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The Thistle Tavern

Date: 10-16-09
Poster: Michael Silvertone
Post # 21

New Faces

The evening offered a brisk autumn breeze that spoke of promises of the coming winter. It went well with the change of leaves from lush greens to fall golds and reds with mingling colors between the two. Sun was soon to set and Vanessa had just returned from the ride back from Ballicastle with Set and Zira to see them to the Bali Hi. It was a good excuse for a ride and time with her friends. Tennison left out at the front of the tavern. Vanessa had only moments ago made her entrance and settled on a stool to chat with Alex. Silver-ish cloak laid over the back of her chair, she donned a lilac dress with fitted sleeves and a bit of ivy embroidered around the scooped neckline and floor length hem.

Gemma tugged gently on Giles hand as he progressively slowed down to a sluggish pace. "Come on, Giles. We don't have much farther to go," She murmured almost motherly as she sighed. On the way from the port, she was escorted by a few people down to the Thistle. She didn't want to be forced to stay cooped inside, and knew that her brother didn't wish for it either. They couldn't really freely roam the port without getting into trouble so they decided to make their way inland. Giles wore a simple pair of brown trousers with brown leather shoes. His off-colored shirt was tucked into his pants with a dark red vest fitted over it to his tiny frame. Gemma wore a simple cotton dress in a dark green color with her bright red curls hanging loosely around her face. She tugged not only the boy but a satchel as well. They were told for a few pounds they could have their belongings taken to the tavern for them, so they agreed to go ahead with having the luxury of their things set up for them by the time they made it to the free lodgings.

Surely Alex would see that all those things were delivered to a room safe and secure, awaiting the arrival of the owners. With a mug of cider in hand, Vanessa was curled up on her seat with legs tucked beneath her, listening to Alex mention that he'd informally met the newly arrived couple the night prior, which thrilled Vanessa to no end. It was nice to have friends from home moving so much closer. She was thrilled for the couple as well since they seemed to be looking forward to the change and their potential future in Ballicastle. Settling herself back on her heels, all smiles as she sipped from her cider thoughtfully, quiet in thought for a moment.

Michael was in from the borders of Ballicastle and one of his first stops, actually the first stop, was here. He looked the part of a Ranger, attired in browns and greens that would have him blending in well. Moccasin style boots would have him moving with nary a sound, though that came natural for the half Elf. Ears were slightly pointed as could be seen for his hair pulled back into a tail at the nape of his neck. A woolen cap on his head, leather top in a patchwork design overlaid a green wool tunic which overlaid a soft ribbed shirt. They would not hear any steps on the porch, possibly only a shadow passing the windows in front that was swift in and of itself. The door sweeping open as if by a gust of wind perhaps the latch not having caught properly for no one there. Except near the bar the man stood as the door closed near as soon as it had swung open. A bow and quiver of arrows over shoulder and back as he set a leather worn satchel on the bar for Alex to take. There were accounts inside he would see got to the king and copies to the others who were granted the information. Eyes as dark as rich forest earth (near black) turned on the occupant. A whimsical smile ghosted before a dip of his head was given. Voice was a deeper tone but musical to the ears, drawing for some only hinting on how it could be used. "Evening, m'lady."

Giles bent down to pick up leaf from the ground giving it a big sniff before moving up to the steps in front of Gemm
a. She couldn't help but crack a grin as she pops open the door for him after seeing someone enter in front of them. She was careful not to hit anyone with the door before she smiled wholeheartedly at the ones in the room. "Evenin' to you all," She stepped up behind Giles with a tiny wave to those in the room as Giles held up the leaf to cover his big smile.  She shuffled him towards the bar as he tried to shy away a bit more behind her thigh.

Maybe Vanessa shouldn't daze out quite so much. One moment it was just her and Alex at the bar, and when she blinked there was another she didn't recall seeing approach. A small grin to the man with a nod. "Eve, sir." Then attention drifted over her shoulder to the entrance of two more, to which she smiled and waved back. "Eve, miss and young sir." Vanessa excused herself with an apple left on the bar to treat Tennison with.

The smile warmed a touch more as he relaxed into a lean against the bar, a glass of the pure set out as well the bottle left. From the one lady leaving to the other as well a lad with her. "Evening Lady, Laddie," then between the two as he took up his drink in hand. "I am Michael Silvertone," which he finally got use to giving his true surname over the adopted one.

Gemma seemed to smile with not only her mouth but her eyes as she watched the lady move out of the room with an apple. She looked hopefully to the older gentleman behind the bar, "I think Giles here deserves a hot cocoa, and I'd a mulled cider please." She turned with Giles towards the man. It was Giles that spoke up first with his tiny hand jutting out in a little gentleman pose, "I'm Giles Bagley. This is my sister Gemma. We come from a long ways from here on a big boat and everything!" He voiced loud and clear with excitement in all the right parts. Gemma just shook her head as she nodded in agreement. "It is a pleasure to meet you Mister Silvertone."

"A pleasure to meet you Giles Bagley and your sister." Voice held a touch of amusement but of a good kind, enjoying the youth. "How old are you Giles and how far have you come that is a long ways from here?" Dark rich eyes lifting, ones that were slightly slanted just like his brows and ears. A hand was up to draw off the woolen cap in all due respect being around ladies. His manners a touch rough as he had no need of practicing them in some time. "Please call me Michael, if I may use your proper names too?"

"I'm nearly seven," Giles announced again as he dropped his hand back at his side. "And it was a month worth of travel. And that was just from the last place we lived." Gemma once more nodded her head before she broke off in a chuckle. "We are English-borne and raised. And of course you can call us by our proper names." She took up the mug for each of them before turning his mug's handle towards him as she hands it over. He grabbed the mug, and paused as he looked up at Michael. "Mister Michael, I mean, Michael... why do you got pointed ears?" A sharp jab was given to his side with Gemma's hand as she flashed a tight smile with wide pale blue eyes at his question. "Shh..."

Giles gesture of hand had passed over Michael. "Well, they are not that pointed are they?" Which had him self consciously lift a hand to run the tip of his fingers over the implied point. Maybe they were becoming more than when he first arrived many years ago. Hand lowering with a whimsical smile to return. One that reached his eyes. "I am part Elf. My father is a full Elf that lives here in the lands. You have never met a half Elf before?" Lifting a glance to his sister then back upon the little man. "You are man of the house and taking good care of your sister?"

"No," They both said with a look between each other at the questions of meeting elfs. Gemma spoke up this time, "You would be our first half-elf. And don't mind him please, they aren't pointy at all." She reassured him with a glance down to Giles. Giles bobbed his head rapidly, "Well, man of the wherever we stay."

"You have no family to stay with, take care of you both?" Now wondering how old the lass was but many didn't like to say how old they were, still, curiosity drove him to ask, "how old are you Gemma?" Amusement earlier turned to concern for the two.

"No family to stay with. We are in the process of moving. You see, my parents had a love child late in life. Giles was a miracle indeed, but unfortunately, our mother passed in the process. Our father recently passed on, and so here we are!" She smiled with her hand gesturing slightly before falling ontop of Giles moptop. "And I'm twenty-five years."

That just took entirely too long. Tennison was being strange and Vanessa took the time to calm him some, not sure what got him in such a huff. Now that he was settled though, she returned to the interior of the tavern and her room temperature cider, keeping quiet so as not to interrupt the conversation.

Giles noticed the woman returning and smiled once more to her.

"You can stay here, there is no cost for the room, food and drink. Hazel is an excellent cook too." Dark eyed glance lifted to the returning lady they had yet to really meet. "I am Michael Silvertone and this is Gemma and Giles Bagley, a long way from home or more, looking for a home I would surmise."

The smile was returned to the woman with a nod as introductions were given. "Pleasure to meet you all." Looking between them all. "I'm Vanessa Baltimore." She waggled her fingers to Giles before looking back to Gemma. "I'm not sure you could find a better place to learn to call home than this area or the sisters to it."

Gemma smiled as Mike introduced them to Vanessa. "That's really good news to the both of us," She ruffles Giles' hair again while easing onto the stool before pulling out a stool for Giles to climb as well. "Have you both been here long?"

"A pleasure to meet you Vanessa Baltimore." Smile spiked a bit more before easing back as he finally lifted his drink to kick back. That felt good as he poured himself another. "I've been here near a decade." Close enough for one that really didn't keep track.

"No, not really." She slid back onto her stool and picked up her mug. "I've only been here a couple months, but had frequent visits before then." Smiling, she sipped her cider and set the mug back down.

"What made you stay?" Gemma asked as Giles sat calmly on the stool. He was probably figuring out what questions to ask.

Not sure who Gemma was asking, she looked at Michael then back to Gemma with a small smile. "The people here are kind and the lands are beautiful."

"I had become a wanderer in search of a destiny and a past that left many questions to be answered. I was one of the luckier ones, not only did I find a home, I found my past."

"Sounds as though you've found a future as well." She smiled lightly and asked Alex for a warmed refill of her cider, settling back comfortably against her seat.

"Aye, I have though I've one part yet not addressed. It too might come about in time." A slight boyish smile tipped to one side before gone. "You are new here, came while I was gone but then I'm gone for months at a time," one good reason the last part to complete his life or so some would say make it whole, had not had any opportunity to happen. Certainly there were women along the way. There too his sharp tongue in being very blunt at times, did not win favor with certain females. Women who claimed to be ladies and all but threw themselves at men with legs spread, yes, he was blunt and told them so.

"Everything comes in time. If it came too quickly or easily, what would there be to look forward to?" Brow quirked curiously with a small smile. Thanking Alex for the refill, she nodded to mention of being new. "I am new. Though even in such a short time, I feel this is home and fortunately to have made it home with the help of those who have become friends."

"I've seen too many loves come and gone, marriages that don't last. I think I would rather wait the time to find something true and lasting or not at all. Although I understand all is a gamble as none of us can foresee the future, still one need not rush. Right!" Boyish grin was back in full tilt.

She laughed softly and nodded. "Aye. Nothing to rush into, but I've heard that love at first sight is a common occurrence. I wouldn't know myself." Never having been in love, or courted for that matter and there were reasons for such at the edge of keeping an open mind about things.

"It is easy to make friends here, good friends. Need to be a friend to keep 'em too." Which he figured she was quite capable of living up to that. Just something about her. "Can't say I've experienced love at first sight, well, I know I have not. Though I don't doubt it can happen," giving a waggle of his brows. "Never know. The thought that someone could walk through that door at any moment and have your heart pounding, your mouth dry and hands sweaty..." which had him pause, "hell, I'd figure I came down with the flu." Knowing well it would not be the same but it was amusing.

Vanessa cherished her friends as though they were family, and tried to be a good friend in return. She laughed at his analogy of love at first sight and the flu, that was cute. "I'm not sure I believe in first sight. But to listen to my sister speak, you'd think it was the way everyone fell in love." A small shrug, she sipped her cider and set the mug down.

"How did your sister describe it?" He was curious as ever, kicking back the good shot of the pure before setting the glass on the counter. All focus upon her as his arms crossed over his chest.

Brows knit slightly in thought trying to remember what her sister had said. Jasmine had married rather young and it had been a couple years. "She spoke about it quite often before marrying her beau. I suppose the one thing she said that stood out the most and I remember is that she felt as though her very soul had grown wings and felt as though it she could fly away on the feelings of love."

"Did her beau feel the same or did it take him time?" He wanted to hear all input on the idea so he didn't miss it if it should happen to him.

"I suppose he felt the same. They spent every moment that passed together from the time they met. Well, every moment our father would allow until they were wed." A quiet laugh, she shook her head. "It was easy to see that they had eyes for only one another."

Swift of foot it was a breeze that passed many by without their ever knowing. That was until the blur blended in with the color of falling leaves, slowed his pace. There before the door he noticed who was within bringing a fleeting smile. It was a conscious effort to move like human as the door was pressed open to have him stepping through then closed off before spun around, perhaps a touch too quickly. Golden spun hair was braided along the sides and tamed back. Eyes were as blue as the sky rimmed in a darker shade. His skin radiated right to the tip of his ears. His clothing was mostly black with a darker green shirt under the leather tunic. "Nae saian luume'" Advancing on his son, whom he didn't look much older than, a year or two. His voice pure musical octaves.

"Then their marriage and love has lasted and should continue to last. An inspiration.." but he didn't finish the rest of his statement as arms unfolded and he grasped his father's shoulders more clan style before released. "Nae saian luume, father. I am home for a while. There is much to talk about later into the night with your famous nourishing drink." Then remembering his manners. "This is Vanessa Baltimore, though you have probably known of her arrival and citizenship."

Her attention drawn from the statement Mike was making by the entrance of another. A light smile offered to the one who entered, along with a welcoming nod. To guess...she'd never say one was the elder of the other. And both were nice to look at! Brow quirked at the term father, golden hued eyes looked between the two in a sort of disbelief. Though it'd been subtle, wouldn't matter as introductions were made. Light blush for her gawking, she dipped her head to the newest entrant. "Pleasure to meet you."

"I am pleased to meet you Vanessa Baltimore. I have heard of your winged friends you have a rapport with in training." As Michael's looks were dark, his were like the sun rising in comparison. One would never guess they were even related. Though the ears were much alike, his were far more prominent. The rare smile to show that lit up his features even more. "Tell me of your feather friends."

"Please, call me Vanessa." Not sure why it surprised her that the father looked so young. Her birth father didn't look much older than she did. Shock factor, perhaps. "Hm..?" Slipped into a moment of thought. "Oh...well there's a great deal of them. Which would you like to hear about?"

Smile widened as if to reassure her. A glance given his son and back upon the lady. He could see her wonder in her eyes, golden warmth found there that went to her very soul. Birds were even more picky than other animals. "All that you want to tell, that which makes your heart soar just thinking on it for I feel you would fly with your friends if you could so do so in your heart."

Boyish smile settled near permanently as he got comfortable again, lean taken up and his drink as he set to listening and of course watching Vanessa. Nothing hard about doing that.

Her smile bordered somewhere between meek and brilliant if possible and eyes lit up vibrantly. "There are so many of them, I wouldn't know where to start. I love having them near. Their morning songs are sweet to wake to, those of the night, their calls to one another in the midst of the dark are a comfort as if having them near offers a sense of protection and to see them take's a very freeing view to have. I'm blessed to have them in my care until they chose another to call master and companion."

He closed his eyes as the sweetest tones slipped free betwixt his lips. There were no words but like the warble of the song birds in pure notes that blended one into the other. It was like taking another into the dance of the fairies, or elves in this case. Silver tone elves, whose purity of voice could enchant the wild beast to docile. He felt it added to her words as it was not kept and whisked away much like a summer's breeze to pass. "I see why they take to you and you will see they get with those deserving of their bond."

The tune was enchantingly sweet and had her smiling all the brighter. "I can only hope to do right by them. You should take care in such sweet songs. Surely any number of maidens would hear and come running to be serenaded." Though the comment was jestful enough, it was honest. Most women enjoyed being serenaded. It was a memorable thing to take to heart.

Which had him chuckle, "my father is as elusive as the notes he sings," which he could sing too and together it was even more powerful. He was far more shy than his father. Both of them were very elusive, he more for his chosen profession.

Mirth rose to blue eyes as he considered his son, "you need to find love one day. It will be worth your while but not too soon, you are young." The smile turned back upon Vanessa. "I once loved and it was taken from me. I cherish the memory. She was human and in spite of prejudices we married. She left for the prejudices that felt like a knife to her heart, leaving as a thief in the night with my heart and son. Life moves in mysterious ways. I lost her but eventually gained back my son when I stopped looking after being told both perished." Which had been something like twenty some years.

A grin given to Mike before looking back to Meekel. The smile faded some to such a tragic tale, but it returned in slight. "Then it is never really gone as long as you hold the memories near. And a fine result of love you have." She motioned to Mike.

"It is so and possibly I will love another in time while here. As I would wish for her, she would wish for me but it will have to be special. Which it should be to start. Her death was a long time ago and I have my son, who was dead and now alive." He had much to rejoice and so he would not pine for another or his loss. "He makes me proud." Without going into detail and embarrassing his son.


He cleared his throat with a cough, right, right, right, mumbled under his breath as he filled his glass again and filled one for his father to hand over. "To days ahead that bring us joy more than sorrow."

Smile returned hearing the kind words of the father with a keen grin to Mike. "No cheer better than that, have I ever heard." Mug tipped to the pair with a small drink of the cider.

Well now, the move have proved eventful and so far everything had gone smoothly, which amazed Setsuna greatly.... It seemed.. Almost too good to be true.. But not one to question when the heavens smiled upon him, he took full advantage of moments like this.. Which would explained why he jumped at the chance to revisit the Thistle when Zira had proposed the idea... Which would bring Setuna to where he presently stood, holding the door for Zira so she could follow him.



Date: 10-16-09
Poster: Michael Silvertone
Post # 22

Morjin had returned once more to the only place that seemed to accept him as he was. In his human form, he steps into the tavern, the familiar bronze armor, beat-up and battered, clanging gently as he walks. Dark golden hair swept back from his face, hanging down to his shoulders. Golden eyes would look around at the company present within the tavern. A tattered cape was around him, and a longsword hung at his side. Facial features seemed to be aristocratic, carved from stone, expressionless. Soon he makes his way to an empty table there in the tavern, sitting silently and observing the new company.

Despite the brisk autumn air, it was still warm enough to enjoy an outing. And thus, the walk and bit of cheat via portal was called for. Zira hoped to see Vanessa, recalling she'd mentioned likely stopping at the Thistle. And so here they arrived. Once Set opened the door and the armored man cut right in front of her to get in, she leaned up to pass a light kiss to Set's cheek as she stepped in to spot Vanessa at the bar. Along with two men it seemed. She giggled quietly. "And who says the bird-lady is a lonely one?" She paused with a clawed hook at the hem of her skirt and glanced down as Oni released her and raced ahead towards the bar. "Oh by all means, felines first."

Which his glass tipped to easily finish off the potent brew that had little effect on him, more accurately he would need to consume quite a bit for it to have. With more coming he turned to watch each enter. "Welcome friends." Though he had not met them it was said a stranger was but a friend in the making.

The kiss did well to relax his spirit at the moment. Brilliant blue stared daggers at the back of the man who cut in front of Zira... But that had soon faded. "... I wonder if Oni is racing towards Vanessa to make nice with her in hopes of scoring a meal out of one of her birds.... Devilish kitten if I do know one." A wink was given to Zira as he moved to her side and towards the bar. "Not lonely at all I surmise.."

He too was watching those that were coming in, distracted perhaps but just as friendly as his father, "good evening and welcome."

Ah but he did not mean to cut in front of them. He offers a bow of his head towards them, and to each that greets him and the others. Sometimes he wasn't used to being in his human form, so he never truly realized that he was rude from time to time.

Upon the door's open, she waved to Set, then to Morjin as he claimed a table to himself, .....and then blushed to what Zira said in greeting and turned her lower lip out ever so slightly in a pout. "Says the wicked witch...." Her grin absolutely couldn't be helped before looking to Setsuna. "Oni would do wise to stay away from those birds. Most of them would turn him into a toy. And I never claimed to be lonely." Chin notched up some with mock spite before
she smiled again. "Setsuna, Zira, meet Michael Silvertone and his father....." Brow quirked, looking towards Meekel, then back to the couple. "...I never received his name. Father Silvertone?" She motioned then to the one sitting alone. "And that is friend Morjin."

"I think Oni likes more than just her birds." Teasing grin given as she moved towards the bar with Set, greeting Vanessa with a kiss to the cheek. "Nice to see you again." Then to the two in company with her, she nodded. "A pleasure to meet you both." Oni pounced up onto the seat of an empty stool at the counter and looked across at Alex. Ears perked up with a pathetic sounding mew. "Oni, don't be rude." He flitted his tail towards her and bellied down on the seat. Oh! And waved to Morjin!

A nod and a slight wave back, and a small smile, but only for Vanessa. Then he would go back to his silent observing. He would look almost human in appearance, standing a height of six-foot-seven, but his ears were pointed, like that of Elven people. Only one little thing about them, the lobes looked almost fin-like.

He was interested in this cat, more for his swiftness as he listened quietly. One more withdrawn to the forests like his son, became quiet with it got to be more than just three or four, including himself. Though being addressed as Father Silvertone, brought a startled laugh, chimed like in pure tones as blue eyes turned on Vanessa. "Meekel, why my son was named Michael." Morjin was amongst an Elf and half Elf as was his son and there was a difference in the shape of their ears. He was taking it all in, their ways of socialization which would help to hone his if he should start getting out more.

"M'lady." Said in a chipper tone as he bowed politely. Always the sweetie Set was. In fact he was such a sweetheart that the small moment of aggression.. Well what could passed for aggression from Set, melted away the moment the man who skipped Zira bowed his head to them.. And of course he responded the same, a warm smile given even. "Oni is not being rude my love, he is just showing off his status to us lesser beings.. And well met good men!" Alil spunky tonight he was.

The kiss on the cheek returned. "Nice to see you two as well. Did you get settled in your room?" Looking to Meekel, she nodded and gave Mike a little nudge. "That's for spacing your manners." A small grin given to him.

Her cloak removed and draped over Oni and the seat he occupied just because it would ruffle his fur some, she slanted a look to Set. "Indeed. And it's you he gets it from." Forever teasing. Oni wiggled his way out from beneath the cloak with what could only be described as a feline grumble. Down off the chair, he moved closer to where Vanessa was apparently securely seated and sat himself under the hems of her skirts, looking up to the men there at the bar.

Ah but if this man knew who Morjin was, he would discover that they indeed weren't exactly kin, except for that they both lived long lives.

He had a keen sense of smell and knew many creatures both old and new. Nor did he need to look at one to get more from all his senses. He was taking in a lot not just of the reptilian descend but of the two ladies and the other male. Though they were more comfortable in feel, more amicable.

Morjin wasn't very chatty with those he would just meet for the first time, as Vanessa could vouch for. She and a couple others knew his true form, and she would be about the only one he could be at ease around. But he would keep himself at a distance, since she was surrounded by friends. Sometimes he felt so out of place it made him uneasy.

Michael disappeared into the kitchen to bring back a saucer of bits of stewed meat and bacon which he set on the bar down near the cat.

Zira wasn't quite human and as far as her scent went, she smelled of fresh ocean water and breeze. It radiated from her like body warmth. Subtle, but there. Oni caught the smell of the bits of stew. Standing from his place, he pounced up to the bar. First onto Vanessa's lap then onto the counter and over to where the stew had been set. Happy kitty was purring now. Big spoiled cat. "Look...everyone spoils him." Nudging Set before smiling to Vanessa. "Aye, we have. Al...Allan?...I believe is his name at the Bali Hi, was very kind to us and saw that we were settled comfortably until we can find our own place."

Well, the cat had moved in the interim as he was about to set it elsewhere but there was the cat! So it was not moved. "You are a choice feline. Oni," which the name meant One, Number One as this cat gave off." Which had dark eyes shifting over the couple with a relaxed smile in place. "Ballicastle is where I spend most of my time along the northern borders, keeping watch." They ran into all kinds there.

Vanessa nodded. "Sounds nice. I'm sure you'll find a place to call home and settle into your comforts soon enough." She leaned back when Oni jumped up on her lap and watched him take to the dish.

"Which will be soon, we were assured." He chimed in with a smile as he fumbled with his own cloak. Somehow he had managed to double knot the lace in the front that bound it to his frame... Which would explain why he was all but silent save the sounds of his struggling as he wrestled to get it free, up until now. "Well then good sir, you are to be our neighbor of sorts." This was said to Mike.

Actually Oni got his name from Chinese folklore that had to do with some beast from the zodiac. Made sense since she was a constellation. Oni mewed his thanks to Mike and went back to his meal. She turned to help unknot the ties of Set's cloak with a small grin. "It sounds that way. Perhaps we'll have the chance to cross paths with you again." Spoken with a glance over her shoulder to Mike.

It wouldn't be the first time he was wrong on a word. "Aye, I am Head Ranger and have specially trained ones under me. We help keep the lands safe by securing the borders best we can. The lands north are far more wild with much unsettled nor claimed. Then there are the lands owned by others that are overrun without any monarchy setup to enforce discipline."

Vanessa listened quietly as she turned to Alex and requested two ciders for Zira and Set. Thanking him, she turned back to the conversation. "That's why you're gone for such long periods." Something he'd mentioned earlier. Turning attention to Meekel. "What do you do?" A popular question for her since it seemed everyone knew what she did.

"I work with my people most of the time. The Sylvan Elves are close relatives and of whom the Queen here is descendant. When I am not helping them, I join my son in helping to keep the lands safe. It is something I am good at and have taught my son. As with anything, the learning never stops even for those who are the best at what they do." Which had him considering that which she did. "You train falcons and hawks, this might be of use to us to gradually gain such precision birds."

Like father like son. She smiled lightly and nodded to the mention of the birds. "Aye, I train both, though I train them to a specific master. Someone recently was telling me that Ballicastle might have use of trained birds."


"Hmmm.. So.. Vacationing up north would not be that wise an idea...." He said with a series of nods added in to enforce this statement. Set equaled clown, anyone could take note of this. "I see Vanessa is ever so popular." He to had to poke fun.

"I take that as a compliment," though only being half elf, there were area he would never be quite like his father, speed was one though he was darn close. Shifting attention back to Set, "within Ballicastle lands you should be fine. The mountains are spectacular if you want to feel on top of the world. Places few, if any, human nor Elf have been. The McAndrews have the lumber mill up there and the mine."

Zira smiled and picked up both mugs of heated cider when set out, one offered to Setsuna with a grin to his fun poking at Vanessa. "It's her sparkling personality and the fact that none have labeled her as the crazy bird lady... yet..." She flashed a smile which was quickly hidden behind her mug when a drink was taken.

"Lady Vanessa is very beautiful. The kind of beauty that comes from the soul. I am sure the lads in these lands would have to be blind not to notice her, probably too afraid of being turned down by a goddess to ask her to spend time with them. In time, I'm sure they will give it a try."

She swatted playfully at Setsuna and flitted her hand at him. Then wanted to hide for such a grand compliment from Meekel. Cheeks flushed a brilliant shade of blush. "Oh please stop. You're going to give me a complex." In a good
way...sort of.

"Lady Vanessa has beauty beyond compare. Her inner light shines so brilliantly that to look upon it might cause one to go blind from the radiance. But it would not be a bad thing." Morjin finally spoke! His voice was deep, slightly rumbly, but he spoke!

Brow arched up at the radiant blush Vanessa had going on and as much as she wanted to comment on it, she wouldn't. Might run the poor girl off. "She's a lovely person." Spoken in truth as she looked to Morjin, then back to Vanessa. She'd have to get Vanessa alone for girl talk one of these days.

"See," as Morjin finally spoke up, "I rest my case. It will take the proverbial knight in shining armor I am thinking, be he a prince by birth or not, a prince at heart to sweep you away, Vanessa."

She really needed a place to hide now. She turned to face the bar, both hands coming up to cover her cheeks. Suddenly it was very warm in the tavern.

Free of his cloak, thanks to the combined efforts of his hands and his fiance, he settled next to her, cider in hand. "Yes very beautiful... But..." He shared a long stare with Zira. "We can still get her to join our ranks... The wicked witch, the grumpy bookman... And the crazy bird lady." It seemed.. Almost perfect.

He didn't say a word but there was the lazy smirk. Poor lass wanted to melt into the floorboards and he couldn't blame her. Amused though, Vanessa would get over it and remember it always with a blush. Of course his father would be one of the ones.

Poor Vanessa. She laughed to what Set said about joining the ranks and leaned over to whisper something quietly to Vanessa. It was just a quick couple of words before sitting up right with a smile to her.

"Isn't there some bird flu that goes around like a mad hatter in flight?" That was sure a 180 degree turn from the other recently spoken upon. Though Vanessa might catch the wink her way.

Melt into the floorboards and reappear in her cottage with the door closed! Flattered by the compliments, but not used to such. Hearing the whisper, she looked at Zira and nodded and caught the wink, which she quirked a brow to. "You are all very wicked people." Even with her blush, she smiled slightly. Righting her posture, she cleared her throat softly and tried to recompose herself. "Bird flu..." Another little laugh. "I think I need something stronger to drink..." Looking down at her cider, but likely not serious since she never drank spirits.

He stepped away with a flourish of a bow. All his movements were precise and graceful though masculine compared to the females of their species. "Wicked can be far more fun than doldrums," already straightened, "and on that note, I bid you all a good night." Pausing the heartbeat, "though I shall come to visit your avian gardens to see what there is to see. Vanya sulie," which his native tongue all but sang from his lips especially for the silver tone Elves. A passing glance to Michael as much as said he would see him later, he would sleep in his home tonight and see his people tomorrow. Next he was out the side door and on his way.

"Fun for the people being wicked." She laughed some and tipped her head to Meekel. "It was nice to meet you." No idea what he said. "You're welcome to the gardens any time."

"Nice to meet you." Called out to the man with a grin, she looked over to Set. "I like the people here." Giving her oddly quiet moonman a gentle nudge.

He knew the look, words didn't need to be spoken between them more often than not. "It is Elven, basically giving a farewell, good night."

A nod was given to Meekel before he goes back to his observing. He didn't mean to make her blush like that, but his compliment was the truth. Deciding to try some of this cider that everyone seemed to like, Morjin would move from his seat at the table, coming to request some of the cider.

"Such a lovely language." This was the first time she'd ever heard it. Glancing towards the windows, she then finished her drink and slid from her stool and picked up her cloak. "I'm afraid it's time for me to retire for the evening. I must check the heating spires for the tropical birds."

As his drink is given to him, Morjin's eyes now turn to look at Vanessa. "Do you wish for me to accompany you to the cottage?"

Setting her mug down, she slid from her seat and leaned to give Vanessa a kiss on the cheek. "You be careful on your walk home. I will come see you soon."

Noting that Morjin had just received his drink, she shook her head gently. "No, Morjin. You stay and enjoy your drink. Tennison is outside and will walk with me." Her cloak pulled around to drape over her shoulders.

"Vanimle sila tiri, Oio naa elealla alasse'" which the words flowed as easily from his tongue as they had his father's. Finally speaking in the language she seemed to like. It was like singing yet not outward like most singers did to be heard. Easy flowing like soft music in the background. "I should be on my way and would be honored to walk the distance with you if you are going as well, Vanessa." He would be heading her way and beyond to get where he was going tonight.

Kiss returned to Zira's cheek with a smile. "I certainly hope so. Perhaps you'll find a bird big enough to pick on Oni." With a blink, she looked back to Michael with a soft smile. "I have no idea what you just said, but it was very pretty." Her cloak fastened, she just smiled. "If you promise it's not out of your way." Since it seemed he was leaving regardless, but she didn't want to take him out of his way.

He might tell her what the words meant once they were on their way but here, nah, she might end up blushing again and she blushed enough in front of the others already. "It has been a pleasure to meet you Set and Zira, perhaps our paths will cross once you are settled in Ballicastle. One cannot have too many friends."

"We'll see." To mention of the bird. Eased back onto her seat, she retrieved her mug and sat quietly with a nod to Mike. "A pleasure to meet you as well. See her home safely." Spoken fondly of her friend.

"She will be seen safely home, that I promise." One thing about their kind, a promise was their very breath so was not given lightly. He was to the door, ease of movement spoke of speed, holding it open for her. "Good night to you Morjin," the quiet one but he didn't add that mental title.

"If that is what you wish." Morjin would nod and watch her leave with Mike. He trusted the Elven one to keep her safe. But as for himself...he wasn't sure he wanted to stay for too long. A nod given to Mike, then he begins to taste the cider. A bit sweet for his taste, but it wasn't bad.

She smiled and gave Set a little nudge. "You be sure to see her home safely bookman." A wave to the couple, she smiled to Morjin. "Good night, Morjin." WIth that, she turned to leave with Michael.

"Aye always good to have a friend or two.. Three.. Eight." A warm smile. yes this is exactly what the pair had wanted.. To branch out. Meet new people. "She never leaves my sight dear." A wink given to Vanessa."Fair well you two."


The worse Vanessa would need to endure would be Michael's boyish charm, not so quiet out in nature and fresh autumn air.

This is indeed what the couple wanted. She smiled to Set and watched Vanessa and Mike take their leave before turning to better face her moonman. "You seem quite happy here, love mine."

