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Frasier Family

Date: 03-09-09
Poster: Patrick Frasier
Post # 1

Quiet Evening

 Patrick was seated at a corner table, taking his time writing in information in a ledger. The plate from the meal he had setting on the tray set off to the side. A bottle of potcheen sat near the glass that was half full. Obviously he had intended to drink but was preoccupied with what he was doing. A tie loosen under the collar of the gray shirt he wore, vest of a red satin and charcoal pinstripe pants. Hair that had been neatly combed was looking more natural as a curling wave didn't keep it contained for too long.

Kaylea had been out for a walk with the warmer weather. It might not last and she wanted to take advantage. Of course, she headed for the Thistle once she was finished. Stepping inside, she closed the door, smiling warmly in Patrick's direction, IF he looked up. She headed for the bar as Alex set out a glass of potcheen punch. Her hair was pulled back at the nape of her neck, though a few stands had escaped and framed her face. She wore a poet's shirt of pale blue, beneath a vest of darker blue suede and a matching riding skirt. Boots of finely tooled leather with a two inch squared heel finished off her outfit.

He didn't look up right away as he was that kind of comfortable with the clientele in this tavern. Rare was the occasion that one had to be concerned and then there were guards to take care of matters. He was adding in the names of the newly registered horses that had come in. Quite a few and there were three more expected to have enough for two Position Races before the monthly one. Setting the pen aside he glanced up. Seeing Kaylea a smile lifted as well, lazy kind. "Good evening Kaylea, how are you this quiet evening?" That could change and then it might not but presently it was certainly quiet.

 "Good evening to you, Patrick." She grinned as she turned. "I'm quite well. Yourself? I hope I'm not interrupting your work?" She motioned to the papers in front of him.

"Not at all," motioning to the empty chairs at the table, three more to be exact, "come join me if you'd like." He closed the ledger over, blotted out the pen, topped off the ink jar and set those aside as well.

"Thank you." She carried her glass to the table, picking one of the chairs. "How have things been for you? Other than being busy at the racetrack day in and day out?" It was nice to relax a little.

He stood as she approached, stepping around to see to her chair before he was back to claim his again. In a relaxed way as green eyes studied unobtrusively. "Things continue to grow. We have about fifteen new horses being registered. A new stable that has eight right there. Sand and Steel." A chuckle followed that had green eyes spark a moment, creases at their edges deepening briefly. "It seems the most I can talk about  is the Race tracks as that is where most of my waking hours are spent. I am sure your duties at the Zoo are quite similar or do you manage to find leisure time for yourself more than a couple hours some evening like this one?"

"Indeed they are, very similar." She laughed softly. "Though we do close early during the winter. Once spring is fully upon us, we'll adjust our hours according to the daylight." She gave him an impish look. "I do manage. Calum and myself have agreed that we should each have a day off during the week, but it's as hard for me to take a day off as it is for him. Plus we've been making a wish list of sorts for what exhibits we'd like to have."

"If the Zoo becomes that busy, will you consider hiring on ones that are qualified to do what you do? That is over the general help the Zoo will need." Noticing his drink, he took it up for a nice burn it held.

"Aye. Marcy Colleen McAndrews has approached me to help, especially during the summer. She's in training but expects to have more free time then. And I'm sure there will be others." She paused a moment then continued. "I'm hoping that we can talk to some of those who own ships to do some collecting for us."

"Perhaps her sister will accompany her." Feeling that was a good idea for the two young McAndrews lasses. "What kind of training is she in or was it stated?" Not trying to be nosey but more keeping the conversation going. He was a bit rusty but so far, all seemed to go smoothly. "I heard the one.." pausing a moment to recollect which brother, "Faelan Callihan had offered and even ran some runs before he left for Kildare to see supplies and his father home."

"Yes he had and he was a great help. Hopefully they'll be back." She smiled again. "She's learning the Old Ways, the ways of the Druid. Quite happy about it too. It's good to know such will be kept alive."

"The way you speak on it, sounds like you know something about that mystical area?" Sitting back at this point as his glass rested against his leg, loose hold but secure. "Perhaps in time I'll see some horses come in under the MacKay name. I have heard your brothers are doing well in the jousting tournament held in Solurius."

"Our family has followed the Old Ways from the very first of our ancestors." She had been sipping at the punch before speaking. Not as strong at the Pure of course, but it did help her to relax. "I'm sure one of my brothers will be joining in soon. I can't imagine they've waited this long." Her smile grew warmer and she nodded. "Surprisingly well. I was at the last and, between you and me, I was terrified every time they were up. I didn't tell them that but I think they knew." She laughed, wrinkling her nose. "Probably from the condition of my nails."

"So, you bite your nails when nervous?" There was a slight lift of a brow but amusement brightened green eyes. Ones trained on her the while as they spoke. He was an eye contact kind of person. "There are many in these lands that follow the old ways, or at least mystically based. I am not exactly privy to what rules might be set up by the old ways and never really had time to discover if I have any abilities in that area." It was possible, considering what their family had been through a few times, especially dealing with curses that certainly qualified as being in that area.

"The rules I suppose are pretty basic. Balance is important as well as free will. We are guided by the Creator and do our best to keep that balance. And we help where we can  She studied him a moment and smiled slightly. "You should take some time to find out. I would say you have an affinity for horses and dogs in the least."

 "It sounds much as I believe. Although I had not thought on what such a frame of mind might be considered." Green eyes took on a far off look to them, almost as if he wasn't breathing for a suspended moment before shaking it off. "Perhaps I should take the time to find out some things I've not had the time, nor really thought on before. Self discovery is never a waste of time."

"No, it never is. You may very well be amazed at what you learn about yourself, Patrick." She watched his face as she spoke. "I know at times I was amazed at what I saw and learned. What I'm still learning." She laughed. "In fact, I've discovered more since I came here to Heathfield."

That had a smile twitch, "or perhaps things I would rather not know?" There was always that question to linger when one contemplated introspection. "Tell me what you think I might find? You can be kind about it.." Amusement laced his words as well the creases at the corners of his eyes to appear again.

"Hmmm." She looked at him thoughtfully, tipping her head. "Well, you may find that you will know which horse is going to win a race just by looking at him and how the others are reacting. Or when a litter of pups is about to be born, even if you're nowhere near the kennels. Or you might be able to tell when the weather is going to change, or ..." She paused. "No, that one is natural in men." There was an impish look in her eyes as she said that.

"I think those are more of things that you possess. I've been running the races for some time now, not just recently as we used to run them years ago, and I can't really tell who will win it. Do feel when a litter of pups are born as well?" He wasn't denying he might have some abilities but he didn't feel these were some of them. "Now, changing weather is one that I guess well at, can feel it."

"No, and I don't know when a horse is going to win but since I've come here I've learned that my affinity with animals goes well beyond them feeling safe with me, or being able to calm them. I can tell what they're feeling." She chuckled as she rested her chin on an upraised hand, "but to be honest, they were guesses. You can sense the weather, but ... I think maybe you have a feeling for people too. I'm sure one of my brothers could tell you better though."

"Have you explored this ability further?" He was curious and it had piqued his interest. "Anything is possible. I admit I've secluded myself away from people and that I have changed in temperament. Least so far. I had a bit of a temper before, when people did things they tried to pass off as something else and to me it was obvious they were being hypocrites. I usually told them as well. Bluntly. Perhaps it is I have not run into such personalities in a while, but then that goes along with secluding myself. Most people I got along with here."

"Yes I have. I've attempted to 'speak' with one of the smaller animals, a marmoset that we were given by Jaelysa. Of course, how he speaks is limited but I've gotten some response from him." Her cheeks had a slight rose color as she admitted what she did. Only because she was still a little unsure of herself. "As for knowing they were hypocrites, was it because of their actions, or something else?" She smiled again. "I find you very easy to get along with, Patrick."

"I assumed it was because of their actions. Saying one thing and doing another. Like one that said she was a lady but went after men like a who.." he cleared his throat, "like one not a lady at all." He finished off what was left in his glass, setting it away to the tray as he rose. "I am intrigued and my compliments to this ability you are discovering." A smile touched off to one side, bringing a dimple there with it. "I am easy to get along with, you'd have to possess qualities like I've stated for me not to get along with you." Giving a wink before taking the tray off to the bar so Alex could see to it before it got any later. Once set he was back around. "Can I escort you back to the Zoo on my way back?" It was getting late and he would need be up early, spend some time with his son before he was off to take care of business.

"Patrick, I have brothers. But aye, that would do it." She was laughing again as she stood, carrying her own glass over. "I would like that very much. So long as it doesn't keep you from getting home." She was used to walking alone, even if her brothers didn't like it.  "And thank you for the compliment. It's nice to be found intriguing."

"Yes you do, have brothers. Still, it would be out of place for me as a gentleman. Which I am working on being." There was another quick wink with the touch of a smile. "You are on my way as I am heading back to Ballicastle, so rest assured it is no trouble. And if it was, it would not be anyway." He was over to get her cloak to hold for her in helping it on, then his own before he saw to the door and they were on their way.

She couldn't argue with that, could she? So, after they collected their cloaks, she waved a good night to Alex and headed out along with Patrick.


Date: 03-12-09
Poster: Brogan Frasier
Post # 2


Many were starting to get out again as the weather held a promise of spring to come. It wouldn't be long, though there was still plenty of snow out in fields and mountain tops alike. Brogan was on a sort of vacation with Charles back and so after spending a day of riding, he headed for the Thistle, meal and company was the hope. Meal was finished as he took the bottle of potcheen as well the glass over to the hearth, choosing a wingback chair there to sink down into comfortable. A ribbed tunic of a deep forest green was worn over a pale tan shirt, black pants and boots comprising his attired for this evening.

Gus had taken the day to collect certain wood for several custom made bows that he'd be working on. After going home to clean up, he made his way to the Thistle for a bit of supper and a drink or two. He crossed the commons whistling softly to himself, his mood quite good. It had been a pleasant day. He was dressed simply in a shirt of brown, tucked into pants of a darker shade and worn leather boots. A grin appeared as he entered the Thistle and  spotted Brogan. "There's a man who knows how to enjoy an evening."

The window was complete as ordered. Roseann came to seek out Brogan, assured by her sister Diane as he was easily found the Thistle of late. A holiday, she'd called it, but without a smile to her lips. Thinking as aught might be awry betwixt them, she said naught save to thank Diane ere she went into town. Choosing a dress of patterned green with white flowers, Roseann took time to tie up her curls with a bit of ribband matching her dress, glad for it as to keep them tidy with the hood up. Coming to the stairs and up, she was in with a smile to see Brogan and Gus. "A fair good evening to you, Messieurs Frasier."

"Indeed, and I hope you will be joining me," raising his glass to his cousin in both a salute and invitation. A split second later had him rising to his feet as Roseann came within. A smile was well spreading infectiously being it had been a while. "Roseann, how good to see you again. How are you? All goes well?" He knew fairly well her family was doing well after seeing her sister a week or so ago. "Please," glancing between them both, "join me here at the hearth."

"Evening, Roseann." He bowed slightly to the woman who came in shortly after he had. "Good to see you. And of course, Brogan." Collecting his drink, he headed to the hearth but waited for Roseann to join them before sitting.

"Aye, to be sure I shall, thank you." Stopping at the bar to exchange a greeting with Alex, she gained her cup of tea and moved to join the two nigh the hearth. Sitting with a hand smoothing her skirt, she looked from one to the other. "I'm well. I've your window finished, hoping to see you as we might set a day to bring it to the casino for installing. How are you both?"

Once she was seated, he eased back down into his chair as well. "You look lovely, like the green of grass to come as spring warms the earth." The mentioning of the window brought a smile. "I can come any day that is best. I've a few off and a wagon." He would bring one of their bounces with him to help in transporting it. "I'm doing quite well. I hear your sister is getting in a few more horses to catch up with the other stables. And another stable has joined up as well." He kept up on news of the Downs for a few reasons, family run business and his horse being one of the racers.

He sat as well, making himself comfortable as he listened. "Well, thank you. And I agree with Brogan, you do look lovely." He smiled slightly, saluting her with his glass before taking a drink.

"Indeed. There's two more, I'm told, and Diane is looking for three else." Or so she thought she'd heard. Roseann could scarce keep pace with Diane's program for the stable. "Do you wish to come on Thursday to fetch the window, I'll be in the studio. My thanks for the compliment, but the window, I promise, is more fair still." Color rose in her cheeks for the prettily paid compliment, glad now as she'd taken care to look well.

