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Thistle Tavern

Date: 02-12-09
Poster: Trevor Cairns
Post # 41

He watched how she looked upon him, trying not to invade but body language alone said a lot. "I am a fire elemental, I can warm another without burning." Except the other explosion had smoldering eyes turn on the odd looking lad. He'd not seen such a costume before. "Are you man or bunny?" First thought was right out there.

Half asleep as she was, she swore, right then, that she had dozed off on her feet and drifted into a very odd dream. She eyed rabbit boy for a moment, but she blinked when she heard Hugh, his first, his last; okay, everything. "Oh? Ah--" She trailed off, appearing quite confused. Hard to say if it was for his mention of warming without burning, or the bunny boy over there. She pressed fingertips to her temple.

"I believe the last I saw him was before he was married. It has been some time. Same for Laz.... " She paused at the interruption and just stared before continuing. "Lazare.  I've not met the fourth."

The boisterous bunny brat froze in his ranting at the ceilings at the sound of the comment. He turned, cute little cheeks bright red, and baby blue eyes flashing dangerously. He stood up and stumped immediately over to the large man standing on his tiptoes and pointing a mitten up at him as he exploded, "Listen here, blaze-for-brains, I'm not kidding. Your gonna help me outta this thing, and then I'll return to my magnificently evil form as the great wizard..." And he froze...mid-tirade...a look of pain on his face as his lips screwed up together and he almost belched the word "Cuddlekins", obviously in place of whatever wonderfully powerful and impressive name he had formerly held...he looked dismayed, and again turned around to shake his fist at the ceiling, "Dammit Bill!" And there, on the back of the suit was a sparkly little silver padlock...underneath which was a sparkly little silver buckle...

"Lazare is around, never know when he might show up." Well aware of the lad in a bunny suit but he kept his conversation with Breda.

He was being threatened by a bunny? Well, he asked, strong hands laid on the shoulders of what was determined a suit and he disintegrated it down to ashes, falling from the lad without burning the boy.

Nora was silent for a long moment, but when the boy belted out about being a great wizard? She slipped out a giggle that she quickly muffled into the palm of her hand. Then, she opened her mouth to speak, say something, but she was frozen in shock when Hugh.. did... that.

"Well, I hope you'll give him my regards. " She was ignoring the discussion between Hugh and the bunny boy until Hugh made the suit ...disappear. Then she started to laugh out right.

He honestly froze in shock. Which was slightly ironic, given the fact that all his clothing had just gone up in literal flames around him. He was naked. Stark naked. On the up side, his pretty blonde hair was in view now, as was the sparkly silver chain, that the sparkly silver buckle was attached to, which was being defended it seemed, but a now glowing green padlock. The brat-boy then moved, hunkering down and covering his immature body hollering up  the man, "You flame-farting pervert! What the heck was that?! Any second now I'm going to change back into...into..." His face screwed up again and he spit, "Cuddlekins! And then...oooh then...I'll show you!" He hunkered on the floor...waiting for his triumphant reemergence.

Trevor was up and moving to the hall and the second door down. Going within and out a few minutes later with a pair of trousers and tunic. He was over to the lad to offer them out. "You can have these, what that room has and for anyone who needs. I think, you're in need." Really trying to hold back a laugh. "The ladies will turn away from seeing you." Lucky for them it was only a child. Immature male, no mistaking that at this point. Certainly they had seen younger brothers or such, not the same as a mature male. More the embarrassment would be for the lad.

Jenna wasn't quite sure what to think, so she didn't speak. Just slid herself onto a stool there at the bar and set her glass down. And..turned her head when the suit was burned away leaving the child naked.

"You asked me to rid you of the suit." Which the Alterian took literally. He was becoming aware that the lad held no logic to his train of thoughts or threats. With Trevor handing the lad some clothes he was back to collect his drink and watch.

She was so tired, so tired. "I think I will turn in for the night. I am going to get one of the rooms upstairs." She approached the bar, even, and leaned in to request a key from Alex.

The lad snatched the clothes from the one who offered them, tucking them under his body and laughing, "Smart boy, smart boy! I will remember this when I am once again free. Would you like a new suit? A new suit made out of that one?!" He jerked his head accusingly towards the big man he had originally accosted. He scrambled under a table and emerged moments later in the ill fitting clothing, using one hand to hold up the wide pants, and the other to tug violently at that silvered chain, "Why isn't it working!"

Well, the boy was quite rude and impatient, wasn't he. She looked at Hugh, her expression thoughtful.

A warm smile was offered Nora. "Have a good night, senorita."

"Good night, Nora. It was a pleasure to meet you. Rest well."

"Thank you, Jenna. You have a good night, too, yes?" She sliced Jenna a warm smile as she stepped away from the bar. "Nice meeting you too, Breda, Hugh. Good night, Sir Trevor." A small nod then she turned for the staircase.

"Mind your tongue lad, or I'll have the floor open up beneath your feet and swallowed into the earth, spit out some place else." The threat was real coming from one of the four horsemen. "Good night Nora, sleep well. I'm sure our paths will cross again."

She cast a smile over her shoulder, then continued up the stairs.

"Si. Gracias." Spoken before Nora made her escape. Glass tilted once more for a finishing drink, then the empty vessel was set on the counter, requesting warm cider from Alex.

Hugh didn't have much experience with children, rude adolescents. The children at the orphanage didn't behave like this one. Then again he was getting to teach them things most could not. "Good night Nora," tracing a glance to where she disappeared down the hall then back upon the two ladies.

"I think perhaps he has delusions." Decided as she watched the boy.

Looking from Alex, to Breda to the boy, a subtle nod was given. She would have offered help, but with such a foul mouth, the boy was on his own.

The boy whirled to look at the one who threatened him and he stamped his foot, "Lad? Lad?! I remember times when the realms were fused together. I remember times when there were at least 7 elements! Lad! Be gone!" He raised a hand and hissed a strange word, at which time that silver chain promptly blazed to life with white light and he yelped again, dancing around on one foot, then the other, as he tugged at the now, obviously, burning hot piece of metal. He groaned, "Dammit...just wait...just wait a little longer."

"Should have left him in the bunny suit. At least then it was comical to watch his rants."

He reached out as his hand turned to cold stone to surround the silver chain, sending the cold along it until it was to a normal temperature. Which at that point he released his hold.

"He seemed anxious to get rid of it." Which thinking back on it all had him laugh. Rumbling kind from deep within. It was getting late, however, the lad dismissed in his mind as Trevor dealt with him. Dark eyes turned on Breda with a knowing look. He could feel the tiredness overtaking her, which had him feeling tired in turn.

She had finished her drink and moved away from the bar. "I think it is time for me to return to the manor. I need to be up with the sun so that I can take note of the reaction by the new plants hybrids I planted." She gave a subtle nod in Hugh's direction. The day had been a long one and rest would be very welcome.

As much as she would have liked to comment further, she held her tongue. Thanking Alex for the cider, she picked the mug up to cup in her hands and went to collect warmth by standing in front of the hearth. A smile given to Breda. "It was a pleasure to meet you, Senorita."

"A good night Trevor, Jenna. Pleasant dreams tonight." Ones that didn't include boisterous bunnies. He was over to collect the cloak but only folded it over his forearm as got the door for Breda.

"Good night to you both, Trevor, Jenna. It was a pleasure to meet you as well." She grinned at Hugh but pulled her cloak on. She felt the cold unlike her kin.

The lad paused his ceaseless ranting as that chain suddenly cooled, a bright red welt around his neck now, and he just looked at the man who let the chain go. Finally, looking like the words tasted bad, he said, "Thank you." And turned, sitting down at a table with a huff.

"Buenos noches, Senor. Safe travels to you both."

Smile swept near as quick as he ushered Breda out into the night. Cold was welcome to him and Breda would stay warm being in his proximity.

"You are welcome." Which he had no trouble saying. He gave a quick study of the welt, it would go down. "Alex has some ice if you need.."

She glanced to the boy briefly then to Trevor and finally to Alex. Everyone cleared out quickly. Cider rose for a drink of the heated contents, turning towards Trevor. "May I ask what you do here?"

"I am one of the King's four horsemen." Well, the little demonstration may have given that away. Then again Hugh demonstrated an elemental quality but was not one of the King's men. "There are others here that are the king's men, then there are the knights and warriors, royal guards and patrols."

She wasn't familiar with the term horsemen. Well, at least she didn't think she was. Perhaps not in the sense he meant it. Likely expressed in her eyes, but she nodded to the latter of what he said. "Sounds like a very honorable title."

"I am usually titled as a king's man. Knighted as well." Which he wore one of the empowered swords at his left hip. "I am honored to be in service to the King and Queen of these lands."

"I can understand why. I've heard nothing but good things about them. They must be grand rulers to have so many wonderful people upon their lands." Spoken genuinely. Everyone she'd met in Heathfield was good people.

"It has been a much better place to be in than others." Not going into detail but he had been in quite a few where fighting was common, death surrounded. Thieves and liars. "Enjoy your stay but I must be back as I am to be on the king's field come dawn." And dawn was not far away. "It has been a pleasure talking with you, Jenna." Sincerely spoken before he finished off what was in his glass. Only one drink the night. He collected the jacket that matched the pants to don, straightening it out. His cloak was in the back office which he would proceed to head in a moment.

