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Benzaiten Imports

Date: 04-13-09
Poster: Garath MacShire
Post # 1

Late Night Business

Xan had to leave early though he was hoping to be back, leaving Garath dealing with inventories, bills and other paperwork. He was in his office, situated next to Xander's, but instead of staring at the books, he was leaning back in his chair, hands behind his neck and eyes closed while he rested them. The store was quiet, with the two clerks gone but he hadn't put the closed sign up. This late one or two customers might wander in but there wouldn't be many. He had coffee brewing on the small potbellied stove in the corner of the office, the scent drifting out into the showroom. Since it was late, he had long discarded his vest, and unbuttoned two of the top buttons of his shirt. Dress pants of black were also worn. The only sound was the ticking of the clock in his office and the sound of the coffee brewing.

Joseph had some more time to himself after another long day doing catch up with the cattle, ranch and scheduled a meeting with his investigators as well to catch up there. A whistled tune accompanied him down the streets of the commons. Lazy long legged stride kept a certain rhythm. The tune would cease with greetings as he passed others by, known or not, all were greeted equally. Rounding the fountain as it was in full flow, he continued down along the street bringing him to the outskirts of both the commons and the port. Seeing his cousin was still within his business, he was soon swinging open the door as the whistled tune ceased complete. "Any...booooooooody.... home?" Grin sweeping on the tail end of his words.

Garath nearly tumbled backwards when he heard Joe's voice. Chuckling, he stood and made his way to the doorway. "I'm right here. Come and join me for coffee and some of Hazel's cake." He called over the displays, waving so Joe could see him.

"He neglected to mention some of the pastries from the bakery." Xan came up behind Joe, clapping a hand to his shoulder. "It's about time you came back, brother. We were starting to worry." He was looking Joe over carefully to be sure there were no injuries Joe was trying to hide. Dressed casually since he had left his vest and string tie in his office, he wore a shirt of white as well as dark brown pants over dress boots.

"Now that sounds like as good an invitation I've had in a while!" Continuing in only to stop with a turn around on a booted heel. "Xander!" Embracing his brother clan style with a little shake of his shoulders once done before releasing them. "Ah, so that's the real reason you showed back up." Grinning as he spoke the tease. He was attired in a loose fitting poet's shirt of off white, brown leather vest and pants, boots a darker shade that laced up to below his knees. They sported the wear of the day though they had been polished in the morning as he always took the time when he had time.

"He probably went home for a hot meal then came back." Laughing as he leaned against the opening of the door. "Or he doesn't trust me with the books." It was a project that they followed faithfully every Monday and neither left the other to do all the work.

"Well, it wasn't to see his face, certainly." Xan laughed as he motioned toward the office door, allowing Joe to go first. "In reality I felt guilty leaving you with all the work." Right.

Andre was soon making his way to the open door, satchel tucked under one arm that was pretty thick. "Looks like a party, oui? Anyone invited?" Smile sweeping as he spoke, wind tossed hair from a storm that was brewing in off the ocean. "We will have rain, it brings the flowers I'm told."

"Ah, Andre. Come and join us. We're about to have coffee and cakes, which, if it is going to rain, will have to keep you all warm on your way back." Since he stayed about the store now, he wouldn't be traveling. "How are Joshua and Tamara adjusting to having you home, Joe." He waited for the three men to be seated while pouring the rich Turkish coffee.

"It was an emotional moment, one I'll never forget. One that makes me realize what they go through when I go on such a mission. Time to retire until they are grown, train another younger who can run like hell when needed.. not get hit over the head by a thrown chair." He remembered that much, or more was told what hit him. "At least I still have a thick skull, one hard to crack." Though one would have questioned those words had they been there and seen him immediately afterwards. He was over to take up a seat, stretch his legs out and relax. A good hot mug of coffee and Hazel's cake to be enjoyed.

"Good decision to make." He nodded approval then offered his hand to Andre. "And welcome home to you as well. It's been a while. Just a break for you, or are you off again soon?"

