Poster: Beatrice McCarrin
Post # 20
Bea's mood was good, fact it was as bright as the sunset had
been. Wearing a simple gown the color of ripe eggplants, and a cover for
her hair that was cream colored, edges embroidered in the same color as
her gown to match. Up from the path, she came into the Thistle wearing a
toothy grin and carrying a basket with what appeared to be an embroidery
frame, and a table cloth with a scalloped edge. "Alex, some hot
cider please. Oh, and dinner! I am so famished." She had taken
advantage of the sun outside that day to finish off the table cloth. It
had been a doozy
of a job, with so many stitches that toward the end there her eyes had
actually begun to cross! Setting the basket atop the bar she pulled up a
stool to sit companionably there.
The day had been beautifully warm, almost on the edge of hot and Maggie
had enjoyed it. The morning was spent rambling about outside in the sun,
which resulted in strawberry cheeks and a ready smile on her face. One
which was given to Bea when she came in through the door. "Evening,
Bea, how are you?" She, too was seated on a bar stool, drying some
just washed glasses but more chatting with Alex.
She all but bubbled but as her eyes met Maggie's. "I am doing
wonderfully! It was so beautiful today! You seem to have enjoyed
it." Meaning of course, those flushed cheeks and bright eyes.
"What is on the menu tonight, Maggie?"
"I did enjoy it. It's becoming perfect weather for picnics by the
lake, perhaps we ought to get some people together for one soon."
Now there was an idea that came to her as she spoke it. A nice idea as
well, an opportunity to socialize outside tavern walls. "Ah...
Colcannon, I believe." A glance to Alex to confirm it before
looking back to Bea. "Do you know it? It's a casserole of sorts,
with potatoes and cabbage and cheese.. quite delicious."
"My mother made
it every once in a while." Just talking about her family made her
features brighten just a touch more than they were before. Leaning an
elbow to the bartop and chin into palm, she nodded eagerly. "A
picnic by the lake sounds very nice. I am sure we could find some people
to go with us. Vanessa, Mariah and Karina would like it no doubt."
She could picture the lot of them, chatting amiably and nibbling on
goodies. It was a relaxing picture.
"My mam did, as well." She returned Bea's smile at the mention
of their mothers, though her own smile was bittersweet. For just moment,
before returning to sunny. "That does sound nice, doesn't it? Maybe
Matthew and the Quinn lads or some others might want to join us too. Or,
we could just make it a girls' outing." Also a nice idea!
"If you wanted to invite them, I am sure that would be fine. I've
met some of the Quinn clan as it were." Nodding toward the kitchen,
she gave a sniff to the air and laughed. "I guess I'll have the
colcannon for dinner then!" A little taste of home to brighten her
Maggie nodded, the order given to Hazel before she turned back to
Bea. A thoughtful air coming over her as the idea grew in her mind.
"What if we invite everybody? Everyone we know and like, anyway...
We could set up a big table down by the lake, bring lots of food and
have people bring their own dishes as well. Like a big banquet
out-of-doors." She was really warming up to the topic now. "We
could decorate about the place as well, ribbons and bright
tablecloths... really make it look like summer. What do you think?"
Bea hummed a bit as Maggie went about bringing the idea to life. It had
quite a bit of merit and Bea could see it as being a great time for
anyone and everyone! "I think it a marvelous idea! I really do! It
would be wonderful for people to get together outside in the sunshine by
the lake. Who knows, with the weather as it is, we might be able to have
some games as well!" Bea clapped happily, more than ready to be a
part of the party.
"Yes, foot races and contests.... it will be an entire festival. A
festival to celebrate the arrival of summer." She smiled brightly,
already thinking through the details that would need to be taken care
of, all the preparations... things she enjoyed doing! "We can send
out pretty invitations and encourage everyone to bring their friends and
family. It will be a good way to meet people, as well, don't you
She was already nodding but there was a new air of sunniness as she
laughed. "I think it a stupendous idea to bring people out into the
light! Rather like Beltaine! Oh! Maybe we should have a Maypole?"
