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The Barrister

Date: 05-03-09
Poster: Maurice McDonough
Post # 1

The New Barrister

Maurice was at the bar, stool straddled and in conversation with Alex. Quiet late afternoon as the sun still shone outside. Daylight was getting longer and many out gardening, spring cleaning and general yard work. He had left a note for David to meet him here this evening around suppertime. Deciding to partake of Hazel's cooking for a change. He'd washed up from the day's work with the cattle, light tunic of a dark brown was worn over a loose fitting poet's shirt. Brown pants and boots of a lighter shade lacing up to below his knees. A glass of potcheen at hand along with the bottle and an extra glass. The plate and bowl from the hearty meal partaken of were set aside on a tray to be brought back into the kitchen once the kitchen maid was out for it. So Hazel had some help in the cleaning up and such errands so that she could concentrate on her cooking.

David had received the note and quickly prepared. He was clean shaven, his hair as neatly combed as possible and wearing one of his best suits, the coat and pants black, a vest worn beneath of dark blue. He had to ride in from Ballicastle, but arrived in time, stepping inside from the side door after leaving his horse in the stable. Maurice had been described to him so there was no doubt who the man at the bar was. He made his way over, waiting a moment for Maurice to notice him as he wouldn't interrupt.

Ice blue eyes flashed for their coloring as he glanced up to the mirror behind where Alex stood. Alex's reaction was a dead giveaway that someone was arriving. Now who else would show up in a suit unless it would be the one that had applied for the Barrister position? Roguish grin tucked within the russet beard as he turned on his stool, moving to stand as he held out his hand. His hands were those of a working man no matter his title, a large one that fitted his size in proportion. "David Frasier, welcome to the lands of Heathfield and Ballicastle. I trust you have found it to your liking for applying for this position." The suit did him justice. Fitting.

"Thank you, sir." He ginned in return as he shook the larger man's hand. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Laird McDonough. I find them to my liking very much. With almost all my relatives here, it seems to be the right place for me." His smile grew wider. "You were described perfectly to me by Neale."

"Maurice or Ice," firm grasp of hands without being over done before released. "Do you partake of the pure?" Giving a slight uplift of his chin to the empty glass set out for him. "How is Neale doing? He tends to travel a lot, but that is expected for being head of the family. Lovely wife and children, a house full with some of his siblings and their children living there. I envy him, though luckily Rory and Kia decided to remain at my manor so it is not too lonely. Sarah has returned and living there as well but is off here and there. Grandchildren are a godsend," obviously he was a proud one. Lucky to have company than alone though not quite as full as Falkirk manor. "Some say I'm hard to miss, must be my good looks." Instead of his height. Natural roguish grin spread wider briefly before taking up his seat. Alex saw to setting out a stack of folders next to him.

"Aye, it must be." He chuckled then nodded. "Falkirk is a very lively place, definitely." Especially mornings. "Neale is doing very well and enjoying his time at home. I'm not sure how long he'll be home but he's enjoying his family and the fact there are three newborns in the house." He took up a seat and waited patiently after he was finished speaking.

"Which means early mornings for a few, late nights as well." Taking up the folders with a thanks to Alex before setting them next to David. "You have been accepted as the new Barrister." Telling him right up front. "Your credentials are impeccable as well the respect the Crown has for your family. In these folders, you will find all of our laws as well the names of many of the families of all kingdoms that make up our little empire. The key families, of authority and leadership, are the Douglas of Tyremoor, O'Neill of Innis Daingneach. You're already aware of the ruling family here and Ballicastle. You will need to send reports as necessary, important matters to the heads of the kingdoms. There will be some matters you will need to involve any respective Crown, smaller cases, only a report sent for they are kept on file. You will be paid the going rate for your services which will also include a manor that was built for the last Barrister, unless you wish to live at Falkirk?" Pausing to give him time to soak all this in as well give him a chance to answer his question before proceeding.

He nodded as he looked at the folders, then dark green eyes lifted as he listened. "I think the manor would be a good idea. Not so much that I don't wish to live at Falkirk, but there will be times I feel that I'll need to concentrate on the work. While I'm not adverse to being surrounded by family, I like to be able to give my full attention to certain matters." He smiled as he continued. "And I understand the offer to visit and stay is always there. I won't isolate myself completely." He felt more he wouldn't be allowed to isolate himself.

"The Barrister manor is a spacious house with a view. On the first floor the rooms are arranged in such a way there is a separate office area to receive clients, though there is a courtroom at each of the castles for any formal judgements. You will have a good workload and if you feel that the need is justified to hire another Barrister, you need but let the Crown here know. Also, you will need a secretary to help with all the paperwork. I happen to know there is a young aspiring lass of a good family that has recently joined us and looking for a position. If she has the skills required of course, I will notify her and send her your way to interview. I know that each person has their own way of doing things, as long as they are efficient and accurate, so you will need a secretary that can fit your needs." Giving a tap to the folders, "There is a map of each of the lands, businesses and so forth, names of the streets, though you may not need to travel them they will be useful in knowledge of anyone coming to seek your services. Kildare will not come under your jurisdiction at the present time for there is still unrest in that kingdom under the McLarkin twins. It had been overthrown many years ago and when the twins came of age, they went there to claim back what was their heritage. They are doing a spectacular job but it will still take some time. There is a separate map of the port, those established businesses there and if you need access to any logs the postmasters keep, you need but request them." As Barrister of the lands, he would be able acquire much most could never other than the Crown and certain other individuals such as himself. "If you are having any trouble, be it job related or other, I am your contact. I too have access to all information that will be allowed you, and more." There actually was more that would not necessarily be needed of the Barrister.