He took Xander's hand with his free one in a good grip. "Oui, it is good to be back. I do not wish to take too long a journey again. Though I have some maps of coordinates where wealth may be found." He had still to go over the authenticity of them but he would in time. "I have a list of merchandise I have brought back while establishing contacts in many places of the world." Which is why it took near two years. He set the satchel down on the table before slipping out the neatly stacked papers, all in order, easy to ready and prices listed afterwards. He would allow buying direct, giving them a discount or sell his merchandise through their business taking a commission fee. Either way worked well with him. Some of the items were pricey for they were rare. Weapons from the Orient included finely crafted katanas. Other items of teas, statues, pottery, porcelain, garments, silks, lanterns, armor along with others. From Spain, pottery, fans, mantillas, lace, jewelry and armor. From Egypt, oils, spices, jewelry and pottery. India, brass, silks, jewelry and spices. Each had their own craftsmanship and scents. From The Colonies there were items gained from Peru and the Natives, mostly it was the tobacco and hemp. Various swords, knives, bows then down to ivory chess pieces and board, games, dolls, artifacts and books, some scrolls.

"Good lord, I hope you had more than one ship with you." Garath teased as he held out his hand for the papers.

Xan chuckled as he watched, and since he had yet to sit, he took over the handing out of the coffee and cake. He then was over to join Garath to look over the papers. "This is quite a list, Andre. It'll save us from doing some work." A few of their contacts had gone missing for various reasons. "Do you need an answer tonight or can we go over it all." He tapped an item that caught his eye then another. Commission would work on some of the larger things, outright on others. They could haggle later if that was needed.

Passing through and nothing more, it was the store front that caught her attention. Perhaps they could direct her to an inn before the coming storm let loose. Leaving the small black mare at the store front, the door was opened quietly and only enough for the petite figure to pass through. A glance around to find a certain amount of others within, she kept quiet, only offering a nod to those within and set to browse the variety of availables.

"I wish I had another ship with me, oui. But I would be gone another two years if I had. So, when it was full, we turned homeward. Contacts made to gain more." Handing the list over to Garath. "We will have our ships scheduled to make new runs. I may have to speak to the shipwrights to have two more made." He and Pierre would be able to afford them after all he brought back from one long trip.

He was listening to Andre and would vie to take a look at that list once Garath and Xander were done. The door opening had him turn a look over his shoulder and the hint of a lazy smile to appear. "Good evening, my brother and cousin can help you out if you're looking for something in particular." Figuring she was in to buy something from this shop.

"How was China? We found some unrest there." He glanced up at the sound of the bell.

He straightened as the bell rang, saving any questions he had for later. Joe had spoken out though, through the door of the office, so he waited for the woman's answer.

"There is a warrior lord by the name of Chen Jiang, I was cautiously told to avoid, keep my homelands discreet." He took hints well but with the arrival of the lady, he smiled her way. They could get back to the other later.

It took a moment to realize that anyone was speaking to her, and just to make sure, she checked over her shoulder to see if another had entered that perhaps was being spoken to. Realization dawned, she smiled to the gent who spoke to her. "Nothin' particular, sir. I noticed th'store front an' thought I would come in an' browse." though it seemed she'd interrupted something. "I can go if I 'ave come at a bad time."

He was up from his seat and into the main part than talking through the open door. "Aye," there was an Irish accent that still laced his speech. "I'm Joseph, Xander or Garath, who own this shop can help you out. It is not an intrusion." He didn't mind, he doubted any of the others minded. They were gathered but when a customer came, they would be seen to. There was no rush on their talks. Mostly business as it were with what Andre brought.

"Good advice." He said in an aside to Andre, glancing briefly at Joe. He looked passed him at the young woman. "Evening, miss. Feel free to browse."

She still felt the nag of intruding, but smile. "Thank ye, Sir. Mind if I just wander for a few moments?" There were things she'd like to find. Looking to Garath, a nod given. "Thank ye."

"Evening, miss." He echoed Garath then chuckled. "Give a call out if you see anything you'd like to examine closer."

"Oui, especially when it came up that his most wanted enemy was not of his country, but McDonough and MacShire." Words low before he gained his feet in the presence of a lady. Blue eyes held a glint for certainly he appreciated the visual of a beautiful woman. Discreet observance as it seemed she was taken care of. Taking up his mug to cradle in one hand as he decided to stand for a few.

"Evenin'. Thank ye." A warm smile was given, she turned to peruse the goodies, pushing her hood back from her face so as not to seem rude.

