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Johannes had been called many things in his lifetime but he had never, ever, been called soft. For a second he thought about it and considered if Charlemagne was right about his assessment. He was. For such a cold exterior that he had been trained into showing he really was soft especially emotionally. His wife use to call him a woodland creature and he never thought much on the meaning of her words until Charlemagne called him soft. Maybe in the past he would have been a little bit annoyed with the observation that Charlemagne made and try to argue otherwise but now it didn’t matter. Also Charlemagne said he liked it so that was a plus. “Hopefully you mean that in all the right ways,” he jokingly said, feeling a little ballsy.
He listened to Charlemagne’s opinion about the play and gave his own but eventually it was time to leave and Charlemagne answered him about the curfew. “Only the nobles with spouses at home waiting for them have curfews. For you, my good sir, I have none,” Johannes responded with a small pause afterwards. “Well that is slightly incorrect. I do have a curfew that is 10 in the morning. Someone had to keep the embassy functioning.” Did Johannes need to really be at the embassy by ten? Probably not but he was going to go to make sure the two hard headed ambassadors don’t murder each other. Johannes tended to act like a buffer between the two of them.
Charlemagne’s response about the cafe caused Johannes’ heart to flutter and joy fill him to the brim. He was so happy that they would be spending some more time together and with them being at the cafe gave Johannes a chance to learn more about the handsome French man. While the play was nice there wasn’t much leeway in talking to each other. “Hopefully by the end of the night you won’t be singing a different song,” he said as they got up. Sadly, they had to let go of each other’s hands as the went to leave the small sanctuary they had been graced with. Johannes actually felt sad that they had to let go of each other. If one of them had been a woman the world really wouldn’t care, they would just think of them as immodest.
As they were about to leave he heard a loud voice and all of a sudden something clicked on Johannes head. The lead actor was [i Maximilian]. The beloved, but really hated by most nobles, prince that was far enough down the line to not be as visible as some of his family members but everyone knew about him at least. Johannes had actually met Maximilian a few times but it hadn’t clicked that the lead actor was actually the well known Prince. “Maximilian,” he calmly said, addressing the man without a title because he knew the other man’s preferences. “Ambassador Von Wächter sadly couldn’t make it today. There was some issues with, and I quote, ‘unsavory’ characters. He plans to see the show tomorrow. I know he has been looking forward to it. If you want Comte de Mercy-Argenteau is here,” he informed the Prince.
Johannes glanced over to his date and was surprised that the other man was somewhat starstruck. He, however, didn’t say anything about it. “Maximilian, this is my friend Charlemagne Marquis,” He said deciding to introduce the two of them. “I enjoyed the play. You did a splendid job portraying such strong emotions,” Johannes said, carefully complimenting the Prince. “Charlemagne and I aren’t really busy. We were about to head to Café Procope,” he informed the Prince, hoping the Prince wouldn’t invite himself to their next date spot. Johannes had a feeling that he wouldn’t get any time with Charlemagne if the other man came with them. He also didn’t want to compete with Maximilian for Charlemagne’s attention because he knew he would lose.
[center Charlemagne had found it thoroughly amusing Johannes’ reaction to his hand being taken to hold. The Frenchman had said nothing as the play was happening, but he did smirk a bit to himself. Charlie already knew that he was going to have the time of his life making Johannes absolutely [i squirm]. If something as simple as a gentle hand holding shocked him, then just about anything else was fair game in Charlemagne’s eyes. He wanted nothing but to reduce Johannes to a blushing, breathless mess that begged for more attention. [#900 [i ‘Now that would be interesting to see. I guess that will be my goal for now.’]] Charlie thought, trying to not erupt into a full blow mischievous smile right where he sat.]
[center [#900 “I’m glad to hear you liked it! I think it was a nice first date night out.”] Charlemagne winked at the other man. He then found it endearing, Johannes’ small token of affection, bestowed by rubbing gentle circles on his hand. [#900 “For an Austrian man, I never would have known you could be so soft.”] he smirked. [#900 “But I think I like it this way.”] the man admitted, sighing softly. After the two talked more about the play itself Charlemagne shook his head. [#900 “Oh, no. I can stay out as long as I would like. Question is, what about you?? Do nobles have their own curfews?”] Charlie asked with an inquisitive arched brow. It would have been comical if nobles did, but the Frenchman figured that if you were rich enough nobody would care to tell you what to do with your time.]
[center [#900 “But we should get going to that café, though. I’d like nothing more than to spend the whole night with you.”] Charlie was sure to be careful of how loudly he spoke. It made him sad that they had to be so secretive, but it was what had to be done, unfortunately. Charlemagne reluctantly let go of Johannes’ hand before opening the curtains to their viewing box. But then a familiar voice sounded off at the end of the hall around the corner followed by a few surprised gasps. [#c2a900 [i “Where is he?? Johannes.”]] Charlie immediately became concerned, looking back towards the taller male. But it did not take long for that voice to be matched to a person as it was quite distinctive because it belonged to the lead actor from the play that the audience had just watched. Maximilian was still in costume, but he was swift with his search.]
[center After sighting Johannes, Max zeroed in on the man automatically. [#c2a900 “Johannes! I heard that you were here! Where’s the Ambassador? Usually, he is a patron of the arts based on what he told me!”] Maximilian huffed, but still happy to see one of his own countrymen so far from home. Meanwhile, Charlemagne was starstruck in Maximilian’s presence. The other man was such a fantastic actor, in Charlie’s mind, and wished to be as talented as the Prince with the art of theater. However, Charlemagne wasn’t sure how to address Max not because of his ranking, but because of how casual the other was with his greetings. [#900 “Your Highness??”] Charlie sounded confused, which only made Maximilian laugh and pat the Frenchman’s back. [#c2a900 “Please, just Maximilian or Max. Sounds less responsible, which is how I like it. And nobody cares about titles unless in Court. And it’s not like I’m the crown prince or anything, thank god.”] the man laughed. Flustered, Charlemagne nodded in acknowledgment.]
[center Maximilian then turned back to Johannes with a wide smile on his face. [#c2a900 “What did you two think of the show? I hope it was as exciting for you as it was for me! Are you two busy tonight?...”]]
“I’m glad I didn’t keep you waiting for long,” Johannes said once Charlemagne informed him that he had actually just gotten to the theater. “An older lady needed help to her seats so I decided to help. If she hasn’t needed help I would have been here to greet you and save you from such a long wait,” he jokingly said as they walked into their box. It wasn’t the best view in the theater but it was pretty darn close to it. Johannes was actually surprised by that fact, having expected Franz to chose a cheaper seating arrangement.
“I’m going to be honest, I didn’t even know it was a drama. I just heard everyone raving about how good it was and two tickets just happened to be for the taking,” Johannes said as he closed the curtain behind them and took a seat after Charlemagne.
The seats were close enough to border on intimate. With Charlemagne in such proximity Johannes was very aware to his presence. The best reassuringly radiated off Charlemagne’s body and Johannes found himself get comfortable with Charlemagne’s presence. He was so comfortable that when Charlemagne slipped his hand into his he stiffened for a short second. He had, honestly, not expected Charlemagne to be so bold. They were in public! But then again no one could see their hands behind the bannister. Johannes glanced behind him as well, double checking that the curtain was pulled shut. Happy that no one would bother them and that they would have time to part did he relax. A small smile played at the corners of his lips as he turned his attention over to the play that was about to begin all while holding onto Charlemagne’s hand.
