Poster: Liam David Quinn
Post # 84
at the Harringtons
Once Martha settled in, she all but took over Edinwood Manor for the
upcoming dinner. One that was very important to her. A velvet inlaid
with gold, lacy invitation was sent to The Willow Lake manor. It was
painstakingly penned by her hand (one of the skills she possessed) that
included not only Oisin and Fiona but Oisin's brothers, which meant
Evan Hunt as well. The dinner was set one week from when they received
the invitation. A formal dinner. In those days to follow she fussed over
the cook Bradley had hired, making sure every dish was perfectly made.
There would be butternut squash soup with a maple cream lightly run
through the savory mixture. A cup of fruit, salad, and small almond pate
on a light flaky cracker. Buttermilk biscuits were kept warm in a bread
basket covered with a cloth. The main dish would be a roasted, succulant duckling,
slightly glazed surrounded by small roasted red potatoes. Dessert would
be a chocolate strata cheese cake with chocolate shavings and drizzled
syrup. Martha took the time to be well presented.
She was attired in a deep purple gown trimmed in white Spanish lace. Her
cheeks rosy for all the effort, she was slightly buxom for a plump
middle aged woman looking the motherly type, especially after Oisin
had been brought into their lives.
Bradley helped in getting wood for the fire so the place would be warm
the whole evening through. He also made sure there was plenty of brandy
and wine to be served. A small bar set up that also included potcheen
especially if the brothers were coming. About an hour before they were
to arrived, he begged their forgiveness with the excuse a very
important meeting had come up unexpectedly and that he would
return as soon as possible. The real reason was to give all time alone
together in a reunion. He would return before the dinner was over
to have some of that fine food cooking! Properly attired as a
noble, he tipped his hat as it was placed on his head, the cloak placed
upon his shoulders by the butler and he was quickly out before Martha
could overly complain.
John knew the best thing for him to do was stay well out of the way
while his wife fussed and fluttered about. He dealt with any complaints
with his usual good humor and as the time grew near, withdrew to change
his clothing. A suit of deep, dark blue, a dress shirt of pristine white
and fancy royal blue cravat, and he was ready. He joined his wife,
assuring her as needed, while they waited for their guests.
Fawn hadn't been seen much lately. If her brothers and Fiona were lucky,
they'd seen her briefly in the mornings and not again until well after
dark most days. She'd not given reason to why she was spending so much
time away from the manor, but tonight would tell everyone, hoping to
find it a great surprise. One that she'd had a very hard time keeping.
After being mildly fussed over by Fiona, she was finally ready and
dressed in a soft pink dress with an empire waist and fitted, long
sleeves. Then it was just a matter of waiting on her brothers and Fiona
to be ready so they might get to this dinner. Despite her seeming ache
over having her parents in Heathfield, she seemed thrilled tonight with
the idea of having dinner with them.
Fiona had kept herself happily busy with the overseeing of the new
manor. It was clear that she enjoyed the myriad details of running a
household, not to mention the fact that she relished the high level of
responsibility she had here versus her duties back home.
Nevertheless, she still missed her former employers who had been so good
to her for years, and she was just as excited as Oisin to have them here
visiting. As usual, she took her time fussing over Fawn's ensemble
before bothering to get ready herself, which set them all back as far as
departure time went. Finally, she emerged from her room in a flush of
royal blue satin, the sleeves and skirts both puffed luxuriously. Her
hair was done in a fancy updo with carefully groomed curls falling about
her eyes. Spotting Oisin, she took her arm and began ushering her
towards the door. "Come, we'll be late!" She said as if Fawn
had been the cause of their tardiness.
There was one brother that had heard for the young lads he was
training got to talking about the pretty lass that opened a pottery
shop. The description fitted his sister but he said nothing to them,
being their talk didn't go disrespectful, and said nothing to his sister
after he stalked the place and had seen her there. Certainly it was not
something she mentioned and so Liam didn't mention it either. He kept
watch over her when she knew not when he had time but he was soon
comfortable that she was quite safe where she was located. He talked to
a few of the shop owners near. Fawn may not have noticed the dark
eyes of her brother studying her at times in the evening, at their meal
or times when she was not noticing him standing there at first. They
were brief for the late hours she was keeping and the very reason he
didn't ask, was because he knew where she was during the day. He wasn't
sure why she was keeping it from them but still gave her time. In the
meantime he was being the older brother like he should be and fell into
such a routine checking up on her when not busy with the boxing
ring. Since he was shown the invitation, he dressed to the hilt so that
it would please his sister. Brown derby on his head, Light brown
silk vest over a dress shirt with a darker brown herringbone waist
coat over that. One that matched the pants. Dress boots finished off his
ensemble. Hair was neatly combed back and tied off in a tail at the nape
of his neck that hung down over the collar of the shirt. He had their
surrey pull around as means of transportation for Harrington manor was
on the other side of the bay.