Not that that would at all be a bad thing. Once outside and down the steps, she took up Tenni's reins and started the walk home. "Thank you for walking with me."



Date: 10-19-09
Poster: Faelan Callihan
Post # 23

Return of the Callihans

Faelan was up from the port having made sure his ship was in tip top shape for an upcoming excursion in procuring animals. He also needed to coordinate with Morgan and Regan if either wanted to make this trip with him, though in their ships of course. The more they could bring back if they did. A cloak was worn of woolen for the colder air this late autumn night brought. Wouldn't be long before winter was here then a bitter cold that was not good for anyone to sail out in unless absolutely necessary. He left word for his siblings, although not being sure who was in Heathfield presently for the news that traveled down from the north. He was sitting at the bar as he spoke on various things with Alex while enjoying a glass of potcheen. Cloak over the back of his chair, tunic of dark blue with black pants and boots. A rapier and long knife hung from his belt but tied off with a peace knot for where he was presently and could have another uncomfortable that might come in.

Vanessa was just returning from company with her sister to her father's wedding. The Hills had been warmer than this, but she was glad she'd taken a cloak because returning to Heathfield, it was much needed. The sudden contrast after passing through the portal created for guests of the wedding sent a chill down her spine and almost instantly reddened her nose and cheeks. The cloak was quickly drawn around her shoulders and fastened and the hood pulled up over that of her dress, she decided in that moment to make a pit stop at the Thistle. It was a half way mark from where she was to her to cottage, so the temptation of warm cider and a fire along the way was too tempting to miss.

He took pause, glancing to the door under a violet blue gaze. Something. Distraction there but as of yet no one came in but it felt like someone was about to. Then again the feeling might be there because he had sent word out to his siblings he would be at the Thistle this evening. Whether or not he made it to Whispering Pines remained to be seen. Alex too glanced way of the door before he was back seeing to the bottles on his shelves and awaiting anyone that might be coming in.

Vanessa made haste to the direction of the Thistle until she reached the porch. Then strides slowed a bit as she made steps up to the porch, reaching for the door before it came into grasp distance. Quick opening of the door and just as quick she was through and pushing it closed. "Brr..." She shivered again then took a deep breath and smiled to the warmth. Oh and look! People. Sheepish grin to Faelan and Alex. "Evening, gents."

"Evening," rising from his seat as he took in the vision of the young lady coming in. Of course there was that quick natural assessment checking her over that left him with a charming smile. Or so some thought. "Welcome this night m'lady, it is nice to have such pretty company. I am Captain Faelan Callihan, of these lands and Kildare."

Had Faelan looked where the Naiad usually berthed, he wouldn't have seen her. Instead, Morgan had her into a different place, one that he could leave easily and quickly. Knowing Regan was on her way to Heathfield after a run down the coast, he decided to head for the Thistle after making port. If there were any messages for him, they'd be there. He stepped inside quickly, shutting out the cold and grinned to see his brother there already, and greeting a lass as well. "Faelan." He was over to greet his brother with a clap to his shoulder and gave a nod to the young woman. "Miss."

A charming greeting. Good thing her cheeks were already red because she blushed to the compliment, but smiled brightly nonetheless. "Thank you, Captain Callihan. Pleasure to meet you. I'm Vanessa Baltimore." Moving out of way of the door, she looked back to the one who entered and offered him a bright smile as well. "Good eve." First destination was the hearth.

Her smile was even better, like summer on a wintry day. Unusual eyes of liquid gold that held the same warmth to them. Oh yes, he might be staring a little but not overly since they were talking, his curiosity heightened on the nymph from a autumn night. "It is a great pleasure to meet you Vanessa, if we may be on first name bases. My brother Morgan, another captain of his own ship." Though it might seem he almost stood somewhat in front of him as if not wishing to lose her focus. Or he was busting his brother as was the norm for them.

"Pleasure, Miss Baltimore." He placed his hand over his heart as he bowed slightly in greeting then snickered at his brother. Turning to greet Alex, he accepted the glass of the pure set out for him.

Her attention held to him with a very slight expressed curiosity beneath the joyous expression for warmth and good company. "Faelan then." She nodded with a look to Morgan and dip of her head to him. "Nice to meet you, Morgan. Call me Vanessa, please." A glance given back to Faelan before her attention turned to Alex for a moment, requesting warmed cider.

Which had him chuckle under his breath hearing the snicker. Slight nudge of a shoulder to shoulder as he spoke up. "When did you get in, I didn't see your ship in its slip." Though only a glance there for the lovelier sight than his brother made, no offense as it would be the same for his brother over looking at his face. "You are new in town?" Though he was not around all the time, the family was around enough. Now he was trying to calculate the last time he'd been here.

After her work was done in the tattoo parlor, Deirdre went window shopping for the Yuletide season was not that far away not to start coming up with ideas for gifts. Though she thought of getting them a tattoo done by Seanan, who did the males, for her brothers at least. They were Captains of ships and should have at least one tattoo! So she felt anyway. She was tagged by the lad delivering the note that Faelan was in and at or heading to the tavern. So, with some ideas in mind stored away she headed there. She was all wrapped up in a woolen cloak, with a line hood, over a black suede skirt and tailored jacket top. Black boots had a small heel, in case she wanted, or needed, to run, so in she went with a good gust of an autumn breeze. Smile growing on a freckled speckled face, large green eyes and dark red hair with golden highlights. The black clothing brought those out as once in and the door closed she was dashing across the way, cloak slipping from her shoulders as she first jumped into a hug with Faelan, being closest, then Morgan. Obviously she had missed them. "Faelan, Morgan," squealed.

Gloves were pulled from her hands, feeling a bit warmer and the hood of both her cloak and her dress were dropped against her back, watching the interaction between the brothers. Once her gloves were tucked away, she moved over to the bar where Alex had set her drink, thanking him quietly. "I've been here a couple months." Smiling back to Faelan, unclasping her cloak and turning attention to the door as another joined them, apparently in a joyous mood as well!

He laughed as their whirlwind of a sister came in and waited for his hug, arms open. He had missed their Swan and the grin on his face showed it.

He met that whirlwind in a good hug before she flew into Morgan's arms for the same. A low whistle under his breath hearing two months, he figured two weeks tops. "I have been so busy not to be here though, wait, we have, less than two months ago for certain. Though unfortunately it was not when you were here for surely I would remember you." Taking a pause as by that time Deirdre would be done with her hugs and greetings, "this is one of our sisters, the youngest, Deirdre." Tempted to give her nickname but decided another time. "Deirdre, this is Vanessa."

Wasn't just hugs but a kiss to Morgan's cheek then back to give the same to Faelan's. Only then a bright smile turned on the lady being introduced. If Faelan started teasing her, she would reciprocate for certainly he was a flirt from what she had seen. Nice flirt though, well, he was her brother and she loved them all dearly. "I'm very pleased to meet you Vanessa." Which one could tell she was mussing over something overheard. "You're the one with the trained birds that a place was built for to keep them last month. I work in the Tattoo Parlor and we hear a lot of things that go on. It helps some to keep their mind off the sting by rattling on about all kinds of things."

She smiled to Deirdre, giving a little wave after draping her cloak over the back of the nearest stool. Her dress was a dark shade of blue with fitted sleeves and hood attached. "It's a pleasure to meet you as well, Deirdre." Her expression brightened slightly when Deirdre mentioned the gardens and what she did. "Aye, that would be me. I passed the parlor a couple days ago. Very lovely establishment. I will have to come in and see it sometime."

"My brother James had a talk with Seanan, the man who started the shop, before he would let me work for him," which at first was a little embarrassing but now she glowed under the protectiveness of her brothers. Just thrown in there.


"How are things going there, Deirdre?" He removed his long coat as he asked, finally settling in on a stool. Dressed all in black from his shirt to his boots, he likely didn't cut the fine figure Faelan did. "Deirdre's an artist beyond doing the tattoos."

"I will have to come up when I have an easy afternoon to see the birds." Which might lend her to possibly buy one for the shop. Smile turned on her brother with a slight wrinkle of her nose. "It is going fine. Enough customers to keep us both busy though he is far busier. Not as many females get tattoos." Which she went to further explain to Vanessa. "One of the things my brother insisted on was I only worked on the females than the males a tattoo parlor usually gets. Seanan agreed and it worked out for him keeping the silly females that think by getting a tattoo and he to do it, will win favor with him, especially when I overhear where they want the tattoo. Then as soon as they find out I do the females, they managed not to find any they like and leave. Some bold enough to say they would only get one if he did it. Poor man, he's too good looking for his own good." Giving a tsking sound under her breath but her eyes danced with amusement.

"Did you get one yet?" He teased, then added, knowing he'd likely get hit for it. "Maybe the lasses can't take pain?"

She listened to both Morgan and Deirdre, nodding first to the brother then to the sister once she'd finished her story. "Some women should be ashamed of the way they act." That was of course her opinion. Some of the things that women did were shameful. Though men could be just as bad, but it was more acceptable from them for some reason. "You're welcome to the Gardens any time you can make it." Her smile returned, listening to the tease with a soft laugh.

"Yes," though hesitantly with narrowing of her eyes. "Don't tell James yet! Though Seanan had to do mine, it was a design I came up with and he wanted to try it out. It would be too hard for me to do myself," which she raised the length of golden red hair up enough to show the small swan at the back of her neck, up just before the hairline and very small but very detailed.

He had gone quiet, though a smirk managed to steal upon his expression as he listened and watched. Gave him time to watch his little sister so animated when she use to be very shy, didn't socialize, ran off most of the time to get away from their Uncle. Living in Montrose under those circumstances was a far away thought at this point but still it brought to mind the latest news he shared for he'd been to Montrose of late. "Ultan has been caught and taken to Kildare to await his trial."

He leaned forward to take a look and let out a low whistle. "Very nice, Deirdre. I don't think James will object to Seanan having done it at all. I like it. A lot."

Which had her simply beaming, "you do? You think?" She worried on James, though a very good man and she knew it, he was very strict because he had to be. Her face almost turned an ashen color hearing her uncle's name. "I hate to say it but I hope he gets what is coming to him, he almost killed Da, would have it wasn't for James and the rest of you."  She turned attention to Vanessa then, helping her pass by any further talk on the uncle. "I agree, I never knew women would do or say the things they do that make me blush red, they so embarrass me and I find myself saying a silent prayer that it be that most women are not like that, that more have self esteem, self respect than to act the way they do."

"Aye, I do." He put his arms around Deirdre when she turned pale, hugging her. "He'll get what he deserves, sweetheart. The Twins will see to it." Though if pressed, he'd admit he hoped the same. Releasing her, he leaned back to listen to her and Vanessa talk.

A wry smile turned on Morgan again, "I'll mention that one to Regan, about women not being able to take pain." Like he implied it on her. Though she melted into that hug and snuggle. Her brothers made her feel safe.

Hip hitched upward, she slid herself onto a stool while continuing to listen. Her agreement shown with a nod to Deirdre. "I agree." She'd seen things that made her blush for other woman who didn't seem to be able to. Smirking some, but bit her tongue on words that women couldn't take the pain.

"Regan doesn't count. She's a captain." He grinned as he answered.

"I really wish Regan was here to hear you say that Morgan." Grinning like a loon as their one sister might clock him one too. He was waiting for the day she fell head over heels with one that had her finally preening to look more like a lady all fancied up. If Deirdre could come out from the woods and socialize finally, Regan could fall in love.

"I'm sure she'll hear it from ... someone." He chuckled, "then we'll ask her if she's gotten a tattoo yet."

He gave a low whistle as he looked around in the attempt to hopefully leave Morgan wondering.

Vanessa was content to just watch them while sipping her cider. It was always nice to see family so close.

Even if it was Deirdre who told, Morgan would blame Fael!

That wouldn't work, she would know Morgan said such a thing, not him! "So, tell us of your various birds and of your time here, Vanessa. Have you made friends, settled in, prepared for the upcoming winter?"

She wouldn't tattle on Morgan unless he'd been really wicked and deserved it.

Her attention turned to Faelan with a nod. "I am making friends, finding friends from home moving here, and trying to prepare for the winter as best I can. I have an array of birds. Companions, carriers and hunters."

Oh, he'd take the blame, but would try to get back at Faelan. He gently tugged at a strand of his sister's lovely hair and winked at her when she looked his way. "There's a present for you in my coat pocket."



Date: 10-19-09
Poster: Faelan Callihan
Post # 24

"Do you have a favorite breed amongst them that stands out a little more in your personal preference?" Though he slanted one of those glances to Morgan that held the touch of a challenging smirk. Obviously Faelan would welcome the challenge.

She was listening on the birds but the word present got her attention fast! "Really?" Bright eyes getting a touch wider up to his before dipping to see which pockets there were in his coat. She had that look of attacking them any second as it hung on the chair close by.

"Aye. Right side, lower." He chuckled at the look in her eye. "Gray velvet box." He had gifts for his other sisters as well as his brothers, but they could wait.


She thought on that quietly for a moment while sipping her cider. "I don't know, I like them all. They all offer something unique. The tropical birds learn to speak, the carriers sing during the day and the hawks and falcons keep deafening silence from settling in at night."

"Do you have any of the birds personally trained for yourself?" Keeping an eye on his brother and sister and the ongoing bit of a present.

She dashed, hand dipping into the pocket as the biggest smile shot her brother's way over her shoulder. Drawn back as she got hold of the soft covered box to draw out. She was quick to open it as her eyes widened in disbelief. "It is gorgeous, Morgan," so he had a flying sister into his arms to squeeze him tight while still looking at the necklace. She held it out so Faelan and Vanessa could see. It was a swan, filled with diamonds in sterling silver, very delicate looking yet sparkly!

"I do. I have a white falcon named winter." Smile disappeared behind the mug for a moment. After her drink, the mug was set aside on the counter and leaned to see what had been gifted to Deirdre. "How lovely!"

He grinned, pleased with her reaction. "When I saw that in the shop window, I knew it would suit you." Delicate, sparkly and strong like the youngest Callihan.

"Thank you," once again as she hugged him tight then drew it from the box as she stepped back, unclasping it she held it up to him so that he could put it on as she moved her hair aside once he took it.

"Named Winter, appropriately, though you do not like the cold." Although something had him wondering, a touch of sadness or so? He wasn't sure for it was so fleeting. To ask her if she was all right was on the tip of his tongue but he stilled it, trying to discern whatever it was to capture back that he could get a better idea.

He grinned as he returned the hug, then took the necklace from her. Once it was fastened, he placed a kiss to the crown of her head. "You're welcome, our Swan."

"It's true enough I don't like the cold, but the winter season is quite beautiful. I enjoy it from the warmth of a nearby fire. Especially in the early or late hours of light when the snow looks like tiny earth bound stars."

She was just tickled pink, her smile would last the whole while as well the brightness to her eyes. A hand lifted to touch it where it laid upon her chest, with even a dip of her chin in taking a look over it.

"Aye, I would say that winter holds her beauty, purest of pearls laid over the lands. At night or twilight in bewitching hours as snow falls heavily lending a silence like a mother rocking her babe to sleep. I like to venture out in it, all bundled up and just stand there like one of the trees as the snow falls down all around me. The lights from the manor skittering over slopes as each crystal falls in an accumulating blanket."

"You're waxing poetic tonight, Faelan." He looked over at his brother, smiling slightly. Faelan could have been a poet had things been different.

She listened thoughtfully to what Faelan spoke, relating it how he would and how he liked to enjoy it. "Sounds nice. My sister and I used to sit in the bay window and draw pictures in the frost upon the glass. I can't say I've been out walking in it often though."

"If I get meself a lass, I'll be taking her for horse drawn sleigh rides and the like." It was a thought, for certainly snuggled up with one you liked made it all the better in sharing. "You and your sister are close. Are you close in age too?" Kicking back his drink before pouring another while he kept up the conversation.

"I'm sure the lass would be delighted." Followed with a nod. "Aye. We're close. Twins. I don't get to see her as often as I would like. Today was the first time I've seen her in nearly eight months."

"Is it distance that keeps you from seeing one another?" He put an arm around his sister. When they were away from Montrose, hiding more or less from their uncle, he had missed the others. Not Regan and Fael, since they were with him on board the ill-fate Fianna.

A light nod given to Morgan. "Yes. She lives in a kingdom called Draconia. By horse back, it's a decent week's travel from here. And she is busy with a family of her own. Married and their first child."

"Twins usually are close from my understanding. Share a special rapport even over other siblings. It must have been a joyous reunion for you both. I don't like it when a week goes by I don't get to see my siblings." Though a few weeks sometimes went by for them all doing their own thing and getting settled here and back in Montrose. "That is a distance."

"It was good to see her and see she is doing well. My family's very spread out, but it makes seeing them all the more special when we get a chance to get together." An accepted part of life.

It had been a long day for her and all the excitement seeing her brothers again. More than two weeks but she didn't correct her brother, though he may have meant seeing any of the siblings for that length of time. Settling on a stool near Morgan for his arm about her shoulders was reassuring. A glass of the punch gained from Alex while she took to sipping it as she listened.

"How many are in your family?" Being there were a few in his and they got spread out at times, he could have empathy.

She thought on that for a moment. "Seven that I know of, but that's not including my brother in law's family, or my step father's family since I've yet to meet them."

"If we go to collect animals, shall I bring you a monkey?" He asked Deirdre quietly so as to not interrupt. Of course, he might not be able to, if he couldn't find an orphan.

Which had her near snort in her drink, then coughed a little before giggling. "I think I would drive the monkey nuts or bring him to work to wreak havoc."

"True. Could bring you a panther cub." Now he was teasing. "I could just see you walking into the commons and sending everyone running." Though he did think one of the Egyptians had one.

"That is quite a few. You're the only one that ventured this far then?" The closest in relation was what he was referring to anyway. "Are any of the others married with children too?" Realizing that none of them were married so far. Their oldest brother had a close call but that was about it. They'd been too busy straightening out a bad situation.

Another nod given. "Yes. I'm the only one who ventured this far. Jasmine and her family live in Draconia, my father and step father and their son live in Enchanted Hills." Which had her smiling, happy to have been invited to their wedding.

That was what she was thinking too, pretty sure one or two of them had pet cats of the large persuasion. "I think if you come across the right orphaned animal for me, you will know it at that time rather than try and plan getting me one in particular." Though the thought was very sweet of her brother and the adoring look his way said it all.

"Your mother then lives in the Enchanted Hills too?" Is Draconia far from the other?" She had said already how far the one was from here.

He winked at Deirdre, then leaned forward. "And how is Seanan doing?" Waiting for the blush that was sure to follow.

A little smirk was given. "My mother passed away some time ago. My father and step father wed today. I believe that Enchanted hills is opposite direction from here, than Draconia."

"If he has a moment away from fending off all the ladies, then he is doing well." Which had her laughing again instead of really blushing, just a tint for she knew he would be teasing her on her employer. She still watched various women run into the lamp posts for watching him go by than where they were going. Still had her laugh when she saw it.

He just blinked and looked at Vanessa. Father and stepfather? Maybe he heard wrong?

No, he didn't hear wrong. She looked at Morgan and smiled.

Which had him clearing his throat. "Ah,..." trying hard not to laugh for the awkwardness of it, "I see. I hope he and your step father are happy." Lucky her father had married her mother first and had all of them.

Ah, well ... that was different. He smiled in return then looked at Deirdre again. "Fend them off, truly?"

"They seem to be. Though I'm not sure I've ever seen my father happier than when he plastered Karu's face with cake today."

"Truly. Seems the tattoo parlor attacks a certain kind of bold lass that goes after a man she decides she wants like a bull charging." Smirky smile tucked as she added, "that's why I have a bucket of cold water waiting behind the counter when he has to physically detach a lass from him bodily." Which meant she also got Seanan when she pulled that move, though it worked!

"I heard you telling Vanessa of that." He paused though and laughed.. "And does he do the same for you?"

It's not like he had not seen men who preferred men for many on a crew out at sea got that way. He had his own close call he liked to forget. Though, none of them officially got married. Chuckle can swiftly hearing Deirdre.

"No, the only time one tried to corner me, I yelled.... James Roy Callihan is my brother, and he backed off and ran out the door. It was pretty funny."

Falling silent, she laughed softly to what Deirdre said and picked up her mug to finish off the contents.

"That couldn't have done much for Seanan's ego, but I'm not surprised the man ran." He chuckled. "Probably thought James would have his scalp."

"Since the day he interviewed Seanan, his reputation got around." Any of her brothers would near kill someone that tried to manhandle her. Seanan would defend her but Deirdre like to feel she could manage on her own, not depend on men. Though she would not tell her brothers that.

Bah. Youngest or not, Deirdre was a Callihan. Of course she could handle herself.  Though they'd step in if needed.

Depending how they manhandled her, he would kill them if he was around or found out. The degree would determine it and if not a lot but still enough, beat him within an inch of his life. "Do you have a beau, married, children, Vanessa?" May as well find out her status than accidentally step where he should not if he should step at all.

That's when she accidentally kicked Faelan, like adjusting in her seat. For the personal question to Vanessa though she would not understand the why he asked most likely.

Blinked out of her thoughts, she looked at Faelan and shook her head. "No. None of the above. Just my birds."

That had him snickering, and hiding it by taking a drink of his potcheen. The glass was empty and he motioned to Alex for another.

"You're not against any of those ideas?" Though he stepped back from kicking distance of his sister with a smirk there. After the reality of her father and step father, he would not wish to blunder if she liked women better. Forgive him, he didn't know and he was one out at sea a lot.

"Faelan.." exasperated sounded, "why don't you just ask her if she is attracted to you while you're at it!" Chiding him more than teasing.



Date: 10-19-09
Poster: Faelan Callihan
Post # 25

Brow quirked at his question, and for a moment she looked a little confused by it. "Uhm..well no. I think the idea of having someone to share a warm blanket with is nice. Though he'd have to be very special." The chiding from Deirdre garnered a blush and downward tilt of her head, before looking between the siblings.

Which had him whip a glance to Deirdre with a lopsided smile. "And that which Deirdre asks." So there!

"By Neptune's beard, Deirdre... " He started to laugh now, and harder.


After a moment, she notched her chin up, trying not to laugh too much. "Who could deny such devilishly good looks as Faelan has. Lucky for him he has the charm of words to go along with it."


"Aye, probably why he is still in possession of his hide," giving Vanessa a wink before a defiant lift of her chin. Though a little fear trickled through her if word got back to James she was becoming too bold for her new job, he might decide she should not continue. She mostly ended up coming up with new designs so carried her weight that way. "He is devilish.." with a touch wicked gleam that turned on Morgan, "so is Morgan, Adam and our oldest brother James. You can have your pick of them for I like you." Deciding she did in that moment and like she could give them out as she pleased. "Of course you will have to meet the other two before you choose." Which gave that worm hole out of the teasing.


She smirked at Deirdre. "Oh..I'm not sure I couldn't choose between them. I'm sure they're all handsome with their own charms."

"Aye, and once she's done picking, we'll go find Seanan and see if he picks you, Regan or Alannah."

"Do you have a few single sisters too that would like a night out with a few brothers?" Deirdre was getting very spunky. Good to see actually.


She shook her head. "No, I'm sorry. Jasmine's the only sister I have. I'm sure there are plenty of lovely women around here who would enjoy a night out with any of the Callihan men."

"He would probably pick fair Alannah," impish smile with the same kind of look met that of Morgan's. "Adam is quiet and James, well.. he just has this power all around him naturally." Regan, even she would not go there in teasing that particular sister on men. Maybe. She was getting bolder.

"Not if he likes the spunky lass you've become." He laughed as he shook his head. "Ah. Adam is quiet and too often involved in his work."

"You're too quiet too, when is the last either of you spent time with a real lady?" Maybe something they should think about because Vanessa was right, they were good looking and charming.

Vanessa just smiled some, settling back against her seat as she listened to the youngest sister and her older brothers. She liked Deirdre.

"Not that long ago." Though stretching it and maybe he was a bit picky in spite of his flirting ways. Not all that sure of himself either around a pretty lady that had personality and smarts too. Though he would not admit to that. Flirting covered it up.

"Male code words for not recent enough." She snickered softly and turned to Alex to ask him for another mug of cider.

He scratched at his chin, realizing he needed a shave. "When I was in the islands last. Nice lass, good family, and I was a gentleman." And took her out as a favor to her father.

"Mmmmmhmmmm," like she was not really buying it but there too, she should not push too far for she loved them and wished them to find happiness. Though Vanessa had her breaking from her own ruse with a laugh. "Maybe at the next event held here, we should get them volunteered in a kissing booth for charity and let all the ladies kiss them. Then they would probably be looking them over no matter how quiet they are."

Oh my...Vanessa looked at Deirdre with a tilt of her head and kind of a confused expression, not really sure what to say to that. All she could do was blink at the idea.

"Well, yes... not recent enough." He could go with that. "Why I'm seeing who is single and who is not," like whom was naughty or nice, "before seeing to maybe taking a lady out if agreeable to her too." Oh, the stipulations.

Which had her wondering as she reassured. "It's only kissing and I heard they had such booths before. Donations went to the orphanage to keep them in clothes and the like."

She was still looking at Deirdre, maybe like she had grown an extra head attached to her shoulders. "...." Mouth opened, mouth closed.

"Kissing is a means to find out if you like a certain man or not after liking his looks and his ways."

He was keeping quiet, well, as much as he could while he was laughing.

Which had her looking confused, she figured Vanessa was a few years older than her. "Haven't you ever kissed a man?" Least she used the term man over lad.

Vanessa would be twenty come December. Eyes widened at the question of having kissed a man before, she shook her head. "No, I've never kissed a man. My parents told us we weren't supposed to until we were married. That is how ... children of the unwed are born."

He was sharing the moment with his brothers. Though he wondered on the horrid look upon Vanessa's pretty face. Words were low to his brother. "I don't think she ever kissed. Maybe she was told she got cooties if she did.."

"Not cooties apparently." He answered low, then raised his voice. "From kissing?" The question was for Vanessa.

"Not until you are married??" Now she was confused but the last sunk in. "It takes more than a kiss, can't get pregnant from a kiss." Oh, see brothers? She had learned about it all from a lady that use to be here and she asked a lot of questions.

She looked at Morgan and nodded. "Aye. From kissing." Not only was she confused, but blushing horribly and trying to not look away from them.

"Kissing could lead up to it if one wanted it to. But aye, you can't get pregnant from kissing." Though he was not about to tell her how she would get pregnant. "You train birds, do you raise them? They mate."

Blame the parents that raised her and her sister. She sighed softly, cursing her parents if they'd told her some fib. "Our parents raised us to believe that women could become pregnant from the act, and told us that we weren't to kiss a man until we were wed."

She reached over to touch her hand upon Vanessa's. "He is telling you the truth, it is not the kissing that gets you pregnant but the mating can." Though her words had her adding a bit, "if you don't want to even kiss before you are married, that is something you can do but it will make it harder. It is said a kiss can tell you the right man for you over another. Though I've not kissed anyone yet either." Scrunching her nose in a wrinkle her brothers' way. "I can bet both of you have and not have left any little Callihans running around without a father."

"Who exactly were you talking to, Deirdre?" Not that he was surprised that she had, more pleased so she was ready for what might happen. He blinked then laughed. "Aye, we have and not left a single wee one behind."  Hopefully.

"Aye, and we'll not be kissing and telling on a lady either." Or any not so much a lady or lady of the evening, courtesan, if really needed. And even if he had not been with one that far, he'd not admit to it either.

She looked between them, just nodding to what Deirdre had said. Not really sure what to say, but knowing she wanted to go home now. "Thank you." She slid off her stool, picking up her cloak. "Have a wonderful night." And made her to the door.

"Vanessa. I hope we didn't offend you." He spoke up quickly. "Or make you uncomfortable. If so, I apologize."

Pausing at the door, she looked at Morgan and shook her head. "No, not at all." A small smile given, her cloak pulled over her shoulders, she took her leave for the night.

She was up and over to her, "are you all right?" Mortified even that she would cause her to become so distraught.

"Can we see you back to your place?" Frowning as he watched her go and not sure what to do about the situation to make it right.

And stopped before closing the door, she nodded. "Aye. I'm fine. I... am tired. It's been a long day of travel from here to the home of my fathers'." Still held some of the blush of embarrassment. To Faelan she shook her head. "No, stay and enjoy the company of your family." A small smile given to Deirdre. "It's fine. I hope to see you soon."

"I can walk you back and talk if you wish?" Maybe that would help, some girl talk without her brothers or any other males.

She leaned in closer to Deirdre, speaking in a quiet tone to her alone as she pushed the door closed to keep the cold air out. "I suppose it's just the surprise to find out that the couple who raised us would be so dishonest over something like that."

He drew in a breath, resigning kind. "I apologize," though he nor his siblings had any idea she would take offense over talk on kissing. Clueless.

Not offended!

She was quick to give her a hug and quiet words, "don't be so hard on them or you, I'm sure it was done with the best intentions from all I've learned, though not experienced." Words low near her ear before relinquishing the hug, "tomorrow will be better after sleeping on it."

The hug was returned with a small smile. "I'm sure it was." Taking a step back, she nodded. "Thank you." Looking towards the brothers, a wave was given. "Have a good night."

"Aye, it was very nice meeting you Vanessa. I hope our paths cross again," and whatever just happened a thing of the past. His drink finished as it was set aside, "shall we all head back to Whispering Pines tonight?" He was feeling the drain of the day too.

"Good night, Vanessa. Rest well." He lifted his glass in a farewell of sorts. "It was where I was planning on heading." He wanted to see if Regan had come back yet. If not, they might be heading to Kildare, and Montrose.  Hopefully spot her ship on the way.

Most likely they would be heading for Montrose after he told them all he learned. "Deirdre, will you be coming with us also?"

She was back in to gather up her cloak, "yes. We should probably get going, my horse is tied outside. I think I could use a nice warm cup of tea once there." With maybe something in it too! She was at the door holding it open for them with a pixie type smirk.

"Aye, tea." With a lot of something in it. He pulled on his coat then laughed when he realized she was holding the door. "Thank you, Swan."

Which had him advancing on the door, and Deirdre, as he swooped her up into his arms to carry her outside. Grinning from ear to ear with the teasing as he would put her right up into her saddle.

Which she let out a surprise squeal that probably rang down the various streets being scooped up so then on her horse. "Thank you Faelan. I've got the best brothers in the world I'm not so sure I want to share with any other lass than my sisters." Grinning now too as she got her horse around and started in a gallop up the street they needed to take.

He waved to Alex as he followed the two out, watching Deirdre take off. "Are we walking or borrowing horses?" Didn't matter to him in any case.

He was into a run down to the stable to borrow one of the saddled up horses and then catch up with their sister.

And since that was Faelan's answer, Morg was right on his tail. Hopefully she would wait for them before leaving the city.



Date: 10-20-09
Poster: Orlaith Hughes
Post # 26

Looking for Mischief

She heard that she was to be tested. Finally. Though a time had not been set. She had only met Aaric so far and had yet to meet the other two. Spending time exploring and even getting out beyond the lands to adjoining ones and beyond. Orlaith was one with a lot of energy to expend and sitting around waiting didn't sit all that well with her so rather than be grumpy, she kept busy. It worked out well. It was a cool night but not quite as cold as some. Although there too, it didn't really matter to her but kept abreast for appearance sake. A light cloak was worn over a fitted dress of black, one styled not to hinder movement as she strolled up the street in a good sweeping pace. She waved to all passing, easy with her smiles.

Vanessa and Miriam were already inside the Thistle and had been chatting about this and that, just getting to know each other. Miriam though seemed to have slipped into a daze for the moment, so Vanessa took the chance to finally remove her cloak now that she had warmed up. The cloak unclasped and laid over the back of her stool, she was attired in a dual colored dress of darker red with a panel down the front in a slightly lighter shade. Her mug picked up, she slid from her seat at the bar at went to gather herself before the hearth. 

When the sky stayed clear, Darragh decided his comrade must be out of the city, possibly the realm. He didn't mind the sudden storms but there were times he'd rather not be soaked. He came in through the back door, saluting the guards there as he greeted them, then heading for the commons. A drink would be a good end to a good day.

