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Revision as of 02:04, 6 January 2020

Blessings
Dramatis Personae

Luci, Steve

2020-01-05


"{Certainly, I have been known to give men a bit of an education in the bedroom.}"

Location

<PRV> Tessier Residence - Greenwich Village


Understated opulence claims this spacious and well-kept townhome, the decor throughout the whole of it of the highest quality and carefully chosen. The front door opens onto the entrance hall, a closet close at hand to receive coats and shoes -- the pale hardwood floors gleam underfoot, unsullied by tracked-in mess from outside. The living room beyond the entrance is all dark woods and pale earth tones, comfortable couches and armchairs and a thick soft rug laid down beneath. Two large and painstakingly aquascaped aquariums flank the entrance to the dining room, with several brightly coloured species of fish within. Most of the rest of the wall space, notably, is taken up with shelves -- shelves crammed with books of every subject and genre.

A study branching off of the main hall is cozy, small, done in pale blues and lined with books as well around the large computer desk and smaller futon, though these rarer books are cased behind glass. Another securely locked door leads to the basement, and another to the full bathroom downstairs. The kitchen connects to the living room; in contrast, it is sleek and modern and well-appointed, stocked by someone who takes their cooking seriously. And takes their alcohol equally seriously -- to one side of the kitchen there is a fully-stocked bar. The back door to the kitchen looks out on a small well-kept garden.

Game night picked up a few additional attendees tonight -- many of them oddly solicitous to their hosts -- but the reveling is done and the guests dispersed. Most of the guests, at any rate. Steve wasn't the only one to volunteer his help cleaning up, but he's the only one who's still here now. He never changed out of his Sunday best today -- a pressed white broadcloth french cuff shirt, a blue-silver ombre tie with a silver five-pointed star tie pin to match his cufflinks, smartly fitted navy trousers -- which looked perhaps a touch odd over board games earlier, but quite apropos now that he's sitting near the dying fire with a glass of scotch cradled in one big hand. "{...I meant every word I tweeted -- it was an /absolute/ delight, and touching, also. Bravo again, my friend.}" His French has been growing steadily more Québécois in cadence and diction, but his incongruous Brooklyn-Provençal accent remains.

Lucien is a bit more casual, in neatly tailored dark blue jeans and a long-sleeved green henley. Casual, too, where he's unfurled himself across the soft rug in front of the fire, one leg crooked up over the dog who is half-dozing against his thigh and one stretched out before him. He's watching the glow of the dwindling flames through the remainder of his scotch, swirling the drink slowly in its old-fashioned glass. "Mmm," is all he replies at first, quiet and equivocal. "{I am glad you had a chance to see it. I am quite thankful to have had the experience, and I think it is nearing time for me, at least, to move on from it. Though I've no doubt someone capable will fill my --}" His brows furrow, slightly, lips compressing. "{Hooves.}"

"{Yes -- Jax insisted I must see it before you departed from the show. I never doubted he was right, but I'm glad I listened.}" Steve takes a sip of his whisky. "{You will, I hope, be able to take a little time off, after? Whatever that means for you, working as many jobs as you do.}"

A slight twitch tugs at Lucien's mouth, forestalled from turning into a proper smile as he lifts his glass for a mouthful of Scotch. "{I've auditions lined up already. Most that I've no hope whatever of getting, but I want to make sure I'm not left too much of a gap between projects.}" He shakes his head, leans his weight back against one arm. His fingers scrunch down against the plush fibers of the rug. "{My schedule will be more forgiving, though. Which -- will be a blessing, soon enough.}" There's a brief tightness at the corners of his eyes, just a moment before they close. "{-- and it will leave me freer to take more clients. That will be a blessing, too.}" When he opens his eyes it is to give Steve a short sidelong glance. "{Ryan tried to book you some time with me, last week. I did mean to ask him just how serious a request that was -- he was more than a little inebriated at the time -- but I suppose it is a touch more apt to ask you directly. It is not often a request I get by proxy.}"