The play was absolutely riveting. Johannes really did enjoy every second and did have to give the lead actor some credit. The anguish that man displayed was astonishing. Johannes had been so enthralled with the play he had even forgotten that he was loosely holding Charlemagne’s hand in his own. With the play over, and the actors and actresses taking their bows, Johannes had returned to reality.
Looking down at their joined hands for a split second he then looked up at Charlemagne as he asked Johannes what his opinions were. “I very much enjoyed it,” he began. His thumb started to rub small circles on Charlemagne’s hand as he continued. “The full cast did an amazing job throughout the whole play but I think their shinning moment was the end. They portrayed the betrayal and anguish so well it felt real. How about you? What are your opinions?” He asked.
Johannes silently listened to Charlemagne. It was only when people started to leave that he tore his eyes away from Charlemagne’s handsome face. “Do you need to go back right away? I know a decent cafe nearby that is open late if you wanted to maybe continue tonight. If you can’t I completely understand,” Johannes nervously asked. He didn’t want to end the night at all but he did understand that work came first and if Charlemagne has to be up early then Johannes didn’t want to keep him up.
[center Charlemagne spent a good minute just observing pedestrians as they just passed by him on the sidewalk while carriages ambled along the streets. Sometimes it surprised the Frenchman just how much there was outside of the palace. This did not mean that Charlie did not get out of the palace. But sometimes the man did get enveloped so much by his work that he was not able to leave the palace as much as he would have initially liked to. However, work was work and Charlemagne understood the importance of it, and even the privilege of having been chosen over countless other chefs when the King and Queen could have easily chosen another individual for the coveted job he currently possessed.]
[center But as the Frenchman was getting lost in his thought his attention was then quickly captured by the familiar sounding soft lilting voice of another man. Charlie turned to see Johannes approaching him. [#900 “I have been waiting here [i all] day!”] Charlemagne exclaimed sarcastically as he rolled his eyes. [#900 “Honestly, I just arrived here only a few minutes ago. Looks like we are both on time!”] The Frenchman could not help but smile when looking at Johannes. Quietly Charlie followed the other man to the theater box that they would be seated in.]
[center [#900 “I heard nothing but good things as well! The lead actor is actually one of your people. He is quite popular here and is very nice from the exchanges I have shared with him.”] Charlemagne nodded. [#900 “I am pretty excited as it’s a drama about a king and his mistress and family. I do look forward to seeing what happens!”] the Frenchman noted before settling into his seat, adjusting his coat. Charlie’s face held a soft smile as he waited for Johannes to seat himself by his side. Carefully did Charlemagne reach over with a single hand to gently take hold of the Austrian man’s hand. Tenderly so did he do this even Charlie felt like he developed goosebumps on his skin! Even though he liked to think of himself as a confident man, Charlemagne could not help but feel a sense of anxiety in addition to his initial excitement. He hoped that Johannes did not mind.]
[center The play was quite the spectacle in Charlie’s opinion. The drama, the scandal, and the emotional torture each character went through was beautifully portrayed throughout the play. The Frenchman admired the lead actor, Maximilian von Eisenbach, for his innate ability to translate the grief of the King in the play into real life emotion to make the theater patrons feel what the King feels. The fresh tears of agony upon seeing his mistress dead by the command of the Queen and then the rage he felt before condemning her to death was raw and real to the audience. The King’s ensuing spiral into insanity and suicide was shocking and practically tangible! Maximilian had come from a wealthy family who was not too pressed on the strict laws and etiquette of Austro-Hungarian nobility, thus allowing their only son to do whatever it was he wanted. It just so happened to be acting that Maximilian loved to do! Charlemagne believed the performance from everyone was spectacular and was glad they had been able to see it with each other. [#900 “Your country certainly does produce some of the most exquisite actors, I must admit.”] Charlie murmured to his Austrian companion. [#900 “Thank you for inviting me out tonight, too. The play was absolutely thrilling!”] he added as the actors all lined up for the final bows on center stage. [#900 “What did you think?...”]]
Johannes was anxious about his package as he got ready for work. What would Charlemagne think? Would the man think him to forward to send a sleeping shirt? Or would he love it? A multitude of questions ran through his mind in rapid succession as he walked into the embassy. All thoughts rapidly came to a halt as he was greeted with the sight of Franz standing there with an annoyed look on his face.
“Herr Von Wätcher?” Johannes asked. It was rare that he ever saw his father-in-law so angry and quiet honestly it was frightening.
“Johannes. I need you to deliver these letters to the Queen. Comte de Mercy-Argenteau left them on his desk before storming off,” Franz said.
Franz and Florimond Claude’s relationship were frigid at best. While Franz agreed with being there for the Queen and act as a support for the Queen but not to meddle into French politics. Florimond on the other hand was meddling in Franz’s opinion. He was whispering words in to the Queen’s ear and had too much power in the French court. What Franz absolutely hated was that it wasn’t helping their cause with Florimond being so powerful in the court. The French hated then, and Franz had no interest in causing a bigger divide between the people and their Queen. But it wasn’t Franz’s place to say a thing because ultimately Florimond was in charge since he had the Queen’s ear. Normally to avoid having to interact with each other they tried to deal with different duties of the embassy. Franz worked predominately as an ambassador for his people that lived in France while Florimond played a very political and dangerous game. Sometimes their duties overlapped like today, where Florimond wasn’t in and things needed to be done in the Palace.
“I’ll take them right away,” Johannes replied as he took the letters. He didn’t want to be here when Florimond returned because there would just only be yelling. Especially if he had stormed off.
Franz, still heated from his argument, just nodded and let Johannes leave.
Johannes walked through the palace gates in a hurry. His thoughts on his own letter far from his mind when he heard a voice call out to him. Spinning around he saw Antoine rush over to him.
“Monsieur Von Hügel! Monsieur Marquis responded to your letter,” He said as he went through his bag and pulled out a plain letter. There was nothing spectacular about the letter with the only remarkable thing being the seal. The seal was, also, the only distinguishing feature of the letter with the palace’s seal on it.
“Thank you,” Johannes said as he took the letter and reached into his coin purse and gave the man a few coins. His services were invaluable. Slipping the letter into his breast pocket he approached the palace, the pocket burning a hole in his chest pocket, making him anxious. He wanted to read it. Only when he eventually gave the Queen her letters did he step out into a secluded corner and read the letter.
A small smile played on his lips as he read the words on the page. Charlemagne said yes to going out with him! Johannes heart did a small tumble every time he re-read the letter. And the smell… it was like Charlemagne was in the same room as him. Letting out a soft sigh he slipped the letter back into his breast pocket and went back to the Embassy, ready to write his reply.