"I would appreciate anyone you send my way. I should also hire a clerk or two to do legwork for me." He looked thoughtful. "Same for servants unless they've remained with the manor?" He had enough coin saved to hire a staff if  necessary. He looked at the folders and grinned. "It seems you've thought of everything, sir... Maurice." It would take him some time to become used to the informality of the Thistle, though he appreciated it greatly after the formality of Edinburgh.

"There is a skeleton staff there. Butler, Cook who is also the head housekeeper as well one chambermaid. You may wish to add a couple more including a handyman. There is also a list of known individuals proficient as clerks in one of those folders. There is a small stable there so you may consider hiring a stable boy as well. There are a few lads and even a couple lasses that would serve well in such a position. The crown will subsidize any hired job related within a limit. Do you have any questions?"

He'd have a look at the house and more than likely hire more. "I've been borrowing a horse from Falkirk so I may have to buy one for myself." As well as a carriage. "None that I can think of at the moment. I may write to my old college and see if there are any graduates who may consider coming here also if that's all right?" He had nearly forgotten his drink and so took a drink at last.

"My son Rory can fix you up with a good horse, bred for work and speed, sure footed. I'm sure he can come up with an affordable price for you as well." Which he would alert his son of what would be needed. "If you are in need of a carriage, there is a wainwright, Raphael O'Keeffe who has a variety of carriages that seat two to twelve as well various wagons. He's located just outside the Commons before the port, easily accessed by either location so his business can thrive. I can attest to the durability and styling of his craft." He had checked out his craftsmanship before sending anyone his way. "Oh, one more thing. There may be times you will need the services of a private investigator. It is best if those of the lands work hand in hand when needed. My brother, Joseph, has such a business. If it ends up  more crown related, he will see to it personally. He has retired from being an undercover agent for the Crown so that he can remain here in the lands, such would make use of his special skills." Which implied something more just in the way spoken. "I have no problem with bringing anyone here from you college that would fit all criteria." Which would mean of a standard to become a citizen aside this particular job skills.

David was blessed with an excellent memory which helped in his line of work. He nodded as he listened, then nodded again. "I'm certain there will be times that such is needed. And I definitely will speak to your son and to Mr. O'Keeffe." He paused for a moment then smiled. "My brother is Brogan, and he'll be pleased to hear that all has been taken care of. He was hoping I'll stay."

"Brogan is well respected in the lands, your whole family," which cousins in the Frasier family were as good as siblings. How it was with his family and the MacShires. "I'm pleased you are, we need a good Barrister. It will take a workload off others that their time be better spent on their professions." Obviously matters were taken care of but spread around as certain individuals could see to them. "The young lady, if she is interested in a position of secretary to a Barrister, is Concessa Quinn. She's eighteen or nineteen and this would be a great opportunity for her. Also, I just set up another seamstress, so if you are looking for new clothing, I will suggest Brigid MacKinlay and Adelaine Ames, you'll find them in the commons although I don't think they have come up with a name for their shop. It's the one with clothing for sale in the window. They do custom tailoring."

"I've met Concessa. If she has the skills, I'd be glad to hire her." He was pleased to hear who he was speaking of. "She's a personable young lady." Though quiet, but he didn't mind quiet at all.

An interesting day to say the least. One she'd care not repeat and was glad to be done with. Her walk from the stables to the Thistle was a brisk one and soon enough she made her way through the door with a quiet grumble to herself. Blonde hair usually worn in ringlets was mussed with a few leaves and other signs of nature and the dark blue riding coat was soiled in various places with the same evidence. She was quite happy to be back and made a bee-line for the bar.

"Ah, good, then she has been getting out. She has recently arrived, other members of her family having arrived this past year. Her sister Melantha, is head of the Royal Stables, a family tradition. Her Grandfather was the head Stablemaster for the Queen's father a long time ago. Andrew Barrett died young, ambushed," but the tale could wait for another time as he gained his feet, tall stretch of a man and a natural roguish grin to accompany the flash of ice blue eyes. "Good evening Miss, welcome this night to the Thistle."

He nodded then stood as well, watching as the young woman entered the tavern. "Good evening, Vanessa. May I present Maurice? This is Vanessa from the kingdom of Hope. She's visiting."

Like a deer caught in the light, brown eyes went wide when she was greeted by the two gentlemen. Fair complexion did nothing to hide the blush of embarrassment for how she looked at the moment. Brushed off as best as she could, a smile dawned to both men as she made a small dip of a curtsey. "Good eve, David. Pleasure t'meet ye Maurice." Quick brush of her hands over the fabric of her coat like it would wipe away all the dirt and leaves.

A tracing glance dipped down over her as those eyes filled with a glint of mirth, the smile not wavering tucked within the thick russet beard. "A pleasure to meet you Vanessa, I have a cousin by the same name." Which he happened to like the name. "I have heard the name of this kingdom but I cannot say I know much about it at all, perhaps you can enlighten me?" He was one of the ambassadors though of late those particular services were not in need. Then again, that could change but presently the Royals wished to go more inward for matters to see to. "I trust you have been enjoying Hazel's cooking.." glancing to David to see if he wished to speak with the lass alone. Their business was concluded except on one matter. "If you have time tomorrow or the next, soon as you can get your things ready, I can take you out to the manor."

