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Shawnesey Clan Tales

Date: 02-10-11
Poster: Patrick Maitland
Post # 1

It wasn't often that Douglas left the borders of Heathfield or her sister realms except when he was on one of his father's ships.  Today was an exception with a delivery that had to be made in the old part of Rhydin, and had to be made now, even if it was the first day of the new year.  After, he decided to make a stop at the Tavern where his parents had met.  After all, one of his brothers had been here already.  From what he had been told, he was surprised to find it nearly deserted.  Which, wasn't a bad thing, considering his mood of late.  He was tired of constantly be kidded about his younger brothers being heroes or heroes to be.  A good Irish whiskey was what he wanted, and that's what he'd have.

Heroes were overrated.  Patrick hadn't realized that someone else had entered the tavern and only noticed the new arrival when he came from the back room with his apple.  "Well, hello there." He commented, moving to the back counter where he had already poured himself that glass of whiskey. 

He hadn't expected anyone to notice him either so the grin he gave was heartfelt, even though he had been startled too.  "Hello to you too."  And being he was brought up to show some manners, he offered his hand.  "Douglas Shawnesey." 

Patrick had moved around with his full glass and an empty, the bottle tucked under his arm next to his side and had just taken a bite of his apple when the boy introduced himself.  His chewing...stopped.  His steps...slowed.  He blinked, trying to figure out if he had heard correctly.  "Shawnesey...Douglas Shawnesey?"  One, two, three, the glasses one by one, and then the bottle found the counter near the lad.  "Maggie O'Brien's boy?"  He swallowed hard to clear the apple from his throat.

"Aye.  Her eldest boy in fact." He had an older sister but ...    He watched the man, more than a bit curious.  "Do you know my mother then?"  And barely kept from wincing at his own question.  Obviously the man did know her! 

Patrick was, for the first time in a long time, almost speechless.  He studied the lad, the strength of facial features, the set of shoulders, the way he reacted to the mention of his mother.  "She used to tend here." Is all he said for now.  "Patrick Maitland."  He returned the offer of his hand to the lad, taking a step closer to do so.  "Does she fare well?  Your mother?"  Since her union with Rhett and the events in his own life, Patrick had allowed his vow to lapse.  But then, it was as he said to Rhett those many years ago - she was now Shawnesey's responsibility.  Patrick had followed news of the pair for a few years after their wedding, knew she had named their first child after Stephen and their son was named Douglas, after a long-time family friend of Maggie's.   Then, life had taken over, and he had lost track, and the guilt of it now stood before him in the flesh of Maggie's second born. 

His smile had faded some, wondering if something was wrong until he heard the man's name. He hadn't heard much but he knew Patrick Maitland was a friend of his mother's and yes, even knew about being named after him.  He shook Patrick's hand firmly like he had been taught, then released before answering.  "Aye, she's doing very well.  Keeps us well in hand and still enjoys life as always.  It's a pleasure to meet you, Patrick."  He looked around the tavern then back. "I knew she had.  One reason why I came here to have a look to be honest."

Patrick followed his lead and looked around as well.  "Back in her day, Douglas, this place roared with activity.  But your Mum could manage the hoards better than any of them.  Not much got by Maggie O'Bri...Shawnesey.  She, in my opinion, was the tavern.  A damn, fine woman, your mother. "  He had no idea the lad knew his name's sake so he just kept on.  "Do you drink whiskey, Lad? Or do you still sip on milk?"  Even as he spoke, he was pouring Douglas a half, no real answer was necessary.   Patrick would be expecting Douglas to drink with him, whether he was a tea sipper or a die hard man of spirits.  "What do you do,'re old enough to have chosen a profession.  Have you followed in your father's boot steps?"  And the answer to this could change the oldest Shawnesey boy's life from this point on. 

He couldn't help the pride that showed when his mother was spoken of though he laughed.  "Not much gets by her still.  Aye, I drink whiskey."  And he was glad he did considering who the man in front of him was.  He made a slight face at the next question.  "I'm following in his footsteps, so far.  Though I'm not sure what part of it I want to be involved it. Other than  ...   I'd rather not be stuck in the warehouse."  He gave a slight shrug and added, "might keep to the ships until I can become a captain."  He chuckled as he lifted the glass.  "Doesn't sound like I've decided for sure, does it?  Anything but a clerk sitting at a desk all day though."

The warehouse comment brought up Patrick's eyebrows, and he grinned, bringing up his own glass to drink as the boy continued with his words.  "I own a warehouse." He stated once the boy had finished.  "Several....and it's there I work."  He watched the lad's face, but in truth, Patrick was still smiling, he couldn't help it.  "You might find that tending to the contents of a ...warehouse...can be quite invigorating, if you do it correctly." 

Douglas managed not to blush but he did give Patrick a sheepish grin.  "All I do is take inventory, see to the shipments sometimes."  He was definitely intrigued though and watched the man a moment before continuing.  "I must not be doing it correctly then because I've nearly fallen asleep more than once."  His own grin returned.  "Is it a secret how to, or would you mind sharing?"   If it kept him from wandering too much, sailing off every chance he got, it had to be a good thing. 

Patrick took a long time studying the lad before he nodded, once, as if his mind was made up about those thoughts in his head.  "I think it's more what your inventory is..."  He tossed back his drink and took up the bottle.  "Care to go for a walk, Shawnesey?" 

Douglas was only used to such scrutiny under his father's eye and then more than likely, if he was in trouble.  He downed his own drink while the man was making up his mind.  A brow lifted but he smiled and nodded.  "Sure."  He wasn't doing anything important now and his time was his own. 

"Good."  Patrick grunted, tugging the heavy fur of cloak closer around his neck so they could venture out into the cold.  "Has your mother, by chance, ever mentioned her brother and what he did ... for a living?"  He braced for the chill and opened the door, allowing the lad to move out first. 

He pulled up his hood as he stepped out, bracing against the cold.  "She's mentioned her brother, named my sister after him, but no, she never said what he did for a living. Only that he died too young."  He looked at Patrick before heading down the steps and then waiting. "She said you were his closest friend too." 

He scratched at the line of his jaw, that scritch-scritch of sound through the beard.  A sound of consideration as he thought about the boy's words.  Maggie never had approved of their business ventures, and had made it known, so it didn't surprise him that Stephen's profession hadn't been mentioned because of that.  Still, the boy had choices to make in this world and the straight and narrow path could be a boring one, boring enough to set one to snoozing and miss out on the finer things out there to be lived. He nodded, accepting that information and started them along the way, heading toward the docks of Rhydin.  
It was obvious the man was well known, respected, perhaps feared, because several called out to him but all acknowledged him as he brought the lad along the crowded, bustling docks of Rhydin.  "The Watch, they make a good enough effort and a show for their wages...but they are paid poorly..." And even as he mentioned them, two uniformed officers passed with a nod and a "Mr. Maitland." to which Maitland responded.  "Officers."  Then looked straight ahead and continued speaking to Douglas.  "Which works well for most of us here because their efforts are only as good as their salaries..."  He twitched off a grin. 

One way to impress the lad was by what was happening now -- the show of respect.   He studied a few of the folks then nodded at mention of the Watch.   He knew about the Watch only  because he had been warned to stay clear of trouble with them.   The way they greeted Patrick with a "Mr. Maitland" had him smiling slightly to himself.  Good advice it seemed and he tucked that away.  At least no one was trying to pick his pocket or rob him blind which had him wondering about those warnings. 

Consider the company, most gave a wide berth to Maitland as he walked down the planking.  He paused outside his warehouse which took up the corner of one street and stretched a good ways down on both sides. He looked up to the windows above.   "Ah, a home away from home."  He glanced to the side down to Douglas then unlocked the door and went in, leaving the door open for the young man to follow.  The bottom floor had been stacked from floorboards to rafters with crates and barrels and slates and boxes.  A well stocked inventory always kept a man's pockets well lined.  "It's all a matter of how you look at things, Shawnesey.  What do you see here?"  He had crossed to the narrow stairway that led above and had stopped there to look over the first floor's storage area making his own opinion of what he saw

He stepped inside, making sure to close the door behind.  Then he looked around and let out a low whistle.  Yes, his father's warehouse was big but it was familiar to him.  He rubbed his neck, studying all of the inventory that stretched out before him.  "I see a lot of inventory, well stacked, well marked, and I'm thinking worth some coin."  And someone had to do a lot of work to get it there but that needn't be added. 

"Worth a good amount of coin."  Patrick amended for him, turning to go up the steps that winded to the second floor.  There, was his office.  A stack of shelves lined the inside wall just shy of the steps.  Books and ledgers and odds and ends littered the many shelves.   His desk was orderly, but covered with heavy journals and papers.  A bed, made but turned back, was off to the far side by the window as well as cushioned chairs and a table.  The table had yet to be cleared of the coffee cup and a scattered newspaper.  "How about here, Shawnesey...what see you here?"  He stepped to the side, a hand coming to rest on one of the shelves next to him. 

He just smiled at the correction, though he glanced back at it all before he started to follow Maitland up the steps.   Once inside the office, he paused, his smile growing. This was a bit more familiar to him, more like his Da's, except for the bed.  "I see the office of a busy man."  Dark eyes moved over the various shelves, touched on the journals and papers, the bed and desk before moving back.  "One who stays here at times."  He scratched at his jaw briefly. "Why you said your home away from home."   He knew that dedication was a good part of success and it was apparent Patrick Maitland was dedicated to his life's work.

He nodded, a smile still showing through the darkness of beard before he provided a gentle sideways tug, the shelves hissing a response, and sliding one into the other, back along the length of the wall revealing the hidden stairway down.  No, Patrick didn't know this lad from the two officers he had passed on the street, but damn if he wouldn't dispose of Maggie's son as neatly and efficiently as he would even those two watchmen,  no matter the boy's name, if he couldn't be trusted.  "And here?" 

