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Quinn Cousins

Date: 02-06-10
Poster: Liam Quinn
Post # 21

The Truth

Liam waited out in the commons as he did some window shopping, as it was referred to, while he waited for his brothers and the other brothers. He wasn't one to just stand there and let the cold seep in so walking about and noticing things he had missed first time around was better suited. Derby styled hat dipped down in the front for the collar of his coat turned up in the back to keep the cold bite off his neck. He was bundled appropriately for the weather.

Ciarán had spent a good portion of the day inside the Thistle. He had ventured out in the morning and gone to ... the bookstore! And spent the day reading. It was a luxury for him and one he didn't talk much about. He ate, then bundled up and headed out for a bit. He was coming from the docks when he spotted Liam ahead. Scooping up some freshly fallen snow, he whipped a snowball at his older brother and ducked beside one of the buildings.

Evan had fallen into a pattern... albeit what his brothers would call a sick pattern, but Evan was hoping they wouldn't find out about it to name it so. After his morning spent strolling about near the woolmill and shop he'd wandered around town some, until the cold had driven him indoors. He'd found a nice quiet pub where a few drinks and some idle wood whittling had him in a good mood. Hands in pockets and a pageboy cap pulled tightly over his head, he rounded the corner for the commons just in time to see a snowball flying for Liam and a familiar figure ducking away. Smirking to himself Evan slipped around the corner again and started approaching from behind.

He turned on a heel after snow splattered from his shoulder, catching sight of Evan instead of Ciaran. He was bounding, scooping up snow into a ball as it was launched at his blood brother as he tried to get away before ducking behind a park carriage.

The day had been a busy one and Eion had made sure to send a note to Liam at the Thistle that it would be evening before he could meet with him and the brothers. He saw what looked to be the beginnings of a snowball fight and leaned against the side of one of the buildings to watch. He lit a cigarillo, taking a moment to catch his breath. More to take a moment to gather his thoughts.

Hey! He was about to launch a snowball at Ciaran! Instead he was turned on by Liam... letting out a surprised laugh, Evan started running for the carriage, scooping up another snowball along the way.

He had gotten the note as he headed down to the Commons, where the Thistle was located, in search of his brother. He was still pretty good at stalking as a hand soon came down on his brother's shoulder. "So it has been a long day for you?" Mostly by that pensive expression he managed to catch sight of.

He moved around it as Evan charged so he came up behind to whip one at his back before making a few extra. "Let's go get Ciar!" as he was back pedaling then whipping ones where Ciaran had gone down the side of a building.

He looked over his shoulder and gave a nod. "Aye, very long. There was a collapse of a building just outside the city. No one in it but the snow was too much. We set to cleaning it up, then when I went to the manor, I had to clear the walks." He chuckled. "Not a bad busy." There was more, so much more that was happening in his life, but he wasn't ready to talk about it. He nodded toward the three brothers. "At least they're enjoying the snow."

Ciar knew they'd be after him so he ran around the building and nearly smack into the teens. They pummeled him and he let out a whoop, slinging snowballs back. But with so many, he was going to lose!

"Looks like those kids beat us to it," laughing as Liam snuck around behind him, but soon he was tugging on his best friend's sleeve and then taking off to help Ciaran. Grabbing up snowballs enroute he began whipping them at the teens, targeting them one at a time. Nobody attacked one of the 'Murphy' brothers without the others getting them back!

"Those shadows behind your eyes have me concerned. When you're ready to talk about it." Knowing how his brother was, he'd not push him but knew he was there to help out the best he could. Talking helped many times.

So targets were switched as very soon those teens were being bombarded by snowballs as fast as he could make and throw them. He was pretty fast too as some were crying 'give'.

It was fun, even if Ciar was getting the worst of it. He laughed as the teens finally took off, leaving him to fall backward in the snow. "I'm wounded!" More like he was covered and really looked like a bear!  He didn't stay there long though. It was still snowing and he didn't want to get cold, so he needed to keep moving.

Eion just nodded, and flicked the cigarillo away. It hissed as it hit the snow. "Looks like the battle is over. Shall we join them?" He started out into the commons, chuckling as the teens scattered. Off in the distance the rumble of the roller could be heard.

"I'll take that nod as a yes, when you're ready." Which the fact Segan noticed, he shouldn't take too long in talking. About time they had a heart to heart talk, brothers, blood was thick and they had always been there for each other. It was bad enough Conor kind of segregated himself and into his work, he hoped Eion didn't do the same. "I think the boxing area is in the back part of one of Maurice's warehouses." Which that particular man seemed to have a few enterprises going at once.

"Aye, it is." He wouldn't hide away but it wasn't easy for him to talk about. "Evening, gents. Enjoying yourselves?" He called out as they neared the three brothers.

"Aye, that we are," grinning as he was brushing off the snow from his cloak, spots where he got hit by the balls and splattered over the whole of his clothing, from derby down to his boots. "Is the place about here in the commons?"

Evan waved good riddance to the teens as they ran off, grinning triumphantly between his friends before turning at Eion's voice. Giving a nod of greeting, Evan pushed some of his overgrown brown locks back beneath his cap. "How are you both?"

"Just off the commons, along that alley." He nodded to where there were some warehouses. "I'm doing well. The three of you settling in some?"

"Doing well, Evan," boyish grin as he wiped away the concerned look from his features, setting it aside for the appropriate time. Leaving them answer Eion's questions before his as he started in the direction of that very alley.

"Settling just fine." He grinned as he answered, and he wasn't waiting. He followed right after Segan, wanting to get out of the snow. "I hope it's warm in there." Most warehouses weren't heated.

"Well enough, certain things take time." Like moving to a new area and adjusting to see if it were a place to stay. He headed down the alleyway with the others following Segan who had started first. This was a highlight that had his eyes brighter with anticipation, even if were a ruse to get to a place they could talk. "Any fights going tonight?" Wondering if they would get that lucky.

"Aye," was his simple agreement with Liam's statement. A brief glance over his shoulder and then he was setting off to follow the others, his coat buttoned up more snugly against the chill. "Just so long as we don't see Hercules' ugly mug ever again," he said to Liam though it was more of a mutter.

He motioned for them to join Segan and started in that direction as well. "Not tonight I'm afraid. But I'm sure there will be soon. I've sent a message to the owner of it and hopefully he'll get in touch with you soon." In Eion's opinion, it would be a good thing to have the fights going regularly. Though he wasn't sure if they had a set time or not.  "I've a key for it." There was a guard for the main warehouse but he had been told that Eion would be bringing some men to have a look. He unlocked the door, and waited for them to go in. "Might have to light torches. Should be right off the door." There was one burning so they could use it to light others.

Snow laid without much trace of footsteps as he paused under the overhang of the side of the warehouse. The door was locked as he stepped aside for Eion to unlock it then within. It was wide open and clean with seating on one side of bleachers and areas where ones could stand along the other side. Sawdust and hay on the floor to keep it relatively dry and it had that feel and smell to it of a place that was use to sweat and crowds.

Liam was in next as his grin broadened. A smell that was heaven to him on the one side of the scale of things. "Nice and open, not a crowded ring," muttered under his breath as he was over and ducking under the ropes to measure the inside by steps, corner to corner and diagonal.

Evan ducked slightly as he went through the door, an old habit due to his height, and then stepped in and to the side to let the others through. He reached over to grab a torch for himself, lighting it at the one near the door, then stepped over after Liam to have a closer look. He couldn't help the knowing smile as he watched his blood brother eat it up. "Don't start fightin' us just because you're happy to be in a boxing ring again," he warned Liam but had a slight grin on his lips.

Ciar grabbed another torch so they could see even better. He grinned as he watched Liam then glanced upward. "Bigger than most of the places you've fought in." From backrooms to stables.

"I imagine it's quite a feeling to be fighting a man in that way." One on one, face to face with no hold barred. He had tucked a couple of bottles of the pure under his cloak, another reason he didn't get into any ruckus. Pulling them out of the leather bag he had been carrying, he offered one to Segan and one to whichever of the brothers were closer.

He was moving around in boxer mode, footwork and rhythm of punches with an imaginary opponent before moving out of the ring. "Feels good, that I can't deny." The look on his face said it all as he took up a seat on the bench. "I wanted us here tonight not only because I'm genuinely interested in a possible setting up of boxing matches to whatever capacity I'm allowed, but we need to talk. Serious talk and best you both sit down." He would share the telling of it with his brothers.

He watched Liam while he moved around the ring, smiling slightly. But when Liam sat and spoke as he did, a brow lifted. He looked at Segan, then sat opposite Liam. When a man changed the subject from what he was doing, to needing to talk, Eion had no doubt it was a serious matter.

Evan was happy to see Liam looking so happy, however briefly, especially after those darker moods he'd been going through lately. But Evan kept his silence when his blood brother came to the heart of the matter. Moving to sit alongside Liam on the bench, he offered silent support to Ciar and Liam both as he regarded the other Quinns neutrally.

Ciar had taken the bottle Eion offered and opened it as he sat. He took a drink from it, then offered it behind Liam's back to Evan. Liam could have a drink after he talked, unless he intercepted it. Then he leaned forward, elbows resting on his knees, his fingers interlinked.

He was amused watching the young man do his thing in the ring,  looked the part once there. Brows furrowed slightly as the next came somewhat unexpected. A serious talk. He headed for the bleachers as well, taking a seat near the brothers and his brother.

He waited for all them to settle, which gave him time to have a swig from that bottle and took the opportunity. Passing it onto the next. "I ask that before reacting to something said, hear us out first as there is a reason for everything. We're mercenaries for hire but we were blackmailed into a job to be done or have the Quinn family wiped out. Can't say I actually believe the one but I'm interested in why he wanted Eion Quinn kidnapped by us to bring back to him. An Englishman. The reason I am even telling you any of this is because we are not Murphy but Quinn, well, except Evan here, he's a Hunt. And the fact the part about our Great Grandpapa being yours as well, makes us related Quinns."

About to take the flask, he let Liam whet his throat for speaking first, then took it when offered. A deep swig was taken while Liam began. Typically his best friend didn't mince words, but launched in, laying all their cards out on the table. That was probably for the best though he did watch the other men's faces for their reactions. Hazels flicked briefly over to Liam before returning when Liam named him as not a Quinn, wondering whether that would make a difference to them.



Date: 02-06-10
Poster: Liam Quinn:
Post # 22

Eion listened for a moment, frowning as Liam went on. "What Quinn family was he planning to destroy?" Did he say who he is?" There were many thoughts going through his mind. But mostly it was connected with Lord Bennett. He looked at Segan before looking back to the three. "Can you describe him?" Bennett was an older man so if he was the one, the description would help.

"He mentioned Dale Quinn but seemed it was going to be even other Quinns. He didn't specify beyond that and we needed to get out of there after having been beaten up by their police force. Lord Dunbury wasn't much older than us, probably around your age? Not quite thirty." Although he could question himself in being a good judge on age, give or take five years either way.  "Oh, he has blond hair, can't say I recognized the color of his eyes." Glancing to Ciaran to fill in any of the story.. as in more details.

"He had a certain pompous air about him." Evan supplied in addition, adding more colorfully, "the sort with a stick up his arse that props him up."

"I think they were brown." He looked at Evan and bit back a laugh. "Very English, very well dressed." He shrugged then. Not much more to tell.

"That's not Lord Bennett, nor even his son." He stood and started to pace. "These Quinns are also cousins then? Where do they live? I don't recall if you said where you came from." He stopped to look at the three once more. "And you were being cautious, not using your last name. I understand that and don't hold it against you."

He would let Ciar take over as he was going to have a few more slugs of the potcheen.

"Aye. Our grandfather, your grandfather's brother?" He continued after Eion's nod , "was forced to be an indentured servant. Near as I can remember, he saved his master's family from a fire and they freed him, then he married the man's daughter, made a new life for himself. Not sure why he never tried to see if things were all right here, but he had children. Our da left there, went to the new world, and that's where we were born. We left there to try to find our sister who was taken by British soldiers after a raid where our da was killed. Evan's family too. When we ended up in Barbados is when we got into all this." He paused for a moment. "The Quinns and Churchills are our cousins and that's who he said he'd destroy."

Evan watched as Eion began to pace, a sure sign of agitation. He held his silence when Liam turned it over to Ciaran to speak, allowing his head to dip downwards and his gaze to part from the Quinns' when the raid was mentioned. It was a heavy silence that hung around him now but he was still listening. As always, he was there for the brothers even if this whole ordeal didn't involve him, or his family, directly.

It involved him. Both Liam and Ciar considered him as much a brother as friend.

So did he, which was why he was here.

Eion took up the bottle and took a drink then sat again. He rubbed his chin, saying nothing for a moment. "Do you think there's the slightest possibility he'll make good on his threat?" Looking from one man to the other.

His loss was their loss just as their loss of Fawn he took it just as personally. He watched Eion pace but relief had his shoulders relax, having taken on the ram rod straight posture as one prepared to fight if needed.

Segan was listening and keeping quiet. Watching his brother mostly as his mind went in many directions. Probably a lot like Evan was doing. He would agree with one thing, "aye, we've done the same where needed."

Evan took a breath and looked up from where his glance had fallen to his knees. A glance exchanged between Liam and Ciaran before he spoke to answer Eion's question. "I think he may. Though I have no idea what sort of power the man actually has. Enough to have the police force there in his back pocket, at least."

He looked down for a moment, then nodded. "I agree. He knows someone there and he could hurt them."

He shook his head, "honestly, no. It doesn't make sense to say to us to capture you to keep our relatives safe there then to turn around and say that if we don't, he will kill them."

Eion fell quiet again. though he smiled slightly at their slight disagreement.. "Had to be hard for you to come out with this. I don't know if I want to take a chance on innocent lives though." He looked at Segan, wondering if his brother had anything to say on this whole business.

He finally spoke up, "I'm thinking this is something to look into, after all we're family now. Got to look out for each other." That is what clans do and what the Quinn clan did. They were tough ones to deal with or go against as a clan. "He might be bluffing, it sounds like he contradicted himself so had not time to think it all out. He had a reason to go that far with the blackmail. Seems if you don't return, he may not kill all those people, even powerful  men, it would be hard for them to wipe out two clans there. So in that I think it was exaggerated. Someone, wants to see me brother pretty badly."

"My thoughts as well. Did you three come with a plan?" He did grin fully this time. "Because we're going to be taking a trip to Barbados." That is, if Segan was willing to sail them there.

Blink. Well, that was unexpected. Watching Eion for a long moment, he then exchanged glances with his blood-brothers.

It certainly was. He looked at Eion, opened mouth, then snap his mouth shut and looked to Evan and Liam. Well, now ...

"We tend to make short term plans. First was to find you after we escaped.  Oh, there is a good reward on your head too. Forgot to mention that." Slowly grinning. "After we found you we would proceed from there, which we only gave a little more time in doing before we continued our search for our sister," which kind of said something about them really believing the man was going to kill them all tantrum spiel. "If we found you, we decided to see what you were like and if you were really related before making any more decisions. We found you were likable and related so here we are. We hoped you might know who this man is and how to proceed from here."

In other words, NO. They had no plan!

A reward as well? Now he was truly curious. "Does he expect you to take me back in chains? Was it dead or alive?" He looked thoughtful again. "I'd have to take leave but I don't think that would be a problem. Segan here is Captain of his own ship so we have transport if he's willing. There's just our family to deal with but I think we'd have their blessing when we explain." Gran was going to be in heaven with more relatives. "Of course, we'll have to have a plan for once we're there. I don't especially care to be taken back to England." Or worse, executed for something he didn't do.

"Oh, he didn't want you dead, or we would be dead. He wanted you alive and would pay good money to each of us, paid us some leaving like extra expenses. What person from England do you know that has influence and would go to Barbados?"

He was finding this all curious as he was more listening than talking. "Aye, you have me ship to sail there which means I will be going too."

"That's just it." He rubbed his neck then let out a whuff of air. They were kin so he'd tell his story. "I've been a mercenary since I was about 18. Served a few lords in different places. The last was an English lord. While I was there, I got entangled with a woman, and next thing I knew, I was arrested for robbery. I was put in a prison. While I was in there, the woman married the lord." He didn't mention anything about Jane being married to his best friend. That was still hard to deal with. "Segan and Conor, and a good friend of mine broke me out and there were repercussions. Lord Bennett was investigated, lost his place in court and was jailed in that same prison. He had a son who hated me but he was younger than me and black haired."

"So, the only way we get an answer is to take you to him," Ciar grumbled. "And I was hoping we wouldn't have to deal with him again."

"We also set all the ones free they had imprisoned and one of them in the least was the son of a high ranking lord." Just throwing that in as who knows who else they pissed off or something else. "A bit odd, to make it clear he didn't want Eion dead or you would die. Usually it is dead or alive, unless they wanted information from the one they could only get through him."

Evan was hoping he'd never have to set foot on Barbados again, for his part. And the idea of leaving here so soon after he'd arrived wasn't a welcome one. But he wouldn't even consider the thought of not going along. Leaning back slightly on the bench, his arms folded across his chest and his brow furrowed as he listened to all that was said, thoughtfully. As usual he'd withhold his own opinions until later, when he could speak with his friends alone.

"And there's nothing I can think of that I might know. No treasures, no secrets." He shook his head. "I don't see any other choice if we want to find out what this is about." He looked at the three again. "As far as your sister, there might be help here once we get back."

The last had him blink before sitting up. "You could? You would? There is hope? How?" He was far more interested in this than the other if one had to weigh them. "It's been about five years." One never knew as the thought took hold, going back to this Englishman might be another lead as the English were connected in that they found that much out. He was sitting up straight with an eager look between Eion and Segan.

"There's a man here, Joseph McDonough, who has private investigators working for him. They went to the colonies three years ago, and found his brother's missing sons. And he hadn't known they were alive. He thought they died with his wife eighteen years before. They're efficient and determined. Likely will start back at your village if possible."

Ciar had become more alert when his brother did. "There's not much left. It was burned down. And if no one has rebuilt there, it'll be grown over." He wanted to believe but after so long, it was hard.

"There would still be people around to ask on it. They might start there just in case, leave no stone unturned."

Evan sat up straighter as well, glance swinging to his blood brothers as his brows lifted. Not quite skeptically, but like Ciaran, he was almost afraid to hope.

"We'll even help with the cost if you need." He stood as he spoke. "We're family now and if one is lost, it's up to us all to search." He looked at the men and smiled. "It's late but I know our grandmother will be up. Why don't the three of you come to the manor, stay over, and meet the rest of the family that's here. We've an uncle still in Ireland with his wife and daughters." The three had just found themselves part of an even bigger clan than they thought. And so had the Heathfield Quinns.

He rose with a smile, "I would like that. You have sisters I hear. Any around eighteen or so?" They may adopt her until they could find their sister.

"Mel's 20, Concessa 18." He chuckled. "And she's a handful." Which had him thinking, they'd have to watch and make sure the imp didn't try to sneak on board the ship when they left.

"It is getting late," and he'd been up early every morning to see how Vanessa was doing and if she needed anything while he was out that day. He usually stopped by in the late afternoon or evening. Tonight she got a break from him!

Meet their family. He stood as well, looking a little nervous. Always worried if he'd pass inspection so to speak. "Aye, it is."

Date: 02-06-10
Poster: Evan Conrad Hunt
Post # 23

Discovering the Lands

This cold blustery night had Mariah deciding not to head north, instead she came here to the quiet Thistle; drinking punch made of potcheen in a raspberry flavor. She no longer felt the cold that seeped right to the bone as what transpired in just getting here. There was a pile of snow outside and snow probably still fell.

Ciar had been out for a time down at the docks. He had been talking to some about the type of work that could be found, possibly as a bouncer, or maybe something with a bit more risk. The walk from there had him chilled and he moved quickly. Once he was up the steps, he stomped the snow from his boots and slipped in through the door, trying to let as little cold in as possible. Once inside, he set to removing hat, gloves, scarf and the heavy woolen cloak he had taken to wearing. "Alex, if you would, a mug of coffee with a bit of potcheen added to warm me bones, and whatever Hazel has to offer this freezing night, with my thanks." His teeth were chattering but at least Alex could understand what he said through the clatter.

She was dressed in shades of green that brought out that color in her eyes. With lustrous blond hair that picked up the lights from the fireplace, she looked like a bit of summer in winter. Her smile was also bright as she caught sight of one of the brothers she'd met in the north. "You made it down, I see. Have you found Eion too I can hope?" She lifted her glass of punch in salute before taking a sip.

He hadn't seen her at first but when he heard her, he turned and grinned.  "Mariah, good to see you! Ah, we made it, on the same day as the blizzard. And we found Eion." He wrapped cold hands around the mug of coffee. "We are related to him, though I think I should be makin' a bit of a confession. We were being cautious in using the last name of Murphy. We're really Quinns. Our grandfathers were brothers." If it came from him, she might not be mad at the others. He even managed to look sheepish. By then Alex had brought out a big bowl of Irish stew and his stomach growled loudly.

She was comfortably snuggled into the cushions of a wing back chair in front of the fire. Hair that had been pinned up had been set free and fell as it pleased. "Ciaran, if I remember correctly," or more correctly which name went with which brother. With the admission she tipped her head studying him keenly for a moment before a slight nod was given. "You must have had a reason to use another name." Which her tone said she understood, "thank you for letting me know otherwise. The Quinn family is growing quickly." A laugh slipped free with a quick glance down midway to his stomach then back up. "You should keep that beast fed."

Liam had been to the boxing ring again to practice his steps. Best he keep himself in shape while waiting on the man to contact him. It was far too cold outside as he was near in a run from the lower commons to where the Thistle was situated. Bounding up the steps he skidded to a halt as he caught sight of at least Ciaran inside, and, who else? Ahhhh, looking to see if Evan was there also but alas he wasn't. It was the lass and Ciar. Such a grin as he decided to linger outside even if a crazy notion and have one of his flavored fags. One soon lit as the cinnamon tinted smoke floated to mingle with the snow falling. His lean allowed him to watch the street and keep a glimpse of those inside.

"Aye, I'm Ciaran. Didn't realize the family was so big and we've cousins in Barbados as well." He gave another sheepish grin. "One of the reasons me brothers call me Bear." He motioned to the stew. "If you'll excuse me eating while we talk." He glanced at the door, wondering just where his brothers were. "And, aye, we had a very good reason."

Evan had spent most of the day talking to various carpenters about town, seeing if there was any work to be had, and also which of the masters Evan might prefer working with. As per usual he'd swung by the wool mill on his way back, and was disappointed when he found the windows dark and not a glimpse of the blonde-haired angel to be had. Next best thing was a drink and the company of his blood brothers, and so he headed up to the Thistle. As the snow began falling again he picked up his pace, hands in pockets and a cap pulled over his erstwhile hair. He almost jogged up the steps to the tavern and flashed a grin when he saw Liam there. Pausing to speak with his best friend before he'd seek the warmth of indoors. "Evenin' Liam. How'd you spend your day?"

"Bear," the laughter more in her eyes but there was the curl of it at the edges of her lips, "it is fitting," Which she couldn't help tracing a glance over the breadth of his shoulders, "a bear size appetite. So, how are you and your brothers settling here in these lands? Have my words at least started to prove their worth?" Eyes upon his in polite courtesy.

Liam stood up blocking the window some, as much as his form allowed, as Evan approached. It was a taunt as he was wont to do to either of them and what they would do to him. The fag pinched between his fingers to lower it away from his lips as the smoke traded off and a finger tapped the ashes away at his side. "I spent it expanding my discovery route and then the rest of the day until now, practicing my boxing moves. How about you?" The fag lifted for another draw of the smoke as he waited for his brother's reply. If Evan shifted to look through the window, he would happen to shift in unison.

He grinned and nodded, agreeing about his nickname. "I get grumpy too. We're settling fine, though not sure if we'll stay or not." Well, they would be journeying. "Each of us have been exploring. I met your sister at the book store. Mostly been exploring the docks. Liam is looking into doing some boxing and Evan's been exploring everywhere else." And see, he didn't add that he'd been looking for her. "It's everything you said and I think they'll agree."

Evan only glanced with idle curiosity to the window, wondering if Ciaran was already there. He didn't yet notice the way Liam shifted to halfway obscure his view. "Spoke to some master carpenters 'round town. One of which is such an old drunkard, I'm surprised he hasn't nailed his hand to a table yet. But some of them seem fair enough men.
  Might be able to find some work." He paused and added, "Well, after we get back from Barbados I guess." Which had a bad taste in his mouth and a frown on his face. Eyes moved again towards the window. "Seen Ciaran yet?"

"A grumpy bear, do you give bear hugs too? Cuddly.." but she cut herself off right there as a touch of rose dusted her cheeks. A best not to go there or find herself really embarrassed. She switched the subject real quick to a safer part. "No one is expecting you to but family is good to be around. It takes time to settle, I would think. If I ever had to leave home, here, I think it would be very hard for me to settled in a strange place. There would have to be a comfort found to stay. Exploring and getting a feel is the best way I would think." She obviously never had to do that.

"I passed a furniture shop, they say the young man is an excellent carpenter and his business growing by leaps and bounds to keep up. Did you happen to meet Sean MacGrath, business of the same name?" Pausing too, "yes, there is Barbados to be resolved but no harm in planning just in case we do decide to stay." There was a wicked glint to dark eyes with the next, "Ciaran. Oh.. " stepping aside with a half turn, "yes, he is inside," with a hand slightly lifted in indication, "right there," of course Mariah could be seen even closer for where she sat at the fire now that he no longer blocked the view. The fag had burned down enough for him to be done as it was flicked in a arch out into the snow. "Time we get inside.."

"Only if asked." The cuddly part had him clearing his throat. He had never actually been considered cuddly. "Though only wee girls and me sister ever did." Yes, change the subject before he got pounded! "I guess it does take time but we never stayed anywhere for more than two weeks since we left the colonies. So I'm not sure entirely. Exploring always gives a feel for a place though we've never been anywhere like here. People don't look at you like you're about to cut their throats." Well, maybe he had that look about him.

"Except for the occasional ruckus, or competitions of pig wrestling, sword practice and the like, it isn't rough in these lands where you have to keep a look over your shoulder. I don't know what that is like but I figure it has to be pretty miserable to live that way. I probably wouldn't last too long in the outside world although I've made small trips north to at least see it firsthand."

"I don't see why we shouldn't come back if we don't lose our skins in Barbados. There's plenty of work here, and family too." Hearing him say that Ciaran was already inside, he nodded and turned to the window. Cue astonished gape as he stared inside and thought he might be seeing things - there she was sitting not twenty feet away by the hearth!

As Evan stood there gaping, it may register in the back of his mind somewhere in that thick fog, that the door closed because Liam had gone inside.

"It's not an easy way to live. If it weren't for Liam and Evan, I'd probably not be here. They've save me skin more than once. You're pretty brave to go there on your own." And there came Liam. "Evening, Liam, look who I found sitting here when I came in."

Indeed he was entranced, then suddenly he blinked. Where was Liam? He looked over his shoulder and realized the door had closed and he was standing out there on the porch alone. He reached for the doorknob, stopped, hastily tugged off his hat and tried to rumple his hair into some form of neatness. Of course his brown hair was just as long as before and flopped into his eyes no matter what. Breath taken and he opened the door to step inside. His hat already in his hand, he hung that up by the door and tried to be casual about pulling off his jacket too. "Hey there Ciaran." Hazels moved to the blonde beauty then and he offered a spontaneous grin. "Lady Mariah.. I uh, didn't expect to see you here." Pause, did that sound strange? "Just 'cause, we've been staying here for a few days and I haven't seen you...yet. Here." Ahem.

"Or a bit crazy, me Da and brothers would probably have me hide and if not my hide then my ear on all the chances I take. Although both of them had hung out there many times." Distracted as she sat up more and the brilliance of a smile shot fully as Liam then Evan came inside. "Good evening, care to join us? It's nice and warm here by the hearth." They looked pretty frozen, lips were a slight shade of blue or so seemed. "It is good to see you both. Evan, Liam. It had been a pretty nasty storm that night coming back." But she had obviously made it. "It took me days to get the chill from my bones." Laughter bubbled up easily, "I do come here at times but I've been scarse of late. I've been spending time at the wool mill to oversee a few things for the shop. Ivy has been seeing to it in my absence."

"Well, we won't tell them then." He grinned then bit his lip to keep from blurting out that Evan had been worried if she made it back. "Did you have any trouble getting home that night?" And now that his brothers were here, and his stew was cool enough to eat, he was going to dig in.

He laughed out loud, sort of a burst as he hung the last of his outerwear to a peg as Evan passed him like the Tasmanian devil. Like a bee to honey, he didn't waste any time getting to the hearth while Liam headed for the bar and some of the homemade whiskey to enjoy. "Good evening Lady Mariah," dark eyes shifting there a moment politely before he was around, bottle and glass in hand heading their way.

Evan nodded, pretending not to act too knowing, though of course he knew very well that she'd been at the wool mill every day. He needed a drink! Hand raised to both greet Alex and hail himself a drink. "Aye... it was quite a storm.  I'm real glad to see you made it back alright." His tone sincere as he reached for one of the chairs by the hearth, settling himself down into it with a tug to straighten his shirt.

"It was rough, I was near frozen and so was my horse by the time we got here. My sister insisted I soak in a warm bath, which she kept adding more hot water too as I adjusted so I didn't fall ill. We had a few toddies and all in all ended up laughing most of the evening telling tales of things that happened while growing up. She has a McAndrews prince she is sweet on and possibly he is on her. Hard to tell with that lot as they are natural flirts but if they fall, they fall hard and lasting."

His ale was soon brought over but he almost choked on his first sip when she mentioned herself in the bath. A brief cough as he lifted a fist to thump against his chest, clearing his throat to speak. "That sounds... ah..." Change of subject! "Well I hope, for your sister's sake that this Prince returns her feelings." Wasn't like him to stumble over his words like this, especially with a woman, and he didn't dare look at either of his brothers, knowing they must have noticed and their smirks would only make it worse. "And I'm glad you didn't become ill. That's a worry this time of year."

She had no idea he might be picturing her naked in her bath. Which she was of course. Totally. She was clueless what words triggered things in a male's mind. She'd probably be beet red otherwise. "Are you all right Evan?" Concern lifting in eyes that looked more green tonight, ones with a golden overcast still as she sat up, half rising. "Can I get you something for that? There are teas Alex has.."

He was doing his best not to laugh. This was so unlike Evan it wasn't funny and to be honest, Ciar was stunned. Stunned!

Liam was quiet, like the great white hunter, moving to a seat near the others and getting comfortable. Just a grin plastered on his features, Ciaran would probably notice over Evan for his preoccupation.

"Oh, no. I mean, aye. I'm fine." One last clearing of his throat and he offered Mariah a crooked smile. "Thanks though. Ah... do you need another drink?" She had a glass in hand but he wasn't sure whether it needed refreshing or not. Besides it was the easiest thing to say to change the topic.

Well, not so stunned he didn't notice Liam's grin. He shoveled a bit more food in his mouth, finishing up. The bowl was carried over to the bar and he thanked Alex again. "That hit the spot." He grinned, then he was back but instead of sitting at the nearby table, he picked up his coffee and settled into a chair at the hearth.

Which had her dipping a glance down to notice that her glass was near empty. "If you are getting something too?" She stood smoothing out the soft moss green material over the curve of a hip while her other hand held the glass as she took a few steps closer. She smelled like a meadow of flowers in the heat of a summer's day. A deep warm rich scent that seemed to cling to her naturally.

Evan swallowed when she stood, bringing attention to the curves which moved ever so subtly beneath her dress. He watched her drift closer and his nostrils were invaded with that floral scent, no less than intoxicating. He blinked a few times before he could answer her question. "I... was going to get some food so I can.. take you if you want? Your glass," Yipes! He quickly corrected that terrible mistake of speech, "Take your glass."

He was whistling a tune under his breath, something like the wedding march but jazzed up some so it wasn't too obvious. Although it would be obvious to Ciar.

Hell, even Ciar noticed that scent and he sniffed the air as he passed her. Ah, the lasses of this land could break your heart with their smiles. He was laughing as he sat, not out loud but the grin was near ear to ear. And he didn't dare take a drink of his coffee for Liam's whistling!

"My glass, of course. Maybe I should accompany you as food sounds like a good idea." She was getting hungry but her stomach didn't growl like Ciaran's! Luckily.

At least she didn't get offended by his accidental turn of phrase. Even if it had crimson color creeping up his neck. "Aye. Certainly." He flashed a quick grin and then gestured with his arm, for her to go ahead to the bar, and he'd step up to walk beside her. "The food here is very good. Well of course, you'd know that already." Christ, she probably thought him a bumbling idiot at this point and when she wasn't looking, he grimaced.

"It is excellent," she was probably a bit of a munchkin at his side for the height difference and at one point her hip bumped into his. It only had the sweet tone of her laughter as they reached the bar and she ordered up some of the rolled up meats with cheese and bread that Hazel made so well. A tangy sauce to dip them in or one of warmed whipped cheddar cheese.

The bad thing was when Ciar tried to not laugh, he ended up with a odd sort of chortle, higher pitched than was usual, highly contagious, and it would only cause him to laugh in a more normal tone. There was no point in trying to hide it once he got to that point. He was going to blame it on Liam!

Which had Liam pointing at him. Too bad it was behind Evan and Mariah's backs. He was making all kinds of kissy faces too that only Ciar would see.


Evan laughed shortly to the hip-bump too and hastily sidestepped so he wouldn't trip her. Reaching the bar, Evan ordered one of the same for himself, mainly because he couldn't think enough to decide on anything else from the menu. Once Alex went off to fill their order, he pulled out one of the stools for her to sit on. And once she did he'd reach behind him for another stool for himself. A few seconds his hand hit only air, and then his fumbling fingers found a stool and pulled it up to seat himself. "Did you.. enjoy your journey in the North then?" Dumb question, "Besides the blizzard, I mean." Slight grin.



Date: 02-06-10
Poster: Evan Conrad Hunt
Post # 24

At least he settled down some, in spite of the kissy faces. Until he saw Evan fumbling for the stool. He covered his eyes with his hands and started to laugh again. Poor Evan!

Her smile was warm, swift, as he pulled out a stool for her. "Your brothers are welcome to some too," she would have brought the tray back to the hearth for all to enjoy but they could have a few bites here. A slanted glance was given with the lowering of thick lashes his way, it had a sultry look to it as one considering his actions. It was brief, fleeting, the smile coming back again easily. "I enjoyed the last one where I got to meet the three of you, although the blizzard was not welcome. I do believe that woman had something do with it." Although another pause before, "the time before was the other tavern up that way and two men that naturally gave me the creeps. Shadows hung around them of a kind of mystery if one is drawn, they end up dead or so corrupted they would be better off dead." She didn't know things firsthand but she had a whole set of instincts working for her. She had noticed the fumbling but was uncertain exactly the cause of it, maybe he was just nervous around females?