"Thursday is good." He would also pay her for it at that time as agreed. "I will be watching the races even more with all the new horses. I wasn't able to get to the last two but I should this upcoming one, possibly the Position races to be run that may well take two nights. Some new changes as Patrick has informed us as the Downs are growing as hoped. Do you plan to get to them if you can?" Wondering now if the project he commissioned her on, kept her from getting there. The thought had a fleeting slight frown, one that was there and gone.

"I was hoping to now the window is done, aye. Diane wishes I see her horses, and yours, race, for she's right proud of them." She smiled, thinking of her sister and the love of horses in Diane. "You are there, she says, but what of you, Gus? Have you a yen for the excitement of racing horses?"

"I enjoy watching and betting on them. And Silent Thunder does well enough. But he's plenty for me." He chuckled. "I couldn't imagine having a stable of them."

"They all have their moments of glory and defeat it seems. I hear one of them is yours, Black Rose, I believe. It would be good for you to see her run." Assuming it was a mare, though he'd never checked. More for the name. Quieting as focus turned on his cousin. "Didn't he take first place in the last race?"

"Aye, he did. Surprised me when he had a sudden burst of speed." He grinned at Brogan. "Guess he has to be in the right mood."

"Diane says as she's quite the contrary lass, and does better not with pettings and praisings, but a good, firm scold. Like me, she says." Roseann admitted it with a soft laugh, and a rise of color. "Do you race him of a stable, or independently?"

"Independently." He looked at her a moment and chuckled. "You really should come and watch them run. It's something to see."

Which had him laughing as she was at least quite open about herself. "I do think a few of us could do better with a direct scolding at times." Only flinching slightly as the words hit true for himself as well.

"Is that not true of most, Brogan?" She watched him then, smile shifting to a bit of a frown. "Is aught amiss? You do not seem your usual self of late."

He was a little confused in that he might seem different, not really knowing how he was being viewed as such. "I don't think there is anything wrong, though I admit I had been working far too hard and long hours when Charles had to be away to England and a family crisis there. He's back and I've time off to get back into socializing again. Is there something you see in particular you feel this way?" Curiosity and now reflective concern mingled.

"You've a more somber look about you. Aye, you smile and you laugh, but there is aught in your eyes that seems... troubled, in the way of things. As if there is something weighing your heart and mind." Hoping as she did not make a proper fool of herself in the explaining, Roseann looked to Gus. "Do you see it as well?"

He blinked and looked at Brogan, frowning slightly. "I'm afraid I don't. But then, I've always been told that I wouldn't notice a boulder if it fell right in front of me."

He became solemn, that was until Gus' retort which had him laughing. "I hope you sent those flowers you were looking at." They had stopped at Lisette's floral but Gus couldn't make up his mind and finally he had to leave, leaving him in the capable hands of their cousin's wife. The distraction was good as he reflected on the other, olive green eyes turned back Roseann's way as he weighed her words. "I had a rough past, one I am not proud of. I could mark it off to troubled teens and the product of a crippled family." Speaking of his own father and mother. "I seem to get on your sister's nerves, not intentionally, but there just the same. Which in turn got on my nerves for your sister is quite outspoken. I hope that in the last I saw her and a talk, we have squared it away. I do not wish to lose her as a friend and she expressed the same. Perhaps there is much pressure on her with running the stables and myself with the casino that we caused friction once within range of each other." He wasn't quite sure and figured he'd know more the next time he ran into her, probably at the races.

She listened, her smile growing nigh brilliant for hearing aught said of Diane. Roseann laughed in turn. "Diane is every bit a contrary lass herself, Brogan. It's not as you get on her nerves so much as you're making her nervous. I ought not be telling you this, but certain sure you seem confused, so I'll give you a bit of help on it. I'm thinking as she might have an eye on you, in the way of things. She'll not admit it, to be sure, but I think it to be true do you not mind me saying. So if you've not the same for her, it's my hope as you'll let her down gently, please?"

"I will assure you, as in actually I assured your sister, I do not wish to cause her distress in any manner shape or form." Which he was still mulling over this revelation that had not occurred to him at all. More in that one would look at him in that way. Well, it didn't make a whole lot of sense for some comments made to him, more in that he felt she didn't like him at all. He had a distant look to his eyes, like one watching a chain of events before drawn away. "I like your sister as I like you as well. I... I'm not sure what to say other than, nothing is impossible and anything is possible, time will see which but certainly I would handle the whole of the situation gently." As she asked that if such was naught to let it down gently. Trying to convey that he would should it be such. Not ruling out it might come about the other. He had more to think on now. Little confused in some aspects but he might talk to his cousin on his opinion. The contrary parts.

"Aye, I did. Finally." A bit sheepish since it had taken him so long. He fell silent again wondering what Mirre's reaction had been to the mixed bouquet of roses, daisies and baby's breath. He nearly missed what Roseann said and looked at Brogan a moment.

Robert nodded to her as he opened the door to the tavern. "Aye I can understan' feelin' tha' way. Wha' say we 'ave a drin' an' ye can tell me all about it....while ye sit on me lap an' I tickle yer fancy." He grinned wickedly.

She smiled to Robert. "Why do I have the feeling that silver tongue of yours is going to get me into trouble?"

"Ye 'ave no idea jus' 'ow much so." He gave her a small wink as he placed a hand onto the small of her back and a gentle shove in the door.

Well at least it wasn't a slap on the arse with his sword! At his urging she walked into the door. "Well I suppose I will find out sooner than later."

Noticing the couple coming in, he spoke up from the hearth. "Good evening, Alex," glancing to the tender at the bar, stationed there for any orders, "will see to any requests of drink and food." Then back to his cousin. "Which did you decide on? There was the terrarium, the clock, hanging baskets, floor plants then the arrangements or did you go with a potted orchid?" Needless to say, Brogan got to see all that Lisette's floral shop had to offer.

She could say naught else ere others arrived, a polite smile curling her lips by way of greeting.

"Uh ... none of those. I went with a huge bouquet of roses, daisies and baby's breath. And a note." He looked toward the door so he didn't have to say more. "Evening."

Tapping a finger to the front of his tri corn hat, and a nod given to those present. "G' eve Lad's an' ...lass'.. Then looking to Alex. "A bottle o' Madeira, an'" Shoots a look to Shayla. "Wha' be ye drinkin'?"

"Wine.. what else?"

Looking back to Alex. "Somethin' red..somethin' sweet I should thin' ..."

She smiled and nodded. Suddenly very thankful to be in his company.

Grabbing the drinks and leaving either proper payment or gratuity on the bar, he then turned to find a seat at a table. Dropping himself into a seat, he offered Shayla her bottle of wine, then set about opening his own.

"Umm Robert, you may not mind drinking from the bottle but I do!" She laughed as she made her way to the bar to beg the attendant for a goblet. Returning, she poured herself a goblet full and downed it before plopping down in a chair herself with a sigh.

Shrugging as he bit the cork and ripped it free of the bottle with his teeth, the spitting it on the floor. "Suit yerself, jus' a waste o' time all tha' pourin' says I."


Date: 03-12-09
Poster: Brogan Frasier
Post # 3

"I suppose I should be looking for new accommodations instead of drinking the night away. After I spoke to Aly like I did, I doubt I'll be welcome back in Southleigh."

"Have you traveled far? I'm Brogan Frasier, my cousin Gus and the lovely Lady Roseann Cleary." Practicing his social skills though he would not pester the couple further.

She smiled to the man. "In all honesty, I'm not sure how far we traveled. I can never judge distance when I'm mad. Though the walk did good to cool my temper."

Robert gave the group a nod. "Aye a ways. We be from Solurius lookin' tae be out o' the eyes o' certain protectors fer an eve or two. I am Robert Kidd, captain o' the Fiddlers Green, an' this be Shayla Aldermyne..." indicating the female.

"Solurius, they are allies of ours. Two from here have been participating in the jousts there. Well met Robert, a pleasure Shayla." Cordial dip of his head and a smile to accompany it.

"Good evening to you. Do you forgive me, I must be going. Tomorrow, I'll see you at the manor, Brogan." Smiling to each in turn, Roseann gained her feet.

"Pleasure to meet you both." He smiled at the two then stood as Roseann did. "It was good to see you, Roseann. Take care and give my greetings to Diane."

He rose as Roseann needed to take her leave. "Perhaps I'll see you at the races," if there was anything more to be said on what they spoke of so far. "Aye, do give mine to her as well." Roseann may or may not notice his switching to his Scottish heritage brogue over the French.

She smiled to the man speaking with them. "Id like to thank your for your hospitality. Certain people at home would like to have me followed everywhere I go as if I were a child. Simply because I'm not married. Yet I don't see any other unmarried women being trailed there." She sighed pouring another glass of wine.

"Than' gods fer tha'...I would 'ave tae find a different port wha' if all unmarried women 'ad escorts all the time."

"You are in escort," obviously as he briefly glanced to the man she was with. "Rooms are let free here as well food and drink. It is under the Royalty and the way the Queen set up this particular tavern. All is already paid for by some of the tithing of many businesses and ranches."

She rolled her eyes, hearing her highly driven companion.

Smiling happily. "One can nae dislike a tavern wha' provides free drinkin'...tis vera kind o' yer royal queenliness."

"It works out well." He sat again now that Roseann had left, smiling at the two.

She sipped her wine, suddenly remembering she wasn't going to drink that much tonight and then peered at Robert. "Why is it that your always trying to get me drunk?"

"I am nae tryin' tae get ye drunk.....only tipsy."  He looked at her a moment and then slugged back some of his Madeira.

As he left the couple to their conversation, it gave him time to contemplate the conversation he had with Roseann.

"And why are ya trying to get me tipsy?"

"Easier tae ply yer lips wit' kisses when they be wet wit' wine." Answers bluntly and honestly before taking another drink.

"Oh so you don't want to kiss me unless my lips taste of wine, eh?" She grinned at him teasing.

"I did nae say tha'....only tha' it makes it easier tae get ye tae kiss me tha' way."

He was trying not to listen but it was hard not to. And worse, harder to not laugh.

She grinned over to the man who was trying not to listen in and threw him a little, *lets see how flustered I can get him* wink.

Now he was chuckling as he winked in return. Glad he wasn't in the Captain's shoes.

What the man didn't know was that the Captain and she had an ongoing, Oh so delicate, game of cat and mouse that they played.

Tried to act like he didn't notice the look as he gulped his wine, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.

"Oh so you really had to fight to get a kiss earlier tonight before I had even one glass of wine."

Waves a hand around in the air as if to dismiss her argument. "Dun nae try tae argue facts wit' me when me own version o' this story goes so much better in me mind.'

She gasped looking astonished. "Are you dismissing me, Robert Kidd?"

"Besides.." Takes a drink of the sweet wine. "It will be better fer yer reputation wha' if peoples thin' I took advantage o' ye when ye weres drunk."  He gave her a rakish wink. "Nae fer this eve I do nae be dismissin' ye."

"Do I look like I really care about my reputation? I spend my time with people I enjoy sharing it with and what other people think be damned."

Even he was trying not to laugh, the lass had spunk. Got the lad at every turn. So, to keep from laughing he addressed his cousin, probably help him out as well. "What do you think of the conversation?" Curiosity finally getting the better of him as he kept his words low.

"Shayla luv, trust me ye be enraptured by me devasting 'andsome face an' me charmin' personality nae doubt, but there will come a day when ye will come tae yer senses an' see me fer the scarred up, ne'er do well vagrant pirate tha' I really be."

He looked at Brogan a moment, and rubbed the back of his neck thoughtfully. "I suppose what she said is possible, but to be honest, it would make be a bit wary. She might be wrong." He shrugged slightly. "Best to let things proceed as they will, aye?"

He cleared his throat, "one with Roseann," to clarify for the other might well have them laughing. "Aye," taking in his view of what was said. "It does go contrary to words said, actions, though I didn't get to mention about our talk in hopefully straightening it out. Talk went well at least." So he was hopeful there, way it was going he had wondered if he could remain friends with the one they were speaking on. It would probably have him more attune to subtle other signs that would support Roseann's words. Have him wondering in the least.

She rolled her eyes. "What ever you say. Gods forbid I spend time with someone because deep down they are a decent person! Besides you aren't the only good looking one here!" She stuck out her tongue at him.

"Aye it did. All you can do is wait and see what happens." He grinned at his cousin. "There are always flowers to fall back on."