Understanding the thing about better than other places. She could agree with that. A smile given as he spoke his leave. "Gracias. It was a pleasure talking with you also." She lifted her mug in inquiry, asking Alex if she could take it with her, when he agreed, she took her leave of the evening with a parting nod to Trevor.

"A pleasant night's sleep." Giving a slight bow of his head cordially again before he was heading for the back hall and the office to stop in for his cloak. A back exit would also be utilized.


Date: 02-14-09
Poster: Ailbhe MacNeils
Post # 42

Emerging from Genesis

It had been a very long time since Ailbhe visited the Thistle. Certainly he got out but those expeditions were not to socialize. Some comments made by his well meaning Kin, had him to wander this way tonight. A woolen sweater in a fisherman's style, neutral colors of heather, was worn over black woolen pants. He didn't wear a cloak in spite of the snow that was falling outside. One could wonder if he forgot to. He absently brushed off the white fluff from his shoulders once within the tavern. Intense dark blue eyes spotted Alex right off as he headed there. He would have the potcheen. If the man was surprised to see him after all this time, he never gave any indication but spoke with him as if it were yesterday.

She did wear a cloak, unlike the other man. Warm and hooded, she was bundled up as she stepped up to the doorway to ease inside. Her hands were in fuzzy, heather grey looking gloves. But the gloves and cloak were removed, dusted free from the snowflakes that had gathered along the material. After hanging her cloak, Nora turned for the bar. Tonight, she wore her favorite dress; pale yellow, trimmed in white lace, white ribbon that criss-crossed down the spine of the bodice.

Jenna's warm blood hadn't permitted her to leave at all today! Snow would take some getting used to. A lot of getting used to. Thus, she had stayed quietly in her room, catching up on some of the studies she'd been neglecting lately. It was time for a break however and something warm to drink. Joining Nora and the man she didn't know in the common room, a light smile was offered to the gent, brightened some to see Nora. "Buenos noches, Senorita." A comfortable gown of royal blue laced loosely up her back with cap sleeves and empire waist trimmed in lighter shaded panels of blue.

"Fair evening." Collecting the glass that was still untouched set out for him of potcheen. He sensed one of his Kin about as he glanced from the ladies to the door then back. "The winter will not last much longer. The Earth is starting to awaken. Deep down where unseen, where the roots of the great Oaks reach. I am Ailbhe MacNeils."

"Good evening, Jenna." A warm smile tilted towards the woman as Nora reached the bar. For now, she remained on her feet and her blue-green eyes swept a curious gaze over the man speaking. She listened to him, a smile blooming along her mouth. "I do not know about others, but I am quite ready for spring. Good evening, I am Elleanora Stockard, though most call me Nora. This is the Lady Jenna." She made a small motion to the lady with her hand.

Mellan had been out and about, collecting some raw ore and other materials. He sent them on to the manor before following his kin to the Thistle. It was rare that Ailbhe ventured out and Mellan was curious. As he made his way inside, he grinned. He had forgotten his cloak again but that wasn't unusual. A black shirt was worn, as well as black pants and boots, the knees of the pants dirty.

She too approached the bar, falling quiet as the man spoke. She nodded agreeable with Nora. "Si. I have had my fill of winter and snow. A pleasure to meet you, Senor MacNeils." Snow was very pretty from the window when she had the warmth of a room to keep her from the cold.

"I'm pleased to meet you both. Nora. Jenna. It seems most look forward to spring and summer. Long days filled with sunshine. Growing things, the breath of life to fill ones lungs over bitter cold and cumbersome snow. Still, there is stark beauty in land covered in ice and snow, brighter stars at night, the silence that has one reflect of a sleeping world blanket in white, awaiting the blue birds song to awaken again." He was probably getting carried away but the way he spoke it was if he was watching exactly what he spoke on. "My Kin, Mellan if you have not met?" Being he finally arrived.

She canted her head to the side, her brows slightly arching above blue-green. "You must really enjoy nature, Ailbhe." A general comment, which brought on a smile. "I like flowers. Roses, roses are my favorite. Good evening, Mellan. My name is Nora." Short and sweet, but she did curtsey for him at least.

"Roses are your favorite, sweet scent that fills the spring's air. I see you as the white morning glory, delicate blooms that twine up a trellis. The vine like a touch of a hand in gentle holding."

"You speak poetry." A light smile to Ailbhe before attention drifted to Mellan. A subtle wave directed to him. "A pleasure. My name is Jenna." So many names in just a few days. She was going to have problems remembering some of them she could tell. Hearing the other, she smiled to Nora. "We are in the midst of nature's poets."

"Good evening, ladies. A pleasure to meet you, Nora, Jenna." Storm gray eyes held an enjoyment of life. "Aye, Ailbhe is one whose words paint poetry."

"Morning glories are pretty, too." She smiled wide, nodding for Jenna, and Mellan. "Do you write poetry, Ailbhe?" Her eyes lit up. "Besides speaking it.."

She turned to Alex briefly, requesting a mug of warmed cider before turning back to the conversation with a light smile, then to Mellan. "Are you not cold?" He was the one not wearing a cloak, right? Two now she'd seen without a cloak upon entering. Made her shiver just at the thought.

Cold? His brow furrowed in thought as he settled at the bar. "I suppose I could be. I just didn't think about it." In spite of not having a cloak he had gloves and a scarf, both of which he placed on the bar. Alex set a tankard before him. Mellan avoided potcheen.

Well to each their own. Thanking Alex for the mug, she carefully swept it into one hand, to be cupped with both for the collective warmth.

"No, I have not written down words to parchment." He could display them through sight and sound but he had learned not to demonstrate, for some it would infringe on what they knew to be normal in comparison. He studied Nora and wondered, there too he would not delve for it was impolite in the moral standings of those upon this Earth. Unless invited. Mellan could see the colors of his words.

"I like reading poetry, that is why I asked." She offered sheepishly, nodding. She glanced from one person to the other then her attention landed on Alex. She pursed her lips, trying to decide what to order for herself.

"Are you open to that which is not considered normal, that which goes beyond as things normally perceived?" He had come closer, movement silently subtle she would find him standing within two feet of her. Eyes searching once met with the draw of his voice.

She forgot about ordering anything when he moved closer. She turned to face him, her head tilting to the side. Something about his question made her a little nervous, but she couldn't point out why, really. "I.. I do not know. I suppose so.." No one had really ever asked her that! It took her quite off guard.

There was calm about him, like the deep rooted oaks that sat sentinels in the forest. "Then let me show you," a hand lifting off to the side as what appeared to be a cylinder shape displacement formed from the floor to the ceiling. About two feet around in a crystal dusty haze. Colors of the rainbow moved with sweet notes, light and airy, dipping, moving, transfixing, mesmerizing to the eyes. A feel of life, of purity without taint. They faded into pastels with speckling of white to gradually take over in a snowfall appeal, sparkling like diamonds in a more ancient tune. White faded to the deepest of blues with the sparkling of stars pinpointed background. It was here the vine grew like a delicate ballerina lifting from the floor, dancing, moving and growing, sprouting the delicate white flowers. No trellis seen but way the vine lifted as well the flowers the mind formed it there. The star studded night faded to light, the scent of flowers under a hot summer's sun permeated as well the flow of music more alive. In the next moment all was gone as if it had not transpired at all, the poets words in visual and sound than scratches on parchment.

At first there was a stare of surprise, shock at what he created. And as the colors danced, changed, they seemed to reflect in her wide, blue-green eyes. Her mouth slowly opened, but she couldn't speak, couldn't even make a single sound. There was a brief glance to the others around the bar in wonder if they were seeing the same thing. She drew in a breath that held, her attention back on the scene before her. She watched the flowers, but to her, she didn't imagine a trellis; the vine seemed to have a life of its own. She blinked twice and when everything faded, she fixed Ailbhe with a stare. She didn't know what to say at first!

He smiled at Jenna then turned to watch Ailbhe and Nora, his expression one of calm. He had seen this before but it never failed to fascinate him. When it was gone, his gaze turned to Nora, to watch her reaction. His smile grew before he took a good drink of the ale.

An interesting question. Being addressed to Nora though, she turned her back towards the counter with a light lean. She had dropped her attention to the mug in hand, watching the surface reflect some of the light of the room back up to the visual poetry offered. Thin brow arched upward curiously as she watched on with a sense of awe. Such a splendorous scene displayed. The thought played across her features with admiration that lasted well after the poetry was displayed.

Which had brows to slightly knit. He wasn't sure without delving but then he sensed enough. "You enjoy the sight of beauty, that which sound and colors entwined." Blue eyes lifting from her to  Jenna, "you as well." He seemed pleased with that. It had not been a negative reaction, hoping for the positive for there was nothing threatening about it. This was just a very small demonstration.

"Yes, you are correct," she admitted, sheepishly. She did love pretty things, be it something seen, heard, or read. She nodded slowly, blinking again. "That was... absolutely amazing. I have never seen anything like that. Thank you for sharing it with us, Ailbhe."

