Poster: Vanessa Baltimore
Post # 13
aim had been to hurry to the cottage and began rapping against the door
however he found his ears picking up the distinct sound of laughter and
so, after a quick battle on the course he should take, he chose to go to
those laughing. He hadn't a clue if he had in fact reached his
destination so he thought best to ask for help. Rounding the side of the
cottage, he would arrive just in time for a snow ball to come sailing
past his head. "Hey! Minchione!" His brows furrowed in anger
but instantly melted away once this so the person who had tossed it.
"Sei bellissima..." He said in a surprise tone as he removed
the hood from his head with his left hand, while he found his right hand
coming to rest over his heart in surprise. Well she seemed to be a beauty.
The moment would fade however as he reminded himself of why he had come.
"Scusi." He managed a smile despite how embarrassed he felt
for the outburst he had moments before which had been followed by the
dumbfounded look soon after. "I was wondering if you would be as
kind as to help me?"
Oh indeed, quite the vision of beauty. Working out in the snow all day
to start preparations for the children's event, Vanessa was dressed in a
dark blue full length coat with a black fur lined hood which lay back
against her shoulders at the moment with her hair pulled back in a
snood. Her face red both from having a face full of snow and the cold
weather. She could probably put Rudolf to shame at the moment! When she
heard the foreign words, she automatically snapped to spin around see
who was there. However, laughter like that wasn't something that died
easily so to keep her laughter hidden, both gloved hands went to cover
her mouth with a glance to Benji who smirked, dusting snow off his coat.
Vanessa cleared her throat and collected herself enough that she wasn't
outright laughing, but still chuckling some. "My apologies, good
sir." Spoken as she started across the span of garden towards where the
man stood. "I can try to help you, but you must forgive my friend's
bad aim." Motioning to Benji who threatened her with another
It was a cold day this one even with the brightness it didn't temper the
temperature any. There had been a deal made and she should see to the
exchange before she headed back to Ballicastle. Most of her shopping was
done and her sketches made in how she would make the figurines in
decoration for the Thistle mantle. A dark gown of midnight blue was worn
under a cloak lined in fur of a deep russet. She knew where the Avian
was located although she had not been up this way before. She brought a
package of eclairs she picked up along the way at the deli, a little
treat for the Avian lady Vanessa. Cheeks held a healthy rosy glow, blue
eyes bright, as she turned into the walk from the gate towards the
cottage. Checking as she went to see if Vanessa was at the Avian
"Mi bella." He held his arms out at either side to show he was
ok, a flattering smile upon his face. "It is quite ok, no harm
done." Arms brought back to his side he would continue on. "I
am looking for the Avian Gardens, might you know if I'm headed in the
right direction?" The smile had faded and had been replace with a
sense of urgency at this point.
Roseann would find the fence of the gardens and the gate decorated with
garland and red bows and all conversation was coming from around the
side of the cottage where Vanessa greeted the dark featured stranger,
and Benji was helping set up decorations for the upcoming event. Vanessa
offered the man a smile, dusting snow from her coat. "You've found
the Avian Gardens." The smile faded slightly though when the man
took on a more serious expression. "Is there something I can help
The place was being transformed which brought a soft smile in
appreciation. She didn't see anyone at first but she heard voices.
Instead of going to the cottage door, she averted her steps taking her
around the side. She slowed as she drew closer not wishing to interrupt
but a small wiggle of fingers was her greeting to Vanessa. She had a lot
of patience that would show in her demeanor.
"Si si." He said quickly."Please, tell me you have
messenger birds of some sort. I need to deliver a message and it is of
dire importance." He apparently spoke with his hands as well for as
he spoke, they to moved about in front of him in tune with his voice,
showing the importance of the matter."I will pay anything, do
anything." He pleaded, which was very uncommon for him, but given
She spotted Roseann and smiled to her while listening to the man speak
his need for a carrier bird. With a nod, she turned and motioned to the
flight cages down the hill towards the lake a short distance. "Aye,
I do. That front cage is carrier birds. We will find you one." Her
attention returned to Roseann with a smile once more. "Good
afternoon, Roseann. Have you come to collect on my debt?" She
snickered softly, motioning the man to go ahead towards the cages
figuring she and Roseann would be joining him.