It was certainly a thought. "We could do three legged races, and
horseshoes!" Oh, she really was starting to like this idea more and
more as they went along.
"Aye, a maypole!" She replied with as much enthusiasm. Much of
it fueled by memories of her own childhood, sunny May Days full of
laughter and fun. "Perhaps we can find some musicians to play music
to dance about the Maypole. We can weave wreaths of flowers for people
to wear atop their hair as well." She smiled brightly at Bea as the
ideas kept pouring out.
Bea couldn't help but clap as they brought together some more ideas.
"That would be lovely! Oh, and there should be a baking contest! We
always had baking contests, and preserve contests. OH!" Her cheeks
went flush then, green eyes brightening. "There should be
some tests of strength for the men then." Bea could get behind the
idea of that! Who didn't want to see some of the fantastically good
looking men around here strutting their proverbial stuff?!
Now THAT made her grin. "Mmm. Aye." She leaned a bit closer,
"And we should add a rule that those tests must be performed
shirtless." Maggie winked naughtily then leaned back. "Where I
grew up they also elected a Queen and King of the fair. They were the
ones whom judged the contests, all in good fun of course."
Roseann paused by the garden door, left open to the tavern this warm
evening. A blink as words were picked up about shirtless men. "Oh
my," under her breath as soft as the warm breeze that whisked by.
She closed her eyes a moment, feeling the flush on her cheeks already,
she needed more exposure so she didn't blush so easily. A steadying
breath before she was up the few steps and within. Luckily there were no
men about except Alex whom she was sure was use to such conversation.
Her smile was warm albeit a touch shy, "good evening." Trying
not to interrupt their conversation but certainly propriety demanded the
cordial greeting as she reached the bar. She would have some of the
raspberry punch, which Alex knew would remember.
There was now no helping the laughter that came from her then, while her
cheeks turned a vibrant shade of red. "Perhaps it being shirtless
should be optional." Bea might die of a stroke if it were one of
the rules! "There are far too many handsome men here. Mariah
says it's in the water. I think it might be the air or something."
Her eyes rolled then, playfully. Turning her attention toward the
newcomer, Bea's whole face lit once more. So many had been nice to her,
and she returned that by being nice to others. "Good evening!"
Hopefully she had heard quite a bit of that conversation. "I'm
Beatrice!" There, she remembered for once!
"Oh fooh. I say it ought to be mandatory." There came her
wicked grin again, before she half-turned on the stool to see the
newcomer. A friendly smile was offered as she returned the greeting,
"Hello and welcome. I'm Maggie." The apron she wore a sign of
her station here as a member of the staff.
"You are far more bold than I, Maggie." But Bea wasn't
faulting her for that, just the opposite. "I'll be stuttering no
doubt the whole of the day if that is the case." Bea would try her
best though if it did end up being a rule. "We should be careful
though, or the female kissing bandit might show up. It would be a coup
for her I think." Although that idea also had merit and made
her laugh once more. When her dinner arrived, she tucked in neatly as
Bea usually did. She was neat and tidy to the tips of her shoes.
Once she received her drink, she turned to politely respond again. Her
smile genuine even if there was that touch of shyness around new
persons. "Nice to meet you Beatrice and Maggie. I am Roseann
Cleary. Perhaps my brothers Allan and Michael have been here?" That
was a way to find out some information on those two as Allan especially
had been more or less missing in action and she knew he worked too hard.
So she had ventured from Golden Dawn manor in Ballicastle to stay a few
days, get some inspiration for designs as she had her sketchbook and
pencil in the satchel she carried. A small duffel bag with extra
clothing set on the stool next to where she stood as she planned to do
some shopping too while here.
A laugh at Bea's words before turning to Roseann. "Pleasure to meet
you, Roseann. I'm sorry.... I've not met your brothers, but then I'm
fairly new here myself." She offered the young woman an apologetic
smile then glanced down to the bag she carried. "Have you traveled
long? Would you like a drink or perhaps something to eat?"