She was up the steps and heading in, hand flat to the thick oaken door while the other lifted the latch in unison. Made it all smooth sailing. She was greeted by the familiar warmth as it only had her glow more, maybe it was the color of her hair that gave the effect or something deeper still. "Good evening Alex, do you have some of that rrrrrrrrrrraspberrrrrrrrrrry punch?" Rolling her r's effectively with a brightening smile.

Hearing the door open, Vanessa looked on in that direction from her place at the fire with a greeting smile. "Good eve." Greeted warmly before sipping her drink happily.

She stalled mid-stride midway to the bar as she turned to face the woman's whose voice she heard, "hello there, it is good to have company this night. I'm Orlaith," though she continued to the bar to get the punch Alex set out for her. Sniff, sniff, quite discreetly did she smell fresh soil inside the tavern? Maybe a potted plant.

"Indeed it is, and a pleasure to meet you, Orlaith. I'm Vanessa." The smile remained, watching the other briefly before turning her attention back to the fire. Didn't want to be rude or accused of staring.

He stepped into the commons, catching the scent of peat, and perhaps perfume, with a touch of ... burning wood? Dark eyes shifted from one lass to the other. "Good evening, ladies. It's a lovely night to be out and about it, isn't it?"

"Vanessa of the Birds," oh, there were many titles being passed around. "You're quite the topic," her smile warm as she started toward the hearth but spun on a heel again. "I feel I should know you?" Tall drink of water that he was and good looking too.

Shy smile to the name given and news that she and her birds were a topic at all. "That would be me." Looking to Darragh, she smiled. "Good eve, Darragh. Lovely night indeed."

The sun was long past set, the night was getting chilly, it was time to head home. Though, despite the late hour she was nowhere ready for bed yet, and so her big eyes were bright with the thought of some conversation and a nightcap as she stepped through the door. Her hair was twisted up and back in a comb, the way Vanessa had showed her, but of course those unruly curls of shining amber were making an escape around her brow and at the nape of her neck. She pushed a few out of her eyes and swept aside her annoyingly long skirts at the same time, stepping into the common area with dusty work boots.

This night he didn't bring rain with him but snow, flurries all around in drifting, shimmering, flakes. Storm in a gallop as he rode hood down, snow wasn't quite as drenching as rain. Barely to the tavern, he reined in the stallion, sliding from the saddle before he was still. A pat to his rump had Storm continue down the side street to the stables down a piece. The lass barely in before him as booted feet made their mark coming up behind to catch the door before it fully closed and within. "Evening," taking a quick notice of those within as he saw to securing the door.

He winked at Vanessa, bowing slightly. "I hope you forgive me for leaving so abruptly the other eve, Vanessa." His gaze shifted to the other and he grinned. "Darragh O'Connor, at your service, Orlaith." Yes, he knew her. And there was Aaric ... without a storm. He glanced at the window and gave a shake of his head. Snow instead of rain.

Brrrrr. Karina was not a fan of snow. Glancing behind her, she bobbed a nod to the man who caught the door, stomping the light accumulation of snow off her boots before heading in. Catching Vanessa's eye, she offered a grin and a wave, then cast a curious glance around to those she didn't know.

Waggle of fingers to Karina as she came in, Vanessa was standing near the hearth and sipped her mug again with another wave as Aaric made his entrance. "Of course." Spoken to Darragh with a smile.

"Ah, yes," smile widening with a twinkle in her eyes. "So we finally get to meet before the testing of myself and Desiree. I know she has been waiting patiently on you and Aaric," speak his name and the devil would appear!

"We decided to be fashionably late," though certainly it was beyond their control when the testing would begin. All in good time, all in its own time. "I'm pleased you have gotten to meet Darragh finally." Moving within as the cloak was released from broad shoulders then turning to Vanessa with a bow of his head. "We meet again, I am pleased," then the lass was noted, "and you would have a name to share little lady?"

Karina was aiming for the bar first and foremost, but even as her mouth opened to request a 'special' hot chocolate from Alex, she caught the question behind her. Turning mid-stride the petite lass cocked her head lightly, a slow smirk crawling across her lips. "Maybe so, maybe not.... Do you?"

"Better late than never," as she joined Vanessa at the hearth and a little lean with soft spoken words, "nice scenery for us ladies tonight." Swift from the lean with an innocent smile the males' way.

"I would say more maybe than not," coming closer as she get to see storm blue eyes holding amusement, "Miss Feisty I think I shall call you."

"I been called worse," she answered nonchalantly, and accompanied it by a shrug of her narrow shoulders. But her own eyes, large and slightly canted at the ends, the color of a turquoise sea, were amused too. "Alex, could I get a cocoa please and... give it a shot of somethin' special too will ya?" She thanked the bartender, then turned back towards the room in general as she awaited her order. "So the name was 'more maybe', was it?" Back to the man who'd blown in with the snow, she teased.

"I'm quite pleased to have met him beforehand than be stunned to silence and self conscious." Would they believe that one? She was amused, watching the interaction as she finally lifted her drink for a taste.

"As am I." To Aaric with a grin before leaning in close to listen to Orlaith, nodding. "I agree. Can't complain in the least." And in her own amusement, she looked to Aaric again. "Aaric, meet Karina." Grin flashed with a little snicker.

"There are many places that need patrolling but you'll know that soon enough." He looked at Orlaith, a brow lifting, but the interaction between Aaric and the girl was amusing.

"I can imagine. Minx would be one. Nymph another, Miss Mischief.." teasing her some as he gained the bar about the same time she did and waited her to be served first before the glass of potcheen. "I have but one name to give, Aaric." He claimed no surname for he had no inkling what it was. Yet. A flare of a hand down and out in a sweeping motion with a bow, "and you may have it Little Lady." Ah, but there, he could grasp the little lady's name with a wink to Vanessa but he pretended he didn't hear that.

Her smirk grew as he lobbed the nicknames out, a sparkle coming to her eyes, but she glanced towards Vanessa when she named names, with a mock sound of annoyance. "Ach, Vanessa! Ruinin' my image of mystery..." A wry grin as she turned back to Aaric. "And my only one's Karina." Not being the curtsying type, she just bobbed her head again in a friendly fashion. "Nice to meetcha."

She snickered softly at Karina and shrugged. "You can still be mysterious. Fun him into circles and you'll not only be mysterious, but confusing as well."

She had a sweet smirk there that greeted Darragh when he looked her way. She was actually waiting for this testing to find out if what she knew would surpass their expectations. Just a little thing she had in a bet with herself.  "The lands do not lack good looking and built males." That mumbled more for Vanessa's sake as she kept watch on the two males and interaction with Karina. "Nice to meet you Karina."

"That's no problem, not for most of the male variety, at least." A sly glance slid sideways toward Aaric and the other gentlemen assembled. "Give 'em half a yard and they'll confound themselves into their own circle." A grin briefly flashed, before disappearing behind her new mug of cocoa. A long, warming sip and then she lifted her mug towards Orlaith. "You too." Though she didn't have a name for the lady yet.

She smiled to Orlaith and nodded. "Aye, there's a whole truth in that. It would be hard for one not to find their heart swooning with all the handsome faces gathered in these lands." Spoken quietly back to the woman.

"Karina.. Karina, the little night time nymph, running through fields by day and causing mischief by night." Almost sounded like it was sung or part of some long ago song. "A pleasure to meet you, Karina."

"Preferably from a distance to appreciate," which had a light laugh, near cover up with the low words to emerge. Obviously most men she had met were best looked upon from afar. Though she was normal, didn't hate them or anything of course. Very cautious in spite of her outgoing ways.  Her idea will be giving Darragh a run for his elemental powers on the field when tested. An overpowering feeling he would be the one to test her.

She couldn't help but grin, for Aaric unwittingly had her pegged. She was a nocturnal sort of thing, even now. Old habits died hard. "Aaric, Aaric....wielder of swords, winner of unwitting hearts?" She guessed aloud, enjoying her own alliteration with a wide smirk.

Vanessa opted not say anything. Just smiled. Because there was a face she liked closer.

He chuckled as he lifted his glass, though he didn't drink as of yet. "It would seem we have two poets in our midst."

Which had him throw back his head briefly in a good hearty laugh. "Wielder of storms perhaps and my weapon a lightning rod to smite my enemies with. Hearts, I know not one but Darragh here, I'm sure he has a string left behind."

"Don't be so modest, Aaric. With a face like that and silver tongue, I'm sure you have threads of you own." Coy grin flashed, she finished off the contents of her mug.

That was a good sort of laugh he let out, a nice genuinely hearty sort, and it had her grinning again as she nodded her understanding. "A magic-man. I gotcha." Her tone wasn't sarcastic, but there might have been just the thinnest layer of skepticism there. A glance over to Vanessa, she smirked faintly again but didn't comment, instead just arched a brow up at Aaric. "Understanding the fundamentals of nature.... now THAT doesn't sound complicated or anything!" Another tease, because such a task sounded more than daunting.

"One day, I would not mind living up to your ideal of me." He never had time on his hands to venture there, until now. A novel idea he was starting to entertain. "Magic, or more one that understands the fundamentals of nature, one area more than the other but far more effective when all four elements work together." It took that along with something not so common. Storm blue eyes turning her way again as he pressed his lips in a small barely parted 0 causing a gust of warm air to circulate around her like a little dust devil then gone in the next instant. Didn't cause a stir anywhere else and the disappearing when his lips were no longer in the slight part.

"I think you could live up to that, Aaric," though she was eying Darragh, "a string of broken hearts, I can believe that too.." and the whimsical smirk was back as she lifted her glass in salute before taking a drink.

She just eyed him strangely as he parted his lips and yet didn't say a word. But that small oxygen-tornado had her eyes widening, despite herself. She blinked at Aaric for a second then smirked almost grudgingly. "Okay. I believe you." A sip of cocoa to warm herself, for oddly, that small bit of magic gave her a slight chill. It just wasn't something she was used to. "So all that about understanding one element more'n another... yours is air?"

Now it was time to take the drink. His dark eyes were filled with laughter as he watched for Karina's reaction. "None for me. I knew I'd be wandering, and leaving a string of broken hearts can be a dangerous thing." He winked at Orlaith then drank a good portion of the potcheen.

Vanessa wandered her way back over to the bar, quietly asking Alex for a refill of the cider while listening to the conversation, looking between the others with a light smile.

"You are correct and I only use my talents to keep all safe in the lands under the Druid Prince Andrew." His so called magic was nothing compared to the Prince's abilities. "Perhaps you will get to meet him some time." And the bit of air he had swirl around her had been warm air, something of comfort or so he hoped. "We are not the only ones. The four horsemen under Karl possess the same elemental abilities but as with each an individual, so is their use of any talents."

She gave an exaggerated sigh, "there goes your image Darragh, like the bit of wind from Aaric.. whoosh.." giving a sweep of her free arm and turning of a hand. Though laughter was kept alive in her eyes. She hoped she had not offended Vanessa as she moved away from her back to the bar. She remained there, still standing near the hearth.

"So I wasn't too far off with the whole knight-in-shining-armor bit. Except, you're more the wizard-in-shining-dust storm, I guess.." She shrugged again lightly, with another little grin. A hand lifted to swipe at a stubborn curl which had sprung down along her cheek. She let out a compulsive laugh as he mentioned meeting the prince someday. "Not likely.."

"Best to tell the truth than to keep a false image, aye?" He looked thoughtful. "Though I can't say I haven't been tempted."

Oh no, no offense. Just a refill. Once she had that in hand, she returned to standing at the hearth with mild understanding of the conversation.

"Or possibly a dust devil to chase..." wink came swiftly with the amusement. It would be hard to know unless one spent time around them. "Tell her, Darragh, her chances of meeting the Prince someday?"

"You have felt temptation? Can you imagine all the ladies that you've passed in your life leaving them tempted?" She was teasing him and a welcome back smile to Vanessa. "Believe the dust devil part, Karina."

"I believe the devil part, at least." Another easy grin followed. This man was easy to make conversation with, and for that she was grateful. Sometimes, with certain folks she just felt awkward. But with the cocoa mug warm in her hand, she was relaxed. As Aaric directed that question towards Darragh, she perked a brow, skeptically. Glancing too over to Darragh. "Psh. Why would I ever have reason to meet a Prince?" Light eye roll.


She snickered softy to what Orlaith said and smiled back to her as she reclaimed her place, turning to watch the others. "Because the royals often walk around like the rest of us." Speaking from experience.

"Very likely to happen." He smiled, and motioned toward the door. "He could walk through that door for the very reason to meet you, Karina. Because he's heard of you, or he wishes to see what his people are about. One never knows when he, or his mother and step-father might appear." He studied her a moment. "They care about their subjects, very much."



Date: 10-20-09
Poster: Orlaith Hughes
Post # 27

Karina let out a laugh that wasn't quite scoffing. "Well I don't know nothin' about royals or any of that. But I doubt a one of 'em would come in here 'cause they'd wanna meet me. Maybe to get a drink, 'cause I guess they need their potcheen just like anybody else." It wasn't that she had a low opinion of royalty necessarily. It was just a whole other world from where she felt she stood. "Well... if you ever see 'em, give 'em my thanks for giving me a free room." Another light smirk, she did indeed live upstairs free of charge.

"Or those under their roof even if that roof happens to be the sky above. It is why they have this tavern open to others who don't have roots and find themselves wandering. Some stay, some continue to wander and some just take a while to come back again." Devilish slow smile, "I will leave that to you. You will find them the same as me and you in these lands." He knew about royalty in other lands and it wasn't the same. Though one would need to experience that. "So when it happens and you find they are not some sect apart, you can say to me when we meet again, I was right." Nahno nahno look.

"Ha!" She let out her own burst of genuine laughter. "Not likely!" Another grin which danced into her large eyes. Not likely, because even if she did meet the Prince someday, she wasn't about to tell Aaric that he'd been right and she wrong. She'd never admit such a thing willingly!

He just smiled at the girl, nodding his agreement with Aaric. They would surprise the lass, and any others about.

Which had him laughing for her expression, little miss feisty was glowing at the moment in defiance!

Her impish smile remained for the banter but she addressed Vanessa being she was closest, "have you gotten all settled in. Meet others, make friends, made it your home in short?"

Looking to Orlaith, she nodded. "That I have. Most of it. I'm settled and making friends. The cottage is still a bit on the empty side, but all that will come to make it home will when it's time."

"It will give you something to do over the wintry days when it is impossible to get out. Decorate your house. By then you will know what you want where and where to get it." She had still to completely settle in her suite at the castle. Being she would be working for the crown, it was the most logical place to stay too as it was offered.

She let out another giggle, then gave Aaric a smug smile that clearly stated she was sticking to her stubbornness. Even from her diminutive height of just over five feet. Going to take another sip of cocoa, she found she was empty, and half-turned towards Alex to order another... then paused with a curious glance to Aaric. "Want another?"

"Another one of your classic looks?" Which he admired her spunk, considering the height differences between them too, though she would probably never see his imposing side which was as wicked as a tornado and hurricane combined. "Another glass of the potcheen," being his was gone and so stepped back to the bar as the bottle was left to refresh his glass then offered to refresh Darragh's.

"That it will. Just a matter of finding things that fit me well."Nothing over done or fancy. Simple and lightly colored suited her well enough.

"You'd have to ask someone else, I don't stare at m'self in the mirror too much to know," her reply was quick, catch and parry! A light grin over her shoulder before she nodded, and turned to the bar to place her order with Alex.

"Thank you," he held up his glass and to just have Karina wondering, the floor of the inn beneath her feet shook, not heavily but enough that she might be startled.

"Then you miss the lovely sight you make. If you ever caught sight of a stubborn little pixie's sweet face, then you will have seen yours." Turning with his drink in hand with a lift in sealing his words, it was kicked back. Bottle still in the other hand after refreshing Darragh's, he poured another for himself.

Karina could jest and joke with the best of them, but when it came to compliments - even sideways sorts of compliments like that one, she was taken aback. Casting a quick glance up to Aaric, a faint smirk covered the color creeping into her cheeks. But luckily she was saved from coming up with a reply by that strange shaking. A hand reflexively reached out to grab the bar, as she cast a stare to the others. "...Do you lot have earthquakes here?"

"No, that is just Darragh trembling in his boots," which was an amusing way of putting it. "You are even lovelier with the tint of color upon your cheeks. Brings out the sprinkle of freckles I do believe there, like a fair rose of summer blossoming right before our eyes."

His first words only deepened the color on her cheeks, even she could feel the heat, and it was embarrassing to say the least. She blinked towards Darragh, but let the shaking go for now. As Aaric went on, she couldn't meet his eyes but instead twiddled with a loose curl at the nape of her neck. Luckily, his last few words were so outrageous that it broke the tension, and she let out a laugh. "Now I know you're just poeticizing."

He saluted Aaric with his glass then laughed out loud with his answer. "Aye, I'm terrified. When there are such lovely lasses about, I'm tongue tied."

"I may have poeticized on a truth, what underlies my words is just that. I don't lie, this you will find out in time, if time is granted in meeting again."

"Are you saying, Darragh, your tongue is long enough to at least tie in a knot?" Trying hard not to grin too much. Wasn't that just the pretty picture?

"There's a fine line between lies and exaggeration of truth, though." She pointed out wryly. Though her words were softened with another, more subdued grin. She wouldn't say it out loud but she rather hoped they did meet again. He was fun to talk to, that was certain. And the banter between the others was no less amusing.

"Perhaps not tie in a knot, but long enough to be of use when I need it." He chuckled and gave her a studying look.

"Exaggerated would be me saying you were pretty when you were plain. Which you are not, though it seems you are not use to others noticing. You have a lovely blush upon your cheeks that for me to say like the petals of rose blooming is only a metaphor on the truth. Though if such notice voiced becomes too embarrassing, just slug Darragh over there and I'll cease..."

"As long as you don't trip over it when you start noticing women.." implying him drooling with his tongue hanging out which was as hilarious a mental image as the other.

Ahhhh, it WAS embarrassing, anyone could see that! She could barely restrain the renewed flush in her cheeks, which indeed made the sprinkle of freckles across the bridge of her nose and cheeks stand out. Luckily though, Aaric saved her from coming up with a retort. She let out a slight giggle. "Now why would I slug Darragh when you said it... and you're so much closer than him?"

"Because he would enjoy the notice. Has he not said this very night about noticing if ladies notice him?" And he was keeping a straight face.

"I always noticed women, Orlaith. I refuse to tie myself to one, or another so that I leave a broken heart behind." He glanced at Karina and Aaric before moving closer to Orlaith, leaning so he could whisper in her ear. "And I never, ever drool."

"Aye..." She pretended to consider, tapping her chin lightly with one finger. "Would he count slugging as a good sort of notice, though?" Turquoise glance sliding over to Darragh, she then let out a laugh. Edging up to Aaric so she  could say in her own lowered tone. "Looks like he's getting plenty of notice on his own already...."

"You have probably left such behind unwittingly.." more mussed as she was amused by the other banter going on. Which she almost stiffened when he got that close but the words had her laughing instead as her hand came to rest against his chest, heat to penetrate cloth for that moment. A reflective response though she didn't balk. "No, I don't see you drooling," but she bit her bottom lip from saying what she did see.

He held a concern expression, "any notice at this point..." though a laugh was to follow, "indeed, that combination would be interesting."

"Well, he doesn't seem to be having a problem." Still speaking quietly, she watched Orlaith and Darragh for a moment, a faint smile on her lips which curved upward in the corner into a smirk.

He smiled and caught her hand, bringing it up to place a kiss to the knuckles before releasing and stepping back. "I'll be testing you soon." Her instincts were right. "Be ready."

"I think he'll do quite well at noticing the ladies. I'm sure many are waiting for this very day." Talking about his friend as if he wasn't there and knowing full well he could hear him.

"Indeed, you can bet I will be ready." Would he be ready too? Her smile reached her eyes as he showed he was a gentleman too and the impish smile to resume. His eyes told much in their depths, at least in the glimpse she got when he got this close.

"Don't doubt it." She commented, as if just discussing the weather. Though as her eyes slid that way again, they danced with sly amusement. It was sort of fun talking about the two of them in plain hearing. Though of course neither seemed to be paying anybody else much attention. By now she had her refreshed mug in hand, and lifted it for an idle sip. The hour was growing later, she noted. The avian gardens would be calling her name early in the morning, but she wasn't over-eager to head upstairs just yet.

"Let's just hope she doesn't set his stumps on fire.." Which with the comment made it even harder to keep a straight face, weather talking and all.

Aaric knew better so he ignored the talk for now. "Good. I'll send word when the time is right." He would speak to Aaric later on his choice of a place. It would need to be were the least amount of damage could be caused.

They had a field for that. Noirin could clue Darragh in on that one. It was getting late and they were to meet with Andrew. Probably his ears were ringing for the talk on him.

"Mmm. Though one could argue that'd be better than putting 'em on ice...." It was difficult to keep that innocent nonchalance but somehow she managed it still.

"I await word then," like they were setting up some kind of rendezvous. Slight smirk as she too heard the other couple but it was getting late to continue the bantering tonight. She would hold off to another time. "It is time for me to get back, if you are all going, we can keep each other company." She was pretty certain Aaric and Darragh stayed in the castle too, though the castle was a very big place, like a small city unto itself not to have encountered Darragh before tonight.

"Laugh it up, Aaric." He muttered as he returned to the bar to deposit his glass. "Aye, I'm returning there and I'm sure Aaric is as well." Knowing they had the meeting. "Karina, do you stay here?" He thought she said she was.

"Burn or freeze, which would you prefer?" Though if the air got cold enough, like he could make it, it could burn as surely as fire.

"Aye, I live here." She replied to Darragh, somewhat amused that he was just now tuning into their conversation. Then it was back to Aaric, and she considered that for just a beat before replying confidently. "Burn, for sure. I hate the cold." Matter-of-fatally.

"His time will come," words low to Darragh for Aaric was talking on her too in teasing. Certainly the three would be around each other a lot to learn of little things to get even with, in a good way of course.

"My choice too. I like the warmth over the cold." A quick small wink before attention was upon his comrade and comrade to become. "I would alert Desiree if you would, Orlaith." To be ready, for when the note came, it would come for them both, possibly the same day to be tested.

Too many memories of long cold nights for her to prefer freezing over heat. A light grin was returned to him before she shifted her glance to the others, as they made ready to go. She finished off her own cocoa and set the mug down for Alex. "Well, guess I'll head up to my own place too. 'Night.. nice to meet you all."

"Aye, I will." He could be certain she would for better the ladies in force in facing the men. Small impish smile to emerge there with that thought. Plotting and planning would fill the days to come.

Orlaith received a boyish grin before he looked at Karina. "Then it was a pleasure to meet you, lovely lady." He bowed slightly, then straightened, waiting for his companions to be ready. He'd even offer his arm to Orlaith since Aaric had his horse to attend to, though the stallion was extremely well trained.

"I do believe if your place is at the Avian Gardens, you can come with us as we will have to make our way pass it to the castle."  Storm was already to the stable! His warhorse was efficient on his own. He was over to collect his cloak that he hung to a peg on the way in.

Another smile came to her lips, though it was slightly twisted. "Nah. I don't live at the Gardens. Don't actually have my own place. Just... live here. Thanks, though." She added.

"Then you live in the best of places with Alex and Hazel to see to you. Sleep well my little nymph, of mischief yet to unfold." Which had him smiling again as he was at the door to hold for the others.

No cloak for Darragh tonight, though he was wearing pants instead of his usual kilt. He'd be wearing a cloak soon enough if the signs the winter to come were correct.

Aaric was right, of course, and the thought both cheered her up and warmed her smile. "And I hope you dream of the biggest bloody dust-storm you haven't yet created."

She had a cloak she collected more for appearance sake than need. Being he had offered his arm, she placed her hand lightly upon its bend. She had been reared in courtly ways so it came in handy presently.

"I will save it just for you," which had genuine laughter to follow as he stepped out with his comrades.

The cold nose to her neck made her jump slightly. Narrowing her mix matched gaze on the black horse beside her, she pushed his head away from her hair. "Would you be nice...It is cold already?" Petting the neck, the two walked side by side. Her holding no reins to the horse. "So where do you think we are?" All she got in answer was a horsey snort and another butt of a head to her shoulder. "What!"

The laugh brought a grin to her face again. She lifted a hand to wave, till the door swung shut. She stood there a second longer, turning a curl upon her finger idly, before bidding goodnight to Alex and heading upstairs to find her own bed.

Which the group would hear the lass on their way out. "You're in Heathfield and if you are looking for a place to stay tonight, the tavern is without cost and open." Alex, would see to a key and room for her as they continued onward.

She smiled towards the woman Aaric spoke to on their way out.



Date: 10-21-09
Poster: Roseann Cleary
Post # 28

Pleasant Evening

Rosie had been at the Thistle for most of the evening, arriving late afternoon. She had taken her meal here and now sat in one of the wing backs, curled up with her sketch book on her lap. It was quiet presently and she was lost in her own world of artistic design. She tried to capture the images as quick as they formulated in her imagination before gone again. She would go through a few pages like this in a mad hatter way before breaking the spell. The tip of her tongue tucked to the corner of her lips for the concentration and distance her mind had traveled. She wore a simple frock of dark silvery blue that brought out the color of her eyes even more distinctive. Dark hair, lashes and brows the contrast. Shoes were off and feet tucked up under her.

Eion had a new horse and so did he. Diablo was a striking name and set him to thinking of a better name for his steed. "Rex Rojo?" Though he wasn't sure they were the right Spanish words. Then again he might be better off with in his own language or find the Celt words to fit. So Segan lingered on the street near the tavern waiting on his brother. A fisherman knit sweater was worn over brown woolen pants, boots of leather lacing up just over his calves. The lamppost use to lean against as he mumbled some other names none of which suited and discarded.

"Rex Rojo sounds like some sort of wine." He came up behind Segan in time to hear and chuckled. "Or is that what you're planning on drinking tonight?" He was leading Diablo having spotted Segan as he rode into the commons. The dappled gray stallion was behaving himself, for the moment and didn't try to nip Segan as they came close.

He was keeping his distance! To trust Diablo would be a mistake as he shot up from his lean and backed a few paces out of nipping range, "behave yourself Diablo or you wont get the extra apple I have in me pocket." He wanted to keep all his fingers too so might toss it to Eion to feed the beast. "Red King it means but I think Rojo Rex sounds better or Rogue Rex." He was still playing around with words.

Clip of hooves set against the path was at a casual gait as Tennison made his way to and about the commons from direction of the lake. It'd been a nice afternoon to ride and having gotten carried away with it, Vanessa lost track of time, only now to be returning to the area near her cottage. Tennison was slowed a bit coming into the more populated area to keep from stepping on toes or some such and directed towards the tavern.

Roseann was still lost in her own world to anything going on outside or that there were anyone for that matter. The crackle of the fire and Alex moving about in the background were hardly heard.

"Ah, you've not decided on a name then?" He chuckled as he watched Segan and Diablo. The horse had adapted well to his new rider but still attempted to make the lives of the stable boys miserable. So far only one seemed to be able to handle the horse. "Ready for a drink?"

"Always..." eyeing the horse as he walked backwards, "ready for a drink." Although a slow grin rose with a dimple. "You bite me and I'm going to bite you back." A threat indeed. He felt the steed would understand too even if only by his tone. He didn't see Vanessa coming up from the other street yet.

Vanessa was enjoy the slow pace, and she was actually enjoying the cooler weather. She must have finally be growing used to it! Until the snow really set in. Tennison knew their destination and would just kind of mosey along lazily after the afternoon long ride.

"You might have to, to get the lad to behave." He was pleased though. In spite of his ornery temperament, Diablo was responding well to training. Eion had no doubt the horse would do all he could to protect his rider if it came down to their being in battle.

He wasn't going to show him his arse side until a good distance, then turning as he spotted another rider. "Evening.." came in a friendly tone and in that moment he recognized the lass, "Vanessa. Come see Eion's new warhorse." Big Red, who needed a new name, was not with him as he had come up from the port in time to wait for his brother.

Hearing the greeting as she came up on the pair of brothers, she smiled to them both. "Evening, gentlemen." A gentle nudge given to Tennie's side so he'd pick up a bit more pace, she looked the new mount over. "A fine horse. I'm sure he'll do quite well, Eion." A nod to follow. "How are you both this evening?"

"Thank you. He's coming along." He tied the horse's lead off at one of the hitching posts. "Well. Yourself?"

Since they were that close to the tavern he offered a hand up to help Vanessa down while Eion saw to tethering Diablo. He was well enough from striking range.

"Quite well, thank you." Knotting the reins, she laid them over Tennison's neck before taking the offered hand to come down from the side saddle, flashing a bright smile to Segan. "And how are you this eve?"

He caught her up into his arms briefly as she came down, until that fraction of a moment she had her balance then letting go as he stepped back. "I think we're getting our little throwback of good weather." It wasn't quite as cold as some of the first few days that were. "Did you do any bulb planting in your gardens? He knew they would need to go in now before winter really set in. Guess what Grandmama had him doing lately. Turning soil, digging holes and planting bulbs as she directed him, where to put what and which were what.

Grasped lightly onto him until she was steady on her feet, she nodded. "Aye. Tennison and I fully enjoyed it." Step back taken and towards the door, "No, I haven't. I think I'm going to do some rearranging of the flower beds, which I've decided to wait on so I could get things settled with the birds and get their cages prepared for the winter and such." She looked over to Eion. "How is training going?"

"Probably one of the gardeners from the castle would know what is already planted in them," being it was said they kept them up when not lived in. If he remembered correctly. As Vanessa addressed Eion, he was up the steps to get the door and hold for them.

"Again, well. " He motioned for her to follow Segan up the steps. "I grow impatient with myself at times but I think that's normal."

"I'll have to write and see if I can find out if anyone of the castle gardeners knows then." Following the gesture, she moved up the steps and into the tavern. "I've heard people say that you are your own worst critic, and that it's important not to dwell on mistakes but the lessons learned." Not sure if that's where his impatience came from.

"I find that to be true." He grinned at his brother as he stepped passed them then continued, "but part of my impatience is still having some problems with techniques I learned. It seems I've forgotten a lot."

"He needs a woman," GRIN! Wicked smile as the two moved into the tavern and he to close the door behind them.

The sound of voices heard, the door opening and the draft of cooler air were there somewhere in the background trying to tug her back. She lost the concentration as her hand stilled and a dreamy eyed look of an artist lifted not totally comprehending those coming in. She was silent as a wee little mouse as reality slowly dawned and she back in the tavern in her comfortable chair.

Riding gloves were removed and tucked into her pocket with a snicker to what Segan said. "Ah..well I'm afraid I cannot offer advice to that. I know little of training." She started towards the bar, unclasping the champagne colored cloak to don the royal purple dress beneath. A smile given to the woman before looking back to Eion. "Though perhaps you are trying too hard? Too much focus can hinder anything."

"Hard to say at this point in time. It's only been in the last two days." He gave Segan a stern look. "No. I don't."

"That's just it, if he met a woman, his concentration would not be only directed in one direction. Like Gabriel." They got to see how that knight was doing with seeing their sister. Of course he would keep after the oldest. Maybe someone asked him to. "Evening," moving in further where he noticed the other then to the bar to get that drink he'd been waiting for. Something to warm his throat for the frog felt in it of late.

She felt like perhaps she had been staring for all she knew with being spaced out like that as if that too would show. Instantly becoming self conscious but she was with breeding. Feet uncurled from beneath and slipped into her shoes as she stood. "Good evening, a pleasant eve it is. Welcome to the tavern." She didn't recognize them but then she hardly got around.

"Ah..well then give yourself time. You shouldn't be too hard on yourself." Smile and pat to Eion's arm, she withdrew the cloak to lay it over the back of a stool, requesting her norm of warm cider. Hearing the greeting from the woman, she turned back to her and smile. "A pleasant evening it is." She didn't recognize the woman and assumed the brother's didn't since neither greeted her by name. "I'm Vanessa Baltimore. This is Eion and Segan Quinn." Motioning to each as their names were spoken.

"A pleasure to meet you all, Vanessa. Eion. Segan." Each in turn as she associated a name with a face and hoped to remember them. She had problems remembering names but she didn't forget a face. "I am Roseann Cleary of the Clearys in Ballicastle." Not adding any more information than that.