"Flowers can be given for a number of different reasons." Certainly Gus had his reasons. "Time will tell." At least his eyes were more open for the next time around. He topped off his glass with the potcheen before kicking it back then setting it back to the table with the bottle.

He looked at the other two men present, and leaned in to whisper. "I do be the best lookin' man tha' be sure." His appraisal of himself was quite high.

"Last I checked, I wasn't a man." She laughed. Her appraisal of herself wasn't that high but be damned if he was going to get all arrogant and full of him self with her!

"Aye ye do nae be a man..." Looked her over, his eyes taking their time on all the right places that made her quite different than a man. "Nae mistakin' tha' in any way."

"Anyway," he cleared his throat softly. "I told Mirre that I'd like to see her again, and take her to dinner. Haven't heard from her yet." He kept trying to not think about it.

"So tell me Robert, why bring me to another land only to try and push me further from you when for days you've been doing nothing but trying to get me much closer to you?"

"I be nae tryin' tae push ye away." He tipped back his bottle. "I rather enjoy gettin' "close" wit' ye." He gave a evil smirk.

It was actually a good thing Robert didn't see other men's looks as being more outstanding for then they could worry on which way he leaned. "How long ago were the flowers sent out?"

She laughed. "So tell me why would I want to sleep with you drunk if I wouldn't want to do so sober?"

"The next day after we went to Lisette's shop." He gave a little shake of his head. "The day after rather."

Robert nearly spat out his mouthful of Madeira. "Ye want tae sleep wit' me?..."

"It was a hypothetical question. Robert."

"I 'ave nae idea wha' ye jus' said I am still tryin' tae get the visions o' the other statement out o' me mind."

Robert really didn't have a chance did he?

Oh Robert had a chance, he just had to play his cards right.  "And here I thought you were so sure the night I slapped you that I wanted you.." Oh yes she had caught him mouthing those words to Aly.

In other words the pirate had zero chance. Regaining his bravado and his swagger. "Well o' course ye do. I mean after all who wouldn't wan' tae be wit' me."

Oh she could call him out on that one, but she didn't feel like being mean. "Of course Robert, everyone wants you!"

He couldn't help but speak up then, "I wouldn't.." then proceeded to start laughing.

She giggled a bit at the man's comment and then got up and planted herself into Roberts lap.

"Neither would I." He snickered as he answered.


Date: 03-12-09
Poster: Brogan Frasier
Post # 4

"I would, if a certain pirate would stop acting like I was just someone to joke with!"

"An' than' the gods fer tha' small favor. Nae offense lads...but all in all .." And he let it drop instead of continuing.

"I think your chances just improved by a leap and bound, Robert."

"Tis tha' wha' ye be thinkin' lass? Tha' ye be someone wha' is jus' seen as someone wha' tae joke wit'?"

She shrugged. "You talk a big game Robert."

The kinder sweep of warm air came in a rush as Mirre opened the door to quickly enter then close it behind her. Silks of a deep wine red, dusty rose and white fluttered past the cloak worn over her attire. The scent of lotus flower prevailed as the cloak was easily slipped from her shoulders and hung up to a peg along the wall just inside the door.

"An' wha' big game is tha'?....Wha' would ye wish me tae do?" He drank his wine giving her room to speak.

He chuckled as he finished his drink and set the empty glass aside. He caught a familiar scent before he turned to look at the door. Brogan was given a look of near panic before he stood. "Good evening, Mirre. It's good to see you again." He glanced at the door to see if her bodyguard had followed.

"Do more than tease and poke fun at me, then tell me your not the sort of people I want to be seen with. I can make that judgement for myself thank you!"

"We must have spoke on her enough," words more under his breath that Gus would hear as a grin started to spread. Rising to his feet once more in all due respect of the lass. "Good evening Mirre." Echoing Gus.

The silk that would usually cover the lower half of her face, looped loosely about her neck instead, swept off to the side. Her smile bright as she turned seeing Gus and Brogan as well. Hands raised to press together as she gave a forward bow of her head then away again. "Fair of eve MemSaheb Gus, MemSaheb Brogan." There was a rose tucked in the dark strands of her hair over her right ear. She gave another bow to the couple before she was making her way over to Gus. Feet seemed to barely touch the floor and the only sound was that of the silks she wore. She didn't say anything presently as she took the rose from its place to hold out to Gus. It was one that had come with the bouquet and note and her answer by giving him one, she accepted.

"But I am nae the sort ye should want tae be seen wit'. Though if ye dun mind then I dun see why I should either."

"Why should I mind being seen with you, because I'm high born?" She laughed.

Scooting his chair closer to hers, and then placing a hand over hers. "Did anyone e'er tell ye tha' ye talk way tae much?"

"Perhaps, but I want to clear the air."

"Shayla...jus' shut up...." Taking the chance to stop her speaking by placing a hard kiss upon her lips. Robert subscribed to the thinking that when in doubt, or the talking gets to much just kiss'em.

And shut up she did! Closing her eyes and letting herself enjoy that kiss. Not that she thought much of the kiss, it wasn't like it was the first time he kissed her. Hell it wasn't even the first time he kissed her tonight.

He watched her closely, nearly holding his breath until she came close though he had nodded quickly at Brogan's words. Heart pounding, he accepted the rose, grinning ear to ear now. "Is there any special time that you can go to dinner, Mirre?" He paused to catch his breath then. "I mean, I don't want to be interfering with your duties or work."

When he broke the kiss Robert sat back with a pleased look on his face. "An' tha' be tha'."

He might notice that she had escaped her guard. "You send word when is a good time and I will be ready. I will arrange my time." She could for the work she did and just completed a bigger project of transcribing. "Should I dress in kind of gown they wear here?" Uncertain as to what she should wear to such a night out.

Oh, he did and with a great deal of relief. "You dress however you wish. The main thing is that you're comfortable." He motioned to one of the chairs. "Would you like to join us? We could go next week, if you'd like. Maybe next Tuesday." St. Patrick's Day.

She nodded and simply went back to her wine as if he meant nothing by the kiss, though in all honesty she didn't think he had any intentions behind that kiss. He seemed to like stealing kisses from her for fun.

"I would like that. On Tuesday," another smile lighting her features as she took a seat where offered. Near him. "I cannot stay too long this night." Not actually saying she slipped out without letting anyone know.

Once Mirre was seated, he too resumed his. She was a very beautiful woman which he took note of. No wonder Gus had tripped over himself, dumped his coffee down the front of his shirt and other such antics around this foreign beauty. And for a recent conversation, wondering if she thought his actions were ..... cute, like he suggested. Almost had him grinning as he filled his glass instead to cover up any reflections of those thoughts.

"Aye, after sunset. If that's not too late." He likely would have pricked his finger on a thorn had Lisette not removed them from the roses. "We can go to Sibio's. Have you ever been there?" Something different if she had. He glanced at Brogan and nearly grinned himself. Relief obvious on his features. "I hope I didn't offend your brothers. I don't know your traditions."

Now it was his turn to be confused, but rather than push the issue he simply finished his wine. "Tis late an' I should away."

"Of course, kiss and leave." She wanted to growl with frustration.

"You have not offended MemSaheb Gus. Though, my guard will be expected to come but he will linger outside of this food place, Sibio. I have not been there before but I trust anywhere you chose." Could trust? Didn't matter as her guard would be in tow. She wondered if he was going to mind. At least he'd been forewarned. On such an official date, only way her brothers would allow it.

"I did nae say ye could nae come wit' me luv. Ye are more than welcome tae come along."

"And where are we going?"

Her guard. He just chuckled though. "Hopefully it won't be cold." March weather could change in the blink of an eye. And yes, he could be trusted. She was as delicate as the perfume she wore and he didn't want to break her trust in anyway. "They serve food like they have in their homeland. It's very good but might be very different from what you're used to." Was he talking too much? He felt like he was.

"Does it matter where we go?"

"As long as you kiss me when we get"

Maybe she was breaking through just a bit with him as this time when he kissed her it wasn't so much a hard just shut the hell up type but a long, warm kiss.

"I do not think he feels cold or heat." They were almost bred to serve as they did. "Their homelands are of where?" She wasn't certain but rather than make a mistake she would ask.

Brogan was trying to hide the smirk for the scenarios that conjured up in his thoughts with a Guard in tow. How such an evening would go for Gus. He could hope it went very well but hard not to think it would go without incident.

She smiled letting a hand drift up to his cheek and linger there for a moment.

"Sicily. It's an island off Italy. They've been here for some time." Another thing he was trying to keep from his thoughts. All he needed was to make the guard angry, or have something happen that would have her brothers angry. Which would be worse to his thinking!

When the kiss broke he smiled. "Okay I thin' it be time we leave these good people." Suddenly in a rush.

She grinned and nodded. "Good eve to you all, and thank you again for the hospitality."

He looked from Mirre to the couple and smiled. "Good night to you both."

A tip of the hat to the group. "Fair winds an' a followin' sea tae ye all."

She took his hand and gently pulled him toward the door.

"Good night, sleep well." Offering to Robert and Shayla as they departed. He had become lost in his thoughts.

"Then it should be good food as I've heard. I would like to try this Siss..a...lee." Repeating the word as he spoke it or so did her best. "Fair of night," given the couple as they headed out.

He rose at that point, his drink finished as he brought over the empty glass as well what was left in the bottle to Alex, setting it on the bar for him to dispose of from there. "I need to head back but if you need an escort back to your manor, Mirre, I'm sure Gus will see you there." If she snuck out, she came alone and would probably need to sneak back.

"I think you'll like it." He looked at Brogan and nodded, then stood. "I'd be honored to escort you, if you're ready to leave, Mirre." Since her guard wasn't here, he had a feeling she would need to be back quickly.

"It is late," realizing how the time seemed to escape her thoughts for other thoughts and wonders. Rising as Brogan got up. "I need to flee. I would like the escort Gus."

"Good night to you both." Usually he would go as well so Gus had the company back but in this case, leaving them to have time together instead of a third wheel. A few words with Alex before he collected his cloak and headed out, words trailing, "I'll see you tomorrow Gus, fair night fair Mirre."

He crossed the room and left his glass on the bar before heading to where her cloak hung. He'd help her with it and try not to trip over her skirts. Brogan got a look that said thank you. "Good night, Brogan."

"Fair of night MemSaheb Brogan," words drifting as he exited the tavern to follow as well she was over to slip into her cloak with Gus' help. Something she found she liked. Liked his attention. Leaving him to lead the way. She had an Arabian outside waiting as she had ridden in for the distance.

With Gus' shop being outside the city limit's, he rode as well. A sturdy horse, though not quite a runner. He helped her onto her horse, then mounted his own. And allowed her to set the pace. Maybe he'd think about getting an Arabian himself and just use this one for the wagon. It was something to consider.


Date: 05-02-09
Poster: Patrick Frasier
Post # 5

Helping Out

After Cian was tucked in bed, Patrick took a long ride to work through a few things on his mind. Mostly where his life had been, where it was now and to actually think on a future instead of leaving it to the wind day by day. If he was to ever meet someone else, as he decided it would be good for both himself and his son, he would need to get out and allow the opportunities. Announcing at the races was not getting out socially for he was secluded away in the Tower for the duration, if he got to talk to anyone it was superficial, polite and courteous exchanges. Except for his cousins that visited until the races started. By the time they were done, he was tired as well needing to be back at the manor. He'd become very busy with the race tracks and for a time, it was good, gave him time to heal. Which he had well enough to be open to a possible future with another. These were the things he sorted out and made some decisions on. It was possible someone could come to love him and he of them, again. It was said anything was possible and nothing impossible.


He realized he was at the Thistle by the time he was done mussing through his thoughts. A little surprise the time getting here passed so quickly. Dismounting Reggie, he gave a pat along his neck as he moved to loop the reins over the hitching post. Casual attire was his norm, poets shirt with a dark green vest over, black pants and boots. The sounds of booted soles marked his ascending the steps and porch boards to follow as he headed in through the open door. Nice night still though not quite as warm as a few nights ago. A pleasant one with moisture heavy in the air. It would rain sometime during the night, hopefully clearing up by morning. He liked the way the fields smelled the next morning after a rain, the flowers now blooming in abundance with sunlight to shower down over them as surely as the rain had the night before. It held a clean kind of scent aside what the flowers gave off. Shaking the thoughts away mentally as he greeted Alex, the efficient tender setting out a glass of the pure and leaving the bottle.

