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The Quinn Clan

Date: 02-05-10
Poster: Eion Quinn
Post # 1

The White Stag

The scene at the lake was a wintry wonderland. Peaceful. Snow drifting down to layer white upon white giving the night an iridescent light all around. A haze of it that drifted, held to a dome above and below along the ice and flowing off the embankments made by the clearing of snow. Eventually there was a scritch against ice in a slow rhythm that came from a distance that was clouded in haze and snow.


It was a scene that drew Eion, at least for this night. He had walked there from the barracks, enjoying the silence that the snow brought, muffling even the distant sounds of voices or the bark of a dog. As he neared the lake, he heard a sound that was familiar yet one he couldn't place. Nearing the lake, he paused to take it all in, breathing deeply of the cold, crisp air.


There were benches about along the shoreline of the now frozen lake. They had been used as there was only a dusting starting to gather against the wooden planks. The endless tracks through snow and lines on the ice attested to it being a favored spot this day, earlier, when there more light. The sound continued growing closer until first shadowy movement would be detected that would take form. The form of someone slim, wrapped up in a hooded cloak that reached to her ankles. A little taller than the one was normally if one could judge heights at a distance. There was something else behind her, following, a large white mass that was gradually taking form yet no sound came as it moved as silent as the snow falling. The woman on skates unaware so lost in thought with a worried look upon her fine features that was mostly cloaked to any in view from the shoreline.

He moved closer to the lake shore, hunching his shoulders as the wind danced over the snow and around him. Wearing a heavy coat, his features near hidden by a knit cap and heavy scarf, he watched the woman then watched the white mass with a frown. "Excuse me, lass. You mind coming here for a moment?" He called out, not mentioning the white behind her as he didn't want her to panic. He stepped onto the ice, cursing slightly though he hadn't slipped. It wouldn't take much though for him to be down on his backside.

So lost in her thoughts she almost didn't hear the man. A scarf hung, moving with the steady motion of her feet and wind that seemed to dance in little snow devils; being there was no dust. Head went up, she looked cold in spite of her attire which was probably warm enough depending on how long she had been out on the ice. A sheen of frost covered her cheeks where tears had wet the skin. It was not like this particular woman to show any emotion. It only took her a few moments to realize who the one was. She'd recognize his build in a crowd or distance as it was now. The white mass behind her took form with her still unaware as she continued the steady pace but averted in path towards, "Eion?" To be certain. White formed into a Stag behind her with red eyes and halted once Eion broke the spell by speaking and her response. The Stag stood there looking directly into his eyes, burning all the way to his soul, as shadowed as he kept it, before turning around and disappearing into the haze and falling snow again as silently as it had appeared.

"Aye, it's .... " His voice trailed off as he reached up and lowered the scarf. No longer looking at her, he was staring at the Stag, stunned. He wasn't sure if he should warn her that it was there but before he could make the decision it was turning away and disappearing. "Did you see that?" He asked as he started forward, forgetting he was standing on ice. His feet starting to slip and his arms flailed as he tried with no success to keep his balance.

"See what?" She felt a chill go up her spine and turning on the tip of her skate to take a quick look behind her. There was nothing but the silence of the night that stretched out endlessly to a curtain of falling snow. Visibility at a minimum. Back around just as his arms flailed and legs went out from under him. She stifled a laugh being he could actually get hurt as she shot forward. A hand reaching out to try and capture his arm.

He saw her reaching for him but it was too late. He was flat on his back within seconds and staring up at the falling snow before he caught her hand and pulled her down as he laughed loudly. "I'll bet that was a sight, wasn't it?" Oh, he might feel it later, but at the moment, he was chuckling. Then he became sober. "There was a white Stag behind you. With eyes as red as fire. It didn't seem to mean you harm." He smiled slightly. "I seemed to have scared it off." And he released her in case she wanted to get up. "You've ice on your cheeks, Dolly. Either you were crying or you were out here far too long."

Down she went with laughter following the descend. He was padded as was she so the fall was certainly buffeted. The laughter was sucked in as concern took its place. "You are not hurt?" Was he sure as he was still on his back. Except all concern fled with his next words and she sat up as she looked over her shoulder. "You are certain?" No, she had not seen it but she knew of the Stag and what it meant in her family. At least what her mother told her of what was passed down to her. "I was here too long." As if he gave her a multiple choice when both were correct answers. "Let's go sit on a bench," rather than him lying against the frozen lake and certainly it was creeping through the layers of clothing to numb her legs if she stayed there.

"Maybe I hit my head?" He sat up as well, then nodded. "Aye, and if you're cold, I'll make a fire though, if I test the ice, will it taste of salt?" Giving her a look before he was up on his feet, and shuffling like an old man toward the shore. Another near fall had him laughing again before he reached the shore. "And aye, it was a white Stag with red eyes. Gave me a look too."

Father Time, how close that thought was to that Stag and what would come. She was easily up, "at least you can walk still," teasing him but there was an edge to her that had not been there before if he knew her well. Like one walking on eggshells. Catching him up with a squeal, "don't you fall on me," an edge to her warning that was intended to be teasing but came off serious too. "Come sit," having made a decision as she tugged him towards the bench even with her being on skates. She had skated since she was a small child so was as adept on them as she was walking.

He chuckled but still gave her a look. Yes, he had caught the edge to her tone, to her whole demeanor. "Are you certain you don't want a fire to warm you?" Though he was heading to the bench even as he asked. Dusting it off with his glove, he waited for her to sit before he sat beside her.

She was quick to sit, not answering his concerns at first. She had skipped over a few and knew he knew. There was not much she could keep from him or that she would. They had that kind of working relationship. "I have something to tell you that will clear my strange behavior up." Looking out over the scene before them as hands folded one over the other in her lap. It was blissfully peaceful here but the shimmer of flakes had her not wanting to speak what she had to say out loud, as if the Fae were about and her secret would then be known to them. After a few thoughtful calming breaths, she turned. One gloved hand to cup along the side of his face and jaw as the warmth of her breath would tickle against his ear bringing the words swiftly, softly. She would start out with the stark truth, the hammer to come down and hopefully then buffer the blow, "I am with your child. What I take to prevent such is not one hundred percent. I was going to offer the choice if I should take something to purge the child from my body but the thought brought me to tears. Still I would have done so if that were your wish, but now, now with the appearance of the Stag, I cannot. It is said in my family that if the Great White Stag is seen after one begets with child, it is one of great importance to be born. A warrior leader that is one that only comes in a century, so now I cannot. I am not sure what to do. I can leave or not tell anyone." She faltered here to silence. She would not see the effect of her words on his features for how well he schooled them but she might be able to tell by how he stiffened up or not.

He listened quietly, his face stern but only because of his concern. As he listened, the concern faded but his expression remained the same. He had been leaning towards her but as her words truly dawned on him, he straightened, looking forward to where the Stag had been. He rubbed his face with his hands, then leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. Stunned obviously. "I would never allow you to do so, Dolly. Never. " He sat up and looked at her, then took her hand and slid off the bench, going down on one knee in the snow. "Will you do me the honor of becoming my wife, Dairenn?"

At least he didn't curse her from the high heavens to hell, in that she was relieved. There was the other side that she had considered all those hours ice skating, that he would do the honorable thing. Her words came from her heart, heart wrenching in a regrettable way, "I wish that I could, that such would be the happiest moment of my life," a pause taken here so she didn't choke on her words, "but I cannot. For your own good and the good of your family. It is not something uncommon nor so bad," trying to ease that she had to in all good conscience turn down his offer.

"But, why? This is my child ... our child. And you said the appearance of the Stag means something. How could this be bad in anyway?" He managed a smile as he looked up at her. "You're giving my grandmother her first great-grandchild." No, it wasn't uncommon but it didn't seem right to him either.

Her hand had long gone from the touch against his cheek when he moved. "It is a good thing, yes, but that doesn't mean to marry me would be a good thing for you." He knew why although he knew much more about her life and the real story behind it. Still, she was not of proper upbringing for a man such as Eion no matter her distant heritage. "Your grandmother may not approve of this child to come into the world nor recognize him as such." She was giving him his first child even if bastard status, it was the Stag that made the decision final there. Fate was at work.

He stood then sat beside her again, shoulders slumped slightly as he once again rested his elbows on his knees. He was stunned, maybe confused but he would accept Dolly's decision, for now. "She would." He knew she might chide Eion for his behavior but a child, never. "I would make a good life for you, Dolly, and the child." A last attempt before he frowned again. "What will you do?"

Her hand came to slide over his. The tears in her eyes were back but kept from falling out of sheer will. "I don't know. I only know that I had to tell you although uncertain what to tell you, until that Stag appeared." She was trembling from more than the cold. "I know that hasty solutions should not be jumped upon and more regret gained. I pray that time will let me and you know what should be done." There were a lot of solutions sans them getting married and ruining his life. She knew the rumors would always be whispered behind their backs as they passed others. "I know you would Eion, it breaks my heart." Her lips pressing together as to not allow the words that this should not have happened. She took precautions, she took the herbs, nature or fate decided instead against all her precautions.

"No matter what, swear to me you won't do anything, you won't leave. At least let me do all I can for you both? I want very much to be a part of his or her life." This time he was touching her cheek with his free hand as he turned on the bench to face her. "And I'll support you both, my Doll." He didn't want to see her in such distress, knowing how strong she normally was. "And even if the Stag hadn't appeared, I wouldn't have let you do anything."

"I will promise you this in the least." Her head felt like it was full of cotton at this point. The worry since she found out on the first of the new year. The dilemma it caused and all the scenarios she went over in her head to find some peace of mind for not only herself but for him. The first would be to abort the child and he would never be the wiser, except, there was the fact that she loved him like no other and always would. A bit of her greedy in not wanting to end the life of an innocence and that was part of someone she loved with all her heart. She never told him and probably never would for her background and her circumstances. "I could not bring myself to do so or it would have been done."

He smiled, slightly, a hint of sadness in blue eyes as he leaned forward, touching his forehead to hers. "I'm glad you couldn't. And yes, we'll think about this. I do want you to know that I don't care what others think. I never have." As if that might make her change her mind. "And I think you'll need to think about stopping the work you're doing." Perhaps not yet, but soon.

"I know you do not care what others think but it is more that I care what others think where you are concern." He probably understood and both were as stubborn as the other. "There are a lot of things I need to rethink but it wont come instantly. I have been pondering since the first of this year what to do. It is why I've not been around." She had hidden away from everyone but now found and knew it would be sooner or later. "I am very cold, can we find someplace warm to go? My place or anywhere." Her lips were turning a shade of blue and it would not do well for her to become sick.

"Aye, I was about to suggest we get you out of the cold. Do you want to go to the Thistle and get something to eat or something hot to drink." And damn anyone who thought or said anything about it.

It would be warmer than her place after being gone so long and maybe a test of sort. "Yes," came in a shiver as she agreed. "Something warm like an herbal tea." Staying from caffeine as she didn't want to be up all night either. She first needed to take off her skates and replace them with her boots. Her feet were almost numb at this point and the line boots would help to warm them up.

He'd wait patiently of course and once she had her boots on, he offered to carry the skates. As they walked away from the lake, he put his arm around her shoulders, sharing his warmth. Maybe they'd be able to catch a ride on a wagon.

She slid her arm around his waist to snuggle in easily against side. It wasn't something new for her and she felt comfortable and protected there. A rare feeling and a very cherished one. She would walk quietly by his side, she had said enough already, worried for days and so enjoyed the peace and maybe pretending it was different circumstances.

It could well be those circumstances, but again perhaps in time. They did manage to catch a ride on a wagon, one that had been converted to become more a large sleigh. There were very few people out otherwise, the guards who patrolled the roads and in the commons, even they seemed to be elsewhere, at least for the moment. He helped her from the wagon then led her to the Thistle. Herbal tea was ordered for her, potcheen for him and he asked if she was hungry before offering to help her with her cloak. "Or do you want to leave it on until you're warm?"

"For a short bit," for the shiver went to her bones. Hopefully it was the circumstances and reality of the night. "Would you stay the night with me?" Words lowered now that they were inside in case anyone showed. She would go by her real name here. A place she had not been in before. Most of those at the docks stayed in that environment while those of the Thistle stayed there. The men moved from both but most of those men were the type to keep certain things to themselves. She wasn't going to last too long, she was getting very tired and it was showing. A drain more than likely for she was usually a night owl. "I'm sorry I caused so much trouble," the apology finally out as she was beside herself and tears threatened again. Faith had ruined the good thing they had or so she was seeing it at present.

"Of course I'll stay." He answered back, his voice as low. He shook his head with a slight smile. "You are not causing any trouble, Dairenn. Not at all." He smiled as he guided her over to the hearth. "Life has a way of throwing surprises at us. Things will work as they should." He placed a gentle kiss to her lips before he was to the bar to retrieve a tray with her tea, honey, cream if she wanted and a spoon, and his potcheen.

He was so good to her but she still felt the doom that the child changed everything making her feel like she was caught between a rock and a hard place. Everything had been laid out before, boundaries, rules to follow and they were all thrown to the wind. She tried to believe his words as best she could presently in an exhausted state of mind. Tomorrow, maybe she would wake up and find this had all been one of those nightmares, causing the one she cared about most, this kind of trouble. The kiss had been received and given. She would add some milk but avoided sugars. The tea would help to relax her some and content that when they were to leave he would stay with her the night.

It would take time to convince her that things would work out, but he was willing to do so. He cared about Dolly so very much and hated seeing her in distress. Oh, she might try to hide it but he knew better. Perhaps it was that part of him that was connected to the Fae. He was stunned, yes, unsure what to do, yes, but he'd not desert her when she needed him most. They could talk quietly until she was warm enough and then head to the docks and her place. He might not sleep tonight, but he'd be thinking it all through.



Date: 02-11-10
Poster: Eion Quinn
Post # 2


Eion had spent the day tying up loose ends so to speak for the trip to Barbados. Family had been told and the reasoning behind it, he had gotten permission to be away , and then he had gone to the docks and a certain home to speak to Dolly, the final stop of the day. He made his way to the Thistle where he would wait until it was time to set sail. He had eaten earlier so he was seated in front of the hearth in one of the winged-back chairs, legs propped up on one of the footstools. A glass of potcheen was held in one hand as he stared at the fire. He was dressed comfortably in a poet's shirt, wool pants with an Aran sweater slung over the back of the chair.

Segan came in from the sweeping wind, one containing snow as it was soon cut off with closing the door. He was frosted looking until the few seconds in melting, hat removed to shake off as well his scarf. Catching sight of Eion by the hearth with that pensive look about him he'd seen more often than naught of late. Had him frown a second but also noted, no one else was around so they could finally get to talk.  Coat removed and hung before he was over to the bar. Grabbing a glass from Alex on the way, he was over to help himself of the potcheen in pouring a glass from Eion's bottle. "A ha' penny for your thoughts?" Slight lift of brows as he took up a wingback angled from where his brother sat. One that afforded eye contact as well a view of the door.

He heard Segan come in and glanced up briefly as he made his way to the bar. A hint of a smile appeared then he looked back to the fire and waited. When Segan joined him, he watched him then sat up, feet on the ground. "I was hoping you'd show. I suppose it's time to get some things out. Especially now." He didn't know what they were going to find in Barbados and he wanted to be prepared for all possibilities. He took a drink of the potcheen, studying Segan a moment before speaking again."The first part of what I'm going to tell you must be kept in confidence. My life and another, no, two others, may depend on it." He had dropped his voice even though Alex had seemed to withdraw. Of course, the tender knew of Eion's other duties, since he often took care of the papers Eion had.

"All right, I'll agree to that," on the confidence if it got his brother to talk. He was carrying a heavy load on his shoulders of a kind more than he could figure out. Watching his brother keenly in study for all those little nuisances that said so much more. Like this was very serious whatever it was. Although the way phrased had him questioning, "your life and two others?" Could be anyone although curious of course. Each  of them going on this venture, took a risk, why they had to sugar coat it enough so Grams didn't go ballistic.

"Aye." He took another drink, then placed the glass aside. "When we first came here, and after I spoke to King Karl, I was approached by Joseph McDonough. He does ... specialty work ... for the crown as an agent. Because of his children, he wants to retire, and I agreed to take on some of his duties. That's how I met Dolly." His expression was more serious than his usual stoic. "She also works for the crown, as well as helping young lasses who are taken from their homes, or have nowhere to go." He paused to consider how much more he should say about her.

"I always felt there was more to her than just one of the street walkers of the port. Something classy the others don't have." He was being honest. "So, that's why then, she uses it as a front. She does it very well as I would not have really guessed other than there was more to the lady than met the eye or circumstances. When she got flirted with come-ons by the rift raft she always managed to keep that look about her while keeping them at a distance. I mostly felt she did you a lot of good." Not adding or he would have been an unbearable grouch otherwise. Had Eion almost seeming human having a mistress of sort.

He smiled slightly then leaned back. "Aye, she's more than what she seems and I care for her very much. She accepts me as I am," he near smirked as he continued, "and has a lot of common sense. She also hadn't been with a man since she was a lass, and the circumstances kind of forced her into the situation. Until me, and I didn't realize it." Would he still have slept with her? He couldn't answer that and wasn't going to try.

"Until you, she decided she would make an exception for an exceptional man..." grinning before he kicked back his drink then reached over for the bottle to top their glasses again. It was nice having this talk, just he and his big brother. Only one thing could have made it better, that would have Conor here too.

Which had him rolling his eyes heavenward and laughing. He shook his head though. "She felt I needed her." And she had made a difference. He leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. "We've been having less time lately, but only because of my duties, and she has some lasses she's caring for. I saw her at the lake last week, she was skating and I was watching her. She didn't see me at first and I saw something come from the mists. A white stag approached her. She never saw it but he turned and looked at me before he disappeared. When I told her, she seemed to come to a decision." He reached for his glass again, still a bit un-nerved by the appearance of the stag.

It was good to hear him laugh. The first he'd heard his brother do so in a long time. Too long a time. "You did, so..." grinning as he saluted him with his glass before kicking it back. He was reaching again for the bottle to refresh their glasses, at this rate they would be finishing the bottle in no time. There were more at the bar however! The next had him pause as brows were up. "White stag you say? That's some kind of omen, I think a good one but you'd have to ask Grams to be certain." Or someone that knew. If they asked Grams then she would be asking all kinds of questions as to why they were asking. "Aye?" on the last part about some kind of decision. Segan remained sitting up and slightly forwards as this conversation was taking on interesting aspects.

"A good omen." He took a deep breath, "I'm going to be a father and she said it means the child is going to be something exceptional." It all came out in a rush. He wanted to say that Gran was going to get her wish about grandchildren but he wasn't sure how this was going to work out.

Of course he would tell him that just as he kicked back the next dram of potcheen. It went through his nose setting it on fire (or so felt) as he started coughing. It all happened in those few seconds that ended in a wheeze. It was so unexpected. He thought those ladies prevented themselves from getting pregnant. He almost asked if he could be sure it was his but he already answered that question. Give him a few minutes to have this all soaked in. Certainly it was a surprise and sad situation where Vanessa ended up with her sister's newborn for her death and death of her husband. Now his brother was going to be a father. "How do you feel about being a father to this particular child?" Voice a little raspy sounding. He knew Eion liked Dolly but did he love her or would he at least love the child?

When he realized Segan had choked on the potcheen, he stood but Segan recovered enough that he sat again. Rubbing his neck, Eion placed the glass down again for fear he might squeeze it. "I'm stunned," he gave his brother a half smile. "And if I admit the truth, delighted, afraid, unsure. When she told me, I asked her to marry me, to let me give her and the child a good life. She turned me down, said she didn't want to disgrace me or my family. And if I try to mention it even now, she won't let me or gives me the same answer. She knows I want to be part of his or her life. And now, with what's happening and ... well, if anything happens to me, I want them provided for." He chuckled but it without real humor. "Can you imagine me as a father?" And yet, he intended to be as good a one as their father had been.

"I think those are the normal reactions even for a married man. I found with Vanessa having Ysa, that I'm already wrapped around the baby's baby finger." A flash of a grin before he continued, "well, she wouldn't be a disgrace but it would blow her cover to reveal she is not a real Madam. I respect that she didn't take advantage of your first reaction to marry her because of the child. That says a lot about her."  Which he was sure his brother recognized and if not, then he planted the seed. Or rather Eion planted the seed! "I'm sure she will let you be part of the child's life and maybe she feels you are only asking her because of the child and not for the right reasons? Maybe you should let Joe McDonough know in confidence that if something happens to you and to me on this trip, although Grams will have our hides, that she will be provided for. The truth be told to Grams and the rest of our family." Leaving fate to decide how they helped Dolly and the baby then. He had a good idea of how they would, especially after Grams found out. "You realize this child will be the heir of the Quinn clan one day?" Indeed it was an important child by birthright alone.

"Who knows how a woman thinks." He grumbled then nodded to the suggestion to tell Joe. "That was another thing I was going to do before we left." He leaned back in the chair again. "Aye, I realize that and will make sure it's known that I'm the father so there is no doubt.. I don't think he'll let her do much in her condition even if her cover isn't blown." Closing his eyes, he sighed. "I'm going to be gray by the time I'm thirty, Segan. I know she wouldn't take advantage but I will do right by her and the child."

"I think I will be too, except with the lighter hair it wont show as much as you." He had to tease him. "So, I'm going to be an uncle." Grinning as he sat back with another drink, about to kick it back but he paused. "There isn't anything else like this to tell me?" Before he took the drink. "I thought of asking Vanessa to marry me but I think she would refuse much on the same grounds, that I would not be asking her presently if not for her situation. So I'll wait, do all I can to help her out. She plans to adopt the baby to be her mother than her aunt, so she would be both then too?"

"Nothing else that I can think of at this point. I don't know how this will affect my becoming a knight. But I'm not too worried about it. I still can be a guard if nothing else." He looked at Segan closely a moment. "I'm not sure if that changes her being an aunt or not. I wouldn't imagine it would, even if she becomes her mother." He was going to get a headache.

"I don't see why it should affect you becoming a knight. You uphold all the rules set forth and they don't invade one's personal life that I've seen or heard of. I think the only reason you have not been knighted yet is that the King has not been in the lands in over six months." Although he didn't think much further on that but had noticed. "That's what I mean, she will be her aunt and mother. Her sister was her twin too. So about as close as you can get."

"Aye, it is." He finished his drink and looked at Segan. "I think I'm going to walk to the PI office and see if Joe happens to be there. When are we leaving?" He knew Joe would be up early so he could catch him at the ranch in the morning if needed.

"Tomorrow morning, so I'll come with you then we can go to the manor and prepare Grams mostly." He was packed and she already knew but wouldn't have her any easier on them going off on a mission. Finishing off his drink, he was up to take his glass to the bar. Another bottle of the potcheen collected to bring with them. He hoped to see Vanessa before they left but that might not happen with how crazy things were lately. She knew of his parting, a day or two later than expected as it were.

"And make sure Cessa doesn't try to sneak on board?" He chuckled as he joined him in the walk to the bar after pulling on the sweater. Their Grandmother never took partings badly, but they both knew how it ate her up inside. Grabbing up his coat, he pulled up the hood and pulled on the knit cap he had taken to wearing. "I hope the weather is decent there." No hurricanes would be nice.

"This might be the last of our dangerous missions.." an afterthought as they headed out. Responsibility did that, made those kinds of changes if one cared about those that depended on them.

"Aye, it could be." He'd have some decisions to make, though as a knight there still might be some risk, even in peace time. He lifted a hand to Alex though he'd see him come morning before they left.



Date: 04-19-10
Poster: Gabriel Vaughn
Post # 3

A Day to Remember

Gabriel had been working on cleaning up the tree house with Raphael until his friend needed to get back to his warehouse to meet someone coming to pick up a carriage. They had done enough for this day so he headed over to the sandy shore. Shirtless at this pint so he could get some sun. Pants still on as well the boots but his wings were still out as he was stretching them and preening the feathers with his fingers. Something that needed to be done to keep them healthy even if they were of more a magical type. The red patch trimmed in gold glistened under the sunlight as well the black took on a bluish cast they were so pitch.

Mel had been working hard at the stables lately, to the point that Herself practically chased her from the manor with a broom. She had stopped at the Thistle and picked up a picnic basket, knowing that Gabriel had been spending time at the treehouse. Finding no one there, she headed for the beach area. Spotting the handsome winged knight, she grinned as she climbed over the rocks. The image he presented was so striking, she stood there a moment to watch him.

Probably was so with one wing tipped down while the one he was working on was arched up with the longer flight feathers angled towards him to have them more accessible. Dark eyes lifted turning to that bright blue when he caught sight of her. "Are you going to stand there and ogle or come and help me?" Maybe he just wanted to have her hands on him. The wings had nerves that went straight to the core of his being he had discovered.

She laughed and climbed down, walking across the sand to join him. "If I were artistic, I would have you pose for me." Teasing as she placed the basket near them on the ground. She gave him a look before she started to work on the feathers, each one given special attention since she knew about the effect it had on him. "And how has your day been so far?"

He sort of wrapped them up in a black wall of feathers as he soon lost interest in working his fingers thought the one wing, pretty much completely as fingers touched upon her cheek in a lazy graze over soft skin. "Winter has kept us too much apart more than I have liked. That should change now." He hadn't done much flying in the winter for it was hard on the wings, especially when so cold. If he were a bird, he'd be one that flew south for those months he discovered. It was not that he couldn't fly it was more that it hurt to fly but he could if really needed. There were some drawbacks with the wings.

"Yes, it has." She smiled softly as she looked at him, tipping her head with his touch. "I was afraid it would be the same with the spring but it's not so bad at all. I have a few new stablehands so my work load is actually less." And the manor didn't need as much attention since her grandmother had things running exactly as she liked them. "Grandmother has been asking on you too. I think she worries." Lips twitched slightly with that. She knew Herself worried.

"Is she worried I might forget about you?" Dipping his chin as eyes stayed the brighter blue, now focused completely upon her. Arms sliding loosely about her waist as he tugged her closer in against him. Wings stayed like a cocoon which hid her upper torso completely hidden with only the bottom of her legs to show. Eyes scanned her features coming to pause upon her lips before lifted back to her eyes. A smile tugged at the corners of his lips.

"More than likely." She grinned, then sighed contently as he brought her close to him. Head tipping back, her eyes met his. "She's beginning to think only Segan and I have any prospects." Which had her laughing. "She might come looking for you if you don't come visit soon." And she couldn't resist any longer. Up on tiptoe, she pressed her lips to his in a passionate kiss.

"Have.. prospects," the word had lips forming into the smile he had tried to suppress. Just the way it sounded hit him humorously. "So you think that Eion has none? Your sisters? Conor?" The last he had not seen since he moved to the McDonough ranch to work. Anything else was quickly stalled by the kiss, not that he minded one bit. No, not at all. In fact those wings disappeared as he wrapped her up completely into his arms. The kiss held all the days missed as they devoured, searing the kiss in a branding. His heart rate immediately rising as the pulse ticked along his neck.

Of course her answer was lost once their lips met. There were possibilities of course but she would only be guessing when it came to her siblings. Conor, well, she saw him only when he came to visit as he did often to keep Herself  happy. She made a soft purring sound deep in her throat as the kiss deepened.

He could kiss her until nightfall but then he would be wanting a whole lot more. She was temptation itself personified as his lips finally lifted from hers followed by a deep breath. He needed to distract his mind and body with a growing need. "So what of your siblings aside Segan? Are there really no prospects?"

She stayed in his arms, her eyes dreamy as the kiss finally ended. "Well, there was a young man when Concessa was in the jousts. And she is working with David Frasier." Which had her smiling. "Of course, Grandmother is hoping with that. Gemma has had Patrick Frasier visit with his son but that was for a bet. Eion I'm not sure of, nor Conor." Though she had her suspicions about Eion. "Then again, Grandmother will imagine all kinds of lovely things."

"Which one is she hoping for Concessa, the one far away or the one that she works for? Any indication her boss sees her more than one working for him to start?" Otherwise he could be eliminated right there as a prospect. Slow grin rising, "even I have heard about Patrick Frasier coming to visit. Although a bet lost there are bets something might become this prospect for her." Which he really tried not to laugh for just the way it sounded. There was a reason he was pursuing this avenue of talk too for it would lead somewhere. "so you would say I am the Prospect for you and then that it would please Grandmother if I should get down on my knee," which he was doing while eyes held lock, "and ask that you consider being my wife in time. To become engaged..."

"I think she'd prefer David because he's closer," she decided then laughed, "bets on Gemma?" It was possible but was forgotten when Gabriel went down on one knee. Hands covering her mouth briefly as her eyes went wide. "Oh ...  oh! Yes, yes it would please Grandmother, and it would please me even more." This was totally unexpected and she found she was trembling.

He had a ring too which he had for a while but waited for the right moment to give it to her. He rose as it was taken from his pocket, knowing her size too at this point. Had it been two years already that they knew each other? The ring was more tailored than filigree, more old fashion which he took a liking to. Taking her hand up as he slid id down her finger. "Unless you would like a different one?" He was willing to take her to Velvet's jewelry store to pick out one together. Velvet had said there would be no problem.

She watched as he slid the ring on her finger then threw her arms around his neck. "No, it's perfect and I'll never take it off." Half laughing, half crying, she kissed him again. "I love you so much, Gabriel. You don't know how happy I am." And she kissed him again.

"As I love you," words low and somewhat gruff with the emotion they rode on. He had her up into his arms again and a kiss to remember a long time afterwards followed. Long, slow, passion filled, that was repeated a few times over until he ran them down along her neck only to lip nip at her shoulder before running back up and around her chin to claim her lips lastly again.