A light smile was returned to Mellan with a nod to Ailbhe's interpretation of their reactions. Of course, she could only speak of her own. "Si. Gracias. It was truly beautiful." Nora had said it all!

"You are most welcome. It is not uncommon for me, for us," glancing to Mellan then back between both ladies, "in our lands. Where we once were from." The concept on a greater scale they had raised the white walls of Alteria with. Greater projects took the collective minds as if built by hand, except far more perfect. Pristine. "I feel you are on a seeking path, following your feet where they lead you for uncertain of that which you are to find other than there is something, elusive but there."

She wasn't sure if he was speaking to herself or to Jenna on that last part. She glanced from him, to Jenna then back again, her brows furrowed. It did fit her, though. "Me?" She paused, clearing her throat. There was a slow nod, a small nod of her head, indicating yes, he was correct.

She too wasn't sure who he was speaking to. Looking back down the mug with a subtle fade to her smile, she lifted it for a small drink of the cooling cider.

"Both," the two ladies had something in common even though he felt they were different at the same time. Yes and no. The blueprint of their essences were different enough.

He watched the two women now, not just one. He cut a look toward Ailbhe and smiled, nodding slightly. It would likely give both something to think about.

Quiet for a moment of thought, the mug was lowered with a meek smile to Ailbhe. "Wouldn't it be correct to say that there is always something elusive but there? One wouldn't find much point in living without the sense of something more to give them drive to wake the next morn."

She glanced aside to Jenna, surprised that she too, was pointed out. She pursed her lips, watching one man then the other. She didn't speak, she listened to Jenna instead though by now, her gaze was stuck on Ailbhe.


Date: 02-14-09
Poster: Ailbhe MacNeils
Post # 43

"Yes and no. For some it is not elusive even if not obtained. Something stronger at points in one's life than at other times. It is as if the present puzzle is missing a piece. I feel this around you both." He seemed thoughtful for a moment, "forgive me if I have overstepped. It has been a while since I have socialized." Leaving it go at that than the fact there were differences between them and those of this Earth, more in perceptions.

"No no, you are fine, Ailbhe. I am .. just surprised, that is all." Though, the missing piece with her... it could be missing pieces. It was hard to say, she did appear confused. Though there was a very vague somber glint in her eyes. She bit down on her lower lip, growing still, then realized. "Oh, I was going to order.." She laughed quietly and requested warm brandy from Alex. Blackberry.

Clearing her throat softly, she offered a small smile to Ailbhe. "No need to apologize, senor." She too was a bit surprised. She wasn't really sure what to say. Too many ghosts haunted her past and she hoped to leave them there. A soft smile directed to Nora. "If you enjoy poetry, I have a book you might like to read. It's an interesting read."

He cut another look toward Ailbhe, smiling slightly. "I think you're doing quite well." He seemed more comfortable than Mellan had at times when he first ventured out from Genesis Manor.

He had been uncertain, not wishing to insult the ladies but share some of his abilities that might please them. A slight dip of his head came with thoughtful eyes that slanted from the ladies to Mellan. There a moment before he stepped away to claim his drink he had left on the bar. A drink taken as he set to listening for a change. It really had been a very long time. Thoughts reflecting his first visit to this realm of existence and observances then. Odd encounter, how women reacted around men, certain men at times.

She smiled over to Mellan who obviously seemed the more quiet of the two. "How do you express poetry?" Curious.

"I do enjoy poetry. And I'd love to borrow it, if you would not mind." She smiled Jenna's way, then glanced towards Ailbhe, but her glance lingered. More of a quiet stare. She cleared her throat and took up her drink, floated down his way. "I hope I did not upset you. I -- uhm.. my very recent past wasn't easy.." Offering faintly. She tried to sound light hearted then. "But yes, I am missing something. Some.. things, actually. A man for one." She grinned. Oddly? That.. might have actually been what he had been feeling. There was one missing in her life, but not quite in the same meaning that she was referring to. Or, not really.

"I don't actually. I'm more of a scientific mind." He chuckled softly. "My poetry would be more of a roses are red simplicity but I like to think what I do has its own sort of poetry."

Kind of idly listening to what Nora had to say, she nodded to Mellan. "I'm sure it does. Poetry comes in many forms."

"It does indeed." He saluted her with his tankard and downed the last of the ale then asked Alex for a refill.

Her voice brought him back from times long ago, blue eyes were bright like a summer's sky. "No, not at all. Your company has been delightful. I feel you will find what is missing in time. You don't seem to be anxious of spirit or mind, enjoying what is along the way. The man you speak of is one you know from a time before?" Asking instead of only stating so he could be corrected if he was off. It was not as easy with others as with his Kin, but not impossible. This, he had discovered before as well as some of the others.

Finishing off the rest of her cider, she lifted from her lean and turned to set the mug down before quietly excusing herself for a moment to get the book she spoke of, for Nora.

She bit down on her lower lip, obviously hesitating. He saw through the tease and she should've known better. She leaned in, quite close to whisper to him. It wasn't something she wanted to say out loud.

Only a couple minutes passed before she returned with the small book in hand. Leather bound cover was a bit tattered and faded in some places, open edges of the pages soft from wear. "Here you are, Senorita. I hope you enjoy  it." It was set on the counter for her to take. Whenever she opted look inside, she'd find it all truly hand written. As in, scribbles of mistakes and rewrites throughout the book, rather than one professionally scripted. Turning  to Alex, she requested a glass of brandy. flavor didn't much matter to her.

She leaned slightly away from him when she heard Jenna. A smile flashed along her mouth. "Thank you very much. I will return it as soon as I am done." "As a matter of fact, I think I shall return to the castle to read a little of it." She was tired, too, and reading might relax her enough to get to sleep.

Her soft whisper brought a visual as brows knitted together. Distracted as Jenna brought the book and he eased to straightened. Letting the tendrils connected to her words unite to something unexpected. "A moment," leaning back to practice this whispering but instead of his lips moving the thoughts were transferred as if he had.

"Take your time with it." She had no intention of leaving Heathfield any time soon. She thanked Alex quietly, and picked up the glass for a small drink. Turning back to Nora. "It was a pleasure to see you again, as always."

"It was a great pleasure to meet you, Nora. Rest well this night." He glanced at Ailbhe then looked back to the young woman.

She froze in place, suddenly, her eyes on Ailbhe. It looked like all of the color drained from her face. She swallowed, nodded slowly, all he needed for an answer, she thought!

There was a little bit more, perhaps a thread of hope he added. Before she left and in case their paths didn't cross for some time.

That.. that really made her want to go back, to see. But it was too much of a danger. She watched him for a long moment, then exhaled. "Thank you.. Ailbhe." That first, then she backstepped. "I hope you all have a pleasant evening."

"In time, do not rush. It remains unseen for some time. You are welcome. Sleep more peacefully, Nora. Morning glory will be yours." There was a calm about him at this point to share and finally smiled. He had a nice one when he was incline.

She smiled to him, then to the others. Plucking the book up, Nora turned to the door, gathering her cloak and gloves before she swept out.

"I hope to see you again soon, Senorita." Spoken genuinely before taking another small drink from the glass.

He had been somewhat lost in his own thoughts and blinked when Nora left. The remainder of his second drink was finished.

"Your mind is on your project. Well," pausing a heartbeat, "one of many. You will be ready for the spring to explore the coral reefs of a particular island." Focus on Mellan before finishing off the potcheen in his glass. Attention then diverted to Jenna. "There are many different kinds of poetry, are there certain ones you like better than others?"

He just grinned and nodded but there was more to his reason to wanting to return to that island. Something he needed to know.

A glance given between the two men. "Might I ask what you both do here?" Curiosity rose a bit. Attention rested on Ailbhe. "I enjoy music. Something about a tune that can take you to another place or time."

"I'm a scientist, as I said. I invent things." He placed his tankard down and shook his head at Alex. He was finished for the night.

"I take care of my Kin," which was more on another level in helping them adjust to this new world. Some had not emerged even once from Genesis and would take time. "Perhaps I should find myself a hobby as well." An interesting thought to entertain and possible do something with it. "Music is the soul of the universe, the creation of stars sing throughout the centuries, death and birth continuous."

A nod to Mellan. She'd heard him say he was more interested in science, but hadn't been sure that was what he did professionally. Looking back to Ailbhe, she smiled softly. "You have a lot of kin here?" Must be nice to have family close. "Music can thread the oddest of things together." Agreeing with him. Music was something that could mend spirits.

"I have always found music to be soothing. And everything makes its own music, doesn't it?"

"Yes, those that survived the holocaust." He was getting tired as it was getting late and there were the plants to sing to in the morning with dawn's light in the solarium. Though their song held no words but pure notes intricately woven together the plants responded to. He settled to listening and would wait for when Mellan was ready, no rushing him as it was good for him to socialize and not be so quiet. His turn in short.

He would be ready soon enough. In spite of his obsession with his project, he took part in the morning ritual. It kept certain things alive in his soul. "Do you have a favorite instrument to listen to?"

The thought of a holocaust furrowed her brows a bit, for a moment before nodding to what Mellan said with a light hearted smile. "I like to think so. Though I'm not sure listening to a rock would be as entertaining as perhaps a stream." Small sip from the glass taken before speaking again. "Si. The harp and violin are my favorites. I enjoy them both. Do you?"