It was like some sort of awkward blustering fool now inhabited the usually charming male's body. Such is the power of Woman! He watched the sweep of her eyelashes against her cheek when she looked down, so he was already looking at her when she glanced up again. He quickly moved his eyes so it didn't appear like he was staring. Though just as quickly, restored his gaze to her when she began speaking. Her voice was almost musical and combined with her smell of wildflowers, enough to make him feel drunk without the help of ale. Evan nodded attentively as he focused on her words. "Aye, me brother Liam said the same about that woman, with the snow." A slight shrug, he wasn't sure whether he believed that or not... but as she went on he frowned. "Two men? They didn't bother you did they?"

"So, do you think it has ever been this bad for him?" Words low and cryptic enough between he and his brother. Sure, talk about Evan right there behind his back or in front of his back.

"Never." He took a sip of the coffee before he continued. "Except maybe when we were younger and you two were off at school. What was the name of that lass he went a little crazy over?" He kept his voice down as he spoke.

"I remember, crazy as a loon over Lulu, Lucy, we gave her a nickname. He didn't like it too much nor the taunting so we got in some good fights and he got over Lulu real fast."

"No. No," shaking her head, "they didn't come close to me but the one kept watching me in a way it had that icy finger up your spine, not a warm and comfortable feeling," which had her lean as her hand touched upon his forearm and her words lowered giving it a velvet touch. "Don't worry, I don't bite." Pausing a moment before adding, "only nibble at times." Wink was quick as she actually flirted a little while sitting back up, the trace of her fingers along his arm before her hand fell away and up to rest upon the bar. By this time Alex had brought out the tray to set as well the drinks that had been requested.

"Aye, her but that one was different." He paused to see Mariah flirting with Evan. "He's going to fall off that stool."

Was she TRYING to kill him? He watched almost warily as she reached to place her fingers on his arm, the touch sending a shiver up his spine like the one she described. He swallowed again when she purred those words, so suggestively that he was almost shocked, for this was a side of her he'd not seen before. Any other girl, it would have him grinning and taking her upstairs... but when Mariah ran her hand up his arm he twitched so badly hat Ciar's prediction almost came true. He rocked the legs of his stool safely back onto the floor and let out a laugh. And then reached to take a nice long swig of ale, because he didn't know what ELSE to say and he couldn't get the thought of 'nibbling' out of his head!

"There was also piggy, pudgy Peggy, peg leg that we tormented him with. The one with the squashed nose that looked like a piglet but otherwise was cute. Little chubby," and of course they tormented Evan.


Mariah had been here a few hours before the men had arrived and had a few glasses of punch while she almost dozed off in front of the hearth. She welcomed the company. She was new at flirting so might get herself in trouble or almost. "You have the shaky shakes?" Noticing the ale seemed to calm him like one that drank a lot for a long time then needed drink to stop the shakes.

"Heh..." Another laugh to her question, though as he lowered his ale glass he studied her. It seemed like she actually wasn't... entirely sober. Maybe that would help to explain her behavior. Well, two could play that game and liquid courage never hurt. So he took another swig of ale before setting it aside. "Guess so.... you seem to do that to me," he dropped his voice to say that, and instead of his usual dashing grin, instead his words were accompanied by a more bashful grin and a quick glance down from her.

"I think you're right. Darn, he managed not to fall off the stool. That would have been a nice touch." He still kept his words lowered between he and Ciar.

He hadn't been at school but heard all about it. Chuckling again, he stretched out, putting his now dry boots up on the footstool. Oh, he was still keeping an eye on the two but relaxing as he finally grew warm. "Perfect touch."

"I didn't figure you to be shy. Well, sort of. It's sweet." Although a man might not wish to be referred to as sweet, it had a draw too. Had her instinctively reaching out to cup her hand against his jaw and cheek. "I'm pleased it is not drinking too much. That seems to ruin a person, male or female. Makes them wither away or is it wallow?" Came with a touch of a slight frown and forgetting her hand was still on his cheek until a few moments later when it was finally retracted. "What do you like to do?"

"If only I had, wait," digging a hand into one of the may pockets of his trousers, he pulled out an old sling shot and a little pea. Placing it in the small cup he aimed for Evan's butt, then threw the contraption to land on Ciaran's lap.

Alright... she was definitely a few sheets to the wind. Evan hadn't expected this and wasn't quite sure how to react. "I've seen both withering and wallowing.." He managed to joke in return, even as her hand held his cheek ever so tantalizingly. He cleared his throat slightly when the contact fell away. "Well uh..." He reached up to scratch the back of his neck. "This and that..." Couldn't go into much detail without giving away too much detail, or giving up their ruse. Of course he couldn't know that Ciaran had already told her the truth about them. "I like to whittle wood sometimes," he finally expanded though THAT sounded just silly. Wait. Did something just hit him in the arse? He reached back to briefly scratch his butt cheek but lucky for the brothers, all his attention was on Mariah.

What? Wait! NO! He tried to grab the thing before Evan looked at them but only managed to grab it and toss it so it fell on the floor!

"This and that covers a lot of territory. You could be a chimney sweep or a lady charmer." She was teasing but the length of the day had caught up as well the drinks she had. Over the course, more than she realize and would have been flabbergasted. "I hope to talk again about this and that." Giving him a wink as she slipped from her stool, near literally but caught her  balance with a slight laugh. "I think I had too many to offset the cold."

"Hehe.." Another awkward chuckle as he shot a glance over his shoulder to his brothers, hoping they didn't overhear the 'lady charmer' comment and decide to add their two cents to it! He didn't have the chance to explain any further though as she near stumbled off her stool. He was quick to stand, catching her with a strong arm about her waist. Just an instinctive reaction as his handsome features creased some in concern. "Let me walk you home?"

He was up in a stretch, moving by where his boyhood slingshot laid on the floor, and swept it up with a quick bend in passing to shove it back into the pocket he got it from. "He's our very own Casanova." Close enough to hear and of course had to add that.

Which had her hand come up to rest against his chest. "You are as handsome as a Casanova." Having heard his brother. "I'm staying here the night so it wont be far." Laced with tiny laughter mingled in and chasing the tones. "You'd have to carry me home otherwise." Her legs felt like rubber and held up for the strong arm until she got her balance. Wasn't long luckily.

He shot Liam a pointed look, catching that movement of the slingshot disappearing out of the corner of his eye. Which had him double-taking and then scowling at Liam before looking back to Mariah. "Oh." He let out a brief laugh, "Good then.." Where was his usual stock of flirtatious responses? Gone, gone like the wind.... though luckily she probably wouldn't remember any of this. Looping his arm securely around her, he'd start easing them both towards the steps before starting up. He was careful to help her along each step so she didn't face plant on a stair. "Which room is yours?"

He laughed then sighed as he stood. Looked like everyone was heading to bed and he wasn't really ready. Scratching at the stubble on his chin, he considered heading back to the docks and looking for a game.

Likely Mariah would pass out as soon as he laid her down so, if Ciar stuck around long enough Evan would probably want to share another drink!

This was probably the first time the stoic Mariah ever got tipsy like this. She felt free and a great weight off her shoulders in that 'not caring' mode the drink got one to. She laughed more often and easier tonight than she ever had. She drew out the key tucked in the band at her waist. "This one," which had the number nineteen on it.

"Care for a few games of cards or some craps in my room?" He had a bottle with him too and wouldn't mind losing a few coins, or winning them, off his brother. He was heading for his room in the wake of Evan and Mariah.

"Aye, that sounds good." Would keep him out of the cold and trouble, and Evan could join them!

"Right." He took the key for safekeeping, helping her up the stairs as attentively as a grandson might help his invalid grandmother. Though of course he didn't think of her that way! But he handled her very carefully, like something he was afraid might break. His arm was supportive around her, the muscle rippling lightly against her waist as he helped her up the last stair. Then he started looking at doors. Nineteen, where was nineteen... which helped keep his mind off the fact that in his arm was the same blonde-haired goddess that he'd been worshipping from afar, only she was sloshed.

Man, he was going to start worrying on Evan.

Luckily and she didn't smell like a grandmother. Maybe someday when appropriate she would. "You are very kind, my knight this night," with the two words sounding the same had more laughter to erupt. Light and sweet. She probably ruined his goddess thing with reality!

Hardly. But Evan did have the suspicion that she'd only been so flirty with him because of the mass quantity of booze she'd drunk. He blinked at her words, but this time his laugh rang true. He couldn't help it when she giggled that way, so proud of her pun. He even dared to lean a bit closer, tilting his head down towards her to murmur, "Anything for my princess." Perhaps there was feeling in his tone but again... she likely wouldn't  remember any of this and he knew it.

Which had her place a kiss to his cheek and then, because she could, one to the tip of his nose. "Good night sweet knight," here she went again but her laughter was soft and she felt comfortable around him which was rare. She would remember probably too much. She was good and tipsy but she was not the kind of drunk out of it. No slurring of her words but the giggles were there, infectiously.

"We'll be in my room," called down the hall with a grin as Evan was awfully close to Mariah, least appearance wise. He unlocked his door to swing it open for Ciar, before heading in after him.

Evan wanted to believe it was more than just the booze talking.... but he'd put her on such a pedestal above him, that he couldn't. No way was she actually kissing him because she liked him... beyond what her intoxicated brain thought. And that was why he didn't so much as move when she kissed his cheek, and then his nose. Only stared at her, and still staring he reached for the doorknob to her room, number Nineteen, swinging it open so she could step in. "Goodnight..." Of course if she stumbled at all he'd see her all the way in, but it somehow felt like a violation of privacy to go into her room with her, uninvited.

He just chuckled, shaking his head as he headed into the room. He enjoyed playing games of chance, whether he won or not. It was a good way to relax, most of the time.

Her smile warmed like the sun on a new day as she moved into her room, a step backwards done carefully as tomorrow she would be kicking herself for leaving him thinking she was a floozy. "Good night," sultry sleepy undertone as she closed the door, large golden green eyes watching him until the door obscured their vision both ways as it was closed. Most likely she made it to her bed and she latched the door too out of habit.

It took some willpower to step back and not follow her inside.... but even at his worst, he wouldn't take advantage of a woman in her cups. Unless she truly invited it and he was drunk too. He returned her gaze, lost in her unique eyes until the door shut quietly. Even then he stood staring at her door for several seconds, features halfway between bewildered and spellbound. He still had that look on his face when he found his way to Liam's room. He joined them without a word but instead threw himself down in a chair with a sigh.

Uh oh. Looked like they'd be having a heart to heart. He looked at Liam then at Evan. "What's wrong?"

Which had brows lifted as he dug out the old deck of cards. Ones they could cheat with if they caught the nipped edge here or frayed one there. "Good or bad sigh?"

"She's drunk." He said it miserably. Disappointment was cruel and it was something of a blow, realizing that all of her coy remarks and sultry looks were the result of being tipsy. At least, that was the only reason in his mind.  He reached for the bottle sitting on the table and took a deep swig from it, since his ale and the food he'd ordered had all been left downstairs.

"Like you have never been or any of us? She didn't seem drunk to me, maybe feeling mellowed out. Maybe a little more cozy around you than she might be had she not had the drinks but I don't think she would behave that way even a little tipsy had she not like you. Not suggesting anything further than liking, do not be mistaken."

"Besides, you just met the lass and this is only the second time you've really talked." Ciar gave Evan a half smile. "Give it some time, Evan." And that had him remembering. "I told her we're Quinns." And hadn't said anything about Evan's last name which had him wincing inwardly.

"Oh shut up." Evan's response to both of them, coupled with a scowl as he took another swig. Though he had to swallow quickly when Ciar shared that bit of information. "You told her... we're ALL Quinns?"

"Maybe she can only fall for a Quinn," giving that .. too bad .. look Evan's way. Being he wanted to be ridiculous he would flare that point up to show the other.

"Aye. I didn't get to say much more before you came in." Shrugging. "I'll explain it to her when I see her again if you want. Maybe in the morning at breakfast. I wonder if they sell woolen clothes at her shop."

"I'm sure she does, she said something about the woolen mill. Grab one of those Irish caps for me when you visit her, Ciaran."

He threw up his hands. "Fantastic, now she'll think me a liar twice over." Listening to them talk about visiting the wool mill only drove him into a grumpier mood. He took another swig from the bottle before setting it down.  "Are we playing cards or what?"

He was at the small table provided in the room like a little kitchen area if one ate within. He was dealing out the cards knowing most of the ones that landed in their hands for the old deck had many nicks.

He was cheating!

Of course he was cheating, they would recognize the deck and recognize some of the cards too. So they would banter and play cards for another hour or two before they were too bone weary tired to stay awake any longer.



Date: 02-07-10
Poster: Ciaran Quinn
Post # 25

Days to Follow

Liam had a long day, he'd been down to the docks to see Segan's ship. Spent a few hours watching the crew get it all ready. It seemed not only clean but streamlined and fast. A well built ship which had him more confident of them going soon once they were all ready. Afterwards he had wandered to end up here in the Thistle and a good meal in his belly as he now lounged out in a wingback in front of the fire. Half dozing as one hand rested on the side table near the half full glass of their homemade whiskey which was near the bottle of it.

Since they had found their "quarry" and he turned out to be related, Ciar was all about taking it easy. And that was what he had done today. While he enjoyed exploring, he had gone to his room and kept drinking after his brothers had fallen asleep. Sleeping in, having a good meal, and just relaxing had been a good way to recover though he wasn't as hung over as he sometimes became. He headed down the steps after finishing one of the books he had bought, and headed into the main tap room. Seeing Liam there, he glanced at Alex in warning then let out a loud, "Liam!"

Which had him scramble to his feet, almost knocking the glass over by his hand. One of those juggling acts that at least saved it and the bottle from spilling. His heart pounding in his chest to roar in his ears like when he was in the ring and shaking off near unconsciousness to win the fight. "I'll get you back for that," grin looked menacing, almost evil with the dark look thrown Ciaran's way. He knew his reflexes! He knew how he would react so there will be payback!

Menacing or not, Ciar was laughing hard as he watched Liam. He even leaned against the bar until he stopped then grinned. "Aye, I know you will but it was worth it. What were you dreamin' about?" He grabbed up his glass with a nod of thanks to Alex. And he took a good long drink before joining his brother at the hearth.

He was quick, as for now he grabbed a pillow from the back of the chair to whip at his laughing brother. Knock him right in the head, not that it would cause any damage. "No dreams, only one that reoccurs is one where we find Fawn alive and remembers us on sight."

"Watch me drink!" He laughed again as the pillow hit and not a drop was spilled. Alex caught the pillow after it bounced off Ciar's head and handed it to him. He carried it over to Liam and tossed it his way, not really to hit, but so he could catch. "Aye, that's a grand dream." After he settled and stretched out his legs, he glanced around. "Evan not back yet?"

Evan had left the tavern early this morning, though that might not have been the best choice, considering a lingering hangover from last night's cards and whiskey. Thus he hadn't gotten much done despite his hours spent about town. Mostly he'd just wandered and had even gone by the woolmill but refrained from actually going in, and he didn't see Mariah. After last night he wasn't sure if she'd want to see him ever again, though in his opinion there was nothing to be embarrassed about...really. As the afternoon dragged on he lost patience with being aimless and headed back up to the Thistle, soon gaining the porch.

He was appeased some watching the pillow bounce off Ciar's head. Just the way it ricochet had him laughing. Some of his hair was sticking up full of static electricity. He caught the throw back easily with a slant so that it was back where it belonged. "A grand dream but leaves me depressed once awake to know then it was only a dream." Words came low like one finding it hard to utter for the content. He was back down into his seat to freshen his glass of the whiskey before kicking it back. "Not yet. I would imagine he would try and waylay the pretty lass." Evan's ears should be ringing about now.

"Hopefully she's not embarrassed by last night." He added, then tried to smooth down his hair. Didn't work too well, so he shrugged and pretty much ignored it. His brothers might not be able to. "I'm anxious to get going, get this all over with. You going to talk to that McDonough fellow before we leave?"

Evan shut the tavern door behind him just as Ciaran said the words 'last night'. Which didn't tell him much about what they'd been talking about, though if he knew his friends it was likely about him. So he eyed Ciaran for a second before blinking. "Get your head stuck in a windstorm Ciaran?" Curious glance to Liam before he started pulling off his coat to hang by the door.

"Already did, today. He would like someone that knows their way around boxing and a boxer even better he said, to take it over. Get it all organized as he just doesn't have the kind of time to spend on it directly. He was looking for someone. Once I get back we'll sit down and go over the details. He is sure there will be young and seasoned boxers that would have an interest. Many would need to be trained, some have fought in such fights before, pretty rough ones and are pretty descent he said. Unfortunately none of them had the smarts to run the boxing circuit. He said they were probably hit once too many times." Which speak of the devil and there was Evan. His comment had him laughing. "Seems a new style for him."

He blinked at Liam's answer but then realized there were two McDonough's! "Liam hit me with a pillow when I scared him and now it's standing up all funny." And wouldn't stay down even if he smoothed it again. "And I meant the other McDonough with the investigators. Though it's good you talked to the one with the ring."

"It suits you." Said with a grin, and he rumpled up Ciar's hair even more as he passed him on his way to the bar. There he ordered a drink from Alex while catching up on the conversation.

"No, I figured we can all talk to him when we get back. First thing first." He had thought he meant about the boxing. "Aye, it has that upheaval, crazy look about it, fits well." Grinning.

"Ugh, Evan." He growled and tried to smooth it again, then gave up and headed for the bar. He'd have to put some water on it and hopefully that would help. If not, he might use the potcheen. "Fuuuuunny."

Evan smirked over at Liam behind Ciar's back, then took his ale from Alex. "Who are you two talking about?"

"Talking about a day to leave for Barbados, they await for when we want to go. The ship is ready to sail when we are. I talked to Maurice McDonough about the boxing and he needs someone like me to take it over. We will talk more on it once we are back. So, I know I pretty much will have a job here, if not boxing too. We should talk to Joseph McDonough, once back, about finding Fawn."

"Oh. I'm surprised you want to wait." He headed for the back after talking to Alex. There was water back there since the water in the rain barrels would be frozen.

"We don't have to wait. We can delay our going to Barbados and go see the man instead."

"There's an idea." Evan had his reasons for wanting to delay returning to Barbados, though if asked he'd just say that it was better not to risk winter storms.

"It's up to you, Liam." He was grinning as he returned, hair slicked down. "There are a lot of things to deal with, and we don't want to delay going for too long." He gave Evan a look before adding. "And I'm not the one dealing with them."

What did he mean by that? Evan just eyed Ciaran in return as he took another drink then was up and out of the tavern.

Evan seemed to take offense or just wired up for emotions of late as he watched him take a very quick leave. "How about we go see about sending Joseph McDonough a note in setting up a time. Provided it can be soon." Rising from his seat, he needed some air too after seeing to the note. A good time to take a walk about the place again. Pretty soon he would know it like the back of his hand.

"All right." He watched Even then sighed. "Didn't mean to set him off." But he could do that easily enough. He pulled on the knit hat he had tucked into his cloak. No point in exposing wet hair to the cold. He didn't think it would make him sick. Just didn't want his hair to freeze.

"I think he doesn't know what to do with himself." Which at first he thought it was just another one in an endless line of lasses since Evan started liking girls; at an early age too! This time seemed different and he was getting to have sympathy for his blood brother. "Maybe we should catch up with him and get him drunk or into a snowball fight, something to expend the obvious pent up frustrations." He was grabbing his coat, hat, scarf and gloves to don before heading out in Evan's wake.

"If he'll agree to any of those." But it might be fun trying. He was following after Liam, making sure the door was closed tight before heading down the steps and out into the cold.



Date: 02-08-10
Poster: Evan Conrad Hunt
Post # 26

McCormick Wool Shop

Mariah had pretty much taken the day off for herself. Gone to the Celtic gardens where spring had come completely. She smelled like the sunshine she'd been in. Her skin touched with a healthy glow but not burned. She had soaked in the hot spring and rejuvenated which had her back here after dinner. A frock of purple was worn trimmed in a light creamy yellow. Hair flow loose in waves down over her shoulders and back. Having been away for a few days she relieved Ivy to set to putting out the new inventory of yarns and blankets from the woolen mill.

Evan walked a familiar path up towards the wool shop. By now he'd found the paths that went around and nearby the place, especially the ones that kept him hidden while still affording him a good view of the shop. As usual he was standing behind a tree, looking intently at the windows and door, waiting for a glimpse of her. How his brothers would have laughed at him but he didn't care, he was like a man possessed. Even seeing her in her cups last night hadn't done anything to mar his view of her, though he did wonder whether she even wanted to see him again after that. He'd arrived some time after dinner, and as the hour dragged on he grew restless... maybe she wasn't even here or maybe she just wasn't visible, or maybe... he ought to just go up and knock on the door already. Took him several minutes to talk himself into it... but finally he stepped out from behind the tree, looked around for a moment and then started slowly for the door.. tugging on his shirt and vest as he went.

She had drawn over a chair and put a few books on it to climb up and reach the top of the window to put in some decorations. Crochet flower valance that had her reaching a little far when the books gave way and the chair toppled. Left her hanging onto the rod bar that went across and luckily sturdy. Of course she let out a squeal in surprise and hanging like a blond monkey in her own display window. Blinking as none other than Evan was heading right for her. She was trying to see if she should let go but she feared the drop would probably have her twist an ankle.

Evan's hands were stuck in his pockets, his steps slow and uncertain and he even stopped a moment, almost turning back. Then over his shoulder came that squeal and he quickly turned 'round. Gaping for a second as he saw her suspended precariously in the window, but within five seconds he'd run up to the shop and was at her side. With his height he was easily able to reach up, hands encircling her waist assuredly. "It's alright. I have you." Voice a bit tight with concern, but calm nonetheless as he looked up and
nodded for her to let go of the rod.

She was near in tears for the unexpected predicament. Having to blink them back so none fell. "Thank you, Evan. I don't know what I would have done otherwise, other than get hurt most likely." Her hands leaving their hold on the rod to quickly go to his shoulders in gaining support and balance. Chin was dipped, eyes almost a golden blue bronze that held to his features until he let her slip down enough that her feet found purchase against the floorboards of her shop.

"I've got you," he said swiftly again when she let go rather quickly and had to grab onto his shoulders. A reassurance as his grip was strong and sure, and he didn't let her so much as waver until he had lowered her safely to the floor. When she held his eyes he was helpless to do anything but the same, looking at her as his hands remained where they were even after he'd put her down. "It's alright..." His voice was soft and gentle as he caught that glimmer of tears in her beautiful eyes. Part of him wanted to wipe them away but instead he removed his hands and took a step back for propriety's sake. "I'm uh... just glad I happened by when I did."

"I am too. I thought I might have to hang there screaming for help before my grip gave way." Smile started, stopped, started again, quivering until it gave way finally to full force. "I suppose I would become the talk of the town hanging in my own window as decoration. I was lucky you happened by." Having no idea that he'd been lurking for days on end outside her shop hidden away. She might be caught staring until her lashes lowered obscuring them with a glance away. "I am sorry about last evening. I had more to drink than I am use to. I.... " lashes lifting as eyes held again, "I may have said or done some things I would not normally. I hope you don't think badly of me that I... I.. well.. that I drink a lot and flirt about. I've not flirted with a man before like that." She was honest and that he might pick up by the 
 innocence in her eyes and in the tone held to her words.

He watched, fascinated as her smile bloomed, shied away then finally flourished on her lips. Catching himself staring he looked away at about the same moment she did. Nodding with a slight smile, he was about to come up with an explanation for WHY he had been happening by, but then she went on. He was shaking his head before she had even finished, eager to reassure. "No no, it's alright - really, you've no reason to apologize. Drink does funny things.. to a person... and, well, believe me my brothers have seen me far worse before." It was a joke that came to his lips without thought, accompanied by a flash of a grin which quickly faded when he realized he was making himself out to be a drunkard. "What I mean is... I don't think badly of you. Not at all." Eyes held hers as he spoke, the truth of that statement clear.

"I would not have flirted so," watching him from the corner of her eyes fringed again in darker gold lashes, "because I would not have had the guts to do so. The drink allowed me to that which I would be afraid to otherwise." If she had more to say it was lost as she watched his grin, his teasing, leaving her laugh softly. "So, you do understand." This pleased her and it showed in her overall demeanor while relaxing. "Would you like some tea or coffee? It's still pretty cold outside." As he'd obviously been out there for some time.

Evan wasn't sure how to take her words, or at the very least, wasn't sure whether to take them as some kind of compliment, leaving him at a loss for words. So he just nodded his understanding with another brief crooked grin, and then nodded again to her offer. "Ah, well, sure. Of course I'd like that." He reached to close the door that he'd left open in his haste, shutting out the chill that still hung in the air despite the sun. Mariah looked like a sun goddess herself, with her skin slightly copper and her hair loose.

It had been a compliment but obviously she was not real good at these things. One that had practically no socialization until about two months ago when her father pressed the issue that she should gain a life of her own, not be his maid. A shudder overtook her a moment as the cold registered with the closing of the door having her rub her arms as she headed over to where the pot belly stove gave off heat and heated the water in the kettle that sat atop. She was soon pouring the good size mugs and adding the teabags, once done she brought them over to a little table close by set near the wall. "Some of the customers are older and like to sit a spell, have some tea, then make their purchases." Sending him a smile over her shoulder as she also had some fruit filled pastries and doughnuts. "Do you like pastries?"

It was a shame that Mariah left Evan so tongue-tied... normally he would have been good enough at these things for the both of them! Evan followed her further inside more slowly, his hazel gaze swinging around the place curiously. He knew the outside of the shop like the back of his hand by now, but had never seen the inside and was curious to see whether it matched his imagination. He glanced up again when she came over with the mugs, about to seat himself, then stopped when she walked away again. One hand on the chair he was looking at her when she glanced over his shoulder... and she might see his eyes widen slightly to her question. "Love them." He said in heartfelt tones.

"Good, they are from Teri's bakery," which was like eating a piece of heaven. She set the domed tray, lifting the glass top off so that he could eat as many as he wanted. "Eat what you want for I will be getting more in the morning. Pastries are best when not more than a day old. I don't think the older ladies will be stopping by this late." She noticed his hand on the chair, smiling as she slipped easily onto the seat next to him.

Evan had to laugh at her offer. "Careful what you offer m'lady..." He murmured it but it was so true he couldn't help grinning, a flash of white teeth which surfaced her direction before he cleared his throat slightly. Eyeing the pastries a moment as he told himself to rein himself in. Reaching out he carefully took one of the pastries between two fingers. "So... ah..." He began, trying to come up with some clever topic of conversation and to buy time he took a bite of the pastry. Instead of saying something witty his eyes widened and his true self showed for a moment, as he exclaimed around a full mouth, "This is really good!"

"I might have to convince you to come each evening to finish off what pastries and doughnuts are left so they don't go to waste or not my waist." Which had her giving him a wink with the teasing. She laughed outright at his response. "Teri Douglas makes the finest baked goods. Everyone buys them, her place is very busy in the morning every time I have been there."

He was almost immediately embarrassed by the fact he was talking with his mouth full, and hastily swallowed, wiping a few crumbs from his lips. He grinned slightly, thinking she wouldn't have to work too hard to convince him of that... and then let out a true chuckle. "You have a way with words. Waste, waist... knight, night..." He wasn't trying to make fun of what she'd said while tipsy last night but the light of teasing was in his eyes, animating his handsome features for a moment.

"They seem to happen around you." She had not the experience before but found it fun to play with such words that happen to be there. "You are a dessert man I can assume?" Finally taking a sip of her tea before taking one of the chocolate eclairs filled with vanilla pudding. Of course the first bite left a smear of pudding and chocolate on her lips, the former along the bottom and the latter along her upper lip. There for a few seconds until the tip of her tongue swept them away.

"Ah...." He watched as her tongue delicately licked the filling away and then blinked. What had she asked? "Oh. Aye. My brothers make fun of me but... I guess I just have a sweet tooth." Half grin as he took another bite of his pastry, a fried confection with powdered sugar atop it. Of course that meant he was left with a layer of white above his lip too, which he wiped away with the back of his hand. Looking across at her he shifted slightly in his chair. "So, Mariah...." He reached up to scratch the back of his neck. "There's something I probably should tell you... about me. And my brothers."

She was nibbling away at the eclair in a way, like a professional, that not a flake or dollop of pudding escaped to fall to the table below, or one's lap as usually happened to most. She was almost done but his words had her pause, setting the bit left onto a small plate she had a few there as needed. The napkin used to get anything left on her lips as eyes were trained on his. He sounded serious and so took on a serious look as well. "Yes?" Hoping it was nothing bad, mostly for his sake.

"Um.... see, we sort of lied to you, back in the North." A slight wince, head half ducked as he looked up at her. "Our last name's not Murphy, we're not even brothers. My name is Evan.. Hunt." There was more to tell but he'd pause there to see her reaction, hoping she wouldn't be angry at the ruse.

She had a blank look for a few moments after the truth was revealed. Surprise and curiosity combined soon filled the expression. "Why would you need to use another name?" She felt there had to be a reason, that a stranger would not just lie to her for the hell of it.

"It's a long story," he sighed and scratched his neck again, clearly uncomfortable. He wasn't the sort who liked to lie ordinarily, especially when it was to a lass like her. "I really can't give much away but... it was for our own protection. But the Quinns here know the truth now and..." He lifted a shoulder in a shrug and had that slight grimace on his face again as he stole a look up at her. "I'm sorry."

Which her eyes naturally followed that tic, something she would associate in the future when he felt remorse or out of sorts. "They usually are and protection is a very good reason for a white lie." She felt there were different kinds although one should try avoiding them completely. The outright, devious, hurtful kinds were different from the ones protecting oneself or another. "It is good that you are able to revise things to the truth, Evan Hunt. It is a strong name. Thank you for telling me when you could."

He chanced another look at her, saw she was sincere, and his hand dropped from his neck. A relieved breath escaped his lips as he nodded. "I hated lying but we decided it was for the best. But I wanted to start new here... with the truth. In this place and.. with you." A pause to look at her before plowing on, "Aye, well, just thought you ought to know... thanks for understanding." He added, a smile coming to life on his lips before vanishing behind his mug as he took a drink.

She reached over to fold her hand over his. "Then the air is cleared between us. on last night and on your real name. I would say you can start anew from this moment on." Her hand slipping away as he lifted his mug for a quick drink. Her smile blooming in reassurance.

He barely had time to register that she touched his hand while sober before her hand slipped away, leaving him to wonder whether he'd imagined it. Either way her smile was infectious and he couldn't help but return it, lips creeping up into that megawatt grin that made his features so boyishly charming. "Thanks." He said again, simply all he could think of to say but the sentiment was genuine.

It was getting dark out as she finished up her tea and eclair. She felt better about a lot of things at the moment. "It is time for me to close the shop." She could finish the new inventory in the morning. The shop offered many different yarns in colors and worsted weight to knitting needles and crochet hooks to already made item such as blankets, socks, caps, sweaters, scarfs, skirts, dresses and pants. "Would you like to accompany me home that we can talk some more?" It was a little distance but not too far. Walk or ride it.

"Oh. Right." Time had passed swiftly and he hastily finished off his tea, setting his mug down. He rose when she did and smiled some to her question. "Sure. Of course I will, I mean, I'd like that."

"Good," her smile becoming just as infectious as his as she had a way of side glancing beneath lush lashes. It had a sultry look to it but he might realize it was just something natural for Mariah. She put the dome back over the tray to keep the pastries left fresh as possible. The mugs then taken to bring over to the sink and quickly cleaned. Once she was done with them she collected her cloak, scarf and hat to put on and lastly her gloves.

Her smile had a way of bringing his own grin back even after his verbal blunders. About to snag another pastry he quickly pulled his hand back when she replaced the dome and tried to look innocent. Luckily she was occupied with putting on her layers. He buttoned up his own coat and then, with a shy sort of grin offered her his arm.

"If you could finish those?" Glancing from him to the pastries. "You can bring back what is left for you and your brothers?" There was a small box to put them in left on the table so she was back over to pack them up and tuck in one hand before handing them over as she approached again. Her other hand curled around his arm comfortably as her smile lifted with a tilt of her head looking up his way. "Ready."

"I'd love to." For his brothers, right. They'd be lucky if they got so much as a crumb left in the box. He tucked the box into an inner oversized pocket of his coat. Still slightly awed that he was actually walking Mariah home arm-in-arm he nodded. "Then.. we'll be off." Another bright grin as they stepped out into the cold and snow.

Date: 02-10-10
Poster: Ciaran Quinn
Post # 27

Dockside Brawl

Liam thought he heard someone outside and had gotten up from his comfortable seat to take a look. He recognized that staggering form heading away from the tavern. "Probably couldn't make it up the steps again," muttered to no one as none others were about in the tavern. He grabbed the bottle of potcheen from the side table on his way over to grab his cloak, hat and scarf, donning them as he headed out into the snowy night to catch up with his brother. Last thing they needed was a repeat of him sleeping in a snow embankment, too soused to freeze but left with a nasty cold to set in that near took him to his death anyway.

Ah, such brotherly love!  He had disappeared but really wasn't too far ahead.  He nearly ran into a couple who were hurrying  to get out of the snow, tipped an imaginary hat their way, even though the man was cursing him and set off again.  At least this time, he hadn't lost his cloak though his hat was tucked away in an inside pocket. Gloves were on too, so there'd be no frostbit fingers.

Evan was on his way back to the town proper, aiming for a nightcap and some lounging in front of the hearth before heading off to sleep. He was whistling as he walked down the street briskly, though paused when he
 saw a familiar figure ahead, silhouetted in the glow of the street lamp above the tavern. A blink was followed by a broad smirk as he changed his route, going to meet Ciaran and then Liam who was not far behind. "Feelin' the world spin there lad?" Said with a grin and thump to Ciar's back.... just to test how wobbly their little brother was.

He met up by the time Evan had changed his route and both catching up with Ciar. "So, out having a good time without us brother?" Except Liam was grinning, giving Evan a pointed look shared then back to their soused brother. "Look, I think there is the Lady Loli coming your way..."

That thump had him nearly losing his balance and grabbing on to a barrel that was close at hand.   "Where?!" He pulled up his hood, and hunched his shoulders.  "She can' see me now." He said with a sage nod.  Of course, pulling the hood up hid his face from his brothers too.  Though they might take note of some dark splotches on his cloak. "Couldn't fin' either o' you, so I went off and foun' a game."

Evan grinned at Liam, then looked back to Ciar with another smirk. "Aye, very clever," he said tolerantly as Ciar pulled his hood up... though it was coupled with a chortle. "That so," added as Ciar explained what he'd been doing. Another glance to Liam, this one somewhat wary as he then looked back to Ciar. Those splotches on his cloak were noted and he stepped in front of Ciar to get his attention. "Is that blood on your cloak?"

He offered the bottle out to Evan when he stepped closer then he looked down at his cloak, squinting beneath the hood.  "Errrm, might be."  He decided after a moment, "but I don' think it's mine."

He eyed the splotches, "now where did these come from?" Considering there was snow all around, "you didn't find a gang that peed on you again?"

"Don't think it is." Evan repeated skeptically, which was when he'd pull Ciar's cloak aside and turn him about some, trying to see if there were any visible wounds on the lad.