The man reminded her of the Sibio males she had met before. His
accent, speaking with his hands as she couldn't help but notice in a
curious way. Weight shifted slightly to her right leg as the smaller box
was cradled in the curve of her forearm. The larger box would be
delivered once it arrived at the Thistle and a lad hired to bring it up.
Drawn from the other as her smile warmed Vanessa's way.
"Yes. I have," pausing with a glance to the other and back,
"if it is a bad time I could come back later?" Not sure how
she ran things, Roseann was polite. Maybe too much, she should learn how
to crack Eion upside the head for his behavior the other night. Maybe
her sister was waiting for that kind of spunk in her to come alive
"Grazie grazie." He nodded his head excitedly with each thank
you before dark eyes wandered to Roseann. "Buon giorno." He
said pleasantly offering a small smile. Best be nice to the natives and
such. And yes, he just stood there waiting
for Vanessa to take the lead. It was clear however, his impatience that
is, by the way he began to fidget with the clasp on his cloak and such.
"Not at all, Roseann. If you'd like to set your boxes down there on
the bench, we'll all go look at the birds." She moved to offer to
help with the boxes if she needed the help. "The snowflake light
catchers are positively beautiful." Which she'd hung in the front
windows and one side/kitchen window of the cottage.
She could barely keep down the smirk and did so by not looking at the
man and his fidgeting. Alhough it brought the spark of humor to blue
eyes. When he addressed her, she caught the words and would assume they
meant good afternoon or the like. "A good day to you Sir,"
smile whispered across her features for a fleeting moment. Cordial,
before easily distracted back to Vanessa. "I have the one, if you
like eclairs?" The lad was coming up the path as they spoke with
the larger box holding the six snowflakes done up so a candle fit behind
them as requested. She set the one package down and upon noticing him,
waved him over so he could set the other box to the bench as well.
And well to help speed up the process, he'd grab a box himself and help,
though it was not asked for nor offered by him. He was in a rush to send
the note off and was at the complete mercy of Vanessa and her pace.
Oh yes, the man was in a rush. "I would love one, perhaps after I
get you both situated with birds? If you'd like, the side door is
unlocked Roseann. You can set the eclairs inside if you like and join us
at the cages?" Spoken with a step closer to the man who waited so
"Yes, I will do so," leaving her to take care of the man and a
good idea not to leave the eclairs outside for any animals or birds that
might get a scent of what was inside.
Phew, they seem to be headed to the cages now and the worried look Enzo
had adopted had washed over it would seem. "Once again, I thank you
so much. You have not a clue how much time you have saved me." Nor
lives. The thought slipped past his mind as he followed her lead.
"The letter is to be delivered to a ship off the western coast, the
Aureo Promessa." He would then dig into his cloak and produce a
small flag. "This is the flag they fly." He would offer it up
so she could in turn inspect it. Golden in color, a red crown with wings
played a stark contrast to its back drop. "Thank you again."
Another thanks was issued forth.
A nod was given to Roseann before walking off through the snow towards
the flight cages with the man. She smiled to his words of thanks and
took the flag when it was offered. She'd never heard of the place he
spoke of though. "How far is this coast you speak of?" The
best suited bird would depend on the distance of this coast he spoke of.
The flag was held onto for the time being as she reached the gate of the
cage for the carrier birds, but no further until she got a bit more
Roseann would not loiter too long in Vanessa's cottage but she would
long enough, about five minutes, to warm up. The first chills were the
hardest to get use to but she would. Happened every winter, or beginning
of it. It also gave time for Vanessa to see to the man's request.
Truth be told she was curious on such birds so would venture back out,
closing the door behind her securely then headed down to the area that
had been indicated earlier. She would stay back and watch, listen,
"It is your very own coast mi bella, the name of the ship is the
Aureo Promessa... The situation dictates I not been seen any where near
it. Besides, wings could travel far faster then these legs." He
went on to pat his own thighs which for the most part were worn from the
long trek up here.