He was making it very hard for them to behave! She melted into his arms, a soft shiver moving through her with the nip. And when he kissed her again, everything faded from her thoughts. Her only focus was him and the way he was making her feel. It was an absolutely delicious feeling.

If they kept this up, the two of them would need to jump into the cold waters of the lake to cool down. Which would draw a lot of questions from her grandmother especially, if she didn't take a broom to him for getting them both wet and probably a cold to follow. So the kiss reluctantly ended but there would be more later. "Shall we go tell your Grandmother and the others? Perhaps I can eat dinner tonight with you and your family." No time like the present and he felt good about this decision and that she had said yes!

"I think we should, yes." She looked at the ring again then back up, the smile never leaving her face. "I have a feeling it will be a celebration dinner." She was going to be dreamy for a long time to come. "So be prepared for a lot of happy tears, laughter and teasing." She slipped an arm around his waist as she spoke, after picking up the picnic basket. Whatever was inside wouldn't go to waste.

"I do not mind those as long as I have you at my side. Ready?" Which he was grabbing up his shirt as he briefly left her standing by herself then back to scoop her up. Wings coming out as he lifted her up into the air with him. No time like the present to give his wings the exercise they needed as they headed for the Quinn manor.

She squeaked then laughed as they lifted into the air. And though she threw her arms around his neck, and held tight, she trusted Gabriel completely and loved when he flew with her like this. It not only made the trip quicker, it gave her the chance to be held in his arms.



Date: 06-26-10
Poster: Dame Mary Quinn
Post # 4

At the Thistle

Lunch with Alex and Hazel had been quite the delight, but they were both back to their duties and before Mary hurried back to hers, she decided a moment to sit and reflect was just the thing. And when Mary decided something was the thing to do, it would be done. She had a tankard of cooled punch of some sort, soothing and delicious, and watched those going up and down the street from her seat by a window.

Segan had gotten to the manor very late last night and was gone before the break of dawn for he had another run to make. He felt bad he'd not gotten a chance to speak with his grandmother and worse, was alerted that she was in the Thistle, that was a stop just before the port! Least in Segan's mind that might be the path Grandmama was going to take. He swung by the florist to pick up a handful of shasta daisies which he was assured would last in water for at least a week unlike many cut flowers that died in two days. It was tucked behind his back as a familiar form sat at the window of the tavern, luckily Segan had good eyesight. Big grin spread as he advanced up the steps, across the porch and within to go straight to her table. A lean down came with a kiss to her cheek before bringing around the flowers, all wrapped up and stems kept wet until they were gotten into a vase. "Sorry I missed you this morning.." trailing off as he took up a seat next to her.

Mary watched the handsome Quinn cross the room and she smiled to herself, prideful she was of the man he had become. She turned up a cheek to accept the kiss from her grandson, then the flowers. She looked the bundle over, enjoying the happy faces of the daisies. "You need not be sorry, My Boy. Just don't let it happen too often, aye?" As Segan claimed a chair, Mary placed the wrapped bouquet on the table between them. "Is it any wonder that the women of these lands are enamored with my Quinn boys."

"Aye, although you may have noticed I'm about more than I was before. Trips are short ones, not months long or longer." He knew of Eion and all but bit his lip as that had to come from the eldest. He did a dam good job of masking his thoughts. "Conor, hard to tell with him but I'm sure he has a few after him, especially a recent one, new to the lands, I don't think he cares for in that way and is learning to dance."

Mary Quinn chuckled, taking a sip of her punch as she collected her amusement. "Segan, it is in a Quinn's blood to dance. And they dance until the time they take that final step and end up wed to the woman of their choosing." She offered him a wink. "I worry not about Conor, he is a solid lad, with a good enough head on his shoulders. Eion, though, I worry after. He is a man of great passion, that one." She shook her head, drawing in a deep breath.

"So we shall dance up the isle for we'd not choose one we didn't wish to spend the rest of our lives with. You have taught us well," giving her the credit as she had been their mother most of their formative years. "I think Conor is better since his return after to seeing to loose ends and his job still waiting of that which he loves to do. Eion is of great passion, I agree, but mule headed." Which a grin was starting to show for that could be said of him and of Conor too. "I await our newly found cousins return to see what they are like, if the nuts on the other side of the tree fall similar."

"Segan Quinn, don't you be speaking of your kin in such a way." But her reprimand held more amusement than anger. Then she smiled. "But aye, they have Quinn in their veins, it is of a certain that they are mule headed as well as passionate. It cannot be helped, that." Another drink of punch followed as she smiled.

Which had him burst out laughing. "I was speaking of them in a good way, that they would be Quinns." Which covered a lot of territory. A change of subject was in order and showed that she was on his mind at times. As it should be, "do you keep in touch with your new found friends here in the lands, those nice long walks? If you have a hankering for a visit to Ballicastle's Bali Hi, I could bring you there on one of my trips down the coast to the port, you could spend the few hours there while we unload and load up ... visiting, then back again the same day." Which he didn't mention who but certainly knew of her friendship with Allan Flaherty.


The tankard found the table beside the flowers once again. "Now tell me of this lass of yours, Segan. Why has she not been around much of late. She need not have you around to do it." She waved a hand at him, knowing of whom that boy implied in his offer. Did Allan Flaherty wish to be seeing the likes of Mary Quinn, he'd be coming to the manor house. That was for sure. Although the thought of surprising the man was most intriguing, Mary Quinn would 
be doing no such thing! "I may be taking you up on that, Segan." Or, she may not!

The rope was wrapped around her hand and most of her forearm. Straw hat pulled low over her face to shade out the sun. Grunting, she gave a might pull on the rope, her heels slipping across the ground. And the mule wasn't going to move. Huffing, she walked to his side and shoved him. Still wasn't moving. Walking her way to his reins, she grabbed them and stares at the animal. "Move, I tell you! Move!....Please?" A red bow perked up at the mule. Who just chewed on the apple slice she had given to him to try and make him walk. A pout and sigh, she lifted the hat off her head. Copper curls pinned, and used the hat to fan herself. "I need a drink...." Eyeing the Tavern, she brought her blue green hues back to the mule. "I'll be getting a drink. You stay...." She left the rope hanging, knowing Smart, the mule's name wouldn't leave her. Stepping to the door, she stopped to dust off her skirt and top, looking somewhat presentable. Hat was flopped back on her head. Opening the door, she slowly eased herself into the room. Shutting it softly behind her.

"She's been working with the birds and taking care of Ysa," words low as between her times and his times they had not matched up lately. It had been a number of days since he saw her last, weeks to be honest. All he could do was shrug a shoulder, "I'm sure things will change..." leaving it go there for certainly he could hope but he didn't have precognition nor control over fate. The man, Allan, ran a tavern much like Alex did and had to be there a lot but had come up to see one Mary Quinn if he remembered correctly. Maybe he didn't think she wanted to see him, perhaps he knew his grandmother's thoughts as eye contact was kept a bit, never too long or his grandmother might see some things he needed to keep hidden. For now, things not really about him but of his brother. All he came up with was, "offer is there." All she had to do was let him know. Distraction came at the most opportune time as he gained his feet, all proper, Grandmama would be proud. "Good afternoon Miss, drink and food is free here for the monarchy has it already paid for. Welcome."

"Free?" A brow perked under her hat and she looked about the place for a few seconds. Slipper feet took her to the bar. "Afternoon to you milord and lady." Reaching the bar, she smiled to the tender behind it. "Water, please. And an apple...please."

Which Alex would see to without question as Segan studied the lass a moment, his smile cordially situated, "I am Segan Quinn and this is my esteem grandmother, Mary." Introductions were short and sweet as some would say. Segan had the air of a sailor about him and his attire, poet's shirt tucked into black lightweight pants, short boots, wide belt that had a rapier sheathed at his left hip, couple of daggers and pouches.

"Good day, Miss." Mary offered to the lass, but the old dame was definitely not adverse to looking the young miss over. For she did, from top to bottom and back up again while she drank from her tankard.

The water was picked up and taken a few long drinks from it. Seeing she was thirsty as rabbit that's been standing still cus of a the hawk in the trees. She was dressed simple white top dusted with dirt here and there and skirt of brown stained with grass. She was farmer and it just came from her. Turning around, she took off her hat and placed it on the counter of the bar. The apple picked up and about to be bitten into. "Mab. Nice to meet you folks." She smiled behind her apple and then turned back to Alex. "I have mule, who could use some water too. Do you have a bucket I can use, please..." And a bite from her apple was taken. Chewing the sweet cool fruit. Nothing like an apple to cool one's temperament.

Segan didn't look her over as well as his grandmother for a few reasons, one being his grandmother was right next to him.

Aye, and she'd call him out for it, perhaps not here, but sure as a frog bumped it backside, she'd call him out on it.

"Nice to meet you Mab, you're welcome to join us." They were across the way at a front window table where his grandmother could watch those about town as far as she could see down the Commons. Indicating the chair on the other side of his grandmother that wasn't taken and available. "There is a trough outside," but Alex would get her the bucket which she could get water in from the trough.

"Umm thank you...." To the invite. Taking the bucket. "I will in a moment. First I have to see to Smart. "She took one more drink of water and hurried outside to the trough. Dipping it into the water and walked to the other side of the street. Placing it before the mule. "Never said I didn't do anything for you." And was quickly back inside and sitting down next to the old woman. Smiling to both. "Where am I?"

Mary excused herself to the lady's room by the time the lass came back in. "You are in the lands of Heathfield, its commons, the Thistle Tavern which is owned by the royals of these lands. Where do you hail from?"

"Many lands. I'm a nomad, nature's daughter if you will. Living with her and by her. I was farming in a village not far from here. But they didn't need me anymore. So I am back on the road." Another sip of her water. "What about you? You born here?"

"No, but we've been here over a year now. Family was originally from here before the dark years, me grandfather use to run the stables until Rath took over and he let the thoroughbreds loose into the wild." He noticed his grandmother had emerged from the back and indicated she was heading back to the manor, running late and off she went outside to start on her way. "I must be going," as he would accompany her back. "You are welcome to a room here to stay if you wish to detain your travels." Smile was apologetic but he had to get going. So off he went to catch up with Grandmama.


Date: 06-26-10
Poster: Dame Mary Quinn
Post # 5

Later that Evening; Secrets Revealed

The evening was cool enough to enjoy a rocking chair on the front porch. It was there that Mary Quinn imbibed in her 'tea'. On occasion her eyes would drift closed, but they wouldn't stay closed. The moon was full, the night was clear, the breeze was pleasant. Mary Quinn rocked, and dozed, and drank and dozed and rocked. Just some of the things that made life worth living.

There was freshly churned ice cream Segan discovered, so he brought out a dish for Grandmama being he was having one himself. "Thought you might like some company," deciding to stay home and spend quality time for his otherwise long departures. After getting back earlier in the day he sought out his recluse area, up in the field and woods behind the Quinn manor, which he'd not made use of in a while for being that kind of busy, now was time to spend with family. He took up a lean against the railing near where Mary rocked.

Eion made his way from the barracks to the manor, enjoying the evening. It wasn't a long walk but it was enjoyable. As he neared, he saw Herself and Segan on the front porch and continued on to join them. First he leaned to greet his grandmother with a kiss to the cheek. "Evening, Gran." After, he moved on to Segan, clapping a hand to his shoulder in greeting before taking a lean beside him. "Segan."

Mary set her cup aside to take the bowl. "You are a thoughtful dear." She commented honestly, taking a moment to stir the ice cream around once before tilting a cheek up to Eion for his greeting. While the brothers said their hellos, she slipped in a spoonful. Then she used her spoon to motion to Eion. "It's a good thing I can't read tea leaves, Sweet Boy, or I'd be thinking you've been keeping something from me." Her gaze lowered to her ice cream again and she scooped up another bite. Could she read tea leaves? Was there anything the Dame of Quinns could not do? She slanted a look to him for just a moment, smiled and returned her attention to her late evening treat. "But seeing as how I don't dabble in such things..." Another bite.

Segan greeted Eion in kind as he shifted up from the lean to do so, once done he was right back and luckily he was not drinking when Gran came out with that. Luckily he was not Eion at the moment! He became very, very quiet, suspiciously quiet in how Herself could easily read him.

In fact, she looked at Segan with his silence, brows lifted, but it was to Eion she settled and held her gaze.

He didn't bother hiding his surprise then he glanced at Segan. Rubbing his neck, he let out a whuff of air then met Gran's gaze. "It's not an easy thing to talk about or bring up." Well, that was a beginning...  "There's a lass, down at the docks. Starting out as a working thing. She uh ... " Ah hell, it wasn't as if Gran was a spy, "works for the Crown. Her cover is as a lady of the night."

She had started to remind him that he didn't bring it up, she had, when he continued with his explanation. She continued with her ice cream, another two spoonfuls before she spoke. "Although I'm sure there aren't many Ladies of such profession working for the crown, I'm sure there are quite a few down at the docks, starting out as a working thing." In other words, Lad, continue with your story, there must be more. The ice cream would be his reprieve, at least she didn't watch him while he explained.

He almost said something but it was for Eion to explain, as he had explained to him that it was a front and he didn't tell her the important part which she might think odd of him speaking about a lass working for the crown to start. He only looked from one to the other before finishing up his ice cream before it melted.

"I mean, me coming to know her." He was explaining badly! "She and I ... well, at first I didn't realize she wasn't really one and we uh ... well, she's pregnant now." He shifted slightly, watching Gran as he tried to continue. "I asked her to marry me and she refused. She said she didn't want to ruin my reputation, even though I told her it didn't matter. She still refuses. She's a good woman, Gran. And I was the only man she's been with since she was fifteen. And even back then, it wasn't really her choice." He shrugged, trailing off helplessly. "I don't know how to make things right."

She definitely had not seen that in her tea leaves. The only sign his confession caught her by surprise was the fact that her stirring paused, ever so faintly, before beginning again. She let him finish before her well mushed  ice cream (the way she best enjoyed it!) found a place next to her tea cup on the table beside her. Fingers laced against her midsection and she rocked, passing a gaze over the grown version of the lad known as Eion Quinn. "I take it your brothers both know of this?" She looked to Segan, and it was good that Conor was not here to receive that look before returning her assessing gaze to Eion. "What's the lass' name?"

"Aye, I know of it. I've met her too and I think she really cares for Eion but doesn't want to have him forced to marry her for the situation. I'm not sure if he loves her so she may be right." So that was his opinion in a nutshell and it was for Eion to tell Herself, not him. He wasn't sure what Conor thought about it really other than his surprise the lass turned down Eion.

"She goes by Dolly but her name is Dairenn. And aye, I told them just recently. I know I should have told you sooner, Gran, and I apologize for that." He looked at Segan then looked back to Gran. "I would do anything for her, and I don't want to see her hurt or unhappy. I'm not sure if that's love or not."

"Dairenn..." She repeated the name, but all that followed that was ... "Is she Irish, this Daireen?"

He was looking to Eion expectantly and really wishing for a strong drink, more in empathy. "I think love is when you realize you can't live your life without them in it."

"I think so. She has hair like fire and dark brown eyes that are depthless. She never gave her last name but she has a brother who is captain of a ship. Gave his last name as Garrison." He looked at Segan, nodding slowly. "Then,
I would say I love her."

Segan and Eion spoke to each other, Mary mumbled to herself. "Well, she should know better then when a handsome Quinn asks for her hand." She was shaking her head as she stood, patted her hands against her stomach and crossed to stand directly in front of Eion. She stood there, for all her stature of attitude, a small thing compared to her grandson. She studied his features, then a quick, well-placed slap found that handsome squared jaw of his. "That's because you've not confused your own life, but have meddled in the lives of two others, this lass and her soon to be born babe. Love her or not, she has refused to marry you, Eion Quinn, and either way her life will never be the same." A finger poked at the firm muscle of his chest. "You will not beg her to wed you, for guilt is a miserable bed fellow, and if she marries you out of guilt on her part, guilt will be lying between the both of you every night, for the rest of your lives. But, My Young Quinn, you will tend to her, ye' kin? And to that babe. Whether you have to do it with her consent or secretly. And I will meet this lass, whether with her consent or secretly. For I'll not be unawares of a grandchild of mine." One last poke. "I love you, Eion, I do. And I'll be seeing you do rightly in this, as I know you will, aye?"

"I have an idea," pausing as it was the very one Herself came up with and not being able to take those words back.

Funny, even with Mary Quinn being the wee woman she was, she could control the brothers with just a look. And right now, Eion felt like he had when Mary caught him stealing cookies. He was surprised by the slap and rubbed his stinging jaw. "Aye, Gran, I'll tend to her and to the babe. And you'll meet her. I'll see to that too." He suddenly caught her in a hug. "I love you, too. Don't know what we'd do without you to keep us on the right path." He released her and grinned as he rubbed his jaw again. "You still pack a wallop."

"Ouch," muttered under his breath with that slap. A hand ran over the back of his neck as he continued anyway, "that you meet her. I think she would from all that I know of her and maybe if she realizes she is accepted and that Eion knows he loves her not just duty.." well, he didn't need to go on as the theory was quite clear from there.

She hugged him back, and tight, real tight, adding a rubbing of palm to shoulder just before he released her. She was near tears with worry over the eldest of Jaxon's boys at the moment, but they would never know. "That was a love pat, Eion Quinn, good that you do not fret me more." She turned to Segan. "Duty is important, Segan, as is love. But respect is just as important as both of those. But forget not, there is nothing set in stone with emotions and the latter two can be lost as easily as they are found...but duty is always true if the man be honest and forthright." Or the woman, but they were speaking of men just now, so it was the men she stuck to. "Do your duty, Boy ... all will follow from there." A slight nod of her head as if to make any argument null and void, then she drew in a deep breath. "Is  there anything else I need to know? Conor is not keeping anything from me, is he? Or your sisters?" She looked between the two men now, one to the other to the other, since information was flowing at this point.

So Herself had two ladies to meet in time, short time compared to too long a time. She had words of wisdom that he tucked away too. "I don't think there is anything, although Concessa may need a guiding hand with a knight from foreign lands attending her when she is about and I think her employer has noticed her too." He wasn't sure if Concessa knew this new world she was entering. "Conor, I think is allergic to committing to any lass but seems to attract some recent rift raft passing through." Being a little cruel perhaps before grinning, "he might like it that way." Skirmish words to be sure if Conor were around.

Eion nodded as he listened and near sighed with relief. It could have been worse but Mary was always wise with her words, and he knew there'd be no more to be said. As far as the others, he only smiled when he heard Segan. Cessa was in for it next and Conor, well, that would remain to be seen!

"Segan! You leave your brother be! How can he be alluring to women when he reeks of horse shyt and drips of trough water." Mary Quinn was desperately fighting to keep from laughing now. "Poor lad." She tsk'ed her tongue in mock concern. "And you boys are responsible for your sister, aye? A guiding hand is not nearly as powerful as a brother's ... presence. Make yourselves ... known ... to this particular knight. He is not of Heathfield, he does not hold himself to Heathfield ethics."

Which had an eye twitching as he repressed the laughter, keeping to a straight face. "Seems the rift raft prefers them that way so they can take care of them, clean them up and have their way.." warning himself not to go too far in words like he would with his brothers.

She wagged a slender finger at Segan. "Then it is up to you, as his oldest brother, to keep him from falling into their 'caring' hands." Sweet, sweet smile, flutter of lashes, and Mary patted Segan's jaw with a more gentle version of what she had Eion's. Eion's was to make a point, Segan's was to make a joke. "I must now head to bed, My Handsome Gents, and dream of babies. And hope that parrots do not invade upon them!" She started to laugh softly as she tiptoed up to peck a kiss to Segan's cheek, then moved over to do the same to Eion. "That bird has started squawking something that sounds strangely like Handsome Allan." Now where did he get that from and where who was repeating it to him! Mary WOULD find out!

Segan was liable to push him and let him learn the hard way, best lesson ever. "Aye,.." not adding his thoughts. It was late too. "Aye," again, "I should head in for I've a run to make tomorrow. Remember my offer." Probably one of her dear granddaughters! It had Segan laughing before stifling it real fast as he gave a kiss to her cheek in return. "Sleep well Grandmother." He gave Eion a look that might have the two grab a bottle of potcheen and go out the back porch.

"Good night, Grandmother." He added a hug to the kiss to her cheek. "And thank you." Yes, he was chuckling about the parrot too. A nod was given to Segan. That sounded good to him. Once Mary had gone inside, he looked at Segan. "I'd hate to feel her hand when she's really angry." He'd feel that sting for a while, even though it had actually faded, feeling better since the burden of not telling Herself had been lifted.

"Aye, that was a love pat. You know. I think if we did something unforgivable, she would not hit but walk away and that walking away would be walking out of our lives." Which was worse of course. "I'll be right back," just that thought alone had him quickly into the kitchen then to the pantry where he got one of the bottles out hidden in there. He was back in record time, no need for a glass as he was already taking a good burning drink before offering it to Eion as he took up a lean near his brother.

No glasses? That was fine. "Should we go around to the back porch so we won't keep anyone up or stay here?" He took the bottle and took a long drink. No, he wouldn't like Mary walking out of their lives.


It was time for more voice lessons, which were best done when the house usually slept. Even if his student nested in the dark, it was easy enough to rouse him and have him eager to learn with the offer of a treat or two or more. Yes, he should be home, resting or preparing for the next day of work, but some things were worth the extra effort and loss of sleep. What he hadn't expected was to find both his brothers on the front porch, drinking potcheen! Devil take them! His plans for the evening may be waylaid! He schooled his features and made his presence known, chuckling as he spoke. "I thought potcheen was to be consumed on the back porch."

"We could go around back, but we are still here and I think as long as we don't get loud, we'll not be bothering anyone. Of course if Conor comes..." snickering under his breath as certainly one called the devil, "Conor, good of you to join us. You missed Herself and the Talk."

Their grandmother may be awake still? "How long ago?" Even as he asked, he looked up, noted the full moon, and cursed under his breath. The Grand Dame may not actually be going to bed until much later! The moon would be calling to her with more force than her pillow!

If Conor got caught, it would be a sight to see! "Aye, and the love tap she gave me that near had me fall over from shock." He offered the bottle out to the youngest Quinn. "Just a few minutes ago. Long enough for Segan to collect
the potcheen."

He gladly accepted the bottle and turned it up. As it lowered and was offered back to Segan, his brows were on the rise. "She didn't take the news well?" That shocked him. Eion could do no wrong in Mary Quinn's eyes, or so Conor 
 thought! That she had slapped the man came as quite the surprise to Conor. "No wonder the potcheen wasn't held off until the back porch could be gained."

He took the bottle and commenced to take another drink as he set to listening. Nothing for him to say but certainly the listening would be interesting.

"Ah, she took it well enough. That was for mucking up their lives as well as my own. As always, she gave good advice." He chuckled as he crossed his arms over his chest. "And as I said to Segan, I'd hate to see what she'd do if she was really angry. But she knows and wants to meet Dolly."

"Aye, well..." That was in response to the mucking up of lives and the wrath of a really angry Mary Quinn. "You going to arrange that, Eion? Or leave well enough alone?"

He was watching each as they spoke, taking a drink, then offering it to each in a subconscious way and back again.

"I'm going to leave well enough alone, thank you." He grinned and added, "I'll leave that to you and Segan." He was thinking about adding that bit after riff raff but decided to let it go. They didn't need a ruckus right here! Gran would be after all three of them with a broom.

His eye was twitching again, "so, you're not going to help get Dolly, Dairenn, to meet Herself?"

"Besides that... " Clarifying quickly!!

"What else is there to do besides that?" Oh, he was lost in Eion reality.

Conor scratched the back of his head, cocking a squinting gaze to Eion. "So you are?" Conor needed to know when that would be taking place, so he could find a safe hideaway for a day or two.

"Nothing really. I'm thinking of asking Dairenn if she'll meet with Herself, straight out. Then if not, I'll need help having them meet accidentally. Or would accidentally be better in the first place?"

"Better to ask forgiveness than permission." Conor chuckled under his breath, reaching for a final swig of potcheen.

"I'm not sure, new territory for me and one I hope to never tread personally."

"This will take some thought. Maybe I'll sleep on it." He stood and stretched. "I think I'm going to stay here tonight." He didn't have to be up early tomorrow but likely would be.

"Aye, better to talk with a clearer head after a good night's rest," chuckling under his breath but it was a relief that all was out in the open with Herself. Never bode well the other way around. He clasped a hand to Conor's shoulder as they all headed in like old times and the three of them home under the same roof.



Date: 07-23-10
Poster: Concessa Quinn
Post # 6

Thistle Tavern After the Joust

Liam had gone off somewhere as the squires left Concessa off at the Thistle. She hoped her brother would come in too. Dismounting the buckboard wagon with the hand of the squire before heading up the steps to the porch. Here she waited.

He had dropped his horse off at the castle stable to be tended to since the joust was unexpected. From there, it was a quick walk to the Thistle and he was pleased to see Cessa had waited for him. Heading up the steps, he leaned against the rail to look over the square. "Pretty night." The stars were bright in the sky, with only a few clouds to hide them.

"Yes it is, quiet night too." As she too took up a lean not quite ready to go inside where it would be far warmer, meaning stuffier. "I wish all nights were like this one." Which set a dreamy cast to dark eyes, "I wonder what the man will be like that I end up with." Having seen Aly with a new beau, had set her to thinking that way. Just what her brother Eion needed.

"How old are you now, Cessa?" He smiled slightly as he watched her. Many young lasses set to dreaming at times. He just hoped Gram would set her right sometime. Being in love wasn't so easy.

She gave one of her pretty pouts, "eighteen going on old.." but then couldn't help laughing. Maybe she should talk to Melantha on things, she would consider Gemma but she was always against men kind of deal.

He laughed and leaned over to give a little tug to a strand of her hair. "Not so old, but not a little girl anymore. Still, don't be too anxious. There's a big world out there to see." His smile grew wider. "And who knows, you may find him in Ballicastle or maybe in one of the other realms. But I will tell you this... " He leaned a little closer. "He better never mistreat you."

"You would bash his face in so he could see where he's been?" Although Concessa didn't promote violence there was something endearing about her older brother looking out for her, probably all her brothers. "You think I will find him here in our own lands than far away lands?" Perhaps she needed to hear that. "I fear having crushes on men like my brothers and my heart broken a few times. What of you? Do you want a lady one day?" She had not been told.

"At least that." He chuckled and leaned against the rail, crossing his arms over his chest. "I wouldn't presume to guess, Cessa. Or predict. I'll leave that up to Gram, or maybe Mikhail MacKay and his cards. But I've heard it said enough that you can find what you most desire not far from your own backdoor." He looked at Cessa a long moment, and nodded. "I do. You and I need to sit down with Gram, Mel and Gemma sometime soon." He wanted to tell her soon but it would be better to tell all three, and Gram could offer some reinforcement. "Has anyone sat down with you and explained things?" And then he chuckled. "I'm not trying to embarrass you. It's a question that I probably should have an answer to." Since he was head of the family in Heathfield, well, kind of. Everyone knew Herself was true head of the clan.

In spite of trying to seem grown up she could feel the heat rise to her cheeks. "Well, I know some things but I'd be a liar to say I know all there is to know about relationships. I have questions, questions I hesitate to ask you being my brother and a male." She felt funny asking Herself and felt safest that Melantha would know.

"I wouldn't expect you to ask me, and Gran would likely take a broom to me if I tried. You have our sisters, and Gram, though I know Gemma doesn't have a romantic bone in her body." Or so it seemed. "I'd not wait too long to ask. You're a beautiful young woman, Cessa, and likely to start attracting suitors sooner than you expect."

The last had her perk, "you really think so? Suitors, men noticing me in that way?" Well, he had said it so but he was prejudice, her brother, but she still liked the idea. It appealed to her blooming vanity, something everyone had and needed a boost now and then.

"Aye, I do." He smiled again as he continued. "The squires are usually the first sign and they've seen you. and talked about how pretty you are." And there was nothing funnier than a lad suddenly realizing that the comely lass they spoke of had a brother standing not far away, watching them. "Most of them are too young, but if they're noticing, you can be sure the older lads about are as well."

Well, that was certainly an eye opening thought to now notice, or try to. Probably depended on how discreet the lads were, younger to older. Then she realized that the reality of it was a little scary too. All these thoughts brought about emotions that played over her features. "I think I need a drink. A real one. Like that punch." Straight might have her choking.

"A drink sounds good." He stood and put his arm around her shoulders. "You'll be amazed at how life is though not always easy or pleasant. Just don't forget to see the little things." He had missed so much while being away. He didn't want her to find a beau and marry too quickly! "Potcheen punch, huh? Does Gram know?" Teasing a bit. Concessa was Irish after all!

"I've found her stash," wicked little grin as well the glint rising in dark eyes. It would be a good guess she had sampled it too. "Aye, the punch," sliding past him as she headed in. She was enjoying this time with her oldest brother. It had been a long time to talk like this.

She'd sleep well those nights. He laughed as he waited for her to pass, then follow. "Little woman amazes me in how much of the pure she can put away." He muttered just loud enough for her to hear. "Which kind would you like, Cessa?" Alex was placing a glass of the pure on the counter for Eion.

"Aye, I blinked a few times counting all the bottles of the pure hidden away.." although she had not ever seen her grandmother not functional so she spaced herself wisely. "Melon," which was on the list, something that would certainly taste good too.

It was usually late in the evening when she indulged, after her work for the day was through. Or so he thought.  "So, besides going to the joust, how did you spend your day?" He lifted the glass in a salute to Alex before taking that first drink.

