Poster: Liam David Quinn
Post # 77
Liam was sitting in a wingback in front of the hearth where a nice fire
burned. He was flipping cards into his upturned derby hat on the table.
There were some on the floor, some on the table but most of them were
inside the well of the hat. He wore his better duds, brown tailored
pants and a vest over a dress shirt. The cuff links removed allowing
them to hang open and a black piece of silk tied around his right upper
arm. Boots were finely tooled and polished. He had been to see Joseph
McDonough and a meeting arranged now that time proved convenient. The
wind whipped outside filled with snow as it continued to come down
steadily. The Rollers were heard passing through the streets pressing
down the snow so those about could get around as needed.
Ciar was finding it hard to settle in but mostly because he had become
restless. The job of escorting the man collecting money was pretty
dull even if it did pay a pretty copper. He was returning from
such an escort now, making his way from the docks toward the
tavern. Huddled in his wool cloak, he cursed the wind softly and
almost wished he were back in Barbados. Almost. As he headed
up the steps, he glanced inside the window and then proceeded on. Though
he did pause at the top of the steps and listened. No footsteps
tonight, but there had been other nights. With a shake of his
head, and a stomp of his boots, he continued on in. The rest of
the night would be spent inside!
Claire and snow....didn't get along so well. The moisture clung to brown
curls which then proceeded to spring into an unmanageable mess upon
drying making it difficult to look composed. She saw a figure in this
distance though hard to figure out who it was through the falling snow.
Up the steps and through the front door she went. Cloak was removed and
hung up to dry. A quick nod to Alex, signaling her hello and a request
for a most welcome cup of tea. Green eyes shifted to all inside the
tavern, a smile tipping up the corners of her mouth in greeting.
"Good evening." She chose to remain standing at the bar, hands
smoothing down the rich blue fabric of her long-sleeved gown.
The first gust of cold air from the opening of the door came as the last
card was flipped into his hat. "You have come to ease my boredom
during this storm brother?" The tease barely out, like Ciar would
sing and dance, as a woman followed in the wake of his brother's footsteps.
He gained his feet in all due respect and realized who the woman was.
One from last evening. "Lady Claire," not remembering her
surname if it had even been given, he could not recall. "My brother
Ciaran," giving an informal introduction.
"I was hoping you'd have a solution." He grinned as he removed
his cloak and then blinked when the lass came in and nearly plowed him
over. He chuckled, then bowed as she went on to the bar. "A
pleasure, Lady Claire."
Claire sank into a curtsy and then rose with laughter. "Enchantée,
Ciaran. Liam. My apologies for my rushed entry. The snow and I have a
long-standing battle." Grinning, she lifted a curl to gesture and
shrugged her shoulders. "I daresay, however, that Mother Nature is
winning." Trying to pat it down some. "How do you find the
weather, gentlemen? Something to run from or something to be
"I believe the solution is in that bottle," which he gestured
with a hand to the very bottle of the home brewed whiskey sitting on the
table. One card had landed tipped up against it. "I would rush in
out of that storm too. I heard it change from normal to blustery about
an hour ago. Have you seen the Rollers?" A chuckle under his breath
as he took his seat again, "you're welcome to join me here at the
hearth," where it was warmest against what raged outside.
"I find such weather as tonight, confining." Which little
confined Liam, even the storm would be challenged if he felt overly
"Depends what it's doing out." He offered a slight smile
as he headed for the bar and waited for the glass of potcheen Alex would
set out. He'd use the bottle to top it off. "Tonight
... good night to be inside." He headed for the hearth
to join Liam.
"Indeed, I did!" Claire accepted the tea with a warm smile
from Alex and headed over to the hearth as well. The fire was beckoning
her forth and she sat nearby, curled on a chair, sipping cautiously.
"Do you enjoy sledding or any winter activities?" Quiet
words of curiosity.
"Aye, I could be convinced to make use of a toboggan or even ice
skate but I've not had time." Ciar would recognize the black silk
tied to his arm and its meaning. "Do you like sledding?" Which
he paused considering a visual, "I find it hard to imagine you
going down on a toboggan at a neck breaking speed screaming like a
banshee." The grin was growing as he spoke until it reach to set
off a spark in dark eyes. He took a moment to collect his drink and kick
back what it held only to fill it up again.
He settled in and took a long drink of the potcheen. Then he
stretched out long legs, crossing ankle over ankle. "I find
the sport of watching a fire in a hearth satisfyin' enough."
He was in a bit of a black mood tonight.
He caught the signs of his brother's mood by the darker coloring in his
eyes not usually there. Much like a dark cloud behind them. He
silently untied the strip of black silk then leaned to lay it over his
brother's knee in a reach. His turn to wear it for a while. Sitting
back he kicked back more of the whiskey.