It wasn't often that Ciaran dressed up, so tonight was the perfect
night. He went with a suit of dark gray, with a vest of silver brocade
beneath and worn under a white dress shirt. His boots were highly
polished and he had even shaved. His hair, too, was pulled back at the
nape of his neck. He waited at the door for the others, winking at Fawn
as Fiona began to fuss.
Evan was running a little late himself, having spent some time this
afternoon with who other - his sweetheart. Having gotten home late, he
shaved and changed hurriedly and bolted from his room at the sound of
Fiona's voice. He was wearing dark brown pants, and a dress shirt and
vest like his half-brothers, the shirt cream and the vest dark brown
with gold buttons. He grinned at Fawn as Fiona began physically shooing
them all out the door.
Fawn just gave a light roll of her eyes as Fiona made it sound to be her
fault, but with a quiet laugh. Before taking Fiona's arm, she moved
forward to inspect all of her brothers from the top of their heads to
the toes of their shoes and was taken by the arm and rushed out the
door. "Madam, no doubt if I could get them to dress that way more
often, they'd have women falling over them all the time. You might have
to invest in something to bat the women away from the door." Well,
Evan already had someone he courted, but the other two...
Liam gave a low whistle seeing the transformation in Evan, "it's a
pity Mariah couldn't see you now. She'd be knocked over with a
feather." Which he was complimenting and teasing his brother at the
same time. "Ladies, you look splendid," doing his best in
averting the conversation of his and Ciaran's lack of women. In fact,
neither had a nibble, at least on their end! He was far too busy anyway.
"Shall we," getting the door after the inspection as he would
see the ladies within the surrey and room on the front buckboard for all
three brothers. Although the surrey was needed for the distance, and he
knew the reason, it would not take them more than a half hour ride to
"Yes, they look very nice, now hurry, hurry!" Shoo shoo shoo!
Out the door and into the surrey where she fussed with her skirts to
straighten them so they wouldn't wrinkle for the ride.
Ciaran just chuckled, and shook his head. He expected some sort of tease
and it could have been worse. He waited for the ladies to climb inside
and followed after, careful to not step on either of their dressers or
slippers. "Aye, we all clean up nicely." Waiting for the groan
with that comment. Heard all too often.
Once to Eldinwood Manor, Liam rein in the horses and was out to see to
helping the ladies out. A hand in guidance for the step down with gowns
on could have an unwanted spill. He and his brothers would get to see
petticoats then! He took a few more glances over Fiona for the change in
the woman all dressed up and if caught, she'd get a smile, a wink, and
he'd be focus elsewhere. He stepped ahead being the oldest and saw to
the clank of the brass knocker. One that was a bulls head with red eyes
and the ring through its nose. He stepped back then and let the ladies
take his spot.
Fiona was excitedly nervous during the ride, looking forward to seeing
the Harringtons, but uncertain what they might think of this new home
she and Fawn had made so far away from them. She chattered some but
mostly looked out the window or fussed with her dress. Catching Liam's
eye once or twice, she was surprised by that smile and wink which
brought an involuntary blush of rosy color to her cheeks. Then she
cleared her throat some and danced her dark brown eyes away, until they
arrived. Then they were all piling out, and a quick dimpled smile of
thanks was given to Liam for the assistance of hand. Now they just had
to wait for the door to be answered.
"I thought it was fashionable to be late?" Inquired jokingly
as she climbed up in the surrey after Fiona. Seat taken, she
straightened her dress and chatting with Fiona for the ride. Excited,
but not nervous. Once arrived, she followed Fiona out with a bright,
dimpled smile to Liam then followed up to the porch and took the front
of their group once the knock was made, eager to see her parents.
It wasn't the butler that opened the door but John himself. He had a
warm smile for all of them, but mostly for Fawn and Fiona. Arms wide
open, he swept Fawn into a hug, placed a kiss to her forehead then
stepped back and ushered them inside. "No need to stand out here,
even if I was a bit anxious to greet Oisin. Please, come inside before I
get in trouble for making you stand out in the cold."
Martha was seeing to the last of the preparations to make certain
everything was perfect. Perfect for Oisin and Fiona. She was just as
fond of the other girl that came into their care as a maid. She
fluttered a hand in front of her face and their newest maid, hired just
for her by her nephew, was already reaching for her employer's smelling
salts. Martha noticed and waved her hand in dismissal as she bustled
her way to the foyer to receive her hugs after John. "Now don't be
hogging her m'dear," teasing her husband before she noticed her
brothers. Brows shot up as she had not realized how handsome they were.
Noble looking too which impressed Martha. Way she was raised.
