Winter was not exactly the best season to go perusing in the herb garden, not only was there a thick coat of frost preventing the more delicate plants from sprouting, but Selene wasn't exactly fond of the cold. Of course, she did love to wear her expensive fur coats, delighting in just how luxurious the soft fur felt against her skin, but she was more of a summer girl, after all, she worked hard to perfect her body, why wouldn't she want to show it off? However, she still needed herbs to go with her baking, so here she was, bundled up in a coat with a wicker basket on her arm, humming to herself as she walked through the greenhouse. Mint was always one of her favourite herbs, and she bent over to gently rub the leaves between her fingers, allowing the smell of fresh mint to permeate the air. She thought about it for a second, before taking out a delicate pair of scissors and snipping off leaves here and there until she had a sizeable amount piled in one corner of the basket. There were a thousand things she could make with them; they would be the perfect addition to the blackberries she had spotted in the kitchen- though she still hadn't decided whether she was going to consume those in a cocktail or some sort of pastry. As she continued down the line of plants, she nibbled on one of the mint leaves from her basket, her mind already busy planning another party for the weekend. Alcohol was always an irritation to sneak in, like most boarding schools, there was a strict no binge-drinking policy, which of course conflicted with Selene's idea of a good time. She would have to set up a meeting with the school's smuggler, and with that always came the vague concern that one of the attendees would rat her out for having prohibited alcohol on school grounds. That was usually easy to avoid though, she curated the list of invitees carefully, and she found it quite easy to sway newer 'initiates' into allowing the rules to slide. With her plans for drinking settled, she moved on to the next thing on her list- food. She left the rows of mint behind, her heels clicking on the stone floor as she strolled past various herbs, occasionally stopping to touch and smell a leaf as she did so. She stopped in front of the basil, a favourite of hers, and brought out her scissors once again, giving them a brief wipe with the cloth in her basket before she set about snipping leaves off, enjoying the scents that drifted into the air every time she touched a leaf.
The task at hand had so consumed Selene's attention that she almost missed the presence of another in the greenhouse with her, no doubt another student coming to reap the benefits of having fresh herbs on school property. She was more than content to let them go about their business in peace, but then she heard that soft, familiar voice, calling out to her. "Why, if it isn't the exalted ruler of Farrow." Everyone knew of Elizabeth Farrow, not only had her family practically built the school they all attended, but she had been quite the controversial figure within the school from the moment she arrived. Some hated the way she ruled over her small group of friends as though she was a medieval queen and they were her loyal subjects, at the mercy of her whims, and some were more than happy to take part in the theatricality of it all, vying for that coveted position at her side, and of course, there were always those like Selene, who didn't care enough to take a side, unbothered by what a girl did with her friends, and unwilling to subject themselves to anyone else's rule. Having harvested all the basil she desired, she wiped off her scissors once again, then walked over to where the oregano was planted, gently touching a few leaves here and there before she set her basket down and started to harvest them, "So, what brings you down today?" She looked over her shoulder at the other girl, a slight smile on her face, her voice light and playful as she spoke, "Have you come in the hopes of receiving an invitation to my soirée this Friday?" Her smile turned to a grin and she nodded her head in the direction of the basket, "I'm doing something with blackberries and mint for it. Perhaps some gin."
"Herbal tea?" Selene questioned, "Why, my dear Elizabeth, you know I have half a dozen recipes for that." She gestured, scissors in hand, to the rows of mint, "That's always good in tea." Her gaze was curious as she glanced over at the other girl, she had a sneaking suspicion that she knew what Elizabeth's desire for lavender was, after all, the traumatic events surrounding Dawn's death weren't exactly secret. "I think you'd enjoy chamomile tea." Her voice was softer now, kinder, "I think there's still some lemon balm left in the kitchens too, I'd recommend you try that mixed in your tea too."The idea of an invitation made her snort, and she grinned at Elizabeth, "Should I have written it on flowery paper and given it to one of your handmaidens?" Selene was clearly amused at her own jokes, and she turned to face the other woman, "My dearest Elizabeth, you are cordially invited to a party, held in Farrow House, at nine PM this Friday night." Her smile dropped for a second, and her face became just a touch more serious, "Of course, this is an exclusive invitation, just for you." She gestured vaguely with her hand as she spoke, "That whole princess and her handmaidens thing, it's just not the right vibe for these casual parties, and I haven't vetted those girls just yet."With all the oregano she needed in the basket, she gave her scissors a final wipe and dropped them in between the piles of herbs, turning around so she could face Elizabeth, "Now, I will have to insist that, if you attend this event, you will have to dress a little..." She paused, trying to think of a polite word, but quickly gave up, "You have to tart it up every now and then! I mean, your outfits are sublime, but where's the skin, where are the legs?" A very wry smile touched her lips then, "There are always eligible bachelors there, why not let your hair down a little?"
