Since 1998 

Page 1  2  3  4  5      Main

The Lighthouse

Date: 01-04-09
Poster: Davin Byrne
Post # 1

Lighthouse Keeper

It was a night to get out for a while. Ease his mind with the distraction and some potcheen shared with others. His cousin for one as he stopped by his business just before closing time. Hung out there for a while to be shown some of the new imports. Snow was starting to fall again as the two headed up to the Thistle for a late evening supper, knowing Hazel's cooking had little competition. There were a few others but the best homestyle one could get in a tavern. Maurice was attired in a thick brown tweed woolen sweater for the dipping temperatures, dark brown woolen pants, boots that laced up to just below the knees ending in a cuff. There were times that cuff needed to be turned up especially when up in the mountains this time of the winter. He had been up there earlier in the day to check out things, more that no one had gotten stranded. A wandering party of three unfamiliar with the lands were chanced upon, wherein he directed them to safer grounds. He had a lad sent to Clearview to see if Davin was free to come and meet with him as well. By this time he had claimed one of the wingbacks in front of the hearth where he lounged comfortably. He hadn't had a chance to talk much with Garath at the shop, not keeping him from customers. "So all is going well? I hear Draven is back although he's not shown his face socially yet. One can't blame him, however." Natural roguish grin came easily with a flash of ice blue eyes upon his cousin, leaving the floor to him at this point.

"Aye, he is and still in the honeymoon stage." He chuckled as he answered. He had opened the top buttons of his shirt and loosened his vest once they were relaxing. Dark blue dress pants matched the vest and his shirt was white. His legs were stretched out, ankle crossed over ankle. Dark hair was still damp from the melted snow. "Things are going very well. Slow now that the holidays are over but business was exceptional during. How are things going with you and yours?"

The Elf came in from the cold, bundled up, but still a bit frozen, her cheeks rosy, deep sapphires twinkling though as she came in and immediately ordered a mug of hot cider.

Which had him chuckle as well. "Honestly, such gives me hope that though you grow old physically you don't have to in spirit." If Draven could find love, then it was possible for even him. Something to reflect on especially of late. "Slow after the holidays is welcome, gives you time to catch up on inventory." For some reason that had him thinking of his brother and the worry to show a fleeting second before distracted, better to be distracted, as Pyper came in. "Good evening to you Pyper." Too comfortable to get up as it wasn't necessary here anyway. His bones would probably protest for the long tedious day in the mountains. Better not to rise and come off somewhat crippled. Then back to Garath. "Things are going well, nothing major being new," not bringing up about Joseph for it was an undercover assignment to start. Garath would know, not something to talk on in public. "There is a race coming up on the twentieth." He usually got to know soon as it was decided.

She nodded her head. "E-even-ing Maurice, Garath," she said though chattering teeth, as she took up the warm mug in her hands.

Davin had received the note and after speaking with his mother on who exactly was Laird Maurice McDonough, whom he had met once briefly, distractedly, for newly arriving in the lands, he came immediately for the man's importance. Baffled perhaps that his presence was requested by one esteemed. He wondered if his mother had any idea but she was evasive, just impressed upon him to go immediately. She hadn't said anything about attire but he wore some of the new clothing he'd gotten so not come off like some beggar's child. More out of respect for his mother. Not something she would be aware of. A woolen tunic of royal blue was worn over a pristine shirt. Ribbing lent it a finer styling as well the tailored woolen black pants. High dark leather boots also of a fine tooling. Winter hooded cloak of dark gray was worn over all. He knocked the snow from the boots before coming in, quiet enough inside they probably heard him. In quick to close off the door and divest of the cloak to hang on a peg before approaching the bar. A quick glance over the two men as well Pyper with a slight bow of his head. "Evening," almost too quietly and quickly before the bar was reached and some potcheen procured from Alex.

"Evening Pyper. Good to see you." He smiled then looked back toward Maurice and nodded. "I heard the first two went well. Did you go?" He'd not ask about Joe in public though he was happy with staying with his children. They were a delight to a bachelor and he was trying hard to not spoil them. He nodded at the young man who came in. "Evening to you."

Starting to thaw out a bit, she gave a nod to the young gent who came in, a smile on her face. "Evening."

"I stopped in down at the stables where they house the racers. Talked to Rory and Kia there as well the vet. I didn't have time to stay the night." Which he might remedy if time was more appeasing with his duties. "Pyper, come over here and warm yourself more completely." A good fire in the hearth and some peat added to give the place the scent of Eire. Shifting glance landed on the lad a moment. "Master Davin Byrne, good evening." Finally rising to his feet to meet with the young man. He could see his mother in his looks. "I would like you to meet my cousin Garath MacShire and the lovely lass Pyper." Giving Pyper a quick wink for the way he introduced her.

She nodded with a smile, slipping off the stool and walked off to the hearth, the smell of the peat causing her smile to grow. She winked back at Maurice. "Evening to you Master Byrne." She said with a nod.

Glass of potcheen in one hand as he turned hearing his name. Recognizing the big man standing as he was over to offer his free hand. "Good to see you again, Maurice." Then offering his hand to Garath next, "well in the meet Garath." Feeling a little odd using first names for places he'd been before that were sticklers for titles over an atmosphere more at ease. "Pyper, a pleasure." Giving a cordial bow her way.

"Your mother is well I trust and Melantha?" Least two staying at Clearview where Davin was staying. The conversation with Chandra being gone over in his mind. His hand met with a strong shake before stepping back as he greeted his cousin and Pyper. "Please join us. I've something I'd like to discuss with you."

He stood when Ice did, smiling easily at the younger man. "Pleasure to meet you, Davin," said as he took his hand and shook it firmly, but not overly so. He took his seat again, knowing if it was something Ice needed privacy for, he would have suggested going back to the office.

"Yes. Well, that I know of when there. I try to keep busy, keep from being underfoot." He use to end up arguing a lot with his mother back home and was taking precautions to avoid them here. Although, he had noticed she was more at ease, a stress that had always been upon her gone. He just hadn't wanted to tempt fate. If they ended up in a row, he was liable to head back immediately even with the deal made with his uncle. He took a seat near the two as he tried to relax, come off more grown up than he felt presently.

Ice was picking up those undercurrents, ones the young man was trying to keep a good rein on. He seemed to be managing although a touch taxing. "I'm told you do some fine leather work. I just assigned the leather shop to two MacKay lads," which didn't come off as lads being young, just a term he could use on anyone younger than him. "I know you are here for the winter in the least, if you are interested, you can sell some of your work through them or directly to them. That would be worked out between you and them. I would say they are near your age as well." So he would get to meet two more of his peers, not a bad thing either. Pyper had become very quiet, perhaps all ears tonight in listening. Ice blue eyes turning her way to make sure she was still with them.

The elf chose one of the wingbacks near the fire, but not in the way of the conversation. She sighed a bit, thawing out, and had to smile softly at the picture, a handsome one at that... three gents... she was a lucky elf.

The mentioning of leather working peaked his interest immediately although the sneaking suspicion his mother had been talking with the man. He could not really mind. "I like the idea. Thank you, I will go see them tomorrow if they are open and work out something." It would give him something to do and he might end up there a lot just to keep from being underfoot of mother and cousin. Though, if he was honest, it was also exhibiting his independence.

He was going to mostly listen as well, studying Davin as he did. He seemed to be growing more comfortable as he and Ice talked.

"There is one thing more if you are interested. I know that you are indecisive to whether you will be staying here or not, that as it stands, you'll be going back in the spring. I have a proposition, something that will help you from being underfoot and at the same time help us out. The Lighthouse needs a Keeper, comes with a orange tabby." A chuckle under his breath before continuing. "The fire needs to be kept going for the ships at sea. You would have the cottage attached and be given a salary for keeping the Light. Presently, there are guards assigned to see to the task until we can find someone. At least it would be easier having someone there full time." A task the lad could easily handle. "With winter, there could be ships grounded and I feel better with a capable young man handling such if they happen."

"My own place," and not locked in either. He'd definitely be out from underfoot or so the feeling in Clearview manor. "I like this idea as well, it will give me my own space to work on my leather crafting." His mother and cousin might find him showing up for dinners however! There or here as he really didn't cook. Not yet. He might try it having his own place. "I am familiar with the workings of a lighthouse and what is required." His mother not knowing that such expanded learning was given him by his uncle. Carrick wanted him well rounded and Davin had a penchant for the sea as well. The lighthouse was very important as well watching for any shipwrecks and getting any survivors help immediately. "I accept your offer and you'll not regret my time there." He still hadn't let go of the idea he wasn't returning to England and his uncle.

She sat and listened, curled up in the chair, deep sapphires twinkling as she watched too...

"Then consider it done. I will meet with you tomorrow. First light at the Lighthouse. There is a wagon and horse as well to use for carting wood and the like. You'll find it comfortable and warm with a fantastic view."

"And you'll find that cat thinks he rules the roost there." It had been a while since Garath had been to the lighthouse, but if it was the same cat ...

He finally relaxed, in fact was getting excited over the whole idea. One thing he loved doing and the other an offer of his own place doing something he was also familiar with. With his whole future ahead of him, becoming a sea captain was something he had considered also. He had learned a lot there under the funding and guidance of his uncle. The biggest drawback was that he had a few interests, and would eventually need to sort through them to become what was best. Right now, this was a good opportunity of hands on learning. "I like an animal with an attitude, gains my respect," well most of the time. A certain stubborn mule had not when he was younger and the beast was just mean spirited. Perhaps it was the likeness, as he was considered to have an attitude too, so there would be a mutual respect and rapport.

"You should get along fine with him then." He chuckled and held his glass up. "To new endeavors. May you do well in these."

While Garath and Davin talked, attention turned on Pyper. "How are things coming along for you? Soon as spring comes and the ground workable, Jon McAndrews and his men will be constructing the green houses."

She raised up her own glass to the toast, with a smile. "I'm doing well," she then nodded. "Aye, I figured it would wait until then. Which is fine."

He lifted his glass in toast, "to new friends as well in these new endeavors," taking a drink to follow his addition before blue eyes turned on the lass. Elf he noticed as well. He was getting to see a few in these lands as his mother was telling him they were even hidden villages of them. Though different clans too.

"The cat's name is Eric. No one is sure where he came from but he's outstayed everyone that has lived at the lighthouse. I believe he is king there." Mirth touching his tone as he remembered the cat's name to offer Davin.

She smiled back at Davin, giving him a wink, deep sapphires twinkling. She didn't purposefully show that she was an elf, but didn't hide it either. "Congratulations to your new endeavors."

"Then I shall move in with due respect of his seniority. Eric the Red, king of the Lighthouse," lifting his glass to drink to that as well. Luckily he liked animals with few exceptions. The glass raised to Ice before motioned to Pyper and Garath. "What is it you'll be doing with greenhouses in particular growing, Pyper?"

He chuckled then turned his attention to Pyper, curious as well.

She shrugged. "I'm not sure exactly. Mostly vegetables I think. Ones that people can then get all year long."

"Like tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, cabbage, green beans, peas, peppers and so forth." By so adding, now Pyper would have a better idea.

She nodded. "And I guess anything else people might want."

"Vegetables in winter is a great idea." Giving a thoughtful nod and the quickness of a smile more Pyper's way as she would be the one with the green thumb.

She chuckled back, giving him a wink. "Glad I have your approval Master Byrne."

"There's one that grows flowers I believe." Though possibly the more exotic ones.

"Well, it needs not my approval," not having to wish like he had any say in it only that he thought it was a good idea.

She smiled. "Well no, but it is appreciated in any case."

Which had him drawing in a relieved breath, for a moment there feeling like he might be stepping on toes. Smile said more than words which he didn't add to and possibly mess up still.

"Lisette has a few greenhouses to grow her flowers for bouquets and Eleanor, who occupies the Celtic cottage has a greenhouse as well. Horticulturist, especially in orchids."

She noticed the relieved breath, and had to chuckle before taking another sip of her cider.

"That's right. I knew there were a few around." He finished off his drink and placed his glass on a side table.

She finished off her cider, taking it back up to the bar before getting her coat. Turning around, she gave a deep curtsey, with a playful smile, to each of them.  "I hate to leave such a handsome sight, but I must to bed. Stay safe wherever your travels take you."

He rose from his seat. "A pleasure meeting you Pyper. Good luck with the green houses once they are built." Pleasant smile her way before resuming his seat.

"Good night Pyper, keep warm. If you need anything, just leave a note with Alex. He knows where to find me." Or there about anyway.

She smiled. "It was a pleasure to meet you as well Master Byrne. And a good luck to you in your new endeavors as well." She then turned to Maurice. "Thank you and I will." she gave him a wink to him and one to Garath too, not to leave him out, before pulling up the hood of her coat and headed out.

"Take care, Pyper and stay warm." He smiled at her.and winked in return then looked at Maurice.

It was getting late, that fact driven home as Pyper took her leave. "I think I will head back to the ranch." Garath was staying with Joe's family so they could talk more on the way back. "I'll see you tomorrow morning at the Lighthouse, Davin. Give my tidings to your mother and cousin." A touch of a smile tucked within the thick russet beard as thoughts turned to Chandra again for a moment.

"I'll join you in traveling back." He knew the children would be asleep but he'd check on them before turning in. "Again, it was a pleasure, Davin."

He rose in all due respect even if they didn't use titles here, first names and even age not looked down upon. Something he had never encountered before, to be accepted for himself and as a man without having to remind anyone or prove himself. "Thank you once again, Maurice. I will be sure to pass on your tidings," probably this night as he would inform his mother of the meeting. He suspected she would be waiting up. She'd wait up anyway even if watching from her window when he was due to return the night, no matter how late. In a way he had resented that, like he was a little kid, but he was growing from that thought in realization it was for her love of him instead. "I should head back as well, not keep my mother up." Wry grin touched as he finished off his drink, leaving the glass on the bar as he rounded his way there then to don his cloak and out.

He chuckled softly. "Probably a good idea." It would be something he'd miss in time.

Pleased with the outcome and knew Chandra would be as well. Davin hadn't balked at all but then it seemed he was at least settled in staying here for the winter. Time would tell and no regrets if he ended up leaving in the spring on either end. At least every effort was made in offering the young man a chance.

Ice could explain the situation there too. He picked up his glass and made his way to the bar to leave it there.

Leaving the glass and what remained in the bottle on the bar, he was next donning his cloak as they would take their leave. Alex would get to close up early tonight.


Date: 01-17-09
Poster: Davin Byrne
Post # 2

Moving In

Davin had moved into the Lighthouse. He could tell his mother had been extremely pleased. A bit fishy for that matter but she'd only smile and say it was a bit of luck his way. They made sure he knew he was welcome at the manor every night if he could make it for dinner. Which, he admitted, was extremely tempting, so it wasn't until after dinner he brought his belongings over to the cottage attached to the Light Tower. Maurice had shown him around and given him the key. He had still to explore the area and check out the view at the top of the tower. The fire was going strong and he'd check it again in a few hours. Presently he was getting the cottage warmed up and putting his things away. He'd not seen hide nor hair of the cat yet, wondering if the feline was still around. A pot of coffee was brewing filling the cottage with its rich aroma. Lights glowed from the windows in a welcoming light as well the brighter light from the tower that shone out over the ocean below for miles and miles.

