Poster: Broch Frasier
Post # 3
had not been around socially for all the matters he was involving
himself in. He jumped right in as Duke, the title and position fitting
him well. He was already getting himself involved in Frasier matters and
finances. He was already checking into Neale's shipping affairs, not
that there was much to be found there so far. Even Lochlan's smithy
finances were poked into to find out all he could. He didn't do anything
major he was just getting his feet wet in what would be expected.
On this particular night he would appease some of his brothers after
hanging around so much he seemed to irritate them, especially at the
race track. Already he made improvements in the plans, changes, he
wanted to be a part of this enterprise. Of course they were improvements
as he saw them and done without really as much as 'by your leave'. He
wasn't about to explain he had some gambling experience in his
background. Dark alleys, rooms, secret meetings, betting, things that
went bump in the night.
So, Broch set out to this tavern in the township of Rhydin. He forced
himself to stay within the room for a half hour before he couldn't take
it any longer. It wasn't how crowded or even the noise, even how strange
a mix. No, it was the attitude of mostly the low life. Not his taste. He
barely entered into the room when a low class female tried to accost
him. She even had the stench to her of one just bedded and never to
wash. He well noted how many of the women of these lands all but wore a
sign, no matter how finely dressed, of bed me -- I'm available. I'm
desperate was more like it.
Broch left that low class din of intrigue, preferring higher class, to
proceed to the Thistle. It was here he held a conversation with one that
he found to be refreshing, no pressure she was after more then he was
willing to give. He would have continued on longer but the bustling,
husband hunting kinds were starting to fill up the place. Oh yes, a man
could recognize by their silken tongues always denying the very thing
their actions said in difference. He had matters still to see to and so
made his hasty retreat. It was not wise for a single man to be left in a
room full of single women with marriage on their real agenda. It was
back to Balli Hi he left post haste.
The Pub really was closer to home for Brogan and the entire family.
There were elements in the Thistle he wished to avoid. So it was here
that he came, nodding his head toward Allan as he requested a tankard of
Hannah's moods were up and down of late. Broch's presence in general
tended to aggravate her. He had been nothing but nice, nothing but
polite and caring in his manner but she could not reconcile her mind to
the possibility that he was really their eldest brother. There were too
many... things that didn't sit right with her. To Lochlan she had voiced
her concerns and Patrick knew how she felt about it but other than that
she tried to keep her usual cheery attitude, for herself as well as for
Broch headed back all right, not wishing to become the center of a pack
of hen's doting. He tortured himself enough being in the tavern in
Rhydin earlier for a half hour. He was not a glutton for punishment.
Instead of moving into the main tavern part he took up residence in an
alcove just down the hall, one that he found voices traveled well to
from the other room.
Patrick was grumbling more and more these days at least when out of
Broch's hearing but then sometimes he didn't care if he heard either. Oh
yes he got the glares and it only made him grin more. He had waited for
this meeting between brothers and sister, Broch not included for it
would be about him. He was soon whisking open the front door in need of
a drink and more. Fast to move to Sprite, spying her there to take her
up into a big hug, the swing around slow for her condition. Setting her
back to her feet his head was up as misty greens swept. A nod to Brogan
but then back to Hannah. "Where's Neale?"
The newly acquired mare was tethered and the little plainswoman
dismounted, drawing off a parcel intended to resupply Allan. Alex,
no doubt, had added a few important ingredients as well as the surplus
hares Willow had supplied. She watched the door open and close then
stepped in behind the fellow, making her way quietly to the bar to make
Her laughter was bright as she hugged Patrick, pressing a kiss to his
cheek. "Careful now, you'll make us both dizzy." Teasing as he
set her on her feet. I've no idea, probably at the docks, away from the
tension at home."
Broch sat in a near completely dark room. Comfortable seat, very low
fire in the hearth and let the quiet surround. He could hear well those
conversations now starting up in the other room that they would not be
the wiser to. If anyone should find him he would feign being asleep in
the chair, none the wiser.
A courteous nod was given to the others in attendance as the pack was
placed on the bar, a quiet explanation given as to its contents and
Brogan nodded a greeting to the lady entering, taking up his tankard to
join Hannah and Patrick near the hearth.
