A Magical Roleplaying Experience 

 #18498  by Viola York
Viola seated herself in one of the reclining spa chairs, the therapist setting up essential oils, aromas, treatments, and ointments. She really hoped this would ease the stress - nothing better than spending someone else's money for a nice face massage and treatment. Of course, she would have much preferred a private room, but they were all booked up on such short notice, and apparently they were not easily bribed. She would certainly change that at some point.

Until then, she would have to deal with it. As her beauty therapist stepped away to fetch a personally requested face scrub, Viola glanced around, seeing other women and perhaps a couple men considering the different products on display. It was until she saw a somewhat familiar face that she had to lift a brow.

"Phoebe Dumont? Aren't you friends with my cousin, Hera?" She asked, pursing her lips. Clearly, she had not heard of the name change.
 #18502  by Phoebe Jareau-Young
It was so nice to be back in Canada, even though she had to go back to using her maiden name to avoid suspicion. She and Nathaniel were still trying to figure out how to break the news to their parents, especially since they both knew it was hardly going to go well. To put it off, Phoebe had gone to her favourite spa to try and get some relaxing in before the fateful moment.

She leaned back on the chair, allowing herself to drift off into bliss, even before the therapist started. She knew this place inside and out, and knew what she was about to enjoy.

Hearing her name, she lifted her head just slightly and turned, taking in the woman at the next chair. She hadn't seen her come in, but she certainly recognized the face.

"I am," she said, offering the smallest smile. "Viola York, right? You're a long way from home." She hesitated, drawing her left hand across her body.
 #18505  by Viola York
"Soon to be Viola Iver. Lucky me." She rolled her eyes, hesitating at the hand. She wasn't quite sure whether to shake it or not, but seeing as things couldn't get any worse by meeting this woman properly, she nodded and shook it. Even if it was brief, she had at least attempted to play nice. It was much better than that time she had run into Prudence Binx.

"Yes, I need to me. I'm sick of England right now; anything to get away. All that bullshit is just...not for me." She rolled her eyes dramatically again. "You come here often then? Guessing you know all the regulars right? I must stick out like a sore thumb."

In some way, Viola hoped so. She liked to be noticed, even if negatively. Attention was attention, after all.
 #18511  by Phoebe Jareau-Young
Phoebe arched an eyebrow. "Congratulations," she said. It was the polite thing to say, even if the other woman didn't seem too thrilled by the thought. "I'm still waiting," she said, glad that her offer a handshake had been accepted. "My parents are convinced that no man is worthy of me, and meanwhile my younger sister grows impatient."

She grinned, knowing the feeling. She in fact often liked to escape to Europe, and with her recent news, she knew she would definitely return soon. "This place is connected to a friend of mine, so I frequent it often. I always find the east coast to be relaxing. Have you been to Canada before?" she asked, curious. "I will admit I did notice that there was someone new here. It's nice to officially meet you, though."
 #18512  by Viola York
"I have, but never here." Viola shrugged, leaning back in her chair and dipping her hand into the cherries on offer to her. It was a fruit she thoroughly enjoyed, and was glad they were offered alongside raspberries and blueberries during treatment. She really wished she had a larger glass of champagne, though.

"Believe me, my parents would be glad for this marriage. Ivers are a long running family, old and pure blood, good for the line of offspring, I guess." She sighed, staring off into the room. "It's just that I'm marrying the wrong Iver. The one I want was taking by...wrll, let'snot mention names as you likely know her." She scoffed, "Real question is, do you want to meet anyone?"
 #18518  by Phoebe Jareau-Young
Taking a strawberry from her own platter, Phoebe nibbled on the end of it. "Welcome to Nova Scotia, then," she said, twirling the strawberry between her fingers.

She arched an eyebrow, listening to Viola's description of the family. Sometimes she didn't understand British families and their obsession with blood status. In North America, it was more about their general connections and what businesses they ran. "Well that's a shame," she replied, glancing down for a brief moment. It was a tale too close to her own for comfort. "Honestly? I already have met someone. Sadly he too is... well, he's engaged. Joining two business moguls together in holy matrimony..." she let out a sigh. "But he and I are deeply in love. It's unfortunate that our families are about as engaged in conflict as the Montagues and Capulets."
 #18522  by Viola York
Viola scoffed.

"Seems every romance these days is doomed to fail. Who knows, maybe we'll both be on the front cover of the Daily Prophet for a suicide pact." She rolled her eyes, clearly thinking nothing of such a sour subject. Even with her beauty therapist returning and starting to prepare cleansing balms before applying to her cheeks and forehead, Viola still found herself being brash as always.

"I might as well say it. What's the point in hiding it; everyone probably knows anyway. I'm in love with Nathan Iver - feel free to laugh. I'm currently engaged to his cousin, Gavin. I mainly said yes for the money, power, status...and to hopefully make Nathan jealous. That...and well, Gavin has a similar look. " She shrugged. "Sometimes, I like to imagine Nathan instead. I bet Nathan hasn;t given a passing thought to me. How sad is that?"
 #18527  by Phoebe Jareau-Young
Phoebe's own beauty therapist had returned by that point too, and she smiled softly at the man who always did her facial treatments. "Perhaps," she said, instinctively reaching for her finger where her ring should be - except people at the spa knew her parents, and she was worried of the news spreading before she was ready for it.

