Poster: Gabriel Vaughn
Post # 37
Talk with the Quinns
Gabriel had already talked to Eion about speaking with him personally
and his brothers if they were there. He also sent word ahead to Melantha
of his intentions and if she wished to join him when he approached her
brothers. After all, it was her choice as well. Neither knew when or if
the brothers would come but Gabriel had held off any formal commitment
with the hope he could speak first with the head of the family,
namely Eion. Truth be told, he had learned about the scuffle in the
street of the three brothers fighting and concern the King of these
lands held, so had stayed a few days longer before coming to give
whatever disturbance there was a chance to settle. He nor Melantha
needed anything else negative eating away at the brother when he was
approached on this matter. He knocked at the back kitchen door, knowing
Mel would be there so that they might go together.
Mel had been trying to keep out of everyone's way but it seemed to be
that kind of day. Finally, she had managed to settle in the kitchen not
long before he arrived. She opened the door and grinned at him then
stepped back. She was in her usual garb for evenings, a gown made
of light materials for the time of year, this one cotton in a pale green
with an all over design in a slightly darker shade. "I was on pins
and needles waiting." Keeping her voice low.
He was quick to step inside, quick to take her up into his arms but slow
to kiss her fully after she spoke. That was his greeting first and
foremost before lips lifted from the sweetness of hers. "You should
know that I met your brother on the king's field when he was tested. I'm
not sure how he took the testing but he knows I have wings." So
that didn't come as a surprise to her but certainly this all was going
to be a surprise for Eion and his brothers, "your brothers Conor
and Segan were there to see also." Stepping fully in so the door
could be closed behind them. "Are they here?" He heard they
were frequenting the Thistle quite a bit though he had sent word to Eion
in particular. He didn't tell Melantha about the scuffle in the street.
That he didn't consider his business.
For a moment, she forgot where she was but reality set in all too
quickly. "I know you were there but he hasn't said much about it
yet. I think it unsettled him." She smiled as she added, "Gran's
told us not to say anything. Let him tell us when he's ready." She
nodded to his questions. "All three and relaxing some in the living
room. I think they're trying to behave." And it was nearly
impossible not to hear about the scuffle. Gran and Aunt Chandra had
talked about that the day after. It was like they were all living back
in Ireland. Almost.
Now that it seemed things were finally settled, Eion had asked his
brothers to join him in the living room. He made sure they both had
drink, and sat in one of the comfortable chairs, watching them. Whether
they were seated or not, he was going to start. "I went to speak to
the King the day after we had our ... discussion." Offering a hint
of a smile. His eye was finally going down so he could see though still
quite swollen. "He is very understanding, and probably one of the
wisest men I've met. Though I've no doubt he's also one not to put up
with a lot of foolishness."
Conor wasn't seated, and he wasn't not seated. He had gratefully
accepted that glass and then had gone to a window. The windows of the
manor house were large and some reached ceiling to floor, others ceiling
to hip. The one in living room where Conor claimed was also deep and he
hitched a hip to the sturdy window sill and looked outside. When his
brother started talking, Conor looked in his direction. "You spoke
with the King?" Yes, he heard him! He just wasn't sure he wanted to
Segan had kicked back the first drink so filled his glass again before
taking his seat. Eion had already started talking but it was a
start he already heard and had held him off on to when Conor could be
with them. That and the time had not been the best, very late at night
and quite a few drinks in them This was the first he drank today.
Amazingly enough but then he'd been pretty busy. There were a lot of
things for him to work through as well but he had kept this all silently
within. He'd work it through, no big deal attitude. "Tell us more
so that we can see this wise man through your eyes, in what makes him
wise." Relaxing back into the cushions of the chair as he was set
And that was another of the differences between Conor and Segan. Same
curiosity...different way of stating it.
He grinned at Conor then at Segan. "Well, for one thing, he was
expecting me. He'd heard about our 'talk'. For another thing, he
understood my concerns. He didn't treat them as if they were unimportant
or act as if I should just deal with them, no questions asked. He spoke
on our grandfather too, and how he had to face the unknown when he left
here and went to Ireland. At any rate, by the time he was done, I was
certain he was a man I could serve. He told me to take a little longer
to think about it, while I healed."