"Oh.." Well didn't she feel silly now. The cage door was
opened with a glance back towards Roseann. "You're welcome to look
over the birds. The exotic companion birds are in that flight
cage." Pointing to the correct one as she stepped into the cage
with all the carriers, she looked over the birds perched about on
various branches within the tree, the area kept warm by heating spires
in the center of the cages. Given what he said about his person not
going near the ports, she opted for a common pigeon. Over to where the
bird was perched on a low branch, her hand extended to allow the bird to
move to her hand then she was coming back to the gate. "Have you a
message already written out?"
The spark of excitement lit up blue eyes as she glanced to where it was
indicated of the exotic birds. That being the best suited for her in her
shop, one that would learn to talk well. "Thank you," quickly
spoken as she headed in the direction pointed out, already sizing up the
many kinds and all gathered in the cage. She would walk around it,
studying each, talking low under her breath while she waited. She would
not go inside until the time came to actually pick one out.
"Si..." He said as he went about getting the little note out.
He made sure to keep it short and simple as possible so as to not
confuse its reader. Held between his index and middle finger, the note
would be offered up, dark eyes wandering from Vanessa to Roseann. Risky
using a outside source but Enzo saw it as his last option... Riskier was
coming.... They dare not extend their reach here Enzo, you know
that... He reminded himself. It was safe here.. The the docks, that
was another story. "All is in your hands now."
Oh...no pressure, right? While he was digging for his note, she reached
into a tall wooden chest next to the gate of the cage for a small
leather wrap for the bird for the carrying of the note. It was fitting
like a breastplate with a couple ties on it. The bird was set on the
chest once it was closed again and the leather garment placed around its
neck before taking the note, which she didn't read but fixed securely to
the leather now dressed on the bird. The flag she'd held onto was
lifted, the bird examined it briefly as Vanessa gave a signal whistle,
an instruction, the bird took flight and turned in direction of the
And then it was out of Vanessa's hand and resting upon the wings of the
bird. Dark eyes watched it as it faded from view and his shoulders
slumped. "How long? Do you know?" If it seemed he was being
impatient or too forth coming, well one could say it was because he
wasn't speaking in his native tongue.
"To the ports of Heathfield? Not long. Half an hour perhaps. The
pigeon will return here with or without a message." She offered him
a smile and turned her attention to Roseann for a moment, then back to
the man. "You're welcome to wait here if you need to. When the bird
returns, if you wish to purchase him you can." There were various
benches around here and there, some dusted free of snow, some not.
"Have you found a pair you like, Roseann?"
"Pair?" She was thinking more along the line of one.
"Which are best at talking? If I got a pair, male and female, could
I breed them or are they difficult in captivity?" Coming from
around the one side with only a glance spared the man
Vanessa had been helping. It seemed he was done for now and her focus
back upon her new friend. "They're all so lovely," in short it
was going to be hard to pick though she liked colorful ones or a
cockatoo. All white
or with color.
"A pair." That is what they had agreed on at the Thistle.
Looking in through the cage, thoughtfully thinking over Roseann's
question. "Mm...they all are capable of speaking." The gate
was opened, she stepped inside. "They're all friendly and should do
well in captivity. As long as they are well tended to, which I have no
doubt you will keep up with them." Looking around, she pointed to a
pair of cockatoos. "Those two have been a pair since they arrived
here and both have learned to speak some greeting and parting
Purchase, well that certainly might work out for the best. Up until now
he had received notes from chosen check points. Things had changed.
Snapping out of the daze he had slipped into he would clear his throat.
"Thank you..." He said before he realized what he hadn't done.
"Scusi scusi... Thank you so much for helping me. You went out of
your way to help a stranger would had not the manor to introduce
himself. I promise you I'm usually better behaved and
such. I am Enzo Vinicio Corvo de Luca." That was a mouth full.