"No!" He gave an indignant snort, then tried to push Evan away. "Don' spin me.  It's prob'ly from those ones back there." He motioned in a vague direction.  "They tried t' jump me, but some lass screamed and they ran off. I hit one o' them."  There was blood on the sleeve of his heavy sweater and it was cut.   Not a deep wound but Ciar was feeling no pain. "She called the leader Bully or Billy or somethin'."

Spinning him could be a lot of fun in that they best be willing to step back fast when he spewed! "Let's go get them then. I'm in the mood for a good fist fight."

"Aye, me too!"  He started down a side alley, stopped, then turned and head back out and down the main street.  "It's this way."  If he was actually going in the right direction.  He knew where he had been but getting there might be a problem.

"Course you are." Evan muttered to Liam's words. As for him, he'd rather get Ciaran patched up and put to bed, and find his own warm blankets, but when they were in this mood there was no resisting. "Alright, but you," he pointed a finger at Ciaran, "stay out of it this time. You can barely walk straight." Much less punch straight.

"You can only fight if you're willing to butt heads and puke on them." Slanting a glance Evan's way with a grin to follow and following Ciar which would probably prove fruitless in the end but gave him the chance.
 Most likely they would be hauling him back to the Thistle to see to those wounds, if he had any, or it was just blood from the others.

"Pffffffffffht.  You two are no fun." He kept going, pausing as he passed one of the ladies of the night, turning to grin at her and nearly taking a tumble off the pier they were on.  He caught himself then pointed to a familiar looking alley.  "That's where they were."  And if Liam and Evan had been here much, they'd know now that it was Billy McGregor and his friends that had jumped Ciar.  And likely ran expecting the guard to appear when the lass screamed.


He reached out real quick to grab Ciaran by the arm and pull him back. Almost did fall in for grinning at the lady passing. One he eyed briefly.

Evan grabbed Ciar hastily by the back of his cloak to prevent a tumble into the harbor, flashing the lady a sheepish grin of apology before tugging his brother along. A glance to that alley, then over to Liam... he shrugged and started in that direction, looking around as he went.

He could see the multitude of footprints in the snow, most trampled down where the skirmish was held and where they led off in a run. He headed in that direction to follow where they might lead and ready with the clench of his fists, weapons he had honed as a boxer.

"She was pretty.  'Bout ready to bust out o' her corset." He spoke in a loud whisper, not noticing the dirty looks he got. When his brothers started out, he followed. Of course, he had finished the whiskey by now and started to sing again.  "Oooooh, what do you do with a drunken sailor, what do you do with a sunken dailor, what do you with a stunken tailor, 'arly in the mornin'!"  The gang, though not large, were vicious and when they heard that voice, came out of hiding.

Liam flexed gloved fingers when they came out of hiding. They may have met up with his brother but they had not met up with him. The first one to charge got the dancing steps, one forward with a right hook connecting with his jaw to have his whole head jerk back, the next step swiftly to the side then forward to elbow him in the back to push him face down into the snow. A left hook came across the one falling connecting with the nose of his buddy that had been right behind him trying to get in a shot at Liam. Amazing how much a nose bled leaving white mostly red where he stood trying to get it to stop and muttering something about it being broken. "That's for me brother."

Evan was there to catch the next that came charging, preventing them from getting to Ciaran. One of the men he simply threw against the wall of the alley with all his strength, leaving two more to meet his fists. Evan thrust his knuckles into one man's stomach, winding him, then pivoted to swing a punch against the other's cheek.

Ciar was more likely to get in the way than to actually cause any damage.  He didn't try using his knives, not in his condition but he did step up when one of the men tried to sneak up on Evan and crowned him one with the bottle.  That made a satisfying sound and he grinned at his brothers just as another stepped up.  That one threw a punch the youngest Quinn couldn't avoid and sent him flying backwards onto a pile of flour sacks.  Some broke, sending a cloud of flour and snow into the air. 

What the hell was flour sacks doing out in the alley? Seeing his brother fly backward he shoved his way through, picking up another to slam into the one that hit Ciar. Another jumped on Liam's back which was a mistake, hand was up to cup the back of the one's head as another charged him, flipping the one over into the one charging having them both go down.

Well, they were to go to a few of the seedier taverns in town likely, but they were going to be useless soon enough.  Ciar rolled off the sacks, coughing and sneezing and crawled away from the flour.  He was a real mess now.  Hood down, his nose had been bloodied earlier and flour covered his face.  He used a barrel to pull himself up, letting out a whoop for his brothers.  When another man charged him, he grabbed the barrel and rolled it toward him.  And once the man was down, that barrel was still rolling.

That crashing of glass behind him had him glancing over his shoulder, a brief grin to Ciaran in thanks as his would-be attacker went down. Short-lived though as he saw Ciaran thrown into the flour, but he was soon up again and Evan turned back to the others. Still a few left upright and angry, and Evan had his hands full fighting off two of them. He grabbed one by the suspenders, thrusting his head forward to crack his skull against the other man's. He went down and while his brothers had always called him hard-headed, the impact left Evan seeing stars too. Blinking rapidly to clear his eyes he was caught by a crack to his side, brutal against his ribs though soon countered with an elbow to the man's throat.

He slammed into one going after Evan sending him on a new course that had him falling over the still rolling barrel. Another fist made contact with another's jaw that probably cracked it good. They were soon finding out that these two with Ciaran were better fighters than the lot of them and Ciar could only have been taken alone and not anymore. The couple left went running off before they were as well bloodied with a broken nose or jaw, or the cut on the one man's head with the blow from the bottle. Liam was over to kick one of the last of the gang aside and haul up his brother. "Now that we had some fun, let's go get you cleaned up."

Whoa!  He was blinking then he groaned. "I don' feel so good."  And he pulled away from Liam to go hang over the side of the pier.  The city guard could be heard but if the three brothers were out of the alley, and Ciar most definitely was, they'd ignore them and haul off the ones laying there.  The gang was known for jumping those not likely to fight back.

Evan was still reeling from that head-butt but he managed to stagger out of the alley after Ciar. Soon he threw himself against the railing on the pier, a few feet off from Ciaran. A half glance over his shoulder as the guard  rolled in then a hazy grin to Ciar. "Don't look so good either." Neither did Evan with the big purpling bruise on his head.

"You shoul' talk." He straightened up, then made a face.  "Nasty taste.  Need more whiskey."  He was going to try to head for one of the nearby taverns then he remembered Liam wanted him to go the Thistle.  "I don't think I know th'

"You're going to be feeling this binge for a few days," words low as he too had joined them at the railing along the pier. Noticing the port guards going into the alleyway and hauling the ones off. He also heard a comment by one of them in passing, "whoever did this has my congratulations." Perhaps knowing or in the least wondering, if the three along the rail had something to do with it. Liam was probably the only one of the three not so beaten up this night for a change. "Think you can make it up to the Thistle?"

It had been a poor choice on Evan's part to skull-bash that man but how could he have known the guy would've had as hard a head as him? He shook his head again sharply to clear it then put a strong arm about Ciaran's shoulder. "Got him. Let's get him back aye?" Glance swinging to the guard who muttered as they passed him, he couldn't help but give a wry smirk.

"Aye, if you get me headin' in the righ' direction."  Yes, he was and his eye was going to be purple too. "You gonna be ok, Ev?"  He squinted as the guards went passed but for once kept his mouth shut.

"Fine." But he'd have a wicked headache tomorrow and not from the potcheen.

They could be miserable together!

One glance to Evan with a wry expression, "you wont be attracting that pretty lass presently." Then to his brother, "aye, and have a look at you too." Stationing himself on Ciar's other side as the two made sure he got to the tavern. So he might eventually but far more expedient with their help. His feet might be dragging at times.

"I'm aware." Evan grumbled ruefully. He'd been planning on going to see Mariah again tomorrow afternoon but not with his head looking like a bruised melon (and feeling like one too). Arm firmly around Ciaran he'd help Liam get their third back to the Thistle without further harm, slowly but surely.

Oh, he couldn't feel his legs, so their help was appreciated.  And once they were there, he might even pass out.  He'd not only be feeling this night, he'd be regretting that he had gotten his brothers involved too, but then, he would do the same for them.  "You two are th' best."

He ruffed up his hair, "so are you," both of them were there when he needed them that night. Almost regretting the situation he got them into but luckily it had turned around. It was one two.. heave, up the steps in unison with Evan, and if not then possibly the two of them slipped and would have Liam on top of them all, Evan then Ciar on the bottom at the base of the steps.



Which ...  of course would happen!  He was unable to get his legs moving and the steps were still moving.   Question was, would Evan keep balance!

Murphy's law and they were Irish so fell under it, literally presently.

With his new case of vertigo? Not likely. Slightly out of sync with Liam, they only ended up losing grip of Ciaran and he was soon tumbling down atop his little brother with Liam to follow. A grunt expelled as he lay there squashed. "Ow."

Which would knock the wind out of Ciar especially, probably knock him out for the count considering the condition he was in. It was one of those surprise moments.. I can't believe this happened.. as Liam was quick to roll off Evan and help him up first then check to see if Ciar was alive.

Alive, but yep, out for the count.  It would make it easier for them to examine him for any other wounds at least.   He looked peaceful laying there, arms out.

"Ugh..." Swaying some as Liam pulled him up, a hand gingerly to his head before turning back to look at Ciaran. "Hope I didn't smash any organs.." Evan was something of a tree so he was down, crouching to look Ciar over.

"Get inside Evan and get things ready, hold the door for me." He was crouched down too knowing Ciar lived but certainly would be paying for this night. A wry grin as he soon lifted and hefted Ciar over his shoulder and started
 up the steps. It was good that one of them still had all their facilities as he grumbled under his breath, "I think you put on weight brother."

Oh yeah, pick on him when he can't answer back.

A slight nod as he pulled himself up the steps by the railing, looking a little drunk himself though he got up to the porch without further incident. Holding the door open, he let Liam with Ciaran in tow pass, before following in himself and shutting the door behind him.

He was quick to move, almost running by the time he was half way across the tavern to the couch where Ciar got unceremoniously dumped at least onto cushions. He'd not feel it anyway. Once down, Liam was getting
 Ciar's outer clothing off to find out if there were any wounds as he started investigating areas where there was blood.

Meanwhile Evan had gone to the bar to get a pitcher of water, a bottle of whiskey and some spare linens from Alex: the simplest and best medical supplies they had. Back over to the couch where Liam had dumped Ciar he smirked faintly down at Ciar. "Looks almost innocent passed out like that..."

There was plenty of bruising beginning and blood colored the side of his sweater, and of course there was the one on his arm.  Neither the wound on his arm or the one on his side was deep. In fact, the one on his side had come from a fall rather than a knife cut.  He muttered something unintelligible, shifted slightly and started to snore.  Now he really sounded like a bear!

"He needs a good woman," more muttered as he got his sweater off so they could clean up the blood and see if any wounds existed beneath then treat them as needed. "He might not want to wake up for a few days."

"He won't get a woman except the bad sort if he continues keeping the company he does." They could speak like this with Ciaran unable to hear it. Evan agreed with Liam, Ciar had a mischievous streak and he would only get in increasingly worse trouble if he continued dicing and carding with the wrong crowd. He dampened a rag with water and potcheen and started wiping down Ciar's cuts.

If the sting didn't wake him up, he would be out for the rest of the night. While Even cleaned Ciar up, Liam was drinking from the bottle of potcheen.

"Ow."  That was clear as he tried to push Evan away.  One eye opened slightly as if the pale light of torches was even too much.   He didn't say anything as he passed out again.

Evan kept working despite the mild protest, knowing Ciar would soon be out again, and sure enough, there he went slumping against the cushions for good. The wounds cleaned out didn't need bandaging, for they weren't deep, so Evan just grabbed a blanket and threw it across Ciaran's bare chest. "I say we leave him here for the rest of the night. Unless you want to carry him up." Doubtful, and usually Evan could do it with no problem but
 he was still seeing double.


Date: 02-10-10
Poster: Ciaran Quinn
Post # 28

Bottle lowered as he shook his head. "I wonder what it was over this time..." muttered. "He'll sleep just as good here as upstairs and I wont take the chance putting out my back getting him there." Being he would be just as safe here as upstairs. "Fire's warm and will stay the night." He was over to grip Evan's jaw as he tilt his head back to look at his eyes. "You'll be lucky you don't suffer a concussion and lose your sight." Moving a finger back and forth to notice how he didn't follow it so well and how the pupils were more dilated than normal. "I'll be by to wake you in the middle of the night to make sure you are all right and don't slip into a coma."

"Gee thanks." Muttered with a half grin as he edged past Liam to one of the armchairs. Clearly he wasn't going to try to make it up the stairs himself either. He flopped down into the chair, slumped halfway down it and immediately closed his eyes to block out the painful light from the hearth, dim as it was. Mumbled string of words might be heard as he cursed the man of the hard head and offered sympathy for the woman who'd had to birth him.

He looked at the two with a shake of his head but a chuckle erupted under his breath, like old times. "I'll see you two in a few hours." He was going to sleep in his bed, far more comfortable. He knew he'd wake no matter how tired for needing to check on them both, "don't neither of you die on me or I'll have to kill you." Grinning as he headed upstairs taking the bottle of potcheen with him. A few more slugs would help.

Ciar would be out for the rest of the night and likely wish he still was come morning. Maybe Alex would take pity on him and make him that special tea for hangovers, and give him some of the ointment. Hopefully he'd not snore and have Evan awake.

Evan wouldn't have minded some potcheen himself to take the edge off, but he was too weary to go back to the bar and probably Alex wouldn't have given him any, any ways. So with eyes still closed he lifted a hand and waved it towards Liam. He probably wouldn't be getting much sleep but he'd slide into sort of a half-doze between the throbbing.

He was picturing the lovely Mariah walking in on the two come morning. Oh yea, that would be a sight he hoped not to miss if it were to be.

Ciar bare chested and black and blue and Evan with a huge knot on his head. Though Evan might get some pity!

The Next Morning....

Ciar was refusing to wake up. Not so much as waking up, but moving. He hurt all over from his head right down to his feet. Sometime during the night, he kicked off his boots and socks and pulled the blanket up over his head. His thoughts were as muddled as they had ever been except for one thing that kept repeating: Never again! Though that was likely to be forgotten next time.

Evan was only inches from where he'd been last night, and it was several inches down. Throughout the night he'd slumped further and further down that armchair until finally, his arse fell off it entirely. Then because it hurt too much to hold his own head up, he'd simply laid down on the rug before the hearth, stretched out there like a dead body. Which he sorta felt like. He too was cursing the world as he tried not to move too much. At some point he'd gotten ahold of a blanket and like Ciaran, decided to use it as a shield for his eyes. So he lay there on the floor, fully dressed and on his back, the blanket disheveled across his head and face.

Liam was down from his room upstairs and into the tavern only to pause near the bar. Coffee ordered as he eyed his brothers with a bit of amusement. He had checked on them a few hours earlier to know both were alive and neither had slipped into a coma. They may not remember him waking them up. He looked none the wear for the fight last night, all cleaned up, showered and fresh clothing on. Fisherman sweater to keep him warm as he planned to go out once he had his coffee and some breakfast. In fact, scrambled eggs, Irish pudding, bacon and hash browns were ordered to go with his coffee.

Mariah had stayed the night here at the tavern instead of heading back home. She had never awaken when the brothers had gotten in for the late hour, she'd been very soundly asleep. She planned an early start, hence the reason for staying the night only to have slept in some. She was finally up, dressed and ready to go as she came flying down the steps and into the tavern, "tea and my usual breakfast," but her words went trailing off as she noticed first Liam there at the bar with a bright smile. "Good morning Liam." Although something prickled along the back of her neck that had her turning a look towards the hearth. One blink as eyes went wide, "Mary, mother of God preserve us, are they dead?" Not recognizing who they were yet as she ventured to go closer. Dead bodies in the Thistle being there was a blanket over their heads.

Somewhere, in the gray fog that filled his brain, he heard an angel's voice greeting ... Liam? Ah, no angel except in Evan's eyes. Mariah. And Liam was there too? So he hadn't died and gone to hell but he just knew that Liam was laughing at them. At least the rise and fall of his chest should show he wasn't dead!

"Aye, they are dead to the world, me poor brothers. Drank themselves into oblivion," trying hard not to laugh. "We're not sure what to do with their bodies so there they lie."

Evan was deep in the throes of a non-slumbering doze when he heard someone running mercilessly loud down the stairs, then a voice, vaguely familiar, followed by another more familiar. Lying prone his form let out a groan and muttered in reply. "Hardly drunk a drop..." Not entirely true, but the worst of his symptoms weren't because of potcheen. Then beneath the blanket he blinked. Suddenly recognizing the voice he jumped upright, so abruptly he knocked his poor head on the mantle above the hearth. Which of course had him falling back to the ground with a sharp cry of agony. All the while still with the blanket draped over his head.

He mumbled something that might have sounded like 'Shut up, Liam' but it was hard to be sure. Sloooowly, he moved an arm to lift the blanket and peek out. Just in time to see poor Evan get clobbered again. With a groan, he dropped the blanket back down over his head. Even if the worse husband-seeking banshee in all the world appeared, he wasn't moving!

"Nooooooo.." shooting a glance to Liam. He HAD to be teasing her as she was back looking over the two. One way to find out. She was over to the first, Ciaran, to pull the blanket from his head. "Ciaran, get up!" Then, over to the other which he jumped up as she approached, startling her as a squealing type scream escaped before she could stop it. Hand flying up to cover her mouth but too late. Watching him go down just as quickly as she darted closer to grab his arm and pull the blanket from over his head.

Liam could no longer hold back the laughter as he was laughing his ass off watching. Only thing that finally had it subsiding was the delivery of his breakfast and coffee, the aroma filling the air as he claimed a stool and started digging in. It smelled heavenly enough to have his stomach growl in appreciation before he even got started.

"AAAAARGH!" He threw his arms over his face, and rolled off the couch as Mariah moved away. The only thing that saved his face was the fact his arms were there. He couldn't do more than groan until he got a whiff of Liam's breakfast. Then he was up and to the back door quick, bare chest, bare feet didn't matter. Door slammed shut behind him as he dashed out.

Evan let out a moan as he immediately threw his hand up to press against his eyes. Half-laying on the ground as the de-blanketing would reveal to Mariah the huge purpling bump on the center of his forehead, which had split in a cut down the middle. He kept his hands against his eyes to block the light but managed a crooked wincing smile of greeting. "H'llo Mariah." And he was starting to look a little green around the gills too at the smell of the food...

"Barragh, bejeesus," coming to kneel down next to Evan as a hand started to reach out to touch that lump but pulled back. Looked like it really hurt, "how did you get that? You need ice on it and some of Andrew's magic salve to heal it safely." Not instantly. Although considered magical for it shortened the healing time by two thirds if not more.

"The other guy's skull.. harder'n mine..." He would've chuckled but, Ow. Voices... talking... usually her voice sounded like music but now any noise hurt. He could hear Liam laughing and turned his head in that direction to grimace, though he still didn't lift his hand from his face. Instead he cracked two fingers apart just slightly to squint at Mariah. "Be fine. You're sweet, don't worry fer me...." Alright so he was slurring some and debating dashing outside himself. Damn alcohol... and damn the man of the granite skull!

Well, if he was dashing, hopefully he'd go out the back because the door was stuck! And after he tried it several times, making it rattle, he just leaned his forehead against it. "I'll just freeze to death right here. They can thaw me out come spring and bury me." The cold was actually helping some with numbing the pain.

"Wait right here," like he might go dashing off but with that lump he'd probably only get a few feet and pass out. She was over to get a cold compress and some of the salve from Alex before returning to press it gently over the lump. "This should help first," setting the canister with the salve on the floor next to her.

He had finished his breakfast, scoffing it down like one starved. He saw his brother fly by so he was up to follow him to the back, opening up the stuck door. "Best you get a shirt on, shoes on your feet. Alex is preparing something for you to drink that will ease the pain in your head so come back in."

No, he wasn't dashing anywhere. Though when she ran off he managed to drag himself over to that armchair, still on the ground but this way he could lean his weight back against it. Hand over eyes, he didn't know she'd come back over until that cold something was pressed against his head. "AAaaa aa aaah..." He almost whimpered, that HURT! Though would probably do him well in the long run.

And since he was leaning against the door, he nearly fell in against Liam. "Will it stop the hurtin' everywhere else? What the hell did I do?" He was looking down at himself through watering eyes and glad Liam had opened the door. Then he realized he had been pulling on it. "Why do I do this to meself?"

Which she would keep there, taking his hand next to guide it in holding it himself. "Hold that there for ten more minutes then I'm going to apply some of this salve."

"From what he told me, yes, all pain will be numbed while it helps to heal. He said the Druid Prince made up the concoction to add to hot water." Which he caught his brother, chuckling, "a good binge of drinking and fighting. Although the latter waylaid you in an ambush, about ten of them." Even that would have been outnumbered by him though he never tested it out. All the while he was helping him back into the tavern and over to the bar where the mug was being set out by Alex, all prepared. "He said it tastes good too, minty."

Uuugh... did he have to? But he was powerless to resist her, especially now. So he only sighed and gave the slightest of nods in agreement, settling his hand gingerly against the compress to hold it to his head. Leaning against the back of the chair, he again winced one eye open to regard her blearily. "You're sweet." He said again.

"All a blur." He grumbled, then, "it's bluidy cold out there? Did you and Evan take care o' 'em?" He leaned against the bar, squinting over his shoulder. "He has a prettier nurse than me." Teasing his brother some before he picked up the tea and took a careful sip. Hot but it did taste good so he kept drinking.

"I think you hit your head.." for the comment had a smile coming with the retort. "I'm sure you heal quickly, big brawny man like yourself. I can hope you left the other one in worse shape than yourself." Trying to keep him awake too was good. She had a dry towel too that once he could lower the cold compress, she dabbed it dry then opened up the canister to dip her finger into the cooling salve. How it would feel going on by dabbing  it, "I think you should have some of that tea like Ciaran is having." Which she knew Alex had brewed two of them.

"Whatever you say, m'lady." He answered grandly though the effect was somewhat ruined when he went on more fuzzily, "M'lovely m'lady...." Mumbled it but she might catch the gist of his words. It was coupled with a crooked grin somewhere beneath her dabbing fingers. He'd be kicking himself later for acting such a fool.... if he even remembered it. Then again it more or less made them even now.

"Aye, we pummeled them with your help even in the state you were in. Left some of them in worse condition, broken noses, jaws.." eyeing Evan a moment but it seemed he was being taken care of. Grinning back with the last of his comments, "I remember you saying I was pretty, now you're taking it back?" Teasing of course.

"You can lean on me." As he would need help getting over to the bar and she was stronger than she looked. She grew up on a ranch where she had to pick up lambs often enough. Could wrestle them down and sheer them in a couple minutes flat, just not as good as her brother Christopher. So if Evan didn't behave, she could do that to him!

Ha, he might actually like that!

"Aye, I'm takin' it back." He did reach up and pat Liam's cheek. "She's prettier than you." He squinted an eye and studied Liam. "How did you manage to not get hurt and how did Evan get that bump?" The tea was even settling his stomach, though he wasn't going to be eating anything heavy soon.

"Honestly, that is a relief to hear, means there is still hope for you yet." Grinning as he ordered up some more eggs and bacon along with another mug of coffee. The way Alex brewed it, it was smooth. He had worked up a good appetite from the exertion last night.

It seemed like she wanted him to get up and go over to the bar for some reason. Yet again he'd obey his angel blindly. Pushing himself to his feet with a grunt, he had to then grab the mantle as his head spun dizzily.  "Maybe I'll just stay here...." eyeing the rug again which seemed oh so much easier at the moment.

"Well, let me get you into the chair." At least she could get him that far or chance him taking them both down and he would really be embarrassed if he ended up sprawled on top of her. Once she got him angled into the chair, she would abandoned him for the bar and getting the mug of salvation tea. Called that for how it dealt with pain and healing. "How are you doing Ciaran?" While she was there she would ask. Both looked in pretty bad shape. Wondering why Liam seemed none the worse or maybe he had not been with them?

See! Ciar wasn't the only one wondering that. "I'm alive at least." He held up the cup of tea, "and this is helping. Only I need me sweater." He hadn't seen the condition it was in yet. Maybe it would better to get one from the lost and found box. "Do I look that bad?"

"You look pretty beaten up but I'm sure that will change soon enough," soon as the medicinal tea got to work. She was over to give Evan the tea to help him get back in shape quickly too. "This doesn't taste bad," encouraging him to not balk at the idea. Smelled good too.

Evan plopped down into the chair where guided and pretty much blobbed there, hand going back up over his eyes until she returned. Lifting his head slowly, he looked at the tea and his stomach curled suspiciously. But his nostrils caught the scent and it didn't make him feel any queasier, unlike Liam's breakfast... so he reached out to curl his fingers around the mug carefully. Once in hand he gave Mariah an apologetic wince. "I must look a sight. You're sweet." Hadn't he just said that? Apparently he really meant it....

He had said a few things which had her smiling. She wasn't use to compliments so didn't make a big deal of them, skipping over them most of the time for she figured they were more a manner of speech. "You'll be better in no time and so will your brother."

"Once you feel better, you should get some food into you if only some broth. I think that will help you along quicker too. We need to set sail soon and you'll need to be in top shape to weather the ride."

Oh lordie, he had forgotten about that. "Aye, I will." Alex had also given him some of that ointment. "I'll try some now and then get upstairs and clean up a bit." A hot bath would feel good too. He looked at Liam and gave him a sheepish smile. "Thanks, Liam."

"Thanks to you." He was starting to sound more lucid as he sipped the tea, though his eyes were starting to droop too, the soporific effects of the brew taking their hold. Still before he drifted off he managed another lopsided grin for Mariah. "I don' deserve it..."

"No problem, you'd do the same for me," after first laughing his ass off too. "Get that bath," which probably Alex had already sent one of the chambermaids to see to. "Evan, you should do the same." Called over to him.

"Of course you deserve help just as Ciaran got too." Hand lifted as fingers drew through his hair in a combing fashion to bring it back from his face and from getting strands stuck in the salve. "A nice hot bath, something to eat, clean clothes." As certainly she suffered the smell of him presently without comment. She was use to worse not that she would care staying around in such. "I can check on you later." As she had things to do at the woolen shop once she knew he would be all right.

He let out a deep sigh as she stroked his hair, eyes slipping shut to the comforting touch. Her hint of a bath and clean clothes went amiss for now as he settled back in the chair. "Think I'll just sleep first..." Mumbled as his head was already drooping to one side. Later when waking from the nap he'd feel better, enough to haul himself upstairs for that bath and a meal. Probably needed a shave too. "You're so pretty." That murmured to Mariah, pretty quiet but probably able to be caught just before he drifted off to a restoring slumber.

He also accepted a cup of hot chicken broth from Alex before pushing off the bar. He'd be moving slow but the bath would feel good and so would be getting into clean clothes. "'Bye Mariah."  He must smell pretty bad if Alex was getting the maid moving already! "You going out, Liam?" He asked that as an afterthought before he headed for the stairs.

Once he slipped off to sleep she was over to collect her cloak with a smile to the brothers. "Catch you later, feel better!" Then she was out the door to do all the things she needed to get done so she could be back later.

"I'll wait for you if you think you're up to going out later?" Waving to Mariah on her departure, "have a good day Mariah, and thank you for helping Evan out." Which had a devilish grin to follow as certainly he would be teasing him later.

"Aye, I think I can. But no drinkin'." Unless it was potcheen! He knew that look and almost felt bad for Evan. "But if you want to go out and come back, that's fine too." He might be a while in that bath!

"I'll be back for you in an hour and a half to two." Giving him that much time figuring it would take that much time. A hand to grasp his shoulder as he had finished his second breakfast in the meantime too. He was over to get his cloak and be on his way.



Date: 02-12-10
Poster: Evan Conrad Hunt
Post # 29

Day Prior

Liam came back within the hour and a half to see how his brothers were doing. He'd been down to the port talking to Segan in the meantime. The snow had stopped and even a cold winter sun shone for a while before it clouded over again; yet no snow to fall. He headed for the bar first for a shot of potcheen.

Ciarán was feeling near one hundred percent better after having a good hot bath, and more of that healing tea. He had gone back upstairs to read and had fallen asleep. Now hungry, he made his way downstairs again. The bruises had faded some from the salve and he didn't look quite as bad. Seeing Liam, he headed right for the bar, ordered plain tea and whatever soup Hazel had cooking in the back, with brown bread. "Did you enjoy your wandering, brother mine?"

After passing out again in the armchair, Evan had woken an hour later to a quiet tavern, everyone gone from sight. He dragged his sorry self upstairs and after a bath, a shave and some fresh clothing, felt worlds better. He'd fallen asleep again sprawled on his bed and when waking the second time, felt even less groggy and even a bit hungry. So he made his way downstairs, blinking in the brighter light of the main room. The knot was still there but less purple, thanks to whatever salve Mariah had put on it, head still pounding but it had dulled to a tolerable ache. He grabbed himself a stool alongside his brothers and plopped down on it.

He looked them over under a keen eye, assessing, evaluating, before a grin showed as he spoke. "You both still look like shit." Teasing a bit, "more Evan than you Ciaran. Do you even remember what happened last night? How much had you to drink before you got jumped? I was down to see Segan as his ship is ready and he was wondering when we shall set sail for he'd like to do it before any real bad storms blow in."

"No, don't remember anymore than I did earlier." He frowned slightly, thoughtful. "I'm not sure how much I had but it was ale and Kilbeggan." He grinned his thanks to Alex for the soup and bread then looked at Liam. "It doesn't matter when we go, I'm thinking. I'll be sick no matter what." Hopefully they wouldn't hit any storms or he would be! "I guess the sooner the better."

Evan cuffed Liam upside the head for that comment, then ordered some soup and a weak ale from Alex. That done he squinted over at Ciar and then Liam. He didn't exactly agree with the sooner the better part, but he didn't say a word either way.

"You want to wait until tomorrow morning? At this late hour and better to get out to sea during the day than doing the colder climate of the trip at night. Break of dawn, give Evan here a moment to see that lass he fancies." Shooting a grin his way as he had taken that cuff to his head in the usual stride.

Speaking of which.... Evan had just been smirking at Liam but now suddenly he looked horrified. "She came by earlier didn't she?" It was all coming back to him now and he didn't like what he was remembering. "Did I keep calling her.... sweet?"

"Aye, tomorrow morning is fine." He attacked the soup and bread, though he paused to look at Evan and boy, did his grin grew wide. "Constantly." His brain hadn't been that foggy.

"Aye, sweet, pretty, beautiful, fair, kind, all kinds of adjectives like that," nodding even if he wasn't quite sure, he had heard a few of the words. "I'm surprised you didn't ask to marry her." Now Evan knew he was stretching things to tease him.

Thing was, he remembered just enough to believe Liam, not enough to know he was teasing. A deep groan came from his chest and he set his elbows on the bar, heels of his hands pressing against his eyes.

Did he? Wait until he heard the next, "She said yes so you'll be married off when we get back.." would he believe that? Put a real scare into the lad.

Evan froze, lifted his face from his hands to stare at Liam. The mixture of surprise, joy and horror on his face was comical. Until common sense returned and he reached out to punch Liam in the shoulder, hard. "Not funny. And after all I said earlier I doubt she'll ever want to see me again much less... that."

He stopped mid-chew and stared at Liam then at Evan, lips twitching. He decided to drink the tea so he'd keep his mouth shut!

He burst out laughing with the look of horror on Evan's fine features. Classical. Even with the punch he was prepared for. "It is funny. Maybe I have scared you off with the truth of it!" It was a big step in any man's life in the reality after the infatuation. "Think you want to wait one more day, go the following morning to make sure you two are healed enough for the journey? It's hard enough when in fine health."

It remained to be seen whether his feelings ran deeper than infatuation... but there was no denying the man was infatuated. He was scowling as Liam pointed out the look on his face, grumbling something into his drink. Though his expression cleared some when Liam went on. "Aye, one more day."

"Maybe I should look into some thing that will ease seasickness during that one more day." He pushed the now empty bowl aside and grinned at his brothers. And they knew what Evan would be doing with that extra day.

"Ask Alex before we leave, possibly he has some potion or concoction you can take." He was up for it was that late and they all needed sleep even if they had one more day to heal some more. A hand went to Evan's shoulder as he passed, he was teasing him as he would any brother. He was also certain that given similar circumstances that Evan would be returning the favor. Except, HA, catch him! "I shall see you at least by tomorrow evening if not at the light of dawn. I will let Segan know who in turn will let Eion know." Final words as he headed for the hall where he could gain the stairs leading up to his room.

Evan was just grumpy because he thought he'd made an arse of himself in front of his lady. Luckily that would all be amended the next day. For now though, Evan just gave Liam a slightly sour look though it was half in jest. Finishing off his drink he'd find his bed for some restoring heavy slumber until dawn.

He stood and nodded, making a note to ask that gentleman that very thing. Flashing both his brothers a grin, he followed after Liam. Bed sounded like a very good idea.

------------The Next Day------------


Evan was making a good recovery, which was a lucky thing, for they were set to sail as soon as tomorrow. The prospect of going aboard a ship again, in winter, sailing to one of his least favorite places was not an appealing one. Had him in a quiet and almost dour state of mind as he sat at the bar, ale in hand which he was taking slow for the sake of his head. Having shaved and bathed yesterday, he wore clean clothes, buckskin pants and a linen shirt the color of sage with a leather vest atop it. The style of the colonies, because as much as he'd been hanging around the wool shop, he'd never gotten around to buying more local styles. Long brown hair fell in his eyes as he idly watched Alex move around and sipped his drink.

Mariah had stopped by yesterday afternoon but no one had been about for the hour she waited, having a bite to eat and a warm drink. She figured the brothers had things to see to and by then she had too as well. By the time all inventory was completed at the shop, she had to make the trip to the mill to oversee their progress there and what should be concentrated on in production. After all was said and done, it was very late and she headed home to the ranch to see her father and siblings for a while until bedtime. Her plan was to stop at the tavern today and here she was early afternoon, heavy cloak over a riding outfit in shades of brown suede. The lined vest over a frilly blouse lending it feminine over too masculine a cut. She swept into the tavern like a spring breeze. Blond hair flowing about her shoulders with the hood of her cloak down. It was a more tolerable day, not sub freezing temperatures but nearing 40s with still plenty of snow that blinded one with sunlight glistening over it all. Her smile was next to sweep as she secured the door closed and headed for the bar, gloves being peeled from her fingers as she went. "Good afternoon, Evan, you are looking healthier today." She didn't want to say he was looking better for it made implications he was not good looking to start. Sometimes people were strange in how they responded to certain phrasing.

In his surprise he swallowed his ale reflexively, coughing just a bit. He'd recognize that voice anywhere and turned on his barstool to see her. He was looking better, certainly less bleary though that goose-egg on his head was still funny colors. Less swollen though. Remembering what Liam had said about all the compliments he paid Mariah yesterday, he winced inwardly even as he offered her a half-grin. "Aye, don't feel half-dead anymore... and you look..." Stunning? Glorious? He buttoned his lips though, instead just flashing the quickest grin and took another gulp of ale. After a swallow he was a bit calmer, enough to venture, "Thanks, uh... for coming by yesterday...." He shifted some on the stool before offering a sheepish look. "To be honest I don't remember all of it, but from what I do, I was a boor and you were a saint so... thanks."