"That will be a tale for some evening in the Thistle." He promised before he was studying the list again. They were quite interested in what was offered. He sat again, a slight frown appearing in concentration.

"I'm thinking that Garath needs spectacles." He said in a low voice, but not so low that his partner couldn't hear him.

Okay, so her Cleopatra and Anthony scheme sank, she was on another adventure hopefully one that would do no harm, but then again being Charlie and because Kenneth was the source of her imagination, one never knew what was going to happen, which meant it was more fun. She headed to the shop, yeah after normal hours but the light was on and there were indications of people inside, opening the door she peered in ...

Distracted back to Garath with a sly grin showing. "Oui, I would like to know the background story that got such a powerful warlord acting like his britches had ants in them at the mention of certain names."

She continued her way around, looking over various things until she found some bottles of oil. That would hold her attention long enough as randomly they were lifted and opened to take in the various scents with a thoughtful smile.

Reading books did it, she had reread a few classic and well here she was, figuring she could find what she needed. "Erm .. excuse me may I look about?" Not sure she would find what she needed to start her Aladdin scheme ...POOR Kenneth, beware ....

Lightning lit the air, lighting the commons and port area up like it was day for a few split seconds. Then the thunder followed, roaring in its wake like battlements crashing before the rain. First a few large drops pelted against the window panes before the sky opened up complete in a torrential downpour. Still, there was one other storm named Trouble that blew in through their doors.

And looking to the door, "what the hay?" blinking at the thunder and lightning ... Well she hurried in the door, closing it, that was some rain ...

The crash of thunder came in the middle of thoughtful delight and scared her near out of her wits. Fingers fumble the bottle, almost dropped it. Saved by kicking out a foot so it would fall against the material of her cloak to slow the fall and give her means for her hands to catch up with the bottle. Then a look around in hopes no one saw. "So much for a nice ride 'ome."

"Well, that can be mostly attributed to one McDonough in particular." He nodded toward Joe then started at the sound of thunder. "Ah, spring."

"You can browse only if you come in here and say a proper hello, Charlie." He knew that voice.

"Charlie lass, do come in out of the rain." Giving a sweep of his hand, "the place is all yours to roam." Bit of a wicked grin flashed towards his brother and cousin before back.

Charlie grinned, "hey Xander" making her way to him, lifting her arms for a hug, and you know what would come when that happened ....

He had noticed more that the other lass had quick reflexes, better than most ladies who would have been in a dither and crying the woes to follow. And when Charlie went for her hug from Xander, he gave a tickling poke to her side. "I hear Kenneth has taken some time off," which he never denied his friend for the man worked as two in his duties about the ranch.

Of course, since every one who knew her gave her bear hugs. Not enough room to spin her around in the office though. He might knock Joe or Andre or both over. "Just in time." Speaking about the rain of course.

"'Eek," at the poke, "yes he has, it is nice waking up to his smiling face," because he didn't have to get up till she did. "EEP" giggling at the hug ...

She had lots of practice. She was a regular klutz most of the time. The bottle was capped and put back in its place before moving on to other scents.

Andre had no family to recognize and watched as one would who had none. Appreciatively rather than with envy. He had them all as friends so an adopted family.

And there went that wink to the French man, "how do again," she mused, not sure she wanted to find her lamp just yet, with every one here ...

"I'd ask if you were keeping him out of trouble but more than likely, that's a loaded question." He grinned at Charlie and tucked away the papers until later.

"But of course ..he keeps me out of trouble," she grinned, "well sorta."

Which he gave a wink right back, smile tipping off to the side. "I do well again, as you do well again, oui?"

Nodding her head to the question that she was doing well. "I am dandy ..better then candy," waggling her brows ...

"Are you looking for anything in particular, Charlie?" He leaned back in his chair as he asked, but not too far. Didn't want to tip over.

"Coffee, Charlie? How about you, miss? Care for some coffee?" He called out into the showroom.


Date: 04-13-09
Poster: Garath MacShire
Post # 2

She was holding various bottles more securely now, and had collected a few of the oils when the offer was made. "Hm?" With a -me?- kind of expression before smiling. "Aye. Tha' would be nice."

"An oil lamp, and no thank you I am fine," said about the coffee. "Evening miss," remembering to speak to the lady ...