He interjected here before Eion could continue. "Don't bother
sugar coating it, we're not teens anymore. All out scuffle, ruckus,
He snorted out a laugh. "No, but he didn't actually refer to it. In
fact, he said that in the months to come, he was sure there'd be few who
haven't heard about the Quinn brothers." A grin appeared with that.
"And anyway, I'm still going to train. Not sure where I'll end
up." He chuckled. "Except it won't be a ranger."
There wasn't a single movement from the window area. Conor didn't even
lift his drink. He might even have been holding his breath until Eion
got to the part Conor was waiting for...the outcome! As soon as Eion
mentioned he would be training, Conor slapped his knee with a
"good" hooting out. He hadn't had his brothers around for some
time, it was good to know that the odds had just gotten better that he
would be spending more time with them. Also, that Gran would have two
others to ... talk to.
"That could be good ... or bad if our scuffle becomes the way of
it." Though they were not really ruffians that spent all their time
fighting or looking for a fight in that way. Hearing Conor with a laugh
to follow, "I second that emotion. Good." Otherwise there
might be more scuffles until he and Conor pounded some sense into their
brother or he'd become senseless with enough poundings. "That
leaves you and me, Conor." As in finding their path here. Though
Conor had taken as step in that direction, Segan had not taken any
It became obvious the brothers were talking as he and Melantha stepped
into the hallway. Still at a distance to really overhear he stalled
there, bringing her in close as he tugged at a lock of hair. "Shall
we stomp our feet like a herd of elephants in warning?" His words
drawn low as he leaned in, fingers sliding from the silken tress as the
warmth of his breath tickled at her ear.
"Oh, aye, that will alert them." Depending what they were
talking on. At least their voices weren't raised. Of course, she could
stand there all day, held close with him whispering in her ear but
someone would find them eventually. If it were her brothers, they'd have
some explaining to do. She studied his face then smiled. "Whenever
"I saw the saddle Conor worked on. Couldn't resist taking a look.
You really have become a master, Conor." He had seen his work
before but that saddle was one of the best."
"Thanks, Eion. Now I just need the McDonough Laird to be
"Aye, and I was right in behind you to see it. I was just as
impressed and may see about commissioning you to make me one when you
can. Full price." He'd not ask for a discount. Hard work was hard
work. "I found out we have race horses, did you know that?" He
had taken a trip to Falkirk Downs to see all the race horses and where
Melantha had a lot of time invested. "According to the stats, they
are doing pretty good."
Whenever he was ready but with the look in her eyes and so close, it was
hard for Gabriel to be ready but procrastinate while arms remained
loosely around her in case anyone else in the house, such as her
grandmother he was hearing so much about, happened upon them. Well, at
least his wings were not out, that might startle the elderly woman into
a heart attack and what an impression he'd make then! A little nuzzle
before lifting his head to speak a few octaves higher as if calling back
to her like she was in the kitchen, "you did say the living room,
Melantha?" Giving a wink as he straightened up, arms falling from
their loose capture.
"Aye, the living room." She kept her voice a little lower,
trying not to laugh. "Here, I'll take you." And with that she
curled her fingers through his. Oh, she understood the hesitation but if
Gran caught them she might take a broom to them both. She walked up to
the doorway and tapped, leaning slightly. "Is it safe to come
"We do? Where did they come from." But before it
could be discussed further it seemed Gabriel had arrive. He looked at
his brothers and stood, motioning for the two to enter. "Come on in
and join us. We were just talking about the training and other
things." He hadn't run off the king's field when Gabriel showed his
wings. He wouldn't leave the room now.
"Ah, our guest," rising to his feet as a chance to stretch as
well. A glance spared Conor then Eion to linger as it seemed Melantha
was showing him within. There was also the part on the fact this was the
man with wings.