"I worked on some important files for David. I mean Mister Frasier." Which had a giggle escape. "I got him to get some filing cabinets so we can get all the mounting files organized before it takes over and he can't find anything. He is very smart, very handsome, but very absent minded. He doesn't even notice all the women that near swoon as he passes when we have gone to the marketplace, things he forgot to get and needed yesterday."

It had been awhile since the curly-headed lass had been seen around the tavern, but every once in awhile she got that itch to visit her old haunt. Amergin was with her and by now, the husky pup was nearly grown to full size, though he still had that gamboling trot and puppyish face. Karina had trained him so well that he didn't need a leash, jogging along beside her and always returning whenever he bounded ahead. As he did now, charging up the porch and into the tavern to attack Eion with kisses, his huge paws rearing up to rest on the man's knees. Karina laughed as she followed at a more leisurely pace. "He sure remembers you," was her greeting to Eion first before turning to grin. "Hey Concessa, haven't seen ya since the last races." Alex would be greeted warmly too. Karina wore a lightweight dress mostly for the heat of yellow gingham, the sleeves capped, sandals on her feet and a big floppy straw hat on her head... which she removed at the door. She was still a skinny thing with sharp elbows but had filled out in her year here, subtle curves upon her frame and a healthy glow. "How've you both been?"


"I saw him a few weeks ago, wandering the marketplace. He looked a bit disheveled and utterly unaware of his surroundings, and then he stepped out of the way of a lad carrying a load of boxes" He chuckled. "And yet, I understand he's an excellent barrister." He looked up as Karina entered and nodded at her. "Evening, Karina. I've been well. You?"

"Karina!" Impulsive as she was, she rushed over giving her a hug. "It is good to see you." Letting go then as she caught herself. Sort of, damage done! Then back to her brother. "He is an excellent barrister and good to have such for the Crown. He's been a great help to many but I think he needs to work on that dishevel look, some of the time. It confuses some of the clients at first, he may have lost some thinking his work would be as disheveled as his looks."

Blinking at the hug, but she grinned and sort of awkwardly returned it, relaxing with a laugh when the exchange got Amergin excited, too. The husky pounced Concessa, demanding his own attention. "Down, Amer," snickering as she pushed the pup's head away. Back to Eion, "I'm good, not bad, ya know." Seemingly a lukewarm response but there was an easy smile on her face, a sense of happy about her. Even contentment. Eion had always been the stoic one but Karina was fond of him anyway. Giving him an affectionate slap to the shoulder.

She was giving Amer his due, petting him up good. "I may steal you away for how affectionate thou art." Teasing of course as the dog-pup was back to begging scraps from Alex.

He chuckled as he watched Amer then looked at Karina again. "That's good to hear. I'm sure you'll be able to get some help." He smiled again. "It's good to have a place where you can have some privacy. Working for her and living there wouldn't allow much at all."Are you still working for Vanessa?" She was still around at least and that was a good thing.

"Yep." She reached down to rumple Amergin's ears as he passed by to name nice with Alex, the bearer of scraps. "I'll probably be moving out of the cottage soon, but I'm gonna build my own place in the Gardens, I guess. Just a little cottage, enough to put a roof over my head." She gave a slight shrug. The prospect was still daunting.  Privacy? Sheesh, she didn't know the meaning of the word. In truth it sounded sort of lonely to her, but she shrugged again with another little grin.

You're moving out 'cause Segan will be moving in within a year or whenever they set a wedding date? It will be wonderful to have your own place and still be close to Vanessa."

"I don't really mind it. I just figure, with her and Segan getting hitched and "all, and having Ysa..." trailing off as Concessa spoke the same. "Aye, I'm glad she's letting me stay in the Gardens." Otherwise she'd have no idea where to go.

Whoops, she talked right over exactly what Karina was saying!  "Are you still seeing that man..the one with all the big swords?" His name escaping her and Concessa had yet to learn discreet.

If she had been drinking anything at the moment she might have choked! As it was she let out a guffaw that was quickly smothered by a cough. "Rhett? Um, yeah." A grin creeping onto her lips again.

"Good lord, Concessa." He stared at her a moment, trying not to laugh. "Do you know how that sounds?"

"He's very good looking and his family respected." That was the extent she knew of him. A blink and an owlish look turned on her brother. "How what sounds?"

"I haven't met his family yet. Well, I met his sister once..." pausing with a look cast between them. And just because she was feeling wicked...she leaned over to whisper something in Concessa's ear.

How could he say it without ... looked like Karina was taking care of it. He quickly took a drink because otherwise, he was going to bust out laughing.


She was trying to hear Karina as she leaned closer automatically, still staring at her brother and he would notice how big eyes got even bigger! "Oh my," watch her cheeks go red.

Which had Karina bursting out laughing. Hopefully Cessa didn't pass that on to Eion.... but from the looks of the man, he got the idea already anyway.

Lowering his glass, he pointed toward Karina. "Just don't ask her too many questions, aye?" He had a feeling there'd be trouble if she did.

"Hey!" She turned to Eion with eyes narrowing. "What's that supposed to mean?" Better watch out for her infamous temper... though luckily that was more tame these days, and besides, she was only pretending to be offended. "Afraid I'll corrupt your dear little sis?"

It sounded like Karina could give her all the answers to all the questions she had and then some! Just not in front of her brother. No, she was not going there.

"Aye, I am." He gave her a stern look. "And then I'll have to come looking for you to turn you both over me knee." He paused a heartbeat, "or send Herself after you."

"Ha. I'd like to see you try." She smirked at Eion, though likely they'd both remember those times the Quinns had thrown her in the trough or even smacked her for misbehaving. Something that felt like a lifetime ago. She turned back to Cessa. "Don't listen to your brother, I'll go easy on ya. I'll answer any questions but I'll curb me tongue about it." She gave Eion a look like There, happy?

"No, not Herself," dramatically before the laughter bubbled free. She finally took up her drink to down it all in one long gulp. Watch that brother!

He'd have no problem turning both of them over his knee. "I still think you'd be better off talking to Gram. Who knows what misconceptions Karina has picked up." He barely kept from grinning back at Karina.

"Misconceptions?" A disbelieving laugh. "You've no idea what you're talking about, boyo..." But she cut herself off there. No reason to hint to Eion that her remarks were anything but jokes... to give him any indication that she was far from innocent. Or else he might go all big brother on her next!

Oh... this was getting good as she had her glass refilled and sat back watching. Dark eyes shifting from one back to the other.  Sipping at her drink.

"Don't I?" His eyes narrowed as he studied her, then he just smiled and finished his drink. He trusted both Karina and Concessa to use their common sense. "Are you staying for a while, Cessa? I should return to the castle." No matter how much or how little sleep he got, he would be up at dawn.

Ack... she made herself not squirm under that sharp gaze, lifting a brow at him, then relaxed again when he smiled. Maybe the drink had mellowed him out some. It was all for the good as she passed Cessa a quick wink.

She smiled between them both. Best time to hit the sack because getting too tired, some things in fun might take a turn. One of those wicked ones that came out of the blue then hard to rectify. "I'm staying here the night but maybe I'll come up and watch you practice on the field tomorrow," and all those squires he mentioned. If she really was pretty she would distract and a few might get clouted in the head. That would be funny!

Karina whistled and on cue, Amergin came slinking out from behind the bar, looking pleased with himself and chewing on something. She tossed a smirk to Alex, what a softie. "I gotta walk back home myself. Concessa, if you ever wanna talk you know where to find me," giving the other girl a significant look.

"All right." He stood and caught her in a hug, planting a kiss on her forehead one he released her. "Rest well." He would have added stay out of mischief but it seemed Karina was leaving as well. "Good night, Karina. Do you need company part way at least?"

"I will have to come visit and talk," straying glance her brother's way. So she will collect a few views on the birds and the bees.. and the flowers and the trees.. and the moon up above.. and a thing called love.

"Don't need it, but I'd like it if you're offering." Looking up to the much taller Eion with a lopsided grin. "Sounds good Concessa."

She was giving her big brother a squishing hug before he got away. "I will see you soon!" Like tomorrow at dawn and see what mischief would abound around her.  With a last wave she bounded away for the hall then stairs, a key tucked in her hand.

And when would he turn down a hug from his baby sister?  Never! "I'm offering." It would be a good test for the squires and younger knights if she did show up. Another wave to her as she bounded off, then he was heading out with Amer and Karina. And yes, several views would be good.



Date: 09-05-10
Poster: Dame Mary Quinn
Post # 7

The Confrontation

Dairann was finding the heat becoming more insufferable each day. Especially since it decided to be a long hot summer with no relief in sight. Her back ached, her feet swollen and she felt like a beached whale even if she didn't look how she felt. She was in her eight month and already wanted to have the baby and be done with it. Shopping didn't last long in the commons before she was back and soaking her feet in cold water while sitting in front of the hearth. A very low fire burned there of peat that was so low it didn't give off any heat, unless one got up next to the coals of course. The gown she wore was of a deep green that hid the growing swell of her abdomen as best one could cover up a watermelon.

So, rumor had it...and while rumors were most times jut a lot of unreliable babble, on occasion, there could be found within the rubbish a few gems.  This is where one quite proficient in treasure hunting could find a goodly amount of treasure.   On the guise of seeking out Alex, a life-time friend of the family, the Dame of the Quinn family abandoned her station in the household kitchen and went in search of one particular diamond in the rough.  Why this day out of the months since speaking with Eion?  Well, simply enough, this was the day that the Matriarch of the Quinns decided upon.  And so, today was the day.  Mary entered the Thistle with a bundle of basil cradled in her arm, as if carrying a babe.  "Alex-Man!"  She called as soon as she was within.  "Shall Hazel serve up pesto tonight?"  She glanced at the lass by the hearth, an assessing eye passing over the young woman as best she could as she walked toward the bar counter.  Coming around to opening, Mary offered Alex a peck on the cheek, then dumped her soft load without ceremony on the polished surface.  A smile to Alex followed with a shake of head - She'd not be speaking to him right now.  She was on a mission and the seasoned warrior-turned-barkeep would recognize a quest underway.  Especially since this particular woman didn't often attempt to hide her intentions.  Her delivery complete, Mary wandered over to the only other one in the place.  "Hot day of it, aye?"

If Dairann had been paying more attention, she may have realized who the stately woman was that came in greeting Alex. Instead she only lolled her head to the side and back half dazed. Burnt red, curling hair was plastered to her temples and down along her neck in snaking tendrils. It took a moment for her to realize the woman was approaching as she forced herself to come out of her heat induced daze. Her smile was  lovely once sprung to life as was the dark brown of her eyes with a sprinkle of freckles across her nose and cheeks that she use to have to cover up for it made her look far too innocent in her ruse as a Madame. Now she could be herself, not that she was innocent but certainly not what she had portrayed herself to be for being an undercover agent for the crown, willingly. She had saved a lot of girls from going down the wrong  path or at least had saved them from starving or being mistreated as much as humanly possible. "Yes it is, we are in September and it hasn't relented even a few degrees. I am Dairann, I don't believe we have met." It still hadn't dawned on her who the woman was.

"Dairann..."  The Dame nodded to the lass, pressing layers of skirts aside to claim a chair right next to the young woman without even the least of a need to ask if she could join.  "Quinn...Mary Quinn.  Perhaps you know of my family.  Quite a few of them wandering about these lands.  Most of the lovely ladies, such as yourself, know of my grandsons.  Handsome and dashing as they are.  Segan?  Conor?  Eion?"  With each name she watched the lass carefully, she'd continue with names if those didn't start a spark in the girl’s gaze. Mary didn't comment on the heat again yet, she was watching.

Luckily she had learned to disguise surprise although this was a little harder. Her eyes widened a moment and her head felt dizzy with it until cleared. She was waiting for the shoe to fall right on her head knowing well the matriarch of the Quinn family was in her rights.  She just hadn't suspected it to be right now. Her voice was soft and clear as she prepared herself. "Yes, I know Eion well. I carry his child." Get it right out there rather than beat around the bush or  hide behind pretenses. Eion told her he had spoken to his grandmother on the situation; as it should be. There was a way she spoke Eion's name that held a great deal of respect and affection if one was tune into such fluxes in tones.

For one watching as closely as Mary was, the widening of the eyes when Eion's name was mentioned would be enough so the Dame didn't continue with any more names.  And the lass went one step further when Mary paused which impressed the Dame.  The tone of voice when speaking of Mary’s grandson also brought the hint of a smile to the older woman's lips.  "Dear girl, you are carrying his child, I would say you know Eion well indeed and he of you."  Mary sat back against the cushion of the chair, folding her arms against her bosom.  "Good to know you're the lass then, Dairann.  A woman tends to wonder, aye?"   Mary passed another look over the female beside her with more interest, allowing her attention to settle on the well-hidden swell of child.  "When does the midwife say you're due, Lass?"

She had finally gone to the hospital upon Eion's insistence and was checked out by the good doctor Barrington along with one of his nurses. "I am due in October when the leaves turn in their final glory." There was a breath's pause before continuing, "I wont withhold the child from Eion or his family. Nor will I hold him over his head to enter in a marriage he had not planned to be." The stakes were all or nothing here and so she continued to take the load off her mind. "Precautions were taken, it was not done on purpose to trap your grandson." This she wanted to make clear as it was important to her and hence her declining his proposal to marry. "Accidents happen, I had thought of abortion to keep any shame from your family but it would break my heart. I went ice skating with a heavy heart in indecision for long hours trying to figure out what I should do. It was then the white stag appeared. This symbolizes the child needs to be born for he will be special, one touched by the gods for their purposes. It was no longer a matter of choice and then I decided that Eion should know even if that would cause a conflict over my disappearing and none ever the wiser. I hope I have made the right choices." The last more mussed as she felt the heavy weight lifted from her shoulders no matter how Dame Mary Quinn responded to them.

October.  This had Mary nodding to herself.  A good month.  October.    She sat up, a smile for the lass which might help to soften the words that were to follow.   "Our choices are always the right choices, Dairann.  Even when they seem to be wrong."  She made a motion of her hand as if mixing up a concoction in a bowl.  "In the scheme of things, what we see at the moment is all we simple folk..." A pleased gaze lifted for a moment to the girl,  "most times" then lowered back to her swirling hand,  "are allowed to know.  The here, the now, all too often not the why of it."  She shrugged, sat back, rested her hands in her lap and caught the eyes of the girl opposite her.  "Right, wrong ... is there really either?  It is what it is and we live with what we are in this moment.  And...if we are at all worth the breath we take, we learn the lessons we are given in those moments.  Now..."  She smacked her hands softly to her lap and pressed up once again, scooting with a bit of effort to the edge of her chair.  A light pat of her hand to her hair eased away any perspiration from the heat.   "Having said that, let me say this..."  The smile was still there.  "You wouldn't be able to withhold this child from Eion or his family.  Nor could you hold this babe over the man's head just to gain an offer of marriage.  So, in this, you are right.  But..."  She held up a finger, lest the girl think she was done speaking, she was not!  "Eion will do the right thing by you and you will accept any offers he does make, aye?  If not for you, Dairann, then for the babe.  And the both of you will be coming by for Sunday evening meal if not more often, as of this Sunday.  If not by name, by blood, lass ... this dear child is Quinn, and shall be treated and loved as such."  That forefinger that was lifted now wagged at her.  "And I will have it no other way, you kin?"

Dairann's throat constricted as much as she tried to prevent that oddity of a response as Mary took her turn in speaking. Both were polite in that, both respected the other's right to speak their mind too even if there were many years between them in age. She agreed with the view on choices and that right or wrong didn't matter so much when you did your best. They shaped your future along with more choices. Some would be good ones, some would not, one could hope by learning lessons from the bad choices they would gradually make better ones. Such, in theory, would work very well. The next was unexpected, Eion had told of her profession? Although a bogus one she had not been able to resist Eion and for a while had not told him she really wasn't what she seemed until he could be trusted. It was a higher importance, that of the Crown, not to give away her ruse. Mary's words were telling her to marry Eion. How they were interpreted by her for his proposal of marriage already. That is what it all boiled down to. Such a quandary that it proved to be when each hand gave a reason for and a reason against back and forth until the mind screamed. Honesty was a trait she possessed and it held firm. "I have reconsidered his proposal of marriage." Her words were very soft that Mary might have to lean forward to hear them. "For, you see, I love him more than my own welfare." Something she had not told Eion in any words. "I love him enough not to bring any shame or what would be perceived so. It is why I refused his immediate response to do right by me, out of duty. Eion should marry for love. If I knew he loved me as I loved him then there would never have been an issue on it. I don't know if the offer still stands but I will do right by our child however it plays out. That is most important now."

Mary did have to lean closer to hear and in doing so, she took up the girl's hands to give them a squeeze. "It is important to do right by the child. No denying. But to do right by the both of you as well. I can't be speaking for Eion, lass, as to whether or not his heart is fixed on you. And I would have the both of you in a union that is based firstly on love more so than on duty. There is taking care of your responsibilities though, so Eion is responsible for the both of you now. The babe for obvious reasons, the mother of that child. He will provide for the both of you, and see to your safety no matter what the choice by the both of you may be. Aye? And to make myself clear, Dairann, though I'd welcome with great delight the both of you wedding, I'd just as strongly abhor the thought it was out of guilt it be done. Show the lad you care for him greatly. Don't be coming right out and telling him so. Eion is an honorable man, Sweet Girl. And if he has offered marriage out of duty and not out of love, then you're telling him you are in love with him as well as carrying his babe will put the man in a situation, you see? But, if you show him...let him proclaim his own love for you in the process..ahhh then, you'll never be doubting it." She snapped a finger in the air. "And he's all yours, Dairann, without any question about it ever!" She squinted an eye to the lass, smiling. "I like you, Little Miss. Like the way you think. Like the way you stand up to even the likes of me for what you believe in." She eased up, using the arm of the chair as assistance in that endeavor. "Just don't be standing up to me too often, aye? Might give my grandchildren the idea they can do it." She chuckled to herself, smoothing the fabric down her hips, then cocking a look to Dairann. "Do you kin what I'm telling you?"

Dairann squeezed Mary's hands in response, as if holding onto a lifeline in this situation where she felt so very alone. More, Mary understood her crazy ideas not to marry for the wrong reasons. "I will show him as you say for in my heart that will be an easy task. I will not accept any proposal of marriage unless he tells me it is of love and not just duty. I will let him take care of the child and myself as is honorable for him to do so, not take that honor from him." His proclaiming was what she had waited for in that there would be no doubt. Doubt ate like a cancer through a relationship. She had seen it far too often. Mary liking her brought a rare warm smile. One that was there but only waiting for a reason to shine. "I was told you were a wise and great woman, now I know firsthand those rumors are ones to be true." Sure she was sweating bullets under the somewhat calm exterior. "I would rather learn to follow in your footsteps.." to the comment of standing up to her too often. To Dairann it was more a grounding gained between them than a standing up to her in defiance. She was raised differently, a much harder life where one had to stand up for themselves or get trampled over. She had things to learn. "I believe I kin what you're telling me," and she held that Irish hint to her accent even if none knew her surname.

Surname or no surname, Mary picked up immediately on the tint of accent, and she smiled. Liking the girl all the more for her roots to be sure! "Probably best you don't mention to Eion the next you see him that we spoke. He might like to make the introduction...when the time is right." Or for whatever reasons might be fluttering about inside the mind of Mary Quinn, which all made perfect sense to the woman and to the rightness of the world, but would never be shared.

There was a bit of mischief to rise in warm brown eyes. "Perhaps Eion will hear of your wish to bring me to dinner Sunday and be none the wiser I already know?" In short, Mary would relate that command to Eion and Dairann would leave out that bit that they had already met then she would follow Mary's lead. It also show another side of Dairann that had that Irish spunk to it.

Ahhhh, there was that. Hmmm, she'd have to figure that out. "Pretty girl, friendly tavern, there is no saying that I couldn't invite a lass to dine with us just because I can." She laughed. "We'll cross that bridge, I suppose, when we set toe upon it. Until then, tomorrow, we start gathering about 4:00, dinner about 7:00 depending on the quality of conversation, sometimes later, sometimes, sooner. Just so you know." She winked to the girl, grinned, and turned to look to the counter. "You know that goes for you and Hazel too, Old Man!" Mary called out to Alex. "And bring that handsome brother of yours, if you feel the need to bring something with you." Mary waved gently to the lass, then started on her way to the door, humming softly through her smile. Quite pleased with her day, to be sure, quite pleased ... and rightly so. She was Mary Quinn. She was often .. .quite pleased.

"Aye," to the comment about inviting someone Mary felt like inviting whether she knew them well or not. One way to get to know someone, invite them to dinner! It was in that moment the quiet child she carried decided to let her know he was still there, a wince followed as she got kicked good. One could see the press of a heel move across her belly where the material of her dress laid flat. "I think someone else is pleased with the conversation." The comment made as Mary departed and may or may not have been heard.

Eion had been at the training field a little longer than usual. He decided to head to the Thistle for a drink and then head to the manor to stay the night. It was getting to that time of year where he'd have to start checking for repairs that would be needing done before the colder weather set in. Wood he had started seeing to a month earlier, thankful there were men willing to see to it. He headed up the steps, and toward the door, going over the day's events as was his norm.

Mary Quinn had a deal with Fate. They were quite good friends for some time now, and as if an agreement had been set between them for this particular day, look who was coming up the steps even now. Good ole' Fate. Pleased as Punch Mary. "Eion Quinn. A more handsome man a lady could not hope to find on so lovely a day." She stepped outside completely and to the side so that he'd not be able to see who was within just at present.

He hadn't expected to see Herself here but then again, Mary Quinn went where she would and none would say otherwise. He smiled and leaned to placed a kiss to her cheek. "And what are you up to this lovely day, Gran?" He couldn't help the suspicion that she just might be up to something. "Visiting, or shopping? Or just enjoying the day yourself?"

"First and last, actually." She continued. "Brought Alex some basil and invited him and Hazel over for dinner Sunday meal." She clamped a hand around the man's wrist and pulled him closer. "As well the lass inside by the hearth. A lovely girl, that. Figured she might do for Connor. She is with child, and we both know ..." She leaned in closer, her voice lowered as she smiled. "...the lad can use as much help as possible." Her other hand patted the arm she held before she released him. "Go in, see what you think of her, aye?" She offered him a wink.

Daireann heard nothing as she had half fallen asleep again. Tired far too much especially during days of heat. The top of curling burnt red hair above the back of the couch could be seen but that was about it.

Now he knew she was up to something but he couldn't help but laugh. "Indeed? I can't help but wonder what my brother would think of that." He chuckled as he stepped inside and wondered if Mary was going to follow. The color of hair that could be seen was very familiar and he made his way quietly over to the couch. Arms resting on the back, he looked down at Daireann and smiled. "Well, now, if it isn't a sleeping beauty lounging here." He spoke softly, not wanting to startle her.

Mary stood at the door, watching a moment, then with a deep sigh and a smile, she turned and started down the steps.

She was dozing off, and a very peaceful look upon a usually troubled face. Any furrows had eased as thick reddish lashes fanned her freckled cheeks. No makeup was worn these days. Her hands rested to her lap, encircling the roundness of her belly .. which was moving. A voice brought her back even if the words were jumbled as lashes fluttered then lifted as she tipped her head back. Such a smile that followed as one hand lifted to caress against his cheek. She hadn't forgotten one word Mary had said either. "Hello handsome, did you have a good day?"

He kept that smile as she touched his cheek then spoke. "A decent one. And what of you? I understand you met Gran, and that she invited you to dinner." He didn't mention Mary's comment about Conor. "Is the heat bothering you much today?" He knew how uncomfortable she felt at times and today had seemed extra hot.

"Yes I have, she is a wise and wonderful woman." She tried turning some to be able to see him better but the effort.. took effort and she didn't quite succeed. "I was told at the hospital that the baby should arrive mid October. I have bought some things but I still wait on getting a cottage to move into." Which she showed the first signs of panic for today had proved doing things difficult, even if that was a progression getting there. How would she get it all ready in time, have what she needed before the child came? She didn't voice her thoughts but Eion might notice that quick wild look to her eyes for a moment.

"Indeed, she is." And devious besides! Not that he added that. He came around the couch and sat beside her. "Well, I'm sure a cottage will be had in time. And I'm sure Gran and my sisters would love to help you. They'll have to be told soon at any rate. And I'll do what's needed as well, though I'll need guidance." He ran a hand over her hair, then rested it against her cheek. "You won't be alone, Daireann. Have no fear of that. And somehow, things always manage to get done. Especially around Herself." The last was said in a lowered voice.

Eyes closed a moment as she soaked in that touch, cheek nestled in against the strength of his hand. A breath drawn, held, then slowly released as her eyes opened again. The small ritual along with his words helped to ease her mind and calm her nerves. "I would love their help but only if they really wish to." Which in the way she said it, it would convey how she felt, that they not be cornered into it. "Would you mind assisting me to the linen shop before they close tonight? I ran out of energy earlier but I think I have rested up enough." She didn't tell him she had lost her appetite of late even if she was growing bigger. She would make sure to eat something here and there. "Maybe there is a cottage close to your manor so it is not such an inconvenience for anyone wishing to come by." Before she got up she captured his hand to press against the side where his child was kicking furiously. Maybe because he heard his father's voice? "I believe that Dame Mary Quinn can accomplish anything she sets her mind to." Which had a genuine smile to follow.

"I believe there is, but we'll make certain of that and soon." Making that a promise. He was going to answer about the Linen shop but the kicking held his attention and he laughed. "He's lively enough. Do you rest at all with him dancing about?" And then, "She does at that, and yes, I'd be glad to accompany you to the linen shop whenever you're ready. You don't need worry that I'll ever mind, sweetheart."

"Not much, it is probably why I need naps throughout the day. Sometimes those naps last longer than I would like but my days and nights, there is not much difference between them anymore." The last had her smiling even more as she reached for his arm that he could help her up. That was a chore, more a roll to one side off a couch that had soft cushions.

He couldn't begin to imagine it but he nodded, then slid an arm around her to help her up to her feet. "There and now, we'll take a leisurely walk along the commons." He kept that arm around her as he guided her toward the door. "You'll have to give me a list of the furniture you'll need." Well, he knew some things, and would see to those. He'd also find out about that cottage within the next day or two.

Her arms slid up around his neck as he helped her up, lingering there a few moments as the change had that momentary light headed affect. She found out that was normal for this stage of the pregnancy. Arms slid away as he tucked his arm around her shoulders, leaning in some as they headed out. "It will indeed be leisurely," quick smile up his way for she was not going anywhere fast! "I would race you but I know you'd win." Adding a quick wink before nodding to his suggestion. "I will write up one tomorrow after seeing what I can get at the Linen shop," which also had baby things she was told. She felt a great deal of relief now that he would help her. With her mobility gone downhill, tired and hot most of the time, it was starting to wear on her when she knew there was still much to do. "Thank you," came softly under her breath. Even with his help, she would also hold onto the rail going down the front steps. She had a fear of falling lately.

Which was understandable, given her condition! He laughed again then nodded, his expression soft as he looked at her. First he placed a soft kiss to the top of her head. "All you need do, is ask, my lady." He lowered his voice just a tad, "I'm glad Gran invited you to dinner." He knew that everything would be under control now. Dairann might worry, but Eion knew that Mary Quinn would help keep it all on an even keel.



Date: 12-03-10
Poster: Bradley Harrington
Post # 8


There were no wares in the windows or any such thing just yet, but there was plenty of light to be seen through the windows while Fawn tried to finish up for the night. Everything was organized and cleaned up and everything in its place. It was plenty warm enough with the stoves going to keep it warm and with Joshua's previous help, she was now just finishing up with painting the interior trim white against a pale, pastel yellow. Up on the ladder the brush moved mindfully over trim, careful not to smear or drip on the yellow wall.

Bradley had heard of who took over the ceramic shop. Certainly word traveled as many came in to buy cigars of the finest quality. The tobacco shop had been missed by many a gent and even sailor so his business bloomed fast. He stopped by the florist where they had carnations in a variety of colors so he picked out white trimmed in red and full red ones in a small bouquet, vase included. It was only a few shops down as he drew in a steadying breath all considering their past history. He wasn't sure if she was open or not as he drew up close. Seeing her in the window on a ladder had him pause with his hand about to knock as he debated if this was a bad idea after all.

The door was cracked open to allow a bit of fresh air to drift in and help get rid of the smell of paint. She'd been making her way around the entire room and was near finishing, only wishing that somehow the ladder had wheels so she could just roll it along rather than climb down, move it, then climb back up and have to do that all over again. Good thing for all the climbing she'd ever done giving her strength enough to do the up and down thing all day. Attire was a simple brown dress with a skirt apron tied around her waist, sleeves were rolled up and hair had been twisted into a bun, but now was falling.

If she saw him leaving, which he was almost turning around to do, then that would be worse. It would be his luck she'd see him and that added to that negative list. So the knock came, having the door move open a bit more as flesh met wood. "Hello..." calling out as if he'd not seen her yet, "..anyone here?"

If it hadn't been for the knock, the sound of someone's voice might have knocked her down off the ladder with surprise. Though it was a familiar voice and one she wasn't often fond of, she looked towards Bradley and smiled. "Hello, Mr. Harrington. Come in out of the cold." Setting the brush down, she looked at the freshly painted section, then climbed down the ladder.