Dip of her head to the woman and a smile. "Evenin', Lady."

He offered a cup to the lass, motioning.  "Cream and sugar is in there. What kind of oil lamp, Charlie?" Giving Xan a look so he could go help Charlie if need be.

Garath had him laughing. "I was going to get it for her." He just didn't move as fast as Garath.

Bottles secured in one arm against her side, she took steps to take the coffee. "Thank ye."

"Are you new about these parts Miss and do you have a name we can address you by?" Having moved within a respectful distance as she was given her coffee. "You may need to light a fire under Xander, his thoughts are elsewhere, Charlie." Teasing his brother as it brought to the forefront a question he had for him. The question could wait, it had waited a few months already.

"Let me get you a basket." He made his way to the door, grabbed a basket and came back. If she dropped one, the showroom would smell for days.

"Oh a small one, kind of like the one in the tales of Aladdin?" uh uh see her looking around with grin ...fantasies filled her head with all the things that she saw,...

Oh where were her manners. A sheepish grin to Joseph. "Aye. 'm sorry. My name is Adeline." The bottles taken from her hold and set in the basket, then took the basket. "Thank ye." Yeah. She didn't want to make the place smell.

"Oh ...Xander got a girl huh?" As if that was the only thing to make a man distracted ....

Mug was lifted for another drink of the tasty brew as he continued more in watching. He didn't miss much at all when he got that kind of quiet.

"Aye. Engaged as a matter of fact." He headed over to a display of brass from India and the far east. "Should have something here, Charlie." And no, he wasn't going to ask! He figured it had something to do with Kenneth.

"Nice to meet you Adeline. Are you traveling through or plan to stay a few? There is the Thistle Tavern if you do, no cost for it is owned by the Crown and set up that way." A way it was paid for too and all worked out.

Most things had a lot to do with Kenneth, Charlie followed Xander walking as he did, a fair mime when she wanted to be "maybe you need a lamp too?" After all one could entertain so many ways ...

He chuckled as he watched Charlie and rejoined Andre, though he didn't sit again. "Evening Adeline and well met."  It felt good to stand after working on the books all day.

"Nice t'meet ye too." Smile hidden with a sip from the coffee as she listened. "I might stay for a while. 'm in no 'urry to get nowhere." A dip of her chin to Garath. "Pleasure to meet ye, Sir."

"It is mon pleasur, Mademoiselle Adeline. I am Andre." Seeing to a cordial exchange of greeting as he should.

He was going to pinch her side once they stopped. "I might but only if it works." There were several in the case. Various sizes, some plain, some with engraving and some with jewels. "Evening, Adeline."

"Sir Andre. A pleasure t'meet ye too." A nod to him then to Xander. Her attention returned to drift between them all briefly then to Joseph. "Where is th'place ye speak of?"

"Now I know who to hire to fill in for Xander," called out to Charlie in teasing her. Glint in green eyes showed the amusement.

Charlie was good at a lot of things, and a hard worker, tilting her head as she looked at the lamps, "oh nothing fancy .." she was going to polish it up herself, "that one," pointing to the plain one, it would do fine ...

Back to Adeline, "it is up the road from here. This place sits between the commons and the port area. You would not wish to be around down there unescorted at night but the Commons is safe as well the tavern. Royal guards patrol more securely there. The port masters take care of any ruckus down along the piers."

"Then I will 'ave t'find my way there..." She looked to the window and rain. Oi. Well, hopefully it was a short trip.

"Payment or barter?" He and Garath worked with both. And the lamp was the cheapest of the lot, though it was well made and would look beautiful even more shined than it was.

Hearing that Benzaiten Imports was open, Anneliese wandered down with the help of a carriage to spare her aching feet and the rain that seemed inevitable in April. As she arrived, she requested that the driver return for her in a little while, not wanting to leave him sitting in the rain. Hearing his agreement, she didn't wait, but hurried in, leaving her umbrella just inside the door out of the way.

He was over to the window as he pointed out more Northwest where the fountain could be seen in the square. A very large fountain and the waters turned on now that spring had come. "It is called the Thistle and is just beyond the other side up a ways from the fountain." Which was not a long ways and could be seen once around the fountain.

