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《》 Paris, France [ Bé's Flat ] 《》 Weary 《》 [@AeolianBé, Marceau, Cousin Gisèle, Tito]


Back in Paris, Bé found himself replaying that night at Madame Angelique's over and over in his head. It rattled and tugged at his attention viciously despite his best efforts to put the memory out of its misery. Had it really gotten so bad? How had he let it get to that point? He was leaning against the railing of his Juliet balcony, gazing down at the inner-city streets below, alit by torch fire and camera phones. Another protest, he assumed, the ruckus of the ceaseless noise bombarding his psyche. He'd thought he'd come out for a bit of fresh air, but perhaps tonight, he was more in tune for the quiet solitude of his third story abode. He took a puff of his vape pen and blew a ring, watching it drift off into the moonlight.

[In English, because of Tito]

When he returned inside, placing the device of soothing mint into his silk-sewn pocket, his manager Tito, cousin Gisèle, and his oaf of a bodyguard, Marceau, were waiting for him in his living room. Tito had a glass of wine in hand and was leaning against the nearest wall. Gisèle was sitting on his sofa with one leg crossed over the other, while Marceau was in his kitchen rummaging through his fridge. Bé sighed, acknowledging none of them. Instead, he walked over to his wine rack, picked out a glass flute, and poured himself a bit of bubbly. He took a sip, turning to face them with a deadpan expression, "What are you doing here?" he asked cooly, taking another sip. His eyes met each of them before settling on his cousin.

Gisèle looked at Bé with a nervous gaze before standing up to meet him where he was. She placed a hand on his arm to try and comfort him, but with little hesitation, he softly pulled away from her and crossed the room to sit in an accent chair. Gisèle seemed hurt by the recoil, but did not follow him and instead, continued where she stood, "Your mother wants you to leave Paris, for your own safety."

"I will do no such thing." Bé said, hushed venom leaking from his lips, his tone so dry and cold it could freeze the entire room into silence. They knew he would respond this way. It was inevitable. Bé had too much at stake right now; with his career just starting to gain traction, how could he possibly bunker away to God knows where over a few inconvenient incidents? And that warning Auri gave him before obviously had not come to fruition, so as he saw it, he was better off taking his chances within the familiar than the foreign. But mother was...mother. Bé understood as much but was unwilling to comply all the same.

His cousin continued, "Bé, please. You know your mother. She affords you great freedoms in this life, but be realistic for your own sake. You know as well as I that severe reprecussions await should you defy her."

Bé rolled his eyes, "I can, and I will."

"Then you will throw away your livelihood? The comfort and luxuries she has blessed upon you? Can you make those sacrifices? I'm warning you Bé. She will strip them from your flesh if you protest."

Bé crossed his arms, stepping closer to Gisèle to emphasize what he was going to say next. With furrowed brows, he glared at her coldly and continued, "Don't tell me about my own mother. And I'm warning you, cousin. Do not patronize me. And as far as I'm concerned, I will have to make those sacrifices regardless, no matter where I might lie. My life is here, in Paris."

Gisèle shook her head, looking up at him fiercely betwixt the corporeal tension that polluted the air, "Oh, for heaven's sake! Just listen! It's only temporary, at least until she is sure you're safe. Tito will manage your flat while you're away." She looked toward Tito for reassurance, and when their eyes met, he gave her a cursory nod. Bé was not convinced by this feeble gesture of assent.

"We speak in circles, and yet my answer remains the same. No."

Bé and Gisèle quarreled a bit longer. It seemed like a never-ending carousel of reality and rejection. The cousins never got into it like this in all of their years of knowing each other, not once, which was rare for Bé because even as an adolescent, he was known for having a rather aloof and austere demeanor. He was not the friendliest child, and his peers often found his cold personality agitating and lofty. Gisèle had been one of the select few to break through the ice. And it made sense. Bé was an only child who was spoiled and lived an opulent life. But he was lonely and bored, and his cousin served as a companion, as he did for her. So they understood each other better than anyone else. But in this instance, Bé was quite frustrated by how acquiescent Gisèle expected him to be toward his mother's demands. The longer the discussion went on, the more disquieted he became.

