Since 1998 

Page 1  2  3  4  5      Main

Quinn Cousins

Date: 08-31-10
Poster: Bradley Harrington
Post # 81

Making Oneself at Home

Brad had heard of the Quinns getting themselves a manor, understood too how they felt. The night was quiet within the tavern, which he was enjoying as he went through a sketch book of a few other manor homes available. Seems they had gotten one of their artists to go about and sketch the vacant homes. He noted the one the Quinns had chosen was marked inhabited and where it was located on the map. His contacts had sent him an update on the affairs of Boston and a few other areas he frequented in the Colonies. None of them were safe presently. As far as he was concern, the letter John hand managed to get out to him stated he would not be safe in England. In fact he and Martha were not really safe as things were starting to break out and paranoia running rampant. They would be arriving in about two weeks. That would give him time to find a place for himself and them. Hence the turning of another page before he took up the glass of potcheen for a nice burn. Indian summer, or more like summer had never really left, was upon them so he was attired accordingly. No longer in the stuffier noble clothing as he wore more like a dockhand's garb in styling but the quality of the material was there. Something he'd wear in the colonies when not in the social circles connected with England. Brown baggy pants, loose fitting shirt of tan with a cotton neck scarf looped to hang down the front.

Yviene had been spending most of her time outside, including most nights as long as they were nice while reserving her room at the tavern. She could smell the light fragrance of rain on the breeze blowing in and thus stabled Hariyar before drawing herself towards the Thistle to make use of her room for the night and relax to a couple glasses of the Elven wine she'd grown quite fond of. Passing quietly through the door, the pale elf removed her cowl and journeyed towards the bar.

"Good eve, Yviene," not even looking up from the turn of a page and the next drawing of another manor. He didn't need anything too big even if they all looked too big. Finally blue eyes lifted as well the hint of a welcoming smile. He didn't mind at all that the quiet would now be disturbed. "How have you been?"

A subtle dip of her head to Mr. Harrington. "Good evening." Approaching the bar, the silver/gray cloak was removed, donning beneath a fashionable gown of charcoal gray. "I have been quite well, thank you. And yourself, Lord Harrington?" The trio of voices spoke quietly then ordered her usual glass of Elven wine from Alex with a quite word of thanks.

"Please, Brad or Bradley. Lordship has only gotten me and mine in a lot of trouble lately and I'd rather set such a title aside. Besides, it is not what makes a man." Except the thought of what Fawn and Fifi thought of him, the title might be the only thing he had there! "The chicken and dumplings are an excellent choice tonight along with a slice of blueberry crumble pie." Which had a stray glance given the kitchen window area before dipping to the drawing resting beneath his hand.

Maggie had that sixth sense of when some body had ordered something, it seemed. She slipped from the back in her usual work garb, a simple dove-gray dress with the apron tied around her waist, dark red-streaked hair pulled back in a haphazard bun. Overhearing the order Bradley gave, she saved Alex the trouble and crossed to murmur the order through the kitchen window to Hazel. Turning back, she nodded her greeting to both Bradley and Yviene with a light smile.

"Very well, Bradley." She listened to what followed his preference of calling. Though she had a curious expression, it was somewhat hard to read, but a nod was given. "It is true the title that makes the man, but the man who makes the title." Seeing Maggie come about, a nod was given to the woman with a warm smile. "Good evening, Miss Maggie." Her glass picked up, she took a small drink.

"Aye, same for clothes, some say they make the man but in truth the man makes the clothes. Then again, don't judge a book by its cover, could be fancy or drab and in complete opposite of that which lies beneath." Oh, they could go on here! Smile came quickly while greeting Maggie. "Good eve to you Maggie. All is well with you?"

Ciar had spend part of the day helping at the manor, moving in furniture, clearing out critters and cobwebs, and the other part down at the docks, working. He had cleaned up before venturing out this time, except for shaving of course. Making his way into the Thistle, he smiled at everyone inside. "Evenin' ladies, Bradley, Alex."

"Good evening," she echoed their greeting with another light smile. "I am well, thank you Bradley, and yourself?" In truth she looked a little pale, a little tired, but she moved around with her usual bounce so this might go unnoticed. "Evening, Ciaran," called out in greeting.

He didn't know her that well to know the difference, although something seemed a touch off but not enough for him to put a finger on it. Distracted to Ciaran as he entered. "Ciaran, how does the move go?" Almost asking on the welfare of Fifi and Fawn but decided some bad omen might come of it at the rate he was going where they were concern.

"Well enough I guess. Everyone is happy with the place." Which had him shrugging. "Filling it with furniture will take a while, and we need to do some painting." He asked for a glass of potcheen and the bottle.

Bradley's order came up a moment later, and Maggie collected the plate of chicken and dumplings, along with the small dish of pie. Both of which she carried over to set down before Bradley. "Here you are. Excuse me a moment," as she went off to tend something in the back.

"I'd offer to come help but I fear that might be a huge mistake. The place may come falling down around all ears in my presence." Although there was a touch of humor added being he knew Ciaran was aware of the situation. "John and Martha Harrington will be arriving in two weeks time if not sooner. With the declining situation in England and in the Colonies, I may be staying here for a while. I thought of getting a manor home down the other far side of the port for myself and to house my aunt and uncle. Possibly any of my direct family if they have a need to leave England too."

"I wouldn't mind if it did come falling down." He laughed then became serious. "I guess we left there just in time though it has me worrying about our mother's people." He rubbed his chin thoughtfully, forgetting about bruised and scraped knuckles but his brothers and sister weren't there. Or Fiona. "Will you be able to move your assets as well?"

"I met Metoskah McDonough and he worries on his tribe. I still have contacts in various places to keep me abreast. He was saying that he plans to go back with his brother and bring any that wish to start a new life in these lands on some island they have acquired. Perhaps your mother's people would be willing to come here too?"

"They might be. Their tribe isn't as big as it was. Illness, and fighting has pretty much lowered their numbers." He gave Brad a half smile. "I guess there's only one way to find out."

Maggie reappeared momentarily, a clean dish towel in one hand, a glass bottle of something sudsy and lemon-smelling in the other. She dampened the cloth with the liquid and began wiping down the chairs at the nearest table. It was that time of night when few were eating, and if they did, it was at the bar like Bradley was doing. "Can I get you gentlemen anything?"

"Well, no harm in them finding out. If one of you wants to go with Mat and his brother to find out or send them. I'm sure they will go." He noticed that Yviene had quietly taken her leave as not to interrupt them. Maggie caught his attention and an appreciative dipping glance from head to toe and back up again. "I'm fine, thank you." Which he started right in on his meal, moving the leather bound sketch book out of the way.

"Aye, maybe I will." Liam would be dealing with the manor and the boxing and Evan had a lass to worry about. "No, thank you, Maggie. I'm good." He lifted his glass to show her, then took a long drink. He intended to go back to the manor in a happy mood, or at least numb.