"OH I think I will pay for it," she mused, digging in her pockets for coins, "I want to have it as a keepsake you know," chuckling softly...

She followed to the window to see where it was he was speaking of and nodded. "Aye. Thank ye." Another small drink of the coffee. "'ave ye any cottons from Egypt 'ere?" Inquired curiously with a glance to the door as it opened.

"Have you traveled far, Adeline?" Curiosity his mien, got him into trouble and out of trouble as well.

Sounds like Andre and Charlie have a lot in common, though she relished being in the mischief, kept life interesting...

A smile given to Andre. "Aye. I've come from a kingdom called 'ope. It's quite the distance, but probably a round about way. 'm no' so good with direction."

"Garath?" Turning the question to him as he probably didn't heard it. "Good evening Anne, good to see you again. This is Adeline." So introductions were made.

Hearing her name, she looked at Joseph then the woman who entered with a smile. "Pleasure t'meet ye, Lady."

Spotting Charlie, she smiled in the woman's direction, giving herself a brief shake to rid herself of any clinging water before she looked up, hearing her name. A nod greeted Adeline and the men with her. "Good evening, Adeline.  Joseph, Andre... Garath." There was one she hadn't met. She didn't think.

"It has a promising name," with a hint of a smile. "It seems you do well, oui? even directionless, you have ended up in a safe place."

"Not yet." He called from his lean. "We're hoping for a shipment soon." Unless Andre had some listed. "Evening and welcome. Would you care for some coffee?" He called over to Anne.

A fervent nod answered Garath. "I would love some. It's not fit out there for man nor beast!"

"Of course." He motioned toward the counter. "Come over here and we'll wrap it up so it doesn't get wet." He had a nice soft cloth to wrap it in as well. "Evening, miss. Xander McDonough." The other partner.

Turning back to Andre, she tipped her head some. "Aye. Thanks to my companion. If it weren't for 'im I'd never get anywhere."

"It is my pleasure to meet you once again, Anne. The night holds promise for the flowers to bloom." Which he never minded the rains when they came. "Your companion, he is not waiting for you outside in the rain?" He didn't mind the rain but to stand in it and get soaked when still a touch cold was not preferred.

"Cream and sugar is in the office." He poured a cup of the fragrant brew, offering it to Anne as he crossed the room. "Storm came up fast." Rains were never bad, if one was inside and not ... right, soaked.

"I'm sure th' kind owners wouldn't wish him in here. Four legs an' lackin' manners no matter 'ow 'ard I try t'teach 'im."

"It sounds like a bull we once owned by the name of Ferdinand." Which had him chuckling in remembrance, especially the time he got loose above deck on one of Rhett's ships.

SO she walked behind him, in the same manner that he was walking, bobbling her head "Hmm do you have any pretty paper?" Might as well go all out grinning as she waved to Anneliese ...

"Too fast, but we need the rain." Accepting the cup gratefully, she wrapped her hands around it and sipped. "You're busy tonight; that's wonderful!"

"Aye, we do, and Charlie?" He paused for a second. "You do know we're surrounded by glass and it's reflective, right?" Grinning as he had seen exactly what she was doing.

Another clash of lightning lit up the sky and grounds below in those few split seconds. The thunder a few seconds later than the last after the flash. The storm was already moving north. "Fast and furious, leaving the grounds soaked and the seeds buried in soil to awaken, over the next few days there will be green growth." More mussed to himself as he watched out the window a moment.

"It started out as visits, and expanded." He glanced toward the window again. "Maybe it means spring has finally arrived fully." Though it could be snowing by morning.

That had her giggling, and grinning, "and your point would be?" not bothered at all ...

"Keep it up and you'll be giggling more." Turning quickly as if he were about to pounce on her. "What kind of paper do you want?"

"One can hope. I think we're all more than ready for it." Smiling, she went to look at something that caught her eye. Finally, she could turn her attention towards improving her living quarters.

It was a promise of sorts, so she just squared her shoulders, "laughter is good for the soul you know," looking at the counter a moment. "Something that glitters if you have it .." not sure what she was going to do just yet ...

"And plenty of work to do in the fields." He grinned at Joe as he took up a lean again.

Hopefully not use it as puppy paper!

Oh no Burpee was potty trained, and very well mannered for as small as she still was ...