Mary lifted her head, cocked it to the side, and listened. There was a
voice she hadn't heard before. She eased the glasses off her nose and
placed them in the basket that held the rest of her sewing supplies. The
doll she worked on, she placed to the side. She had already completed
four, but she'd like at least two dozen to deliver to the orphanage. The
sewing would wait, however, because her curiosity was getting the better
of her. The stranger's voice, and Mel's, together? Mary was not fooled
into thinking that they were not standing side by side. She eased up,
practically tip-toed to the door of the parlor, and poked her head out.
Out...and In. They were joining the boys in the living room. A sweep of
hand smoothed down her apron, she patted at the base of the up-do
Chandra had fixed of her hair, then stepped out as if she meant to just
walk right in too. Instead, the matron of the Quinns flattened herself
to the wall and inched her way, her head tilted, as if she could stretch
her ear inside that room before she ever reached it.
Conor dropped his foot from the ledge, straightening in his stance to
prepare to greet this man. He hadn't really had the chance to meet the
knight on the field and, considering he had almost charged him down, the
youngest Quinn was a tad uncomfortable with this meeting. He was here to
talk to Eion though so there must be matters of importance to speak of.
Not hotheaded brothers.
Stepping within the room as fingers remained entwined with Melantha's.
It would be the first hint what was about to be addressed. "Melantha
and I have been seeing each other, properly, for some time."
Stressing properly as he released her hand now that they were
within. It was more to show he was not hiding their attraction but
neither would it be proper to continue holding hands while addressing
her brothers. "I came to work here to earn the keep of my racing
horse your sister was kind enough to take on for boarding. Now two as
gradually I gained another." Though that didn't need any more
particulars but more a basis to work off. "In that time we found an
attraction. So we have been in each other's company as often as we
could. Without the head of her family here, it was all we could do. It
gave us time to be sure it was not a passing fancy. Now that you are
here, Eion, as well Segan and Conor," addressing each as dark eyes
shifted accordingly then back to Eion. "I would, we would,"
looking to Melantha and back, "like to court."
Conor's brows shot up, looking between Gabriel and Melantha. The man
didn't waste time or mince words! He didn't even look to his brothers,
just between the two that were properly seeing each other.
Mel smiled at Gabriel then looked at her brothers. Was she nervous, not
really. Of course she didn't know how Eion reacted to everything that
had happened previously. She watched him but occasionally glanced at the
Eion didn't have any idea what Gabriel wanted to talk about until he saw
him step into the room with Melantha and it suddenly was quite obvious.
He listened with a serious expression then let out a soft whoosh of air.
Rubbing his forehead, he thought a moment then looked at Gabriel.
"I don't claim to understand what it is about this land but I do
understand that I couldn't say no and keep the two of you apart. I can
see how much you mean to one another and I truly appreciate your coming
to me. So, I guess the only thing left to say is you not only have my
permission but my blessing. Now if either Segan or Conor have any
objections, you may have to deal with that. I don't." Karl, Peter
and the other knights, had no problem accepting Gabriel's wings. Neither
would he, even if he were ... unsure.
Segan approached Gabriel and moved around him before full circle.
"You have wings. How? Where are they?" Things like wings
didn't bother him one bit, unlike Eion's reaction but then, they knew
not of his journeys those seven years away. "Where do you come
from, are you human?" He didn't mince words either as he asked all
that drove his curiosity. Would Melantha be bedding a bird?
Eion's acceptance caused Conor to blink and he looked in his brother's
direction briefly before snapping his attention back to Mel, then to
Gabriel. Courting could eventually mean marriage. Conor didn't know how
it worked here, but where he came from, that was the usual order of it.
When Segan finished circling, and questioning, Conor added his own
question. "You are a knight of Innis Daingneach, are you not?"
Court? Mary shot up straight, clamping a hand over her mouth to keep
from squealing. She didn't know the man but she'd get to know him and
Melantha ... Melantha would be a'courtin'! She pressed her skirts aside
with her free hand and did a bit of a jig out in the hall, a swishing,
sliding dance that made just a whisper of sound. There she was, in the
corridor, feet scooting, hand over her mouth, eyes sparkling with
excitement. For now, she'd keep quiet until her granddaughter came to
her with any news. Oh, but she would be bursting! Bursting! Until that
time. Still holding in her excitement with the palm of her hand, she
scurried down the hall to return to her sewing. As if she would even be
able to concentrate on it! Maybe...maybe...she'd take a break from it
and sew a pretty scarf for her granddaughter. One she could wear when
she and her beau spent time together!