She nodded to that, dipping a quick smile before going back to work. No humming tonight, but she was absorbed in her chore, wiping the backs of chairs and then their seats. "How is your family, Ciaran?" She asked to make conversation, knowing that Bradley knew the Quinns as well.

"They're all doing well. I think Fawn and Fiona are happier now that we have a place. Especially Fiona. She can be boss of the kitchen now." Which had him laughing. "She and Aunt Mary didn't quite clash but it was close a few times." He shrugged. "Lot of work to do too, so everyone is being kept busy."

He looked between the two but kept to his food. Wasn't polite to talk with mouthfuls.

From the few times that Maggie had met Miss Fiona, she could imagine that, and laughed softly. "Good. She can be queen hen of the roost now. It will be good for all of you to have a bit more space." Her work took her past Bradley briefly and she cast a curious gaze to the book he had pushed out of the way. Dark brows lifting teasingly. "Are you an artist, Mr Harrington?"

He just smiled at Maggie, not saying a word about queen hens, space or the manor. Instead he looked at Brad, just noticing the book himself.

He was saying NOTHING.. just glanced between the two as they talked on Fiona. Maybe she would be too busy in her kitchen and running a manor to bother with him. He could hope. Although his last encounter was almost civil. A slight glimpse to another side to the slightly plump woman. The last caught him by surprise. "Oh, No." Almost laughing as he flipped over the top cover of the bound pages. Sketches of the various vacant houses. "I'm looking through here to see if there is a vacant manor I might acquire than continuing to live off the hospitality of this fine establishment and the Crown."

"Ooh. House shopping." She plopped herself on a stool right next to Bradley and leaned over to peer at the sketches. Shy? Not much, and things like these helped to distract her these days. "I love walking around town, looking at some of these manors. Each beautiful in its own way." She offered a smile as she flipped a page in the sketch book. "What sort of a house are you looking for?"

"Well, seems I will be staying here for some time. Could be years." Or he might come here as a refuge when needed. "I've an aunt and uncle that need to leave England and a brother and sister along with my mother if need be. So, it should be a place that can accommodate a few but not overly large."

"So something spacious, but still comfortable." Thoughtfully stated as she turned another page. "What about this one?" It was a brick manor with a big fireplace on the front, a triple archway over the front door, and porch visible on the back.

He settled into listening, though he didn't bother trying to look at the pages of the book. Instead, he looked upward at the ceiling. He'd have to sleep soon since there was more work to do tomorrow. Then again ... there was a bottle here. He looked at it, then refilled his glass.

"That is nice but I was thinking the next one," which he turned the page to display the Tudor and cross referenced it with the map. "See, it's in a better location. Up from the coast where this Ruiaidin Village and the lake which it has a view of, around the corner are the vineyards." So the land would be fertile too. What he didn't mention was how far away it was from the one the Quinns just got.

Now he did take notice and leaned to have a look. "That's a nice one. Would you be planting something?"

"Oooh. I like that one too." She propped her chin atop her hand, tilting her head gently as she looked at the sketch. Reddish strands of hair flicked impatiently out of her eyesight. "I like the pillars, and aye, looks like a lovely location." She went quiet then, looking curiously at Brad to answer Ciar's question.

"Me?" Trying hard not to laugh, "I think if I tried I'd kill the crops somehow. My mother likes to garden as well my aunt. Sister too if they should come. Martha likes her herbs even if she has a cook. Here she might go back to doing her own cooking which I think would please John." He noted how she looked upon the place. "If you're not too busy, I could hire you to help furnish it, decorate, give it a woman's touch as I cannot. Then that would help ease Martha's mind when she arrives."

"Me? Really?" She brightened at the prospect. Between her duties in the taproom and the work she was doing in the attic, it would make her a busy woman. But hey, that was how she liked it. She looked at Bradley a moment before a smile bloomed. "I would love to do that. You needn't even pay me, that's the sort of thing I enjoy so much, you'll be doing me a favor."

"Well, I would need reward you with something." He knew it would take of her time and that was only fair. What he would do would be to find out something she needed then see to it for her. He had the money. The brightening look upon her pale features was rewarding and pleased he had stumbled correctly for a change.

"Oh no, that isn't necessary, truly." Indeed it was a more genuine smile that was settling on her features now. "Just send for me whenever you'd like for me to come by." And in the meanwhile, she'd be looking around the markets with that grand new manor in mind. The idea of decorating an entire house, even if it was not her own, was an exciting one.

His meal was finished and the plates set aside, as well his hands having been wiped cleaned before touching the sketches again. "I should probably get some sleep for tomorrow is not that far away." Pausing with the last of her words, "I will be seeing Laird McDonough tomorrow to go out and see it so it may be a matter of a couple days."

"Wonderful, I'll look forward to it." Oh Matthew might scold her for spreading herself too thin.... ah well.

"I think I'll wander off to the lake, and finish the bottle." He didn't say which lake but would probably sleep wherever he ended.

He would leave the book with her to peruse as it was kept in the Thistle he discovered. "I may well see you for breaking fast. Have a good evening Maggie. I will catch you soon Ciaran, maybe go job hunting, see what the lands need," and what he could do. He was up, as he finished off his drink then headed for the hallway and stairs beyond.


"Oh, I have a job." Not one that he though Brad would be suited for though. He was too much of a gentleman. "But I'll go with you if you want. Good night, and good night to you, Maggie." He stood, grabbed the bottle, saluted Alex and headed out.


"Goodnight Ciaran, and Bradley, I'll see you soon I'm sure."



Date: 09-02-10
Poster: Liam David Quinn
Post # 82

Willow Lake

Was it another day of avoiding Fiona? Well, not really. Just happened that when Fawn was up and about, Fiona had already left the house, likely to complete or further her decorating of the manor house which gave Fawn the perfect opportunity to leave the house with promises that she would return for supper meal, which was still a little ways off. She wanted to get some more flowers and just spend some quiet time out alone, which she'd been doing a lot of lately. She was a growing teen girl, it had to be expected to some extent to try and find out who she was and what she wanted to be. Having taken a blanket with her, it was spread on the ground near the shore of the lake where she was seated. Most of her layers had been left behind at the house, giving her a sense of comfort and freedom. Just a pale yellow dress with cap sleeves and simple waist, her boots set to the side of the blanket, along with stockings to give her feet the same sense of freedom. A small notepad on her lap and charcoal in hand, sketching a small portion of the lake where willows hung over the water to make a pretty reflection.

