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Afternoon Duties, Undiverted (early afternoon, 25/12)- Xmas 1677

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St. James Square, edging Hyde park, one finds the more fashionable houses of London, a step higher from Piccadilly Street. The houses are not numbered but known by their inhabitants.


One may have thought that the potent combination of a largely-sleepless night, a poor appetite, and two unsuccessful attempts to tie a cravat by oneself before giving up and summoning a much more capable servant to the rescue were portents of a day that would prove unpleasant at best. Indeed, such an assumption would have applied readily to most people, beleaguered as they were by their myriad concerns and mundane matters.


James O'Neill, as he had and would undoubtedly again insist, was not most people.


For while the sun may have been battling against the threat of another flurry in the sky, he could know nothing but warmth. A messy cravat was a mistake easily remedied. Fatigue and hunger were the base considerations of animals, not a man on the make. Which he certainly was, as evinced by the book on the horizon, a rising reputation at court, and -of course- his own position in the Duke of Ormonde's household.


Certainly, it was a more preferable story than thinking of it as an obligation.


Naturally, it took little coaxing (personally and on behalf of the poor footman Fergal) to head to the Lord Steward's house forthwith, pausing only to fix the brief fiasco of the cravat and to give the servant a gracious-enough "Merry Christmas". St. James was familiar enough to the poet by now that he could make the satisfyingly-brisk walk from the carriage with little ado, tugging restlessly at the copper-colored thread embroidering the navy of his frock coat. Ormonde, he had observed, was a man with little patience for dallying...which, of course, suited his own needs just fine.


Entering the foyer, he gave the servant a perfunctory nod but a warmer, dimpled smile, expecting his presence to be familiar enough to dispense with the wait, announcing himself with a succinct “I believe His Grace is expecting me?”


(OOC: Belated edit MA by Defiance)

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The house of Ormonde had a festive decoration to it, with a decldedly feminine touch. One might wonder if Ormonde even had the patience for such decisions in his house, and indeed, he was a traditionalist. The home and entertaining was more a woman's sphere.


His daughters and son were all home, so there was a very lived-in buzz to the place. For a grand man like the duke, it might be surprising that none of his siblings were there, but the patriarch of his family had a separation with his siblings over religion. He ascribed to the state faith and they did not. Idiotically. Thus, they were not invited.


James was met with a swiftly opened door. His outer garments were taken and he was shown into a parlour decorated in green and gold. Already trays had been set out with all sorts of little delicacies and a servant was there to serve the drinks.


Ossory was already there, giving the trays his judged approval, one by one.

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