Douglas had talked Rhett into going with him to Clearview to see if Davin wanted to join them in a night out. When they were told he was at the Lighthouse as its new Keeper, a trip there seemed in order. In spite of the cold and the snow that was beginning to fall, they made their way up the path. Doug's horse didn't seem to mind at all, in fact, he was prancing a bit as they came to a stop. "Do you see a stable?" He looked at Rhett as he dismounted, not sure he wanted to leave his horse out in the snow.

Rhett was dressed against the cold as the Stetson was tipped down for the falling snow. Heavy woolen overcloak, scarf around his neck, lined leather gloves and boots as well. He had needed time away from the smithy and the cold was noticeable even more for one in front of a forge most of the day. He squinted an eye towards his brother with the pressed smile growing. "Hard to see much but I'm sure there is one probably just beyond the cottage." He could see the lights from there as well as he glanced up to the brighter light from the Tower, had the snow take on a vertigo pattern before focus was back down. He rode in closer before bellowing above the sound of the ocean beyond the cliffs as well the whip of wind that would gust up. "Davin, you in there?" Like who else would be?

He heard a voice above all noises that near startled him as he had the pot up about to pour a mug. First night here and he had company! He set the pot back on the stove before he was over to open up the door to see who it was. Barely open when something screeched while streaking right by his leg. "Holy!" Whipping glance but the thing was too fast as he turned back. "Come in out of the cold although something else beat you to it." He couldn't say for sure exactly.

"You sure it's safe?" He had heard the screech and seen something dark against the snow. "Is there a stable where we can put the horses?" Just to keep them dry if nothing else. He'd offer to take Rhett's horse as well as his own while his brother went inside first.

"Maybe that's the king coming to claim his throne," whatever had moved past him wasn't bigger than he was. Way he looked at it and not one to fear much. "Aye, the stable is just around the other side of the cottage," stepping out with a gesture of his hand in that general direction. It couldn't be seen from where they were but once past the one side they'd see it fast enough. "Let me get a coat on." The cold was starting to bite through the heavy woolen sweater just out the few minutes in finding out who had come. He was back in to grab his cloak, knit hat and scarf. He noticed something moving around over by the hearth behind the couch. Just a glimpse. He'd find out later as he was back out, closing the door behind him.

"We went to the manor to see if you wanted to join us. Came here when your mother said you were here. That you're going to be Keeper while you're here." He spoke as Davin joined them. Wouldn't take much to coax the horses into the shelter of the stable and once they were inside, he was more than ready to go in and see what had darted inside. "So congratulations."

The mare was as white as the snow that sprayed beneath her pounding hooves. It was freezing cold and the rider knew it wasn't wise to have the horse moving so quickly at night, especially on a path that she didn't know so well. Her cloak was as pitch as night, flapping out behind her and appearing almost like huge bat wings. Her hands were gloved and she wore a dark gown of maroon, decorated in gold and green. The mare must have startled, she lifted up on her hind legs suddenly, kicking her front ones at the sky. It was a wonder that the rider could hold on.

He waited the few minutes it took Davin to get his coat and rest on and back out to join them. Except his stallion snorted which usually indicated someone was coming. Squinting back along the path through the falling snow to see. Mostly because the horse reared up he was able to make out the one. "Ho boy," calling out in an even tone to try and settle the horse. All he could see was a dark form as far as the rider.

He caught sight of the one as well, "see to your horses, I'll see if the rider needs any help." Being he was not occupied with a horse as his two friends were. He cautiously made his way closer.

The hood of her cloak was tugged forward with one hand, while her other fought with the braided reins when the mare came back down to stand on all four hooves. She stamped and tossed her head, snorted loudly out of her nose. There were frantic whispers from the rider and she straightened as the man approached. For a second, she said nothing, then offered some type of explanation. "She was frightened." And that was that!

He paused as he watched over the back of his stallion then nodded at Davin, even though in reality, he wasn't looking at them. Guiding the horse carefully, he headed around the cottage.

Seeing Davin had things well in hand he led his stallion off to the stable along with his brother. Once settled in, which would only take a few minutes, they would be back out to join up with their friend and any help needed.

"Aye, it would seem so." He was good with animals on the norm, only trouble he had was one ornery mule many years ago. Approaching with a coaxing sound that usually settled horses down. "You can put her in the stable and let her warm up. Plenty of hay and oats." She was not someone he recognized but he also didn't know that many in the lands yet.

She hesitated for a few reasons, then softly cleared her throat before sliding from the horse's back. "Thank you. Could you.. be so kind as to telling me of my .. current.. location?" Maybe pauses and breaks. Her fingers were shaking as much as her voice. She looked around, tugging the hood away from her head. Her hair was long and blonde, and worn down. The length of it was trapped beneath her cloak.

He was over to run a soothing hand down the mare's neck, keeping more a distance from the lass. "You're in the lands of Heathfield, the Lighthouse to be exact. Maybe it was good we were out for much further with the slick snow and little visibility, you may have gone over the cliff, a few miles down to the ocean below." Which would mean a miracle if she survived such a fall.

He and Rhett returned after settling their horses in. He moved a little closer so he could see the lass and looked at Davin. "Why don't you and Rhett take her inside to get her warmed up. I'll take her horse around to the stable." The mare looked fine, the lass looked near frozen.

She turned her gaze in the direction of the cliffs, though she couldn't see them. "I see. That would have been dreadful." She glanced back to him, to study his face, then the other man that approached. "Heathfield?" She asked a little late. "Thank you. I do not believe I have been in these lands.." She was sure of it. She dusted snow off of her shoulder.

Rhett was there just off to the side of his brother and a bit more distance from Davin. Press smile was more thoughtful as he listened. He too was discreetly studying the lass. Quiet until finally speaking up. "What brings a nice lass as yourself out in a snow storm?" She obviously didn't know of the lands and might well be lost or worse.

"Aye, then I'd not get to know your name," trying to add a light touch of humor over the situation. "I'm Davin, and these are my friends, Douglas and Rhett," indicating each as their name was given.

"I have been riding for a while now. I ran into the storm, or this storm ran into me." She still studied them, especially the one that just spoke up of the storm. She didn't even see him walk up. "Please call me Nora." A part of her name, yes. She forced a small smile to Davin, then to the other two. "Davin, Douglas, Rhett." Names repeated. "It is a pleasure." She.. curtseyed. "And I am lost." Adding late. "Though I hardly know where I am going, yet."

"Well, come in and get warm, Nora. I've a fire burning in the hearth and coffee hot on the stove." Instead of standing out here and all of them freezing. They could talk more and better there than through chattering teeth. He was over to get the door, stepping within as he held it so they could join him. The place looked comfortable even if decor and furnishings were sparse.

"A pleasure, Nora," slight quick bow before he was stepping backwards and around to head inside. He knew his brother would be quick about seeing to the mare's comfort. "Stable is warm," he had noticed there was a coal burning stove down one end with lots of dirt and stone on the ground around it, not hay.

He was over to take the reins of the mare and led her off to the stable, seeing to drying her off and feeding her as well. He'd be in as soon as he finished.

"Thank you for your kindness. I am quite chilly." This said to Davin. She hurried in behind him though didn't shed her cloak so quickly. "Good, then Luna will be very warm." She said this to Rhett. She stood off to the side, rubbing her hands together. Her nose was pink, along with her cheeks.

Once they were both inside, he closed the door over. Douglas would know enough he could come right in once back from the stable. "Would either of you like some coffee? Irish cream blend I got from Alex at the Thistle." Divesting of cloak, hat, scarf and gloves before he was into the kitchen area right off from the main room with the hearth.

"I'll have a cup, Douglas will too I'm sure once he's back." Blue eyes were on the lass while he spoke and finally gave a pleasant smile, not quite pressed as were his usual. "She will be warm and you'll be warm soon as well. Have you traveled far? What lands do you hail from?" Removing his cloak and scarf and lastly the Stetson, the way a strong hand slid over the crease one could tell it was a favored possession. It was set to a shelf over where the cloaks were hung. "Can I get your cloak?" Sliding a glance back her way before turning to face that direction.

"Yes, please Davin and thank you." She said that a lot. No doubt grateful for her sudden strike of good luck, but she wondered how long it would last. Her eyes were blue, flecked with green and very bright. She had them pinned to Rhett when he began to question her. "Yes, my cloak." She addressed that first and slid it free, passing it over to him. Her gloves were slowly removed. Her blonde hair was like a thick curtain along her back. "I have been riding .. long enough that my thighs have blisters?" Too much information, really. She didn't blush but she was aware of a sharp ache setting up in her muscles. "A small country near Rhydin. Our King was recently found dead." Her smile was grim.

He took her cloak, handling it with care as he was back over to hang it up where there was plenty of room and not crowded by their cloaks. It was finely made, he had an eye for such things for his profession. He couldn't help the bit of a wicked smile, if he knew her better he could really tease her on that one. Probably get himself into trouble but trouble was fun at times too. Certain kinds. "A dead king and a lass on the run.." The cloak taken care of as he was back to the hearth. "I would suspect your situation became dire with the death of this king to flee?" There was a pause as the intensity of blue eyes met hers for a lingering moment, "you're not the type to kill." So it had to be more political.

He stomped his feet as he came in, giving a shudder once the door was closed behind him. Cloak, and other outerwear was removed and hung before he was joining the three. Dark blue gaze swept over the room to see what had come into the cottage earlier.

He was out with a tray, four mugs steaming hot, bit of cream and sugar if anyone wished. He drank his black. He set it on one of the few tables near the hearth. "I've some sweet bread if you're hungry as well some Irish stew from the Thistle. Unfortunately I don't have a whole lot as I just moved in here this very night."

She wasn't sure how to feel about her.. situation being laid out first thing. First impressions and all. But she did suddenly appear tense. "I did not kill him, no." Too defensive, very sharply spoken. She met Rhett's stare and even held it. The arrival of the others loosened her stance. "It was a personal decision, to leave." She turned for the tray, angling a smile towards Davin. "Thank you, I may try the stew later. The coffee is fine for now."

"We'll have to bring you over things you can use, welcome wagon full." This time the white of teeth showed with his smile as he addressed Davin. Once the tray was set, he moved from the hearth to claim one of the mugs. Blue eyed focus back on Nora. "No, you didn't." That much he could tell, on another level. He was being trained still in Druid ways for what happened to him in battle. "Do you know who did or suspect?" The sharpness of her tone gave way that defensive stance and he really wasn't trying to have her defensive. His voice took on a soothing tone. "You are safe here, we're not going to turn you in. In fact if we can help you we will. I have found out in only eighteen years, that you cannot run from your problems for they will find you when least expected. Better to be prepared and better to be safe until you know what you need to do, or can do."

"You can have a room without cost at the Thistle Tavern in the commons not far from here as well. Alex and Hazel run it for the Crown. You will be safe here in the lands but if your life is in danger then best someone know so they can help you." He handed Douglas one of the mugs as he stepped away from the tray and nearer to the hearth in warming up. It was at that moment that something zipped from beneath the couch and under Nora's skirts.


Date: 01-17-09
Poster: Davin Byrne
Post # 3

"Thanks Davin." He smiled easily then he too, moved closer to the hearth, though he nearly tripped over the darting ... thing. "Holy ... !"

"I do not know for sure. The Queen was cruel, and the King's brother was j--" She suddenly cut off when she felt something rustling around in the long, full skirting of her gown. She jerked up the skirts, revealing stockings, lace, and everything else up to the knee as she sidestepped and stomped. And.. screamed.

There was the big orange tabby moving in a figure eight around Nora's legs, purring like there was no tomorrow. Smart fat cat! Well, that was until she screamed and scared Eric who then jumped onto the table, knocking the tray off with a clatter before bolting up the steps to the loft room upstairs. "I think I just found King Eric of the Lighthouse, Maurice spoke on. He likes ladies."

He drew up a seat to relax down into it, amusement clear in blue eyes as he watched. What little he saw of Nora's legs only hinted they were very nice ones. It would have been hard to miss, hard not to look, all considering.

He knew it wasn't polite to laugh but he couldn't help it. It was quickly hidden by taking a drink of the hot coffee. "Fast moving bugger, isn't he?" Be interesting to see if he got along with Davin.

The skirting was dropped. She somehow had not dropped her coffee. She stared at Davin, then Rhett, then Douglas. Her attention lingered longer on the last, for the laugh and all. "A cat.." She muttered. Shivering from being so startled, Nora finally sat down. Her legs hurt. And hips. And back.

"Sorry." He gave her a sheepish smile. "Didn't expect that." And a shrug followed. He looked toward the stairs. "I don't think he'll be down for a while."

"I certainly did not expect a cat to fly up my dress, either." That wasn't really what happened. The cat.. couldn't fly, but still!

"Only a cat, one I've to meet yet." As he really hadn't. Smile was growing though as he looked to the steps where the cat bolted. "He must stay up there when afraid." He swallowed the chuckle as that glance rivet to Nora. "All's well, have a seat and relax. Maybe he'll come back down if he gets curious enough as to who has invaded his domain again." Which she had gotten seated by then as he was over to take up one of the few chairs left as well. "With the storm and all, you can stay here in the main bedroom, we can sleep upstairs. Tomorrow we can get you to the Thistle." He was inviting them all to stay for the late hour and storm that was only getting heavier in the falling.

"It might be considered improper but under the circumstances.." trying to reassure her. "About the only one that will maul you would be Eric if he manages into your room tonight."

"Sounds like a good idea ... " He blinked then held up a finger. His coffee was placed on a side table and he was grabbing his cloak and heading back to the stable. With all the excitement he had nearly forgotten the package Davin's mother had sent along. Some of her own bread, as well as cheese, and potcheen. He had to brush off the snow again when he returned. "Ships might not even see the light tonight." Had him frowning as he said it.

"Mauling would probably be more like mewing and snuggling up for warmth." He had not been warned the cat had any mean streak at all. Though probably finicky as to who he made friends with.

"That is very kind of you, Davin." She said this while watching the stairs, maybe a little curious of the cat. Her attention turned to Douglas when he appeared with a package. She watched him a moment, then glanced down at her mug.

Which reminded him. "Excuse me, I should make sure there is enough wood on the fire so it burns all night." He was up to grab his cloak and head out into the light tower.

"Your mother was tickled we stopped. She had us make this delivery." He nodded at Davin then looked at Nora. "Do you have any bags on your horse that we can collect for you?"

He was being the quiet one again and amused as his brother and friend took turns getting up and down, going in and out of the cottage.

He'd make Rhett go if she did!

"Only one. A small one. I did not bring much." She answered Douglas.

He knew that look as he was up. "I'll get it, get yourself warmed up Douglas." He was over to get his cloak and soon out the door, snow swirling in before it was closed over.

