"Well, here we are," said Porone gesturing around the small room. "I use it for times when the Folly gets a bit... heated."
Rhea glanced around nervously as she stepped in. "It's nice. Cozy." Porone watched her, beaming as she walked around and settled herself on a small seat.
"My lady--" he began.
"Could I...?" started Rhea at the same time, only to stop and cough. "I'm sorry. Go on."
Porone stared at her, eyes wide, and then went on one knee. "My lady, no, no--you need never apologize to me. No, I should apologize to you. I... what I owe your blessed grandfather... cannot be counted. But I... for years, I lived, making my money, counting my coins, as Shaddad and his usurped all that rightfully belonged to your mother. When she came into contact with me..." He sighed. "Let Mansemat say what he will--it is she who will bring a new way for House Cthonique, a new way for the entire Lands of Night!"
Rhea stared at that. "Yes, well... what were you going to say earlier."
The chubby merchant smiled. "Merely that your being here is the greatest honor that has ever been done to this humble abode."
"Ahh." Rhea sat awkwardly on her hands. "Well, I was going to ask for a drink."
Porone stood up. "And I will get you one!" He headed for the door, then turned. "What would you like? Wine, perhaps? Or brandy?"
"Something... soft, if you will," said Rhea. "Tea. Tea would be fine."
Porone smiled, and gave a bow. "Then I will get it for you, Lady Cthonique."
Rhea leaned back and shut her eyes as he headed out of the room. She knew as soon as she heard it, that she would never, ever be used to being called that. Even if it happened to her for a hundred years.