"Come, come in, making sure there was enough room for them all to
Fifi smiled brightly when John himself opened the door, a dashing older
man that she had admittedly had a bit of a crush on when first coming
into the Harringtons' employ. She greeted him warmly and followed Oisin
inside, casting a glance over her shoulder to command the lads to get
themselves inside. Then Martha was bustling up and she smiled brightly
again, even finding herself a bit misty-eyed with happiness to see them
Evan wasn't nervous, exactly, but he was aware that he was meeting
Fawn's foster parents not just as a childhood friend of hers, but a
blood relative. He supposed that would have to come up and some point
during the dinner, and hoped the Harringtons wouldn't be too horrified
by the circumstances that made him her half-brother. Hurriedly tugging
on his vest to straighten it, he caught Fifi's look and gave his
brothers a wink and stepped inside.
"Father!" He was nearly tackled as he swept her into a hug,
she held it until they were all invited in. She moved in quickly and out
of the way so he could greet Fiona, then in further to greet Martha.
"Mother!" She'd get the same warm hug, though lingered longer,
but not by much. She was excited for this chance to introduce her
brothers. Taking Martha's arm, she brought her mother closer to the
gathering. "Father, mother, I'd like you to meet my brothers. Liam,
Ciaran and Evan." Motioning from her brothers to her parents.
"John and Martha Harrington."
Liam was the last to step in, shaking John's hand and commenting on the
manor they were staying in. In lower words admitting to being a friend
of his nephew's without using his name that Fawn might catch. Amazing
how good her hearing could be at certain times. He straightened away
taking his derby off as he was introduced to her adoptive mother.
"A pleasure to finally meet you Lady Martha," having already
Martha had changed even if some changes came hard for her. She
discovered that titles meant nothing, even money had little value in
politics where others had it too if not more. Crosses and double crosses
that found one escaping for their lives. Taking what they could for John
would have been in ruins. They were very lucky for their nephew. His
parents were in jeopardy next as they were hiding a lot of their wealth
through their son as politics were taking a drastic swing in parliament.
These matters she would not burden her two girls with, she and John were
alive and managed to get out with fair warning ahead of time. Oisin got
an extra hug, then Fiona in turn. They might well notice how misty eyed
she'd become. "I swear you both have grown more beautiful."
Then to the lads, "indeed your brothers are as handsome as you
said. Welcome into our home," which Brad had told them the place
was their home as long as they wanted. "Liam, Ciaran and Evan.
Would you like to start off with a brandy as we head into the dining
room for our dinner?" Everything was about timing and a small
window before the food was cold. She bustled her way to the dining room
all set up as she would stand by her chair until John saw to it
properly. "Please take a seat."
He greeted both the Harringtons quietly, since that was usual with
people he didn't know, especially gentry. He kept smiling the whole
time, glad to see the two had settled in well enough. "It's a
pleasure to meet you both." The brandy was accepted but he made
sure he sipped it before following the ladies and John into the dining
room. "It all looks lovely."
John was just beaming as he watched it all. The new life they had here
would suit though he'd have to find something to make sure they never
fell into financial difficulties. Once they were in the dining room, he
was over to see to his wife's chair. Once she was seated he moved to his
Fifi returned Martha's hug warmly, more than a bit misty-eyed herself,
and she discreetly wiped the moisture from her eyes as she pulled away.
"Oh Martha, the place looks lovely," She complimented their
hostess, knowing it was she who must have decorated and prepared the
place. Oisin was given a quick hug around the shoulders as they
proceeded to the dining room.
Evan was touched that Fawn included him in the list of her natural
brothers, and he gave her a quick lopsided grin as he stepped in to
shake John's hand and greet Martha as well. "Aye, it smells
amazing." His compliments would be for the food, not surprisingly.
Liam accepted a brandy as they headed into the dining area. He set it
near one of the plates before he saw to Fawn and Fiona's seats. They
were guided to sit together as he knew it helped for moral support even
if he felt that Fawn was losing that anxiety she had. Or, he could be
mistaken as he took a seat across from them with his brothers.
"Indeed, the scents will have my stomach growling were we to detain
Martha took her seat before her guests as John saw to her chair. She
couldn't stop smiling looking them all over, her focus always coming
back upon her two girls. Worldly now and it had a sigh escape. She
immediately covered that up by turning a word to her maid, "Betty,
you may start," politely as she had always been to her help even if
they were hired and paid for, no reason to be rude. Betty had her friend
this night to help her out for how many being served. So, she and Joyce
were soon seeing to the first course of salad and fruit dish as the
group conversed. There were straying eyes from the two fetching maids
upon the brothers, no mistaking that but they behaved professionally.
"It has been some time and a lot to catch upon. Shall we start with
your trip to find your brothers? I'm sure the adventure was very
exciting." Looking hopefully between Oisin and Fiona.