Ashby Orders a Dress...
Ashby Orders a Dress…
Location: Veronica's clothier shop in Amber, Pelle e Pizzo
Date: September 12, 14 (OOC Year 2017)
Summary: Ashby comes to Veronica's shop and orders a dress for his fiance, Talia the Duchess of Chantris.
Characters: Ashby and Veronica
NPCs: Polly and Pansy

Its more than a week after the earth shook in Amber. By this time Veronica and her employees have gotten Pelle e Pizzo back into proper order - - everything is in its place and the sign out front has been rehung properly. Regarding the staff, Polly and her granddaughter Pansy are both present as is Veronica herself. The latter is finishing a discussion with a customer for whom the youngest of the trio is packing up a recent purchase while her grandmother is sitting at a table in the back at a table sewing fabric together into an outfit of some sort - - the specific item cannot be determined at this time by someone who isn't, themselves, an expert tailor.

The door to the shop flies open and Ashby de'Mandrake is carried through by long legs. Blue eyes widen and dance about the items immediately near the entrance while a grin slides easily into place about his features. His pace shifts, now slowing considerably as he looks over a few of the dresses on display, now beginning to loiter and ponder all manner of possibilities. The Monsdrake hangs on one, now with a hand running over his beard, then the hand slips away to wag a finger in the air as he makes a note of it. Moving a bit further into the store, his eyes now go searching for someone who works in the shop, saying without words that he would love some assistance! Spying the trio, he focuses on those who are not currently helping customers and shifts his grin into a smile, "Ah, hello there! I was wondering if someone might be able to assist me with a most important matter?!" The fellow's tone of voice is exuberant, perhaps jovial, and downright zesty as it comes out!

With a raised hand, Veronica indicates to Ashby that she has heard him while at the same time requesting that he give her a few moments. She then finishes up with the customer she was working with and guides him over to where Pansy had just finished wrapping up his purchase. The young girl then, at Roni's request, shows the other nobleman out as Veronica turns to Ashby and examines his outfit head to toe with a quick glance. "Good day, sir," she says to the de'Mandrake and then asks, "I am the proprietor of this shop, how may I assist you?"

Ashby issues a sharp nod at the raised finger from Veronica as he moves a bit closer and then hangs about in waiting. One long step starts him going again at the invitation to join her where Pansy had been wrapping and his natural, devilish grin slips back into place. "Good day!" With a hand, he slips off his hat to press it to his chest, tosses a hand off to the side flamboyantly, and then drops into a deep bow. "The proprietor! A true pleasure, I must say! Allow me to introduce myself! Sir Ashby de'Mandrake! I am looking to have a dress made for someone and was hoping you may be able to assist."

"Sir Ashby," Veronica says, saying the name in such a way that she recognizes the name, "It's a pleasure to meet you as well, I've read books that mentioned you but none of them mentioned you were from Montevalno," she observes having, it seems, picked this up from his body language despite his perfectly unaccented Thari - - her own is heavily Mon accented without it making her hard to understand. She smiles and nods before gently pulling Ashby aside - - so that they are a discrete distance from Pansy and Polly - - and then softly says, "If it is for you, you needn't worry, we pride ourselves on keeping our customers' confidences."

Recognized! Ashby straightens to stand just a touch taller at this, perhaps slipping into a hint of a Knightly pose. "Oh my! I am intrigued! I would love to get my hands on these tomes some day!" Once more, he dips his head into a bow and then sets his hat aside as he pops back up. Slipping into fluent Montevalnan, it comes with a dialect that clearly matches that of his place of birth, "Indeed! I born in Serminia and I believe I spent, or perhaps misspent, a fair bit of my youth there!" He looks a touch confused as he is pulled aside and as he hears Veronica's words, his grin grows a minimum of two full sizes. Matching her discrete tone, he leans a few inches in closer and shakes his head, "While I appreciate your discretion in the matter, I must say that this is not an article for myself! But, I certainly should like for you to keep this transaction between us for now as it will be a surprise!" Straightening again, he continues, "Forgive me, but you have me at such a disadvantage! Would you mind terribly if I trouble you for your name?"