Though Selene had never cared for Elizabeth's holier than thou persona, she couldn't deny that the girl pulled it off with grace, the way she tossed her hair over her shoulder was so effortlessly elegant it was hard not to be impressed, and that disdainful tone in her voice was achieved with such admirable ease. Selene folded her arms across her chest, looking at the other girl with clear respect in her eyes, "Why El, you have just perfected that queenly attitude of yours." She grinned, "I bet it has those handmaidens of yours just quaking in their little heels whenever they mess up your precious coffee order or forget which step they're supposed to sit on."When she spoke of bringing along her clique, Selene sighed, "I know you enjoy having that little flock of hens around you, but it's never been the correct vibe for my parties, darling." She pulled her phone from her pocket, unlocking it with a quick four taps, "Now, on this list, we already have Oriana and Mihail, that's already a little too much pomp and circumstance for me, and if we bring in your little flock then that brings a tone of..." She paused for a second, "of deference, and of rules, which is pretty much exactly the opposite of what I'm going for here." With her slight admonishment over, her tone returned to its usual level of playfulness, and she gave the other girl a secretive smile, "Besides, you know how exclusive these little gatherings of mine are, they're only for those that I enjoy." When the girl spoke of Luke, Selene simply waved the girl's concerns away with her hand, "Commitment is for when you're old and grey, darling." She gestured to the girl, "Look at you, you're still young and beautiful, why not play the field while you can?" When the other girl gestured to her own body, Selene cackled and shook her head, "I've never understood that. I just want them for their bodies, who cares if they just want me for mine?" Her eyes roamed over the other girl's outfit, and she clucked her tongue disapprovingly, "Why don't we go back to Farrow House together, I'll bring you some of my favoured outfits, and we can see if they're a good fit." She eyed the girl's figure openly, "You're a little bigger than I am, so..." her eyes lit up with a devilish glint, and she gestured to the girl's chest, "they may be a little more revealing on you." Though her tone was friendly, it was not one that suggested compromise; Selene could be quite forceful when it came to dragging someone -willingly or not- out of their shell.
Though she could tell that Elizabeth considered it a great honour, Selene couldn't help but snort, the amusement clear in her eyes as she spoke, "El darling, you know I've never wanted to be one to follow any rules, and your little flock has just so many, you can't wear this, you can't sit there, it's far too much fuss for me." She shook her head, "Besides, our current arrangement works fine, don't you think?" A slight smirk touched her lips then, and she tilted her head to the side, a mischievous glint in her eyes, "Unless your secret desire is to control me?" She tutted reached one hand up and gently tapped Elizabeth's nose with her fingers, as though she was scolding a puppy, "I love you, but Selene Vanirion is her own woman, remember that."When the girl spoke of Maximilian, she could see that slight touch of hopefulness in her eyes, it was a look that she had seen a thousand times before when Maximilian came into the conversation, yet she hadn't expected to see it from Elizabeth, and she raised an inquisitive eyebrow, "Yes, I believe he'll be attending." They were too strange of a pairing; she was pure, like freshly fallen snow, and he was decidedly not. "You could do better than him, El." She dropped the subject quickly, clearly not desiring to debate the other girl's choice in men. A very wry smile spread across her lips when the topic of Mihail came up, "In my defence, bitchiness aside, Mihail is just ridiculous in bed." She grinned, "Can you hold off on killing him until he gets boring? I'll make it up to that little hen of yours, which one was it, Fawn? Dresses like she's fallen out of a Jane Austen novel?" The idea of Elizabeth murdering anyone was amusing in its own right, but Selene couldn't hold back her laughter at the idea of the girl going against Mihail, "Oh my dear Elizabeth, I've seen what the man's capable of, he may dress like a princess but he's rather..." She trailed off for a moment, her words full of implication, "-lethal."Everything she had said had been entirely playful, and she had expected that familiar look of puritan horror on her friends face, yet Selene noticed that Elizabeth's persona had changed, she was not simply horrified at Selene's modern ideals, no, she had frozen up; clearly some poorly chosen sentence had drawn her back to that great tragedy in her life. Elizabeth snapped out of it quickly enough, but Selene still used a gentle tone when she spoke, "Of course. You know I'll never pressure you into anything you're uncomfortable with, El." She reached out to link her arm with the other girl, "Back to your room, then."
It was only when she heard the sheer shock in Elizabeth's voice that she remembered that, although she never bothered to hide such things, her sleeping with Mihail wasn't exactly public knowledge. A giggle left her lips at Elizabeth's absolute curiosity, "Let's see..." She counted off her answers on her fingers as she spoke, "It was about three months ago, as for the how, it was rather easy actually, he dropped his book in the library and things just devolved from there, and I did it because I thought it would be fun." A very smug look crept onto her face as the memory of that night bloomed in her mind, "I was very right." She laughed, regarding her friend warmly, "I don't think you could handle knowing the details, El." The temptation was too great, and she leant in to whisper into her friend's ear, "Though just between you and I, don't touch that copy of '120 Days of Sodom' in the library. It may have been returned in pristine condition, but believe me, it has been thoroughly used." With that said, she cackled loudly, then pressed a finger to her own lips and winked at Elizabeth, "Don't tell a soul."The Ghost's blog had always been the single greatest point of information for those in the school, yet it was still incredibly controversial, and Selene wrinkled her nose, "God, you know I'd never look at that blog, I've never been a fan of such an invasion of privacy. No, I heard it straight from the horse's mouth, though Mihail was whining about his precious shoes so loudly I wouldn't be surprised if the whole school heard." When Elizabeth questioned Selene's plans for the new girl, she simply smiled, "El, you know me, I see an innocent-looking girl like that and I just want to teach her how to loosen up. Better I teach her how to drink and party rather than some creep, right?"When it came to Maximilian, there was never such thing as 'just friends', at least not in Selene's opinion. No, his female acquaintances usually fell into one of two categories, either those that he had already slept with or those that he was planning on sleeping with, and if they didn't fall into one of those two, they probably didn't even register on his radar. However, she chose to bite her tongue, knowing that Elizabeth would never concede to her opinion.As the conversation returned to her upcoming event, Selene beamed, happy to chatter away as they made their way out the greenhouse, "Oh, I've invited those who's company I find most enjoyable. There's you, of course, we've already mentioned Maximilian, Mihail and Oriana because, though absurdly cliquish, they bring a high fashion that is just unmatched, Jamie Ricci because he always provides alcohol, oh, and obviously my brother will be attending. That's the complete list for now, but I'll probably be inviting more."
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