Meanwhile, Tito was patiently watching them bicker, his shades down at the crook of his nose so he could overlook the conversation with clarity and intercede should things get out of hand. He had hoped he wouldn't need to intervene, perhaps so Bé wouldn't feel as though everyone was operating against his wishes. But once it seemed that the sibling-like cousins had reached an impasse and Gisèle had uncharacteristically screamed at him to stop behaving like a petulant child, Tito finally decided he should step in with some degree of authority as the oldest figure in the room.

"Enough!" he croaked, coughing haggardly as Gisèle and Bé fell mute and looked at him. He continued once he was sure he had their attention, but focused mostly on Bé, "Here's the deal. If you don't agree to this, you won't have a career to come back to."

Bé took a deep, weary breath, grazing his fingers through his thick, curly black locks. His ocean eyes seemed to illuminate with a tinge of fire beneath the surface. He'd be fuming brimstone and smog if he had not been working overtime to maintain his composure. So instead of yelling as he truly desired, he instead, in a tempered tone, asked Tito, "Has my mother really gone so far as to mangle all my prospects if I do not comply? Has she truly?"

"Afraid so, kid. She's good. Real good."

"Then my mother is a real tart isn't she..." Bé murmured, finishing up the flute of bubbly. Gisèle, on the other hand, was foaming at the mouth with anger, "Don't talk about your mother like that, Bé! She has gone to great lengths to protect you and give you a good life..." She paused for a moment, a queer expression upon her face that Bé couldn't quite place, "A new life..." she said softly.

"A new life? What is that supposed to mean?" Bé asked, eyebrow raised.

Gisèle shook her head, "Nothing. Just know that she has done unimaginable things for you, things you can't begin to understand. And she only wants what she believes is best for you. Show her some grace."

A heavy silence filled the room after that. Bé was lost in stilled contemplation, his gaze frozen on a framed photo of him and his mother from when he was a young boy. Tito looked at them both, back and forth, taking it all in. He hated getting in the middle of family drama. He was just the manager, after all—an employee. He deemed it best to keep his contributions to the discussion minimal at best. Gisèle was left to do the heavy lifting.

Finally, Bé asked, "Where am I to be shipped off to then? Boston? Montreal?"

Tito grunted, "Errr, no. Somewhere near Portland, Oregon. She's got an acquaintance you can stay with for a while until the dust has settled, if you will."

Bé's eyebrow twitched. Oregon? Was it a coincidence? What were the odds that the very place he despised the most was located in the same state? Over the years, he had tried so hard to disassociate himself from that place, from that past. The only person he kept semi-communications with was Sloane, and even then, it was not enough to draw him back. And yet...

A heavy blanket of silence filled the room. Bé seemed lost in his mind once again as Gisèle and Tito shared glances with one another, unsure of what to say next. Bé was dreadfully introspective. The way he could get lost in his thoughts mid-conversation without pause was uncanny.

Just then, there was a loud clank from the kitchen, and everyone, except Bé, turned to look. Marceau had royally decimated Bé's kitchen but somehow managed to cook an Italian supper popular in Marseille. When he finished setting out four dishes and plating them with the aromatic cuisine, he plopped a tomato cherry into his mouth, threw a dirty cloth over his shoulder, and, through eager chews, said to the group with a grin, "Who's hungry?"

No one said anything. The sour mood seemed to have doused everyone's appetites, Bé most of all. Never had he felt so much of his agency stripped away. He was no child, and being treated as such was unimaginably distressing to his ego. Truly humiliating. When he couldn't bear to look at their faces any longer, Bé stormed out of the room and entered his sleeping quarters, slamming the door behind him. He took off his top and tossed it onto the nearby velvet chaise lounge, revealing his glistening, chiseled body. If nothing else, Bé was a masterpiece unto itself, a beautiful Grecian effigy made flesh. Even his face, twisting with disgust and anger, brought the moon to cower in shame.

Running his fingers through his thick, curly hair, Bé fell back on his bedside and let out a deep, weary sigh. He laid there, motionless, only mired thoughts and memories filling the void. He fiddled with the bracelet on his wrist, an inconspicuous accessory that had once been a person. Quite the macabre bit of jewelry. This pretty little secret hung upon him daily, perhaps a counterintuitive thing to wear, though, for someone who wished to forget their past. But in some ways, maybe he didn't want to forget. There was someone back in Oregon that he sometimes thought about in passing. It wasn't Sloane, or hell, even Anya, for that matter. At least, no in THAT way. Someone else stole those quiet moments from him. Rent free.