There were, if Patrick happened to notice, several books sitting on one of the tables along with a bottle of potcheen, and a glass. David had been going over some of his law books as well as the laws of Heathfield. If he was going to stay, he wanted to make sure he was up on things. He had gone upstairs to check to see what other books he had brought, thinking to send for the remainder as well as the rest of his possessions left behind. As he came back into the common room, he spotted Patrick and headed for the bar. "Evening, cousin. Good to see you this fine evening." All he knew of the weather at the moment was that it wasn't raining.

He had noticed once he acquired his drink, taking the bottle up as he turned to find a table. It seemed someone was around somewhere, maybe using the privy or had forgotten their books for some reason. Barely noticed when David showed up. Had him grinning from ear to ear. "I see you are still here, good to see you also," lifting his glass in indication of the table, "mind if I join you?" A few thoughts coming to mind in seeing his newfound cousin. He hadn't known Brogan had a brother but it certainly was a nice surprise.

"I wish you would," he grinned as he started that way. "I was going over a few things, seeing how things differ law-wise. I'm thinking of staying here and opening up a law office. Heathfield and Ballicastle have much to offer." He motioned to one of the chairs as he took his seat again. "Not the least of which is the potcheen."

"Then you have a profession in mind. If you had not, then I would offer that you help me out at the race tracks, announcing some of the races. I'll help you out in any way that I can. I know there was a barrister here a number of years ago, the manor was built for her so it's a newer one down along the cliffs, very scenic. In an area that has woods nearby so protection from the wind. Most likely if you are approved to become the new barrister the house goes with the job. It is here in Heathfield but a few of the cousins are here, including your brother." Setting the bottle and glass down before drawing out a seat to settle down in.

"That's what Brogan thought, about the house at least. I've written a little to Maurice McDonough about meeting him when he has time. I know this is a busy time of year for most here." He paused for a moment. "Though I'm sure he'll recommend someone if he can't."

"Well, if he can't, I'll offer to show it to you. I know where it is located." He'd been in the lands for a long time so they might just let him help out in that way. "I'm sure Maurice will get back to you one way or another but if he can't, you'll get to see it, be taken care of. Have you submitted a letter to the Crown here about the position you seek?"

"I sent it out this morning, before I sent the information to Maurice." He grinned at Patrick. "One reason why I was going over the laws here and what I've studied back home. I want to be prepared if they wish to talk to me. I have given them all the information I had too. School, who I worked for. And I sent to see if I can get the information."


"Right on the ball. So how do you find laws here differ from where you have been?" He was curious as he took up his glass for a drink of the pure. Nice burn it had. Setting it aside as he continued, "have you met any of the others here since your arrival, aside your brother and cousins. Those at the race," recalling he met some there.

"Not really. I've just started to explore the country side and really am venturing out on my own." He tapped one of the books. "For one thing, you can have your own property whether male or female. I'm talking personal of course, since the government owns the land. Women are equal to men and not possessions themselves. Heathfield is very enlightened. And that's refreshing in itself."

"You can have use of land, nothing is ever owned that can be sold, though the Crown's word is good as gold and one can reside here for as long as they live, the home continued down in the family but if the one should leave they cannot sell the house and lands to just anyone. It keeps the kingdom's lands as the kingdom's." Which was understandable than it becoming piece meal throw out to outsiders. "What else have you discovered?" He may realize that Patrick could probably answer any questions he had.

Vanessa had stood outside the inn for a good three or four minutes, staring at the door. Perhaps in debate, but likely those passing gave her a strange look. Finally though, she pushed through the door. Though she peeked first just to see how many were there before finally taking a deep breath and making her way in fully. The door closed behind her, white gloves were pulled from her hands and tucked away within the pockets of her black traveling coat.

"Yes it is and a good way to handle the land. Another thing is the tithing. It's more efficient than straight forward taxing." He paused as the door opened, nodding at the lass. "Evening, miss."

It had rained earlier, giving a fresh scent to the air mingled with the multitude of flowers that were blooming, daffodils, tulips, violets with other flowers budding ready to bloom as the early ones faded. Patrick was up from his seat in all due respect of the lady's entry. "Good evening miss, welcome this bonnie night," the Scottish accent coming through more predominantly with the last. He had heard David as well as focus shifted back to him. "Some are amaze when they first hear that food, drink and rooms are free in this tavern but they are paid for by that very tithing. The Queen had a passion to see to the needs of weary travelers that may not have a coin to spend, let alone spare. They could come here, have a good meal, clean bed and continue on. Though some stayed for good reason."

Sunny blonde curls brushed off her shoulder as she looked to David with a nod, dipping down for a quick curtsey, and then the man who rose from his seat. "Eve t'ye sirs." Brown eyes shifted between the two tentatively. "I 'ope I've nae in'ruppted." Her own accent thick with Irish influence. Though it was a public establishment and she was aware of that, some forms of meetings were held in such places.

He stood too, giving Patrick a sheepish smile. When he was discussing law, he tended to forget anything else. "I can see why they remain. It has a draw beyond any place I've been." Dark green eyes shifted to the young woman. "Not at all. We're just discussing law." A topic many would find boring.

"You've not interrupted, a chat between cousins. I am Patrick Frasier, my cousin David is newly arrived. He hopes to gain a position within the lands and we were talking on some various aspects." There were only the two of them this night, aside Alex who tended the bar. An older gentleman, meticulous and efficient. Hazel was in the kitchen preparing the food as needed. "Have you traveled far?"

Eyes lit up when she discovered the topic of discussion. Mostly because such topics weren't for women, where she came from. Casual gait carried her towards the bar with a nod to Alex before turning attention back to the men. "Ti's a pleasure t'meet ye both. I'm Vanessa Baltimore." A small bag she'd perched under her arm was set on the bar. "I 'ave recently come from a small kingdom called 'ope. Nearly week's travel."

"A kingdom name Hope, not one I've heard of, certainly an inspiring name. A pleasure to meet you Vanessa," gesturing to a seat that would place her on the other side of David, "would you care to join us? Only David bites," saying it with a straight face, thrown right in there as smoothly as talking on the weather.

"And only if I have good reason." Perfectly serious himself, though with a hint of laughter in his eyes.

"Aye. Shame others 'adn't see i' th' same way." A brief turn to Alex to request a bit of brandy. "Aye. T'at would b'delightful." Spoken with a smile to the invitation. Her attention drifted between the two before settling attention on David. "Suit yerself. Be prepared t'be bitten back though." Mostly a straight face as it was spoken. She wasn't as good at bluffing though.

"Are you wearing perfume?" Like that might well be a good enough reason for David. "I think he likes it that way," around to see to her chair, drawing it out as a hand rested along the back of it. At least she had humor and knew when others were teasing in a good way, not making fun of one. Easy banter that could become a nice sparring of words. Something he needed to practice again as he'd been out of the social circuit for a while.

He just chuckled and took his books and papers, placing them onto another table out of the way. "You had a good journey from Hope? Any specific reason for traveling?"

Vanessa was easy enough to get along with. She enjoyed laughing. Perfume. She lifted a bare wrist to take in the scent of nothing...going along with the joke. "Mm..lilac. Do ye enjoy th'taste o' flora?" Once she'd received her drink from Alex, she thanked him and took the offered seat with a smile to Patrick in thanks. "Ti's been a long journey." She settled and set the glass down for a moment. "'ope 'asn't much t'offer. Well, it does if ye seek a true new beginnin', as th'kingdom is jus' beginnin'. T'was a bit slow fer m'tastes."

He saw to tucking it in with her assistance before moving back around David to his seat to take up again now that she was seated. She was offering an answer to his unspoken question for he wondered what this kingdom was like. Years ago he would go wandering with a brother or cousin to visit various lands just to be aware of them, of life outside of theirs. "What do you seek, or do you know?" Obviously a place being slow, which new kingdoms were, some anyway, was something she preferred different.



Date: 05-02-09
Poster: Patrick Frasier
Post # 6

He watched her with interest, curious as to her answer. Of course, meeting different people was a good experience for him. He had of course, met others back home while he was practicing law but this was different in some ways. For one, they weren't clients.

Once fully settled, the glass was picked up and sipped from. She hadn't meant to steal away from their previous conversation. A meek smile dawned to Patrick. "A land o' many inspirations. 'ope had some lovely landscapes, though no' much in th'way o' people. A 'andful per'aps of mostly farmin' folk. No businesses though."

"Who rules this kingdom? Do they have plans to grow in businesses and the like?" It took time to build up. Heathfield was well on its way when their family arrived but even more since that time. A Zoo, a Theater and of course the Race Tracks which his family was granted the lands to build it on. He and his brother Daniel, now it was prospering even more in the last year. "Do you wish to run a business?"

A small drink of the brandy was taken and savored, the glass then set down. "'ope 'as no royalty. Th'kingdom is...overseen by a priest and 'is wife." Which seemed very odd to her. "'m sure they 'ad plans t'grow. T'was just very slow and I enjoy a place tha' 'as a place t'go t'meet with others." A nod followed Patrick's latter question. "Aye. I do. 'm an artist, ye see? Well, sculptures more than anethin' else."

He was just listening quietly, not having much to add since he wasn't a citizen yet.

That was a new one on him too. "A priest and his wife," or would that be preacher? Certainly wasn't a Catholic priest then. "Sounds more like a congregation. Religion is a different beast then Royalty." He got this visual of nothing being built such as businesses, to live the simple life farming and not be tainted by the outside world, one called progress. "Is the only meeting of others at church on Sunday?" Or if they practiced what the Bible said of the Sabbath, then it would be on Saturday, god's day as it was proclaimed.

She shook her head gently. "Nah. They 'adn't services in m'time there. Infact, I'm nae sure I even 'ad th'chance t'meet the priest and 'is wife.." She seemed thoughtful for a moment before shaking from the thoughts. "T'was an odd run place, t'say th'least." She honestly could see why the kingdom seemed to develop so slowly, but that was just her personal opinion.

The side door opened and closed as Brogan shrugged out of the suit jacket, leaving the vest on over the dress shirt exposed. High tipped collar and minute ruffles down the front. The tie was next to be loosened before drawn away and tucked in the vest's pocket. Olive green eyes lit up seeing both his brother and cousin here, along with a lady. That didn't really surprise him though it was not one he knew. "Good evening David, Patrick, Miss," collecting his drink of potcheen from Alex in a slight diversion that had him then crossing over to where they sat. An empty chair claimed as he settled in.

"Evening Brogan. Come and meet Vanessa, from the kingdom of Hope." He grinned when he saw his brother. "How was business tonight?"

This Hope seemed a very different kind of place. Odd was a good choice of a description from what he surmised. "Evening Brogan, late night? This is Vanessa, come to visit."

Brown eyes turned to the new entrant that it seemed was known amongst the men. A smile to greet with a dip of her head. "Eve, sir. A pleasure t'meet ye."

"A very good night, the rain tends to bring more in. Though we had to cut off Jeremy Langan from trying to bid off his wagon and mule, as well he had too much to drink. Seems he had a spat with his wife and was going to bid it all away. Charles took him aside in a private room and talked some sense into him. Filled him with coffee as well." He stood a moment as a hand came to splay over the vest, a slight dip of his head, "a pleasure to meet you Vanessa." Reseating in a laid back relaxed way, long day for certain and he'd been on his feet most of it. "Have you heard from Maurice yet, David?" Anxious to see his brother situated.


"Vanessa, Brogan Frasier, David's brother." His cousin, but if he got started on all the cousins, brothers and sisters, he'd have her lost. He got lost, still couldn't remember all the names of nieces and nephews.

"Brogan." His name repeated, she fell silent and occupied herself with her drink while other conversation came up.

"Not yet." He shook his head at the mention of the man. "It's good you keep an eye on your customers. They could lose everything otherwise. I just sent the letter yesterday. Same with the one for the Royals. I would think he may have to hear from them first?"

"We have limits, last thing we want is wives to be protesting the Casino, marching on us." They kept it above board and fun instead of losing everything. It all worked out and they made a profit, justifiable one. "You should try your hand against me some night, David." As he hadn't gotten the chance to show him the place and wanted to. Giving a thoughtful nod to his reply on the letter sent.

"Aye, I will." There were a few places he had yet to go, and one place was the Casino. "Maybe tomorrow evening?" He wasn't sure if Brogan took a night off.

"Plan on staying over night. We have a few extra suites." Along with regular rooms as needed, plus he and Charles had their own flats over the business. Not ignoring the lady as green eyes tuned her way again. "Have you traveled far?" Though on a second thought wondered how many times she may have been asked that already.