As Viola explained her situation, Phoebe merely shook her head in quiet amazement. "Nathan Iver, huh? He would be a catch, wouldn't he," she trailed off, thinking about what she had heard through the grapevine. "I haven't met either of them personally, but I can see your point. The pictures I'm sure do not do them justice." She shook her head. "Not sad at all. I've always been one to believe that things will work out in the end..." she was dangerously close to spilling her own secret, "But for now I'll have to wait and see. Nathaniel Ridley is my love. I suppose I'm lucky that he feels similarly towards me, but a Ridley and a Durant could never marry. A Ridley and Riley Perkins, though? Much less likely to cause conflict."
 #18528  by Viola York
"He's a catch if you like condescending, cold, heartless, egotistic and narcissistic arseholes." Viola commented, but sighed. It was evident that despite those negative traits, she wished it was her having to put up with them rather than Astrid; she was almost sure it would have been her in that marriage had Astrid not shown up. She would be with Nathan eventually...she was determined.

"Riley Perkins, huh?" Viola lifted her brow, though at this point, she had her eyes closed so could not see Phoebe's returned expression. "Is that who he's engaged to? Bummer...so what are you gonna do? See him on the side? Remain a spinster forever?"
 #18533  by Phoebe Jareau-Young
Phoebe let out a slow sigh, shifting to get herself comfortable. She supposed there was someone out there for everyone. "One day I'm sure things will work out," she offered. Maybe she was naive, but after Paris, she truly believed it.

"She's sweet enough, but... they don't have a lot in common." In response to her question, she hesitated once again. "I know these attendants will never speak, so... in actual fact, we were wedded in Paris. Legally. I am Phoebe Jareau-Young, now, after our mothers' maiden names. And now we need to find a way to explain to our families." Explaining it reminded her just how unlike her it had been. "So I'm sure there's hope for you."
 #18557  by Viola York
"Juicy." Viola smirked, humming a chuckle in response. "Well, that's one way to assert dominance - be told no and do what you want to do anyway. Whether it really is for love or what, I don't know, but that's brave nevertheless. I know if I wanted to try that I would be jumping through hoops to get it going."

She shrugged, lifting her chin slightly for her therapist to get a better angle at the top of her neck and below the jaw. "There's hope for me as long as I drop the Nathan thing. He's married to Astrid Lundstrom, she's pregnant, and she hates me. Likely threatened by my presence. Just means she makes my life hell so..." She shrugged again. "Gavin Iver is going to be good for the bloodline and family fortune; he's attractive, an alpha male, ambitious..."

Viola sighed.

"But he's still no Nathan."
 #18563  by Phoebe Jareau-Young
Phoebe gave a small, nervous laugh. "Yeah, it was... rather unexpected, but I guess brave could be one way to describe it."

She sighed, enjoying the attention she was getting from her therapist for a few moments, pondering Viola's words. She saw her point. From the few times she had come across Astrid, she could tell the woman was a force to be reckoned with. It didn't stop her from, once again, wondering at the differences in priorities across the pond.

"I do hope things work out for you. Who knows, maybe Gavin will turn out to be more than you expect. Nathaniel and I were lucky, it was completely mutual. Over here it seems like everyone is struggling between love and duty. Riley should be engaged to Nathaniel but I know for a fact she fancies the Rutherford heir. Meanwhile he's constantly trying to convince my best friend Ronelle that they would be a powerful match." She chuckled. "You're not the only one pining after someone unavailable."
 #18574  by Viola York
Viola smirked, taking a moment, humming as the woman put a little pressure on her temples. That felt good, at least. It was a nice moment away from Iver Hall and all its madness.

"There is competition everywhere; for women, for men, for heirs, money, business, employees, employers, gossip, rumours, secrets, ingredients, power, fame...it's all about greed and the need to have it. Even if it's something simple like wanting to get married and have a family - in the upper class, it's all about who's baby has the bluest eyes or the chubbiest cheeks or the purest blood. It's all bullshit." She sighed again. "But with Nathan...I did have that man once. I fucked it up. I was his obsession; in some ways, I still am. I was a prodigy - I invented magical tools, perfected potions, gathered ingredients...he loved me...we slept together, and I fell madly for him, just as obsessed with him."

She pressed her lips together, not wanting to remember all those details.

"I betrayed him for my own power, and when it all came crashing down, I had to lie and say one of the tools I made altered my perception and mental stability, just so that I could be welcomed back. I wasn't exactly greeted warmly...but over time, we worked together again, and I realised he still cared for me."

She grit her teeth.

"And then he met Astrid. And she stole any chance I had."
 #18976  by Phoebe Jareau-Young
Phoebe listened to Viola's story, thinking not for the first time that things across the pond really were different. There was competition, of course, but not to the extent that the other woman was describing. At least, not in the circle Phoebe ran in. She had been blessed with a life of luxury without the sticky situations, for the most part.

"That's quite the story," she said after a moment's pause after Viola finished speaking, "I can't imagine going through something like that. I can only wish you the best in what's to come." She had always prided herself on being an optimist, even in the worst situations.
 #19027  by Viola York
Viola felt like snapping back. Perhaps it was a growing maturity in her, or just a shift in the atmosphere that made her sigh and nod in response.

"You're right...things might be better this way. With Nathan, I was always so concerned with impressing him. Once I move out and live with Gavin, I can finally let go somewhat. I can learn to love Gavin - he's handsome, and charming and er...you know, adequate in bed...I just have to make the best of it. I think the best thing for me to do if focus on my career."

She glanced over at Phoebe.

"Oh, er, I'm a columnist for the Practical Potioneer, so if you have any apothecaries you love, be sure to direct me their way." She smirked. "If not, I can always supply for a friendly discount."