She came right up alongside where he sat to lean against the bar facing him. "I'll have some coffee, Alex, please." Addressed to the older respected man without looking his way for golden bronze over green eyes were steadfast upon Evan's as if deriving just how improved he was by that eye contact. "You're quite welcome, Evan. Perhaps it was good that I chanced coming by for it gave me the opportunity to help out. I trust Ciaran is doing better today too?"

There wasn't that foggy look in his eyes anymore, rather, his eyes were a clear green-brown as they held to hers helplessly. It seemed every time he saw her, her eyes were a slightly different shade, each more lovely than the next. She was asking him a question and he broke the deep eye contact with a blink. "Oh, aye. Much better." A nod to confirm it, eyes flicking briefly over to the window. "Looks nice and sunny out today." When in doubt... talk about the weather!

"Oh, it is beautiful outside today, that first little tease that spring is not far away." She could get lost in his eyes giving her an odd sensation she was not use to and so broke the spell by lifting her focus to the bump that was nearly down all the way from yesterday. "You are healing very well, fast." More mussed but then she knew the capabilities of the Druid Prince of these lands. Chancing a glance back to his eyes in a dipping slanted way as she turned to face the bar as her coffee was delivered, thanking Alex before resuming her conversation with Evan. "You may wish to shade your eyes after that bump, the light might be worse for you than it is for ones normally without a bump."

His own eyes lifted upward when she glanced to his bump, though of course he couldn't see it himself. His fingertips lifted to gingerly touch it, and he nodded, a bit bemused himself by the quick healing. "What was it that you put on it yesterday?" He remembered a salve but moreover, her fingers on his skin. He glanced away with a nod to Alex for a refill. Nodding to her final words, he'd already found that the brighter light flooding in from the windows today was somewhat painful

"Alex keeps a salve here that is made by the Druid Prince. He is a man of great healing abilities. Perhaps you will meet him and his lovely wife Noirin if you plan to stay around?" Which had her curious if he and his brothers planned to be around or would be here one day and gone the next. Usually such things didn't matter to her but she found herself wondering. It would be a shame as she'd like to get to know him better.

Brow lifted briefly in surprise to find that the salve was made by the Prince. The royalty here seemed to have a broad range of talents. Nodding acknowledgement, he set his tankard down on the table and moved his eyes back to her, catching that note of questioning on the end of her words. Which made him lift a hand to scratch at the nape of his neck. "Wish I could say we were." It was the truth. He offered her a crooked smile and turned to face her better on the stool. "We're actually sailing off again. Tomorrow morning." He didn't seem too pleased to announce the fact. He glanced over the bar then leaned forward a bit in his sincerity. "But if I have anything to say about it... we'll be back as soon as we can."

"You are?" Disappointment was clearly in her eyes and in her expression before she schooled it away. Schooled her thoughts from wandering anymore as they had been lately since she met him. "It is more dangerous to sail the seas of winter." The last giving her a thread of hope as some of her inner thoughts could be glimpsed with her next words, "I hope that you do, come back. I don't like to lose newly made friends so quickly." She was already considering them friends even if so new. Especially him, which had that slanted dipping look shaded by thick lashes a moment before taking a drink of her coffee.

"Aye, it is. But Segan Quinn will be captaining and he seems a competent man." Reassurance for her and himself both. She won his gaze back when she spoke of her hope that he would return... being friends. It had a bashful grin creeping up his lips and finally into his eyes. Which seemed stuck upon her own. "I promise that I will come back." A bit of a rash promise to make considering it was something he might not be able to control... but how could he resist saying it with her looking at him like that?

"I will hold you to that or I'll be chartering one of the privately owned ships and coming after your hide." Bold words from lush lips that had the tease in her eyes. Although it also had a quality that could have one wonder if she could and would see to her threat. "Of course then there will be a flogging," embellishing upon this surreal scenario.

He grinned again at the thought, eyes flicking to those lips before returning to her eyes. Not sure what to say to that, but her final comment got a sudden laugh out of him, a rich bout of laughter that seemed able to shake the walls had he allowed it to. It broke through his shyness somewhat and he found himself teasing back. "Now, what would you use for the flogging... a staff, or the cat-o'-nine-tails?"

"I would have to contemplate in the meantime that which would be sufficient to make an impression. I could use a willow switch, a bull whip and so many other possibilities." Trying hard not to laugh but she finally succumbed to the temptation, laughing quietly. "The question would be, what would you prefer?" Asked with a slight lift of her brows.

"Hmm..." Her laughter made him grin again but he tried to maintain the solemnity as he scratched his chin, considering. "The switch stings less but leaves more marks, a nuisance as they never seem to heal. The whip hurts more but takes fewer blows.... a difficult decision indeed." Hazel eyes were dancing by now as they went on with the game. "I would have to leave it up to my torturer, I think."

"Then I shall have to get a very long wet noodle as to not mark your fine hide." She had gradually finished her coffee as the cup was set aside. She needed to get back to the mill to make sure they were doing as she requested yesterday. "What ship will you be taking?" As it would most likely find her down the docks once every day to hear of any news of the ship's return.

Evan laughed again, not missing the compliment laced into her words somewhere... though it was likely just a figure of speech. The laughter faded though when he noticed her making preparations to go, and he suddenly didn't want her to leave. "I believe his ship is called the Anaconda." He rose from his stool when she did, intending to see her to the door.

"Interesting name for a ship." One that sounded like there was a story behind the name. "If I am lucky I will get to see you later today." Knowing the ships that left in the morning did so very early. "I wish you well on your trip and that you all come back safely." She had not taken her coat off as she walked by his side to the door. Pausing there before actually departing as golden green eyes lifted to hold to his again. There were a few thoughts but none expressed. Why? A few reasons though they came unbidden, she hardly knew him though she hoped to get to know him better. Something there undefined that attracted her.

"Hopefully the ship is as strong as her namesake." Evan followed her to the door, nodding to her words. He sincerely hoped that he'd get to see her again before he left, but nothing in this life was guaranteed. Pausing at the door, he almost let her go without another word then suddenly his hand moved out to gently grasp her elbow. "Mariah. Wait." Sudden urgency there though for a moment, all he did was look down at her, his hand warm on her arm. Then his free hand was lifting to her cheek. His skin was rough from years of labor, but not painfully so, and his touch was as tender as can be as the ball of his thumb brushed along her jawline. "I'll come back." He reaffirmed his promise in quiet tones.

She was about to step out when the light cupping grasp to her elbow had her pause then turning towards him. Close at this point as eyes lifted to hold to his again. Lashes flittered a moment as his hand cupped the smooth soft skin of her face. Flawless without a blemish and with a healthy glow of one that spent time outdoors. No makeup either, she had need of none. He had strong working hands, that much she derived from the touch. A slight heady sensation she realized. All new emotions and reactions for her. Her voice took on a huskier tone over the velvety smooth, "I will be waiting." Her hand lifting to slide against his opposite jawline and cheek before falling away as it was time for her to leave or she would be frozen to the spot, captivated by his eyes and the ways about him. She would be thinking on those in his absence too.

His own breath caught when she brought her hand to his jaw, holding onto her eyes until she finally moved away. Reluctantly, but knowing it was time, he stepped back to let her go. His lopsided smile offered as he watched her depart. When finally he went back in and closed the door, he could have sung a ballad. Didn't matter if he was leaving tomorrow and might not be returning for a long time... he had reason to return. And was even crazier about her than ever.

Date: 02-13-10
Poster: Liam David Quinn
Post # 30

Journey to Barbados

The next day went by fast, he and Ciaran had gone traveling by horseback and ended up at a bar in another land, one he had learned were allies of these lands. It had been at least mildly interesting but a late night and so this morning he was a little bleary eyed, not from too much drinking but lack of sleep. They would find him in the kitchen at the first streaks of dawn in a blacken sky having a big breakfast.

"Mornin', laddy." Evan offered Liam a grin as he came jogging down the back stairs to the kitchen, his smile sunnier than the day itself had yet gotten. Fully dressed and ready to go, the man seemed charged and eager to leave... though of course he was really just eager to leave, so they could do their business and finish the whole affair - and come back. Hand clasped to Liam's shoulder as he swung himself onto a seat, ordering a coffee and a big breakfast platter for himself from one of the kitchen maids.

Ciar had spoken to Alex and was ready to face the thought of traveling by ship back to Barbados. He still wasn't looking forward to the journey even with the brew but joined Liam and Evan in the kitchen. Breakfast was ordered and he eyed the two, one chipper, one bleary-eyed. He was somewhere in between.

"You're in a good mood today," he had to smile at that. The coffee was doing wonders in waking him up. "I convinced Hazel to fill me a few thermos with this coffee to take with us." He was digging in, talking between bites as this might be their last excellent meal for a couple weeks. He was making the most of it. Ciar always had that weary look before he was to go on a trip by ship. "Eat up!"

"Aye." He didn't expand upon that, just flashed another grin. Shoveling a huge forkful of eggs into his mouth, his glance slid over to Ciaran and he smirked sympathetically. "Did you find any remedies that might help you on the trip?"

"Aye, I did. Alex had a few extra bottles that he let me have so I should be fine this time." He dug into his own breakfast, though he did wonder at Evan's extra good mood. Especially considering he was sulking a day ago. "So, there's no more hesitating I'm afraid." He'd just be glad to have it over and done. "Have you heard from Segan, Liam?"

"Aye, he and Eion will be on the ship waiting for us. We got about a half hour before we set sail." He had a duffel bag at his feet with a few changes of clothing. "Seems you had a good day yesterday, Evan, and a good night's sleep." All the while, slanted looks to the one he spoke to, he kept up the vigil of eating that very large over laden plate until there was nothing left and the last bit of his coffee finished.

Evan just sorta kept grinning that goofy grin, shrugging slightly as it seemed like he wasn't about to answer. Finally though he had to share it, and he leaned forward slightly towards both brothers to say more quietly, "She said she'd be waiting for me." The megawatt grin was back, even as he set down his knife on the now-empty platter and rose. "I'll just get my things." And back up the stairs as speedily as he'd come down them, to his room to finish stuffing a few last things in his bag.

Ciar just watched Evan as he made his announcement then went back upstairs. "Totally lost." He said in a mournful tone before he finished his breakfast. His duffel was waiting out in the common room.

He shook his head before chuckling away in how Ciar phrased it. "Aye, line, hook and sinker too. He fell faster than I thought he would. The Casanova title will be stripped and given to... " grinning as he was up, snatching up the bag before adding, "" He was out into the main room to don his coat, hat, scarf and gloves while he waited on them.

"More like you," he snorted as he stood. "Thank you, Hazel. We'll see you when we get back." Though if they stayed then, well, at least two of them, would be another thing.

Evan thundered down the stairs soon enough, duffel bag in hand. He raised a hand to wave his farewell to Hazel and then Alex as he headed out into the main room to join the other two. He had his coat and other layers under one arm, and set down his duffel to don them, shrugging on the thick wool jacket then pulling on his pageboy cap and gloves. "Right then. Shall we?"

He followed Liam into the common room, pulling on his outerwear. He was still muttering about that title and how he wasn't the flirt his brothers were but it was all under his breath. "Aye, before I change me mind."

"Aye, we shall," big grin as he pushed the door open and headed out into the cold early morn. The sky streaking of light hues sending the darker colors to scatter. It felt good in addressing this loose end and getting it over with. Brother, blood brother and unexpected cousins willing to help like brothers. There was something good in that.

Segan had set up for flowers to be sent to Vanessa along with a box of assorted chocolates from the Traugott candy store in his absence. A note of endearment and that he would see her when he got back from the trip. His crew was ready before the first streaks of dawn as he awaited on deck for his brother to show. Figuring he would be here before the cousins. He was dressed warming against the cold with a slicker over his winter cloak.

Eion had spent the evening with Dolly before returning to the manor. A private celebration was held with his giving her the gifts purchased, and she doing the same. He had stayed at the manor before rising early and was now making his way toward the ship and up the gangplank. He paused at the top and gave his brother a hint of a smile. "Permission to come aboard, Captain." He was dressed warmly, in a woolen cloak, black woolen pants and the cap that Gran had knitted for him at the beginning of winter. No slicker but the cloak was fairly waterproof.

"Permission granted, of course." Grin showed for the first time this morning. A trip that caused enough apprehension like one before, although Eion had not been with him but Conor. "You've the cabin to the right of mine." He would put the three cousins in the officers quarters which were just as lush for a ship's accommodations. Glancing up he caught sight of the brothers and friend a distance up the street that led into the commons. He gave his first mate more instructions as the ship became busy as a bee hive with the last minute preparations.

Eion nodded before he headed to that cabin to deposit his duffel bag there. He was feeling some nervousness but perhaps less than usual. The talk with Segan and then later with Joe McDonough had helped a great deal. A few minutes later, he was back out on deck, observing how Segan's crew worked and staying well out of the way.

Evan was walking along with his blood brothers, a little less talkative now that they were going towards the docks. A couple glances over his shoulder along the way, but he didn't bring up any last minute protests for delaying their trip any longer. By now, all preparations had been made, and as they say, there's no time like the present. So with duffel slung over his shoulder, he walked between the other two. Lifting a hand to hail  the Quinns on the ship when they got close enough.

He caught Evan's straying looks as a hand came in a light grip to his shoulder with lowered words, "least you have someone waiting to see your sorry arse upon our return." Although there was no hint of jealously in his tone. "We've help in dealing with Dinglebury fancy pants." Grinning as steps picked up in advancing upon the ship and up the plank before he was saluting Segan and Eion. "Grand day to sail."


At this early hour, Ciarán was still yawning. He just snickered when he heard Liam but didn't say a word. No point in starting out the morning with a ruckus. "Morning to you both." He didn't quite agree on the grand day part either though he was glad to be away. He also was grateful for the help they were getting from their cousins. Best kind -- family.

Evan turned his gaze back forward toward Liam, casting his best friend a crooked grin askance. "Aye, and hopefully my arse will be no sorrier by then." And all in one piece! It was the least they could hope for.

"Nor your head as sometimes they are interchangeable," teasing as he would, they would and grinning as he waited on Segan's notice.

He got Segan's notice as well Ciar and Evan after giving his first mate the orders to set sail. No reason to linger now that they were aboard. "A good day to you all this fine one. Wont be too bad for sailing and you'll find slickers in your cabins to wear, I would suggest it to ward off any spray when so cold. If the wind keeps up, we should be arriving there in about a week's time. I've a good cook so you'll be fed properly, not the usual slop found on ships and you'll be staying in the officer's quarters. Raymond, will see you to your rooms so you can settle in." Raymond was an older, weathered sailor with an almost toothless grin. Once they were ready, he led the way.

"Welcome aboard, lads." He grinned at the three as he took up a lean against a barrel. The slicker had been found when he took his duffel into the cabin and was now worn. He intended to watch as they sailed away from Heathfield, wanting to keep it in his sights as long as possible. Funny considering how he felt when he had first arrived.

"Our thanks." Evan nodded his greeting to them with a smile as well, which expanded some as he glanced to toothless Raymond. A nod to the older salt as he made to follow him to their berths.

Ciar was actually looking forward to this trip now that he was more awake. He had the concoction Alex had given him and was certain he'd be able to enjoy the trip rather than spend it hanging over the rail or in his cabin. "Thank you, Captain Quinn." Just to try that out. He'd more than likely call him Segan the rest of the trip.

As the three headed for their accommodations, the ship would jerk some as the ropes were released and it started out of the slip. Many a crew member were climbing the ropes like monkeys, swinging from one to another as needed with setting the sails, just a few smaller ones to get them out into the deeper waters of the Bay, then gradually the larger ones as they picked up speed. The air icy cold downwind but smooth sailing otherwise.

"I'm going to catch me a nap," having been up early he was starting to feel the need for a little more sleep, "wake me if needed." Liam eyed his brothers before slipping into the cabin that would be his for the duration. Thanking Raymond before the door closed. He turned in surprise at the efficient small room, twice as large as a descent room on another sip. A sturdy bed instead of a cot, dresser, table and a window instead a port hole. He flung himself down onto the bed, arms tucking under his head with cross of his ankles as eyes soon closed. He could get use to this.

"Sleep well." That said to Liam as he was escorted to the next room down, the cabin the same size as Liam's. An appreciative glance was cast inside, for it was much larger than the traditional aboard ship lodging. For his part he tossed his duffel inside, deciding he'd unpack later. Shutting the cabin door he grabbed the slicker then headed back out on deck, shrugging it on as he made his way to the stern. There he rested his arms on the railing, leaning against it to watch the land slowly growing smaller in the distance.

It was a toss up whether he wanted to nap or to go up on deck. "Talk to you later, Liam." He grinned then followed Evan and Raymond. Finally he was in his own cabin. He checked it all out, grabbed the slicker and headed up on deck in time to watch as Heathfield slowly disappeared. Another journey began only this one would have some interesting results, or so he hoped.

Liam would be up later to join them, seeing Heathfield in the far distance by that time. The three would end up going over the events in Barbados with a fine tooth comb. They had not really discussed it since they landed in the lands, not much on it after landing in Rhydin for that matter. They would then discuss it with Eion and Segan, every little detail that they could collectively remember in case it would help in what they were about to face in Barbados.

The days rolled from one to another as the winds kept good for sailing smooth. No real storms had come about only the cold with its bite. There was one day where snow cast a sheen over the whole ship having it look like a ghost moving across the great sea. By mid morning it was gone under the cold wintry sun. Gradually the air became warmer they closer they got to the tropics, though it was pleasing, the port of Barbados was not. Even during the light of day it held shadows of a kind one kept an eye over his shoulder. Segan didn't port his ship in a slip but opted to anchor it out a short distance, not too close nor too far. It would be harder to be vandalized or unwarranted fights to break out as could in a slip. He had no cargo to unload and so a dinghy was used to get the five of them onshore along with four of his crew. Specific instructions were given his first mate as they would be waiting for their return and if Segan didn't come back within a reasonable time, his crew would come looking for him.

With the change in temperature came a change of clothing. Cotton replaced wool, and the sun was enjoyed. In spite of that, Eion felt a tension that he hadn't felt in a long time. It was the unknown that brought it to him but with his brothers and newly found cousins with him, he felt more confidence. He watched as the port came closer, then looked at Segan and the others before they embarked for shore. "Should I go in chains?" It was only a half-tease as he wasn't sure what the man would expect.

Evan was happy enough to lose some layers and bare his head to the warmer weather, but his stomach was tightening the closer they got to the island. He didn't have the most pleasant memories of the place, and certainly hadn't expected to be back for a visit so soon. His expression wore his thoughts as he shouldered his duffel and sat in the rowboat that would take them to shore. Deep in his own thoughts, he glanced up at Eion's comment which had him chuckling some. "Only if you really want to." They could make it look convincing without chains.

With Eion's comment it brought up that point. "Aye, and they will not be expecting Segan. Might be good we 'drag' him in, we'll let Evan be the muscle man. Segan might want to stalk us once we reach that area and keep an eye out, backup. If any foul play, go get your men as you'll know where we are. He too was in lighter clothing but wore a light cloak to help conceal any weapons upon his person. "I think a flintlock to pressed to his side would be convincing enough."

Segan gave a discreet nod as that plan would do them well. He dropped back going down a different pier so it would look as if the man from the same ship only went a short distance with the four out of necessity and then went about his business. He'd been here before with some cargo runs so knew his way around and how to become obscure.

Evan nodded to Liam as he accepted his usual role, though his smile was wry when he glanced to Eion. "Apologies in advance then, mate."

Ciar listened to them all then chuckled. "Besides, I don't think we have any extra chains on us." He shoved his hands into his pockets as he looked around. Not that he was really expecting anything except he did take note of a man watching them a moment before wandering away. "Might be expected by the time we get there," he warned then shrugged. "Here we go."

Apologies accepted in advance." He answered, having put a scowl on his face once he made the comment. He looked at Liam before looking straight ahead, taking on the appearance of a man who was not happy with his circumstances or where he was.

"Alright." Evan said, more to prepare himself for anything. Squaring his shoulders to his full considerable height, he took on the sharp look of someone who meant business. Once they landed he set his hand to Eion's collar and shoved him onto the dock, then marched beside him, giving him the occasional tug as a reminder to 'behave'. Not enough to actually hurt the man of course, but enough to look convincing.

Liam flanked Eion's other side as it would leave Ciaran to lead the way. It would seem, if anyone looked closely which few bothered in these parts, that Eion was not really where he was of his own free will. Liam's expression would be hard to read, the boxer's look that bode no good will if one tried to look too long.

Ciar had as menacing a look as his brother's as they made their way along the docks and toward the building where they were expecting to meet up with Lord Dunbury and Captain Picard. A few people scattered as they passed, giving Eion sympathetic looks. They didn't watch for long, knowing it could be dangerous to do so. The forbidding looking building loomed in the distance and soon an escort of four soldiers joined them.

Liam dared any looks their way which had a few turning away faster than normal. Murderous look in his eyes as he'd not have them detained or end up in a ruckus not associated with the reason they were here. Men on a mission and they looked it. "Almost there," words lowered under his breath and speaking from the side of his mouth towards Eion. "Recognize anything?"

Eion gave Evan a look that might have made a lesser man quake in his boots when he was pushed. He even jerked away from one of the tugs, then cursed under his breath. He was ignoring most of the people who looked their way, or so it seemed. He gave a slight shake of his head to Liam's question. "Whoever he is, he's being careful." The door to the barracks swung open at the approach of the men, closing behind them once they stepped through. Footsteps echoed as all but one of their escort dropped away, and the remaining one moved into the front of the group.

Evan grabbed Eion's arm firmly when he pulled away, not even glancing to the man but walking forward swiftly with a set jaw. When they reached the barracks, he gave Eion a shove inside, enough to make the man stumble  though not enough so that Evan lost his grip on him. Once inside he looked around, blinking to adjust his eyes.

Ciar fell back behind his brothers and Eion as they approached the same door where they had first Lord Dunbury. The soldier opened the door and nodded for them to go in. Dunbury wasn't there but the Captain was. He studied the four men, especially Eion. "Doesn't look like you had much trouble. Relax, Lord Dunbury will be here shortly." He smirked at Eion before leaving.

"I really don't like him." Ciar growled after the Captain left then he moved to the window. It was as before, soldiers everywhere, possible escapes cut off. He shook his head then looked at his brothers. "I wonder how long the peacock will have us wait."

"Neither do I," words just as low as he turned to spit on the floor. It was as good as spitting on this captain Picard. "I wonder if we haven't walked into a trap." The thought of Segan still out there and keeping tabs was encouraging. He was, as always, ready to fight even if the odds seemed against him, against them.

"Too late now," Evan replied through gritted teeth with the slightest of shrugs. Making sure to keep an iron hand on Eion's shoulder all the while, knowing Dunbutt could walk in here at any moment.

It didn't take long before the door swung open and Lord Dunbury walked in through the door that the Captain had exited. He moved to a chair but didn't sit. Instead, he stood in front of it and faced the men, his arms out slightly. "Well, Eion, have you nothing to say?" He had a wide grin on his face as he spoke.

Eion just gave the slightest hint of a smile before it faded. He watched the door open and then Dunbury entered. His expression changed from one of a stoic anger to disbelief. As soon as Dunbury spoke, he was across the room,  grabbing the man by his shirt. "You?!! You're dead! They told me you were dead." His tone was not a happy one.

Evan's hand had been on Eion's shoulder, but since he hadn't actually been trying to restrain him, the man easily broke away. Evan took a reflexive step forward but stopped there, shooting a glance back to his friends before looking again between Eion and Dunbury. Why did he have a feeling this was about to get very interesting?...



Date: 02-15-10
Poster: Eion Quinn
Post # 31


Well, that was a surprise as brows lifted watching the reaction between Eion and this Dumbury. He still didn't like him and it would take some doing to have him warm up at all. He would be tolerably polite in the meantime. He didn't find his calling card humorous. It seemed to be a dead man walking as he waited for what would happen next.

Ciar's reaction was pretty much the same as his brothers. He stared in disbelief then shook his head. He did watch Eion closely, frowning slightly. It was hard to tell if the man was glad or angry. And he was curious as to who this Lord Dunbury was.

"I think it would be better if we went somewhere to talk." Dunbury didn't attempt to pull away from Eion yet. He felt Eion's anger was understandable. "And I'll explain it all then."

Evan glanced between the other two before returning his keen gaze forward. All his features were set in lines of wariness. There seemed no good history between these two, which did not come as a surprise, but only made him more and more curious about what that history might be. At Dunbury's suggestion his brows came together some, wondering if Eion would take up the offer... how much he trusted the nobleman.

Eion released Dunbury then and stepped away, turning from him. "This is Henry Darrow, someone I thought was dead because of me." He turned back, and nodded. "Somewhere else then and we get my brother on the way." At least there would be four to keep him off Henry if it came to that. "And I am not acting like a prisoner." Not again, not ever again.

Henry inclined his head, straightened his tunic, then moved to the door. "Captain, we're finished with your office. You need not bother these gentlemen again." If he knew that the Captain would not like that bit of information, he didn't show it. "Out front in five minutes then? That should give you time to find your brother and my coach to arrive."

"I still want that money for putting me and me brothers through this charade." He announced pointedly to Dunbury for a deal was a deal and their time was taken that could have been spent finding their sister. At least this money could be used to hire Joe McDonough and his private eyes. Although he might consider going with them as sitting home was not his way. He remembered Eion mentioning something about a friend that died. He wondered if that was a good idea, of him telling Segan was about. Eion must trust the man that much. He was already heading out with just a smirk of triumph in a glance given Picard. He knew who pulled his strings.

"Of course." He had no intentions of cheating the men out of what they had earned.  In his eyes, this was important. He had no way of finding Eion and felt he needed to set the record straight as it were.

Wait. His name was Darrow, not Dunbury? Not nearly as much fun to play with the name Darrow... but it seemed there was much more to the nobleman than it appeared. Evan was still lost on the particulars, but he too smirked at Liam's demand to see the pledge for money offered. He followed his friend out the door.

Eion was near livid and said nothing more as he turned and stormed out of the building. He would have liked to have felt cold instead of the heat of the tropic sun but no matter. He looked around for Segan, waiting. He figured his brother would be close.

Ciar just shook his head as he followed the others out. There seemed to be a lot of twists and turns in this. He looked at his brothers once they were outside again and if either looked his way, he gave a roll of his shoulders and a half smile. He was just along for the ride!

He was at least sated on that account but would not relent until he had the money in his pocket and that of his brothers what was owed them. He followed them out and waited on Segan to appear as did the man's brother.

Segan and his men had not been too far but he gave them orders to keep trailing in case there was still a skunk to show. They easily had kept from sight and disappeared to follow like shadows in the night shifting without notice. Segan came strolling into the yard where his brother and cousins waited.

"It's Henry Darrow," Eion hissed out the words to Segan, "who it seems is titled Lord Dunbury. He's alive." Eion hadn't gone to prison for Henry's supposed death but the guilt that he had felt was nearly as bad. "He wants to talk to us elsewhere and I agreed." He took a deep, calming breath. "None of you need come if you feel it's a trap."

Evan nodded his greeting to Segan when he came up, then listened to Eion's words. His glance shifted to his brothers before he took a step forward and said simply, "I'm with you." Even if it was a trap, they'd come here together and ought to stick together. But he did not want to speak for his brothers, thus the singular.

"So am I." He added his words to Evan's, arms crossing over his chest. He was in this until the end.

"As well myself," joining in with his brothers, all for one and one for all was the Quinn way.


The coach, with Henry inside, rolled up and he stepped out. "You must be Segan. Gentlemen, shall we?" He motioned toward the coach, waiting for them to enter while he spoke to the coachman.

Eion was grateful and it showed in the way he relaxed when the brothers said they'd come. He did smile slightly at Segan before he climbed inside.

"Lord Dunbury, Henry, I've heard a lot about you and your demise. I'm sure you  have heard of the great escape and downfall of the Bennett dungeon, especially once a few lordships' sons got home." A wry tip of a grin. "I would prefer talking elsewhere than this particular establishment." Blue eyes narrowed as they shifted to a window of the barracks where Picard stood watching. With the suggestion he was around and into the carriage along with the others.

"Indeed, I have. It put a little crimp in my own plans but also fit nicely in the fall of Lord Bennett."  A cryptic answer that might be made clearer once they talked.

"Looks a bit crowded in there, I'll ride in the back with the footman." There was a place for two if needed so he would take the vacant place to stand, holding onto the rail.

Ciar chuckled when he heard Liam but quickly made his expression neutral again. He climbed into the coach, taking a seat on the same bench as Dunbury. He turned slightly so he could see him as well as his cousins.


Evan followed the others as they piled out of the warehouse, glancing back only once to smirk at Picard's face as he watched them through the window. Evan for one was glad that they'd be leaving that man behind. He gave Liam a look when the man elected to ride in the back of the carriage, leaving him to climb inside with the others. There he'd take up a seat on the bench opposite Ciaran and Dunbury, or Henry, or whatever he was called. He fixed the latter with a stare that made no attempt to hide his curiosity and, yes, suspicion.

Henry said little while the coach made the short ride to the manor house where he was staying. He met Evan's stare a moment, inclining his head with a slight smile on his face, then he looked out the window once more. He did point out a few places of interest but in a distracted way. He had expected Eion to be angry so, for him, the silence wasn't uncomfortable.

Eion was calming down some as they rode, not feeling they were riding into a trap. He had questions of course, but they could wait a few moments longer. Glancing at Segan, his expression was now one of exasperation. How could Henry have escaped noticed for so long and why did he suddenly wish to contact him. He shifted slightly on the seat and looked at Henry again, studying him as if that would tell him what the man had been thinking.

Liam, in the least, got a breath of fresh air with choosing not to ride in the carriage. He knew what it would be like and he knew his hands would be clenching and possibly the temptation being too great not to give Dunbury the kiss of an upper cut to his jaw. One that would last the few seconds of impact before he lost consciousness.

Segan almost laughed with the way Evan stared at Dunbury. It should unnerve the man some or at least make him uncomfortable. He would have joined in but was more into silent communication with his brother. Something they had developed when in the militia together. There were many times those looks had to be read accurately or cost them their lives or others. His eyes narrowed in expressing to watch his back with his friend. Just that half second glance the one's way said on who while Henry was looking out the window. This was why he sat across from his brother. There was also another look there that as much said they were being followed by his men, a hand dangling between his legs, one blocking Henry's view had him show four fingers. Which Eion would know that if needed there would be his whole crew. Henry may have been informed of Eion's brother with him.. but not his status of being a captain.

For the record, he didn't return that smile. Just sort of grunted quietly and went on staring him down. This man was the reason they had to return to this godforsaken island, so Henry automatically had Evan's irritation for that. Arms crossed he didn't break the silence for the remainder of their journey.

Ciar hunched his shoulders briefly at the tension in the coach but forced himself to relax again. He looked at Evan and snickered, before glancing out the window. He really didn't have any interest in the scenery but it was better then staring at Evan or his cousins. He glanced back once or twice, barely keeping himself from laughing out loud. It had to look funny.

The coach drove through a wrought iron gate, one that was really for show more than protection. As the coach came to a stop, the coachman was down to open the door and Henry was first out. "Welcome, gentlemen, to my home while in Barbados. If you'll follow me." Henry was very much the proper Englishman, and showed very little, even if he was un-nerved. A footman opened the door and held it as the men passed. "We'll be in my office, John and are
  not to be disturbed."

Eion followed Henry out of the coach, looking around. There were no armed guards, no sign of soldiers but that didn't mean they weren't hidden somewhere. He would stay behind Henry, partly as a buffer, partly so that if they were attacked, he would be closest to Henry. He took note of the house, and of course, since he didn't know it wasn't Henry's tried to learn how influence the man was by the furnishings.

Liam was already down and waiting as the footman saw to the door. He was checking out the place as one use to assessing the situation, ways of escape, how many guards, the odds they would be up against and so forth Once they started parading in, he stepped in line and followed. Eyes and ears alert but said nothing at this point.

Segan was out and stayed close to his brother and in turn was close to the cousins. If it ever came down to a fight, he couldn't think of better company to have on his side. Hopefully it would not come to one for the first person he would kill, would be Henry for leading them into a trap.

Evan, too was keenly studying the new setting... though it was done discreetly, glances flicked here and there to absorb the details. No guards in sight, but he'd bet good money that they were hidden elsewhere to wait for their master's call. He checked out the servants too, their numbers and general demeanor... whether they seemed content or oppressed. All small clues that could help if it came down to it. He stepped out of the carriage with the others, shoulder to shoulder with Ciaran and Liam.

Ciar was the last out of the coach and the last to enter the manor. He scratched at his neck as he studied the manor then followed, hands loosely at his sides so he could grab his knives if needed. He had a feeling of being watched but felt it was normal for this type of situation. The day was growing warm and he appreciated the coolness of the indoors.

The servants were actually quite proper, and seemed content. They were all in good health, dressed well and the one called John had that air of disdain that some carried. He bowed at the orders, "Of course, Lord Dunbury. Drinks have been left in the office." Henry led the way, opening the door and motioning the small group to go inside. "Make yourselves comfortable." The chairs were oversized and comfortable. Or they could choose to stand. "Drinks are on the side table." He choose to help himself to one before taking a seat and waiting.

Segan helped himself to a cold ale and took up a stance near one of the windows, half looking out and mostly looking in.

A drink was one thing Eion was interested in and he poured himself a tall whiskey before he sat across from Henry. He had the dark look of a storm about to burst in full fury as he met Henry's gaze. "What the hell is this all about? I received a letter in that hellhole of a prison that you were dead and that Jane," he nearly choked on her name, "was marrying Bennett. Did you know that I slept with her?" He didn't add that he had fallen in love with her as well.

Liam remained close to his brothers. Ever ready to fight, something now as second nature as breathing. Due to the heat of the day, and to not have it go to his head, he opted for a cold ale also. Once he had that poured, he took up a seat not far from the window. One that faced both Eion and Henry.

Evan chose to pour himself a whisky though not one tall enough to take the edge off his alertness. Taking a chair alongside Liam, he turned himself to be able to watch Eion and Henry. He knew nothing of this story, nor the history between these two men so he only listened for now. Shifting a brief glance between his brothers and then Segan, mainly gauging reactions before he looked again to Eion and Henry.

Ciarán took his time studying the drinks as Eion started right in. He did consider an expensive brandy, but in the end, the ale won out. Then he joined Segan close to the window. A brow lifted as Eion spoke but this was between the two of them and he had nothing to say.