Johannes was anxious as he stood outside of the theater. He had spent the last four hours getting ready for Charlemagne. Normally he didn’t put such effort in getting ready. His wife never received such treatment and his last lover also never received anything close to the amount of time Johannes had spent for Charlemagne. Johannes had gone through every article of his clothing and carefully picked the best pieces that didn’t flaunt his wealth but still looked good on him.
He had eventually settled on one of his favorite waistcoats. It was burgundy with beautiful gold detailing across most of the coat but especially on the collar. Johannes jumped back and forth on what to do with his hair after finding his chosen outfit. It was too short to pull up into a ponytail but too long to leave down without some manipulations. Eventually Johannes, and by Johannes it was really Hans, decided to push his hair back with pomade which took the biggest part of Johannes’ time. It almost made Johannes wish that he wore wigs more often than just for work because the pomade wasn’t going to come out any time soon especially if Hans had his way. Then there was the parfum. Johannes really didn’t like parfum, but he had a large amount of it. Most of it was from his wife and all of them were scents that she loved on him. Johannes was about to spend an unforgivable amount of time trying to figure out the best smell to wear was. This time it was Han’s wife who saved them from a choice and Eleonore picked a parfum that smelled like cedar that Johannes liked. After that debacle they sent him off on his way.
Now Johannes was nervous. It had been a long while since he had shown interest in anyone and even longer since he had taken someone out. Johannes ran a hand across his face when he saw an older lady struggling to get out of her carriage. Deciding that action would help his nerves he approached her. “Excuse me Madame,” he began, “May I help you?” He asked after noting that there was no one else in the carriage to aid her. A smile crossed her ancient face and she accepted his help. Johannes helped her out of her carriage and into the theater which took him longer than expected. Rushing back out he was greeted with the sight of Charlemagne. The man looked handsome as ever.
Fixing his coat, he approached the man. “Charlemagne,” he gently called out. “Have you been waiting long?” Johannes asked as he forced himself to not ogle at the handsome man before him. Johannes was about to say something else when he noticed the crowd was starting to thin. “If you will follow me, I can take us to our seats. Ambassador Von Wätcher was kind enough to let us take his box seats since he was unable to come,” He said. The true reason why Franz refused to go to the theater was because Florimond was going to be there. Which worked well for Johannes since he was originally going to weasel his way into tickets before he found out that Franz was going to just leave his spot open. “Have you heard anything about this play? I’ve only heard good things,” He said as he went up the stairs to the box.
[center Charlemagne had spent a lot of time thinking about Johannes, honestly. Out of all the people the Frenchman knew and got to meet, rarely did he ever get stuck on one particular person. While Johannes’ denial of his advances frustrated Charlemagne, he also found them endearing and funny in a way. The cultural differences around Europe never failed to intrigue Charlie. Although, he had to admit that he was definitely outside of the norm to begin with, so the rigid structure and discipline that Johannes came from definitely perplexed Charlemagne. But this did absolutely nothing to soothe the unresolved tension that was created a few nights ago. At least it was clear that Johannes was also interested. It would have been immensely awkward if the other man had no intentions of actually getting into bed with him too.]
[center The Frenchman couldn’t help but linger on the thought more as he ended up watching the clouds in the sky roll on by at their own leisure. The gentle white fluffs of cotton were at the mercy of the winds which happened to be delightfully mild that day. Charlemagne shook his head, though. While he was not one to deny himself such pleasures, Charlie also did not want to get stuck on fantasizing about a person, let alone a foreign nobleman. Johannes had a life and duties, and Charlemagne understood that entirely. It was different to pursue him instead of fellow palace staff members or other royal subjects outside of the palace.]
[center But the man was taken out of his reveries when another individual approached him with something in his hands. Charlemagne’s gaze directed itself upon the man whom he recognized as Antoine. They hadn’t been friends, per se, but Charlie had seen him come and go with duties as a postal runner. The Frenchman stood up to face Antoine, filled with curiosity. [#900 “He sent something to me?? Interesting.”] Charlemagne had perked up. Upon receiving the parcel Charlie opened the carefully sealed box. It had been wrapped in simple, but luxuriously smooth paper and tied with a golden colored ribbon. Charlie couldn’t help but smile as he undid the packaging to find a note on top of what appeared to be an expertly folded shirt. The man quietly read the note and felt a new-found sense of excitement when it turned out that Johannes hadn’t lost interest. Charlemagne smiled back at Antoine, though. [#900 “Thank you very much, Antoine. I’ll need to send something back to him, so I’ll go prepare it and find you when I’m done.”]]
[center Going back into the palace Charlie made a beeline to his room to start writing a letter in response to what Johannes sent him. Thoughtfully Charlie made sure to pen a loving letter, but one that still has the other man to linger on; something satisfying, yet still teasing because Charlemagne never liked to play his whole hand in one go. Part of the letter read as.]
[center [#900 [i It was torturous, you leaving me to my devices like this over the past days, Johannes. That is quite rude and unbecoming of you, sir. Thus, I accept your invitation to see the play with you. I look forward to seeing you once again. Think of me as I surely will think of you especially with the nightshirt you so generously gifted me. Never in my life would I have thought that an Austrian could simply smell so divine! I do not think anyone can compare.’]]]
[center Then Charlemagne signed at the bottom before spritzing the paper with his favorite parfum scent. The man waved let the paper sit for a moment, allowing it to soak in the scent before folding the note and inserting it into a regular looking envelope. He then carefully closed said envelope with a wax seal that signified it came from the French palace. Other than the seal it had no identifying marks on it. Yes, Charlemagne did want to charm the man, but it irked Charlie that he could not openly seduce Johannes without potentially risking both of their lives. Despite this inconvenience, Charlemagne was set on at least flirting with the man and making it his while.]
[center Once the letter was in order Charlie worked on tracking down Antoine so the man could deliver the response to Johannes. As fate would have it, finding the man was much like a game of cat and mouse; Antoine was hard to find. One palace staff member would tell Charlie where Antoine was, and then the man in question would be gone by the time Charlemagne arrived. It took some running around, but Charlie did manage to find Antoine and give him the envelope intended for Johannes. [#900 “Be sure that this gets into Monsieur Von Hügel’s hands, please. I would greatly appreciate it, Antoine.”] Charlemagne spoke, giving a kind head nod before going back to business he needed to attend to around the palace. But despite having things to do most of what was on the Frenchman’s mind was the play he would go see with Johannes in just a few short days.]
[center [b ~~~]]
[center When the day of the outing with Johannes Charlie couldn’t help himself. He was just so excited to finally see the man again! Their work had been keeping them apart, much to Charlemagne’s dismay. But Charlie made sure to plan accordingly so he could go see the play with the Austrian man. During the day Charlemagne did his best to have his duties completed as soon as possible so he could spend a proper amount of time preparing. [#900 [i ‘I do not want to look like trash! That simply will not do!’]] the man thought while digging through his wardrobe. He compared different outfits meticulously. Charlie contemplated the texture of the fabrics, the colors, even the hassle of getting in and out of the outfit. The Frenchman wanted everything to be coordinated. No detail was left unconsidered. The cuffs on his shirt to the buckles on his shoes, Charlie demanded perfection!]
