Repayment as…pastries? Non, that’s not good enough. Give me a moment to think of something clever. *his nose scrunches up a bit* By that logic, I have experienced such kindness from Gilbert, Laura, and Jan as well. I do recall a few occasions in which you were drunk and tapping on my door, asking to be let in so we could be family…or something of the sort. You always found a way in too…

[glances away now, dropping his hand] You know I’m not good when drinking whiskey or vodka. It’s a curse, but wine and champagne are the only things that don’t get me drunk. And you always let me in because you love me. [looks at him now, humming]

Something clever? I’d enjoy something playful too.

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No, because that was not some B movie. That was hilarious. [frowns at his smoke being stolen]

Can’t you just ask? [holds out pack]

Where’s the fun in asking? [slips out two cigarettes, putting one behind his ear and the other between his lips]

Speaking of bunnies, Easter’s coming. Do you have anything special in mind? [cups his hands in front of his face in order to try and light the cigarette]

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*does his best to sit gracefully, though his legs bend awkwardly to accommodate Francis’ head* Ah, so it was smoke you were stealing from my lungs then? That’s not very polite. Suppose I demand repayment? *rolls his eyes and his lips curve into a frown* I like to think I earned my existence like the rest of our kind…

Repayment? Mm, like what? [glances at him with a mischievous smile and reaches up to cup his cheek] Bien sur, you did. But you musn’t forget that it was also French kindness that ultimately let you go.

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Harmonie du soir



August 1797

She laughed and waved to him once more before disappearing, shutting the window and drawing her bedroom curtains. She twirled around the room, once more dreamily looking around it. The last touch she needed was to slide on her white gloves, shoes and step out for the night. 

Laura walked down the grand staircase where several footmen and maids stood at attention. It seemed that Francis had been let in as well and she stole over to his side to curtsy then kiss his cheek in greeting. Such open friendship was not often practised but by now the household had gotten used to her open displays of affection. Then she offered him her hand to kiss smiling. “I am so happy and excited to see you,” she whispered aside to him.

He returned the kisses with a polite smile, taking her hands afterwards and locking his eyes on hers as he brought his lips down to kiss her hand. “So am I. It’s nice to leave Paris’ savage and come here where I can plase myself with beauty…and kindness.” he replied, glancing at her as he offered his arms for her to hold onto.

"I’ve prepared a horse, as I mentioned, and we’ll dine on the hill. You’ll love it." Francis let out a small laugh, leading her to the stables. The servants hadn’t accepted Francis’ suggestion for dinner so he had to bribe them in order to be able to take Laura with him tonight.

Once in the stables, he let go of her so he could bring out a white horse, the one he always rode. “This is Victoire. She’s a very obedient soul. Come on, let me help you get on her.” He offered her the reigns to hold onto and smiled assuringly, wrapping an arm around her waist.

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*his cheeks warm* Oj, it’s hard to tell with you when you’re being serious and when you are only joking! *laughs lightly and leans into the touch* I knew that but— Ei! *licks his lips as the cigarette is stolen* So you do like my brand after all? And what was the point of sharing?

[rolls his eyes, sitting down and pulling Sven with him as well] [he places his head in his lap and looks up at him with amusement] Sharing? Oh, s’il te plait. We all know the French don’t share. If we did, there would be no Luxembourg today.

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I am not a rabbit! [flinches at being touched and instead pulls out a cigarette, lighting it]  Mm. Wererabbit. Sounds like some goddamn B movie.


….You’re not thinking of Month Python, are you?

[takes the cigarette from him, stealing a quick one before returning it to him]

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Irving Penn, 1971.

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Harmonie du soir


August 1997

Taking another deep breath Laura examined herself in her bedroom mirror inch by inch. It was just dinner. Like any other, except for the fact that over the last few weeks…..she sighed wistfully, wandering over to the window. Opening the sill she leaned out, gazing out at the Sambre in the distance. The setting sun framed the scene wonderfully, it’s rays reflected off the water. So relaxed was she, her eyes shut soaking up the afternoon’s warmth like a flower when a familiar man’s voice called out to her, startling her.

She jumped visibly, her eyes snapped open and she looked down to see her escort having wandered into the castle’s garden. “Francis!” she called out, extending her arm in a wave below to him, giggling. She resembled a nosy princess, examining the prince that had stolen onto her property’s grounds. “I thought we were going out!” Laura laughed. “Whatever are you doing down there?”

Francis lifted his bicorne hat and bowed to the waist, greeting the lady. “We are, ma cherie, but I have a surprise!” he stated, raising his voice so she could hear him. He walked to one of the rose bushes and plucked out a red rose, careful so it thorns wouldn’t harm him. “Come down immediately. We are going to take a horse instead of a carriage. I will ride and you will be close to me.”

Tonight was special. It’s been a while since Francis felt so…alive, especially after his ‘execution’ five years ago. His neck still hurts at times and he gets sudden waves of sadness flood over him, but when he is around Laura he feels warm inside. She has a certain innocence that could heal anybody’s soul.

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honneuretpatria replied to your post.

What if I ruined the routine by saying your beauty is that of winter; pure, mysterious, refreshing?

I honestly couldn’t care less.


I’m not taking it back, it’s the truth.

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