"And I believe parrots talk and ravens if I am not mistaken."
"I might spoil them," more mussed with a touch of laughter.
She would too being she spent long hours in her workshop and a place
already picked out she would turn into a natural habitat for them. They
would be kept clean, toys to play with, affection lavished with
attention when she took breaks which she did or have too much a strain
on her eyes with the more delicate working of stain glass. "They
would be perfect then." Kept together and already well on the way
to learning to mimic their language. She had moved within the cage
and towards the pair, raising an arm to see if either would come to her.
Although startled with a quick look over her shoulder as the man became
animated and needing Vanessa's attention again. After the initial blink
a smile followed as his words sank in. The words spoken to her friend so
left her to respond and not butting in.
When Roseann came into the cage, Vanessa whistled softly to the pair and
held an arm up. Two could be heavy. They both took flight, one landing
on each of the offered arm. Vanessa smiled over her shoulder to Enzo.
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Enzo. My name is Vanessa Baltimore,
and this is my friend Miss Roseann Cleary." Once the cockatoo was
settled, she lowered her arm and waited for Roseann to exit first.
"Ah, molto lieto (pleased to meet you) Lady Vanessa, Lady
Roseann." A polite dip of his chin was given, a show of respect,
and he straighten up his posture once more. "Quite the lovely
couple." He added in. Seeing how he would be around until the
return of the bird, he didn't wish to alienate Roseann whenever he spoke
They were healthy birds as she was a little surprise they were heavier
than they looked. Lowering her arm as the one landed to a more
comfortable position. A hand rose to slide over the softness of
feathers. "You are a beauty," tones under her breath as she
reveled in the feel. Petting came easy. Once Vanessa introduced them
both she turned a smile the man's way as she came out of the cage. It
seemed that was what she was to do. "A pleasure to meet you Enzo,"
shortening it right down as she didn't want to trip up and not repeat
the rest correctly. He spoke quickly! "They are a very beautiful
pair, couple." Being he used that word. "Do they have names,
Vanessa or shall I pick ones out for them?"
She smiled, looking at the bird on her arm and closed the gate.
"They are lovely, and they have no names. The one with the pink
bracelet is a female. Their names are up to you, Roseann." Over to
a standing perch near by, she urged the cockatoo onto it so she could
gather up a cage and supplies from the hut.
Yes he tended to introduce himself in a quick manor, and even worse,
that accent of his could make it hard for some to follow. Arms coming to
cross over his chest, he'd watch the bird with a amused smirk. "Now
I am not expect on birds, but I would say, you have trained these
creatures quite well." He seemed impressed that the pair would warm
up to Roseann so quickly. His uncle trained pigeons and from was Enzo
saw, it was a hell of task.. But.. Maybe his uncle was just a bad
"I will put thought into their names, something befitting their
beauty," which more than likely they would end up with a god and
goddess name but not necessarily of the more common ones. "Pleasure
to meet, pleasure to meet," the male cockatoo piped up with a
ruffle of his wings in half flaps before settling again. She kept the
one bird on her arm to continue getting acquainted, that was until the
female started fussing over the male was getting more attention.
So, she made the switch and cooed under her breath on how beautiful the
female was too. In fact more but that would be between them.
"Thank you." She smiled to the compliment of how well trained
the birds were. It helped to have an affinity for them, and being part
phoenix helped that a great deal. Vanessa disappeared into the hut to
start collecting supplies. "Roseann, do you have a way to get all
of this back to your shop?" If not, Vanessa would go with her and
they would take one of the wagons.
"I say you take the offer Lady Roseann... The walk up here."
He would place a hand upon the small of his back and groan. "Hard
on the body." Maybe it was for dramatic effect, but all the same,
the gardens was a bit ways off from the town.
"Yes, though I will need a cover over the cage for the trip to the
Thistle," called over to Vanessa as she was distracted there to
answer her. Then Enzo spoke up, "ah, but it is all downhill from
here." Quick wink with that spark in blue eyes then indicating with
a slight gesture of hand (something Enzo could appreciate!) "The
lad with the box," who was loitering not far from them, "will
carry it for me. When I leave for Ballicastle in a few days, I will
bring them with me via a carriage my brother left at my disposal."