"I could have retrieved it." Spoken a bit late. Rhett was already out the door!

"Thanks Rhett." He grinned then looked at Nora again. "I'll see if the coal stove needs more added to it so we all stay warm tonight.  He chuckled. "You still look cold, Nora."

If they had good hearing, they might hear the fog horns in the distance, far out at sea for the weather. At least the light from the tower would show where the cliffs were and at what distance then not to get too close. He stood for a moment out on the deck surrounding the light as one could stand there in awe with the sight. Snowing it may be as the light picked up the crystallized drops making them look like diamonds falling steadily. He could still make out some shadows and pinpoints of light as well hearing the sounds that there were ships out there this night. Hopefully none would crash. He listened carefully until assured all was well before turning back and heading down the spiral stairs, outside the short distance between doors bringing him back into the cottage. "It's going to be a rough night for some at sea."

"I may have frostbite on my toes," she admitted to Douglas. She fell quiet when Davin returned, her gaze lowering again to the mug in her hands.

He heard the sounds, gave one a sad feeling to wash over them as he listened a moment. The saddle bag slung over a broad shoulder of the land's blacksmith. One that also had a title. Something he was proud of even if his chosen career would be in the steps of his father. Namesake as well. He was back in shortly after Davin as he was over to lay the saddle bag over the back of the couch then removing the snow cover cloak, hand dusting through the wild spiking hair only making it worse as he'd forgotten his hat.

He heard both her and Davin's return. "Are you in any pain?" Frostbite wasn't something to take lightly.

"I hurt everywhere." She almost said that she felt fine. She didn't want to seem so needy. "But, I have been riding for a while, it could be why I ache." She spoke to Douglas but a glance flicked towards Rhett when he returned, one that tipped to her bag as it landed on the couch. "Thank you."

"That could be a good sign. Usually you can't feel where you're frostbitten. If your feet are wet, you might want to removed your stockings and maybe if Davin has a pair of dry socks, he can give them to you?" He cut a glance toward Davin in question.

"You have all been so kind, I am in your debt, good Sirs." Said quietly. She had to wonder if everyone in this land was so nice.

Pressed smile was back, one that reached his eyes before speaking as it quickly disappeared, "you're welcome." Turning a glance to Davin. "Do you have any medicinal tea here?" More than likely such supplies were left in the cottage.

"If I don't, I'm sure my mother sent some over." Eyeing the package as there would be all kinds of things a mother would remember and he'd certainly would forget. Although he had a mind to make a list tomorrow of anything needed. One in order of necessity. "Thanks for bringing the package." Quick glance between the brothers before he was taking it out to the kitchen and setting it on the table there. He would put the food in the bread box which he noticed there was one. "Anyone hungry?" Called out for he'd get them something if they were. He found the canister and was soon boiling up a cup of the herbal medicinal tea. It would probably have Nora getting drowsy as well as it dulled any pain. Letting it steep a few minutes before he was out to set it next to her coffee, what was left of it.

Their mother would have done the same, remembering all sorts of things they would need. "Naw, I'm good." Though he was getting sleepy. At least he didn't have to work tomorrow morning. Things certainly slowed when the weather was bad.

She swapped mugs, taking the tea over the coffee. "Thank you, Davin. ..again." She couldn't help the smile. She'd said that so much tonight.

Which reminded him of something, "I have some new swords made I think you will like to see. Davin, you're welcome to come over as well to see them." Not being sure if he appreciated finely made weapons as well. "Oh, I'm fine as well. Although I might turn in soon."

"You're quite welcome, Nora. I should ask if you are interested in finding a place to stay here in these lands? I know you can stay at the Thistle without cost as well, that if you need sanctuary the lands offer such. You would be protected in these lands." He had done his homework, well, learned a lot before he got here through his uncle who knew through his mother and from his mother directly. It was at this point the large orange tabby was slinking down the steps cautiously. Davin noticed him as he had glanced into the room when asking if there was need of food. So he poured some of the milk he'd gotten before putting it back in the ice box and getting some cooked gizzards Hazel gave him onto another dish then out to set it near the hearth. Eric's tail went straight up as he made a bee line for the milk and food.

"I may." Her answer for Davin. She sipped her tea and looked over the men. Then she stood to approach her bag, carrying her tea with her. She watched the cat as she approached the couch. Then lifted up her bag. "Davin, would  you please point me in the direction.. of the room you'd like for me to stay in? I will try to rest."

"I'd be real interested in seeing the weapons you made. I've only heard good praise on your work, Rhett. I've been wanting to get a new sword to use in practice here at the spar hall." He was over to a door that had been left open to ensure it stayed warm. The hearth in the living room vented directly into the room so heated it as well even if the door was closed. "Right here, and luckily there is not only a bed but quilts, pillows and blankets." Well, those his mother had provided in what he packed in coming here.

He had his own question though he asked it before Nora went into the bedroom. "Davin, where's the uh ... privy?" Hint of a smile appeared.

She heard Douglas and paused, tipping him a look, with a blink. Then she peered quietly up to Davin.

"It's right over there, aside the kitchen." Not far for a quick run from the bedroom and back.

Good to know it wasn't outside either. He nodded then stood and carried his coffee out to the kitchen. After drinking that, they'd likely all need to use it sometime during the night.

"Oh, and the door bolts from the inside so you can rest assured this night." Blue eyed glance turning Nora's way. "Sleep well, the bed seems comfortable." Yes, he had checked it out when he arrived earlier this night.

"Good night, Nora." He called from the kitchen.

"Aye, a pleasant night Nora, if you need us, we'll be right upstairs," heat rose so they should be warm as well. "I can hope you sleep well, mend the aches."

"Thank you. All of you. Rest well when you finally do try to sleep." She drew in a deep breath and stepped further into the room. She shut the door and shortly after, collapsed right onto the bed. She had exhausted herself out.

He got the tray the cat had upset earlier from behind the table it had been on then took all empties left out into the kitchen to deposit them in the sink. Once done he headed upstairs. He wanted to be up early, was use to being up early.

He followed Rhett up after clapping Davin on the shoulder. "Bet you didn't expect company right away." Not that they had expected to stay.

He would see to washing the few mugs tomorrow but he put some water in each of them before he headed up to the loft as well. There were mattresses up there that had been left over and would do them fine for tonight. Extra quilts and blankets gotten as well. He realized, he enjoyed the fact of having company although it was first time ever playing host. There would be many nights he'd be talking to Eric or himself. "Didn't expect it but find I'm very pleased with it as well." Even if it meant sleeping in the loft.


Date: 01-28-09
Poster: Davin Byrne
Post # 4

Shores Below the Lighthouse

Davin was walking along the rocky shoreline down below where the Lighthouse stood erect on the cliff above; giving off its light as dusk set in. He was making a habit of exploring in the early morning as the sun came up and evening as it went down. There were treasures to be found with just enough light to see and a kerosene lamp carried to light if needed. He usually got back before it became dark but never hurt to be prepared. A fur lined woolen cloak kept the cold air coming in off the ocean from penetrating. Cooler feel for the moisture as he picked his way between rocks and sand. A smaller gunny sack swung over the one shoulder to hold anything found worth keeping.

Gaelle had not had many chances to explore lately. Tonight, she was so restless that she had to get out to do something. She'd ridden Buttercup over and currently the mare was tied off while Gaelle stepped carefully away from her. Dressed in dark pants and a dark green shirt worn beneath a thick tunic that was tied at her waist; she wasn't nearly as cold as she expected to be. She wore gloves and a thick cloak. The wind rushed against her hair, making it lash out in dark strands, like whips against the air. She came to a pause on a large boulder, her arms lightly held out to her side for balance. First, she watched the water, but there was a shimmer of light that pulled her gaze along the shoreline. Her brow arched as she watched, quietly.

The shore had mostly sea shells of various kinds and sizes. A few horse conch, sozone's cones, junonias and so forth were collected. It was the craggy outcroppings and holes beneath that allowed the tides when high to bring treasures in that were bigger or heavier, the rocks capturing them to hold. It was more dangerous and one needed to really mind their footing as he worked his way up to one such outcropping. About to go around, he caught sight of another down along the way from the corner of his eyes. Stalling there as he turned cupping his mouth with a hand so his voice carried over the wind and sound of the ocean. "Be careful lass, mind your footing or you'll end up in the water." Some gravel moving under his boot as he half slid carefully to where it leveled off again.

She'd met Davin before, though with the distance between them, she could not recognize him. Not even the call of his voice that sounded strange on the wind in a haunting way. She was playful more times than not and she considered to pretend falling, but it wouldn't do good to send the poor fellow into a panic. Curious to the point that she had to get moving, she tip toed along the rocks until she got to the end, bouncing off of those to land on the sand. Accidentally kicking a conch shell, she bent over to scoop it up to examine it as she walked along the shore. When she was closer, to him, she took another path, and another; twisting her way up and down to get close. There probably had been an easier route, but she likes to make all things difficult, apparently. She was a little surprised when she was close enough to recognize him. "Oh, Davin. It's you! I haven't seen you in so long, how are you?"

Something glinted at the edge of his boot sole that had him crouch down to pick it up. Holding it up to the waning light as he could make it out was a ring, but not of the likes in design he'd ever seen before. He slid the gunny sack from his shoulder to slip it inside with the rest of his find. Ever aware of the lass, whom as she drew closer he recognized. "Gaelle, I didn't know you liked walking the more challenging shoreline.." teasing tone as he looked beyond her figuring she might have come with someone. None in sight however. "By yourself." Moving to ease down from the more dangerous incline to come level with her more along the shoreline. "Laird Maurice offered me to be the Keeper of the Lighthouse while I'm here. To at least the spring, so I accepted." He still put in that clause he might not be staying more than the winter's duration as what brought him here.

When he looked behind her, she whirled a look back herself, half expecting to see someone trying to sneak up on her. She turned back to him with a delicately arched brow and a laugh so quiet that it was easily drowned out by waves and wind. "..yes, I like to walk shorelines by myself. I like to take strolls, by myself. Who were you expecting to see with me?" Somewhat puzzled. She watched him closely and she smiled at the news he'd offered. "Oh! How exciting! Congratulations. Do you like it? Do you see a lot of ships? I've never been in a lighthouse before." Obviously excited, so much so that she seemed momentarily like a child.

"You have a few friends, I thought maybe one or more would accompany you on your strolls at night along dangerous paths." Not trying to sound like a scolding but that it was natural to expect such. "Come with me," moving to block her way from any sliding or fall. "A little ways down from here is a large flat boulder you can see even further than along the shoreline." It was also safer and they would be working their way up a path as it was higher then they presently were. "I like it a lot, have my own space and not underfoot anymore." Which had weighed on him staying at Clearview manor. "You can see many, many ships from the lighthouse tower. It's public so anyone can go there at anytime. It is a fantastic view, makes you feel like an eagle must when soaring the skies." A hand to come up to cup her elbow at times where it was a bit more slippery, away after making sure she'd not slide.

She smiled as she listened, though tonight her smile seemed slightly.. distracted. "I've never even been down here before. I'm not sure why I stayed away. I love the ocean." She walked quite carefully, taking his lead. In between watching the path ahead, she glanced out over the ocean itself, or up to the night sky. "I will go up there sometime, to the lighthouse, I mean." The shell she was holding, she dropped. On purpose. She was sure she could find many more, if she wanted them.

He noticed her drop the shell but said nothing. It was one of the many found in multitudes. "Do you usually collect shells?" Curious as a lot of females did of the prettier ones. "There is a path that leads up to the top of the cliff as if hewed out of the rock on purpose a long time ago. It makes it easier to get down here in case a ship runs ashore. There is building about half way down I was told is used for such emergencies. To house those shipwrecked, medical supplies, blankets and food until they can be gotten to the hospital, port or tavern." He was making idle conversation as they reached the boulder, coming up from the back portion to walk out with the ocean crashing in against the shore below. "You can still make out some of the larger ships way out at sea." Pinpoints of light could be seen on some of them. The large barge especially. "Without the moon's light at night, you wont see them at all in another hour."

She took in the information, listening carefully in case it was needed in the future. Then, she remembered something. She winced and stopped walking. "I'm supposed to pick something up from a shop, and I completely forgot. I told them I'd stop by before they closed.." She made a motion over her shoulder and started slowly backtracking.

He reverted his path, coming back to her. "I'll see you back then as it is dangerous to be here once dark in the winter." Summer was a bit better. He needed to get back but was taking the extra time to show her a spot where she could see more safely.

"Thank you, Davin. I will return when I get the chance. It seems like a nice place." Led back, she reached her horse and mounted up before riding towards the commons.


Date: 02-01-09
Poster: Davin Byrne
Post # 5


The Lighthouse itself remain open for anyone that wished to climb the tower for the fantastic view from the upper railed platform. The cottage was locked, with Eric lounging in the window where the wintry sun cast its light. Warming through the pane while still very cold outside. Davin was down the rocky crag with the gunny sack over a shoulder. It had recently snowed as he was very careful with his footing, going slow. He had a short whisk broom with him as he made his way to one of the outcroppings and back in behind it. He started brushing away the light covering of snow to continue his scavenging of the spot he discovered late the previous evening. It was a precarious angle that he squeezed in between rugged rocks, minding his step so he didn't slide into the pool of sea water captured down below. Thin layer of ice for it wouldn't have time to completely freeze before the sea claimed it again. The gunny sack was left at the mouth of the entry. There were a few things collected inside already. Fur lined cloak kept him warm as well the knitted cap, scarf and gloves. Gloves were taken off if needed but not for long for the bite of cold air and he didn't want to lose his fingers by having them exposed too long.

Though it was cold, the sea was calm, allowing for some sailing. Just beyond the rocks, a skiff with a sail made its way, expertly guided by one at the rudder. A tug and the small boat turned toward an open area where it was beached. Seemingly unfazed by the cold, its lone occupant tugged it further onto the frozen sand. Not looking for treasure, but a net that had broken free from a fishing boat that had been further out earlier. Once it was found, it was examined carefully for tears. It was fairly new so could be repaired. The sailor guiding the small boat was dressed in heavy clothing, ones that were shapeless.

His foot slid as he tried to reach what gleamed a reddish hue caught in the rocks behind the crag. Rocks tumbled down to the pool below breaking through the ice easily. He had to grab on as the whisk went tumbling down as well and he to hold onto the rough edged rocks as a few curses flew from his lips. At least he didn't fall and found it had gotten him closer to the object he was trying to reach. Carefully stretching once again as gloved fingers now curved around part of the object. It was stuck however and another curse that would make a sailor proud was out as he tried wiggling it free. He was determined to make claim of it.

Pausing in collecting the net, Niamh looked toward the rocks. She finished rolling it, and tossed it into the skiff then made her way in that direction, nimble as a mountain goat. She took note of the gunny sack, then climbed to where the rocks left a small gap. Wiggling through, she watched as the man tried to pull something free. A rock slipped from where she stepped, tumbling free with a soft clatter.

