Poster: Collin McAndrews
Post # 1
Have and to Hold
Lah had received a note saying to be at the Thistle around seven this
evening. There was a surprise waiting for her. She arrived about a
quarter of to find the place empty, except Alex of course. She had
noticed a table set, well looked set in that it was near a side window
with a couple roses in a vase which the other tables didn't have. Not
knowing what exactly was up, she got a drink of the punch from Alex and
took up a lean against a window facing the front. Certainly she was
curious of the table and flowers and there seemed to be a card there
propped against the bottom of the vase, but she steered herself from
being that nosey. Yes, in a way it was killing her! Hair was left
loosely flowing in the riot of blond curls that reached the small of her
back. Lips in a slight pout for the restraint and the delicate line of
her brows dipped near the bridge of her nose. She wore silver blue silks
in a modest gown that was lightweight and airy for the warm summer
Collin had received the same note, much to his surprise. He had been
working hard of late and the thought of taking some time was appealing.
After cleaning up, he left the docks and headed for the Thistle. His
hair was still damp as he entered. A poet's shirt of ecru was worn
beneath a vest of dark brown cotton. His pants matched the vest and were
tucked into knee high riding boots. Seeing Lah, he smiled warmly as he
crossed to the bar. "Evening, Lah. This is a very pleasant
surprise." He felt a touch guilty about being so busy of late but
didn't say anything about it. Instead his eyes were drawn to the table
then back. Had she written the note?
She had watched him come up the street and to the porch, turning as he
came through the door. Her heart skipping a few beats as she could feel
the heat rise to her cheeks. It had always been such when he came around
and always brought back the memories of them both fighting an
attraction. One that persisted though they had gone through a divorce,
his brother involved then another as well some other men but when it
came down to it, there was Collin and as much as she tried to forget
those times, when she saw him, it was as if she had no control over the
feelings that welled inside. "So it was you that sent the
note?" Tearing a glance from him to the table that still remained
unoccupied along the other side of the tavern. There and back as she
finally trusted her legs not to give way beneath her and stepped away
from the window towards him. The note in hand turned out in confirming
He accepted a glass of potcheen from Alex then turned to watch her, his
smile growing as he noticed the blush that touched her cheeks -- always
becoming. "No, it wasn't me." He pulled the note from his vest
pocket and showed her. "I received one too. It seems there's
a conspiracy underway." He moved closer to her so they could
She moved closer to compare the notes too. "I would say Laoise
wrote yours and Myles mine. Both took pains to print precisely and
different as much as possible." There was a heartbeat of a pause as
ocean blue eyes lifted to meet McAndrews' blues. Perhaps she was looking
to see if he minded the conspiracy for she'd not heard word from him in
a while. She had asked around and found he had been busy with some
emergency fixing of a ship but she couldn't help wondering if he had
lost interest again. It had happen before. Or what she thought was the
situation. "Do you think that table is for us then?"
As if Hazel had heard her question she was out from the kitchen pushing
a cart with a dinner under dome covered plates. "If yea continue
gaggling there in the middle of the tavern, your food is going to get
cold." Giving them a wink as she passed to set out the dinners.
Mind? He hadn't minded at all. But the ship had been taking up his time
from sun up to sunset and he often collapsed into bed without dressing.
He chuckled when he heard Hazel and offered Lah his hand.
"Shall we, m'lady?" He was pleased Laoise and Myles had taken
the time to see to a night out. Maybe he could say the things that had
been on his mind lately. And his stomach rumbled at the smell
coming from under those domes. He hadn't been eating right either.
"No matter what, come hell and fire, your appetite would never be
affected." Laughing lightly as she placed her hand in his. The
tension easing from unbidden thoughts she managed to put aside to enjoy
this time together even if so arranged by their children. One thing was
clear, although they had accepted and liked some others that had come
into her life, and even if Myles rejected his father for a while for
abandoning his mother in his eyes, they both wanted to see them together
even if it didn't always work out that way.
He put the other hand over his stomach and chuckled. "Well, food is
important to keep a body going." He winked at her then led her to
the table. He waited to help her sit, easing her chair in before taking
a chair himself. "It smells delicious, Hazel." He said after.
Blue eyes shifted from Hazel to Lah as he watched her. And all the
thoughts he had tucked away came back unbidden. "You look
beautiful, Lah, just like the first time I saw you."
She eased into her seat, hand moving to smooth the fabric of her gown in
a natural grace. It was then Hazel took away the domes to set on the
cart. Plates piled with spaghetti and meatballs, no vegetables and
chocolate milk. It was a dead giveaway. "I think they chose the
meal they would eat." Glancing up from what was set before them.
