For those who haven't been following this blog, let me introduce it a little. I am currently blogging my 21st novel that has the working title Daemon. The novel is about Aksinya, a wondrous sorceress, who, to save her family from the Bolsheviks, called and contracted the demon, Asmodeus. Her family was murdered anyway, and she fled with the demon from Russia to Wien, Austria.
Ernst takes Aksinya to the most sauve and aristocratic restaurant in Wien. They go to the Red Room...
Herr Leichter led them to a room at the far end of the lower floor. The walls were salmon colored and the carved wooden ceiling was frescoed with a beautiful painting. A great chandelier hung from its center. On the wall was a large oil of a woman in a white lace wedding dress. The oak doors were carved, and the floor was a wonderful wooden mosaic. Inside the room was a long table set for three. Two places were set at one end and the other a little further down from them. A grand piano sat in one corner of the room. Gas lamps and candles were lit and provided all the illumination here not electricity like the rest of the building. Wood fires were lit in two opposing fireplaces. Immediately, when they entered, the pianist began to play a gentle waltz melody.
Herr Leichter led them to the head of the table. A maid stood there. She curtsied to Aksinya. Herr Leichter grinned, “Countess, would you like to remove your cloak?”
Aksinya nodded. The maid untied the clasp and Ernst helped Aksinya slip out of it. Aksinya noticed wryly, her rich blue gown clashed with the decorations in the room. The maid took the bouquet in one hand and the coat over her arm and moved to a corner. She stood there almost unmoving the rest of the evening until just before they left.
Ernst sat Aksinya at the head and then Natalya at the setting a little further down. Another maid took Natalya’s cloak and Ernst’s top hat and top coat and handed them to the maid who held Aksinya’s mink and bouquet. As soon as Ernst sat in the chair to the side of Aksinya, three waiters brought lavers and towels for them to rinse and dry their hands.
They disappeared for a moment then almost immediately returned with the appetizer and wine. The wine was a slightly dry Riesling. The appetizer, a tiny filet of roebuck encircled with bacon and topped with krauter butter. Ernst stated off-hand, “I asked for the night’s special dinner. I think you will like it. If you don’t, they will prepare you anything you wish—you just have to ask.”
Aksinya took a bite of the steak, “This is very nice. Please ask them to continue.”
Ernst gave a small bow at his seat.
Aksinya slowly savored the food. She asked, “So Herr, Taaffe…”
“Won’t you call me, Ernst?”
Aksinya pursed her lips, “Don’t you think that is a little familiar?”
“I will continue to address you as Lady or Countess, but you may call me Ernst.”
“That is still too familiar, but I shall do so only because I am polite and you asked. I do not address my lady-in-waiting by her given name in public.”
Ernst glanced at Natalya and his brow rose.
Bloggspot lost all my commentary. I will try to give you a five minute synopsis of what I prepared last night.
The chamber is a real one and very romantic. Ernst is obviously being coached by someone. I don't tell you who, but that someone is Asmodeus. He is even there--Aksinya saw him.
The rest is the dance of the society. The cloaks and gloves, the meal, the wine. I describe the meal to you so you can see what is going on and to let the conversation flow.
Ernst asks Aksinya to call him by his first name. This is considered very intimate. Aksinya tells him she will, but puts him in his place. She doesn't call Lady Natalya by her given name in public, but with her title. This places Ernst below Natalya in Aksinya's circle. That's why the reaction from Ernst. He is pleased because he is lovestruck, but Akinsya put him in his place. She's good at that. Tomorrow, more of Aksinya and Ernst conversation.