Seventh Sea

Day 955 (continued again)

Do all Montaigne parties end this way???

I had sobered a bit by the time we returned to the party but the first thing we saw was the Emperor accepting a strange black orange from Monsieur Noir. Wolfie said this was a very bad thing but none of us were quite sure what to do. I was momentarily paralyzed but it was with a start that I realized I should do what I always do when unsure – cause a scene. And so I did. I accused a nearby guest of importune advances and persistent attempts to handle my noble personage. I did this very loudly, while under my breath telling Wolfie to get rid of the orange.

At first Wolfie leaped to my defense but then he seemed to get the idea that I had and changed his direction to attack a man near the Emperor. He redirected his blow at the last moment and knocked the orange from the hand of the Emperor but the Musketeers were upon him. It took eight or more to wrangle him to the ground. I switched my attention once the orange was upon the ground and faced off with the captain of the guard demanding they release Wolfie at once.

They were determined to arrest him but I knew we might not see him again should he disappear into the dungeons. I called upon the crowd to speak for Wolfie and when a noble stepped forth and accused Wolfie of an attempt upon the Emperor’s life, which I countered with my own plea. I did not know who this Duke du Jour was but lines had been drawn and he clearly was on the opposite side of mine.

Sebastian had pursued the Emperor to make Wolfie’s case but Sieger charged forth with Alexis in tow and demanded his release. After some exchanges they eventually secured Wolfie’s release and I set my sights on making sure the Duke would be very uncomfortable for coming in on the wrong side of this fray. I moved amongst the guests and gossiped up a storm planting stories to confuse the exact nature of this last performance and also to paint du Jour in a bad light.

Afterwards I slipped away to get the gems from Wolfie and I sought out the Empress. On my way through the grounds I caught sight of Lady Vogue and hid myself in the groves as I made way to my audience with the Empress. I was very happy to present the Empress with with her missing jewelry and she was very gracious but quickly left to make an appearance after donning the sparkling pieces. Once she left I snagged the attention of one of her ladies in waiting and begged her assistance in adjusting my appearance. She generously gifted me with some coin as she helped to mend my dress. I took the opportunity to extol the virtues of Monsieur Rouge and his talent as a designer. When I took my leave it was with a light step that I sought Luigi.

With some food and wine in our bellies we sought a quiet corner and Luigi’s amorous advances took a strange, dark, determined tone. Never had he kissed me so passionately -
which is saying something since he is Vodacce. But his voice had a tone of determination that I had never heard and the words he spoke were more direct than ever before. He demanded I wed him, be a good wife, and give him heirs. I think he even meant right now. I tried to slip from his grasp but he grabbed my hair to the back of my head and kissed me again. I was not usually reluctant with Luigi but something was definitely wrong and when I looked into his eyes I saw them blacken entirely for a moment before clearing and it frightened me. Just then the Lady Vogue arrived to demand payment and I was actually happy to see her…until Luigi stabbed her. I tried to knock him unconscious but failed and never have I been happier to have Wolfie arrive on the scene. Wolfie used his pendent and hit Luigi on the forehead. I stayed trapped in Luigi’s grip until Wolfie’s blow made Luigi’s hand go slack and I took no time at all to step out of his reach. With Wolfie’s strike Luigi’s head seemed to clear and he returned to being himself but he was confused and befuddled. Upon seeing the Lady Vogue at his feet he drew weapons to defend her but slowly realized the truth of what we were telling him. He himself had injured the lady as he had indeed lost his wits. He had no memory of the events that he had just unfolded and had the sense of a shadowy man figure out of the corner of his eye before he lost his senses. Wolfie was talking of possession and I remembered the demons that we had fought at my father’s side. I shuddered.

With everyone on the scene we took stock of the situation. I left with Luigi to find an apartment he could occupy for the evening and Sebastian and Wolfie took charge of the situation. A doctor was sent for the Lady Vogue and another to check over Luigi. I do not know where the others went but I followed on to keep an eye on Luigi. What I had seen alarmed me but also I was the only one close enough to notice his behavior change so I saw role to watch over him. I wasn’t sure I wanted to be alone again with him, especially with Wolfie out of earshot, but he hadn’t truly hurt me even when he was possessed.


martthesling NancyK

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