Wiggling with one hand as he heard noise behind him and a jerk of his head to the side as he looked over a shoulder. Keeping in mind to keep his hold. Wondering as well who else, or what else was about this afternoon. This time of year there was nary a soul to be seen other than on ships that sailed close enough that one could see the men aboard them. Sometimes women. Brows went up nearly under the edge of the pulled down cap. "Who are you?" Unsure what to say to the one. Uncertain as well if it was a lad with fine features or a pretty girl. A quick dip to see if the one had any weapon on a second thought and possibly to discern the gender. No luck there. Least the one wasn't wielding a sword or dagger for certainly he would be caught in a bad circumstance.

The question brought a chuckle. She didn't wiggle closer though eyes that were more blue than gray regarded him a moment. "Niamh Lysaght. Who are you? And do you need a hand? You look like you're in a bit of a bind?" She didn't have a weapon that could be seen. Then again, she wasn't sure if he had one.

Her last comment had him glancing down, where his feet were positioned, the pool below and the reach of his arm as he still held on tight to the object. He was in a bit of a bind, falling would be fair easy. At that moment the object came free, presently covered in grime and barnacles, crusted looking except for a few parts that shone a rich bronze. On a glance to the novice eye, it would be passed over as part of rock than anything else. With the release his arm swung back with the object, "Grab this. Quickly." Or he was going to fall if he didn't have his other hand to grab onto the rocks, his feet already shifting precariously.

She didn't argue since she didn't want to see him fall. Didn't look like a pirate or desperate man. She grabbed the object quickly and made ready to grab him too if necessary. She might not look it but she was strong from the work she did. "Got it." Meaning he could let go and catch himself.

Barely out of his hand and it was around to grasp a hold on the rock he was against, his one foot slipping free and certainly he would have fallen otherwise. Not that he'd really get too hurt but he would get wet. Soaked in the cold. He sucked in a breath as he pressed his forehead to frozen rock a moment. Getting his bearings before easing back away from the rocky outcropping. Hopefully he didn't step on her nor bump into her, hoping she had the sense to move back as well. "I think I'm done for the night in treasure hunting." He was curious to what he had found as it would take a lot of careful cleaning to find out later. Being she was before him, he let her ease out between the rocks than try to maneuver around her. Which had him recalling she gave her name during that intense time. "I'm Davin Byrne, the new Keeper of the Lighthouse. Niamh, nice to meet you and thanks for the help. Unusual name, does it mean something special?" Usually such names did.

She watched to make sure he wasn't going to fall before she was moving out of the way.  Though half her face was hidden by the scarf  she wore, her eyes lit up with her smile. "A good idea.  She eased backward briefly then jumped down lightly, his treasure held tightly so it wasn't dropped.  Turning, she pulled down the scarf to reveal her face, wrinkling her nose as the ice on the material crackled.  "It means radiance or brightness.  And it's a pleasure to meet you, Davin Byrne, keeper of the Lighthouse."

"Much like your smile would be?" Not that she had smiled yet that he could see only the way her eyes lit up. "Are you from these lands?" Trying to think of something to say conversation wise. Easing out as he grabbed up the gunny sack. He would need get a new whisk broom if he went exploring with a snow covering again. Moving closer as he opened up the sack that she might put it within.

"Aye." Her laughter came easy as she answered. "My mum named me that because she said I lit up the room when I was born though I think she exaggerates that a bit.  I'm from the village of  Ruiaidin, down the coast a ways."  She made a motion toward the skiff.  "I was looking to see if I could spot the net that came loose from the fishing boat earlier today.  Are you from the lands also?" She knew there were a lot of newcomers to the realm lately so if one didn't recognize the name, it paid to ask.

"Were you able to find it?" Otherwise he would help before it got too dark. He shook his head with the question. "My mother's family was a long time ago. She came back last summer. I came to visit and stay the winter." Lips pressed together as he closed up the gunny sack after the object was placed within then slung it over his shoulder. A glance given down along the rocky shoreline to note the skiff. "Laird Maurice offered a place of my own to stay while here and doing the lands a service as well. I took him up on the offer. Comes with a cat." The last somewhat humorously.

Rather than being seen on Luna's back, Nora walked along at her side, her gloved hands holding onto the reins.  There was no reason, other than she suddenly felt like walking rather than riding.  Perhaps, again, she'd been on the mare for too long.  It wasn't often to see her in anything but dresses, though tonight she wore fitted trousers of heather grey, matched up with a ruffled blouse worn over another shirt to keep her warm.  Her cloak was fur lined and she kept it pulled about her to block the wind.  Her hair was left loose, long and curly.  She took her time, though when she came closer to the lighthouse, her eyes raked over it thoughtfully.  Luna snorted through her nose and pawed at the ground at Nora's side.

"I've met Laird Maurice when he's come to the village. He knows my da." Of course, he didn't really come to talk to her but still she knew him.  "He's a good man.  And thank you for your offer but I found it on those rocks over there. It's in the skiff now."  She tipped her head to look up at the lighthouse. "And does the cat like your company?"  Smiling again at the thought of the cat owning the lighthouse and its keeper.

The wind picked up, whisking moisture filled air in a sharp bite over the rocky shoreline. Snow was starting as he glanced up then back. "You're welcome to come up to the Lighthouse for something warm to drink." Eyeing the waters that were also starting to churn up with the gusts. "You might not want to go back out in this. We can secure it so it doesn't get washed out to sea." He'd help her with that as he started in that direction. It was time to get off the shore and back up where  it was safer. "Aye, cat likes me but I think it is mostly because I feed him." Pausing a heartbeat, "least six meals a day."

"I'm going to travel to the banks of the sea, to see the waters gliding, hear the nightingales sing."  She piped up the song out of nowhere, and her voice managed to lift enough to be carried by the wind; haunting and yet, soft.  She trailed off with a bird-chirp of a laugh and gave Luna a light scritch along her sloping neck.  They walked a little further, Luna's head lightly bobbing up and down with each step the mare took.  Nora's step was more of a lazy dance, long legged with a playful sway of hips.

She adjusted her scarf, narrowing her eyes slightly as she looked up at the sky.  "I told them I might not make it back before the snow started again, but we've a method for that."  When they reached the skiff, she removed a heavy wool blanket from a wooden box with holes drilled in it.   From inside, she first retrieved a paper with a piece of charcoal. A quick note, and the paper was put in a oiled cloth tube on the leg of the homing pigeon inside.  "Go inland first, Tutie." She glanced at Davin, an impish look in her eyes before she released the bird.  "He'll reach the village in no time and let them know I'm safe."  Now the skiff could be seen to.

He was real curious as to her safe measures under such circumstances. At first he thought she would heave out a heavy anchor and toss it between the rocks so the skiff could not be washed away. Brows lifted at it turned out to be a homing pigeon instead. "Oh, that works well." Provided a good gust didn't slam the bird into a building, rocks or tree. He indicated where steps hewed out from the rock led a spiraling path up to the top of the cliffs where the lighthouse was. The light already reflecting off the snowflakes as night descended. "Watch your step on them." They were not too bad but anything out in this weather was slippery in parts if one wasn't careful. The trick was to sort of walk flat footed than a slanted - sliding step. He headed that way and started up, letting her know where to mind her footing along the way. Had he heard singing upon the wind? Maybe there were mermaids like tales of old. In these lands, with all he was finding out, he would not be shocked to witness the impossible in that area.

There had been singing, but now it was more of a delicate hum. She had her face tilted to the sky, her eyes closed. Snowflakes touched her cheeks, melted, and a few more fluttered against her lashes. She might have forgotten her destination, became distracted by a few thoughts. She drew in a breath and opened her eyes to watch her exhale mist upon the air. Then her gaze lowered, her chin tipping down near her collarbones. She grew quiet. She thought, 
thought she'd heard people. She gave a tug to the reins and she started forward, Luna in tow. She crept towards the sounds.

Oh, the skiff wasn't going anywhere. She not only had an anchor that she used but a rope that was looped around one of the rocks and tied off good. An oilcloth cover was pulled over it. There was a hole for the mast and a slit with large eyelets that a rope was quickly threaded through, securing the top. All this was done in a matter of minutes. She followed him up carefully but just as lightly as she had tread among the rocks earlier. As far as Tutie, he was a survivor of many a trip in stormy weather. He'd shelter if it became too windy then continue on when it was safe or morning.


Date: 02-01-09
Poster: Davin Byrne
Post # 6

The wind howled around them but the steps were carved to give some protection as well. Wide enough for a horse to fit as well. Rocky edge acted as a barrier most of the way. He wondered, who had hacked them out countless years ago. They were old. Maybe done in ancient times to escape up from the shore, hauling bounty of contraband or members of covens could sneak down to do their rituals to the sea under a full moon. His mind wandering to such fanciful ideas with vivid glimpses of each scenario. He nearly slipped. Free hand out to grasp the edge of the wall so he didn't. "Watch that one." By this time it would be a long way down to fall, sliding down the steps at least would probably only leave them with bruises over a certain death otherwise. He was up the last of them, rising up with the scene of sea behind him. Stepping away to leave room for Niamh as well making sure she made it up.

The wind felt as if it were getting stronger. It even lashed at her cloak, made it snap backwards against the air. She wasn't far from where the two were climbing up, and she paused there with her head canting vaguely to the side. Still thinking she heard.. things, she nearly turned to leave when she felt a flare of nervousness inside of her. There was a body popping up over the edge though and her brow slightly arched. "Davin? Is that you?" She couldn't make out much; just a dark shadow of a man.

She had seen the lighthouse of course, many times, both by day and night but not this close. The stairs caused her to go over some of the stories told about the dark days. Her breath caught when he slipped but she let it out slowly and grabbed hold of the wall when she moved upward. Once they were clear of the steps she turned to look back over the sea. From the way she was dressed, she could pass as a young lad, the heavy coat and clothing worn hiding any curves.

That moment of relief, they both had made it safely up from the sea only to have him whip a look, turning as well when he heard his name. The voice as well recognized. "Nora, how are you? Looks like another storm brewing. This is Niamh from a fishing village down the way." Uncertain exactly how far down the shoreline or exactly remembering the name of it at the moment. "Come in and warm up, have something hot to drink." Not wise to stand out here in it as the snow was starting to get heavier. He motioned to the cottage next to the tower and headed there for he needed to unlock it. Luckily he hadn't lost the key in getting one of his treasures. Actually had it attached to a rope that was tied to a belt loop before put in his pocket. It was drawn out, latch lifted as the door swung open.

"Well, I was out for a walk, and a ride--" She motioned to Luna, "--but it looks like that's over." She said that with a glance to the sky. She frowned. But there was a smile quick to bloom for the introduction offered. She lifted her hand to wave at Niamh. "Nice to meet you, Niamh. I will be in soon--do you mind if I put Luna in a stable?" Her main concern was the mare getting spooked, again, only this time running off on her or something.

"Hello, Nora. Nice to meet you too." She turned from the scene to smile at the woman then remembered she still had the scarf over her face. She stepped inside, not wanting him to hold the door open for her, especially if he was going to make sure Nora had no problems with her horse.

"Not at all," he had just realized she had her horse with her. "Do you need help?" She would find the stable warm with the horse that came with the lighthouse there all bedded in for the night. Plenty of hay and oats as well to be given in a feeding bag, of which there were extra. He didn't know if the horse had a name, none was given him at the time. Something he needed to ask or just name the horse himself.

"No no, I can put her up, thank you though." She didn't want to keep them waiting, and so, she was quick to turn with Luna following. Nora shivered from the cold wind, the snow, and Luna seemed to not like it so much either. Reaching the stables, she led the mare inside to secure her.

He watched her a moment before ushering Niamh further inside. Wasn't good to keep the door open and let all the warmth out. The outside night air would suck it up real fast! Once inside, door closed and even before taking his cloak off, he went straight to the kitchen to set the kettle to boil. Once that was taken care of, off came the cap, scarf, gloves and coat in turn as he was back out to hang them up on the pegs in the wall just inside the door.  The gunny sack had been left there upon entering, slid up in against the wall. This he took up before heading to the table in the living area, one in front of the couch in front of the hearth.  That was set before he was around to add some more logs to the fire. Get the place nice and warm.

She wasn't gone too terribly long and eventually, she made it inside. Pink cheeked, she didn't immediately take off her cloak. She needed to warm herself up some. "I am beginning to wonder if I should even stay too long. Perhaps I should ride back soon." Her brows furrowed thoughtfully.

While Davin set the kettle to boiling, she began to shed the layers of clothing. Gloves, followed by her hat, scarf, coat and a sweater. One pair of ice and salt water covered wool pants. She frowned slightly as she looked at the pile. "Where do you want me to put these so they don't make a mess?" She should have put them in the stable.

He thought on that. It wasn't like the first time and the Shawnesey brothers here as well. Right now they were alone with a man, in his home. That could get tricky if there were ones to gossip. There was also only his bedroom, now slept in by him to offer to them both, sleeping in the same bed and he would sleep upstairs in the loft room. "Let us warm up, a bit o' tea and then I can see you both back to the Thistle where you will each have your own room and bed for the night. Nothing could be said to taint any of our reputations." Seemed it actually was thought of while in these lands.  Focus was diverted to the pile of clothing and for a brief second, he hesitated to look up in Niamh's direction, that she might be down to near nothing on her body. He finally dare to look up, really, could it be helped even if she was stark naked, especially if she was stark naked! "There are pegs in the stones over the hearth, you can hang them there to dry."

She nodded softly then settled down in one of the chairs, still with her cloak on. She wanted to make sure she was pretty warm for the trip back. She smiled to the two.

She had on another pair of pants and a shirt, and actually had undergarments on too! She carried the clothes and her boots over to the hearth to dry.

He rubbed the back of his hand over his brow, briefly, for in that moment the kettle whistled and he was quickly making his way into the kitchen. Three mugs filled with tea to steep. The two would have about five minutes without him there.

"The weather changes quickly. Are you from Heathfield?" While she did travel from her village to Heathfield, she didn't know everyone. She stayed by the fire, hands out to warm them.

"Mm.. Me? Not originally, no. I have not been here so long." She faintly shook her head, smiled.

He could hear them talking in the other room as he scrounged through the pantry for some raisin bread he had gotten this morning. Cutting a few slices for them to have with the tea. It was nearly done as he checked the mugs. A small tray gotten out he put sugar in a bowl and a creamer with some milk in case they took either. If only his mother could see him now, but then she'd also see him entertaining two very pretty ladies. He could imagine the remarks or even questions directed his way.

She nodded, smiling in return. "My village is called Ruiaidin. It's a good distance from here. I came by skiff." She gave a vague motion west. "It's close to Dunshire Manor, the home of the Shawnesey family."

"Ruiaidin.." She repeated the name slowly and smiled. "I am still learning of all of the places close to here. Then again, I am still learning of everything in Heathfield itself. I came from the north. Langsley. Most ... or well... some don't care for it? I'm not sure. I never got out much until I left for good. I like it here. The people are so friendly compared to those of .. my old home." Her nose wrinkled.