"Oh my, I'm terribly sorry about that Sir Ashby," she replies as a slight flush becomes visible on her cheeks. "I am Veronica Nayelenor of House Chantris and Montevalno," she says before adding, "I understand that you are my Duchesses intended also, does this request you are bringing to me have anything to do with that?"

Ashby tosses a hand into the air to dismiss this notion that an apology should be necessary and his grin is unwavering. Once more, he touches a hand to his chest and bows toward her. "Ah! Lady Veronica, it is truly wonderful to meet you!" Blue eyes glance about the establishment as the Monsdrake takes stock of those in it. A half of a side-step is taken toward her and his discrete tone is again adopted as he turns back to her to deliver a nod. "Indeed, it is. How wildly fortunate. Montevalnan *and* of House Chantris? Surely I could have come to no better a place, then! I do hope you will be able to keep this between us? I should hate for her to find out before it arrives."

Veronica nods and says, "Absolutely. Although my ladies - -" a slight movement of her head indicates Pansy and Polly "- - will likely be involved in the project and I cannot keep them totally in the dark." Then she comes to the point and asks, "What exactly is the project in question?" of the knight.

Ashby's grin shifts to something a bit more sly as he nods in an understanding manner. "Certainly, certainly. I'm sure I'm just being a bit too cautious!" Another nod is delivered and then he continues. "Well. I would like to have a dress created for her. Something spectacular and befitting a Duchess, of course! But, my vision is to have it delivered on the day of a dinner with her. Would you be able to work off of some rough measurements?"

Veronica returns Ashby's grin with one of her own and nods as she says, "I absolutely could… however, that does mean that the gift will /have/ to include her having an appointment with me, Polly - -" she discretely indicates the older woman, now being assisted by her granddaughter, sewing in the back of the shop "- - for a refitting and adjustments. There is no way I can allow her to wear a dress that isn't custom fitted to her." She gives him questioning expression to see if he both understands and agrees to this suggested arrangement.

It's a slow burner, but Ashby's grin begins to grow, gaining intensity and appearing more mischievous the longer that Veronica speaks. "Lady Veronica, I believe that between the two of us, we will be able to handle the sizing issue without too much trouble. I… am embarrassed to say that I have a bit of a gift for knowing a woman's size. If at all possible, I should like to try it that way?" Blue eyes begin to wander over the counter now. "Do you have a standard set of measurements you begin with? In the case of the Duchess, I am quite confident we can do this without her knowing."

"Of course," Veronica says in response with a quick nod. "That is what I was suggesting," she adds, "With the understanding that I reserve the right for her to come seem me for adjustments because a dress should fit properly." She then calls out, "Polly, have Pansy bring out a dress maker's dummy for me," and goes to lock the door after putting out a 'Closed for the Afternoon' sign.

The brightening of the cavalier's grin now spreads to his eyes as he nods once and then claps his hands together loudly. "Excellent! Excellent!" Ashby's attention shifts about the store as the flurry of activity ensues with the others and then it is back on Veronica. "If possible, for this first one, I was thinking of working in the House colors of green and gold? Not to overdo it or anything, but to have it as a subtle, but primary, part of the palette we work with?"

Pansy hops up at Roni's request, not needing to have her grandmother ask her to act on the instruction, and dashes into the back room and returns with a dress maker's dummy a few minutes later.

In the meantime, Veronica had been responding to the knight's inquiry. "A green dress with gold embroidery, trim and lace perhaps?" she asks as her expression becomes a bit dreamy because she is already starting to envision the dress.

Ashby's eyes widen and twinkle a bit as he pictures the possibilities. This leads to a series of excited nods of agreement. "Yes, I think that would be quite perfect! You know." The cavalier's stance shifts now and a hand comes up about his mouth and chin with one finger tapping away as he ponders. Finally, it pulls away so that his finger is now wielded and waved or wagged around a bit in the air as he continues, "I think it might be a shame to send her a dress and not include a pair of shoes, no?"