Pale green eyes lowered to the strip of black before they lifted to his
brother's face. He smiled slightly and placed his glass on the side
table, then tied the strip of material around his own arm.
"Where's Evan tonight?" He knew their blood brother had
been sick but usually he was around somewhere.
"Let me guess, he staked himself out on a snow mound near the wool
mill. If the lass comes out she'll find the abominable snowman and run
screaming as she should." He was painting a nice picture of their
blood brother and his whereabouts.
That got a laugh from Ciarán, enough to ease some of the black from
him. "He really has it bad but I don't know if even he'd dare
a storm like this tonight. I'll check and see if he's in bed when
I go up. He may still be fighting that cold."
Claire drifted into a comfortable silence as she listened to the two
converse, polishing off the last few sips of tea. The heat spreading
from the fire was warm and wonderful. The cracking and popping of the
wood was music to the ears. Quiet nights like these could be good for
the soul. It was when thinking got too deep that one might discover the
troubles of musing.
"He could very well be upstairs snoring away." Which had him
chuckle. Evan might be head over heels but would he weather a storm just
to get a glimpse of the lass? Ah, hell yes, he would. He was that crazy
just as he and Ciar were crazy. Just they were not crazy over any pretty
face. Yet. Ciaran would fall before him. He wondered if Claire had even
heard him before when he answered her question. A glance there to see if
possibly she'd fallen asleep.
Claire looked up sheepishly. "I beg your pardon. I was lost in my
thoughts!" Brushing curls out of her eyes, she nodded slowly.
"Yes, I do enjoy sledding. I've only tried it a couple of times. I
should like to try the skating! It looks a mite difficult though
certainly not something this lass cannot accomplish." Wink tossed
in there with a chuckle.
"Well, I'm sure you will get to accomplish both here if you stay
around long enough. Seems a lot gets accomplished here," the last
more mussed under his breath. Thoughtful kind which had him comment to
his brother. "I met with Joseph McDonough, they will do the job for
us. He refused to accept all the money we got from Lord Dunbury, said
about half would be more than sufficient to see his Private
Investigators to the Colonies, outfitted, room, board," which he
gave a wave of his hand to include all things that would be needed,
"and that any of, or all three of us can accompany them. They still
have a budgeted cost whether we go or not, help or not."
"Did you meet with the investigators too?" He straightened
from his slouch and sat forward, his attention on his brother.
"What was he like?" He was impressed that he had refused
the money. Well, half of it.
Wei would wonder inside the tavern, sneezing lightly from the chills of
the cold evening. Wei wore red robe with a manchurian collar, trimmed in
blue, and a long light pink tinted pleated skirt. Bangs were fixed
in loop like curls with a silk sash turban looking head piece with a
white cloud shape hair ornament with a large dangling blue gem hanging
down on the top. Long hair of midnite was hanging freely, against moon
colored flesh, colored with shades of red and pink roodge eye shadow,
and lip paint. lantern in hand, and a decorative fan tied with blue
string around the wrist of other hand.
"No, they were out when I was there but there is to be another
meeting and we'll meet them this time. Lord McDonough might not be
present. He's a busy man but all approvals of bigger jobs go through
him." Which was to be expected. "By this weekend, Jacob
Anderson and Mercedes LaCorte." Feeling the cold air rush in with
the arrival of another, Liam gained his feet again politely. "Good
evening, Alex will see to any drink or food, no cost here as I found
out. Something to do with the royals having it all paid up."
"I will certainly try." Gaze drifted to the window, locking on
the fat snowflakes that fell. When a cool breeze stirred the tresses of
glossy brown, Claire looked over to the door, a small smile working its
way forth. "Good evening," offered to the one entering the
Thistle. Curled there as she was in the chair, it was almost like she
had never left in the first place. This brought an eyebrow to rise
slowly. How things changed....and how they stayed the same.
There was a blink, but Wei recognized the two of the three brothers from
the inne back on the isles. "Good evening , good to see you both
again." Wei smiled, though kept sleeve over lips, looking to
the lady and nodding," good evening."
He nodded then stood as Liam did and turned toward the door.
Studying the woman a moment, he nodded a greeting toward her.
It took him a few moments to recognize the woman. It had been a
while and a few adventures since. "You have come a distance, how
have you been? This is the Lady Claire." Being he was still
standing he offered introductions.
Claire rose from her seat and sank into a curtsy, blue skirts brushing
the floor. "A pleasure to meet you, Lady." Straightening, she
carried her tea cup over to the bar and then returned to lean against
the wall near the hearth, green eyes studying all underneath long black
Wei mun Sim glad to see familiar faces of two of three Quinn brothers
again. Not too well. Council said to king Valet would not be wise. So
Wei had to move in search to offer valet services elsewhere. How are the
two of you?" Looking to the lady called Claire, Wei smiled brightly
and bowed head greeting her. "Pleased to meet you."