Actually, he was speaking to Alex about having a bowl of Hazel's Irish stew. He gave Maurice a sheepish smile as he took up his stool again. "I can go either day. I don't have much with me." He had a few things that could be shipped but he wanted to talk to Brogan about their father's estate.



Date: 05-03-09
Poster: Maurice McDonough
Post # 2

Smile brightened to insight that he knew another by the same name. "A fine name ti's." She rather enjoyed her name. Reaching the bar, she quietly requested a glass of brandy from Alex while listening to Maurice. A meek smile to his inquiry. "'m 'fraid there isn't much to 'ope. The kingdom is relatively new and th'three towns are sparsely spaced. Th'growth seemed to 'ave stagnated when I left." She thanked Alex for the drink. "'azel's cookin' is fantastic. I 'ad 'oped to catch mid-day meal, but as ye can see..." Motioning to the current state of her attire. "I dinnae make it back fer tha' meal."

"Did you enjoy your .... exploration?" His voice held a light tease as he spoke to Vanessa. "Where did you go, if I might ask?"

"Probably why there wasn't much information on it. I can hope that it thrives, sometimes it takes time. Have you left for good or just time away to feed an adventurous spirit?" He was always curious and so would ask, hoping he didn't step on any toes by doing so. Being David asked what he would have next, he awaited the answer instead of plying her with any more questions presently.

Nose crinkled, though she took no offense to the tease. "I'd tell ye if I could, where I went. Last place I remember was th'lake. Somethin' spooked me 'orse an' I 'ad t'chase 'im down." She looked to Maurice. "I 'ave left fer good. I am 'opin' t'find a place 'ere. I rather enjoy the area and th'company I 'ave met thus far."

"The people here are good," of course he was prejudiced but it went with the territory and obviously he had moved here a very long time ago, established roots. "It gets quiet around here at times." So she was forewarned and not something one could predict when, for such came and went. "Did you catch up with your horse finally?"

"Quiet can be good as long as ti's nae constant." Which was true enough. Hope was silent more than anything. Sheepish grin, she nodded. "Aye. I did. I 'ad t'go chasin' 'im through some brush, but finally caught 'im."

"It's well that you did or we'd have to get together a rescue party, more than likely he'd join up with one of the many bands of wild horses that roam the lands."

"I haven't been to the lake yet." He would have to make a stop soon. He would be making some notes tonight once he was back in Falkirk and speak to Neale. First of course, he'd talk to Brogan. "Those are from the horses released from the original stable?"

She snickered softly. "'e's more a princess than a prince. 'e'd miss his spoils before too long and come back." Or so she like to think.

"Yes, Melantha Quinn's great grandfather I believe," being he had said grandfather before. "Jaxon Quinn, a good man. When the castle was overtaken through treachery, he, as the head stable master let loose all of the thoroughbred horses into the wild so the usurp couldn't get his hands on them." There was much more to the whole of the story but that part was given in a nutshell.

"That should be quite a sight in the wild." He was enjoying his meal while he listened and occasionally added a comment or two. "Which reminds me, when might I meet with your son about the horse?" There was a lot to think about.

"When you come for a horse, Rory can tell you what trails to take and, if you need an escort, I'm sure we can have someone that knows the way to take you." He would not obligate himself at the moment for there were things afoot he had to take care of. "You can come up anytime, he's almost always there. He has a racing stable as well so they work with those horses especially every day."

She was content to quietly listen and sip her drink. Attention drifted between the two as they spoke, her interest quite piqued to hear about the horses.

He'd not expect a busy man like Maurice to take him to see the horses. Though he might take them before he got fully settled. Otherwise, he might be too busy himself. "I appreciate that. I may purchase another later, once I have a carriage." Whether Raphael had some ready or would make one specifically for him, David would have one soon enough. He smiled again, as a thought occurred. "You know, I wasn't expecting to stay when I came here."

A busy man like Maurice, needed a break, an outlet to do something like riding in the wilderness for pleasure. All depended on the timing. It was natural for him to tease, "now, I can get you a pretty lass that knows these mountains to show you." A keen watch on the man's reaction that would say much about him in how he responded to the comment. "Many didn't expect to stay," on a more serious note, "the lands call to a few in an unusual way."

He blinked then laughed as he pushed the empty bowl aside and nodded his thanks to Alex when the tender collected it. "I might accept but I'd be afraid I'd watch her rather than notice the scenery. " Of course his answer was all in good fun.

A little snicker to the conversation, she finished off her drink and asked Alex for a refill.

"Then you're a man after my own heart," which he finally let loose the deep rumbling laugh. Lifting his glass to toast not just the same idea but the position he was granted. "To many years of faithful service and that you never get caught with your pants down!" Of course Ice would add that.

He started to laugh as well, lifting his glass for the toast. And all he could really say to that was "Hear, hear!"

The Sabbath was over, and the family had begun to settle down in the deli as well as the home that Kizzie used to share with Cassie. Miri was one of the last ones to left out of the deli, as she was headed to the Thistle to settle down. Only three of the many were staying here at the tavern, and she even shared a room with her sister. They didn't want to be a burden, and insisted to stay together. As the air was starting to warm up for the season, she wore a thinner chemise than normal which was tucked into dark blue skirts with a large black belt. Her hair was still covered from their day of prayers by a light brown cloth over the light brown waves of hair that hung out loosely from the back of the covering. She opened the door to the Thistle, and stepped in.