Finally, when he heard the last vestiges of Tito and Gisèle leaving his flat, Bé fell into a deep, troubled sleep—a slumber full of beautiful wonders and nightmares. But before dreams took hold, Bé wondered. Who was this acquaintance in Oregon? Why hadn't he heard of this person? What were the odds that he'd run into the old coven members? He wouldn't, right? The idea was like barbs beneath his skin.

But alas, these were thoughts for the sunrise. For now, he'd relinquish himself willingly so that the moon and night might take him peacefully.


1: After the incident with the stalker back in Monaco at Madame Angelique's home, Bé has returned to his flat in Paris. He is confronted by Gisèle and Tito (Marceau is cooking). They inform him that his mother is ordering him to leave Paris and stay with an acquaintance of hers for his own safety. If he refuses, she will basically fuck over his entire livelihood and career. Obviously, Bé does not want to do this. Bé and Gisèle argue over this. Bé discovers from Tito that he will be staying in Oregon, which makes him feel disquieted. With nothing else to say, he storms out of the room and goes to sleep, but not before lulling over his past and some of his old connections from the Coven.
@Shin Ghost Note

Interactions: Madamoiselle Vanille, Marceau, Madame Angelique, Cousin Gisèle, Stalker @Aeolian
Madame Angelique's Manor in Monaco

There was an eerie stillness permeating that old, creaky library. It hung over them like a shadow, unearthing and unfamiliar as Gisèle moved closer to Bé, her eyes glazed with a thick molasses of fear. In truth, Gisèle was not completely defenseless. As was the case with most members of the Rochefoucauld family, she possessed a magic of her own, and in fact, it was quite potent. The unfortunate matter was that Gisèle did not have great control of her gifts and it often triggered when she was consumed by fright. Well, perhaps then it would come in handy.

The moment of quiet held steady, both parties not wanting to make a move until they were sure of the other's. But Bé had a remarkable, almost uncanny level of patience and knew that he could hold fast until he was sure what he was up against. And then, there was a flash of light that illuminated from behind a bookshelf labeled Eastern Antiquities, and then a blur took off swiftly toward the back exit. Bé recoiled and closed his eyes, blinded by the sudden flash. However, he knew in an instant who it was, and his posture relaxed.

"Fool," he said, looking around his person for something. Ah...a chair, old, wooden, French provisional. It would do. His eyes glimmered with a golden light as he approached the dinky old antique, and the area around him shifted; everywhere he looked were golden threads tightly wound around one another, throbbing and pulsing as though yearning to be touched. There was always this sensation that they wanted to be pulled. Somehow, these golden cosmic filaments were alive. He looked at the threads silhouetted around the chair. The closer he got, the looser the threads became. And then he plucked one of the strings, and the mass of threads pulsated, releasing a thrumming angelic hum. Another pluck.

And then, the golden light and threads faded from his gaze, and in place of the chair was an ornate, tasseled carpet. Miraculously, it hovered several feet off the floor, floating up and down—a flying magic carpet. "Go, ensnare him," Bé uttered, and the magic carpet zipped off through the air, flying through the library and out the front entrance into the dimly lit corridor. The blur was at the end of the hall and made a hard tight right turn heading toward Madame Angelique's glass conservatory. The carpet took after it as Bé and Gisèle hurried into the hallway.

From behind, Madame Angelique and Mademoiselle Vanille were fast approaching, pulling themselves along by their breeches. Bé could hear the frou-frou of their ornate, glamorous gowns, and when they were finally upon them, Madame Angelique seemed to be utterly aghast, "Someone, please tell me what is going on. Why did I see a man being chased through my home by a carpet?"

Bé let out a heavy sigh, "My stalker is here. I'm handling it." He realized this was the first time he had truly acknowledged that the fan was much more than that. In truth, Bé had hoped that it wouldn't get to this point, but it seemed that perhaps his mother was right after all. It was one thing: trying to get photos of him at the train station or hotel. But to trespass into the home of someone he knew. That was behavior Bé could no longer excuse and in some respects, he felt guilty to have brought this foolishness unto someone else, especially someone as completely unrelated to the matter as Madame Angelique was. In fact, it infuriated him that now she was involved.

