decadent_david: (Happy)
Takes place this past Friday, the night of the End of Season Exotic Masquerade Ball.

David couldn’t believe he’d let Gigi talk him into renting this costume. It had all started with an offhand remark after she had asked him a little about his life. Gigi had a way of drawing her customers out, getting them to relax and talk about themselves, thus giving her a greater insight into what costume might best suit not only the occasion, but the wearer themselves. But this – David knew his own sense of humor tended towards the outrageous at times, but as Gigi giggled and ran to the back room, emerging with this outlandish get-up, waving it in front of her like a flag as she dared him to take her up on this idea. He did see the humor in it, and trusted that those who knew him well would too. Some very close friends might laugh at the inside-joke value of the costume, in fact, David knew of one particular man that would most definitely understand. He chuckled at the thought of the look he would see on Hugo’s face tonight. Carefully he stepped into his outfit, arranged his hat just so, pulled on special hose, gloves and shoes, and took up what would be passing for his walking stick for the evening.

Downstairs in the bistro, the young woman who had agreed to his proposal awaited his arrival. Taking a seat, he placed himself in her expert hands, and within a few moments David started to vanish under a layer of makeup, and another person entirely began to emerge. Occasionally she would hold a small hand mirror up so that he might see, and they would both dissolve into laughter. Finally, she announced he was ready. David stood, turned a full circle for her, and was startled as the bartender gave him a round of applause… and a catcall. He thanked them both, paid the girl for her time and efforts, and took a deep breath. It was time to go

A carriage was hailed, and soon David arrived at La Jarretière. The club was beginning to fill rapidly with some of the most amazing looking men and women he had ever seen in his life. A few of them nodded and smiled in his direction, and David knew that the makeup girl had done an extremely good job. None of the party guests saw anything more than Little Bo Peep, apparently seeking her lost sheep at the finest party in Paris this evening.
decadent_david: (Happy)
David is handed a letter and a map by Raquel on his next visit to the bakery. He orders three flaky croissants, blackberry jam and coffee, then settles into a sunny table near the window with his newspaper and the mysteries he has just acquired. Of course his curiousity leads him to reading the letter first, and soon he’s composing one of his own back to his friend, after flirting a few sheets of writing paper away from Raquel.

Bonjour Sean,

I will forgo any further French attempts myself. I think we Americans can relax around each other and speak a proper language as nature intended us to! (I certainly hope Raquel does not read this letter before passing it on to you or I am a dead man for that quip.)

This is excellent news. I too wrote to Mr. Guymon the day you and I agreed to this venture, to reassure him that this was indeed a legitimate purchase agreed to by the two of us. My banker has agreed to receive mail on my behalf until I establish a more permanent address, and I will check with him daily to learn the whereabouts of our new automobile.

I know of the Citadines Louvre, you would find the apartments there very comfortable. They are quite convenient to local businesses, as well as the opera and museums. Might I suggest you feel free to consider taking rooms there? Two clever men such as ourselves could certainly purchase a large oilskin and fashion a coverlet to keep the rain and elements out of our investment. Paris may be filled with artists and writers, but it takes genuine American ingenuity to cope with a work of art perched on four rubber wheels.

Now, give Raquel a kiss on the cheek and a healthy tip for being our messenger service. We will surely need to be sure she is among the first to take a sightseeing ride around Paris!

Sincerely,
D. Wenham


Folding the letter in thirds and giving it to Raquel with a wink and a smile, David picks up his second croissant and settles in to study the map of Paris, already planning in his mind what streets would make up their first driving tour.
decadent_david: (Skeptical)
[Private journal entry]

My bank account is replenished, thanks to the wealthier members of Paris society. I would thank them for their contributions towards my situation, but these are those that deserve no thanks at all, they merely deserve what they get. I have been systematically working my way through the notes in my journal, the information I gathered while in Harry’s employ. As far as I am concerned, they have already stolen from others – stolen from the souls of those they abused. Relieving them of their money and possessions will never set those wrongs to right, but it does free my mind from concern for their welfare.

