AMARUS

Chapter 4: Exploits And Follies

as he believed himself to be and found himself unable to describe Noreen as anything aside from a beautiful elegant young woman with eyes that appeared hypnotic in a sense.

Her gaze seemed to put him in a trance, even from memory and he could hear the not so subtle rapid beating of his own heart. His attraction seemed to include sweaty palms and a dry throat for all his trouble. No doubt symptoms of a sickness that he had no cure for.

Sitting alone with his private thoughts she returned to him and the Grove with her heart dead set on learning to paint from him. Another dilemma of sorts, he didn know the first thing about instruction in painting and even less about how one behaved when in the presence of a woman.

Alain had not been given to his thoughts for long as a knock at his door signaled a jolt back into the real world and he carefully shuffled the mysterious Noreen back into the halls of his subconscious at least until hed been alone again.

”Master Alain, are you alright? ” Asked one of the male servants curious as to why the young man was avoiding coming down to eat.

Composing himself as best he could, Alain opened the door willing for his arousal to simmer down before having to address anyone for too long lest they get the wrong idea.

”I am quite well. ” he replied casually. ”In fact I was just headed down for something to eat, are you lot currently serving? ”

The servant whom had gone by the name Geoffrey nodded. He was a young lad and seemed to have taken a liking to the Duchene-Remington family during his short history employ.

Geoffrey wasn a bad looking lad, soft spoken, and more than a little nervous around women, especially young women and girls. He was mostly the one they sent to check up on Alain whenever no one could get ahold of him. Which happened quite often due to his painting habit when he bothered to stay home and chasing him about required someone suited to go traipsing about the estate after to look for him.

Alain was quite fond of Geoffrey but suspected that Casimir had been a bit too fond of the lad as he frequently found his brother able to talk the gullible lad into any and every unseemly situation he could think of.

”Shall we venture forth then, Geoffrey? ” asked Alain as he closed his bedroom door and attempted to descend the stairs.

Geoffrey followed not saying a word as pro the usual. Hed been a good servant, but not necessarily good with people that were not familiar to him or Alain himself.

As the two of them ventured into the dining hall, Alain did his best to put Noreen out of his mind, at least for the time being. He appeared to have been doing well until he noticed Casimir sitting at the end of the table in his usual seat with a wide smile filed across his face.

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The Dining Room,The Duchene Estate, Leighton, England (1762)

Sir Alfred seemed curious as he sat at the head of the table. Alana had been fashionably late as always and the servants were already preparing everything for the meal to commence. Alain took his seat hoping to be done with the events of the day long enough to enjoy his meal, but he had a sinking suspicion that he wasn going to have an easy time of it.

”Alain, apparently youve finally saw fit to grace us with your presence. ” said Alfred eying his son suspiciously.

”Do take it easy on him old chap, hes had quite the day. ” added Casimir with a smirk.

Alain resisted the urge to roll his eyes as he took his place at the table. Fortunately he only had to endure the awkwardness of the situation for a short time as his mother entered the room prompting everyone to get to their feet in respect.

Alfred moved to help her sit and both Casimir and Alain stood in respect as she sat and Alfred made his way back to his seat and did the same. Once their parents were seated Alain and Casimir reclaimed their respective seats as well.

”Well now that everyone is in attendance, shall we begin? ” asked Casimir already seeing to his knife and fork.

”It has come to my attention that you boys have been rather busy as of late. ” said Alana turning her attention from Casimir to Alain.

”Its more or less the usual for me. ” piped Casimir. ”But it does appear that Alain has begun to fancy a young woman of great boldness. ”

Alain wished to throw his fork at his brother for turning all the attention back on him. While his parents were privy to the older lads nightly romps with servant and whore alike they were less knowledgeable about whatever Alain had been up to.

”is this true Alain? ” asked Alana giving her youngest son her full attention. ”Have you at last taken an interest in something besides your studies? ”

Alain did his best to keep his annoyance in check.

”Mother I hardly know this girl and shes only requested that I show her how to paint. ” he replied defensive.

”At least there is some interaction. ” replied Alana seemingly delighted. ”Perhaps you should invite her to dinner one of these days, I shall like to meet this girl that has your fancy. ”

”I don fancy her….shes just…. ” realizing there was no use in trying to explain his rather curious situation, Alain turned his attention to his dinner while they chatted amongst themselves as if he had not been in the room.

Alfred seemed to beam with pride that his son had at last garnered female interest. Casimir smirked as he ate and drank delighting in the fact that the family had something else to discuss at the table aside from his well known exploits and follies.

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