Patrick glanced to Allan then the woman, then back to Allan then the
woman again before a smile appeared with even that elusive dimple of
his. "Evening to you. I'm Patrick. My sister Hannah, cousin
The archer glanced over her shoulder to the source of the voice and
nodded respectfully. "Greetings. I am called Willow."
No more of an explanation was offered.
"Pleasure to meet you, Willow." Her smile bright as she dipped
into a bit of a curtsy.
"Well met Willow, welcome to Balli Hi." He would not keep her
from her business with Allan as it seemed that was why she was here.
Still, it was proper for him to at least attempt introductions.
"Pleasure, Willow." Another nod to the lady before he dropped
into a chair by the fire.
The business was concluded and a whisky was poured. Truth be told
it was a miracle she was still sober after all that she had imbibed
today. Taking a seat she took the chance that she was not
intruding on any highly secretive discussions. Just a bit of a
rest before continuing on to the borders. Fingers curled around the
glass as she inspected its contents before taking a sip.
There were just going to do a bit of Broch Bashing... He ushered Hannah
with him over to the hearth, down he went claiming a seat near Brogan,
guiding his sister to a knee like old times.
So enters the man who will spoil all their fun. Neale was already
removing the leather gloves from his fingers as he entered the tavern,
Frasier greens seeking out those he knew he would find within. The black
woolen long coat was removed next, and the gloves folded into the
pockets. "Good evening, all." A special indication
to the only nonmember of his family there.
He looked both pleased and relieved to see his brother show up. They
were only missing Danny and Robert now. "Neale" was all he
In the silence of that alcove a brow rose unseen as Broch heard the
familiar voice of Neale now added to the fare.
He draped the coat over the back of a chair as he passed it and joined
his family, pausing first at Hannah to press a kiss to the top of the
woman's head. "You're feeling well, Sprite?" His hand
rested to her shoulder as she sat on Patrick's knee, a light squeeze to
follow his question.
"Aye, not a single problem." Save for the usual discomforts of
pregnancy but those were nothing to her after what she had gone through
to deliver her son. "Good to see you out, away from the tensions at
"Never more than I can handle, Hannah." A light pat to
the area he held and he turned to look to the bar, debating on his usual
coffee or just enjoying his family's company.
"Neale." Brogan gave the man a nod of greeting as well. There
was no question where he stood in the current situation with Broch.
It was the second that won out and he stepped around his brother's legs
to claim a chair on the other side. "Good to see you, Brogan.
Have any of you seen Broch this day?" The missive from Jon
had Neale concerned.
He mumbled under his breath. "I still say we stuff him in a crate
and ship him back where he came from." Grumbling he was still as
his chin rested against Hannah's shoulder.
Her smile was warm as it came to rest on her oldest brother, her
forehead resting gently against Patrick's. "I saw him earlier in
the day but only spoke to him in passing." To Patrick's words she
did not comment but her expression was sort of amused and sad at once.
"At least he wasn't hanging around the building site this day.
Seems he wandered off. I told him about that tavern in Rhydin to check
out. Maybe he went there?"
Willow tried to keep from eves dropping, truly. It was not the
little plainswoman's style. Then again being the only one within
the pub to not be involved in the conversation made her at least feel as
though she stood out, and the conversation did have its vague interest.
The grumbling sound was heard, but not the words. Greens lifted to
rest on Patrick as he made himself comfortable then shifted slightly to
settle on Hannah with a slow nod. "He should be here with
A light snort was Brogan's response to Patrick.
What was this? Neale looked between cousin and brother but said
He should, yes, but she was glad he was not. Green eyes met Neale's a
moment then she spoke, softly. "Have you heard word from Garrett
Brogan reigned his comments in. The honorable thing for them to do, what
Neale was doing, was to do their best to welcome Broch into the family
fold. He wanted to be able to but could not. For now he remained polite
and friendly to Broch, on the surface, and spoke of his true feelings
with Patrick in private. For Neale, he had only the greatest respect for
the situation hit him the hardest of all.
His chin was up shaking his head in a firm no to that suggestion of
Neale's. There was just something about Broch that grated on Patrick
from the very beginning. He couldn't put his finger on it, considering
Patrick got along with just about everyone.
Vaguely familiar names from her tenure here crossed her ears and so she
remained, sipping at that whisky, trying to get her bearings.
"I've received a couple of messages from him, yes." He
crossed his leg, ankle to knee, his arm resting across the bend.