I wonder if it is time now for me to move. But to where? My last experience with a hotel caused me nothing but aggravation. I would again be at the mercy of inquiring desk clerks, nosey chambermaids, and owners with skeleton keys. I cannot feel secure under a hotel’s roof. A private home? There is an appeal to this notion, yet I hesitate to admit even to myself that a house with only one resident is a depressing thought. Craig’s apartment affords me privacy; he has kept his word and remained very discreet. He does not pry into my affairs, or I into his. The apartment itself is fascinating in it’s ability to offer hiding places, were I a child again I would find these walls to be a delightful playground!

For the time being, I will remain here. For the future… I can only hold out hope. I know my desire is to reconcile with Hugo, and then perhaps find that home, share it with him. Yet, he would then learn of my night prowlings. And I am not sure how he would feel about them. To risk finding happiness with him once again, then risk losing it when he realizes just how I am managing to put food on our tables, clothes on our backs… I couldn’t bear to lose him yet again.

First things first. I must speak with Hugo, we must take the time to talk, open our minds and hearts to each other’s needs. We cannot hide behind games any longer. I wish to tell him of many things. Yet I am also frightened of doing so. My entire future hinges on one conversation. Can I manage to speak my mind knowing this?
decadent_david: (Pensive)
It was nearly sunrise when David finally returned home from a long night's work. He was exhausted, but the job had been worth the effort. As he trudged the steps leading up from the bistro, he was grateful not to have a clumsy satchel to store away in the secret niche. Thanks to an ill-hidden wall safe, his coat pockets were stuffed with stacks of bills. He would not need to bother converting the goods this time.

Tomorrow would find him at the bank, replenishing the account that had languished since his father had cut off his monthly allowances. But he would not deposit it all, it felt too good to have a fat wallet once again. Indulgences would be had. Ah, he would find Astin and pay for his half of the car, he wasn't certain when it would be arriving but he did not want his friend to be stuck for the full amount. What else, what else, he let his mind spin, enjoying that sensation of money burning a hole in his pocket once again. Dinner at the club, perhaps... wait, that could be awkward, if Hugo was milling about. Elijah, perhaps take care of that painting commission? David was not sure. He considered merely paying for the portrait but allowing Elijah to keep it. But no, he would just turn around and sell it to another, and David did not wish to think of that portrait hanging on a stranger's wall.

Hugo. Money. Burning holes in pockets. He could see Billy about another appointment, perhaps. He had not been able to push back the memory of his last encounter with Hugo, moments from that last meeting constantly crossed David's mind, to the point of distraction. Sometimes he turns to Craig, needing to think of another, and it was true that his actor friend did have the knack for pushing aside all thoughts from David's mind. He knew what he was doing, using one man's body to blind himself to another... but he had a strong suspicion that road went two directions. He did not know how far this road would go, and quite frankly did not care at the moment. It was all he knew how to do for the time being.
decadent_david: (Skeptical)
David: *returning from an evening out, stifling back my anger at an unsuccessful attempt to replenish my finances. I'd barely made it out of Mssr. Devoir's home before he and his family entered. They were not supposed to be home for another day. And now, I must come up with a new plan, while trying to live on the small amount of money left to me. This is not how the evening should have gone, and I am decidedly angry* Ah. Craig. You are home this evening. *sullenly tromps to the wardrobe to hang up my coat, wishing he was not here, I am not good company and I wish merely to be able to slam things around, burn off some anger*

It is my home, afterall )
decadent_david: (Happy)
Sean Astin: Life is for the living, Justin wrote in his latest letter.

The letter post marked June 16th had reached me today. And joy of joys it contained a newspaper from New York. Excitement surges through me as I read about news from the States.

God! I had to show this to David..  )
decadent_david: (Pensive)
[Private rambling thoughts on a cold night, as David lets his mind wander back to Cate.]