Hm...perhaps they didn't have what she'd asked for. She just smiled and left them all to their conversations to continue her wandering and sipping her coffee.

"Hmmm." He started to rummage around behind the counter, finally coming up with foil that was in jewel tones, the design vaguely Arabian. "How's this?"

"I'll have to get over to see Draven before we leave for Kildare. He probably has the acres tilled already to start the planting." Another thought more mussed out loud but anything else was tossed away as he came back to here and now at hand.

Garath had answered. They only got some material and only at certain times of the year, except for silk. The Egyptian cotton had yet to arrive.

Hm..must have missed it with all the conversation. She'd apologize if she realized it. Some other materials were found, she went through the various sorts quietly.

"So, do you have any cottons from Egypt, Garath?" Maybe he had not heard the lass when she asked earlier, there were a few conversations going on.

"Oh I like that, " she grinned, "I will find something to use it with after my erm lamp is lit, "pursing her lips, trying to look innocent ...

He blinked at Joe then chuckled. "No. We're expecting some in soon but I'm not sure which shipment."

She barely caught the conversation about the cotton and looked over to Garath. "May'aps then I will have t' stay until ye get some in."

The lamp was placed in a box, and then he grinned at Charlie. "Now, you can't tell everyone that I can wrap packages, or I'll be in trouble." Lips twitching as he spoke.

"I do believe there is some on that list I gave you if you wish not to wait, oui?" Adding in his two cents as he had a bit of merchandise from Egypt as well other places offered on the lengthy list.

She bobbled her head "I wont tell a soul," and she wouldn't, not directly anyway.

Listening to the talk, Anne was quiet as she perused the offerings with interest and more than a few wistful sighs. While the school was a success, she wasn't made out of money and there were far too many lovely things she wanted. Amused at herself, she laughed quietly, sipping her coffee.


Date: 04-13-09
Poster: Garath MacShire
Post # 3

Which she would hear a voice just off to the side as he caught up having decided to look around. "It makes you wish money grew on trees, oui?" There were many beautiful items as he was taking note of what Xander and Garath already had. Better to gear what they could use when they sent out their ships for arrangement of goods already set up.

She could wait patiently enough. The materials left to look over other things quietly, listening to the conversations with a fond smile. How nice it must be to be so familiar.

"Too much so." Looking up to see Andre, she smiled warmly in welcome. "But I can tell myself that there will always be something here for me to enjoy next time, and that will give me incentive not to spend more than is in my budget." Anne nodded towards the array of exotic and luxuriant items. "It's all very tempting, though."

She was patient, all she had to do was find a cave, and the rest would be a riot waiting to happen. Hard to say yet what she was going to do, but poor Kenneth ....

They had plenty of room. It wasn't always easy to get items here during the winter storms. He was content to listen now, though he was also thinking that he missed going to Joe's! "I think if there's some on your list, we can accept that."  Giving him a lazy smile.  He wanted Andre to know he had heard him.

"Sometimes the wanting is far more desirable than the getting. Time in earning an item, gives it more value. Oui?" Smile was warm in return as he checked out a tapestry, taking a mental note to procure a few more from other countries than those here. A glance with a nod given Garath.

"There you are, Charlie. All wrapped and ready to deliver." However she planned to do so. "And you're welcome to stay here longer." Just so she knew he wasn't chasing her out.

"Oui. Very much so." She nodded in agreement.

Finding a few things that she needed/wanted, she moved off to the side, somewhere to set the basket down while she finished her coffee and watched the others quietly.

"Thank you much do I owe you now?" she mused, of course she would stay, nosey heifer that she was ...

"Have you found that which strikes your fancy, Adeline?" He'd been discreetly watching her a moment to see that she was comfortable in a strange place. He'd been to a few and knew how it felt.

"Fifty coppers." He glanced toward the window to see if it was still raining.

Turning to Joseph, she offered a warm smile. "Aye. That I 'ave. Thank ye. I'm sure I could spend more time wandering the wares 'ere." A delightful store.

The rain had lessen to a drizzle that would soon dissipate. The lightning had moved off to just flashes in the distant sky and any thunder a distant sound not heard over their conversations. "A good night to wander, inside rather than out. Tomorrow it will probably be sunny and warmer, a good time to wander the commons, stores and vendors that come to sell their wares."