[center In the end, though, Charlemagne chose a dark red and black ensemble. It was a fairly typical choice on his part, but Charlie felt he was a creature of habit more than anything. The outfit was comfortable and looked quite fine, in his opinion. He even got Francis’ opinion on it; he thought it made Charlie appear quite bespoke. Charlemagne then carefully combed through his incredibly long locks of hair before tying it all back with some matching ribbon. As much as he loved letting his hair down to do whatever it wanted, Charlie did not want to look unkempt in the slightest.]
[center With a careful dab of parfum Charlie set out to get his short carriage ride out of the way. Thankfully the theatre was not so far away, but a lot of people were out that night, so the time it took to get there was a little longer than Charlemagne had initially inspected. But upon arrival Charlie carefully exited, not wanting to break his leg, swiftly straightening his coat out. He proceeded to thank the carriage driver before sending him on his way, finding himself among the many pedestrians and theatre patrons coming and going as time went on. [#900 [i ‘Hopefully this will go well. I know the company putting on the play, they are quite magnificent! I’m sure Johannes will like it.’]] the Frenchman thought, sighing softly. Now it was just a waiting game to see when the other man would arrive…]
Life just wasn’t fair. Johannes really wanted to give into Charlemagne and find out if he really was an Incubus. To be fair Johannes doubted it but still Charlemagne was really tempting him down the path of sin. It was a path that Johannes was familiar with so it wasn’t too hard to tempt him. Curse Anne. Curse her to the fiery depths of hell. She was ruining absolutely everything.
A small shiver ran down Johannes’ spine as Charlemagne came up to him and whispered in his ear. The handsome man was so close to kiss and his lips looked so tempting but if he fell into that temptation he wouldn’t leave at all. “You aren’t being fair Charlemagne,” he softly said to the other man.
His eyes were on Charlemagne as the cruel temptress sauntered off. “Have a good night Charlemagne,” he said before making his run to safety.
Johannes was rudely awoken to bright light streaming into his face. With a soft groan he rolled onto his side and buried his face under the plush pillow. Last night was the first night in a long time that Johannes had a kid free bed and he enjoyed every moment of it. No tiny feet were jammed into his ribs and no snuffling baby was crying in his ears for attention. Life was good with the exception of him being woken up by Hans.
“Freiherr, you have several letters that need to be addressed right away,” the man bluntly stated as he moved around.
Johannes wanted to bury his head further under the pillow but knew he also had things to do. For a few more seconds he contemplated his options before his sense of duty won out and he sat up, propped against the head board. Before he could fully wake up he felt something on his lap and he groggily looked down. A tray filled to the brim with breakfast and letters greeted him. “No dining room today?” He sleepily asked as his hand gravitated to a cup that Johannes was hoping to be coffee and not tea. As he brought the glass to his lips he was graced with the bitter sweet smell of coffee a content sigh left his lips before he took a sip.
“The maids are cleaning the dining room today. Maria and Johannes have already eaten and are playing in the garden. Freiherr Von Wächter sent a runner and requests your presence at the embassy once you are free. He wants you to deliver some letters to the Queen,” Hans replied.
Johannes let out a hum of acknowledgement as he began to eat his eggs. “Did my packages get sent out this morning?” He asked between bites. For the last few days Johannes had been tossing the idea around to sending Charlemagne something as a thank you and to show his interest. It was only the other day did he finally decide on what to send to Charlemagne. Recently Johannes had bought a sleeping shirt that he rather enjoyed. It was the softest thing in the world and it was the perfect size for Johannes. For Charlemagne it would be more of a sleeping gown than a simple shirt but Johannes liked that idea a lot. Since Johannes was slightly territorial he liked the idea of Charlemagne wearing something that was his even if Johannes hadn’t really made a claim in the Frenchman. Along with the shirt Johannes had sent a letter apologizing for his recent absence and asking if Charlemagne would be opposed to going to a newly opened play with him in a couple of days. Johannes hoped Charlemagne would say yes so they could kick start their relationship. Johannes also sent off were the cleaned clothes that he borrowed but that was sent off to Francis with a small note of thanks.
“Yes sir we sent them out this morning as you insisted,” Hans said as he went to Johannes wardrobe and began to pull out the man’s clothes for the day. Johannes may be able to get dressed by himself but that didn’t stop Hans from laying out Johannes outfit for the day.
Johannes let out a small hum as he continued to eat his breakfast. Hopefully he didn’t wait too long and Charlemagne didn’t lose interest in him.
“Mr. Marquis,” a voice asked. Antoine had been on the hunt for Charlemagne for the last hour and was finally thankful that he had finally found Charlemagne. This man was a master of hiding. It took Antoine harassing the staff to finally be sent out to the garden where he caught sight of the described male sitting under a tree. “Sir, there is a parcel for you from Mr. Von Hügel.” The man said as he approached who he was hoping was Charlemagne Marquis.
[center Charlemagne could not help but huff out a sigh when Johannes mentioned Catholicism in his home country’s society. It went without saying that Charlie was not so happy with the religion, and any religion for that matter. But the man continued to stare at Johannes regardless. Every man had his own beliefs and Charlemagne knew this and respected it as such. [#900 “So you admit that you lot are masochistic folk? Interesting. I can live with that.”] Charlie asked, raising a brow whilst snickering at the same time. [#900 “Just three-fourths??? What is it going to take then? Must I strip naked for you? So incredibly demanding.”] the Frenchman teased, smiling with great amusement. [#900 “And of course I want to see you take off your shirt again. Why would I not, Johannes, with a gentleman as dashing as you.”] Charlie added, gently shrugging.]
[center The Frenchman perked up significantly when Johannes admitted to not minding spending the night with him. Charlemagne could appreciate solitude, but he did not like being alone all of the time. This was especially so at night. But the man’s hopes were quickly dashed when Johannes said that he had to escort Anne home after the party that evening. Charlemagne almost visibly deflated in his seat. [#900 “You got my hopes up there, Johannes. It is a shame that you cannot stay with me.”] Charlie sighed, moping slightly. The man was slightly impatient in that regard; when he [i really] wanted something, he wanted it immediately. And right now, Charlemagne wanted Johannes. [#900 [i ‘It is some sick joke on behalf of the universe, I swear!’]] the Frenchman thought. [#900 “Guess I will have to wait to ravage your clothes then.”] Charlie said, running a hand through his hair in contemplation.]
[center But the mood was lightened up by Johannes’ inquiry of Charlemagne being an incubus. The Frenchman actually laughed out loud at the thought. [#900 “Am I an incubus? I think such a state of being would be for you to find out for yourself. Are you willing to investigate?”] he winked. [#900 “At least when you’re not facing a brutal death for not fulfilling your obligations?”]]
[center Charlemagne then stood back up and approached Johannes in a swift manner. Looking up at the other man Charlie grabbed Johannes shirt to pull the man down to eye level. [#900 “If you want it you know where to find me, Johannes. But do not keep me waiting.”] Charlemagne spoke softly into the other’s ear before pulling back. [#900 “I loathe languishing.”] he finished before finally letting Johannes go. The male then strolled over to his vanity to retrieve a hair brush before running it through his long locks. [#900 “Go on then. Don’t die if you can avoid it.”]]
