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 Perusing, Eleanora & Arthur
Eleanora Wayland
 Posted: Apr 12 2012, 06:26 PM
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Nora glanced both directions as she reached the end of the hallway, finally looking behind her to see if she'd drawn any notice. Most men, on seeing a courtesan surreptitiously excusing herself to go off alone, would simply assume she was on her way to some sort of assignation in a dark corner somewhere. On the contrary, she made it a rule never to indulge in such dalliances, not unless the compensation was very good indeed, and certainly not with anyone but the gentleman she had accompanied for the evening.

No, just now she had something very different in mind. Her date for the evening had become quite absorbed in his cards and drink, a fact that disappointed her in more ways than one. Men who gambled were, in her mind, idiots. Who would want to waste their money in such a way when they could spend it on her instead? Still, his lack of attention left her to her own devices for now, and that suited her just fine. The gentleman who owned this estate had a library that was the envy of many, and she intended to see it for herself while everyone was occupied.

Satisfied that no one was following her, she moved down the hallway to the library door, slipping through and closing it quickly and quietly behind her. The room appeared empty and she sighed with relief, leaning back against the door for only a moment before stepping forward to peruse the admittedly impressive collection of volumes.
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Arthur Chase
 Posted: Apr 12 2012, 06:43 PM
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He heard the door open, and glanced up. There was a tall shelf between him and the door. For a second, he worried that it was the owner of the house and that he'd be caught out snooping where he technically shouldn't be -- not that there had been explicit instructions to stay out of the library. A worse thought occurred to him: Lovers looking for a place to tryst. That was going to be an awkward fifteen minutes for him.

Or, if he left anyway, an awkward lifetime for them.

Arthur edged towards the open part of the room, glancing down at the door. No lovers. Yet. Just a single woman, but who knew if she was meeting anyone.

Still, it'd be easier to make a break for it now than it would when her lover arrived. Stepping clear of the shelves, he smiled and waved, a tad sheepishly. "Hello there," he said. His voice had a slight natural rasp to it from years smoking as a youth. His wife had forced him to quit when the coughing started. He held up his book. "Are you here for the glory of the written word, or something a little more clandestine? Just trying to gauge whether or not I should clear out for privacy's sake."
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Eleanora Wayland
 Posted: Apr 12 2012, 06:50 PM
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"Hello there."

She jumped slightly at the unexpected voice, turning to face the man who'd stepped out into the open. It took her a few moments to place him as they had never met before, at least not directly, but then she was very good at remembering faces.

"The only privacy you need worry about appears to be your own, Senator." She answered with a polite and very correct bow. "I do apoligize for disturbing you. I didn't know anyone was using the library. I can go if you like..."

She left the question out there, leaving it up to him, although she'd managed to phrase it in a way that he would probably feel guilty if he asked her to go now.
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Arthur Chase
 Posted: Apr 12 2012, 06:59 PM
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Recognized. That made him feel pretty good, he wasn't going to lie.

"Ah," he said, waving a hand dismissively. "I think his library's big enough for the two of us. If not, I have really got to lose some weight." He patted his belly with the book, and sent her a friendly wink. She was so young. In a few years his daughter might be that age, growing boobs and... Wow. He'd just grossed himself out.

He took a step towards her. "So, you know me. May I request the pleasure of your name?" It would've sounded pompous if he hadn't worn a shit-eating grin while saying it.
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Eleanora Wayland
 Posted: Apr 12 2012, 07:10 PM
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She laughed politely at his joke, recognizing it as the attempt to break the ice that it was. His question made her smile, and she couldn't resist just a little bit of teasing. It was in her nature, after all.

"A man can make all sorts of requests, Senator, but it is always a lady's perogative whether or not to acquiesce." Her gaze was direct and flirtatious, but more out of habit than anything else. She wasn't actually attempting to seduce him, after all, but certain habits were ingrained.
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Arthur Chase
 Posted: Apr 12 2012, 07:16 PM
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He laughed, but there was nothing stiff or polite about it. He had a large laugh to match his large form. "Oh, no, a smartass. How on Earth did you gain clearance into the building?" After a moment, he added: "Please, call me Arthur."
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Eleanora Wayland
 Posted: Apr 12 2012, 07:30 PM
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She couldn't help smiling at that laugh. Spending so much of your time thinking about your impressions on others made you appreciate those who apparently didn't worry about it too much at all.

"Well then, it's nice to meet you, Arthur. I'm Nora." She rarely introduced herself as such, and never at social functions, but with him she didn't mind.

"Now what can you tell me about this fabulous library?" She asked, turning a quick circle, her eyes avidly taking in the wealth of information that surrounded them.
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Arthur Chase
 Posted: Apr 12 2012, 07:33 PM
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First name -- it was interesting enough in this particular world of rich elites, where usually he got a "Miss" and a last name, which he was apparently expected to adhere to no matter how friendly they got. It was nice to get a first name right off the bat. "Lovely to meet you, Nora. As for this library, I admit I'm exploring it, myself. It's supposed to be phenomenal," he added, although he figured she knew that if she was there. "It makes me wonder how some of these people know how to even find these books, let alone track them down and purchase them."

He turned towards a shelf and glanced at the titles. Some of them were so obscure and odd, he couldn't even imagine that someone had thought to write about it.
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Eleanora Wayland
 Posted: Apr 12 2012, 07:53 PM
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"You're assuming they were all obtained by legitimate means." She pointed out with an amused expression, picking up a volume and flipping it open to a beautifully illustrated page showing a wood nymph and a unicorn...doing something rather inappropriate, and not at all in keeping with the unicorn's reputation for purity. For the second time this evening she found herself laughing. "Well...I wonder just what sort of collection this is after all."
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Arthur Chase
 Posted: Apr 12 2012, 07:58 PM
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He raised his eyebrows with a nod. Good point.