He had his drink in hand by this point as he turned with a slight bow of his head. "I'm Segan," in case there was any mix up of who was who. "He's Eion," patting his brother's shoulder to draw the lass' attention there. "A pleasure meeting you Roseann."

A small laugh erupted and quickly swallowed. "Yes, I understand which of you is Segan and which is Eion." To reassure the man and that she wasn't all that spaced out.

"Well met, Roseann." He bowed slightly in greeting then picked up his glass. "Are you visiting Heathfield then?"

"Indeed a pleasure to meet you, Roseann." For a moment, she turned back to the bar, thanking Alex for the cider.

"Yes, to get ideas for holiday stained glass window catchers and the like and to see if they can be sold in the toy shop, at least the Christmas ones or the Holiday Shop." She had been urged out of the house by Victor and her brother Allan as becoming a recluse and when they accused her, she realized they were right and so obliged. Here she was.

"How are you related to Diane Cleary?" Remembering the name from the racing.

Eyes brightened as they were brought back to Roseann. "Stained glass, really? How fantastic. It must take a great deal of patience for such a craft."

Looking between Vanessa and Eion as a shy smile emerged, touched her cheeks to a bit of pink it did. "It is, from designing them to getting the right glass melted and color then cutting and welding. At least with the colder days coming, working with the furnace will be more tolerable." Eion was next as the shy smile got a little brighter. "Yes I am, I am her younger sister by a year. She has been getting out and meeting others?" She almost felt like pouting that Diane had without her at her side but she had passed up a few occasions to complete a project.

"I only know her name by association with the races." He hadn't met her.

"Oh," and there came the blush as she already blundered by assuming. "Then I shall have to tell her she should meet such nice ones as yourselves."

He kicked back his drink only to refill it, kick back the next and refill it again before holding off a few minutes while he listened.

"Hm.." She thought over that for a moment, bringing the mug up for a small drink. What an interesting craft. Quiet for a moment as Eion replied, she looked between them before resting attention on Roseann once more. "Have you considered possibly making small jewelry? Perhaps pendants and earbobs for the ladies? Or hair combs. That would be quite lovely in holiday colors." More a passing thought as she glance to Segan with a smile.

"Yes, I have some of those, pendants, hair combs, even jewelry hangers. Ornaments, chimes, garden stakes that look like butterflies and dragonflies all the way up to the stained glass window commissioned me by Brogan Frasier. He runs the casino here in town and wanted one of dogs playing poker. Made to look like humans in character. I have a shop in Ballicastle that a young lass runs for me when I cannot be there." Though old enough to run it of course.

Eyes met those of gold for a moment in returning the smile, held a fraction longer then back to his drinking as he was listening. For a change, though he still didn't take the ribbon for being the most quiet.

"Well, I know one shop that I will certainly have to stop by sooner than later." She could see herself spending a small fortune on carved and colored glass. For both the cottage and the gardens. "What is the name of your shop?"

"Roseann's Stained Glass, not too original I suppose," which had her reflecting on that part of being encouraged to set up a shop.

"It's a good name." Said exactly what the shop was!

"Nothing wrong with that name." He chuckled as he looked at her over his glass, then motioned toward Vanessa. "See."

She giggled towards Eion and nodded. "Great minds think alike."


"I agree, and then a good way to know the proprietor's name before stepping in, well, perhaps not if you employ another but they'll find out quick enough." He took another drink for he was talking in circles.

"Yes, I suppose it is. The front window looks pretty with the lamps hanging and those that stand, sun catchers, mirrors in a rainbow of colors. It's been doing well." No wonder since she was hardly ever seen for constantly making things.

Another smile given over to Segan who seemed oddly quiet tonight. "I am certainly going to come by sometime soon. I have a few gifts to buy and I think colored glass would be perfect."

"Are the holidays your busiest time, or do you stay busy year around?"

"I was not so busy after I first started up but I've gotten busy since I got that job from Mister Frasier. Seemed to escalate then as he would tell others of me and my work. I'm open as needed and do custom work fitted in with the other. I am thinking of starting a class to teach some of the young girls that have come by that are interested and then they can sell their things in my shop."

"Sounds very nice. I'm sure the young girls would love something like that."

"What is it you all do?" Feeling like she was the center of attention which she usually squirmed under such a lime light.

"I'm a captain of a ship and soon will be grounded with winter setting in. I am reduced to digging holes and planting bulbs." Which came in a teasing tone as he was actually pleased to help Grans. He also got pie for his effort, apple with a crumbly crust. One of his favorites. Well.. when it came to pies, he had a few favorites.

Snickering, she looked over to Segan. "I know who to call when it comes time for planting in the gardens." Then back to Roseann. "I own the Avian Gardens. House and train birds for various purposes."

"And I'm in training to become one of the King's knights. King Karl that is." Being there were several kings.

"How wonderful." Truly interested but had to smile Segan's way, handsome captain to be grounded and condemned to planting. "You should put him to task being he proclaims such experience." She was back to Vanessa to continue, "what kind of birds do you have and what kind of training do you do." before silver blue eyes were on Eion last but not least, "that is a very honorable profession. Will you be reduced to digging holes to put bulbs in too?"

He had to chuckle at the question. "Aye, more than likely when I'm not on the King's field."


"Oh, he'll have a busy winter showing me all the winter sports and such that he keeps speaking of." Laughing quietly, she finished her drink and set the mug down for a refill. "Companion birds I train to speak and be friendly to being handled by more than one person. I also train carriers and birds of prey for hunting and scouting."

"Ah, Eion, sneaky devil keeping the lady occupied instead of planting bulbs." Giving him a wink as she tried her hand at teasing. "Tropical birds then of the parrot family? I would love to come just to study them and make some sketches if you don't mind?" She could get a lot of good ideas and artwork done.

He coughed a laugh, discreetly turning to get the bottle and fill his glass again.


Blink..she looked at Eion and shook her head. "No, he's far too mysterious for me." She thumbed over to Segan and smiled, indicating he was who she was speaking of. "Aye, I have parrots of various breeds, cardinal, blue jays, doves."

Catching her blunder the blush rose again, this time a deeper tint or rose. Rosie was rosy as her brother would tease her had he been here. "You are too mysterious for the ladies, Eion?" Her mind in a fuzz at the moment in grasping something to say to move from the moment. There it was. She listened to Vanessa as well with a small nod as she took it in. "Beautiful specimens that are prefect to render in art form."


"I enjoy their company. You're welcome to come by any time you like. If you come in the mornings, you can catch most of carrier birds in their early morning choir."

"So I've been told, but mostly in teasing." Clarifying since he didn't think he was mysterious at all.



Date: 10-21-09
Poster: Roseann Cleary

Post # 29

"A mystery he is." She nodded affirming as she took her up mug and moved to set herself at the counter.

"That would be perfect, morning hours. I like to see the sun rise and set at night if at all possible. The sight is inspirational. I'm sure the birds in choir will be no less. I look forward to coming up to your gardens. Where exactly are you located?" Being she wasn't quite sure having arrived here this evening.  "I hope to discover if you are truly or only in teasing as many days pass I find I'm in your company again, Eion."

"The gates are generally open during the day, so feel free to come into the gardens any time at all. I can usually be found out there working with them. The cottage is on Oak Street."

"Aye, don't let him kid you any, he is mysterious and many a mystery to discover if you own a shovel.." really teasing now.

"If a treasure is to be found, I would not mind digging for it but beware if it is all in vain, Segan." Maybe she would get the hang of this pleasant teasing banter.

"I'm not mysterious. I'm grumpy, quiet and prone to not socializing."

"Then after all the digging and only getting a grumpy old man, I can hit you over the head with a shovel, Segan."

She looked between the three before settling attention on Eion. "You are mysterious in all your grumpy, quiet and prone to not socializing ways."

He rubbed at the back of his neck, trying not to laugh. "That's all it takes to be mysterious. I thought you needed to sneak around, and speak in low tones."

"If you can dig deep enough," offering Roseann a challenge perhaps, "and not find anything worth at least a small treasure, then yes, you can hit me over the head with the shovel."

"Our Gran says I'm a diamond in the rough." Or something like that. Not that he believed that either. She was prejudiced.

"The challenge is very tempting." Eyeing the grumpy, quiet, mysterious and prone to not socialize male.

Vanessa just smirked and leaned back, listening.

His insides were hurting for suppressing the laughter.

She eyed Segan suspiciously then Eion just as suspiciously then back to Segan. "I'll come after you with a stick if you are pulling my leg."

She sounded just like Grans as he finally started laughing. Low rumble mounted into an explosion.

Sometimes he wondered why he even opened his mouth! Especially when Segan was causing trouble.

Looking over to Segan, she grinned to him, laughing softly to what Roseann threatened him with. "I think you'd do better to threaten to tell one of the Quinn women. I'm not sure a stick means much."

"How many Quinn women are there that I might tell?" One might do good but if there was more...

"I'm not sure how many. I know there's at least a couple sisters, and their Grandmama."  Grinning.

He stifled the laughing right there with that threat. Not so much the sisters.. but the matriarch of the Quinn family especially if she liked Roseann.

"We've three sisters, our grandmother, and an aunt." He gave the correct amount, fearing only one!

"Then I should go to the oldest first." She came from a family that were witches in their history and the oldest woman was the one most respected.

"I would say Grandmama would be more suiting. She's taught Segan's feathered friend to yell at them." Trying not to laugh, so she occupied herself with another drink, turning towards the bar some to hide her laughing.

"You better be mysterious, Eion," that .. or I'll have your hide in a ruckus tone.

"There's nothing mysterious about me." Repeating, in a grumpier tone.

Trying not to laugh, she looked at Eion. "What makes you so grumpy?"

"I fear you protest too much, Eion." As she had been quietly observing him while the others talked then himself.

He took a drink before answering. "Brothers who keep gettin' me into trouble." For one. He'd not say what else.

"That's what siblings are for. It'd be a lonely existence without all that trouble."

"I think we can each accuse that of the other, aye." So the truth came out for certainly Eion got he and Conor in a lot of trouble for having to rescue him. Scared them he did too.

"Aye, we can at that." That had been a matter of life and death and he'd never forget that his brothers risked their lives for him.

She looked quietly between the two brothers and set about drinking from her mug again quietly.

He would do it for them but then too, they also teased and ribbed each other. Eion should be glad Conor was not here for he'd side with Segan on this matter of teasing.

"Do you have any other interests aside becoming a knight and all the training that goes with it, Eion?" Though once again she eyed Segan a touch warily, seemed he would be a hard one to banter with and win. Though maybe Vanessa could? Hmmmm, things that buzzed around in her head and not an affect of her drink.

Depended on the banter. Anything that made her blush, she'd lose.

Which of course he already discovered and would have his weapons ready!

One of these days she'd find a way to make him blush!

"Gambling on horses. Riding. Training me own horse. Hunting." He smiled slightly at Roseann. "Nothing spectacular there, I'm afraid."

"Oh yes, I have one of the horses my sister races. Cottage Rose. She has been doing wonderfully well." Glancing from Eion to the others then back. "If I can find time, I would like to learn to ride better."

He would love her to try and would admit a win if she could get him to blush.

She'd get him to blush one of these days. Just wait!  Payback for all the blushing he made her do.

"I think I've bet on her." Again, he wasn't sure. "You should make time. This time of year is a good time for exploring the countryside, and take in the changing leaves." Though they were nearly finished turning colors.

"It's really beautiful. Especially around the lake with all the colors reflecting off the water's surface."

"Make time and find another to come with me. Or where they give riding lessons." She knew enough not to go alone when learning. She realized she'd been standing the whole time as she reached over to close up her sketch pad then lift it away from the chair. Her cloak collected too. "I should get some rest if I am to get up early and catch the sunrise. I'm really pleased you all came tonight that I got to meet you." She was one straight to the truth for she had truly enjoyed herself.

A smile given to Roseann. "It was nice to meet you. I'm glad you were here tonight. I look forward to seeing you again." Genuinely spoken. She was certainly enjoying making friends here.

And mention of rest and sunrise had him finishing his drink. "It's time I got back to the barracks as well. We start before dawn."

"Aye," though tempted to volunteer Eion, he decided that would be pushing it too far and it would be! Though it was still tempting. "A good night Roseann, I'm pleased to have gotten to meet you too. Good night Eion, so you will be staying at the barracks tonight?" That meant he would be staying on his ship.

"Aye." He looked at Segan, making a slight face. "I get to be up earlier than usual to tend to the grounds." All part of the training, though if he made guard or knight, he'd no longer have to do such since it would fall to the squires and younger men.

Her smile held true warmth for them all as she was over to set her glass to the bar then the key to collect while tucking the sketch pad and cloak under her arm. "Good night, sleep sweet in angel's peace," which might be corny to some but she believed in angels.

"I already did that duty for Grans." A flash of a smile upon Eion then upon Roseann as she took her leave.

A wave to Roseann. "Be safe, Roseann." And a smile to Eion. "You be safe as well, and rest well."

One last glance before she disappeared down the hall that led to the stairwell and second floor where her room was located.

"I mean on the training field." He said with a laugh, then he bowed his head to Roseann. "It was a pleasure to meet you. Rest well." As he stood, he looked toward Vanessa. "If you're returning to the Gardens, we'll escort you." Not out of either of their way.

"You're going to plant bulbs on the training field?" Purposely taking it wrong just to get his brother going.

She looked at Eion and smiled then looked down at her mug. "I think I'm going to finish my cider before returning to the cottage. But thank you."

"I will wait then and escort you." Not wishing for her to need go alone later. He didn't have to be up at dawn though he might anyway.

"Aye, so the knights can all dance among the daffodils come spring." He retorted then nodded for Vanessa's answer. Blue eyes shifted to Segan. "I'll see you tomorrow afternoon then. At the manor." He was up to collect his cloak and pulled it on. "Aye, but somehow I don't really see either happening." He turned to Vanessa. "Good night, Vanessa. Rest well." A nod to Alex and he was heading for the back hall.

Which had him spike a glance Eion's way before bellowing a good laugh. "Now that certainly makes a picture and even better if they tiptoe through the tulips." Laughing still, "crouch with the crocus and sing with the windflowers. I will be up to the manor by the afternoon. Grans will have a few things for us to do."

She smiled to Segan for his offer. "Thank you." Laughing a bit to what Eion had said about the knights. That would be quite the sight. "You as well, Eion." Watching Eion for a moment before looking back to Segan with a smile. "You were rather quiet tonight." For part of it at least.

"Sometimes I am. I think it is more I was tired tonight. You were quiet too at times." Though she was never as boisterous as he got. He inched closer. "So it is not Eion to take you on some winter sports.." lightly teasing her as a free hand lifted to tug at a curl.

"Aye, I had a long ride with Tennison today and I think all that time on the saddle is catching up with me." Shy smile at mention of the winter sports thing with a kind of ha sound. " He's not the one who made all the offers." Smiling over to Segan, seeing the curl spring back into place when he let go of it.

"Shall I carry you home again?" Brows lifting but there was amusement in blue eyes that held to her golden ones. Another curl captured to let silken strand slide along his finger before bouncing back.

Her attention held by those lovely blue eyes, she smiled and shook her head. "No. Tennison might become jealous then. But I intend to enjoy your company for the walk." The contents of her mug were finished off and the mug set aside with a slow look away from him.

"It is late and I should get you back." Being her drink was done though tempted to take a longer way to her place. Such ideas that were entering his thoughts! Mental slap and he was back. "Then away with us that we can wake to another day of which time shall be spent again."

"I appreciate your walking me back." Which she did, though if he'd had to go she'd have made it to the cottage fine. Off her stool, she picked up her cloak to wrap it around herself. "Another day and every day I look forward to such delightful company."

He would collect her cloak to help her in before extending the bend of his arm. "I have you all to myself in escort," slow smile as he didn't have to share it tonight.

"That you do, and I have you all to myself." Her arm wrapped lightly around his own and his lead followed.

"So we each have the other for the time being," different kind of teasing in something more low key and touching upon flirting. "Do you consider me an old man at twenty seven? You are about twenty or so?" He was not really sure on her age but knew she was old enough yet not near as old as he. Though he was not really old either.

Low key teasing wouldn't make her blush. She just smiled. At his question, she shook her head. "No, I do not consider you old at twenty-seven. And yes, I will be twenty come December. Do you consider me young?" She had her moments where age shined through.

"There are moments, though not immature. That I have not witnessed with you even for your young years." He wasn't sure just how naive she was either so he would take a step at a time in exploring a possibility. A curiosity perhaps. They were in the least very good friends and he was appreciative of that. All the while he was escorting, out the door and closed before they were down to the commons to head up Oak street. "I am pleased to get to know you better though rarely have we had time to talk alone." Realizing that all time they were in the presence of each other there were a few others. Brows lifted at that thought a little in surprise. Not a bad thing on one side of the coin.

Immaturity wasn't something she was really afforded often growing up, being that her mother had hopes of her being a lady in waiting and among life at court. Once outside, she clicked her tongue at Tennison, who turned to follow at a lazy pace. Having been looking ahead for a moment, she smiled back up to him with a nod. "I am grateful to have the chance to get to know you. And the quiet times we get to converse alone is nice. I get to see a slightly different side of you."

Which had him dipping a glance down her way, the street lights glinting off blue. "And what do you see otherwise? Am I a bit too much the boisterous captain?" She would notice his lips curling in a suppressed grin as they walked along. He had secrets even his brothers didn't know. Yet. He was sure they had ones too and he felt she did also. Time would tell these secrets, any that should be told and two found if they were compatible or not in the process.

"I enjoy your boisterous side and antics. It's nice to see you having fun with your kin and those around you, laughing and smiling. When I get to see you away from that though, you're just kind of...peaceful. A mellow sort of  peaceful, I suppose." Laughing softly, she blushed at tripping over her own words. "I don't know how to explain it."

"Oh, I'm very mellow after a bottle of potcheen." Though he didn't really drink a lot, nor was it often he would be found in a stupor. "Then I have adjusted to our move to these lands." So he was satisfied with that. Another would see that better than himself. For one to hold the kind of peacefulness she alluded to, that came from being where you should be to him. By this time they reached her house as she was taken right to the door. His arm only lowering then. "I will see you soon again, Vanessa." He leaned in, eyes drifting down as lips touch warmth upon her cheek. She could hear his breathing, the warmth of which to caress the spot his lips claimed the moment. Lifting partially, "sleep sweet." Then straightened fully.

She just smiled, opting not comment on the potcheen. He wasn't a big drinker and she'd seen him the same peaceful mellow without a single drop of it. Like the day she found him and Karina at the lake not so long ago. Once at her door, she released his arm and turned to face him with a smile. "I look forward to it." Movement ceased when he leaned down to place the kiss on her cheek and the momentary benefit of warmth accompanied. When he straightened, she looked up to him. "I will. You be safe and sleep sweet yourself." Her hand reached out to rest lightly on his upper arm as she leaned (way) up to place a soft kiss on his cheek, then stepped back. "Thank you again for the walk." And turned to her door as she retrieved her key to unlock it.

"I'll see Tennison to his stall on my way back." Which was more around to the stall as he led him away then he would be on his way back to the port and hi ship.

Date: 10-22-09
Poster: Calhoun Quinlan
Post # 30

More New Faces

Vanessa was already at the Thistle. Imagine that. She liked the Thistle. Lots of people came around to meet and visit with! She was curled up on one of the chairs in front of the hearth. Legs folded beneath her on the seat, she had a book spread over her lap and a mug of cider in hand. Dress was an off shade of white with cap shoulders and long sleeves and empire waist. Simple and comfortable, warm for the cooler weather which was chillier than it had been the night before, but not so cold that she didn't venture from the cottage.

Cara had been traveling back and forth with Elaina, preparing for the Princess' wedding.  She liked traveling though, so it wasn't a burden and she could pack quickly.  After they had all settled in, and she was no longer needed by Elaina, she made her way to the Thistle.  With the weather much cooler than what she was used to, she wore a cloak of finely woven wool over a heavier gown of damask silk in bittersweet, the bodice and hems of her sleeves decorated in black lace.  She hurried inside, closing the door quickly and lowered her hood, smiling at Alex then to the young woman at the hearth.  "Good eve."

Hearing the door open, Vanessa finished reading over the paragraph of context before lifting attention to the door and woman who'd entered. A smile given, the book was closed with her thumb between the pages. "Good eve, miss. A nice night to gather around a warm hearth with something to drink to warm the insides."

Elaina, who was around the same age as Cara, was like a mother hen. Still, if Elaina mentioned anything to her doting brother Peter, he saw to ensure her mind was at ease. So Cara going out this late hour would have Elaina concern and in turn a request came to ensure the Lady in Waiting was safe. Cal wouldn't dare to roll his eyes as it was mentioned idly to him being the only one around in the knight's hall under Peter. He had plans to practice down at the spar field but instead he graciously assured his king he would venture after Cara, so he could assure his sister that her lady would not be swallowed up by some beast to swoop down from the sky, or the like. Luckily it was in his personality to make the best of any circumstance that changed his path into a different direction. A short time after Cara entered the tavern, the Innis Knight was crossing its threshold. "Good evening," casually spoken with a glint in Fae eyes as he crossed over to the bar. There was the fortifying glass of potcheen to collect and the bottle for refills. At least it was not the chatty Norma, then he would have come with reinforcements.

Norma was still recovering from the sea voyage, luckily for the knight.  "Indeed it is, and that's exactly what I plan to do. I'm Cara Thompson from Innis Daingneach." She had just turned to ask Alex for a hot toddy when the door opened. Inwardly she groaned, knowing why the knight was here, but she smiled warmly for him just the same. "And this is Sir Calhoun Quinlan, if you've not met him before." Being he was stationed here.

The door opened yet again, she peeked around the chair back once more and smirked before looking back to Cara with a nod. "Pleasure to meet you, Cara. I'm Vanessa Baltimore. I believe I've met Knight Quinlan once or twice." She motioned to the other seats gathered around the earth. "Care to join me?" Offered to both.

Yes, have pity on the knight. It wasn't like he was stalking her but seeing to the wishes of his King who was seeing to the wishes of his lovely, fussy sister. He couldn't wait until she was married and in that bed of bliss. Turning with drink in one hand and the bottle in the other, "yes, we have met and on first name bases, Lady Cara." There was the wicked tip of his smile to show, rising to the occasion. "Vanessa, it is good to see you again." Deciding to halt there as he was over to claim one of the wing back chairs. Well, stand by it until both ladies were seated. His attire consisted of a tunic with the front partially open, wide sleeve shirt beneath. Wide belt supported the empowered sword hanging at his left hip. Boots laced up leaving a cuff just below his knees.

Alex was quick with her drink as always and she laughed when she heard the two and saw that grin. She followed Cal over to the chairs quickly and sat so he would. "Well, that's always good to know though I'll likely introduce him again." Acting as if she were absent minded, though it was the fact there were so many people in Heathfield.

"Pleasure to see you again as well." She remained in her seat, drawing her thumb from the book so it would close, and wedged it between the arm of the chair and her hip with a laugh to Cara. "No harm in making sure people know others."

He set the bottle to the table next to the chair chosen as with a sleight of hand guiding his sword he settled onto the cushion comfortably. "What read have we interrupted?" Giving a slight chin up towards the book she set aside. Drink was kicked back as a certain amused, slightly mischievous, look cast Cara's way a moment then gone as he idly looked about then refilled his glass.

She glanced down to see the spine of the book then smiled to Cal. "Julie of the Wolves." A book she'd read several times and could probably state it line by line if she put enough thought to it.

Brows lifted as she related the title, "interesting title, leaves one to wonder if she was left as an infant and raised by the wolves or if she had wolf blood in her veins?"

"The earlier would be closer to true. Her family is killed and she is adopted by a pack of wolves, raised and later attempts to work her way back into human community." It was an interesting enough book if you enjoyed such stories. Mug rose, she looked to Cara and smiled. "You're from Innis?" She couldn't pronounce the rest of the name of the isle, so just stuck with that.

"Yes I am. I'm on of Princess Elaina O'Neill's ladies-in-waiting. We just returned from Innis for a visit since fall happens to be one of Elaina's favorite times of the year. We don't have changes in season like you do here." She motioned toward Cal. "Calhoun is as well, though he's stationed here now."

Brow quirked slightly, though the smile remained. This was the first time she'd met another lady-in-waiting. "It's a beautiful time of year." A nod to mention of Cal. "And lucky we are to have him here."

"Indeed," though grinning like a Cheshire cat as it brightened those Fae eyes even more. Amused on some angle though he didn't expound on it.

Smirking again to Cal. "You're something else, you know that?" And snickered into her mug before taking a small drink.

"I'm sure he keeps the other knights on their toes." Laughing as she watched him.  Cal was looking like he was plotting something, wasn't he?

That he was!  "Then he would be doing his job, I'm sure." Light smile, she set her mug aside for the time being. "How long will you be in Heathfield?"

"I'd rather keep the ladies on their toes, they're company can be far more entertaining." Though he had a rapport with the men as comrades. They all got along thankfully for in battle they would be protecting each other's' backs. You wanted to feel secure in whom protected your back.

"I suppose that's true." She tapped a slender finger against her chin. "We're not near as stodgy as they are." So much had changed though with both Aiden and Gabriel seeing others. She looked at Vanessa and frowned slightly as she considered. "I'm not positive. Elaina will be getting married soon and so we're traveling back and forth. Her wedding will be in Innis. A few weeks at least."

"Sounds wonderful. Congratulations to her."

"I'll be certain to pass that along as I'm sure she'll appreciate it. Have you met Elaina?"

"No, unfortunately I have not. I've met Peter though..." It was strange calling him by first name knowing his title and all. She excused herself to make use of the bathroom.

"You may still. She likes to visit the Thistle too." She nodded at mention of the King. "Now, I should remember that when next we meet, if he happens to be here. Have you been in Heathfield long?"

He settled into listening, enjoying the sound of their voices. Focus would shift from one to the other as drink was lifted periodically to enjoy the burn of the pure.

Morjin had come back once more, having been gone far longer than he had anticipated. Once the door opens to the tavern, the tall, broad-shouldered warrior of a man would enter, looking at all that were inside with golden hues. Old and beaten bronze armor adorns his figure, a tattered cape at his back. He stood about six-foot-seven, golden hair swept back and hanging down to his shoulders.

Blue eyes shifted to Cal who was quiet as usual and she offered a dimpled smile and a wink to show she was well aware of the man sitting there.  The cold air caught her attention and she looked toward the door to see the man who entered. "Good eve, sir."

"Good eve, M'lady." A nod given to the one that greets him, and he moves to sit at an empty table that was slightly close to the fire, looking at the few that were in attendance.

Which he raised his glass enough in a mirrored salute back with an added wink before Fae eyes shifted to the man coming in. "Evening." Greeting him in turn.

"Good eve." A nod given to the man as well.

"I'm Cara Thompson, and this is Calhoun Quinlan. Welcome to the Thistle if you've not been here before."

"I have, I do believe I have met Lord Quinlan, but I have not met you before, Lady Cara. A pleasure." The features of his face were stony, showing very little emotion, but were smooth in an aristocratic sort of way. Once more a nod given to the both of them.

"Aye, that you have Morjin. I trust you have been well since our last encounter?"

"I have." Now his attention turned to Quinlan. "Has Vanessa been well? I have not been within these lands for a while, and haven't had the chance to visit with her as of yet."

"Aye, she is here but has stepped out," not adding most likely to the privy. "She has enough wood to see her through the coldest of winters."

"I see. That is good to know. She is doing well with her birds as well?"

The mention of winter caused her to give a little shiver though she did like the snow. It seemed to take her forever to become use to the cold. Perking at the mention of birds, she looked at Cal.

"They are in fine health, the birds and the lady, I don't believe that has changed." Reassuring him as he didn't really get to broach that subject before she took her leave of the room. "If Vanessa comes back, you should ask her about her birds.." this to Cara as he caught her look.

A nod was given, and he folds his arms over his armored chest.

Rina was hesitant to come in, peeking in the front window. She recognized Elaina's lady and the Innis knight but not the other. She had to do this, she reminded herself, make her mother proud, so the door eased open a crack with a leaf green eyed glance peeking through. Though she caught herself, that it would be more odd if any saw her so it was pushed open the rest of the way as she stepped through. The biggest part was taking off the specially designed cape all in silent motion for her Fae and other heritage. The purity of white wings could not be missed even if she folded them tightly behind her back, making them as small as possible though the flight feathers almost touched the floor. "Good evening," politely given a touch shy as she quickly moved to the bar on graceful silent steps. Alex could probably tell her nervousness as he gave her a wink while setting out some warmed up cider.

There was only one little lady in all of the kingdom that had white wings like this one. The light green eyes, the blond hair, Calhoun rose to his feet in all due respect of the lass. "Good evening, Solarina." Of course he knew her name and was pretty sure she would know who he was and Cara. "May I present to you, Lady Cara Thompson and Morjin who is visiting us."



Date: 10-22-09
Poster: Calhoun Quinlan
Post # 31

Morjin's attention would turn as the door was opened, golden hues falling upon the young woman as she enters very timidly and greets them. Once she removes her cloak, her wings would catch his interest. He had encountered some with such appendages before, but none this young before. At his introduction he stands as well, bowing low at the waist. He was a large man, broad of chest and shoulder, standing a tall six feet seven inches. The armor that adorned him was old, beaten, dented bronze, with a tattered cloak that flowed at his back. "Good eve to you, Lady Solarina." Then with that, he would sit down at his seat once more, silent until spoken to.

"I will." She smiled over her teacup at the knight. "She sells them then?" Though they could be of any kind. She stood when she saw the lovely, young Princess as well. "Good evening, Solarina. It's a pleasure to finally meet you." She could tell she was nervous and gave her a reassuring smile.

There were tiny feathers one might notice when closer, at her temples. Her father had been of a unique race that were as birds. She turned with the warm mug in hand, delicate fingers entwined, her smile blossomed like the rising of the sun upon a new day. "Thank you Sir Calhoun," very formal in a light lilting voice as sweet as a spring rain. "Lady Cara, I am pleased to meet you finally. Sir Morjin, welcome to our lands," giving him a slight respectful dip of her head. Though she didn't make any move to join them. That, at this point, was a little more than she could handle. Instead she smiled their way as she took a lean there at the bar, facing them enough to remain polite. In the moment, she wished her brother Tyrkir were here, he always gave her confidence. Probably because he had wings too.

"I thank you, though please, I do not deserve a title. I am only Morjin." He would look her over curiously. She was a princess in these lands? Perhaps he should show her the proper respect, but if he thought right, the poor lass would end up running away if he went and gave what he thought of as the proper human greeting. One noticeable feature about him, would be his ears. While long and pointed like those of the Elven race, the lobes would be finned.

She sat, smoothing her skirts as she did. "Are you enjoying the cool eve, Solarina and please, call me Cara." After all, they were addressing her informally.

He gave a dip of his head before resuming his seat, sleight of hand guiding the empowered sword as he settled onto the cushion of the chair. Back to the earlier conversation with Cara. "Aye, she sells them but if you are looking to acquire a companion, falcon or hawk, they would be introduced and who picks you. I didn't know you had an interest in trained birds..."

Vanessa had to run out real quick, for...something. But she was back now and returned, shivering since she'd forgotten her cloak she ran out so quick. The warmth was nice and a smile was given to those within.
"Hawking is a sport that even ladies can take part in." She teased then smiled at Vanessa returned. "You're going to need something more to drink to warm you up."

The woman near had her jump with the unexpected flurry in a hurry she came within. A breath sucked in and a slight giggle under her breath that sounded more like a distant chime. "Good evening."

Now Morjin looks to the door opening, and upon seeing Lady Vanessa, he actually relaxes his face enough to let a small smile touch his lips as he nods in her direction. "Good eve to you, Lady Vanessa."

"Vanessa, please meet Solarina," deciding to leave it to the Princess to state her station or not being the tavern was laid back by custom.

A smile was given to everyone who greeted her as she approached the bar with a nod to Cara. "Oh yes. Warm cider please, Alex." Then looked to the woman being introduced. "Pleasure to meet you, Solarina."

"And do the ladies go hawking with the men?" Innocent question he naturally had it sounding not so innocent at all.