Well, Fiona had been out shopping in the markets... all by herself, sigh. She was trying to turn this house into a home for everybody, and yet all of the Quinns were like ghosts, appearing in glimpses and fleeing at the sight of her. Harrumph! Did they really think she would be able to put the place together all by herself? The servants were next to useless and just stared at her with big scared cow eyes. They all had some excuse why they were unable to  accompany her to market, so now she was trudging back from town with several parcels under each arm, huffing and puffing in the late afternoon heat. The path to the manor naturally went by the nearby Willow Lake, and she paused when she saw a figure there... then her eyes narrowed. "THERE you are!"

Fiona was aware they had a surrey, yes? Oh well. If the woman wanted to hoof it, who was Fawn to deny her the option?! Lost in her drawing, she hadn't seen the figure trudging the road, but she sure heard her when she called out. Face scrunched up with a little wince and gnash of teeth, it was quick enough to shift to a smile as she looked in the direction of Fiona's voice. The drawing mindfully set down, along with the charcoal, she studied how the woman carried so many boxes at once and suppressed a giggle. "Madam! Where have you been? I was beginning to think some handsome man whisked you away from us." Spoken as she pushed up from the ground, quick to situate her dress to cover her ankles before walking off towards Fiona to aid with the boxes.

"Oh, please. Don't try to get out of this with pretty words, where were you today?" She humphed but allowed Oisin to take some of the boxes and bags. "Here, I would imagine, daydreaming the working hours away..."

"Madam, they are not only pretty words. I could see them quite true that some handsome man would come along and whisk you away." She took some of the boxes, relieving one arm for the woman. "I was collecting flowers for the house." An affirming nod given, she started walking back towards the blanket.

"Oh please." She said again, with a roll of her eyes, as she always did when Oisin said something like that. "Flowers, is it? Couldn't you have done that after the rest of the house was done?" She had a knowing look aimed at Oisin. The lass had the same skill her brothers had of disappearing just when the work got difficult! Or so it seemed to Fi.

"I could not." She notched her chin up slightly. "The nights are growing cooler and most of the flowers are wilting. I have to get them before they all die of the cool nights." The boxes were set down next to the blanket before she seated herself, leaving enough room for Fiona to join her. It was a big blanket!

Although neither Liam nor Ciaran had come home last evening and late in the morning of this day, they soon set to work after finding Fiona had gone to market and they would not be underfoot. Somehow there had gotten about a scare, even the new staff, if they dared got underfoot of the woman determined. Liam had talked with them and told them bluntly that if they couldn't do what Fiona needed and asked of them, then he would be hiring someone or ones that could. He struck a real fear into their hearts if they were serious about working for this family. He would not abide excuses for jobs they should be able to handle. He and Ciar had spent the morning gaining and chopping wood for they would be needing a big stockpile when the winter months were upon them. Those winter months were not all that far off. In the process he discovered a shed that was obscured from sight from the overgrowth of vines, bushes and trees. Within was all the tools he'd need, axe, shovels, rakes, a paddle boat and canoe. With  just a look given his brother the two got the paddle boat out, made sure it was sound and were on their way down with it to the lake.

Fiona looked down at the blanket for long moments, and yes, she turned her nose up at it. "A young lady ought not to lounge about on blankets like a puppy," she said reprovingly, but after a moment, she seated herself primly... legs tucked beneath so as not to reveal any... delicates. Then a few moments of huffing and sighing and rearranging her hair. It had been a long hot walk up from town. "So, I heard an interesting thing or two at the Tavern when I stopped there for a bit of a snack." It had been a full meal actually, but who would tell?

She looked up at Fiona with a disbelieving look, before lopsiding a smirk at the woman. "And a proper woman never finds comfort until in her bed wear." Corsets and all the under things, Fawn despised them all. Couldn't do more than sit or stand in all that underwear. She looked at the woman curiously to the latter of what she spoke. "Oh? What did you hear at the Tavern?" Not that she was much on gossip, but Fiona loved it and Fawn indulged it.

Ciar had removed his shirt while they were working, and still hadn't put it on. It was too hot as far as he was concerned but the boat would be a nice surprise. He wanted to check the canoe too but of course, that would have to happen later. They could go fishing though, and of course, there'd be more to clear. He had found grape vines and wanted to see to those as well, for next year. Hearing voices, he grinned to himself. Looked like Fawn had been found.

Make that two shirtless Quinn males on their way to the lake. The boat lifted up over their heads but at an angle they could see. Both muscular, both somewhat tanned and both overheated in need of a swim. "I think we have found our wayward sister and is that Fiona's voice too? She must be back from her excursion." More mussed to Ciaran before the two approached the area where they lounged. He eased the rowboat up and down with Ciar's help near the edge of the water. Dark eyes, much like Fawn's, shifted back their way as he straightened. Certainly he looked quite pleased half naked. "Good evening ladies, I see you are enjoying what the lake has to offer. I can hope the day has gone well for both of you as well productive." He suspected that Fiona's had and she would let him know anything he needed to know.

"Well, I saw some darling little carvings of animals about the place, and asked the serving girl about them. She said they were done by young Joshua, one of McDonough's sons, a very handsome fellow." She was eyeing Oisin with a expression difficult to gauge. Something was certainly sparkling in her eye. But before she could go on, there came the lads, and she turned to face them with an instant frown. "THERE you are!" Oisin wasn't the only one in trouble. "What is this? Is this what you've been spending your day doing? Flowers and boats, honestly. When we've an entire house to decorate..."

"Ladies." He gave Fiona a look when she frowned at them. "We've been working on getting wood for the winter, and clearing out brush and other things. Just because we're not working in the house doesn't mean we're not working."  Sheesh!

Fawn quirked a brow at the mention of Josh, but there was nothing in her expression beyond her attention to the story that Fiona had begun. It was interrupted though when her brothers approached. A wave overhead to them. "They feared you might have been whisked away as well." A smile given to her governess, she snickered softly to Ciar's retort of what they'd been doing for the day.

Dark eyes narrowed on Fiona. Eventually he might have to remind her who was head of the manor. "The back door to the kitchen is fixed as well the doors sticking and creaking in the house. We have about half the wood needed for heat this winter, cut and stacked," motioning to Ciaran as he mentioned the same. "Now, we are going for a swim for there was no cold lemonade or ale for us to drink after we were done." Because no one had been around to see to the men working. Giving Fawn a quick wink before he took a running start to dive into the lake.

If they thought that would get them apologies from Fiona, they were wrong. "Hmph" was the only comment she offered, though did look slightly mollified. "Well, you'd best make sure that there is enough wood by the time the snows come," she would end up calling that out as Liam took off for his swim.

She grinned to Liam then looked back to Fiona. "Have faith, Madam. They will have what we need long before the first signs of winter frost our windows." A glance was given to the water. "Should we join them? I'm sure you could appreciate a dip in the cooler waters." Another prod at the woman's properness because it was just fun to get her going!