That was totally unexpected!  And being who he was, he had to step closer, studying the moving wall for a moment.  "A means of escape?  A way down so you won't be detected.  Or a place where other things are kept, inventory different from what's down in the storerooms."  Now he understood the meaning of his earlier words better.  He studied Patrick again, then nodded.  "You're showing a good bit of trust, Mr. Maitland."  He might be wrong, but that was how he saw it. 

Patrick didn't move, just watched the lad and how he took everything in.  "Yes I am.  And now the question remains, is that trust warranted, Mr. Shawnesey?"  His fingers curled around a dagger that was strategically placed on the very shelf where his hand rested. 

Douglas turned to face the man fully. Was he aware of the danger?  Maybe a tingling of something but he waited a moment before answering.  "Aye, it is."  He had no reason to turn against the man.  This was a friend of his uncle, his mother.  And now that he answered, he waited, his eyes on Patrick's. 

"Ah, good then!" Patrick barked out his pleasure, releasing the dagger to slap the very hand that had held the blade against the side of his thigh then he walked up to Douglas.  "There's a lantern a few steps down, grab it up and light it.  I'll close this entry off to any curious eyes that may wander in and I'll show you below, and why working at a warehouse is never dull." 

He nearly jumped with that reaction, then grinned. Douglas was basically honest, unless he was about to get swatted for saying his sister looked bad in a certain dress or something of that nature.  That could well change though.  He nodded and was quick to follow Maitland's instructions.  The lantern in hand, he waited a few steps down from where he had picked up the lantern.    Now, this was a bit more exciting than his usual! 

The hissing sound repeated and Patrick closed off the office from their present location.  As he turned, he motioned to Douglas to continue on.  Perhaps it wasn't Patrick who was the trusting one as much as Douglas at this point.  Rhydin was not a place to wander with complete strangers, no matter their claims of a name.  "All the way to the bottom, Laddie Buck, and watch your step nearer the end.  The steps turn to earth and can be slick at times." 

He had a torch in hand and was ready to head down.  Cautious, even if Patrick hadn't said anything.  And yes, he was more trusting then he should be, though the thought occurred to him that should anything happen, not a soul would know where he had gone, other than to Rhydin.  "I will."   Once they were at the bottom, he turned to look at the man following. 

The immediate entry into the cave below was dark.  So dark that it seemed even the lamp light was sucked up into that void.  Patrick squeezed by the lad, pressing him back against the damp earth wall as he reached for the other lantern at the bottom of the stairs.  A spark of light where flint struck stone and then the soft yellow glow followed from within the cage.  Fresh air filled the shadows and Patrick walked past the younger man.  "Since you know the shipping business, I don't need to tell you that some items are more ... difficult ... to come by and make them worth more for those who possess them."  He didn't wait for the Shawnesey heir, the boy could keep up or get lost in the labyrinth of tunnels.  Even that first hollow room had crates protected high on elevated wooden shelves.  "It's what keeps the workings of a warehouse from being snooze worthy."  The sound of a chuckle rumbled in the dark corridors but the man continued to move with an assurance that bespoke many, many, many years of moving through these confusing twists and turns. 

The cool, damp feel as he pressed against the wall could be felt even through his heavier clothing.  He pressed his lips together, again watching as Maitland walked past.  "Aye, that side I don't see."  He didn't plan to become lost if he could help it but he couldn't help gap a little.  He wasn't so naive to not know of items that could only be gained illicitly but to think that he was actually going to see the workings of a warehouse filled with them made him grin.   He nearly got left behind and had to hurry to catch up.   "You started all this when you first came here?" He was trying to remember what his mother had said about Patrick Maitland and his arrival in the city.  There wasn't much he could remember.

The sound of the ocean echoed all around them, making it confusing which way was which.  "Yes and no, Douglas." He answered, stopping just short of where the narrow corridor opened up into a cavernous room.  "Your uncle and I started all this at my home...elsewhere.   I had made a promise to a dying friend, so it was here I came, to find your mother.  It was here I stayed to some extent.  Couldn't very well starve simply to look after a skirt so ... I did what I do best."  With that, he turned and led the way into the well lit room of sandstone.  The room above held a puny store of goods compared to what greeted them upon entry.  "Some of these things are brought in from above, Douglas, but the majority find their way in through one of these many entrances."

"Did you ever get lost in here?"  The question came out before he could stop himself but he shrugged it off.   It was a legitimate question.  He hadn't heard his mother referred to a skirt before but he managed not to react except with a flick away of his eyes.  They were back on the man immediately.  "Holy ....  "  What else could he say?  The room was huge!  "And you never have trouble with the tides or high water?"  Again, he was taking it all in, his mind unable to calculate for the moment, what it could all be worth.  But the man had to be bluidy rich!

"Too many times."  Patrick laughed.  "So many times I've been lost down here I can't even tell you how many, Douglas.  But, it's how I learn best, and there are marks, on every one of these passageways, for days I've had too much to prevent sleeping down here ever again."  He walked over to a tall stack of crates and knocked on the  wood near his shoulder.  "Guns."  He walked a few paces where barrels were stored one on top of the other.  "Powder."   Then he turned, back stepping as he watched the boy coming to a stand still next to slender boxes of wood.  He placed his hand flat on the side of one.  "Whiskey."  Brows danced a few times and he pointed to an area across the room, where odd shaped containers were carefully balanced up to the ceiling.  "Paintings, sculptures...all manner of art."  As he lowered his hand, he turned to take up a metal bar and pried the lid from one of the whiskey boxes.  He placed that aside and took out a bottle, tossing it to Douglas.   "At first, this place would fill with water up to about where your standing, but...mother nature is no different than any other female."



Date: 02-10-11
Poster: Patrick Maitland
Post # 2

"Good idea, then you can find your way back out, drunk or not."  His eyes lowered to each box, a slight gleam appearing in his eyes.  "As long as you don't have ghosts down here, I could think of worse places to be."   He caught the bottle, pulling out the cork with his teeth. Instead of  spitting it out, it went into his pocket.  "Art...  " his eyes shifted to that area.  But the next question was held for Patrick's comment.  "How did you tame her then?  I would think she'd be a tough one to deal with when she got in a mood." 

Excellent!  Patrick liked the boys wit!  He laughed with a nod.  "Aye, Douglas.  But then, any female in a mood is tough to deal with.  This one though, you're right, she wasn't the easiest female ever to be tamed.  We did a good bit of digging and rerouting and elevating.  This room was the largest, it was the one I wanted.  There's nothing wrong with getting what you want, lad.  Remember that."  He placed the lid back on the box and used the same bar to knock the junctions back into place, sealing it off once again.  With the bar still in hand, he crossed over to Douglas.  "There's a difference between this and what you'll swallow down in the MT.  Enjoy..."  He smiled noticing the lad had already opened it.  "Bring some back to your mother from an old friend." 

"I'll remember. And all the twists and turns would certainly discourage thieves."  He took a drink of the whiskey, and nodded.  Smooth certainly and it went down easy.  The cork was placed back into the bottle. He didn't want to drink it all before he saw his mother again.  Of course, he'd try it a few more times before he got home.  "The art.  Do you get it from other countries." He knew there were some at the import store but if Patrick got things from other lands, those might well need to be brought in by different means.  "I'd imagine there's a big market for the unusual, exotic."  That brought a bit of a dreamy look to his eyes that quickly disappeared.   He didn't need to be daydreaming now. 

Patrick actually did a double take as the younger man seemed to drift off for a moment in a fantasy world but he was back quick enough to cause the older man to nod.  "Come take a look then."  The majority of these had been 'borrowed' from their home countries by independent buyers with a taste for expensive, original art.  Stolen.  Smuggled. Borrowed. All the same and none of those mattered to Patrick .  If a piece of art could find a new home by way of the perfect price, all the better for the highest bidder.  "Some of these I'd never pick up from a shipwreck, much less pay a pretty coin to purchase, but to each their own tastes." 

He cut a look toward Patrick, a little sheepish smile appearing, but when the offer was made to have a look, everything else was forgotten.  "Some pretty strange things, then?"  He couldn't imagine anything being so bad as to be part of that comment but then again, he hadn't seen much of the nicer things, or rather, taken notice of them. He kept his imagination in check though and studied the boxes, taking note of the strange writing on some. 

"Help yourself."  Patrick just smiled, leaning back to the cool but dry  wall of the cavern.  "Just keep in mind, Douglas, that some of these cost the buyer more than you may make in a lifetime working in a ... warehouse."  A cant of head, a quirk of dark brow.  There was something to be said for working with imports and exports when a man didn't have a conscious to get in the way of a profit. 

He paused and looked at the man, trying to look more nervous then intrigued.  "Now I'll be afraid to handle them."  But he was kidding and carefully opened one of the crates.   It was a statue of the god Anubis in ebony wood and gold and he handled it with near reverence.   "Aye, I can understand why that would be so.  Do you travel to obtain these things yourself."  When he placed it back in the crate, he noted other statues as well, including ones of alabaster.  A low whistle sounded as he closed the crate.  "I know the imports shop has some, but they don't get things this rare."  He opened another to peer in at a painting. One that certainly would bring disapproval from his mother!

A snort began the reply to the traveling part.  "My arse is best planted on the ground, Lad."  He shook his head.  "I've sailed twice in my entire life...and that remains two times too many in my opinion.  I'm at a point in my life that I  can afford to allow other men to enjoy their devotion to the sea, mine ends just outside these cavern walls."  He watched the lad and the care with which he handled the merchandise in Patrick's care.  In that lean, while he eyed the boy, he stroked his chin in thought. "Wrap everything back up, Douglas, and we'll head back up and take a stroll along the dock.  No matter if you decide working in your father's warehouse is your future or not, it wouldn't hurt to meet a few of the captains I have come to trust over the years." 