She'd contented herself with listening and her drink. When attention returned to her, there was a soft laugh. "Aye. Near a week's worth o' travel." Not really minding repeating the answer.

"Then you'll be staying the night here for the late hour?" Concern edging the hue of his eyes a touch darker, a lass alone was an easy target for the wild areas outside the lands. At least here she'd be protected. "Rooms are clean, food is excellent and the price is right, free." Smile dashed with the last before taking up his drink to kick back.

"I can vouch for that. I don't remember eating so well since I left home." Especially when he had to cook for himself.

She hadn't thought about that, and seemed to now take that into consideration. from Brogan to David her attention drifted before nodding. "Aye. S'pose I should take up fer th'night. My 'orse would be grateful fer th'break."

"Even I come here for some of the finest Irish stew I've ever eaten." Obviously it was his favorite and none surpassed Hazel. Of course he'd never tell his sister Hannah that! "There's a stable down the lane behind the tavern that will see to your horse been well taken care of. The ones were trained by Rory McDonough, from his stables as he provides horses for guests to use."

With his drink done, the late hour and long hours coupled, he gained his feet once more. "I had hoped to find you here, David," more to check up on any progress. "I'll see you tomorrow night." Moving around to clasp a hand on Patrick's shoulder, "I'm going to have someone else give a talking to Blue Lighting to get him to streak next race he's in." Smile turned on Vanessa as his hand fell away to splay over his vest. "A pleasure once more, Vanessa. I'm pleased you'll not be wandering the roads at night." Stepping away with a wave before heading across the room, diversion to set his glass on the bar, saluting Alex, before he was out the side door. A shortcut back down to the Casino.

"Rooms are quiet and beds comfortable." He finished his drink then nodded. "I'll let you know as soon as I hear anything, Brogan, and I'm looking forward to seeing the casino." He watched his brother leave then looked at Patrick and Vanessa. "And speaking of those nice soft beds, I think mine is calling me."

Well now..she'd certainly have to try the stew. Dip of her head to the directions given. "Thank ye. 'm sure N'nork would appreciate that." As it seemed Brogan was taking his leave, she dipped her head to the man. "A pleasure t'meet ye, Brogan." Smile given, then to David she offered a smile as he seemed to be taking his leave soon as well. "T'was a pleasure t'meet ye too, David."

Brogan was quick, "I'll see you there at the end of the month then Brogan." Chuckling as he wondered who he was going to get to talk to his race horse. A few could use a talking to. "He has to be tired," one drink was all he lasted. Which brought to mind the late hour, he was sure Vanessa had to be tired for her long journey. "I should ride back to Falkirk. David, if you're heading there, I'd like the company." He had debated staying but there was a young son that waited on his Da in the morning. Very disappointing if he wasn't there considering the mother had long gone.

"Aye, I am." He stood and gathered his books and papers, placing them in a leather bag. "I'm enjoying my stay there. Lively place." And a good way to get to know his many relatives."

Morning was something else in Falkirk, especially if it was a day something was planned. All the children were up early and roaring through the halls until their mothers could herd them in. Hannah was like the head school marm, when her voice rang out, they all skidded to a halt. Then again his sister had most of the children there! "It was a pleasure Vanessa, sweet dreams, perhaps we shall see you again before you head out back to your travels or needed in Hope."

Glance passed between the two men, she nodded and rose from her seat in parting. "I 'ope ye both 'ave a lovely night. Thank ye both fer such 'ospitalities." She intended to enjoy the rest of her brandy before inquiring for a room. Shallow curtsey to both. "Thank ye. Good night t' ye too. Per'aps we will cross paths again. I would like to stay a while and see what is offered 'ere."

Smile tipped off to the side with a dip of his head. Taking his glass and what was left in the bottle containing potcheen, over to Alex. A few words exchanged with the respected man before heading out. Side door taken that opened up to that very lane taking them to the stables in back. Falkirk was a distance, in Ballicastle lands, so obviously he rode in.

"Good night, Vanessa. It was a pleasure to meet you." He inclined his head slightly before joining Patrick. The trip back would be a pleasant one, and of course, the company was always welcome.

Date: 05-07-09
Poster: Michael Saxton
Post # 7

Giving Birth
May 7th


Although he was loathe to leave Keri's side for very long, Michael did have responsibilities and chores that needed doing. Warmer weather meant spring clean-up, one of the busier times of the year for the cemetery caretaker. As a precaution, he opened most every window on the first two floors of the manor, so that he might more easily hear Keriann should she call out in need of him. Dressed in the usual garb of a common laborer, he puttered about the grounds in a distracted manner, doing as much pacing as he was actual work.

Keri was trying to keep herself busy, to keep her mind off the fact she was tired, felt like a beached whale and anxiety over the approaching due date. Deciding to work on a smaller sculpture, taking her time, she was in the room made for her at the back of the house. Her Studio. She hadn't felt well and hoped she wasn't coming down with a cold for the shifts in the weather of late. Really warm one day which had her not moving from a chair on the porch to chilly again in comparison. Concentration was not there she was finding as she set the tools aside when nausea overtook her again, this time spilling what little she ate. She had sent for Lia an hour or so ago, just to check her over to make sure she wasn't getting sick. When she stood, a pain overtook her midsection as her water broke in a splat over what had been in her stomach. "M I C H A E L," wailed as one hand went to the back of the chair for balance and her other arm around her midsection.

Lia was making her way toward the manor on the back of her horse. She knew more than likely Kerri wasn't coming down with anything but with being close to her due date, she was probably feeling uncomfortable. She was nearly at the gate of the manor and could see Michael. Dismounting, she patted the horse and allowed him to wander the side of the road knowing he wouldn't go far. "Afternoon, Michael." She called out to the man who looked as nervous as any new father-to-be.

"Hello, Miss Doe," Michael replied courteously. Yes, he was as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs, but he was managing to retain at least a modicum of composure... until he heard that panicked, plaintive wail emanating from the back of the manor. Off he was then, heels kicking up miniature dust storms as he virtually flew off in the direction of that cry. "Keri!" he shouted, to let her know that he had heard her, and was on his way to her.

Face was pale, tears streaming down her cheeks while frozen in place. Soon as she saw him, "I'm sorry, I made a mess but I can't get down to clean it up..." seized by a contraction as she sucked in a breath. Panic taking over, "I think I'm dying!" The grip on the back of the chair had her knuckles turning white. "I sent for Lia," brief, frantic look towards the front door as seen from the open doorway of her studio, down the hall at just the right angle.

When Michael took off, she was quick to follow though some distance behind. As she found her way to the studio, she paused at the door, taking in the situation. "You're not dying, Keri. Your baby is about to come into the world." She looked at Michael, her expression serious. "Let's get her to your bedroom, shall we?" Staying calm in the face of it all. Afterall, she had been a midwife for some time, and had helped her mother from the time she was a girl.

He wasn't quite sure as to which to react to first... the "mess" that Keriann referred to, which he dimly recognized for what it actually was... the tears on Keri's face and her proclamation of dying, or Athalia's calm suggestion that he get Keriann upstairs and into their bedroom. Rather numbly, he responded to Athalia, and went to Keriann. Draping an arm around her, he wasn't sure if she could actually walk all of the way to their bedroom, which was quite a haul for a woman about to give birth. "Would it be all right if I carried her?" he asked of Athalia. Put him in the ring with an opponent, and he was just hunky dory. Face him with a pregnant wife, and he was pretty much lost as to what to do!

She would have had trouble as her hand finally released the back of the chair when she had his support. Took a moment to unbend her fingers. "Am I having the baby?" Her first reaction to Lia's words as she had no idea how it was to go. She felt sicker than she had ever been in her life, buckling with a few missed steps as Michael guided her .. upstairs? "I don't think I can get up the steps!" Looking at them as if they had become the highest mountain she'd ever seen, feet planting like a stubborn mule as they reached the base. "Ooooooooooo," knees going weak again as a stronger contraction hit like a brick wall.

"You can carry her but maybe there's a room down here we can use instead? Perhaps a guest room?" She smiled reassuringly at Keri. "Yes, and I'd say the baby is anxious to be born. I think you've been in labor some time and didn't realize it." She would take any room that was available and make due.

"There's the old nursemaid's chambers just this side of the main hall," Michael replied to Athalia with a nod. "It's not very large, but the bed and nightstand are still in it." Supposing that the former nursemaid's chamber would have to suffice, Michael slipped his shoulder a bit more securely under Keriann's arm, and fairly borne her aloft, bearing most of her weight on his side and hip along the way.

And she took advantage of it. "I think I can make it there. The bed is still there, a nightstand and a dresser along with a rocking chair and another chair.." wasn't sure if there was one or two but she'd been in the room to clean it a few times, mostly dust and sweep. "There is a linen closet in that hall with clean sheets, blankets, toweeeeeeels..." came with a painful 'eeeeeeeeee' as her steps ceased the moment while fingers dug in against his side where her arm was wrapped around and hand held a grip.

She stopped at the linen closet as Michael helped Keriann, grabbing some sheets and towels before she followed. She wasn't sure there'd even be time to send Michael to the kitchen for water to clean up the babe but that could come after.

Moving as quickly as he dared, he carried Keriann along to the quarters that he had mentioned to Athalia. Nudging the door open with his hip, he borne her along to the bed, and then helped her sit upon it. Hovering over his wife worriedly, he looked to Athalia with a curious, helpless gaze. "What do I do now?" he asked, and then he quickly amended the query. "I mean, what can I do to help?"


She propped herself against the pillows she had left on the bed. One that had been made sparingly, sheet and light coverlet. "Maybe... get a... nightgown... for me... from my... drawer," said with spacing between as she took quick breaths, the tightening was coming again with pain spreading around her midsection more intense. "I think....." couple breaths with a little cry at the end in pain, "I'm... in.... labor," as if it was laborious to talk. Though she was giving it a good attempt. Hard to shut her up at times, especially when anxiety took over. "Doesitgetworse?" all out in one breath released addressed to Lia.

"Aye, you can do that if you want." She wasn't sure he'd want to leave. She sat on the bed and looked at Keri, "Not much and you'll not remember it being so bad." Though of course there were always ones to talk. Let's get you set up here, and see how far along you are." She used one of the sheets to cover her lower half. "Michael, if you don't want to leave, sit beside her and let her hold your hand. Keri, when the next pain comes I want you to breath the way I showed you, then stop when the pain passes." She paused then added. "I really don't think this will be long at all."

"I'll... I'll... I'll... get that nightgown, and then I'll be right back," Michael stammered. He didn't want to leave the room, but he did want both Athalia and Keriann to be comfortable in whatever preparations that they might have to make to facilitate the birthing process. Nodding to them, and to himself, he slipped quietly and quickly from the room, and then broke into a run and headed up the stairs to the master bedroom to fetch that gown.

"ONE's COMING," like right on cue when she said about breathing. Like her mind was working at all, luckily she gave shallow pants with it, not being able to breathe too deeply anyway, "it hurts!" which was an understatement. Lia could probably see how her abdomen tightened with it. Enough to have her back arch some. The pain stayed too long in her mind but it was probably a minute in duration. "M I C H A E L," calling to him as if that would have him flying back, needing him at her side after she was the one that suggested he get the gown, well, she was in less pain when she did.

"I know it does." She made her as comfortable as possible as she examined her then nodded. "It won't be long, Keri.. I think with the next one, you'll be feeling the need to push." She had arrived in time, otherwise it would be Michael delivering the child!

He had been about two-thirds of the way up the stairs, headed for their bedroom when he'd heard her call his name again. Panicked, he started back down the stairs, but then remembered the request for her nightgown, and started back up the stairs again. There was a moment of indecision that might have seemed comical under different circumstances. Finally, he ended up bolting into their bedroom, fairly ripping the nightgown from its place of rest, and then he was tearing back down the stairs again. It was a good thing that the door to the nursemaid's chamber had been left open, elsewise he might have crashed headlong through it. Skidding to a halt inside the room, he peered at Athalia and then Keriann, and then quietly held the nightgown extended in one hand.

Sweat was starting to bead against her upper lip and brow, barely a breather from the last when another started up that was longer, "M I C H A E L," after tonight he might consider changing his name, one yelled full of pain. She hadn't even noticed he WAS in the room but quickly enough when he reached the bed, she reached for his hand to squeeze. She had a vice grip hold on him he'd not be able to escape again. She wasn't cursing him at least but he was in this for the duration with her! That's when she felt the need to push, other hand coming around to grip his forearm as well. This time she screamed, didn't last too long luckily. What nightgown?