She left the bag and satchel on the bar stool for now as she took up her
drink and was over to join them where they sat further down (as she had
not ventured that close initially). "I have traveled from
Ballicastle but only over the border so it was not as long as areas
further away. I would not mind a small meal of the Irish stew if
available, please." She was interested in their conversation too
even if it had brought a flush to her cheeks initially, outside, where
hopefully it had dissipated too before now.
"Me as well, I haven't heard of them. I am sorry." Bea hoped
that they weren't lost or in trouble. Surely if they were the calvary
would be sent out forthwith.
She pressed her lips together a moment so she didn't blurt out something
that volunteered her brother. "He's the dairy man, I thought maybe
you may have met him."
"Oh!" Lightbulb went off above her head. "Allan Cleary?
Yes, I've met him, only briefly. I didn't get his last name then so I
did not make the connection." It seemed as if Roseann might be
worried about her brother, so Maggie gave her a reassuring smile.
"He seems quite well, he gave me a sample of some of his new ice
A hand fluttered to her chest a moment as a breath whooshed in relief,
"thank goodness he is still delivering milk and such here."
She knew he could have let his men do all the work. It also showed he
was getting out even if it wasn't the kind of socializing she had hoped
of her brothers.
"Does he not get out very often? From his work?" Of course Bea
didn't seem to have a clue about the man, but she was obviously able to
be concerned for someone who was a stranger in these lands. But
then, everyone seemed to care about her own feelings genuinely, so it
was important that she reflect those feelings to the people too.
Maggie arched a brow at Roseann's relieved reaction, glancing to Bea as
she wondered the same. Then she recalled something. "Your brothers
had an interesting discussion while they were here." She shared
this casually, lifting the rag again to wipe down some glasses.
"I think perhaps you'd be interested to hear it...."
"I don't think he does. He should meet more ladies and possibly
date some." Call it a date anyway! Roseann playing matchmaker was a
timid thing at best. She might improve as she was improvising presently
and moving right along with it. "He should have muscles with all
the work he does," so she had heard some of their conversation and
her words proving it. The comment made by Maggie drew her full attention
with a blink. "They did, I would? Certainly if you don't
"Oh aye, he does." She flashed that grin, then turned to
Roseann with a confidential smile. "Well. They were discussing
their sisters, one of whom I know now is you.... and plotting how to get
you out and about more often." Her smile overflowed into a light
laugh. "As it seems you are doing for them, in fact. You must be
"Iced cream?" It was Bea's turn to look the country bumpkin
which she didn't mind at all. Chuckling a little at the double up for
either side, she shook her head. "I couldn't see my sister or
brother doing so. I mean, Ally, well her name is Jesilyn, but we call
her Ally, she doesn't like going out and about like my mother. My
brother you couldn't get to sit still for a heartbeat unless you had
pie. Or cake." Which of course made Bea hungry for sweets.
Lips parted but no words followed she was taken so by surprise. They
closed again then finally a response managed through. "They did? My
sister will find this very interesting too." Oooooh they would
notice the look in her eyes when such a gauntlet was tossed at her feet.
"He comes here every week I'm sure with milk and ice cream. I think
if he was asked to volunteer to be part of this.." at a loss for
words a moment, "festival you speak on, he would not be able to
refuse a pretty lass as yourself. One thing about Allan, he has that
kindness," some could consider a weakness but she was proud he was
like that. They could put him in the kissing booth! Although she didn't
venture that far of a suggestion. Yet.
"Aye," she explained the concept for Bea, "a sweet cream
kept very cold to thicken it, sometimes flavored with fruits or sweets.
It's delicious, you ought to try it." She laughed again at Bea's
words about her siblings before turning back to Roseann... cue
mischievous smile. "Perhaps we can get Allan to participate and the
rest of your family to attend, as well. That way the brothers and
sisters will both see each other out and about, and the whole matter
laid to rest?"