Hearing the door open, attention was turned that way. A glance over the woman before offering a smile, then to Alex to thank him for the refill.

Spring was here and so Anhur's attired changed drastically to what was more custom. Though not as warm as summer nights brought, it was warm enough once he had built up his resilience. A lot of that had to do with his Element. Skin was a touch deeper bronze after spending days in the sun again. The golden pectoral of Ra adorn his chest in an intricate interlacing of gold plates on an otherwise bare chest. The white kilt was worn as well which contrasted with his dark looks, all except those translucent blue eyes. Sandals on his feet. Stepping within he paused with a slight forward bow to those gathered. "Fair of eve, Sahebs, MemSahebs." Then continued to the bar to gain a drink of the potcheen he'd come to favor.

He kicked back the drink before taking up the bottle to fill their glasses once more. A little celebration was in order and he didn't get to celebrate that often. Tonight he had off, well once he saw to this matter. When another lady entered, he gained his feet once more. Tall man she may notice. "A good evening," though there was something familiar about her as he studied her discreetly. "I am Maurice McDonough, David Frasier, Vanessa," realizing he didn't know her last name, "Anhur, good evening to you." Greeting the Egyptian male he knew.

"Good evening, Miss." He stood as well, the Scottish brogue obvious of course. Warm smile also was given. He then turned his attention to the man who had entered. "And good evening to you as well."

She walks towards the bar with her head bowing to each one of them, and then turning towards the voice behind her. She flashes them a bit toothy smile before speaking up, "Shabbat shalom." She dips her head forward. "I'm Miriam Cohen, but you may call me Miri as my family does."

Hearing the introduction, she looked from Maurice to the woman with another smile. "Vanessa Baltimore. Pleasure t'meet ye." She dipped her head to the man who entered after.

He perk when he heard the Frasier name, turning with his drink in hand as he studied the man. His accent had the name sort of harsh, sounding like a grunt. "You are related to Guttss?" This directed to David Frasier. Remembering his manners. "It is my pleasure to meet you Van...essa and Miri," opting for the shorter version so he didn't trip over the longer one.

"Gus? Yes, he's my cousin. " He answered cordially. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Anhur and you Miri."


"I thought there was something familiar about you. You're related to Kizzie then. I hear she has become like the old woman in the shoe, except they are not children filling up her house. I should see about finding her a larger place to stay." Though Miri seemed not to be able to stay as she quietly yet quickly left after the introductions.

"Ye can call me Van if ye prefer." That's what it usually got shortened to eventually. She lifted herself enough to seat on a stool to watch the others comfortably.

"I have wish to speak with him if you know where he might be?" There was a matter to be seen to and he had hoped the man might be here tonight as it seems he had been of recent. Smile actually touched in curling the edges of his lips as blue eyes turned on Vanessa. "Van, but Vanessa flows better over the tongue, sounding prettier." There were some names he didn't have a problem with.

Meek smile given to Anhur for his compliment. "Thank ye." A drink of the brandy to silence herself as it seemed there was something of importance to be said between the men.

"I would imagine he's at his shop." He had seen him yesterday but they had parted ways with Gus going to his shop and David coming to the Thistle.

"Where is his shop that I may go and find him there?" Or at least try and find him there. Many stayed open late and many had their home above their stores.

He watched, actually amused in wondering. What would Anhur want with Gus that he came in all the way from Ballicastle? Was the Frasier cousin in trouble? Though Anhur didn't come off as being angry at all. The rhythm of the vibes he gave off were like smooth waters though the feel of a mission he set himself upon.

"Just outside the city." He finished his drink and placed the glass aside. "He has a sign on the main road and isn't far off it." He of course, was wondering the same. Had Gus gotten himself into a pickle. "I can show you if you  wish."

"I have wish, thank you." Kicking back his drink of the pure like it was water before setting the glass back to the bar. Once accomplished, he stepped away from the bar, waiting on David. He would not have asked him and taken him away from his company but being he offered, it seemed the man was probably going to head out.

Gus had been at the casino and while his luck wasn't the best, he hadn't done badly. Besides, he had visited with Brogan and met Charles, all in all, enjoying the evening immensely. He stepped through the door of the Thistle as he opened the buttons of his vest. Not one to dress up, he was tonight though he didn't wear a suit coat. Neatly pressed pants of black, a deep green vest and pristine white poet's shirt suited him this eve. "Good evening." Spoken  cheerfully to all. "Ah, David. Good to see you."

Well, he was about to show him to his cousin's but there he was. He cleared his throat, and smiled. "Evening, Gus. Have you met Maurice, Vanessa and Anhur, who wishes to speak to you?" He couldn't hide his curiosity from his cousin. Why was the Egyptian looking for him?



Date: 05-03-09
Poster: Maurice McDonough
Post # 3

He was facing the door as the man came in. He didn't know what this Gus looked like but the fact he greeted David he asked. "You are Gus," well David confirmed that nearly as the question got out. His attire would give way to who he was, least one of them. "I have a matter to speak with you on." Repeating David's words to make clear he was here first and foremost to find him.

Once more she heard her name and turned attention to the man who'd just entered. Dip of her head and a light smile. "Eve t'ye."

"Maurice I have met, yes. Evening, Miss Vanessa." He cleared his throat in a similar fashion to his cousin and nodded. "Of course, Anhur, as I have been wanting to speak to you as well." He hadn't quite expected to meet him here but still kept smiling. "Would you care to speak in private?"