"Rocks are the voices of the earth, their songs that of creation." He looked thoughtful. "I enjoy the sound of the harp though I think the human voice can be a lovely instrument as well." He grinned as he continued. "Then, again, I suppose both can cause one to flee if played badly."

"That is very true." She nodded lightly before laughing a bit. "Yes. If one is played badly. I envy those with a voice to carry to the angels. I have no such gift. So I find my voice comes from the strings of the instruments I love."

Laughter erupted before excusing himself. Rocks and badly played harps. Though Mellan was correct on the rocks compressed by the Earth over countless centuries. From the smallest pebble to the largest rock formation, visuals danced but he remained silent again while finishing off the last of his drink.

"You're a musician then?" He smiled again as he spoke. "Perhaps we can hear you play sometime, though I fear tonight it grows late and we should return to the manor."

"Si." A thoughtful smile given. "Only the violin these days. A harp is difficult to travel with. I would be delighted to play some time." Followed with a nod. It was indeed getting late. Company had been enjoyable enough that the hour slipped her attention.

"It was good to meet you, Jenna. I hope your dream are pleasant one." He picked up his scarf and gloves and looked at Ailbhe. Was he ready to leave?

"It was a pleasure to meet you both. I hope your return home is a safe one, and a pleasant night." A tip of her glass towards Alex, wondering if he'd mind if she took her glass with her before heading off for her room.

"A pleasure, Jenna." Politely given with the touch of a smile for the sincerity of his words. He was ready to leave as well. "Sleep well, may the song of the universe lull you." He headed out at that point being he had no cloak to retrieve nor needed.


Date: 02-16-09
Poster: Joshua McDonough
Post # 44

Anxious Energy

Joshua had finished up with the cattle earlier this night, getting all things done that were left for him to do. He was troubled and for good reason as he headed for the Thistle in getting some air. Some food as well as he had a bowl of the Irish stew, then set to drinking. Potcheen. He usually only had a moderate amount from time to time but tonight he was already passing the usual amount. He was all cleaned up, dark green tunic over a cream shirt. Black pants and boots lacing up to below his knees ending in a cuff. Chaps were still on as he didn't bother to take them off. Every bit helped in keeping warm.

Jenna had been staying at the Thistle for the previous week or so. She very much enjoyed it in Heathfield despite the cold. Having been out and about exploring, she now returned. After making sure her horse was comfortable for the night, she made haste to get inside the tavern quick for the warmth. She reached out for the door before actually reaching it, gently pushing it open and following its wake with a shiver. A quiet slur of Spanish words as she swung  around the open side of the door, turning to push it closed and keep out as much of the cold as possible. Whatever attire she wore was hidden beneath the black cloak she wore. Fur lined hood pushed back from her face, all rosy from the cold. Gloves and cloak would remain until she warmed up some.

He was straddled over the stool, much like one that rode a lot. Which he did. Sounds at the door had him dipping a glance over his shoulder. Green eyes a touch brighter than usual. He watched the woman a moment as she saw to her outerwear, then on a thought offered up a greeting, "evening ma'am."

Shaking snow from the heavy wool of her cloak, she turned to offer a warm smile to the man. "Buenos noches, Senor." She hadn't meant to interrupt his peace and quiet. The door shut and snow shaken off there near it, she walked over towards the bar. "My apologies for interrupting." A light smile offered to Alex and request for a bit of brandy to warm up her frozen insides.

Molly was laughing as she ran toward the tavern, her path zigzagging as she seemed to easily avoid the snowballs being thrown. Instead of making for the front, she went around the Thistle and came in through the garden door. Her cheeks and nose were pink from the cold, bright blue eyes sparkling with laughter. She was happy in more ways than one. In a few weeks, she was going to be sixteen. For a moment, she leaned against the door, catching her breath.

The arrival of another had him whipping a glance there only to pause, slight stare before a blink followed with a smile. "Evening Molly," he remembered her, weeks ago? Mind was a little fuzzy, comfortably so however. Then back to the other, "you have not interrupt. I'm only having a drink." Dimple touched with his smile, after all, it was a tavern. "I am Joshua and this is Molly," being he could introduce her knowing her name.

"Evening, Joshua." She smiled at him, her face lighting up at his remembering her. She removed her cloak, tucking her gloves and hat into a pocket. Her scarf was placed on the peg with the scarf. "Evening, ma'am."

Light hearted smile remained, she dipped her head to Joshua. "A pleasure, Senor." Then attention drifted to the young woman. "And you, Senorita. My name is Jenna." Leather gloves were tugged from her hands, one tucking them away the other reached for the glass.

"Buenos noches, Jenna." Greeting her in Spanish as he knew a little, knew that much at least. "Are they still practicing for the big snow war, Molly?" He had seen some of the groups earlier when it was still light out, through the window, but he had remained inside instead of joining in.

"Pretty name." She smiled as she made her way to the bar and asked Alex quietly for hot chocolate. It would have whipped cream and chocolate shavings on top. "Aye, though most are drifting off." She turned to face them both while Alex fixed her drink.

"Gracias, Senorita." To Molly's compliment with a beamed smile for the returned greeting from Joshua. Sipping her drink, she listened to what they spoken about regarding a snow war. Sounded like fun. Too cold for her blood, but fun none the less.

"Are you going to join in when they have the bigger war, Molly?" Curious if she partook in such activities. Not all girls did. Remember his drink, he kicked back what was left in the glass before pouring some more, even if he knew he probably should not. Notice, he hadn't tried standing to greet either of them.

"I might if I'm around." She couldn't always escape the watchful eyes of the adults at the manor. She was comfortable in a knitted tunic type sweater dyed red, doeskin pants of black and fur-lined leather boots. Her hair had been tamed into two braids but static electricity still had some of her hair standing, in spite of her trying to smooth it down. "Will you?" She was curious as she watched him.

"Aye, I might if not needed on the ranch." So it was more timing in when it came about and what needed to be seen to. Normally he'd be excited but circumstances had things clouded over and growing without their father returning, nor hearing from him.

She watched him a moment, then her gaze dropped to the bottle on the table. Just a little surprised but she knew those who lived here tasted the pure early. "Do you know when it is?" She was going to head out to the lake tomorrow and try the Dragon Run as soon as she was done at work.

"No, nothing has been said. Probably a night everyone just shows up and the war will begin. Whoever is around but word will get around too."

She picked up her mug and moved close to sit. "What's behind it? Is it an age old feud or just begun this winter."

He had to think on that, "well, they happen every year but I would not call it an age old feud. There is one lad about sixteen, big for his age, almost as round as he his tall and he likes to bully the others, mostly girls. I think he is bitter towards them for he was made fun of for his weight but he lost some, still, he gets too rough, takes it too seriously and then started picking on one of the McAndrews lasses. Rick decided to show him some real competition for he brags no one is better than him."

"Pshhht. I'm surprised no one else has gotten the silly bugger good." She made a face then grinned. "I have to say, I hope I'm around when it happens. I think it should be fun." Her eyes softened as she looked at him. "Are you all right, Joshua?"

"Well, he's got his little gang, ones afraid of him that do what he says. I think when he gets defeated, there will be another war won far greater. They will see he is not king of the commons." Kicking back another bit of potcheen he nearly choked on it with that question, giving a shrug of his shoulders. "I'm all right." Technically he was physically.

"Mmmm." She nodded, then smiled. "Well, if you ever need to bend an ear, I'm not one to tell secrets." She had an elfin quality about her, something in her heritage that Josh might very well recognize. "This is the best hot chocolate." Not that she had a lot of experience with even that.

He wasn't real good at keeping things in as it came out in a rush of words, "myPawentonamissionandhasn'tcomebackyet." sucking a breath for it took all of it in one long dashing sentence. "Months."

She blinked and took a moment to figure it out then frowned. "No word either? How can you stand it? You're very brave, Joshua." She pursed her lips slightly. "No one you can ask about it?"

"It is getting harder," seeming to relax now that he got it off his shoulders. "I don't feel brave, I wish I could do something to get him back. He works for the Crown and says this will be the last one. I'm just afraid he wont come back from this one." Natural fear which he tried to hide from Tamara who was getting harder to keep things from, he had to calm her down a few times and hard to do when you were not calm inside.

"He's been away before then. And he's always come back, hasn't he?" She leaned toward him, her eyes intent. "You have to have faith in him, Joshua. Did he tell you he'd be back? Not promise. I know he couldn't do that but did he say he'd be back?"

"Aye, but not for a long time. They only have him go if really needed. Something of importance for he's the best." Which there was pride in this tone, his father was his hero as well respect as his son. "Aye, he said he would be back but even Uncle Maurice is concern this time with him going. Pretty much told him it's the last of it, he has family to take care of. Me Ma died and Tamara's mother left."

"Then you have to believe with all your heart that he will." She glanced at Alex then back, her expression somber. "I don't have a da or a ma. I was lost for a long time and there were bad men around but there were people who hid me and protected me. I couldn't even remember what my family looked like but one day, there was a big raid and one of the men ... I knew him. He was my brother and I knew he was alive and always believed he'd find me. And he did. You have to believe like that, even when things are darker then you've ever seen them." She smiled, suddenly feeling shy. "I never told anyone outside the family that before." Her extended family. Only Dorian was blood.