He stepped towards her when she laughed, glancing at the book. He found himself laughing, too. "Oh, dear Lord. We've stepped into the smut factory of the social elite." He lowered his voice with mock reverence as he looked around. "Let us raise our eyes to the sky in thanks."
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Eleanora Wayland
 Posted: Apr 12 2012, 08:01 PM
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She chuckled, replacing the book and selecting another. "As entertaining as that might be, I'm afraid I was looking for enlightenment of a slightly different variety." She admitted, wondering if there was any rhyme or reason to the way the books were organized. Botanical volumes were next to mythology, which was next to philosophy...it was all very odd.

"I wonder if the owner has ever read a page of any of these." She mused aloud.
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Arthur Chase
 Posted: Apr 12 2012, 08:04 PM
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"I should hope so, given the sheer amount of effort that must have gone into putting it together." He ran his fingers along the spines, and stopped. "Actually, aside from lumping like titles together, I don't know that a lot of effort did go into this."
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Eleanora Wayland
 Posted: Apr 13 2012, 01:08 AM
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"My guess is his selections are based more on price and rarity than on the information contained in the volumes." She selected a volume at random, opening it. "Oh, wow...look at this..." Moving to a table, she set the volume down carefully, admiring the liberally illustrated pages.
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Arthur Chase
 Posted: Apr 13 2012, 10:39 AM
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He snorted, amused. "You know, I think you might be right." Following her, he leaned on the table, and whistled long and low. "That's some nice illuminations. What's the book supposed to be about?" So far, he'd only seen quite a few pictures.
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Eleanora Wayland
 Posted: Apr 13 2012, 01:02 PM
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"Botany, I think..." Her fingers smoothed lightly over a particularly detailed leaf. "I wonder where you have to go to see plants like this." There was a wistful tone in her voice, her awe having caused her to drop her guard a bit...something quite unusual for her indeed.
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Arthur Chase
 Posted: Apr 13 2012, 01:18 PM
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He smiled wryly. He recognized that tone -- everyone of a certain age had it. There had to be something better out there, they knew. Something exciting and new. Adventure. He'd been that way once, until he'd decided to make his own adventure, right at home. It had worked, for the most part. "Far, far away," he murmured. "Where foreign illnesses go to play."
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Eleanora Wayland
 Posted: Apr 13 2012, 01:27 PM
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She glanced up at him, quirking an eyebrow. "Not a fan of travel, then?" She wasn't interested in travel as much as...well, freedom. Someday she would get there. She would make sure of it.
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Arthur Chase
 Posted: Apr 13 2012, 01:33 PM
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He hissed on the inhale, through his teeth. "Used to, when I was a much younger man," he admitted. "Now, got a wife. Got kids. Can't really afford to die of malaria in the African desert."
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Eleanora Wayland
 Posted: Apr 13 2012, 01:57 PM
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"Still, it must be nice to have seen a few things." She turned a page, smiling at the detailed drawing of a dragonfly perched on a leaf. "Some of us have led a life of...significantly fewer options."
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Arthur Chase
 Posted: Apr 13 2012, 02:10 PM
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He had never been as rich as some of the people he now rubbed elbows with. But he enjoyed quite a bit of monetary freedom now -- through hard work, saving, and smart decisions. And the sheer desire to. "Hey." He patted her on the shoulder. It was almost a fatherly gesture. "You want something bad enough... you'll get there," he reassured her.
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Eleanora Wayland
 Posted: Apr 13 2012, 02:13 PM
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The pat on the shoulder made her blink in surprise. Fatherly wasn't exactly the usual feeling she brought out in men. "I'm counting on it." She lifted her chin a bit. "I have worked very hard to get where I am, after all."
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Arthur Chase
 Posted: Apr 13 2012, 02:17 PM
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"Oh?" He smiled. "And where are you, now?"
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Eleanora Wayland
 Posted: Apr 13 2012, 02:20 PM
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"At the top of my game." She smiled faintly. "And putting enough away to retire someday not too far from now."
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Arthur Chase
 Posted: Apr 13 2012, 02:22 PM
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"Good for you," he said, sincerely. "Enough to retire and travel, too?"
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Eleanora Wayland
 Posted: Apr 13 2012, 02:26 PM
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She shrugged a shoulder at that. "Maybe. I think it's less the idea of travelling than the knowledge I could if I wanted to." She admitted. "I'll probably start my own...establishment."
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Arthur Chase
 Posted: Apr 13 2012, 02:33 PM
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"Establishment for what?"
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Eleanora Wayland
 Posted: Apr 13 2012, 02:35 PM
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His question made her smile. "My dear senator...surely you can't be that naive?" She knew he didn't have a reputation for frequenting brothels himself, but he had to know of their existence. And their popularity in this city.
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Arthur Chase
 Posted: Apr 13 2012, 02:44 PM
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He raised an eyebrow, and then something clicked, and he laughed. "Are you one of those? I had no idea."
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Eleanora Wayland
 Posted: Apr 13 2012, 03:21 PM
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"Really?" She chuckled. "Well then, either you're out of touch or I'm off my game."
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Arthur Chase
 Posted: Apr 13 2012, 03:22 PM
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"Considering how blissfully socially unaware I am most of the time, I'd say it's more of an indication that you're on you're game, if I don't get it." He winked. "Besides, isn't that the point? Fit in with these people?"
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