That was what she was having and being there at the bar unlike the others, Vanessa may notice the feathers at her temples as well the tightly crossed pure white wings behind her. She was actually leaning into them as a sort of cushion between her and the bar's edge. "A pleasure to meet you Vanessa. I love the birds you sent my mother." So it was there and out innocently and her smile brightened a bit more. "We're teaching them to talk already, all proper words." Which she added too, "my mother plans to visit you soon. She will probably just show up as her time has been precarious with all castle things," which had the lift of a hand in a graceful flowing gesture of how things went in a busy castle.

"Oh aye." She lowered her voice a tad, letting the words come out in a near purr. "It's quite an experience for all involved." Intense blue eyes held a hint of fire as they met his.

"Then I should make sure I get to share this experience with you. Especially if it has you purring.." and the smile turned decisively wicked for a fleeting moment with lowered words. He had not missed that sound in the tone of her voice.

It took her a moment to realize who Solarina was speaking of. She'd gifted a few birds, but memory quickly served and restored with a light smile. "I'm pleased you are all enjoying them. I'd be honored to have her and family to the gardens any time."

She was chatty when it came to her siblings, mostly the younger ones still at home. "They make Lydia giggle a lot and Carlton is getting to talk better so they learn the words correctly." Though at this point she caught herself, gabbing too much with a glance over to the others, older like the lady she probably wished to join. They all looked older to her. Cal looking the oldest!  She lifted her mug for a drink, which also had her to quiet up.

"Then we'll have to be sure to do so. Before the snow falls." She smiled as she brought her cup up and finished the last of her toddy. The cup was placed on the table beside her chair as her attention shifted to Solarina and Vanessa and she smiled again. "You're welcome to join us, Solarina as I'm sure Vanessa will."

Picking up her mug, she thanked Alex and with quiet laugh to Solarina. "I'm very pleased to know that there is so much joy found in the lovebirds. They are fascinating creatures." now with her mug, she returned to sit near the hearth, nodding agreement with Cara.

Morjin sits silently, watching and listening to Solarina with Vanessa, and Calhoun with Cara. It actually felt good for him to be around such cheerful people. And Solarina, unless she had directly asked Morjin, wouldn't have any idea how old he truly was. Not that he would tell right away.

"Then we should discuss with Vanessa on getting a few falcons and hawks to have at the castle." Smiling up to Vanessa as she approached. Concern touching Fae eyes a moment but it seemed for her departure and subsequent return, she was indeed fine.

She was hesitant. Thought on it for a few moments but they had made her comfortable enough to give it a try. Gently lifting from her lean, she was over to claim one of the chairs not far from Cara and Vanessa. This was the tricky part she had practiced. It was not good to sit on her wings and crimp the feathers so they spread out, quickly enough as she sat, leaving the length over the arms of the chair each side and folded in enough so they were not in the way.

Oh yes, Vanessa was dandy. She gave a small wave and smile to Morjin as she heard Cal. "Hm?" Apparently she'd missed the conversation.

A smile for Vanessa and a wave in return with a gauntleted hand. Watching Solarina curiously as she finds a way to sit with her rather large wings.

"Lady Cara..." Fae eyes upon Vanessa before switched to Cara, leaving her to fill Vanessa in being it was her idea.

Solarina's wings were so lovely that it was hard not to reach out and touch them. "We were talking about hawking and Cal said we should talk to you about purchasing a few hawks and falcons to have at the castle. I'm also interested in what other types of birds you sell."

At least she nor Tykir got the talon feet. That would have been even more embarrassing in being different. She sipped at her cider, large leaf green eyes shifting from one face to the next as they talked.

"Oh..." She paused for a moment and smiled. "I'm sure I could help with you hawks or falcons. I have several types of birds. Tropical birds, more regional birds, owls..."

Morjin wondered if the lass would be scared if she knew just what he himself was, talk about being different. But for now he would keep his attention on Vanessa and the others. In a bit, he might get himself some of that tasty cider that he had come to like.

"Do you raise them yourself?" She was very interested of course.

"Some I do. Some come to me near their age of adulthood." She smiled again, sipping her cider slowly, careful not to burn her tongue.

She realized the time and had promised to tell Lydia a story tonight. Her cider finished she was up quick as a whip. "Really a pleasure to meet you all but I must go as I near forgot I'm expected at home." Not really a by anyone's leave as she was rushing over to place the mug on the bar counter then grabbing her cloak on her way out. She would fly home and get there faster.

A smile given to Solarina. "It was a pleasure to meet you."

He was half rising from his seat only to see a flurry of white out the door. Easing back down with a low chuckle under his breath. "If only I had half that energy."

She was as quick as some of the men here when they were of a mind to leave. Blinking, she laughed softly. "Aye, if would make life easier, wouldn't it?" But she wouldn't want to be that age again.

Well the lass made a hasty exit, so now he looks to Calhoun and gives a bit of a smirk. "If any of us did."

She laughed quietly and nodded. "It is getting late. I should be heading back to the cottage soon."

"Aye, it is, maybe a good time to head back. Can we see you home as we will need to pass your cottage on our way to the castle, Vanessa. I will talk with Peter and Karl on the field tomorrow about acquiring a few trained birds."

Morjin was growing tired as well, and upon getting up, pops his neck a little before bowing his head to both of them. "I bid you all a good night, and a pleasant night's sleep." Then with that, he would exit the tavern, changing into his full gigantic dragon form and beginning to fly off into the night.

Morjin was just as quick! Which had him laugh some as the man was gone in an instant.

Just a hint of a wrinkle of her nose as she stood then she smiled at Morjin. "Good night." And when he was gone, she looked at Vanessa. "Oh, that would be nice if we could. Then I'll know where your shop is."

"That would be lovely, thank you." Cider was finished off and the mug set aside, she picked her up book and her cloak with a smile to Cara. "The company is always welcome."

He would see to any cloaks the ladies brought then the door for them which he'd hold until they were out and closing it behind him.

Thanking Cal for the help, she stepped outside. It had been some time since she and Cal had talked and that too, would be welcomed this night.

Talk? More like banter and doing his best to trip her up and getting her to blush. Vanessa probably found that out too as she got to know him a little better. One day, he would meet his match and honestly looked forward to it.

She too thanked Cal and followed them both out with a wave to Alex. The company would be nice for the walk.



Date: 10-23-09
Poster: Riley McAndrews
Post # 32


Riley was back and the otherwise quiet night was filled with his voice in song as he meandered up from the port in a leisurely stride. The Sea Serpent all tucked away in a slip and his crew on shore leave. Although they stuck to the rowdier bars and not so rowdy ones like the Blue Marlin. "When I was just a lad looking for my true vocation my father said *Now son, this choice deserves deliberation. Though you could be a doctor or perhaps a financier My boy why not consider a more challenging career?*" Voice echoed down the alleyways bringing a grin that was only hidden by the lift of the potcheen bottle for a drink. He was not soused, that would take a few bottles, but he was feeling no pain and in an excellent mood. There too it was rare for him not to be. A slicker was worn over a warm leather patchwork tunic, black pants and handmade boots that fitted perfectly, conformed to his legs and feet. "Hey ho ho you'll cruise to foreign shores and you'll keep your mind and body sound by working out of doors. True friendship and adventure are what we can't live without and when you're a professional pirate, that's what the job's about." McAndrews voice carried and his was a nice Irish tenor like his father's.

Vanessa was in absolute smiles. She had been all day after receiving word that her little big brother was coming to Heathfield. She'd sent message back to him that she would meet him at the local inn for a bit of drink and meal and perhaps introduce him to a few other people if she got the chance. Wrapped all snuggly warm in a dark blue cloak, she waited on the porch of the Thistle in the commons for the arrival of her brother. The smile she wore couldn't be any brighter, nor could it be gotten rid of. Blonde hair was worn loosely pulled away from her face but left down to keep her neck warm, and of course hands were gloved. Golden hue searched the paths of the commons in search of Aiden when the faint echoes of sung words came drifting. Not loud enough she could make out the words, but she could hear then nonetheless.

When he reached the fountain, it was one small leap that had him up on its surrounding wall. Arms out like on a tight rope giving a fancy foot step here and there that would have him turn on the ball of his foot. "Now take Sir Francis Drake, the Spanish all despise him but to the British he's a hero and they idolize him. It's how you look at buccaneers that makes them bad or good and I see us as members of a noble brotherhood." A crescent of the whole before he jumped back down and headed up towards the Thistle. The bottle swinging up for another swig of the pure.

"Whoa, come on now! Keriston!" The horse continued to rush through the town as its hooves continued to echo a fast rhythm beat off the cobble stoned paths. The chocolate brown beast managed to yield and pull back as Aiden had tugged on the reigns. Clinging on to dear life, Aiden's arms wrapped around its neck. "CHILL OUT!" Then with another neigh, the horse lowered its front legs to the ground and shook his head with a snort. "Thanks..." Those hazelnut hues narrowed as he pushed himself off of the monster's back. "Might as well walk if you are going to act that way..." Aiden moved his leather gloved hand up to his forehead in an attempt to move his bangs from his face, but the wind had other plans. With a disgruntled grunt he pulled the hood of olive green cloak over his head. Holding on to the reigns tightly, he began to look for the Inn.

"Hey ho ho. We're honorable men and before we lose our tempers we will always count to ten. On occasion there may be someone you have to execute, but when your a professional pirate you don't have to wear ..... WHOA," Whirling around as he took some fast back steps taking him from the middle of the road. Renegade horse in a gallop then stopping to stoop no less and toss the man forward, or so it looked to him. "Need help there?" Venturing a few steps towards the one.

Vanessa felt as though she'd been waiting forever. Not very patient at moments like this, she laid both hands to rest on the railing of the porch, tapping nails lightly against it as she leaned over just a bit to look around. She heard the one man's words filling the air in lively tune when Aiden's call to his horse broke through all other noise. Poor lad. Would he ever get the hang of reining a horse? Giddy giggle, she came around the railing to come down the steps with a bounce, making haste towards her big little brother. "Aiden!" Hems of her skirt and cloak picked up just enough that she wouldn't trip over them, one would think she hadn't seen her brother in years. Not nearly that long, but far too long regardless.

Aiden's eyes shot to the poor man that he had almost trampled right over. "I'm so sorry, Sir. I cant control this thing after three years. A mind of his own, if you will." The young male didn't look to be about the age of 20 maybe his mid 20's but nothing more. The funny thing was the poor boy was actually the ripe age of 10. Funny how things worked in this world. Shortly after apologizing for his monster of a horse, he heard the call of Vanessa. It was funny to think that just a month or so ago she had been at his throat with a sword. "Hey you. Long time no see." A soft shy smile crossed his face. Seemed he still had the silent type personality.

"Aye, such has been said about a few of us McAndrews, well," laughing at this point, "close enough." He wasn't a good judge of age even at 20 which he was. He looked older from a long time for his taller height than most others of his age. It would seem the woman running the other down knew the one as he stepped back. "I didn't do it. Honestly." Except there was a huge grin with dimples and all. He look like the McAndrews except he had darker hair. Though it had lightened over the years from dark brown to a sun streak melee.

Well, a few months ago. She'd been in Heathfield for a little more than two months now, but time passed quickly when not keeping track. Aiden better brace himself because she wasn't stopping. She wanted a hug! A grin given to the man she didn't know. "You did and I saw you do it." Right up to Aiden, she wrapped her arms around him for that hug. "Aiden! I'm so happy to see you!" Better to know he was safe and healthy and not had any deadly run ins with rocks or some such.

He was a sailor by profession as he held out his arms pressed together. "Aye, take me away and tie me to your bedpost for sweet torture. I'm deserving." He was being Terrible and knew it but there too it was in his nature. If she only knew his history she'd be in stitches though at the time it had been a horrid situation.  Make that situations.

Aiden could have swore he heard his back scream from the pressure. He took his right armed and proceeded to wrap his arm around her. Keriston gave a slight neigh and tugged at the reigns testing Aiden's grip. It was tight. As Keriston flashed a look to Aiden...Aiden had a smirk on his face to flash right back at the horse. He snorted and shook his mane again. "Happy to see you as well..." He looked to the man once more with a raised eyebrow. He didn't  understand the mans' words. Oh the treasures of being young.

Blink...she looked over at the man and blushed. Oh my! She didn't even know what to say to that. For the moment though, she just giggled to the one armed hug from her brother. Brief hug, she unwrapped her arms from around him and took a step back. "You should be! I've been waiting for you all afternoon." His back? Tch..she wasn't that heavy! Then back to the stranger with a sort of awkward grin, not sure how to address what he'd said.

Thankfully or he would be in Trouble again with a young lad after him if his words were taken wrong as his arms lowered and back to his sides. "Riley McAndrews at your service. Shall I punch the horse out for giving the lad trouble?" Eyeing the ornery horse one could wonder if he meant it.

It had been a late night at the book store and rather than make her way to the ranch, Carisa decided to stay at the Thistle for the night. She was warmly dressed in a jumper of dark brown suede that came to her ankles, with a shirt of a lighter tan, the edge of the neckline and hems of the long sleeves embroidered with thread of orange, brown and gold. Low boots of finely tooled leather with a two inch heel were also worn. She had tied her cloak loosely and laughed as the wind tugged at it, almost giving her the appearance of wings. Dark brown hair was pulled back in a loose ponytail. She was carrying a puppy of dubious heritage, brown with white patches, and wiry hair. The wee pup barked at the leaves that were blowing about and set her to laughing again.

Keriston gave an unfriendly grunt and bumping his nose against Aiden's head. "Ow..." Aiden said with an empty tone, "you really have to be a showoff, huh?" The horse gave another snort and a nod. It understood? Most likely not, but it sure seemed that way. "Sorry to keep you waiting he wanted to stop for food and water...who am I to say no?" His master perhaps? Nope, not in the eyes of the horse. "What if I did let him hit'cha?" The horse just stood there not acknowledging that fact that Aiden had said anything. Pissed now so it would seem. Those brown eyes of his moved to the direction he heard yipping. He did always have good hearing. "Hmmm..."

She reached up, gently placing a gloved hand on either side of Aiden's face with a little squish of his cheek to look at him. "Nice to see you healthy and in tact. No run ins with large rocks, I hope?" Aiden would understand. Her attention went back to the man with a keen smile. "A pleasure to meet you, Mr. McAndrews. I'm Vanessa Baltimore and this is my brother, Aiden Lohengrin." Hearing the puppy barks, she looked in that direction as the sound approached.

"He's stubborn enough it might hurt my hand," flashing the lad a smile all in good humor before he caught sight of Carisa. He straightened, standing tall for six feet five, which was tall! "Hello Carisa, what do you have there?" He had manners and they were showing over the usual sailor antics. Ones that got him in trouble. The dimpled smile turning back on the siblings. "A pleasure to meet you both, Vanessa and Aiden." Slanting a briefly glance back to Carisa then the two, "this is Carisa McCormick coming with her mutt pup."

As his cheeks were tugged his eyes moved back to Van then laughed weakly. How funny it was that she had to reach up instead of lean down to attack his face with her welcoming antics. "Healthy as I can be, and I haven't been  near rocks to trip over, thanks for the reminder." Moving his head back to McAndrews he tipped his head as a greetings before he let his eyes flash back to Carisa.

"Riley? When did you get in?" She moved a little faster so she could greet him properly. "This is Puck. One of our dogs decided to mate with one of unknown heritage." She laughed. "But the pups were adorable and they're going to be herders, even if they aren't purebred." She was over to him quickly and after placing the pup on the ground, gave him a welcome home hug.

Yes, now from her short stature, she had to reach up for those welcoming antics. It was strange to her, but she accepted it. Hearing the introductions, she turned to face the woman with a smile. "A pleasure to meet you, Carisa."

He had her up, almost pup and all into strong arms as he swung her around. Even a nuzzle against her neck, "you smell good," very low by her ear, like she always did smell good. Setting her back to her feet as his smile only broadened with the dip of dimples. "Just tonight as a matter of fact. I'll be going up to see Uncle Collin tomorrow in setting up me and me crew to working on the ships over the winter." He still owed his uncle for stealing the ship to act as knight in shinning armor, except his was sailor cloth and his steed a ship to get two lasses to Germany only to have them ungrateful. So he paid the price and learned a good lesson. "This is Vanessa and Aiden." Not really sure if they were of the lands or not as he just got in and didn't get all the news.

The hug and spin had her giggling, the words bringing a touch of pink to her cheeks. "Thank you and good. Maybe I'll get to see you more." She missed the days when Riley, her brother Scott, and some of their other friends, and herself of course, got into mischief. "Hello. It's nice to meet you both. Are you the Vanessa who has the Avian Gardens?" Her customers talked a lot about newcomers.

They could reminisce over the dead body they found that one time when they all headed for a cabin deep in the woods in winter. Unbeknownst by their parents until all hell broke loose.

Aiden took his right arm and bent it at the elbow letting his forearm press against his stomach. His upper body fell forward in a bowing motion before quickly lifting back up. Where did this bowing style come from? Who knew but it was interesting to see that he no longer held a smile on his face. A rather blank expression took over the spot. He stayed silent as Van was asked a question.

A nod given to Carisa, she laughed softly. "The one and only." The problem with being new it seemed. A lot of people knew of her and what she did, but that knowledge wasn't much returned until actually meeting people. "Shall we all go into the Thistle for warm drinks and good company?" She flashed a smile to Aiden, wrinkling her nose some with the bow he gave. It was cute though, even if he no longer looked like a ten year old.

A warm smile was given to Aiden and then she nodded. "Let's. I want to hear all about Riley's latest adventure and about your shop. I run the book store in the commons. And my sister has just taken over the wool shop." She scooped up Puck and carried her inside so she'd not be stepped on. When Carisa had sat her down, the pup danced around a bit, chased the leaves, then came back.

He was shaking his head adamantly with hearing about his last adventure. "We found Keifer's island." Surely she had heard the rumors on that island with a topless tribe that waited on the men hand and foot. One she would not want to hear on that no matter which way presented it would still be presented wrong in mixed company. He was at her side in a reduced stride, "so are you going to keep the pup as your very own?" Not just family kept for herding the sheep. And yes, he changed the subject!

"Your sister..." Hm...wool shop...she knew who that was, but had met so many new faces recently that it took her a moment to place the shop with a face and name. "Mariah?" Pretty sure that's what she remembered. Motioning towards the tavern for them all to walk together as she listened to Riley.

Oh, he was getting a look for that. She didn't need to be told after hearing the rumors. "Oh." Then the smile returned. "Yes. She's going to be a decent size too, so she'll keep an eye on the shop and me." Laughing, she nodded at Vanessa. "Yes, Mariah. You've met her then? Have you met my brothers Chris and Scott, or my father, Ian?" They were all pretty busy so she wouldn't be surprised if Vanessa said she hadn't.

See! All he had to do was mentioned what island and it would strike almost silence in return.

Aiden looked to Keriston and let go of the reigns. In a short whisper "Stay...." Keriston nodded with a soft snort. Aiden moved up the stairs following the group. He kept his mouth shut and listened to the conversation. Was he just being shy or was something up? You can never tell on an older person's face. A blank expression could mean thinking, or even mad. He felt fine however.

He would shoot ahead up the steps to get the door, then hold it for them all as they piled into the warmth of the tavern. Once they were in, he was in after them to close the door over. He still had the one bottle of potcheen as he took another long drink. If he finished this one he could have another.

That was because she knew he wouldn't hesitate to enjoy whatever the island had to offer. "Thank you, Riley." First the cloak was hung up on one of the hooks by the door and then she was over to ask Alex for a mug of hot tea, with a splash of potcheen added.

Maybe. Maybe not. There was a lot more to Riley than he let it seem.

Walking along with them, she nodded to Carisa. "Aye, I've met Mariah a couple times. I enjoy her company, and no, I've not met the others." Not that she could recall at least. Letting Carisa go ahead, she followed up the steps with a smile to Aiden. "Gonna have to work on that shy thing a little bit with him. Passing through the door, she nodded to Riley. "Thank you." And reveled in the warmth en route to the bar.

"Welcome," devilish dimple smile to follow. He had the prettier looks of the McAndrews. Having given Carisa a friendly challenging swat as she had passed him. Luckily he didn't attempt that on Vanessa but the swat was for old time's sake.

No swatting Vanessa!

That gained him a squeak at least and when he was over to the bar, she gave a pinch to his side.

Gloved hands moved to pull the cloak off of his shoulders and onto the rack. This was going to be interesting. He moved to stay on Van's left side. Still without saying anything he managed to pull off not being there well. Those brown eyes of his began to swirl with a light blue color as he continued to listen, not having much to say. His eyes always seemed to be changing colors when in new places.

Once to the bar, she requested two mugs of cider from Alex and went about removing her cloak to drape over the back of her stool. Smiling to Aiden. "Are you going to stay with me for a while before venturing onward?"

"I," his voice cracked before he cleared his throat and continued, "I came on your request, and so I will leave on your request." He said plainly before he let his tongue quickly slip free from behind his lips and pointed at her in a teasing manner. That frame of his shifted uncomfortably on the stool but he'd get used to it.

"Well then you'll never be leaving." Despite the grin, eyes narrowed on him. "One of these days cat's going to catch your tongue when you do that." One of the mugs of cider was slid over to him, the other kept for herself.

Puck was placed on the floor after she asked for a bowl of water for her. She rubbed the pup's ears briefly then picked up her own drink. She'd keep an eye on the pup while she drank. "How are the seas so far?" No storms had swept in as of yet, but she didn't doubt they would soon.

The lad seemed old enough as he offered him the bottle of pure. "This will warm you up faster than warmed cider, though it packs a punch." Potcheen, mountain dew, moonshine it all came down to a home distilled fine Irish whiskey. He only grinned with the pinch and more would come later, as it always did. "They are fine but we've been gone a while and time to be home for a while." Blue eyes twinkled with unspoken mischief turned on Carisa a moment.

"I don't speak much anyway...some come ye cat!" He laughed and poked Van's side before taking a sip of his cider. Not noticing that was hot he swallowed hard and scrunched his face before putting his head on the bar. "Owech" He did always have bad karma.


She squeaked to the poke and flinched away out of reaction before smirking some. "That's what you get for picking on me." Looking at the bottle of pure, she smirked some. "No pure for Aiden." Protective older sister. Last thing she needed was a drunk brother.



Date: 10-23-09
Poster: Riley McAndrews
Post # 33

That look always made her giggle, even now! And yes, there'd be plenty of pokes, swats and pinches in the weeks to come.  She suppressed a grin too when she heard Vanessa. Just imagine if she tried that on her twin!

Aiden growled playfully then stood up and took both of his hands and managed to sneak them around to both of her sides. "To WAR" Quickly he moved his hands in with wiggling fingers at her sides. The time was now! ONWARD TO BATTLE!

It was guys against the girls as Aiden accosted his sister, he accosted Carisa in tickling fingers. Ones that would go up and down her sides unmercifully.

"Eee!" She jumped when tickled, spilling a bit out of her mug and nearly dropping it. "Aiden! You are so not funny!" Not funny, but she was laughing and giggling, and set the mug aside before reaching to grab her brother's hands.  Trying to!

"Riley!" Well, all the yelling and giggling, and now the swatting she was attempting to do to Riley had Puck barking. She was trying to get away, smack and tickle back all at the same time while the pup ran in circles, yapping!  Poor Alex might retreat!

Blue eyes closed for a moment as he continued to push out a laugh. His hands were caught. "Oh, I'm so sorry...I don't know what had gotten into me." Those eyes opened looking over to the others then down to the puppy. A sudden burst of childhood peeked back through that aged body of his. Guess that proved he still had the mind of a 10 year old. He stood there like a bad boy with his hands trapped in Van's but still managed to laugh.

Which had him laughing as much as Carisa to the point his tickling lacked the oomph it started with. Didn't take much after she got going. Just wiggling his fingers would keep it up. Poor pup.

This is what she walked into having used the side door. Standing there with a blink as she eased the door closed. Slow smile emerging as she didn't say a word.

Vanessa was laughing more at the puppy and that Riley had joined in the antics, against Carisa. Her grip tightened on Aiden's hands, eyes narrowed playfully at him. "Oooo you just wait Aiden! I know where you're going to be staying for a while!"

A light woolen cloak was worn over a deep blue frock lined in tatted lace, nothing fancy but had it more feminine than not. The cloak slide from slender shoulders to catch with a hand then hang to a peg.

He blinked as his keen hearing picked up the sound of another. Eyes quickly looked over to the one who had entered. He sat back down as if the ticklefest had never happened and looked to his mug and began to sip it again slowly.

She saw Mariah and still laughing, ran over to her sister. "Save me, Mariah! " Of course Puck bounded over to greet her, tail wagging madly.

"Well, well, what have we here," crouching down to pick up the pup as she was over with him to tease Riley with. Moving him forward to nip at his elbows as he continued to tease her sister. "If you don't cease right now, I will have to declare you are flirting with my sister which will get back our father." Like a threat but she was smirking behind the tall McAndrew's back and winking at her sister.

Which had his hands fly up, "no, no, not that!" Like he was being condemned to death and instead turned around and accosted Mariah with a few tickles up her sides even with the nipping of Puck in the process.

She squealed as she tried to hold the pup and keep his hands from her sides as she squirmed away. "Get him Carisa." This was her perfect opportunity.

She was laughing harder now, and yes, there was a perfect time to attack! Darting in behind Riley, she tickled along his sides.

Vanessa giggled softly waving to Mariah. "Mariah, this is my brother, Aiden." Motioning to him as she picked up her mug, then looked down at the front of her dress when it had spill. "Aiden, you also get to clean this dress," snickered quietly.

"No way. I cant wash clothes...I'd just make it worse..." Aiden blinked looking over to the mass ticklefest across the way. Then looked back to Van. He hadn't spent time with people around this age for any reason other then just for finger foods. It was different looking like he did. He took another sip from his mug and looked out the window. Keriston was still there. He actually listened to me? Wow... Aiden took another drink and looked to the bar.

Which he gave up on Mariah as she squirmed away and back around to scoop Carisa up into his arms, setting her up on the bar which was taboo with Alex as he quickly stepped away.

She wrapped an arm around his shoulders and smiled. "Aiden, I am going to teach you to do wash. I am also going to teach you to cook." Though she wasn't any great cook by any means, but she hadn't poisoned anyone either.

She set down the pup who was back yipping at Riley's heels. Once a safe distance away she turned a bright smile on the young man. "Hello, nice to meet you Aiden. Are you liking being here so far?"

Eeeep! She hopped down quickly, though not gracefully as she caught her foot on one of the legs and a stool and went down. Puck immediately turned from Riley to go and lick attack Carisa, who was laughing, her face red.

Aiden flashed a smile to Van before looking up to Mariah. "Yes. Thank you very much." He tipped his head to her. He swallowed his shyness for a brief moment. Not sure what else to say, he shifted his body again to look out the window.

Which he hadn't intended for her to fall and soon had her up into his arms. Serious this time as he held her, "are you all right Carisa bear?"

Which his shyness only had her smile warm a touch. Watching him a moment but not overly to make it worse. Attention shifting to Vanessa instead, "how have you been?" She had been setting up the woolen shop to her specifications being she had taken it over. She eyed her sister but decided to hold her tongue on questions her way for the moment she was having with Riley.

Vanessa chuckled softly watching the scene with Carisa before looking to Mariah. "I am doing very well. How are you doing? I've not had the chance to come to the shop yet."

He didn't want to feel rude but he couldn't help himself. Aiden had always been shy. The 20 or so year old looking man made eye contact with that horse outside. Eyes managed to narrow to see better. What was keeping him in line?

She hadn't heard that nickname in a long time, and yes, she was very aware of her sister being there. Smiling up at Riley, she nodded. "I'm fine. Still graceful as always." Making good-natured fun of herself. "That stool just jumped right out there."

"I'm getting the shop all ready and easier for customers to find things as well adding a few more products, or variety. I've not gotten up to see your birds either. All in good time. I see you got to meet my sister and Riley," pausing with a glance his way and back to Vanessa, "one of many McAndrews."

"Yes it did," giving it a light kick before he eased her upon it. "I should have remembered.. how graceful thou art not." Winning grin to follow as well the usual amount of dimples. "I'll just have to be quick to catch you."

A nod given to Mariah. "Indeed, all in good time. And I have. We all met outside after Riley nearly got run over by my brother's horse."

She had moved closer as her voice held the edge of concern, lowered too between her and Vanessa as she slanted a brief look her brother's way and back, "is he all right?"

She looked at Aiden and smirked. "For now. Though if he keeps picking on me, he might not be so lucky." A quirked grin then looked to Riley and back to Mariah.

Aiden looked down to his mug and took a drink letting his eyes close. It tasted fine now that it had its time to cool. Those eyes opened again feeling watched as they shifted to Van then back outside. Keriston was gone. "Ah!" Aiden set his mug down. "Dang it, Horse!"

"Ah oh!" Hearing Aiden as she had to laugh. Was he going to run out the tavern chasing the horse?

"That might be a full time job." She chuckled then looked at Vanessa and grinned. "Brothers are good for that, aren't they?" She blinked and looked at Aiden, waiting to see if that would happen then she glanced at Riley and gave him another smile. She was glad he had made it home safely.

"You should have tethered him to a pole." Giving Aiden a little nudge before smiling to Carisa. "I can't really complain. He's a good brother."

He moved off the stool and headed for the coat rack. Why do I feel so weird today? And why Is Keriston acting this way? "Sorry Van..." He said softly. "I'll be back." He nodded look to the floor he shook his head and headed out the door. "It shouldn't take too long." He pulled that cloak with him and pulled the hood over his head. "KERISTON!" He took off down the street. The wind had started to pick up and it was now on the verge of being pitch black but he was a big boy, right?

He turned into a lean against the bar, back bracing against its edge as he watched the scene unfold. Gave him time to drink more of the potcheen. Smile reached his eyes as he offered over the bottle of potcheen to share. Carisa could handle a swallow or two?

Blink...she watched Aiden go and just shook her head. "He and that horse need to come to an understanding better than the one they have."

One glance to Vanessa before she was over to the door to open it up enough to peer out and watch the scene. "Looks like he is chasing the horse and getting further away."

Of course. She did have some in her tea after all. She accepted the bottle and took a drink, though it made her eyes water and her throat burn.

"Dang it horse..." Those blue eyes gave off a faint shimmer in the dark as he followed that speeding stallion. That hood fell from on top his head as he seemed to vanish down the dark ally. The only thing that could be heard was the sound of hooves and boots rushing on the cobble stone street.

She asked Alex for a carrot and an apple. Once he brought those out to her, she smiled. "Aye...I am going to go help him." Cloak was put back on, she took the apple and carrot with her and headed out of the tavern.

"You need any help?" Although she wasn't sure what help she could be under the circumstances. Opening the door more that Vanessa could pass outside to follow her brother.

"It might make for a grand adventure if you'd like to come with me." She smiled and slipped out the door but waited to see if Mariah wanted to join her.

She would, if not an imposition and so grabbed her cloak and headed out with her. Never knew, it might be good that she had gone. The wind was whipping more as she put up her hood and held it tighter closed with one hand as she rushed alongside her new friend.

Watching her take the drink like a pro before fingers curled around its circumference in taking it back for another then offered again. "I think we're alone now, doesn't seem to be anyone else about.." almost singsong.

A growl rested in his throat. His glove hand quickly pulled that hood back over his head as he continued to follow the horse. Some times you're more trouble then your worth! Those blue eyes still peered through the dark making a sharp turn to the right. Keriston seemed to be running away on purpose, but not to hide...this was for fun? Or did something spook him to the point of where he cant think?

She smiled over to Mariah as she opted join her and went in the direction she last heard hooves. "Aiden!" Trying to figure out where he had gone to since she couldn't hear him or the horse.

She blinked then laughed as she looked around. "Where did they all go?" Not that she minded exactly, and Alex was still here. She leaned a little closer and grinned. Not drunk, just she always was surprised by how blue his eyes were. No matter how many times she looked into them. "I missed you, Riley."

As Vanessa called out, so did she.. "AIDEN!" Between the two the voices would carry on the wind or so hoped.

"I don't know," as he nuzzle his nose against the side of her throat and ear. Teeth finding the lobe to nibble and nip. Would she push him away? "I missed you too.." which was true, they always seemed to end up back to this point.