He listened attentively, hanging on each word that rose hope in him. Finishing off the last of his drink, he didn't have any more like he planned. "That's even worse, losing both your Ma and Pa." Which was why he was so upset, he already lost his Ma. He remembered her too even if he was only five when she brought him here to meet his Da for the first time. "It is getting late and I will need to be up with the cattle hands. Can I walk you back?" He eased from the stool without falling. Maybe he would be able to hold his liquor, although a little wobbly, figuring that was from sitting so long. The cold air would wake him up.

She nodded then stood, watching him a moment to make sure he was steady then she smiled. "Least you have your Da and he'll be back. I know he will. Aye, I'd like you to walk me back." If he seemed too wobbly, she might try to coax him to stay. "You don't have a horse with you?"

"Aye, we can ride m'horse." He had ridden in because he first rode around down along the lake and other places about. He wasn't moving fast as he was over to get his cloak and hers to help her with. Fingers fumbled some but it was more he was not use to helping a girl put on her cloak. Once done and a good night to Alex and Hazel, he would see her out. Luckily he was so use to riding, would be easier than walking.

"Thank you." A dimple showed with her smile and once their cloaks were on, she slid her arm through his. It could have been a sneaky way to help him but they were friends after all. "What's your horse's name?" She asked as she waved good-bye to Alex, then it was off into the night, their voices fading away.


Date: 02-22-09
Poster: Trevor Cairns
Post # 45

Three of the Four

Trevor was relaxing in front of the hearth. Dark eyes perused the dance of the flames before him. The crackle of wood burned in a lulling way as well the scent of peat that had been added. The place was quiet as snow drifted outside in steady large flakes that spoke of an accumulation by morning if it didn't cease. It didn't look like it would cease either. Right now, it could be enjoyed as Alex went about his business, only adding to the background muted sounds.

Kaylea was enjoying the fall of snow as the flakes danced about the commons. She paused at the fountain, tipping her head back to let it melt against her face. She paused for only a moment before she continued toward the tavern.  Stepping inside, the door closing behind her with a quiet click, she removed her cloak with a flourish, and hung it on one of the pegs. "Good evening, Alex." She greeted the tender, not seeing Trevor yet. Wearing an Aran sweater of a natural gray, with black doeskin pants, she looked to be quite comfortable. Boots made a soft tapping sound as she crossed the floor to the bar.

"Good evening Kaylea," she'd find dark eyes watching her when she turned. The touch of a smile elusive but certainly hinted for a glint in dark eyes. "You enjoy the snow, a few weeks we wont be seeing much of it as spring starts to warm the earth and growth begins." He was attired in a dress shirt and vest. The jacket that matched the dark pants left at home. Though it was snowing it was not bitter cold and he was resilient to the cold. Dress boots finished off the polished look.

She collected her glass of punch before making her way to the hearth. "And a good evening to you as well, Trevor." A warm smile also was given to the King's man. "I do enjoy it, but then I enjoy every season and every type of  weather." She smiled as she motioned toward one of the chairs. "May I join you?"

"That is a good way to be. Of course you may join me," gaining his feet in all due respect of a lady as he indicated the chair closest to his. "Do you have a question?" He got this distinct impression she had not just one but a few. Realizing his question might seem odd, "things you hold inside that wish to burst forth like the grass beneath the snow once given the chance."

"Thank you." She settled into the chair and leaned back, pausing in lifting her glass with his question. Dark blue eyes showed her surprise, but there was something else there as well. "I am always full of questions, Trevor. But yes, I am curious about something." She watched him intently. "You are more than you seem, that's known, even if not announced in a loud voice. Do you ... feel things differently than others? Can you tell if the earth is about to change, if the trees are waking?" They were questions about him, but they could very well have deeper meaning for her.

Once she was seated, he settled back down into his. Comfortable once more but he sat up, one arm resting over his knee with a slight lean forward, full intense attention upon her. He noted her surprise but knowing well the longer she was in these lands the less surprised she would become, though never losing the wonder and even appreciation. "I am more as you suspect but to ask one that has lived his life such, if he felt different, I would have to say no. It is others that are different, limited. Now, they would say I see things, feel things differently for in comparison, I do. I can feel the earth tremble beneath my feet. I can feel the rich healing soil that is soon to awaken with life, like a child growing in its mothers womb. I can tell when storms are coming or the quiet of a hot summer day, when the earth thirsts for rain or all growing things seek the sun. Now, tell me about you." He knew she was feeling her way if she could talk to him about these things held deep inside.

She nodded, her expression thoughtful. "I'm beginning to feel as if I can understand the animals I work with. At first, I didn't think much of it, but now it seems to be extending to all animals I come in contact with." If she was worried he'd think her crazy, she didn't show it. "It's not constant," which likely was a good thing. "But if they're in distress, or content, or want something... I know." She made a helpless gesture. "I was trained in the old ways, and had hints of such things but never to the extent I do now."

"That is having a good rapport with animals. They do not hide things as humans do. If you want to see if it is a very special gift, try talking to one you have the most rapport with, in your mind. Try to get them to do something they do when you speak it. If you can do this, then take another step and see if you can let them talk to you, more than their actions speaking to you. I would try it first with domestic animals then if these steps prove fruitful, try it on some of the smaller wild animals such as chipmunks and squirrels. Work up from there. Don't try to hard if it doesn't come about the first time, second or even third but don't give up too easily either, get frustrated too quickly."

She showed obvious relief that he didn't think anything of it and even gave her advice. A dimple appeared as she smiled. "I will, and I do my best to take one step at a time." She could be impulsive but it was very important to her that she learn what seemed to be a gift from her new homeland. "I truly believe there is something very special about these lands. Were you able to do what you said before you came here? And please, if you'd rather not talk about that or answer the questions that I might have, I won't be offended."

From the back corridor came the sound of footsteps. Not overly loud, of course, but considering the less than crowded common room, easily enough heard. Carno stepped into the room from that direction, mid yawn, and graciously covering that gesture with the back of his hand. He released his breath with a rather loud sigh and continued in, headed straight for the bar, though he pounded a fisted hand once to his chest in greeting to the King's Man seated nearer the hearth.

"I do believe it brings out abilities in those possessing them. Perhaps it is a simple reason in that it is not considered unnatural or abnormal here. Though I think it might be something deeper still, a magical quality that is as deep as the great oaks' roots and as surrounding as the air we breathe. Old, ancients, have their roots here and their children's children keep it alive. I was able to do what I do before here, so it is not limited to here." Anything else was distracted away as his comrade in arms joined them. A fisted hand over his heart in return as easily done as one took a breath. "Lazare, come meet the Lady Kaylea MacKay."

A swipe of hand scooped up his drink that Alex had placed out for him and with that motion started in the direction of the other two in the room. He had meant to join them even without invitation but all the better the chance since offered. He stopped just short of the two and dipped his head. "Lady MacKay. Quite the pleasure." As he straightened he looked to Trevor with a grin. He'd take his seat in a moment.

She had something to think about later but for now, she turned her attention to the other who had entered. She watched him as he joined them and smiled warmly. "It's a pleasure to meet another of the King's men, Sir Lazare." She had only to meet two more though she had heard one was away and the other elusive.

"Perhaps we can talk more on this topic another day or my comrade here can share some of his vast knowledge with you." Obviously Lazare was as talented as the rest of the kings men, each in their own way.

"Another?" Lazare's smile never faded as he lowered to a chair close to both of them. "How many have you met?" There were many, in fact. But only four of the Four. He waved a hand as Trevor spoke. "Don't let me interrupt. I can sit quietly and listen." RIGHT!

"Only two of the Four." She knew there were others but she meant the Horsemen! She grinned at Lazare. "We were talking about talents and how they seem to grow in this land."

The rim of his glass touched against his lips as he spoke. "Like fungus on the trunk of a tree?" A low chuckle, and he drank.

"...or like some that are long wind....ed." Grinning Lazare's way as he sat back, glass taken up again for the drink of potcheen he nursed.

The door opened, letting in some of the cold from outside. It would remain ajar only long enough to allow the two to enter, lady first, warrior to follow.

Neither Julia nor Vincent had been out in far too long, so she arranged a babysitter for the night. Their two little angels, for certainly they were now that they were asleep, were tucked in for the night. No hat perched on her head but the hood of the fur cloak was up instead. Which was lowered upon entry, stepping in far enough to make room for Vincent. Hair was long again and braided French style.

The chuckle continued and he nodded, lowering his glass to rest against the arm of the chair. "Or some such as that..."

She cut an impish look toward both men. "And while Trevor can tell when the heart of the earth beats, you can tell which way the song of the wind comes from?" Being a touch poetic. She looked toward the door and smiled at the two entering.

"Aye, or the direction of a ..." She was spared! "" He breathed out the words, slowly coming to his feet. He had felt something in his gut but thought it had something to do with that venison he had consumed at dinner.

A smile blossomed fully upon the young woman and then Lazare as she motioned with her hand to Vincent, discreet turn but like saying... and.. here's Vincent!