When Pansy arrives with the adjustable dummy Veronica asks her, "Could you bring me a set of colored pencils and my sketch pad now," which the girl promptly nods to and moves to fulfill - - much to the pride of her grandmother as evidenced by the broad smile Polly sends the younger Petrillo woman.

"Are you familiar with the use of these contraptions," Veronica asks as she indicates the various controls on the dress form - - which may apparently be of a, relatively simple, Begman design.

Editor's Note: The form presented is a less modern looking one of these:


Blue eyes fall on the dress form as it is brought out and Ashby appears to be staring at it rather hard, seeming a bit lost as he does so. His grin twitches a few times and he straightens almost all the way before eventually settling into an almost… wistful sort of expression. He gives one soft nod, blinks away a memory that had just assaulted the amnesiac and then he says, "Indeed. I believe that I have worked with something quite similar to this before." With a finger, he swipes across is nose and then steps to it once, giving it an up and down as if it were an actual person, then sets to work at making some adjustments straightaway. Step one… height. Five foot six… He then begins dialing in the other measures before taking a step back and using his hands to frame it. One nod is given, "Yes. There we have it."

The paper and pencils are brought out as Ashby stares at the dress form. She begins sketching out the shape of a dress while the memory strikes him. She begins applying color to it as he says that he's worked something similar before and she smiles when, after he begins twisting the dials, Polly slips in and shows him how how to unlock the dials and lock it in place properly as well then slips away. Then, after the adjustments are done, Roni smiles and says, "Alright, we'll work based on those measurements," before handing the sketch to him and asking, "How does this look?"

There is, of course, a bit of a dance between Ashby and Polly in that moment. This particular model not being the same as the ones he had worked… over two hundred years ago when he was a young cavalier running about Amber and romancing his fair share, and then some, of women. Still, in the end, the team gets the job done and the model is the very spitting image of Talia's shape! The Monsdrake is grinning devilishly as his eyes shift to the sketch and he accepts it with a bow of his head. The Mons heart skips a beat as he looks upon the drawing, not able to help but be swept away by it! Ashby de'Mandrake is actually silent for a while as his grin softens and… is that something in his eye? Must be some dust or some such floating about! Surely! The tone of his voice is drastically different from before, softer and more thoughtful, as he looks to Veronica and says, "Lady Veronica, you are a truly gifted artist. I must say… I am wildly excited to see your work brought to life. If your sketch is this could… I can only imagine the end result."

Veronica smiles. "Thank you, Sir Ashby," she says before asking, "When would you like this ready to present to her?"

Ashby's eyes return to the sketch as he takes in a deep breath and then releases it sharply. Blue eyes rise to hers and his signature grin returns as he dips his head in a gracious bow, touches a hand to his chest in thanks, and hands the sketch back. "Well. I have not yet invited her to another dinner. So I suppose I can work around your timeline for when you might be able to have it ready? I would never dream of rushing an artist, of course!"

"It's never good to rush this process," Veronica says with a smile and then explains, "I should be able to pick out the right fabrics within a couple of days and then we can get the dress made within a few days of that." She then asks, "Will that be okay?"

Ashby's hand comes up in a gesture of complete agreement and he dips his head in a bow that signals the same! With the news of her timetable shared, he then claps his hands together loudly and lets out one sharp, triumphant laugh! "Excellent! Excellent! Oh, Lady Veronica, that would be absolutely perfect! Now, how might I be able to pay you for your services? This is a most tremendous thing you are about to do!"

Veronica smiles and says, "Well, I could put a price tag on it if you'd like me to…" she lets her voice tail off for a moment before asking, "What would you like to offer?"

"Wasn't sure if the house would survive Irma or not but in the end she didn't hit the area as baddly as we thought it would."

Ashby's hands come to rest on his hips as he nods and his grin turns amused. "Certainly, certainly. I would be happy to pay, should that be what you prefer, of course!" One hand breaks free to again touch to his own chest, "I am afraid I cannot create things quite as fine as these. My sole ability to create rests in building armies and dealing with bureaucracy. I would, of course, be happy to assist in an endeavor of your own, if there is one you feel someone such as myself might be suited for."

Veronica grins, "I'm sure we'll work something out."

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