The horse managed to stop dead in its tracks as Aiden had caught up with it and grabbed him by the reins it spooked him as he kicked back and tried to run back the way he had came. Aiden, however, pulled himself up onto his back and tried to slow him down to his control He took off again down the streets. They hood flew back once more. Under the candle lit streets now, Aiden had some idea of where he was. "Whoa now!" He tugged on Kerison's mane softly. Sadly this didn't change a thing.

Yes, hopefully with both women calling for Aiden, they would be able to locate him. "Aiden! Where are you?" Hope no one was trying to sleep in the area. They'd probably gotten too far to hear the hooves just yet.

Yes, they did and she wouldn't push him away. She even leaned into him a little more. Now of course, if Mariah returned, that might change and quickly! Puck had wandered over to the fireplace, and curled up in front of it, soaking in the warmth as she fell asleep.

"AIDEN," still calling as feet carried them as quickly as possible without falling. Closer to the commons she could see the tail end of a horse in flight. "Maybe there?" Pointing as she slowed enough to do so.

Definitely if Mariah showed back or any of her brothers or father! Word would get to Ian and he would probably have a talk with Seamus, his father. It could get ugly but presently he was incorrigible and Carisa was encouraging him. Alex was down in the cellar getting more ale or wine. They were alone, he was normal taking advantage of it by gradually encompassing her in his arms as lips played havoc up along her neck and ear.. she should stop him!

The sound of the girl's calls seemed to get the horse's attention as he stopped again. Flinging Aiden off its back. Aiden did a front flip in the air and landed flat on his feet. A slight crunch was given as his feet made contact with the ground below. This was followed with a stumble from Aiden but not before he grabbed a hold of those reins. With watery eyes he clung on to his monster of a horse. "Owch..." He said as he pressed his face against Keriston's fur. That didn't look good.

She should? Oh yes, she should but she made a little purring sound then turned her head. "Riley, this is getting dangerous." Oh yeah, they could be in big trouble if this got back to their fathers. Not to mention, she was feeling a bit weak in the knees!

She missed the flicker of the tail abut heard the running horse come to a quick halt. "Must have been them." Picking up her skirt enough that she would not trip over the hem she started running towards where it sounded like the horse had stopped. "Aiden?!"

Lips had worked their way over hers just after she spoke, searing brand to drown the word dangerous under them. Hot and heated, engulfing and suckling before finally lifting only because he needed a breath of air! Though she was right, this would get dangerous. "Can't say I'm sorry," growled under that sucked in breath as it was released. At that moment Alex emerged from down below clearing his throat. Riley grinned, saved by the skin of his teeth. Though Carisa's expression...

She was catching her breath probably at the same time her sister was for another reason all together! "There he is!" Excitement in her voice and certainly rose hued cheeks and bright eyes a this point.

"Y-Yeah." He called to Van before he pulled that hood back up. It was almost as troublesome as this horse. "Finally got him to stop." With his face now hidden his cheeks were now wet with tears. A cry baby? Well, he wasn't much older then one. A gulp and a sleeve to clean up the evidence he managed to push out a smile.

Oh boy. She was going to have to take a few moments to regain her senses. She just melted in his arms right then, returning the kiss with equal heat. She leaned her forehead against his when lips finally parted. "Me either." And then she heard Alex and nearly fell off the stool but she managed to stay put though her cheeks were now red.

Reaching where Aiden and the horse were, she smiled over to Mariah as they approached. "Are you alright?" Checking Aiden to make sure before she looked at the horse. "You are a bad, bad horse." Pointing her finger at him accusingly.



Date: 10-23-09
Poster: Riley McAndrews
Post # 34

That's because a strong arm snaked around her waist to keep her from falling. Stool did a sort of dance as Riley grinned like the Cheshire cat.

The horse snorted and nodded his head but didn't manage to run off again. Aiden also managed to nod. "Fine. You guys didn't have to run all this way, but thanks for getting his attention or he wouldn't have stopped. Ha." He pushed out a weak laugh.

She was right aside Vanessa and a step behind. She didn't see any wet cheeks for the hood. Vanessa had asked what she would have so just listened for the answer. "We were concerned." Which was not a bad thing in her book and she almost stuck her tongue out at the lad.

Vanessa smiled to Aiden. "I wouldn't leave you to chase him down alone." They weren't blood, but Vanessa really did love him like a sister. Mariah should have stuck her tongue out at him. Would have served him right. She looked back to the horse. "No carrots or apples for you." Which she drew her hands into her cloak, still holding one of each.

And now she was laughing again and, well, because he was so nice to steady her, she even leaned into him. "Do you think they've found Aiden and the horse." Safest thing to say at the moment with Alex right there.

"Maybe he needs some strict handling in training?" Eyeing the equine as he was far too ornery for his own good.

Alex hardly looked their way, maybe on purpose but there was the lift of a brow with the one glance as he set to replacing a few bottles of wine. As his back was turned, though most likely nothing had gotten by the tender, Riley placed a quick kiss on Carisa's forehead like he would a sister. Right. "I'm sure they will but that horse needs to be put through the paces."

"Either that or tied to a mule for a couple weeks.." Grumbled quietly. That horse was a danger to Aiden and anyone who crossed the equine's path.

Aiden and Keriston gave each other a look. One that could only be thought of as a silent communication. Keriston gave a softly whinny before nudging Van almost as if to say he was sorry. "Mariah had to run all the way out here too..." Keriston gave another nudge to the girl as well. Aiden looked downward to look at the damage but tried not to make a big deal, and hoped Keriston would have been a big enough distraction so Aiden could look. A small pool of blood had managed to form around his right foot. Aiden quickly looked up and gulped silently before looking back to Van then Keriston innocently.

When she got nudged she flicked her fingertips against the equine's nose. Something that would sting just a trifle. "Bad horse, you should know better and be the best comrade for your young master." Chiding him good but stepping back from nipping distance too!

"Aye, he should. It's dangerous for a horse to be running in the dark in an area he doesn't know."

She narrowed her eyes and looked at the horse. "Don't start with me, you're on my no apples list." Real threat, right? A smirk given to Mariah before catching Aiden's downward look from the corner of her eye. The blood was spotted, "'re hurt." And crouched down to see if he'd let her have a better look.

"Aye," but Riley was watching Alex more than really listening for as soon as he ducked into the kitchen to take a pan of something into Hazel, his lips descended on Carisa's. What horse?

Aiden winced as he looked skyward. "Its not that bad...just a little cut, I'm sure..." He was busted. He never could get away with anything when Van was around, she would have been a very bad partner in crime.

Which had her looking where Vanessa had to see the wound. "Best we get you back to the Thistle and see to that!"


She blinked but only for a moment. Yes, what horse? Her hand slid up onto his shoulder and then into the hair at the nape of his neck.

Vanessa nodded and stood up. "Aye. Come on, Aiden. Back to the Thistle so I can have a look at your wound."

"I'll go ahead and get things ready," which she as off at a run taking her a few minutes to reach the building. Leaping up the steps and bounding into the room as the door flung open to THAT sight.

"Thank you Mariah!"

Shit! He practically sucked in Carisa's lips! A popping sound since they were pulled off so abruptly as someone came in the door. Breeze gave them away even before sound registered.

Aiden had been on the back of K and this time the horse was behaving. Heading back to the Inn behind Mariah. "I'm no stranger to danger huh? Even in this aged body." He frowned.

Eeep! Now she was blinking again, and when she saw who it was, her cheek turned as red as could be. She gave Mariah as innocent a look as she could. "Did you find them?"

"RILEY McANDREWS!" Scolding him as if it were all his fault but she was rushing into the kitchen where Alex must be along with Hazel to get the woman out as well Alex in helping the lad on his way, telling them that his leg was bleeding. Strips of cloth, soapy warm water, stuff the Druid Prince made to putting on a wound to have it heal quicker.

Now that Aiden was on the horse's back, she reached out to take the reins just under the bit to lead him back to the inn. The walk wasn't too long, so they would make it back within ten or so minutes. "No, you are not. Keeps you on your toes." She smiled up to Aiden.

"Seems there is an emergency, maybe she'll forget what she saw?" Not even being sure how much she saw. Right. "You can talk to her later. Seems we have wounded incoming."

"I will. And yes it does. I wonder what happened?" She slid off the stool to see if she could help at all, though she reached for Riley's hand first and squeezed gently. Everything would be fine.

Fingers entwined for a moment's squeeze before let go as he would help too if the lad needed to be carried in. He was to the door to find out, keeping it open as it had been left that way in Mariah's wake.

Not shocking anyone, that someone was hurt after a horse chase, at even less shocking to know it would be the one and only Aiden Lohengrin. Once getting there, Aiden slowly slid off his back and onto his left foot. He took the reins back and tied Keriston to the nearest lamp post this time. "Sorry, pal...I can't trust you'll stay." He patted him softly on the nose before carefully walking to Van's side. He seemed to be alright to walk if you didn't look at his facial expressions of agony. Hehe.

He noticed the lad could walk so couldn't be that bad. Bright blue eyes turned on Carisa, "maybe we should get going, give them room to work. Too many cooks.." which only led to confusion than efficiency. Before they got caught up in it, fingers slid to capture hers and whisk her off taking the side door. "I'll see her home Mariah..." Then discovered Carisa was staying here so led her around to the back to head up the back stairs.

She waited to help Aiden down and took his arm to walk into the Thistle with him. Once inside, she found a chair for him and pulled it out, helping ease him down. "Can someone bring a cloth so we don't get blood on the floor?"

And since he was right, she lifted a hand to Vanessa and gave Mariah a look that said they'd talk later, made sure she scooped up Puck, and then they were gone.

She was out with the brigade, Alex, Hazel and she had a cloth to wrap over Aiden's leg, as they were directed to the back tables. Only a glance was spared Riley and her sister as they headed out.

She waved to Carisa. "It was nice to meet you." And returned attention to Aiden, moving up his pant leg some to see what had happened.

Aiden found a chair and winced slightly as that hood slid off his head again. His eyes closed for a moment before he cleared his throat. The metal clip of his boot managed to slice through the leather and cut through to his ankle It was a deep cut but nothing time couldn't heal.

She caught the look and maybe best they got going as what she saw would have been a distraction. She would talk to her sister later as she helped to take off the cloak as Alex took a look over the ankle. Boot removed as well the offensive piece of metal ripped off and rendered safe.

His boot was taken down some so she could have a better look. "Oh Aiden..." It looked like it hurt. A lot. "Going to need something to clean it."

Basin of water was there, astringent, iodine and a salve to coat it with before the bandaging.

Removing her cloak, she smiled to Alex. "Thank you, and to you Mariah." Smiling to her as well. Then crouched down, bringing the mending supplies closer so she could mend up the wound.

She would hand the different things to her but better his sister took care of it than her. Being she hardly knew him and all. She knew how.

"At least it wasn't a rock." He looked down to see it. "Cool!" He giggled like a little boy. He hadn't hurt himself to a bleeding point it was more or less just a bruise or a cold or cooties from a little girl.

Cooties. Heh. She looked up at Aidan and smirked, then over to Mariah. "Only a male would be enthused over bleeding." With Mariah's help, she continued the mending until it was done.

His giggle like a little boy had brows lifting as green eyes lifted to stare at him a moment. Narrowing a bit in the next second but she said nothing. Any thoughts were kept to herself. She was crouched down next to Vanessa as she saw to the ankle wound. "Aye, like my brothers when they were young so they could brag about their boo boos to their friends," there was the slip of a tiny smirk at the end.

Blinking he looked to Mariah. He had forgotten she was there. "Pardon the boyish laugh, Must be shock or something" Heh, yeah ...shock.

She smirked over to Mariah with a nod then looked up to Aiden as she finished. "Indeed. I think it is time to get both you and the beast to the cottage for the night."

Right, she was Druid trained and there was something just off in that moment unreserved that excuses only made her more suspicious. Maybe he was mentally slow, certainly Vanessa would not say so of her brother. His mind to always stay young as his body grew old.

"I think he might be done with acting like a brat." He bit his lip slightly worried at the silence. "And yeah, the travel here was interesting with'em." A small yawn broke apart closed lips as his hand covered his mouth.

Oh..Aiden's was quite the story. An interesting one and probably funny one who'd been there to see the beginning of his predicament. Standing up, she offered to help Aiden up and smiled to Mariah. "It was so good to see you again."

He even yawned like a kid. Now she was too curious not to test her theory. "I'm going to kiss you on the lips, Aiden, and make all the pain go away," as she started to rise from her crouch to see if he squirmed yelling cooties or the like. Eyes dead set on this mission were on his.

His facial expression changed. He didn't know what to do other then express shock. He couldn't go anywhere because of his ankle and with Van setting right there he'd trip over her. "Wh-what?" He stumbled over his own words.

"You heard me," slow little amused smirk as she was to her feet and taking a step closer.

Eyes went wide at Mariah's claim, she looked at her and shook her head. "No, no..." Glance to Aiden then back to Mariah. Not quite sure why she would do that. "I'm not sure ten year olds believe in kisses make pain go away anymore..." And at ten he wasn't interested in kisses. Or better not be!

She would get to Vanessa once this bit of play was done. Which had her stop right there. Lucky Aiden, "so he is mentally ten in an older body," putting it kindly. Then back to Aiden, "I wont kiss you, don't worry on it."

He gave a soft gulp and looked to Van. Looked like the cat was out of the bag. A soft sigh fell from his throat. This got to be the most interesting thing to happen to him. "I woke up and my body aged ahead of my mind...after a weird dream."

If he thought kissing girls was as good as cooties, she felt kissing a ten year old at her age.. well it was totally worse than cooties and totally YUCK!

She blinked at Mariah and nodded, then realized how that must have sounded. She nodded to what Aiden said and smirked back to Mariah. "Aye, it's true. He went to sleep a ten year old in the proper body, and woke up like this. But his mind hadn't aged with his body."

"So.." canting her head just a touch, "it is not a natural physical condition?" She thought on that.. "it might be possible for one to reverse it if you wish. There are ones here of magical powers."

Aiden looked to Van then to Mariah. He wasn't sure if he should take the offer or not.

She looked at Aiden and shrugged. "It's up to you if you want to try, Aiden."

"I don't mind the older body, wish I wasn't so shy and childish...I already know how to fight like an adult after all...just have bad luck." He looked to his ankle as if that wasn't obvious.

"Think on it and let me know. I'll get in touch with one that knows more than I do in this area. They could either shrink your body to match or escalate your mind to around twenty. Though you lose those teen years. That bad luck might change with a more mature mind. Seems that is stuck back there too."

Vanessa was going to keep quiet. Aiden was old enough to decide what he wanted, so this choice would be his to make. Though if he wanted to talk about it, he could always talk to her.

She gave a slight shrug. "Can't say they can do it either other than there is one here that got two ladies to see again after being blind and cured one of partial vamp blood."

Aiden hadn't thought about missing that whole section of his life, but he was tired of all the bad luck and needed to move on with his life. However being a kid, he could get away with a lot more trouble. He continued to think deeply on this. What would Jarick do? He thought about his vampire friend he had met on his travels. He had the same problem as himself...only the opposite. "If I was older I could be there more for Van." A smile crossed his face. "I wouldn't mind the older body." He may have the mind of a child but he had the heart of gold.

And it wasn't as easy as it sounded but a complicated process that was as unique as the individual. "It's not a bad looking one but kind of empty without the mind that fits it..." which was the truth in how she saw it.

She smiled down to Aiden. "But I don't want you to miss the adventures of being a child and a teenager. Those are great years to experience, Aiden." She reached a hand out to ruffle his hair some.

"I understand, but there are so many things that I want to do that I cant as a kid. I honestly wouldn't mind in the least!" He was thinking about it more, before those cheeks of his became covered in a hue of pink, then he shook his head. "Am I really that childish?" He laughed.

"Well, yes." She couldn't explain it to him but one that was the age he look would have been more like Riley, all hormones and don't anyone kid another about the shy ones. They were the worse.

"You have time to think about it, Aiden. If your concern is just for me, you know I'm just happy to have you around and I want only the same for you."

She helped get the stuff back to the kitchen so it was not left out and easier clean up for Hazel. Once back out she finished off her drink, cloak still on her. "I'll let you two get some rest," talking time too without her there. "Just let me know.." there was no rush obviously. "Good night Vanessa, nice meeting you Aiden. Sleep well and heal." As she was heading for the side door, more backwards so she faced them.

"Its not just for you, but it helps me think that way. I know you can take care of yourself after the chase you gave me that night." He laughed softly. His eyes flashed back to Mariah "Thank you again." He said just as soft as he had laughed. He gave a slight shrug and looked back to Van.

She smiled to Mariah, giving her a wave. "Be safe, Mariah and I will see you again soon." Hopefully. Turning attention back to Aiden, she smirked some. "That was more the guard than myself. But you can think on it after a good night's sleep. Let's go to the cottage and I will show you your room."

"Yes, you will," lifting a hand in wave before she spun around and was out the door. Deciding to sleep at her woolen shop tonight.

"Sounds good." Another yawn fell from him. It was getting late for him after all.



Date: 10-24-09
Poster: Segan Quinn
Post # 35

A Night Not to Remember

Segan had been drinking though more the long day that found him sprawled out on the couch not far from the hearth, aside the wingback chairs. One leg and arm hung down off the front to touch the floor while the other foot was hooked over one end. Hair had come loose from where it had been tied back, tunic somewhat crumpled for tossing a couple times. At least his boots were off as he'd not put them on Alex's couch. Hand knitted socks were worn and one worn through with a big toe showing. Trousers were of black wool.

Vanessa had been tending to Aiden for a good portion of the day. He was left at the cottage with Winter, incase he woke up and needed anything, the falcon could come and get her if needed, but she needed some time for her nightly ritual! Not sure what she'd do without her nightly mugs of cider and doses of company. Her walk was quick enough, up the stairs and through the door quietly so as not to startle anyone or possibly hit them with the door. A bright smile to Alex. "Ave, Alex." And approach to the bar spied Segan spread out on the couch. Brow quirked upward, she looked at him for a moment. Was he asleep?
For such an unguarded moment, he looked like a peaceful little boy. Next moment he was up, standing on the couch fighting with something before tripping off into a roll once he hit the floor. That had him waking up with sweat on his brow as his stood up disoriented a few moments, hands half yanking at his tunic away from his neck where it had bunched up.

He looked asleep, and curiously she had ventured closer, luckily not too close as he woke up fighting with something in his head. That was enough to stop her in her tracks, eyes widened some. "Segan, are you alright?" Worry laced the tone of her voice and words, taking a step closer but not too close until he'd reoriented himself with the moment.

A hand lifted as fingers combed through dampen blond strands taming them back from his face. The here and now registering slowly, taking his eyes from a glassy look to focused in. "Aye, I think so," obviously still getting hold of reality versus the dreamscape which was just as real a few moments ago. Shaking his head as his hand lowered with the tip of a smile. "Seems I was having a dream." Moving past the episode, "how are you doing tonight?" Which clarity of blue eyes were taking her in, in a discreet dipping glance and up again.

She continued to watch him with a bit of concern, even as the focus returned to those lovely blue eyes of his. "It would seem that you were." A light smile given as she finally reached to unclasp her cloak to be removed. The dress beneath a fair shade of pastel blue with an empire waist and long sleeves. "I am quite well. How are you tonight?" Curious why he was asleep at the tavern, but perhaps that was none of her business.

"Tired but seems I took care of that," wry smile as he was around behind her, words coming close to her ear as he took the cloak as it was detached. Hands curving over her shoulders and close enough she could feel his breath feather in warmth down the side of her neck as he spoke. There one moment and gone the next as he was away to hang her cloak to a peg just within the door then back again.

Those warmly spoken words were just enough to raise chill bumps across her skin and cause a very slight blush. Slight enough it could have been blamed on the cooler air outside then coming into the warmth of the tavern. "It would seem so, yes." Clearing her throat soft, she watched as he took her cloak to hang and smiled softly. "Though the question now remains, why here?" Curious tilt of her head, she brushed a few curls off her shoulder and stepped towards the counter for her cider.

Which had an infectious smile surface, one that reached ear to ear a moment. "Because I took my meal here tonight then filled up on Hazel's apple pie." One he had won in the last race. There was some left over too which was covered setting on the bar. "I remember taking off my boots so my feet didn't sweat and next I was on the floor."

Brows both rose with understanding and brightened smile. "Ah..full puppy syndrome. Fully belly, warm fire. All is good conditions for a good rest." Her mug lifted for a small drink.

"And a few drinks of the pure." Like a whole bottle of it but that information wasn't added nor the reason. He indicated the chairs in front of the hearth, as he'd not chance getting too comfortable on the couch again.  "Care to have a seat and join me?" Another bottle had been gotten and sat near his glass which had been abandoned an hour ago.. two.. three? He wasn't sure.

"Of course." Spoken to the invitation. No comment to the pure, just a smile as she moved over to the seat. She looked thoughtful for a moment, feeling as though she was forgetting something. Whatever it was, it would come to her. "How have things been since last seeing you?" A couple nights ago? Pretty sure that was accurate. Sounded right to her.

"Not bad, took another excursion down the coast," pouring himself a drink before bottle was set aside and the glass within his grasp. "Got back in early this evening so had my meal here." She knew the rest of the story. "Have you sold more birds? Life throw any new curves or all smooth sailing and no changes?" Easing back into the comfort of the seat though he was still feeling a bit warm.

Oh! That refreshed her memory. She smiled to him as she set her mug aside. "Aye, I did. And my brother has arrived to Heathfield and will be staying with me for a short while." Up from her seat as she spoke, she crossed to where her cloak was hung and went digging through the pockets for what she'd almost forgotten. "How was the journey down the coast? Did you acquire anything interesting." The item sought was withdrawn from the cloak pocket, she returned to her seat near the hearth.

"Not too eventful but we caught a bitter storm that reminded us why we'll not be sailing by the end of December." Watching her the while in an idle fashion and certainly curious. "Your brother, how many do you have?" Trying to recall as he was pulling a blank tonight, though he remembered she had a married twin sister.

"Just the one." Attention returned to him still with a smile. "He's not a blood brother. Sort of adopted by promise. I'm hoping he'll be up and about again soon. This is for you." Holding out the item she'd just fetched, wrapped in dark silk cloth.

Eion had been out riding with Aiden Collins, putting Diablo through some tests so they could see what type of training the horse needed. After taking the stallion to the stables at the castle, he cleaned up and headed for the Thistle. He'd be heading to the Manor tonight to stay over and help with final preparations for the winter. With permission of course. Dressed comfortably in an Aran sweater, in a natural shade, black pants tucked into knee high knight's boots and a long coat of navy, he was quit comfortable. As he stepped in through the front door, he spotted Segan and Vanessa and lifted his hand in a wave. He'd join them after he got himself a drink.

He was back up from his seat as brows rose in surprise. "For me," in lowered tones under his breath as he took the offered dark silk, "adopted by promise, sounds intriguing." A smile followed as it sunk in and enjoying the idea she had thought of him. Blues eyes held hers until the item was in his hand and dipping there as he opened it up. Giving a low whistle under his breath as he was impressed. A thumb running over the piece that seemed to have something to do with time yet was a compass. Very different. "Where did you come upon this?" For some reason it might help knowing. Catching of his brother, "Eion, come join us," being at the hearth at this point.

Vanessa held Segan's gaze with a small smile as she settled back into her seat once more, waiting to see what he thought of the interesting contraption. She hadn't really been sure what to make of it, but she knew it was at least part compass, and unlike one she'd ever seen before. "A man came to the gardens earlier looking for a bird for his daughter. No coin to offer in payment, so he offered that instead. It reminded me of you." A wave given to Eion, with a smile. "Ave, Eion."

"It is primary a compass but it has the dial from a sundial, a part of a math compass and the markings of clock. Some kind of nautical time piece. Very different indeed," which he was still studying it as he stood there, his drink forgotten and would show his brother once he joined them.

"I'll be right there." He lifted a hand, then turned to the tender and accepted the glass Alex had placed on the bar. After lifting it up, he crossed the room to join the two.

"Ah..well you're understanding it better than I did when first looking at it." She laughed some and picked up her mug. "How are you, Eion?"

"Not something of the likes I've ever seen before but certainly intriguing." Which he would set on the table near his drink for Eion's perusal once he was ready, taking his seat in the interim. His drink collected to kick back then relax back.

"Well enough. And you, Vanessa?" He glanced at the object Segan held as he sat, then picked it up. "Are you staying warm so far?" Not that the days had been extremely cold.

It had been a while since Kuwan was to the Thistle. She'd not see any of the Quinns in a while nor had the twins father gotten married that they might leave for the colonies then be back again. She wore heavier leather leggings of a light tan trimmed in fur as well the same of her tunic. Hair was partially braided with the length in black stark contrast against white and tan down her back. She stepped within with a small basket over her one forearm as dark eyes were quickly in note of who was within. "Good evening Segan. Eion. Miss." Words carefully spoken as she was over to Eion to offer him the basket. "I have baked you and your brothers some rabbit pies." Words soft with a warm edge to them as dark eyes lifted to meet his. She had missed them she realized now seeing them again.

She was glad to hear that Segan liked the gift. If it hadn't reminded her of him, she'd have likely declined the exchange. "I am doing well, and keeping warm enough. No freezing yet." Her attention went to the woman who'd entered, offering her a smile and small dip of her head. "Ave, miss." Not one she'd met yet. Silence as she sipped from her mug, watching quietly for the moment.

He stood when Kuwan entered and them came close. "Kuwan, it's good to see you. This is Vanessa, who just recently became a part of the lands. Vanessa, this is Kuwan, a friend of the family." He looked back at the Native lass and accepted the basket. "Thank you. We'll enjoy them as always. Won't you join us?"  He might even keep one or two for Conor to have.

Her hand rose hesitantly before touching briefly against Eion's cheek. There was the feel of only him for a fleeting second then gone as her hand lowered and she turned to the woman. "It is my pleasure to meet paths with you Van-essa." Having a little difficulty with her name but she managed the few s's. "You have good friends in the Quinn brothers. They are brave warriors."

Vanessa looked towards Kuwan. "A pleasure to meet you, Kuwan." A small grin to the attempts of pronouncing her name. Usually it was Vanessa that had problems pronouncing things. Looking to each of the brothers, she nodded. "Aye, that I do. Blessed am I to have such good friends." Smile to Eion and fond glance to Segan, she motioned to the still unoccupied chairs. "Would you care to join us?"

Claws on wood, was all the sounds he made as he walked up the steps to the tavern. The large black creature put its hands on the doors and pulled them open, slipping through and into the building, looking around, scenting the air around him. Several large breaths through his nose before turning red eyes to the interior, wandering in further.

A hand touched upon the medicine bag that hung about her neck, small and under her tunic but she knew exactly what it contained as she went silent. Dark eyes slanting as she noticed the black creature.

Once Eion was done taking a look over the artifact, for certainly that was what it had to be. No ordinary compass was it and slipped it into a deep pocket of his tunic so he didn't forget or lose it. "I am waiting on King Peter about sailing you to Innis Daingneach if you still wish to see the tropical island before the winter sets in. Anyone else we know that wishes to go as well." Which meant his brother as blue eyes turned there a moment to make sure he understood that. He caught sight of the red eye black thing at the bar, "evening," giving it a whirl in the hopes that it understood. Hard to tell these days.

Vanessa donned a bright smile to that. She'd almost forgotten about it with things happening over the other things going on for her. "Oh! I would still like very much to go." A look given to the other that entered with a nod of her head.

He came to stand in front of the bar, looking around a bit, scenting the air still. He turned and looked over at the figure that greeted him, raising a hand without a word. Then he turned and pulled himself up onto the bar stool, nearly too small to sit on, clawed hands on the bar. A single finger tap tap tapping away, peering about. No real armor to speak of, only a hand axe hanging at his right hip.

Alex, an older gentleman tended the bar, was over to set aside the rag he'd been wiping it down with. He would see what the creature wanted and serve him up, explaining there was no cost here for the way the monarchy had it set up. They didn't carry weird stuff like bloodwyne.

He had been a bit surprised that Kuwan had touched his cheek but he sat again. Watching the being that entered a moment he finally looked away. "How have you been, Kuwan? Have you traveled to the colonies and back already?"

"No," her voice near a whisper as she moved to take the farthest seat from the bar near the hearth. There were words in her native tongue in a chant that sounded more musical than anything else before they ceased. "We wait on Lord McDonough to marry for his sons wish not to miss great event."

The large black creature asked for only simple things. Some water and a slab of raw meat- on two pieces of bread. Yeah, raw meat which, yum. After the order was placed he placed his hands on his thighs, looking down at his feet, tapping the claws of one foot against the other.


He would be served the raw meat as requested without blinking an eye. Alex probably saw many a strange sight in his sixty some years. Water was pure from the mountains. Once Hazel set out the plate, it was served up to him. Of course raw, no time was needed in cooking it. "Good evening, welcome to the Thistle," Segan finally added in once the man was seen to. A distracted study there of the one as thoughts wandered to years ago in the Amazons.

"Ah, I see. I hope you don't have to wait too long, or the weather might be too bad for travel." He glanced at the bar again, then offered Kuwan a slight smile to reassure before he too greeted the creature. "Good evening."

"I would not mind not going until the spring. I wish not to spend the whole winter there where it will be even more bitter cold than here."



Date: 10-24-09
Poster: Segan Quinn
Post # 36

He grunted and set to eating, taking a nice big bite before looking over at the man wishing him a good evening. Mouth full of food, he stared blankly for a moment before swallowing hard without chewing, licking crumbs from its chops before speaking in a deep, gravely voice. "Good evening."

Slight smile with a minute dip of his head as he would not continue any conversation and distract the one from his food. Not to mention he didn't seem to be the social type of fellow.

He looked around a bit and then returned to eating, taking much smaller bites incase he was greeted or spoken to again, chewing his food this time, washing only the bigger bites down with water.

Vanessa blinked from her daze and glanced around briefly to regain her focus. Maybe she should have gotten tea to wake her up some.

Not to be rude as her hand eased away from the hidden medicine bag, "fair night," her voice lifting enough to be heard before she looked between the quiet brothers and lady.

He polished off the food and downed the rest of the water with heavy gulps before standing up and pushing the plate with the glass on top of it towards the back of the counter before stepping down off the bar. This didn't seem to be the type of place he thought it was, but at least the chow was free. The heavy figure stalking towards the door.

Food was good for Hazel was an excellent cook. Seemed the man came in just for the meal in his travels as he watched him head for the door, "fair night," repeating Kuwan's greeting as it seemed to fit a farewell too as the man was out the door quickly.

Realizing what she'd missed, she watched the stranger go and shook her head. "Odd..." Mug rose for a small drink before looking to the others.

"Aye, don't think I've seen such a species as that though have heard stories of hairy human looking animals." Which was about how the one look. "At least he didn't go spastic and start swinging his axe or trying to carry off the ladies.."

Grin quirked towards Segan. "Wendigos and other furred creatures are quite common in some places, or so I have heard."

"That would have been a disaster." For the creature.  He realized he had been quite tense while the creature was here and forced himself to relax.  He wasn't that use to magic and odd beings yet.

"Is that what it was? Here I thought I drank too much in some of the bars I ended up in." Grinning enough to bring about a dimple that was turned her way.

"It could have been something similar, though I'm not sure it was a wendigo." She hadn't managed a good enough look at it really to say for sure, but flashed a grin back to him. "How is Diablo's work coming along?" Inquired to Eion.

He looked at Kuwan and smiled. "It's gone now and not likely to be back, Kuwan." And now his attention was back on Vanessa. "He learns quickly and since his training is more strenuous, he seems less prone to nip."

He sat up, leaning a little forward as he looked into her eyes, "what has you so distracted tonight?" She had been and it wasn't like her.

She thought on that for a moment. "Does he nip when in a halter?" A smile given to Kuwan before attention was caught by Segan. "Oh...Just a momentary lapse of thought towards my brother and something we were discussing earlier."

She was still staring at the door when she whipped the dark eyed glance back to Eion. "How did you know?" Maybe body language. "He looked like the demon that snatches souls before they can get to the hunting grounds. Or takes ones long before they should go like a thief in night shadows even when warded off."

"You looked very wary of him when he came in, and you were tense." Body language. Blue eyes shifted to Vanessa and he nodded. "He tries." Not so successful then but the horse did try.