"All right." He agreed quickly enough but took his time to make sure everything was as it should be.  The whiskey bottle was tucked into a pocket in his cloak, one he had his mother sew in to help him when he had more than he could carry.   It took a little shifting to make him not look lopsided but once he was ready, the cloak looked fine.  His thoughts were going a mile a minute as he nodded.  "I'm ready." 

Patrick guided them back up the corridors, not giving away the markings or their locations on the walls as the two of them weaved and winded then started up the stairs again, closing out the light and leaving the one lantern at the foot of the steps.  Douglas still had his and Patrick motioned the boy ahead to lead the way up the steps with the light.  That, and Patrick Maitland never really cared for anyone to be within striking distance that close behind him.  

In time, the same might occur to Douglas but that wasn't the case now.  He didn't bother to try to remember the twists and turns, and never noticed the markings.  Of course, they weren't meant to be noticed in that way.  He headed up the stairs at a decent pace, holding the light so some fell behind  though he had a feeling, Patrick wouldn't need it.   Once to the top, he extinguished the light, hung it back up, and carefully moved the last few steps to the top, where he waited for Patrick to open the secret door.

The broadness of body squeezed past the lad, blocking any view of actions, whether intentional or only functional.  A click, the hiss of movement, and the light from the room seeped in through the opening and widened with the movement of secret door.  "Home sweet home."  Maitland chuckled, close to Douglas as he moved past the lad out into the room.  His survey was quick, thorough, necessary before his hand moved back inside his cloak to conceal the weapon that he had clutched in his hand when he re-entered the apartment. 

He tried to flatten himself against the wall as best he could but it wasn't easy and had him laughing to himself.   Patrick had shown more than a little thought is all the planning of his extra warehouse and it impressed Douglas more than he'd admit.   He waited until the man was through then followed and stepped out of the way again.  Maybe it was automatic or maybe he was picking up caution from Patrick but he too looked around the apartment

Shelves replaced, the master of this particular 'manor' motioned to the narrow stairs that led back down to the main floor.  "Douglas..."  He started, even before the young man could get too far toward that location.  "It might be best if your mother doesn't know that you've taken the ..." He grinned, most of that hidden in the depth of beard, but the expression obvious at the corners of bright, blue eyes.  "...tour.  Aye?"  

"Aye, I think that's a good idea."  Being Maggie hadn't approved in the first place of the chosen profession of brother and friend, he really thought it was a good idea.  Though with a twinge of guilt too.  But then, there wasn't a child alive who hadn't managed to keep something from their ma.  Or thought they did.   The grin was returned, co-conspirators of sorts.   

The sun had climaxed by the time they had arrived and now was well on its descent as the two men stepped from the warehouse.  The docks teamed with activity as most seaside areas tended to.  Those out and about now, however, were of a different ilk.  Not so much the shop owners and those who labored on land for a living, but those who sought out entertainment in one form or another or prepared for a living via another man's misfortune.  It wasn't dark enough yet to beckon to those who sought out a throat for a living, but those who managed a quick slip of hand did not mind the light and a man who had time to drink himself a couple of rounds proved to be a perfect means for a profitable evening.  "If anyone bumps you, Shawnesey, don't accept their apologies.  You flatten their ass."  He cut a look to the younger man at his side and continued them along, weaving a way through the crowd as he could, using the bulk of his form to clear the path otherwise.

Douglas knew well enough the shift from day to night on the docks.  Though he was slimmer than his brothers, he had an athlete's build and moving boxes around kept him in shape.  But that didn't make him less cautious.  The warning from Patrick had him nodding.  Any coin he had was tucked away out of the reach of sticky fingers hopefully. He nodded solemnly at the warning, suppressing a grin at the way they made their way through the crowd. It seemed to be the way for the most confident, and dangerous, men.

Resting ships lined the dock, nestled into their slips and bobbing ever so slightly in their mesmerizing way.  The travel never appealed to Patrick, but the ships themselves ... ah ... Patrick was a man that appreciated beauty in any form.  "Sarah Jayne."  He motioned to the first ship with a lift of hand and a nod of head.  "Captain's Roy Talbot.  Reliable with the quality of his goods, but he'd sell you short the first chance he gets."  Patrick chuckled to himself, continuing to walk through the crowd and on to the next ship.  "Squall's Dame."  Just a nod in that one's direction.  A sleek and well built vessel, even just by sight.  "Captain Trent Scott."  Patrick's stride slowed.  "I swear if it can be obtained, this man can get it for you..."  He wagged a finger in the ship's direction. "But remember that ... because if you have it and he is seeking it ..."  And onward they continued. 

Ships. He had loved them from the time he was a young lad, old enough to understand that they sailed off to lands both near and far. He studied the first ship, putting the name with her Captain so he'd remember, and keeping those words of wisdom tucked away as well. The second ship had him nodding as well. If he had something that would be wanted, he'd be sure it was well protected. Not that he had anything a collector would want!

Patrick came to a stop at the next slip, rubbing his hand along the line of his jaw and off his bearded chin. "The Savage Seduction ..." He cleared his throat as he stared at the fine lines of this sea craft. "Her captain is Loretta Milsworth. Most call her Millie." The stroking turned to a quick, forefinger scratch at the corner of his mouth to erase the grin that had started. "She will fuck you over and under, Douglas, make no mistake of that. And she's damn good at it." He pulled his gaze from the ship to the young man. "I don't just mean in the do yourself a favor and steer clear of redheads named Millie, eh? Don't even take a chance." Though, risk was what made this business so profitable. Millie's skills at ... trade ... should only be used by the most experienced of men. "Dreaming again, are we, Maitland?" The sultry voice came from behind them, a slide of hand, a press of body to ease past them and the curvaceously delightful redhead turned to look to Douglas. She reached to him, running the tip of a painted fingernail against his bottom lip. "It's a shame, really, that you refuse to ... do business ...  with me again, Maitland. But there's always the next generation, hmmmm, handsome?" Long lashes lowered as she passed her assessing gaze over Patrick's companion. "Oh the possibilities..." She winked to Douglas, turned and gave Patrick's jaw a pat. "I've an evening to see to, gents ... perhaps another night." Patrick waited until she glided from their location before he spoke. "Hell..." He drew in a deep breath and let it out slowly. "Steer clear of redheads named Millie, Boy." He growled and started on their way again.

Patrick's tone had Douglas looking at him with a curious look. He had a half smile on his face when Patrick looked his way but just nodded again. At any rate, whatever he was going to say was stopped by that voice and he half turned, his eyes going wide, and the grin growing. Damned if he wasn't close to blushing when she finally turned to him. More than a little stunned when she went on her way, he imitated Patrick by drawing in a deep breath and letting it out, and didn't realize he had. "Aye, redheads named Millie." That was definitely one of the lasses he had been warned about but oh, what a vision she made. He bit back a sigh as he started walking again.

Patrick heard the sigh and chuckled to himself, forcing his amusement down with only an "Aye." and then to introduce the next ship. "Here we have Treasure's Maiden. Captain Robbie Young. An honest sort, which makes me wary." Patrick was grinning. From what he just said, or what had previously transpired, there would be no telling. "Evening, Mr. Maitland." A younger man passed, offering a respectful nod of greeting to the warehouse owner as well as a look and nod to the man with him. He didn't linger, just continued on his way, but mid way before he disappeared into the crowd, he turned to look back in a better study of Douglas. "Hound's tooth." Patrick commented, watching as the male mingled into the depth of meandering bodies. "Captain Buddy Reynold's employ, believe his name is Joshua. Can't remember exactly since I've only heard him most times called Codfish." None so far was Patrick willing to introduce Maggie's son to face to face, but that didn't mean Douglas didn't need to know about them.

He hadn't meant for that to be heard but when Patrick spoke, he grinned and rubbed at his neck. Way out of his league there. That didn't keep him from chuckling though and studying the next ship. He laughed softly at the comment before the other man spoke then gave a nod in return, taking him in. "Maybe he's as cold as one?" Bringing up that old saying with a snort of laughter as he did. That name was easy enough to remember. He glanced at a passing urchin, watching the lad do exactly what Patrick had warned him of. Bumping into a likely target and taking off again.  Small and quick, he got away clean.

To Patrick's way of thinking, they all had to eek out a living. He had once struggled, he no longer needed to. Survival was a necessity to the majority of those not born to rank or fortune. Patrick just never allowed anyone elses' survival to interfere with his own, ever. " we go." He spoke low to Douglas as his gaze rested dead ahead. "Captain Marcus De Haven." He nodded toward the man moving through the masses toward them. Up went Patrick's hand in greeting as he called out. "Captain De Haven, I wasn't expecting to see you here...where's The Benevolence? I hadn't realized she had docked." The dark haired man also raised a hand, dodging a darting urchin and managing not to bump into anyone else in the process. The man knew his way around a dock, especially Rhydin's. "Patrick Maitland!" He hadn't yet joined them, but the name called out had a few turning to look in the direction De Haven was headed. "She is on a friend, I bummed a ride in with Robbie." When Patrick opened his mouth to speak, Marcus interrupted with a laugh. "I know, I know, you don't trust the was just a bed and a fire and a means to an end. Even you can't fault me that." The two men shook hands, Patrick offering the captain a slap of shoulder as he began the introductions. "This is Douglas Shawnesey. A young man with a head on his shoulders, Captain, and a brain in that head."