He didn't say anything else though he did follow after Liam. He let out a whoop as he splashed into the water since it was cold! But he dived in and that helped. All the working was worth it after all. He would take care of being hungry in a bit. First though, he surfaced and looked for Liam.

He came up from a burst of water, rising above a good foot before back down as gravity quickly took over, leaving him floating for the buoyancy of the water. Hair was slick back as droplets hung from the tips of his hair and clung to his face and shoulders. He was watching the two with that kind of smirk that was a challenge. "Water is great."

She sniffed. "Swimming in lakes is hardly seemly." But she had other things in mind to talk about, and with the lads busy swimming, she leaned a bit closer to Oisin. "The serving girl also said that this young gentleman Joshua escorted you home at the end of the evening." And she was staring at Oisin and eagerly awaiting some crack in her composure.

Oisin had gone to watching her brothers for the moment, until Fiona continued her gossip and mention of Josh. Looking back to the woman, brow quirked before she rolled her eyes. "Do not read too much into it, Madam. My brothers were off to spend the night at port, and Joshua was kind enough to escort me home. Nothing more than that." Though he was handsome, but she'd never admit to that. Fiona would never leave her alone if such words came from her mouth.


"Aye it is great." He doubted that Fiona would come swim but he was curious about Fawn. With a grin, he splashed Liam. "Ought to be some good fishing too." At least they could do some things like they had back in the colonies. "Did you see the grape vines?" Yes, he was switching from one subject to another but at least he wasn't being as moody as he had been.

"We can test that out later and maybe build a pit to cook freshly caught fish in." He splashed his brother back but there was a look as he swam close enough to the shore where the two sat, to send a good splash their way. If Ciaran had caught that look, he'd be doing the same. Double effect.

"Oh, of course not, I wouldn't presume anything unseemly," she waved off the suggestion. But then leaned in, cat-like in her eagerness. "But tell me. What did you think about him?" And then their conversation was so RUDELY interrupted with a spray of water! She squealed and threw up her hands to protect herself.



Date: 09-02-10
Poster: Liam David Quinn 
Post # 83

She was about to answer when the water was sent their way. Good chance she'd already been in the water today. She turned away from the splash, laughing. "I'll get you back for that!!" Then looked at Fiona with a coy smile. "I think he's a cowboy." That was all she was getting!

Well, of course he couldn't resist helping Liam and so they would be interrupted with a double spray and he was laughing at the squeal. After all, Madame had that look about her, like she was up to something. No matchmaking! They had just gotten Fawn back!

"Oh, honestly, you are not children and that is not adorable!" As she was brushing the water from her hair and skirts. Harrumph. The boys had distracted her from the conversation too. Now she'd have to wait for some other opportunity to chat with Oisin about it.

"They are so adorable!" Smiling, she suddenly bounced up onto her feet and went running towards the water, dress and all, at her brothers with as much splash as she could manage. She went straight for Ciar, attempting to get an arm around him and tackle him back into the water.

Fiona responded just how he suspected,... girlish. Fawn went along with it and from what he picked up of the conversation, probably was thankful. Next he was up out of the water and coming after Fiona with that look in his eye that clearly told his intentions, something to the tune of scooping her up and sending her out into the lake.

He gave Fawn a grin, laughing as she suddenly charged him. He let out a gurgle kind of sound, and though he could have been stubborn, went down under the water. Of course, he made sure that Fawn went under with him. All with a big lovely splash.

"Oisin-!!" She squeaked when the girl went charging for the water like a wild thing, then pursed her lips. If you asked her, Oisin's brothers were a bad influence on the young lady. Then Liam was coming at her with that look in his eye. She only arched her brows at him, deadly. "Don't. You. DARE."

She toppled right on over and into the water with Ciaran, giggles fading away to hold her breath under water. Once under the surface, she let him go of course and popped up, laughing. See...Fiona thought the brothers were a bad  influence. Little did she know, Fawn had always been like this. She snuck out of her parents house on plenty of occasions and never had to worry about being proper then. This was just the first time Fiona got to witness it.

"Wrong words," that only intensified the dare as she was soon up into his strong arms, even plump as she was he was able to lift her with enough ease. Now she was against a bare wet chest as he headed in Fawn's wake. "Wait up, Fiona wants to join you," dumping her into the edge of the lake which was a touch more kind as it would only get her wet up to her knees at best, well, that was if he set her in but she had slipped and went in with a good splash landing on her tush.

She shrieked, she screamed, she squealed.... probably much to their enjoyment. Her shrill voice cut off with a splash as she was summarily dumped into the water at the lake's edge. Where she sat, glaring and sulking. "I have never  been treated this way in all my life."

He had popped up as well, then laughed when he heard Fiona. "Boy, did she say the wrong thing," he told Fawn and watched as Liam carried her to the water. He was trying not to laugh since she was so indignant but it was hard. "You need to enjoy yourself a bit. Proper is fine but you're among family and we're including you."

Fawn looked back just in time to see Fiona all but dropped into the water. It took a lot not to laugh, especially hearing Fiona. Drudging back towards where Fiona had been .... set down, she lunged at the woman, wrapping her arms around her, possibly forcing her over into the water with a squishy, wet hug. "Oh Madam! You must learn to enjoy life. What will you ever get to say you experienced if you're always stuffy and proper?"

He was in, making a splash like adding salt to the wound. "A bit of water on a hot long day is good for you Miss Fiona." Helping her up but she could wonder if his help might have her up and thrown further out. "Can you swim?"

She was fairly determined to be angry, but that comment from Ciaran, about being family.. couldn't help but soften her. She was close to Oisin, of course, but didn't know her brothers felt that way about her. In fact, she was touched. "Oh for goodness sake." Said when Fawn tackled her, but she actually was laughing as she said it. "There is something to be said for being proper, may I remind you," she told her young charge but it sounded teasing rather than reprimanding. She pushed a bit of wet hair out of Oisin's eyes then glanced up to Liam. "Of course I can swim, don't be absurd." She hadn't always been a Governess for the Harrington family, now had she? She sloshed to her feet under her own power, and just like that, she dove into the water! Though did let out a squeak when she surfaced. "It's FRIGID!"

"Proper has its place. It's not at the lake side with family." She smiled and released her hug on the woman so she could stand up, then stood up herself and watched Fiona dive into the water. It shouldn't have, but it did surprise Fawn. She'd never really seen Fiona quite that spirited without all the properness being attached to it. She couldn't help a bright smile with a look to both of her brothers before charging in after Madam.

"It is not," called after her with a laugh. It was actually pleasing to know she could swim. "Two months from now it will be.." Heading back out as he was up to tease Fawn's hair with a ruffling as he use to when she was little. A lifetime ago. Next moment she was off which gained a good laugh. He was over to see to the row boat, easing it in to the water to make sure there were no leaks.