[center A few days then had passed since the last party. Charlemagne had returned to work as usual around the palace, although he found himself to be miffed from not hearing from Johannes since the night of the party. Charlie wondered if he had scared off the Austrian with his outlandish behavior. But Charlemagne did not pay much mind to it because he was just so busy inside and outside of the palace. The Queen had requested a luncheon/tea party that day for some ladies in her Court. It was impromptu, but Charlie was used to such activities being sprung upon him. This was why he was so busy from the minute he woke up early this morning. From slaughtering fowl for the luncheon to gathering the necessary vegetables from the garden, Charlie was in and out of the palace constantly doing something. He took careful to be clean and presentable as he also helped serve the food and drink in the beginning of the gathering. But Charlie soon allowed other waitstaff to take care of the rest before going back outside to tend to the gardens.]
[center While out there earlier he had noticed that the food patches could use some weeding and sprucing up, so that is what Charlie set himself out to do. In the distance, Charlemagne saw carriages come and go. Inside he hoped that one of them would be delivering Johannes, but with the distance, Charlemagne couldn’t clearly tell the people apart from one another. [#900 [i ‘I really should not be so hung up on a singular man. It’s unhealthy. Besides! He’s foreign and noble. It’s foolish of me, really.’]] Charlie thought, shaking his head.]
[center And after a while of gardening Charlemagne sought refuge from the bright sun in the shade of a nearby tree. Removing his shirt, Charlie wiped his face down and shook his head once more. [#900 “Damn him for being far too charming…”]]
“I feel like self deprivation is a very common thing amongst nobles in Austro-Hungary. I think it is the Catholicism that teaches us to deny what we want because it’s a “sin”. Or the rigid structure of our society that makes suffering seem mandatory for the betterment of our family and society. I’ll let you decide which one it is though,” he replied as he eyed the other man. Charlemagne was not making this easy on Johannes.
Charlemagne was making it [b extremely] hard to be a good guy as he moved his legs and more of those milky slender legs were exposed. Johannes heart stuttered at the sight of those gorgeous legs. His mind was going a million miles an hour as he imagined way too many scenarios that were neither pure or good. Taking a gulp of air Johannes looked up for Charlemagne’s legs to his face. “I-I think you are more like three quarters of the way there,” he managed out as he refused to look anywhere but Charlemagne’s face. Which wasn’t much much better because the man was undeniably handsome. Life wasn’t fair at all.
Thankfully, Francis came an interrupted them with some clothes. He thanked the man as he passed them over to Charlemagne and that’s when something else dawned upon Johannes. He would have to change, in front of Charlemagne, who he was a couple seconds a way from jumping. Johannes also wouldn’t put it pass Charlemagne to be anything but less than chivalrous and jump him. Why did this have to be so difficult? Why was Johannes super difficult? He was never the type to just jump into a bed with someone. He liked to know them a lot more before they moved onto pleasurable activities. But Charlemagne was just so damn enticing and such a good guy. The struggle was real.
He took a deep breath when Charlemagne started to circle him and eye the shirt. “You just want to watch me take my shirt off again ,” he jokingly accused. As he tried to think the most pure thoughts ever . It wasn’t helping that Charlemagne was propositioning him and was undoing some of the button. “I wouldn’t be opposed to it,” he said finally breaking down. Johannes was about to undo the rest of the buttons of his shirt when he realized something. He couldn’t stay here. If he didn’t return Anne home at a decent time Freiherr Sierakowski would ruin his life. The man was a spiteful bastard.
A soft groan left his lips as he ran a hand across his face. “I can’t. As tempting as you are I can’t stay the night with you. If I don’t escort Anne home myself her father will most likely kill me and I enjoy living,” he softly said as he looked over at Charlemagne it. All impure thoughts were gone with the threat of death looming over him. He really wished that he didn’t have to escort Anne home. The idea of his potential death was somewhat putting a damper on his mood.
“It isn’t fair that you can tempt someone so easily. Are you part Incubus or something? Not that I’m really complaining,” Johannes said as he sadly removed the borrowed shirt from Charlemagne and put the one Francis brought out. The shirt fit so much better than Charlemagne’s but didn’t smell as good. Sure the shirt smelled clean but it didn’t smell like Charlemagne which was a downer. “I’m just asking because no one has tempted me like that ever. Normally I need to be wined and dined before I’m willing to climb into someone’s bed. If I didn’t have my imminent death hanging over my head I would already be in that bed.” He added as he finally gave Charlemagne what he had wanted and peeled off the wine cover pants, careful not get it on the white stockings. Almost as fast as he took his pants on he pulled on the clean pair that fit perfectly, not giving Charlemagne much of a show. Curse you Anne.
[center Charlemagne had covered his face with a hand as he snorted with laughter at Johannes’ joke of being ‘a virtuous maiden’. [#900 “If you are truly a most virtuous maiden then I am just a silly virgin.”] the Frenchman cackled before running a hand through his hair. [#900 “I am sure your mother would not mind. But then again, what do I know? I’m only French.”] Charlie shrugged. [#900 “I am just saying, though. If it such an issue, though, I can help remove them if your own hands have suddenly malfunctioned.”] the man casually suggested, tilting his head slightly. [#900 “Or will you deny me that honor too?”] he inquired impishly, openly smirking with no fear. [#900 “You noble folk are quite a peculiar bunch, if I may be so bold to say. So many technicalities. How do you live depriving yourself of simple pleasantries?”] Charlemagne also asked. He was genuinely curious, but also having too much fun teasing Johannes. [#900 “Or is it just you Austro-Hungarian men being stubborn?”] Charlie chuckled as he probed. But then he raised his eyebrows, surprised to hear that Johannes had wanted to see him again.]
[center [#900 “Of course you wanted to see me again. I’m a walking work of art that you cannot help but marvel at.”] Charlie boasted with the sliest of grins. [#900 “Tell me, dearest Johannes. Do I have you bewitched yet? Because I would like to believe that I am at least half way there.”] Charlemagne sighed softly. [#900 “Or do you require a little more convincing?”] the man asked carefully propping up his legs over the side of the furniture he was sitting on. This motion greatly exposed his legs, which was what Charlie wanted, just to entice the other man even more. Because the Frenchman could tell Johannes wanted to give in, but it was obvious that the Austrian was a man of restraint. But Charlie felt like he could work within his means and still seduce Johannes for fun. [#900 “And I don’t know about you, but I certainly could use some special company.”] Charlie had the briefest of chuckles before he heard a knock and the bedroom door open.]
[center It was Francis! Charlemagne breathed out, a little irritated about his seduction ploy being paused. But the older man was well aware of Charlie’s preferences, thus he rolled his eyes when he walked in. Making a comment towards Charlie to not be a whore, Francis gently bowed in acknowledgement to Johannes, holding out a carefully folded stack of clothing for the man to take. [#900 “See! Francis is a miracle worker, I tell you.”] Charlemagne exclaimed, honestly loving the man to death like a father. Charlie gathered himself appropriately and stood from his seat and took the clothing Francis presented, thanking the man. While he was thankful, Charlie still wanted to tempt Johannes as much as possible. With that Francis shook his head and bid the two other men farewell before quietly departing once again.]