"Yes, well, my 'death' had been planned for some time. Bennett made his fortune by the misfortune of others, my father included. His appetites were well known and an elaborate plan was devised to bring him down. One that didn't count on your involvement or the fact that Jane fell in love with you." He put up his hand to stop Eion. "And before you demand how I could allow her to knowingly commit adultery, she and I were never married. We only pretended to be. Jane is my sister. When you came into the picture, she was torn with what to do but the wheels had been set in motion. Lord Bennett's son was the one who had you arrested and imprisoned. We ... continued with the plan ... with my promise to Jane that I would see you free from there. Your brothers managed to do so before I was able to."

Eion hadn't taken a drink but placed the glass on a small table beside his chair. As Henry spoke, his expression became an mixture of disbelief and anger. "And you said nothing to me of this plan? Or that Jane ... " He stood, fists clenched, "and you both continued this ... farce for the sake of revenge." Eion wasn't raising his voice. His tone was even and deadly calm. Something Segan would recognize as extremely dangerous. "So you allowed your sister to marry that ... that degenerate, perverted bastard. The only reason he fell was because my brothers rescued me and the others from the fortress. And now Jane is in disgrace, the wife of a traitor." He realized something as he spoke the last. There was no love left for her, no guilt. He felt nothing where she was concerned.

Henry knew Eion's moods, knew he could explode without warning. He took a drink, placing his glass down as well. "She felt you would be safer away from there, and was concerned what would happen to you. Even now, the marriage is being annulled though she is also asking for restitution. You disappeared following your escape and I had no clue where to look for you. The people in your village are very closed mouthed when it comes to the English. And so, I  took this tact."

When it rained it poured and certainly it was pouring in emotions for his brother. Knowing of his present situation, knowing of his guilt over this Jane and now the truth, his brother was going through the wringer for certain. He only mumbled under his breath, "fate works in mysterious ways," he certainly knew how to read his brother and he'd been used by the two not telling him the plans as if they could not trust him. How different it would have played out then.

Eion took the few steps to where Henry stood and grabbed him by his tunic, pulling him to his feet. They were nose to nose as Eion spoke. "You didn't cause me to be put in prison directly but you might have well have done so, and then taken a knife and stabbed me in the heart. I would have tried to talk Jane out of the madness, yes, but to not trust me, to blithely threw away what could have been... " He shook his head. "You've told me the truth now, and I'm telling you, I want nothing to do with you. Or with Jane. And I don't give a damn if your conscience is eased now. Just stay away from me and mine from now on and if one Quinn or one Churchill is harmed on this island or anywhere else, I'll find you." He threw him back into the chair, hard enough that it nearly tipped backward. "Let's go. The air in here is foul." He turned and took a few steps away as Henry stood, then stopped suddenly. A quick turn, and he hit Henry as hard as he could, sending the Englishman flying into the chair and sending both to the floor with a crash. "Now we can go." He stalked for the door, flexing his hand. Throwing it open with a bang, he stormed out, not looking behind him but trusting that his brother and cousins followed.

Segan only shook his head passing Henry but he got in a kick to his shin knowing it would sting good, hurt for some time. "That is for me and me brother Conor for having to risk our lives to get Eion out of that prison while our father laid dying at home. Dead by the time we got back as it was his dying wish. Scum bag." Which he spat right on him before he was out after his brother. Henry was lucky that was all Segan did to him. He wasn't looking for a war but he was going to let him know his disdain.

Liam stared at the whole episode as it unfolded and once all the emotions were done, Henry on the floor put there by Eion he was up and following the cousins out. Ready to fight if needed.

It all happened fast enough to leave him befuddled, but questions would wait until later. It was clear that ALL of them had been used by this Englishman - though for different purposes. For his part, Evan was tempted to kick Henry on the way out for his own troubles, but instead contented himself with just scowling down at the fallen man before stepping out. And once out the door he had to hurry to catch up with the others, as Eion was walking so quickly.

Ciar finished his ale before he started out the door, glancing back at Henry and snorting. The man hadn't moved but he was breathing. He wondered if they'd be stopped but so far no one appeared in the hall. Soft footsteps caught his attention and he saw John going into the office. "Here it comes." He murmured as he hurried to catch up to the others.

There were guards at the gate, having been there when the coach arrived. They watched as the group of men approached but made no attempt to stop them. If a fight was wanted, it would have to be elsewhere. Henry, with John's help, was watching from the window. He had expected worse and was somewhat relieved though sorry that Eion and he were no longer friends. His conscience was eased some. He knew Jane would never forgive herself and considered telling her he had not found the man. Another lie but one that might be necessary. By the time the men reached the docks, a lad would be catching up to them. He held vouchers, not only for the money owed to the three, but also money for the cost of the ship. Henry would keep his word.

Eion was in a fog of red but as they walked back to the docks, it began to fade. He flexed his hand again, and glanced at Segan. "Bluidy piker has a hard jaw." And hopefully Eion had broken it. For the first time in a long time, the shadow that constantly loomed over him seemed to have faded some though it would take more time for it to be gone completely.  "The three of you have my gratitude for doing this. I know you have questions and once we're on board, I'll answer them." He smiled as he spoke. "And you also have my offer of aid again, in finding your sister."

"Aye," he was keeping an eye out for any untoward motions their way, his hand on the hilt of his rapier worn under the light overcloak. "He will be feeling the pain in his shin for the rest of this year," so Eion would know he had kicked him good. "It seems questions were answered in that room today. What was said, what wasn't said, what came as the conclusion. I think, in spite of all said and done, at least you are free of the burden you've been carrying far too long and one that was based on lies no less. No true friend would do that to another." Segan caught sight of some of his crew moving in the same direction as them but discreetly amongst others. They were being escorted.

Liam had noting to say at this point. They too had been used by the man but he collected what was owed him from the lad for that was money that would be used to find their sister. He had no qualms there.

Evan returned Eion's thanks with a nod, and slight smile of his own, which increased when he reasserted his offer to help them find Fawn. It seemed, then, that they were finished here. Despite all his questions it was a relief that they'd been able to conclude this business so quickly.

"I'm thinking, if you're up to the tale, Eion, it might be one to hear on the journey back. I'd like to hear about the escape if nothing else." He wouldn't press if Eion didn't want to talk on what led him to England and the prison spoken of. "And though I like feeling the sun on me face, I won't be sad to leave this place." He glanced over his shoulder to make sure no one in uniform was following them.

"I can help tell some of it as I think it only fair you should know it having been drawn into it as you have been." Eion didn't even know all that he and Conor went through getting there to find him.

Eion nodded at Segan and sighed. "He was a good friend at one time, one I trusted to cover my back. But the need for revenge has changed many a man. But that's in the past. And I have to say, it felt good to hit him." He chuckled, "glad you got in a kick too. As for the tale, aye, I think it can be told now." He wouldn't gloss over how he felt when he was with Jane but that was done.  And no, he didn't so that would be a good addition to the tale.

A knowing glance was given Evan and Ciar, "I'd like to hear it," adding his two cents in finally. They were family now and this trip helped to strengthen a growing bond.



Date: 02-21-10
Poster: Oisin 'Fawn' Quinn
Post # 32


It seemed as though the raid had been a life time ago. Fawn had been young, but not young enough that she'd forgotten the horrid scenes and did occasionally still wake from nightmares. Those occasions had gotten fewer and farther between over the years, but still happened. She had been taken in by a kind family though that raised her as their own. A loving mother and father that saw to her education and making sure that she was educated in more than just books, but the ability to defend herself should the need arise. Despite having been adopted into the family, she was very close to her parents. She always knew she could tell them anything and for almost six years she'd been more than content being their daughter. As of recently though, her nightmares had changed into something more haunting, but not necessarily in the same ways those terrors were. She'd never really believed her brothers to be dead. She'd always been hopeful that they were alive and well and that somehow the Fates would bring them together. Within the past few months though, the sense of their liveliness had grown more concentrated. As if she knew they were out there in the world somewhere and waiting was becoming more like waiting for the other shoe to drop, and never would. Patience for that sense became an antsy need to seek them out. She hadn't yet told either of her parents about her urges to seek out her brothers. The last thing she wanted to do was break the hearts of the people who had been so kind and loving of her for the past six years, but she felt as though she couldn't wait any longer. It once was a nagging, but now had become a steady pull and urge. The past couple of days she'd spent a great deal of time to herself, trying to understand that feeling that wanted to pull her away from the security of the life she'd come to know and was comfortable with, to follow what felt like instinct to venture out into the rest of the world to find out the truth of things. She had spent the last hour or so debating, and eventually began packing just a few things into a single sack, but stopped knowing that she needed to speak with those who had grown to care for her. Leaving her room quietly, she ventured out into the hall to seek out her parents with a quiet sort of solemn feeling that equaled what could only be described as thrill; because she wanted to find her brothers.

Martha was busy in the kitchen preparing the cook as to what they should be served for supper this evening. She also had the other maids there as their assignments were given for the next day as well. She was to meet with Master Harrington, as she referred to her husband, in the drawing room so that he could give her any further notices on his likes to be seen done by the staff. Usually he left most things to her discretion until he had a hankering, as he put it, or urge for a certain meal or dessert or to see something done within the house he decided should be changed. She stopped in the hall just before reaching the open door to pat her hair down, which was the epitome of perfection, and smooth down her dress before making her way in. "Master Harrington, I hope you had a pleasant day," most likely he'd been with his investors and keeping track of parliament.

John Harrington was a man well content with his life. After retiring from the army, he made the money left to him by his father, grow, so that he and his family could live comfortably. He spent his days at his office and his evenings at home or visiting, with occasional nights for cards. Tonight would be spent at home. He smiled as his wife entered the room, and stood to greet her, placing a kiss upon her forehead. "Good evening, my dear. I had a very  pleasant day. I hope you did as well?"

The house being mostly quiet, it was easy to follow the voice of her parents greeting one another. She watched quietly as her mother did one last sweep of her hair and dress to perfection, and reminded her that she should do the same. Not so much her hair, but the skirt of the dress she wore was smoothed of most of the wrinkles it'd gathered while sitting for long periods of time. There she stood, listening to the greetings between her elders, almost dreading how they would take the news that she wanted to leave to seek out her brothers due to a feeling she'd had for some time now, and had never spoken of. Eyes closed for a moment, she took a deep breath to gather her thoughts, then preceded to the door that stood open now, to speak with her mother and father.

Formality was bred into them. Her marriage arranged as what would benefit her when young in a good secured future. John Harrington had been pleasant to look upon and though she was not the most beautiful woman on the market, as some referred to it as, she was considered a handsome woman that was well educated, well dressed and well mannered. A very good catch. She had grown to love John but the formality remained outside their bedroom. It was the English way. "All has gone well this day," a light flush to her cheeks for the kiss even if upon her brow. Anything else faded away as she caught sight of Oisin. Martha had not been able to have children of her own so when the offer came to adopt the young teen girl, they had grabbed the opportunity. She was immediately over to the door to fuss over her daughter. Hair was mostly put into perfect order and a little pinching of her cheeks to bring color to them. "On my word, Master Harrington, our daughter grows more beautiful every day," stepping aside with her words and a wink to her daughter as she ushered her in to greet her father.

As if this could be made any more awkward for her, the fussing had a natural way of doing such. Her head had been lowered slightly while coffee colored eyes drifted from her father to her mother in the process of fussing. A process that often caused the bridge of her nose to wrinkle. It made her feel as though she should be wearing endless amounts of frills and preparing to take a courtly outing. She loved her parents though, with all her heart. "Good evening, mother." Spoken timidly in light of what this visit with both parents was to be in regards, then attention returned to her father. "Good evening, father." Whatever appropriate affections might have been normally tolerated were forgotten over her own nerves at the moment.

He too, had grown to love Martha, though their marriage had been arranged as so many were. She offered him stability as well as love. Turning when she rushed to Oisin, he smiled warmly. "I must agree, Mistress Harrington, she is very beautiful and certainly others have noticed." He had received several notes concerning his lovely daughter. "Good evening, Oisin. I trust you both have had a pleasant day as well?"

Oisin was far from improper, but there were many moments she was less than proper. Some habits of her life previous to this one were heard to break and occasionally she could be found doing things that her parents were less than fond of, such as wandering off for a nature walk alone and not returning when dinner was ready. Regardless though, she was proper when she needed to and they were generally patient with her adventures. Such thoughts drifted in hopes of making this easier for them all. Perhaps it wouldn't be nearly as bad as she anticipated. "It has gone well, father. Thank you. It is nice to have you home for the evening."

Martha had always worried deep within her heart that Oisin would one day be taken from her, either by a family making claims or the young girl that was fast growing into a woman would venture away.  There was something always sensed and even envied in Oisin and it was that elusive free spirit she possessed. Probably what had kept her alive during the tragedy that eventually benefited them. Her odd ways at times was the only reason she had held off bringing her out into society at sixteen. She was now nineteen and if it were to be, it would need to be soon. "I have spoken with the Bradshaws as they are going to have a coming out dance for their daughter along with a few others and would like to you to be part." It was the first she mentioned it even to John. Martha rarely brought a surprise.

"It is good to be home." He smiled then quieted as his wife spoke. That was good news but he wondered how Oisin would react. He too, knew of that free spirit, much like many of the young women of the colonies.

She looked to her mother at mention of the dance and wanted nothing more than to shrink into herself. As much as she wanted to prolong this, it was time to speak up. "Mother, father...may I speak with you both regarding something that..." Had been bothering her? Bothering wasn't the right word and the right word just didn't want to come to her. She sighed softly, gathering her hands at her front. "May I speak with you both?"

"Of course. Shall we sit?" He motioned toward the chairs at the table that were arranged for just such a purpose. From the way Oisin spoke, he felt this was a matter of some seriousness.

"Of course dear, please, let us all sit and I'll ring for some tea." The table within the din was always set for tea. Almost speaking at the same time as her husband brought a nervous smile. That edge of something about to change their lives nagged at the back of her mind. She rang the bell, calling for their maid who served their daughter as well, "Fifi.." setting the bell down on the mantle as she would sit across from her husband with Oisin between.

Looking between the two who'd raised her and done so well, there was some level of regret to this, but she couldn't sit and let the sense of not knowing or waiting go on any longer. With a soft sigh she followed and took one of the seats gathered around. As Martha rang for Fifi, she watched her quietly for a moment. There had always been admiration for both of her parents. Her father the strong protector of the family, and her mother the quiet and devout nurturer. The one who held everything together so elegantly. Hands gathered on her lap for the silent moment, waiting for both and perhaps the tea too, so she would have that much more time to consider what she had to say.

Fifi came bustling into the room in a mass of petticoats and rustling lace, the uniform of all the household servants, though she seemed to wear hers with an extra flair. The thirty-something-year-old (or so she claimed)
woman had been serving the Harringtons faithfully since she'd been a girl of Oisin's age, and now acted as something between an aunt, an older sister and yes, a maid for the adopted girl. She'd been nearly excited as the Harringtons themselves when they had adopted her... it seemed longer than six years ago. Fifi loved Oisin like a member of her own family, whom the maid hadn't actually seen in years. As such she doted on the girl. The tea service tinkled lightly upon the tray in her hands as she backed into the room then turned to beam a smile. "Tea ma'am. Sir. Mistress." A wink for the lass as she deftly poured each of their teas, knowing how each member of the family liked it just so, and delivered the tea cups to all.

Martha had settled in her chair by the time Fifi had come into the room and was seeing to their tea. She only waited silently as John was the head of the family.

He had waited until both Martha and Oisin were seated before he lowered into his chair. Once the tea was poured, dark eyes turned to Oisin and he nodded. "Please, go on, Oisin." He then offered Martha a slight smile before his attention was fully on the young woman he had come to love as his own.

Oisin could always count on Fifi to keep her secrets, such as when she snuck away from the house in the wee hours before breakfast, or when she was caught returning her horse to the stables a mere hour before some sort of dinner party she was nowhere near ready to present for. Among other things like the chance to act like a girl of her age in silly fashions or sneaking out to see a crush in secret. Once Fifi had poured and prepared the tea, her wrist was gently grasped before she could escape their company. "Stay, please?" The woman was as much a part of her upbringing as Martha and John were, and she wanted Fifi there. A deep breath and look to her father. She wasn't sure how to go about opening this conversation, but she was going to do the best she could. Releasing her grasp on Fifi, she turned more to the three of them. "I...I want to first say that I love you. All of you. You are my family and nothing will ever change that. But something has ... come to me recently. I think it is time that I venture on my own and seek out my brothers." The words came soft spoken and a bit more shuddered towards the latter of what she opened with, looking to all three of them in turn to try to read their expressions.

About to bustle off to her next chore, Fifi was arrested by that imploring hand on her wrist. Her brow creased slightly but she set down the tea tray immediately. "Of course, Mistress." That murmured before she fell silent to listen. It wouldn't do to sit in their company, her being a servant still, but she moved to stand next to Oisin's chair. The girl seemed nervous which had her looking concerned... and that swiftly turned to surprise when she went on. She had to clamp her lips shut to withhold her own opinions, instead just looked to the Harringtons with raised brows.

"Oh dear," with Oisin expressing the worse of her fears. "My salts..." she was turning pale and on the verge of passing out. Fifi was use to getting the smelling salts for those days that were too much a weight on Martha's shoulders or some exceptionally surprising news that was hard on her sensibilities.


Cue another rustling of petticoats as she rushed out of the room, to the kitchen where a small shelf bore that vial of salts, then just as quickly back and at Martha's side. "Here ma'am." The vial uncorked to let the strong smell waft up to the woman's nostrils. Her eyes were hard on Oisin all the while.

He had known this day would come, in spite of trying to pretend otherwise. "Martha, dear. Calm yourself." He used his wife's name as Fifi rushed out then turned to Oisin. He knew he could forbid her, tell her to forget this foolishness, but she would not. "How can you be certain your brothers are alive? So few survived that raid. Where will you go? What do you plan to live on while you search?" Oh, he'd give her money, not see her starve but could she survive on her own?

"Thank you," came in a hush undertone as the strong bite of the smelling salts had her back to her senses coupled with John's stern command she not faint in essence. It was rare he used her given name in public and so he was a little displeased with her. She reeled in her emotions and a quick mind to find a sensible solution. "If you are to go I will insist that Fifi accompany you." Maybe to make sure she stayed the proper ways as a lady and not fall from the path as would be so easy out there in the jungle of a world and not the safety of her family. "Bradley Harrington, Master Harrington, your nephew, I do think he travels a lot and might be willing to take our dear little Oisin if she is set on this adventure."

She always felt bad when her mother went into one of her fits, and that look from Fifi didn't help much. It made her frown all the more while looking between the three of them. First she was going to speak to her father. "I have had this feeling for a while now, and the idea of venturing out is not something I've taken lightly or is some whim. I have a small purse set aside to begin my travels. I cannot say I know for sure that they live, but I feel that they are out there, and that they are looking for me." Then mention of Fifi was given, along with her cousin, she shook her head. "If miss Fifi wishes to accompany, I would not be opposed, but this is something I truly feel I should look into on my own. I do not yet know where to begin, and that I can only follow what my heart tells me. Which may not be the same way my cousin will be traveling."

What? Her? It was Fifi's turn to need the smelling salts though by now she had corked the vial and tucked it away. The maid blanched slightly at the thoughts. Much as she adored Oisin, Fiona had not lived a day outside these sheltered walls since coming here.. and the thought of tramping the roads at the end of winter was daunting. But as her lips settled into a neutral expression she'd not say a word until this matter was settled by the rest of them.

"The idea of your cousin is a good one, Oisin and I will insist upon that. If nothing else, he will provide escort to the lands you must travel to. I would prefer you not be alone in the colonies but I cannot insist he remain with you then. As far as Fifi, would you truly have her travel to those wilds, Mistress Harrington, when she has been here for so long. She is, I am certain, not fond of the idea of traveling away from her home?" It was a question for Fifi though John knew that his wife may very well insist on such indeed. Though a nearly perfect wife, Martha could be ... stubborn.

"You must allow me this, if you have to rest your mind on these brothers assumed dead, Oisin. Your reputation would be ruined if you do not travel with a handmaiden, Fifi if she will go, or I will find you another that is willing. It is permissible then for a woman to travel and not lose their dignity." She believed or hoped at best that once Oisin traveled and didn't find her brothers, she believed still alive, she would return to them. She wanted her to be able to continue to hold her head up high as all had been properly done. "These colonies are wild," as certainly she knew. "I would not sleep a single night nor a wink if you were out there by yourself." A man and a woman as escort, both trusted, would see to all things properly and her piece of mind.

Fi's throat went dry as Master and Mistress Harrington discussed back and forth over her fate. It was true, she was not fond of traveling... her general need for life's small comforts, along with her prodigious diet saw to that. But when the Mistress mentioned getting another maid, a stranger, to escort Oisin it decided her. "Of course, I am willing." A glance down to Oisin and a small smile of reassurance for the girl. Yes, she would go and see the girl safe, wherever her heart led her. Which hopefully, would ultimately be back here to the Harrington's.

Once more she looked between the three. "Father, I would not insist that my cousin detour his own travels just for me." Though if it was a choice between her cousin or Fifi....She looked to Fifi, big brown eyes going all doe like to Fifi as she agreed. "Then Fifi will accompany me. There is no need to pester my cousin for this." Yes, she was aware that both a male and female would be more appropriate, but really she didn't want her cousin feeling the need to fill the role as protector despite how wild the colonies might be. One escort was more than enough. Fifi was familiar with Oisin's ways and habits and had a better chance of keeping her in line than her cousin did.

"He has the means to get you across the ocean in one piece." Which had Martha shudder just thinking about the lot that ran a ship. Sailors. She heard horror stories from Mistress Bradshaw a few times over. Of course the discussion captivated the lot of women that gathered at their tete-a-tete. "Oh, but I hear he travels to the Colonies, has business there that is prospering." While it would as there were other rumors of rebellions against the English.

"There will be no argument in this. Bradley will escort you on board ship and see you settled." He didn't know if she intended to travel the colonies or not but this being winter, it would be nearly impossible for two women. "Come spring, if you are still there, you'll be able to journey far easier. Winters are quite," he paused, thinking of his wife's sensibilities, "harsh and make roads impassable. And we will expect letters from you both so we know how you fare." He would like to lock her up in her room and keep her safe, but no evidence of that feeling showed. He was well versed in keeping his emotions bottled up.

Apparently, trying to avoid her cousin wasn't going to win. A silent sigh to her father's demand. "Very well, Father." Though her father said until spring, she would not request her cousin's presence beyond where their paths parted ways. Not like it would last forever, right? Perhaps getting away with her usual wanderings would be easier to get by Fifi if she weren't the only escort. Despite her parents worry over this, she couldn't help a small grin to the idea.

Fifi caught the subtext there; she was to essentially be their spy on Oisin, assuring them that their daughter was not getting into serious mishaps. She met Master Harrington's eyes at the mention of the letters and gave the slightest of nods of agreement. Secretly she didn't much like that grin on the girl's face either.

There was an exhausted sigh over a thought. "If you find your brothers or even one brother alive, will you still come home, bring him with you?" Hope against hope but she had a feeling this was the beginning of the end of seeing their daughter. If she and Fifi ran into unforeseen trouble, she knew Bradley could handle it and whisk the two away to safety. "Yes, letters." Otherwise she wasn't sure how she would find sleep the duration of this trip.

He hadn't exactly meant for Bradley to stay in the colonies but if he decided to do so, all the better. He reached out his hand over the top of the small table and covered his wife's hand, knowing they were both losing the daughter they had come to love.

Not to mention the best maid in the whole county! Right?

That went without saying!

"I daresay, supper should be ready. Let us eat then decide the day you are to leave. We will see you properly outfitted and with enough coin to see to both you and Fiona." Using Fifi's given name as she would no longer be the maid. She would be the handmaiden.

Oisin really tried to hide the smile that threatened just beneath the surface, but hints of it were there nonetheless. Despite the escort, the possibilities were endless! "Of course we will come to visit mother. I am sure that my brothers would wish to get to know you as I have and thank you and father for keeping me safe these many years." She rose from her seat and went around to Martha's seat, behind it to lean down and wrap her arms around her mother's neck affectionately. "You've nothing to fear, mother. You and father have raised me right and your teachings I will never forget. And I will return home to visit frequently. I promise."

She was getting teary eyed for the gesture, her hands up to smooth against Oisin's arms lovingly. She didn't say anything at first for being all choked up. "I love you dearly, more than life itself, if something happened to you," well she didn't continue or the tears would be falling. Instead she was up to turn Oisin into a mother's hug, safe haven that she would be leaving. The hardest part of being a mother. The hug ending as she swiped at her eyes and bustled into the kitchen, "you'll have me blubbering...." warned under her breath.

He said nothing as he was over to gather Oisin into a hug when Martha bustled away. A kiss planted to her forehead and he stepped back. "We should prepare to dine now." He might speak to her later on his concerns but not now.  Instead, he would see to the money and hold onto the dowry saved for her. And she would still be heir, both his and her mother's. And there would certainly be a pension for Fiona.

With a smile, she released her mother for a better and more appropriate hug, and she reveled in it until its end. A small kiss to her cheek before turning to her father with full intention of a hug to him as well. The hug greeted with a small smile to the kiss to her brow. "Thank you, father." She knew how hard this was; it wasn't easy for her. She couldn't ignore that feeling though. She had to find out.

Fiona was still a bit dazed. The Harringtons weren't the only ones whose lives had suddenly changed between one moment and the next. Oisin's words made it sink in. Frequent visits... which didn't signal a permanent return to the Harringtons. Ever. Fi couldn't help but wonder what would become of her, if and when Oisin ever did find her brothers, but she swallowed the fears and put her mind to what had to be done. She'd vowed to accompany Oisin as long as the girl needed her, and such she would do as loyally as ever she'd served the family. Bobbing a curtsy she turned to go help with serving the supper.



Date: 02-23-10
Poster: Oisin 'Fawn' Quinn
Post # 33

Setting Sail

In spite of his fears concerning his daughter and Fiona, John kept up appearances from the time Oisin had announced her decision until it was time for them to leave. On that day, he had the carriage brought out, and saw to their trunks being loaded. He had warned them to be careful of what they packed being they could soon be on their own with none to help them. If needed, once they were settled, the remainder of their possessions could be sent if truly necessary. He stood outside, talking quietly to the driver while he waited for them to join him.

With a few days time to get everything arranged and packed, it gave Oisin plenty of time to thinking things over and consider her decision. She was still certain that this was the right decision. She could feel that pull just as strongly now, if not a touch stronger, despite her mixed feelings. It was hard to leave home. This was her home. And this was her family. And the thought of leaving her parents was a saddening thought. But she couldn't ignore what she felt pulling at her, even if she couldn't really explain it. The part of her that was being nagged and pulled was thrilled with the idea. To the point of giddiness, though she tried to keep that maintained. She didn't want her parents getting the wrong impression. She certainly wasn't trying to get away from them. But the prospect of finding her brothers, her blood kin, was something else entirely. She'd originally packed only what she thought she'd need or really want. There was a chance that either Fifi or her mother would come in and make sure she had what they thought she needed. And she was grateful for it. Trunks were being loaded on the carriage, Oisin came out, dressed and prepared to leave with a glance at the carriage, then looked to her father taking care of last minute details no doubt.

Martha would be emotional at this point. A lace hanky kept in hand at all times to constantly dab at her eyes. She was finally out to stand by her husband's side as expected. She would go to see her daughter off even if it was suggested she stay at home for this part. In spite of the tears she knew would flow, there would be no stopping her to see Oisin for the last minutes she could hold onto. She would keep John there at the pier until the ship was completely out of sight before she could be uprooted from the spot. She left the helping in packing to Fifi, for she would know better what to pack and she would not keep her resolve otherwise to see her to the port. She would be bawling and that would not help her daughter one bit.

Fiona's trunk was even bigger than Oisin's. She'd packed everything she'd deemed necessary, which included several changes of clothes and petticoats, vials and elixirs, extra pairs of shoes and gloves. Her worries over the trip were such that, at least if she could be completely prepared, that was something to ease her mind. She'd even insisted upon a few extra things that Oisin hadn't thought she'd need, though the maid didn't push for all of the random sundries that she'd included. Those would be carried in her own trunk. After tearful farewells with the other servants, whom she wasn't sure she'd ever see again, Fiona stepped out into the bright and sunny day. Like Martha she was determined to be strong for the girl's sake. She stepped out beside Oisin, a slight smile as she glanced to the carriage though she was wringing her hands. "Now dear are you certain you packed that third set of socks? One can never have too many clean socks...."

The footman was there to open the door for the family as the rest of the servants came out to bid the lass farewell. They were all dreading how quiet the house would be now and how sad. John waited for Oisin and Fiona to say their farewells, then he would help them into the coach. He was seeing to Martha even now rather than have her watch the goodbyes.

If it had been left completely to Oisin, she'd have stopped with one simple trunk of things, then likely slimmed it down further while on the ship. Raised proper, yes. Didn't mean she saw the point in all the petticoats and other such layers. They were more a burden than anything, but that went with her free spirit that looked at all of that stuff and said Aroo? She looked and watched her mother for a moment. Seeing her like this was the hardest to see. She did not like seeing her mother in such pain and really wished that she could be happy for this, but perhaps in time once Oisin was settled somewhere, she would feel better about it. Maids and other house staff were given farewells, then with help she was up in the carriage and waiting for the others.

It was smart on John's part to usher Martha into the coach instead of her watching the two say their farewells to all of the staff. The doorman, butler, cook, chambermaids, pantry and scullery maids. She settled onto the one seat where she would be sure to have Oisin sit next to her.

Her question about socks went unanswered and she pursed her lips, but said nothing more about it. Even Fi realized that that wasn't the most important thing right now. One last squeeze was given to the cook, her best friend, and she cast a certain special look to the Butler. She would miss him on cold lonely nights. Then she was ushered to turn away and helped into the carriage. Settling onto the bench, she lifted her hand for one last wave and tried not to dissolve into tears as she watched her friends and her only home these last twenty years grow smaller and smaller behind them.

John said little, knowing that his wife would need these last few moments. He tapped on the roof of the coach to signal the driver then sat back, his dark eyes on his wife and daughter. The days were going to be drearier than normal for a English winter but he would bear them for the sake of Martha.

She took the seat next to her mother and settled in. The air of sadness could not be ignored despite some part of her looking forward to the adventure. Poor Bradley. He was going to have his cousin constantly nagging at him to answer her questions and tell her stories so she could better understand what lay in store for her. Those thoughts were pushed aside as she looked at the solemn faces. More so her mother and Fifi who was giving up her entire life on a teen's whim. Her mother's nearest hand taken into both of hers reassuringly. She wanted to plea that Fifi be allowed to return to the house with them, but knew there would be no winning that argument.

Fi would have never have heard of it.

If Oisin thought there was half a chance, she'd have argued it regardless.

It would more likely be Poor Oisin, though Bradley Harrington had only gotten a glimpse of her years ago when his uncle and aunt adopted the poor refugee from the colonies. He was a daring sort, good looking in an aristocratic way, tall being over six and three with a commanding air about him. He was twenty and five come spring. Hooking up with Captain Adam Smith three years ago, had changed his life's course from the droll uppity stuffy room boors to become one more open minded and adventurous. He'd barely spent anytime at home in England the last three years. John was his godfather and he'd do anything within his power to help out his favored uncle and aunt. Luckily he managed to convince Adam to allow the two to come with them. They had planned to head to the colonies and spend some time there anyway, there were certain political intrigues going down. He described the lass much as he'd seen her last at thirteen or so.

Martha had a good squeeze on Oisin's hands, in hers and she'd know how nervous her mother was for the slight sweaty feel. She went to say something but it never came out. A second attempt ended  much as the first and so she patted her hand and kept the tears from falling by looking out the window at the passing scenery.

Adam Smith had been at sea for as long as he could remember. Though his father had been part of the nobility, he too had preferred the sea to life to that of court. He had been pleased when his second son had asked to join him so many years ago, and even more so when Adam proved himself to be captain material. Now he had his own ship, and though he did much sailing for the family business, he found other ways to make a profit. He was dark haired and blue eyed, with the look of a swashbuckler. A year older than Bradley, the two had become fast friends. Now he stood on deck waiting for the arrival of the two women he had reluctantly agreed to allow on board. Not because of his men were superstitious, though they were, but because women could cause disruptions he could ill afford.

As the coach came to a stop, and the door was opened by the footman, John took a deep breath. "Well," he said softly, "here we are." A trip that had been too short and far too quiet. "You're certain you have everything you need?" He had seen to the money earlier, both for Oisin and Fiona and for their passage on the ship. The English Rose was named for Adam's youngest sister, a frigate that had seen several harrowing voyages and always seemed to  survive with little or no damage. "Captain Smith is trustworthy and will see you safe to your destination." He cleared his throat as he realized the footman was waiting but he would wait for Oisin to answer.

She recalled meeting Bradley once, but beyond recollection, she didn't remember much. Young, nervous and it seemed like a world of new faces and names to learn. When the carriage came to a halt, she took a deep breath and leaned to peek at what could be seen before looking to her father with a nod. The small purse she'd collected for this had been entrusted to Fifi with the promise that it would be used before touching what her father gave to fund this voyage and adventure. "If we packed anymore, then I'm sure it would sink the ship." It was meant as both reassurance to her parents and an attempt at light humor. A nod to the further mention of Adam being a trustworthy man, she gave her mother's hand one last squeeze before taking help of the footman to exit the carriage and step away, smoothing the skirts and such as she looked around.

"You cannot have too many clothes, especially where you are going." Martha finally spoke up as she out and down with the help of the footman in the wake of her daughter. "They have no stores to sell fine clothes so you best have with you what you need. If they have any clothes they will be a grade above rags at best." She had heard all the gossip about the colonies. "It is very primitive there, there are no latrines, you have to go outside in the woods and dig a hole." The whole idea had her shudder but she hoped it had her daughter home even sooner with this wild idea of finding her brothers alive.

Bradley was dressed properly in a deep red surcoat that was near black. Ruffled shirt around his neck and the regulated buttons down the front in silver. It was matched by the embroidered roping around the cuffs as well the shoulder edges and neckline. He noticed the Harrington carriage arrive. Although John Harrington was of lesser prestige, lesser money, he gave him all the dignity he felt he deserved. "I do believe they have arrived." He stood on the forecastle deck where he could see pretty much all in a good distance. Hands tucked behind his back as he naturally moved with the swaying pitch of the ship yet standing ramrod for all appearances sake. "Although I don't see the girl." He didn't recognize Oisin for she had changed so much in those five years.


Fifi, on the other hand, looked utterly horrified. She could not imagine using the woods for... shudder, no, she wouldn't think of that until she had to. Perhaps she should have brought another set of drawers... brought out of her thoughts by their arrival, she stepped out of the carriage, skirts gathered in her strong hands as she looked about. "Oh, it does look to be a rather fine ship..." She said in bright tones, to reassure all those present.... including herself.

She listened to her mother. She always listened. Oddly, she found the notion of using the woods for relief humorous, but sincerely tried not to show her amusement. Squaring her expression, she turned to her mother. "And you would have me pack all of my silks and fancies to go parading around amongst the primitives?" She didn't really believe them primitive. Not to that level. She'd heard some of the stories between her mother and friends, but she still wasn't all that believing. A tender smile given to her mother. "Mother. You are going to fret yourself into another fit." Spoken as she reached for her hands. "I will have Fifi with me, and Bradley will be there for a short time. Surely long enough to see us settled for a bit. I would rather you hope that I find my brothers, than wish me unsuccessful and return home without finding them."