He had the top hat on, and the cape with the extra layer over the shoulders. A wool suit beneath finely tailored in grays and charcoal. Same as he wore to the Thistle an hour earlier. This was his next stop. Since nothing was thrown or words to discourage his being here, and in fact asked to come in, he did. Stepping in he closed the door over to where it had been when he arrived. Around again as he was over to set the vase with flowers on the cashier's desk. "Congratulations on your shop, I bring a little something to express such good will that you will flourish."Which had a smile come that brought out a dimple as focus turned from the task of setting the vase on the desk back to her.

Fawn dusted the apron off and turned to face him, watching as he set out the flowers which instantly drew her closer. "What a lovely surprise. Thank you." She was surprised to see him here, much less baring gifts. "Thank you for offering such comforts for my parents. I am grateful that you have been so kind in receiving them, even though they're family." Quite the change from the spiteful little pixie, huh?

Indeed it was, color him shocked even if he kept an even keel on facial expressions. "I think Martha is adjusting and even liking it here." He paused debating to say something but then decided to go with it, "would you keep a confidence?" Meaning what he would tell her if she so agreed.

She had no doubt that her mother was enjoying life in Heathfield even if it was new to her. A curious tilt of her head, she nodded. "Of course."

"Things have changed in England. There has been a political shift that has jeopardized not only John and Martha but my parents as well. I have suggested that they move here before they are financially destroyed." She might notice the worry in his eyes even if the message was delivered with little emotion attached. It was there, just he was very good at not showing it. "It is for their safety they stay and why I saw to providing them a home." He too was lying low from incidents in the colonies protesting England's rule.

She didn't know about the shifts, but then she never really paid much attention to politics. She found them dreadfully boring. "That's a good idea. I hope for their benefit they listen to your advice." Admitting that it was a smart move and wise on his part to make the suggestion. For a quiet moment, she looked at the flowers before looking back to him. "Mr. Harrington, I wanted to apologize for my previous behavior. Well, not all of it, but the most recent of it. Since arriving here. It was uncalled for."

"I don't think they have much of a choice. My parents will be coming soon once they secure what they have in a way it cannot be touched. They are moving estates to trusted family that are not under such influences." Which he wanted her to know, mostly, that her adoptive parents were staying. "I think these lands will be good for Martha," not adding: to be around ones she didn't have to impress and make genuine friends. He too became quiet for that longer moment as he studied her, slight tilt of his head to follow. Maybe it was time for that hatchet to be buried and gone, misunderstandings cleared. He was not all that he seemed to be on the surface. It took him a few moments to come up with the right words, or so he hoped they would be. "I owe as much an apology. I would like to put such behind us. Know that I do not dislike you in any fashion, Fawn, in fact I would prefer if we could be friends." There was the honest truth as he was friends with her brothers, why not with her?

She offered a light smile. "Plenty of people, family, for mother to dote over here." She had no doubt that the Quinn family would take her in. Especially her brothers. They needed someone to dote on them that had age and seniority! To his apology, she nodded. "I never disliked you. I just...reacted." She wasn't going to say more than that. It seemed best to just leave it alone and not bring up what should be water under the bridge. With a smile, she offered a hand. Started to, then looked at it and wiped it off on her apron, then offered it proper. "So, friends?"

He was starting to see her in a new light, a more mature one. Any of them could have an immature moment too. "I am pleased to hear you never disliked me." Certainly that was one that surprised him. Boyish smile touched for a moment as he soaked that one in. He took her hand in his, fingers slipping beneath the palm as it was lifted to the bend of his head and the barest touch upon her knuckles before lowered as he straightened. Fingers left to drift from the touch and it was a way of showing respect to her as a lady. "Friends. Could you use some help here then?" He had noticed she'd been painting and in the least he could move the ladder for her or cover up his clothing and do some of the painting.

"You're a hard man to dislike." Not meant in a flirtatious way, but a genuine one. The touch was kind and she smiled a bit brighter before he released her hand and looked around, then looked at what he was wearing. "I wouldn't want you to ruin your clothes, Mr. Harrington. There's just that length of trim left to paint." Which she pointed to. Couldn't have been more than 20 or so feet left to the corner.

The top hat was first to be taken off then the tiered lined cape. The waist jacket bringing him down to the dress shirt and vest over it. Pants would be the biggest problem, he would just have to be careful. "Do you have a smock that would cover most of my pants too?"

"No, I'm afraid not. Oh!" She went around the counter and dug around for a moment before coming back out with a cut up sheet that she'd been using on the floor while painting the walls. She made a couple of tears to make ties and offered it to him with an impish grin. "Will this work?"

"Yes," provided it was a clean one and didn't have wet paint on it already. So it was checked out and once determined it was clean of paint, least on the underpart, he put it on and headed for the trim needing paint. Then he stopped with a laugh, "I do believe it would help if I had some paint and a brush."

It was clean enough on one side. What paint was on it was dry. It'd been a couple days since Joshua had been there to help her paint. When he mentioned the paint and brush, she pointed to the little fold out thingie on the ladder. "It's right there. It's nice of you to help me. If you could keep this between us, I would appreciate it. I'm sure others know I've opened the shop, but I am trying to keep my brothers and Madam from hearing about it. I am hoping to surprise them."

He understood, "mums the word. You should have received an invitation to dinner from my aunt." Which he spoke on as he was over to get the paint and brush then back to set to the task. She might notice he was not one to slop it on, in fact he was very meticulous about how he went about it and making perfect strokes, well, as much as humanly possible. "I didn't know you did pottery or are you buying pottery already done and reselling it?" There was two ways to go about it.

"I have. I'm thrilled to be going. I think even my brothers are looking forward to it. Of course, Madam was practically in tears for the dinner and chance to see mother and father. She stood close, hands on the ladder to help keep it steady. "I make my own. I enjoy working with clay. I'm hoping that now we're settled at the manor, perhaps Madam will join me here to paint. She enjoys things like that."

"I'm impressed," halting a moment with a dipping blue eyed glance upon her. The seriousness there as well a drip of paint to land on his nose at that moment. Then back up as he adjusted the brush and finished the stroke. "My aunt has true and deep affection for both you and Fiona. I believe that coming here where she knew both of you would be, eased the fact of having to leave their home which certain ones in parliament handed over to another uprising family. There was something about losing papers on back taxes years ago which they figured John would not keep." In short an underhanded legal means to rob them of their home. "I look forward to seeing your work once you have it all out."

Seeing the drop of paint, she reached into her pocket for a small cloth and offered it up to him. "It will do her well to be here. She will have friends here in no time and I really think once she meets my brothers, she will feel she has more family here. They're looking forward to meeting her." All that political nonsense didn't make much sense to her, but she knew well enough that her parents had been robbed of what was theirs. "You'll have to come in and find a wind chime for your shop stoop."

It didn't make sense to a lot of people but it is the way England has been for a very long time. Those of greed ruled and there was never enough. There were double, triple and quadruple crossing of loyalty that would have a head spinning or leaving the body as innocents were sent to the guillotine constantly along with the guilty. That was why Brad had joined the protestors in the colonies, where it could hurt England. He took the offered cloth to see to that bit of paint on his nose. That done he started up again. "I brought you flowers instead of cigars," sending a grin down at her as he put in the last stroke of paint. "There," hoping it looked good as he was back down off the ladder.

"And I am grateful you brought me flowers rather than cigars." Laughing quietly, she looked up at the trim as he finished and nodded. "Very well done, Mr. Harrington. I had no idea that you had such a steady hand. Perhaps you'll paint some pots now and then. So I can have some with a male touch." Coy grin flashed, resisting the urge to look in his direction to see his expression.

"I could give it a try but only have me paint ones that if they broke, they would not be missed." He really wouldn't know where to begin but he'd done other things even less appealing that needed to be done. "When do you think you'll be opening?" Taking the time to take the makeshift smock off and set it aside that it could be used again.

"I've heard broken bits of clay and pottery are quiet popular to collect." She picked up the paint can to put the lid back on. "I'm hoping to open in a week. Of course, it will take time to fill the walls and shelves, but it will come along one piece at a time."

"Well, if I get some spare time, would you like me to help you fill the shelves?" A pair of extra hands would have it go faster, "only trust me with the lesser ones in case I drop any. Of course I would pay for them if I did." Hard to tell if he was teasing or serious, other than if he was serious she'd not lose any money over them.

"If you'd like to come in and paint some of them, you're more than welcome to. I'm sure Madam would enjoy your company as much as I would." Her apron untied and laid over the counter, she looked around once more with a thoughtful smile. She was excited.

"I can do that but I have no idea if I have any artistic ability or not. They may end up looking very manly like caveman manly." Now he was teasing her but certainly his artistic ability might be that of a child's.

She laughed a bit and nodded. "That's fine. Perhaps it will attract the male eye." Kidding in return, but it was quite likely. "I do thank you for the help. However, I've been gone from the manner before dawn and should return before Madam sends my brothers hunting me down."

"It may well work for cigar holders.." which was a thought as he put his waist jacket back on then the lined cape. "It was my pleasure. Pleased very much for our talk too." Which had made it well worth the time in stopping by as his top hat was placed back on his head. "May I escort you back, at least near to the manor before anyone sees me either and you're asked questions.."

"Most certainly." Her cloaked picked up, she rapped it around herself with a quite chuckle. "Yes, Madam would have a hundred questions and not leave me alone all night."

He saw the door for her, leaving her to lock it up once they were outside and he'd set a comfortable pace at her side as they headed for Willow lake. He'd ask on her family and general conversation like if she was ready for winter and so on.



Date: 12-06-10
Poster: Eion Quinn
Post # 9

Gannon Jaxon Quinn
Born December 6th


Daireann was overdue, although it was said that babies came when they wanted to. Calculations were not written in stone and for her not to worry that it was not the latter part of November her child would be born into this life. Somewhat distraught this day she woke early and decided to go for a long walk. Walking was good and encouraged provided she didn't become uncomfortable. Her walk started out from Clearview, passing the Willow Lakes Estates as she had set a slow but steady pace. She was dress warmly for the weather and a lined hooded cloak that Eion had bought her along with boots that were lined reaching to just below her knees. The long wool dress went down to her ankles with a under dress beneath that keept her legs warm. The cloak too was almost to the ankles lending extra warmth. Snow was falling lightly when she had started out and now it was so heavy that she could barely see a foot in front of her. It was giving her vertigo as well. That was until she came upon a field, thinking she was headed back to the manor, where the snow seemed to blow away and the scents of spring were the air. At first she thought she gone insane or this was some dream she needed to wake from. Of late she had too many vivid dreams that expressed her fears.


Then she realized that she must be near the Celtic gardens but no garden was seen. A field with flowers in it still and a warmer gentle breeze. Squinting, she made out what seemed to be a roof, so headed through the field in that direction hoping someone would be home. She was about half way when the contractions started, coming quick that brought her to her knees, arms wrapping around her belly as she cried out in surprise and pain. She remembered her breathing as Mary and the midwife had taught her and so managed to her feet, hoping even more there was someone at the cottage that could help her. Making it to the door she found now one was home to hear the knock, the door unlocked and so she got herself inside. Fears were overtaking her as she found the couch, it was still furnished as if the one that left, left everything as was. Another pain seized having her cry out again and so the process continued until she noticed a lad at the door. She vaguely recognized him, "go get Eion Quinn as quickly as you can and the midwife," words wrenched through another contraction before it eased again. Tommy nodded before turning and running to the Quinn residence at Clearview and pounding on their door. He was use to snowstorms so it only slowed him a little. He usually took the path from his house through that field and warmth to remind him of spring.

Eion had just arrived at the manor, having been working on a few things with some of the newer squires  He had bathed and changed his clothing beforehand, not wanting to chase everyone out of the manor.  His cloak was barely hung when he heard the pounding at the door. "I'll get it," he called out and pulled the door open to find the lad there. When he explained what was happening, Eion sent him for the midwife then found a maid standing behind him. She informed him that the Quinn ladies had gone Christmas shopping save for Daireann. Telling her to inform them as soon as they returned, he grabbed his cloak and pulled it on. In spite of the storm, he made his way quickly to the cabin and stepped inside. "Daireann?" He was over to the couch, kneeling down. "The midwife will be here soon. I'll start a fire."

Her forehead had sweat upon it as her hair had become damp, having the russet curls become tighter still. She was dazed by this time but had managed out of her cloak and gotten her boots off, that was all. All that was needed really for the skirts could just be moved up out of the way or taken off. They were not one piece but had a top that overlapped the long skirt. "Eion," the first glimmer of hope lacing her tone before the cry in pain came as she doubled over on her side.

"Aye, I'm here, Daireann." He took hold of her hand, frowning. It seemed that the pains were coming too quickly though he wasn't certain. "Try to take deep, quick breaths when the contractions come." It was impossible to know what the weather was beyond the Gardens but he hoped the midwife wouldn't be long. He stood as he repeated, "I'll start the fire."

"I... I think it is coming," words rushed as she was already pushing, her hand reaching up to grab his in squeezing it hard. She was panting and the contractions were now all together, her body arching as she pushed, "Eion, help your son into this life.."

Eion stopped mid-step and turned back to Daireann. It didn't matter if the midwife was on her way or not it seemed. A quick prayer and he tried to make Daireann as comfortable as possible. There wasn't even time to look for a blanket or towel except for the blanket over the back of a nearby chair. He shook it and found not a trace of dust. Then he prepared as best her could for their son's entrance.

The head was crowning as her knuckles turned white where she gripped into the cushions either side of the couch. One push, two, the baby slipped out and she was trying to get up to see to it if Eion hadn't.

He had the babe in his arms, and held him upside down to clear his throat. As the child began to cry, he placed him in the blanket and then into Daireann's arms then tended to the afterbirth. The cord wouldn't be cut until that final step and then it was cut and tied off. He grinned at Daireann and leaned to kiss her forehead. "Let me get some water and warm it off to wash off both of you, sweetheart." It would also give him a moment to clean off his blade, again using potcheen, and to take a drink of what was left in the flask to stop his own shaking!

"He is beautiful and perfect like his father," her words held that emotional warmth filled with love for both. She no longer tried to hide it, not after the talk with Mary Quinn. Come what may, she had revised her ideas on a few things but opportunity may have only been presented once and no longer there. She had accepted this too. She had a beautiful son with a lusty cry that soon settled into a coo as he dozed in his mother's arms. Tears of happiness left a trail from the corners of her eyes to blend in with the sweat from labor that edged her hairline still.

"I'm not sure about beautiful or perfect for myself." Eion grinned as it all hit him. "But he is beautiful ... like his mother and I hope he'll have your color of hair." He walked backward into the kitchen and by the time he had the water warmed up, the midwife was there. She took over, seeing to the child and then the mother. "We'll have to see about a name, and his surname." He looked down at the child who had been placed in his arms while the midwife tended to Daireann. "Isn't that right lad? Time for your mother to take my last name." When they were ready to go, the midwife took charge of the babe, while Eion found another blanket to wrap Daireann in. "I still want you to be my wife, Daireann, for now, I have two of you to love." He lifted her carefully in strong arms.

The tears of joy were rolling where she could no longer hold them back. Her hands shaking that she held tight in her lap while the midwife took over, helping her to feel less a mess and clean again. "He should have a name with meaning like the white stag that appeared as his spirit guide." That foretold of a birth that should not be ended before it began when she had such a silly notion eight months ago. Now she couldn't believe she even considered it. The baby actually opened his eyes looking straight into his father's when he said that, the voice he seemed to recognize. "I want to be your wife, you are my life for I cannot think of it without you and our child. I could not bear to see you with another when I know I can love you as you deserve." Wrapped up in his arms, words were spoken low to him alone as the midwife was already out in the surrey with the driver's help getting her in, they were next.

"Ailbhe means white in Gaelic, Carria or Damh for stag." He smiled as he carried her carefully out to the surrey. "So we can talk on it and, I'm going to send for Brother Thomas tonight. If you'll allow me?" It would be a simple ceremony though the celebration would likely be a grand one once she was well enough. "And if you wish, we can have another ceremony later." He was able to place her in the surrey and climbed in after, taking her up into his arms again once he was seated. If Mary and the others weren't back by the time they got there, they'd be getting a grand surprise! He placed a kiss against her lips before whispering. "Rest, mo ghrá." The ride would be slow, not only due to the snow but because the driver had been told to do so. Once home, he planned to see them both to bed with the midwife to help until Herself and his sisters came home.

"Yes, I will have a new name as our son gets his." They would decide by then but she made one request, "please have Eion as his middle name." As it seemed he was to carry his own than be in the shadow of his father's name. The drive may not have been drastically far, but the snow, the ordeal of childbirth all took its toll, she fell asleep in his arms after the sweet kiss shared. She no longer feared, she no longer worried, instead her heart was filled with pure joy. She was exactly where she wanted to be by one who felt the same.



Date: 12-14-10
Poster: Eion Quinn
Post # 10

Quinn Marriage


Eion watched as both Daireann and the child slept during that short ride. As the surrey came to a stop, he woke her with a quiet word, then stood, still with her in his arms. He was careful as he stepped out, not wanting to fall while carrying her. A hint of a smile appeared when he made it to the door, the midwife close behind. Though one of the stable boys took charge of horse and wagon, the door remained close. He kicked at it a few times to gain entrance and when the servant opened it, asked if his grandmother and sisters were back. From there, he headed for the living room, and placed Daireann on the sofa. The midwife was following until Daireann was settled, waiting with the child in her arms.

She was exhausted but woke easily too for that other energy that came after having a child. Twilight sleep would be the norm for the next number of months she would discover. No matter how tired, she would hear any slight sounds of their child and even wake just to check on him that he was still breathing. Marveling at him before finding sleep again. This was another milestone moment as the door was opened and they were into the manor. So far, it was quiet but that could be very deceiving as Eion saw to her being settled on the couch.

"I do not need you to show me the way, Salleigh. I know where the living room is, for Mercy's sake!" The voice, as always, could be heard before the woman was seen, and it echoed now down the corridors and bounced off the walls. For every two steps the maid took, Mary Quinn had managed four and soon enough left the servant in her wake. "Go find Conor!" She shot back over her shoulder. "Tell him to haul that cradle from the nursery down here for now and be sure that ..." The voice got closer and closer as did the bustling of the skirts she wore. "The linens are on the wee mattress and that those shaky toys be in there as ..." She cut around the corner, stopped dead in her tracks there in the door way, and gasped, hands clasping together to press at her chest. "Oh my, oh my..." She was straight away in, making for the midwife and the babe in arms. "Oh, oh, oh..." And for once, Mary Quinn, Matron of Quinn household, was at a loss for words. Her eyes welled with tears and she patted her hands together, then wiggled her fingers out to the midwife to hand that bundle over without further delay. She looked between mother and father, gathering up the newest addition to their family into the nest of her cradling arms.

Mel was upstairs when she heard the fussing and found out about the babe's arrival. She called for both her sisters and made a beeline down the stairs, her feet barely touching the steps. She came to a halt just short of sliding by the door and came inside to look over Mary's shoulder. "Oh, how perfectly beautiful."

Concessa dropped everything she was doing in making some Christmas presents as she came bolting down the steps and used Mel to stop her rush, arm going around her sister's waist which pulled them both a step closer. She squealed in delight, "he is gorgeous, it is a he?" She was assuming.

"His name is Gannon Jaxon Eion Quinn." He smiled at his grandmother as she fell silent. "And he couldn't wait for the storm to finish before he came into this world." He settled on the sofa beside Daireann. Hopefully Mary wouldn't remember that it was snowing out and apparently Daireann had been out in it.

Segan was upstairs when Mary yelled for Conor and so he was there to help him bring down the cradle and the blankets that would be used in it. He was anxious to meet his new nephew.


"I hope you like the name we chose for him," watching Mary as tears came to her eyes. She had gotten to hold her son but not long enough and she would wait to hold him again for he was in good hands.

Indeed the poor mother would wait as Mary turned her body to show off the little laddie in her arms to his aunties. She stroked the tip of her finger gently across his forehead. "Sweet little snowman." She knew that the four of them had traveled through the snow to get here, but here is where they needed to be so not a word of reproach would come from her lips. "My sweet little..." And she tenderly touched her finger to the soft bud of his nose. "Jax." As she said the name, she lifted her gaze to Eion, the very faintest of head movements in appreciation and pleasure before looking back down.

A thud and bump announced the arrival of the cradle. "Blast, Segan. My fingers are on that side of the thing. Don't cut it so tight." Although, he wasn't worried about the throbbing pain in his fingers as much as if they knocked a chunk out of cradle or wall! He was checking behind them as they continued in to make sure no marks were left, the body of the baby's bed swinging side to side with their progress.

Gemma was the last of the Quinns to come downstairs since her two brothers were carrying the cradle. She winced when she heard Conor but didn't wait once they were in the hall. There was room for her to go around and that's just what she did. She joined her sisters in cooing over the babe.

He took hold of Daireann's hand and smiled at her then looked at them all. His family, no, their family. And they all better remember that Mary Quinn was downright speechless. "There's something else I'd like you all to do for us. I know it's late, but I'd like for each of you to witness our marriage this night." If they'd agree, he'd be sending the surrey for Brother Thomas.

She smiled at her sisters, sliding her arms around their waists as she watched Mary and the babe. Looking at Eion, she smiled and nodded. She'd be glad to be a witness.

"Hey, don't blame me for tripping over your own feet and near taking the wall with you.." see him grin but they were in control of the cradle and neither it nor the wall was damage. "Heads up," best they behave as Grandma came into sight. Giving a wink to Gemma as she passed them out. They would be directed by Mary as to where she wanted the cradle.

Concessa was in the chorus of coos.

Her smile was bright even after the whole of the ordeal. She still couldn't believe it, they had a beautiful son. Her hand slipping into Eion's as she watched, her heart welling to the point of near bursting with happiness, something that could be seen in her eyes and it ran deep. She squeeze his hand a touch more when he made the next announcement. Searching each Quinn face to see how they responded.

Conor managed to get a look in at the babe since Mary had him cocked up in her arms to show the girls. He led the way for them to where Daireann sat, it was beside her he'd guess it went. When he heard Eion's announcement, he almost dropped his end, jerking his gaze from the female cluster to his brother. He managed to place his burden down, and as he did, he leaned in to touch a kiss to Daireann's temple. "I'll welcome you to the family first." His smile followed and he stood away.

Though Mary's soft lullaby had ceased and she looked between the mother and father, she didn't say anything at first. "Are you feeling well enough, Sweet'ums, to go through a ceremony this night as well? Eion Quinn, birthing a babe is not stroll in the park, Boy. But glad I'd be to see this wee one with the Quinn name and a mother and father united in the upbringing. Together, aye? Not necessary, but vows spoken in love and sincerity." She drew in a deep breath, smiling. "Get with you boy, send for the clergyman!" Her gaze dipped back down, and her smile rested on the babe. She walked this way to Daireann, and offered her son down to her. Did she even wait for her reply to her question? Did she ever wait for anyone's reply to her questions? Really, were her questions ... really questions? Her family knew better. Her questions were always...suggestions...meant to be agreed to and acted upon.

Color him surprised but pleasantly so as he kissed Daireann's other temple near at the same time as his brother. "As well meself," straightening as a hand went to Eion's shoulder in a brotherly clasp there. He knew it was a big step and he believed the decision was made on both their stubborn minded parts!

Concessa clapped her hands in delight before she was over to give Daireann a hug then her brother as each of them, so far, took their turns. "I'm very pleased for you both and for Gannon."

Tears came to her eyes as she was very pleased they were happy for them both and shared in what was to proceed as she took her son into her arms again. Not just for Gannon, for that alone would not be a good bases to start a marriage on but certainly it was good for him too. "I would be happy with a simple ceremony that is of a greater importance that I do marry Eion for my love of him. Something that has not changed for a long time but because I loved him I had hesitated on his offer of marriage before, to make sure that he was certain." Her relief shone in the next moment... and she ceased any explanations.

Gemma joined her family in welcoming Daireann to the family then took another peek at the newest member of the family. She smiled as she stepped back, turning her gaze on her brother and giving him a thumbs up.

"Aye, Gran, I'll do that right now." He was up and moving to the door and into the hallway rather quickly. A servant was sent for Brother Thomas. Now they had to wait until the man could get here. And he warned the driver to go slow if necessary because of the weather.

Mary claimed a spot right next to the new mother, a hand resting on her shoulder as the woman held her baby. "Segan..." She spoke softly, this close to the infant. "Go get us some of the good whiskey and glasses. You know where I keep it hidden?" Didn't they all? Why did Mary even hide it in the pantry, in a wooden box, back behind the large sack of potatoes? Tradition perhaps, but still she did, and still they all knew where to find it if they ever wished it.

Segan knew exactly were and was quickly off to see to the whiskey and glasses, he had the maid bring in some finger food too in case anyone was hungry. He always was! Well, she would know that he knew where it was and she may have noticed over time, that a new bottle would be put there every so often so that she never ran out! Not that Mary was a lush or drank too much but a shot here and there especially in coffee or in tea was expected.

Daireann was excited and her eyes held the smile upon her lips as well when Mary joined her on the couch. She would probably be sleeping here tonight and then upstairs in a day or two. The hardest part was this waiting.

It was medicinal. For those days when Allan came to visit, of course, and she made tea.


In spite of the storm, it didn't take Brother Thomas long to make ready, including getting dressed for the hour, and climb into the surrey for the trip to the manor. He was nearly always calm and collected when others were not and even in the midst of a storm and the dangerous driving of the lad sent to retrieve him, he remained serene. As the surrey came to a stop, he climbed out and made his way to the door.

It was Eion who met him at the door, ushering him in and offering a glass of the pure while he explained the situation. Once the man was warmed up, he led him into the living room where everyone was waiting.

The living room where everyone was having a few nips too. All smiling, the baby fast asleep in his mother's arms. Dark eyes lifting seeing the Friar and a lump forming in her throat, not one of fear but taking that big step.

"Friar Thomas!" Mary hissed out a shout to keep from waking the babe. With a jerk of hand, she pulled her skirts aside and rushed over to the man, collecting him from Eion. "So kind of you to come on such short notice. I see you have a drink, need you something to eat? Here ...come in and meet the bride and the dear Little Jax. Quiet though, he is sleeping, quite the night for the dear wee pup. You know?" She had rested her loving gaze on the baby until that last part when she looked over to the friar. "Oh, but of course, no, you wouldn't know fully now would you." Where she laced her arm through his she gave his forearm a light pat and slipped her arm free. "Was the ride tolerable? Miserable cold out there tonight." The whole time she spoke now, she was bumping furniture with a hip to scoot it along so they would have more room for a ceremony.

Conor poured himself a glass of potcheen and took a place out of the way, nearer a window. Like with a crazed bull, it was the one moving that caught its eye when there were many around. Better to stand still so Mary didn't notice you were standing idle.

Segan moved out of Mary's way, helping any furniture in the direction of that hip bump before he joined Conor near the window giving the Friar and Mary plenty of room to see to this ceremony. He noticed their sisters doing about the same, only lending a helping hand but leaving a good space about the two heading for where Daireann was on the couch.

"Ah, Mistress Quinn, so good to see you, as always. You've been well? I am always glad to serve, no matter the hour." He chuckled as the Quinn matriarch continued. "I have been at the birth of children, believe it or not." He answered each of her questions while she and the others tended to the furniture. "The ride was tolerable, yes. Now, my dear," he looked at Daireann. "Since you've also had quite a night, would it be better for you to remain seated or with Eion's help, would you prefer to stand."

Eion cast a helpless look toward his brothers. But they all knew Herself was a whirlwind when it came to seeing things set right. He moved close to Daireann again, waiting for her decision on standing. It was then he realized his palms were sweating and he was nervous! Maybe his brothers should block the door.


The brothers wouldn't need to block the door, kind, sweet, Mary would see to the lad doing nothing but saying his vows this night now that he had decided upon them. A Quinn never ran from his obligations and Eion was seeing to his this night. Mary crossed over to Eion and patted his check softly. "Brave lad." No one really gave the groom any credit, now did they. There was a lot of responsibility to be had becoming a husband and a father all in one night. She clapped her hands together just loud enough to draw everyone's attention but not startle the sleeping baby. "Ssssh now. Daireann, which is your preference, Sweet Child."



Date: 12-14-10
Poster: Eion Quinn
Post # 11

"I think it might be best I remain seated," she didn't trust standing and Eion could sit beside her, did it matter what height they were at to take their vows? Once he was seated, being their son was in her arms as well, a free hand slid to take his, her eyes loving upon him before turned upon the Friar. The last thing she wanted to do was stand too long, holding her child and collapse, no, better not take that chance. Her smile turned upon Mary as she was a force this night keeping it all together as it should be. Then back to the Friar, "I am ready."

Eion took hold of that patting hand and placed a kiss to Mary's knuckles, a tribute to her. "Love you, Gran." Then he was seated beside Daireann and waiting for the ceremony to begin. "As am I."

Seated or standing, the ceremony would be bind the two together. "Since it's late, I'll not give a long sermon. Instead I'll paraphrase the words from I Corinthians, verses 4 through 7. "Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly, it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." He paused to look from Eion to Daireann and then to the child. "Tonight, you will celebrate in your love by uniting in holy matrimony before your family who serve as witnesses. Remember that Love is stronger than your conflicts, bigger than life's changes,
the miracle always inviting you to learn, to blossom to expand. It is to love you must always return." He looked at Eion expectantly. "Might I have the rings?"

And Eion got a near panicked look. Rings? He had expected to go look at rings with Daireann should she decide to marry him and so, he had none!