It was at this point he emerged from the kitchen with tray in hand, the three cups of tea had been added as he was over to set it on the table within reach of all. "Aye, the people here have been nicer than any I've met in other lands." Not going into details but it had the sound he'd been to a few. He had traveled. Instead of taking up his tea immediately, he took up the gunny sack to remove it from the table and set on the couch beside him. Curiosity had gotten the better of him as it had been put off. He pulled out the last, very much worked for, item encrusted with what the sea coated over time. He withdrew a small sharp knife from a just as small leather sheath attached to his belt and started to carefully remove the debris.

"I think there are a few reasons for that. It's a matter of pride, you see. Heathfield is a place of safety, sanctuary. Not that we don't have accidental deaths by violence but there's been peace here a long time. And folks raise their children to be polite. We're not perfect of course, and there are still bullies, thieves, and the like, but we know we're lucky to live here." She collected one of the mugs and offered it to Nora before tending to her own. Curiosity would have her watching Davin too.

He was realizing the time as once he got really into this, he would forget all time and he needed to get them back to the Thistle before the storm got worse and a lot of accumulation.  Setting the piece he was working on aside, he was quick to drink down his tea which at least had cooled. "I'll meet you out front. Finish your tea and I'll be out there by then. Going to take the wagon, it will seat three and I'll tie your horse to the back, Nora." He was up and getting on his cloak, hat, scarf and gloves before out the door, closing it behind him to see to the task.

"Ah yes." She hadn't realized the time, either. She did, at least, take the mug from Niamh and took a few large drinks before she set it aside. She never took her cloak off. And it was the same with her gloves. She waited for Niamh before heading out front.

She had to take a few moment more after finishing her tea to gather her clothing and put it back on. It was easier than carrying it all. Once she was dressed, she joined Nora and headed out to meet Davin and the wagon.

He pulled up just as they came out. Getting down so he could help each up before he was back in the driver's seat. "Huddle close," more muffled by the scarf and they would not see the hidden grin either. He wasn't going to mind this trip one bit. Huddled with two very pretty ladies, was fodder for dreams later. Snow or no, they would make good time to the Thistle without taking chances and once he was back he would work on his find again until sleep claimed him for the night.

She climbed right in and did as he asked; huddling up close. She wasn't so shy that she'd not try to keep herself warm!

Huddling was a good way to keep warm, and he'd be doubly so with one lass on each side!


Date: 02-11-09
Poster: Davin Byrne
Post # 7

Quiet Night

The excitement over the races was finally settling down and Davin felt the wear of a day spent in hard work as well exploring. He had gone a lot further to find the remains of a dinghy scattered over the rocky shore. By sight it seemed an incident a good amount of time before. Years most likely. Decades? Centuries? It had gotten too late with night starting to fall and so he turned back before he couldn't see at all. The fire fed and even with the wear of the day, he was running on some of that high from last night so headed for the Thistle. Snow was starting to fall as noted with a glance upwards, wet specks landing on his face as he chuckled. Rolling sound that blended in with the breeze as he continued onward. Soon the tavern reach and he was inside with a sweep of the door open then to be closed behind him.

Niamh was spending the night in Heathfield after spending the day doing some shopping for her mother. Special things that couldn't be bought in their village, including a gown for Niamh that she had insisted she didn't want. She found shopping to be every bit as tiring as working on a fishing boat and after a good meal, curled up in one of the wingbacks. Though she wasn't asleep, her eyes were half closed as she stared at the fire. Tomorrow she'd take the wagon back unless the snow proved to be too heavy tonight.

After cloak, scarf and gloves were hung, he was over to the bar to collect a glass of the pure. He had noticed one, more from the corners of his eyes over by the hearth. Glass in hand, around on a heel as was heading in that direction next to see who it was. One he recognized too. "Good evening Niamh," settling into a wingback near at an angle facing. "You look comfortable," smile coming with his comment. He was wearing a woolen tunic of a dark heather blue, black pants and boots. Shirt was gray in poets styling beneath the tunic, seen mostly of its sleeves and collar where the tunic tied down the front.

She felt the cold air but didn't really move until she heard his approach. A warm smile greeted him as she uncurled, placing her feet on the floor. She was wearing a shirt of dark red tucked into a black skirt. A matching vest was worn unbuttoned. She did wear simple clothing and couldn't see the reason for a gown but when her mother had made up her mind ... "I am. After having Hazel's delicious stew, I don't think I can walk upstairs yet. How are you, Davin? And how is your hunting coming?" She was pleased to have company, especially someone she had met before.

"Aye, makes you feel like Eric the cat from the Lighthouse. Laze out on a window sill after a good meal." That visual in his mind was not far off in how Niamh had just looked when he came over. "I'm doing well, got a racehorse now.  A gift from my mother and he was in the races last night I went to see. He did well, slow start but took Show in the second race." The while he spoke, a hand slipped into the pocket of his tunic as he drew out the artifact she had helped him get without falling. Extending it her way. It was all cleaned and polished. Something that had taken painstaking hours. The bronze glowed under the firelight.

"I've never seen those races though we've raced horses along the beach, kind of a celebration in spring. Sounds like he'll do well." She leaned forward to take the artifact, studying it. "How interesting. Do you have any idea what or who it is? Someone with four arms." Blinking as she considered that.

"I hope a stretch of smoother beach than provided along the cliffs." At least for all out racing like the visual he got with her comment. He was watching her face as she looked over the artifact, probably end up looking straight into his eyes as he was leaning forward by this point. "I believe it is some oriental goddess, probably one of fertility for the child at her feet." He wasn't sure but he found it interesting to find these small treasures. Which had him slipping a hand back into the same pocket to draw out an Aztec coin or so the drawing on it lent it to be. "What is interesting is the diversity of these finds." This he placed on the small table nearer her.

She did look up, smiling when she realized he was so close. Blue meeting blue as she felt her cheeks growing warm and likely turning a lovely shade of rose. "Maybe you can find out for sure at the library or the import store." She smelled of fresh air, like that of a summer's day after a rain with a touch of floral. The coin was examined as well. "I know the ships travel far. And it doesn't take long for the sea to claim such things." She loved the library and book store, and her parents often allowed her and her siblings to come to the city when things were slow. "I used to collect seashells." Laughing softly, then she added. "Oh yes. The beach where we race is quite smooth. It's more west of Ruiaidin."

A slight boyish smile followed when he realized the pink upon her cheeks for his lean and so settled back. "I'll have to do that, maybe the man that has the import store will be interested in purchasing them." Though certain ones he would keep like the runic stone. He was not adverse to selling that which he found the sea gave up to him. He had taken risks in getting some of them. He liked the way she smelled too, reminded him of being along the shore except even nicer with the touch of flowers of some kind. "I have a lot of seashells if you want any, some are pretty big and I only take those in perfect condition."

"I might just take you up on that." She handed back the coin, still smiling. "I've read some about the Aztec people. Someone might have had a ship filled with treasure and maybe crashed on the rocks below the lighthouse. There have been some bad ones. Was one a few years back. The family that has the candy shop was on that ship." She picked up the cup of tea she held, not minding in the least that it was cold. "Have you found any debris from ships?"

He collected both artifacts to slip back into the pocket he carried them. Before he forgot. He'd not want to leave such things lying around for being distracted by a pretty face. "Or a ship that had a collection of artifacts onboard." There could be a number of reasons but it was now in his possession. "Tell me what you have learned of the Aztec people." He was curious in finding out now that he was finding these artifacts, wanted to know any history behind them. A story they might have to tell. He was pretty sure there had to be one if not a few.

"Well, they conquered most of Mexico from what I read, though there were parts they didn't. Fierce warriors who sacrificed their captives to their gods. But they had an fairly advanced civilization in spite of that. They had math, engineering, astronomy, architecture. Their people were well fed, and they developed different arts. When the Spanish arrived, they thought they were gods. And now, they're little more than slaves. Though there are thought to be some places untouched by the Spaniards." She grinned at him, "and there are supposed to be lost cities filled.with gold and treasure."

"So a great civilization fell because of their mistaken belief in gods they believed came as the Spaniards." Interesting notion, "considering how advanced they were in some ways they were backward in others." The idea there might be pockets of this civilization still untouched was fodder for many thoughts. Wondering if they at least had advanced in the one area that was their downfall. She might notice the far off look for a few moments then back again. "Almost makes me wish I had a ship to go sailing on such an adventurous expedition."

"Oh aye." She was a little relieved that he didn't give her a look of disbelief. Her parents believed their children should all be well educated but she knew there were those who still thought girls should only learn how to run households. "I've often wondered what it would be like to go in search of other places." She laughed, giving a slight shrug. "Fishing doesn't satisfy that urge."

"Fishing has it's place. So, do you fish with your family from this small fishing village?" Wondering how she spent her day and the name of the village once more eluded him. Taking up his glass now that the artifacts were tucked away, he settled back to enjoy that first burn of the pure. He was finding he had a greater thirst with keeping the fire going at the Lighthouse. Not for potcheen, but usually cider or water.

It wasn't an easy name to remember. "We all do, yes. If we're not out on the water, there's nets to be repaired or sails. Sometimes the boats themselves. Long days though he insists we have time off during the week. We try to be back before dark, and after the evening meal, we have time to relax. Most of us fall asleep early though. Our days begin early. Sometimes we fish from the shore too if a boat is down for repairs or we're not needed."

"Your days are back to back I would imagine or do you get Sunday off as a day of rest?" Ever curious. "I might come down that way just to see what your fishing village is like." If he was to stay in these lands, it wouldn't hurt to learn more of the various areas within its realm.

"Aye, Sundays are sacred in more ways then one. We might work if there's a sighting of schools, but everyone needs time off. Da tries to work everyone in shifts too so sometimes we go out later." She grinned and nodded. "You'd be more than welcome, Davin. Everyone likes visitors." She tipped her head as she gave him an impish look. "And you'll probably find yourself at the center of attention by the lasses."

"Is your father the sort of head of this village?" Just the way she worded about him seeing to the shifts. "If you worked right through to Sunday, would Monday then become the day of rest?" They might sound like picky questions but it was more in trying to understand their mindset. "Will I be put to work if I come?" Blue eyes lit with a teasing gleam though he suspected it would probably go that way.

"Aye, in a way. He owns most of the boats, though he doesn't begrudge the others who have boats. All work together." She laughed. "Aye, Monday would be the day taken off, or there'd be only a few boats to go out on Sunday and Monday. I usually have another day to myself too. Just depends on when I want it. Now today, I was doing errands for my Ma." She gave him another look, eyes sparkling. "And aye, if you wanted to join us, you'd be welcomed. Maybe even challenged to see if you can handle a net." He was easy to talk to, easy to tease and she was enjoying their conversation.

"So he hires on men," pausing a heartbeat, "and women to take them out to catch the fish. Does he go as well?" Having feeling the man worked alongside those he hired. "Does your mother go out or stay to take care of home and food?" But with the next addition, "so you don't go out every day they go out but sometimes help your mother and the other women of the village?" There was a hint of a smile with her hinting on if he could handle a net. Not saying if he could or not but his training under his uncle was wide and varied.

"Ma hasn't gone out since she started having babies." She grinned. "See, both she and Da were married before they married each other. Da had three boys and she had a boy and girl. Then they got married and had more." She grinned as she continued. "So, Ma stays home. But when the boats come in, everyone comes out and helps sort the fish. Some have to be dried and salted. Some are taken off to other places right away. Everyone helps then. Sometimes I stay home and help there. And when the fish run slow, well the younger ones are the ones to stay behind. Da feels the people of the village shouldn't be out of work. When we get coin, everyone gets paid. Barter, everyone gets their share." No one ever went hungry in the village.

"It sounds like a smooth running operation considering how many are involved. No one cheated either," which he found to be the downfall in the long run for many businesses he witnessed in other lands. "So.. how many are you? Siblings that is. Are you the oldest, one of the children from their previous marriage or one from the newer marriage?" He drew quiet with a blink, wondering if he had made any sense but then it was confusing to ask a question on.

She understood perfectly. "I'm from the newer litter." Teasing. "First of the younger ones, with three below me." Made for a huge family. "The two older boys and girl are married so they have their own places. But altogether, there are nine of us, plus two nephews and a niece, and my sister is having her first."

Which had him chuckle under his breath, almost like that in the way it had sounded. He knew many had large families. "Congratulations to your sister then." He was starting to feel the wear of the day, the restlessness fading off to tired. Although he was very much enjoying the conversation, he'd not want to wake in a ditch along the way home for being consumed by tiredness. He rose at that point, "I best get back, check the fire before I can find my rest. I enjoyed talking with you." Sometimes there were a few to be found here but he had enjoyed just her company. He realized if there had been a few, it was doubtful the conversation would have been so. "I'll come by when I can," he was interested in seeing the life of this village firsthand.

"I know it isn't easy with the lighthouse but maybe you can find someone to tend it for you." Which he probably had done since he could be called away. One never knew. She stood, glass in hand. "I enjoyed talking with you too. So long as I didn't talk your ear off." She might be quiet with more than a few here but it really depended on her mood. "Good night, Davin and rest well. I'll wave when we go passed the lighthouse." Of course he might not see her but she would still do it.

He had almost forgotten his drink as it was claimed, the remaining liquid kicked back with a fire that would keep him warm on his trip back. "You didn't talk my ear off, I asked you a lot of questions which you were kind enough to answer," hint of a smile before adding, "good night Niamh, sleep sweetly." Heading for the bar to drop off the empty glass there before turning back towards her. "I hope I see the wave and can wave back." Adding a quick wink before he was over to collect his cloak, scarf and gloves to don. One last glance her way with a smile in place before heading out into the cold. It would be a quick walk if not run part of the way.

"Good night Davin. Rest well." She watched him leave before depositing her glass on the bar. Wishing Alex good night, she headed up the stairs to her room. All in all, the day had been a very good one.


Date: 05-18-10
Poster: Davin Byrne
Post # 8


The lighthouse door was unlocked although the door to the cottage was not. Sir Eric was prowling about moaning for his master had not gotten back yet. The waves down below crashed dangerously against jagged stones from what would appear above. There was a walk way made down the sides of the cliff that one with a fear of heights would never attempt. They were sturdy although once near the bottom there was a good chance of being sprayed by the crashing waves. From there a path wound its way between rock and sand where it extended to the sea a good distance at intervals. Davin was pretty far along the rugged shore making his way to the point. He had not gotten beyond that yet and was set on doing so eventually.

Niamh was once more sailing the small dinghy that was hers. She hadn't been to the lighthouse in some time and as the small boat sailed over the waves, she turned it toward shore. Once she had it beached, she started for the path, climbing over rocks easily. As she climbed up, she moved high enough that she could see down the way and spotted someone in the distance. After a moment, she decided to follow. Back down again, carefully, since the rocks could be slippery.  The spray from the waves didn't slow her down at all though she was cautious as always. She had grown up knowing just how dangerous the ocean could be and how a wave could suddenly take one by surprise.