Vincent helped Julia off with her cloak and stepped back to hook it to a peg. "Good is He?" After the garment was safely hung, he started with Julia to the gathering. Alex was already preparing drinks for the newly arrived and would bring it out to them.

Trevor as well gained his feet for certainly this was something to be on them for. "Vincent.." slight dip of his head before a smile actually appeared. "Julia, how good it is to see you both. Out.." not just Vincent on the king's field.

Her smile turned on her husband with a quick sassy wink before she was around and over to Lazare first to give him a kiss to his cheek. They were like brothers to her at this point and her respect great for all four. Trevor would be next, they might need to lean down just a touch to receive her greeting.

You'd think he kept his wife imprisoned by the way these two acted! "Trevor....Lazare." That one also acknowledged with a low rumble of warning. "Lady." She too was addressed while Julia saw to passing out kisses here and there.

Darn right and he would too, grinning over at Vincent the entire time while he accepted that press of lips to his cheek. He also made a quick tilt of head to get one to her cheek before she could be off to Trevor. That should suit Vincent well. He sat back down, oh what a grin.

"This is the lady Kaylea, and if memory serves me this night, she is one of the Zoo attendants." He would lean enough to receive the chaste kiss to his cheek once Lazare did the same and she was over. He even returned one in the process.

"Good evening to you both." She inclined her head slightly, eyes bright. "It's a great pleasure to meet you both, and yes, you're correct, Trevor."

"The zoo, well, that's interesting." Was it really? Or was Vincent attempting to be ... sociable? Gracious? Kind? Regardless, the words were out and he was accepting the drinks from Alex to hand one over to Julia. Time to drink and avoid the need to socialize.

"The zoo. I have heard about it and that it has a petting area of tamed ones?" A little uncertain as she accepted the drink, peach potcheen punch, lip licking good as Vincent might remember.

For a moment, Lazare's mouth dropped open but he quickly snapped it closed, hopefully before anyone saw. "It is interesting actually...this is where your..." He glanced to Trevor for a moment before looking back to Kaylea. "talent finds you?"

"I like to think so." She answered before turning to Julia. "Yes it does and this time of year, we're under the cover of a roof so it can continue year round." She nearly laughed as she turned to Lazare. "It seems so. I'm finding it easy to know what the animals need, or want, or how they're feeling, though I'm not actually talking to them as of yet."

Vincent sat back, watching Julia, knowing what would follow and enjoying the show when it did.

While Lazare's mouth dropped open, Trevor actually smirked. One of those quirks off to the side. "Please come and join us." Social invite! "How are the little angels, Marie and Juliann?" Well picking up the comment by Lazare on Kaylea's talent as per their earlier conversation. One Vincent was not privy to and might wonder on how it sounded. That amused him as well.

She was listening. "I think I will bring the girls around come spring, they will be old enough to enjoy it then." A hand to guide the deep blue gown trimmed in cream lace as she sat. The other holding her glass was lifted for that first taste and didn't the tip of her tongue follow between her lips to capture the last of it. Peach was so sweet.

Vincent would allow Julia to answer regarding the girls, he was looking between Lazare and the lady MacKay.


Date: 02-22-09
Poster: Trevor Cairns
Post # 46

Mike was whistling as he made his way around the fountain and toward the Thistle. He saluted the statue there, dodged a lad who was hurrying home and headed up the steps. He stepped in quickly, closing the door in a soft click.  And he paused a moment when he saw who was inside. Once he hung up his coat, he headed for the bar, whistling under his breath.

Once the glass was lowered her smile warmed completely when it came to her daughters. "They are both doing very well and growing so fast." She had regained her health completely, even better. Perhaps it had a lot to do with being so loved and needed.

"That will be wonderful. We'll have baby animals from the farms there." Only borrowed until they grew larger.

"I am pleased to hear and you look radiant, Julia," slow glance of dark eyes from her to Vincent. No giving expression to show any amusement or not. ".. as I am sure you are reminded daily." Noting the one coming in, amusement was back in a glint to dark eyes. "Evening Mike, come and join us." Would he? All considering? Ah yes, an interesting night it was proving to be.

Niklas looked like he just woke up. Well, it was fitting. Cold air helped some as he got out of the shop and headed for the Thistle. He had a little trouble with getting the side door open. Well, it opened but it hit his knee and shut again. Luckily the curses in his native tongue. It creaked open a little, a shuffle, then more so he didn't hit his knee again and was in. A little limp but it went with the dishevel of blond hair. The cloak even needed adjustment to lay right but instead it was slipped out of and discarded over the back of a stool. "Evening," glance of periwinkle eyes took in those within and then went wider before rubbing a hand over his face and looking again. "Vincent.. Julia," the latter barely out as he was over to give his sister a hug. A thud to Vincent's shoulder would suffice for his brother in law. Lucky for Vincent they weren't French or he'd be kissing his cheeks.

That dark gaze drifted to the door and followed the man to the bar. Trevor's comment, however, had him looking back to his comrade. The invitation and the comment about a possible lack of admiration had him growling under his breath, but he said nothing.

Ah, yes. Sir Vincent the Fiery was married. Of course, Mike was wondering if it had changed the man in the least. "Thank you, I think I will." Vincent got a cheeky grin. Mike wasn't drunk but would that keep him out of trouble? Not likely.

It was good to hear that growling for it meant Vincent was doing well.

She caught the growling but luckily was distracted to her brother, setting her glass aside to the table there before half lifting to give him a full hug in return. A kiss to his cheek followed. "So good to see you again Niklas, you are working too hard still." She knew his ways and the look told her as much.

Luckily for Niklas! "Niklas..." and yes finally. "Mike." Considering the grin, the King's Man canted his head ever so slightly. There were ladies present? Did that ever stop him before? No. But then, this was time to be spent with his wife and he wouldn't jeopardize that, yet.

"Good evening, Michael, Niklas." She tipped her head slightly as she watched the others. The interaction between them all would be well noted.

Look at Lazare grin. His cheeks would ache for weeks as he looked from one to the other to the other. Vincent's hell was Lazare's bliss. Only because Vincent showed no mercy on his Brother when they came up against each other on the field. Carno would have his reward here...instead. He would look about, drink, swallow, grin...look about some more.

"Ja, but I have handed over the workload to Aleric so he can look like me." Giving her a wink after the hug was done then back to the bar to claim his drink. Once that was in hand he was back over to slump into one of the chairs in the grouping. "Good evening, Kaylea, you are looking well. You have been well?" Finally taking a drink. "Lazare, Vincent, Mike, good evening to you all."

"Evening, Kaylea, Lady Julia, Gentlemen." He knew them all by name of course, but it was easier to just lump the men together. Taking a seat opposite where Vincent and his Lady were, he settled in to drink.

"And to you, Niklas." Lazare lifted up his drink, or what was left of it, in a toast to the younger Traugott brother.

"I have yet to see Aleric look like you do when tired but it is good you are taking a break. Good you are out to socialize. Aleric should as well." She would work on the oldest brother later. Now she could work on her brothers without retribution in that area!

Intense gaze rested on the man opposite them, for just a moment before he drifted his gaze to Julia.

Dimples appeared with his smile as periwinkle eyes turned on Vincent. He was too tired to tread carefully! "How is your chair doing?"

He saluted Vincent with his drink and started to raise his glass but when Niklas spoke, he paused. Had he been drinking, he might have choked.

Which would have had Vincent congratulating him! Letting Julia's comment set in, realizing it these few minutes later. "Ja, you should talk to him, get him out, get him a Frau."

"Haven't much use for it as of late." Was all he said, but a dark brow twitched upward. "Your sister has graciously seen to that." So it wasn't all he said after all.

Which had him whipping a glance back to Vincent then Julia, "congratulations, the whole lot of us couldn't get him out of that seat." Hard to tell if the implication went over his head or not.

It didn't get pass her as cheeks dusted a pretty shade of rose. A smile was her reply to Niklas before blue eyes lowered a touch sweeping a glance to Vincent. Slow smile that couldn't be helped before covered up by the lift of her glass and another taste of the peach punch.

Lazare chuckled under his breath. "Far braver than the lot of us, this lovely lass." He twitched off a wink to Julia before resting his attention on Kaylea. "Forgive us, Lady Kaylea, Vincent is a favorite target. Is it even a wonder why he prefers his solitude with his darling wife, then to spend his hours with the likes of us?"

Of course, she had no idea what they were talking about but she was enjoying it nevertheless. "Ah, I see." She grinned at Lazare. "Though I did notice." And imagined that was switched around on the field from the little she had heard. "That's only to be expected." She looked over her glass at Vincent then looked at Lazare. "What chair are you talking about though?"

He was trying hard to behave but it wasn't easy. He took a long drink of the pure before he looked at Vincent. Lips twitching at Kaylea's question.

She was smiling, choosing not to say anything presently but enjoy the bantering conversation between the men and Vincent. This was a treat and reminded her of times past. Vincent got to talk with her all the time, after being with him long enough she got to understand his different grunts, growling and sometimes a sizzling hiss.