He took his empty glass, within an arm's reach, from the bar before indicating a table across the way that would allow them some privacy. "We can speak over there." Anhur was blunt more often than not and certainly right to the point when he had something on his mind. Something that was herald by Gus. Heading right on over in a smooth efficient gait that spoke of purpose and his station, one assured of himself.  Once there, he turned out one chair then seated himself on the adjacent one.

He gave the three at the bar a smile and inclined his head slightly. "Excuse us, please." And with that, he followed after Anhur. Sitting, he placed his hands on the table and waited for Anhur to speak. He had a feeling a certain guard had spoken to him.

Well, now, he decided to have another drink and asked Alex for a refill before he gave both Maurice and Vanessa a wry look. This was ... interesting.

Vanessa looked from the two going off for a bit of privacy to those at the bar, a small smile given to David. "Ye 'ave just recently arrived 'ere, aye?"


By the time David was over, he had second thoughts, one he decided was better for this talk and another reason, "it would be better to see your shop and we can talk there," so he knew exactly where it was and how it was laid out aside seeing the bows he made. Slight smile being they had settled when this new idea was proposed. "You will have to forgive my impulsiveness." Gaining his feet again.

"That's quite all right and I understand fully." He stood again, then turned to the others. "Good night to you all. David, I will talk to you soon." He headed to the door to wait there for Anhur. It wasn't a far walk and the night though cool, was pleasant.

He was discreetly watching the two as he worked on his drink, the pure had a smooth burn but more he was reading Anhur. The flash of ice blue eyes came with a shift back to David and Vanessa with a grin to follow.

"Aye, I have. I came here knowing most of my cousins were here and since I hadn't met most of those, I decided to visit. I found my brother had been here for some time." He nodded to Gus, though he did glance at Maurice, and tried his best not to grin. "Good night to you both. Soon, Gus."

He turned as well with a slight forward bow, the touch of his hands together for that brief moment. "Fair of night," straightening completely. "It is good to see you again Maurice as it is to meet you David and Vanessa. Perhaps another night I can be more social." Tonight he was on this mission for something that was brought to his attention. Obviously Gus knew what it was about. It didn't bother him if Maurice read him for he trusted the man. Without further adieu, he headed out, waiting then on Gus outside to show him where his shop was.

"Good night to you both, good seeing you both even if only a short time." Lifting his glass to them in salute before kicking back what remained in the glass.

With a nod to his cousin, he followed the man out. He'd let David know what it was about tomorrow!

A nod given to both men as they made their leave. "Eve t'ye both. 'ave a good night." Then she looked to David with a nod. "Must 'ave been a nice surprise to find so many o' yer kin 'ere."

"It was a very nice surprise. And to also find that the family is growing " He chuckled softly."Quite a handsome brood too."

"Aye. I can see tha' in all the Frasier gents I 'ave met so far." Brightened smile, she took another drink from the glass and set it down. "And ye, Maurice. Wha' do ye do 'ere?"

He had let his thoughts wander on a few things, some personal before a blink had him back. The conversation had settled to being between Vanessa and David so his mind reeled back with the question. "I am Laird of my clan. Ambassador to the Crown. I run a cattle ranch with my brother Joseph. I have an Inn that I contemplate moving here, perhaps to the Shell Islands I own," which was a cluster of  five, south of the cliffs of Heathfield. "Most important I am father to two wonderful children and now a grandchild."

"Busy man." Very busy. "A man of many faces t'be sure." Admirable though. "And congratulations on the grandbabe."

"Thank you. It only proves that life continues to contain new surprises, luckily a pleasant one." Smile tucked once more within the thick beard before he poured himself another dram of the pure. "I can't say my life gets boring, it doesn't have time to. I look forward to times like the present where I can sit, relax and have a few drinks."

"Understandably so. Ti's important t'take time fer yerself." An affirming nod to that, looking between the two men as David had fallen silent. "Seems a night fer quiet thought as well."

"Surprises are a good thing, as long as they're pleasant surprises." He smiled as he continued. "I've had a few unpleasant ones but more good than bad."

"Bad luck can't be avoided, though sometimes it can be lessen. What I would consider a good life is one where the good outnumbers the bad and one that you don't allow the bad to color the good that you can no longer see it."

A nod followed what they both had to say. "Ti's important t'take a lesson from th'bad." Everything had a lesson that could be learned which she thought was important.

"I've seen both sides of what good luck and bad can do to people. The ones who survive are those who take things in stride and use what's happened to better themselves. Those that give in to their misery, tend to fail or refuse to try."

"Those that share their fortune with others, be it family or even strangers, do far better. Care to share a story or two, David?" He was going to be working with him as needed and it would be good to know him a little better personally. Such a rapport was important, or so he felt.

She had her own thoughts and theories on people who didn't try. They tended to be a bit on the harsh or brash side, so she just bit her tongue and smiled as Maurice made his suggestion.

"My first case was one concerning an elderly gentleman who had two nieces. One lass was brisk and abrupt, but did everything the uncle asked. The other was a bit flighty, but always had a smile and made him laugh. When he died, niece who took care of him was furious to learn that not only had he not left her all the money, but only the house in the city. He gave half to the other niece as well as a house in the country and a building with several flats. And do you know what he had me put in his will because he knew she'd be furious?" He looked at them both to see if they'd hazard a guess.