Had she not been concentrating, she might have seen Michael come charging in like the hounds of Hades were on his heels. "Good lass," Lia encouraged while she glanced up to see Michael was back. "I see the crown of the head, Keri so this time, you'll be pushing to bring the babe into the world." She'd be wrapping the child up in towels but that would do for now.

Fairly tugged onto the bed next to Keriann, the nightgown had been discarded to fall where it may. Settling close to her, he watched intently, his expression anxious, and aptly reflective of some appreciable degree of worry. His gaze flitted from Keriann to Athalia, and then back to Keriann again. "There's a head, she sees a head. It 
 ... it's crowning," Michael said, as if Keriann might actually need his commentary as to what was going on just then.

"I.... I... don't.... think..... I," besieged by another pain as the growling grunt that came from her throat sounded like someone else! More like when Michael had been possessed, "can.... do .." as another came and the baby was slipping through. Somewhere in the haze of pain, she could feel that too. Almost a relief, except the pains were not ceasing, only a breath gasped in a few times in panting. The beaded sweat was running in rivulets down the sides of her face and her grip on Michael's hand and forearm had her knuckles white. He might need a crowbar when all said and done to pry them loose.

She bit her lip to keep from giggling at Michael then guided the baby. A second or two and once the babe's air passage was clear he let out a yell. "It's a lad but I need you to get ready to push again, Keri." The boy was placed on the bed in front of Lia while she leaned forward. "There's a second one, holding on to the first's heel." So as to not be parted perhaps. She had to turn the baby and looked up at Keri. "Try not to push until I say, Keri." It would probably seem like an eternity but finally. "All right, now."

Leaning in a bit, he touched a soft kiss to Keri's perspiration beaded brow. "Yes, you can," he cooed, his tone meant to soothe and assuage her. "You can do anything that you put your mind to. That's why I love you." His free hand... the one that still enjoyed circulation... was gently placed atop one of Keri's white-knuckled ones. "It's a boy," he said, no small measure of pride now evident in his voice. "Now, be ready to push again when Athalia says," he echoed, and then he paused and his expression went vague and blank. Push again? Why in the world would she need to push again; the bun had already been popped out of the oven!

Oh, it felt like an eternity, her body quivering with the need to push again, once started it hard to stop. She felt like she could use something to bite down on, that dangerous look in dark eyes turned to Michael a fleeting moment but she only ground her teeth, trying not to breath for a breath taken she would be pushing. She was still clinging to him like a life line that she didn't sink away with the pain. Those thoughts fleeting as Lia gave her the word and out it came, long growling grunt, coarse sounding as she pushed so hard it had her back arch. Child would almost shoot out. The little girl didn't want to be parted from her twin brother!

"Come one, sweetheart." Lia had the girl in her arms, and after a brief moment, she too was wailing. "Two. You've a boy and a girl." She corrected Michael as she wrapped the children in towels, cooing to them softly. One would be placed in Michael's arms and the other in Keri's though at the moment, Lia didn't pay attention to which was which. She wanted to help Keri finish up. And the wee lassie probably would whimper until she was with her brother again. The boy was around 5 pounds, the girl a little under but the swaddling helped to calm them some. "Now Keri, just a wee bit more and you're done. Then we'll send Da to get some hot water and proper blankets and we'll get all three of you cleaned up."

Ordinarily, he might not mind Keriann flashing him that dark and dangerous look. He might not have even minded a bit of biting, under different circumstances... such circumstances as had landed them there, in this moment! A rather sheepish look was flashed Keriann, exchanged for her dark one, and then he looked down again to where their children lay swaddled. Their children. He had known, of course, that this day would come, but to actually have seen it, to have had it actually happen left him feeling oddly detached, as though he was still caught up in the last vestiges of a dream. "Da get hot water, proper blankets," Michael repeated somewhat mechanically, akin to a man still entranced in his tone and demeanor.

The afterbirth was following quickly for the great last push bringing her daughter into this world. She wasn't sure which one had been placed in her arms, "oh, he's beautiful," whether it was the he or she. She was becoming aware of how damp and bloody she was, felt a mess from near head to toe. "I could use some water," not even having the opportunity to wash out her mouth before and felt like there was cotton and a horrid aftertaste. She had to peek under the swaddling, "oh, it's our son Samuel Michael." Named after her deceased father and husband. She would have to get word out to her siblings and the multitude of cousins as well Cassie. Eyes held different tears that turned on Michael, "you're a Da and I'm a Ma." One day to hear it from the lips of their children. Smiling brightly with that surge of adrenaline, "thank you so much Lia, I don't think I could have done this without your help."

This time she did giggle at Michael though she grinned at Keriann. "You'd be surprised what you can do if the circumstances call for it. Let me get the water while you two sit. And I'll bring you a drink as well." Keri might even start to feel the pangs of hunger soon and after she had the babies cleaned up, she'd send Michael to the kitchen so she could have Keri all cleaned up and pretty when he returned.

A small nod accompanied the second kiss that he placed on her brow, and his lips lingered there for a moment to affectionately nuzzle Keri. "Carolyn Ann and Samuel Michael," he said. "As beautiful as their mother." Then he looked to Athalia, a grateful smile for her services and assistance rendered. "There's some lemonade in an earthen ewer on the kitchen counter, if you think that Keri can stomach it. Of course, you may help yourself to a bit of it, as well," he offered as he eased his now numb hand from Keri's grasp and made to rise from the bed.

Which brought tears to her eyes again, she would kiss him once she didn't have desert mouth and worse. "I love you," quiet words as the product of their love was in their arms. She had let go of his arm once he moved away. The red marks proved her grip, though she would apologize later on when she noticed them and realized their cause. "Later you can help me upstairs and we can put them in the cradles we have waiting for them." This room might become the traditional birthing room.

"I'm sure she can." Called back as she headed for the kitchen. It took a little while to warm the water but she found everything needed. The lemonade was brought first and then she fetched the basin. Before she left, she'd help them all upstairs and even give the new parents the name of a young lass who would be willing to help them in the house. Tonight, Lia would be adding two more names to the journal she kept, and add those names to her prayers before she went to sleep.

"I love you, too," Michael answered softly as he stood by the side of the bed, his dark eyes aglow as he peered with pride at his family. He had come some time ago to adopt Keri's siblings and cousins as his own, but as fond as he was of the Frasiers, they weren't his flesh and blood. Long ago disowned by his natural, biological family, this was his second chance, his start at something special, something... better.



Date: 06-21-09
Poster: Adrian Frasier
Post # 8

The Map

Adrian was off this night and taking his reprieve away from the sea. Away from duty, away from being tempted to join in a fight. He was kicked back and relaxed to a corner table. Chair tipped back against the wall while booted feet crossed at the ankles resting to the seat of the chair across from him. He was enjoying a cigarillo, rings drifting in the near still air, until Alex came around or someone in and out. Bottle of potcheen on the table with a few extra glasses, he had a few relatives about that might show up.

David had enjoyed the time spent at Falkirk. Enough so that the quiet in the manor had almost a tangible feel. It was far too quiet to suit. Saddling up his borrowed horse, he headed for the Thistle and was pleased to find Adrian there. As he stepped through the door, he lifted a hand in greeting, and spying those glasses, felt he should join his cousin.

Booted feet slid from the chair as he angled up, the front legs coming down in a dull thud against the flooring as he caught sight of David. "Lo Ho, Davy, how's it going? Have you come from Falkirk by any chance?" Making a motion of his hand to the empty glasses set on the table and the bottle of potcheen in invitation.

"I left there early this morn." He winced slightly but whether from the nickname or the thud would be anyone's guess. "And spend most of the day in my office. You?"

"Taking a couple days off, leaving my assistant to really get his hand dirty with the job." In short leaving him full responsibility to get his feet wet. Sink or Swim. Adrian was pretty confident he would not swim but swim well. "How's everyone there? I've plans to visit my siblings here, wear my welcome out then head for Falkirk." Slow grin rising as he pushed one of the chairs out with the tip of his boot. Eyeing him keenly as he seemed somewhat out of it. "You sure everything is all right?"

"You probably need it." He chuckled as he filled his glass the offered to top off Adrian's. "Everyone is fine. The manor house is lively, the children delightful, the ladies charming and well, you can guess how the rest are." He blinked as he sat back. "Nothing really. Just a bit tired."

"I can understand tired." Which explained that fog at first or so it seemed to him. Forearm came to rest against the wood of the table as he reached for his topped off glass with his other hand. Lifting it in toast, "may the day have no news if not good news." Kicking it back before set and the bottle grabbed up to pour more and top his off provided he saw to the toast. "Unfortunately all the charming ladies at Falkirk are related." Shooting him a grin as he sat back again.

"Aye, they are." He grinned at Adrian and lifted his glass. "To no news!" He downed half his drink, then smacked his lips in spite of the burn. "Nothing like the pure after a busy day." He grinned at Adrian before leaning back in his chair.

He pulled up a rather thick ledger from one of the seats. Having place it there earlier when he ate so he had the whole table cleared. Adrian had his idiosyncrasies. "I get strange happenings either on land or sea, seems they find me at some point or another." Flipping the ledger open to where a map, or what looked like a map in an odd shape, rested. Really old paper was pressed between the pages. "This was found on me ship, down in the gully and no one had any idea how it got there nor did it belong to anyone." So it was his since it was on his ship. He slid the ledger around so it faced David, pushing it over his way.

David placed his glass aside, listening to Adrian all the while. He smiled slightly but his cousin seemed quite serious and so he suppressed any laughter and curbed his curiosity to look at the book. "What kind of happenings?"

Strange happenings. Well Adrian, one was underway as Channing Royce entered the tavern.

The map was free of the book, just stored away between two pages, presently flipped open. It showed a set of four islands in the shape of a diamond. There seemed to be markings but one would have to look at them closely to possibly figure them out. "I've been many places, from the colonies to the orient, strange things and sights along the way that it becomes commonplace. One such was a long snake like creature longer than me ship that slither by one day and was gone. If one wondered where they came up with half the stories, it is probably from such sights."

He brought the map closer, studying it a moment. What do you think this is?" He looked up, curiosity in his eyes. "A place where treasure is?" He wasn't sure what it meant of course, but maybe it was a place of legends.

He leaned in more, comfortably as the table he'd picked was not that wide. Where David was looking there was a black spike sticking out from the parchment, well, what looked like parchment. Papery but a bit strange if he looked real close, closer still, might see little crossing lines. "Well, that bit looks like a butt hair but notice," pointing out to some lettering, and if one started to notice, might realize it was a tattoo they were actually looking at. "There are letters in each of the triangular islands," looking like mountain tips. "B, D, B, B. What looks like a coin and a diamond, one to each side. The coordinates given, nothing exists there according  to any of the latest maps."

Okay, he really did enter this time. A whistled tune on his lips, unable to be recognized as any real melody, but a happy sort of rendition of something going on in the man's head. He noticed the two with heads together, checking out something on the table, both familiar to him, and he smiled, continuing to the bar. "Good evening, Alex. A cup of something warm, aye? Potcheen, that will warm the throat." And as Alex started to pour the pure into a glass, Channing began to shake his head. "A cup, Sir, if you wouldn't mind." For whatever reason, who could even begin to guess.

Channing had a shadow. Quiet in stealth and one that looked like they could be brothers considering they were brother in laws. "Make that two, Alex. Except I'll take the one in the glass." Grinning as he hailed both David and Adrian in a silent motion before speaking up, off to Channing's right and back a step.

"Patrick Frasier, good God man, where did you come from?" And to make his point, Channing turned in a complete circle, a dog chasing his tail, as if the man had actually sprouted from his backside.

Adrian looked up, grin spreading as he spotted the two. "Come join us when you're ready."

"Evening, gents." He lifted his glass, grinning at the two. "Good to see the two of you out and about." And with that he took a good long drink. Butt hair? How did Adrian know that? He looked at the parchment again, then got up and excused himself momentarily. He was going to wash his hands.

"Don't spin too far, might put you back in a time displacement or something like that." Laughing as a hand shot out to clasp Channing's shoulder before it became a 360 degree turn. "I've a question for you. Ellyn, I was thinking of getting her a race horse with your approval. She's eleven or twelve now." Which he thought might be a good responsibility thing for the young lady.