The entire time the Friar spoke his words, Mary nodded. She nodded to the patience, she nodded to the kindness, she nodded to the lack of jealousy. She nodded and nodded, each time she nodded. She nodded to rejoicing and bearing and believing and hoping and enduring. It was when the Friar asked for the rings and the look on Eion's face that she stopped smiling. "I have the ring for the lovely lady, I'm holding it here for you, Eion." She tugged a bit to slip the ring from her smallest finger, a silver wrap which had been given to her by her husband when Jaxon was born. It was tight with the weight age had graced her with, but she wore it still, and would no doubt fit the lady's finger perfectly. If not, Eion could see it sized. "Here, Love...I apologize for the delay." She bustled over to Eion and as she handed it to him, kissed him on top of his head. The tiniest of winks followed for her grandson before she backed away, her hands clasped over her midsection.

"I have a ring that was my father's and his father before him," as her hand left Eion's to run along the chain around her neck, bringing it from her bosom. The finger sliding back then to undo the clasp which one handed she let slide from the chain. It was made of gold with the Celtic crossing of knots that bode unending loyalty and love. It was large but would probably fit Eion's finger as she offered it up to Brother Thomas. Eion had still to learn of her family and past but their love didn't depend on it. "They were good men," she added so they would know the worth of the ring not so much in the gold it was made of.

The gratitude on Eion's face, both to his Grandmother and wife-to-be was probably comical. Of all the things... he stopped chiding himself as he took the ring from his Gran and offered it to Brother Thomas. Daireann's words had him smiling and giving a slight nod. They would talk soon of her past. And of his.

Brother Thomas chuckled softly under his breath as both women came to the rescue. He accepted the rings, pronouncing a blessing over them. He handed the simple silver band to Eion, who, if he had the presence to notice would see the words "Eternity isn't long enough" inside, a sentiment that the Friar certainly approved of. "Eion, at this time, you will speak your vows to Daireann, and place the ring on her finger. Repeat these words after me. I, Eion Quinn, in the name of the spirit of God that resides within us, by the life that courses within my blood and the love that resides in my heart, take thee, Daireann, to my hand, my heart and my spirit, to be my wife. To desire thee and be desired by thee, to possess thee and be possessed by thee, without sin or shame, for naught can exist in the purity of my love for thee. I promise to love thee wholly and completely without restraint, in sickness and in health, in plenty and in poverty, in live and beyond, where we shall meet, remember and love again. I will not seek to change thee in any way. I shall respect thee, thy beliefs, they people and thy ways as I respect myself."

Eion took Daireann's small hand in his larger one, and slipped the ring on her finger. "I, Eion Quinn," amazing! His voice sounded as steady as always. "in the name of the spirit of God that resides within us by the life that courses within my blood and the love that resides in my heart, take thee, Daireann, to my hand, my heart and my spirit, to be my wife. To desire thee and be desired by thee, to possess thee and be possessed by thee, without sin or shame or shame, for naught can exist in the purity of my love for thee. I promise to love thee wholly and completely without restraint, in sickness and in health, in plenty and in poverty, in life and beyond, where," he faltered for a moment until Brother Thomas prompted him, "where we shall meet, remember, and love again. I shall not seek to change thee in any way. I shall respect thee, thy beliefs, they people, and thy ways as I respect myself." He slid the ring on her finger and then continued. "When we first met, I didn't realize that our relationship would blossom beyond what we were doing for the crown. You have been a light in my darkness, a place of respite when I was in need, and above all, a gentle and loving woman. I am happy beyond words that you have accepted me as your husband, and I promised I will always take care of you, and our son, and give you all the love I hold in my heart forever. " More words than the usual quiet Eion gave.

Mary's hands had moved from her waist to her chest, both hands pressed there and a short, soft coo escaping as her grandson remembered all the words...only hesitating the once. What a dear boy.

She was getting choked up as happy tears stung her eyes, some rolling down her cheeks, she was in a heightened emotional time. Eion would notice that her hands were trembling as he slid the ring down her finger. She wanted to speak out, to tell of her heart but she knew she was suppose to repeat after Brother Thomas once he prompted her as eyes turned there in wait.

Gemma was almost in tears as she stood with her sisters, her arm around Concessa's waist, her hand on Mel's arm.

Mel was in tears as she stood and watch. Her family would have to stand through another wedding soon.

Segan was even choked up and knew his days were numbered until he would be saying pretty much the same to Vanessa.

Concessa had grabbed Mel's hand to squeeze it tight, "wont be long for you," whispered  as to not interrupt the ceremony and they were far enough away.

He then turned to Daireann, and repeated the same. "Daireann, at this time, you will speak your vows to Eion, and place the ring on his finger. Repeat these words after me. I," ...  Here he paused and waited for her to give her full name.

"Daireann Rosalind Sullivan," from the county Tiperary in Ireland but she didn't add that.

He gave her an encouraging smile then continued, "I, Daireann Rosalind Sullivan, in the name of the spirit of God that resides within us, by the life that courses within my blood and the love that resides in my heart, take thee, Eion, to my hand, my heart and my spirit, to be my husband. To desire thee and be desired by thee, to possess thee and be possessed by thee, without sin or shame, for naught can exist in the purity of my love for thee. I promise to love thee wholly and completely without restraint, in sickness and in health, in plenty and in poverty, in live and beyond, where we shall meet, remember and love again. I will not seek to change thee in any way. I shall respect thee, thy beliefs, they people and thy ways as I respect myself."

While the others cooed and cried, Conor just shook his head. An awful lot of fuss to strap a chain around a man's leg. But, with Eion's past, maybe he preferred that weight and clink of chain to freedom.

The fates knew what they were doing when Mary Quinn was not blessed with the ability to read minds. Conor Quinn would be in one heap of a mess of trouble for those thoughts of his! Just wait, when that lad fell, he'd fall hard. And then maybe he'd be singing a different tune.

It was a good thing she couldn't read Conor's thoughts too or there would be one brother in law she'd avoid like the plague for that insult.  Once Brother Thomas gave the lines chosen, Daireann repeated the words in a heartfelt manner for they meant a lot to her even if she was repeating... "I, Daireann Rosalind Sullivan, in the name of the spirit of God that resides within us, by the life that courses within my blood and the love that resides in my heart, take thee, Eion, to my hand, my heart and my spirit, to be my husband. To desire thee and be desired by thee, to possess thee and be possessed by thee, without sin or shame, for naught can exist in the purity of my love for thee. I promise to love thee wholly and completely without restraint, in sickness and in health, in plenty and in poverty, in live and beyond, where we shall meet, remember and love again. I will not seek to change thee in any way. I shall respect thee, thy beliefs, they people and thy ways as I respect myself."Adding to the last. "I am happy I could get past my stubbornness for I've loved you longer than I'd admit," feeling guilty over it too but there were a lot of things yet to be told in time. "I will love you till the end of time and take care of you in this life as wife should her husband but it will be due to my love. I will bear you more children if you wish them and God blesses us with." All the while she slid the ring down his finger, turning it there until her words were done.

No doubt about it, Daireann should be insulted, and Eion would probably pummel his youngest sibling for that insult. Still, to each their own, and Conor didn't see what the rush was for. The baby was here.

Always the practical one, that Conor.

There was no candle so the Friar improvised. "Today the two of you become one. Your love is the sole possession or creation of neither of you. It has grown between you and united you in this moment. I now, in the name of the Crown, and by the power given me, before those who love you and have assembled with you, do now pronounce you husband and wife, and present you to your family as Mr. and Mrs. Eion and Daireann Quinn. Eion, you may now kiss your  bride." He smiled at the couple then looked at Mary and her grandchildren.

Eion smiled fully as he listened to Daireann and when she was finished, he gently squeezed her hand. When all was done, he wrapped her carefully in her arms and kissed her, deeply. When he released her, he promised a honeymoon as soon as they were able. They could leave little Jax in Mary's care for that time.

Gemma would have let out a loud whistle in appreciation but she didn't want to wake the babe or have Mary chiding her. Instead, she hugged her sisters and then her brothers and finally went over to do the same for the couple.

And of course Mel did the same.

Mary's favorite part, the kiss! "Kiss her like a Quinn, Lad." She hooted her glee as he did just that. She didn't even turn around. "Drinks, Conor!" She called to him knowing he'd do just that.

She melted into his kiss as she always did. It was how she knew he was the only man she could or would, ever love. The kiss said it all, her emotions there even if it was not to continue overly long, but long enough to convey all she felt. He got a smile for the promise of a honeymoon, something they both might just need after all said and done. She had tear stains down her cheeks but they were of a happy kind.

Segan was over to offer his congratulations, good thump on his brother's back, "as it should be you before me," murmured with a grin before he gave Daireann a kiss to her forehead, "I am pleased for you both."

Concessa was in line to give Eion a big bear hug then a kiss to his cheek, "I'm very happy for you brother," then a kiss to Daireann's cheek, "and for you," as she went from one to the next before letting any others have their turn.

While the others hugged and kissed, Conor poured everyone a glass of whiskey then crossed over to take his turn. A nod to Eion as he leaned in to touch a kiss to Daireann's cheek. "Welcome to the family, Mrs. Quinn."

Especially if Eion would happen to go to Kildare, though nothing was certain. He accepted the congratulations, chuckling at Segan's words, hugging his sisters and of course, giving Gran a hug and kiss. He turned to Brother Thomas, offering his hand. "I'm not sure about fees, but I hope you accept this." He had coins in a small bag and offered it. "The storm has grown worse and you're welcome to stay the night. I'm sure we'll have a celebration tomorrow and  I'd like you to be there." He was sure Gran would approve the offer.

Brother Thomas accepted the coins gratefully. Anything he received went to the orphans since the crown saw to his needs. He then was over to pronounce a blessing over the babe. Not quite a baptism but that could be done another time. "I'd be glad to accept the invite." A warm bed instead of the cold of the storm and another harrowing ride. He'd be insane not to accept!

"We always have room for more." Mary added to Eion's invitation, she was over taking up the drinks and starting to hand them out. The celebration would start tonight!


Date: 03-07-11
Poster: Conor Quinn
Post # 12

A Late Nite Discussion Between Brothers

The hour was late, but the lanterns still glowed from the windows of the small shop.   At the moment, the youngest of the Quinn brothers was not working, but sitting out on the small porch with a glass of pure and a view of the road beyond.  At least, as far out as that light extended.   No coat, just a scarf and hat..the rest of his person was warmed by liquid alone.  He still had work to do inside, but this was one of only a few breaks he allowed himself when there were orders to be completed. 

It had been late when Eion left the castle.  He had warned Daireann that he would be later still when he returned home because he intended to stop and visit Conor, if his brother was still awake.  Some how Eion was sure he would be. He appeared out of the dark, still wearing the tunic and cloak that marked him as a knight of Heathfield, the sound of his horse's hooves muffled from the snow.  Dismounting, he walked to the porch, and smiled at Conor.  "Think you could spare a glass?"  Motioning to the one Conor held.

His feet were propped up on the railing but as soon as the man stepped from the shadows of night into his vision, Conor was instantly up.
  Conor was raised on the farm with the horses, but he had been trained in battle, had fought alongside his brothers, and the fact that Eion had gotten so close to him before he realized caused Conor to grumble a curse.  "A glass and refill for as long as you're willing to share it with me."  Pleased that Eion had come, he slid his arm around to ease open the door to the interior.  "Only one chair can sit out here, so we'll take it inside if you've no complaints about that." 

Conor still had good reactions which Eion was pleased to see.  He chuckled at the grumble but said nothing about it.  "I've no complaints about it at all.  Come summer, it might be a different tale." There wouldn't be need of  a second chair then.  He moved to the door and stepped through and aside so Conor could follow.  There was something about the smell of leather that had him sniffing in appreciation.  "This brings back memories."  Removing his gloves, he turned to face Conor. "Of course, I missed you having your own shop, but I remember where you were apprenticed."  He regretted now having left Ireland so soon after the death of their mother.

"There wasn't much difference once Smeets retired and I took over."  Except for the way Conor did business, especially since Smeets had willingly let Conor see to the artistic details of the work early on in his apprenticeship. The interior was large enough to support the three wooden benches where Conor worked.  Each now draped with a partially sewn saddle in place.  A glass was retrieved from a shelf and he blew into it, clearing out any debris that may have collected during his work.  Potcheen was added after that customized cleaning attempt and he handed it over to Eion.  He raised his own refilled glass to his oldest brother.  "Bottoms up, whiskey's down." 

"Slainte."  He had drank out of worse!  Eyes closed briefly with the first burn of the potcheen and he nodded as he opened them and studied the glass. Then he looked at Conor.  "You were lost in thought tonight.  Seemed to have been the same at the Thistle.  Is everything all right, Conor?" He wasn't that way at the manor, but then again, they were usually surrounded by family, even late at night.

"Aye."  He paused a moment, squinting an eye at his brother.  "Is that why you came tonight, to check on your baby brother's well being?"  He chuckled a bit with a shake of head.  There was no need of a reply to that question.  "Aye it's alright, and what isn't either can't be fixed or need not be, you know?"  He had taken up a lean against the frame of the window, motioning for his kin to have a seat by the table and two chairs.

"In part." He grinned with a shrug added in. "There's been so much change in my life of late that I haven't had time to think. With the dust settling a bit, I think a visit now and then is a good thing.  Though hopefully it won't so late next time.  I just had a feeling you'd be awake. And if not, it was a nice ride." He sat in one of the chairs and continued. "And of course, there's always Herself to make sure I keep an eye on things."  Especially if Mary Quinn was worried that the youngest son wasn't eating like he should.

He pushed up from his lean and pulled a chair around to join Eion at the table.  He set his glass on the wooden surface and laced his fingers around it.  Eion's life had been a whirlwind of change, major changes, but in lieu of that, Conor's concerns still loomed heavy.  "You trust Daireann?" 

He watched Conor as he sat, a drink taken and glass lowered in that time.  Conor's question surprised him but he thought he understood the reasoning behind it. "Aye, I do. When we first met, I wasn't certain beyond working with her that I could trust her but I do."  He paused before adding, "as much as I can trust any woman."  He shook his head.  "Hopefully that will pass completely."  It wasn't easy to admit he still felt that way.

Conor nodded, tipping his glass to look inside it, even though he wasn't really checking the level of liquid, more of a diversion to his thoughts.  "And if it doesn't?" His gaze lifted to fix on Eion.  "If it doesn't pass completely?" 

This was a switch for Eion.  He was usually the one asking questions and here he was, being asked questions that made him confront something he usually ignored and set aside.  He looked toward the window a long moment before meeting Conor's gaze.  "I don't know, Conor.  I suppose it will have to be dealt with somehow.  I'm just not sure how at this point."  He frowned and shook his head. "I don't want to cause Daireann any hurt because of my uncertainty."

"Of course not, Eion.  None of us would wish her any."  For all that Conor questioned Eion's decisions, he knew that his brother had acted according to what he felt was right for everyone involved.  In that, Conor was not much different.  "I understand, you know, that need to do and be for someone.  Friend. Protector. Confidant."  He drew in a breath and held it before releasing it slowly.  "Lover."  His forefinger tapped on the top of his hand where his fingers weaved into one another.  "How did you know, though, that Daireann would be different than Jane?  Did she never test your trust in her?" 

Jane's name didn't cause him to flinch anymore.  In fact, he felt nothing when Conor mentioned her name.  He did nod though to the question. "She did, aye.  There was a night when I saw her leaving a ship.  I knew there was only one reason she could have been there and though I had no claims on her then, I confronted her.  I was concerned that she was alone that late for one.  And with us both working for the crown as we were, there was always extra danger.  I escorted her back to her home and was going to leave when she told me the truth about herself."  He smirked as he lifted the glass. "I trusted my instincts in that she was telling the truth.  The Captain of the ship was her brother and it would be easy enough to follow up on her tale."  He never did though.

This particular story kept the younger of the two listening intently.  "But you didn't, did you...follow up on her tale, because you had no reason not to believe her."  He released his  hold on the glass with one hand, his elbow bending and rested his temple in the palm of his hand, closing his eyes briefly to chose his words.  Fingertips massaged the spot deep within his hair where they touched.  "I'm struggling, Eion." He confessed, not changing his position but looking over to a brother he had always confided in growing up, no matter the ridicule he often received for it. 

"No, I didn't follow up because there was no reason not to believe her." He placed his own glass on the table, his attention fully on Conor.  "You hide it well."  He studied him a moment before speaking again. "I'm listening if you want me to hear.  And if you want advice, I'll be willing to do my best to give it."  Time had changed things and this, this sounded far too serious for ridicule or teasing.

Still with head in hand, fingers laced in his hair, he kept his gaze on his brother.  "There's a lass, see?  I've been spending a bit of time with."  A sheepish grin tugged at his lips before he started speaking again.  "Quite a bit of time.  Trust is a big thing for me, Eion."  He lifted his head, even though his hand stayed lifted as it was.  "Everyone makes mistakes, hell, I've made a shit load of them and no doubt I'll be swimming in that sewer more before I die, but if one promise can't be held to, how can you trust that any will be.  Like your vows." He nodded to Eion.  "If you can't trust Daireann to keep the simplest of promises, how can one so weighty be within her power to  commit to?" 

This was a night of surprises. Conor was spending time with a single lass?  "That's true and it was a big step for me to trust her.  Has this lass given you a reason not to trust her?" He grinned  at Conor, "And do I know her?"  There was an answer needed however. "You've always had good instincts, in spite of making mistakes, Conor.  I would say not to jump  into anything yet, if you can help it.  See how things play out."  A chuckled escaped and he added, "and here I was certain it would take some time before a single lass would have you wondering if you were going in the right direction."

"I'm not jumping." He growled, though there was little conviction to that sound directed to his brother.  Perhaps it was more directed to himself.  "And aye, she has, and aye, I do believe you do.  For a while I didn't have a single doubt about the direction.  And damn if she can't make me forget what it is I'm so frustrated with her about."  He cleared his throat and his thoughts with a "bah, what a waste of breath, she is who she is, I suppose I have to accept the whole of her to appreciate the whole of her, aye?"  He tossed back what remained in his glass, setting the thing aside.  "That's my problem, I guess.  I'm spending too much time thinking about it."

"Wait.  She's given you reason to not trust her?"  He rubbed the back of his neck and shook his head. "You might be thinking about it for good reason, little brother."  He wasn't sure how to answer this for certain.  "All I can say is see how things go.  If you feel she's worth courting, then do it.  Hopefully you'll learn if you're making a mistake before you take the final step. Though the truth is, even then, none of us can be completely certain. Unless you're like Segan and full of confidence in what you're doing."  He stood after finishing what remained in his glass. "I'll not ask who she is yet, knowing you'll tell when you're ready.  Just, be careful.  I'd hate to see you get hurt, Conor.  It's not an easy thing to have happen." 

Conor stood as Eion did, offering his hand out to his brother.  Once in his for that shake, he pulled his kin close, with a pat on the back.  "I'll take your word on that, Eion."  Hurt was not something wanted to experience or would wish for the lady they spoke of to experience either.  "Couldn't talk you into staying the night and helping me deliver a wagon full of harnesses tomorrow to a man for his coach and eight?"  Conor knew the answer to that but it amused him a tad to ask it anyway. 

The hug was returned and he stepped back, a hand moving to Conor's shoulder. "You're a good man, Conor.  Hopefully the lass realizes it." His grin returned and he shook his head. "If I didn't have to be out on the field before dawn,  I would at least say I'd meet you back here.  As it is my ass is going to be dragging come morn.   Supper tomorrow?  Herself is expecting you."  Hurt mixed with betrayal could nearly destroy a man.  Eion had been lucky he had the brothers and family he had to keep him from falling into that pit.

"Always, Eion...only a fool would miss out on Gran's Sunday dinners." Not just because of the food and company they'd miss out on, but they'd have to listen to Herself grill them on the reasons why they had!  "I'm glad you came out, it's always good to spend time with you, Eion."  Conor walked with his brother to the door and then held it open for him, a bit of a lean taken against it where he stood.  Betrayal created the hurt, it was a deep abyss to attempt to drag yourself out of. 

"I'll make sure to do it more than I have.  Especially when I know I'm getting on the nerves of the women."  Easy enough to know when that was happening. "Try to get some sleep before you make that delivery or you'll be falling asleep on the way."  He paused after stepping outside. "And I expect to learn her name soon."  Leaving an unspoken threat hanging in the air, like sic Herself on him. "Good night, little brother."  He mounted Diablo and looked at Conor again.  "Come join us on the field some time.  Been a while since you and I sparred."

"Even with falling off the wagon, I'll not eat as much dirt as you come daylight.  Speaking of, you might as well just stay awake."  He hadn't walked out with Eion, but watched as the man swung up on his horse.  "Good night old man. And I just might, I could use the practice."  With all that he had come to know these past few days, he would need all the practice he could get.  He threw up a hand in farewell then closed the door, sealing out the chill and the threat of having to have a name to go with the lass. 

"Aye, I might just do that."  Herself would be up soon enough to make breakfast for him.  Or he could watch his son and wife sleep.  He laughed at being called old man and raised a hand before turning and disappearing into the darkness.

Date: 07-13-11
Poster: Eion Quinn
Post # 13

Letter From Ireland

It was a balmy night, finally cooling after a day of hot sun and little breeze. Eion had been on the field for training bright and early as had the rest of the knights and King's men, as well as the King himself and King Peter. The day didn't end there of course, with some of the men staying on the field to work with the squires and younger knights, others going about their duties, some even going on patrol. Eion had been one of those to help with the training. Because it had been late, he headed straight for home, knowing Mary would keep dinner for him. He was stopped by a lad who had come from the Thistle with a letter from Brady back in Ireland. The letter was tucked into his shirt before he continued his trek home. Because it was hot, he allowed his horse to walk though once they neared the manor, the stallion picked up the pace on his own.

Conor was on the front porch, enjoying what small breeze the evening provided along the front of the house. His feet were propped up on the railing and he pressed back, the chair balancing on the rear legs. If his grandmother came out, she'd swat him into sitting proper, but for now, he just rocked slightly in this position, his glass of whiskey in hand. He squinted when he saw the rider approaching, but soon recognized his brother, lifting a hand in greeting. It would be easier for Eion to see Conor, since the lights from the house were behind him, then it was for Conor to make out Eion.

Segan was recuperating from his wounds. More bruises than he could imagine. He looked like he'd been in his cousin's ring without a clue on how to fight. Which was not the case for Segan. There was a saying of not being able to keep a good man down. In this case, a good Captain. As soon as Mary was distracted, Segan was up, having pretended he was asleep and off to the port even with the limp, riding from the stable into town, and back, leaving the horse there. He needed to see a man about a horse. This horse was a Brigantine he had noted was up for sale and he'd be bargaining for a good price on it no matter his need. A captain without a ship was not a good thing. Not good at all and so it was going to be seen to even before he was suppose to be up and about. He reached a fair price after having looked it over sent a lad to contact his men that had survived. With the bill of sale in his pocket he came limping (a bit more) up the road to their manor. He spotted Conor there on the porch, "save some of that for me." He was feeling the pain but worth the price.

He was glad to see both his brothers since a letter from Ireland was something to be shared. More than likely, there'd be something in there for Herself too. He was amused to see Segan limping about and knew Mary would scold him something fierce for being up and about. He dismounted after lifting a hand to Conor and made his way to the porch. "I'll get two more glasses for us, Segan and fill them." If Conor didn't have a bottle, he'd bring one out! After greeting his family, and grabbing a plate of food.

Seeing Segan, Conor dropped down from that precarious balance act, looking over his shoulder to the door, then to his limping brother. Where had he come from? Everyone thought he was within, holed up to heal. "Aye, and grab the bottle." Because, no, he only had his glass.

He could smell the cooking scents, knew that his gig was up when one was sent to his room with a nice hot plate. One overloaded as if that would heal him faster. "If you're grabbing a plate Eion, grab me one, please." That way he might have a bit more time before Mary caught up with him and a full belly as now he was feeling hunger pains over any others. That was a good sign. He had noticed Conor first shifting his position and then the look over his shoulder. Had him grin, fast and furious now with the good news he had tucked in his pocket Well, good news for him. He took up a lean against the rail across from his brother. It was easier right now than to sit. They would probably notice how he favored the one leg and whole side for that matter in the way he eased into the lean.

"Aye, just give me a few." He only had to follow the laughter to find the family, smooth a few ruffled feathers if Mary had discovered the escape and then collect the plates. He was sure Conor had eaten but there was extra pie on the tray for him if he wanted it, along with the whiskey bottle.

Conor watched as Eion disappeared within, then looked to Segan. "What the hell are you doing out of your hole?"

"I had a need," which he knew would grab Conor's attention right there but in the next moment he would be pulling something out of his shirt pocket He held it out for him to take or at least read as he held it. The ship was called the Lusty Maiden but that would change. "Anaconda II, and she is sea worthy." He already had the Frasier man working on changing the name. Of course it would set him back financially some but certainly didn't break him. His runs had been good and in time he would make up what he lost, why the expense was worth it.

He came out in time to hear the last and grinned at Segan. Setting the tray on a small table Mary kept outdoors. The letter could wait a little longer! "Now there's some good news. Definitely means you're recovering." He pointed to one of the plates after making sure the glasses were filled. "Eat or Herself will be after you sure and you won't be sailing for another three months." He settled on the rail and dug in while Conor read over the paper.

Conor let loose a drawn out whistle as he looked the paper over. "I've a liking for her original name." He chuckled, handing the paper over for Eion to take a look see.

"Aye, there is that but I don't think it would go over well with a few." Actually he'd been partial to the Anaconda and this ship looked at lot like the original. "Food!" which he had shifted the bill of sale Eion's way so he'd see it too. "Looks like I already broke that rule," for he had sailed the ship with the skeleton crew there to see how it handled. Felt like he was back in the other. He was already up enough to reach for the plate and was soon devouring it. He had the appetite of a bear presently.

He only meant if Segan didn't eat. Chuckling, he looked over the paper then set his plate aside. "Got a letter from Uncle Brady. Best open it while I'm thinking about it." He took it out of his vest and broke the seal carefully. There was one for Mary in there like he figured and then the one from Brady. Picking up the glass of whiskey, he took a drink and started to read it out loud. "Dear Eion, I'm addressing this directly to you knowing you'll share it with your brothers. I wish I was writing good news but I'm running into some problems here at home. As you know, the former English overseer," Eion paused, knowing how it riled Brady to call the man Lord, "had passed away and it was our hope an Irishman would be given his title and estates since he had no heir. How I wish Lord ó Maoilriain had a son instead of that worthless bit of shit." He had to pause here to take a drink but he wouldn't keep his brothers waiting. "But alas, we have another fecking English Lord and this one I think it worse. I've been informed that unless I prove the three of you are real, in spite of the records of your births, I could lose my lands. This was from a friend, not the Englishman himself. I am also having trouble with Michael Reilly, Sarah the younger's husband. He's doing everything in his power to cozy up to the man and force me to name him my heir. I know your lives are busy, and full but if there is some way you can see to come back and help me, I'd be appreciative." It took some time since the writing was hard to read but finally Eion came to the end. "Aunt Sarah has written to mother and all the good news she has is in there. I hope to hear from you soon. " He lowered the letter, his appetite suddenly gone. "Damn."

At first, Conor had sat forward to hear the news...but from the onset of Eion's reading he had tensed, his concern marking his brow with a frown. "Well, ain't that a load of shit." He looked over to Segan and offered him a lift of chin. "Can your Lusty Maiden head out before she is granted her name change?" Conor really didn't know all the business of the shipping industry, and listen to him just jump right in to have them out on the sea. Obviously, he wasn't thinking clearly once he heard what their uncle was up against.

Luckily he had finished his food and the two shots that followed. He was frowning, "Michael is Irish and if he thinks he can chum up with the English, Sarah will be a widow faster than a match blows out in the wind." He was nodding in agreement with Conor, "a whole crock worth and it's going to ruin that family fast." No wonder Brady wanted them to inherit for it would not really go to his daughters but the ones they married. One like Michael. "Maybe the lad needs some good ole Irish sense knocked into him." More mussed before getting to Conor's question. "Aye, she's ready. The crew on her knows her well and I've use of them as well a number from Adrian Frasier being he doesn't sail often, they come with me when needed." And usually they were not needed unless an extra load but now they were definitely needed. All seasoned and all trustworthy. Turning to Eion, "how soon do you want to leave?"

"Michael Reilly never had any common sense." He muttered then looked toward the door thoughtfully. "We'll need to speak to the family and I will speak to the King first thing tomorrow." Before they went onto the field if possible. "I'll need his permission to take the time to deal with this." He was certain there would be no problem especially since things were quiet on all fronts at the moment. Except for the pirates but he'd not be needed hopefully. "What about you, Conor?"

"I'll send out messages to the orders I have...I am ready." Wait! What the hell did he just say? It all came down on him in that instant that in order to get to Brady, in order to utilize that Lusty Maiden, they would have to actually ... sail! On the water! A good ways! Just sitting here he started to turn green, and swallowed hard. "Aye." That last was more an affirmation to himself, then to anything else.

"And a case of potcheen just for you." Noticing Conor turn green. Enough potcheen in him and he wont feel, wont think, a thing. "So, say, by the end of this week all matters should be seen to that is needed?" Swinging a glance from Conor to Eion. He could be ready by then too. Hell, he could leave tonight if it was that kind of an emergency. "Shall we go in and speak with Herself?" It would not do knowing all this too long and not telling her soon as they could.

Eion nodded and took a long drink to finish off that whiskey. He knew what Conor had just agreed to do would cost him but the potcheen was a good idea. "Aye, the end of the week." He rubbed at his eyes and sighed. Not only Herself but the entire family. "Aye, we should do it now so she ... they ... can make ready too." He stood and picked up the plate then started for the door. No point in delaying any longer.