[center Charlie then found himself examining the clothing closely, occasionally glancing at Johannes simply to gauge how the garments would fit the significantly taller man. Setting the stack of clothes on the dresser Charlemagne turned and approached Johannes. [#900 “Seeing as this shirt clearly does not fit you as it should, you should remove it.”] Charlie stated in a matter-of-factly tone. He carefully tugged on the shirt to see just how much give it had, which was not much at all. [#900 “How about you stay with me for the night, hm? You do not seem to enjoy the bustling excitement of the party. I do admit there are a lot of people, but I mean it could just be you and I.”] the Frenchman suggested, a hand slyly undoing the buttons of the shirt from the bottom up. [#900 “Your decision, obviously. No pressure.”] he chuckled before he stepped away and went back to perching himself on his previous seat. [#900 “Since you don’t need my help, being able to dress yourself and all of that…”]]
Johannes couldn’t help but agree with Charlemagne about people who refuse to dress themselves. He always felt that it was silly to demand another to dress you. With women he could somewhat see the need for another pair of hands especially after helping his wife dress a few times but a man needing help? It was a little absurd in Johannes’ humble opinion. What wasn’t absurd was Charlemagne’s self proclaimed talents. Said talents Johannes wouldn’t mind testing out himself. “I’m sure it is a skill that you excel at,” he managed to choke out as he pushed his less than innocent thoughts to the back of his Ming. It was, however, hard to do so with Charlemagne walking around shirtless and his words that suggested that Johannes should remove his pants. Johannes had to bite back his overly witty response and hold his tongue in fear he say something stupid.
Thankfully, Charlemagne pulled on a night gown and distracted Johannes from his less than pure thoughts. “That is good,” Johannes replied when Charlemagne said the waiter would be keeping his job. Johannes had noticed in his short time of being in France that the kingdom’s people were struggling. Jobs were hard to come by and harder to keep and Johannes didn’t want a young man to lose his livelihood because of someone else. It warmed his heart that he would be fine and that Charlemagne was such a level headed man. In fact it made Charlemagne all the more attractive to Johannes if he is being completely honest. This attraction was really getting out of hand quickly.
“No promises,” Johannes responded. He would, of course, behave because he was a gentleman. While he longed to snoop around and gather as much information about Charlemagne as he could his up bringing just wouldn’t allow it. Instead he stood firmly planted in his spot and had to be content with just looking around the place.
Charlemagne was back almost as fast as he left and with another man. “How about Hungarian?” He asked with a small smile when Charlemagne told him he would have to speak French. Johannes always defaulted to French when speaking with new people. It was only occasionally when he accidentally responded in German or when he forgot a word in French and automatically defaulted to German. Those occurrences were growing fewer the longer he was in France but they did occur. Turning his attention over to the older gentleman Johannes gave the man a small nod and a soft greeting. Almost as quickly as it began the inspection ended and the
man was off to find fitting clothes. Before he left Johannes thanked him and then he was alone with the incubus known as Charlemagne.
Said handsome man was lounging on a chair looking absolutely gorgeous. This man was going to be the death of Johannes especially after his reoccurring suggestion that Johannes should remove his pants. “I’ll have you known I’m a virtuous maiden,” he began. “You haven’t even began to court me and yet you are already trying to get my pants off. Mother will be mortified to hear about this,” Johannes jokingly replied. Virtuous wasn’t really Johannes but he was stalling when it came to removing his pants. The shirt fit for sure but it was only just long enough to cover Johannes lower half and the chambers were just slightly chilly. The wine was cold against his side but it probably wasn’t as cold as going pants less. “I wouldn’t say I bathe in wine but at least it smells better than some of the perfume that the ladies are wearing. It’s a pity that I’m wearing your family’s wine instead of getting a chance to taste it. Such a waste of good wine.” He grumbled the last part more to himself.
They really needed to move on from Johannes still wearing his wet pants because he may just break down and take them off if Charlemagne kept giving him that look. It wasn’t really a look it was more his unfairly handsome face but still. “I was having a good time up until the incident. The food is, of course, amazing and I think I’ll end up gaining weight if I continue to come to the palace’s parties. As for the wine incident I can’t find myself to be too mad because at least I get to talk to you again and get out of the crowded ball room for a little bit.”
[center [#900 “It is really no problem, Johannes. I assure you.”] Charlie replied, chuckling as they moved. [#900 “Sometimes things happen. All you really can do when faced with unexpected circumstances is just deal with them head on to the best of your ability.”] the Frenchman added. [#900 “Besides! I cannot let us walk around looking like soiled fools. That would just be ridiculous!”] Charlemagne honestly could not stop laughing. [#900 “Imagine all of the things that everyone would say! I don’t know about you, but I do not have the energy nor patience for that right now.”] And it was true. Charlie was just too damn busy now to even remotely consider dealing with the drama and rumors that circulated regularly around the French court. [#900 “I have already had insane accusations be made about me, one of which even the King confronted me about. Sometimes people just want to see you fail and burn.”] Charlemagne rolled his eyes, exhaling exasperatedly. The man sometimes just could not deal with the fools that were in the Court.]
[center When Johannes finally decided to change Charlie gazed intently with inquisitive dark eyes. He did absolutely nothing to hide his stare. It just was not in the man’s nature to be ashamed or to hide anything. The fact Charlemagne did not care to avert his gaze was definitely because the Frenchman was a lustful type of person. But Charlie also wanted to see how the shirt would fit on Johannes. The man before Charlie, in his opinion, happened to be incredibly attractive. That fact did entirely nothing to help satiate the Frenchman’s thirst. But Charlemagne stopped for a moment, processing what Johannes had said. [#900 “Honestly, I forget that there are people out there who refuse to dress themselves.,”] he shrugged, [#900 “Which is incredibly pathetic if you ask me.”] Charlie then moved to walk around Johannes, examining the fit of the shirt and the state of the man’s also stained pants. [#900 “Besides, your arms and hands are not broken. And a skill of mine is not in the application of clothing, rather taking them off.”] he snickered before honestly shivering. Being shirtless was fine and all, but the palace also happened to be freezing in the lesser populated areas that evening.]
[center Charlemagne then casually moved to fish out a clean shirt from a dresser against the nearest wall. But during his search Johannes spoke again. Charlie, still crouched with his hands in a drawer, looked over his shoulder at the Austrian with an impish glint in his eyes. [#900 “Nobody said that you had to keep your pants on, Johannes.”] He then went back to rummaging through drawers, finding himself unsatisfied until he happened upon a long night gown he would have slept in. But he just needed to be able to walk out of the room and not look entirely foolish while trying to track down a member of the palace’s staff. Charlie slipped on the night gown and kicked off his pants into the corner his coat and previous shirt were piled in. Flipping his hair onto his back Charlie quickly put on some slippers as he had also removed his shoes before. [#900 “Technically since he is part of the wait staff, he is my charge. But I know that it was not his fault, so he will be fine.”]]