His mother let out an audible gasp, "Here? It is not possible, is it? How dreadful!"

"A stalker? Heavens!" Madame Angelique cooed dramatically, fanning herself like a stage actress about to swoon into the arm of her lover. Gisèle, on the other hand, looked remorseful, "I should have used my magic to stop him when I had the chance. I'm sorry Bé."

"It is of no matter," he said to his cousin, assuring her that it was no fault of her own.

"Come, we must capture our uninvited guest for his transgressions against my home." Madame Angelique proclaimed, and then the group took off toward the conservatory. When they arrived, the large glass-domed room was full of plants and trees and flowers that glimmered with a midnight blue. It was an ecosystem unto itself, and the starry night illuminated the room from every angle imaginable. The group looked upward toward the tree canopies at a surprising sight. There was a sophisticated collision of staircases and platforms, allowing one to walk across the canopies for a perfect view of the entire conservatory. At the very peak was an aviary of gilded cages filled with exotic birds squeaking and singing madly. And near these caged birds was Marceau. He was looking down at them proudly, a charming grin upon his countenance, and slung over his shoulder with one arm was the stalker, unconscious and wrapped up in the carpet like a burrito.

"Well, well, well, who do we have here?" Madame Angelique cooed, a hunger in her gaze as she looked up at Marceau and licked her lips. The tattooed man jumped down from the platform and landed on the surface floor with perfect balance, the wrapped stalker still in his grasp. "The name's Marceau."

"How wonderful." Mademoiselle Vanille said brightly, walking over to him."You have saved my son once again." She turned to Madame Angelique "This is Marceau, my son's guardian."

"Now I could use some guarding like that..." Madame Angelique said breathelessly.

Bé rolled his eyes as Marceau bowed to his mother and then approached him, placing the stalker down on the floor in front of his feet. Bé looked from Marceau down to the stalker, inspecting his face. He was alive, not to say for the giant knot sprouting from his forehead like a big pulsating red weed. It was likely a surprise one-hit knockout from Marceau. He'd probably be out for a while and wake up with a serious concussion. "Want me to kill em?" Marceau asked matter-of-factly, his expression uncharacteristically cold.

"Kill him?" Gisèle exclaimed with wide eyes, shocked that Marceau would even recommend something so, in her eyes, evil.

"No." Bé said, quietly.

"What should we do with him then?" his mother asked.

Madame Angelique approached the unconscious carpet-wrapped man and stared at him for a moment. After a brief silence, she turned to Bé, "Worry not dearest. He won't remember a thing about this night, or you for that matter."

"Of course. Your kiss..." Mademoiselle Vanille whispered, recalling Angelique's magic that allowed her to manipulate the minds of those she kissed.

Bé shared Angelique's gaze and then nodded, "Very well. Rewrite his mind and scatter his memories to the stars." He didn't need to thank her outright. She could sense the gratitude that quietly filled his sparkling ocean eyes.

This was the first time in his entire life that he actually admired Madame Angelique; the first time he looked at her and didn't recoil in disdain and annoyance. He owed her one.

"With pleasure," she said calmly and then knelt down to the stalker, removed his glasses, and puckered her lips as she went in for a kiss...

Interactions: Madamoiselle Vanille, Marceau, Madame Angelique, Cousin Gisèle @Aeolian
Madame Angelique's Manor in Monaco

Anyone who was anyone within France or Monaco knew it was a grave offense to miss one of Madame Angelique's parties. She was at the height of modern-day aristocracy, a Monégasque woman who bore no children, though her husband had pleaded with her for years to bless him with an heir to inherit his unimaginable fortune. But Madame Angelique was too selfish to sacrifice her lifestyle for childrearing, and so, gifted with the power of an apparition sealed within a bejeweled tube of vibrant crimson lipstick, one kiss and her husband would forget all about wanting an heir; no son or daughter to call his own. She had to keep this up over the years, as the manipulation would eventually fade, and he'd fall back into his yearning for a child until the mind-altering was refreshed once again.