It didn't take long to spot the man spoke of, though he smiled as the two men spoke over the noise of the crowd. Neither seemed concerned about the attention so he wasn't either though he hadn't stopped keeping a wary eye out. When introduced, he smiled amiably, maybe chest puffing out with a bit of pride at the compliment, and offered his hand. "Pleasure to meet you, Captain." He knew captains were cautious with their ladies so the friend De Haven had lent his to must be a very trusted one. He also took note that this was the first introduction Patrick had made which spoke well for the Captain.

"Likewise, Mr. Shawnesey." The captain shook the offered hand but the movement slowed. "Why is that a familiar name..." When realization hit, his eyes widened and he looked to Patrick. Maitland only shrugged beneath the weight of his furs. "His father ships out of Heathfield's ports." Was all he offered, but he knew that Marcus made another connection, just by the man's expression. "Aye, yes...yes." Marcus cleared his features and returned his attention to Douglas. "You've got good blood, Mr. Shawnesey." A flicker of a look touched once more on Patrick then he clapped his hands together. "It seems to me, two men standing in the midst of Rhydin dock's mayhem need some sort of  productive activity. I say we find a tavern where we can toss a few tankards back and knock the chill from our veins...what say you, Shawnesey? "

He knew his father had been here often when he was courted his mother and figured it was from then that De Haven know the name. But the look exchanged had him realizing it was probably far more. Tonight was making him more curious about his parents and that whole time in their lives. "Thank you, sir. I have to agree with you on that." He paused to consider then nodded. "Aye, a few drinks would do me well." There was still plenty of time.

Patrick nodded as Douglas agreed and he wrapped an arm around the younger man's shoulder. "A few drinks would do us all well, and then we can be well on our way for a few more!" Marcus chuckled with Maitland's comment, starting them through the crowd to a favorite spot of his to start the evening out right. "You still have that couch in your warehouse, Maitland?" He called back to Patrick. Patrick grinned. "Aye, and you're welcome to it." Marcus didn't look back, just twisted and turned his way through the crowd. "I was thinking more for the lad." He laughed, and laughed some more. Oh, he was laughing ... but he was completely serious!

Maybe there wouldn't be plenty of time? He laughed right along with the Captain, both over the drinking comment from Maitland and the couch comment from the Captain. He'd had to stay away from home before though not in this city. "Where we heading first?" He was looking forward to a tour of the city, even if it was tavern by tavern.

"First..." Marcus stopped at the door, pointing up to the sign which hung overhead. "Is the Naked Nipple...a fine beginning to any evening to my way of thinking." It wasn't what the sign said! The sign read The Nesting Nightengale, but what fun was that? Marcus threw open the door and strode in to a few calls of greeting to the captain, aand a few more to "Maitland!" as that man entered as well. In time, and if Douglas learned well, the same would be offered to him. 

He would have choked had he a drink in hand. Not able to resist looking up at the sign, he laughed out loud. Once again, there was that recognition of not only Maitland but the Captain as well. He cut a glance toward his two companions and smiled slightly. It was a everyday thing for these two but he could see most held respec for them, and perhaps a bit of envy. Any dislike was well hidden, reminding him again just how dangerous some men could be.


Date: 02-18-11
Poster: Rhett Shawnesey Sr
Post # 3

Family Concerns
Dunshire Manor


Rhett washed up after a fine meal with most of the family home. Now that they were getting older, they were starting to get out (encouraged to do so) and not coming home for days on end. Well, Rhett  Junior lived at the Smithy and doing well. Stephanie and Mo were staying at the Thistle for a few days. Douglas, he was wandering and of all their children he worried the most on him. Even Shaun was off staying with the McAndrews lads at the castle. He wondered how Maggie was really feeling over all this for the first night not have a single one of their children were at the dinner table. Once done he was back downstairs to enjoy a glass of wine with his lady.

Two glasses of wine were poured and when her husband joined her in the study, she had them in hand and was already walking over to him. She always enjoyed her children but times like these were becoming more enjoyed. Time with Rhett, just the two of them. And the quiet of an evening free of any drama.

Fingers touched when he took the glass, eyes to meet and hold. He could see in hers that she would be all right with the change in their lives. Time for them again. A smile quirked and grew, "I am thinking of building a gazebo with a pool in the center for the summer months. A place for you and I, with those boxes you can plant flowers in behind the benches. I will even use netting so that the summer mosquitoes and mayflies will have to leave us alone..." hoping she liked the idea. He didn't have time before.

She brought the glass up slowly, holding his gaze, with a smile on her lips. "Oh please, don't just think of it, I love the idea."

One hand slid about her waist as he drew her close, a kiss to her temple was a chaste affection gesture with his words, "anything for you." Very pleased she loved the idea and was sure she would help in making the decorative and minor decisions when he was building it. A project she would immerse herself in as well. It would be theirs.

Nothing like ruining a moment, was there. Douglas was pretty much over the hangover he had suffered ... was it only last night, or was it the night before. He managed to get the horse into the stall with little trouble, made it through the kitchen, where he grabbed a slice of bread as he did and into the hallway. Stopping there, he heard his parents' voices and since it was so quiet, he figured they were alone. He started in that direction, then changed his mind and started back to the kitchen and then changed his mind again. He needed a change of clothes. He turned so abruptly that he forgot how close he was to a table and bumped it. And while the table upended, he managed to catch the vase that was sitting there, though he hunched his shoulders and looked at the door. Waiting.

Lashes touched her cheeks as he kissed her, her free hand lifting to touch the side of his face. "Anything, hmmm?" Then her eyes opened wide, and she quick looked to the door. "Rhett?"

Now that ruined the moment as it took a blink hearing the sounds in the other room. "The dogs?" yes, they had a few. He was fast as he left the room ready to defend if needed but there was Douglas standing there with a tipped over table and holding the vase. A slight smirk rose as did the tease, "lucky for you for that is your mother's favorite vase." Which he was sure Maggie would be by his side by that time but if not he would call out to her that it is Douglas, home from his wandering. Well, he had let him know he was taking some time off so he could fill another in to see to the duties assigned Douglas within the business.

"I kept it from falling." He gave a sheepish smile when he realized how dumb that sounded. He managed to put the table upright and set the vase on it. The dogs had basically ignored his entrance until he made the noise and now they were barking at him, though their tails were wagging madly. Gloomy as it was in the hall, with only candlelight, he was hoping he didn't look too bad, though a change of clothes might have helped. He likely smelled like a brewery... or worse. "Didn't want to interrupt you two." He smiled though because he was teasing them for once.

Rhett wasn't going to address that ruckus on his own, Maggie was practically on his heels. "Douglas!" She called past Rhett's warning about her favorite vase. She rushed past her husband and to her son, starting to give him a hug but paused, leaning back on a heel as she looked him over. "You didn't wish to interrupt?" She pointed a finger at one of the dogs. "Hush you!" And the dog ... hushed instantly!

By this time Rhett had drawn near. "You smell like you've been living in a brewery, passed out on the floor," which had him starting to frown as he took in his attire and all. "Are you all right?"Instead of chastising him as there was a real concern here.

"Well, it's awfully quiet, or was... " He glanced at the dog and smiled then looked back. "So I figured you were enjoying the quiet." Ah dammititall. "I made that delivery for you, and decided to take a look at that old tavern, since Shaun's looked it over. Met an old friend of yours, Ma." He fumbled in the cloak and handed the envelope over to Rhett, and the bottle of whiskey to Maggie. "Patrick Maitland and he said to give you this. He was the only one there in fact." And after all that, he removed the cloak. "I'm fine, really. Just drank too much." Easy enough admission.

Maggie accepted the bottle, looked it over, and as she did she spoke, without looking at her son. "Was it with him that you drank too much, Douglas?" She set the bottle aside on the table by the vase, lifting her gaze to him. A slight frown of concern pulled between her brows but rather than say anything else, she looked up to Rhett.

He opened the envelope mostly to take out a third of the profit to tuck into Douglas' hand. Nothing said, it was not the first time that doing a delivery paid off well. He cleared his throat hearing Patrick Maitland's name. It was not so much there was anything against the man other than the man was against him being with Maggie. Something that gradually came out and he faced various situations due to it. "So the old goat is still alive and still working the area.." more a comment than a question but it didn't surprise him he'd still be alive. "Perhaps it is time for a long talk, have something to drink, eat if you haven't, and join us in the drawing room." One they had been in that was spacious enough yet let to more comfortable intimacy.

He thanked his father for the payment, tucking it away.  "Aye, it was him. He was surprised to meet me, we shared a drink and got to talking." He paused when he heard his father, looking at him a moment to see if he could tell what was wrong. "And, aye, he's still in business. Quite well it looks like." He looked down at himself then up at his parents. "I'm not hungry, but do you want me to change clothes?"

"That is up to you, Douglas." His mother chimed in, giving him another once over but she reached out to pat his cheek. He was, after all, still her baby boy even if he was old enough to drink with the likes of Patrick Maitland. She wouldn't wait on the men to decide what was necessary by way of Douglas' appearance for this discussion. Maggie Shawnesey retired once more to the drawing room.

He didn't want to make the drawing room smell like a brewery!

Then he better toss some water on his person as well, not just change his clothes!

"I would say wash up some, change, for your mother." He was pretty ripe. Giving a wink, "I'm sure cook will have a platter of food in the drawing room by the time you come in." Whether he was hungry or not. He doubted he would be too long. Women took long, not men. With that taken care of, he adjourned to the drawing room as well.


"All right." He grinned before turning on a heel and heading for his room. The cloak was taken along as well. And no, he didn't take long at. Instead of the brewery, he smelled like soap at least. When he rejoined his parents, he was over to greet his mother properly, with a kiss to the cheek.