"It is a good idea, Maggie." Bea had to think over the whole
cream thickened and cold with fruit or sweets. It certainly put cake to
shame if only in theory at this point. "We hope to have as many
people as we can there! To celebrate the coming of Summer down by the
lake. We want to do some contests, and games! Maggie thinks the men
should be shirtless." Which Bea thought a great idea as well.
"What men were you considering, or hoping, would come to show off
their.. muscles?" She did good in getting that out and not
blushing. Settling on a stool near the two instead of continuing to
stand as they sat. That didn't do well in politeness.
"Whichever men are willing to show them!" she replied blithely
with that impish smile. Maggie had that bold streak indeed and wasn't
exactly shy around men. At least she had never met one yet that could
fluster her. "You ought to come, Roseann, and tell anyone you know
about it. If this works as we hope, it should be a large event and much
"Even a small event would be fun." She was one more practical
not to get her hopes up too high and had learned to have fun no matter
how many or how few were about. She had fun doing her stain glass by
herself. Something her brothers didn't understand.
"Maggie's right of course. It is a festival for everyone, so anyone
who would like to take part in the get together." Bea was thinking
more about what she might be able to bake than see at the lake.
"Just whomever." When her thoughts did move to the actual
event itself she got a little queasy inside. If there were lots of
people, that would mean lots of talking. And she had already
demonstrated once how easy it was to get her to stutter in a nervous situation!
Roseann didn't stutter but the idea of a large crowd was intimidating to
her too for other reasons. Although there was the thought of getting
lost in a crowd as well. That comforted her. "Who, of the men, have
you met that you would not mind seeing them there?" That was a good
start. She had been around a lot longer and although shy, she knew of
many of those in the lands and Ballicastle.
"The more the merrier!" That was Maggie's thought anyway. She
was smiling comfortably as she relaxed on her stool, enjoying the
conversation and the ideas shared back and forth. Roseann's question had
her smiling thoughtfully, a finger tapping her lips and then counting
off. "Hmm, let's see.... there's the Callihan men and the Quinns,
McDonoughs.... and your brothers, of course. And.." She leaned a
bit closer, "There was an Egpytian man that came in one day...
he was almost shirtless then and I would not mind seeing him completely
so!" A wicked giggle.
Bea was a lot less likely to know as many people as Roseann and Maggie,
so she kept quiet with her features somber and serious. As if she were
contemplating something with quite a bit of gravity. "Maybe some
people in my peer group. It would be nice. To see people my age. But
they don't have to be just my age of course! Or come at all."
People were busy, they had lives. And she couldn't very well fade into
the trees either, no matter how hard she tried. "The McDonoughs,
from the Colonies. Maggie did you meet them? I thought they were
Egyptians when I first met them." Her voice was quiet, worried they
might laugh at her for not knowing.
She was listening very seriously to the surnames. A soft hum under her
breath as she was nodding to the choices. "You mean more of the
younger men," figuring they were not that old but certainly old
enough. Certainly was with Maggie's comment, she knew of the very male
she spoke on. "The god body," then slapped a hand over her
lips as those words had actually escaped. Then speaking through her
fingers, "you want to see him with nothing at all on?"
Roseann might have been embarrassed but Maggie burst out laughing. Even
as she nodded her agreement. "Yes! That is exactly the way to put
it." Perhaps this Cleary girl had a bit more spunk than her shy
exterior suggested! "Well... I would not look away."
A wink and then she looked to Bea. "Aye, I met them. Very strangely
dressed and quite tall." And as she recalled, they had made Bea
pretty uncomfortable though she didn't mention that.
Her hand falling away, "cousins to Joshua who is their age, the
twins of Alexander's." Oh, there was something to share on Anhur
and his brothers. "Did you know that they do a community
bath?" The one had an alligator they could ride in the lake.
Obviously it was no ordinary alligator nor were the type cats, large
ones, that ran with some of them. Her seeing any of the Egyptians
totally naked was not a far fetched idea. "I don't think I could
look away, I think I'd end up staring."
Bea couldn't take it all in as Roseann spoke. God body? Trying to follow
along, her eyebrows began to inch toward her covering of her hair.