Lazare reached a hand under his chair and used that leverage to scoot a bit closer the woman. "It was a favorite of Vincent's" Let's talk about him as if he wasn't here. "The man had the impression of his in the cushions he sat there so much." He gave a nod of head toward the silent, scowling man.

"Two half moons the Croons crooned over as well it became a national monument.." he was adding fuel to the fire. "Wait, national landmark, two."

"For the love of..." He didn't finish, just shook his head, finishing off his drink. "It was a chair...that's all, and it happened to be comfortable...that's all."

She chuckled softly, and looked at Vincent. "What happened to it?" The question was for Lazare of course. She didn't think Vincent would answer!

Niklas was looking like he fell asleep, eyes closed but then he piped in, without opening his eyes. "The most historic chair."

"A chair no one else dared sit in." Except for some daring ladies.

Lazare was actually laughing,dipping his head so Vincent wouldn't be so aware of his amusement. Although, the Horsemen were too attuned to each other for the dragon not to know. He had to clear his throat, clear his expression, before  he looked back to Julia. "Bronzed...and in the Heathfield museum." Not really, his voice actually cracked when he said that last word, his humor giving away the truth to his words.

A sheepish looked turned Mike's way as if she could read his mind. "Some dared.." she had been one of those that had. But yes, mostly a few women had over the men.

"You had it bronzed and donated to the museum, Vincent?" Like Lazare's words held a truth he was not aware of.

"Aye, some dared." He laughed finally.

Keep it up. This just made it more obvious to Vincent why he refrained from coming to the tavern and made the most of his nights in his rooms. Alone. With his wife. "Aye, and a plague made for the back which reads..." Ah, but he didn't finish, glancing first to Julia, then to Kaylea. He just shook his head, he wouldn't finish. He stood, taking his empty tankard back to the counter to hand it to Alex. Still only one drink for the man of fire.

"Was that before you were married, Julia?" She smiled at the woman, eyes showing her amusement at the banter. She watched Vincent walk away just briefly before her attention was back to Julia. Apparently they didn't torment him on the field.

No, they didn't get the chance to torment Vincent on the field. And Lazare knew, even now, that any who faced him come the dawn, would be eating their words tonight as well as a goodly amount of dirt.

"Yes. For all the teasing, it was a most comfortable chair." So Vincent had chosen the best out of the grouping. She watched her husband a moment, silent kind, with a touch of concern. She wasn't sure if he minded the teasing or not. She had thought in spite of his grumbling at times, he actually enjoyed it. At least they paid attention to him for liking him.

They were all too busy keeping the knights and warriors occupied. The four needed to get out together again. Then the real bantering would be underway with Dana there as well.

He occasionally visited the Field to train, though so far he avoided facing the dragon. Mike had no doubt whatsoever he'd eat dirt within two minutes of facing the man, if not sooner.

Vincent would always enjoy the comradery, regardless. His Brothers meant too much to him. It was good to be out, be with them, somewhere else than on the field.

She knew the look as it was time to get back, relieve the baby sitter and check on their daughters before time spent alone. That time was covet as well for he had to be up early as well she. She was up from her seat, her punch finished. "The hour grows late but it was so good to see you all and to meet you Kaylea. I hope to see you at least by the spring at the zoo." She would talk Vincent into accompany her and their daughters on a spring outing. The thought very appealing to her, him pushing the twin carriage. Ah yes, had her smiling. She was over to give Niklas a kiss to his cheek. "That one is for Aleric." Smile came with a wink before she was off to her husband, looking forward to the next hour or two before sleep found them both.

Julia could talk Vincent into almost anything.

Lazare came to his feet as Julia did offering her a dip of head in respect. "It is always my greatest pleasure to see you, Lady de Beauvais."


Date: 02-22-09
Poster: Trevor Cairns
Post # 47

That brought him from the sleep haze. "I will let him know." Not that he would kiss his brother! "Good night, I shall be around to visit soon." So he could spoil his nieces.

He stood as Julia and Vincent prepared to leave. "It was good to see you both, Lady Julia, Sir Vincent." He was shocked, shocked! At how much the man had changed.

"I look forward to seeing you all." Children and parents. She smiled warmly at her and then at Vincent. The man wasn't intimidating at all!

Trevor as well gained his feet. "Goodnight. It was good to see you again Julia. Vincent, I'll see you on the field tomorrow. We are scheduled to take rounds with Kieran before the kings do."

Vincent offered his wife his arm. "And it is always my greatest pleasure when you make comments like that, Carno." A slow perusal of everyone else then a nod was all that was offered in farewell before that dark gaze rested on Trevor. "Come morning then..." And again to Lazare. "Come morning." Ah yes, those comments made the mornings so worth the while.

They all received the brilliance of her smile before taking her husband's arm. Her cloak to be gotten before on their way. Vincent might be resilient to the cold but she was not so, other than being in his proximity.

Maybe he'll wander down to the field just to watch.

Why he didn't make such a parting one, now he could enjoy watching Vincent with Lazare.

Not intimidating? Lucky woman! Lazare once more cleared his throat but probably of a chuckle as well as apprehension of the dawn to come.

She didn't have to face him come dawn on the King's Field.

If the day was nice, she would bundle up the girls and come watch from the area designated for the ladies.

A final dip of head and the Dragon escorted his Damsel back to their rooms.

Being half asleep, he decided he would walk sister and brother in law until their paths parted. He was up, "good night, I need sleep." Understatement, as he was over to collect his cloak in the most energy he exhibited the whole of the night so that he could walk with them the spell.

"Good night Niklas." Brow rising as the man was up and over to fetch his cloak that quickly to be off. He wondered if they would see him on the field tomorrow or not. If not, they would know why.

"Good night, Niklas." She watched him with a quiet smile. He did look exhausted.

"Take care, Nik." Understanding well how it felt to be that exhausted.

Hopefully he would not be so tired next time and socialize more than he had tonight. Still, he had gotten out and did some. Keeping certain ones quiet!

"Marriage suits Vincent." He looked thoughtful then chuckled. "Though it's good to see the two of you still keep him on his toes."

A snort started his chuckle that blended with Mike's. "Marriage suits him because he has definitely learned to bite his tongue!"

"I think so." Though it had him recalling his past marriage with a lot of regret, it didn't have him begrudging others to find happiness in such a union. He had his son so there was a reason for everything. "Or he is biting his wife's tongue?" Amusement laced his words as he took his seat again.

Lazare gasped as if he was truly appalled at Trevor's comment!

She had fallen quiet but looked surprised when she heard Trevor, cheeks turning a soft pink. She laughed when she looked at Lazare.

"That's not all he's learned to control." Muttered but at least Vincent could work his revenge on the field.

Which had him bust up laughing. Probably the first Kaylea ever saw this king's man really let it loose. Rolling whole hearty laugh.

Still at Vincent's expense, but laugh Lazare did. Joining in with the good humor which filled the room.

He was laughing, shaking his head.

"The three of you are terrible." She tried to look dismayed but she couldn't! Their laughter was contagious.

Lazare pointed a finger in Mike's direction. "You speak a good game now that the man has left the room!" "We are, horrendous." He laughed still, shaking that finger now at Mike as he commented to Kaylea.

"I usually don't have to speak at all to irritate the man." He laughed as he looked at Lazare.

"Vincent would have at us just the same, don't underestimate the Fire Dragon. He'll have his day, tonight was ours thanks to the lovely Julia. Then again, if you had been around, she could rile him better than any of us."

"Aye, but he wouldn't dare take revenge on her." He chuckled. "And I'm sure next time I take to the field, he'll remember anything I've done in the past."

It was true, for some reason, poor Michael seemed always to irritate the Dragon, though Lazare didn't know the why of it. "Everything and anything." Lazare chuckled still.

All he needed to do was ask and Mike would tell him about being drunk and insulting Vincent.

He almost added a clip but it would not come off well considering his respect for both Vincent and Julia, so he kept quiet.

Ohholyhell. Insulting Vincent would last a longlonglong time in forgetting. No matter in what state of sobriety it was done. He looked to Kaylea. "It is good you weren't around prior to Julia. For that lovely lass, though gentle and kind, could stand up to the likes of de Beauvais like no other. Made me cringe at times when they would get going with each other." He shook his head in memory. "But everyone eventually meets their ... match ... so I hear."

"There was one other, on occasion... my sister Antoinette." Though she had gotten married and one down to agitate Vincent of the female persuasion.

There were many that frustrated the man. But only one that he would seek after the fact, to attempt to smooth over the wounds inflicted. Perhaps because of her brothers. Perhaps because of her mother. But then again, perhaps because of the woman herself. It mattered not now. "It is always the sisters that cause the most pain." He was smiling again, tipping his glass to Trevor in that silent toast before he drank down the last of its contents.

"Well, they both seem happy, and content." Happy might not be applied to Vincent perhaps by most but then again, Kaylea may have been a touch empathic to people as well as animals.

"Still," he lifted his glass, "what would we do without sisters?"

"Agreed." He nodded the once to Kaylea. "As we all should one day be." Lazare just grinned to Mike. He wouldn't know. He didn't have one of his own. Though he had his fare share of a few other men's...sisters.

"I hope that for each of you gentleman. As for myself, I'm both at the moment."

