Dax in Paris (2): The Grand Hall of Perception

Dax finally books a big show, thanks to Cosette. But she wants something from him.

1

Dax didn’t feel like he knew much. Out of everything there was to understand in the world, he was familiar with speaking French and painting. When it came to meeting new people, he could feel little beads of sweat forming between his shoulder blades and trailing down his back, his palms became sweaty and he stammered over his words.

Over the years of living in Paris with Cosette, he hadn’t become anymore acclimated to new people than he had been living in Winchester. It baffled him since, on the small island of his youth, he’d been tormented with scars crisscrossing his face in ugly, jagged lines.

All of that had changed, though, in an instant and off to Paris he’d gone to find his fortune in the world of art. When he’d first ventured out, he thought nothing could stop him. After all, he had been healed of his facial disfigurement and now he was a new man, free of all that had held him back.

But was he? Or was it just an illusion he’d created in order to move out of his comfort zone and forward with his life?

2

He was distracted briefly from his thoughts as a woman approached and Cosette greeted her warmly. She had made arrangements with two gallery owners. Ah, but this wasn’t just any gallery; Dax had already been featured in several of those. This was the impressive Grand Hall of Perception owned by none other than the world renowned art dealer himself, Porthos De Saint-Pierre.

Cosette was keen to get Dax’s work shown in this particular hot spot because she was certain it would move his career in the right direction, catapulting him to fame and success.

As Cosette spoke with one of Porthos De Saint-Pierre’s spokeswomen, Dax ducked back behind his canvas. The negotiations were Cosette’s specialty and he preferred to hide whenever he could.

“Yes, yes,” the woman, Sophie Daucourt, was saying to Cosette. “I have been willing to show Mr. St. Cyr’s work for a long time. But you see, the final word comes from Maud Vallée, my employer.”

“But she isn’t here,” Cosette said. Her voice was deep and a bit husky for a woman, Dax supposed, but it was one of the things he found so incredibly sexy about her.

“Ah! But here she is!” Sophie exclaimed, as Dax dove behind the painting he was working on once again.

3

“Maud, how good of you to meet with me,” Cosette graciously purred, kissing both of Maud Vallée’s cheeks.

“Yes, yes. Sophie has been going on and on about your Dax St. Cyr. I am sorry I missed his last showing, but having read the reviews and looking at some of his works, I think we can arrange something.”

“That’s wonderful! When shall we aim for?”

4

“Definitely within the next six months or so.”

Cosette’s eyes narrowed and she shook her head stubbornly. “No, that will not do at all. I realize you must book these things far in advance, but we are ready now.”

Maud raised an eyebrow and took a small step back. “But are there enough finished works to have a showing so soon?”

5

“Of course. How soon can we arrange this? Because if you are not able to accommodate us, I will have to give the Royal Gallery of Eternity an answer as they have been waiting for quite some time to hear from us.”

Dax smirked as he peeked around his hiding spot, paintbrush poised just in case he had to duck back behind it. He knew for a fact that Cosette was bluffing, but he wasn’t about to interrupt her with details like the truth since he had a feeling she was about to win this game.

6

“Cosette, I thought we were friends. I cannot believe you would accept a deal from them before us.”

Cosette shrugged her shoulders, shaking her head as if she’d been put into a very bad position. “You know I would much rather have Dax’s showing with you, my friend. But Dax must go where his art can be admired. He has been working his way up through the galleries for years, so it is now his time to shine.”

7

Maud took one look at Cosette’s puppy dog eyes and then said, “Okay, yes, all right! I can work him in sooner. Now, promise me you will not accept any deals from our competition.”

Dax was impressed that Cosette was able to hold in her squeal of delight until Maud and Sophie disappeared out of sight around the corner.

“We’re in!” she blurted with delight when she could no longer stand it.

8

True to her word, Maud was able to arrange Dax’s show at the Grand Hall of Perception within just a few weeks. It was what Cosette wanted, but after all was said and done, she was concerned that the “right” people may not have had the appropriate amount of time to work this into their schedules.

Still, word had already gotten around about the new artist named Dax St. Cyr, so she tried to calm herself by trying to stay positive.

9

That is, until she saw what he was wearing.

“Why aren’t you wearing your suit?” she asked, looking around them to see if any of the guests had noticed.

“Relax,” he said. “I hate wearing it. I feel like it’s choking me. No one’s even looking at me.”

While Cosette was irritated by Dax’s clothing choice for the evening, she realized there was something very different about him. Never before had she met anyone even remotely like him.

In her mind, their relationship had reached a crossroads. He knew absolutely everything about her family and childhood, where she’d gone to school and all there was to know about her past… the important things anyway.

But what did she know about Dax? Virtually nothing. He was kind and appeared to have had a good upbringing. Yet when she asked him simple questions about his childhood or where he grew up, he clammed up or changed the subject.

She turned to him now and said, “You schmooze these people tonight so your career will go the direction you want, then, once we’ve made the arrangements, we are going to visit your family.”

As she spoke, his mouth fell open in astonishment.