She listened with interest as the tale was told, picking up her glass for a small drink of the contents. thinking over the inquiry, a thoughtful expression was given. "Somethin' tha' she'd tried too 'ard?" Seemed logical to her.

"No. He was grateful for all her care, but he felt it wasn't kindness that cause her to do so. Nor greed. Just duty." He looked at Maurice.

"Mm..." Hummed thoughtfully with a nod. A valid point. "Duty isn't bad. But if ye cannae stop t'enjoy a smile, then it really matters little."

He was nodding, "the brisk and abrupt lass would always manage to take care of herself while the other would not be so capable, and the first would not help her out.."

He blinked in surprise then nodded. "She had a kind heart and would give away what she had to those who had less. The older lass went away, still angry and hurt while the younger will be grateful all her life. Two sides of human nature. And the only one who learned a lesson was the younger."

"There's a quality of genuine care tha' cannae be missed. And the power t'make someone smile just t'want t'see it is great."

"She not only kept that, but learned to be careful with her money. She still helped people but not to where she made herself poor again. The other, well, she's still alone save for a few friends, and now she doesn't even have her cousin's smile to lighten her days." He grinned as he stood. "And as it grows late, and I've a long ride ahead of me, I think I should be one my way. I'll gather my possessions and return here to stay until you have time to take me to the manor, Maurice." He was going to miss the noisy mornings but as he had said earlier, he planned to make sure he visited and stayed at Falkirk as much as possible.

That was kind of a sad story. Just brought about realization of missing her own kin. The thoughts interrupted, she smiled to David. "T'was a pleasure t'see ye again, David."

"We shall share some more stories, when I take you out to see the manor." It would be only fair as he vacated the stool he had occupied again. "It is late, and much to do tomorrow morning, get my hired men out for the day on things that need to be done." More he met with his two foremen, although with Joseph headed for Kildare, he would also instruct his two foremen. "Sleep well, Vanessa, it has been a pleasure meeting you. I've got an early morning, up before dawn breaks. If we can arrange it, no dire matters, David, I'll take you out to the manor tomorrow afternoon."

"Excellent." He offered his hand, nodding, "I'd be glad to share more and might have questions for you about the families here. Vanessa, it was good to see you again. Good night."

A nod given to Maurice. "A pleasure t'meet ye too." Probably wouldn't hurt that she head to her room. Clean up and a good night's rest. "Take care both o' ye."

He stepped forward to shake his hand, good grip that was released near as quick. "I'll send word, you've a lot to read," indicating the folders stacked there for him to take. He may wish to bind them to manage them better. "Good night Alex, give a hug to Hazel for me," such a grin with the request knowing well Alex could use it as a good excuse.

"Indeed I do." He collected the folders after stepping back. "And I'll be likely doing so most of the day tomorrow once I return here." He nodded to Alex, hiding a grin as he started for the door. Luckily he had saddle bags and would keep the papers in there until he reached the manor.

He would make use of the back hall leading to their offices, pick up any correspondence left there for both he and his brother before heading to the ranch, a back exit providing a shortcut.



Date: 05-26-09
Poster: Concessa Quinn
Post # 4


It was late but Concessa was antsy, leaving the stable manor to wander. She wasn't one to wander far at night and certainly not down towards the port. It was two fold this night, worry on her brothers as none of them had heard from the three of them. It had been a couple months, certainly if Eion was fine, Segan and Conor would have returned from England, gotten to Eire and found their way here. There was also the anxiety, now that the deed was done, of signing up to joust. She would need to find one to help her with some pointers. Real soon! So the leg was swinging under the light material of coral trimmed in white lace. Hair windblown at this point with many tendrils escaping the prior confinement in wild abandon. Much the same look in dark eyes as she toyed with her drink, sips of the potcheen punch in peach flavoring.

David had settled into something of a routine since he had taken the position of Barrister. The work wasn't overwhelming but he was more than certain now that he needed help. He nearly had his office the way he liked it but there was a truth he had come to recognize. Though he was fairly organized, he needed help! As he made his way up to the tavern, he was lost in thought. He'd have to do something about that soon but he couldn't remember the first name of his latest client and he knew he had it written down. He patted his pockets as he headed inside, muttering to himself.

A dipping glance of dark eyes shifted in the mumbling man's direction. There was something familiar about him but she knew she had not met the man. He was probably one of the lordships of the lands as she easily slipped from her stool and into a quick curtsy, helped to expend some of that excess energy. "Good evening Sir, welcome to the Thistle. Alex is a wonderful tender and will see to anything you need." Her smile quick and a touch quirky for how professional she sounded or so she thought, more like hoped.

He blinked and looked up then smiled sheepishly at the pretty lass he hadn't noticed. Good thing none of his cousins were around or they'd likely give him a hard time about that. Though ... she did look familiar. "Evening, Miss and thank you. I've met Alex. I'm David Frasier." He put his hand over his heart and gave a half bow of respect in her direction. "I'm sorry for being so preoccupied and not noticing you when I came in."

She gave a graceful flick of her hand, smile winsome in spite of her words, "do not worried, I'm usually overlooked. It is not your fault." In her mind, unless she spoke up, she was passed over, not even seen. But, she had learned to speak up in the least. By the time her comment was out, eyes got wider. "David Frasier, the new barrister David Frasier? The man Maurice said to find and speak with on a job you might have that I could be trained for?" Her cheeks taking on a blush as she realized this man could one day be her boss. "I was hoping to meet up with you soon. No one had seen you about in a few days but suspected you were settling in, getting your business organized." Had she said too much? Well, if that were to be the case then she best find another job better suited to her personality.