Davin could probably be seen if she had started up the walk for it would put her higher than some of the rock formations that otherwise would have obscured him from sight. He was tall enough but would still appear small for such a distance, one could wonder who it was unless they knew him and that he scoured the shores when he could. A strapped sack crossed over his chest, a small lantern hanging from his belt along with other tools he might need. A knife, a wrench, a small pick, shovel, a thong gardener's tool. He collected whatever he found he felt of value and a lot of what he usually got were shells, perfect shells of many different sizes including ones quite big. These he sold in the village where Niamh lived to a shop that specialized in things made from seashells. In a few he would start the new stretch of area very carefully as he had to work his way around a lot of rock ledges and walls, barely fitting between outcrops.

It would take her a little time to catch up with him, especially since she had to make her way back down. She loved this stretch of shore for its ruggedness. Too, it was a good place for the treasures Davin sought with the waters occasionally giving up something precious. Every once in a while, she would let out a whistle in the hopes to warn him someone was coming though she quieted when she realized what area he was in. She laughed as a sandpiper scurried across in front of her, searching for food.  Though she had seen them many, many times during her life, the wee birds never failed to bring a smile.

The wind was coming up the point this night so he heard the whistle as he had paused to take out the little sketch pad, adding this section. Not one got near this part especially by sea for it was far too dangerous, even in a small dinghy. It was then he noticed the darkened areas which mean they curved in with jagged boulders obscuring them from view at sea. He wasn't quite sure if it was a cut in the rocks making a small sandy cove or it was a cave. He made note of one coming his way and had a good idea who it might be but wouldn't know until they got closer. So, until then he worked on the sketch with his back braced against a rock outcrop and a booted foot braced against another smaller one. He looked quite comfortable in this little niche hiding him from the sea beyond.

It took a little time but soon she was there, carefully making her way across the ledges and walls and finally the last outcropping. she climbed up beside him, giving him a grin but kept quiet so he could keep working on his sketch. While he did, she looked out over the area, enjoying the companionable silence.

"See these indentations from this angle?" Which he showed her on his sketch as she caught up and took up a spot next to him. He was in a comfortable lean still. "I think there are caves there but I wont know until I can get closer. Not today for it will be slow going and I will have to start earlier." Glancing up the distance of sheer rock to where the lighthouse stood above. "I should search the east part of the woods to see if there is perhaps a way down from that side than having to come all this distance up the shore just to get here." Voicing his thoughts out loud a moment as he finished up the sketch. "How have you been, Nia?" Blue eyes shifting her way as he moved up from his lean, the sketch pad being tucked away into a flat pouch hanging from his belt.

"Aye, they could be." She leaned forward to study the sketches, bringing with her the scent of the ocean mixed with what could have been jasmine from the soap she used.  "That's a good idea.  You might find a way that even goes through the caves."  She shifted as he moved, smiling.  Blue gray eyes were more like a stormy sea today as they met his. "I've been well.  Busy.  Preparations for the spring fishing season are as intense as they are for spring planting.  What of yourself?"   She looked him over then grinned.  "You're looking well."

He could not help but draw in a breath of sea scented jasmine as she leaned that close. Interesting combination that he actually noticed for a split second, or two. "It would all depend on what the caves were used for. If they were used by smugglers a long time ago or even pirates, they would have made a way up above in case they needed to escape or a way down at night and not be noticed moving along the shoreline." Davin had a bit of a vivid imagination that helped to keep him continually discovering things that might grow mundane for another. "I will be bringing a crate load of shells down to your village in a day or so. Mistress Laurel buys them up as fast as I can find them. She sells the things she makes at the port marketplace."

In a place like this, it was easy to imagine interesting things -- pirates and smugglers, mermaids and sirens, and much more.  She nodded, her expression thoughtful. "Aye, they'd need some way and of course, they'd have to anchor their boats somewhere safe."  Her face lit up at mention of Mistress Laurel.  "She makes wonderful things with shells, doesn't she?"

"Aye, that she does. I'm surprised you don't make things too. From what she tells me there are a number of girls she has trained to make jewelry and novelty items so they can earn extra money. Some of them do the collecting but they don't find the kind that I do up here for it is too dangerous for them to be out there. You're more daring to come this way.." which had him wondering on that a moment. "Still too dangerous to take your dinghy around the point too close. If there were smugglers using the caves, they would risk life and limb, keep any authorities or the like away from their treasures." Smile touched with the last as he moved away from the outcropping rocks to show her his find of shells on the way here. Large ones that were not broken for the way the ocean pooled them around rocks that might break them up.

"You have to be able to sit still long enough to make them and I tend to get restless after a time." She liked to explore, to find places where there might be good fishing closer to shore.  Or to help with the nets.  "I don't go too close to this part of the coast.  Though I do like to go to the islands sometimes."  She followed him away from the outcropping of rocks and studied the shells he had.  "You really found some nice ones.  I especially like the coloring of that one."  She pointed to one that contained shades of pink. "That will make a beautiful necklace, won't it?"

"I wouldn't mind exploring Laird McDonough's Shell Islands sometime. I bet a lot of shells could be fond there in even better condition and more plentiful." Most of the shoreline here was too riddled with rocks to have any descent shells wash in and remain in one piece. Only certain areas he found and he was finding all of them over time. He took out the one she notice above all the rest. "Then you should have it." Offering it with a smile before starting them on their way back. "It is not good to be caught out here at night, too hard to see where the moss is slick on the rocks." Which spoke volumes in itself.

She was delighted to take the shell and gave him a warm smile.  "Thank you, Davin.  Maybe I'll have her make into a necklace for me."  Or attempt to make it herself.  "No, it's not." She gave a soft laugh as they started back. "I've been stuck here before when I got caught out in a storm or the night was too dark to sail the dinghy back.  It makes a cozy shelter at times."  Apparently she had done so more than once.  "And I'd be glad to take you out there if you like. I don't think he'd mind but we can always write and ask permission."  She gave him another smile.  "We could pack a lunch and make a day of it once in a while."

"Aye, that it can and luckily there have been no ship wrecks during some of those severe storms we had. I recall being told of one that brought the Turlough sisters and brother to these shores." Carefully picking his way over and between rocks before hitting a sandy area that made movement easier as they headed along the edge. There wasn't much distance in a lot of the area between ocean and cliff. High tide would make it impossible to traverse some of the area let alone during a storm or high winds even. They would be dashed against stone. "What brings you up this way today?" The steps leading up the side of the cliff were in sight.

"I remember that storm.  It was an awful one.  We were lucky that our ships all reached shore but another didn't."  She hopped down to the sand, glancing over at her boat.  It was tied to a post so that if she happened to be here when high tide came, it wouldn't drift out to sea.  She smiled again as she looked his way. "We lost a net a few days ago, and I was looking to see if it happened to wash ashore.  And I thought I'd stop in and say hello, see how you were doing, and how his majesty is." Meaning Sir Eric.

"You think a net would wash away all the way up here?" Teasing her as came naturally, "you don't have to wait for a net to get lost and drift this way." Which was highly unlikely over just sinking to the bottom of the ocean out from their village where they fished. "Do you have any hobbies? Things you do besides fishing?" All the while making his way up the cliff side steps that wound their way around jagged rock with platforms here and there before changing in the opposite direction. He'd take breathers for even in his fit of health this was a steep climb and would wind even him three quarters of the way up.

"It could." She laughed as she made her way. "Have you ever found round glass globes in your travels? We use them to help the nets float and sometimes they keep them floating. Other times, we just replace them." She pointed out  toward Ashford Island. "We were out there when it got away from us." She shrugged slightly at his question. "I like to go riding, read books, and I make an attempt to paint. I'm not sure I'm very good at it but you can tell what  it is most of the time. I also like to do scrimshaw ... etching on whalebone or teeth." Every time they stopped, she looked back over the sea. "It's so breathtaking up here, and not just from the climb. You're very lucky."

"Do you have a race horse? I was given one as a present but I'd have to borrow one of the regular horses from my cousin Melantha to go riding." Reaching the top as even from here it was a breathtaking view. "Aye, Laird Maurice McDonough talked me into taking over the position. I think as a favor to my mother that I'd stay. I wasn't going to but the lands and job grew on me. I took it because it would have me living here instead of at the Manor where I felt I would be underfoot and I wasn't too pleased my mother came here to start." Which he didn't get into further but obviously all that was in the past. He shifted the sack on his shoulder for it seemed a hundred fold heavier after carting it up those steps. "I've some cider, tea or potcheen at the Cottage if you'd like a drink?" They would be there in about ten minutes.

She wouldn't pry even if curious but the mention of the race horse had her smile. "No, though I'd love to have one. I'd like to try to make one of the races and I haven't done that either." Her expression changed slightly, became a little more dreamy. "I was born here but I've heard others say the same thing. It's a good land." The thought of a drink had her nodding. "I think some cider would be prefect after that climb."

"I would suggest making a race first, never know, you might not like them. I would also suggest betting which is a good way to make money and eventually have enough to buy a horse if that is what you want." He had reached the door of the cottage which he unlocked. "I know it wont be proper coming into a single man's place alone," his mother made mentioned of such things to him for he probably would not have thought of them in keeping a lady's reputation. "I can bring them up to the watch area of the lighthouse." Which she would probably love the view. She would also discover that a storm was fast approaching out of nowhere.

"I have to do it for sure then." She watched as he unlocked the door, then blinked, not having considered what was proper and what wasn't. "I didn't even think of that. The watch area would be good." Of course, if a storm was coming in, she wasn't going anywhere. And hopefully the dinghy would stay in place.

He would offer his bed and sleep in the lighthouse for the night or take her to the village before it got too bad. "I will meet you there," she would find the door unlocked as it was open to the public before he disappeared inside his cottage. The pouch and sack of treasures were set on the coffee table in front of the hearth as he continued into the kitchen to get two mugs and a small jug of cider.

She headed up the steps of the lighthouse, settling into a lean while she waited for him to join her. The storm was spotted and she frowned, hoping the boats would beat it to shore. If not, they'd be hunkering down until it was finished. And it didn't look like she'd be heading back in the dinghy.

He was soon out of the Cottage and up the steps to the balcony around the light that reflected out. He gave a low whistle under his breath. "That wasn't there when we were down below." It was a good thing he didn't stay around as the first hint of moisture in the wind started up. "We should not stay up here. Shall I get you to your village before it is full blast?" He might have to stay there but better than having her compromised here.

"No it wasn't." She looked at him with some concern. "If it's all right for you to leave the lighthouse during a storm." She wasn't too worried about the pigeon she kept on the skiff since he was sheltered. Should the boat take too rough a beating, he would be able to escape his cage since it was rigged that the door would open. Then he'd hide until he could return to the village. Hopefully. "I can probably find my way there myself."

"I've a wagon at my disposal and the horse that pulls it, I will run you there and get back before it gets too bad." He had a bell to ring up in a small tower of his cottage if there were any shipwrecks and he needed help. He wasn't going to have her walk back to her village for it would take too long and too dangerous by water! "C'mon, if we leave now you can also warn anyone that hasn't noticed." Handing her the mug of cider as they could drink it on their way.

"All right." She wasn't worried about the skiff and luckily, had brought her cloak with her, so she'd stay dry. "A wee bit o' an adventure." She teased with a musical laugh as she started for the steps again. A prayer offered to, for any ships in the path of the storm. The sight of it coming in still took the breath away.

There wasn't much he could do if a ship wrecked on the cliffs below other than ring the bell for help. It would be out in his rain poncho to check but if it is really bad then he would have to wait until the storm was done, can't see very far in the middle of a hurricane. Once down the steps again, he was off to the small stable to hitch up old Jasper and bring him around so she could climb in. Jasper was no longer a riding horse.

She climbed quickly in beside him and took a sip of the cider. Glancing over her shoulder at the storm, she chuckled. "We just might beat it to the village. Not so sure about you coming back though." He'd be welcome to stay at their home. She had a few siblings.

"I've my poncho and use to being in the rain." Giving the horse a tap with the reins which started them off at a good clip but not too fast to endanger the horse or wagon for that matter. As with anything he would play it by ear.



Date: 04-02-11
Poster: Davin Byrne
Post # 9

The Lighthouse

She was following Charlie tonight. Hair of blonde caught in the breeze and shifted along her back, covered by the purple of her brother's silk shirt. "Where we going?" Questioned as she moved her hands behind her back, clasping them like a general as she strode beside her. Green eyes viewed the area, and prayed she would see something new tonight!

The lighthouse was situated high on a rocky outcrop at the far edge of the lands. A perfect setting that allowed the light to warn ships at sea that land was near and that rocky outcropping could be dangerous if they got too close, especially on a dark stormy night. The light penetrated the dark in an effort to save lives. Davin had seen to the fires as they would last a good number of hours giving him time for himself although it was part of his duty to scan the shores in case any ship, large or small, could not avoid the rocks. Luckily he had not run into anything major since he took over the lighthouse. A few that washed up to shore shook up but otherwise fine. There was a long decline down the rocky face of the cliff to the shore below. There was also a road that led up to the lighthouse from the mainland. The beach right below was craggy and rough that smoothed out more as it ran up the coast towards the port. The light tower was open but he learned to keep the cottage door locked when he was going to be gone a while or a distance. Presently he was down combing the shore, bucket in hand as well a small hand shovel.

"Along the coast line, just wandering really." Best way to find adventure was to just start walking, it would find you one way or another.

"Sounds like a plan to me.." She watched her feet briefly, making sure she didn't get the boots any muddier then they were, and then notice they were closer to her home. "I was at the shore earlier.. watching Hermes try to catch waves coming on the shore." And she had found one neat looking sea shell. But for now, she gazed about to see what she could see, and not fall on things she didn't see.

Nia had grown up along the coast and knew the mood of both sea and bay. On a night like this, she had little fear in taking out the skiff. She stayed close to the shoreline, watching the lighthouse as it grew ever closer. Finally, she reached that stretch of beach that was a transition between the smooth and craggy. Running the small boat ashore, she dropped the sail, then beached it, and put the anchor out to keep it from taking off. A basket was removed from inside before she headed toward the path. She paused though, head tipping as she listened.

Charlie listened, her eyes wandering the water that spoke if one listened. "I still try to catch the waves .." musing that it was fun to swim in the sea, barring the denizen there. "The air is cool, feels good don't you think?" Her path aimless as they walked.

"Oh yes. Anthea often speaks that each spray of water, each turn of tide.. " She turned to view the ocean, to see if she could see him.. "Is Poseidon with his mighty trident." Shrugging with greens to view the horizon.

Davin was crouched down, digging up a clam which he placed in a netted sack that hung from his belt. The tin canister with a wired top held the crabs he was gathering along with the other. In a normal pouch was placed any artifact or perfect shell the sea gave up as the tide was out. It would start coming in again. He heard others, moonlight at last gave over to a shadowy world as he turned while moving up to stand. One arm up in a wave to one with the skiff he recognized being closer then two others who were a distance away. "Ahoy!" Greeting in such manner.

"The gods are such fickle beings," she drawled. "Beneath each wave there is a life." She tended to see things differently, but Myrina knew that.