Mel grinned when Eion gave his approval. Well, of course he would!
Gabriel had done everything right. She blinked when Segan started his
round of questions and then Conor added one in. Stepping back just a
little, she was over to hug Eion while Gabriel answered. Then she be
right back to the knight. She hadn't realized they had seen his wings!
In spite of any doubts Eion might have, it was obvious they cared for
one another deeply. He might be skeptical about other women but not his
own sisters. He glanced at the hallway then Mel was hugging him and he
didn't have time to investigate. Ah well, even if someone was in the
hall, it was good news they were hearing. His attention went back to
Gabriel and his brothers.
Unbeknownst, their grandmama left at a good time for all the questions
he would need to answer and easier to show them some of it. He wanted to
reassure them for certainly there would be doubts with the unknown. He
would answer the easier question first. "I think it is only right
for you to know some about me as I've come to know you all through
Melantha before you ever arrived. I was a knight in the lands of
Daurenia first along with two others that survived the holocaust. We
traveled in search of answers, and in search of those who survived. It
brought me here. I am human but one that has wings. This was not
something I knew until after being here a few months there about. In
fact it started out as an itch I would get, then the first time they
actually extended, I thought a large bird had gotten hold of me when I
near fell off a cliff dragging my comrade with me." Now he could
look upon that night with humor in his eyes. "It seems it comes
from an ancient time that holds to my soul. Where what may seem
impossible to some today, was commonplace. These lands seem to call to
the soul and gifts that are extraordinary are used to benefit and help
all, not used for selfish means. After being here a while it came about
to add our strength to those of Innis Daingneach. I was tested mostly by
Lazare, as Eion was tested. My comrades and myself then knighted under
King Peter but to be stationed here in these lands." Since Segan
was that curious, "if you will bear with me," as he took off
his shirt enough so they could see the intricate tattoo on his back.
"I woke up with this one morning after a night I couldn't remember
but nothing came of it until about a year ago. An old woman had taken me
in when she found me staring and about to give up on ever finding my
comrades. If you'd like to see the wings come out, I have learned to
control them at will. This was not so in the beginning and I probably
reacted much like Eion had."
He gave a low whistle under his breath, "that has to be the best
tattoo I've ever seen." It was perfect in color and design as he
studied it closer. After all, Gabriel seemed to not mind. He even
touched the ink, or what he thought was ink. "This is not inked
like other tattoos." Which it was dawning on him it was not a
conventional tattoo. Plus the touching had some fibers to be felt under
the pad of his finger. "I'd like to see how they emerge." Even
if his brothers weren't curious, he was. He was the one that had to take
everything apart when young to see how it worked. At least he could put
them back together too.
Stationed here, not Innis. The large muscles along Conor's back relaxed
a little and to help that along, he rolled a shoulder. "So, the
wings ... do they pass down the blood line?" Like the color of your
eyes, the length of your nose? He glanced to Mel. She'd probably get
pissed at him for his questions. That's alright. He just wanted to
prepare himself for possible future nieces or nephews that would be too
difficult to catch when they had acted like a true Quinn.
Mad? Of course she wouldn't get mad. Though she did sit as they spoke.
That was something she hadn't considered, or what Gran would think of
Gabe's wings. There was ... so much to think about She wrinkled
her nose at Conor when he looked her way then watched Segan. He was
fascinated, wasn't he? Oh, and that was another revaluation.
Eion hadn't reacted well when he first saw the wings. She'd be asking
questions when she and Gabriel were alone.
And this was why he was glad his brothers were here. Eion wasn't too
sure of himself, and hadn't realized he'd be the one suitors would come
to if they wanted to court his sisters. He moved around to look at
Gabriel's back, leaning closer, but he didn't touch. Straightening
up, he grinned at Conor. Good question!