Steve's pale blue eyes flick down to Luci's hand, then back up to his face. "{I'm glad, too, but -- is there some difficulty you are particularly relieved to have the time and funds to handle?}" He looks down into his glass. Looks back up at his friend, brows furrowing slightly. "{Oh! Yes, I had meant to ask you about that, but it's been such a busy week.}" His cheeks flush pink. "{I also don't know how serious he was, but he suggested I should see you in the capacity of -- a sex educator? Because --}" His cheeks turn very red, but he forges on. "{-- Flicker -- that is -- before him, I had never really had experience to do um --} topping. {I suppose he thought I could use some advice?}"

Lucien's gaze has returned to the fire, his fingers still slowly curling and uncurling against the rug. "{Matthieu is sick, again.}" His other hand tightens against his glass. "{Historically, it has meant a touch of difficulty when it comes to scheduling and expenses.}" He turns his head towards Steve, quirks an eyebrow up. "{Sex educator?}" For all the weight in his previous words, here there's a very dry wisp of amusement that creeps in to lighten them. "{Is that what he said I do? Goodness. I'll remember that one. Certainly, I have been known to give men a bit of an education in the bedroom.}" He drains the rest of his glass, carefully shifts himself away from the pup to get the bottle off the coffee table and pour another. Lift it to Steve in offer. "I will be glad to assist, if it is advice you want, but you ought to know that most who come see me in that capacity aren't looking for a teacher, just a whore. {Any education they get is simply a side benefit.}"

Steve's gaze remains steady for a moment, brows just slightly furrowed in a way that bespeaks some failure of comprehension. Then his eyes open wide. "Oh! Oh no... {You mean that his cancer has returned.}" There's only a small uplift to his tone here, but the tightening of his posture suggests he doesn't actually harbor much doubt this is the case. "{I'm very sorry to hear that.}" He bites his lower lip. "{He's been treated and recovered fully before -- does that bode well for this time?}" His eyes only grow wider. He drains his glass, too, and accepts the bottle to refill it. Returns it to the table. Takes another swig of it. Then, finally, he says, "{I think it was actually Jax who said 'sex ed', but --}" He turns the glass in his hands slowly. "{Is that a...more socially acceptable profession now than it was in my day?}" Then adds, blushing again. "{I mean prostitution. Certainly it seems to be the case for sex education.}"

"{I do not know what it was like in your day, but in this one it is -- a far cry from socially acceptable. It can, however, be quite lucrative. Sometimes you need to weigh these costs.}" Lucien has turned from studying the fire to studying his drink. Rotating it slowly between his fingers. "{It --}" He stops, swallows. Pulls in a slow breath before he speaks again. "{It means that at the least we are well prepared for the trials that treatment will bring.}"

"{It was...well. At home it was taboo, but at war -- as with many things, folks had a sort of live-and-let-live attitude about it. At least about the girls -- ladies -- women who sold their ah, companionship. Of course I knew there were men -- are men who...}" He shakes his head briefly. "{I'm sorry.}" This sounds perhaps a little too somber to be a self-deprecating apology for his awkwardness. "{That it is a cost you must weigh. I doubt I can even imagine how heinously expensive the treatment must be. Or how harrowing.}" He takes another slow sip of his whisky. Shifts and settles down -- with surprising grace for a man of his bulk -- on the floor beside Lucien. "{But I'm more than ready to help -- with money or labor or even just time. Anything that would make those trials more bearable.}"

"{More of us than you might think. There are,}" Lucien says a little bit wryly, "{Regrettably many people who must weigh similar predicaments. Just trying to pay rent in the city these days is --}" He shakes his head, looking down into his drink. His eyes open very slightly wider when Steve shifts to sit beside him. He drops his eyes, watching Flèche's tail give several soporific-slow thumps against the rug. "{It -- is not going to be an easy time. We are always glad for --}" He falls quiet, pushing out a slow and heavy breath. A small shift of bearing takes his weight off his arm; he slides his hand to rest, briefly, over Steve's. The touch comes with a sudden and fierce flush of warmth, bright and heady before he draws his hand back, taking a longer pull from his Scotch.

"{That shouldn't surprise me, at all,}" Steve admits softly. "{Probably were in my day, too. This is just a different age of wonders when we must ransom our lives from the wealthy.}" His voice is calm, but Lucien can feel his anger with the contact -- his fear, too, and his love. It's the last that answers the touch, and though for a moment he looks about to speak again, he quiets, too. Just turns and stares into the fire with his friend.