Laughter about to spill forth but his words had her sucking them back in
with a blush rising instead, "and you're still the most handsome
man I've laid eyes on. From that moment long ago at the lake," but
her words faded off or she would probably get choked up.
He watched her a moment, smiling as he remembered then he looked down at
the food and chuckled. "So it seems. Thank you, Hazel." A wink
was given to the cook before he motioned to the meal. "Shall we?
After all the trouble they went to, we'll have to make sure we enjoy it
all." He wasn't really a milk drinker though!
Neither was she so she drank down the milk first. Luckily Hazel had
given them very small glasses of it. "It smells delicious,"
she had no objection to spaghetti and meatballs but not quite the zest
her children had for it. She carefully wound the noodles about the
prongs of her fork before lifting it to quickly eat before any got away
and down the front of her gown. Collin might notice the stolen stray
looks his way. A thought that would darken the blue of her eyes or a
glint to spark them on the fly with another thought as she
continued to eat the meal prepared for them.
"Yes, it does." He liked the meal well enough and set to
working on making the mound disappear. He noticed the looks and found
himself curious. Still, he didn't want to scare her off and kept the
conversation light. Mostly questions about the children or how they
spent their days, adding in a few tales here and there about the work on
At least Hazel's tomato sauce was thick instead of watery, splashy, and
nary a drop landed on the fine silk gown worn. She did a good job on the
mound, ate most of it before taking up the napkin to dab any sauce from
her lips. Conversation needed to be light while they ate. Easy to talk
about the children and much harder to talk about themselves or more
accurately anything between them. Odd that life would have them both so
awkward but a lot of crazy things had happened that should not have
been. That was the crux, she felt, or was it she hoped?, that they
belonged together and not just because they once were and had the twins.
So she had sat back, the slight pout of her bottom lip an unconscious
idiosyncrasy as those thoughts wandered her mind.
The food was always appreciated here, even if spaghetti took a bit more
work. As he finished, his eyes lifted again and he smiled. "Should
I say a copper for your thoughts?" He teased lightly though
his question was actually serious. He wanted to know what she was
thinking, especially if it pertained to the two of them.
A soft sigh escaped under her breath as she wasn't sure how to put forth
what thoughts plagued her. A moment later the words just flowed, come
what may of them, "what happened to us Collin? Is it too late, too
much damage to the love we had? Why do I still feel so drawn to you in
spite of everything that happened? In spite of all the obstacles and
diversions that never really amounted to anything but only
detours that seemed more like I was trying to run away, to
replace what was in my heart all those years." And wouldn't you
know, one big fat tear slid down her cheek as her eyes watered with
suppressed emotion no matter how much she detested such a reaction.
He listened, eyes on her face as she spoke, the slightest frown
appearing when he saw the tear. He moved his chair closer, taking one of
her hands in his. "I don't think it's too late. In fact, I've been
thinking about it quite a bit lately. Throwing myself into work the way
I have isn't a good substitute for what I really want. I don't want to
be alone the rest of my life. We had talked before, but knew we both
needed to be certain. I am. But I won't push this on you if you're not
certain that a life with me is what you want."
Her fingers curled with his, holding tightly onto his hand. "I am
certain. I don't need to bludgeon my emotions any longer, Collin. It is
you that I love, have always loved though I had fought it for so many
years because I felt you didn't love me. I had hoped that in the least
you had loved your children but in the least isn't good enough, I'm only
lying to myself. I want you to love me like I knew you once had. I had
hoped it was just our young age that had gotten in our way. We are not
so young anymore. If you feel the same," sucking in a deep breath
here, "what are we waiting for?"
"I never, through it all, stopped loving you, Lah." His
expression was one of concern and .... of love. "But I had made so
many mistakes, allowed my temper and suspicions to blind me. And I love
our children." He stood, pulling her to him. "I love you, Lah.
Will you do me the honor of becoming my wife again?" He too
wondered what they were waiting for and he didn't want to wait any
That had been one of their problems, always waiting, always unsure of
the other, always other things getting in the way and procrastinating
where they should have been leaping. She leaped up into his arms which
went around him tightly to hold. "We can have the marriage
reinstated," they didn't need to go through a wedding in that way
like they had before. "Let us go home together, tell the children
and be as man and wife from this moment forward." It was a daring
statement as blue eyes lifted to meet his. If there was any doubt on his
part, or panic, it would show at this point. She needed to know.
He laughed as she leapt into his arms and his arms slid around her
waist. "We can do that?" His smile grew wider and in answer,
he kissed her passionately, with every emotion he was feeling behind it.
He would never leave her again.