"Are there mermaids?" She then suddenly was viewing the horizon for mermaids, merpeople. Perhaps even other mystical creatures. To meet something from a book, that would bring this girl to become giddy. Ahoy? Did she hear that? With her attention to shift from the ocean, she turned her gaze to the direction of the yell. "Charlie, am I hearing things. Perhaps sea life is greeting us?" Hopeful!

"Ahoy, Davin!" She waved in return and headed across the sand to meet him. The chill in the air had her wearing a slicker and a warm wool sweater and pants beneath. "How are you this fine eve?" Grinning as she joined him. "Ma sent you a basket of bread and pastries." Her family liked the lighthouse keeper.

"I don't know ... haven't seen one here, I use to know a merman of those I met at the MT ..his name was Abraxxas." Charlie looked ahead where the call came from ."I think it is human." Pointing to the figure that could be seen some what.

"You met one? Charlie, you have to be the luckiest women I have ever met!" She shouted that, well of course she did. She was impressed. But then her attention shifted, and she gazed to where Charlie was pointing. "Ohhh.. don't believe that is merpeople?" Soft chuckle with fingers to move blonde strands from one eye lash.

Charlie chuckled, "I told you the realms offer many different kinds of people. His twin brother Aqueagian was a king in his own right ... nice people," recalling several beach parties.

"Nia, it is good to see you again. Now that the weather is war..." but his greeting was cut off as he noticed something laying on the beach up ahead in the opposite direction of the others. He started into a run that would get him there before the others. It looked like a body.

"The king of sea? Did he know Poseidon?" Unlike her sister, Myrina held no belief in the ancient Gods, so she laughed at her own comment. "I envy you, to see what you have seen. Perhaps in time I will come into my own.." Softly spoken, but then she... "Charlie is that figure running?" She would not run... well not yet.

Davin didn't think that would bother Nia did he? She was from a fishing village and death was an unfortunate part of her life. She placed the basket on a rock and followed after him, also at a run, though he was well ahead of her.

"It was a long time ago, even for me," she kept her gaze forward. "Appears so ..shall we pick up our feet?" she asked, already starting to trot that way.

"Beat you!" She hip checked Charlie and was soon running ahead. Careful as she went so she did not fall on her face.

Hip checked Charlie kept the easy trot. She would get there and not be winded, and able to function more quickly. "Be cautious Myrina. This is not our area," she warned just in case.

He came up short as there was a lot of debris scattered about that would indicate a small boat or dinghy that had crashed. He reached down to pull away the cloak but there was no body beneath but a stash of what was marked contraband goods. Liquor and weapons. Smaller ones along with what was probably explosives. Homemade type. The cloak was left to drop over the pile as he started to circle the area to see if there was any footprints. If there had been, they were gone. At the most near a day's time as he'd been here last in the evening of yesterday.

Charlie was right, which had her suddenly come to a stop. It was dark, and even the moon and stars would not lighten the path for Myrina to stride in safety. Booted feet moved at a slower pace, knowing all would be there when they reached the duo.

Charlie slowed watching the man as he moved. "Ahoy! What have you found?" she called out, to let the two know that they were approaching.

"Looks like a smuggler lost control of his dinghy." She spoke softly as she joined him, stopping a short distance away. She didn't want to mess any clues and as lighthouse keeper, this was Davin's job. She made a face as the scent of liquor drifted. Bottles broken.

Myrina lifted her arm to wave her hand in greeting. "Hello.." Called her own greeting, but quietly.

Charlie was looking one way over the beach. The water had revealed nothing yet. The land was the place to beware of, in case the individual or more were still about.

She smiled to the woman she had yet to meet. And then gazed to the items on the beach. She stood still, not knowing what she could touch, and what she needed to stay away from.

He was already a distance up the shoreline as one could only go so far before it became dangerous. Caves and coves cut into the rocky side of the cliffs, most hidden from view of any ship passing. "There doesn't seem to be any trail or body to be found." One could have drown or they made it to land and took off. The latter was the most probable being the goods got this far too. "I will need to report it." Which he would of one of the patrols that came as far as the lighthouse each night. He took one of the unbroken bottles and placed it carefully into that extra pouch along with a small knife of the weapons. He would give them to the guard to report back with.

They were in the wave wash, only their tracks were there. "The sea will keep it own council to be certain," looking to the woman she had not met yet. Seemed to be a lot of young ones about, making her feel those years that Myrina admired..

Myrina turned her gaze to the water moving in. The foam could be seen until the earth swallowed it whole. She kept her gaze trained in the direction, perhaps wondering what matter of man could survive such.

Stranger things had happened. Charlie waited for the pair to collect their thoughts, noting the woman looked like a local, wise to the water ways.

"I doubt anyone comes back to retrieve it." And the tide shouldn't take it back before Davin made his report. She turned to smile at the two. "Hello, to you both I'm Niamh, but most call me Nia." Her father called her his selkie for the way she had taken to the water from the time she was a babe.

"Charlie One Time. Well met, Nia, she smiled.

Bright was the smile that spread along Myrina's lips. "Greetings, Nia. I am Myrina."

"Well met, both of you. This is Davin, the lighthouse keeper." And a good friend.

"Yes, sorry.." motioning between them. Slight sheepish grin given as his mind had taken a different route over manners. "I need to go up to the lighthouse if you all want to come, you're welcome to." He didn't want to seem rude but he knew the patrol would be coming within the hour and the trip up the side of the cliffs was a good trek. Probably take them a half hour. A stairway was cut out of stone with bridges of wooden slats between and roped together in a very strong way to aid what could not be cut. It followed a natural way up the side. "If you are not afraid of heights," for certainly it would have one with that phobia curled up on a ball half way up.

"Well met Davin. We will walk that way ...our paths are not set in stone," she replied, aware of another who had stayed at the light house for a time, a woman if she recalled correctly.

She understood this was work for Davin, or so she thought. "Of course.. " Was all she said to Davin not wishing to deter him from his duties. But not speaking, only brought the youngest Vassallo to wonder where the items had come from. Was it foul play? Or a mere accident that brought such to these shores. She shook her head, it was Davin's place to find out. But she was curious.."Afraid of heights?" Well, she was. But tonight was a good night to face her fears and vanquish them.

Charlie was not afraid, she fell out of lofts for sport, and such a sport it was too! "The night will hide the height well enough," recalling that she needed to tell Myrina about riding a dragon, that would be something else.

Riding a dragon? Myrina would search out Rhydin for a dragon if Charlie told her that. But hadn't she asked about that last night? Myrina would not remember, so many questions had been firing to Charlie at the MT!

"Then fall in behind us, leaving Charlie to take up the rear so it wont be as bad." It seemed to help others in the past. He started them on their way, leading them to where the steps started then up they went!

"We need to travel the path up to the lighthouse." She smiled at the two as she retrieved her basket and pack. Then she was following Davin up the steps, steps light as those as an Elven lass.

"Yes sir!" Snap of salute with a grin given to Davin. She did as he instructed, moving behind him and Nia, knowing Charlie would follow soon enough.

Charlie brought up the rear chuckling to herself. Of course she had scaled a few cliffs in her fun times, but dang she had been younger. She was going to take her time this time, and enjoy the view of the sea..

So near thirty minutes later, and a good set of lungs or one would be huffing and puffing, they reached the top. Rock gave way to grass, dirt and trees. Ones that were starting to turn green. "You are welcome to climb the light house." Which was unlocked. Pass the closed door was a room with a spiraling stone stairwell the led up to the top. There the fire was kept to burn brightly with mirrors to intensify it. He needed to wait for the patrol which was not in sight yet.

"Perhaps a seat outside the light house for a demented old woman," she laughed. It was a climb she had not done in ages, the effort made her glow with perspiration, but it felt good to be alive. She would sleep - that was certain.

Myrina moved slowly behind Davin and Nia, looking to her right, and slowly to her left. She had lived in Venice, in Tibet, but heights and water still felt like a demon to her. Swallowing slowly, she took one step at a time. A good workout was this, bringing Myrina's hands to lift back and bring her hair to lift up into a bun, only to feel it flow down her back when she removed her hands. The sight and sounds of the ocean, had never feared her. Nor the sight of the heavens above. She just did not like being close up and personal. "Thank you, Davin.." Grass was nice to see, but now she was more interested in climbing to the top. Yes, fear and all.

"Myrina ..did I tell you about my friend the Dragon? He took me flying one night." She huffed, yes. She was showing some sign of needing to sit and collect her energy, something she admired in the young.

"If anyone would like to help themselves to the bread or pastries inside, please do." There was plenty inside, and Davin would still have lots left.

"Ohhh the one you spoke of last night?" Spoken as she moved passed the unlock door. She did not look about too much, she didn't wish to invade Davin's privacy. "Thank you, Nia.." Called out as she was heard, and Myrina was rushing through the room only to land on the first step, and moving up the spiral staircase. She was curious, dying of curiosity at what history this light house had seen.

"Thank you Nia. Perhaps a drink of water first," and not moving while her body adjusted. "No another one. His name was Ben. I think he thought to scare me or something was so awesome," she chuckled dryly.

Davin lived in the cottage beside the lighthouse, not the lighthouse itself so Myrina didn't need to worry. And Nia went around to the back to use the pump there so she could get Charlie a drink, returning a few moments later.

Climbing upward, and upward, brought Myrina to make the sign of the cross and not even dream of looking over her shoulder and the stairs below. Running was not an option, she was too exhausted already from the long walk here. And she had no clue where Davin lived, perhaps Myrina needed to stop assuming.

Charlie settled on the stoop, content to stay where she was, she had seen light houses before, "you are from the village near here Nia?" she said loud enough to be heard...

Again she could not tell her family of this adventure. But tonight it was not so bad, she had broken no promises. Finally to the top she viewed the fire and the large mirrors. She had never been this close to a lighthouse before.

He unlocked the cottage in case Nia wanted to drop off her bags there. He set the tin bucket into a trough outside his door under the kitchen window. Where he kept the live catch. It was about that time the steady beat of hooves could be heard in the distance.

"Ruiaidin, yes. " She smiled as she offered the cup to the woman. "My family helped found it." She was grinning at Davin before dropping her bags inside and rejoining them. "Sounds like they're coming." Didn't take them long to make their rounds.

It was so high here. Could she see Venice? A chuckle brought her head to shake at her own foolish thoughts. Well that was interesting, but enough was enough. With cautious steps she moved back down the stairs, and then out to join Charlie and Nia. Another thing off her bucket list.

Charlie took the offered cup "Thank you .. a good history to be heard no doubt." Sipping the water slowly.

There was a wrap around porch with a rail up at the top that one could see for miles and miles and miles. Like an eagle flying high above.

And she felt like an eagle, if only a moment in time. The view was beautiful, she could only imagine how it would look during the day time. With a smile she joined the two, hearing the name of the village with a smile. "My home is close to your village."

And live the storms that pelted the coast line. It had to be wonderful to see nature's fury up close and personal.

"I suppose." She laughed as she answered. "I've heard the story so many times, I tend to not think of it much." She tipped her head to look at Myrina and smiled. "Which is it?" She knew of a couple homes of course.

"I am sorry to have interrupted. I would love to hear the history, Nia.." She smiled as comfort was found on the floor, and a thumb pointed in the direction of the manor.."Vassallo Manor, we have not been there long."

Charlie just shook her head. No interruption. She was making conversation, more would come out as they visited. Another sip taken of her water. "Would you like some Myrina ?" holding out the cup.

"I would probably know it by it's former name." She sat on the bench and looked out over the sea. "My father and his two friends came here from their homeland in Wales. They started a small village and the business of fishing. One night there was a storm and Lir and Con were lost at sea. Da named the village for them. He stayed here through the time of Rath, married my mother who had several children, and then had my brother and myself." He was quite a bit older than her mother but that had never mattered. "After Rath was defeated and killed, father built up his fleet and here we are." She smiled and shrugged. "And most of us will stay, I'm sure." Would she? She hadn't decided yet.

As the ladies talked, he hailed one of the guards, on horseback of course. Male voices could be heard in a rumble as the transfer of items was also given. The guard tucking them away carefully as they continued to talk.

"Oh thank you.." She took the offered cup with a smile, turning with attention diverted to Nia has she spoke of the history. She sipped slowly at the refreshing water, loving how it ended her thirst. Listening closely to Nia, the interest was evident within the sparkle of her green gaze. Handing off the water to Charlie, she turned briefly to give her friend a smile. What was the former name? She had no clue. Perhaps Achaz would know.

Charlie shook her head smiling ruefully. Finally there were names that she did not recognize, a place that had slipped by her intense wandering of the areas .... amusing.

Charlie had probably not been to the Celtic cottage not far from the gardens nor the natural spas not far from the gardens as well.

Well, her family rarely left the village, finding everything they needed right there. Except for the children going off to school. Which they all loved oddly enough.

Newp, but if she knew they existed she might find a way to drag Kenneth this far to soak away her age.

Finally the conversation ended as he was back over in a half run. The men on horseback remained as if waiting. "They want me to come back with them as it seems this is something important. You ladies are welcome to make use of my cottage. There is tea in the kettle on the stove and sweet rolls in a basket on the table." Aside what Nia had brought too. Something light if they wanted something this late. "I will be back later." He was pretty sure Nia would stay a while so they could talk and catch up as they had not seen each other in some time. She would, in the least, babysit his house. He was off to join the guards in riding back with them.

"Is something wrong Davin?" looking to the riders who had not gone off, then back to him.

"Thank you again for your hospitality, Davin." Added on as a second thought. "I do hope all is well." He was a new found friend, and as she would feel for all her friends, she would wish nothing bad to happen.

"I'm not sure. Seems a matter for the guards and those in command."

Charlie nodded her head. "We will stay a time, then head back to our own homes. Perhaps we may come again when you are not indisposed?" she suggested.

She nodded in agreement with Charlie. Soon she would have to sneak in before it got too late.

Yes, she'd wait here and take care of the cat too. He'd likely be ready to come in and settle for the night.

Charlie stood, placing the empty cup on the porch railing. "Shall we head home Myrina. There is a shorter way then which we came," uh huh, and she was going that way.

Jumping up she smiled to Nia. "A pleasure to meet you. Have to be very cautious. Don't wish to wake up the sleeping, grumble butt." Grin!

"It was nice to meet you both. Be careful going home and I'm sure you'll be getting visitors at the manor, Myrina." They stayed close to their village but they were friendly!

"Well met Nia, Thank you for the water and company ... we shall pass this way again." She mused. "Hmm, your home first then my vardo and sleepy gypsy," amused by the whole evening.

She could not wait. "I will find you at the village soon." She needed to go there anyway. She turned and waited for Charlie, yawning still from the night before.

Burning the candle at both ends, she wandered along waving to the horsemen as she went.