“And before you give me some excuse as to why we cannot meet your family, I want you to know that I will not take no for an answer this time. And that is final.”

Somehow, Dax got this message and realized he might lose her if he didn’t comply. His heart sank as he thought of how backward Winchester was. Once she went there, he might lose her anyway.

10

Cosette nudged him, “Those ladies over there are very important. You must say hi to them. The one on the left is Mrs. Marie-Claire Beaumanoir and she is a critic. Hopefully, she will like what she sees and write something good. The one on the right, Séraphine Delafosse, is an art collector. I’m hoping she buys something pricey!”

11

To make Cosette happy, Dax forced himself to smile and make small talk with Maud…

12

… an art dealer named Théodore Allard who was interested in several paintings…

14

… and the mother of all critics, Bérénice Philidor.

13

Finally, when the evening was over and all of the people had milled out, he let out a sigh of relief.

“Do not think that because this event went well, you’re off the hook, my love,” Cosette said. “Tomorrow, we leave to meet your family.”

 

 

  1. So does that mean he has been in Paris all this time and he still hasn’t completely “made it” yet?

    Can not wait to see what happens when he goes home! I wonder how Blue will receive him.

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    1. Thank you, Bee. 😀 Yeah, he’s been paying his dues, working his way up to bigger and better showings.

      Oh wow, right? On Saturday, we’ll see just how Blue and Dax get along! lol

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  2. I can’t wait until he goes home. Has he even been in touch with anyone? He seems to really care a lot for Cosette. I don’t think she will leave him when she meets his family. It may even endear her to him more…at least I hope so.

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    1. Thank you, Audrey 🙂 That is a good question about whether he’s been in touch with anyone or not. I imagine he’s probably sent letters home, but he and Blue have not had any contact… until this Saturday! lol

      Dax does really care for Cosette so let’s hope you are right about that.

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  3. This is going to be interesting !

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    1. Thank you, Cathy! 😀 I can see this scenario going many different ways once Dax arrives in Winchester. lol

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      1. Me, too ! Five at least ! Which has me really looking forward to it!

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        1. hahaha Thank you! 😀

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  4. If she judges him badly because of his origins, she isn’t worth dating. But I totally understand why she is irritated – she is dating someone who can’t even tell her the basics about hinself.

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    1. Thank you 🙂 Yes, exactly right. It would make you wonder if he trusted you or if you’ve wasted all of the time you’d invested in the relationship.

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  5. Dax is definitely an artistic recluse! I think he feels some trepidation about returning to the island because of all the bad memories he thinks he left behind. I doubt he puts Blue in that category, even though she was his friend and tried to draw him out before his scars were removed. I hope he is as happy for her as I am sure she will be for him! I kind of see a possibility in Blue and Cosette becoming friends…hope I am right!! I love the fact that he wouldn’t wear the suit…it just wouldn’t be ‘him’!! I am looking forward to Saturday, also!! So many possibilities, just like in real life….

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    1. Thank you, Marj! Dax is definitely a reclusive artist. haha I agree with what you say about why Dax has trepidation about returning to the island. There is also an added reason… he is afraid Cosette will think less of him because of how backward he feels his upbringing was.

      I hope Dax is happy for Blue, and the likewise also. We will have to see. It might get awkward. lol It would be interesting if Blue and Cosette became friends.

      I liked that Dax wouldn’t wear the suit, too. You’re absolutely right that it just wasn’t him.

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  6. Dax was, by far, the best dressed sim at his art showing!! The only way it could have been better is if he wore an Accidental Therapy shirt (although I can see how that might be weird).
    Wow Cosette is in for a culture shock. And although Blue isn’t technically his ex, I’m sure things could get awkward. Hopefully they can both be happy for the choices that the other has made.
    And I have to ask a silly question: how do you pronounce St. Cyr?

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    1. Accidental Therapy shirt, that was hilarious!

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      1. LOL! I thought it was great, too! 😀

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    2. Thank you! 🙂 I sure didn’t have a problem with the way Dax dressed for the showing. haha 😛 And oh my goondess! An Accidental Therapy t-shirt! I wish I’d thought of that! haha

      I think things could easily get awkward, too, when Cosette and Blue meet. But, like you, I hope they are happy for each other at the same time.

      As for St. Cyr… the way I’ve always pronounced it was “saynt seer,” however, I have also heard people pronounce it “saynt sea-air,” but in such a way that it’s not really two syllables, but not really one either. It’s hard to explain but I hope that helps. lol

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  7. I checked your chapter’s lists a few days ago and was excited to see that Dax’s new part comes out on Wednesday. And then it totally slipped my mind. And yet here it is!
    I fully understand Cosette and her wanting to meet Dax’s family, but that certainly doesn’t make things better for him. I wonder what his reaction will be when he sees Blue, Matthieu and her 5 (unless she’s already given birth) kids. This will be hilarious. I can’t wait for Saturday. Congratulations for Dax’s work getting much deserved recognition!
    I like the way you’re playing with pictures here 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much, Jowita. 🙂 I’m so glad you were looking forward to this, even if it did slip your mind. lol

      I can understand Cosette, too. She’s wondering what could be so bad that he won’t talk about his past or his family, yet he acts like someone who has had a good upbringing, so it’s confusing.