He didn't remember much about that place but smiled pleasantly. Cutting
a glance toward Claire, he winked at her then looked back to Wei.
"I am very well." As he too then looked upon Claire, "did
I overhear you saying you've been here before?" That popping in his
head from conversations last evening at the races.
"Good to hear you both are well, but what of the other Quinn
brother, does he fair well too?"
Claire nodded, a smile lighting her features with the surge of memories.
"Yes, for a while. I use to own a cottage down the road from here.
I had an art studio in there. I used to paint for the Heathfield Art
Gallery. It was some three years ago since I was last here. A letter
arrived with urgent news, however, I am now returned and eager to start
anew. I am very excited for a new beginning." A laugh bubbled
forth. "One of my favorite places was Crystal Gold Lake."
Mischief glittered briefly. "I used to swim there on a near daily
basis during the summers."
"Aye, he fares well also." He settled back into his chair,
stretching out his legs again. The wind rattled the glass of a nearby
window and he looked that way.
"Evan?" Came with a humorous chuckle. "The lad went head
over heels seeing the Shepherd's daughter. He's probably sitting in a
tree watching the wool mill in the storm as we speak." He had never
seen one fall into a crush, or worse, like his blood brother had. First
he thought he was being funny but the lad had caught it bad. He listened
to Claire's tale as attention turned there, sitting at this point too.
"Do you still do portraits?" Curiously asked. "Do you
plan to open a studio again?"
"The name of the lake reminds me of the one I saw in the kingdom of
Vorwend. I went there before I left the isles. The lakes there were a
fisherman's and artist's dream, fish of beautiful colors too beautiful
it was sad they had to become food. everyone seemed really happy the
queen was on one of her royal marches, she was so beautiful and
everything and everyone blended into her gown as if she was part of the
land like an earth mother." A light giggled hearing about
Evan, but it was muffled by Wei's sleeve. "I remember he stared at
me much I was thankful my roodge was heavy that nigh.t It kept anyone
knowing I was blushing.
Attention fixed on Liam for the moment. "Yes, I still do portraits.
It is a great passion of mine for there is something so enrapturing
about trying to catch the glint in one's eyes or the way the light hits
their face. Or the natural curves of the form." Hand glided through
the air, eyes drifting past his head as if she was imagining the motions
of the brush. "I would love to resume my work here, yes. I enjoy it
immensely." Bright grin given to Liam.
He just stared at the woman, not understanding much of what she said.
Shaking his head, he decided to take a drink of his potcheen instead.
"Well, I don't think you need worry about Evan staring at another
lass after the golden hair beauty, he was a goner upon first
sight." Evan had stared at many a lass, that he remembered mostly
when they had gone wandering to other lands. This was different, Ciaran
saw that even before he had. He wasn't quite sure what roodge was, it
might be her accent and meaning rouge. Anyway, she would not need to
worry about blushing. "He did that to a lot of ladies, getting them
to blush. Now he is blushing!" Which amused him no end. Then back
to Claire, "I hope to see your work exhibited sometime." She
had mention something about an art gallery. Her smile told him a lot
that her words came from her heart and so he hoped she got to realize
her renewed dream. "So, you would recommend this as a place for a
man to settle in, if they finally came to settle?"
A light nod, "well if either three of you ever visit the isles
again you should see Vorwend, you'd get many idea's miss Claire, and it
looks like a wondrous place of adventure too." Another giggle
came from Wei, "I hope his mouth wasn't gapped open while he
was seated in that tree starring down at the girl. Once a man fell into
a gawking spell with me as your brother fell in with the girl you speak
of.. a water fall of drool soon flowed down his mouth and into the empty
glass he carried."
Claire couldn't resist chuckling at Ciaran. Teeth caught her lower lip
to hold it in. Sparkling greens swung to Liam. "Thank you. I hope
you shall see my works soon and I absolutely recommend Heathfield as a
settling place. I've certainly come across no other more suitable
and I have traveled far." Claire paused, tipped her head. "Je
pense que c'est parfait ici...that is, it's perfect."
He nearly choked on his drink when Liam mentioned settling. That
happened a lot here. He turned light greens on Claire then.
"Portraits, landscapes, still life? All of that is what you
paint?" He wasn't going to say a word about staying, nope.
That was certainly more than he needed to hear, a vessel full of drool.
"I hope you didn't drink it thinking it water he offered.."
clearing his throat, he needed another drink of the whiskey and so
Claire nodded enthusiastically at Ciaran. "Yes, indeed. They are
more than images but interpretations of life."
"Nae, I would never, he himself did not know he did such a thing
until he nearly drank it himself, that is why I was worried for Evan if
his mouth was hanging open, and the girl was just under him... she
wouldn't find him pleasing if she was crowned with his stream." She
looked to Claire. "That's what I call it when people continue to
stare and don't stop, they've no idea what's going on around them, which
is why many of them get hurt... sometimes by their own wife if their
starring at another lady.