"Aye. I look forward t'it. My 'orse will 'ate me for weighin' 'im down." She chuckled softly and finished off the contents of her cup.

"Perhaps I can pay in some exotic item you wish for dancing lessons?" Bartering was an easier way of exchanging professions and both left with something they wished.

"You may need a wagon before you continue your travels," adding a wink with the tease and the natural lazy smile that came readily.

A soft laugh. "And an ox since Faolan will likely stand as a stubborn mule rather than pull a wagon."

"I think you'd need a lot of dance lessons to afford some of these items, Andre. I should warn you," blue eyes twinkled teasingly at him, "I am a woman of expensive tastes."

"Unless you coax him with apples?" Amused with the visual and thoughts towards Charlie who had such a stubborn mule once upon a time.

"Then I'll be doin' most of the walkin'." She smiled and shrugged. "We'll come to an arrangement of some sort. Might 'ave t'just kick 'im int'strides."

"Vinegar over honey?" Smile only widened a moment. "Do you have an interest in horses? There are races run each month of regular race horses and one for those there that night called a hometown race."

"I 'ave a great deal of interest in 'orses. Though I cannot say I've been to a race. I've 'eard of them though. I've only been t' some exhibitions for front line 'orses."

After he took care of Charlie's payment, he was over to speak to Joe. "I'm going to head to the manor. Have some things I need to see to delivering before I get in trouble." Not that his Maggie truly gave him a hard time. He clapped a hand to Joe's shoulder, not saying more then nodded to Adeline. "Good night to you, Miss Adeline. If you want to buy those, Garath will see to them." Nodding toward the basket.

"Then if you are about still when they have the races, I would suggest you go see them. Others from the lands will be there, friendly bunch." So she would feel welcome as she was tonight.

She nodded to Joseph. "Aye. I might just 'ave t' look int' tha'. Should be somethin' fun." Then looked to Xander. "A good night t' ye too, Sir." She dipped a small curtsey to him. "Thank ye, again."

"Miss Anne. Good to meet you. Andre, welcome home. We'll be in touch and Garath, I'll see you come morning." Though being Garath was staying up later, he could wander downstairs whenever he felt like it. "Welcome, Miss Adeline."

"Good night, Mister McDonough." Anne turned to wave good night to Xander. "It was a pleasure to see you, as always."

"Aye, stay safe Xander. You haven't set a date yet then? I may be going to Kildare to see the rest of this mission through."

"Good night, Xan. Tell Maggie and the gang hello for me." Not that Xan's son and their friends stayed indoors, but still ...

He offered a grin to each then looked at Joe and shook his head. "Nothing firm. Maggie wants you to be able to attend. So I'll let her know that it might be a bit longer." She'd understand. Hopefully.

"Oui, I will see you tomorrow." Which would give them time to go over the list of merchandise he brought back with him. "It is good to be home." To Xander then Anne, "you are ready for a man to dance up a storm, like the one tonight, oui?" Giving a wink, "I will have Pierre there as well to learn, he does enough fancy footwork to be able to put them to dance."

He knew Garath would go over the list tonight, marking things down on another piece of paper. With a wave, he adjusted his cloak and headed out into the cool night.

He would need find out if he was needed to go, which he really didn't see any way around for his abilities in that area. Hopefully it would go quickly and he could be back.

A smile given to Joseph. "If ye will excuse me, I should pay for these things and leave ye all t'yer night. I still need to acquire a room for my stay."

He watched his partner leave then turned to face Adeline. "Let's go over to the counter and see what you have." He smiled as he led the way there.

"Does he know you've volunteered him to dance? And who is Pierre?" Anne couldn't keep up with all of the names and faces she had to learn around Heathfield, despite being a citizen for some time now.

"Just tell Alex, Joseph sent you when you reach the Thistle." Not that she wouldn't get a room regardless for it was set up for travelers in particular. "You will find the rooms clean, beds comfortable and the food, cooked by Hazel, excellent."

A small curtsey dipped to Joseph with a bright smile. "Thank ye for your 'elp. I will tell him." Not that she knew who Alex was. She then turned to follow Garath to the counter, setting the cup and the basket down. The basket had three bottles of oils and seven hand fans.