[center [#900 “I’m going to see if I can track down someone to help us get clothing for you.”] Charlie nodded before opening the bedroom door. [#900 “Behave.”] he winked before walking off, although he did find one of his favorite butlers Charlie knew would be able to help. It was only a short wait till the two returned, Charlemagne excited. [#900 “Johannes, this is Francis. You would have to speak French to him because he does not understand German or even English, just so you know.”] Francis was an elderly looking gentleman who gave as polite and distinguished a bow as his back would allow to Johannes. Admittedly, Francis was not a huge fan of Austro-Hungarians, the man was professional and bit his tongue and afforded Johannes the customary respect. Soft-spoken as he was, Francis merely examined Johannes’ proportions to gauge what his sizes were. He had a knack for clothing. Francis even mentioned that Johannes had very long legs and arms, saying that he would do his best to find the right clothing to accommodate. Not too much longer after their arrival, Francis left to go find clothes for Johannes to try.]
[center [#900 “Such a mysterious old man. But he is so hush it is almost precious?”] Charlie chuckled after Francis was gone. Charlie then settled in a plush chair, almost languid with his motions, but he crossed a leg over the other at the knee. [#900 “What do you suggest we do while we wait for Francis to return?”] the Frenchman asked with a raised brow. [#900 “Rather, you still have your pants on. Shame. I think they should come off.”] Charlie sighed, leaning to one side of the chair and propping himself on a single arm. [#900 “Or do you just prefer to bathe in wine every night?”] he asked facetiously, a smirk on his face…]
Johannes beamed at Charlemagne as he confirmed that he was a master of pleasantries. If they weren’t in the middle of a large ball with way too many important people he would have even stuck his tongue out at Anne as a told you so. Instead he took the agreement with absolute grace just like any good Baron would. He even kept himself from saying how much of a delight he was. Johannes was humble.
Anne let out a soft laugh and a smile crossed her lightly painted lips. “You and my father. I think my father trusts the Freiherr more than he trusts me at times. To be fair I don’t think Johannes could ever be rude,” she happily replied. Her ears instantly perked as Charlemagne mentioned wine. She had some earlier and it was just divine. It was something she wouldn’t pass up on any time soon. “That just sounds lovely.”
As the butler came towards them Catherine had appeared from the side and Anne took a step back so that the two could whisper to each other. Johannes paid no mind to it and was actually kind of glad Anne had stepped back with the events that followed. By the time he blinked someone had ran into the poor butler and the glasses of wine went flying towards him and Charlemagne with poor Charlemagne taking the majority of the wine. Behind Johannes he heard Anne let out a soft gasp of surprise for what occurred. If she had been in her original spot she too would have been included in the splash zone and Johannes would be faced with a nightmare. No lady liked their dresses getting destroyed by wine.
As Charlemagne went to help the butler Johannes began to formulate a plan. He could either leave with Anne and go home before the party really began and endure a wet and cold carriage ride home or he could possibly send for Hans. Before he could weigh his options Charlemagne’s attention was back on them and he had his own solution to this slight inconvenience. Before Charlemagne led Johannes away he took a step closer to Anne. “Please stay with Catherine,” he softly said in German before turning and following after Charlemagne. His only concern for Anne was that she would attract a way too large flock of Frenchmen that he would be unable to beat back. She was just too nice and would get eaten up in a heartbeat. He wasn’t interested in Anne at all but he didn’t want her to get chewed up and spit out by these men. Plus Freiherr Sierakowski would absolutely destroy him if that occurred.
Following closely after Charlemagne he made sure to dodge the glass on the floor. Johannes remained silent for a few minute as they made their way through the palace. “Thank you for your help. I wasn’t sure what to do after that incident,” Johannes softly spoke up as they walked down one of the many hallway. Johannes wished the circumstances were a little bit better because normally he would be super stoked to be going to a handsome man’s room. Too bad it wasn’t for what Johannes wanted though removing his wet clothes would be greatly appreciated so it wasn’t all bad.
As they stepped into the room Johannes eyes roamed over the place in curiosity. It was a rather nice room and exactly what he would expect out of the palace. His eyes left his inspection and fell on Charlemagne’s bare back that was he in front of it. This was just unfair. The soft pale back in front of him was an enticing sight and Johannes found himself staring at one particular aspect of Charlemagne the most. Once he caught himself staring he forced himself to look away. It would do him no good to lust over the other male in these moments. He would just have to store that memory for a later time or just stop being a creep. Though Johannes’ probably would never stop creeping so that was not an option but he could stop long enough to get through this night.
“Thank you,” He replied as Charlemagne finally found a shirt that could potentially fit him. Johannes had been a little skeptical about Charlemagne finding anything that would fit but figured he might as well try. Unbuttoning his waistcoat he carefully pulled it away from the stained undershirt. The waistcoat looked like it barely took any damage at all but that was because of the dark coloring hid the wine well. If they cleaned up the area and let it dry for a little bit the coat would be serviceable for the rest of the night despite the smell of wine that would linger. Luckily the whole banquet hall smelled like wine so no one would really notice Johannes, at least he was hoping no one did. With his waist coat off he could finally see the damage done and it wasn’t pretty. The side of his shirt was a bright and glorious red. Hans was just going to have a field day trying to remove the stain, that is if Johannes didn’t just get rid of the shirt. Johannes loosened to top strings of his shirt and pulled the shirt off. Using one of the sleeves he wiped off some of the wine from his side before folding the shirt and sitting it down.
“How did you know I was a noble that can dress myself?” He jokingly asked as he pulled the shirt on. It was a little bit tighter than what he was use to but it would work for now. “You know my father refuses to dress himself. It’s rather hilarious and pathetic,” Johannes added. Johannes personally preferred to dress himself. It just never felt right having someone else do the work when it was so simple. Hans normally complained about Johannes not letting him do his job and Johannes was okay with that. It was one job he was willing to do.
He finally looked down at his pants to assess the damage done. Luckily the spill had been centralized to the upper portion of his body so that the pristine white stockings were safe from the wine. His pants did take the majority of the damage, though, and wouldn’t dry as easily as the waistcoat. At least he had decided to wear drawers if it came to him just having to wait for his pants to dry. “That would be greatly appreciated. I think my waist coat can be saved but I think my pants are sadly a little bit too wet to save.” He said after he forced himself to bite back a comment about there being easier ways to get him out of his pants.
“Out of curiosity what will happen to the butler? Will it be brushed off or will he be losing his job? I just ask because at home he would have been unfairly fired right then and there,” Johannes curiously asked as he forced himself to look anywhere but Charlemagne’s perfect form.
[center Charlemagne had a moment where he contemplated whether he should pursue wither Anne or Johannes. The Frenchman was intrigued by both, honestly. The two Austrians both had traits about them that Charlie enjoyed. Anne was shorter than himself and was a wonderful conversationalist. She also appeared to have rather angelic features that were not impeded by a seemingly impossible mountain of unblended make-up. From Charlemagne’s guess what rouge she did have on her cheeks happened to also be strategically blended on her lips to provide a cohesive aesthetic. Charlie could certainly appreciate such attention to detail. Plus, Anne did not appear disinterested, which was fortunate enough for the Frenchman. In addition to all of that, Anne’s parfum was delicate, but exquisite! The scent was like an attractive floral with an irresistible warmth to it. He couldn’t quite pin down what exact ingredients were used, but Charlemagne found himself wanting to keep her around, and possibly through the night.]