The kiss was appreciated by a mother who adored her children, every one! "You clean up nicely, Darling." But the talk to come would perhaps not be as pleasant. Maggie reclaimed her wine and brought Rhett his before she stepped to the background of father and son. Oh, she'd say her peace if need be! Maggie O'Brien Shawnesey had not lost her voice these pleasant docile, loving, days and she'd sure use it tonight if it came down to it. For now, however, she settled into the comfort of a chair and allowed the men to 'discuss' things.

Before he got into whatever went on with Patrick Maitland, he needed to talk to his son about the business. Once they had settled into comfy chairs in front of the hearth with their drinks. "Did you ever wonder why I had you doing menial jobs from the lowest on up?" The recent being doing deliveries as oppose to filing papers and running errands for others as small as getting doughnuts from the pastry shoppe.

"Thank you."  Douglas gave his mother a grin before he settled into another chair and looked at his father, brow furrowing. This wasn't what he had expected and he glanced at his mother before his attention was back on his father and he shrugged. "I figured you're having me learn everything from the bottom up. Other employees might not like it so much if the boss' son went right to the top."

"It is that and more. You get to know the people on a personal, even level before you become their boss. You know what each job entails and how it is needed for the company to continue to grow, to prosper. Just starting out at the top would not have that first hand knowledge." Even if he was sure most behaved more around the boss' son there were too many days in and out that he still would get the right kind of knowledge. Know their strengths and weaknesses, where one might do better than another. "I trust you are still interested in running the company one day?"

Maggie sat quietly, sipping her wine, and looking between these two men she cared so much for.

He listened then nodded slowly. "Nothing's changed that, I guess. Still not entirely sure how good I'll be at it, but I'd do my best." He smiled slightly as he added. "Never know what the future will bring."

"This is what I would like to do. I have six ships, my original three and three more acquired over the years as needed. Shawnesey Enterprises has become well known and respected. I would like to make it Shawnesey and Son Enterprises, become my partner and take over the three newest ships. It would mean getting to know the captains well and making sure they follow your orders. I think you are ready, old enough, to come into your own." Which he knew eventually the whole business would be his, either by his demise or his retirement.

He sat quiet for a moment, then his brows lifted. "That's ... a lot of responsibility, Da. Though I think I can handle it." He smiled but it faded after a moment. "But, I thought ... " Another look at his mother and back. "What's this have to do with Mr. Maitland?" His own ships! Well, kind of. They were owned by the company, which was his father. And they'd be partners. He barely kept his excitement in hand because he didn't see where the two connected.

Which had his brows rise. "This has nothing to do with Patrick Maitland." Had he said anything that would have made it seem so? He frowned slightly, "why would you think that it does? What was your time with Maitland?" He was sure Maggie would wish to know as well. Her guardian, he never asked her on that part much. Figured if she had anything to say, positive or negative, she would have.

Darn right she would! Rhett knew she wasn't one not to speak her mind when her mind was made up for speaking! She wasn't quite at that point yet.

"Ma seemed concerned about him when I said I met him. And then you said we should talk. So I thought it was going to be something about him." He shook his head, then chuckled. "I guess I just misunderstood. We talked, I found out he had warehouses and sold things like you did, and then he showed me around the city. Met a Captain he knew and introduced me too and we stopped at a tavern." He scratched at his chin. "And another for sure." He couldn't remember how many exactly. "And next morning, I woke up in his office because he said there was no place trustworthy anymore since Ma had left, and then I came home."  He gave a slight shrug as he added.  "He seemed like a good sort."

"I wonder why he would spend time with a lad green behind the ears," that sent off bells right there. "I'll put it to you straight in my opinion, your mother will have her own. Patrick Maitland is a rogue in the truest form. From his ways about jobs to his women. But, I will say this, if the man is your friend he will protect your back. I would hope that those he did introduce you to, were ones he could safely. I know you are not worldly but keeping you home will not improve that area either. You have to make the decision to do jobs that are on the table or ones that are under it or choose what ones you want that are under it. You know Maurice McDonough, he is partners to a degree with Maitland. He cant' be all bad.." which he tried to add some humor.

Maggie humphed where she sat, a feminine version of a grunt. Rhett was being diplomatic in his comments about Patrick. She drank another swallow of her wine rather than adding anything. No...wait! "Patrick Maitland is a wish weaver, my boy." She started, her voice lowered at first but the more she thought of that man with her son, enticing him with the warehouse, with his contacts, with his .... oooooo devil was the man ...ways! The more she fumed on the inside. "He'd have you under the table in every sense of the word. Doing business. Drinking. And no doubt, whor....or other things." She cast a look to her gracious husband then back at her boy who was a man. Douglas could make his own decisions, and well he should, but that didn't mean he wasn't going to have to listen to his mother rant about any she didn't agree with! "He'd have your back alright, Douglas, but it would be exposed in the first place because of some venture he managed to involve you in. You mind yourself around him. It'll all look so very exciting because it will be...and intriguing because he'll prove it to be so, but it will be dangerous and deadly if you don't use that head on your shoulders. I'm not liking it, Douglas." She shook her head, wisps of curls floated with the movement. "I'm not liking it, Rhett." Rhett would understand more than Douglas. Her brother had been partners with Maitland from when they were both youths. Only Patrick had made it to this ripe ole age.

Rhett was there trying not to laugh as she covered up whoring in front of him or was it more in front of her son? Either way it had brown eyes dancing. "Now you have your mother's opinion of the man and she knows him better than I do. He was her guardian." Which there was a story behind that but not one for him to relate. Rhett was not one that had been whoring like many men but he understood those that had such a need. In a way, he hoped none of his sons had that need. Not in that way, their life revolving around drinking and whoring. "Mind your mother, she knows what she speaks on here." Now he let his son have his say after he soaked it all in.

He wasn't exactly speechless but well, it was a lot to take in. He was quiet for a long moment then he looked at Maggie. "He was just surprised to meet me, asked about you and wanted to talk some. He really didn't seem like he expected me to jump into anything." Other than the drinking. "And the man was one he seemed to trust but ... I'll think about it all, I promise." He gave her a sheepish look. "I'm not sure I want to drink that much ever again at any rate." He rubbed at his neck and sighed. "I didn't intend to upset you. I thought you'd like to hear from an old friend, who really seemed to care how you were."

"Be careful, son. You have your ships and don't get under anyone else's thumb. Be your own man. If you have dealings with him, take the time to think them through. Ask me. I will give you honest advice. If you feel it is something you'd rather me not know. Then ask Maurice before you jump into it. I trust him." And Douglas may not want to be running to Daddy if he was to prove himself on his own. The question would be, what kind of reputation would he earn by his decisions.

"Aww, Sweetling." She stood, placing her glass aside on the table and crossing to her boy. It was her turn to touch a kiss to the top of his head. "I did like to hear the man is still well. And we'll enjoy the whiskey, smuggled though I know that it is." But always the finest if it came from Maitland's stash. "But keep to mind what your Da says, aye? Be your own man. Don't think for a second that Patrick doesn't have the respect he does on the docks from being such a sweet tempered, kind man. He's hard, real hard, and I'd not want that sort of life for my boy." She rested a hand on his shoulder, glancing back to Rhett. "I'll leave you men to chat some more, but soon enough, I'd like my husband to come to me to finish off the quiet time we started earlier." A soft wink followed and Maggie made sure the sway of her skirts could not be mistaken as just a female's way of walking.

Never too old and he wasn't passing up this opportunity tonight with his wife. The way the evening had been going, he was going to see to it that it got diverted back. "Actually, get some sleep. You look like you could use some. Sleep on it, think about it and we can talk more tomorrow morning after breaking fast." Oh, Maggie would know that look in his eyes that had not been deterred by their son showing up and his words were true, Douglas needed some sleep. They would not be getting some sleep for another hour or two. They would rock the house, Douglas would sleep through it!

"G'night, Ma. G'night, Da." Ugh! He didn't want to think about what they were planning! Maybe he's just sit in the chair in front of the fire until he fell asleep!