As Bé entered Madame Angelique's grand ballroom, he had hoped to steer clear of the woman, but he would not be afforded such a luxury on this night. Flanked by his mother and Marceau on either side, he took in the grand spectacle of the room, with its soaring ceilings and glass canopy that basked the room in ripples of starlight. Tables of food flanked both sides of the room, an inconceivable bevy of edible delights and delicacies like none could dream of. Of course, this sight did not engender sentiments of awe or shock within the young man. This was nothing new to him, though Marceau certainly gawked at the mounds of foods that created an overwhelming aroma, from chicken confit to lamb shank navarin. The tattooed man beelined toward the kougloff and tarte citron before Bé had a chance to protest. To no one's surprise, Marceau would act out of turn, having never witnessed such a feast. This prompted a weary eye roll from Bé, who regretted having brought someone not of the Ton to such an event.

[In French]

Kissing his mother on the cheek as they parted ways, Bé followed after Marceau to one of the food tables. He looked around the expansive room as he bit into a chocolate-covered strawberry, savoring the sweet burst of flavor that flooded his mouth. He recognized many faces there but had no interest in socializing and only offered pale greetings when approached. Beside him, Marceau had already filled his first plate to the brim and was now digging in to fill another. Placing the half-eaten strawberry on his place, Bé turned to him, already appearing exasperated, "Marceau, please mind your manners and behave with some civility. This is a soiree, not a shabby all-you-can-eat buffet. Fill your plate lightly, and if you want more, discard what you have and come back to the table for another small serving."

Marceau was hardly listening. His mouth was stuffed with escargot, and as he spoke, little pieces flew out of his mouth. Bé looked at him with utter horror and disgust.

"No, sir....This is emmm..." he began between chews, "...the best food I've ever...." *chew chew chew* "...had. The boys down in Nice won't believe me when I tell them about this...." He paused, picking up something by the end and dangling it like he was inspecting his latest catch. "What's this?" Marceau asked, hanging it over his mouth as he slowly dropped it in for consumption, smacking his lips loudly as he chewed. "How crude." Bé said.

I have to get away from this man, he thought, turning for the rear corridor. Bé had been to Madame Angelique's home before; he knew his way around, but more importantly, he knew where he could escape off to for a bit of respite from the noise before his mother would inevitably come looking for him again. Mindful to avoid anyone he knew personally, Bé entered the corridor unscathed, just narrowly missing Madame Angelique, who was marching over to him with a glass of red wine in hand before being pulled away by an older man wearing glasses and a very obvious toupee. Her husband.

Several dimly lit corridors and stairways later, Bé had arrived at his destination—the library. It was a grand room with an old-world smell that soothed his throbbing head as he entered. Old books filled the wooden shelves as high as the ceilings, each with its own rolling ladder. He recalled it fondly, like the library in Beauty and the Beast. The modest library he'd constructed for himself in his Parisian flat couldn't even begin to compare.

As he flipped through an old book dated back to 1935, his head jolted up suddenly. Like the rest of the manor, the library was dimly lit. The moonlight that filtered through the large windows brought far more illumination than the surrounding gas-lit candelabras and sconces could provide. Bé looked around for a moment, certain he'd heard something fall. Sitting the book back on the shelf, he crept toward the general area where he'd heard the sound. The room was silent; only the faint noise of music from the distant ballroom and his own heartbeat echoed.

Bé rounded the corner, certain this was where he heard the thud, and then he hit his foot on something as he took another step forward but, quite suddenly, made a rapid 180° when the sound of his name reverberated from behind him. The voice that called out to was recognizable, airy and bell-like. Instinctively, Bé let out a sigh of relief. Standing before him was none other than his cousin, Gisèle. She was a petite young woman, only a year or two older than he was. Gisèle was an exceptional beauty, and the daughter of his mother's sister, a woman whom Gisèle tried to pretend didn't exist due to her mental health problems. But Gisèle was a familiar presence and one of the few that Bé was fond of. Whenever his aunt was locked away at an asylum, Gisèle would spend that time living with them, so they had developed, over time, a rather organic sibling-like bond. Only she truly understood what it was like living in that house with all of those, now, very deceased husbands.

"Gisèle, you terror. How did you know I was in here?"

Gisèle giggled, walking over to Bé and embracing him warmly, "I saw you leaving the ballroom and followed. I almost called out to you, but then the Madame would have had her way with your supple form, and I just couldn't allow that, now could I?"