He was waiting to get a word in, chuckling as he listened. "Well, you shouldn't be overlooked. I'm guessing that you're Concessa Quinn. And yes, I'm the new barrister David Frasier." He offered his hand. "Depends if you want to learn to be a law clerk/receptionist though if business grows as Maurice thinks, we may need one clerk and one receptionist. And yes, I've been at the manor house that came with the position, setting up my office and such." He waved his hand. "All the usual things that come with moving in."

Taking a step or three from her stool, she grasped his hand in a strong shake for a lass. Quick too before stepping back. "Please forgive my blunder, yes, I'm Concessa Quinn." A laugh slipping out that she had totally forgotten to give her name. "I use to keep my father's papers in order when he was alive. Not all that long ago," trying to keep the hurt and pain that still lingered there from showing in her eyes and from her voice. "He felt I did a good job of it." Being she was the youngest and not set out into the world like the others, Jaxon had easily convinced her to help him out, well, she wanted to for a few reasons. Love the main one and the fact she finally made a place for herself in the family, useful kind and not the kid sister that was overlooked most of the time.

"Well, what you'll also be doing is some research for me as well as keeping things in order. You'll be studying the laws we'll be working on, keeping my briefs and papers ready for me during trials and all the day to day stuff that I'm likely to forget. If your handwriting is better than mine, I may have you rewrite some things for me." He had  released her hand and stepped back, watching her as he spoke.

"Studying, researching, writing, keeping briefs, trials and so forth sounds busy. When can I start? You can put me on trial basis to see if this suits me. I need to be busy. You do not mind a secretary ..slash... cleric, receptionist, who is also going to joust in the upcoming tournament at the Moors? Allies of ours." There was a long pause before speaking up, as she spoke freely. Something she owed to her Da too, self worth and to be yourself. "Though she has no clue to jousting but intends to learn enough not to get killed by this coming Wednesday."

A brow lifted with her confession but he laughed. "Well, I must say you're braver than I am. I have to admit though, I don't know much about jousting myself. And it doesn't bother me at all. When do you start? And what made you decide to try it?" He was quite intrigued to be honest.

"I start tomorrow, though I haven't heard back if my submission to enter was accepted. I have spent the past few days watching and getting pointers from the ones practicing behind the spar hall. They even helped  me to find a suit of armor that would fit. I need to get a horse to ride, the kind good in a joust." She took a quick drink, giving her a moment to think on the why of why she entered. "I never saw jousting before the last two months I attended the event at an allied castle. There were many women that joust as well and I decided if they could do it, I sure could at least try and see if I could as well. Besides, my brothers are not here yet to lock me up in a tower." Which had her eyes growing wider for when they did arrive and found out....

He nodded as he listened, thinking about the horse. "Maybe Rory McDonough would have a horse you could use. I was referred to him." The glass hovered before his lips before he lowered it without taking a drink. "Your ... brothers?" Maybe they'd be unhappy that he offered her a job.

She gave a curt distracted nod, her mind off on approaching Rory for a horse. "He lives up from the lake if I remember correctly." Then back to the comment. "I have three brothers, one was missing so the other two were sent to find him, just before my father died. This I found out when I arrived back home and followed my sister Melantha here."

"They may very well lock you up, but I don't think the manor has a tower though?" He was teasing, even as he understood her worry. "And I'm sorry to hear about your father. You may be surprised though and find they're not upset with you at all."

Patrick was tired but not in the mood to find sleep yet. So he saddled up a horse and rode into Heathfield, mainly the Thistle. Dismounting as he noticed it wasn't raining here like it was in Ballicastle presently or where the tracks were.

"You will have to come rescue me so I can work!" Chin tipped up while dark eyes were still a bit round as if she could actually believe him. Possibly she was teasing right back, though the part on her father changed her expression to solemn, glance dipping away with a soft intake of breath. "Thank you," sounded small and far away but sincere. Though the last heartened her, "maybe they will see that I'm not a baby anymore."

"I'll be your knight in shining armor... though one who can't joust." He laughed then his expression became solemn again. "You're welcome. And it's possible. Has it been a while since you've seen them? Or at least the eldest one?"

He eased through the open door but stood there just within quietly observing. So David was having a conversation with the lovely young Concessa. Not that David was that much older or so he figured. A glance to Alex had a nod shared as he set out a glass of potcheen, leaving the bottle. Not wishing to interrupt them, he headed directly over to claim his drink, kick it back and fill it again.

"So you have never jousted?" Distracted as another entered and a smile swept in recognition. "Good evening Patrick." Then back to David, "I accept your honor in being my knight if and when needed." Which they certainly had gotten far from the original topic. She found him easy to talk with and fun with just the right amount of teasing.

"Good to see you again, Patrick." He grinned at his cousin who it seemed knew Concessa, so he wouldn't have to introduce them. "No. My mother was more concerned with my education. Have you ever jousted Patrick?" A grin was given to Concessa for her answer and he bowed his head to her.

"I have jousted, but not in some time. Learned it when I learned to fight." Giving a cordial nod in Concessa's direction. "It is good to see you again Concessa. David, I meant to ask if you needed any help in setting up office?" He had time after the monthly races were done before preparing for the next, being they ran them only once a month. So far.