Date: 02-19-11
Poster: Maggie Shawnesey
Post # 4

Hooded against the weather, the petite woman navigated the bustling dock of Rhydin with an expertise born of necessity.  What she lacked in size, she made up for with attitude, and for the most part everyone moved from her path with a simple "excuse me" from the lovely lady. 
White rabbit lined the cloak of finest cream wool giving evidence to influence.  Cream kid boots and gloves marked the female as one of wealth.  A gown of green velvet peeked from beneath the hem of her cloak with her steps. There was an air about this particular person making her way through the crowd that demanded none press their luck farther than a nod of good morning or a softly spoken "Mame" offered in greeting.  A few times whispered words hissed to her hearing, those of her name, and even though she was recognized it didn't seem to deter her purpose.   
She paused at the large warehouse that occupied the corner of Lambert and Cambridge streets.  She pressed a hand to the top of her head to hold her hood in place and looked up the height of it.   Huffing out a soft, lady-like sound of frustration, she withdrew a matching velvet purse from the secret confines of her outer attire.  With a quick look around, she produced a key from the pouch and then slipped it into the lock with a twist of wrist.  Once inside, she took the time to lock the door again then turned to squint through the darker interior of the place. 
"Patrick Douglas Maitland!" She called out into the large lower level, hoping her voice would rise to the apartment above and save her having to venture further into the lion's den.  Bloody devil.  "Patrick!" She tried again even as she started along the path meandering around the stacks of goods.  She was muttering to herself, words not so kind about this man's lineage. 
With a swish of skirt, she glanced up the steps then started up them herself.  They were narrow, meant for only one person at a time, and slanted down slightly to the right even as it curved upward in that direction.  The woman knew why.  Yet another of Patrick's safety measures.   "Patrick!" She did not want to enter his living quarters and catch him unawares.
Since no door barred the lower level from the upper, she knocked on the wood of the stair wall.  "Patrick?"  She poked her head beyond, scanning the area:  His desk, piled with papers.  His kitchen area, barely used.  His living area, bed made, high back chairs and low wood table with a newspaper and a cup. 
Still no Patrick. 
Maybe he just wasn't here.  Maybe luck was on her side and he had returned to his manor home, far from the area and those she loved.   Assessing green eyes touched upon, then returned and rested on the bookshelves.   Or maybe she couldn't be so lucky that he had taken to the country.
A deep, steadying breath lifted and lowered her chest and she crossed to the shelves.  She started tilting out books, shifting statues.  "It must be here." She hissed to herself, nimble fingers feeling behind the rows and stacks of volumes.  If she didn't know the man better, she might be impressed with his collection of reading material.  But she knew this was just that, a collection, and probably never even read.  Plus, this was Patrick Maitland.  There was always an underlying reason for all that he did.   She found a hidden dagger which she actually collected for herself, folding her cloak aside to hide it within the inner pocket of that garment. 
With a sigh of resignation, she turned and flopped back against the shelves, her arms crossed, trying to figure out her next course of action.  That quick pressure of backside to wood caused the shelves to shift.  She gasped, standing straight away from her place and spinning to stare at those rows of wood.  Soft leather clad fingers closed around the edge of the wood and she shoved.  The wheels and rails were well tended and the shelf eased along its course without even a catch of movement. 
"Holy Mother." She breathed with surprise as the chilled air of the hidden passage rushed out, freed from it's secured barrier.   She didn't enter at first, just braced herself with a hand on the corner and leaned in.  "Patrick?"  She drew in a deeper breath.  "Patrick!"
She didn't hear him coming.  She didn't have a clue he had heard her. 

But suddenly there he was!  Looming above her, and continuing forward with the leverage of his size to cause her to stumble back into the room.   He reached over without a single word spoken and jerked the shelf back into motion, closing off the entry as easily as she had accidentally found a way to open it. 


He was armed, but the blade in hand was easily hidden away on one of the shelves before this particular woman saw.  "Maggie O'Brien Shawnesey.  Well, well, well.  What brings the Lady of Dunshire to the slums of Rhydin?" 

For all of Patrick Maitland's size, of build and character, the small woman didn't seem to shrink away from him.  She knew him too well. 
"It sure isn't the scenery."  She gave him a once over just to prove her point.  "And you know bloody good and well, you flea bitten sack of dog dung why I have come." 

Patrick rumbled out a chuckle, a dark brow arching with what Maggie probably believed was an insult.  "Coffee, M'Lady?"  He started toward the small kitchen that served his needs while in this particular location.

"Don't bother, Patrick."  Her tone softened and with a swift step, she came to stand before him, a slender gloved hand lifting to flatten to his chest, arm extended, to hold  him to his place.

Maitland looked down to that effort to keep him from moving, one that would had been far from sufficient if he wanted to continue forward.  But he stopped, and waited. 

"I have a concern, Patrick.  You know how I feel about your ... choice of profession."  Her hand dropped away and she laced her fingers together in front of her.  "It's a dangerous life you lead, My Dear Friend." 

Patrick studied her features.  Save for a few dainty lines near the corner of her eyes, the lass hadn't changed much from when he watched over her at the MT.  Still as lovely, still as caring, still as strong of spirit as she always had been.   "So you fear for my well being, even after all these years?"  That low sound of amusement once more vibrated deep within his chest.   'You've come all this way...just to tell me that?"  A wink twitched with just a hint of sarcasm.  "I'm so touched." 

So quick, so easy were her actions that even Patrick wasn't prepared for them. She was pressed up against him, a dagger to the thick expanse of his chest, the sharp length of the blade had cut through the front of his shirt and nicked his flesh, causing a thin line of blood to trickle in a path down to his stomach. 

He stood perfectly still, controlling his breathing, for even that motion might cause the blade to sink deeper.  She was a small thing, easily tossed aside, and had it been any but Maggie he may have done just that.  But none should ever underestimate Maggie O'Brien's abilities.  She had not tended the MT all those years without some tricks of her own.  So he held his ground, right there, with that blade at his ribs. She was making a point (literally and figuratively), and he knew it.  He'd hear what she had to say so he could speak his mind as well. 

"You've made an impression on my son.  I'm not surprised.  What with all that you can glamour a young lad with.  Intrigue, danger, women, whiskey."  Ever so slowly that blade slid across his broad chest, slicing his shirt and drawing a red line along the path. 

His head turned and eyes closed with the burning feel of sharp metal against his skin. For this man, it could border on sensual had it been any but Maggie O'Brien.  He didn't even look to her as he spoke. "And your husband is offended with Douglas' interest in something other than boring, noble tra...?" 


For one so small, Maggie possessed a good amount of spunk.  He hadn't expected the solid fisted blow to his gut delivered with such force that it had him grunt and bend forward.  A growl of pain and he glared at the woman opposite him. 

"Don't you even dare speak of my husband, you foul man." She hissed with threat.  "You are nothing compared to Rhett."  She wasn't foolish enough to believe Patrick Maitland could not extinguish her life with a single backhand.  But he would be the foolish one if he thought he would get out of such a confrontation unscathed.  Plus, the man he thought as a boring noble would have his head on a pike! And Rhett would stuff that darn thing down on that wood post personally!

A muscle in his jaw twitched, the only outward sign that the large man was not exactly happy with the abuse, physical or verbal.  "But you didn't come here to speak with me about the man you married and since your son ran into me at your old haunt the other day and we spent the night with Marcus in the taverns of this less-than-fair city, I have to believe that has something to do with your ... visit ... today." 

Maggie tossed the dagger aside on Patrick's desk where it clattered and spun to a halt.  " Haven?" At his nod she just grumbled  "Great."  But at least that man was one of the honest acquaintances of Patrick's.   "It is about Douglas, Patrick.  And you know my concern..."

Patrick covered the slash in his shirt front with the crossing of his arms.  "No, actually, Maggie, I don't know what you're concerned about.  Douglas is a man full grown. You have kept him sheltered too long.  Wait." He held up a finger with thought.  "That would be something to be concerned about."

"You are impossible." Maggie turned her head, not looking at the man in front of her.  Her gaze rested on the window but her mind had drifted off somewhere else.  Up went her hand and she swatted at her cheek, still not looking at him.  "Does Stephan's life mean so little to you that you would lure my son into the same risks?" 

"Ah, come on, Maggie, that's just not true.  Stephan was like a brother to me."  For a man of Patrick's size, he moved with great speed.  Before she could even sniff he had her pressed to his chest.  "We all made the choices we did to run that shipment.  Stephan, Robert and I.  It could have been any of us in that cave.  We were all naive when it came to the venture we were embarking on.  We were young and stupid and none of us believed that death was real.  I am no longer young.  Or stupid. And I know damn well how real death is."  He tilted his head in an attempt to catch her eyes.  "If your son decides to delve beneath the levels of the law, he will not do it with as little knowledge as the three of us had, Maggie. But Woman, that is his decision to make.  And a fine fortune he can make for himself doing it."  

Enough of this comfort, she slapped a hand to that broad chest and pushed away.  A swipe of hand cleared any tears she was not shedding!  "He is Rhett's heir, Patrick, what need does he have of a fortune?"

Patrick grunted out a laugh of disbelief.  "Are you serious, O'Brien?  He is a man.  And any man worth the hair on his balls deserves to make his own living.  No matter the wealth of his father."   

Maggie blinked then shook her head.  "You, Patrick, are just foul-mouthed."  It took her a moment to gather her senses about her again.  "You know where I stand and believe me with this, Patrick.  You corrupt a single hair on my baby boy's .... head ... and I will personally find you and cut from you every inch of flesh you hold dear.  Including that heart that I wonder at times if you still possess." 

"He can't do what he needs to do without a slight amount of corruption, Maggie-me-darlin'."  He gave her cheek a pinch.  "So I'll just have to look forward to your next visit, and guard my fleshy most dear parts when I see you." 

"I really don't like you, Patrick."  She grumbled, yanking her skirt and cloak to the side to walk around him toward the stairs. 

"Aye, you do, Lass!"  He called to her retreating form, shapely still even after all the years and babies of hers.  That couldn't even be hidden beneath all the layers of her clothing. 

"No, Horse's Ass, I don't." She called.  "Thanks for the whiskey!" And with a hand sliding along the wall, she eased her way down the slanted steps. 

Patrick grinned where he stood, looking down to pluck at the fabric of his shirt that was slit and stained with blood.  "Aye, you do, Maggie." He laughed to himself, just ripping the thing from his back and tossing it aside.  He crossed to where he kept linens to clean himself up.  "You do...and you know that I'll watch after the boy, and teach him well, until I'm no longer of this world to do it."



Date: 04-10-11
Poster: Stephanie Shawnesey
Post # 5

Old Timers

There's something to be said for a quiet tavern. But if Patrick wanted quiet solitude, he could have gone to the country. Here in Rhydin, quiet was the calm before the storm. He had gotten his drink and claimed a stool at the bar, waiting to see if the place began to fill now that the lanterns were lit.

The place was not completely unoccupied for there was a daring young woman, spitting image (or that kind of close) of her mother that once tended this place, in the back. Sound within the main room had her hustling back with a snap of a dish towel as she emerged. "I'm sorry to say there is no regular tender here and it is more help yourself..." dipping glance brought the temptress smile in a beguiling way for a split instance and gone, "I see you have done just that." Almost sounded like good boy. She had a bottle of wine tucked under her arm which she used the towel to wipe it down as she came around the customer side of the bar down a few stools. The cork screw was then applied as she twisted it in.

