AMARUS

Chapter 3: An Artistic Point Of View

The Main Study, The Duchene English Estate, Eastern Province, Leighton, England (1762)

Alana Duchene sat quietly staring over the large canvas before her. Her keen eyes taking in the easy flowing summer colors as she moved her bush ever so slightly along the painting shed been of the mind to ”retouch ” as it were. For as long as she could remember, shed had a fondness for painting, nature appealed to her more from a romanticized view from afar than it had when she were to brave the uncivilized world a time or two in a bid to bask in the excellence of her surroundings. Alana Duchene was quite a beautiful woman with long flowing hair as golden as fields of unharvested wheat. Her slightly pinked flesh soft to the touch and without very many blemishes. Her eyes of course were her most impressive feature, a hypnotic gray like the clouds before a raging storm.

Her youngest son had thought her quite beautiful and hed taken to painting as she had quiet marvelously, Alana would spend hours painting with him on her knee and he watched in relative awe until he was old enough to take up a brush and display incredible talent of his own. She always encouraged him, priding his work above her own as Alain was more gifted in creating works of art pertaining to humanity and animals. He could paint a shrubbery or two for the sake of adding substance to his works but he was highly skilled in the art of portraits.

While Alana was very proud of her eldest son Casimir, and the fact that hed grown into a fine young man like his father before him, he was very keen on getting into trouble with anyone and everyone. Alain was more reserved and obedient in matters concerning her good judgment and she often had rows a plenty when it came to Casimirs scoundrel behavior.

At the present moment, Alain had entered the room, knocking before hand and awaiting her expressed communication to enter of course, she couldn help but smile as she put the finishing touches on her latest work of art and noted his fast approach.

”Good to see youve managed to make it back in time. ” she said, her French accent quite thick and her annoyance at having to speak in English not so unnoticed. ”Your wayward elder brother is home as well I take it? ”

Alain returned his mothers smile, a reserved boyish expression that only made him appear more charming as his lowered and like that of a steadfast hawk just before flight. He had accomplished his mission of course and wished to forget the unnerving experience all together.

”Indeed he is mother. ” replied Alain kneeling at his mothers side much as he did when hed been a boy.

”Theres a good lad. ” she replied her accent once more growing thick. ”Now run along and get dressed for the party, its one thing to be fashionably late and its another to rudely keep the guests waiting. ”

”Of course. ” replied Alain before getting to his feet and heading for the door.

He closed the door behind him and stepped out into the corridor dreading the festivities his mother and brother enjoyed so much. They were a lot alike in that regard, basking in the evious glow of their guests and soaking up all the attention. He had not minded it much when all eyes seemed to gravitate towards one or both of them. Hed been prone to hugging the wall as it were and avoiding dances with many of the older well meaning women whom often insisted on having him court their daughters.

Making his way toward his private chambers, Alain did his best to ignore the music below them as Casimir had gotten the band going. He loved very much to be the center of attention and everyone seemed perfectly fine allowing it. He was a sight to behold once he truly got going. As a younger lad hed get the other noble sons worked up into a frenzy but there was never much anyone could do to him as hed always been the better duelist.

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Alains Chambers, The Duchene English Estate, Eastern Province, Leighton, England (1762)

Closing the hard oak wood door behind him, Alain breathed a sigh of relief finally having a few moments alone. He quickly changed for the occasion a dark blue coat with gold trim and black buttons complete with odd French designs and dark colored trousers and a crisp white long sleeve ruffled shirt. His hair had been no bother given it already noted neatness and he made sure he smelled nothing of the stench of whores nor their unseemly perfumes. It bothered him to no end to have ended up in such a place. He could still feel the stinging of the smoke that made his eyes water as he navigated through the halls where flesh smacked and headboards cracked as he took one last look in the mirror before him adjusting his outfit for the evening.

The forward whore had the audacity to fondle his person!

A knock at the door had shaken Alain from his thoughts as he turned in time to see his father enter after wondering what had been keeping him. For a moment, Alain considered telling his father what had happened but decided not to give the foul wretched place another thought. He had pressing business to attend to and his mother was not to be kept waiting.

”Coming along? ” asked Sir Alfred with an arch in his brow.

”Indeed. ” replied Alain stepping away from the mirror and joining his father as they headed out the door and down to the main floor.