"They were tall. Yes. Joshua's cousins. Joshua himself is very
nice, or what I've met of him." She'd seen him what, once?
He'd put shavings on the floor then dutifully cleaned them up.
"You'd have to look away!" Blurting that out as she bit her
lip. "I m-m-mean that you c-c-couldn't just stare. Could you?"
Would Maggie and Roseann really follow through if they were right there
in front of them?!
Maggie was stuck on Roseann's first words, repeating with arched
eyebrows, "Community bath? Is that exactly what it sounds
"I don't think I could help but stare if I am truthful to
myself!" She was kind of pointing at Maggie. "Explain to her
what Anhur looks like, what kind of body he has.. his eyes.." oi..
she was getting flustered already to continue. Didn't people stare at
train wrecks? Anhur was drop dead gorgeous. Interesting part of it, the
man didn't realize it.
Maggie grinned and obliged, turning to Bea earnestly. "Anhur... has
the body of a god and the bluest eyes you've ever seen. Long dark hair
and bronzed skin... and you ought to see his muscles. Not so many of
them it's frightening but just enough to know he could hold you
tight." She'd leaned in to share all this with Bea, a grin playing
her lips girlishly.
"Yes, I agree, just enough muscles and not that kind that looks
like they are not natural, going to explode if you touch them."
Giving a nod, too much was disgusting although there were some that
would probably disagree with her. Maybe she needed to be more social to
learn how to keep certain things from passing her lips for the size of
muscles brought out something else she heard, "they say the
size of a man's.. man..." rushing right by that, "can be
determined by the thickness of his calves." There went the hand
again over her mouth belatedly.
"But I don't want a stranger holding me tightly." She was a
little bewildered, shaking her head a moment or two before laughing a
little at the picture the two of them presented. "If he has the
looks of a God, then I would not be blinded by such
awesomeness." Of course she was fine until Roseann had to go there
and then she only felt worse! She promised herself she wasn't going to
look at anyone's legs from there on. "Sweet Christmas!" It
came out, she wasn't able to help herself.
"Wait until you see the McAndrews in kilts." Or any of the
clans that wore them.
And again Maggie burst out laughing... both at Roseann's comment and the
way the both of them reacted. And she just took it a step further.
"If that is true... then I hope Anhur can find the right woman for
Her mouth opened, then closed and then opened and closed again. Bea
looked like a fish for a second while she pulling together her brain
cells. "I think I shall keep my eyes upward." Or on the ground
completely! "Is there someone you should like to come, Roseann?"
Since she knew many people, she would be the best for making a
On a more serious note, and dragging her mind from pictures of Anhur and
even any of the McAndrews naked.. "I hope anyone who wishes someone
special in their heart can find such."
Roseann mentioned the McAndrews and Maggie smirked broadly. "Ah
yes, I met Jon McAndrews just the other night. He danced me about the
tavern." Idly she twirled the sun-soaked strands of her dark hair.
Bea's question was a good one and she glanced back to Roseann,
interested in the answer.
"If you keep your eyes upward or only to the ground you may well
collide with a naked man!" There was food for thought! "And if
you topple you might grapple and never know what you may take hold
of." Would Bea have such dreams tonight?
"Yes, you could accidentally grab a.... calf."
"Or the pig poker.."
There was a thought! She couldn't very well think about running into
a naked man! She swallowed a few times and then went a little pale. She
laughed nervously, giving Maggie a little nudge. "Oh that isn't
going to happen!" She needed something to do with her hands
then, and patted at her covered temples a moment. "Most of them are
so tall, they wouldn't see me! So it would be their fault, now wouldn't
it?" Tall, very, very tall. Awfully tall.
"I doubt they would see it that way. And they might demand some
penance paid by you." A suggestive tone to that as she smirked
wickedly at her embarrassed friend.