He chuckled and applauded the woman when she surfaced. "Feels good, doesn't it?" He grinned then laughed when Fawn joined her. He watched Liam a moment before he headed in to join him. They'd have to do some patching if there were leaks but that wouldn't be a problem. Or maybe, if it was bad enough, they'd have to replace it.

She blew some water from her mouth as she floated, bobbing a bit in the water. Reaching up to smooth back her mussed hair, she watched Liam and Ciarán with Oisin and couldn't help but smile. It did feel good as Ciar had said.

Leaving her brothers to go inspect their boat, she swam out to where Fiona was with a small splash sent her way and a giggle. Then dipped down under the water with a noticeable tug on the woman's skirts before swimming off in some other direction.

"I think it could use a new paint job," as there didn't seem to be any leaks in it. "We'll have to get the canoe down here and check that out too." He was in the water, moving around it to inspect it thoroughly.

"Aye, probably been sitting here since the house was left empty." He moved out of the way so Liam could move it, stepped on a slippery rock and fell into the water with a splash. He didn't go under and was laughing as he sat there.

"Oh!" A surprised peep when her skirts were tugged on, and at first she was horrified that it was one of the lads, but then she saw both of them over by the canoe. Her eyes narrowed, she smiled mischievously and started swimming quietly around where Oisin was.

"We'll let her sit a day or two in the water to make certain. Get a gallon of paint from the mercantile at the port." One he had stopped in already to see what they had. Boat paint was one of such merchandise. He was up and out of the water so he could dry off, eyeing Ciaran as he slipped, eliciting a good laugh. "Watch out for the moss."

"Just so I don't get any rocks in my britches." He chuckled as he stood and turned to check on Fiona and Fawn. Then with a grin, he joined Liam. "What's the plan for tomorrow?" He didn't have to go into town for a day or two, so he'd be available.

Fawn had swam out a ways into the lake, enjoying the water. But as the night came and supper time approached, she realized that she was getting hungry. Turning back, she started for shore. "Who cares about tomorrow?! I'm hungry!"

Just when Oisin was getting relaxed, Fifi snuck up behind her and tweaked her hair. Oisin would turn to see her governess smiling cattily at her. "I could use a bit of a snack as well." Read: a huge meal.

"Well, we need to finish chopping more wood. Best to do that in the morning then cart around furniture that will be arriving." Which had him cast a glance Fiona's way especially, "under her direction," at least for most of the things. He had ordered furniture for his room and would see to that himself.

"Well, then maybe we should join them for a snack and head to bed." He was actually pretty tired and wouldn't mind going to bed early. They had put in a pretty full day after all.  And yes, he had ordered furniture for his room as well.

She squeaked and smiled to her governess. "Wonderful! We can wrap your packages up in the blanket and carry them that way if you like."

He secured the rope to a good sturdy smaller tree near the edge of the lake before back around. "I could use a good meal before relaxing a bit out on the porch." Long enough to settle his stomach, have a cigarillo, touch of whiskey, then head to bed. He would be sleeping soundly tonight. "Ladies, are you ready to see what Judy has ready in the kitchen?"

"I suppose that would work. But I cannot go anywhere like this." As she sloshed out from the lake, tugging at her sodden skirts to straighten them the best she could, then pushing the dark hair out of her face.

She looked at Fiona curiously. "You plan to stay here until all of your layers dry?" Her art book closed to keep from damaging the pages, she picked that up then started to pile Fi's boxes onto the blanket.

"No, I plan to return to the manor, tidy myself up, and then I shall join you for supper." She picked up a few of the packages to put them in the blanket as well.

That made him chuckle as he looked at Fiona. "Would you like me to carry the blanket?" He had left his shirt somewhere but if a critter didn't drag it off, he could find it tomorrow.

"Oh." She smiled, apparently that thought hadn't even occurred to her. She supposed she should at least put on a dry dress and some slippers before sitting down to eat. Looking to Ciar, she shook her head. "I think we can carry it and all Madam's boxes."

"We can sneak you up the back entry way before any of the staff sees you," So the group headed up to the manor, one they still needed to decide upon a name for.



Date: 12-06-10
Poster: Liam David Quinn
Post # 84

Dinner at the Harringtons
Edinwood Manor


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 get there.

"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 step in.

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 again.

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 greeted John.

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 own.

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 eating."

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.



Date: 12-06-10
Poster: Liam David Quinn
Post # 85

Fawn heard her brother speak of Bradley and glanced his way. Rather than her usual youthful scowl, however, was a smile. He was free to associate himself with whomever he wished. Giving Fiona a squeeze, she took the seat urged by Liam with a smile to him then settled herself in, drifting her attention between Martha and John. "It smells wonderful, mother. No doubt it will taste as good as it smells." Hands laid politely in her lap, she looked around to see her entire family gathered at one table for the first time. By blood, half blood or a simple certificate, this was her family. She looked back to Martha finally with an impish grin. "It was quite the adventure and interesting experience." Though she wasn't sure going into the details of some of their adventures would do well for her mother. Especially some of the more specific run-ins with natives and rogues.

Evan smothered a chortle at Liam's uncharacteristically fancy speech, covering it with a clearing of his throat and sip of brandy. Falling quiet to listen to Fawn speak.

Since Liam had seen to Fawn and Fiona, Ciaran waited for John to sit before he did the same. He grinned at Fawn when she looked her way, then looked down again. No, he wouldn't speak a word on it. Best to let Fawn and Fiona talk.


Martha was asking them about their journey through the Colonies. She allowed Fawn to speak first, knowing that the girl's interpretation would be much more bright and sunny than hers. "It was, ah... very exciting." She added her two cents with a polite clearing of her throat.

John settled into his customary role. He would enjoy his food, his drink, and just listen unless there was a need for him to comment.

Martha paused in slicing some of her glazed duck on her plate, looking between the two. Both were vague considering how long they were in the colonies. Perhaps they only needed a nudge for she was truly interested in hearing any stories they had. "Tell me how you met up with your brothers? Did you get to see any native Indians?" She knew of the red skinned tribes from rumors that floated around England of the colonies. Savages in their way of life but it intrigued Martha in spite of her so very proper upbringing. Once the questions were out, she was back to eating what was on her plate. Not too much, they may have noticed she lost some weight for the many harrowing weeks previous to their arrival here.

Fawn looked at Fiona when Martha asked if they got to see any Indians, then looked back to her mother and smiled. "We did, actually. They were quiet interesting to observe." She paused to take a bit of her meal before speaking further. "We actually found my brothers at a ball that we were all attending in Boston. Mr. Harrington had been invited and kind enough to see that Madam and I attended, and my brothers were there as well. It was quite the night for all of us."

Fifi exchanged glances with Fawn when Martha asked that question, and delicately nibbled a slice of duck, allowing Oisin to answer. Fawn was handling it quite diplomatically. "They were not all as.. savage as stories would lead you to believe," she offered her opinion on the natives, an opinion that had changed considerably over time.

