|Wonder City Stories (wonder_city) wrote,|
@ 2012-04-10 07:15 pm UTC
|Entry tags:||erzsebet_farkas, zoltan|
"I was introduced to Doña Consuela yesterday," Erszebet said. She was folded leggily into one of the vast overstuffed chairs in Zoltan's living room, wearing black yoga pants and a tight black ballet top. She leaned her chin on her arms, which were crossed atop her knees.
Zoltan turned from dusting his bookshelves immediately and focused on her. "Were you? What did you think of her?" He had a habit of paying attention to one with such intensity one might believe oneself to be the only important being in the world. She could see it being flattering to some, but she found it mostly annoying and a little intimidating.
Erszebet tried for casual, but knew she was leaking awe around the edges. "She was a very pleasant woman," she said. "She offered to take me home with her and show me more of America."
"Did she? That is extremely kind of her," Zoltan said, leaning negligently against a table and setting down his feather duster. His hair was drawn back into a queue and concealed under a kerchief covered in tiny skulls. "Did she also offer to call your mother to obtain permission?"
"Yes, she did," Erszebet said, perplexed. "How did you know?"
"It is a logical deduction," Zoltan said. "I have made a study of logic with one of my renters, you see."
She wished urgently that he wasn't so skilled at concealing all his emotions as well as his facial expressions and body language, but she gave in almost ungrudgingly. "What do you think of the offer? Really? I want to know how to react when my mother calls."
Zoltan's eyebrows rose, and he allowed a little surprise to slip through. But he kindly forebore comment. "I think," he said after a moment, "that the Zalazars are a powerful family with connections to many families, including the Lakatos. And it is no surprise that they might attempt to form a casual alliance with the Farkas."
"Because of you?" she pursued.
"Possibly," he said vaguely, letting his attention slide away and picking up his feather duster again. "More possibly because your mother and her sisters are forces to be reckoned with in eastern Europe now."
Erszebet was silent as he moved to dust another set of bookshelves. An apron with frills around the edges protected his black turtleneck and jeans from stray puffs of dust. She watched him for another few minutes before saying, "If the Zalazars are so powerful, why is Doña Consuela not in consideration to become the next Grand Matriarch? She seems much more... connected and enthusiastic and likeable than Madame Griselda."
"Because custom dictates that the next oldest woman of the families will be the Grand Matriarch of North America," Zoltan said without looking her way.
Erszebet stewed on that for a few moments. "But custom is different from law," she said finally.
"It is custom," Zoltan said, and there was something in his tone that suggested the topic was done. He finished the next shelf and consulted his wristwatch. "I think that perhaps we should dress. Tonight is the Ceremony of Leavetaking, and we should be there early, I'm afraid, because I am part of it."
Erszebet rose immediately. "Of course, cousin. Do you need me this evening or should I find company for myself?"
Zoltan flashed a smile over his shoulder at her. "You need not be joined to me in tedium. You should meet new people and make connections, my dear. That is why you are here, after all."