Which had her thinking she should introduce her brother to Vanessa as he
was single. Terrible having friends wasn't it! Doing such would be new
for the more quiet Roseann. Her brothers needed to get out. Michael was
Vanessa came back out with a large white cage, more than comfortable for
the couple with perches and the like inside and supplies laid on the
floor of the cage to get Roseann started on their care, including toys
and soft brushes for their feathers. "If you need help, I have
plenty of wagons." A bright smile to the woman as she approached
and set the cage carefully on the ground.
"Well then, I find both of you are far luckier then I." He'd
have to travel the old fashion way until he could find a way to get
his horse back in his company.
It would be best to see the birds within the cage if the lad of about
sixteen was to carry them down. He was certainly tall enough and strong.
She had not noticed the red about his collar in blushing the whole time
being around two ladies and all that were not hard on the eyes.
"You are totally on foot, sir? If you need a horse, there are ones
they let out from the stables from behind the Thistle Tavern in the
commons." Trying to be helpful as she carefully crouched down to
help the bird within the cage. Her mate came flapping over to land atop
the cage. Once the female was inside he swung down and around to let
himself in to be soon at her side. She straightened at that point with a
bit of relief to let the circulation back into her arm.
A smile was given to Enzo, nodding agreement to what Roseann spoke.
"Aye, and surely in this winter cold a horse would be quicker than
traveling by foot?" She hadn't really noticed the other boy who was
about Benji's age. Benji was working on getting more of the decorations
up where could be reached without a ladder since that was the goal for
today and tomorrow. "And if you seek a night's shelter or more, the
Thistle would be the place to go. Warm with good company and needs are
covered at the expense of the kingdom."
"Is that so?" He seemed surprised by the good nature of this
kingdom.. For too long he lived in a world where everything had a price
and the only thing that was free was death's embrace. "I do suppose
it would be the wise thing to do despite me making one nice ice
sculptor." He'd say as he took on a "heroic" pose. He had
his moments at humor it seemed.
"You do know what happens to statues, be they ice or marble around
many birds.." smile sneaking up as she took the coverlet to slide
over the cage then indicated the lad, whose name was Johnny, to take it.
He was getting paid to help her out this day and certainly earned the
coins requested. Hands coming to rest at her hips as she could
appreciate a good looking man poising as Enzo offered for their
Vanessa snickered quietly at the pose Enzo gave and smirked to Roseann's
retort. "If you enjoy the gardens, perhaps you'd pose as one of
Santa's elves for the event coming up." A small nudge given to
Roseann, watching Johnny collect the cage and carry it off. "Would
either of you care for some tea?" Eclairs were sounding yummy.
Roseann had a tendency to be somewhat blind in ways, especially on a
sixteen year old lad. Boy. Though certainly Johnny probably didn't feel
that way. The nudge had her catch sight of the red on his neck. Almost
asking him if he had an irritation, wool bothering his skin or the like.
Luckily he'd been too quick, murmured greeting to Vanessa and off
quickly to his task. "I would love some tea and the eclairs I
brought are my favorite so I'm hoping they are liked by you. Real
pudding inside and thick chocolate fudge layered on top the flaky
enclosure." Already starting in that direction as she was in the
"This statue tends to freeze and stain quite easily, so I'm afraid
no prolong expose around birds or the cold... Not much for tea but, if
you have any cafe that would be lovely." Smile given to the both
the ladies as the thought of coffee filled his mind. a chance encounter
with the brown elixir and well, he had become smitten with it. Oh and
Rose best not tell Enzo such things like him being handsome.. His head
was already big enough.
"They sound wonderful." Hope there was a third. She didn't
like eating in front of others if she had none to share. "I'm sure
I have some coffee somewhere." Not a big drinker of the stuff, but
probably had some sitting around. To the cottage! She pushed the side
door open, leading into the kitchen where there was a small table and
the air smelled of slow cooking stew. "Make yourselves
comfortable." Then it would be digging for coffee.