She was going to ask more on the Indians for her curiosity was not sated quite fully. "I had wondered on that, you know how English society is," she certainly knew for being such an intricate part for so long.  Times were changing. "I hear there are some living in these lands. I do hope to meet some, when with John of course," glancing to her husband for as much as she was curious, there was fear in her heart they might chop off their scalps even if she knew they were not really like that, here. That not all the tribes were killing the white men as a one sided view would have it that they were killing the Natives not the other way around. She never heard the other side. Yet. "A ball?" Utensils were set on her plate before she clapped her hands together, those quick three times, "oh..." she was excited, "tell me more. Who was there? What were the gowns like?"

Yes, she was definitely staying away from the attack on their carriage. "Actually, those we've had a chance to speak with, were quite civilized. At one point we were threatened by bandits, and a native aided us." Spoken as casually as anything as she continued to eat. She eyed her mother again with a small grin. "I'm afraid I did not know anyone at the ball, aside from Bradley and the Captain, and my brothers of course. It was quite lovely and I found exactly who I was looking for." Meaning her brothers, of course.

"Ooooh," now here was something Fifi could talk about excitedly. "The gowns were lovely, and all of Boston society was there, though I did not know many of them myself, of course." And she began chattering about whom she'd seen and what they'd been wearing.

"A native aided you against bandits?" Well, coming from Oisin she believed her words to be true and not something embellished. Now that was something! Wide eyed she glanced to John, "did you hear that?" Sometimes she wondered if he was paying attention to the chit chat. Although Oisin didn't give much in the way of description, she knew her head was not on balls and gowns, Fiona on the other hand would notice. "Were they of the latest English fashion or were they being influenced by the more revealing French fashions?" Although she had no one to gossip this over with anymore, some habits died hard in curiosity and the latest scoop.

Liam was listening in a half interested way while he ate. The food was delicious and when Betty asked if he wanted more, he obliged her. Brandy glass was refreshed as well.

It was at this point, the front door opened, not that they could see but certainly they could hear the butler talking in low tones with the one that came in while he took the man's hat and coat.

Of course John was listening. He smiled at his wife when she asked her question. "Yes, I did. That's quite amazing." And off Martha went again, asking more questions. He looked toward the doorway at the familiar voice. "Ah, Bradley, just in time. Come join us." Raising his voice a touch.

"Do you know, many of them were French fashions. Some of them were quite low cut in the front, a bit too French if you know what I mean..." She had been leaning over slightly to gossip with Martha, but paused when the door opened and John named their new guest. Her eyes narrowed slightly and she cleared her throat just a bit, sliding a glance to Oisin.

Fawn was grateful that Fiona stepped in to speak up about the ball. Having no real taste for such events, Fawn rarely paid attention to the details of such things and was content to quietly eat while listening to her mother and Fiona chatting, then followed her father's attention to where Bradley entered. "Evening, Mr. Harrington." Not at all sounding spiteful or anything towards him! She actually sounded rather welcoming of Bradley.

Martha's cheeks were getting even more red and it wasn't from the brandy nor bustling around so much in the few hours, few days. A hand waved in front of her face in a quick fanning fashion. "My, my so I've heard.  I hear the men are not complaining as some of the matriarch's of the lands, those in places.." giving a glance John's way then sweeping over Oisin's brothers a moment to catch any reaction before any other thoughts were vanquished as their nephew arrived. Although not actually in the room yet, he could be heard and would hear them. "Come in Bradley and join us. Betty, please fix my nephew a plate." The women nodded quickly and was off to do just that. Joyce remained in the room to see to any refills of water or brandy.

Hearing Bradley arrive, Liam slipped a glance over his sister and Fiona. It had him pause with Fawn's expression being mild, although Fiona was sharpening her claws just in case, She might glimpse the slight smirk before attention turned to where Bradley would come into view through the archway separating the rooms.

"No, I doubt any of them would dare speak up lest the women revert back to the old fashions..." She commented mildly, sweeping a dark-eyed glance over Liam, Evan and Ciaran before turning to watch Bradley step in. "Good evening, Mr. Harrington," she offered her greeting in impeccably polite tones

Bradley stepped in with small boxes in hand. "Good evening everyone." Smile was warm and sincere as he moved about the table, setting a small box of cigars, one that held three each for the men at their place and setting a small box of Turlough chocolate confections at each of the lady's plates. "I am sorry I could not be here earlier for a business matter that could not wait another time." Which should not be a problem since this dinner was really for his uncle, aunt, Fawn and Fiona as well the brothers so they could meet them. Once done he was around to the empty spot left for him as Betty and Joyce both saw to him getting a meal and brandy. He thanked them in turn as he noticed the others were not quite finished yet so he hadn't been too late.

"I suppose they will dress as they wish," Ciar said mildly. Next year they could have fabric clean up to their chins. He grinned at Bradley as the man entered, thanking him for the cigars.

There had been some concern he knew about their meeting but all seemed fine and John was quite pleased with the fact that Oisin and Bradley's seeming truce. He smiled again and leaned back. "Quite all right, Bradley. You're still in time."

Fawn was good at ignoring conversations she had no interest in, such as fashion. Seeing the small box of candies placed for her, she offered Bradley a smile. "Thank you." As it seemed conversation had died down a bit, she looked to Martha with a fond smile. "My apologies that I've not been able to come visit you before now, mother. I wanted to give you time to settle and have been busy. But I promise to visit more now that it seems you and father are comfortable thanks in part to Mr. Harrington's kindness."

Martha fluttered a hand as her eyes became misty again, "not to worry my dear Oisin," being she really was not all that familiar with her Indian name. "I count my blessings this day and the days to come. Once Bradley is done, we can have our dessert." Glancing over them all as there were times to become quiet as everyone ate, or took turns conversing so it gave some the time to eat too.

Bradley dug right in but took a moment to toss out a question for anyone that wished to speak up. Some were finished with their meal and hopefully this would be taken up. "Is there any good news to share this day?" One that would be over in a few hours to come as it was getting late.

Liam had finished with his second portion and sat back, leaving just enough room for that cheesecake he noticed under a glass dome. "It wont be long before we have our first few public boxing matches. Before spring arrives. We are training about six young men with talent and have had one more experience waltz into the warehouse a day ago. I have high hopes.." his smile widening as he added, "but not too high." Avoid disappointment.

"Liam's good with people." Ciaran smiled slightly. "And the lads are eager to learn." He chuckled softly, "and willing to take a few punches here and there."

Fawn looked between the others and straightened up some. Her attention went to Liam with a smile. "Nice to hear of things growing for you." She looked around at the others, pausing on Bradley, then smiled. "Liam is not the only one who's been working. I've signed for a shop in the square. It's cleaned up and ready to start its beginning."