Holy Shit! Patrick did a double take as Maggie O'Brien bustled out of the back room, as if he had been transported in time to a day in the past. Except, the tavern was empty. He narrowed his gaze, brought up his whiskey glass to look down into it and then back to the lass who had come around the bar. "It wasn't always the case, this place used to be a hubbub of activity and tended by one of the best in this tavern's history." He watched the young woman as she set to her task of opening that bottle of wine.

Curiosity kill the cat but satisfaction brought him back. Steph kept stealing glances the man's way. She didn't seem to be intimidated by the fact she was in a tavern (first time) with a strange man. "Aye, so the tales are told that have a far reach from these lands. You look like you could probably tell a few of them.." did she just imply he was old? Maybe. Maybe he looked like he weathered a lot and there was silver there in his hair. She slightly pinched her finger, not enough to draw blood but enough to put it between the cushion of nicely formed lips. There too only a second before she braced the bottle in one hand against her body then pulled with the other to the tune of a nice pop. "Sounds like a good vintage." Setting the bottle aside she chose one of the few glasses she had washed earlier and poured some. First it was lifted to get a good look at its color from one of the diffused shards of light making it through the window. Next the swirl then the sniff before the rim was pressed against her lips and just the tiniest taste taken, one to linger on her tongue a moment. She seemed pleased and so another full drink was taken.

Patrick caught the reference and the 'older' man chuckled low, that deep, rumbling sound that vibrated in his chest. "Tales are for those who don't know how to have a good time for themselves. So, no, Miss...I don't tend to spin a tale. What's your name, Lass?" The entire time he spoke he watched her with her wine. She looked as if she knew what she was doing, but then, anyone could mimic what they saw.

Too many vineyards where she came from as well a mother and father who taught her the finer things. She slipped onto the stool, keeping her distance but there were no bones in the way she studied him. Perhaps a little admiration for the maturity she saw there. She was mature for her years, one born going on thirty-two some would say. "Stephanie," easily given but without the surname. No way was she going to let that be known and possibly get in trouble for coming here alone. She just had to finally see the place she heard so much about. "What is yours," sounding much like fair was fair.

Ignorance was bliss, and so it seemed for the lass who shared the tavern with him at present. She wasn't intimidated or frightened to be alone in a tavern with a stranger, not even one of his size. But then, she really didn't know who he present. All he needed was her first name, since her features were so familiar. "Well met, then, Stephanie. I'm Patrick." And like her, he gave only what he received, although he did continue. "You were named after your uncle is what I've been told, Lass." He smiled, a white flash of teeth within the darkness of beard. "Tales and all."

"Patrick," much like the taste of her wine, so was his name tasted as it parted her lips, "a fine Irish or Scots name, which be yea of the two?" The last almost had her lose her composure, so grown up acting but then she was all of twenty two and feeling all grown up. In some ways, yes, in some ways, no. She'd argue it to the positive no matter. Such came with that age of more daring. Which had her blink, "A man was named Stephanie?" Oh wait, "you mean Stephen." Which had her eyeing him suspiciously then curiously, "did you know him?"

He waited for her to work through her mental drama but after she finished, he nodded once. He didn't bother with his own name since his heritage was really not of any importance. "I knew him, if your mother is Maggie O'Brien Shawnesey. Is your family name Shawnesey, Lass?"

It was just her luck to come all this way and run into someone that recognize family resemblance and knew her surname. What could she do? It was not in her to lie unless it could save a life, including hers. Maggie O'Brian was that kind of known, famous in her own right as was her father. "Yes it is," slight pout couldn't be helped. "They would not be too pleased to know I came here on my own but I had to see the place my mother tended for a span of time. She was here on her own probably a few years younger than I." Which had it dawn on her. "Patrick would your last name be Maitland?" Obviously the name had been spoken in the Shawnesey home at one time or another. "Would you tell me of him?" She was named after him after all!

Spring had definitely arrived, Shawneseys were swarming from the woodwork like termites. Blue gaze dipped to her lips, then back up to her eyes. "All my life it's been Maitland." He chuckled again, bringing up his glass and drinking before he reached across the broadness of chest to place the glass on the counter. "Don't worry, your secret is safe with me, Lass." He stalled as he considered her last request, speaking of Stephan O'Brien hadn't been something he had come prepared to do today...or any day for that matter. "What do you want to know?"

Winsome smile, brought out the freckles that were sprinkled from one cheek, over her nose, to the other if one got close enough to see. So he was the man that had been involved in her mother's life, one that was attached to here and so many years ago. Least twenty and three. Dipping glance with the motion of his hand then back again to a face that probably had aged well, aged as well as the man who wore it. "Everything and anything you wish to impart. My mother never said much and I got the impression it was too painful. Was she close to him?"

Was the lass prepared to pull teeth? He nodded. "They were." A cant of head and he looked her over. "Are you close to your brothers?"

"Yes. I could not even think of life without them a part of it. Were you close to my uncle too?" Slight dip of her head as it tipped to the side as if getting a better look of the man. Next moment she was up, and passed two of the stools, taking up one that was closer. Being he knew her family, it initiated a little closer atmosphere.

He watched her approach, friendly little snippet, wasn't she? Again, he nodded. "He was my business partner." They were doing business the day he died, but Patrick didn't add that.

"How many years were you partners before he died?" She didn't know that perhaps there was that connection of his death and the job. "What was he like? Personality? Smart like my Ma? Witty?" Prompting him to tell more.

Patrick chuckled. "He wouldn't have been my partner if he wasn't all of those things and more. Your brother reminds me of him to some degree." Years were a blur, and inconsequential. Patrick picked and chose his questions to answer. It was the way of the man. Only so much information offered and what was provided, worked in his best interest for the moment at hand. "Tell me, Stephanie ... what are you made of? You're here...without permission, so I'm thinking you've a bit more O'Brien in you than Shawnesey. You approach a stranger and make yourself comfortable in their presence...more proof that Maggie's blood flows thick in your veins. I didn't know your father well, but by the looks of you ... "

"Which brother? I have three," which was quickly asked curiously. So he was turning around the conversation to a degree. At least if she had an idea of which brother then she could have a better idea of how her uncle was. There was the smallest of a smirk, hard to tell being her lips naturally curled at the edges always hinting at a smile. "I would like to think both. Proud to be like either, or be somewhat like both or be myself rolled in there too. Long as I make them proud which I believe I do. My mother had captured the eye of many a bloke but she had only eyes for my father. That alone says much on him. I do not have the eye of anyone, so in that, I'm not like her." If she did, she was clueless.

She was all over the place with her conversation, but Maitland waited patiently for her to finish and went from there. "How could you? Your parents keep you sequestered, no eye can fall on you. Your mother was the center of attention in this place. She came in contact with anyone passing through these parts." He shrugged, she was right. Maggie O'Brien waded through the masses of men as if they were mere roaches on the floor. Rhett Shawnesey was the only one that Patrick had ever seen Maggie get flustered around. He looked her over again, from her eyes down to her toes then back up again. "You're right though, you don't have Maggie's backbone...yet."

She listened to him stating facts she was all too aware of. She had been sequestered away for far too long. That very backbone straightened, stiffened, with his comment. "That remains to be seen. One never knows they can swim until tossed in the water. Do you really think I will sink?" There was that little smirk that fell somewhere between sassy and daring in taunt. She may have been all over the place but she went right back to the question he had not answered. "Which brothers of mine have you met and which one reminds you of Stephen O'Brien?"

That'a'girl. That's what he wanted to see. He hooked his arm on the counter, starting to grin as the young lass took offense to his statement and attempted to show him just how much spunk she had after all. Dark brows arched with her repeated question. "They are one and the same. I met only one of your brothers, Stephanie, Douglas. And he has Stephan's spirit."

"So Douglas has worked his way here." Not really surprised but it brought a smile again as she reflected on that. Rhett junior was too busy with a lass and Shaun, well he was just coming into his own. Time would tell with him but he was likely to meet him before Rhett. "Douglas has a good heart," only thing she'd say there for he did. "How long did you know my uncle?" That was another question that kind of got skipped over.

And that same brother was making his way into the tavern right then, pausing a moment when he spotted Stephanie here. A brow lifted but he didn't say anything to her, just kept his grin in place and made his way toward the two. "Evening, Mr. Maitland, Stephanie." He studied his sister for a moment. "You're a long way from home."

Well, speak of the devil and he'll walk through the door. He looked to Douglas' approach and his answer for Stephanie was while he nodded to Douglas. "Long enough. Shawnesey." He looked to the girl, then back to her brother. "Grab yourself a glass, I've got a bottle we can share."

"Thanks." He did just that, and took up a lean once he had the glass in hand. Steph hadn't answered so he waited, ever patient.

"Aye, as are you and I'd bet a pretty coin what brings me here is what brought you here. If not at the moment, at least the first time. I'll not tell either," giving him a sassy wink as she well heard the evasive reply from the Mister Maitland. So that was the best way to address him. Patrick would be too familiar to use. It made sense. She took another of the glasses and poured Doug some of the wine she had opened then offered it over.

"Better you don't, Stephanie. Since your parents already know of Douglas' journey here...and doing so will only give yours away." That deep rumble followed and he brought up his glass again.

Well, of course she didn't know about that as focus riveted on Maitland then back to her brother, "how did that go?" Oh, she was definitely curious.

He had helped himself to the bottle Patrick had sitting there and then ... he was being offered wine? Chuckling, he took it anyway and set it on the bar. "Not too bad. I was told to be careful here." And that was true. He looked at Patrick and grinned. "Got three ships of my own now." Not that he captained them.

"And you should be...careful." He looked at Stephanie then, because she had strode right in and up to him without a hesitation. He heard Douglas' claim, and lips pursed with appreciation. "That should keep you busy enough, Lad. Choose your cargo well."