Bé shook his head, "Dear cousin, must you make my skin crawl?"

Gisèle released him, a faint, devious smile on her lips, "You're such a prude. It tickles me to see you uncomfortable in this way. It's a novelty I enjoy, I must confess." Bé rolled his eyes, "Charmed..." he jested. But then he remembered something and kneeled down, picking up the small book he'd hit his foot against earlier. "To be honest, I have little appreciation for these sorts of antics, as you know. I mean, honestly, Gisèle, I do not find it amusing," he said accusingly, waving the book in front of her so she'd confess to her crime.

His cousin's eyebrow arched, a confused expression on her face. She looked at the book curiously, grabbing it from his hand and inspecting it closely before looking back to him, "Pardon? I only just came in here moments ago."

"Did you now?" Bé asked, his tone more serious.

Gisèle nodded, "Of course. What is it?"

He believed her. One thing Gisèle was not, was a liar. And then his mind went back to the phone call he'd had with Auri a few months prior. He hadn't heard from anyone in the Coven since he'd left that provincial American town all those years ago. Well, aside from Sloane, for whom he spoke with every once in a while. They liked to keep tabs on each other, as this is what friends did, no? But in truth, he hadn't heard from her in a while. Bé had been so busy and preoccupied that he hadn't given it much thought. Could his call with Auri have been why? Bé fiddled with the bracelet on his wrist as he thought about Auri, his brief stint in the coven, and the warning she gave him. When she recommended Bé return, he refused and hung up on her. He didn't want anything to do with the coven or St. Portwell, and her request for his return only stirred up feelings of indignation he had long ago shoved into a small box and hidden away. Truthfully, he didn't wish death on those in the Coven who had already perished, but the way he surmised, getting anywhere near his former coven members would only sew more trouble and chaos. Whether this was his stalk...fan or the thing Auri warned him about, he'd handle it in his own way.

With his guard up, Bé's eyes studied the room carefully as Gisèle moved closer to him, looking around in kind. She shared his sparkling aqua eyes, but hers quivered in contrast to his steady determination. "What? What is it?" she asked, her voice tinged with concern.

"I believe someone else followed me in here, and they knocked over this book. An amateur blunder, quite frankly."

Gisèle kept her gaze forward as she slowly began reaching for something in the black purse that hung on her arm, "Are you sure?"

Bé nodded knowingly, "Mind yourself, Gisèle. We are most certainly not alone."
@silvermist1116 Okay gotcha! Let's say it's because he still thinks she's a pink lux user and he knows general mind stuff is in their wheel house. But I'm sure once he eventually learns about her new headphones, he'll dislike her even more. :)
Disclaimer: None of these relations are set in stone. If you have objections, please let me know. I don't mind changing any of them if you had other thoughts or ideas for your character. Help me flesh this out.


"That supposed love you share for one another is nothing but childish folly."

Acquaintance || ☯ Neutral/Indifferent || Friend || Best Friend || Crush || Romantic Partner || Disliked/Bad Vibes || On Good Terms || It's Complicated || Friend with Benefits/Hook-Up || Hate/Enemy || Curious About

"I don't like you, more so that you are...tolerable."

B R I T N E Y . W I L L I A M S

D R A K E . B L A C K M O R E

L I N Q I A N . H A N

L U C A . O L I V I E R A

S L O A N E . F A R I S
My Style;

T A Y L A . C H O I
Get out of his head 1;

E D I C T . D E V O L A
Get out of his head 2;

C L A N C Y . P A T R I C K

J A C K . H A W T H O R N E

S U L L Y . M C P H E R S O N

L E O N . R I C H O U X
One Night Stand;

S T O R M Y . C A R S O N

L A Y L A . H Y A C I N T H U S
Useless Crybaby;

A N Y A . B A K S H
He gets her;

A D O R A . P H O E N I X - P R E S C O T T
Thinks he's a bully;

E V E L Y N N . S E R E N E L I G H T
False Prophet;

L I L A . B L A C K W O O D
Ambivalent 1;

J A S P E R . W I L D E
Ambivalent 2;

L U N A . I N O U E

K E N S H I R O . M U R A K I N

A I S L I N . R O S E
Feels the need to protect her, and that's annoying;

A M A R A . K I N G

A A R O N - A R Y I N . T H O R N E

Interactions: Madamoiselle Vanille, Marceau, Tito @Aeolian
Rochefoucauld Manor in Monaco

After spending a week at his childhood home, a grand manor nestled in the heart of Monaco, Bé found himself utterly exhausted. His mother's relentless demands for his attention had left him drained, his days filled with a dizzying array of social engagements. By the fourth night, he had accompanied her to countless shops, attended numerous parties, and endured several brunches with her affluent circle of unethically wealthy socialite lady friends. But it wasn't until the 7th day that he was finally granted a moment of respite from the whirlwind of his mother's unyielding social life.