Martha had finished her meal as she took to listening to all about the table speaking up. For a change, it might shock John but she had periods of being quiet since all the changes in their lives. She stopped on Oisin with a blink. Instead of shock it was more impressed that she'd become so enterprising. "What kind of shop? I so would love to get out to the commons, it is in the commons? to come and see it."

Liam was gracious enough to look surprised considering he knew of  her secret but waited, pleased she was going to share it with them all. "So that is why the late nights getting home, the early leaving," surely she didn't think he hadn't noticed.

Bradley gave a quick wink in sharing that secret now revealed but he said nothing at this point considering he had to catch up with his meal so that dessert would be served.

Ciar looked at Fawn and grinned, wiggling a finger at her. "So, that's where you've been sneaking out to?" He didn't know where she was going but had noticed once or twice.

"That's wonderful, Oisin. What are you planning on selling?" He looked at Martha and smiled. The lass was truly an adult now.

Fiona had been content to continue eating the delicious fare while the others chatted, glancing to Liam when he spoke of his boxing business (if it could be called such) though that wasn't something she took much interest in. But when Oisin opened her mouth to reveal that little revelation, well Fifi could only stare at her charge, shocked into silence. What was Oisin talking about, why had she kept it from her? A million questions came to mind but she somehow couldn't speak them. Only belatedly close her gaping mouth.

If Fiona had questions, she should ask! Spotting the expression, Fawn could only offer the woman a fond smile. She'd kept it from everyone. Well, everyone but Brad, but that was because he happened to find her working in the shop to get it finished up before taking the others to see it. And...of course she had no idea that Liam already knew. "Ceramics and pottery. Everything's all set up." She looked back to Fiona. "I was hoping that maybe you'd join me. Someone's going to have to paint everything, and you have such a wonderful sense of color and steady hand."



Date: 12-06-10
Poster: Liam David Quinn
Post # 86

"Oh my, you use your hands in shaping mud into something beautiful." Putting her hands in mud, as she saw it, was something very foreign to Martha. In fact, she never had to cook for there was a Cook to cook. The only things her hands were used for was embroidery and penmanship in the creative fields. "I did not know. When did you learn?" She was very curious and even more curious to see what her daughter had made -- by her hands. Looking then upon John, "did you hear that? She can make mud into fine pottery." Like John was daft or something but it was more her surprise and in a way confirming what she heard was true.

Bradley continued with his food, not looking at anyone having already known and the fact he kept her secret. No, he had a job to do with eating presently so he got done and they could all have cheesecake. His favorite.

"Well then, I'll have to come and see it very soon. Where exactly is it located?" As if he didn't know. No, he was not going to give that away. Although there was a gleam in dark eyes that didn't hide the pride he had for her.

John was smiling as he watched Oisin then he turned that same smile on his beloved wife. "Yes, I hear, my dear. She'll be a real artist and I find it quite amazing. Makes me very proud." He nodded and lifted his glass toward Liam. "Yes, we'll have to come see it, and if there's anything you need, Oisin, anything at all, you let me know." He knew she wanted to be independent but he had made the offer and meant it.

Ciaran leaned back in his chair, pride showing in his expression. "You outdid yourself in keeping the secret, Fawn. How long ago did you decide this?"

Fifi still seemed somewhat shocked but she swallowed a sip of wine and managed to smile at Oisin. "Yes... of course," she murmured her agreement. Though in truth her tone was just a little... tense? After all, she had been under the impression that they would be opening a shop together and here it seemed Oisin had gone ahead on her own. True, Fifi had been busy with the household but.... ahhh, well. In present company she kept such thoughts to herself and sipped her wine.

Fawn had to bite the inside of her cheek while listening to her mother. Clearing her throat softly, she smiled. "It's not mud, mother. It's clay, and I learned at school, in my crafts class. That wind chime that hung from the stoop back home? The one I gave you for mother's day?" She hadn't ever said she made it, just gave it to her mother. She looked at Fiona, noting the tense tone and frowned some, setting her fork down. They'd be doing it together, but she  wanted to surprise Fiona, knowing that she'd been working so hard on the manor and getting everyone and everything settled. Last thing she needed to worry about along with all of that was the shop. Ciar got a small smile. "About three weeks ago. Mr. McDonough met with me and showed me the shop. I thought having it ready would be a nice surprise. And thank you, father. I appreciate the offer." Which she did. But she'd not ask for help unless she had no other  choice.

"Yes. Yes, the chimes that I loved so much from you. I have brought them with me of the few things that I could." They had sold all their furniture and brought only personal things. Martha had treasured every little thing Oisin had given her. Mud and clay were the same to her but if she got to see her daughter actually make something, she'd learn the difference other than being corrected. "So, you will be making such chimes to sell?" That was a logical line of thought. She noticed the one brother more quiet than the rest and so would ask, "you are feeling all right, Evan? The food was not too rich?" She would worry on such matters. She motioned to Betty to bring the coffee and tea for those who wanted as well to serve the cheesecake. Bradley seemed to be done.

Oops. He may have been daydreaming, a common fault of his these days. But with the calling of his name, he immediately sat up straighter and offered Martha a bright grin. "Aye, no, I'm grand, and the food was delicious. Thank you."

"Wind chimes among other things. Pottery, dish sets, cups. Maybe figurines if I have a talent for such things." She thanked Betty for the tea and cheesecake and smiled to Evan who had been oddly quiet. Thinking of Mariah, no doubt.

That seemed to sate her that nothing was amiss with her meal as she thanked Betty as she placed her slice of cheesecake and some tea poured by Joyce to go with it. "When can we come? When are you officially open?" Setting to eat her dessert along with her tea.

Liam was finished with his slice of cheesecake, foregoing the coffee but had some more of the brandy. The conversation seemed at a standstill as he rose, "I think I will go try one of these cigars." Being he could either go outside or most likely they had a smoking room which most English manors had.

Done with both meal and dessert, he rose seeing as Liam had. "I will join you." It was a way to top off the evening meal by customs. "Ladies..." they would be back in a short bit while ladies gathered after a meal, probably talk about the men.

"You can come any time. I suppose we'll open as soon as we have a few things to display, so when ever I can draw Madam from the manor. If she's not too upset with me."

Evan had scarfed down a slice of the cheesecake as well, washing it down with another brandy as Liam had. "Me too." He rose and tucked his chair in carefully as a gentleman ought. "Mr Harrington, Mrs Harrington, thank you for the wonderful meal." He was perfectly polite when he was actually paying attention! A quick grin and he would follow after his half brothers

"I'll join you." Ciaran stood and smiled at the ladies. The cheesecake had been delicious but he was full. "Yes, indeed. Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Harrington. It was excellent." He bowed slightly before he too was heading for a smoke.