Date: 08-03-11
Poster: Segan Quinn
Post # 14

Prelude -  Trip to Ireland

It was the dog days of summer and the heat played upon many a sailor and non sailor alike. Some it drove them to do things they would not normally and those that would, only more. Segan stood upon the pier looking over the Anaconda II with a critical eye but he found the ship not lacking. In fact there were things better about it, like his accommodations as well the rooms his brothers would occupy. Hands on his hips had the tails of the loose fitting open shirt flapping with the light breeze that came in off the ocean. The kind one took a deep refreshing breath of. Hair was tied back, brown baggy pants and lightweight boots on his feet. Too many with sandals or bare feet found injuries all too quickly in such an area. Not that there was trash about, for it was kept clean, but there was always the freshly broken glass or sharp rock. Even a splinter from the wooden boards of the pier. He was waiting on his brothers as they were to convene once both were ready. He, his ship and crew were. The noise coming from the various port side pubs behind him came as a humming buzz. Although it seemed he paid hardly a notice, he was indeed very alert to certain sounds that could put him in action in a blink. The sun had set with only the last rays leaving red and purple to blend with the darkening sky. The stars already twinkling a distance above the horizon.

Eion had spoken to Karl and made sure of the King's approval. He had even encouraged Eion to go, and assured him his family would be taken care of. Eion's gear and clothing were packed and he approached the ship as the sun set. The sight had him pause to take it in, smiling his approval. He had said his good-byes to family and friends, had seen that all arrangements were made for their care, leaving them in Gabriel's capable hands, and would spend the night on the ship. Of course, he wasn't certain Conor was doing the same. His brother's reluctance to travel on the sea was an experience to see in itself. Finally he approached Segan, smiling as he looked up. "Quite a sight, Captain Quinn."

Conor didn't care for the sea. He didn't care for the smell of it. He didn't care for the feel of it on his skin when the breeze blew the sticky salt air over his flesh. He didn't like the bobbing sway of the ships in their docks. The movement, even when he stood on solid ground, made his stomach lurch in protest. But even Conor Quinn couldn't deny the silhouette of the well-crafted Anaconda II was impressive against the setting of the sun. He wasn't far behind Eion, but didn't even realize because of the crowds that wandered the walkway between them. It wasn't until he drew closer that he saw both of his brothers and smiled. A shrug of shoulder hitched the seaman's bag from its nesting place and as he approached, he swung it around to thud Segan' in the back, quick to step aside so any repercussions to those few steps needed by the captain to keep his balance wouldn't result in a well-placed punch thrown. "Best place to be, admiring a ship on solid ground."

"Aye, that she is. When we get back, going to coercer you and Conor to help me retrieve some of the cargo beneath me ship that went down," words fading off a moment in a mental ritual before continuing. "I hear the MacNeils have a bubble that goes under the water leaving you to breathe and see all that is there." The ocean was still choppy after all said and done and still swollen some. He could wait a bit longer. Arms eased at his side as he finally turned for the thud against his back and a bark of a laugh hearing Conor before taking the few steps that had him lurch towards his brother. Hand shooting out to stop the movement against Conor's chest "Aye, some would say best from afar, on land, but ye'll see she rides the waves even better than her predecessor." A slight lift of his chin, "seems another pub has arisen, The Belfry, iffin you'd both like a drink before we go aboard."

Eion put out a hand to steady Segan if needed but it seemed Segan used Conor to catch himself.. This trip was starting out well enough and that interaction between his brothers had him laughing. "I think a drink is a grand idea. Maybe we'll keep Conor drunk the entire time so he doesn't feel the need to hang over the rail the entire time." Of course, then they'd have to make sure Conor didn't fall over the rail. "Looking forward to testing that theory out, Segan. Shall we stow our gear first?" New tavern... seems they appeared and disappeared like clockwork. One shut down, another would arise to take its place.

Conor wasn't necessarily looking forward to testing Segan's claims, but the whole staying drunk suggestion held merit. Conor looked away as one of Segan's new crew started up the gangplank. Forefinger and thumb beneath his tongue sent out a shrill that caught the man's attention and Conor heaved the weighty bag of his belongings to the bloke. "Mind stowing that away for me? It'll buy you a few rounds if'n you do!" The man caught the heavy pack against his chest and nodded. "Aye, right away then." Conor grinned then returned his attention to his brothers. "Hell, I'm ready...which way to the Belfry?" Even as he asked, he scanned the signs which marked the nearest taverns.

He had a few barrels of German ale on board his ship too. There would be plenty although his crew was limited to the amount they consumed for their own safety. Conor and Eion didn't have to worry about climbing the ropes and masts. "Jinkins, take them both," he was one of the luggers and his frame attested to his strength. The men called him Bison, even bigger than the Bull. He took Eion's gear to hand over too, "you know where they go." Although after all said and done this night, Eion might stumble into Conor's room and vice versa or they might bunk together and not even notice until morning when the jolt of the ship spilled them out onto the floorboards. The Belfry wasn't far as he started in that direction, his limp not as pronounced as it had been the last they met. He mended fast with each week passing. His men were in good spirits too getting back out to sea. The lost of the other crewmen had been mourned and they moved on. They all had to. The few that survived were back figuring the Sea didn't want them anyway. "I wonder if they have bats too," low chuckle as the closer they got, the louder it got.

If that would help the younger Quinn through the voyage then Eion was certainly for it. He'd be keeping an eye on Segan as well during the voyage though he was healing well enough or Gran would have likely not allowed this voyage yet. The bag was handed over without hesitation and then he was ready to go. It had been some time since he had been to the docks. A night out before they left Heathfield for what could be months would be welcomed.

"I just hope, if they do, they aren't the serving maids...rather some comely young lasses." Conor had already started walking, not really even knowing where he was going, that's how eager he was for that drink that would begin his night prior to being on that ship, out at sea, a constant, mesmerizing sway, or the bone-jarring chops. Either way, the thought of the upcoming journey had him swallow hard and seek out that tavern all the more. Even if the women all ended up being bats.

"Well, my men say they get better looking as the night wears on," slanting a glance Conor's way as the women in such places weren't necessarily pretty. They would find them passable although one was very manly in build and looks. Segan was recognized as the sailors blocking the entry moved so they could pass. This was usually how fights started when they didn't move for someone they didn't like. Greetings were exchanged if one could understand some of them without too many of their teeth left. Old and young, they all looked weather beaten. Once through he spotted a table and headed there. They would find that the she-beast took care of that one.

"I don't need to be worryin' about that." Eion chuckled though he didn't mind the sight of a pretty lass over one that could break glass. "Evening..." He gave a nod to any who were passing then following Segan inside. "Wasn't this the Gilded Mermaid?" He asked as they settled at the table. He turned a chair to face the room rather then have his back to it. Just a precaution.

Conor came in third, a nod to the sailors as he passed and then on to the table that Segan had chosen. His gaze passed through the room and settled on the serving lass, goodness, that was heading their way. Don't make eye contact. Don't make eye contact. Maybe she wouldn't come to their tab...ble...dammit. He gave a quick smile up to her. So much for comely lasses.

Too late. Conor had made the initial eye contact as the taller than average, wider than average, built square woman, descended on them. Conor got a good pinch to his backside before it ever touched down on the chair. This one put Bromhilda of Ballicastle's pub to shame. Big huge grin showed a few teeth missing but she had sparkling eyes of blue in the more masculine face. She even had a shadow of a beard. Her voice gruff in asking their fare as Segan watched the whole episode and doing his best not to laugh or discover her wrath. "German ale if you have it or something close and a bottle of the best whiskey you carry." The woman turned on Segan and in recognizing him grinned even bigger. Not that he had been in this particular bar, he'd been pointed out to the woman who seemed to need to know who everyone was as best she could. Eion got a raking look over too before she was off to get their fare. Hips had a way of making way through the crowded place. One or two or three stumbled or fell.

He watched it all with a hint of laughter in his eyes, though only his brothers would know how close he was to letting it break free. "German ale sounds good to me." With the whiskey chaser of course. He leaned back as she left, watching her plow through the crowd. "Seems she can take out the drunk ones easily enough. And the not so drunk." He chuckled and looked back to his brothers. "Bet she's the bouncer too." He was perfectly serious about the comment!

Conor grit his teeth with the pinch but dang if he was going to say anything about it to her. He just...shut up...until she went off to get their drinks. "I wouldn't take that bet, because I'd guess you're right. That's just..." He shuddered involuntarily, pulling his attention from the men struggling back to their feet from the path of her wake.

"The bread and pies are good here, the rest best not to touch unless desperate. Although the stew wont kill you." Seems they had a descent baker but the cook, was best replaced so he heard. Still it didn't stop the crowd that gathered. Why? Because they came to drink, not eat. "I think she is, one of them." She was watching them while at the bar, one booted foot hooked along the bottom rail. "I think she favors you Conor." And he managed to say it with a straight face, "you could shave each other's face.." like something to look forward too. He was busting up inside until he caught the look of one that seemed really pretty compared to the other looking their way. He gave her a wink. Trudy, the he-she as they would find her name to be, came back soon without a drop to spill. She could hold the tray above the heads of most. It was set as blue eyes were on Conor asking if he needed anything else. That was the straw as Segan had to cough his laugh away into his hand.

Eion was fine up to that point but covered his eyes and rubbed them when Segan mentioned the beards. "Good thing I'm not hungry." He didn't notice any interactions anywhere else until he lowered his hand. Then Trudy was back over. "Thank you, miss." Politely and without cracking a smile even with Segan's cough. He had a lot of practice in the past.

Bastards, the both of them. Conor nodded to her question. "Aye, Miss, as many of these as you can carry over...since the good Captain is seeing to the coins. And he's a good tipper at that as well."

That had a big toothy grin with a nod form Trudy, well what teeth she had left seemed too big for even her mouth. She was pleasant however and Segan thanked her accordingly. "Aye, I'll be seeing to it until we crawl out of here." That little lass with the big green eyes and auburn hair was over with some bread sticks to set on their table once Trudy was off cranking her hips through the crowd. She didn't stay long as she'd not want Trudy to feel she was encroaching upon her territory and so after that wary glance the bigger woman's way and back she assured them they were freshly baked and was gone before they could reply.

He had some thoughts on the woman but kept them to himself. The ale was sampled and he smacked his lips in approval. The red haired lass was smiled at though he didn't say a word as he watched her. Seemed Trudy was the terror of the pub. Sailors came in and out, some only having a single drink for they'd be headed out in the morning. Others had just made port and intended to drink a good portion of their pay away. There were even a few dockworkers here and there. Someone was playing music on a flute though it could barely be heard.

Conor tried NOT to think of the 'robust' woman. Instead, he smiled with a nod to the redhead then brought his tankard up. Better just to drink and drink and drink some more. As the saying went. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you die. At least it would feel like he was dying. At least, he would wish for death to end his torture. But tonight, tonight, he reached over for a breadstick. Tonight he would eat, drink and be merry.

The flute player managed to get some singing words to a bawdy song befitting the place and mood. There were ones playing cards, betting their money away for their comrades to later drink away. They might not be in tune but the stomping had a rhythm to it and one old sailor got up onto the table top and did his jig as the music continued. That rallied even the ones not paying attention as they tossed coins the old man's way. That didn't get him to stop until the music did and then he'd collect what managed to stay on the table. Segan was comfortably laid back enjoying the ale until near done with the first he saw to pouring them all a round of the whiskey. "To smooth seas all the way to Eire and back so me brother survives..." sending a grin Conor's way, he knocked the whiskey back.

"Don't think it'll matter if the seas are smooth or not." Said with a chuckle before Eion lifted his glass. "And may the business there not be so long to handle or as dire as it seems." He wouldn't mind one bit if Conor wasn't during the voyage but that remained to be seen. Though he did decide to take along ginger root and see if that helped. Of course, if the seas got rough, Eion might be joining the youngest at the rail!

"Ahh, you bloody Quinn bastards, for a minute there, I might have thought that you actually cared for your little brother." Grinning as he spoke, his comment ended with a soft laugh that was easily covered by the rim of his glass as he joined in those toasts. Even as he brought down the glass, he was waving Trudy over for their next round. They would need them soon enough.

"Aye," but he had his doubts as he poured another shot to drink to that. There was always wishful thinking and tonight that went well with drinking. He filled Conor's tumbler to the brim, "aye, Quinns right down to the heart." Trudy was on her way alright, with a twinkle in her eyes and a tray loaded with ales for them. That was set before she yanked up Conor with hardly an effort to start dancing. If one could call her movements dancing but there were many, including the barmaids, keeping up the morale. Better dancing than fighting but that might change when those swivel hips sent one stumbling into another, who got pushed against one not dancing. All it took was one fist flying as the man had natural reflexes when shoved.

Eion chuckled and looked at Conor, lifting his glass toward him. "I have to say brother mine, you have turned out to be a shining example of a Quinn and I know Gran, for all her grumbling, is proud of you." And worried about all three of them. He downed the remains of his ale as Trudy approached but paused in reaching for another when she snatched up Conor. And there it was! The fight that eventually came when men were drinking! Though he didn't jump in yet. He was still watching Trudy and Conor!

Conor watched the woman's approach, and his eyes widened as her impending arrival didn't slow. He barely had time to place his glass on the table before he was hauled right out of his seat and ragdolled through the room. He heard the fight underway, but the woman didn't relent. His body pressed tightly to the thick, rock-hard breasts and the odd scent of lye soap, minced garlic and sage which wafted up his nose no matter which way he turned his face. The brawl didn't seem to concern the woman, her dance partner attempted to keep an eye on the action closest to them. He kicked a sailing body to the side, snatched up a chair in passing to crack over another man's head who dove at them, and all the while, Trudy just ... danced.

Segan couldn't help letting out a bellow of laugh as he slapped his knee when Trudy made off with his brother. "You have to admire a woman who goes after what she wants.." which only had another belly laugh roll up. The little old man was down from the table and approached Segan. He was about the size of a dwarf and reminded one of such. Segan recognized him as in seeing him about the port as he came close enough to say, "keep t'is fir me. I want noth'in tae do wit' it." Pressing it against Segan's rib cage as a hand naturally slid over it. Shifty eyes on the ole man before adding, "and din look at it till out o' 'ere." Segan didn't get to respond as the fight broke out more than the dancing and his little brother was lost in there with the Behemoth. He was up trying to see as he clutched the envelope where it had been pressed. Second later eyes dipped back to where the old man was with a question on the tip of his tongue, but he was gone. Sliding it under his belt he gave one look to Eion. "Can't let lil' brother have all the fun.." and he was off making his way through. Ducking a swing, giving one back that made contact and knocking the one into the others making a hole in the flow of bodies. He was getting closer and it seemed Trudy didn't notice her dancing partner was gradually being consumed by the crowd.

"Aye, though she'd be a danger out on the streets." No man would be safe. He noticed the little man but didn't comment, instead, he picked up his ale and finished it. No point in letting it go to waste. Standing, he watched as Segan waded into the fray and helped himself to another tankard. Another drink before he used it as a cudgel and crowned a man. He stayed where he was like some oak tree, letting the fight come to him and making sure no one crashed into their table. Priorities.

Chaos had erupted all around them and to Conor's great surprise, the Be'she'moth who he thought was the bouncer, didn't give a gnat's glance to the goings on. Another kick, a shove of the woman back to rear end yet one more. "You, Madam, are a delightful dancer." Conor commented through the labored breath of keeping up with her and fighting off the wayward attacks in their direction. The keep finally shouted her name which brought her from her mesmerized dance. She stopped short, looked around, then with a mighty heave, sent Conor stumbling backwards right in to Segan. She jerked up two men around the necks, one under each arm, and practically dragged them to the door while they continued shouting out their insults and still trying to punch each other from that captured position.

Segan saw the immediate transformation that only had him laughing more until his lungs hurt. Wait, that was his brother crashing into him! The whistles of the guard was heard next and if they thought chaos broke out fast, it was even more amazing how fast many disappeared. Out the back, out the privy window, anywhere certain ones could that didn't need the law breathing down their backs. Segan stumbled back but had a grip on his brother. "You attract them like flies to..." but the last was not said as they were near run over as he dragged Conor to the side before releasing his shirt. "I believe Eion is waiting on us to continue our fare."

He cracked a few more skulls before Trudy came out of her trance and was off to clear things up. The table, and drinks, were untouched but he looked for his brothers first as others began to scatter. Ah, there they were and hale and hearty too. The guard would be going after those running. Three sitting and just drinking, they'd likely leave alone. "No damage done to either of you?" Just to make sure. He would have to send them home broken and not go to Ireland, and have Gran mad at him for allowing it to happen.

"No damage done? I wouldn't say that." Conor laughed, watching the scene unfold out in the room. He could still smell her on his clothes. He might even have fingertip bruises on his back.

By the time they were back to their table, between Trudy, the Inn Keeper, the three patrol guards and Adrian Frasier, they had those that would promote a fight in hand. Those that they knew to be local trouble makers. The Quinn brothers got a wave as the place settled down to quite a few less and of those there to play their cards and drink. "We'll have to sneak Conor out before Trudy gets too sweet on him.." this to Eion as he didn't look Conor's way.

He lifted a hand and waved at Adrian then looked at Segan. Eyes got a touch wide and he glanced at Trudy then back. "Aye, if she got hold of him again, we might not see him for days." He looked at Conor, trying not to grin. "And we wouldn't want the delay while we try to find him." It could happen from the way the woman had been eyeing the youngest of the three brothers.

Conor was drinking, and blissfully unaware of the conversation that his older siblings were having while he watched the clean up. He lifted his glass in greeting to Adrian, and nodded to a few of the guards that he recognized from previous fights, those which he was escorted out of the establishment by the very same. Conor wouldn't be one to want to hurry off to the ship, but considering the alternative that his brothers were muttering about, he might jump right up from his chair and demand that they make their way there.

When Trudy was done with her man handling of others, in a different way than she had Conor, Segan noticed her looking Conor's way again.. He gave a look Eion's way, his words might well come true. They had drank enough to feel it already but not enough to have them crawling. Besides. there was that redhead looking his way again, in that way, and he had no time for such. "Best we head back as I've a spacious cabin and some cards if you're willing to lose to your brother.." swift smile followed before he kicked back another tumbler of the whiskey for good measure as he rose to his feet.

"Good idea." He was willing to play cards until they were good and sleepy and he really didn't want to see Conor get into a situation. He was up and ready to go as the last of his drink was downed. "And we'll just see who does the winning." Luckily, both Trudy and the redhead had to wait on other tables, so the three were soon out and heading for the ship and a game of cards.


Date: 09-24-11
Poster: Conor Quinn
Post # 15

The Voyage

It probably took longer than it should have had getting back to the ship. It had Segan singing one of the bawdy sailor songs. By the time they reached the ship and his cabin (having shared a bottle of potcheen on the way) they were lucky to crash right there on the floor. Cards would have to wait and Segan was set on gaining their coins. His crew had the orders to set sail before the light of day even graced the skies. The rocking and rolling smooth so far as by the time consciousness was gained, they were already out at sea. There had been a method to his madness, in that Conor would not be able to change his mind or RUN before they set sail.

Eion woke slowly, yawning and stretching out kinks. The floor was not the best place to fall asleep though he realized he had become spoiled since coming to Heathfield. There was a time... He mentally shook his head and sat up, grinning when he felt the rocking of the ship. Well, if Conor wanted to stay drunk during the voyage, he could since he seemed to remember Segan saying he had a good supply of potcheen on hand. He reached over to shake the youngest brother, knowing all the while it was likely a mistake. He'd look for Segan in a moment.

Conor's bottom half was weaved and tangled beneath the table, one leg hooked around the wooden leg of a turned over chair since he was sprawled on his back. His arm was locked around the bottle that had lulled him to sleep. Empty, sure, but even now adored for its unique ability to deliver him to an oblivion that let none of their current location through. Until...that shake. "GachGran." He still slurred in his half-asleep, half-sober state. "Ina minute, heh? Pleeeze." And then, reality started to seep in and he genuinely groaned out a deep sound of grief. He attempted to open his eyes, but only one opened slightly to squint over to his eldest sibling, the other stayed graciously glued shut against what light shot through his skull like a dagger's point. His words were hoarse and strained and barely more than a mutter. "Dammit, we're on the way, aren't we?"

Segan had drank more than his fill to get his brother drunk. Not an easy feat that had all three obliterated. Perhaps it was Conor's voice that had him groan about, "not every port," which in his own mind was the last part of something making sense in a wayward dream, unspoken. His feet on the floor, body over the bottom of the bed and his head hanging down the other side with his arms flopped, hands resting on the floorboards. It was not easy to stir, had him almost caught frozen. Only method his mind translated had his feet starting to go as if running. Still wasn't getting him too far fast. That was until his mind cleared enough to have him roll off the foot of the bed. THUNK, but not really felt. Probably would be later. "Who won?" Slowing moving to sit as both hands were up to rub his face, neck and even run his fingers through tangled dirty blond hair.

He was laughing at them both, wishing he had a way to immortalize that moment. Not standing yet since he wasn't sure of his sea legs or his own ability to stay on his feet, he rested an arm on the knee of his bent leg. "Aye, we're underway and it seems we have been for some time." Segan got a squint with his port comment. "I won." Just throwing that in since he had no idea what Segan was talking about. "And you don't have a lass in every port?" This was going to be an interesting voyage.

"Shut up, both of talking." Conor attempted to move, woven as he was with the furniture. He rolled the empty bottle aside, clasping one side of his head while he fought his wooden foe and rolled around on the floor to disengage from his current sleeping partner. Then he stopped with a deep sigh, just laying there, silent, both eyes shut but facing the wooden rafters of the cabin ceiling. "Are we there yet?"

Just as Conor requested no talking -- the brass bell went off sounding louder than he ever remembered it. It was noon and food was being served. The scent that filtered up to his cabin was luring had he not been drinking like he had. Instead he groaned as his stomach turned over with a growling sound. His body was hungry with his mind rebelling at the moment. Even with the pinch to the bridge of his nose he started to laugh seeing Conor roll around like that. "How did you get there?" Then on a second thought, "no, never mind." He didn't really want to know other than it was proving to be amusing. He was up and over to a small sink with a basin filled with cold water. Water he splashed on his face, neck and even through his hair before he was done. A towel to pat his face dry but it had done the trick in getting rid of most of the potcheen induced cobwebs. "I would estimate about seven hours into the trip." Glancing to the window that was left open where a seagull was perched cleaning its feathers. "Speckal.." name given the one that adopted the crew and ship. The bird seemed to perk up hearing its name. "Best not feed him." If they did, they'd find out why. Beyond the gull, however, one could see that it was a sunny day, the sea smooth and the sailing sleek with enough of a breeze. A warm sea salty breeze that filtered in.

"We were out that long?" He managed to pull himself to his feet and lift the chair that was fighting with Conor. His eyes didn't seem to want to focus but they would soon enough. "Is there coffee do you think?" Food was never a problem for Eion even with the worse hangovers. He wasn't about to feed the gull though, he didn't question the reason for the warning. "Sea is smooth at least, Conor." Thankfully! He always felt for Conor when he was ill.

Seven hours? Jesus, Joseph and Mary, was that all? From the stiffness of his body, surely they should be days already. That long? Once again an eye opened to a narrow slit and he looked at Eion while that brother came to his rescue. "Just for me, what a joy." He grumbled under his breath. He would have nodded off his thanks to the oldest of the Quinns three, but knew better than to make any quick, jerking movements. Slowly he lifted to sit, glancing to the bird in the window, then over to Segan. "Do you still keep the potcheen in the cabinet there?" He didn't motion to the there, it would just have to be assumed to be the same place as any other ship that Segan had captained. The aroma of food wafted in, but this particular Quinn preferred a liquid diet while sailing, that which came up as smoothly as it went down.

It was almost like fulfilling Eion's wish as a knock came to the door. It too sounded far louder than it was. Rang in his head as he groaned out. "C'mon in." One of the cook's helpers had a kettle of coffee freshly brewed. He didn't say anything as he looked over the three that surely looked like they could use the coffee if not thrown in the ocean to wake them up. "Aye," finally answering Conor as well adding, "and three cases under the bed." Which had boards that would keep them in place should they hit a storm. The whole supply would not fit in the cabinet. The man had a plate of biscuits with gravy to start them off if they were hungry. The real brunch below if this whetted their appetites. Segan was up and over to where it was left on the large table. One that he could hold meetings at or share a special meal with crew members if warranted. One mug filled was offered to Eion, second filled sat as he eyed Conor. "Want some coffee?"

It did sound loud and even caused Eion to grimace. He chuckled as he was over to grab a bottle for Conor. "You can add it to the coffee if you wish." The mug held in the other hand was tasted carefully since it was hot. He would have some breakfast but not a lot. First he needed to see if it stayed down. "So, we're seven hours out. Now we need to occupy our time until we reach land." He took another drink before eyeing Conor. "You need to keep both eyes open though."

"mmm" Conor nodded off an agreement to the offer of coffee and he would drink it the way their Gran drank it. Lacing his coffee indeed! Want a little coffee with that whiskey? The answer would be shhhhuuuure. Just a little. Rising slowly from the floor, he joined his brothers, placing the bottle offered on the table so he could pour himself a cup of the steaming brew. He shot a look at the food, grimaced, and then went about making sure his coffee would suit his mood. "Once my feet hit solid ground, Eion, once my feet hit solid ground. I can bloody well drink my coffee with both eyes shut, my glass always knows the way to my mouth." They had shared too many a drink, his mouth and his hands, not to know the way blindfolded. He added just a bit more potcheen, then the bottle rested on the table. "This I'm wondering though, Segan. Did we ever discuss whether your name is connected with this ...." He paused a moment, fighting through a smile and bringing his cup up to make a show of a serious expression through that steam as he continued. "...boat...and if that might cause a problem once we are finally shored? If we are visiting, won't it raise an alarm?" Had he lost information somewhere in that mist of potcheen induced brain-haze?

"It still has the Lusty Maiden on its side..." having settled into a chair at the table where the coffee was handy. He also took one of the plates to appease his grumbling stomach and ease the sound. "We are having some festivities to ease the time to Ireland." Which would be a couple of weeks if fair sailing and a good wind. "Octoberfest, lots of beer and games." Which his crew alternated who participated so they weren't all drunken sailors the whole of the time. There was a wince on Conor calling his ship a boat but he didn't feed that or have his brother gloat over it.

Conor's words had Eion chuckle and clap a hand to his brother's shoulder. He sat on the floor again, tailor fashion, while he ate, sitting the coffee mug beside him. It wouldn't go slipping and sliding at the least. Listening to his brothers had him smirking slightly even if Segan didn't react to the use of boat. "There you go, Conor. More reason to be drunk." He was the one who had suggested Conor drink to ease the seasickness and would support him in doing it! "What kind of games?" That should be interesting on a ship.

Lusty Maiden indeed, but was Segan known as the Captain of the Lusty Maiden? He blinked over to that very captain for a moment, while 'games' were mentioned. Did they include moving about, in any fashion? Not, exactly, what Conor would want to be doing, no matter the pleasant temperament of the sea or the steady, almost nonexistent sway of this vessel. "Grand." Was all he said, one corner of his lips quirking up in a genuine half-smile to counteract the practically groaned out word. The youngest Quinn well remembered the length of time it took to travel from Ireland to Heathfield when they first made the journey. Forgive him, please, if he was not thrilled with the thought of a goodly amount of time spent confined on this ship. Slowly his gaze and his smile shifted to settle on Eion. "Oh, Big Brother, as if I need another reason." With that, he lifted his coffee cup carefully in a toast to the center of their gathering. A life at sea ... nope, not for this particular Quinn.

"Throwing things, hitting things, drinking another under the table." Which had him eye Conor for he had a good start on that after last night. "Food, all kinds of sausages and so on." He finally broke out in a grin as he lifted his mug to the toast. "Aye and that our journey be swift and not an extra day, not an extra hour, not even an extra minute need be endured by our youngest brother!" Which the mug then covered up the widening grin.

"Hitting things? Not each other?" He laughed then shook his head. "Segan, you're going to have Conor turning green with the mention of that kind of food. He lifted his mug in reply to the toast, especially that they'd not have any extra and unnecessary time on the ship. "And no storms to make the voyage even less pleasant for him. Or us." Storms could turn sturdy ships into piles of rubble far too quickly and well Segan knew that.

They were treating him like some lass in pink-ribboned braids. Er..well..considering his sea-unworthy constitution...he chuckled softly, taking another sip of coffee tainted whiskey and then set the cup down. "Aye, he knows, Eion. And he's loving it as well. I can hurl a thing or two, as well as I can hurl my meals on this damnable canoe, so give me time to drink myself to acceptance and I'll be all for joining in with these 'games' of yours." Who could ever say a Quinn man didn't take up a challenge, no matter the risks involved.

He had purposely not mentioned the storms. Hurricanes out at sea this time of year were too common of various magnitudes. Oh yeah, no need to mention those as he dipped a glance into his lowered mug to hide away any expression that might give away his thoughts. "There is the brigade for anyone that starts hitting another, place to cool off in." Wasn't unknown to happen. It was then there was a shrill whistle that Segan knew was something important spotted. "Excuse me, I need to get on deck," which he was quick to do taking his mug with him. A pirate ship had been spotted off in the distance, least what they could tell but it was not headed their way he would find out.

He was concerned for Conor and it troubled him to see him so ill but he couldn't mention that after all. So he teased. "It could be fun. As long as none of us end up in the drink." He could just hear the teasing now if that happened. "Aye, Segan." He watched his brother leave then looked at Conor. "Ready to go up on deck or do you need a bit more." The coffee was clearing up his own cobwebs some, thankfully.