I should not have seen her. It might have been a kindness to Cate if I had kept walking, had not given in to my desires when I saw her in the park. But how could I resist that sunny smile and the way she always makes me feel like everything is right in the world? Especially now, when everything most certainly is not. She is my oasis, my comfort in a city full of maddening things.

I am sure I love her, but am not so sure what kind of love it is I hold. It is not fair to her, I could see the hope in her eyes, and I am unable to give her everything she deserves. Could I have been any more thoughtless when I told her my feelings about Hugo? I was lost in the moment, lulled by her soothing presence, I would have told her any secret right then and there. Well, some of them. Would she understand if I told her everything? Could she still accept me?

I cannot tell anyone how I've been living this past month. I simply cannot risk it, my friendships and career are at stake. Yes, career, I suppose I should admit it at least to myself. This is what I do now, I rob the rich to remain one of them. Perhaps I can tell Craig, I believe he has secrets of his own, he might understand. But, he might not. I am dependent on him for the time being for a roof over my head. I will not speak of my night travels, I will for now just have to wait and see.

Tonight, I will be working. Payment to Billy for my evening's indulgence at La Jarretière Verte wreaked havoc on my finances. I need to work, I need more money... because I need to return to the club. I know what I am paying for, it's hard for me to admit it to myself, but I know it to be true. I want him. And I am willing to have him any way that is allowed to me.
decadent_david: (Skeptical)
Hugo adjusts the tie of his robe nervously, the fine cloth is far from his manner of dress, leaving him quite uncomfortable as though the dividing lines between the wealthy landowners and the farmers are born and announced by the delicate whisper of thread. Reminding himself of the confident demeanor Msr. Boyd demands, Hugo straightens, forgetting the unease, determined to never disappoint his employer and repeats Msr. Boyd’s instructions to himself quietly as he turns the knob on the door.

There are more senses beyond sight and sound - NC-17 )
decadent_david: (Pensive)
David: *not wanting to spend yet another quiet night in Craig's apartment, this is not my home, I am merely a guest, and I find myself restless, in need of burning off some energy and I'll admit, some frustrations. I find my way to Billy's club, and realize there's more available here than I've taken advantage of yet. I take a seat at the bar, and wait to see if I can catch Billy's attention*

Billy: *talking 'business' with two gentleman at the door to the gaming room, I wave over Carmine when I see her passing by, the beautiful blond instantly draping herself between the monsieurs, and they both instantly smile and nod, letting Carmine lead them through the crowd and up the stairs. Feeling parched, I move through the crowd as well, Jean Paul already waiting with a glass for me as I step up to the bar*

Now, is there something special you'd like? )
decadent_david: (Skeptical)
David completed his move from the hotel to Craig's apartment. He found room for his clothing and personal possessions in a wardrobe half-filled with forgotten clothing and costumes. The more valuable items, including Bernard's property, he stashed in the secret alcove Craig had shown him. As he closed that space, the door becoming merely a wall once again, he nodded in approval. It was indeed an asset to have storage of this sort, and if need be it could hold much more. David considered his finances, temporarily strengthened thanks to his visit to Elizabeth's flat. He counted out enough bills to pay half the rent for a month, and looked about the room for a place to set the money where Craig would see it upon his return home. David was grateful for this arrangement and felt it would suit his purposes well. He wished to start off on good terms with Craig, and prompt payment of his rent would be a good beginning.

His gaze fell on a plant, or what formerly might have been a plant. A withered vine now lay stiffly over the edge of an ornate Chinese pot. Craig was apparently not joking about his black thumb. Ah. Something came to his mind, what was that poem? With nothing better to do with his afternoon, David set out on a mission. His first stop was the library, and he thought briefly of his friend Elijah who used to live underneath it. He needed to pay a visit to the theatre soon and speak to the young artist about that painting.