"I can now say you were with me here.." oh, one of those just in case kind of things. Sweet.. sweet.. smile for her brother. "I think you will do well with them." Leaving the business talk to them as she took another drink of her wine.

"I plan to." He gave the man a nod then looked at Steph. "But you arrived here before me." Teasing her. Of course, he wouldn't tattle on her. Unless she did something stupid. "Has she been asking all kinds of questions about Ma when she was younger?" He intended to talk to Patrick more on business later, but mostly, he was wondering what exactly his sister was up to.

He didn't look to Stephanie as she spoke, just kept that blue gaze on the lad. Anything he may have added he kept to himself when Douglas changed the subject. "Your mother?" Patrick shook his head. "No."

Another nod and he laughed. "Then I'll have to quiz her on the way home." He gave Steph a little nudge, then looked at Patrick. "I would like to get your advice as to that cargo. I've been thinking about the best way to make use of the ships." There was a hint of devilment in his eyes as he spoke. He'd keep quiet about Steph being here, if she kept quiet for him.

"He agreed she was the Belle here, that all eyes turned upon her.." so there was some said even if not a whole lot. She could tease too, "I'm well pleased my mother married me Da but I would wonder if you too didn't have an eye for her." She had noticed no ring upon the man's finger that would indicate his marital status.

And Douglas nearly choked!

Patrick looked right at the lass and he didn't say anything at first. His jaw tensed, eased, tensed again before he responded. "Don't." No ring upon his finger did indicate his marital status. Single. That was his marital status. "Maggie O'Brien was a pain in my ass that I endured only because of a promise to a dying man." The look in his eyes said more than his words, she would do best not to press this particular subject further. In fact, he shifted his gaze from Stephanie over to her brother. "When you find the time to pull yourself away from the dust bunnies and cob webs, make your way to my warehouse, Douglas. You know where it is. And where to find me."

"Well.." and she actually kept from saying anything nor bursting out into laughter which she had a hard time holding in. She doubted he watched over her only because of a dying wish but she could believe she was a pain in his ass if her mother so set herself out to be one. In that way she was as a pit bull, once taken hold there was no letting go. She perked hearing that offer. Warehouse. Duly noted.

Stephanie Shawnesey had been under the protective canopy of her father. She didn't realize that there were men that didn't have to court a lass to bed them. Nor did they want to court them, marry them, make babies with them. That was not their idea of happily ever after. Every action did not center around winning them for life but more, just to toss their skirts and be done with them. He reached around and reclaimed his glass. "To your parents." He lifted his glass, he meant it.

He just watched the interaction between the two, taking in Patrick's reaction. When Patrick's attention came back to him, he nodded. "Aye, I will." And he also noted Stephanie's reaction, and kept from commenting in front of Patrick. He would warn her later, for all the good it would do.

Oh, Douglas would be plied with all the questions she held back on asking this Maitland fellow. She had good instincts, when to gab, when to let it seem she was just gabbing for other reasons. When to stay silent. Her silence usually meant some kind of trouble brewing. She took another drink of her wine to the toast, eyes shifting from brother to the man she was only becoming more curious about.

"And their long and happy marriage." He added as he lifted his glass in a toast. He may not always agree with them, but he was proud of them and that was how it should be.

"May it be longer and just as happy." He chuckled, only then bringing the glass to his lips.

The last had her lifting her glass Douglas' way as she took another drink. Her sentiment as well. Actually, she and Douglas were the closest being the two oldest ones. "Do you plan to directly command one of your new ships, sail it on one of the trading missions?" Stephanie was looking for adventure, perhaps to make up for the docile life she had let up to now and the flame in her heart ignited.

These delusional parents that believed sheltering their children kept them safe. Bullpiss! It made them hunger, thirst, seek and find even more dangers than those parents could ever imagine.

"I've been considering it though I'll need to talk to the Captains." He shrugged slightly. "I know I'd have a lot to learn and I don't want to lose them before I'm ready. One is close to leaving sailing and settling down." Though he couldn't imagine not wanting to sail anymore.

Hell, Patrick never wanted to sail, ever. "Consult with your father then, Lad. He'll probably know of another captain looking for a ship. Just no redheads..." There was that warning again, and a smile before Patrick turned to reach for his bottle to refill his glass. He would have offered Douglas another round but the youngster still had a glass of wine to drink down.

Ooooo, that redhead. The stuff dreams were made of. He laughed at the warning, though he'd take heed. Glass lifted in salute, he down the last of that, and reached for the wine. Never let booze go to waste, unless it was utterly undrinkable.

Redheads? Oh.. that remark sounded loaded to her as she glanced between the two again. She would pry it out of Douglas later. "I would like to go on such a trip if you take one." Heads up warning.

Dreams indeed. The kind that brought sighs of pleasure and then gasps of pain. Where there was a fine line between the two, both a welcomed experience if done correctly, but ... damn, some women should just be avoided at any cost. "Yes, because it would definitely be a pleasure cruise." Patrick brought up his hand and scratched at the back of his neck. These young women and their fancies of being at sea. He had met only a few females that could manage life at sea and those, were more likely to slit your throat than look at you.

"If I do, it'll be a short one." He laughed as he admitted, "I have no idea if I get seasick or not after all." And if he did, he wouldn't be taking over as captain. And yes, he would avoid that previously mentioned redhead. He cut a look at Patrick and bit back a grin. The man didn't hesitate to say what he thought.

He had a scar or two for that very reason. He got up, leaving the siblings to sit together as he went off to the back room. From there, he called out to them. "So Stephanie, really ... do you have plans for your life besides marrying some Lord and chasing after the babes he fills your belly with?" The best way to build a backbone was to have to deal with the likes of Patrick Maitland. He came out with an apple, polishing it on his shirt front. He leaned against the door frame, buffing away, his legs crossed at the ankles as he looked over at the lass.

The two were mostly quiet except for loaded comments. She knew enough not to bait them, not here, not yet. "It is a good thing you moved from the room Mister Maitland," for certainly something would have made a flying contact with him. Oh, not so smart as she picked up a wooden bowl left on the bar and whipped it at him like a Frisbee.

He didn't even flinch as it soared past his head. "I'll take that as a no?"

"Very observant of you Mister Maitland," slight lift of her chin but the twitch at the corner of her lips gave way to her amusement too.

Which meant she had no other plans...figured. She'd do well to find a man as pleasant as her sire and just settle in for the rest of her life. Shame really. His gaze darted to Douglas as the lass admitted to her fate, not even realizing what she had agreed to.

"Geeze, Steph." He shook his head as the bowl went flying. A bowl? When Patrick probably was used to knives? He lowered his glass to stare at Stephanie. She had agreed with him! "Have anyone in mind?"

Actually she had plans, she just didn't share them at the moment. She wasn't set on one thing but had a few things in mind. Douglas just had her blink his way. "What do you mean? Get the wax out of your ears.. the taking my answer as a no, not a yes to marriage and children. I have no plans there." Making it clear.

Good thing she clarified, because Patrick heard it, meant it just as Douglas had interpreted it. He chuckled where he stood, taking a bite of apple with a loud crunch. He chewed, enjoying the wet flavor. He motioned with the fruit toward the two. "Keep getting out,'ll find plans there."

She had finished her drink and wasn't really enjoying this Maitland's company. She was up, leaving the glass right there and what was left of the bottle of wine. "I shall leave you two to your business talk." She was going to go explore being up this way, take advantage of it as she headed for the door. "Catch you later Douglas," almost slipping with a Dougie.

So much to see and do. He knew what she was going through and maybe how she felt though it was harder on a lass. At least, he thought it was. He watched her stand, frowning slightly. "How'd you get here?" He was a bit torn about leaving her wander or staying, but he didn't want her feeling like he was playing protective brother!

"I rode," pausing at the door with a look over her shoulder followed by a wink. There was only a second spared with a hard to read look on Maitland before she was out the door and taking a good cleansing breath.

"No need, this tavern is no place to discuss business." He motioned with the apple between Stephanie and Douglas. Best Douglas spend some quality time with his sister. Especially in this area!

He gave Patrick a slight nod as he stood. Yeah, he should follow after her. "I'll come within a few days. It was good to see you again, Mr Maitland." If something happened to Stephanie, he'd never forgive himself and his parents wouldn't either!

"Same, Douglas." He smiled, moving his gaze back over to the girl. "A pleasure to meet you, Miss Shawnesey." And though he winked to her, he was totally serious.

One step out the door but she lingered there, turned to catch that wink as certainly she heard the conversation. "I hear there is a cafe not far from here that overlooks the bay." Heard that one from Lorcan when down at the docks but not something she'd let on about. Poor Douglas, she'd be giving him silver hairs long before they were due for his physical age. "Mister Maitland," possibly their paths would cross again, possibly not. One never knew.

A cafe...well, that was a far cry from the MT. Sounded more to the Lady Shawnesey's current pace. A twitch of a grin but he didn't say anything else, just crunched down again on his apple and pushed up to go over and retrieve his whiskey glass.

She was going for the view.

"Good night, sir." He stepped up beside his sister and nodded. "Aye, though I've never been there." And hopefully there'd be no one to cause her to get that look she had right now. Like she was ready to strangle the man.

The bowl...he left laying in the floor.

Some women might want something else from this Patrick Maitland and it might well prove she was more like her mother than she knew, strangling him would be far more satisfying than bedding him.

Come now, without trying, how the hell would she ever know? Then again, she was Maggie's daughter....she would never know.

Maggie would skin him alive and hang his hide on the MT door for anyone coming or going to pass it by.

...and piss on it in passing!

With a sign: Here Hangs Maitland's hairy pelt.


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