"Have bottle, will travel." Conor had watched Segan's departure as well, but with Eion's suggestion, he left his coffee cup on the table and snatched up the bottle. "If I stumble, it's because of the sway of ship, right?" Conor laughed, mostly to himself and passed an assessing hand over his wrinkled clothes from the night before, raked his fingers through his hair that was mussed from his board cushioned slumber. Better at times to be up top, than down below, easier to empty the stomach over the clean up required after all.

Once they joined him up deck, he handed Conor the spyglass and another to Eion. "Take a look over there," which he pointed out as they were keeping tabs that the ship continued on its way and not their way. It was known for such a ship to suddenly change course and be down their throats in no time flat.

Eion laughed and nodded. "Aye, same for me." Yeah, it would take a few days for him to gain his sea legs. Moving up onto deck, he headed straight for Segan. The spyglass was taken and he looked through, in the direction Segan had pointed. "Seems to be headed elsewhere." At least they could hope it continued on its present course.

Conor propped himself with a lean of hip against the solid side of ship and peered through to the ship indicated by the captain. "Too bad, I'm up for heaving a pirate or two." As long as he was going to be heaving. Not really... relief eased the tensed line of shoulders as that ship continued on its way. He was a Quinn and fighting was as natural an act as breathing for him, but damn if he wanted to engage in more than a bar room brawl with this much whiskey in him. "Do you recognize it, Segan, or is it just one of many unknowns?" He lowered the spy glass and handed it back to the Lusty Maiden's captain.

He was frowning as he took up another spyglass that was gotten for him. He couldn't be sure but it was rumored on the Unholy Trinity having ships back out on the sea. If they could see the pirate ship, it sure as hell meant they could see them too. What he didn't realize was that he had not replaced the flag on the ship he'd gotten. It had an Irish one which he would be leaving up as well the other to add of Heathfield. "Could be anyone," as he lowered the glass to snap into its shorter position and tucked in his breast pocket. "I'm hungry about now, either of you want to join me?" The man in the crow's nest would keep lookout especially on that ship.

"Can't see the flag right." He spoke almost as if to himself then lowered the glass, looking over his shoulder at his brothers. The glass was handed over once Segan had accepted Conor's and he nodded. "I will." He gave Conor a grin, waiting for his answer.


Date: 09-24-11
Poster: Conor Quinn
Post # 16

Conor nodded, glancing once more over his shoulder as if he could see that far off craft without the spyglass. "I as well, Segan." But he had his 'meal', so to speak, and it would be his staple for the majority of the trip. Whiskey. A little bread. A little cheese. Hell, if he had managed to smuggle on a woman, life would be grand indeed. Except, yea, he didn't stomach that small amount of bread and cheese as well as he could the whiskey, so better no ladies, yes, better no ladies. "I need a chair." Was all he added and shoved off of that lean.

One of the crew had a chair over near as Conor requested it. They were all mindful of a Captain that defeated death. Some of them whispered that Segan was really a ghost that looked normal or some kind of demigod. That was pushing the envelope but sailors were known to do that, masters at it in fact. A meal would be brought to them there where they sat as they wanted. Segan was hungry at this point so a plate was loaded with eggs, hash browns and bacon. Crispy kind as he liked his. More coffee was brought as well. Once he was done, he'd be going over the charts and giving out any further commands. As the voyage continued, they settled into a routine that was broken only by the celebration Segan had come up with. Eion took part sometimes, and sometimes just watched. The sailors seemed to be enjoying themselves greatly, looking forward to their turns at 'play' and drinking especially. When he wasn't watching them, he was watching the sea, even taking a watch or two in the crow's nest. Today, he was watching the sea and sky, both of which were a dull gray. There was a bit more wind then usual but no storm or strong winds so far... a fact that hopefully agreed with both his brothers! As for himself, since the first night he hadn't had any problems but then, he avoided getting drunk.

For the most part, the trip hadn't settled so terribly bad with the one Quinn. Sure, he made the most of Segan's stores of whiskey, but he found he was able to eat, able to enjoy the activities arranged by the captain for his crew and his kin and able to keep his stomach from spilling into the sea at every slight sway of the vessel. The wind that had picked up actually felt good, shifting sweat-heavy strands of hair from the back of his neck, at his temple and offering that cooling relief from the hours. You better believe he had a glass of pure in hand, for these passing days, he was rarely found without one. Medicinal? To some extent.

His crew got along well with many from Adrian Frasier's crewmen. Those men so eager to be out at sea on a longer voyage were not looking for any trouble. The beer flowed as easily as the conversations and food. Plenty to eat and drink. There were all kinds of games that tested one man against another or even group. Arm wrestling a favorite and Bruce, also known as Brutis, was holding top position. There were a few that came close but close didn't count. A few ended up over the side of the ship but were rescued out. None the worse for the dip. There was a certain scent in the air that went with such an overcast. One that spoke of a brooding storm. A storm they could avoid and such was the plan. It would take them a little off course but not overly. Which Segan gave the orders to do. Only twenty minutes into this new course when that same pirate ship was spotted, but this time there was another with it.

He had just about decided to have a meal when the lookout called out the sighting of the two ships. He turned in the direction the watch called out and squinted then accepted a spyglass from one of the sailors. Those that had been celebrating immediately stopped, and a silence settled over the ship that was almost unnerving. Eion studied the two pirate ships but still couldn't see their flags clearly.

The hushed anticipation that fell over the ship was enough to bring Conor's attention from the last toss of dice. All four of them stood, without a thought to the outcome of the dice, and looked in the direction everyone else had set their gazes. Conor searched out and found Eion, and saw him raise the spyglass. "Fuck." Conor muttered, tossing back the remainder of his whiskey and placing the empty glass aside on the top of a nearby crate. He didn't look to the man on his right, but spoke to him as he started away. "That's fifty you owe me, Dawson... don't be forgetting it." The youngest Quinn strolled amongst the quieted crew waiting for orders to join the eldest while their captain brother made his choices.

A skull and crossbones seemed to be a favorite of many a pirate ship, but the black flag alone was a good warning. Worse, when it was realized that their route was being changed to converge on Segan's. Had it been one, or on another occasion, he may have met in battle but this would be slaughter under the circumstances. As much as he didn't like it, he had to turn his course that would take them into the storm instead. Hoping their ships were not as fast as his, which was not loaded down with cargo, and that the storm might steer them away. The orders were given for his decision. He turned then to his brothers as his crew shifted into serious mode. "Brace yourself for the storm." Slickers were being handed out that were stored in crates along with rope for each. "If bad enough tie yourself to a rail.

Eion lowered the glass as Conor approached, a frown on his face. "They're coming for us." He said in a low voice and then looked toward Segan. The slicker was accepted along with the rope and he glanced at Conor with the final words from Segan. He was suddenly glad that he had yet to have lunch. And hoped too, the pursuing ships would turn away rather then face the storm.

They? Conor's gaze scanned the sea, mere specks of dark to indicate the 'they' his brother spoke of. A nod thanked the man for the slicker and the rope and he looked back Eion. "Good that Segan is the captain of this ... boat." He donned the weather wear, looping the rope over his arm.

One could already feel the moisture in the air, dew at first that was soon mist. The mist got thicker as it wafted over the churning waves that were getting deeper by the minute. "Hold tight, steady she goes," as this new ship, presently the Lusty Maiden was holding strong, taking the waves even better than his original ship. It gave him a sense of pride and connection as they were going to bond through this storm. Of course it was mild to one seasoned like Segan but little brother would find the ship lifted up only to be slapped down again. Tipped to the right with a wash of salty water over the deck only to be turned and tipped to the left to do the same.

"Pirates." Realizing he had spoken only partly of what he saw. He pulled on the slicker, watching behind until they entered the storm. Then his balance was being tested and he grabbed hold of the rail as the water washed over the deck, not once but twice. He slipped and went down on one knee but still held on, sputtering out salt water and cursing. The rope was tied to the rail. Possibly not the best choice but it was quick. This was almost like being on the water beastie!

Originally, Conor had set off to lend a hand fastening down, tying up, folding in, but then the real fury of the storm hit and he could barely see in front of him. Rain came in sheets from the dark sky, rose above and crashed over the rails from the sea. Conor clamped down on the tightened ropes holding a stack of barrels, not even able to use the length on his arm to anchor himself. A shout of warning, the ship lifted high and then plummeted, waves converging from both sides. Bodies slipped, slid, skidded and one of the crew scrambled to gain hold on the deck as he belly slid past Conor. Conor hooked his foot through the ropes, nearly tumbling himself with the pitch of the ship but he yanked the corded length from his arm, tossing it to the man to keep him from sailing over the railing into the angry sea.

There was Segan with a grin on his salty sea water washed face. Soaking it all in as his ship held its own. Hands firmly on the helm with a strength that defied the challenge to let go. Feet spread apart and firmly planted. Just when one wondered if they were going to be swallowed up, all calmed. Mist wafted in layers and the silence after the roar was near deafening. "Douse any lights," for he could not be certain that the pirate ships had not ventured where one had to be crazy to go. Segan had a little bit of a crazed look but he would not be best by any pirate ship. Not after all he'd been through. Everyone knew to talk in whispers if they had to talk at all. The whole crew had their ears peeled for any sound coming from where they could not see through.

Eion didn't notice the look on Segan's face though he had been watching Conor and the sliding sailor. He let out another cough then slowly stood as the storm calmed. Did that mean they were in the eye? He did not care for the saltwater bath but like the crew, he remained silent as he listened. Hopefully the ships had turned away and wouldn't be crashing into their ship. Now he looked up at Segan, relieved to see, he too, had weathered the storm.

Slowly everyone found their footing, returned to a hushed, but normal movement about the ship. Conor unlaced his boot from the hold, leaning back against the crates instead. Had he told anyone yet today that he really didn't care to be out at sea? He needed to! His gaze sought out and found each of his brothers and his shoulders eased with relief. He knew if Segan was crazy enough to play footsie with that storm, then pirates dead set on a conquest would not be blushing like a maiden from the passion of it. He leaned outward and snagged a passing sailor, jerking him closer to speak in a whispered tone. "If asked, you tell your captain I've gone to raid his liquor cabinet, yet again." Whether in the eye, which would mean more weather to come, or with pirates panting hot on their heels, he needed a damn drink.

It was in that silence that a shout was heard. One then another added with curses. If one could make out what was being said and not all that far from them. Segan held the helm and steered them away on instinct than any compass point which seemed to be lost in this nether world of mist. There was one thing he did pick up on and that was to the tune the Boss was not going to like this that was heard. Another retorted that they didn't have to tell him. Which had the crew of the one pirate ship break out in snorted laughter. All the while Segan's crew remained deadly quiet, most probably praying but they were prepared for an attack if it came down to it. Seasoned in that way but best avoided if at all possible. They were in the eye but luckily the ferocity of the storm had been spent as they sailed out the other side of it. The voices long faded from the other ships passing in the night.

Had Eion been able to hear Conor, or had been watching him rather then trying to peer through the fog, he might have joined him in that drink. Instead, he stayed where he was, hand on the hilt of his sword and listened to the voices that came out of the mist. It gave an eerie feel to the whole situation though he knew sound carried in that odd way. Finally, they emerged out of the storm and he breathed a sigh of relief. Then he looked for Conor. The sailor he had spoken to, informed Eion of Conor's location and the elder brother set out to follow him below deck.

Unlike Eion, Conor had not lingered to wait to see what would happen. If anything did, he'd be a part of it soon enough. No. The youngest Quinn had made good his comment and had gone below to collect one of Segan's bottles from the cabinet. No glass required, the pure was opened and the bottle lifted to drink. His free hand jerked his sword free from the sheath and he dropped back against the wood of wall, using that support to slither on down to the floorboards and sit, his legs stretched out in front of him and his sword laying alongside.

He handed over the helm to his second in command before heading to find his brothers. The trail led to his cabin as he entered taking off the slicker. He felt sticky all over all of a sudden, "that was close. We should be seeing Ireland by the break of morn's light." So there was good news to be had too. They had been out at sea long enough. The coordinates had been checked and odd, but they were far closer than he had thought or they had been before entering the storm. He was eyeing the bottle, "a drink is in order." Certainly as they came out alive on two accounts.

He had to laugh when he saw Conor. "You look comfortable." And he too helped himself to a bottle. Though he didn't sit against the wall, he did sit on the floor. "So soon?" He was surprised by Segan's words but also pleased. A drink was taken and the bottle held out to Segan. "Well done, Captain Quinn."

Conor had started to lift his bottle to Segan, but Eion was closer and had his lifted first. So be it. The youngest nodded off an agreement. "Very well done. If I ever had my doubts as to your sanity...they have been completely put to rest. But, damn well done, because of it." The bottom of his bottle swayed upward, as if in a toast to Segan, and then be brought the narrow lip of opening to the opening of his lips.

He gave a slight shrug to the comment of 'so soon'. "Seems the sea can swallow you up and spit you out where it wants." It was definitely an oddity but one he nor the crew would dwell on. Something that defied all logic as they knew it. He had collected a bottle and took a seat on his bed. Nothing in the room was amiss either but then he knew to secure things down. "Will there be a greeting party when we get there?" Something he had forgotten to ask or maybe more they would speculate on it. He saluted his brothers on the last comment as that grin came back, "all in a day's work.."

Well, it seemed Segan wanted his own bottle to which Eion just smiled slightly and took a drink again. "I'm not sure. I did answer Uncle Brady's letter but I couldn't give him an exact day for our arrival since arrangements had to be made. It's possible he'll have someone watching the docks." He grinned as he added, "though it might be more fun to surprise him." And those who were giving him grief.

"Could have an unwelcoming party waiting for us as well, if word gets around." Conor muttered, resting his head back against the wood beams behind him and closing his eyes. He wasn't going to sleep, nooooooway, but the constant flow of whiskey in his veins had a way of making it easier for the wood to support his head rather than his neck.

"Aye, Brady would do that. Anxiously." Conor could be right as well if word got around why they were coming but Brady would do his best to keep it mum. If he had someone watching, it would be one that frequent the docks. Not something out of the ordinary. "We'll be prepared." Which meant he would alert his crew. A crew that was well seasoned in fighting, on land as they were at sea.

Eion had to nod in answer to the comment from Conor. Tomorrow morn would come all too soon but with little damage to repair and night growing deeper, the three brothers would pass the time drinking until they needed to find their beds. The sway of the ship didn't help the oldest and youngest find their way too easily when that time came. The ship continued with the night crew keeping her steady and using the stars for a guide. Come morning, they would return to the deck and watch for the first sight of the Emerald Isle, a place that would always be in their blood no matter where they called home.


Date: 10-04-11
Poster: Eion Quinn
Post # 17


It was one of those perfect morns where the sun rose bright over a calm sea, the skies were blue and without nary a cloud and the air was filled with ... the sounds of squawking gulls. Eion grunted as he awoke then realized why he was hearing those ungodly, loud cries. They were nearing land. Up on deck, the crew made ready to arrive at
Dun Laoghaire. What Captain Quinn had in mind for the ship while he and his brothers were ashore wasn't known but they'd follow his orders to the letter. It wasn't long before the eldest of the brothers was up on deck, taking in the scent of land that drifted out over the ocean. A land he hadn't been certain he'd see again.

It had been another night drinking with his brothers mostly, to ease Conor's passage. Conor could drink, so could he and Eion. In some ways it was like old times along with the groan of the next morning's song. He was going to earn a reputation of Drunken Captain if he wasn't careful. Then again, that was prestigious amongst sailors. He had a good crew that could get the ship docked in the Dun as most called it. A harbor they knew well that it was having smarts never to assume who or what might be here on any given day. The gulls squawking bounced around in his head that would take the large tankard of coffee to ease before they headed ashore. "My men will be getting cargo here, seeing to some deals set up before out to sea but not far." Informing his brothers that the Anaconda II, which would have its name inscribed on the side by the time they headed home. They had time to see if Brady, or any of his men, came down to see who docked this day.

Conor wandered on deck, squinting against the too bright sun that skewered his eyes and pierced his brain. He brought his hand up, shielding his gaze as he watched the men go about bringing the soon to be Anaconda II to as much of a standstill as could be managed while still floating on the water. The entire journey had been a love affair with the bottles of potcheen that Segan had provided, and quite the time they had of it too, but now, as his temples throbbed and his eyes burned, his heart ached to set foot once more on the lands of his father, and his kin. A man torn between two lands, his soul as much a part of Ireland as Heathfield.

Had Conor ever voiced that feeling of being torn, he might have learned he had company. Eion leaned against the railing as he watched their homeland grow ever closer. He nodded when Segan spoke not taking his gaze from the sight before them. "You've warned them to be careful when they go ashore?" He wasn't certain what could be lurking here if anything or anyone but he would hate to see it have Segan's crew in danger. He looked at Conor and smiled slightly. "How're you both feeling?" He knew how he felt and was curious if either brother felt as badly hangover. He may not try to keep up with Conor on the return voyage.

Which had him chuckle as he leaned against the rail a few feet from Eion. Coffee was nearly gone as they were set about docking in a slip, easing the ship in. They had cargo to unload too. "Din have to warn them, they kin." Half slipping into the sailor's lingo which came easily while aboard especially. He was scanning the boardwalk to see if he recognized anyone, mainly Brady's face or any that use to be with him they all knew. The scan stopped just in time for the groan to be taken as his answer in how he felt. Actually it was the Hennigan brothers he spotted that caused it. Where there was one Hennigan there was sure to be more of the clan. There had always been an ongoing antagonism with them and Segan, mostly because he best their best fighter every time. They took that as a score (ongoing) to be settled. In short once Terrance managed to beat him. Not going to happen. They made a hell of a good fighting machine in numbers however. Luckily they had not spotted him yet as he dragged his line of sight from them to Eion then over the deck in a sweep to see where Conor was. They were getting the slight jarring as the ship bumped against the bumpers in the slip they were pulling into.

Ah! The Hennigans! Conor saw them, the redheaded, pale skinned bastards of their youth. "I'm feeling grand!" Conor growled out, the truth of it could be disputed by the look of him. To look at him though, even as the ship swayed to a stop, and he grunted out those words, he was climbing to the rails and grabbing hold of a rope. "It's damn good to be back." He shot a look back to his brothers and then, using the rope, he swung toward the solid footing of docks, stumbling as he landed to plow right into the nearest auburn haired brute. His brothers could join if they wanted, but he was going to make the most of his homecoming, starting with the Hennigans. No matter his own unkempt appearance and reeking of whiskey.

He chuckled at both their answers, not having seen any of the Hennigan brood as of yet. That is, until Conor was swinging down to the docks like an old seahand and making the most of the element of surprise. Eion clapped a hand to his forehead and groaned. "So much for a quiet landing." And with no time to waste, since there were sure to be more of them, he headed off the ship to join the youngest. Gangplank? Hell no, he used the same method and landed near to Conor, tripping one of the brothers who was charging in to help gang up on Conor.

It was Terrance himself that Conor managed to clip, had the man about Conor's age sprawled out on the dock face down. That was only for the few seconds in surprise as he came up fighting like a good Hennigan should. "And either o' me brot'ers can best yea too." His tankard was shoved against the chest of the nearest crew member before he had hold of a rope and was swinging down. A few of the crew were off the ship in seconds flat to make sure any fight stayed even. That would mean at least two or three for ever Quinn. If Brady or any of his men were looking for them, they would sure know they were now. Hennigans appeared from nowhere as if the whole clan and more came to the port this day to welcome them. Any fists that flew were met with his, weaving ducking and slamming a fist into a nose or two. Or Three. Or Four...

Conor didn't have to see his brothers to know they were joining, bodies and punches were flying in every direction, including Conor's a time or two as one or more of the Hennigans got a solid, well placed punch in. The Quinns never had to worry about how many Hennigans there were, and there were quite the number of them, they bred like roaches, those freckled bastards, because it never mattered. One, five, twenty...if they had red hair and in the fray, they were Hennigans, if they were not...they were with or of the Quinn clan. That's all that mattered.

The one that Eion tripped tried to keep his balance but crashed into some barrels and that ended that. Eion was laughing when he heard someone call out his name. He turned, right into a tackle that caught him at the waist and sent him and his Hennigan assailant crashing into onlookers. Both men came up swinging and now a few others were getting involved. Eion ducked a wild swing, letting the man connect with another and let those two continue the battle while he turned his attention to another of the clan. He had the youngest lad clinging to his back, trying to punch the much larger Quinn while an older brother charged in. That one was stopped with a solid punch then he pulled the younger lad off his back. Not wanting to see the boy get hurt, he hung him by his britches on the hook of a lamp. As he turned to face another, there came the loud retort of a flintlock. Brady Quinn stood on a box that made him taller then the crowd, his face red with what was likely to be anger. He didn't say a word, just glared until the fighting stopped.

"Hey, be careful with him, he's expecting.." most likely the man's wife was and that just got those freckles to stand out more the face got redder. He was grabbed from behind for taking those few moments to call that out. Only hand him reaching back in that split second and tossing the man over his head as he leaned forward with the momentum. Man landed right at Conor's feet. Segan was down too but in his own move as he swung out his legs and sent a few falling that were headed for Eion. What started fast and furious would end just as quick. Too many of the Hennigans had records of a kind that had them fleeing when the gossamers' whistles blew. The port cops were on their way with clubs in hand and flintlocks at their hips. They preferred their shillelaghs. The crowd made it harder for them to get through but by the time they had, not a Henningan was in sight. Segan had stepped to the side as if a spectator and none the wiser as none in the crowd would rat. It had been a good fight they had all enjoyed. The cops knew it too.

The body that landed at his feet sent Conor tumbling to the ground, it was the sound of the gun fire that had him instantly back up. Bloodied of nose, of knuckles and of lip, he still grinned. "Uncle Brady!" He shouted, waving a hand in the air to catch the man's attention. Not that the respected Quinn wouldn't find his nephews amongst the debris of battle straight away. Potcheen still flowed through his veins and it was a damn good thing too or he might be feeling the jaw that was already beginning to bruise and the ribs that had taken a good many blows. Since the majority of redheaded goats had scrambled, it was easy enough to swagger, or in Conor's case, sway and stumble toward the domineering man on the box. "We've arrived!" Good thing Connor made that known.

Well, that ended what had been a grand fight but Eion just grinned and turned to lift a hand to wave to Brady. It was good to see him there and even with the port cops, the brothers wouldn't have too much trouble. He glanced around to check on his brothers but heard Conor and laughed. The entire port would know they were here. He could feel his eye swelling and ignored it as he looked for Segan, then headed to greet Brady. The older man grunted, doing his best not to laugh. "Aye, I see ye are. And I'm sure the whole damn town does." He clapped a hand to Conor's shoulder. "Sight for sore eyes, t'e t'ree of ye."

Segan hadn't even seen Brady for all the hullabaloo. Thought it was one of the cops but they stood down as Brady stood on the box. He was well respected. They were all a bit battered and bruised but nothing that wouldn't mend before the week's end. If he was trying to keep a straight face, he lost it as Conor made sure to let not only Brady but everyone in port know they were here. They had more friends than enemies and the friends they had were good ones to have. "Aye, delivered whole from the sea and glad to be 'ere." Taking a step by his brothers. His men and ship seen to, so he was ready to go.

If Conor grunted faintly with the fatherly thud to shoulder, hopefully Brady wouldn't hear. Aye, that shoulder would be screaming at him later tonight too. "Aye, as are you, Uncle." Conor grabbed his uncle up in a hug, pounding at his back before he released him. "And quite the sore one I'll be having for sure." He touched his tongue to the corner of his lip and the split there that matched the one on the inside of his cheek and brought his hand up to dab gingerly at his nose. Although it wasn't his eye that would be the problem, but look at Eion! Dang...the oldest Quinn had taken a Hennigan fist to that mentioned socket, there was no mistaking! "Good you've come to collect and deliver us, Uncle, for my brothers, they have forgotten how to behave in the company of Hennigans." A grin, and the blood seeped from his wound as he cracked it a bit more. Then again, was there any other way to the company of Hennigans?

"Yer aunt will bea fussin' over you needin' tendin' to." Brady laughed then grunted when Conor picked him up in that bear hug. "Put me down, ye git." He growled but anyone that knew him would know he was pleased to see his nephews. One of his men was bringing a wagon through the dispersing crowd and Brady motioned to it. "Get yer gear and yerselves in t'ere and we'll be heading home." There were three horses if the brothers were of a mind to ride. He eyed Conor for a moment then laughed. "Sure, and I'll bet ye were t'e one who showed t'em, aye?" Eion just gave Conor a look but he was grinning too. And while their Aunt Sarah might fuss, she couldn't hold a candle to Herself who was not here to see this!

It wasn't one, but at least one more of those grizzly bear hugs. Brady might feel he'd participate in the brawl himself! A few of his crew had brought down their gear and handed it off to each respectively of what they had on the ship. Segan spoke a few words in parting to the few there before he swung his duffel bag over his shoulder. "I'm ready," tossing it next into the back of the carriage outside the cab itself where any luggage was put. He climbed in next, ready to be about what this was all about which he was sure there would be a powwow back at the Great House of one Brady Quinn.

"It's one of the things I do best." Chuckling to himself, he helped to get their gear into the wagon and then hefted himself to the opened back end of it, feet dangling down. Conor may take to the horse before they arrived at the manor, but for now, it was good to just sit and go along for the ride. He caught several familiar faces and nodded, or waved or shouted out a greeting by name. If any one stranger more than another seemed to be paying the Quinn brothers more attention than what might be warranted, the youngest of the siblings wasn't noticing right now.

Brady accepted the bear hug from Segan and one from Eion with a good-natured grumble, then he was up onto the front seat of the wagon, and waited to see what the brothers would do before he told the driver to start out. Eion joined Conor and Segan on the back of the wagon, since it was a homecoming. How often had they ridden like this when they were lads with either their Da or Brady. It was good to see the familiar faces that recognized them as well, and he waved as he also chatted with their uncle who pointed out some changes here and there. Those ones that watched might not be noticed, but yes, they were there and as soon as the wagon disappeared, so did they. The trip to the Manor was enjoyable, bringing back both good and not so good memories. Brady only hoped his son-in -law wouldn't show up tonight until he had a chance to talk to his nephews and make some plans.


Date: 10-18-11
Poster: Segan Quinn
Post # 18

Brady's Manor

It seemed he ended up front by himself. Abandoned. "I washed today," yelled out enough that they would hear him in the back. Never let it be said he would be outdone as he crawled over the bench and swung around to the back where they sat, plopping himself down with his brothers and uncle. Shit eating grin on his face.

By the time they reached the manor, the sun was well overhead. There had been a few times the wagon had been stopped, mostly to talk to folks that knew the brothers, and once to allow a herd of sheep to cross the road. They passed a patrol of soldiers, some of whom studied the three men but they continued on. Eion exhaled as if he had been holding his breath then glanced at his brothers. Finally, they reached the manor where Sarah was waiting with Colleen and Mary Ailish, and to Brady's surprise, the younger Sarah, with her son and newborn daughter. There was no sign of her husband. Aunt Sarah stepped up to greet the three Quinn men, eyes filled with tears. She had missed them!

Conor soaked in the landscape they traversed, his heart pounding with the familiar, the missed, the loved. The men barely spoke at all between themselves. This was mostly a quiet, self-adjusting journey. Not until the wagon slowed to a stop did Conor look around his shoulder to the manor house and his stomach clenched with recognition. He smiled, seeing family there, and hopped from his perch, taking his Aunt in a hug of greeting and pressing a kiss to her temple. Still no words, he wasn't even sure he could speak, as he made the rounds from one cousin to another.

There was a lot of nostalgia going down with each of them. A lot of reflection and what was the past and a future still in question. There was a lot of curiosity as to how all this would go down with Brady aside the emotional reunion. Near brought a tear to his eyes seeing Aunt Sarah more than their cousins. He was down and over to give auntie a big hug right after Conor was done. Another kiss to her other temple before each cousin got another hug from the middle brother. Not much said still for it didn't seem to be the moment as most anything said sounded like the one was croaking under their breaths.. mostly good to see you again.. looking good.. and so on.

Eion waited his turn with Aunt Sarah, whispering that she looked as beautiful as ever. Each of the cousins received a hug as well, and he took note that the younger Sarah had dark circles under her eyes. This was weighing heavy on her. He stepped back and looked at Aunt Sarah, a grin appearing. "Is that your farm house soup I'm smelling?" She was obviously pleased that he recognized the smell and smiled. "Aye, and there's plenty of soda bread to go with it. Bring in your things and we'll get you settled and have lunch." The younger Sarah went to her father and hugged him, her voice low. "I've left Michael, Da. I can't be standing against you, no matter how much I love him."

Granted, the brothers didn't look all the best for their journey, their fighting, their ride, but they were welcomed as if they had showed in their Sunday finest. They were Quinn. Did they even notice appearance beyond the kind words? Standing close to their uncle, he heard Sarah the Younger's comment, no matter how softly she spoke the words to her father. Conor nodded to himself, a pride in itself that she had chosen family over betrayal. "You need not tell me twice, Aunt Sarah." Conor flickered a look to Brady and then turned to heft his meager one bag full of belongings from the wagon.

The adrenaline was pumping so being tired had not really hit him. The need to know more and their part in it had him going. He too heard young Sarah which had a frown touch. Even if Michael left a lot to be desired, it was always sad when a relationship ended. Especially since she still loved him. That didn't bode well all considering as love had a way of convincing one against what they knew was best. He said nothing, the expression that hinted the only sign he had heard something. Luckily they were being ushered inside and their things brought to the rooms they had occupied when young and here. He drew in a breath to let out silently as they moved inside. "Boy, that smells so good, reminds me of times past. Good times." Sending a grin his aunt's way as they were settling down at the table.