But today's mission came first. It was a new book of poetry he sought, one he had glanced at a few months before in a book shop but did not buy that day. Yes, here it is. Taking out his journal, he carefully copied down a poem from the book, replaced it on the shelf, and left the library. He then browsed the shops and open markets for hours, seeking just the right item. It was nearly dark when he returned to the apartment, moved the dead plant out of the way, and placed his purchase in it's spot. Next to the base of the brass bowl filled with an ornate arrangement of porcelain flowers and ivy, he set an envelope containing the rent money. Upon the envelope he placed the page torn from his journal.

A jaded poem from a jaded man... )

His mission accomplished, David decided that dinner was most definitely in order. He roamed the streets of Paris, taking up his old quest to try every bistro in the city. There were still so many to explore...
decadent_david: (Skeptical)
[Events follow this discussion with Bernard.]

David's lock picking tools were in their usual place, the slim rods of flexible metal easily tucked away in the stiff ribbon inside the brim of his favorite hat. He'd been keeping them atop his head since his college days, having learned through experience that no one ever checked a hat very carefully during a search.

The address on the brick building matched the one Bernard had written on the scrap of paper David held in his hand. Elizabeth Anne L’Ittere lived here, on the second floor. It was a few moments past sunset as David took a seat on a sidewalk bench across the street. There were lights in her windows, and now and then, the slim form of a woman flickered past, silhouetted on the window shades. An hour passed, yet David remained seated, relaxed, quiet. He had slipped into a state of mind that allowed him to pass the time restfully, yet fully alert. He had been in this position before, and knew that when the time was right, he would emerge from his reverie fully refreshed, hyperaware of his surrounds, and ready to accomplish the task at hand.

Elizabeth’s lights dimmed, wavered, and extinguished )
decadent_david: (Skeptical)
David: So many loose ends to tie up. I'm not used to life being this complicated. Now that my belongings are moved to another hotel, it occurs to me that Elijah must have my painting completed by now.

I'm torn - I want it, yet I do not. My mind can't bear to look at Hugo's likeness, but my heart tells me to find Lij, get the painting. Lij is not with Billy any longer, and I don't know where to find him. Maybe it's best if I do not. But again, my heart presses me to try.

Another day, perhaps. Maybe tomorrow I could tactfully try to find out from Mira where Elijah may be staying.

*sigh* Or I'll just wait for him to find me, somehow. In the meantime, I need something to distract my mind from these thoughts.

I take a walk, and find my feet taking me past the Théâtre de L'Europe. Rehearsals should be underway, if I recall the dates correctly. Perhaps Harry won't mind if I slip in and watch for a time? It would be a nice diversion. *ducking in quietly, I take a seat on the aisle, in the back row*

It seems to be the week for reunions )
decadent_david: (Skeptical)
[Follows the morning after David stays the night at Billy's]

David slipped out of Billy's bed early. To wake and see his face, not Hugo's, words cannot begin to describe how that felt, and he had no wish to inflict the same heartbreak and disappointment upon his friend when he awoke. And so David dressed quietly and found his way outside into the cool pre-dawn air.

First things first. David needed to find another hotel. He couldn't afford one as nice as the one he was leaving, and he would certainly miss those lush surroundings. But until finances improved, he had no choice. David had noticed a hotel near Billy's club, less opulent, but still acceptable. He made arrangements for a room, paying only for a few days, it was all he could spare from his remaining assets. He returned to his former hotel, making arrangements for any mail that may arrive to be forwarded to him, and packed his belongings into a carriage for hire. Soon, he had re-settled himself. Looking about his single room with a scowl, David had no wish to remain in this room for anything other than sleeping.

As he arranged a stack of books on a table by the bed, he paused with his journal in hand. It was scuffed and torn from the ransacking of his former rooms, but the pages were still intact. He quietly flipped to the pages filled with information about the less savory members of Paris society, names and addresses carefully gleaned during his work with Harry at the theatre, written in a code only he would understand. At the time, he had a feeling this information might come in handy some day. Now he smiled grimly, knowing that he had been right. He slipped the journal into his coat pocket, and stepped outside for a long walk. The bored expression on his face betrayed nothing of his scheming thoughts to those he passed on the boulevard.
decadent_david: (Pensive)
[Continued from here...]

