriage. "Healing is slow, for all creatures. But after the wound is gone, does not the horse still shy from pressure on the injured leg? It must learn to trust its own footing. So it is the same with people."

Turning more fully toward him, Satyana stripped her voice down to frankness. "Neha pays what she deems the appropriate amount for guidance in a sensitive matter. If she desires to cling to a pattern that has brought her comfort through times of uncertainty, I will not dissuade her from that. It is not for me to decide when her healing has ended." She tilted an eyebrow at him, steady and not entirely non-confrontational. "She is serving her own interests and well being, as do we all." She knew he'd see her included in that. Wanted him to. There was a level of transparency one couldn't quite achieve out in the open in Hayll. "Do you seek to sway her opinion of her vows, or mine?"
 

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