Date: 12-30-11
Poster: Davin Byrne
Post # 10

Along the Shores

There were a million different things going through Davin's head as he meandered his way along the coast far below the lighthouse. The lantern's light would catch the crab trying to scurry away as he would catch it up to add to the others in the pail attached to the belt he wore. One worn over the heavier wool coat to keep warm. Perhaps it was one lass in particular that occupied his thoughts of late. His mother, for one, wanted to meet her. It had been a recent enough development and usually a lad didn't bring home a girl to meet his mother unless she was special. Nia pretty much knew his habits and there was always the possibility she would catch up with him tonight.

That very lass was making her way down the path of the lighthouse, one she had come to know well even to make her way down in the near dark. Of course, she carried a lantern too. She had come by horseback instead of by skiff since hers had been destroyed in the hurricane and since many of the other boats had been destroyed as well, hers would be among the last to be replaced. Her Da had promised she'd be patient, there'd be a new one come spring. It had taken her nearly the day to travel from her home to the lighthouse and she was tired but very happy to be here. She had seen his light from above and when she finally reached the bottom, walked as quickly as she could to catch up with him.

He had caught sight of the glow of another lantern that had him turning more fully to see. A slow smile grew wider as he recognized the hasty walk. He held his up higher for her to see better and even started back in her direction. "Nia.." she might decipher the affection held in the tone alone even if their relationship was in the budding stage. "There is something I would like to show you." He tried not to grin even more but was unsuccessful in the attempt.

"Hello, Davin." She smiled as she came near, then laughed. "There is? And here I thought I'd be surprising you tonight instead of you surprising me. " She reached for his free hand, even as she peered into the pail. "That's a lively bunch. I told Mum I'd be staying a couple of days, do some shopping and the like." And of course, see Davin! "Now, what are you going to show me?" There was mischief in blue eyes as she asked.

"You can stay with me then.." although so far she was given the guest room, that could change. Being things were changing between them in a way he was not displeased. "I figure a late night snack of crab if you're interested? Got some live lobster and fish up in the tank at the lighthouse." Basement part where it kept cool and managed not to get hot, considering the blazing fire held in the top. He scooped her up in one arm as lips met for a stolen kiss. One that was quick but left the desire for later to continue in a more suitable place. He was already ushering her towards a cove behind a few boulders that sheltered it from the intensity of the ocean. One they had been through before.

"That sounds like a good idea." And it was exactly what she had been hoping. She was about to answer yes to the late night snack when he scooped her closer for that kiss. One that set her lips to tingling and left her wanting more. "Aye, food... " She answered dreamily, then got caught up in the excitement of seeing what was in that cove.

"Yes, but not as good as your lips." Wink was quick as they up the pace headed for the cove. There were a few rocky boulders to get past which slowed them down some before it opened up again. Sandy beach was nestled with a pool of ocean water and there, half beached, was a descent sized skit. One that was freshly sealed in a coat of varnish leaving the natural wood exposed. "What do you think? It will need new sails." He could fix up the skit itself which he did a fine job but making sails, that was not something he knew how to do.

He caused her to blush and giggle with the compliment. Her mother would never believe her daughter was being girlie! The rocks were an excuse to have him help her but when she saw the skiff she stopped dead in her tracks. It looked unreal in the bright light of the full moon. "Where did you get it? Was it beached here? It's beautiful, Davin. Did you do the work?" A tumble of questions all asked quickly.

Everything looked unreal as the full moon rose higher in the night's sky. "I delivered a whole catch of lobster, fish and other seafood to one that offered to barter. They had this skit that hadn't been used in a while, needed some TLC but was sea worthy. I took it instead, for you, only had to fix it up.." which he trailed off on as his arm snaked around her waist a moment once they stopped close by. He doubted she would stay there for long with such a tempting morsel to investigate.

She leaned against him as he held her then looked up at him, her eyes going wide. "For me? Really?!" She hugged him tightly, planted a kiss on his lips and yes, was over to look at the skiff though she was practically dragging him along. "You did the work on her yourself? She's beautiful." The skiff had gone from a it to a she in no time! "She just needs sails? That's not too hard to do. I'll make them up in no time." And it would give her another excuse to come see him. Not that she had need of an excuse.

He enjoyed those few moments, made it all worthwhile. The look on her face, the sparkle in her eyes that was more than moonlight.. and, of course, the kiss. "I'll have more of that later.." teasing and tempting her at the same time as she moved off to see the skit. He wasn't going to go with her, he knew every inch of it and delighted in watching her going over it, inch by inch. Something she would get to know in the days to come. Ah, but he was dragged! Laughing, he still held to watching once she was close enough to let go and see it for herself. "You'll take me on a run with you once the sails are made?" Something he had not done with her. Yet. "I think we may get a day we can before winter fully sets in." Depending on how long it took for her to make the sails. There was an opening between the rocks at high tide the skit could taken out to sea safely.

Oh, she checked every inch of it, indeed, delighted with her gift. "Of course I will. I wouldn't set sail on her maiden voyage without you. And I'm going to call her Light's Gift. Do you like the name? Or Davin's Gift. And we can sail along the coast and maybe visit the Bear Clan." She practically jumped out of the ship and was over to hug him again. "This is the most wonderful gift anyone's ever given me, Davin." And now she wouldn't have to wait until spring.

"Or call it Moonbeam or such..." words barely out as he was scooping her up into his arms with the rush. The momentum had him turning her about only to be set back on her feet again. "I'm pleased you like it." And now she would not have to wait until another could be bought or built. Yes, he knew the goings on in the small fishing village. There was always idle talk. "Shall we continue our walk? Catch a few more crabs then head up to the lighthouse?"

"Aye, let's." She was going to stay right against him for the walk too, until they spotted some prey of course. Studying the sky, she smiled. "We might even have nice weather tomorrow." She couldn't wait to get the skiff out into the water. "I'm sorry I haven't been here more but with cleaning up the village and now the holidays coming, it's been hard to get away." Not that she hadn't been trying. She missed him, even if it was just for a day.

"Aye, hopefully." Giving a nod as he kept her tucked to his side. The walk interesting as they headed back out. "If you stay the night we can get up early tomorrow and take it out, down to the village," as it was referred to or Rui, sometimes the Din. "I know, I was there... remember?" Teasing her with a slight hip bump even if by helping they didn't really get to see each other. There had a lot to do plus other areas along the shore.

She giggled and pretended to stumble away from him but was right back. "Aye, I know you were, I was just reminding you. I'll stay." It was better then making the trek to the Thistle and she liked getting up to make him breakfast. "How is your family? Are you ready for the holidays?" And all the wonderful food that went with it.

When she stumbled, pretended or not, he had her fast against him again with a bit of a growing wicked smile. "Good," although some wandering thoughts came with her reply best not verbalized. "My family is good although there is worry on my three cousins going off to Ireland on some family matters. The English being up to their old tricks, at least one." Although he was not given the details other than a dire situation. The way the ones knowing acted, gave away more. He thought he saw a flash of light up ahead but wasn't certain having been concentrated on. Something caught more out of the corners of his eyes that had him slightly slowing in his step as he squinted a look up along the shore. It was where it was getting rockier and where they had seen some pirates before.

"Well, I hope they're home safe and sound soon." It didn't seem likely that it would be in time for Yule though. She was about to say more when she noticed he was slowing. Instinct had her lowering her voice as she looked around. "What's wrong, Davin?" She remembered this place but hadn't been paying attention to where they were until now.

"I thought I saw a flash of light that had nothing to do with the twinkle in your eyes.." she'd see the hint of a smile as focus continued up along the shore, slowing his pace to a halt with her at his side. "Perhaps I am seeing things?" As there didn't seem to be anymore but then there was one from out at sea, too far to see what ship but certainly it had to be from a ship. "There!" Moving his hand up to point in that direction then traced over back to shore as he waited to see if there was any more there. They didn't need to wait long when two quick flashes would be seen before they both with silent again.

She smiled then shook her head. "I doubt it. It's a clear enough night." She fell silent, leaning to look when he said there, then followed him in looking back up at the cliff. There had been good reason to lower her voice and she frowned. Looked like there was some smuggling going on, or maybe they were planning something else. "What should we do?" At least where they were was shadowing enough they'd not be seen.

He hesitated in answering. "I think we should try and see whoever it is. It may not be anything at all," or it could be those pirates. If it was, they would need to report it. "we'll have to be very careful," which alluded to his real suspicions. He probably knew this stretch of beach better than anyone and yet, there were still areas he was discovering. His arm slipped from around her shoulders to capture her hand on the way down as he started in that direction but then detoured up a bank, knowing a way through the hilly area that was not quite the cliffs they had passed.

"All right." She didn't think it was someone in distress from the way they were acting. Once her fingers were curled through Davin's, Nia followed his lead. This was Davin's territory just as the coastal seas were hers. As they started up the bank, she whispered for him to wait and tucked that blonde hair under a scarf she had been carrying in her pocket. It might not help but at least her hair didn't act like a beacon.

Which had him chuckle but those few minutes cost them catching up with the ones. He could hear voices but hard to make out what they were saying. The accent definitely not from these lands and certainly sailors as he kept to the brush that started to grow were cliffs and rock gave way to some ground. His fingers tightened in their lacing as they reached the spot where the ones had been. A spent fire declared they had been here a while, ate and doused once nightfall came where it could be seen. "C'mon," under his breath as he knew where a path led through the dunes down to the sea.

She didn't know it cost them of course but then again, she hadn't realized the men were that close. She kept looking around as they headed after them, listening for any sound other then those they made. It would be easy enough to tell where the men went since they didn't seem concerned with being spotted though there were ships that patrolled the coast lands.

Up and down, over and around dunes that obscured them from sight of the ocean at times until they gave way. The sands had been disturbed but even that would be washed away soon. By the time they reached the shore no one was in sight but then he spotted a dinghy being rowed out to sea. "There, sailors. Pirates by the accents and language." There was a difference between a regular crew of seadog's and those that were pirates. "So they are still around." More mussed as he stood there. No way could they go after them nor by the time they could get back they would be long gone.

"It seems so." She watched as the dinghy slipped through the waves then looked at Davin. "Do we go back to the lighthouse or wait to see if they return to shore?" Someone would have to be told that they were at least here tonight even if they didn't return to land.

"There was at least four of them if not five. I don't think it wise for us to wait for their return and I would suspect this late at night, they are done with whatever they were doing on shore here. We'll get back to the lighthouse and alert the troop that comes by at night." Which they should make it back in time before they came around. "Care to cook up the batch of crabs and lobster, stuff them?" Stuffed lobster with crab meat was one of his favorites, they could offer the guards some if there was enough too. He had quite a few caught. "C'mon," they had a bit of a trip back!

"Sounds good to me." She glanced back at the sea, eyes narrowing a moment as if she was trying to see what they were up to. Then she laughed softly. "Aye, I wouldn't mind that at all." They'd both be ravenous by the time it was ready. "By sand or soil?" Meaning along the shore again, or up top, along the cliffs.

"I know a shortcut from here." Being on the opposite side from where the Light house was. They had traveled some of this area before under dire circumstances and certainly under tamer conditions tonight. So it would take them three quarters of an hour still for they had gone way off the intended path this evening. Once there they were greeted by Prince who wanted his bit of cream. He was weaving between them that nearly had Davin tripped up trying not to step on the old cat and open up the cottage. He had locked it ever since they had spotted the pirates. They had not been seen about since that time. That was until tonight.

She couldn't help but giggle and picked up the big tom while David got the door up. "Don't worry, old fella, Davin wouldn't forget to feed you." Once they were inside, she set to getting things ready so they could cook. She had been here enough that she knew where everything was. And there would definitely be water heating up for tea!

While she took care of the meal, he took care of seeing to the guards and passing on the information he had. They couldn't stay, especially if there was an alert to be put out. He didn't keep them either before he was back in having seen to feeding the few livestock he had too. Made sure the horse was brushed down, chickens back in their pen and the cow into the stable where the horse was kept. "It sure smells good and I'm famished." Shedding his heavier coat, hat, gloves and boots before fully ready to enjoy this evening alone with Nia.

"Did you speak to the guards?" The cottage was build to withstand storms so with the windows shut, it was hard to be certain she had heard horses or not. If the shutters were closed, it would be hard to hear anything, even a storm! "Good timing on your part too." She had even taken care of stuffing the lobsters so he could just come in and warm up. And the table was set as well. Prince was even enjoying his own meal so he wouldn't be after theirs, at least not for a few minutes. She gave him an impish look as she put her hands on her hips. "Now make sure you wash your hands, Davin." Sounding just like a mother... or a wife.

"Aye and aye?" Brows lifting but there was a spark in his eyes as he stalked coming towards her. Devil take all look about him as he was soon towering over her. He lowered his head as he was a breath away from her ear, "aye and aye... and aye," lowered as the warmth of the words caressed there against her ear then lower as his lips barely touched grazing that sensitive spot then lower again.

She tipped her head up, near laughing as he came closer, but then ... oh, that was unfair and caused a shiver to move though her body. "You're not playing fair, Davin Byrne." Voice came in a low whisper as she tilted her head. But then again, she wasn't really complaining. "Food's going to get cold." And there would be time for being devilish later, something to look forward to.

"Aye," more growled low as his teeth grazed the trail his lips were making. "Aye," came gain barely audible on her point about the food. Fingers splayed as hands moved around her waist and around drawing her up close and very personal. If she beat against his chest, he might relent the onslaught as he was doing a nice discovery of her neck and the top of her shoulder where connected.

She wasn't going to beat on his chest, in fact, she'd forget all about the food if he didn't stop. She made a sound as close to a purr as a human could get. Her eyes were closed now as she placed her hands against his sides to steady herself. Prince finished his food and was eyeing up what was on the counter. He might just be enjoying a second meal soon.

"Aye, but you are right." Head lifting as he gave a pat to her buttock. She might want to slap him until he followed up with the comment, "we can continue this later." For all the times she had stayed before, he had kept very proper. Those boundaries might be explored this very night now that they realized they both had feelings for one another. Arm slipped around her as he led her into the dining area, which was a very short distance away. "Prince, you had yours," eyeing the cat as he gave that lift of his head like they were beneath him and lazily strolled over to the couch to curl up in a corner.

She might have started to pout but first of all, he surprised her with the pat and then kept her from pouting with his comment. She leaned against him for that short distance, giggling at the cat. "I think he's offended that you'd accuse him of wanting more." The food did smell wonderful and she laughed again when her stomach growled.

"You have outdone yourself once again," he could tell by the smell as he saw to her seat then took up the one adjacent. She might notice his knee rubbing up against hers accidentally every so often. In spite of that, or more along with it, he dug into his meal with zest as one starving.

"I like to cook for you." It helped that her mother instilled that love in her daughters, in fact, insisted all her children learn to cook. She watched him a moment, then dug in as well. After they ate, and took care of the dishes, Prince would likely find himself chased from the couch. They snuggled together, but the long day, the excitement of their find, and the meal they had eaten soon had them falling asleep. There would be other nights for them to explore. Tonight they slept in each others arms.


Post # 11


Post # 12
Post # 13


Post # 14


Post # 15


Post # 16


Post # 17


Post # 18


Post # 19


Post # 20


Page 1  2  3  4  5      Main

Hit Counter