"I'm embroidering Faelan's shirt! That's penance." Nodding,
and treading mental water she laughed nervously again. Her head felt
warm, her cheeks too. "I'll keep my lips to myself for a
"You are embroidering Faelan's shirt?" Which the mere fact she
repeated that had her to pause, "now there is another sea captain
that had been on worldly adventures. Did you know that they found
ancient treasure then were besieged by the Unholy Trinity, notorious
pirates of the sea? Their brother James along with Frasier and another
went to their rescue. They sunk two of the pirate's ships but the three
managed to escape on the last in fairly bad shape."
Maggie would relent then, laughing and reaching out to pat Bea's hand
good-naturedly. "Oh, we are only teasing, Bea. Your lips are yours
to keep wherever you wish them." A wink before she leaned back to
listen to Roseann.
"Yes. I lost in the Hometown Race to him, so I said I would
embroider a dragon. It's gold thread against black. It is coming along
well." She hoped he liked it. Dragons weren't her usual fair.
Listening to Roseann, she blinked, wide eyed. "I hadn't known that.
He seems like such a jovial person. He is very nice. Maggie you seemed
to like him too." She gave her friend a sly look then. Anything to
keep from thinking about calves.
Then she remembered the other, "Adrian Frasier. Now there is
another handsome captain although he is the Westside Harbor master. Adam
Callihan the Eastside Harbor master." She was a wealth of
information. The shy one that soaked in much while others talked, on the
norm. Tonight seemed to be different and maybe a new path for her to
take. "Ah, the bets, you should have gotten a kiss from them."
Giving her a wink being she said she would keep her lips to herself..
and here we go again! Thoughts of kissing one such as Faelan.
"What a story! Sometimes it is amazing to me, that such stories are
not fantasies but tales of what actually happened." She'd remember
that to ask Faelan about later. Bea's comment made her chuckle.
"He's a good man, and a fellow Callihan, so I must like
him." No, she would not rise to the bait!
Ah well, Bea had to try didn't she? "Ah, well then I suppose you
must." Her thoughts were going to remain ordered and neat just like
herself. No straying or anything of the like. "Oh no, no kisses. I
want my first to be special. Very special." Not that Bea knew what
she would think of as special, but at least she could indulge her
romantic nature as she wished. "My mother says her first was wild
and free and she fell for my father in that kiss. Something like that I
think." A little sigh and a loud snatch of humming and Bea was
"It ought to be special. A first kiss ought to be.... perfect.
Magical." She couldn't blame Bea for wanting that and smiled at the
"Well, I think it is something one goes with when circumstances
allow the choice. It could be the one that you end up married to, or one
of many and earn the knowledge of differences. No matter it be the one
you end up with or one that was for the moment magical, either would be
good I would think." She was sorting through this as she couldn't
really comprehend that her first kiss would be the one she ended up
"Then it should be many moments of magical however they come to
be." It was a little play on words that made her laugh. Buzzing
Bee. Lord. It was hard to think of locking lips with many or a few or
just one. For now, she was going to sew and enjoy the people she met.
"I should get to bed. It's late and I'm up early to try and finish
the last of this tablecloth." Patting the basket she set aside
there on the bar, she hopped on down from the stool with a swish of
eggplant colored skirts. "Maggie and Roseann it has been
She was getting tired too and such thoughts a bit taxing. She had never
been kissed so it was a tough call, not even knowing what it would be
like. Not something she would admit to either. She had to laugh as she
was doing the same, collecting her things along with a key, Room number
9. "It was a real pleasure meeting you both and I hope to again.
Please don't mention to my brothers of yet, that I am here if you should
run into them." Why, she wasn't quite sure of the request other
than instinct after the conversation they had.
Whereas Maggie had been kissed... well, dozens of times but with only a
few boys. Still, compared to them it would probably seem like a lot, so
she refrained from saying so. "I won't." She promised Roseann,
then gave a bright smile. "Good night to you both. I enjoyed our
"It was educational as always!" Bea could just beam a smile.
"I'll walk up with you Roseann." She waited for her before
starting up the steps.
"I did too," decisively with a nod, smile as well as she
headed for the hall and stairs that would take her above. Right along