"Oui, he knows I would. He is my partner," though he really owned the business and took in Pierre later on. Long, interesting, story there. "Pierre Lafayette. You will have the company of two Frenchmen." Fair warning.

He went over the figures in his head and smiled as he spoke. The fans were from Spain and the orient. "That will be forty coppers altogether."

"It's been a while since I've faced such a fearsome prospect, but I think I can handle it." Laughing softly, she spotted the very thing she was hoping to find - a soft, plush rug in just the right colors for her room. "Oh, now this is lovely..." And hopefully not too expensive!

A smile returned to him, she reached into her cloak to remove a small purse from a pocket inside. Cupped in her hand, she retrieved the proper amount of coins and offered them to him. "Thank ye."

"Then all the more we will enjoy your company and professionalism in the dance." Smile could charm at times when it was genuine like it was at this moment. Pierre could be even more charming so she would have a night of flattering ego boosting in the least.

"You're very welcome." He wrapped the bottles and put them in the box carefully, then added the fans and covered it all with paper. The coins were put away in the lockbox. "And welcome to Heathfield, Adeline."

Or at least a fun night of harmless enjoyment spent in the company of not one, but two too-charming Frenchmen. Anne remembered too well how the French could be from years past and after performance parties.

"Thank ye, Sir Garath. Th'warm welcome 'as been very refreshing compared t' some of th' places I 'ave recently been."

So she would know how to handle the charm, taken in the light it was given and a good night for all to be had. He was looking forward to it. "If you are leaving soon, I will escort you back with your permission."

Smile settled lazily again as he fell to an observing quiet. A nice night, storm and all, it had turned out to be. How he had missed being home. His coffee finished off as he stepped into the office area to set it away to the small sink with the others.

"I probably should head back before I spend money." Her lips twitched, tempted by the rug, but she could return another time for it.

He had taken note of various things she looked upon with a certain longing in her eyes. All the better to offer in return for the dance lessons. "I will see you tomorrow, Garath." Same for him as Xander in looking over the list of merchandise, giving them first dibs. He might bring the three maps, all separate ones, he had acquired for their thoughts and expertise on their authenticity. He offered Anne the bend of his arm in escort. Well, provided she meant to take her leave presently.

"Good night Andre, Anne." He turned back to Adeline. "It is a point of pride that the people in Heathfield are friendly."

"Good night Anne, Andre," parroting his cousin as it turned out before a chuckle followed. It was getting late and he would need be up early tomorrow. Break of dawn and out before the first light in starting the rounds of cattle.

Looking across to Anne an Andre she smiled. "A pleasure t' meet ye both." Then to Garath as she reached for the box. "A well deserved pride then."

"Good night, Garath." She took Andre's arm gracefully, adding. "Good night, Joseph. Adeline, I hope you enjoy your stay." With that, she turned to Andre. " I did bring a carriage, unless you'd rather walk?"

"I can see you up to the Thistle, Adeline, as it is on my way." He would pass it in heading for his ranch.

"That is kind of ye. If ye are sure it is not out of your way?"

"It is not far from here, you can see the fountain and you are across from it, oui? I would enjoy the walk and how the air holds the scent after such a rain."

"Indeed. Since it's not raining, I don't mind the walk." Smiling, she waved farewell to the others still inside.

"I am sure, for I would not have offered being it is not far." He was over to hold the door as it seemed the time to head out and sleep acquired.

The box was picked up with a nod. "Good eve, Sir." Given to Garath with a smile before turning and making her way out to where her horse waited, though paused outside the door to wait for Joseph.

"Good night. A pleasure meeting you Adeline and welcome." Giving his before he was escorting Anne out. The freshness of the air held that new birth to it, a clean wholesome scent. In fact, after the rain it seemed to have gotten warmer. They could accompany Joe and Adeline up part of the way as it was where they were headed, least partially.

He would ease the box from her arms once outside and carry it for her. A pace set with Andre and Anne as well.

"You as well." Spoken to Andre as the box was taken. "Thank ye." A brief moment taken to collect the reigns of her horse then set to walk with the others.

He waited until they were all out then with another wave, he closed the door and locked it. One by one the torches and candles were put out. Then he headed up to his flat and another good night's sleep.


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