"I think I'll join the gentlemen, my dear." He stood and smiled at the three women. "If you'll excuse me of course." He'd pop in to tell Cook how good it all was as well.

"Excellent meal I thoroughly enjoyed as well the company. You are a fine hostess, Mrs Harrington." Liam gave a quick smile leaving the ladies to talk, perhaps more, Fawn and Fiona needed a chat without everyone hanging over them.

Fifi indeed was uncharacteristically quiet as she delicately nibbled on the cheesecake, admittedly her favorite. A pause was given as the men rose as one to go have a smoke, dipping her chin politely along with a brief smile of farewell.

Smile came as he would congratulate his aunt later for the meal and hostess part. Smile touched more in his eyes that touched upon Fawn, then Fiona in turn before he led the brothers, along with John, into the smoking room. A room that had a small bar too.

Martha was flattered as she stood as the men took their leave for a smoke, drink and business talks. "Fiona, Oisin, I will be in the kitchen if you need me." She needed a few by herself and to talk to Betty and Joyce, leaving the two with their dessert if they had not finished it.

A small smile given to the men as they took their leave to stink up the smoking room, she slanted a glance towards Fiona who was very oddly quiet. She could tell that something was wrong and now questioned how she'd gone about handling the shop.

Fiona really and truly did not want to get into a discussion with her beloved Oisin, not here and now at least. But she couldn't help but feeling just a little bit left out of the equation. Oisin had always been an independent thing, so perhaps she oughtn't have been surprised. Either way she was just a wee bit hurt... and glanced idly up at the flowery patterns of the wallpaper as she took another bite of dessert.

Fawn sat quietly for a few moments in the silence. "Madam, you've not said anything." Even if she was mad, mad was better than nothing at all. "I did not mean to upset you."

"You did not upset me." It was half a lie but the polite protest to make nevertheless. "You did surprise me. The last time we spoke, it was of opening a boutique together. But clearly you had a change of plans, and that is perfectly alright." Her tone was... well, attempting to be calm and even and it was a fairly good attempt.

Fairly good, but Fawn knew her better and could read between the lines. She just looked at her plate, which she hadn't touched the cheesecake. "I should have spoken to you about it, but you were so busy with the manor and getting everyone settled and taken care of, I did not wish to add to your worries and running around. I wanted to surprise you with something I thought you would enjoy. I hoped perhaps painting would be something relaxing between taking care of the manor and my brothers and myself."

"Well, I do enjoy painting and you know that. I just.. simply wish you had wanted to include me." She must have set up the entire shop by herself, if it had been such a secret, and it seemed silly when Fifi would have happily helped. Perhaps it was not really the shop itself that upset her so. Perhaps it was an inner realization that Oisin wasn't her little girl any more. She was a woman grown with her own life, a life that she couldn't help but to feel... was moving away from Fifi's own. That was what truly hurt. With no immediately family of her own, no children and not much of a hope that she might still have her own some day... Oisin was about all she had in this new land. Without her, well, it looked like a long and lonely road ahead. She tried to smile to diffuse the situation. "Never mind, it does not matter. I'm sure it will be a lovely shop."

Fawn wasn't completely buying the sudden smile. Leaving her plate, she turned to Fiona and smiled. "It will be a lovely shop. It will be our lovely shop. Let's get my mother and we can take the surrey to go see it. I've been dying to show you! But I wanted to have everything just right before taking you there. I'm going to need your help decorating it. I cleaned it, and painted it, but it needs your touch in decorating. The windows are bare and the walls are bare."

She knew very well what Oisin was doing here. Trying to appeal to Fifi's passion for interior decorating! Alas, it worked. A little. Shrugging carelessly, Fifi picked at her last bite of cheesecake. "If you wish."

Fawn had no intention of taking everything away from Fiona! She had a wonderful knack for decorating. Fawn got the basics taken care of so that Fiona could go in and not have to worry about the cleaning. She smiled to Fiona and leaned over to give her a quick kiss on the cheek. "You're going to love our shop!" Bouncing up from her seat, she went to the kitchen to find Martha. "Mother!" She peeked inside. "Madam and I would like you to join us for a ride into the commons to look at the shop. Won't you come with us?"

Martha had just finished up speaking with the two and about to leave them to their jobs when Oisin peeked in, Her hand flew to her throat as she quite startled her. A huge smile followed. "I would love to come with you. Desdin can drive us in the surrey there." They had gotten the new one that the wheels could be lifted up and the sled blades lowered if there was enough snow. It seemed their might be tonight. She was in a flurry there to get her boots and her winter cloak.

She was going to argue that they didn't need anyone to drive the surrey, but she wouldn't. One of these days, she and her mother were going to have to have a talk about learning to do things. For now though, she just smiled and returned to the dining room. "Mother's getting ready. We should do the same, Madam."

Fifi was still sulking a bit but the idea of seeing the new shop and its potential, was undeniably appealing. So she put her fork down and rose as bidden with a nod. "Very well, but it's cold, don't forget your cloak." Old habits died hard! She moved then to fetch her own heavy velvet cloak, pulling on a pair of white silk gloves as well.

The butler had already seen to alerting Desdin who was already out and seeing to the sled which was brought around to the front of the manor by the time they were ready. He was a man in his late thirties, hard worker and considered handsome still. Dark hair with just a touch of silver at the temples. His previous job had ended with the family leaving back to England and so needed another, taking this one when advertised. A hard working man. The Butler would see them to the door and out while Desdin would see them into the carriage. It was snowing pretty hard. Martha would not know how to drive the horses. All in an excited flurry she even stuck her head into the cloud of smoke in the smoking room. "You should open a window for some of this," more chiding her husband lightly as she would with a wave of her hand stirring the clouds. "We are off to the commons and will be back later," announcing it so they knew and then was whisking herself away with Fiona and Oisin out the door before they could say a word. Her own words low between the, "you should have seen their faces..."

"But I enjoy shivering so!" As though she'd forget her cloak! It as freezing outside. Hearing her mother speaking to the men, she was about to suggest perhaps they be invited as well, but then she and Fiona were being whisked out the door. Fawn laughed lightly, fastening her cloak. Desdin was given the location of the shop while waiting for Martha and Fiona to climb up in the surrey and followed.

In the midst of their conversation it was broken by the appearance of none other than Martha. Brows shot up but certainly it amused Bradley than annoyed. "Well, lads, Uncle, shall we give them five then follow them?"

Liam nodded in agreement. "I say you're on Bradley. Provided you've a few extra horses we can borrow."

Ciaran nodded then shrugged. "Sure. I'm in." He grinned as he studied the cigar. "Gives us a little more time to enjoy these."

"I'd like to see the shop." John decided rather quickly. And I have extra horses. One of the things I had no wish to leave behind." They were good stock and worth smuggling though it took some work and money.



Page 1  2  3  4  5      Main

Hit Counter