However, this brief reprieve was short-lived as news of a potential stalker reached his mother's ears. While traversing through the moonlit corridors of Rochefoucauld Manor, the situation stirred memories of Bé's past encounters in Paris and Geneva, where he was the target of some unpleasant attention. Despite his attempts to downplay the incidents, the Madame's nerves were too wired. And so, against Bé's protestations, she hired a bodyguard to protect him, some ex-criminal imprisoned for protection racketeering, ironically.

As Bé entered his mother's grand bedroom, he looked around for her with those piercing ocean eyes. They caught the starlight that filtered in through the nearby window when he heard movement coming from Madame Vanille's boudoir. He sighed deeply, taking a sip from the teacup he'd transfigured from a thimble earlier before and approached with feathery steps. In truth, Bé had hoped to dissuade her from such extreme measures during his visit to Monaco, perhaps convince her to send that wannabe bodyguard back to the undergrounds of Marseille where he belonged. Well, this dream was all for naught, and Bé would soon discover that his dear Ma-Ma was keenly aware of the latest encounter he'd had at the train station in Nice.

When he entered the room, his mother's back was facing him. A large gilded mirror stood before her as she admired herself in what appeared to be an onyx mink fur coat as dark as midnight. Her dearest handmaiden, Anna, was assisting with the feathery dress that flowed beneath the mink coat, praising and complimenting her beautifully ageless reflection that dazzled with jewelry and fine adornments. As Bé stirred his tea, he braced himself for the inevitable conversation, his quiet gaze fixed on his mother admist the lavender-scented steam that filled the space.

[In French]

"Hello my love. Have you ever seen your dear Ma-Ma ever the more divine?"

"You look, healthy..." Bé said with a cool expression, taking a another sip of his tea as his eyes shifted to the maiden and then back to his mother.

Madame Vanille rolled her eyes, catching his gaze before shooing her handmaiden away. Once Anna was gone and out of earshot, Bé's mother took off the delicate diamond bracelet she'd been toying with and sat it down on the glass display case that housed enough luxury jewelry to end world hunger.

"Healthy is as healthy does." she retorted, looking for something else to try on as she continued, "Now, I hear you got into a little squabble with that stalker of yours while in Nice."

Bé's brows furrowed under his curly locs as he took another sip of his tea. It was about half-empty now and he could already feel himself yearning for another cup. "Is that what he told you?" Bé asked, an exasperated sigh escaping his full lips.

"Something to that affect."

Bé sat down on the nearest chaise and crossed one leg over the other, "Your new hire has quite the lacquacious tongue, doesn't he?" he remarked. Madame Vanille gave a dismissive shrug, so Bé continued, "That is not how the events transpired. Yes, I did encounter the stalk...fan, again." Bé paused sipping the tea, "And yes, he did get a bit handsy, but, there was no squabble. He was just eager. The true matter of the issue is that your serviceman threw him into into the lobby fountain at the Le Negresco hotel. Everyone there saw. It was an utter fiasco, and I can not jeapordize my image with someone like that around. So Ma-Ma, I urge you, please send that brute away, far far away."

Madame Vanille turned on her heels to face him, "Oh my sweeting, this is all the more reason why I stand resolute in my decision. Can you imagine what might have become of you if not for Marceau?"

Bé was unamused by the idea that he needed Marceau for protection. He'd only been in his mother's service for a few months now, and Bé has faired well up until this point. Why suddenly now did he need some overgrown neanderthal shadowing his every move like a stray dog desperate with hunger? Bé sympathized with his mother's fear, but it was not enough to justify the measure.

