A Chance Encounter
Isadora smiled warmly at her new guest, who returned the smile with a bow. “Lord Alasdair Thrune! I had heard that you may come by. I congratulate you on your success in the courts. From what I hear, you’re quite adept. A natural talent, perhaps?” She glanced to her side, Vivian returning the look, unseen by Alasdair. The man smiled at the flattery before replying. “No natural talent, Lady Anton. Simply the product of a keen mind and hard work. I fear I have read little but law for weeks now, and I find my workload growing in equal measure to any mastery I may have over the topics.” He chuckled, as did Isadora, followed by Vivian. “Very well then, Lord Thrune. I am suitably impressed by the intellect and drive that must take. But I must admit that I am interested in what brings you to my humble store today?”
A small smile moved over Alasdairs face as he moved a large folder of papers in front of him, taking out a rather detailed sketching of a dress. Isadora gestured at Vivian, speaking quickly. “Go and fetch Maisie. I want my best people working on this.” Vivian nodded, darting off into the workroom and returning a few moments later with Maisie in tow, who was trying to tidy up her hair as she walked to look more presentable. Alasdair paid them no more attention than the desk he leaned against as he continued to speak to Isadora, a certain smugness in his tone. It took Maisie a long moment to piece it together before she realized that she was looking at Alasdair Thrune, and she felt a low-level disdain throughout her body. So, this was the man Corthos loathed so much…
Alasdair’s voice became a bit softer as he started to go into more details to the clothiers. “She likes purples and reds. Something demure, quiet. It needs to blend in to the opera house crowds easily, yet stand out to identify her. I want her to have something that is unique to her, something that can try to capture the grace that she embodies.” Isadora smiled and nodded deeply. “Certainly, m’lord. Vivian and Maisie are my most adept pupils. They will make certain that it is something that cannot be duplicated. Won’t you, girls?” They both nodded, and Alasdair grunted an acknowledgment at them. Merry bit her tongue, her past life spent acting giving her the strength to move through the situation. At Isadora’s praise, she felt a faint blush of pride in her own work. She took the sketch from Alasdair, her and Vivian looking it over.
Isadora continued to pepper Alasdair with questions, and Maisie found herself watching his reactions closely. It was obvious that he cared about his wife, but every time that Maisie or Vivian tried to say anything he reacted like they weren’t even there. As he talked to Isadora, Maisie seemed to find herself creating excuses to stay in the area, her mind trying to compare the Alasdair that she had thought to exist with the one who did. It was only by being in close proximity that she even overheard him again, making casual chatter with Isador. “The Lord Mayor himself has come to me for offers of legal counsel as of late. I may find myself in a role where I must mingle with the high and mighty, and I want to make certain that Guinevere feels as comfortable as possible around my family. She was a bit nervous when Barzillai came for dinner, but I only want her to be happy. So perhaps this will help. I’m hoping that we will get invited to his home before long.” Isadora looked suitably impressed, fawning over the man’s accomplishments and reassuring him that the dress would be something that the gods themselves would envy. With a smirk, he pulled out a handful of gold, counting out payment before setting five aside for ‘each of your seamstresses’. With a bow, he let himself out of the doorway, and Maisie retreated into the workroom with Vivian, grabbing deep purple silks from the bolts that lined the walls.
He hadn’t seemed as bad as Corthos had always mentioned him, although his talk of his close relation to Barzillai seemed….worrisome. She wondered if Corthos realized how close his brother-in-law was to the Lord Mayor. She made a mental decision to try and talk with him as soon as she could, her mind wandering. Vivian tapped her on the shoulder, laughing. “Maisie! Come back to us. I need your help on getting this to line up properly.” Maisie nodded with a small laugh, moving to where Vivian requested as she spoke. “Vivian, can I borrow your lantern tonight? I forgot to buy more keros for mine.” Vivian peeked around the dress with a grin. “Yes, Maisie. What would you ever do without me?” Maisie smiled again. Tonight, she would set the two lanterns in the window.
There was so much to talk about.