"Ellyn?" Channing brought up his cup, sniffing the contents first before starting it to his lips. "She's four." There was a twinkle in his eyes above the rim of his mug but he nodded just before contact was made and a drink taken.

"She'll be forever four I'm sure but as she enters her teen years and all those changes, might be something to keep her stable." Of all the ones talking to about keeping his daughter stable.

Well, he knew next to nothing of young girls growing into those even more confusing creatures, women, so kept quiet. Though ... he was certain Ellyn was older than what Channing said.

"Stable." Channing grinned, setting his cup aside. "Stable..." Horses, stable, ha, yes, funny. "Good one Patrick." He glanced to the other two, Donald and Adam, then back to Patrick. "I trust your opinion with this, Brother-in-Law. If you think Ellyn would benefit from a ... race horse ... then by all means, see that she has one. I, personally, think a nice little Shetland would suit just fine. An older one. The kind you can nudge until the sun sets and she still just wants to graze."

"I believe she already has one of those," and was very old since it was gotten for her when she was four. He got the green flag so best quit when ahead. "Have you met Brogan's brother David yet?" Taking up his glass as headed in that direction and a seat to gain that wasn't taken.

"She does? Well, someone was thinking ahead." He followed along behind Patrick, cup in hand, and nodded to the two men as they neared. "Evening, again." His gaze lowered and both brows shot up when he saw what they were studying there on the table. "Nice map." He took a side step to place his drink on a nearby table, then leaned in to get a better look. Did it matter to Channing that the men may not wish to share their find? Yes, it probably would matter if he gave it a second thought. But, Channing wasn't one who gave much a second thought, and this was definitely not one of those times.


Brows dipped as he studied the map, realizing it was not on parchment but human skin, a tattoo. "I don't know where that came from. I don't think I really want to know but one could wonder on the credibility," which had  him laugh as he took a seat, setting his glass on the table. "Are you going to see if there is anything there," there were coordinates on the butt map.

Channing shot a look to Patrick. "I would bet the person who gave up their hide for it...thinks it bears great credibility." With Patrick's question, Channing reached over and dragged another chair closer, even though there was already another one there to be had. He lowered to the one he had provided, looking between the other two men to await the answer to the question.

He didn't mind if either of them looked but after all it was Adrian's map. Giving a slight shrug, he looked at Adrian and grinned. "You can answer that," since he didn't have the vaguest.  He was still wondering why it would be hidden away on Adrian's ship.

"It's one of the reasons I'm testing out my Assistant that he can handle things at the port in my absence. I think you're on to something there Channing, not too many would look at another man's hairy hide long other than a glimpse of a tattoo better not too noticed."

"Aye, but you would." Channing grinned, realizing he didn't have his mug and leaning back, back, it...balancing act on two legs, one teetering leg, two legs of the chair as he brought his cup around and lowered the chair to all four legs. "And it seems, so would we." He laughed softly, and drank.

"So now what?" He looked at Adrian then at Channing and Patrick. Someplace exotic would be welcomed.  He wasn't as well traveled as some of his cousins.  If he really though about it, he wasn't as well traveled as any of them!

"Well, there is that and one who felt it was the best way to keep it on his person and not lose it all too soon. Obviously he has lost it and probably his life with it." Though, the man could still be alive, or haunting the docks and ports of many places in search of his hide.

"If I go, any of you can come with me if you can escape your duties. I may take a trial run just to see if there is anything in that vicinity before organizing a full fledge trip that may well have us encounter danger, especially if this map is a real one. Treasure would have to be gold and precious stones to be worthwhile."

"I'm not sure I'll be able to." He had just started his practice after all but still ... he was intrigued.  Fingers tapped lightly against the glass he held as he thought about how he could work that out.

"When, or better IF, it comes down to there are islands at these coordinates, then we shall go from there. I will keep you updated if you at least have an interest."

"Aye, I do. It really depends what is happening at the time." He looked at Channing and Patrick to see how they'd answer as he continued.  "I'm not sure I can leave my law practice so soon."

"I think one of my bothers or cousins could step in and announce the races for me. An adventure might be just what I need, especially if it has some risks and danger. I'm interested in updates."

"Not sure?" Channing looked to David. "This is a man's hide, for the love of Jake's unmarried mother!" But David changed his tune mid rant by the all too often ranting maniac. "What of Danny, Patrick? He is always there to help wherever, whenever needed. " Channing was nodding now, figuring it all out in that mind of his. And may God help them all, for that mind of his could get to be somewhat of a complexity.

"That's one of the brothers I had in mind. Brogan might be willing as well." That was if any of those cousins, single ones, for wives would not be wanting a husband going on such willingly, didn't want to go also.

He just blinked at Channing but then again, he had been warned.  Still, it was disconcerting to actually see how the man's mind ... worked.

"I'd suggest Neale as well, but Neale isn't really a horse man much I'd suspect." The Duke of Falkirk probably had enough on his duties plate. Afterall, Neale was probably the one that bought that pony for Ellyn! And she was much too old for a pony afterall!

"Neale has a lot to do but if really needed, I know he would." Neale seemed to always be able to squeeze in one more Frasier helping when it seemed most impossible. "So, you would wanting to go, Channing?" Just to make it clear with a direct question for one never knew with the absent minded brother in law.

"Not sure Leora would approve." He muttered low, rubbing a finger under his nose and glancing around his shoulder, just in case. "But, aye, if I'm able then I'm wanting." And that was today, tomorrow he could be off in another direction, not even giving a moment's consideration of a hideless arse or possible treasure.

He couldn't help but glance over his shoulder as well. Finishing his drink, he stood, yawning. "I think I'm going to stay here tonight. I'll be at the office in the commons all day tomorrow." So he could finish what had to be done there. "And as always, it was good to talk to each of you, cousins."

"Well, that's good, David." Channing nodded. "You do that and finish up, so you can be ready to go when you are needed." Advice from a lunatic, sometimes, made perfect sense. "Good to meet you." He added, bringing up his mug again, almost seeming to forget he was in mid-farewell.

"Leora always liked adventure, take her along. She might help out," which lowered words were suggested as he leaned closer to his brother in law. "I'm sure Adrian will make this exception."

"Any of you heading back to Falkirk tonight?" He was up, drinks done, he had a few as he closed up the ledger with the map in the back of it and tucked it under his arm. Stepping away from the table as he too knew of Channing's ways. "Aye, in her case I can make an exception unless you wish to go it alone, Channing."

"Exception?" He looked to Adrian, then to Patrick. "Old school captain then, is he? Full of superstition and such?" A very slow nod, as if he understood completely...sooooo completely.

He knew some of Channing's story and was careful of his reaction but it wasn't easy. He just cleared his throat slightly. "I'm sure I'll see you all soon. Good night."

"I would never wish to go it alone, Cousin." He confessed, as if he needed to, then glanced to David. "Goodnight, David. Good to meet you." He reiterated, had he already forgotten he had said that?

Likely? "As it was to meet you, Channing." And with that he turned on a heel and headed for the stairs. Time for some sleep.

"I understand," grinning as he stood as the others did, "I'm heading back so I'll ride with you and anyone else." With that he was heading out as it was time to get some sleep and he was feeling it.

Good Lord above and half a dozen eggs in a carton! These men left fast around here. It was enough to leave Channing's head spinning. He stood and hurried his mug over to Alex with a thanks offered over to the tender.

He lingered to see if Channing was staying here or heading back to Falkirk with them. Suspecting the latter as he waited near the door.

He threw up a hand to Alex, then joined the Frasier kin as they departed. Maybe he would see to buying Ellyn a pony, she probably would like to have one at her age. It was probably time she learned to ride. Yes, a shaggy little mare, older, a Shetland. That would be nice. He'd have to think about that one. At least while he walked out the door. From there, his mind was somewhere else, pondering something else. But all with great importance to the Count.



Date: 07-30-09
Poster: Kristina Frasier
Post # 9


It was a night to drink and first Segan had hit the Snake Pit on his way up to the Thistle. Of course he got into a fight, man with the glass jaw was once more out for the count. He never learned. Wasn't even fun anymore but better he arrived in one piece than cut or bruised up. He was on the porch, in a lean against one of the supporting posts enjoying a cigarillo. The light breeze, what there was of one, had the smoke drift in layers that widened in proportion to the distance it moved from him.

Eion had discovered a list in his pocket after arriving back at the manor. Luckily he had the day off and set to completing the tasks written in Gran's neat hand. It wasn't until he was near finished that she informed him that what he had been doing had been done a week earlier. So, it seemed he owed one of his brothers a payback. He had gone to the lake for a time, then headed for the Thistle. A familiar figure on the porch had him letting out a long whistle to alert Segan.

That whistle had Kristina jerk around from where she stood admiring the fountain. Carpet bag in hand as well a tote over her shoulder of all her worldly possessions. She looked the wear and tear of a long trip, a few of them to get her here finally. She had opened up the stays at the top of her dress which came right up her neck. The dress as well looked the wear, a tear or two in the hem if one noticed and even a length of lace torn from a petticoat beneath hanging from the back, dragging along the ground a little. The heels on her boots were worn, classy otherwise in their tooling and style. Not practical for traveling but she was limited in what she owned. Moisture clung to her skin, why the undoing of the stays, hard to tell if it was from the mist rolling in off the sea or the humidity of the night. Strands of hair plastered along the frame of her face and her neck of that which escaped the confines of a bun, one rolled up along the back of her head. In spite of the upheaval look, eyes were bright even with slight shadows beneath them.

The whistle brought around his attention as the cigarillo was lowered from his lips and the sight of his brother down the way, heading his way. There too was another, looked like a lass with travel bags."Who's your friend?" Slow grin with just the thought of finding Eion with a woman, not of the port kind.

His friend? He blinked and looked around, catching sight of the lass at the fountain. "Evening, Miss. Are you looking for something?" Politely as always though he couldn't really answer Segan. He didn't know who the lass was. His hair was still damp from swimming and stood in spikes from his carelessly running his hand through and not smoothing it back down. Linen shirt of gray was open and untucked, the sleeves rolled up.

Her look upon Eion was wary at best but there was an air of defeat about her that was not usually there. Not something found in the proud lass until she found out she was not who she was suppose to be. She was a Frasier, so she was told. The ones from Falkirk in Scotland, where she had been born. A twin. She had always felt a part missing and maybe that was the reason. "Evening," hesitantly before mustering up what resolve she had left, hefting the tote back up on her shoulder as it had slid partially down. "Can you tell me if that is the Thistle," not at an angle where she could see the sign plus the fact it was dark. She took a few steps away from the fountain in the direction of the man so he need not shout. She knew there was another at that very building though mostly in its shadows.

"Aye, it is that." His voice held an Irish brogue as he spoke. "Rooms are free as is the food and drink, thanks to the rulers of the land." He noted she seemed weary, and it was obvious, even in the light of the street lamps that she had been traveling. "I'm Eion Quinn, and that's me brother, Segan. Would you like a hand with your things?" His tone said he'd understand if she said no.

No, he couldn't really answer him as now he had to see to the lost looking lass. Oh, he was grinning as he continued to enjoy his cigarillo while watching the scene unfold. Which he lifted his hand in a wave when his name was mentioned, shifted up from his lean which probably had some more light shine upon him.

Bah. His brothers liked seeing him in these types of situations.

She glanced from him to the other who became more apparent. She had a knife handy if needed, concealed in the folds of her dress at her waist. She already had to pull it out once down at the port. Not that it did much good with five sailors taunting to circle her. She was about to jab one in the gut to make her escape but they dispersed as a group of guards appeared from around a corner. They had escorted her the rest of the way to the fountain before returning to find the lads and warn them. So she was assured. They said she would be safe here, the people of the lands friendly. It was those words that had her offering the first of a smile, small thing but pretty looking for changing the rest of her bedraggled looks. "Yes, please. Thank you." All rolling in a Scottish brogue with a mix of Irish as she stepped closer. "I am Kristina Frasier. A pleasure to meet you Eion and of you Segan," her voice rising with the last so the one could hear her that was on the porch. She was also practicing using her new surname. Why it was given at all.

"Pleasure, Miss Frasier. Related to the Frasiers of Falkirk then?" He took the carpet bag, and started for the Thistle. When he came to the steps, he allowed her to go first, careful not to step on the bit of torn petticoat. He cut a glance toward Segan to see if he had that shyte-eating grin in place.