"Ma-Ma, please don't patronize me. I could have changed that man into a toad." Bé said, sitting the empty teacup on the nearby side table and clasping his hands together. His posture was always so naturally poised and sophisticated, erect like the Hyperion tree he'd visited while on a photoshoot in Los Angeles. This was a man who never slouched. His body simply didn't know how to.

"In broad daylight? For the entire world to see? I think not."

Bé looked away, his throat suddenly dry as paper despite the tea, "I know. I only mean to say that I am no invalid. I can protect myself. I really don't nee..."

Madamoiselle Vanille cut him short, massaging the crest between her eyes with a feeble moan, "Bé, please. You know how swiftly these migraines materialize when you contest me like this. Not before tonight's soiree. Please dear."


Back in the hallway, Bé had enough built up frustration to break a mirror. The conversation concluded quickly from there, as his mother simply stopped responding altogether, leaving him to vent to the silent night. Not only had his plan failed, but she'd even guilted him into being her plus one at tonight's soiree at Madame Angélique's. What a nightmare of a woman. When his mother ushered for Anna to re-enter the room again, Bé knew that was his cue to withdraw.

As he ruminated on the moment outside her door, assured that he could have said something else to convince her, he heard the hard clack of steel-toed boots approaching. Bé smelled a faint musk wafting past his nostrils and the offense brought to his face nothing short of a scowl.

It was Marceau, the tatted husk of flesh his mother hired to quote on quote, "protect him". Born in Marsaille to a red light Jezebel, Marceau was an orphan swept into a world of crime from an early age. After spending some time behind bars, job opportunities were limited. And so, what is a man with such a damaging past to do other than enlist in the service of a wealthy Monégasque socialiate.

Marceau seemed confused by the scowl as he approached Bé, "What?"

Bé took a deep breath to maintain his composure and then turned on Marceau as though to reprimand him like a disobedient child.

"I had the situation under control."

"It sure didn't sound like it."

"Were you eavesdropping?"

"I don't know. Maybe."

Bé sighed, vexed by Marceau's callousness, "That is neither here nor there. I'm referring to the fan in Nice. I expressly told you not to inform my mother about that incident. It was a trivial matter, at best. And let me be clear..." Bé paused, letting the heavy silence linger for emphasis as he gracefully caressed an unruly bang behind his ear, "I have an image to maintain. Do you understand what that means, or are you as daft as you seem? You can't go about flinging people into water fountains at every false provocation of potential danger. And most certainly not a fan."

Marceau snorted, "He was getting too comfortable with you."

Bé shook his head, "No, that is what I wanted him to think."

"Well, look, your mother hired me to..."

"I don't really care why she hired you, and frankly, my reputation is more important. You need to understand how this world of glamour preserves its illusion. When it comes to managing fans like these, placation and appeasement is a delicate process of give and take. During these initimate interactions, often the words spoken are meaningless. You have to respond with grace and think carefully bef..."

Before he could finish, Bé looked over the balcony of the main entrance and saw his manager approaching the staircase. Bé sighed, "Nevermind. Have Raphael prepare my regalia for tonight's soiree."

Marceau raised an eyebrow curiously, "So we aren't leaving for Paris tonight after all?"

Bé glared, "Obviously."

As his manager rounded the corner, Bé turned to greet him, his expression like someone whose only wish was to melt into their bedsheets. Bé's manager was a stout man named Tito, an American who shared a striking resemblance to Danny Devito. His appearance always tickled Bé mother, who couldn't help herself whenever she was in his presence. But Tito was as chill as a cucumber, and few things perturbed him.

[In English]

Tito spoke matter-of-factly. That is why Bé liked and trusted him with his career, "That musclehead of yours sure has stirred up some trouble."

Bé sighed with a knowing gaze, resigned to what was likely to unfold, "I know..."

Tito continued, "I've heard through the grapevine that your fan, or maybe ex-fan now, may be preparing to press charges. But don't sweat it. I've got my guys on it, and we'll squash it before sunrise If I can help it."

Bé's lips lifted into a delicate, gentle smile of gratitude, "Thank you. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a soiree to attend."

Tito laughed, "I thought you hated those sorts of things."

Bé chuffed, leaving for his childhood bedroom where his assistant, Raphael, would be there waiting to dress him, "I do."

@Punished GN
[Be right back. Making edits]
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