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Gilding the Lily ~Saline~


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The letter began on a fresh piece of parchment, that was lit by slanting rays of light coming through the window. Slender fingers gripped a quill firmly, the nib making that scratchy noise that always delighted Vera when she heard it. She was careful with the letters as always, delicately drawing out each letter so that it appeared neat. It took time, a good ten of the hour, but the satisfaction she was subject to at the end of even the most unimportant piece of writing was voluminous. The message it carried was for a student of hers, a talented Aspirant of the Red. It had taken little time for Vera to realize that in Saline, she had found a woman who would one day make a strong Sister, and perhaps, a useful ally. She had once offered the same to Lillian, and to this day, Lillian remained a capable Accepted and moreover, a good friend.


I’m writing to first above all, congratulate you on the success you had with your project at the ball. I was pleased and even a little amazed by how competent you were through that evening- keeping in mind etiquette as well!- while the experiment presented to you all sorts of challenges. Well done, Saline.


Indeed, the Accepted had performed remarkably. As she wrote, Vera felt the same flow of approval she had indulged in that night while watching the Accepted, stepping in to help only when necessary. The idea itself had impressed the Gray, which in fact, she mused, was probably the reason for all this.


I didn’t have a chance then to tell you so in detail, which I regret. However, to make amends, I would like to invite you for a simple dinner in my quarters tonight. It is not much, but every hard working Accepted deserves a treat occasionally.


Hoping to see you there,



Reading over it once to proof read, she smiled as she passed the envelope to Mierie. It was only morning at the moment, so she doubted Saline could have other plans. “Oh and Mierie,” she called out as the woman made to leave, “make sure that there’s some wine at the dinner tonight, please.”



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  • 2 weeks later...

OOC: Sam told me to post.  :P

Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker.

Saline looked across the many racks of wines, carefully lifting and inspecting bottles with her finely tuned eye. Lifting one particular bottle she laughed at the fond memories that vintage brought to mind: her friend Nerome spilling red punch all over Mina Daryl’s dress. Perhaps not that sort of  wine this time. After setting the Andoran red (though it glistened invitingly) back in its proper niche, Saline uncorked a golden mixture, sniffing with appreciation. Hours later and it still made her smile, that invitation Mierie delivered this morning. She thanked the maid before ripping the seal eagerly, and immediately cloistered herself in the shed to draw up a list of ‘things to do’. The drink was the last thing on her checklist before she had to tidy up for the dinner. Envisioning tonight’s toast, she laughed again as the heat of the peach brandy tickled her throat.


Mmm, mmm; she smacked her lips, gleeful that her brew passed expectations. Perhaps an amount of generosity influenced the decision, but hey, she felt fantastic. Bottle still in hand, she was grinning equal to any village idiot, and admittedly she was just as bewildered.


What was she forgetting? 


For a moment she stood -- taking in the shed with fresh eyes – that beauteous smile struck by the humbleness of her workshop. Stalactites of dead chickens hung overhead, kept fresh by a weave. She had personally wrung each flappy neck, and in that respect had come far from the little Wastrel in their novitiate. That Saline watched while her roommates did work. She would have to thank them one day for bearing with her.


But it was not the hour to reminisce on youthful follies, as there remained much to clean up. Making sure her hair was neat (it was not), she tied back her curls with a ribbon and brushed the crumbs off her dress as she hurried to wash. Of course, there was no need to change. The good thing about having dinner in the Tower is that you do not have to worry about what dress to wear.


Grinning for the umpteenth time, she took up the basket she prepared for dinner with the Gray. It contained a card expressing her appreciation for all the support the Sister had given over the few months.


Aha, the soup!


Her grin grew. Since dinner was a rather informal affair, she fancied that any soup would go off well with the summer drink. Saline happily nestled the peach brandy into her basket, and went to the stove where the soup simmered. After constant practice for the Blue Ajah soup kitchen, she was becoming quite the proficient hand at chicken soup. Soup would be ready in a jiffy.


Handing the soup canister to Mierie, she thanked the maid before tipping the basket at the Gray Sister who had been kind to her. “Vera Sedai, thank you for inviting me. As it is an informal dinner, I brought some wine” she gestured, “hope you don't mind.”


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