My belongings are safe for a time, but I will need to find a place to move them to, soon. Later today, or tomorrow. Right now, I am tired, and hungry and sorely in need of a cheerful face. I decide that dinner at Billy's club might lift my spirits, and perhaps he'd be free to spend a little time keeping me company. Stepping in the door, it feels like a thousand years since I've been here. The waiter shows me to my favorite table, it's nice that such details are still remembered...

[NC-17 indeed.]

I am not so good at love myself... )
decadent_david: (Skeptical)
[Events here are based on this previous post regarding trouble at David's hotel]

David Returns To Paris )
decadent_david: (Pensive)
David stood on the deck of the ship that carried him back towards Paris, having left Hugo behind in Ireland. He had chosen the exact same spot at the rail that he shared with Hugo and Rhea on their earlier voyage, the place where she had seen in her brother and his friend something that the two men had not yet figured out for themselves. Ironically, this bit of railing was never to be witness to the full acknowledgement of the love they shared.

David still held that love in his heart, but now he struggled to find a way to contain it, to find a place it might still live, yet not hurt as much as it did right now. Hugo has moved on, I should be able to as well, I'm a strong man, I will not let this defeat me. I've made the right decision. He is happy. That's what matters the most, that he is happy.

David turned to walk back to the shelter of his cabin. He was suddenly cold, chilled to the bone. As he reached to pull the outer deck door open, he paused and looked back over his shoulder, out across the water, in the direction of Ireland. A quiet whispered voice, his words flung to the waves, the knowledge that they could never reach far enough... Gráim thú, Hugo [I love you, Hugo.]
decadent_david: (Happy)
[Takes place a few days after this trip to chase down the Weaving's wayward sheep. Not NC-17, amazingly enough.]

A windy day be no day fer thatchin' )
decadent_david: (Default)
A letter postmarked from the United States arrived for Mr. David Wenham, care of the Hotel Degres de Notre Dame, Paris. The concierge set the letter in the slot marked "Hold", rather than the slot for Room 9, David's suite number. There was good reason for this. Soon after David's departure, one of the housemaids noticed something seeping from under the door of Room 9. Closer inspection showed it to be wine. The hotel manager opened the suite with his master key, and was horrified by the sight that met his eyes.

A few hours later, the suite had been emptied. David's belongings were safely locked up in storage on the main floor, and the destroyed furnishings had been carried away. Maids worked to clean the floors, painters repaired the walls. New furnishings were procured and set to rights, fresh curtains were hung, and a tall vase of lilies was placed in the sitting room. All had been put in order again. The room awaited its next guest.

If and when the American returned from his trip, the manager had briefed his staff to treat him with courtesy and respect, but to firmly let him know that he would need to secure arrangements with another hotel. They were also to present him with a detailed bill outlining the damages caused to his suite. The manager did not expect to have this invoice paid, but it was a matter of hotel pride that he wanted Mssr. Wenham to be aware of the extent of the damages. As much as the management enjoyed having had him as a guest in the past, the hotel was no longer willing to be vulnerable to the whims of David's acquaintances and lifestyle.

The Letter )
decadent_david: (Concerned)
The day after his rampage through David's hotel rooms, Simon Barker finally calms himself enough to post a letter. Once he has seen to its delivery, he packs his bags and finds his way to the train station. He is more than ready to leave Paris behind, and looks forward to his next assignment in Spain.

To Charles Wenham, New York, America )
decadent_david: (Glancing Back)
Although David had left Paris in a hurry, intent on getting Hugo and Rhea onto a train bound for Ireland, his hotel rooms had been left in good order. The only thing that he’d left amiss was a heap of newspapers stacked on the floor near the divan. David had quickly left instructions at the front desk that his rooms should be left as they were until he returned. And the staff had dutifully followed his wishes, leaving his rooms locked and undisturbed.

But the watchful eyes of another had taken due note... )
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