Catching part of the other conversation with the shift of focus upon Vanessa then Eion. "What is this Diablo?"

"Have you tried biting him back?" Might have seemed she joking, but she wasn't. Looking to Kuwan, she smiled again. "Diablo is Eion's new mount."  Then covered her mouth. She didn't mean to answer for Eion.

She didn't know the word mount in that context. "He is something you wear?" She looked confused!

"He doesn't try to bite me. Just everyone else." He chuckled, not minded that Vanessa had answered. "Mount in this case means horse. Diablo is being trained as a warhorse for me."

"A good punch to his nose should do it." Giving a nod but he was enjoying his drink as he listened.

"Oh, this is different," feeling silly now as blush touched her cheeks, not that it could really been seen for the reddish bronze hue. "He is big horse that bites?" She wasn't sure she wanted to get near his new beast.

"Aye, he does, but he's learning not to." He looked at Segan and nodded. "Sometimes that's the only way."

Smirk to Segan she looked between Kuwan and Eion, settling back in her seat. "A bound bar might help break him of the habit."

"That's been suggested. If he continues to attempt it, then that's one thing I'll try."

She nodded lightly and looked back to Segan who was oddly quiet this evening himself. She pulled a small pin from her hair with a smirk and threw it at him, aiming towards his chest.

Yes he was and seemed to have a sheen of sweat along his hairline again. Next he knew there was a pin sticking in his tunic as he glanced down then up. "Is that your proverbial gauntlet and now we are at war," though he was up lunging for her like he turned into the proverbial monster that would devour her.

He was lunging at her?! She attempted to get up out of her seat and out of the way before he reached her. "If a hair pin makes for war, I can't imagine what water would be promises of!" Giggling, setting her mug down just incase.

He really shouldn't lunge that way when he was having a periodic flashback syndrome caused by a fever taken in the Amazon. He half tripped, and ended up down on his knees with his head in her lap as hands caught the side of her chair in breaking the fall otherwise.

Oh my! She almost dropped her mug but managed to hold it all the while cheeks turned a very warm shade of red. The mug was set aside though, reaching down, one hand to a shoulder, the other to his other arm until she noted the sheen of sweat, then went to his brow instead. "Segan? Are you alright?" His skin was hotter to the touch than it should have been, rousing a small wince from her. "You're warm with fever."

Eyes were a little dazed. "I think not," realizing it had been coming on over the last number of days. He had hoped it wouldn't really overtake like it had before and since the first time. He struggled up to a sitting position against her seat on the floor and closed his eyes for a few minutes while getting his bearings.

"You think no and I think you are." Shifting to the side opposite where he leaned, she eased up from the chair and went to the bar, asking Alex for a damp cloth of cool water. When it was brought out, she thanked him and took it over to where Segan was seated. The cloth folded a couple times long way, she crouched down next to him and laid it across his brow. "You should be in bed beneath some covers with plenty of sleep, Segan Quinn."

He meant that he didn't think he was all right, though now it only confused him. "Aye, I think that is why I fell asleep here." Though he dreaded sleeping for he went into wild flashbacks. He had retrieved her hair pin which he offered up to her. "I should get some sleep. Maybe seek a healer here." He heard there were some good ones in these lands.

"Well, you're in no condition to walk to the manor nor your ship. You will have to rest here, and I will go to the cottage and see what herbs I have until a healer can come to you." She looked to Eion. "Would you help get him to a room?"

Segan didn't like being weak and so would fight whatever malady had hold of him. Standing at this point as the cloth slipped from his forehead and managed to grab on its way down. He used it to wipe his face which seemed to help some. Running it around the back of his neck especially.

He had stepped out briefly and returned to find Segan and Vanessa talking, then Segan attempting to stand. "Aye, I can do that." Once Herself found out, she'd be here like a shot. "You're a bit disoriented, Segan." He collected a key from Alex before joining his brother.

She rose to her feet. "I have some herbs on me." She always carried a pouch and at least something to start him on until other could be gotten. She was over to give a mixture to Alex to prepare into a tea.

"You want to drink it down here, or in your room?" He didn't think even Segan could argue with these two lasses once they decided he needed help.

Her arm loosely around Segan's to help him up as Eion offered his assistance, she smiled to Kuwan. "Have you an aspen bark and lemon thyme?"

"Yes, and some mint leaves. A few others like rose hips. It is combination." One she had been taught.

Unfortunately, Eion knew how quickly a fever could sap your energy. His concern was readily seen in his eyes, even if he didn't say much. Quiet support until his brother was tended to.

He leaned on her heavily in a way Eion should probably take over. "See to the ship that she is not damaged." Hard to tell who he was talking to for he seemed to look right through his brother. The words sounded desperate and boding no argument, it was the voice of a captain demanding an order be seen through.

"May I have some to make some tea for Segan? Do you by chance have any aloe leaflets?" She looked to Eion. "Let's move him to a bed, then I will make him some tea."

"Come on, Captain Quinn. We'll get ye into yer quarters and have the surgeon tend to ye." Dropping into an accent, he took over guiding Segan up the stairs and to a room. He left the door open so they could see where they were when the tea was ready. Once he got his brother onto the bed, he pulled off his boots but didn't undress him further.

"Yes," which she gave the packet over to her instead of Alex, one that was wrapped up in a fine cheesecloth which would seep in hot water then squeezed out. "I do not have these aloe leaflets." Though Alex probably had something, a salve made by Andrew that could be used for a few different purposes.

The pouch was taken with a grateful expression. "Thank you, Kuwan. I will replenish your stock when I return to the cottage." Then would help Eion get Segan to a room. The aloe she intended to use to keep lips and cheeks from drying out from the fever. Once to the room, she left Eion supporting Segan long enough to turn down the bed so that he could rest, and helped set Segan on the side. "I will make his tea while you get him settled."

"There is no hurry but maybe an exchange sometime. These aloe leaflets." She had plenty more back at their village. Though she would linger in case she could be of any help.

He was out as soon as he hit the bed. Much like earlier on the couch except he was in a deep sleep this time without dreams. Yet.

Once Segan was seated, she took her leave of the room so that Eion could get him settled and returned to the commons. She'd heard Kuwan and smiled as she came back out. "You would take aloe in exchange?" She requested a pot of hot water and mug from Alex and looked back to the Native woman.

"Yes, another time." She would not put anyone out this evening. If the woman wished to replenish, not that she needed to, it was more she was curious of this aloe.

Eion merely nodded and made sure his brother was settled in. He fell asleep so quickly it almost seemed he had a bit too much potcheen but this wasn't the norm. After Segan was settled in, he sat in one of the chairs there and waited for Vanessa to return. He decided to send a message to the manor instead of leaving.

Vanessa nodded. "I will give you an aloe plant then so that you may grow more." Aloe was awesome! Once she had the hot water and mug, she returned to the room and moved to the opposite side of the bed than Eion was sitting. Mug and kettle set down, she looked at the pouch Kuwan had given her before dropping it into the kettle to seep and mix with the water. "Eion, if you want me to stay with him so you can perhaps deliver any messages or bring some comforts, I will." She figured that being brothers, Eion would want to stay, but offered incase he wanted to get some things or do anything else he felt the need.

"Thank you Vanessa," which in time she would find gifts in return. Handmade things. She had planned to stay the night and so got a key from Alex. She peeked in on Eion. "I will be here if needed." So he knew, and Vanessa too if she was staying. Getting underfoot was not desirable however so she showed Eion the key number before heading there to get some rest in the meantime.

"I'll send a message to the manor so they know we're staying here." He wasn't sure how long this would last but didn't want Gran coming right away. "Then I'll be back." He smiled at Kuwan and nodded. "Thank you," after reading the number. "Rest well, Kuwan."

Both got a quick reassuring smile before she was off, quick on moccasin feet and the click of a distant door shutting quietly.

"Thank you, Kuwan." She'd earlier taken the cloth that Segan had caught off his brow and now returned that to where it had been earlier before taking to the closet for a couple extra blankets to cover him in.

He headed downstairs to speak to Alex and have one of the lads take the message for him Then he'd return to the room. He'd likely stay all night and sleep in one of the chairs. Or on the floor. Couldn't leave his brother, even with trusting Vanessa. He was too worried.



Date: 10-26-09
Poster: Broch Cunningham
Post # 37

Home Again

Vanessa felt much better after a night's sleep (part of the day) and knowing that Segan was on his way to being his usual self. Having done her usual things around the cottage and tended to Aiden, she came to the Thistle bearing sweet treats for Alex and Hazel and whomever else wished for them. Alex and Hazel took care of so many, she thought it would be nice to bring them something sweet to show appreciation. So the large basket of various Halloween decorated goodies was on the bar, aside from where she was seated and talking with Alex quietly. With cooler weather, she dressed accordingly in an off white dress and her hair pulled back in a snood.

The three brothers were finally home although Logan took off to the manor to take care of some things and let Laura know they were back. She was probably a wreck worrying over them. Broch wasn't ready to be at the manor and so headed for the Thistle with Mike. "It was a guid job done, aye, brot'er." Having reined in his stallion who was probably as weary as his master, he was down and handing one of the stable lads a coin for the extra good treatment of his steed. "We've a bit o' coin tae bae figur'in 'ow tae spend it." Raising his arms above his head a moment before swinging them back down to limber up from the long ride then headed up the steps.

"Aye it was, but I'm glad to be back." He would be glad to see Laura but a drink or three were needed. It was time to relax. "Vadoma did well, didn't she?" He was glad she hadn't been a lass prone to panic. That would have made their job harder. He gave his brother a grin, "and she seemed to be liking you."

"Aye, a spunky lass s'e bae," just his tone showed the admiration for the woman they got to work with on this mission. "She bae a credit tae t'e King an' Regent." Large hand met the solid oaken door in pressing open as he continued their conversation while heading in. "I bae impressed wit' 'er, aye. Burnished green eyes didn't miss much even w'ere he didn't need to be so aware. It came naturally. Smile easily tucked in the thick beard. "Eh Alex, we bae back an' t'e job done, mae brot'ers bae mak'in me proud." And they had but that might be the first Mike heard it said in particular. "Guid eve' tae ye lass," giving the woman a nod as he reached the bar and settling into a lean near instantly. Facing her way mostly with that easy going smile.

When the door pressed open, Vanessa passed a glance over her shoulder to those who entered and offered a smile. Seated on a stool, legs were tucked on the seat beneath her comfortably while she was leaned lightly onto the bar. "Eve, gentlemen." Free hand offered a small wave to both before lifting her mug for a small drink, which wasn't quick as a smile was returned to Broch for his smile.

His smile grew when he heard Broch and he lifted a hand to Alex. "He did us proud as well. Good to see you again, Alex. Evenin', Miss." The smile was given to the lass too before he settled in for a drink.

He removed the overcloak that probably needed a good washing from caked on dirt, hay in pieces here and there. Warm thing however so when they ran into the drizzling it didn't soak through. A clean ribbed tunic of a deep russet was worn over a white billow sleeve shirt, brown pants and boots that had been a dark brown wore the sign of weather and earthen marks. A colorful leaf caught in the back where it folded over  just above his calves. "I bae Broc' Cunning'am and mae brot'er Mike. We've come 'ome."

Mug tipped towards Mike before finally taking a drink and setting it on the counter. When the introductions were given, the smile returned, looking to each in turn with a nod. "Pleasure to meet you both. I'm Vanessa Baltimore." She motioned to the basket. "Help yourselves to holiday sweets and enjoy the return home."

Irish accent was prominent in Broch when he felt like it. Words just rolled smoothly off his tongue, "it bae mae pleasure Vanessa Baltimore tae meet yea. Bit o' a pretty lassie yea bae, a sig't fir sore eyes." And very pleasant with her offer of sweets. Not that he was much of a sweet eater, he would not turn down the bit. Shifting up from his lean where Alex left the glass of potcheen for him and the bottle, he was over to pick out one of the treats and consume in two bites on his way back to his spot.

"Thank you, Miss Baltimore." He slipped off his own cloak, revealing a heavy cable knit sweater of blue worn with black pants and riding boots of finely tooled black leather. After her offer, he too, took one of the treats. And ate it nearly as quickly. "Mmmm, good."

Nice to know they weren't going to keel over. Aiden had been her test subject earlier. Pretty sure he put himself in a sugar coma. The compliment gained a little blush from her. Just a hint. "So you two are returning from where?" Curious since Broch mentioned they were returning home.

"A bit o' t'e wild lands, Kildare. It is said t'ere bae beasts in its nort'west corner t'at can take down a mon afore he even knows 'e bae dead." He was watching her reaction as certainly he could be exaggerating, embellishing as a good Irishman would do, or telling a truth on a rumor spread with real fears by the villagers he had encountered.

Brow quirked initially, trying to remember what she'd heard about Kildare, but the expression didn't last long before golden eyes lacking pupils went wide, surely taking what the man said to heart. "Why would you go hunting creatures with such a reputation?" Squeaked out with disbelief and concern.

He didn't say anything, just hid his grin by taking a drink of potcheen. Of course, he couldn't say anything for a few seconds. Until his voice came back.

He cleared his throat but certainly those burnished green eyes held a definite devilish glint. "We nae went t'ar yet." Not looking at his brother but certainly implying they might. "We bae on a bounty 'unting job. Mae and mae brot'ers. Bag'ed 'em too wit'out t'e need o' kill'in 'im." Which in his book was a plus. Broch and death were bedfellows and he found that having been dead for the length of time he was, earthbound, he now had abilities he didn't have before too. He confessed up as to not lead her too far astray, "t'ar bae rumor o' entities left over from t'e Witc' t'at didn't get taken wit' 'er w'en Leoric cast 'er out from t'is eart'."

A glance given to Mike, looking for something that would say there was not truth in this tale, but really, she couldn't find that hint. When he gave up the last of his tale for truth, she huffed a breath of relief and a tilt of her head. "So you intend to go looking for them then." Which she frowned to. She supposed it was better for the protection, but surely there had to be other ways to catch such creatures.

"It might be an adventure to try, aye?" His accent wasn't near as heavy as his brother's. He gave a slight nod. "It might be necessary. To help out." And not a bad way to earn coin.

A look given to Mike, she just smirked slightly. "I suppose so. If the beings are created of a witch's magic, then I hope you have some of the same to help you."

"Only if asked. Aye, bout it mig't take more t'an our expertise. Iffin t'ey bae mystical creatures o' destruction." Though obviously the brothers had offered their continual services if needed.

He grinned at Vanessa, then studied her a moment. "You be new here, or at least since we were here last. Are you a resident, visitor or just passing through?"

"I know someone who might be able to help." A small smile given before looking to Mike with a nod. "I'm a new resident. A couple months now." Or somewhere around that. She didn't much keep track.

"And what did you set yourself to doing?" He knew most that came here found something to do within a short amount of time.

She had this wonderful idea of scaring people. Or trying. Her horse was already put up, a little bit ago before she snuck away and out of sight. Why? To put on her costume. A simple white sheet with holes for the eyes. She'd snuck up to one of the windows when she was done, making sure she could.. actually see. Then? The 'ghost' had her white face all pressed against the window itself. She was trying not to laugh, really.

"Yea dae, w'o?" Which had him tip his head to the side as his glass was lifted to kick back its contents then down again on the bar. More was poured before setting the bottle aside. "Welcome yea bae tae t'e lands and acceptance."  His w'o sounding like some distant owl of the night.

"I train and house birds at the Avian Gardens." She had found something to do as quickly as possible lest she go crazy with nothing to do. Looking back to Broch. "Her name is Zira Faust. She too is a new resident, though she's in Ballicastle. She was quite the revered mage in Eldyn, where we came from, and thank you." Her smile returned with the welcome. She really enjoyed Heathfield and was happy she'd made the move.

Brows lifted as he caught sight of something in the window from its reflected image in the mirror behind the bar. "Yea lost any o' yea s'eets, Mic'ael?" Like one of his was hanging outside the window. "I will give t'e name tae Leoric w'en t'ey gae to investigate." And he would too of any and all whose talents might be needed to defeat these things.

The ghost girl was frozen in place. Though, that might be hard to notice. It just appeared like she was determined to spook and scare. When she could move, she ran for the door and inside. She tried to keep the sheet from tangling around her. Not easy! "Oh my!" She squealed it out while fighting to get the sheet off.

"Not me." He glanced up at the window then the door. Seemed Hallow's Eve came a little early tonight. "What kind of birds exactly?" That squeal was familiar.

She knew well enough from first hand witness that Zira could help. The woman had some incredible gifts. "Her intended might be able to help as well. He's quite talented with Alchemy." A glance cast to the window, missing the ghostly face in the window but not the one that came running inside. That was..kind of funny. Enough to giggle quietly. "I train all sorts. Though for you, perhaps you'd be more tilted towards birds of prey for hunters and scouts?"

"Aye, I would be interested at that. Our youngest brother does most of the scouting ahead, but it wouldn't hurt to have extra eyes to help out. How do you go about training 'em?" He was watching the attempting untangling of ghostly sheets as he asked.

He was fast for his size as he was around and over to scoop up the sheet like a sack over his shoulder and bring it over to the bar. "Look w'at I caug't, Mic'ael.."

"Verbal commands to follow during or before flight. Though my training is fairly easy as I have a sense of communication with them..." She too watching the woman in the sheet.

She almost had control over the thing, but Broch caught her up. She squeaked in repeat, sounding like a mouse. But her arms flung around Broch's neck for a tight hug. "Look what I caught, Michael!" Didn't that voice sound so familiar? Until she fell in a drape over the shoulder, at least. She deflated, groaned, then fought the sheet again.

He returned the hug before he set her down on a stool while grabbing up the sheet to lift off and over setting it on the bar. "Vanessa meet Gaelle, t'e imp o' t'e lands."

She waggled her fingers towards Gaelle. "Pleasure to meet you."

Her hair was a little bit on the messy side when the sheet was removed. She twisted on the stool to face Vanessa, smiling towards her. "Nice to meet you."

"Are you going around scaring all the late nighters of the commons?" Inquired with curious humor as she sipped her drink again.

He just chuckled and continued to work on his potcheen, though he spoke again after taking a drink. "Eve, Gaelle." He was planning to visit the Gardens in a day or two though he'd likely talk to Logan about joining him.

He pretended to lick his hand which he ran down the messed up do Gaelle was sporting before sitting on his stool and behaving. Right.

"I couldn't sleep. I had thought of doing it earlier in the evening, with children, but I had forgotten.. Another time perhaps. Good evening Mich--" She slanted a look up at Broch, wide eyed in fact. Then she laughed. "Oh, well thank you.. for helping with my hair.. With your spit." Her nose wrinkled with her grin.

She smirked some, just watching the antics. "There are sweet treats if you'd like one." Motioning to the basket on the bar.

"Glad tae bae o' service," dipping his head with a grin tucked away in the beard before he was finishing off his drink. It was getting late and Laura would be waiting up for them even if Logan was long asleep like they should be.

"No thank you, but it was very nice of you to offer." She passed another smile over towards Vanessa. Her attention split between the three of them caused her gaze to constantly be on the move, but her attention lingered a little longer on Broch. "Maybe I can get you to braid it sometime." She snickered.

He snickered then looked back to Vanessa. "Do you have certain hours for the Gardens?"

"Yea bae feel'in adventurous t'ir Gaelle," splitting a smile her way before casting a notice on the conversation of the garden and the birds trained. Yes, he had been listening.

"Ah, but I always feel adventurous." Quietly. She twitched her nose, falling quiet as she listened to Michael and Vanessa.

"No." She smiled to him, shaking her head some, though blonde curls were well contained within the snood. "I usually work with the birds during the day, but anyone interested can come by anytime as long as the hours are not wee in the morn."

"And the birds don't get upset by the interruptions?" He didn't know much about birds other than those he hunted.

"T'at would bae a bit rude, aye. Wee 'ours, yea s'ould send t'e 'awks on t'em."

"The birds don't really keep much of a schedule, though the companions are more awake during the day than night." She smirked to Broch, giggling some. "The peacocks usually chase the unwanted away."

"Yea got peacock guards?" Now that was an amusing visual as he sat there with a smirk on his features.

"I remember geese doing the same on a farm I visited once. Mean buggers they were. And noisy."

She smiled as she listened, though she felt suddenly tired. And looked it.

She nodded with a bright smile. "They're really quite effective and have very sharp beaks."

"They have a noisy call too. Do you keep them all indoors during the colder months or are some outdoor birds year around?" He had finished his drink and placed the empty glass on the bar now as he spoke.

"They all remain outside in the flight cages. In the center I have heating spires that can be adjusted for the more tropical birds, to keep them nice and warm with treated tarps over the tops to keep the snow from falling in them."

She stood slowly, blinking her eyes. "I probably should try to rest.." Quietly. "It was nice to meet you, again, Vanessa."

A smile given to Gaelle. "It was nice to meet you too. I hope to see you again soon."

"Seems we should be heading back," dropping the accent but certainly the brogue was still there in the flow of his words. "We will get up to see these gardens for the birds soon."

"Definitely will have to come see." He smiled as he stood from his lean and stretched. He was ready to head back to the manor. "Good to see you again, Gaelle." He reached out to give her a easy tug to her hair, then nodded to Broch. "You read my mind."

A nod given to the two men. "It was a pleasure to meet you both, and welcome home. I look forward to your visit to the Gardens."

He was up collecting his cloak, "we best get back before Laura has waited too long in our getting back."

"She might be asleep sitting in her chair." He chuckled at the thought. Likely she had the servants ready their beds too and truth be told, he couldn't wait to sleep in his own bed.

Another smile for Vanessa, then her attention flicked to the brothers. "Good to see you too, Michael. I hope you both have pleasant dreams."

"Guid nig't Gaelle, guid nig't Gaelle..." singsong with a smile tucked as he headed for the door to open and hold.

"Good night, ladies." He grabbed his cloak as he made for the door, pulling it on and stepping outside. Horses had rested a bit and would be anxious for their own stable

She grinned hearing Broch. "The singing is going to make me fall asleep. " Murmured as she passed. Out she went a moment later.

All out and heading home!



Date: 10-27-09
Poster: Queen Honeee
Post # 38

A Rare Visit

It had been quite the day of playing with the birds and fitting Broch with a gift for his sister. An enjoyable day none the less. As was her norm, she was seated at the bar to keep company with Alex, listening to his reference stories to this and that of the past and enjoying them quite a bit. Nothing like sitting and listening to the stories of elders. Especially since Vanessa knew so little of Heathfield and surrounding areas. Changed and clean, she donned a blush colored dress with an empire waist and high collar for the cooler weather, hair left in a snood and cup of cider in hand.

It was rare lately that Honeee got time to herself. Tonight, with her two youngest tucked away in bed after a few bed time stories, her husband away to Luneberg, she got hold of Noirin. It was also rare of late she got time to spend with her daughter in law, more like a daughter, and so finding Andrew was out on his usual jaunt upon the astral planes, she invited Noir to join her in a trip down to the Thistle. The air was cool so a light cape was worn over a simple yet elegant gown. One of a deep burnt orange. Reminded her of the pumpkins that were being decorated and set out on stoops and porch rails. Although older in human years and nine children borne, she looked maybe late twenties for her Elven blood. Light brown hair was streaked in gold, no sign of grey or white yet. Parts twisted in small braids to train the rest of the waist length back. Mostly free flowing like the spirit of the woman. The hood was up so that there would not be the bowing of many on her walk to the 

commons though, as always, two guards would follow them discreetly. Noirin was an accomplished warrior as well Honeee had a few Druid tricks if ever needed to protect herself but with the ways of the court, far easier to let the guards feel they were doing their duty as they should be.

Free time was a rare thing for Noirin as well. She accompanied Andrew many times on his patrols, trained with the Order of Athena when she could, not to mention the other duties of a Crown Princess, and there was Valandil to tuck in and teach. Being he too was asleep, and she did enjoy spending time with Honeee, she was more than glad to join her venture to the Thistle. It had been a while since she had visited. Her hair was allowed to fall in curls down below her shoulders though it was hidden by the cloak of Elven gray she wore. Her gown was a water blue silk, one that caused her eyes to seem more blue than green tonight. As always, she wore her sword at her hip, even with a gown. One of the empowered Swords of Heathfield, it was as much a part of her as the title she now carried.

She had her arm looped with hers like best of friends would do as they strolled their way to the tavern. Laughter was light in a lilting chime that blended with Norin's. "I am hoping the lady Vanessa will be afoot to the tavern this night for the gift given, I have yet to catch up with the charming young woman. So comments have all been made complimentary." One might think she and Noirin were sisters for her heritage and Honeee rather liked that idea. Who wouldn't? Once the steps were reached, her arm slid away as she gathered her skirts and cape to ascend then released again. One of the lads was quick to get the door for the ladies having a clue who they might be but not quite knowing. Smart lad to figure no matter it was a good gesture on his part. Honeee got his name. In time that small gesture would be rewarded. Could be when he was old enough to ask to become a squire. "Alex," her smile brightened like sunshine as she was over to the loyal family friend. She was greeted in kind and some warmed up blackberry brandy set out. Of course Noir would receive the same greeting and her favorite drink set.

That was part of the reason Noir adored Honeee. She had never had a sister, only a brother, and once she married Andrew, her family had grown. She had never expected to be quite so happy as she was now. She followed Honeee up the steps, giving the boy a smile before she followed her inside. Alex was greeted warmly, and he remembered that she liked the peach punch. Of course, Hazel would pop out to say hello also and left a tray of goodies that anyone could enjoy.

Vanessa was there and slipped from her momentary daze when the door opened. Having never seen Honeee, she didn't realize right away who the woman was. Or who either of the women were. But they were greeted with a bright smile nonetheless from where she sat. "Good ave to you both." Almost always the happy one. So little was she anything but.

For her heritage there was a graceful flow of limb and of her voice in tones. Her drink collected as ever the impish smile surfaced with a dimple as she turned hearing the other. She had been aware of the lady upon entry but first things first as always. A slight tilt of her head as ocean blue eyes sparkled with warmth. "Good evening and would you be by chance the young lady with the gift with our feather friends?"

"Good eve to you also." She smiled as she turned then just barely suppressed a laugh at Honeee's expression. Eyes turned on the young woman as she waited for her answer.

Modest expression replaced the brighter smile with a gentle nod. "Aye, that would be me." Curious tilt of her head, still not placing the woman for her title. "Vanessa Baltimore." And hoped for names in return.

Here came the surprise and gentle warmth as she was over to give the young lady a hug. There was a deep peacefulness about her and was transmitted on another level for it was in truth, nothing fake. It would be brief as she stepped back. "I wished to thank you personally for not just a generous gift but a warm one in the love birds you sent. Everyone who encounters them are gifted with their unabashed loving nature. I am Honeee and this is my daughter by marriage, Noirin or Noir as she is more fondly called."

"Hello, Vanessa." Her smile grew as Honeee greeted her and she was over to as well, though she didn't hug her. She did offer her hand. "The birds are quite beautiful, and the children especially love to talk to them."  And oh, she was so pleased with how Honeee addressed her for she truly was as a mother to her.

Not unpleasantly surprised, but surprised nonetheless by the hug, but she leaned to return it just as warmly as it was given. That sense of serenity passed on and was welcome, she leaned up proper when the moment passed. When the mention of the lovebirds was given, she realized quickly who this woman was. Almost clumsily she slid from her seat and dipped down into a curtsey. Habit. "I'm very pleased that you and your family are enjoying the birds. It was  the least I could do after being granted my request to make a home here." Her smile then went to Noir, taking her hand. "A pleasure to meet you. Both."

She was still standing close as she caught up her hands in a gentle hold and to bring her back to her feet quickly. "Don't you think Noirin," as Vanessa would get to see the mischievous side of the queen, "she will be turning the heads of many a lad and warrior in these lands?" Her hands released as the warmth of her smile remained. "You are as lovely within as you are physically such others have said and such I see before my eyes. All is going well for you? Settled in, feeling like home yet? Is there anything you need?" Though those she sent would see to anything the lass needed or they knew to perceive she would need.

She laughed as the question was asked, tilting her head slightly as if she were studying Vanessa. "Oh yes, I'm sure she will, and likely has already. " Agreeing before she added her own words, "And do you mind visitors who come unannounced?" She might just be one of those visitors, wishing to see for herself what kind of birds Vanessa had.

Oh such compliments brought her cheeks to blush and one was covered with her free hand as she stood upright from the quick dip. Her attention first to Honeee with a meek smile. "You are too kind. And yes, I am settling in well. Thank you." She paused a moment, thinking over any possible needs she had, then shook her head. "No, I believe I am well set." And then to Noir. "Any are welcome to the gardens as long as the gates are open. They are open to those who
wish to visit or purchase."

"I was thinking of Lydia, Carlton and Valandil would love to see more of these birds and a fine education for them in the process." Aside themselves as she was always curious about the new businesses in her lands. Oh she had a plan to go with that too of course. A glance to Noirin who knew certain looks of the queen too subtle for others who didn't know her well before back upon Vanessa. "It will be early enough for the children to still be up."

She gave the Queen an impish look in return, eyes holding a sparkle like sunshine on water. "Indeed. And the three of them will not upset your birds." She made that promise to reassure Vanessa, knowing how easily some birds could be. "I'm curious as to what type of birds you have."

The brighter smile returned to mention of children. "That would be wonderful. I have no worry of the children upsetting the birds." They were used to people. Though she wouldn't suggest them sticking their little fingers in the cage with the birds of prey. "I have several kinds. Various breeds of parrots and other exotic birds, such as the peach faced lovebirds, cardinals, blue jays, doves, and birds of prey. Hawks, falcons and owls."

"How are Zira and Set doing? I am told you are friends with them though they choose Ballicastle better fitted and I can understand that for their professions. Some areas needed there are a few here." So she would ask on the other couple than waiting for word back from the sister land. "I would suspect the doves especially would be gentle for the children to allow to sit on their hand or arm." Though a thought occurred, "you have  carrier pigeons as well?"

She nodded then looked at Honeee. When she finished, she motioned to the chairs again. "Shall we sit? And while you're answering about the pigeons, what do you train the owls for? And how?"

"Zira and Setsuna are doing very well. I believe they have everything set for home and business and are preparing to now plan for their wedding." At the mention again of sitting, she nodded and would join where ever they were comfortable after picking up her mug. "I do have carrier pigeons. Though the blue jays and cardinals, and ravens are used for the same usually. The owls are trained as hunters and scouts. Trained to voice commands, such as 'scout', 'hunt', 'fish', whistles and silent commands. Most of the training is done through communication. They're quite clever and learn easily."

The wing back chairs in front of the hearth were the most comfortable in the tavern plus the added bonus of the fire on colder nights such as this one. So it would be there they would settle as she listened to her response. "I am very pleased to hear that, do send them my congratulations and that I've asked on them. If they need one to do their wedding, we do have a Friar Thomas." Which she would mention in case they happened to be looking! "I shall let my husband know on the carriers." Though she might end up being the one to order a few for certain individuals in the castle. She found the whole of the conversation on the owls quite interesting as she listened at this point.

"I wasn't aware wild birds could be trained in such a manner. It's wonderful. Have you ever trained magpies? I understand they can be taught to talk." She paused then added, "and include both mine and Andrew's congratulations." A wedding was always welcome news.

"I will be sure to tell them." She smiled. "I'm not sure how much progress they make on the planning. Only that he wants a wedding near the water, and she wants a winter wedding." She nodded to Noir's congrats to the couple as well and eased down onto her seat. "Well, they were all wild at one time. It's a matter of communication and understanding, which is why the birds of prey get to chose who they wish to have as master, rather than the other way around." Spoken as she lowered onto a chair.

"It will be a frozen lake then. That was how Chadrick McAndrews married. Deep in a snow covered woods near Yule tide, the pines laden with snow but the area was warm thanks to a certain someone. The whole scene sparkled as blue white diamonds and decorations had been laced through the trees, the ceremony held on the lake itself hidden by the forest. The shimmer of flakes filling the air like the flight of fairies to announce their vows." Leaving a smile on her face in remembrance.

"Winter weddings are wonderful." She smiled as she thought of her own, attended by the Sylvan Elves, though it wasn't at Yule. "I like how you allow the birds of prey to pick their own masters. It seems to me it would make a bond that would be hard to break."