As the rather careful lad suspected, his mother had made it down and was quite taken with the way the party was going. The endless stream of guests and women turned their attention to Alain as he ventured toward her.

”And here is my youngest son now. ” she said with pride in her tone as she looked upon him. ”Just as handsome as his father, I do have some handsome sons don I ladies? ”

It didn take long for Alain to deduce that his mother had been indulging in wine before hand and it was making her quite meddlesome. He hated when she drank, although many others found her deposition to be quite jolly and tame. It was a habit none the less and something else Casimir inherited from her it seemed. They did enjoy their wines, the more expensive the better when it came to them.

The group of older women gathered around Alain as much as they usually did trying to get him to dance with them and regaling him with tales of their various daughters and how theyd make a good match of theyd been wed.

Alain had already been put off for the night almost wishing to be back at the brothel with the forward whore in place of these older women bombarding him with their tented gowns of refined elegance and idle prattle that held no interest for him.

He was not of the mind to settle and be married, at least not in his youthful age as his heart was set on his art and various voyages across the sea with his father. He had not the time nor the patience to fool around, as he saw no point to sullying ones reputation for a turn in the hay nor did he believe being forced to marry some random woman would be the solution to all of his perceived dilemmas from the point of view from these obnoxious older women.

Just when he didn believe he couldn get away from the clucking of mother hens fast enough, Casimir had come to the rescue as it were. The charming blond draped an arm over his young brothers shoulder and pulled him toward the dance floor.

”Better luck next time ladies. ” he called jovially after them while they scoffed and headed back toward Alana and Alfred. ”I require assistance from my little brother at the moment. ”

While Alain had been grateful for the timely intervention, hed been none too pleased with Casimirs drunken status nor the fact that he still tricked him into going into a brothel.

”Arse. ” muttered Alain narrowing his eyes at his elder brother as they fled the party and made their way out on the terrace.

”Is that the thanks I get for save you from that gaggle of old geese? ” muttered Casimir still not quite over his pleasant mood. ”Could have let them peck at your liver. ”

”Why don you offer them yours, Im sure theyd be good and drunk then. ” countered Alain.

Casimir chuckled before sneaking over toward a row of flowers and lifting what had been a half empty wine bottle out of the bed. He dusted it off and smirked as he held it up in the moonlight.

”Managed to get some of the good stuff. ” he said elated. ”French wine on import. ”

He popped it open spitting the cork over the edge and turned up the end drinking down a good deal of it before offering some to Alain before swallowing what he drank down. Knowing hed never leave him alone otherwise, the younger of the two brothers gave in taking up the bottle and drinking some of the wine before handing it back.

Casimir chuckled once more at the face his brother made and turned up the rest, knowing all too well that hed never get him to drink anymore.

”You know what your problem is little brother? ” he asked gulping down the last of the wine.

”Im pretty sure you
e going to tell me. ” muttered Alain taking a seat on one of the outside benches.

”And you would be quite right ol chap. ” replied Casimir. ”Still, your problem is that you haven had a proper ** or any ** since youve come of age. ”

Alain narrowed his eyes at his brother feeling his face turn red and his fists ball up as a result of his vulgar insinuation.

”Not everyone is a skirt chasing arse like you, Cass. ” he grumbled.

Casimir smirked realizing hed touched a nerve with his rather astute observation.

”All I am saying is that life would be a little less strenuous for you and a lot more pleasurable if youd just got it out of the way. ” he reasoned. ”And might I suggest you find someone suitable before mother marries you off to one of those hags daughters, you never know what you are missing out on. ”

Alain rolled his eyes not wishing to even look at Casimir whom had suddenly taken to climbing the terrace and making his way down a long tangle of unchecked vines. Once more Casimir had his own agenda and it wasn about staying for the party.

”Where are you going? ” asked the annoyed younger lad.

”Back to the brothel. ” replied Casimir with a confident smirk. ”Don wait up. ”

With that he was gone all notion of the party long forgotten with his mind on one of the various whores to keep him company for the night.

”Arse. ” muttered Alain before he returned to one of the benches.

If their mother decided to strangle Casimir, he wouldn be opposed to it in the least at this point. The day had been a long one it seemed and he was quite ready to put it behind him as he ventured down the vines and crept back into the manor determined to turn in for the night. He wasn much for parties and wanted desperately to avoid those crazed older women cornering him again.

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