It would have to be dragged from her lips! She was far too shy to tell a
man he was good looking, handsome even, that he might take it she wanted
to bed him. Yes, she'd seen others and it would only strike terror in
her heart at this point but she certainly noticed men, she was a normal
female in that way she has just never been with one. In that way.
Probably wouldn't happen for a long time if her encounters were like the
recent one with one Eion Quinn. There was a half dozen eclairs in
the box. Coming into the cottage after Vanessa as she lowered her
hood then took the cloak off or become too hot and then too cold when
she had to go outside again. One of the seats taken as she settled
comfortable. "Your stew smells wonderful." For it filled the
house with its rich aroma and should be complimented on. When the aroma
was near a meal itself, it was a good stew cooking.
Invite taken, he followed suit and would make himself comfortable. Heavy
cloak abandon and hung up near by, one could see what the olive skin
travel really look like. A man ready for battle it seemed! Though about
first glance, he'd easily blend in with a crowd thanks to the flowing
dress shirt with it's flared collar and cuffs and the elegant white
vest. However the red lining and silver embroidery added a air of
nobility about him. However once one began to take on his details,
they would find more to the man clad in white. The sturdy leather armor
did its best to blend in but once spotted, no one could mistake him for
a simple commoner on the streets. Of course the assortment of weapons,
the sword and dagger which hung at his side as well as the throwing
knives which were in place upon his belt suggest he may be a man who
needed its use. Not wanting to frighten his new found company, he
casually removed the belt and set it to hang with his cloak.
No longer sporting any visible weapons, he paused, struggling with the
idea of removing the short cape witch hung over his left shoulder....
Pause taken, he'd remove it. No sense
wearing it indoor after all. So, in "short" he had
finished settling in, and in turn would join the two. "Rather
lovely indeed... Your house that is.. and the stew does smell
"Thank you." She smiled to Roseann and waited for Enzo to
enter before closing the door, then went about looking for coffee.
Unfortunately, her kitchen was a mess, collecting ingredients for making
cookies gradually. Over to one of the cabinets for a small basket of
various flavors of tea, she found the coffee in there as well. Both were
taken down and some water set to boil. "Well, if you're both
hungry, the stew should be ready." While the water boiled, she went
about removing her coat and gloves, leaving her in a very simply
designed fawn colored dress without much in the way of design, but
suited for the colder weather. The box of eclairs set on the table with
a plate for each of them, she smiled to Enzo. "Thank you. It's
still a bit bare." Furniture shopping not exactly her priority when
she figured she had what she needed.
His military appearance took her a little by surprise. The connection
with needing so urgently to send off a message to a ship in the harbor
was already winding intrigue around this male. Though caution too for he
was not known and obviously a warrior of some type. Spy possibly,
undercover agent, mercenary, could be one of many. "I best not eat
dinner this early if I am to have an eclair but I will take you up on it
the next time I'm here and you are making stew." That was a
certain. It was more the time frame. Curiosity would get the better of
her too as she tried a nonchalant question Enzo's way. "Where are
you from Enzo? Maybe lands we have heard of," including Vanessa in
that. The gown she wore of midnight blue had a lighter cast of blue for
the crushed velvet look. Tatted white lace on a square modest neckline
and edging the cuffs of full length sleeves. Only a bit from each side
of her hair was drawn back and held by a ribbon of blue that had gotten
lost in the thickness of her hair down the back.
"Grazie, I will take you up on that offer." What man would
pass out a free meal. Finding a seat to claim as his own, he'd would
settle in before turning to Rose who had asked him a question.
"Well Lady Rose, I am from Italiaon, an island nation to the
south." And being that is was island nation, one could bet it had a
fleet of ships, ships that would surely travel in trade with other
lands. There was a fair chance she may have heard of his home. The
conversation continued while they ate and before they needed to be on