"Thank you, Patrick. I could use some help, yes. I'll be getting some bigger pieces of furniture that had been part of what Father gave me." He had inherited some but was pleased that their father left most to Brogan. He felt it was only right and fair.  "Concessa will be coming to work for me after the jousts this week."

"If there is anything you need, I'm sure we can get what is needed." He raised his glass to toast them both. "Congratulations to both of you. I'm sure Concessa will make a good addition to your business. Secretary?" Assuming and why it came off as a question.

Her smile brightened and she took a drink of her punch to support the toast. She didn't say much, considering how she had been spilling off at the mouth before Patrick's arrival. "Thank you."

"More like a clerk/receptionist though if we get busy enough, we'll get someone else for receptionist." Letting her know that she would be his clerk first.

She didn't mind what the title of her job was or what exactly she would be doing in that she was willing to do all that was needed of her. She had a lot of energy to expend and working would work out grand for her. Get her out of Melantha's hair and something of her own. "I think I will stay here the night than heading up to the manor by myself. When do you wish me to start or.." considering the conversation, "leave me a note when you are ready? I can help as well if needed in setting up?"

"Why don't we see what condition you're in Friday morning. If you feel up to it, you can come to the manor and help me put books away. That will give you some idea where things are."

"I need to head down to the docks, I'll catch up with you tomorrow, David." They could discuss more when he wasn't as tired as he was becoming. Finishing off his drink with a few words with Alex then heading out with a wave to the two, "good night to you both!" Ducking back out into the night, the sound of hooves would be heard directly following.

"Good night, Patrick. " A quick wave given before the man was out. Tomorrow would be good! And he had supply of potcheen at the house so he'd be ready for guests.

"That is a good plan." Giving a wave in Patrick's direction, "good night to you as well!" Called out before he got away then back to David. "I enjoyed meeting you and to be working for you. I will come directly to the manor soon as possible." Provided she was not hurting after the joust circuit, she would be there directly to learn all that was needed and more. Her drink finished off, she procured a key to a room here for the night. "Now it is my turn to bid you a good night and to see you soon, David."

"I'll be keeping an ear out to see how you do, Concessa." Maybe he'd even watch, though he wouldn't let her see him until after. "If I don't speak to you before, good luck tomorrow." He finished his drink quickly. Hopefully there'd be no more rain until he reached the manor.

"Thank you," having him receive the brilliance of her smile before she was dashing off to the hall and the stairwell that led up to the rooms.

He waited until she was gone before carrying his glass over to the bar for Alex. Biding the tender good night, he headed on out himself. Bed was calling.



Date: 06-02-09
Poster: David Frasier
Post # 5

New Beginnings

A late spring storm was rolling in from the ocean, the clouds dark and heavy with rain.  Lightning occasionally turned some to silver while thunder rattled the windows of the manor house where David Frasier had been sorting through books.  He glanced toward the windows then stood, stretching out kinks.   A rumble of a different type had him remembering that his supper was staying warm in the oven.   The cook, Ailish Murphy and her husband, Jack, who was also the groundskeeper, had gone to their cottage situated on the grounds when the first clouds began to form.  She had stopped to inform David that she had left his supper and that the kettle was on the stove.

In a day or two, he'd have to hire a housekeeper and maybe two maids.   Rubbing his eyes, he made his way to the kitchen and found the meal still hot.  The kitchen wasn't a total mystery to him. He had managed to do some cooking while he lived on his own   Still the roast beef, potatoes and gravy were delicious and there was pie as well.  By the time he finished, the storm was in full fury.  He took a slice of the pie and a cup of tea and carried plate and mug to the office again.  While it raged, he looked out over the ocean.  Waves boiled and rolled and he could see the light from the lighthouse guiding ships away from the dangerous rocks.

As he watched the storm, he smiled to himself.  The office behind him was large and comfortable with another room just beyond.  That would be where Concessa would work.  Both had cherry wood desks, and shelves covered three walls.  He would put a good many of his law books in her office so she'd have easy access to them.  The rest would be placed in here.  There were also cabinets where he could keep all his papers. One even had a lock and there was a safe hidden behind one of the bookcases.  For a moment he wondered why the woman who had been barrister before had left but mentally shrugged.   He was sure she had her reasons.

Something rubbed against his legs and he started then laughed as he looked down at the calico kitten.  Jack had found her shortly before David arrived but couldn't keep her at the cottage. His old tom didn't like other cats.  So, Daisy had become an occupant of the manor before David.   He placed his cup aside and made his way to the boxes, sitting on the floor. The kitten immediately claimed his lap.  "Well, Miss Daisy what have you been up to, this fine day.."  The kitten would have to be banned from the office when he was meeting clients.  He was sure there would be some protesting of that.

While he scratched the kitten's ears, he looked at the boxes.  They were nearly all sorted through, thanks to Concessa, and he had made use of one to put in books and papers that would go to the office in the Commons.  The office was down a side street, and close to the Private Investigators as well as one the Veterinarian was opening.  David had decided to have office hours there two days a week for those who couldn't come to the manor.  "Time to get back to work." He told the kitten as he placed her on the floor and stood.  Lighting two oil lamps, he glanced at the window again and smiled.  His father would be proud that he had found Brogan and was starting over again in Heathfield.  He glanced at the folder that held the copies of his father's will and grinned to himself.  He had come to find his family and found more than he had ever expected.  "New beginnings, Da, new beginnings," was whispered to the storm before he turned back to his work once more.



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