It was best to not contradict Martha when she was in this type of mood and so he said nothing. He was certain both Bradley and Captain Smith would set Oisin straight as he knew that some of the cities were quite fine. He had also been told by some of the survivors that their dear Oisin was part Native herself but that had never been mentioned to his wife. "Ah, there's Bradley and Captain Smith." He thought that might change the subject and lifted his hand to wave.

Adam, of course, wore what was close to a uniform. His jacket was heavy so that the cold wasn't felt too deeply. It was deep blue with gold piping and he looked quite dashing. His Tricorn was carried under his arm, it's brim decorated with feathers and his leather boots were highly polished. "There is a young woman with them." He said after studying a moment, then nodded at John Harrington's wave. "Shall we go and greet them?" The trunks were being seen to by members of his crew.

"Most certainly I would. Indeed. You will hold your head up high and show the breeding of a true lady no matter your circumstances." The statement might be a little overboard but it was how Martha was brought up and in her mind, she was doing the best rightly by her daughter no matter she was adopted and from these very primitive lands. She knew Fifi was brought up the same and that was consoling in knowing she would keep Oisin on the rightful lady path. Perhaps there was a bit of fear she would turn into a heathen because she was born of these lands she was headed. She took her hands then pulled her into a hug. "Bradley assured Master Harrington that he will be in the colonies for a while. Rely on him, he will help you find your brothers if they can be found." Or so she had gotten the impression and most likely the nephew would do as John had asked if he could. "I hope you find your brothers for it will settle your heart and if you come back to me, then I know I've not lost my daughter. If you don't find your brothers, it will always remain an unrest. I would rather see your heart at rest." She was going to get emotional again as she finally eased from the hug and ushered her along with John and the lads carrying their trunks, to the ship. She would not step foot on it however, she would stay on the pier where it was docked.

Seeing the party approached, Bradley saluted his uncle and aunt before making his way down to where they would come aboard. Or at least who would come aboard. He was studying the two ladies with them as he remarked to Adam. "I do believe the child has grown into a woman." He recognized Fifi as she had not changed much and had more of an occasion to meet her than the other when he used to visit more often in his younger years. Although he was by no means old. He carried that attitude of beyond his years which served him well in the intrigues he was involved with.

"Be careful with that one!" Fifi waved her handkerchief chidingly after the sailor who had taken upon Oisin's trunk. Lips pursed towards him until she turned to see the two men standing near the gangway of the ship. "Oh my, aren't they a handsome pair," that whispered down to Fawn before she hushed as they approached. Her eyes glanced over Bradley, and then over Adam, a smile dimpling her broad cheeks as she dipped a curtsy of greeting.

Pulled into her mother's hug, she nestled there and closed her eyes with a deep breath of her mother's scent, and listened to her words. "You will never lose your daughter." A quiet promise before stepping back from her mother in time to hear Fiona calling out to one of the hands, then whispers of the two men who approached. From what she could recall of Bradley, he'd not changed much. He looked more matured, but still held the same features she barely remembered. A small smile given to the pair approaching, but any other properness to formality was momentarily forgotten as she looked past to eye the ship. Oh, she'd heard Fifi and smirked to the comment. A moment passed before looking over to the woman. "Pinch your cheeks. I'm sure they could use a bit more hue to them." Quiet teasing to the woman.

There was something about French women and he was well prepared to be stoic in certain areas. He was over to shake his Uncle's hand and give his Aunt a hug before addressing them. "They have quarters that would be the officers of which we have none on this ship." As in it not being one of her Majesty's ships. "They will ride in comfort as much as the sea will provide this trip. Rest assured, you have my word that they will be looked after and nothing untoward to happen their way as if you were here, Master Harrington," giving him the respect of his title with a curt nod of his head. "This is my close and trusted friend, as well the Captain of this ship, the English Rose, Captain Adam Smith."

John smiled at Bradley as he approached and greeted both he and Captain Smith. He gave a military bow after the introduction, something well ingrained in the man. "An honor and a pleasure to meet you, Captain Smith. May I present my wife, Mistress Harrington, as well as my daughter, Oisin and her maid, Fiona. You'll be taking charge of our dearest treasure." He finally relaxed enough to add, "you're looking well, Bradley." The ship too, would be  noticed. "Magnificent vessel."

"Yes, well, children to tend to grow up," he said dryly as he followed Bradley down to greet the family.  Adam suppressed a chuckle at the maid's actions but his attentions were on the lovely Oisin immediately following. She wasn't a frail English flower certainly, but every bit as lovely. He then inclined his head to the couple with the introduction. "A pleasure, sir, madam, ladies. And be assured, we will see to the safety and comfort of both ladies."

Oisin stood quietly as introductions were made all the way around, which pulled her attention from the ship to the conversation. "Bradley, it is nice to see you." She then dipped her head to Adam. "And you, Captain Smith."

"You can rest assure we will keep your most prize treasure safe, to and back." Obviously by that statement they would be seeing this whole adventure through. John tried to pay him money which he refused but he did ask a favor in return that would not be of any trouble for his uncle to see to. "Shall we, as it is time to set sail before the day has run away from us." He offered his arm for Oisin to take in escorting her up the plank.

A nod given to Bradley, but first she turned to her parents. Her father first with a deep breath and a soft though brave smile. "Thank you, father. You and mother will hear from me soon. I promise."

"Thank you, Bradley, Captain Smith." He hugged his daughter tightly, placing a kiss to the crown of her head. "Stay safe, sweetheart and let us know you've arrived safely." He stepped back to allow her to go to her mother though he added, "I will miss you."

She accepted the hug from her nephew before she fussed over Oisin. "Remember to write," with a look given Fifi before she finally released her daughter from yet another hug. She couldn't seem to get enough of them in. Once they were led away by the two fine men she was over to curl her arm around her husband's. A bold move for Martha do to in public but the situation warranted it. "I will be praying for you every night and will light candles at the rectory each Sunday."  The last called out before she forgot. John could be sure she would forget something and bring them all up at dinner and fret over them.

Fiona allowed Oisin to bid her farewells before stepping forward. Both Harringtons were given a smile before she dipped low in her final curtsy to them. "Thank you for everything these years past, Master. Mistress." She was getting a bit choked up herself remembering all their kindnesses. They'd taken her in, too, as a mere girl; she had grown up with them even more so than Oisin had. Catching Martha's look, she gave the slightest of nods before stepping back. "I will ever be grateful to you both."

"I will, father. And I will miss you." Another hug given to her mother with the same soft though brave smile. A hand over her heart. "You will be with me every step of the way." One last look at her parents, she turned to take the offered arm of Bradley with a grateful smile. Then she would follow his lead to the deck and there wait to watch her parents until she could no longer see them.

"If you need anything at all, Fiona, write us." He felt responsible for the woman even now. When Martha moved close, he smiled down at her and patted her hand. His smile showed how very proud he was at this moment.

Bradley's arm eased down until the lass was ready then lifted again when she was over to take it to make sure her passage onto the ship went without incident. It was a descent incline. Once aboard Adam would take over in commands as he would see both Oisin and Fiona to their cabins. "You will want to secure anything of value down or kept in your trunk under your bed. One never knows when a storm will approach. Luckily Captain Smith has a good cook so you wont go starving. If you have any culinary skills be sure to talk to the cook, he would be most obliging to a pretty face." Which had him actually smile, something that chased away the shadows of a stoic demeanor and in turn enhancing his good looks. Once there, he opened each door with a key that he left in their care. "There is an adjoining door between your rooms for convenience." If not a convenience it could be locked from both sides. He stood there with the first door to open but didn't go inside.

Oisin noted the smile Bradley seemed to don now and just smirked as she followed to the rooms that were joined for herself and Fifi with a nod to note his warning about storms. "We will be sure our things are secured." Once the door was unlocked and opened, she stepped inside just to have a look around, but truly wanted to return to the deck for her parents. One last wave good bye perhaps. She turned to Fifi though with a small smile, to see what she thought of the arrangement.

One last glance behind her, Fi took a deep breath and moved up the gangway onto the ship itself. The decks seemed steady enough now, but the moment it began rocking she would likely be bent over the railing. She had never been good with boats, or anything that moved very fast for that matter, such as horses. Though she'd had little enough experience with both. Turning to Bradley, she gave the handsome young man a smile for his politeness. "We thank you greatly."

Adam bowed to the couple before he turned and followed the three up onto his ship. He began shouting orders immediately and preparations were begun to make way. He hoped neither lady was prone to seasickness but the ship's doctor was an excellent one. It wouldn't be long until they were leaving the harbor, and then the sails would billow with the wind and they would be off on their adventure.

"Do not wander below deck," being the officers quarters were just below the Captain's quarters and elite guest. "For the sake of the sailors as they need not such a distraction. If you wish to go anywhere below, ask the escort of myself or Adam." Leaving them to their rooms with a bow of his head before he was around squarely on a heel and heading back to where Adam would be.

Martha was on the pier, one arm in John's and the other waving a white hankie in farewell and good journey. It was also use to dab her eyes every so often.

"Thank you." Spoken to Bradley before he wandered too far away, and she watched for a moment before looking back to Fifi...then heading off with haste to the deck to see her mother waving to her. The wave was returned for a moment, but she continued to stand there, watching her parent with a brief sweep of fingers beneath her own eyes.

Fiona was there on the deck to join her, setting one arm gently around Oisin's slight form as her other lifted to wave. She gave Oisin a light squeeze as she sniffled her own tears away.

Once the ship was out of sight, he would gently guide Martha back to the coach but he allowed her this time. There would be days needed to adjust and the letters would help but it wouldn't be easy for either of them. His hope for Oisin was that she found what her heart desired. And she would know that they would always welcome her home.



Date: 02-23-10
Poster: Oisin 'Fawn' Quinn
Post # 34

Out at Sea

It'd only been a couple of days since leaving the docks. While Oisin certainly missed her parents, she was very much showing signs of looking forward to their destination. There was a constant little grin that went with all her little thoughts and ponderings, which were all written in her journal before falling asleep at night. It was just prior to breakfast on their second day at sea. She was showing no signs of seasickness and ever so grateful for it. Fifi had proven, as always, to be excellent company and kept her from pestering her cousin too much with her wild curiosities. Currently she was in the room given to her, just now going about picking out her attire for the day with intentions of enjoying the sun and ocean breeze.


Fifi had also proven to be NOT meant for a sailor's life. The poor woman had hardly gotten any sleep all night, kept up by a belly which rolled much more than the actual ship did. It was still clear weather and calm waters, and the poor woman could only pray that she would have her 'sea legs' as they called it, by the time a real storm hit. As it was for now, though.... Oisin might hear the moaning from the room adjacent from hers. Fifi was still abed, in her lace night-gown with her curly brown hair done up in a white linen cap for sleeping. Laying on her side she pulled the covers up over her face, as if the darkness could quell the nausea, and groaned again.


Ooooh...Oisin heard it. She even snickered softly though she felt bad for Fifi. "Poor Fifi." One of the crew from the kitchen had been nice enough to bring her some tea. She was still in her bed gown and robe with her hair worn in a
 braid. Up from her seat, she fixed a cup of tea for the woman before knocking lightly on the joining door, then peeked her head inside. "Rise and shine, Madam." She sounded way too perky.

Fiona grimaced, then peeked her eyes out from beneath the covers. For a second she just stared at little miss Perky and her bright smile. "...I begin to wonder if you are quite sane..." She muttered it, with a slight shake of
 her head. A sigh as she slowly pushed herself to sit upright. "Though I am glad you are not afflicted by this..." horrible, horrible malady? She just waved her hand to express her thoughts, then lifted that hand to her temples.

A small roll of those dark eyes, she walked right over to the bed and plopped herself down next to the woman. "Come now. There is so much to look forward to! How can you dwell on your stomach?" The cup of tea was offered, warm and the way the woman liked it. "Aren't you excited about everything to come?" Oisin certainly was! She was ecstatic at all the possibilities. It was a wonder she didn't bounce off the walls.


"How can I think of what's to come when my stomach wishes to twist itself into knots I did not even know existed?" Nevertheless she took hold of the tea, bringing it to her lips for a careful sip. It tasted wonderful and she allowed
 a sigh, reaching out to pat Oisin's leg in thanks. Then she regarded the young girl, caught between amusement over her excitement and lingering sorrow over the friends and home she'd left behind. For Oisin's sake, what she said was, "Of course, I am sure it will all be wonderful." But her tone was rather unconvincing. She was still green about the gills after all, she was allowed.

Well, at least Oisin wasn't jumping on the bed. Could have made things worse. There was lacking conviction in Fifi's words and Oisin just looked at her for a moment before frowning some. She knew this was hard for Fifi. She'd left everything she ever knew behind on Oisin's whim. "Oh, Fifi." She wrapped her arms around the woman's shoulders and tilted her head against the woman's. "I'm so sorry that you were dragged into this with me." Which she genuinely was. "If I could have, I would have insisted that you stay there with your family and friends."


"Don't you be sorry for a moment, dear." She chided the lass, reaching out again to pat her knee. "In truth... part of me always wanted to get out... have a bit of adventure." She glanced to Oisin with a conspiratorial smile, and there was a certain spark in the middle-aged woman's brown eyes. "..But then the years went by and I stopped believing that would ever happen." Her lips softened into a different smile. "You'll have to excuse me while I get
 used to that idea that my life may be far more exciting than I'd ever imagined."

She saw that smile and wrinkled her nose to it in one of those cute, very girlish expressions and moved around to face Fifi. "We are going to have a grand time on this adventure, Madam. And just as you are here to take care of me, I will take care of you. It's going to be lovely in the colonies. I do believe that mother was simply trying to frighten me, for I've heard other men and women speak of them as grand places and new beginnings. I am going to ask Bradley what he knows of the colonies as well. I am sure he knows all the to-do's and the news."


Watching Oisin babble on about how lovely the Colonies would be, Fi couldn't help but smile again, a rueful smile that was also warm. How she envied that innocence of youth, the unfailing belief that everything in life
 must be good and perfect... because that's how you imagined. Fiona knew that that sunny picture of the future may very well turn out to be untrue. But that was why she was there... as Oisin said herself. To take care of her. In her heart she hoped that all would turn out exactly as Oisin wanted, even if that meant she'd never be returning home. "He seems a very capable young man. Not to mention terribly handsome." A long suggestive look given to the girl.

The epitome of optimism. That didn't mean she didn't have her share of fears and concerns, but she wasn't going to dwell on them. She was far too thrilled at the prospect of this adventure. She'd gone to looking in Fifi's mirror, pulling the tie from her hair to loosen the braid when she sat what look and perked a brow to it. "Oh no. I mean...he is handsome. He is also so much older than I. Besides, I'm sure he has a yarn of hearts and I've no interest in such things." Chin notched up with a hint of rebellion against such an idea from that look she'd received. "I've plenty of other things to concern my time with."


That drew a chuckle from Fifi's lips. "Ah yes. Of course." But there was no mistake that she was amused by Oisin's reaction... taking the strength of it as a denial that Oisin had indeed noticed Bradley. Who, as she felt she
 ought to point out... "Only remember if you suddenly do gain an interest.. he is not your real cousin." Just saying! In a tone of casualness as she began unbinding her hair.

"He is not my real cousin and he is almost ten years my elder. And his home is not the colonies and I have no interest in him like that. I have more interest in his knowledge of our destination." Complete denial. And she was allowed. She wanted to keep her sights on her goal of finding her brothers. Flirting with Bradley was not part of that in any way, shape or form.


Fiona only shrugged, rising from the bed to join Oisin at the mirror. She stood behind the younger girl as she began to unbraid her own hair, looking at her reflection in the mirror. "That is your choice, of course. Just do not be entirely prejudiced against him because of any of those reasons, hm?" A light smile, which faded some as she regarded Oisin's reflection in the mirror. Brown curls loosened about her head, she put her hands on Oisin's shoulders to gently turn her around. "Oisin..." She ventured more quietly. "I do not mean to suggest that this is the case... but have you given any thought to the idea that... they may not have survived?" Her tone was gentle, brows knitted in concern. She knew that Oisin was excited and didn't want to see her girl crushed if... Fi couldn't help but think when, she discovered her brothers were among the fallen.


She looked at Fifi in the mirror, with a tilt of her head. "I hold no prejudice against him. He's just so....stuffy." That was a good word for him. Then she was turned around to face the woman and looked at her puzzled for a moment. It didn't last long though when she heard what the woman had to say. "For a long time, yes. I did." She paused with a deep breath and was thoughtful for a moment. "Have you ever had a feeling? It wasn't something you could explain to anyone else. It simply...was. Not quite the same as an instinct, but you just knew something? They're alive. I can feel it."


Fiona studied the girl intently, both eyes moving between Oisin's darker brown ones. It was clear from the furrow in her brow that she still had her doubts... but eventually she nodded, emitting a soft sigh through her nostrils. A hand lifted to cup along Oisin's cheek. "I hope you're right." That's all she'd say, and she meant it whole-heartedly.


She took the woman's hand and smiled brightly to her. "You're going to love them, Fifi." A kiss given to the back of her hand before letting go. "I'm going to get dressed now." And would leave the woman in peace to do the same.



Date: 02-27-10
Poster: Bradley Harrington
Post # 35

Smooth Sailing

They had been lucky this time of the year to have a fairly smooth ride across the immense ocean. Bradley admired his friend's expertise out at sea and why he felt comfortable sailing with him. That was not so true of other trips he had taken before meeting Adam Smith. Another story for another time. There was only one rough evening that Adam managed the ship out of the storm before it got worse. It was clear skies with enough wind the rest of the way. Land-ho was called from the crow's nest as the crew came alive. Bradley moved amongst them while always keeping an eye on the two doors behind which Oisin and Fifi stayed. He was sure, although dawn had barely broken, they would be out as soon as they got decent clothing on. Or so he would hope they would not come out in their nightwear in front
of a crew of sailors. It would not be wise but they had certain men stationed to advance on anyone getting out of line. It was why women were not favored on a ship full of men for more than a two day trip. The longer the trip, the better the potential for trouble. The call was a relief as he stood there on deck near the rail where the sight could shortly be seen in the distance. Hands behind his back as one crossed over the other and the ladies' cabins in sight.

Knowing that soon they would reach land, Oisin had woken well before dawn and gone to the room next to her own to pester poor Fifi. The sun hadn't even begun to show itself in the first lights to begin to brighten the sky when Fifi was pounced with something along the lines of Madam! How can you sleep at an hour like this?! The youthful Fawn was far too excited about the day to come. She'd spent those wee morning hours pestering her poor companion with gleeful visions of the future and what it would be like in the colonies and finding her brothers. Someone really should feel bad for Fifi having to listen to such wistful dreams that floated about the teens head at times. Finally Fifi shooed Oisin to get dressed proper about the time that the sun was peeking over the horizon, likely more so she could have a few moments peace than anything else.

Indeed, her head was already reeling without Oisin's jabbering away. The thought of arriving on land so soon brought mixed feelings. Her stomach rejoiced at the thought of solid ground, and yet, she'd heard so many stories of life in the colonies... the rough characters, the wilderness full of frightening beasts.... there was dread there too. Having tolerated Oisin's pestering with admirable patience she finally all but banished the lass, and once the door was shut behind her Fifi pushed out a deep sigh. Knowing that she wouldn't have long before Oisin was pulling her on deck, Fiona got herself washed and dressed, new clean petticoats for the occasion.. though she wondered ruefully  how long they'd stay that way. Sitting before the mirror, she smoothed her brown curls into a flawless bun absently, trying to brush away her own concerns for the sake of excited Oisin.

There were storms this time of year but Adam seemed to have an uncanny way of reading the skies and knowing where to sail to avoid them. Occasionally, he couldn't totally avoid one like the one they had been caught in briefly, but  they had a bit of luck with that one. At those times, he took the wheel himself, guiding the Rose by feel. Now as they neared the port of Yorktown, he allowed the helmsman to take over.  Once they ported at Yorktown, and took on fresh supplies, they'd move up river to a place near Porto Bello where the Rose could berth.

Black pants, white shirt with a deep red waistcoat embroidered in silver was worn. He looked stuffy to anyone looking on, the epitome of a noble aristocrat of which he was. It was only one who dared to look into his eyes beyond the stoic expression that gave nothing away that the mystery could be seen for the glint picked up in a fleeting way. The book was well closed in an elaborate red cover if anyone could pry it open. Adam knew him the best. The adventures they would not speak about to anyone else. The political intrigues Bradley especially had stepped into. There was a rebellious and daring man beneath the cloth of the aristocrat. He had already eaten breakfast as the cabin lad came by offering him a wooden tankard of ale which he obliged himself with. The tuck of hands behind his back changing in seeing to the task. He waited for Adam to join him. The stop at Yorktown would not last long and not of a type to disembark. Time was of the essence so they would not be traveling up the river at night.

Oisin had dressed herself as proper as she could deal with. Not nearly what should have been included in the layers beneath the skirt of the dress she donned, but enough to keep Fifi from telling her how improper she was. She couldn't stand all those useless layers! They were suffocating. So she'd try to get away with a few less. The gown was lavender in color with little bits of shiny things here and there with her hair fashioned in curls off the back of her neck. Once she was sure that Fifi'd had enough time to be dressed, then she would be returning through the joined door with a brilliant smile. "Madam! Come now. Don't you want to see the first sights when we arrive? Surely your stomach would be ever so grateful."

"I do not know if my stomach knows how to feel anything but nauseous anymore..." She griped, but stood willingly from the dressing table, tucking a stray curl into place in the bun before hurrying out after Oisin. In truth, that adventurous side of herself had never quite abandoned her even when her own youth was past... that part of her was nearly as eager to see the new world as Oisin was. Perhaps it would not be so horrifying as she imagined. With that hope in mind she followed her charge out the door and onto the deck. Fifi was attired in a gown of deep maroon, a becoming color on her which hugged her generous frame. Plenty of silken layers rustling beneath.

A few moments after speaking to the helmsman, he made his way down to join his friend. He was once again wearing the clothes that marked him as Captain, though during the voyage he had left off wearing the more formal garb for casual. Black hair was pulled back with a black ribbon and as the ladies appeared, he removed his hat again and bowed. "Ladies, welcome to the colonies. We won't be disembarking at Yorktown, but further upriver. We can take a coach inland to Williamsburg." One night's stay for Oisin to make her inquiries and they would see what was next for the two women.

Bradley stood in silence as Adam spoke up to the woman. He had a way of looking down his nose at times but it was really the height difference. It just came off another way and probably rightly so. The tankard of ale long finished and taken away by the time Adam joined him. He took out his pocket watch, one finely made in silver and gold to check the time. Only a glance his friend's way as the muscle along his jaw tensed. That little bit Adam would read like a red flag. There was good reason Bradley Harrington would be tense for where they were headed and what would be witnessed. The stirring in the Colonies had been going on for a few years and only growing in the past couple of months for the tariff levied to make up for the expense of another war. "The Inne we shall be staying at is called Londontown, as the name implies it is well established in the English way and all the accommodations for ladies such as yourself." He was already buffeting them from the harsh truth of a brave new world. A voile one in certain places even in the bigger towns and cities. The wild not so far away as they would gradually see for themselves but until then he would do his best for their safety.

Oisin waited just outside the door for Fifi with a bright smile to the sunny day. It was so pleasant with the waves and ocean breeze. The voice of Adam had her attention with an instant -eager- smile to the man and polite dip in greeting. "Good morn, Captain." His welcome to the colonies only served to brighten everything about her with all her curiosities and thrill to this new world. She hooked arms with Fifi, donning a bright smile to her as well before returning attention to Adam. "You've been most kind to agree to take us to the Colonies. I am very appreciative." Bradley would get the same gracious thanks, knowing at least on some level that he'd arranged this by her father's request. Bradley was the next to steal her attention as he spoke of the place they would be staying. Nose twitched ever so slightly...sounded stuffy. "Won't you tell us what else we have to look forward to? Are there really heathens as mother has so stated? Do they run around with clubs and stakes bashing others on the head?" A bit embellished, but it was due to her own humor since she didn't believe everything her mother had said about the new world.

Fifi summoned a pleasant smile for the Captain, whom she thought rather dashing. She'd watched him as he watched the decks during the voyage, ordering the crew about, handling the ship so bravely during that terrible storm. An intriguing man indeed and she rather wished there'd been more time to speak with him and perhaps listen to some of his stories. Her smile turned over then to Bradley, though unlike Oisin's flawlessly bright smile, hers had become a bit tense. Though she nodded to his words about their accommodations. "That sounds fine, Mr Harrington, thank you..." Eyes turned over to Oisin at her overflow of questions, and Fi winced. Letting out an uneasy laugh. "Really dear, must you speak so.... vividly?" Suddenly her stomach was queasy again.

Adam relaxed enough to give both women a smile but he allowed Bradley to speak on where they would stay. It was for their safety of course. "What do you remember of your time here, Miss Harrington? I believe they fight brutally but when they're not at war, the natives are quite civil. They will be dressed suitably since it is winter here." Not as cold as north but there was still a chill in the air.

Something hardened in hazel eyes that picked up the colors of the ocean presently. Yet not a trace in his expression as to the change in his eyes a fleeting moment. "Yes there are. If you must know, not far from the cities is the wilderness and men of various skin color have mutilated one another. Scalps hacked off no thanks to the French needing proof of a kill. Women raped and lucky if they were killed than left alive. Children killed, infants in their beds in almost literally dog eat dog world. Your father was right in having men to protect you." Although they may wonder if he was capable to fight for his upbringing, yet something about him would assure that he was. He was dead serious as unfortunately he found no humor in the reality of her words. There was a slight softening of expression at the end of his tirade, leaving much unsaid but enough to paint her a true picture. "It is not like England at all here, even the worse of England." Surmising that Oisin had blocked out much of what happened to her village along with an inward wince if his words brought some of it back. Although it was best they go with opened eyes.

Admittedly there were times she enjoyed trying to make Fifi blush. It was fun! Her demeanor was quick to change though as Bradley began to explain and describe life in the colonies..or just beyond them. Her brightened expression dimmed into one that bordered both intrigue and horror to hear such tales. It was an equal weight of both and such words roused some sense of something familiar to her. But those memories she'd worked so hard to suppress for a good  year, maybe two after the tragedy of her village begged to surface. "You sound like my mother." That was all she had to say. Her day had been soured. Releasing Fifi, she turned and left the men to make their plans. This was not to be taken as her being deterred from her journey because short of hell breaking through the earth, nothing could deter her. She was going to wander to another portion of the deck where she could regain the joy she woke with before the sun rose.

Poor Fifi looked as if she might be sick again and not because of the gentle swaying of the deck. Her own lips hardened into a thin line as she held up a hand at Bradley, "Please, Mr Harrington." She spoke urgently, then glanced over her shoulder when Oisin moved away. Moving a bit closer to Bradley, she dropped her voice to a stern whisper. "You listen here young man. I do not care how many horrible murders you have witnessed, you will not frighten my girl with any more of your savage stories. Never again. Is that clear?" The Matron was there in her eyes, a fierce tigress ready to protect her cub... even if she was a tigress dressed in silk and petticoats. Taking a breath as if to steady herself after Bradley's terrifying words, she released it slowly with a hand to her stomach. "Lord only knows what she may have seen herself and only wishes to forget." That was murmured in softer tones as she cast another anxious glance back to Oisin.

Something else crossed the expressive eyes as he barely heard Fiona's words (he was insufferable in certain ways). Typical motherly type as would be expected of her and had no effect on Bradley for what he knew and they did not. Even the threat was as good as useless on him as he was watching Oisin move away. One glance to Adam that maybe he would deter the tigress for him as he saw to something important. "Excuse me," was all he said under his breath and not really needing their excusing. He was off in a brisk walk that had him catching up with Oisin the distance she had moved away. A hand coming to capture her elbow in a strong grip but one that would not harm her nor even a trace on her skin. "We need to talk for I fully intend to see you to finding your brothers if they live. This world is not what it seems on the outside but like one looking upon a majestic mountain that then explodes spewing lava and destroying everything in its path." The grip would ease and be released as he turned her to him as well stepping to face her at the same time.

Adam had the same view of the colonies as his friend's and of the natives, but he had glossed over it. Bradley of course, had not but that was his way. As the Captain barely kept from slapping a palm to his face and laughing, he took a calming breath.  He watched Oisin's reaction then looked at his friend. Of course, he said nothing as Fiona's claws came out, though there was a hint of amusement in blue eyes. "I think perhaps he wishes her not to have dangerous fantasies about the lands. Why don't you join me at the rail and get a glimpse of the city.  It's growing by leaps and bounds and though we'll not be embarking, it's a sight not to be missed." Of course, he was being as charming as possible but if the tigress wished to follow Bradley, he likely wouldn't be able to stop her.

Oisin wandered far enough to not hear the exchange between Fifi and Bradley and whatever exchanges might have followed. Still on deck and leaned against the railing, attempting to gain her sunny disposition back while allowing the breeze to play through the pinned curls. She heard the approach of one of the men, and figured it to be Bradley, though before she could move away from him he had grasp of her elbow and was cause for pause. Dark eyes shot down to the hand that stilled her before lifting as he spoke and was turned to face him. Pridefully chin notched upward and her arm fell to her side when released. "There is no world that is what it seems, Bradley. Even England is not everything it seems, for there are heathens amongst the silks and nobles there as well. And while your gesture is much appreciated and your follow of my father's request is admirable, the realities of a life less than flattering I am well aware of."

Fiona watched Bradley go after Oisin as brown eyes narrowed. "He better be going to apologize and soften his words." She muttered this before giving the Captain her attention. "It is not for him to dispel her fantasies, Captain. She should be allowed to discover the reality for herself.. whatever it may end up being." The steel was still in her tone until she let a sigh pass her lips. Lifting the hems of her skirts she would submit to going with the Captain to the railing. A few moments longer were spent in watching Bradley and Oisin, ready to pounce the instant he appeared to be upsetting her. A knowing glance passed to Adam in the meanwhile. "You must think us hopelessly naive, walking into the new world blind with a task before us which may prove impossible." A slight smile curved her full lips. Fifi was not as frivolous as she might have sometimes appeared; she never would have survived as the servant of a noble household if she had been. Rather there was a sharp and intuitive mind beneath all the frills.

The usual stoic expression had disappeared leaving the normal trace of emotions across his aristocratic features. "No, there is not. Your question trifled with the cruelty that is real in these lands, be they in others or not." It had set him off for things he was involved in she would have no clue and of which he could not tell her. Didn't know her well enough to. "I am doing this for your father. I will not deny this for he is a good and caring man of which there are few left. One who loves you very much as does your mother and wish no harm come to you. They know it can easily in these lands once outside of society. I am doing it for you as well for I understand what drives you." Here too he would not explain further. "You need my help for where this will take you and you will see another side of me that may surprise you." Even if she only got a glimpse. "I will make you a deal that if you keep your eyes open, we'll not discuss any further of the horrors of mankind and I will try and show you the beauty that is there too. A beauty so exquisite it has the other fade in its presence. There is a lot of good too in all races but sometimes the times have one more predominant over the other. That is how this new world is presently." All the while they were getting closer to Porta Bello after the short stop at Yorktown.

"People have come here for far less, Miss Fiona. And I think, in truth, it's a noble cause. The hope of finding her brothers must be strong in the young woman." He smiled as well. "As far as being impossible, well, I suppose we shall see." He chuckled, softly. "Bradley is not as harsh as he seems but he wants her to understand that life here is as harsh as she may remember." He looked away briefly. "What man does to man can be horrifying, can't it?"

Oisin just looked at him as though he'd sudden grown two more heads than he should have had. It might have angered him that she appeared to have taken so lightly some sort of tragedy, but she had been in the midst of such and try as she may to suppress all of those memories, some would not lie still. Jaw squared, she stepped in closer to him and hopefully out of view of Fifi, because she need not get her feathers ruffled anymore than they were. "If you expect me to allow and listen to what you have to say, and look at that which you would show me, then you would do well to remind yourself that despite my youth, I am not as naive as I may seem. I lived one nightmare and to this very day it still haunts me. I deal with that the best way I know how. If it were not w..." She stopped there and turned away to the way she had been prior to his turning her to face him. "You've said more than enough, Mr. Harrington. Rest assured I will not give you any troubles." ....yeah, right.

"She wants that more than anything. I hope for her sake that she finds it, with my whole heart." No matter what came along she would do everything in her powers to protect the sweet young lass who she loved almost like a daughter. The Captain's question drew a distant look to her own eyes, which turned out to the broad forests and small city along the river. There was a reason that Fiona had had to look for work as a maid when she'd been around Fawn's age. She'd lost her own parents, security, and home to man's cruelties. "Yes, they can be." She answered simply as she looked out.

Eyes had delved and searched and came up wanting for her words. What had been him leaving his stuffy demeanor down like one taking off a mask was put back in place. They were obviously on two different wave lengths and she not willing to meet the offer of peace between them. He had said nothing about her being naive. She made her statement and her refusal of his offer was quite clear. "As you wish Miss Harrington." Words were clip, frosted over as he turned on a heel and headed back to where he usually stood on the forecastle deck. Hands clenched at his side, held straight down with the flex of fingers until he reached his destination. They folded behind him as he searched along the riverbank and the port they were coming upon. When he got to wanting to wring her neck  for what he saw as only insolence, it was time to get away from the one and his temper under control.

"If you'll excuse me, I should oversee the berthing of the ship. This area can be a little tricky." He stepped away, making his way to Bradley first. "We'll be making port soon. Do you wish to inform the ladies to take only what is needed for one or two nights? Or shall I?" He was trying not to smile, as this journey was certainly proving to be interesting.

As Bradley walked away, there were very quiet mutterings of what a big head he had that didn't belong on those shoulders. Of course, once she knew his back was turned, she couldn't help the very subtle and very slight glance over her shoulder towards him. Dark brow arched upward with a lingering sense of intrigue and a coy grin curled at the corners of her mouth as she turned back to look over the scape they floated past.

There was a glance given Fiona, once Adam had abandoned her, that he figured would be over like a mother hen to protect Oisin from the mean ole man. Even if he was only a few years older than Fawn. It was fleeting, skipping over Oisin as he caught a strange expression. Strange to him at least. It caused him to frown slightly as focus was upon Adam in the next instance. "You are the captain so best it comes from you. It seems what I have to say is not given as much respect. They are liable to prance around in their petticoats if I was to tell them to bring only what is needed for two days." A slight bit of humor given his friend in what he felt had become a very awkward situation for he would see to his word given his uncle come hell and damnation to stand in his way. One by the name of Oisin most likely.

Oisin had taken a liking to where she was standing, likely with Fifi standing there and perhaps giving her a subtle reprimanding for her behavior; reminding her that Bradley was doing this as a favor to her father. The ranting was dismissed as she wrapped her arm around Fifi's and pulled her in close, pointing at this and that which could be seen from where they stood. Excitement returned to her voice, though whether it was genuine or perhaps to irk Bradley  further, was debatable. Perhaps to irk Fifi as well. But it seemed genuine enough. That mostly carefree air returned to her with bright smiles and an ever hopeful glitter in dark eyes.