"Nothing of great importance yet unless the Ferret's escape
matters." Which it did and Neale had debated letting Hannah
in on this information considering her condition. Still, the
weasel of a man had not yet shown his face. Offering this tidbit
of information brought his gaze to rest on Patrick, then to look to
It took a moment for that bit of information to sink in... completely.
"When did this happen? How did it happen?" She sat forward so
quickly that she nearly toppled off Patrick's lap.
Misty greens took on a hard edge to them hearing this news even his
demeanor stiffened. At least Patrick didn't shoot up from his seat like
would be normal for Hannah. Whoa, he ended up anyway to keep her from
His brow creased, his eyes narrowed and he opened his mouth to speak but
Hannah asked the very same questions he intended to. He came close to
spilling his drink, though, as he lurched from his chair to keep Hannah
from falling on the floor. It proved unnecessary and once he saw Patrick
had hold of her, he sank back into his chair. "Wonderful
news." There was no mistaking the sarcastic edge to his voice.
Neale had suspected Hannah's concern, that was understandable.
"If you'll come by my ..." He paused. "...the
office, Hannah, you can read through Garrett's words yourself."
That applied to all in the room.
Actually all the lurching forward was providing a bit of comic relief to
her otherwise drab existence, much appreciated.
Broch leaned forward in the quiet of that room. Not even a crease of the
leather cushion to be heard as elbows braced to his knees, fingers
lacing together to slant down as he cocked his head just so to hear
"I want to see them." He needed proof to his feelings. He
didn't like having such against one that seemed very nice if anything.
It was tearing him apart inside and finding comments to tumble easily
that were so negative.
"If there is any news to be found...Garrett will find it."
Neale had complete confidence in his man. "Patrick, of
"I will, of course I will." She needed to read it for herself,
to speak with Lan. "Do you think he's here? That he'll come
here?" No mistaking the fear in her voice. The man had terrorized
them so ... thoroughly once.
"Ferris has never proven himself to be a wise man, Hannah...but I
doubt even he is foolish enough to set foot near any of us.
Especially you, Sprite."
There was some comfort to be taken in those words. Some. The worry over
the Ferret's whereabouts would sit in the back of her mind. "I hope
"That's the only news from Garrett?" He was impatient for news
that could either prove or disprove Broch's position.
As soon as Hannah responded, Neale regretted his choice of letting her
know. He should have just informed Lan and the men could have
handled this information. His expression eased into as near a
smile as he would in this public place. "Hannah, I've yet to
let you down, true?" Brogan's question drew Frasier greens in his
cousin's direction, a very slight shake of head that might not have even
From bad news to worse. Ferret only made his blood boil more. Allowing
Hannah to have the comfortable seat, Patrick set to pacing just around
that short area.
"You have never let me down." Leaning back in the seat again,
her expression of worry softened and the hint of a smile could be seen.
In her mind, of course, it was better for her to know!
It was slight but Brogan saw it and gave the slightest nod of his own.
Curious turn of events as the last of the whisky was polished off and
she drew her quiver between her legs to inspect her stock.
Neale sat forward, lowering his foot to the floor. "There is
a matter of some concern to me beyond Ferris Hughes." Neale also
knew Hannah's involvement was for the best, still, his concern for her
discomfort always weighed heavily on him.
A hand came to rest on her stomach, rubbing small circles there, her
eyes once again meeting Neale's as she waited for him to continue.
Patrick had rounded the seat his brother Neale occupied, resting his
hand on his brother shoulder as he stilled some of that pent up anger
that was only on the rise.
Brows raised. He would need something stronger than ale tonight, it
would seem. "What is it?"
Neale actually looked up to Patrick because his comment would be
directed to him. "The payment to Jon McAndrews has yet to arrive.
In fact, the last two payments are in arrears."
As at ease as she was finding herself at the Pub, the hour grew late and
there were miles to ride yet this eve. Rising up she carried her
glass to the bar, a nod of thanks given to Allen.
The financial aspects of her family Hannah had little knowledge of.
"What does that mean?"
He stared hard with that shocked 'what!' looked that just screamed in
his expression. "What the? Jon wouldn't lie you know that. He
didn't get the payments? They were made out from my understanding."
An exchange of promises were softly made and a handshake to seal the
bargain. Taking up her pack she moved hastily towards the door.