Her attention to Honeee, she listened and smiled with that sort of dreamy eyed look, imagining how the ceremony must have looked. "Sounds very beautiful." Hey, she was young. Daydreams of knights in shining armor and fairy tale weddings. "It only seems natural that they get to chose their own masters. They are the ones who take commands and must live with the orders. The other birds are far more docile and easier to trust when being handled by multiple handlers."

Which she should hold onto and not accept less though some particulars can be exchanged for others of still worthy notation. She would have some stories to tell in how she was courted by Karl, right down to him dressing himself up as a woman to follow her and her cohorts at the time. The only real trouble they got in was with them! Though Karl near had a man, manhandling him. Oh yes, lost in memories a moment. "The weddings were beautiful either by land or sea." As a few got married out at sea. Her comment low as she was back to listening about the birds.

She watched Honeee, smiling then nodded. "I don't think I've seen one that wasn't. Even eloping has a romance about it." She loved to hear the tales of Honeee and Karl and even recently, the two had an adventure. Their marriage would never be dull. And neither would hers and Andrew's.

She'd have an eager listener if she told such stories to Vanessa. A romantic imagination and hopeless heart. "I can imagine that both are quite beautiful." She smiled with the same dreamy expression and nodded to Noir. "I should think it would depend. Not everyone's definition of romantic is the same. But as long as those married are happy, that's what matters."

"We'll come by soon," leaning to give her hand an affectionate pat. "Perhaps some tales of romance though we might substitute names to protect the innocent," giving a wink as she stood, her empty glass in hand. She only had one drink, not a full one even that was warmed up. Though she considered that dreamy look the young lady wore, "I would suspect that you already have a crush on a fine gentleman. If so, may he be a romantic. Happiness is what matters in the long run. A young girl might dream of romance and find men fall short of ever fulfilling such ideals while another may have similar and meets one who excels all her ideals. What matters is if they make each other happy." Then all things are seen through colored glasses anyway, the same as the dreamy ideals.

"And some may find one that seems unattainable is truly not." She gave her mother by marriage a beaming smile for that was what had happened to her. Chuckling, she stood as well. "You'll be making Vanessa blush again." She truly did adore Honeee, and everything about her. The Queen had a way with people that Noir would like to have.

Raising from her seat after the pat, she smiled. "It would be wonderful to have you come to the gardens." Then listened and blushed. Was it that easy to tell she had a crush? Maybe she should work on hiding that better. "Happiness is all anyone could hope for. I can't say I haven't found mine, here, but nothing wrong with a few romantic daydreams."

"Not at all Vanessa and if one dream doesn't come true, never give up on them. One will some day and it will be the right one." So she was a romantic too but had been led astray a few times over, abandoned or widowed until there was Karl. "Good night and we shall show up as soon as we are able." Not knowing precisely at the moment but certainly they would. She was over to set her glass on the bar and a few words with Alex before turning to Vanessa, "if you are heading back, we would love your company in seeing you there. We have to pass your cottage." Or at least one of the ways they could take back to the castle.

She winked at Vanessa, trying not to laugh at the young woman's blush. Honeee saw beyond what most saw and in time, she would understand that. "Life offers so many opportunities, and daydreaming is always one way to see those." She carried her glass over to the bar then turned to see if Vanessa would join them.

She smiled lightly and glanced down to her mug. "That would be lovely. Thank you." She would take what both woman said as information from wiser sources and store it all away. The mug returned to the counter, she picked up her cloak and turned to exit with both women.

Once Vanessa was ready, as well Noir, they would all leave together. The young lad there at the door to see it opened and closed for them. Definitely a name to mention to her husband.

Date: 10-28-09
Poster: Segan Quin
Post # 39

A Stop at the Thistle After the Races

The ride was quick but nice. Tennison halted in front of the Thistle. "How is Eion doing?" Kind of surprised not to have seen him at the races with his brother.

Some might think them attached but there were times they were not out together. There were years where they didn't see each other at all. Same for Conor. He was down from the saddle once the tavern was reached and over to help her down as he should and wanted to. "He's not feeling well, maybe working too hard on the training field but Grams is fussing over him even if he feels it is not that bad."

"I hope he gets to feeling better." Taking the help down with a smile. "All the changes in weather seem to be having that effect." Coat was straightened, she walked with him to the door. "And how are you feeling?"

"I'm sure he will be fine." Though a thought had a slight tilt of his head in a curious way as hands that had lingered on her waist fell away and he to offer the bend of his arm in escorting her up to the porch and within. "I'm fit as a fiddle. Not quite the same of whatever possessed me that night and Eion coming down with a cold." At least that is what he suspected of his brother and the hot toddies Grans was feeding him would help to sweat it out of him.

Notice of the pause and expression was noticed, she took his arm and followed with a nod. "I'm sure he will be as well, and glad you're feeling better. That was quite the scare you gave me." She meant that. She swatted his arm playfully. "You're not allowed to do that anymore, Segan."

Which had him laughing as she swatted him. His arm down now  that she was seen within and the door closed behind him. "Really?" Which had him pause again, but then why not? They were friends and in that least one would be scared. From his brother's details later on, it sounded pretty bad but more like he'd been possessed by something. "I will try not to but if I can't help it.. " eyeing her in that way of his, "what will you do about it?"

She released his arm once inside and smiled to him. "Then I suppose I will just have to tend to you again. And when you come out of it, swat you again." Gloves were removed and tucked into a pocket of the coat before pushing buttons from their eyes. "What was the pause for?" Looking at him curiously as she shrugged off the coat.

"I think I like those answers." Giving a nod as he had still yet to thank her in his own way. Knowing he had to wait for the perfect opportunity. "If you get sick this winter, I'm not leaving you alone at your cottage. I will bring you to our manor and let Gramdmama dote on you and bring you back to health and I will see to the care of your birds." Or if she refused to leave her cottage then he would stay there with her until she was better, his Grans would probably come over during the day. She would be taken care of.

She blushed a little to the that. Though could have been rosy from the cooler air outside. "I appreciate that, but I'm sure I'd be fine in the cottage as long as I keep soup ready." Not that the offer didn't sound nice.

"Then, you would let me stay there to take care of you? It would only be fair though I hope you don't get sick. That I am not wishing," a leisurely pace taking them to the bar as he would have some of the potcheen to warm him up inside. The air had a damp cold to it tonight that gradually worked its way through the layering of clothes. Looks like the thermal underwear would be worn soon.

"Perhaps." She smiled to him and walked to the bar with him, requesting her usual mug of cider. "I'd not want you to make a fuss over me and take you away from things needing tended to at your home." Her coat laid over back of the stool she intended to seat herself on.

"But I would want to fuss over you like you fussed over me. Or I will have to ban you from fussing over me if I should get sick again for it would take you from your duties too." Which he had not taken up the seat next to hers yet but sliding closer to her with a dip of his chin and blue eyes in search of something he was not even sure what but something elusive perhaps.

She smiled and looked up to him, notching her chin up some with a little tilt of her head. "You can't ban a woman from tending to the people she cares about. Besides, I haven't nearly as much duty as you do. You have an entire house of siblings and kinfolk to tend to. The birds are easily pleased." And rather low maintenance.

"You can't ban me from tending you." See the stubbornness take over as his face came a touch closer, just a few inches from hers as eyes dipped in focus. Blues reading .. dare .. dare .. dare! "Grandmama has my aunt there along with three sisters and a live in, Brigid MacKinlay, staying in the lands. She has my two brothers if needed as well but the Quinn ladies would say they can manage without us. Which they could, I think all the work they give us is more to reassure us we are needed." Though all three lads had enterprises of their own to see to.

Eyes narrowed playfully over the golden hue and nose wrinkled up just a hint with the says you face she made. "Your grandmama is a wise woman, and I'm sure you're all more needed than you let on. I suppose though we will just have to see if the time comes, now won't we?" Eye contact not broken but the crinkle and narrow faded some.

He was so much closer he could feel her breath like a feather against his chin as she talked. Eyes held and delved in a quiet sort of way as the teasing dare had left his thoughts to be replaced by something else. That was until he caught himself as she gave way and he straightened back with a slight clearing of his throat. "Aye. That sounds like a reasonable solution. So we save this argument for a rainy day or more when such circumstances give it footing again."

Her head tilted the other way with a small smile as he backed away, clearing her own throat quietly. Eesh...little warm in there. "It would seem so. Though the idea of having something to debate on a rainy day sounds promising." Her mug taken up finally, she took a small drink of the warm cider. Good stuff. "Though you'd do well just to smile because it's a debate I shall win." Probably not, but it was return of the dare he silently gave.

"Sorry," low with a rumble to it not there before as he noticed that she had moved her head away after his being so close he could easily have kissed her. "I got too close..?" Coming more like a question than a statement as he melted into a lean against the bar instead. "So you lay down another challenge at my feet to torture me in the hopes you will rise to the matter of debate which I surely will."

He could have kissed her, and she realized that in such close proximity. She looked at him for a moment before shaking her head and setting her mug down. " didn't. it when you're close..." Her voice hushed some. Not out of shame or trying to hide it, but she wasn't used to admitting that sort of thing since that kind of confession to a crush was new ground for her. Though seeing him melt away gave her a pang of guilt. "You do so well with the challenges. I enjoy the challenge of challenging you." The smile returned, though only in slight.

"Well, that is one we cannot dare each other on as I agree in liking when you are close." Slightly throwing his hands up like she blundered on that one though there was not only a twinkle in blue eyes, they had changed in hue becoming an even darker blue. "I like our challenging banter," hand lifting as a forefinger dipped to capture strands around it of a curl. "You don't mind being around someone older than you. I wonder how much older." Starting to explore some curious thoughts in all little things added up in getting to know her. "You assured me you don't have a beau although there is someone you met months before you came here." He had that much on her so far!

She had no comment on the banter and challenges as he changed the subject in direction of her crush. The sunspun spiral easily wrapped around his finger, she smirked and shook her head. "I do not have a beau, I don't mind being around someone older, and the someone I met is from Heathfield, and resides here." Her tone hinting to nothing more than exactly what she said, attention remained on him with a curious arch of her brow.

Maybe that was the look Brogan gave to him and he obviously had met her a long time ago here. Though he had met her too but it was last August if he remembered correctly. It seemed it was longer ago than that. "But it is not good to speak of your crush for then it would not happen according to you." Well, not exactly according to her but some superstition. The fine silken spun hair slipped from his finger before it was drawn up to trace the arch of her brow.

Little butterflies must have magically appeared in her stomach because she could feel the flutter and nervousness creeping up. "Perhaps that is true. Though I can't say anything has changed since last speaking of him. I still see him and he doesn't seem to shy away from me." Just a subtle tilt of her head towards the touch, still looking up to him. "I suppose I just wait for him to speak freely or maybe the right time that I can."

Which had him laugh for how one statement struck, "that could be many a man and lad that has been about you, Vanessa. I've not seen one shy away and certainly they look upon you as a desirable woman. I will debate this with you another time for it has grown late and you might win that debate when I'm so tired. One for another rainy day or perhaps no rain at all will be needed." The draw of the roughen finger pad brought the warmth of his hand to cup her cheek and jaw before he leaned in with a touch of his lips that just barely caught the corner of her lips. It was brief and warm and not as bold as he would have liked to have been for it mattered she not hit him or come to hate him. So it was swift as he was up from the proximity to first finish off his drink. He needed it at the moment before the empty glass was placed away. "Can I see you home on my way?" Knowing she would otherwise argue him going out of his way.

If that wasn't a compliment to make her blush then nothing was. And she did blush. "Perhaps, but there is only one that interests me beyond just friends." One hand brushed down over her stomach because there was a great increase in that fluttering feeling that she'd only experienced once before and it was at Segan's doing. Cheek tilted towards the warmth of his hand against her cheek before watching him lean in closer. And for the brief moment of contact, she closed her eyes, both enjoying it and trying not to reflexively freak out about it. Eyes opened to look at him as he pulled away and cheeks were a very warm shade of blush. "That would be nice." No arguing with him. She slid from her seat and picked up her coat. Even through the blush, she couldn't help but smile.

He mumbled something under his breath as he escorted her out, a wave to Alex in the distraction and the words near a dare, "challenge... forget and other" possibly made out in the mumbling. The door seen to and the cool of the night would help him as well her blush to cool down. He got the reins of both horses so that they could walk behind them from a pace.

Leaving with him, she waved to Alex. The few words were heard and distinguished enough to make out the three. Her coat pulled on, she looked over to him once outside. "What?" Accompanied with a curious tilt of her head.

"Hmmmm?" acting surprised and curious at her question. Certainly as if there had been nothing said or at least he would figure she picked up on. As she got to know him better she would catch that fleeting twinkle in blue that told he knew quite well in spite of his very good act. Although here too, not something he was going to admit to presently at least. "Days and nights are getting colder," distraction strategy as he tucked her close and started them off in a brisk walk she would need to concentrate on, though not too fast she could not keep up or trip. Here too he had a firm arm about her to keep her steady.

That was just....not fair. Not only did he dodge the question, he moved them on a totally different path of conversation. Tucked in close, half a step closer taken if possible to enjoy the closeness and just being tucked in with him. "They are getting colder.." Her attention partially on the pace he kept, but she'd not missed the attempt to get out of her question. She thought to bring it up again, but she would wait. "Though the more I hear people speak of the coming winter, the more I am beginning to look forward to it."

It was best that way for this night. She would have her day of revenge on him. May she sweetly torture him more. "I am hoping to see that as a reality, Vanessa." He had a way of saying her name low in a brogue so close to her ear. The brisk pace was one way to keep warm as this night held a chill that would soak in. It was strange that two different nights of the same temperature in Fahrenheit would have one much colder than the other. Tonight was such a one. He liked having her close too and sharing his warmth, normal warmth at least. They arrived at her door soon enough as snow started to fall again. Still they didn't have the deeper coating just the light frosting so far. "I will see you soon, Vanessa. If you ever need me you just send word to the manor for they always know where I am at."

That way he had about speaking her name low and close was more than enough to send a little shiver of chill bumps down her back and drew her in that much closer. The chill was certainly getting to be more definite and as much as Vanessa didn't weather the cold that well, she found perks to it. Such as moments like these. Reaching her door, she stepped away from him, but not far and smiled to him. "I will do just that, and the same to you." Stepping closer, she took his hand lightly and leaned up on the toes of her boots to feather a soft kiss across his cheek. "I would call on you just for the pleasure of your company." Stepping back with a soft smile, she turned to the door. Unlocked since Aiden was there, she stepped in. "Stay warm, Segan."

The light kiss took him by surprise but pleasantly so. "If I dream of you there will be none sweeter." Little did he know his words might well come true in a different sort of way, bringing him into hers in a lucid way. "If you call upon my company then I shall too have the pleasure of yours. I await our challenges," like they had a few to spar with though all had been more eluded to than real arguments. Blue eyes lingered with hers until she was safely within before he was around on a heel and heading off with his horse in tow to the Manor to sleep there this night.

She paused before closing the door, looking at him through the space left open. "Then perhaps I will do just that." Something in her tone hinted towards a sort of mischief as if she had some plan developing in her head. She might have. She watched him off the property before closing the door.

He heard her parting words and she'd not see the grin spreading across his features for his back at this point facing her as he picked up on the brisk walk.



Date: 10-29-09
Poster: Joseph Walsh
Post # 40

Ship's In

Joseph was back from a long trip he'd taken, though his ship always seemed to make it back this way when all was said and done. He received the good news that Collin had resumed his marriage with Lah, something overdue. Joe believed that was at the root of all Collin's problems until the man realized his freedom laid in being with the woman he truly loved and that all his faults put together would never make a legitimate excuse not to be with her, though that took maturity which the news assured Joe, his friend had finally found. It was a quiet night that found him relaxed in the Thistle at one of the  tables along the wall, chair tipped back to brace against the wall and feet on the opposite seat. He was watching the flames dance over the logs in the hearth from across the way while his hand automatically lifted so he could drink from the tumbler filled with the pure. His clothing consisted of a white shirt beneath a dark blue captain's jacket, tan pants and black boots. Jacket was left open, tie undone and hair tied back neatly in a tail at the nape of his neck.

The trip down the coast had taken longer than expected due to an unexpected storm. Regan had moved the Dream close to shore, and waited it out, wondering if this was a forecast of the winter to come. Not something she looked forward to, if so. Might not be a bad idea to head someplace warmer to find those animals. She sent word she was in, and would be to the manor as soon as she saw to the cargo. A bite of supper wouldn't hurt either. She was wearing a heavy wool long coat over a pair of dark blue pants, and knee high boots, with a ruffled shirt beneath, she added a feminine touch by adding a bow to the single braid she wore -- a bright red one right at the nape of her neck. Entering the Thistle, she glanced around and took note of the man at the hearth. Coat removed and hung, she made her way to the bar.

He almost missed the lady coming in for his thoughts having wandered quite far. A blink and he was up, knocking the chair over his feet had been on for the quickness. A hand went to his tie to straightened but then thought better on it as he was around instead to right the fallen chair. All was done quickly before he straightened almost military style it was so formal. "Good evening Miss. Welcome in from the colder night."

She had almost reached the bar when the man stood. She watched as the chair flew, hand lifting to her mouth in an attempt to hide her smile but it showed in her eyes. Once he was done greeting her, she lowered her hand and allowed her smile to show, though it was warm rather than amused now. "Good evening to you, sir, and thank you. I'm Regan Callihan." He seemed to be a sea-faring man so she added,  "Captain of the Neptune's Dream."

"Captain Joseph Walsh of the Storm Cloud," he almost saluted too but managed to catch himself and try to ease from the formality. "Just in from Kilkenny to catch up with my friends, Collin McAndrews in particular." A moment as he turned out the chair and using a cloth left on the table, wiped the seat off before he made the offer, "you're welcome to join me if you'd like some company." Smile made blue eyes even more brightly distinguished. He had a bottle of potcheen on the table and a full glass. There was also a small platter with bread slices, cheese and meat as an appetizer.

"I know Collin. He and his associates built my ship." She nodded to his offer. "Just allow me to get meself a drink and I'll be right there." Always glad to share company with another sailor. She requested potcheen punch from Alex, peach tonight, then was over to join him after collecting his glass. "It seems winter will be descending upon us sooner than expected if the signs read true."

"That's right," a hand lifting to rub a finger against the side of his nose a moment then lowered again, "the cedar ship. Callihan, well respected captains. I hear you ran into the notorious Devil's triangle upon the high seas." He wasn't talking about Bermuda either which she would probably realize.

"Aye, myself and my brothers, back when they captained a ship together and I was their navigator. They escaped unfortunately but maybe they've done one another in being nothing's been heard from them since." She settled into the chair and helped herself to some of the bread, cheese and meat. "I hope you don't mind. I can eat and talk at the same time, and still show manners."

"At least you escaped their clutches." Though a frown marked the edges of his lips as they were pressed in debate to tell her of what he heard. It might upset her if she had that close of a call. He was not sure of the story so maybe better to find that out first. Her need of food had the pensive expression leave with a light laugh before he was around to his seat again. Settling in as he studied her a moment. "Eat all you want, you should get a bowl of the Irish stew to go along with it. Perhaps spin me the tale of that sea voyage long ago as I only have rough details."

The wind was really blowing this night or so the storm rolling brought the high winds. If one wore a hat, they best hold onto it as it was hard enough to keep the hood up of the cloak worn; until his steps brought it against his back. At first the pelting was only the color of leaves being driven from the branches above but soon there was felt the pelt of small hailstones mixed with rain that started up. Segan was moving faster with the last making a mad dash for the steps and up onto the porch. Catching his breath there as he glanced into the large window noticing two within. Both known. Hood was drawn down as he turned to watch nature at work illuminated by the tavern and street lights. It was a sight.

The Irish stew was always tempting and she had an appetite that could rival her brothers at times, especially after a voyage. "Alex, if you would, please?" She'd collect it when it was ready then she looked at Joseph. Enough time had passed that she could deal with the telling. "My brothers had stopped in Tortuga. We were going to make it quick because we wanted to head to Ballicastle and meet up with my sisters. Faelan met a lad who wanted to sell a map so he could buy some food for his family. It turned out to be a treasure map so, like any adventurers, we decided to seek it out first. What we didn't know was Doom had his eyes on it too." She frowned with a thought. "I hope they didn't hurt the boy." She paused as she glanced at the window. It seemed the storm followed her.

Karina breezed in on a chilly wind, one which had her huffing and puffing as she hurried towards the familiar friendly light of the Inn. Still, there was a certain excitement about such a wind, and even the sharp patter of hail did little to dampen her exuberance. She was even laughing to herself as she dodged other passersby, most of whom gave her strange looks as they grumpily hurried home. Rain accompanied the hail and caused her curls to spring wetly about her face, her booted feet squishing in the mud forming beneath them as she ran. Finally, with a rhythmic series of thuds her feet found wood, she jogged up the stairs and beneath the shelter of the porch. She cast Segan a grin, cheeks flushed with the exhilaration and breathless from her dash as she commented. "Amazing, isn't it?" A nod of her chin towards the hailstones as they caught the torchlight almost like diamonds.

"I'm surprised your brothers let you step foot in Tortuga, place of pirates, rogues and thieves. Lad had a real treasure map there and managed to get it sold, he knows how to take care of himself." He too paused taking a half turn to see out the window more behind where he sat. He gave a low whistle as many of the leaves were plastered up against the window from the wind and being wet. "Looks like nature decided to decorate this tavern for the upcoming Spirit's night. A night ones can cross over and be bold on any out lingering the shadows," turning with a slow grin to see her reaction if any.

"Aye, I wonder if Aaric was going to show there for a few minutes." Dashing a smile her way as he still lingered though leaves were being blown up on the porch in and around them. "Just think, another month or so it will be snow being flung in your face." He would have to mention that as he rubbed his hands together. He would need to bring along gloves from now on.

Oh as if the winds weren't enough, mother nature decided to unleash ice and rain on her way to the tavern! From one awning to another Vanessa made her mad dash in and out of the onslaught towards the tavern. "No no no no...." All squeaked out on her way to make her run towards her destination. After being cooped up two days, that was all she could take. Quick like, the last length of dash was made, boots hit the steps and the door was mindfully flung open shortly after with a "Whew..." Kind of sound. Shoulders of the dark green cloak brushed of leaves and bits of ice and paused to look back to Karina and smiled.

"Aye, it has." She gave him an impish look, perhaps a bit of the Fae showing in her eyes. "And pumpkins carved into lanterns to keep us safe." She gave a wink then continued. "Me brothers didn't let me wander about unless it was in disguise and that day I had to stay on the ship." She could hear voices outside and glanced at the door then went on. "We decided to make a stop at a mission near the place first, on the guise of me being a lady looking for parrots and such. Found the treasure, fought a dragon that had been guarding it, and managed to fill our ship after killing the beastie."

She gave a little grin at the mention of Aaric, more to herself as she then nodded quickly at Segan. It was chilly enough to have her bouncing from foot to foot where she stood. "Don't remind me... How ya been?" She stuck her hands beneath her armpits, not really wanting to go into the tavern just yet, despite the temperature. There was something beautiful about this blustery weather. A small laugh given as Vanessa dashed by, seemingly on a mission of her own. She lifted her hand briefly for a little wave to Vanessa from where she stood, still outside on the porch alongside the sailor.

"Is that the story behind them, not to scare us but the spirits away?" Small grin, "smart brothers," more under his breath but certainly she would hear sitting this close. "I would too if you were my sister," the last  in normal tones. "Seems to be a few out there," turning back as blue eyes met. Door flying open too as focus turned there. "Incoming.."

"I think that whirlwind speeding by faster than light is a lass we both know." Which had him laughing as there were the color of leaves plastered to the back of her cloak too. Stepping away from the railing, "I've been doing very well, how about you Karina? All ready for winter, cold and hopefully some fun to be made. I think maybe that is why the biggest holiday of the year comes about then, to make it bearable." He was to the door to hold so that she might go in and he as well.

"Aye it does, and the story is a man carved a turnip when it turned out he couldn't go either to heaven or hell and that's where his soul rests when he's not carrying it about as a lantern. So restless spirits are welcome to enter the pumpkins and keep themselves warm." She watched the door as Vanessa came in then realized the stew was waiting for her at the bar so she was up to retrieve it.

"Doin' good. Gotta buy me - myself a new coat soon, I guess, if it keeps goin' this way." Which it would, she was well aware. She bounced past Segan, still on her toes in almost a dance as he held the door for her. As for that  comment about holidays, she just gave a short laugh. "For folks who celebrate it, I guess it would do." A flash of a smile to Vanessa as she pushed the wind-mussed curls from her face.

"So they switched from carving turnips to carving pumpkins because it was easier and you could make a better pie. I can't see a tradition happening over turnip pie." He had a smile one noticed for such white teeth, dark hair and blue eyes.

Such weather and Vanessa just didn't get along. She'd moved away from the door to give Segan and Karina room to enter. Gloves pulled from her hands and cloak shaken off a bit with an apologetic smile to Alex, then smile to Karina and Segan as they came on. "Ave, you two."

"I'm not sure about the pie part but folks in Ireland carved turnips, gourds, whatever was large enough for lanterns." She chuckled as she settled to eat. She wasn't sure about telling the story now.

"I'm one that celebrates it to a degree, in my way than going fanatical over it." Seeing the door closed as leaves managed in no matter how quick he was. "Evening Vanessa, you look cold," like she wouldn't be? Though a spark lit blue eyes a moment then noticing the couple at the table. "Regan, Joseph, good to see you both. Were you caught in the storm too?" Though it had only started when he was out there but who knew. "Vanessa, Karina, you've met Regan, have you met Captain Walsh? Joseph that is."

"Well, I never have. Seems an awful lot of fuss to me." Karina just shrugged slightly, and cheerfully enough. It wasn't as if she detested holidays, but, well, they had never really been much for her in her old life. Still trying to free her face of those springy amber strands, she gave Regan a bright smile, recognizing the woman. Then offered Joseph a friendly nod as well. "Don't know that I have." Karina was certainly looking more female these days, if only in stature. Tonight she was back to her old ensemble of breeches, boots, and blouse beneath a snug vest... though all the materials were fairly new and un-worn. "Pleasure," she echoed the others in greeting.

He was up from his seat again in the presence of two more ladies. At least the other chair would not be tipping over this time around. "A pleasure to meet you ladies. Vanessa. Karina." Giving a slight bow of his head as a hand touched on the dark blue captain's jacket worn.

"Just a wee bit." More wind blown than cold. With introductions, she turned to face the couple, nodding to Regan first. "Ave, Regan. Nice to see you again." Then to Joseph. "Pleasure to meet you, Captain Walsh."

"So you do not like Yuletide?" He could understand the others although he had the gripe that the meaning of Yule should be practiced all year round, not just a couple weeks out of the year. Luckily he didn't get into any debate. He gave Vanessa a warming hug on his way over to the bar in the hope that would help. Potcheen would be his fare, though it usually was.

"Good evening, all." She lifted a hand in greeting, pausing long enough from eating.

She shrugged again lightly. "Not that I don't like it, just that I don't know much about it. I've never really been, er.... asked to be a part of any of the festivities." Thusly she would skirt about the core of the truth, as she skirted about a few stray chairs on her way to the bar.

Hugs! She returned the hug with a bright smile before following suit to the bar for her norm of cider. Cloak was removed, donning beneath dark green dress with scooped neckline and empire waist, long sleeves for the cooler weather.


"Well, maybe this year it might be different for you and a whole new discovery in a good way. One of the few holidays that could bring warm feelings and nostalgic rolled into one spiced up with excitement." Sending a smile her way as he took up a lean right there. Raising his glass to seal his words in a good omen then kicking back the drink.

"Well... I'm willin' to try anything once." She replied with a catlike little grin, turning back towards the group once she'd ordered a cider from Alex to lean her back against the bar.  "What do you do, anyway? For Yuletide," she added, curious despite herself.

He took his seat again as the three headed for the bar. Focus turning back on Regan. "So what happened with the map once in your possession." That was about as far as they got with the story before distracted.

Actually, she had kept talking but repeated it. "We stopped at a mission that was a distance away from it, and told them I was a lady in search of parrots and monkeys I think. From there, we found ancient ruins. Toltec and inside the ruins, traps and a type of dragon. Faelan was hurt during the fight. Ask him to show you the tooth sometime, He wears it around his neck." Not to mention breathed fire when he could. "After we killed it, we made for  the ship. It took Fael a bit to recover and by then, we knew the Unholy Trinity was after us."

Well, you celebrate. For some it is the birth of the Christ Child but for some it is for the Goodwill between mankind. Presents are given which are suppose to be something meaningful over expensive. There are parties held, sharing of food and drink. Being more mindful of your fellow man.." that was all he could think of at the moment, "oh, and decorating rooms and a pine tree."

Vanessa slid onto a stool with her mug of cider cradled between both hands to collect the warmth, content to listen to the others speak of this and that. Treasure hunting and Yule festivities.

"I've seen the odd tooth, so it's a dragon's tooth. One he had slain." More stating the obvious as he heard some of that too. "So Doom, Black Beard and that new one, Stirling I believe, were in wait. Let you do all the dirty work, probably knowing it would be a life threatening adventure to get the treasure, easier to overtake and steal." Urging her to continue as he took another drink.


"Hm." Karina listened thoughtfully, thanking Alex as her steaming mug was delivered. She took a long, warming sip before continuing. "Too bad that sentiment don't stick year round." A wry half-lift of her lips.

"Karina, if I get a tree, would you like to come to the cottage and help me decorate it?" Might not do much with the cottage itself, but it wasn't Yule without a tree.

Which had him chuckle as he leaned enough with a reach to tweak her nose before back into his lean. "That is what I said, feel, should be something done all the time." Then a nudge to Vanessa, "oh, only invite one  of your friends in front of another and not invite them? I'm hurt to the core..."

"Oh!" Surprise lifted her tone as she turned towards Vanessa. "Really? You wouldn't mind? I mean, uh.... I don't really go in for that whole... Christ Child thing..."

A quiet snicker to the nudge. "It's not that, it's about the warmth of the season from one friend to another. Decorating the tree makes a good place for people to gather." A bright smile flashed to Segan. "Actually, I was going to ask if you and Eion would like to join us for tree decorating and dinner."

"Aye, three ships swept down on us like a hurricane, crippled the Fianna and took us prisoners." She pushed her empty bowl aside, her eyes faraway. "They were going to skin Morgan alive, torture Fael," which wasn't quite true but  what was planned would have been torture to him, "and I think send me head back to Ballicastle after I was used up if I remember right." Being scared and angry, she wasn't positive about that. "But then the ships of our brother, and the Frasiers' swept down on them. We were thrown in the brig on the Fianna while they went to defend their ships. They fled with one, Stirling's I think. Blackbeard tried to get some of the treasure but we had escaped the brig and he decided to take his losses and run. I got shot somewhere in there too." She chuckled then shrugged. "The treasure was put onto the other ships, and we returned to Heathfield. Adam lost his hearing in his right ear from firing the cannons but that was the worse we suffered. And I avoid any ships that look like they might be trouble." She grinned at him. "And that's it."

"I was going to volunteer myself and me brother to chop down and bring in the tree to be decorated unless you intend to go out and get one yourself in the cold, out in a stormy snow swept field.." really painting a cold picture here.

"Well, alright. That doesn't sound half-bad." She smiled to Vanessa, although she didn't miss the omitting of Connor's name from that list. It had been a long time since she'd seen him or even heard him mentioned by either brother; but she wasn't about to ask about it. With a little grin she swung towards Segan. "I'll help you haul it back," she volunteered gamely.


Nose wrinkled at Segan. Wow...he played that just right. Vanessa hadn't met Connor yet, thus why she made no mention. "Alright. If you and Eion bring the tree, then I will have a full meal prepared for your efforts....and Karina's  as well." Chuckling softly.


Actually both Eion and Segan talked of their brother when appropriate though no need of late being Vanessa never met him. Although, honestly, Segan figured if he had, he'd be flirting with her! He didn't miss that, he'd rather be in a brawling ruckus with his brother instead or picking up the type of ladies you didn't bring home for mother to meet, in fact only one night stands. Something he'd not done in a while though. "Well, we could all go out, bring a wagon filled with hay with hot drinks to have and all have a hand in getting the Yule tree, making it a part of all our celebration more personal."



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