He nearly laughed outright but managed to keep from doing so. "Very well." He glanced up at the helmsman who seemed to be doing fine, then made his way back to the women. "Ladies, if I may. I would suggest taking enough with you for perhaps two nights. Unless you find some proof that your brothers would be in this area still, we'll be moving on to Boston harbor. When business there is finished, we can take you elsewhere if necessary." He didn't feel it likely they would stay if their family was gone but then, he was going by what he would do.

Fifi stood with Oisin at the railing to watch and look, pointing at this and that while discussing other things. Adam's voice drew both of their attention, and Oisin gleamed a smile to him. "Why, thank you, Captain for your suggestion." Fifi insisted that they do it at that very moment and ushered Oisin off before she caused any more problems and probably continue her reprimanding on Bradley. Mentioning also that he would most likely include something about the incident in letter to her father. Oisin just let it go as she was walked to her room with Fifi in tow to pack those necessities to last a couple of days.

If anyone had looked where he'd been standing, they would have found it vacant after they ported. Bradley went on ahead to see to their accommodations that all was in order. There was a well dressed older male on the pier watching with what one would say was too much interest. Bradley had noticed him, the slight smirk behind the pipe he was smoking as he continued on to the Londontown hotel. There was only a fleeting glance given the man and hard to tell with his stoic expression what his thoughts were. The clerk in the hotel was amicable as he gave the one a few more coins to see to the ladies comforts in a hot bath which he was sure they could use after the length of time on the ship and no such accommodations available. They would not see him until dinner time that evening, then from there not until the next morning as he saw to arranging their means of transportation.

While his First Mate saw to the mooring and securing of the ship, Adam waited for the two ladies. He would of course, return to the ship to stay but he intended to see them to the hotel. There was a coach for hire that he hailed and the driver and himself would see to the ladies trunks. He too, took note of the well dressed man but pretended not to. Once both ladies were ready and settled, he instructed the driver to proceed. The Londontown hotel was the finest in the small port and the trip short. He remained until they were safely in their rooms and having paid the coach driver and sent him off, Adam returned to the ship on foot. It gave him the opportunity to see if that man had followed.

Once Fifi was done fussing over the things that Oisin didn't want to bring, it didn't take the woman long to get herself ready. Once they were, they followed Adam to the taxi carriage, far too wrapped up in their new surroundings to have noted the well dressed man that Adam and Bradley had taken notice of. The carriage ride gave both ladies a chance to see things for what they were at the moment and upon arrival of themselves and their things, they settled in quite well. Perhaps more Oisin than Fiona due to Oisin's constant babbling of this and that and things that the older woman had no care in listening to beyond appeasing Oisin. Dinner was interesting as Oisin made subtle attempts to further push Bradley's buttons. Not with the same sort of topics that had been exploited on the boat by accident, but buttons none the less with a subtle push.

The man had followed most of the way in his carriage but turned off onto another side street down from the hotel. The carriage was drawn into a parking area and the man into a building there. While the ladies were being seen to their rooms and the hot baths ordered for their convenience, Bradley had changed into familiar street clothing of this town, the lined slicker worn with the collar up obscuring his face as he stepped from the side door of the hotel. A quick glance was given the length of the street before he was crossing it, walking past the carriage and driver that would wait patiently. He moved in the wake of the other man perhaps ten minutes behind into the building. About forty-five minutes later he emerged from the building and past the still waiting driver. This time he went all the way up the street to stop in a small tobacco shop on the corner. All was being timed precisely as he then came into the hotel by its front entry in time to join Fifi and Oisin and head into the dining area. The food was very good in this hotel but then it was a more costly place of the elite. It might be the last real luxury they would see for a while. If Oisin tried his buttons, he was far too distracted to notice. He was politely distant to both for an undercurrent, if they were perceptive, might be noticed. Once the dinner was done, he was up to his room but an hour or so later he left, stopping by their doors in the hall noting all was quiet. Their night done in finding sleep but his would not be for a couple more hours. First he would be going back to the ship to talk to Adam. Three hours later he would return quietly to his room and gain the needed sleep before he was up and ready the next morning.

Bradley might have been able to ignore Oisin's attempts at button pushing then, but it wouldn't last forever. She'd find it. Give her time. She was good at that. Ask Fifi. The evening had gone on uneventfully for the women. Once dinner was done and they'd had a chance to clean up, they spent some time in the company of one another talking about this and that without Oisin's insane babbling. The conversation had a bit more substance to it than her daydreams and rants held to anyone but her. Fifi would insist that she get to sleep at a decent hour so she be prepared and ready for the day to follow. By the time Bradley came around to listen at their doors, all would be silent without a hint of anything going on, on the other side of the doors. The following morning though, she was off in her own world once pushed  through getting ready for her day, and fashioned herself with a sort of daydreaming expression as she watched those around them going on about their own business in the lobby of the Inne.

Date: 03-02-10
Poster: Jacob Anderson
Post # 36

Meeting with the Private Investigators

Life had kept the Private Investigators busy with various small cases that came continually. One had Jacob away for some time to Luneberg. Most cases were resolved but there were the ones that didn't resolve so easily, possibly never would be, and some that would just take time no matter how much one wanted to rush them. He had gotten back two days ago to find a note on his desk of this new case.  Clark was away on one that had him in Luneberg as well. A different case and he might well be there for some time. Mercedes had weathered being here alone rescuing cats or so he would tease her when he got to see her again. From his understanding, she would be going on this mission with him. He missed her, to he was honest with himself, but something he tried not to dwell on. She could have found another interest in his absence. That idea, however, made him frown easily. He was at the bar with Alex in conversation, telling him all news he knew from Luneburg and catching up on any here. Sometimes a lot happened in one's absence. Attired in a poet's shirt, wool vest and pants he looked more a lordship this evening. Perhaps he made sure to present himself better for a certain lady. Hair was neatly tied back to the nape of his neck and there was a light spicy smell about him.

Not so much rescuing cats of late but runaway teens or missing cargo had kept Mercy busy for the most part. Nothing extreme but anything to do with the docks could be dangerous. She had located the missing items for Xander, and had taken a day off to just relax and adjust. It sometimes took her a little time to switch from using the rough language used at the docks. She was tired of her own cooking, so headed for the Thistle this evening. Tired too of wearing clothing suitable for that area, she had decided to wear a riding skirt of deep green suede, finely made boots that rose to mid-shin, a blouse and a short jacket that matched the skirt. All of that was hidden under her cloak  The hood hid blonde hair pulled back into a French braid. She made her way into the Thistle and paused after closing the door, her smile growing wider when she saw who was there.  She slowly lowered her hood, then removed her cloak, never taking her eyes from him.

He straightened from the bar, turning a smile upon one he'd not seen in far too long. "Mercedes," stepping away as his first instinct was to rush over and hug the life out of her but he restrained himself. He was always a bit careful not to make a fool of himself. Some lessons were learned hard and being blackmailed to do things long ago was a hard lesson. "You are looking," here he paused as he took in  the sight of her, "ravishing, beautiful, radiant, lovely, and all of the above." Smile swept with his words, "It has been too long, how have you been? Married yet? Beau?" He was being shameless at the end.

And here she had hoped she had gotten him to be over that worry. She hung up her cloak before she was crossing the room, pausing to stop a few steps away from him. "Thank you." Trying to keep the formal tone but it wasn't easy.  "I've been well enough, and no, I've not gotten married or even asked." She studied him a moment, then laughed and threw her arms around his neck. "What I have been is very lonely."

Liam was outside on the porch, fag pressed between his lips as the smoke was left more to trail than inhaled. He was waiting for his brothers after spending time in the ring. They were to meet the Private Investigators assigned to their case and be on their way soon to the colonies to start the investigation. Derby was dipped to the side and he had on a new woolen peacoat which kept him very warm.

"If you had been asked, would you have said yes?" Stalking steps her way as she came to stall a few paces and by that time he was a breath away. Hand lifting as he trailed the backs of his fingers against her cheek. "Can you blame me? Such beauty to be away from that a demon sits on me shoulder saying, she'll be snatched away when you're gone. And devil take me, one part is irked to listen. I am sorry and yet  am not that you have been lonely. Our new assignment should take away some of that. I trust you got the note to come this evening to meet the Quinn brothers wishing to hire us?"

"No, I would not have said yes." She gave the slightest hint of a pout that he'd even think it. "And yes, I got the note to come but I thought I was early." She glanced at the clock then back. And without another word, kissed him as a greeting. If he wasn't going to kiss first, she'd do it!

Ciarán had been down at the docks doing some work unloading a ship. It wasn't what he had wanted to do, but the money was good enough and there was a need for dock workers. He had been paid as soon as the job was done too, and hadn't gambled any of it away... yet ... though he had paid two debts off. Whistling as he walked, he made his way around the fountain and toward the tavern.

Evan was back in good health and good spirits, despite their imminent departure. Whereas before the idea of another adventure would have coursed a thrill through his veins, now he had reason to wish that their stay here in Heathfield could be longer. Still, the prospect of finally finding Fawn was enough to have him looking forward to the venture. Stepping out from a narrow lane on his way to the tavern after working in the carpenter's shop, he spied Ciaran ahead and sped up to catch his blood brother on the way. A grin offered as he slung an arm about the younger man's shoulders. "And what trouble have you been gettin' into today?"

The lazy lean against the porch post was abandoned as he stepped away. What was left of the fag was flicked out into the mush of the street giving a last sizzle. "Get the lead out of your boots," called out with a growing grin, "I'm hungry and there is food for thought to be devoured as well." Side stepping to the door as his hand came to rest on the lever. Once they were close he would open it to let them pile in and he in their wake.


If she ever wanted to silence him, her method was very effective. He dove into the kiss readily, eagerly and most proficiently as he wrapped her up into his arms. None of their clients were here yet and so took advantage of these moments in reunion. Once the kiss was done, he was up for some air but continued to hold her in his arms, "how I have missed you," words low and gruff for restrained emotions. Sounds on porch finally had him releasing her. "At least this mission will have us going in the same direction instead of opposite for a change."

She had gotten him to stop teasing for a little while and any chill she might have felt from the cold was definitely gone. Giving a little sniff, she laughed, "I haven't left Heathfield and yes, it will. It'll be a good change." She adjusted her jacket when she heard the sound and turned to look at the door.

Even after ten minutes of scrubbing, the stubborn paint remained a stain on her hands. Eh, at least she made the effort. After tidying up, she moved along the hallway and down the stairs to enter the Thistle common room. Skirts of  buttercup yellow swirled easily, sash of green around the waist. Tiny emeralds glinted at her ears, rich brown curls done up in a simply coiffure at her nape. Green-gold eyes shimmered with the anticipation of yet another evening at the Thistle. Glass of wine in mind, she made way for the bar, calling out a "Good evening," to those present. Smile tipped up the corners of her mouth as she discreetly studied.

"No trouble at all." He grinned at Evan and patted the pocket hidden beneath the cloak. "Put in a full day's work and decided I don't really like it." Half kidding. He chuckled when he heard Liam. "Food. I'm hungry too." And he was first to pile through that door, stepping out of the way so he didn't get trampled.

"Good evening," there was something about the woman he recognized but his mind was preoccupied elsewhere. That elsewhere standing two feet at best from where he stood. It was hard to clear his mind but he made a stab at it. "I am Jacob Anderson and this is the Lady Mercedes LaCorte, have we met before?"

Evan feigned shock. "Honest work? I didn't realize you knew the meaning of the word..." A grin as he greeted Liam and headed in with the others.

"Maybe he is taking Mikhail's card reading to heart?" With that hmmm kind of sound attached. Which reminded him to get in his dutiful teasing of Evan. It was as a ritual to him. "A long lost, furlong Wei came a-looking for you Evan." Securing the door behind him and them as he spoke. "Though I tried to convince her your heart belongs elsewhere, I fear I was not convincing enough. She wishes to join us like a fourth musketeer." Notice he kept out of swinging distance.

Claire received the glass of wine from Alex with warm thanks. Turning to Jacob and Mercy, she looked between the two, nodding slowly. "I believe we have some few years ago. I am Claire O'Reilly. I used to take residence here in Heathfield and I have just now returned."

"Good evening." She greeted the woman, smiling in a contented way, much like a kitten who had drank her fill of milk. "And welcome back, Lady Claire." She brushed her fingers lightly over Jacob's arm before stepping to the bar and placing an order.

"Yes, I recall the name. You are an artist if memory serves me correctly. Welcome back Claire," it was always good to find what was lost," fitting both sides of the coin. Anything else was set aside as he noticed Liam right off and assumed the other two were the brothers. He was studying them good if they were to join them on this mission, not just wait at home for any news. He gave them credit there. "Liam, good evening. This is the Lady Mercedes who will be accompanying me on this.. mission." Calling it that in the profession and certainly it would be one.

Stepping inside, he divested himself of coat and cap, hazel eyes swinging around those present... lingering a bit longer on the two lovely ladies present. It didn't last long though as he glanced blankly back to Liam. "Who? Oh... that girl with the painted face and accent?" A wry smirk as he shook his head at the thought of the likes of her joining them on their dangerous quest. Looking over to the one who addressed Liam by name, he went quiet and waited for introductions to make their rounds.

A tsking sound came as he passed Evan as Jacob spoke up, "all the broken hearts," very low that only Evan and possibly Ciaran would hear. "Aye, a good evening Jacob. A pleasure to meet you Mercedes," a hand sweeping across his midsection with a bow of his head. Peacoat had been abandoned to a hook as well his hat to the shelf above. A dark brown woolen sweater with specks of other colors in it worn over  dark pants. "This is my brother Ciaran and my blood brother, Evan. We all plan to go with you on this special mission." And for once hoped they found their sister. If these two were as good as it was said.

"Thank you both. You are very kind." Curtsy in return to their greeting and then taking a long sip of wine. "Yes, I try to be an artist..." Wry smile there. Gaze swung to those entering, recognizing some. "Bon soir.."

The moment she stepped into the tavern, she knew it wouldn't be the same again. The woman would wander inside. She looked as if she was a mixed of many cultures, lightly tan complexion, with strong Indian, and Spanish features.  Her ebony hair was parted down the middle and pulled back in a tradition style, crowned with a half closed fan shaped black flower patterned hair ornament with a long white sheer back veil.  Her dress was lavish, but made of cotton, but far beyond inappropriate, the dress was dark violet, and form fitted along the bodice, which was more like a corset. The sleeves were pulled from the shoulders, and low cut showing a lot of breast.  The skirt was dropped and took the shape of her well shaped curves. She wore pair of men's gloves barring glass bracelets on each wrist, with tiny bells. Even her bodice had a border of tiny bells, which gave off the special ting a gypsy's instrument would give off. Hands moved to rest on her hips observing the room with a pleased smirk before she continued her stroll toward the bar.

"Good evening, gentleman." There was a hint of laughter in cinnamon brown eyes as she spoke. "It's a pleasure to meet the three of you." She looked at Jacob, a brow lifting slightly in question. If he was good with their going along, so was she.

He stepped away from where he and Mercy had been standing near the bar to offer his hand. "It is good to meet you before we start our journey. I like to know the kind of people that will be working with me and I with them." Such was important to the extent of keeping oneself alive. "This is the Lady Claire if you have not already met. A talented lass that has returned to us."

He just snickered and shook his head, then blinked in surprise. There were more here than he expected. "Pleasure to meet you, Jacob, Lady Mercedes. Evening Lady Claire. If you'll excuse me for a few moments... " And without another word, he headed up to his room.

Faint color suffused in her face with the praise. She dipped her head in his direction before turning to the Quinn's with a smile. "Pleased to see you again, Liam. Ciaran. Good to meet you, Sir." Referring to the other who was with them. She took a lean against the bar. The Thistle was quite the popular place this evening.

"This is Evan," almost adding their retired Casanova but refrained for surely they would be fist swinging words and there was this important meeting. He was over to shake Jacob's hand then step out of the way so his brothers could. "Evening Claire, nice to see you again." Noticing the other headed for the bar he would greet her as well, "evening Miss, welcome." She would find, like he did not long ago, there was no cost in this particular tavern for it was already all paid for. A brow lifting a fleeting moment as Ciar disappeared down the hall.


Evan's gaze followed Ciaran's abrupt departure curiously, and with some concern. He arched a brow at Liam before turning his attention, and naturally charming smile over to the others. "Evan Hunt." He introduced himself, the smile stealing briefly into a grin enough to flash white teeth. His overgrown brown hair fell into his eyes as usual and he shook it lazily out of his face. Following Liam to shake Jacob's hand first.

No reason to be concerned. Ciarán had worked at the docks all day. He felt he needed to clean up a bit.

Since this was to be a meeting of sorts, Mercy had didn't it upon herself to order a platter with cheeses, meats, slices of bread and some of Hazel's cookies and pastries. That way anyone could help themselves. Once Jacob had greeted the three men and shook their hands, she stepped up to do the same.

He shook both hands in turn with a firm grip but not overly, one shake and released. "I'm pleased to meet you both. We should leave this week, tomorrow or the next. I've a ship at ready unless you wish that it be your cousin, Segan, to take us as he has a ship I'm told." He had almost missed the unknown woman but when greeted by Liam he offered her a cordial smile. "Good evening and welcome lass."



Date: 03-02-10
Poster: Jacob Anderson
Post # 37

He got to take Mercy's hand in his first. Such a wicked grin, almost smirk his brother's way as he held it a moment longer before released. Not too long anything could be said. She was quite fetching and he saw no ring upon her finger. "Indeed a pleasure. I'm ready whenever you are to depart. I can ask Segan but we just had him take us to Barbados and he has some commitments here if there is another ship at the ready?"

She faltered when the man came to greet her. "I like you already, at least there's one... no two gentlemen..who greets a woman without trying to impress with a line." She addressed both men who greeted her.

The words of the woman had him amused to tease back, "you usually get lines when greeted?" Which had him wonder what kind of lines as he gained his drink of potcheen from Alex.

Mercy's hand shaken next, his boyish grin offered before he caught that look from Liam. A pointed stare returned to his best friend before glancing back to Mercy with a bit smaller, but just as genuine smile. "A pleasure."

"Good evening, Miss." Friendly smile accompanied that greeting as Claire pushed off the bar and made her way over to the beckoning warmth of the hearth. Grin lit her face as she listened in on the conversation of the group, content to relax and indulge in the red liquid swirling in her glass.

Evan was going to have him busting up soon. He looked like one holding back a good belly laugh.

Evan could fix that with a sharp smack to the head.

That would only encourage him to start laughing.

She offered Liam a dimpled smile, inclining her head slightly, then another given to Evan. She eased back to the bar glancing at the woman who entered. "Evening, miss." And then she helped herself to some of the cheese from the platter.

"I am Jacob, the ladies Mercy and Claire, Liam and Evan, Miss," adding in introductions as he picked up this thing between Liam and Evan. Had him smirk.

"Too many who are too desperate, but you have a good face so I can easily forgive if you have one for me... what's your name?" Her eyes looking to all who greeted her a nod to each and everyone.

Now he looked more presentable as he returned from his room. The shirt he had been wearing had been replaced by another, clean one of dark blue and he smelled of soap. His hair had been combed but it wouldn't stay out of his face since he hadn't bothered to tie it back. "Sorry everyone, and good evenin'." Oh wait. "I'm Ciarán."

He was by Evan with lowered words, "got a line I could use?" Best one to ask as he teased. "I'm sorry, but I'm fresh out of lines unless my brother has one to loan. I'm Liam of those introduced"

"Not a one for you to steal." He muttered back out of the side of his lips, tossing Liam a broad smirk

He offered his hand to Ciaran as he returned, "good to meet you Ciaran, we were discussing a departure time. It can be as early as tomorrow or the next, I just need to know."

Claire looked upon Ciaran with a smile. "Refreshed?" Even a simple sponge bath could work wonders. Laugh tossed in there as she watched the men converse.

"Line or no line you have me charmed ...for the moment," she teased him back with a grin. "Liam is it, well I am called Gabriella."

"Oh aye, I am." He grinned at Claire then shook Jacob's hand. "A pleasure to meet you, Jacob. And you must be Mercedes?" He glanced at the woman who was speaking to Liam. The other must have wandered up from the docks. Then with a shrug, he turned back to the two.

"Well then, I've warned Evan I would be stealing his status of charmer," not adding the nickname given or fists would be flying in good fun. "For the moment works, not sure I can live up to the title long. Nice to meet you Gabriella."

"Well met, Ciarán." She offered her hand as well, then motioned toward the platter. "Help yourself everyone."

Just watch Evan's lips stretch into the biggest grin as the young woman proclaimed herself charmed by Liam. "Well met Gabriella," he added with another brief bow, casting another smirk between her and Liam, and then to Ciaran as he crossed to the bar. He'd be there a few minutes getting himself a drink, though his ears were tuned into the conversation at hand.

He headed for the hearth to take up a seat, ending up not far from Claire. Giving her a wink before adding his two cents into the discussion. "We've waited six years exhausting every lead we managed to dig up. Granted, we are not private investigators and may have missed something in finding our sister. It has brought us to this point and at your disposal, so my opinion is, the sooner the better. Tomorrow."

He shook her hand then took up some of the cheese and meat to make a sandwich, pausing as he looked over at Liam. Tomorrow? Sounded good to him. He was used to packing up at a moment's notice.

"Oh shame on you Liam," she teased, her hand moving out for Evan for him to take and join them. "You've both charmed me, you both should have the title, unless either of you can charm me better then the other... Or is it I who have charmed the both of you?" she teased both men now.

...And near choked on it. He looked at Liam then at Evan and he snickered. Talk about lines!

He was over at the hearth now, having left Evan near Gabrielle. Wicked gleam in dark eyes as he comfortably sat and watched the scene from a distance.

"The first place we'd like to start is where you all lived. Is it likely to be in ruins?" She paused and added, "And will it be a problem for any of you to return there?" They could wait for her and Jacob elsewhere if so.

Mischief pranced in green eyes at Liam's wink however it slowly faded upon hearing their conversation. Surely if they'd wanted the information private, they wouldn't be conversing in a public room. Claire too sat, not so far from Liam, studying him under her lashes. Wine was sipped slowly, savored, thoughts misting in her mind about her own family.

"I would go through hell and back again if it meant finding our sister safe and sound." So, he had no problem going back but concern was more for Evan as his glance strayed form Mercy to him.

He headed for the hearth, sandwich in hand, to join his brother and Claire. "It won't be pleasant but I think I can handle returning there." He looked at Liam as he sat in the chair closest to him and grinned.

He was up fast and long enough to snatch that sandwich out of Ciaran's hand and take a big bite before and if it was snatched back, "tmssnks," mumbled around the bite as he plopped back in his seat.

Mercy picked up the platter, hip bumping Jacob lightly as she carried it over to a table near the others. Now they could help themselves. She took hold of a chair and turned it so she could face everyone and sat, laughing as Liam performed a bit of thievery.

"Hey!" He stared at his brother then snickered. "You're welcome and thank you for bringing that over here, Mercy." They didn't mind discussing this in front of others. But they didn't want to upset anyone either.  He stood and made himself another before plopping back down in the chair. And this time, he guarded the sandwich. Grrrrrr.

That hip bump had him smile and almost laughing at the antics of the brothers. Had him missing Clark. He brought the bottle of potcheen over to set on the table for any refills as well a few extra glasses. He took up a seat near Mercy.

Stealing twice would be overkill and a ruckus to follow. The platter afforded all as much as they wanted to eat.

Yes, but Evan had yet to join them and he might do the same.

She smirked. Now that she had one of the two to herself, "I guess you win Evan .. for the time being but what can I award the winner that wont make either brothers jealous?" She teased.

Evan had been in his own little world, talking intermittently with Alex as he awaited his ale... oblivious to the conversation directed towards him until the woman said his name. "Huh?" An absent and automatic smirk surfaced though it was half-hearted. After overhearing that they'd be starting their search in Hunt's Landing he had little inclination for flirting. His drink taken in hand he gave a short nod to Gabrielle and went to join the others at the hearth.

"Will you be all right with starting at Hunt's Landing, Evan?" He asked for the others, pale green eyes showing his concern briefly.

"If that's where you think we'd have best luck finding Fawn, yes." He meant his words, his brothers could never doubt that. But there was a darkness somewhere deep in his eyes as he downed his ale. He'd need a stronger drink than this one tonight.

Claire looked to Liam, curiosity hinting in emerald eyes. Ah, of her rather troublesome traits yet she had managed to keep a tight leash. She meant not to pry and such could be sense in the low and soft tone of her words. Paint tinted fingers traced the rim of her glass. "To where do you travel?"

The door would open and close for another all bundled up from the cold. Cloak's hood covered molten gold hair. A gust of cold air before closed off and she to lower the hood as she stepped further in. A smile that touched upon her lips lit up her eyes. She spied a few she knew. "Hello Jacob, Mercedes," over quickly to the latter to give her a quick hug before she continued to peel the gloves from her hands. "Liam, Ciaran, Evan," lingering upon the last as she greeted them all.

"The best place to start is often the beginning." Her look was one of understanding. "We'll spend as little time as possible there but we don't want to miss anything." She looked up and smiled. "Evening, Mariah."

Evan did not want to sit around to hear his brothers answer Claire's questions, knowing where they might lead. The thought of going there again was bad enough, and a surprise, not something to linger on right away. Having already finished his drink he rose to take himself off to the bar, and was paused by a familiar voice near the door. A glance  to Mariah and his features softened. She was a welcome distraction amidst suddenly darkened thoughts. "Mariah." He said her name quietly, the feeling in his tone as he went over closer to her, offering with slightly awkward hand gestures to help her take off her cloak.

"Good evening," Greeting called out. Warmth seeping into a smile that blossomed for the young woman entering.

He would put it tactfully, "we travel to the colonies to find our lost sister. Hopefully this time we shall and bring her home here."

"Ah..." Teeth nibbled at her lower lip. "May God bless you all and be with you on your journey." She watched him intently for a moment before looking away to the dancing flames.

She had moved back in time to be assisted by Evan while catching the drift of the conversation. "I was hoping to see you before you left." Her smile warm of a kind that was seen in her eyes as well.

"Thank you Claire, we shall take your prayers and others as a good omen in finding her this time and then you can meet her once we are back." Offering a swift smile but eyes remained concerned. It was a dire matter even if he placed it lightly at her disposal for her asking.

"Evening, Mariah." He glanced at Liam and Claire and stood, moving to the table again. But this time to fill up a glass of potcheen. "What time will we be expected on board the ship, Jacob?"

"Best to set sail in the morning but deciding this late at night, the hour before noon day would suffice. Bring enough clothes to last you a few weeks, a month. If it is going to take longer any of you can return but I am hoping it will not take too long."

Some many years ago, Claire had had a wild streak of curiosity that had often landed her in not-so-good situations. It was one of the things that she had learned to curb during her time away. She glanced at the group collecting in the Thistle, reaching over to place the empty wine glass on the table near her. She was relaxed, comfortable, and ever grateful for such a state. She returned Liam's smile and then shifted in her chair, hands sliding down her skirts to smooth them out. She certainly did wonder about reverting to breeches once in a while.

As he returned to the chair, he gave Jacob a slight smile. "The three of us have been traveling from place to place for those years. We'll be ready for however long it takes." For once, Ciar was being serious.


"Aye. It seems like we're leaving tomorrow morning first thing." Evan smiled at her, though there was a certain tightness about his eyes that prevented it from being his usual easy flash of teeth. Still he was genuine when he added, "So I'm glad you came in tonight." Her cloak hung up by the door, securely so it wouldn't slip off the peg. "Would you like a drink?"



Date: 03-02-10
Poster: Jacob Anderson
Post # 38

"I would love a drink," more like she could use one and it seemed that he could too. She had taken something from the pocket of her cloak before it was whisked away to be hung by the door. Once he was back she took up his right hand to slide what was held in hers to the palm of his. It was oval, smooth and warm from being held or something more. A moonstone. "This is for good luck and to center yourself when you find a need, like the moon up above it is always there whether seen or not, stability." Although her words were lowered she leaned a little closer to whisper something that even exceptional hearing could not pick up.

"Do either of you have any questions?" She looked from Liam to Ciar since Evan was talking to Mariah.

"No, ma'am." He shook his head, offering a slight smile. "Only that one and that's all I needed to know." He glanced at Liam to see if he had any.

He'd turned towards the bar but paused when her hand caught his, drawing him back 'round to face her. Looking down, he was surprised to see the small stone she'd deposited in his hand. It was a touching gift, especially so now that he knew where their journey would take them. He would need that stability, that centered sense of self in the coming weeks. Closing his fingers gently around the moonstone, he lifted his eyes to meet hers, and held them as he murmured something in her ear in return. A gentle smile then as his hand reached out to touch her hand, the most he felt was appropriate in this crowded place. "Thank you."

"I can't think of any although I will let you know that I'm willing to help you both as needed." Looking between them  as he meant his words, "I have certain abilities and skills, you only need ask."

She nodded and stood, smiling at the two. "Then I'll see you tomorrow. I need to go and pack." It wouldn't take her long and she'd learned to pack for such a trip before she began to work for Joseph McDonough.

The words whispered back brought a smile to her face and the touch of pink upon her cheeks. Certainly pleased to hear them and that hers were not misplaced. "That drink to send you off in good spirits that shall linger the trip and  bring you all home safely," which had a swift glance over those going and back in emphasis.

Claire's gaze caught Evan and Mariah and a light smile teased her mouth. Memories called to her but not as much as the platter of food before her. She rose and approached, making a delicious midnight snack. Catching her skirts, she sat again comfortably and proceeded to devour the snack. Mmm.

Gaze shifted from the two men to Jacob, her look asking if he would stay or was ready to go.

"I shall see you at the port around ten and a half hour. We will be taking Faith, a more swift Brigantine for she carries no cargo except those of the human race." He stood offering his arm to Mercedes. "I will see you back." They both resided in the same building, different suites. "Is that old alley cat around that howls at night? I need to get my old slippers ready to fling out the window if he starts."

He stood in respect to the two departing, "good night to you both and I shall be there with me brother and Evan, making sure they have their bells on." Swift was the smile to follow those words.

The moonstone was pocketed safely, and would never leave his person until the journey's end. "I'll drink to that." He smiled a bit again, drinking in her features for a moment before remembering his offer before of a drink. "What would you like?"

Claire lifted the free hand in farewell. "May you both have a wonderful evening. Good night."

Her smile warmed as Jacob offered to see her home. It was also given to Liam. "Good night then to you all." Laughter was soft as she shook her head. "No, the old tom has gone off to seek a warm place to hide from the snow and winter winds. I have no doubt he'll return when spring does." Arm slipped through his, she rested her hand against the crook of his elbow. "So, you'll sleep well." The cat usually picked that side of the building to serenade.

"Good night to you both." He stood as they made ready to leave then downed half his drink.

"A glass of the punch, it is very good," indeed it was and a few of them would wreak havoc. Settling on a stool as she gave a smile Claire's way as not to be rude. "Hello, good evening."

"Good night Claire, welcome home," having said his farewells to the others he saw to Mercy's cloak then his own. Next he was sweeping her out into the night as the conversation as such would continue.

Another lift of her hand came over her shoulder before they were stepping out and into the cold night. They could enjoy a nightcap before they parted in order to make ready for the morning.


A good evening to you, as well.." She looked familiar to Claire. Perhaps they had met once a very long time ago but the hour was late and Claire's brain refused to cooperate. "Thank you, Jacob. Have a safe trip home." She grinned to herself, pleased by her thoughts. She'd never received warmer greetings or offered more sincere farewells then those here. Gaze swinging back to Mariah. "I am Claire, pleased to meet you...perhaps once again?" Question thrown in there. Perhaps she could help since Claire's head was malfunctioning presently.

He watched Evan at the bar with Mariah, hard to read any thoughts for his expression gave away nothing. He was content to drink his whiskey and listen to the others. The stolen sandwich long gone.

Belatedly, Evan lifted his hand to hail a farewell to Jacob and Mercy both. Then his attention returned to Mariah and he nodded, ordering her a punch and himself a  potcheen while the ladies introduced themselves.

"I am Mariah McCormick," they had never met for she only recently enter the social world. Her father demanding it of her as much as he gently demanded anything. "Merry met Claire, I trust you are enjoying yourself in the lands?" Her smile warmed back to Evan with just a brush of her hand against his.

Ciaran, you're snoring," giving his brother's leg a nudge with his boot for even if he hadn't fallen asleep, he had wandered in his mind to one of those places.

"Indeed, I am. I find myself more appreciative of Heathfield's offerings of peace and kind souls more than before. I am genuinely glad to have returned and looking forward to staying." Claire studied Mariah, lifting her hands, palms out to show the paint. She laughed softly, a shrug to follow. "I try to paint," she claimed modestly, tipping her head. "And you've a beautiful hair color. I would love to catch it one day if you'd permit me?" Claire's mind almost never strayed from her passion: art. Nature called out to her in many forms.

"No I'm not." He cut a glance toward Liam, just the hint of a smile appearing. Dark places of late. "I'm considering a walk before bed." A true walk, not down to the docks but one to clear his head, help him settle for sleep.

"Well then, if the walk allows company then I will join you." There were always things circulating around in his head.

"You need not pose or sit still but move freely about if you'd like," she rushed to clarify. One need not be inconvenienced for her urge to paint.

Later Evan would feel a little guilty that he'd left his brothers the moment Mariah appeared in the door. But they probably weren't that surprised about that. The brush to his hand brought a quick smile to his lips, her own fingers caught for a gentle squeeze before he passed her, her drink. Glancing to Claire and then Mariah, "I think that's a  great idea." A bit of a grin stealing its way back across his features.

"Aye, it does." He rarely refused his brothers' company.

Evan could just make it up to them or be unmercifully teased. Wait. He was always unmercifully teased. Luckily they understood this draw he had to the lass.

"It would seem two are in favor, yourself and Evan. I think then it shall be done for him. I will pay you a fair price even though you have offered it." She was pleased with the prospect.

"Of course, I'll pay for it, if it is to be for me," he hurried to offer gallantly. It also seemed only fair. Noticing his brothers rising from the corner of his eye, he gave his attention their way for a moment. "You two leaving?"

Claire grinned, excited about this opportunity. "That is not necessary. I draw pleasure from the work and rather than coin, perhaps you could gift it..." Arch of a delicate brow and then she caught Evan's words which had her chuckling. Claire glanced at Ciaran and Liam. "Leaving so soon?" She teased. "How disappointing.."

They didn't have to worry about him for if a walk was of a type to get alone, he would respect that and find his own means of entertainment. Probably at the docks.

He finished his drink and stood, carrying the glass over to the bar. If the platter was still there when they returned, he'd carry that to the bar as well.

"Then I shall bring you something from my wool shoppe in trade." Which meant it would be done. She sketched as she had of the men from the northern tavern with shadows lingering behind their human forms.  She had not done it as a means of a profession. Even if she had, it was hard for one to draw themselves.