[center Johannes was a bit of a different story, though. Charlemagne could see why some individuals would be warded off by the other man’s seeming lack of expression. But to Charlie, he perceived Johannes’ alleged ‘stony expression’ as a thing that gave the Austrian man a kind of respectability. That and an air of mystery. It was not every day that one would spot such an attractive specimen with such clearly defined facial features. Charlemagne had a liking for more serious men because he like their company in his bed when he did not feel like being entirely in control. Just by look at such a clean-cut man, Charlie believed that Johannes had his life together and could take the lead without faltering. [#900 [i ‘And he sounds like he is well-educated. That is always nice. Makes for more fascinating conversation.’]] Charlemagne though.]
[center The man had become distracted by his contemplative train of thought. But Charlie quickly snapped back to reality when Johannes actually responded to his previously made comment. [#900 “If there is anything that could quell any spitefulness from us French people, it surely is the beauty of such a fine lady.”] Charlemagne nodded. [#900 “Although, that is probably regarding most men. I cannot speak for the Frenchwoman as I am not one.”] he laughed heartily. He really was quite the jovial type and in settings like their current one made no difference to Charlie. He laughed. He teased. He was just enjoying the great time the party provided.]
[center Watching Anne and Johannes share some banter was amusing to say the least. Charlemagne could not help but smile when Johannes pulled him into the comical debate. [#900 “Absolutely. You are the master of such pleasantries.”] Charlie spoke, a distinct smirk on his own face. For a minute the Frenchman simply gazed at Johannes, drinking in his image where he stood. Charlemagne thirsted in silence before he sighed and looked back towards Anne. [#900 “I am glad that he is treating you appropriately, Mademoiselle. I would hate to have to share some stern words with him if it were otherwise.,”] Charlie began before teasingly glancing over to Johannes, coming back to Anne, [#900 “You deserve nothing less than the best of treatments.”] he nodded. [#900 “How about I fetch us all some wine, hm? I believe my brother did a wonderful job on his selection he brought with him from the South.”] Charlie proposed before he caught the attention of a nearby butler who was going around to offer the attendees of the night’s soiree glasses of wine. The young butler dutifully moved to tend to Charlemagne’s request to see what the man wanted. But as the butler got closer, another noticeably drunken man accidentally backed in the butler. This motion shoved the poor man forward and offed his balance. The crystal glasses of wine on the platter subsequently went flying, soaking Charlemagne’s clothes and also splashing on Johannes’ coat and pants.]
[center Almost immediately the butler began to profusely apologize, frantically attempting to clean up the shattered crystal that now laid on the ground. It took a moment for Charlemagne to process what had happened, realizing that now he smelled like alcohol and his clothes stained. But Charlie was not mad at the butler. If anything, the Frenchman was aggravated by the drunken man who knocked into the butler. Despite this Charlemagne knelt down to assure the young butler, who looked no older than maybe eighteen, that everything was fine and that accidents do happen. After flagging down another individual that was working as a part of the wait staff Charlie turned to Johannes and Anne. [#900 “I do apologize, but I believe that the Freiherr and myself must go change. We simply cannot be walking around like this now can we, Mademoiselle? Perhaps we’ll speak again later, dearest.”] Charlemagne addressed Anne before quietly directing Johannes to follow him.]
[center [#900 “I’ll have to look around my chambers to see if I have anything that would fit you. If I cannot, I’ll have to fetch a maid to help acquire clothing for you.”] Charlemagne spoke so casually whilst walking. Because of the man’s swift pace, he approached the doors to his chambers fairly fast, holding one open for Johannes as a simple courtesy. Almost as soon as Charlie set foot in his chambers the man tossed off his coat and was untying the strings to his undershirt to strip that off as well. Soon that shirt also found itself in a corner as the Frenchman sifted through drawers and the closet to find appropriate clothing for Johannes. Charlie quietly swore under his breath, having a hard time finding anything he thought would fit the other man.]
[center After looking some more the man pulled out a dress shirt that Charlie honestly used as a night shirt for sleep if he hadn’t decided to sleep nude. It was big for Charlemagne, but he presented it to Johannes. [#900 “See if this fits. I’ll have to talk to a maid about fetching you suitable pants…”]]
Dancing with Anne was a rather easy thing to do. She was tuned into her partner and moved fluidly and smartly throughout every single song. By the time the music had stopped Johannes had found himself enjoying his time with Anne and actually sad that the music had stopped. His wife had never been the best at dancing. Elisabeth had been decent enough but when they danced it had never been as fluid and as easy as it had been with Anne. While Johannes had no interest in ever marrying the woman he wouldn’t mind being her dance partner again. He did enjoy the occasional dance or two.
With the music stopped the two of them easily slipped off to the side. Johannes was about to offer to find them wine when Charlemagne appeared besides them. The Frenchman was looking gorgeous now that Johannes could really see him. Anne seemed to agree with Johannes’ assessment because she also was eyeing the man.
“Monsieur,” Anne acknowledged with a bright smile. Her conversation with Charlemagne had been rather pleasant and she found him to be an interesting man. If it wasn’t for her father pushing for her to be with Johannes she would have probably left the Austrian man a long time ago to flirt with the Frenchman. Johannes was okay but there was no connection between them. She understood why her father was pushing for the two of them to get together but it didn’t mean she had to like it. Charlemagne, though, was interesting and she felt as if there was a connection between them even if it was a simple one.
Her smile only brightened as Charlemagne teasingly harassed Johannes. From her viewpoint it seemed that Johannes and Charlemagne were on rather friendly terms which Anne liked. It gave her a better chance of seeing Charlemagne again.
Johannes couldn’t help but slightly grin as Charlemagne came up and feigned offense. “I am so sorry Charlemagne. I didn’t want France to hate me more by informing one of it’s eligible bachelors about the beautiful women that reside in the Austro-Hungarian Empire,” he easily replied. If Johannes was honest he paid no attention to the women at home but he paid plenty of attention to the men and he believed the French had the upper hand there. Well... Charlemagne did at least.
His interest did peak when Charlemagne said Anne’s name. Johannes didn’t know that the two knew each other and was curious if they just met. What also interested Johannes was Charlemagne’s flirty attitude. He rather have Charlemagne interested in him but he could accept his interest in Anne because she also seemed interested. At least interested enough to no longer hang off of Johannes which he greatly appreciated.
Anne softly giggled as Charlemagne asked if she was being treated well. “Of course, Monsieur. Freiherr Von Hügel has been nothing but a gentleman and a great escort. He could stand to smile a little bit more, though. I fear some people are steering clear of us because of the Freiherr’s stony expression,” she happily said.
Johannes feigned offense at Anne’s word. “I don’t have a stony expression at all. I am the most warm and inviting person ever. Isn’t that right Charlemagne?” He asked. He wasn’t inviting at all. Johannes knew that his facial expression, or lack of, tended to scare people away. Which worked rather well for Johannes because he wasn’t the most sociable person in the world. He enjoyed smaller social setting with people he knew. Somewhat like this party with just a fraction of the people.
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