"Gawking spell?" Wide eyes looked to Wei. "Well, that's
rather interesting. Never heard of the like. Poor lad."
"He's afraid we will tease him too much but we can tell
when he's gone to see her and it went well, he comes back on Cloud Nine
and the best mood I've ever seen him. Isn't that right Ciaran?" Who
seemed to notice more than he on such accounts.
"Aye, he is at that. Can insult him and he doesn't take any
notice." Lips twitched with laughter as he answered but he just
managed to keep from letting it out.
Which had him recalling the Tarot reading Mikhail did on him. Nah,
impossible. It had him going quiet, leaving Ciaran to pick up the
conversation while he concentrated on having a few more drinks. Posture
had changed to lounged in the wingback, comfortable as he kicked up
booted feet on the ottoman. One crossing the other at the ankle.
Claire cleared her throat and looked at the two gentlemen. "What is
it that you do, Ciaran and Liam?" Ahh, Claire's notorious curious
streak coming to life once again. It had gotten her in trouble certainly
more than once but she had indeed learned how to curb it...on occasion.
Wei would set the paper lantern down, and move to join the others where
they were. "If he settles would your adventures be over.. or would
the remaining two Quinn brothers continue their journeys without the
other brother?" Wei fell silent not wanting to interrupt when
Claire asked the two a question.
So much for a short reprieve as he blinked from the dance of the flames
over the logs. "If Evan settles, I will wish him the best but his
decisions do not end mine." That was a crazy idea sounding to him.
The last answered first before Claire was under the intensity of dark
eyes, it had him recalling a remark of a woman met when he told of his
profession. "I've done many a trade and done them well, good with a
sword, dagger and arrow but what draws my expertise is the boxing ring
of which many fights I've done, I'm undefeated." Although he never
stayed in a place very long for their traveling lifestyle.
"And I do a little bit of this and a little bit of that." Ciar
gave a charming smile to Claire. "I just haven't settled on one
thing." Though he was good with knives.
The two were quite mysterious...this brought on a light laugh that
danced from full lips. She dipped her head once. "A jack of
all....trades, perhaps?" Eyebrow arched in response to Ciaran but
there was laughter in the emerald eyes.
"You mean you do a little of everything Ciaran? That is a rare
talent. More rare if you do it all at once," a light giggle at
Claire's remark to Ciaran.
"Aye!" He lifted his glass in a salute, "and master of
none!" Which had him thinking of the reading as well.
Gaze swung over to Liam, studying him quietly. "Then
congratulations are in order. May God continue to bless you with
success.." Claire pushed off the mantle, skirts swishing. "And
may he watch over your handsome face." Claire
dropped into a curtsy, head bent low. She rose seconds later, a smile
tugging on her mouth. "The hour grows late. Thank you all for your
company. May you all have a wonderful evening. Good night."
"Oh, I think you are masterful at a few if you chose,"
chuckling at his brother and leaving that left to individual
interpretation. "Aye, I can hope that he does and if I am to fall,
may it not be too hard." Something he was prepared to happen.
Eventually would if he kept up his boxing or end up what he was
starting to do now, teach younger males how to throw their punches right
with the most impact. He rose from his seat with Claire's farewell.
"A guid nig't tae yea lass," a thicker brogue coming through
he was obviously capable of. "I think it is a good time to
retire." It was very late. He added a bow, one with a regal flare
to it before he straightened. Something he had not done for any other so
Wei couldn't help but giggle from Ciaran's response to the asked
question. "Does that mean your master to all?" A nod to
Claire, "good meeting you miss Claire."
He stood as Claire prepared to leave, giving Liam a half smile. He
didn't want to think about his brother falling. "No, I would never
be a master to anyone. Good night, Lady Claire. Lady Wei." He
carried his glass over to the bar and finished what remained then placed
it on the countertop. A good night to Alex, and he was headed for the
steps, that black mood flaring up again.
"Lady Wei, a good and pleasant night to you. If you wish not to
travel this late they offer rooms with nary a cost here." The
brothers three were staying here as well the Lady Claire. He returned
his glass to the bar but would keep the bottle. A few drinks up in their
room as they would probably invade Evan's and wake him up if he was
With a last smile, Claire turned and headed for the stairs, pleased with
the progress she had made upon return. The future continued to look
Wei nodded, "I wish I came earlier and was able to speak with you
both more.. but if you decide to go on another adventure try the land of
Vorwend, you'll not regret it, and if Evan settles.. or if you can take
a fourth, Wei would like to be part of your adventures since Wei can't
find work as a valet anywhere." Wei would move to gather the
paper lantern, and head out of the tavern and back on the trail.