"I should be delighted, Mariah. Thank you and I am glad to have reached a deal." Genuine smile, one that reached the eyes.

No, it was more to get some air though he hadn't expected Liam to offer to join him. He was glad he was since they could talk on this trip. Truth was, Ciar was nervous about returning to the ruined village.

"Evan, catch up with you later. Not too late though," that would be unwise for neither did well on a ship. He was up from his seat with a smile upon Claire, "It was a pleasure seeing you again and will see you again in time, perhaps situated in your own shop in the commons or art gallery I hear they have one."

"Why don't we take a walk with them if permitted?" That way she would not be keeping him from his brothers and get to be in his company a little while longer. She was already half way through her drink and could kick back the rest!  "I shall seek you out soon, Claire. You are staying here?" It depended more on her time being around added in when Claire could be. It would work out sooner or later she was certain.

Evan's eyes followed his friends as they left, the tightness returning to the skin around his eyes. He knew that this trip would be difficult on them all. He nodded his farewell and then caught Mariah's suggestion. Sounded fine by him, and if it meant a few more minutes with her before their departure.. he'd walk anywhere. His drink was neatly kicked back as he rose from his stool. "A pleasure, Claire." A polite farewell coupled with a smile.

"Perhaps. It is my sincere hope that you all fare well on your journey and perhaps I could paint you as well upon your return. Good night to you all." Claire dipped her head in a nod to each of them along with a smile.

Liam had not gone out the door as he stalled hearing Mariah and a look given between her and Evan, "I certainly would not be minding."

As they all stood to leave, so did Claire. She stood, stretched, ran a hand down her skirts, and prepared to retire for the evening. "I look forward to seeing you soon, Mariah. Good evening!"

He and Mariah would likely be dawdling some distance behind the brothers, all the better to avoid teasing... and have a bit more privacy as well.

"Ye get back in the stables you damn horse." A finger pointed to the stable's behind the Tavern. "It's free. So stop complaining." Tossing her blonde hair over her shoulder, she headed from around the tavern. Heading up the stairs to  the door. Muttering in her head of Oly cursing her. Wait there was people outside. Pause, mixed match eyes staring. "Eh. Hello."

He had stepped outside but realized Liam had stopped. So he leaned against the rail and waited. He didn't have a cigarillo or he would have been smoking.

She finished off her drink and set it away before slipping free of the stool. Steps were brisk that had her to the cloak she worn in and donned. "Best not keep them waiting," half laughing and a larger smile Claire's way before slipping out the door, her hand capturing Evan's to speed him on their way.

As they all departed, Claire made her way upstairs, looking forward to a blessed night's rest.

Mariah could move fast as he held the door for them all. Once all were out, he'd close it over. "Hello," to the one just coming in. "A bit late o' the hour but I think Alex will be up a little longer if you're needing drink or food or even a room for the night." Not wishing to be rude but they were on their way out for the night.

A finger itched the side of her nose. "Seem's last time it was the same." A small nod of her head to them all. "Good eve." And inside she went. Shaking her head.

Poor lass, watching her go inside. She'd be late for her own funeral by her words.

He might not be doing much talking after all, but the company was pleasant enough as the four headed out.



Date: 03-04-10
Poster: Ciaran Quinn
Post # 39

The Voyage Begins for the Brothers Quinn

Once again, the brothers were on board a ship from Heathfield though this one was for a mission of a different type, and one that they hoped had a better results. They left the port on a dreary winter's day, one that threatened snow but held off. The ship was one of Rhett Shawnesey, Sr's, Faith and her captain a good one. It was cold at sea, even when the sun managed to peek through the cloud cover. The weather threatened a few times, and they caught the edge of a storm where ice had to be cleared from the masts but even Ciarán managed not to be sick during the rough seas thanks to the medicine obtained through Alex. Finally land was spotted and the Faith made port at the booming city of Philadelphia. The brothers and the Investigators were given the name of several good Inns and a coach ordered for them. It would take a day or two to set up the excursion into the wilderness to Ft. Pitt but there were several recommendations there as well. Their possessions were loaded onto the coach and now all that needed to be done was to decide where to stay and who to speak to.

Philadelphia was a growing city and became the center for most political matters. The trip uneventful taking over a week was a blessing. Considered fair winds indeed. They had chosen the Chesterfield Inn to stay the night as Jacob discovered all coaches normally headed for Fort Pitt were unavailable for the road conditions this time of the year. Discussing the matter with the Inn keeper, while Mercy and the brothers were close at hand, the man told him of a stable close by who had horses to rent all the way to Fort Pitt where they could be dropped off. The price was higher than the usual but understandable in case they took off with the horse. Some of the money would be given back once they were dropped off. "We'll take them, see to it being setup for tomorrow morning." Giving the clerk some extra money for the service. The young man looked very pleased with the tip and agreed to see to it right away. The keys to their rooms were handed off. "If you would like to settle in first then meet back here on the hour and we can go see the town and find a place to eat."

Liam was agreeable to that feeling a bit grungy and a bath would be ordered. Never knew, he might need to impress some ladies of this fine city. The trip by sea had not been as troublesome for him as it wore on his brother and somewhat on his blood brother. "Perhaps one of their famous saloons," then paused as soon as the words were out of his mouth, brows lifting as dark eyes shifted to Mercy, "unless you wish another place?"

Evan had a distinct surreal feeling floating over him to find himself back in the New World, a place he had never thought to return - indeed had even vowed never to return. It was difficult to think that in a matter of days he'd be back in Hunt's landing, so he tried not to think about it. He also wondered what his desecrated home might look like after all these years but he tried not to wonder there either. Needless to say his moods had taken a wild horse ride during the voyage, at times recklessly jovial, at other times dark and silent. He was in one of those brooding moods now that they were on dry land, and stood quietly by while the others discussed plans. He was happy enough to let them make the decisions for now, any plans involving a place to get a drink welcome.

Mercy was glad to be off the ship even if she never experienced sea-sickness. It was more the feeling of being trapped with no where to go that bothered her though one would never know it by watching her. The idea of taking some time to get ready, and the thought of enjoying a hot bath, sounded heavenly at this point. She looked at Liam and shook her head, a grin appearing. "Wherever the four of you decide is fine. Just so I can get cleaned up and relax for a little bit." She wrinkled her nose as she added, "I feel like it's been years since I had a bath."

Ciarán's mood switched from euphoric to glum and back again over the course of the week. He wanted to find Fawn more than anything else but the idea of returning to Hunt's Landing put his stomach in knots. If it had to be done, he would do it for her. Just didn't have to like it. "I don't care where we eat, just so the food is good and there's plenty of it." Drink? That was a given.

"A saloon it is, one that has good food as well libations of choice. Most of the restaurants don't serve alcohol so they don't have to put up with anyone getting rowdy." Jacob informed them. From there he headed up to his room in escort of at least Mercy. Certainly the brothers would follow as the rooms were three on one side of the hall and two across, all together in essence. They wouldn't see him for that hour as he would be seeing to a soak and one of his better change of clothes.

For some reason, returning to Hunt's Landing didn't hit him hard like it did his brothers. Certainly it was a very bad memory but in Liam's mind, he was going to get the opportunity to do something he was unable to those six years ago. Something that would help make a closure for him so with that thought he was looking forward to the trip. One that would probably never be made again. Instead of heading upstairs to his room, though he had his bag sent up, he was out and gone before any of them had notice or on their way upstairs already. He would return in twenty minutes and head upstairs to take a quick bath and a change to cleaner clothes. His duds while here in the city were the expensive cut of wool vest over a dress shirt, pants of the same wool, overcoat and the derby hat.

Evan wouldn't notice Liam's little excursion, for he went straight to his room and closed the door behind him. A bath having been ordered, he had a soak and a shave, and then set about making himself look presentable. Clothes
which had been stuffed in the bottom of his bag were dug out. Gray tweed pants and a good linen shirt, dark gray vest atop that. His coat and fishermen's cap sat ready and waiting on the bed next to him. He sat on the bed's edge, hands loosely clasped on his knees and head bowed, waiting for the sounds in the hallway that would signal everyone else was ready to go.

Mercy had a gown that was tucked away in her bag. Nothing fancy but it didn't show wrinkles as she packed it carefully. She didn't need help to get into it either. It was a dark green with a fine black stripe, sweetheart neckline and sleeves that flared out at the elbow. Lace trimmed at the sleeves and neckline as well. She had been teased a few times for packing it but it had come in handy more than once. Once she had enjoyed the bath, she dressed, did her hair up in curls that would dry that way and waited for the knock on her door. She even added a black ribbon as a choker type necklace and a pair of dainty emerald earrings. Not too fancy for a saloon and still nice enough for a party at someone's home.

Ciar had gone straight to his room as well. The bath helped to ease some kinks and aches from sleeping on the ship, even if the bed was comfortable. He probably held on to the sides of the bed, even when asleep. His garb was similar to his brothers, wool pants of black, a shirt of heavier cotton in green and a vest to match his pants. His boots were fairly new and once he brushed them, shined nicely. He had a coat instead of a cloak and a Donegal tweed cap ready to go.

The soaking did Jacob good as he let the steam from his bath open up his senses better after having been on a ship that long. He could weather the trip by sea but it seemed to clog up his mind much like how it confined one. Once done he attired himself in a dark gray twill suit. Shirt a light blue and black vest. Hair neatly tide back into a tail at the nape of his neck. He seemed to assume leadership and wasn't inappropriate that it fell to him. Near the hour as he was out in the hall giving a knock to each of the doors, three taps each, as he moved down the length at an easy pace they could catch up with. The stopping alone would have ones catch up before the last call. Mercy's door being the first.

Liam was looking out the window while waiting. The street was far busier than other places he'd been. Shouts here and there, a newspaper lad calling out to sell that which he held up. A man stopping to buy one then another. There was a guarda on the corner that seemed to be watching something up further past where he could see. His whistle then pierced the night as he started running in that direction with a few more to join him seemingly to come out of nowhere. Watching that scene had a wry tip of a grin to show as carriages continued to roll by intermingled with wagons and those on horseback. When he heard the knock he let the curtain fall back in place as he headed across the room and out, locking the door behind him then joining the others in heading downstairs. He couldn't help take a few extra glances upon Mercy for she looked exquisite. He dared not say so, but she might catch the look in dark eyes that said it. He would not step on any toes and he got the impression there was something between her and Jacob. He could not blame the man.

She had just adjusted a curl when the knock came. Grabbing up her cloak, she moved out the door and locked it then pulled it on. She had a coat as well for when they traveled but the cloak would do tonight. Liam received a smile for the look since it was always nice to be looked at. She greeted each of the brothers while she adjusted her cloak then pulled on a pair of black gloves. When she lifted the skirt of the gown, if anyone got a glimpse, they'd see nice but serviceable boots. No reason not to be practical.

It wouldn't be a surprise for either of his brothers to learn that Ciar had been looking out the window too. He saw the guard but some of the lasses caught his eye. He gave a shake of his head as he moved away, smiling to himself. Lively place, and he liked that. When he heard the knock, he pulled on his coat and hat and joined the others. He had even tied back his own unruly mop of hair so he looked civilized.

Evan looked up quickly when the knock came, rising and grabbing up his coat and hat, walking briskly across the room and out the door. Locking this behind him, he shrugged into his wool coat, and tugged the brimmed fishermen's cap over his long stick-straight brown hair. Looking between his friends with a faint smirk... nobody could say they didn't clean up nice. And Mercy was simply a beauty. Though, like Liam he'd sensed that there might be feelings between her and Jacob...and besides, his heart was elsewhere too. So his gaze didn't linger long, except to give a brief smile as a hand slid into his pocket. "Let's get a drink."

Jacob noticed the appreciative looks from at least two of the brothers. He couldn't blame them for certainly she was beautiful in his eyes. Odd feeling of a twinge of jealously he was not accustomed to as he stepped closer, a hand coming to touch upon the small of her back. Words came low, "you look fabulous," for she did. Once downstairs he stopped at the desk to find a note back that the horses would be waiting on them come morning as well the pack ordered by Liam. A brow lifted at that but he'd let it pass than question it. Possibly. Depending. Certainly a man should have their privacy. Maybe. Tucking the note away he joined them again. "The Royal Saloon is two streets down and one over. It is fairly descent for a saloon but be forewarned that a ruckus could break out no matter. Just not as many do." So he started out from the Inn into the busy streets of Philly even at this hour. There were all kinds of sights to see, many different races but few Indians, still there were some that were attired in regular clothing of the white race. There were places they passed that had signs, no Blacks and no Injuns allowed. Prejudice was commonplace.

Liam noticed the 'claim' by Jacob with a slight smirk towards Evan and Ciar as he continued downstairs. While Jacob talked to the man at the desk he caught his eye long enough to notice the slight incline of his head. He returned the same before distracted to a couple ladies heading out to dine. Good looking ones that were stylish, laughter on their lips with the anticipation of a good time. He noticed one blond in particular that had even glanced his way with a smile but didn't linger as the others were like a wave taking them all together in one sweep. "I think I could like spending a few days in this city." Although they would not be. A slap of his hands together to start the mood. "I'm hungry." Although the food on the ship was good, it was nothing like one could have in a good restaurant, or in this case, saloon.

Mercy smiled at Jacob as he spoke to her, cheeks showing a touch of pink as she blushed with the compliment. While he spoke to the man at the desk, she studied the three brothers then watched as people left. Outside, she took note of all that was going on. She had never been to Philadelphia and wanted to remember it.

Ciar had noticed how pretty Mercy looked but thought it best to not draw attention to his noticing. Mostly because he saw his brothers looking and nearly laughed out right. He rocked on his heels while he waited for Jacob, noted the lovely lasses and how one at least eyed Liam, and then finally, brought up the rear as they headed out. "I'm hungry too." And for once, his stomach didn't growl agreement.

Evan glanced to the various ladies who passed with the appreciative eye of any man, but unlike the days of old there was no wicked gleam in them nor charming smile on his lips. Part of it was his darker mood but most of it was Mariah. Honestly no girls measured up after seeing her, his idea of angelic beauty. Evan was hungry too but moreover thirsty for something to dull the senses, and out he piled after the others, glancing around the busy streets that they suddenly they had to navigate.

Navigation was very accurate for the passing carriages and wagons that criss crossed in front of one another, then the lone riders that if one wasn't quick they could get sideswiped in the least if not run over. Accidents happened a lot in these streets that were not of thieves, vagrants and deviants. There were plenty of those ready to snatch a purse or wallet if it became available. The guarda were kept very busy especially the Philly evenings and nights. Jacob had to pull Mercy out of the way of a cart gone amuck when it hit slush over a stone. From there he kept his arm around her, keeping her protectively close. Provided she didn't squirm away for he didn't have hold of her not to. He kept the quick pace but ever on the alert as they traversed the two blocks and one over that seemed like a few miles through a dense jungle where anything could happen next. They could hear the music from the Royal Saloon a block away when they crossed the street to go down the one it was on. There was laughter and shouts amongst a thick layer of smoke coming from the place.


Front door and windows were left open even with a wintry night for the heat of bodies would keep it too hot inside and it helped air out the smoke. There were many going in and coming out as he guided Mercy up the steps and then within, side stepping a boisterous man on the run outside calling after his buddies. Within there was a section where people were dining, a section where people were drinking near the bar and piano player with a woman in satin sitting atop with long legs crossed over. She was singing and drawing a crowd of males for her revealing attire and pretty face. She had a good voice but it was her other attributes that drew these particular men. The waitresses were wearing red satin trimmed in white, bodices cut low and the hem cut high enough to measure improper, showing ankles and sometimes more like the singer. They were not as whorish looking as some of the places but certainly if a man got one interested or one interested in a certain man, there were rooms upstairs to accommodate. One could tell by the passing looks of which Jacob got a few but the woman as his elbow would keep them at bay.

Liam would be shoulder to shoulder with his brothers at points. A nudge to one then the other as certain things caught his focus. A man stealing something from the back of a wagon going unnoticed by the guarda for a sting, his buddy distracting them as if he had gotten side swept by a wagon as the one ran to help him up. Evan got the nudge for that while Ciaran got the one for the woman coming down with a sultry look in her eye trained upon that brother. He kept a fast pace so they didn't get involved in the street life going on and soon were at the saloon. A low whistle under his breath upon entering. It was a sight much like a three ring circus with so much going on. He had a suspicion the women here were as loose as the flow of ale going around. "I think I like this place," muttered under his breath as the section of card players got more of his attention, after the length of leg was appreciated of the singer. He was normal and single but he had no interest beyond looking at the one in a once over.

She was nearly overwhelmed by all the noise and activity, even though she had been to some of the larger cities in Europe. Jacob received a grateful smile when he kept her from getting hit, and she was happy to stay close for now.  She took note of the guarda, glancing back at the brothers and grinning at them. The saloon was as noisy as outside and she chuckled and leaned close to Jacob. "I didn't expect this." She knew the city had been founded by the  Quakers but it had changed a great deal it seemed. When she noticed Jacob getting looks, she gave the women an imperious stare. She was trying not to but couldn't help it. She didn't notice the looks she was getting for trying not to be stepped on.

Ciar never stopped looking this way and that as they walked, nearly bumping into an elderly man and apologizing to him before catching up again. When Liam pointed out the sultry lass, he grinned at her, and kept watching, doing a full turn before facing forward again. He spotted a young lad of maybe fourteen picking a pocket, a wee lass waiting off to the side for him. They ran off once the coins were obtained probably to buy something to eat. Once they reached the saloon, and went inside, he was really gawking around like some youngster fresh from the wilderness. Catching himself, he chuckled then glanced at Liam and Evan. "Wow," was all he said.

It was almost too much to take in, the hustle and bustle of the city... wagons and carriages, people on foot and on horse, drunkards swaggering and thieves furtively stealing through the alleys. It wasn't his favorite sort of scene but certainly it kept the senses occupied. He was just as boggle-eyed as Ciaran by the time they stepped into the saloon, which was no better for its clash of music, voices and press of bodies. He just gave a mute shake of his head as he
started wading through the sea of humanity.


Date: 03-06-10
Poster: Bradley Harrington
Post # 40

Trip to Williamsburg

Morning dawned bright though still chilly, though the promise of spring was in the blue of the sky. Adam had seen to the coach and times so there would be time to spare after breakfast. He left the office and made his way through the streets to the Inne. His clothing, though finely made, did not mark him as a ship's captain. A heavy coat was worn over a dress shirt, vest and dress pants tucked into riding boots. He was also wearing a Tricorn hat, plain this time and had his hair pulled back. Making his way into the Inne, he spoke to the Innkeeper then looked around to see if any of the party had come downstairs.

They may not recognize Bradley when they came down to the kitchen. He was attired in buckskins with a leather jacket that was fringed. Leather straps crisscrossed over his chest that secured various pouches in place, a hunting knife strapped to his belt along with a canteen, who knew what else he had hidden upon his person as weapons. Homemade leather boots replaced the finely tooled fancy ones he had been wearing. One woman nearly fainted seeing the raccoon tailed cap he was wearing. He mumbled something, "it's not alive madam," as he passed. There was a buzz going down in the kitchen about a man that was found dead in the building across the street. It was all in the newspaper extra put out this morning. They had extra copies as he took one as he chose a table to set to reading. Breakfast was included with the rooms they had and so he ordered his. A bellboy had been sent to Oisin and Fifi's rooms to let them know both he and Adam were up and would be found downstairs having breakfast that they best speed it up if they were not ready for the coach would be leaving on the hour. He caught sight of Adam out at the clerk's and waved him in.

Fifi had made sure to wake Oisin with plenty of time to wake up and get dressed before breakfast. They'd spent the morning discussing various things until it was time to dress, then went on to their separate paths to do just that. Once both were dressed, it was Fifi pushing Oisin out the door and telling her to get a move on because they wouldn't have time to eat if she didn't. Both ladies arrived, Fifi dressed in her norm of attire, Oisin in more layers than she cared for, but the dress was a light, minty shade of green that complimented her darker complexion, eyes and bunted hair worn in curls beneath a small top style hat tilted off to the right of her head. As they reached the dining area, Fifi drew her in close asking her to mind her tongue and try not to offend before smiling brightly and leading Oisin off towards the table their company was seated at. Oisin donned a bright smile, but spoke nothing as Fifi gave her morning greetings.

He spotted Bradley and gave the clerk his thanks before joining his friend. "You certainly look like a frontiersman, Bradley." He grinned as he gave his friend a once over. He had seen him like this before of course, but hadn't expected him to change his style of dress until they were actually in Williamsburg. As the two women approached, he turned and bowed to them, greeting them with a smile. "Good morning, ladies, I trust you both slept well." He waited until they were seated before he took a seat as well. Once they placed their orders, he'd do the same.

The coon cap was taken off while eating and in the presence of ladies about. Hair was curling wildly for having been freshly washed and dried without combing it, although it was tied back. He had not shaved either and one that could grow a beard easily had the thickening shadow already showing. "I'll be fitting in at Williamsburg," Slight smile to his friend before he was frowning as he started to read the article. Lord Brandthorn found dead in his office at ten PM last evening. He is believed to be one of the leaders of the rebellion against English rule and their new tariffs. His driver said there had been a few men and women that had gone into the building while he waited outside. After more than an hour passed the time his master said he would be back, the driver went in to discover he had been murdered, his throat slit open. If anyone has seen anyone going into this building between six and ten, please contact the Yorktown Police so they can be questioned. Barely finishing the last line when he noticed Oisin and Fifi making their way towards them. He stood as they reached the table, turning out a seat for each then reclaiming his once they sat along with Adam. "The coach will be leaving soon?" Folding up the one page extra to slip into an inner pocket of his jacket.

Undoubtedly whatever quiet speak was going on about the murder, Fifi heard some of it. Oisin paid no mind to any of it, however. Both approached the table with a nod to Adam and greeted him. "Good morning." And then to Bradley, who gained a brighter smile from Oisin. "Good morning, Mr. Harrington." Both eased onto their seats. "We slept fine last night. The rooms are fantastic." Though due to Oisin endless babbling, their hour of finally getting to sleep was later than Fifi would have preferred. Fifi was most excellent at putting up with Oisin though. "How are you both this morning?" Their meals ordered politely before returning attention to the men. Her notice of Bradley's new look was a bit delayed. She looked over the leather and fringe, quirking a curious brow.

"The coach will leave at about nine, which gives us roughly an hour and half." He told Bradley, before attention was on the ladies. "Good to hear. I hope you have hearty appetites. They tend to give more food than one is used to." A warning for the ladies, though they might well match the men for eating. "Are you anxious to begin?" They would have to see to the luggage but it would be an easy matter to find porters.

He wondered if he should be wary for the bright and sunny greeting from Oisin. Only a twitch of his eye would give away that thought if one knew him well enough, which they did not. Adam would.  Instead he returned the, "good morning, ladies," with a polite cordial edge. Manners here remained the same as well the aloft attitude. His meal was being delivered already, scrambled eggs, toast, hash browns and maple flavored sausage. He took out the newspaper again to pass to Adam to read, obviously he would want it back for later reference. For the ladies sake, he would use it to enforce a warning, "even here in the civilized city, a murder happened in the building across from this very hotel." Which was why all the fuss and the accusation of the man's affiliation. Someone was trying to scare off any rebellions and more.

Her smile turned to Adam with a nod. "I'm thrilled to begin." She settled comfortably on her seat and laid her hands to rest on her lap when Bradley made the statement and warning. Both Oisin and Fifi looked at the man; from Fifi though he received a warning look, reiterating her warning from the boat before a sense of concern took her expression. Oisin sat up a bit straighter and opted not say anything at all. It wasn't for the news, but because Fifi had asked her to mind her tongue, and she was trying to do just that. Instead, she just shifted her attention elsewhere, taking a moment to observe their surroundings.

He well noted that hint from Bradley but of course, said nothing. The paper was accepted and read, then slid back, his frown apparent. Again, he held his tongue, this time due to not wishing to offend Fifi and keep the peace. By then, the remaining meals were delivered and he set to enjoying it. He also found himself wondering how long this truce would last between Bradley and Oisin.

For once he caught the look from Fiona and Oisin, especially when she looked away. Bradley didn't smile much but a frown easily creased between his brows. He said nothing further and dug into his meal like one starved. The steaming coffee washing it all down. He was done before the others as he took up the article to fold over and slide back inside the leather jacket. Adam and he would talk on it later, more on the implications surrounding the murder. "I will wait for you outside," figuring that was the better course to take as he was up, hand lightly grasped Adam's shoulder in passing as he soon made his way from the kitchen, cap being slid over his head. When they came outside to board the coach, they would find that he had gotten a horse to ride. It was for the best.

Fiona simply nodded to herself and thanked the server for bringing their meals. Oisin too kept quiet for the moment and enjoyed her breakfast of fruit and toasted bread. A glance was given to Bradley as he stood and took his leave, she watched from the corner of her eye as he left the kitchen and released a soft sigh. Hard to tell though if it was a sigh of feeling bad or relief since her posture gave nothing away. It wouldn't take long for Fifi and Oisin to get through their meals and be comfortably sated of their hunger.

Once both ladies were finished, and ready, he escorted them to collect their luggage and then he went outside to see it safely stowed away. He returned to escort them outside, where they would only have to wait a few moments. And he couldn't help but wonder if Bradley had decided to ride to keep the peace a while longer.

Adam was very perceptive but there were a few others riding in escort of the coach. The coach only held so many, eight total of normal size. It could also be claustrophobia, whatever his reason, he was riding and in wait of his friend and the ladies. There were two men up front, one on top of the coach to keep the bags in place and two riding the back heavily armed. Four of the riders of the six, were heavily armed as was one in the coach.

Once their meals were done, they went to their rooms to prepare their luggage to be taken to the carriage, then followed Adam out of the hotel and down to where they were to wait. The couple of minutes they stood in wait gave them a chance to look around the area a bit better, even if they didn't have the chance to explore it the way Oisin would have liked. And everything prepared, the two women would be settled side by side. Some of the sights were a bit unique. Giving a nudge to Fifi's side, Oisin pointed to something that had her attention. "Madam, look there." A quiet exchange of words between the two to whatever oddity they were viewing.

Fiona on the other hand was thanking her lucky stars that they didn't have the chance to explore this rough town any further. Civilized, they might call it, but she had a feeling her precocious charge would have gotten herself into trouble given the chance. Their escorts were polite, but she didn't like the looks of some of the men she'd seen roaming about. The heavy weaponry of the men in the coach was a bit unnerving to Fi, but reassuring at the same time. At least they'd be well protected. Fiona followed Oisin's glance, smiling indulgently, then... "Oh!" Her eyes widened and she quickly put her hand up over Oisin's eyes. For there in broad daylight strolled a woman who could only be a 'lady of the night'... for she wore barely any clothes!

Adam settled across from the two women, making himself as comfortable as possible. He didn't mind the lack of conversation as it would give him a chance to keep an eye on what was going on outside of the coach. Though it appeared that he was going to sleep as he tilted his hat down to shade his eyes. It was little more than a guise though for he was keenly aware of what was going on. He even coughed when Fiona covered Oisin's eyes.

There was no mishap on the road between Yorktown and Williamsburg but it was a long bumpy ride for those inside the coach especially. It had been filled up, the last one getting in being a rather large man that was not up to date on hygiene. Squishing the three others on his side of the coach which included the ladies, lucky they were both thin and one middle age woman between them and the man. Odor still rose as well the temperature inside the coach after the first hour only building from there the next eight with no stop if anyone needed to go potty. They rambled into the frontier town of Williamsburg to halt in front of the only hotel within miles. There were very few well dressed men and women here and there were many Indians amongst the white folk. Though it would also be noted they didn't quite fit in. They would not be found in the hotel nor certain other places, they were in the market square or places of labor as they could find work.

"Madam!" She giggled quietly and attempted to push the covering hand away from her eyes for a better look. "How can anyone go around in so little?" Despite her lacking care for all the layers, that woman took it beyond what she ought to. When the others began loading into the carriage, room was made for the older woman with a polite smile, and then the larger man with the pungent odor. "Oh heavens..." Mumbled discretely towards Fi. As the ride continued and the odor began to permeate further, Oisin brought out a small fan and subtly spilled just a couple drops of perfume on the material to spread the more pleasant scent while fanning herself and Fiona due to the rise in temperature. Her own attention remained out the window even as numb bum started to set in from the length of the ride. She was rather attentive when they reached Williamsburg and taking note of the difference in white folk and the Indians that were gathered for work. The obvious kept whatever smile she might have had, away. Gratefulness was soon had when the large man finally exited the carriage and she and Fiona could follow suit and get out of the man's stench.

Fi would keep her hand firmly over Oisin's eyes till the disreputable woman left their line of sight. "It bears no wondering," she answered Oisin in a tone which meant, let's drop this subject. As the carriage ride wore on so did Fiona's patience. That noxious man's odor was offensive at best and she fanned herself vigorously, feeling close to swooning from the smell and heat. Indeed fainting would have been welcome if it kept her from the rank stench. It felt like days later that the carriage finally stopped and she all but fell out of it, taking in a deep breath of fresh air. "Oh thank God." She muttered as she continued to fan herself, sweat beading along her brow. Then finally looked about herself.... and the dread mounted to see the poorness of the town and the number of dark-skinned persons there. She grabbed Oisin's arm to keep her close.

If Adam noticed anything, he gave no sign but then the men on his ship could become a bit ... ripe over time. He did move a few times, mostly to stretch slightly or shift his legs but not much else. When they finally reach the small city, he didn't wait for the coachman to open the door but did so himself so the passengers could disembark quickly. He watched the man leave with a shake of his head but merely his attention was on the women so he could help them down. "Are you both all right?" was asked quietly while he looked the area over then looked for Bradley.

Wolf Paw was there a few feet from where the coach stopped. For the winter he was clothed more in furs from buffalo made into leggings and a wrap around his chest leaving his arms bare that crossed over his broad chest. Features were set like stone, eyes like onyx and hair to match that was braided each side and half wrapped in fur. Feathers at the back of his head denoted his rank amongst his people. He quite openly stared at the fancier dressed of the two women that were nearly spit out of the coach, one almost at his feet.

Bradley had met Wolf Paw years ago and recognized the very distinguishable Brave that had become a friend, giving him an upnod as he finally dismounted somewhat amused, though he didn't show it, how the two nearly fell out of the coach. They might understand why he didn't ride inside. "Shall we see you both inside to freshen up before we head down to the marketplace?"

She was almost shoved out of the carriage and was likely the one to all but fall at the Brave's feet. "My apologies..." Barely gotten out before she was pulled close by Fi. The step taken to be at the woman's side, but her attention remained politely on the darker skinned male with that ever existent sense of curiosity. She really wasn't trying to be rude; she was far too intrigued!

"Yes.. fine." Fi answered Adam a bit breathlessly as she brushed off the dusty silk of her skirts. Tucking a few escaped curls back up into her coif, she glanced to Wolf Paw, startled, then glanced again when she noted the way he was staring. For a second she just returned the stare at the Indian fearfully. It was the first of his race she'd seen so close, and with the way he was dressed and that wild look in his eye, she was inclined to believe all those stories of savages she'd heard. Then her chin lifted as she called out challengingly, "Well? What are you looking at then?" Taking firm hold of Oisin's arm she made to move past the man, muttering to Oisin beneath her breath, "Probably doesn't speak a word of proper English. Come along."

Adam was having a hard time keeping any type of stoic or serious expression around these two ladies. He had noticed Wolf Paw and gave the brave a nod then lifted his eyes heavenward at the reaction of the two. He gave the brave a slight shrug as if to say 'What can you do?', then motioned to a couple of lads to deal with the luggage. He'd follow the others inside, a smile finally appearing.

"You fall out of coach like acorn fall out of oak." No wonder they had his attention then showed a full smile, white pronounced against the darker skin when he realized they were with Bradley so were somewhat accepted. Making eye contact with his long time friends, each in turn, he returned the slight nod that said so much more. His English might be limited but body language was not.

He noticed there were a lot more Indians about and from many different tribes. He was over to Wolf Paw, once the ladies moved inside, to find out why. A low conversation commenced in his language which he had been taught. Bradley would have stuck out like a sore thumb in his usual garb but standing there in the leathers and coon hat, he fit in and one would never guess he was even with the others except Wolf Paw who had an uncanny sense of things.

Oisin blinked at Wolf Paw, perhaps not hearing what Fi had to say or her snippy tone initially. It only lasted until the grasp on her arm tightened and her thoughts were blinked out of as attention turned to Fi. "Why be so snappy with him?" Steps were hesitant, but she followed into the hotel with the woman. "He has eyes more like mine." Whispered thoughtfully and to no one in particular, aside from herself.

Fi parted her lips to answer Oisin's question, but the words died on her tongue when the girl went on. Giving Oisin a long look, she pursed her lips into a frown and said nothing instead. Except for another "Come along" as they went inside.

Once the ladies were inside and seen to their rooms, and his and Bradley's rooms taken care of as well, he made his way outside to join the two men. Bradley was handed his key while he waited to catch up on what had been happening of late. He also noted more soldiers than there had been previously.

Wolf told Bradley and Adam how many great Indian chiefs were meeting here to talk on things that were happening and how it would affect them as tribes. Ever since the arrival of the white man things had changed for them all, uniting some of tribes that had never been before. Their way of living and fighting had changed drastically and not really fitting in with the white man and his customs as they were looked upon as lower than animals by many.

A thoughtful nod was given, the war that was coming would not be stopped and would affect Wolf and all the tribes that got in its path. "We shall talk more soon my friend. Let me know what the Great Chiefs have to say. I will make sure to find you before we must leave. Fair well to you and your people." It would be time soon to bring the ladies to the marketplace and let Oisin decide where she needed to go from there, they would be staying the night before heading anywhere else before heading back. This was her call.

She didn't have to look directly at Fi to know that look. With a frown, she just sighed softly and went along without any further hesitance. Once shown to their rooms, Oisin quietly went to her own for a chance to freshen up with a damp cloth and dust off her own skirts finally while she had the chance. Sunny disposition was now gone for one that was far more thoughtful and expressed just as easily. She would of course wait for Fi before venturing to join the men for this trip to the market in hopes of finding something or somewhere that spoke to her.

And Fi would go along to the markets, keeping Oisin close to her side all the while.

The news wasn't good in Adam's eyes. The trips would suffer and continue to do so, especially if it came down to what the British would do. He said a quiet farewell to Wolf and gave his good wishes as well, then looked at Bradley. "I hope Miss Harrington learns something while she's here. This trip hasn't been easy on either herself or her companion."

Wolf Paw had made himself scarce after the talk, it was almost as if he knew they were coming and stayed to talk to them. Instincts were used in these lands more than anything else and one learned to listen to them for it meant the difference between life and death. "Once the ladies wash up, we can see them to the marketplace and something to eat at one of the places there. I can hope it will get their mind off the coach ride of which there will be another tomorrow or the next, depending on how long Lady Harrington needs to stay." Words between them as they headed in, their bags seen to their rooms but he needed a drink, actually a few that he could get down before the ladies were ready.



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