He didn't mind the questions, didn't mind their curiosity. Hell, he was
curious about some of these questions and answers himself. Gabriel was
mild manner until someone got him pissed off. The feathers started
emerging as he spoke, sliding out forming, growing in split seconds
until the wing tips reached out to the ceiling. They had the patch of
fire red at the shoulders in marking of the redwing blackbird. "I
was not born with wings. I honestly do not know if the tie is through
the soul in a ancient heritage or through an ancient bloodline that
moves in my veins and then the potential passed to any of my offspring.
Anything is possible," which had dark eyes lifting as they turned
summer blue upon Melantha. How did she feel about any of this. If
courting led to marriage, would she accept the possibility of their
children inheriting wings? He didn't draw in the wings just yet as they
folded in after the flex out and up.
She might have to tie a rope around their waists if they did when they
were babies, if that happened. Otherwise, she might be chasing them all
over the realms. The thought of chasing winged babies made her smile as
she looked at Gabriel. She'd have to talk to the Queen about
"Amazing, fffffffff..." hissed as he caught himself with
Melantha there, "simply amazing." Though he noticed there was
a quality about the feathers that made them more like a shield, not
quite like a bird's yet had the same kind of fibers and texture. "I
wish I had wings," grinning as he'd not bother Gabriel overly more
on any of this. He'd been kind enough to put up with all their questions
and being put on display to reassure the brothers for his obvious
respect, love, fondness, of their sister. He shook Gabriel's hand,
"congratulations, treat her good or you'll have the brothers Quinn
on your tail, feathery one or not." Next he was over to draw
Melantha up into a hug. "If you are happy, this man makes you
happy, then I'm all for the union."
He cut a look toward Segan and chuckled then stood, offering his hand to
Gabriel. "We'll see how things go but aye, Mel is a wonderful woman
and from the way she looks at you, very much in love. And take
Segan at his word. We'll be expecting you to treat her well." And
for Mel to do the same. He looked at Segan again, wondering what the
devil he'd do with wings and that cause another question. "How high
can you go with those?"
Conor was the only one that didn't come over to inspect. Instead, he
crossed to where the bottle sat and added more to his glass. This, he
tossed back. Since Segan asked a question, Conor remained silent. He
chose a chair closer to Mel and that's where he sat.
"I will always treat her good. That was how I was raised in respect
of women." Which he could say all he wanted knowing it would be
proven in time. Wings folded back down into the tattoo before he
replaced the shirt, lacing it back and tucking into his pants neatly
again. The empowered sword hung at his left him, sheathed. "High as
one can still breathe as the air gets thinner the higher you go. Did
they tell you, that if you are knighted, Eion, that you will be fitted
to one of the hundred swords of Heathfield? Ones empowered by the Druid
Prince." If they thought him having wings was amazing... He needed
a drink as he was over to fill a glass from the small bar, potcheen of
course. "Would you like something Melantha?" Glancing her way
as it seemed them courting had been accepted by all brothers though he
wasn't' really sure on Conor.
Segan was done as he was back to his seat to claim and finish his drink.
She was proud of her brothers, even Conor, who seemed reluctant and
proud of Gabriel. "Yes, thank you." She touched Conor's
shoulder briefly as she stood. Moving to join Gabriel, she gave
him a little hip bump. She'd have to talk to Gran soon!
"Good." He blinked at mention of the swords and shook his
head. "No, though I haven't discussed much with anyone. Mostly I'm
supposed to heal." He touched Conor's shoulder briefly. If the
youngest of the three brothers had concerns, he was sure they'd discuss
them later. It was also to show him that Eion himself wasn't sure how
things were going to play out.
They might notice how his features changed, softened from the more stoic
when Melantha approached him. The look in his eyes that were back to the
dark hue after his wings disappeared down into the tattoo. "Shall
we take a walk in the garden before I need to go?" Handing her the
drink he knew she would favor this time of night, some of the blackberry
"I'd like that." She accepted the glass, watching his face.
Conor would come around in time and Eion would see that everything would
be fine. Segan's acceptance was only the first. "Good night you
three." She'd make sure breakfast was extra special. Once again,
she curled her fingers through his as they left the manor through the