      Oh yes…. when he and Blue see each other! 😀 I hope we have a priceless moment there! lol

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  8. I love how Cosette has a way of getting what she wants lol, including a visit to Dax’s family. Oh boy…. I sense some awkwardness ahead. I hope Cosette accepts his rural origins and doesn’t think less of him for them. And I really really hope nothing happens between him and Blue that would make either couple unhappy!

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    1. Thank you, Raymond. 🙂 Cosette is pretty good at getting what she wants, isn’t she? LOL I sense some awkwardness ahead, too. But I hope Cosette accepts Dax for who is is and where he’s from. The possibilities of what could happen with Dax and Blue are endless! Let’s hope things don’t get out of hand. lol

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  9. Fingers crossed that all will go well with the family meet up .. I think she will do great.

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    1. Thank you, Lisa! 🙂 I think she will, too. 🙂 And I think the family will like her and like how far Dax has come. But, oh, this will be interesting!

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  10. Oh so good to hear he’s got a balsy girl! He obviously needed it, that’s why Blue and he got along. The fact that she is concerned at how little she knows of him is a good sign.

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    1. Thank you so much, Jolie 🙂 I couldn’t agree more with everything you said. I think you’ve really hit the nail on the head about this.

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  11. Cosette seems confident enough to TELL Dax they are visiting his family. Yet, she deviated quite widely from her tentative feelers and acceptance of changing the subject to demand for a command performance out of the blue. (pun intended) So, there must be some insecurities on her part. Maybe she feels Dax is happy to go with the flow, but doesn’t want to commit long-term. Maybe she feels there is another woman lurking in the shadows as too many married men live dual lives. It seems to me that Cosette is ready for a ring. There is also the question about why the push for Dax to be so successful. Isn’t the man enough? Or is she one who places too much on the success of a man and class-consciousness. I am hoping that Dax learns that no one should ever be ashamed of a good life as opposed to a rich life… and that Cosette too learns that, if she doesn’t already know it.

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    1. Thank you so much, ciane. So insightful, as always. You have brought up some very good points about Cosette and her own insecurities. Perhaps she is, as you mention, afraid Dax has a dual life of some kind. People who have nothing to hide, hide nothing, so she is probably wondering what the big secret is.

      I really like what you said, too, about the push for Dax to be successful and what success might mean to her as opposed to what it should mean.

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  12. Ah, so close, Dax! So close to major art success! But now you must pay your dues and introduces your significant other to your family! Which, in this case, is pretty much all of Winchester! XD I’m soooo looking forward to seeing Cosette on the farm!

    Here’s to hoping Blue and Dax have buried any hurt feelings. It definitely sounds like it, on both sides, but will they stay buried once face to face? Personally, I think so. I feel like Blue and Cosette may get along. Unless Cosette has a problem with farms and large families, then Blue may very well put her in the ground. XD

    Looking forward to the next chapter, when Paris and Winchester collide! 😀

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    1. LOL! Thank you so much, fluffymao. Your “Blue may very well put her in the ground” bit still has me laughing as I write this. 😀

      I’m really looking forward to Cosette on the farm, too. haha

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  13. It’s good to see Dax building his name up from the ground. It gives more pride than blurring over hardwork our characters do to get where they are!
    I think Dax needs more faith in Cosette, though seeing her in the rural town and on the farm will be amusing, to say the least. She may finally understand why he doesn’t like suits and such!

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    1. LOL! You’re so right about that! 😀 I think she is really going to miss some basic things we take for granted; I know Blue did at first. lol

      I think it’s good to see Dax paying his dues and starting at the bottom, too. It just seems to me that his success wouldn’t be an overnight thing like it usually is for our simmies.

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  14. I really do enjoy the way you present your story. It is quite unique

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    1. Thank you so much 🙂

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  15. Hmm must just be me but I’m a bit wary of Cosette. Why doesn’t she ask Dax why he won’t talk about his childhood or family instead of saying we’re leaving tomorrow. That’s a bit over the top and pushy to me. Dax has reasons and a lot of it has to do with the scars he had for so many years. How do you explain to someone that he had been horribly disfigured but cured miraculously without having them think you’re crazy? Plus the way she made the distinction between him knowing everything about that was important. Important to whom? Her? She could have left a lot of things out that he should know about. I hope I’m wrong about her but I don’t get a good vibe from her.

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    1. I’m not sure it’s just you; and I’m also not sure you shouldn’t feel that way about Cosette. You’re very right that it would be difficult to tell someone you were horribly scarred and cured by a miracle. He would risk her thinking he was crazy. When I began this story, I really wanted them to work out because I feel like Dax deserves to be happy. Well, I reckon I’m not done writing this yet. lol 😀

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  16. Heh, just so you know, Dax lol. This should be rich…

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