She relinquished the carpet bag to him but kept the tote for it had all the money in the world that she possessed stashed away in the bottom panel, inside the lining, that which was not on her person. "Yes, yes I am." A bit of excitement laced her voice and her stomach felt like it took flight. The problem was they didn't know she was coming. Didn't know she existed. She at least got a written signed document stating all her surrogate mother could remember of the family, of the mother to credit her words. Thing she didn't know, was she looked exactly like her twin sister. She hid her subsequent nervousness as she walked at his side. Getting to finally see this brother as they gained the porch.

Of course he had a shyte eating grin but it was a most pleasant one as he flicked away the cig stub before they gained the porch. "M'lady you are in the finest escort the lands could possibly provide you. My brother is an upstanding, outstanding and even withstanding citizen of these very lands. Your person and items are well guarded under his guidance of you. A pleasure," sweeping a hand to the open door for them to proceed before him as if Eion were royalty. Eion would know he was being his usual devilish self. The lass would only see the guileless smile.

"Been drinkin' already, Segan?" Near muttered as he waited for the lass to go first. "I'm only one of many of the citizens of this land. Do you know any of your kin yet?" He hadn't met her twin and only a few of the large clan but he might be able to help some and to keep his brother from saying more, he added, "A few of the cousins live here in Heathfield." He motioned her toward the bar. "That's Alex. There's not a name or place in these lands he doesn't know."

She smiled hearing the man with a glance back to the other realizing he was teasing the brother. That was a good sign in her book. "It's a very long story. I'm afraid they don't know I'm even coming, don't know I'm even alive." The last more mussed as she headed into the building and tavern area. She moved in far enough they could easily get within, finding the place quite empty tonight as she looked around. Eyes were dark brown and there was some color upon her cheeks in spite of the ordeal she'd been through for weeks. "A clean bed, comfortable," like she could tell they would be just by looking at the place, "a hot bath to soak in for days," least she felt like doing that. "My father was Samuel Frasier but if I can't find him I'm to find Alisdair, his brother and head of the clan."

"I am about to start drinking, brother mine, the same as you." Words came low just behind Eion as he was the last in behind his brother. "She looks lost," another low comment before he was moving beyond to the bar. "Well, Kristina, I'm sure a note can be sent to Falkirk Manor and the ones notified." He had no idea which Frasiers were not living and that there were quite a few in that manor he would not know all the names of to start. He gained a bottle and two glasses to pour his brother a drink. "They make a fine flavored punch for the ladies." As she could see the bottles of other libations lining the walls behind the bar.

He nodded as he heard Segan, to both comments. He didn't know much about the Frasiers but did know some. "Neale Frasier is head of the clan here. But a message can certainly be sent. You might even ask for one of those who lives here to come. I know there's a lass who works in the library. There's a few males here as well. Kyle, David, Adrian, Gus." Trying to make sure that was all.


That's when Alex spoke up. "You're the spitting image of your sister Keriann. Alisdair has passed on and his eldest son Neale head of the family. You have a few brothers as well many cousins. All seemed to have gravitated to these lands. I will have a message sent out to Neale and the other children of Samuel." At least start her off there before overwhelmed. He had hesitated to speak up, wanting to watch the lass a bit before he offered any information.

Conor saw his brothers enter the tavern with the woman, but he was too far down the way to call out to them. Since they had already entered, he didn't speed up, just kept his present pace. He came in at the same leisurely pace,  lingering at the door for just long enough to find his brothers and study the female, then he started to them. "Nice night." He said, smiling, and gave Alex an uplift of chin in greeting.

About to thank Eion for the information she ended up hearing even more added. "I've brothers too?" She figured there might be cousins and a sister. Now she was wondering just how many Frasiers there were here. "Yes, please, send off a note," though those nervous butterflies were mounting into a swarm. She was set on having tea but, "potcheen punch please," offered to Alex before all that nervous energy had her swinging around and near colliding with the man that just came in. Almost nose to nose which had her eyes cross before becoming even more flustered, she dipped a curtsey stepping back. "Evening," shooting a glance to the other two in the hope they didn't laugh.

Conor blinked, putting out a hand just in case the girl toppled backwards after stopping so short. "Fleeing?" He looked to his brothers as she did. "They can be a bit overwhelming at times."

He was glad Alex had added a bit more to what was said, though her reaction wasn't surprising. He looked up at Conor and started to answer but Kristina moved too quickly. Lifting a hand, he lowered it again and shook his head. If  he was amused he didn't show it. "Kristina Frasier, our brother Conor."

"I think you just made his evening." Grinning as he eased into a lean against the bar. Lass was like a cat on a hot tin roof. Could just be nerves or could be deception?  Though not his problem to figure out. The Frasiers would know.

"A pleasure to meet you Conor," but she didn't meet his eyes momentarily for the embarrassment. She could feel it hot upon her cheeks. Stepping to the bar, in a side one so she remained facing them, hand settled leaving her fingers to wrap around her glass. "Your brothers and Alex here have been very helpful." Deep breath, release, relax, dark eyes lifting to finally view this man she really hadn't that so up close. Unless one considered the distorted looks of a frog for having to cross her eyes. He was far better looking than a frog. The lot of them for that matter.

"Frasier?" Conor dipped his head to her. "One of many, a pleasure to meet you." He glanced down to her bag, then back up to her. Either she was leaving Falkirk or just arriving. If the second, the Frasier's would need to add an additional wing soon. Conor moved away from her since it seemed she was as jittery as a chicken with a fox circling the coop. This fox didn't mean to startle her, and wouldn't wish to continue making her uncomfortable if he had. "They are a helpful sort, aren't they?" His smile didn't fade. How could it? Alex had set a glass on the counter for him!

Eion had her carpet bag as he noticed Conor's notice. "Why not have a seat and settle in, relax. Enjoy your punch with a punch. You're safe here and your family will be contacted very soon." He was trying to afford the lass some margin of comfort. Stranger in a strange land, female, now surrounded by four men. That would make most women jittery unless they were a certain kind, not so decent kind.

With the suggestion she slid the tote from her shoulder to set on the bar near her drink. Hand lingered settled atop before finally withdrawn. That precious letter was in there that might prove move valuable than her life's savings. "Just how many Frasiers are there?" Venturing to finally ask as she was picking up on there were a few. She settled onto the stool as each brother's face was in turn studied. Just a hint of that blush when she came to Conor being reminded of the recent near collision. She would get over it.

He placed the bag beside the stool before stepping back and taking up a lean against the bar. Now that was going to take some figuring out. "I'm not certain." He smiled slightly as he shrugged. "Quite a few." Not much help there.

"Not even sure they are!" Conor chuckled into his glass before drinking.

"Not even sure there are many?" Shooting a glance between Eion and Conor. "More then ten? Less than a hundred?" That would leave the range wide open.

He was amused, leaving Eion and Conor to handle this part as he enjoyed his potcheen. Listening while discreetly studying.

"No, not even sure they are certain about how many of them there are." He dipped his head, slanting a look Kristina's way. "I apologize, we aren't making light of your family. I've heard that family is extremely important to them.  And they just have the numbers to prove it. And aye..." He started to chuckle, knowing he still wasn't answering her question. "More than ten...less than one hundred."

"Honestly, we haven't met them all. I know of Neale who is the head of the family as Alex said. There's Patrick who runs the race track in Ballicastle. One of his brothers. Plus several of them are married and have children." He looked at her a moment. "You'll be well surrounded."

"OH!" See her cheeks flush again, she could feel them as she caught onto his humor. It was funny, she was just caught up in nervousness and didn't know them very well. "I will go from being an only child to being surrounded." The midwife, woman she had ever known as mother, didn't have any other children, only mentioned one had died soon after birth, an older sister. She felt a little surrounded presently though was gradually feeling it wasn't a bad thing at all. The three brothers had been kind and personable to a perfect stranger.

"You'll not be lonely, that I'd be willing to bet." He tipped the rim of his glass in her direction, then finished off the liquid with a couple of swallows.

Which had her realize something in the mentioning of names. "Do you know if my father Samuel is still alive or his wife?" Her surrogate mother couldn't remember the name of the wife but remembered Samuel.

Conor shook his head, he really didn't know much about that family, save the talked about size of it. A glance was afforded one brother and then the next to see if they knew.

He lowered his glass after taking a drink, then shook his head as well. "No, I've not heard to be honest. I've not been that close to any of them." Not through anyone's fault. Just didn't happen.

Alex interjected here being the Quinn brothers would probably not know. "I'm sorry, they have passed on. There is only one brother that still lives and he's in Scotland. Your sister is there presently with her husband and newborn twins. They are staying with him I believe." Something Keriann had mentioned in a conversation with him before she left. He was sure the rest of the family would know more.

Good'ole'Alex. Was there anything the man didn't know? Conor seriously doubted it. Once Alex finished, he shot a look to Kristina to see how she was handling the news.  With the tips of his fingers, he edged the glass closer to Alex's side of the bar so the man could collect it.

"I missed her being here and I'm an aunt." She was soaking this in. Once she met the other she would consider traveling back to meet her if it were possible at some point. Or perhaps she would be coming back to visit.

Had Eion known what Conor was thinking about Alex, he would have agreed. He offered her that slight smile again. Had to be more to take in than she expected!

She drank down the last of her punch like a pro. Little did she know. "If I may have that key," as she would get the chambermaid to draw a bath for her to soak in before she found sleep. She felt grimy and sweaty to stay comfortable in the company of three very good looking men aside them having been nice to her. "I thank you three," sliding from the stool with a key in hand as well her tote. That over a shoulder as she lifted up the carpet bag. "I hope to meet you again when I'm more fresh," which could be taken another way as showed in the pink of her cheeks again. I will await word to make sure I will be welcome." Which had a brief look of panic showed in dark eyes. What if they refused without even giving her a chance? Some poor girl trying to tag onto a distinguished family was not unheard of before, and far too common in some places.

He stood away from the bar, still watching Kristina, but relieved she had handled the news as well as she did. Then again, that was just what she was showing on the outside. "Well, I wish you all the best, Kristina. Any of us here would be glad to escort you to Falkirk. Except, I can't for a time tomorrow, I have to strain seeds from crushed blackberries." He shrugged, casting a look to both of his brothers wondering if their Grandmother had snagged them too to do some of that ... kitchen ... work. Conor knew his love of her cooking was part of the reason she was always able to tag him with a chore. He was always in the kitchen! Conor had met Neale Frasier, he didn't seem the type to toss a woman out with no home or prospects. Family or not. But, what did he know? He was going on one meeting that was all.

"I'm sure tomorrow will be a brighter day after you had a good night's sleep and a good breakfast in the morn. Hazel is an excellent cook."

Lips twitched slight at the mention of Conor's having to strain seeds.  Luckily Eion would be busy on the king's field for most of the day. "I'm sure you will be. And Segan is right. A new day, a good night's sleep and a good meal will make facing the day better."

She didn't wish to put any of the brothers out, especially hardly knowing them at all. She also realized the offer was probably made out of politeness. "I'm sure one of the Frasiers close to this establishment," as Alex said he would alert them, "will see me there. I do thank you for the offer." For the first time her smile reached her eyes before she was around on a heel and heading for the corridor Alex had indicated, stairs down a way that would bring her above to her room.

"Well, if you need, Alex knows where to find any of us too." A smile was offered. "Goodnight!" He called after her, then looked to his brothers. "Guess I better head back to the manor."

"Good night, Kristina and aye, if none of them can be found, one of us is about normally." He watched her go then looked at his brothers. "So... which one of you put an old list in me pocket the other night?"

"Good night," called after her before focus shifted back to his brothers. "She seems to be in a strange predicament."

Conor answered with only an ... "Uhmmmm..." He cleared his throat and started toward the door. "Night!" He called to his brothers, starting to laugh as his pace quickened out of the door.

"I'll walk the way with you then. About time I show my face again or grandmama will come looking for me at the port." They probably knew eventually it was going to happen! Finishing off his drink, he set the glass aside and was catching up with Conor at the door.

"Aye, she does."  He finished his drink and was right out the door. Mostly to catch up with Conor! He had nearly finished those chores only to find out they had been done already!

Eion still hadn't figured out who was originally given the list, nor the fact they had been done. So it had been Segan but it was in his pocket so long and he too many to drink, he thought it was a new one.

And he was figuring it came from Conor because of the way he was leaving. Gran had thought it funny, and so did Eion, but he knew it had to be one of them!

It was Conor! Conor had found it in his pocket, transferred to Eion. After all, Eion was better at following directions ... obviously!



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