Eion gave no sign he had heard as he headed for the wagon to grab his things. They were set inside the door and he smiled as he looked around the room. Little had changed. Brady put his arm around Sarah the Younger's shoulders and placed a kiss to her temple. "This will always be your home, sweetheart." And maybe Michael would come to his senses before it was too late. "Yours and your children's." Inside David Whelan, Colleen's husband, was waiting with the children and he greeted the three brothers with an obvious sense of relief. "Sit then," Sarah smiled, as she motioned. "Take up your old seats, lads and enjoy yourselves. Talk can wait for later." And she was very firm about that as she gave her husband a look.

Conor was late for the gathering, as usual, but not so much so not to hear the invitation and greet David with a handshake and a nod of family. Cleaning up had done wonders for his appearance, but he couldn't hide his bruised jaw or split lip; he could his multicolored torso or the same color knuckles of his hands which only showed when he started to eat. And eat he did, as if he had only had a liquid diet these past days. Wait...basically he had!

Segan rose long enough to greet David with a good handshake and a squeeze to his shoulder with the other, "good to be here, good to see you again." Keeping it short before they were all digging into Aunt Sarah's fantastic soup. The kind he always ate more than usual of. Talk was little and so many unanswered questions seemed to hang in the air, but luckily in the background until they could be answered. Once done he sat back, "I wont need to eat for a week," running a hand against a flat muscular stomach beneath the shirt he wore. "I look forward to dinner," for certainly there were apple pies that had been baked. There would be freshly pressed cider and a roasted turkey for their homecoming if he were to guess on the main meal.

The meal went well in spite of the tension in the younger Sarah. By the time they were through, she was more relaxed though and laughing as the brothers talked of Heathfield and some of their adventures. Sarah clucked over the badges of homecoming she could see and insisted on checking them but then she was shooing the men off to Brady's den to talk. Brady offered drinks before he even began to speak. "Smoke too, lads, if you wish. This is the only room where it's allowed." There was a twinkle in his eyes as he added the last.

Conor accepted the drink but thanked his uncle after declining the smoke, moving to a chair. His gaze lifted to the door as David entered and closed the door behind him. He had a smudged lipstick mark on his cheek from where he had been sent in by his wife to eavesdrop... er... participate. A dip of head welcomed the cousin-in-law and Conor then looked back to Brady.

Drink he would have, Tullamore Dew, was almost as good as potcheen. He was settled into a chair, skipping the smoke of which he might have a cigarillo later after dinner. At least he knew where he could do such and not have Auntie chasing him with a broom. The visual was amusing however. A nod was given David but attention was clearly on Brady.

Like his brothers, Eion had a drink but passed on the smoke. "Your letter sounded urgent, Uncle." He glanced at David and nodded but his attention was quickly back on Brady. Brady had poured the drinks, passed them out and then nodded. "It is urgent and gotten worse since I wrote it. The Laird has acquired much of the land about but for a few and those landowners have been pressed for proof of ownership as well. There's been a few deaths no one can explain, the Widow Murphy for one though her nephew was her heir and fighting to keep the land. Michael's demanding Sarah be made my heir even though our Da wanted the land to be kept in the oldest male's hands." It was the normal way of things. "He's tight with the Englishman, but I'm afraid he'll regret this, especially now with young Sarah leaving him." He could come to try to take their children, but Michael would find that not so easy.

Michael would find it impossible if the Quinn brothers were in residence when he made his ill-fated attempt. "Fuck Michael." Conor growled low, no more than a breath as he tipped his glass and studied the liquid in it. He said no more, and that probably wouldn't even be heard, just a twitch of muscle beneath his eye evidence of his unspoken thoughts. Michael had been with the family a good many years. Had been welcomed into the fold and accepted as family. Without a moment's hesitation. While Conor presently was ticked as a cur dog, he couldn't help but feel a pang of regret for the turn of events. Still ... Michael had crossed a line that couldn't be easily redrawn, at least not in Conor's mind.

It was not something that would happen to Sarah with all of them here now. "Michael keeps it up, he might be the first causality for turning on our family." Giving a nod Conor's way for certainly he had heard his brother. A shifted glance Eion's way to read his thoughts knowing his expression before focus returned to Brady. "This is not the first the English have done this but it may well be the last they ever try it on our dirt. What kind of force are we up against? Scattered clans, individuals or an English army?" One should be prepared before entering battle and being outnumbered.

Eion's expression was dark, dangerous. He had worked for the English and knew how treacherous they could be even though some among them were good. Like many with power, they became too sure of themselves, too willing to destroy others in their quest to obtain more. "And what do you know of this Lord?" That could tell them plenty as well. Brady had yet to sit. Instead, he leaned against the mantle of the fireplace and watched his nephews. David said nothing at all. "He was in the army apparently and did some service for the crown that won him a peerage. The King gave him the lands of the disgraced Laird. And apparently, he decided those weren't enough. He began looking into deeds, even our history to see if we had right to lands that have been in families for generations." The older man's face was growing red, not a good sign. Brady had a temper and everyone knew it. "He has his own small army of men though they're not regular British soldiers. Rumor has it that some of his men mustered out of the army to come here with him. Some of them are just lads, homesick and prone to behave themselves. It's the older ones that are trouble. If they're about a woman doesn't dare walk passed them and complaints fall on deaf ears." He calmed himself and shook his head. "We've never had this kind of trouble here, even when the English first invaded."

The youngest Quinn, like David, remained silent, keeping his head bowed as Brady spoke. From that position he passed a look to first one brother to the other, barely visible to anyone. It didn't sound to him as if this would be able to be settled by just the return of the eldest Quinn. His forefinger ran a course along the rim of his glass in a semi-circle and for now his eyes followed that motion back and forth.

"So what we have here is a renegade group of how many?" Numbers were something they needed to know even if only approximately. "Doesn't sound like the English will support him in this. Too much putting their necks out for a little fish in the scheme of things even if this Lord thinks he should be a king." Trying to make himself one here would have a rebellion later if not sooner. Sooner it would be for stepping on Quinn toes.

Brady frowned as he considered and that was when David spoke. "About fifty at most. There are a few others like Michael, trying to get their families involved or friends. Hasn't happened for most and I know one or two who slipped away as soon as they could." Brady nodded then sighed. "Most have families they're afraid for. I've spoke to Sarah about sending her and Mary Ailish away but she's as stubborn as Herself and won't leave. There's been veiled threats, Eion, of turning you in for escaping an English prison, of taking the land for having harbored you here. Talk so far, nothing else." Eion shook his head and laughed. "Let them try, Uncle. I was set up. The man that they said I killed isn't dead." And could be dragged back as proof, though it would take time. "I'm thinking we'll go through the channels, make a show of proving that I'm alive and you've made me your heir, legally. Meantime, we'll rally our own force of men to stand against this so called Lord's." And maybe make sure the English King learned that his generosity was leading to trouble where he didn't need it.

Still not a word from the youngest Quinn as he took it all in until after Eion spoke, and then he brought up his glass and emptied it, placing it empty on the side table. "You have the deed safe somewhere I'm sure, Uncle." With a shake of head and a raised hand to still any comment, he continued. "And you need not be telling us where. Just, even if Eion is set up as your legal heir, if the man disputes that there is a deed or even the legitimacy of it, Eion's role in this doesn't make a damn bit of difference." He looked to Eion then, starting with a shrug. "And we all know that greed is a powerful catalyst. That man that isn't dead? Might just not be dead ... yet. His fate might be as much in jeopardy as the likes of us all here." With a sweep of hand, he indicated the other men in the room before he pushed up to stand, taking up his glass by circling the opening and crossing over to splash more of the Dew into it. "And though I wouldn't mind a skirmish or two against the English, I'm thinking unless we know, even somewhat, the stand of their English king behind this land-hungry bas'tid, we could be getting into a battle that, while worthy, will surely be the welcomed death of us. If need be, I'll venture with your missive to London, Uncle." And yes, that meant over the water...but go Conor would without a second thought.

There were a few ways to approach this. Diplomatic which was good to at least try or by force as force was already being used by this group. "Do we have an inside man?" That would help a lot. He was agreeing with Conor as his words rang a good 'true', best to avoid needless bloodshed but he had a feeling this English Lord wasn't going to escape when all said and done. He was up and over to refresh his glass as Conor still held the bottle. The grin said as much without interrupting Brady too much with questions.

"Michael knows everyone," David answered Segan's question. "Makes it near impossible."
Brady stared at Conor, then grinned and moved over to clap Conor on the shoulder. "Look who's the level headed one here. We don't know yet how the King feels on this. We do know they've declared a sovereign right to some lands but never here." Eion chuckled and saluted his brothers before downing the last of his drink. "So, first we learn the King's feelings and hold off any fighting until we hear one way or the other? I'm thinking I'll be needed here to go through all the round and round legalities." He didn't like the thought but it seemed the best way so far.

Conor grimaced just a little with that blow to his shoulder, his uncle was no gentle man amongst men, and Conor's body had taken quite the beating today. "Don't know so much about level, Uncle. Just liking that head on my neck, and that neck not strung on the Tower's gallows, aye?" He shrugged that stinging shoulder. "You write up the inquiry to that King and I'll find a means overseas. No doubt we'll be needing Segan's ship and his men here, just in case. If that royal refuses me, then we'll have our answer. And damn, but we'll be on our merry-assed own. If he does lend us an ear, we may not have to do more than toss the bastard a royal seal to have him backing the fuck off everyone here abouts. That's what I'm thinking anyway. I'm thinking the sooner the better, aye, Eion? Segan? Uncle Brady? And we'll be having the ladies send up their prayers that we have the time to get a favorable response." Hell, even the men would be sending up their requests by way of a bent knee. Every powerful connection counted when it came to these sorts of matters.

"We've been there before," giving a glance Eion's way as certainly that was a story to share later tonight along with his hurricane crash. "We've all managed to cheat death, to escape it by the hands of others, even nature." So far, eventually they all had to die but by god's teeth it would be to a ripe old age and when they were ready to go. That was the key. Brows went up hearing Conor determine he stay here. "You're going into hell's pit alone? Do you think that wise?" Segan was itching for action and having his ship sit in port didn't fulfill that bill. Although he had a loyal crew to back him if it came to a gang war. "The sooner the better no matter how it's done."

"I think Conor would be a good choice. I'm pretty sure they're not positive that you two helped me escape. But I think you're going to be needed here, Segan, and your men. I'd rather have ones we can trust with us." He looked at Conor a long moment, then grinned. "Question is, do we get your fancy clothes or are you going as your are." He was concerned yes, and worried what might happen but Conor could do this. Brady nodded, adding, "Just make sure you get back here in one piece, boyo, or Herself will have my hide."

Conor grunted out a laugh, nodding to Segan. "Now there's a question for the ages, when am I ever acting on wisdom and not impulse?" With a cant of head he slanted a look to Brady. "Aye, Uncle, I'll do my best because the English have nothing on Her when it comes to retribution." That said as an aside, he arched his back in a stretch, lifting his chin and rolling his head from side to side with anticipation. "I'll see to my own attire, Brother, lest I show up in England looking like a fop. Thank you, but I'll get Uncle Brady's letter and I'll see to matters from there...myself. You four see to keeping things settled here as best you can, and if you can't, then making sure I have a manor house to return to that still belongs to the Quinns." He lifted the glass and sucked down nearly the entire contents before lowering it.

He couldn't argue with the logic but at the same time he didn't like the idea of little brother going into the Lion's Den alone. "And I'll have what's left of your hide," gripping Conor's shoulder as he'd the fierce protective intensity there in his tone. "Birdie is back in England to keep tab on his estates." Even he knew the man. So there was that if he needed to run or hide. "You've got a deal." Their lands would not be falling into the hands of the English unless over his dead body... and that was not an option.

"Well then, it's settled. Daniel's going into the lion's den." Brady chuckled, glad to see they could still jest with all that was happening. "I think now it's time to go outside, clear our heads a bit. I'll need to explain it all to your Aunt, and after dinner tonight we can look into finding Conor a ride there. With the man in England, you'll have a least one friend there, aye?" Since Segan seemed to think a lot of Birdie, and Brady trusted his judgement. Eion stood and put down his glass, nodding. "I've a mind to take a ride, see the lay of the land so to speak if I can borrow a horse, Uncle. Either of you are welcome to join me, brothers." He wanted to see the old homestead too as well as see if any of the folks they had known were willing to talk. David went to seek out his wife while the brothers spent time as they would and Brady eventually went to speak to Sarah. It would prove to be an interesting conversation come dinner.


Date: 11-16-11
Poster: Eion Quinn
Post # 19

One Step at a Time

Conor was gone, braving the oceans in the hope that the King of England would see him and be sympathetic to their problem. A bit of advice, more potcheen, and a silent prayer was all Eion could offer. He remained on the pier until the ship was well out of sight, ignoring most of what was going on around him. Was he worried? Yes, but not because he thought Conor couldn't handle meeting the king and dealing with the courtiers. It was the subterfuge, the blatant dislike of the Irish and the deceit he worried about. "He'll be fine," he finally spoke out, as much to assure himself as anyone.

"He'll be alright. He's a Quinn," words came low just a step behind Eion to his right. Of course he would recognize the voice as Segan had emerged again after seeing to a few matters with his ship and crew. Perhaps word would reach England the same time Conor did for a few friends to keep an eye on the man. Was that one of those secretive smiles? Just a touch as a hand came to lay on Eion's shoulder a moment with that reassuring squeeze. "We should get back," hand sliding away as he turned heading up from the pier to where the wagon awaited them.

"Aye, he is, through and through." He chuckled as he turned, then his eyes narrowed slightly but he didn't ask the reason for that smile. There were greetings and a few glares but no one bothered them and they returned to the farm with no problems. "I'll be in after I unhitch the horses." There was a stable boy but Eion had a habit of tending to some things himself. He saw Aunt Sarah peeking out the window and lifted a hand to her.

He jumped down from the wagon before Eion saw it to he stable. "I'll be around back fixing that stone wall that needs mending. Walking backwards a few steps as he let his brother know his whereabouts and waving to aunt Sarah on the turn before moving right into a jog. He planned to help out with such manual work while here. Helped to keep his mind focused on the reason they were really here.

Up until now David hadn't placed himself much in the front of things. One in law had caused the family trouble, David would hold his thoughts and his tongue until it was absolutely needed. He helped Brady around the farm, business as usual and returned to his wife at night, life as usual. He listened and kept quiet, at least for the now, and he was well aware of the impending danger. From his lean on the side of the manor house, he watched the Quinn brothers return, minus the youngest, rubbing the bend of knuckles against the scruff of his bristled jaw.

Once the horses were seen to, Eion joined David. "Well, he's off and managed to not turn green when he walked up the gangplank." That was an accomplishment in itself and showed Conor's determination. "How are things inside?" He made a motion toward the house, then toward the path Segan had taken. "Shall we join Segan?" Likely they'd all keep busy until a course of action was decided. "It was quiet in town. Hopefully it'll stay that way and I can speak to the Englishman." He had fallen right into speaking of the Lordling in that way easily.

Had his path passed by where David leaned, he would have invited him to help him out back. They had time before dinner or any meeting of which he was sure if the latter he would be sent for. Such the way the stones walls were built, no mortar was needed. Each stone fitting in such a way it kept the wall solid. Except for outside factors and this one had been the brunt of a neighbor's bull that had gotten loose. Worse, the bull had gone after a few heifers which did the most of the damage in their escape being chased. Muscles bunched as he lifted a particularly large stone and hauled it into a new position as a foundation.

David had remained in his lean until Eion joined him fully, then pushed up. "How are things inside?" He chuckled to himself with a brief shrug of shoulder. "I am outside, am I not? Your cousin was none too happy with her father this morning, which in the way of shyte and hills, rolls on down to me. So best I just keep my distance until things cool down and, aye..." David looked in the direction that Segan had taken and the distance offered from house to him. "Segan's location looks even better." He nodded to Eion's comment on the Englishman and continued reprieve from trouble. Although, who could not feel it sparking in the air all around them? Or perhaps, that was his wife's current state of unease that he was experiencing. With Eion at his side, he started toward the rock wall that held Segan's attention.

"That is the way of it." Daireann was rarely out of sorts but Herself was another matter! He chuckled and started in that direction. "Maybe the storm will have passed by the time dinner is ready." He stopped a short distance from his working brother, acting as if he was studying the work Segan was doing. "Looks like he's doing just fine to me, though I'm thinking that one stone to the right could use some adjusting. Could Colleen be pregnant again, David?" It was a sudden thought.

Segan stopped as he noticed the two approaching. Back of his hand swiped over his brow but the wall was no longer holding his attention as much as raised voices from the manor. Even at the distance they were to this particular section of the wall, there was no mistaking the sounds. "What in hell's fury is going on in there?" He hadn't stayed outside because of prior knowledge but surely it now held his curiosity. The comment about the stone went with no response from him for it was neither here nor there unless Eion put it where he thought it should go.

Eion's sudden thought had David blinking in surprise as he stared at the man and answered his brother. "I've come to realize, Segan, at times such as these, ignorance is a man's bliss. Best I don't speak, just nod, do as I'm told, and tuck tail and scoot as soon as I'm able without catching any flack for my cowardice." Whelan was by no means a coward, and anyone in the province knew that to be true. He forced his still brow-lifted gaze from Eion and glanced toward the house and the sound of why he had claimed to be so. No man, with wits and any sense at all, would dare cross a Quinn Woman unless he was a Quinn himself. David, was not, and he loved his wife too deeply to interfere in affairs of daughter and father. Or perhaps, he loved his skin too much to dare so. "I only hope the rolls don't get burnt with the distraction." He did enjoy himself some of Colleen's rolls, soft and tasty and somehow always warm.

Eion bit back a grin and tried to keep looking serious. In his limited experience, he knew women who were pregnant could become moody for no reason at all. Then again, Colleen was known to have a quick temper, equal to that of her father. He looked toward the manor as well then let out a low whistle. "Hopefully Aunt Sarah will keep things in hand." She was usually the voice of reason during these storms. He didn't move the stone because it was fine though he did go over to study the damage beyond the wall. "I'm thinking I'll go see the Englishman in a day or two. Make sure things have settled as far as his men are concerned." He looked over his shoulder at David. "I spent some time in England and don't recall him at all. Can you tell us anything about him?"

"Doesn't have to be pregnant, just that favored time of the month. Time when men shake in their boots for their tongues become sharper than a razor's edge. Once braved their throats are slit, their private entrails ripped out and stomped on. This somewhat appeasing their sudden urges." Said in a serious tone even with the tick to the one side of his lips. "You will have me along when you speak to the Englishman?" Brows lifting slightly as he studied his brother. It was one thing to hold him off from going with Conor to see a king about a horse, this he would insist upon to at least be by his other brother's side.

Listen to them speak of a woman's menses with bravado and daring...considering their distance. David found silence to be the best response to that subject, but he smiled, looking between brothers until the subject changed to one of a more serious nature. He dipped his head in agreement, never doubting that the two Quinns would be meeting with the Englishman together when the time ever came. "What I know about him is second hand information, Eion. I've seen
the man a time or two, in true English Lord pomp and fuss, all decked out with his lace and satin and heeled shoes better suited for the ladies." His voice lowered, as if contrite for his insulting thoughts. "To each their own." He muttered to himself and he returned his gaze to first Segan and then Eion. "He had a plantation in India before coming here, that might be the reason why you didn't hear tell of the man. The Jewel in the Crown. I've heard he boasts of his status there and that he still holds his previous title there. He has just turned his hunger to this part of England's earth now. Greed is a disease that eats away at a man. There is never enough, and a man afflicted always craves more, never satiated. He is no ignorant tactician, Cousins, regardless of the experience of his men. He held his own against the rebels in India, he will be ruthless here I fear."

They both knew better to speak near a woman! He nodded at Segan then listened to David's explanation. Ugh. He had never had to deal with one like that but he had watched a few of them deal with others. "It may be he's using Brady as a test, to see how folks here react." He rubbed the back of his neck, thoughtfully. "I doubt he'll respect that we're also citizens of Heathfield. But best not to try to anticipate how he'll react to our asking to speak to him." He looked at Segan, not sure what else to say. He had come to respect royalty and nobles because of King Karl and his Horsemen, and the others in Heathfield but this was a different matter.

Brows furrowed into a scowl the more David spoke. "If he is set on greed there is no swaying him from what course of action he is taken. A course that involves our family. We will need to find a weak point in his plan and make use of it to turn things around, sweep the carpet out from under him." This Englishman was not going to listen to reason or even legitimate claims. They may have to use all the resources at their disposal that this man would never imagine. There were good lawyers in Heathfield, a Frasier man came to mind.

David didn't have any love for the Englishman, but he had been raised to be respectful and considerate of any and every man's reputation. And so, he spoke again. "I don't mean to imply the Englishman has done anything unlawful, only that he somehow finds a way, within those unstable and often muted boundaries, to get what he wants. And aye, that makes him all the more dangerous, because from what I've heard of the man, he will not stop until he manages to find a way. Folks hereabout grumbled when he took over old man Peters' farm, but he was old and had no heirs, so for the most part it was felt no harm done. But he is setting his sights on more prominent properties, such as ours." Because of their conversation, none would have noticed that the raised voices had died down and that a solitary figure was striding toward them. That of the man who had survived the conflict and would live to fight another day.

"We'll take one step at a time then." He found some hope in what David said. Though the man seemed to be single minded, he might listen to reason. "Especially with Conor carrying Uncle Brady's missive to the King. We can hope the King will listen to reason and tell him to stop. Until then, we'll hold them off as best we can."

By then Brady had reached them and clapped a hand to Eion's shoulder, startling his nephew. "Good plan. I don't want to see any of you hurt." He grinned at David, and motioned toward the house. "The storm is over and dinner is nearly ready." Sarah had stepped in just in time to save the rolls.

David had the best mother-in-law EVER!

The rigid line of his shoulders relaxed some as he took the moment to place a few more stones. He straightened again as he noticed one headed their way. "That will be what will stop the man," it would take a king telling him not to for that king could do him more harm than anyone else he knew of; 'cause he didn't know of others that could! "A Quinn never battled on an empty stomach and that empty stomach was always filled with a feast fit for a king first." Grinning like a loon for a moment as he abandoned his project to join them in heading back to the manor. "I can smell the food from here," as his stomach gave an appropriate, timely, grumble.


Date: 11-24-11
Poster: Conor Quinn
Post # 20

Trip to England

Travel by sea would never be described as one of Conor Quinn's favorite means of transport. In fact, anyone who knew the man at all would attest that this particular Quinn brother had not only an aversion to this sort of transportation but an actual loathing. Not without cause! This trip, not unlike others, had him draped over the rail of the deck, heaving what little bit of meal he had been able to consume into the rolling waters.

The incapacitated man was not without his resources though:

The first being his brothers. Eion and Segan looked out after him right. The whiskey they had provided would not run out no matter if they were blown off course for months on end. Conor made the most of that as he could. He needed his wits about him for some part of the journey, though, so that he could pen a request of his own to the magistrate. Once this was completed to his satisfaction, he would make even better use of that store of spirits. Until that time, however, he would remain in his current state of misery.

Then, there were also his three most trusted bar room brawlers. While his brothers were off finding themselves, Conor had been left to fend for himself. Thus, the tight friendship between the men had formed over pints and pissing contests, whiskey and words, females and fists.

William Brian Murphy O’Keeley
, better known to the four of them as BillyO. Although all of these men had been blessed with their fair share of good genes, BillyO had always been considered the looker of the bunch. Longish strands of blonde hair curled slightly where the ends rested on his shoulders. Blue eyes rivaled the clearest skies and, despite his lighter hair, long, dark lashes could make any female jealous. His clothing fit him to perfection, designed and stitched by one of the best tailors in their province. William O'Keeley himself. For all his fine appearance, BillyO had the demon of impatience constantly gnawing at his resolve. Short of temper and of compassion, it was just easier to handle any matter with a show of force.

Next, Killian Torin. KT for short whenever the drinking or the fighting became intense. Which, for these men, was quite often. KT was built for that extracurricular activity. The man owned a warehouse and the lifting and hauling involved with being fully immersed within his chosen profession added extra bulk to his six-feet-four-inches frame. Having grown up with a clubbed foot had been difficult and had made it necessary to learn at an early age to manage the deformity, physically and emotionally. He was a fighter. He always would be.

And lastly, but definitely not the least of the roughhousers, was Callum Sean Rohan, who answered to Ro. One didn't just say Ro. His name was pronounced Rooooow, and the more they drank, the longer his name became. The longer his name became, the more they drank. It wasn’t uncommon for everyone in the tavern to pull from their drinks as someone shouted out to the man. If the name was not held long enough that they could empty their tankards for another round, the caller’s failure was met with shouting of threats and beating of chests. To be the most recognized of Conor's three companions, the man was a recluse. Sometimes they wouldn't hear from or see him for weeks, at times, months. No one knew what he did or where he procured his income. None of them even knew where the man lived. But Ro always had extra coins to spare, was always well bathed and shaved, and could at times make BillyO appear to be in pauper’s clothing. He matched KT in size minus half an inch and BillyO in catching the wandering eyes of a lass. But, unlike his comrades, when he fought, he didn’t bellow and boast or draw attention. His moves possessed stealth and precise targeted contact. Fighting appeared to be an art for Ro, not just a pastime. He was always good to have around.

To Conor's way of thinking, all three of them would be an asset to him in England. Not to mention a damn good time if he had to wait to meet with the king. So he had sent them word the night before his departure and, once the ship was ready to set sail, their passage had been booked and the three of them joined him aboard.

At this particular moment, the men stood off from Conor, watching his back heave as another wave of nausea wracked his bent-over frame.

"Hey Quinn. You think you might be finishing up with that anytime soon?"

Conor remained doubled-over, holding so tight to the brass rail that the bones of his knuckles popped up white beneath the skin. He started to turn his head to look to Billy, to tell him exactly where he could shove his curiosity, but Ro saved him the trouble of trying to growl past the raw, burning lining of his throat.

"Shut up, BillyO." Ro pushed up from his lean and shot a glare Billy's way before moving toward their comrade. He tugged the handkerchief from his pocket and dipped the cloth in a nearby barrel. This he gave a tight wringing and then handed it over to Conor. "Clean yourself up, Quinn. You and I can take that pompous Jackanapes and KT will hold his cocky ass for us while we do."

They all laughed, even Conor as he straightened slowly and accepted the cool, wet cloth with a nod of appreciation to the bearer. He crossed the few steps to the same barrel, and even though the air was chilled from the season and the sea breeze, he dipped the cloth in again and when it was dripping wet, he turned to wash his face and even his tongue with it. Ro moved away to join the other two.

"He's just sick with excitement because he knows that when we reach England…". "BillyO continued his comment through his laugh. "Finally none of the pretty lasses will know him as Trip and he might just get a little action at last."

Conor ceased the motion and looked around his shoulder to the three, beginning to turn slowly to face them. "Trip? What are you talking about?"

KT shrugged a shoulder, his laughter dying down but his smile remaining. "When you left, we'd be talking about you taking your trip. You know, people would ask and we'd tell them. Conor took a trip. Conor. Trip. Conor. Trip. The two words were said together quite often. News spread, and like most gossip, started tangling all up into something it wasn't to start with."

Ro snorted. "With a little help from one certain William we all know."

BillyO roared out a laugh, landing a single, solid thump to Ro's shoulder. "Aye, couldn’t let a good string of gossip get unraveled."

Ro rubbed his shoulder, shaking his head at Billy before he looked back to Conor. "Ended up, the name stuck for you, Conor. Something about how you get all tripped up when around a female. Tripping over your feet, stumbling over your words, fumbling to use your .... " He gave a nod toward Conor's crotch.

"Cock." BillyO offered over the appropriate body part with too much enthusiasm.

Conor's gaze narrowed on Billy who just hee-hawed in amusement, slapping his thigh and stomping his foot.

"You son of a …" Conor’s aim was dead on and that heavy cloth sailed through the air. Water sprayed out with its course and caused the other two men to dance away from the fallout. The cloth opened fully and slapped Billy right in the face, conforming to his features with a solid, soaked 'smmmmack'.

"…biscuit eating goat." KT finished for Conor, swatting at some of the water that had managed to splat against his cheek. "Damn good aim, Quinn." He tried to smother his laughter, since BillyO was far from amused at this point and fought to peel that cold, wet cloth from his face.

Even before Billy had that cloth removed fully, he was pitching himself toward Conor with an intended attack and then, was airborne when he tripped over Ro's booted foot that managed to be in his way. He landed on his ass with a thump and a grunt, snatching the cloth away fully as he bellowed with laughter, wagging a finger Ro's way.

"You have never fought fair, Rohan." BillyO accused past his returned mirth.

Ro cupped a palm to his ear. "I'm sorry, Pot, what color did you call me?"

"Who are we going to be nicknaming Trip now?" KT shook with his joined amusement, stepping forward and offering Billy his hand to help him up.

As this was going on, Conor was standing completely still and his face had drained of all color. Despite the chilled air, beads of perspiration had collected on his forehead, on his upper lip. "Uhm." His gaze darted to the side. "Shit." He spun, diving toward the rail. His chest slammed against it and the acidic bile from his empty stomach flamed its way upward.

Blast a ship.

Blast the sea.

Blast the muscles in his stomach and back that screamed with abuse. This had become an all too familiar position for him.

"Screw the damn missive." Wretch. Groan. Spit. "Bring me that f'eckin' whiskey."


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