"I suppose so, you have your animals." Wait, that didn't come out right. "" Lazare smiled sheepishly to the lady, scratching behind his ear as he attempted to think of a way to correct his comment.

"I was pleasantly surprised to find out I had one." She so looked like their mother as well. Lifting his glass to the toast of a sort before taking a drink. He missed something there. "You are both at the moment, Kaylea?"

"So was I, and that my brothers were still alive." He looked at Kaylea with Trevor's question.

"I'm both happy and content." She smiled at Trevor. She only needed to hear word of their sister to be fully at ease.

"Contented and happy." Lazare answered for her, pushing up from his chair.

Lazare received a grin for his answer.

He seemed a bit relieved at her answer. Being it was mentioned about brother's having sisters and married men.

He paused and looked over to Kaylea as she answered at the same time as he had, a faint wink was sent her way and he continued on his way to hand Alex his glass.

It was about that time, if he couldn't follow the conversation, he was tired. He gained his feet as well. "I think it is time to get some rest before we face ole Dragon Breath on the field tomorrow."

Lazare rubbed his midsection. "I feel an ailment of the gut coming on. Sure to last well into midday tomorrow. I guess I won't be able to make practice in the morning." Flash of a smile, he was full of ... it.

Which had him laughing again. "It was good to see you both, gentlemen. Good luck tomorrow." Maybe he'd brave the field himself. Try to find one of his brothers to accompany him.

"Ah no, I'm not filling in for you," grinning nonetheless, "you can gnaw on something tonight to settle your stomach."

"Good night to you all. I think I'll be staying here tonight." She didn't feel like walking back tonight, even if it wasn't far. It was cold and the Thistle rooms would be nice and warm.

They could substitute Mike. There was the answer! "Good night, a pleasant evening it was in your company." He was over to place his empty glass to the bar.

Hey now.

"Aye, I'd cover for you as well, ye' bast..." Caught himself. Bowed to Kaylea. Then cut a look to Trevor. "Pleasant dreams to you then, Lady Kaylea."

If he was to be up at dawn, he'd avoid any card games tonight and take a room here himself.

He shifted his gaze to the lady and smiled, then nodded to Mike. Good thing HE didn't think of that! "Night, Cunningham."

Which Lazare would only have his grin as he cut off his words. A bow of his head to Kaylea before he was heading for the door and on his way with Lazare.

"I have brothers, Lazare. You don't need to be too concerned if you slip. Rest well." She would finish her drink before heading up to her room.

A salute to the two men, a bow to Kaylea and he was over to return his glass, retrieve a key and head upstairs.

Too bad she didn't go now! He would have enjoyed the delightful view...ah well, perhaps another night.

Pausing at the door as he gave a retort to Kaylea's comment, "although his slips can cause hurricanes.."

His turn to say ... Hey Now!

A thud of his hand against the frame before he was out, closing the door secure behind him.


Date: 02-25-09
Poster: Brogan Frasier
Post # 48

Away from the Casino

With Charles away, Brogan had longer days and even longer nights seeing to the Casino. Charles' return finally gave him some time to himself as he headed for the Thistle. A meal to be had here then relaxing by the fire. He even changed from the more formal attire to comfortable clothes. Woolen sweater of a deep green was worn over black pants. Leather boots laced up to just below the knees. Wingback chosen near the hearth had him relaxed back into the cushions as a glass of potcheen rested against the arm with his hand curled around it.

Too much study, too much work, not enough play. They all made Diane a dull girl. Rosie was busy with her furnace and her glass, so she left her sister to her creations and meandered up to the Thistle for the evening, hoping to encounter mischief or a certain family of the lands. Sometimes, the two could be synonymous! Wrapped in a black cloak that made her face look all the more pale and her silver-blue eyes all the brighter, she enjoyed playfully spooking some of the boys by wiggling her fingers at them in proper witchy fashion. It was all in fun, and she left them laughing as she rounded the corner and took the steps up into the Thistle at a bound that carried her in. A cheerful smile formed for Alex as she waved, closing the door against a draft of cold air.

Lids had lowered over olive green eyes as the quiet lulled him off. Barely. The draft of cold air had him pulling back as one lid lifted a fraction of a moment before the other. "Diane," gaining his feet was a little slow like one pulling up from having dozed off. Not quite but close enough. "Is it still snowing or has it stopped yet?" There was some accumulation but not a lot for these lands nor the season. "Come join me once you get your drink," indicating quite a few chairs near the one he occupied.

"Just flurries now. Enough to make things a little slippery." Shedding her cloak with a quick, body-length shiver, she nodded and veered to get her mug from Alex before padding over to curl up in one of the chairs. "Good evening, Brogan. Long time, no see... and how have you been?"

"Busy sums it up perfectly. More than usual but Charles is back and so I have a small vacation ahead of me." One which he wasn't quite sure how to make use of since it had been so long. "How are the stables coming along? Your family doing well?" Easing back down as he settled in comfortably again then with the raise of his glass, taking a drink. Fine burn the potcheen seemed to have this night.

"My family is coming along very well. Allan and Devon had their babies," a fact which delighted her to no end, "And Rose is finishing up your panel, I think. Victor's off being... Victor, and Aunt Sassy keeps living up to her name." She hadn't seen much of Michael lately, or Kathleen, making a mental note to correct that. "And the stables... are doing alright. Not as well as I'd like, and I am beginning to think Blue has an allergy to winning."

Which had him chuckle on a few of those comments. All was well it seemed. Then a more serious expression. "Blue doesn't seem consistent. He Placed last month and in fifth place this one. Do you think he's getting too old? Too worn? Or just needs more working with?" This was her area of expertise which he relied on. "Anything I can do?"

"Have a firm talk with your horse, if you please?" She grinned openly as she tucked her feet under her in a habit that drove Rose absolutely crazy for the marks it left on furniture. But what her twin did not see, she couldn't scold about. "Here I am, treating him like the king of the stable, trying to impress you and your family with my abilities as a trainer, and he makes me look like a green jockey!" Her eyes were full of mirth and mischief, the laugh barely contained.

"I have a number of days off. I'll be down there tomorrow if that is not inconvenient. Should it be threats or coaxing?" Slow grin was rising setting off one dimple as well a glint to sparkle in his eyes. Brief, but at least there for a change. He had become dull with so much work and something that needed correction as much as Blue needed a talking.

"Whichever you think will get the point across to your horse. He obviously doesn't listen to me, the silly beast." Diane enjoyed talking with Brogan - he always took her humor in stride. "You're welcome any time, you know that. So just pop down, and if you're there around lunchtime, I'll sweet-talk Aunt Sassy into packing enough for two."

"You have a deal there, I'll be sure to bring my appetite and work up to talking to a race horse." With being under her care, when he'd been working so hard, he had neglected seeing his stallion but at least he was under the finest care.

"Sounds like a good plan." She bounced a little in her chair with anticipation, then peered at him critically. "You're working too hard, Brogan." It wasn't a question.

He feigned a frown, though wasn't too hard all considering his thoughts and the very fact brought up. "Oui, working far too hard and becoming dull. I'll have to do something about that," though quite clueless at the moment as to what or how.

"You said your partner was back?" She hadn't met Charles, but knew the man by name at least. "If you're willing to hear a little advice, maybe catch up on some rest, see your family, and if you have time, Rose and I will drag you out." Realizing how that sounded, she added, "That is, if you want."

"Oui, Charles Harwood. I'll have to introduce you sometime. He's English but a right jolly good soul." Affecting how his partner would phrase it as well the accent to a degree. "I think I like the idea of being dragged out and about by you and Rose." Grinning, kind that reached his eyes and just the touch of devilish rising in them.

"Good. It'll give me an excuse to drag Rose out of her studio as well. Too many workaholics around here." Silver-blue eyes rolled in playful exasperation. "Which reminds me, I need to get a few more horses, since I lost a wager with that dratted cousin of yours."

"Which dratted cousin," almost laughing repeating it, "are you referring to? I have a few." Amused certainly. "I had time to look over the stats on the stables," as it was something of interest to him to keep up with even if he didn't make the actual races. "You have five slots that could be filled to catch up with the others. I think that would, by the odds," and certainly Brogan worked with the odds daily, "give you a better chance of having a horse place in the races."

"More than likely. And the dratted one in question is Patrick. I foolishly allowed him to persuade me to enter into the Hometown Race." She snorted dryly. "Poor Sacristan wasn't up to it, and I knew it."

"Patrick?" Came out more as a question for the surprise. "Well, good for him. I hope he bet well if he was to win. I hear he has a horse now, individually in. Dapper Dan, sounds as too proper as he is." He figured his cousin would come around in due time. He had more reason to be dull than Brogan had. Though both worked far too much. "I would suspect you work too hard as well Rose." They all seemed to have that factor in common. "Maybe it's a new flu going about?"

Diane couldn't help the soft snicker. "That's not the one he rode in the race, though." At his accusation, she eyed him. "I suppose I do, but when it's what you love, is it really work?"

"No, but when that is all from dawn to dusk, then it is too much for it eliminates everything else. A stop and smell the roses, take a walk, see some friends you haven't in a while. Go dancing or some other sport." A quick shake of his head followed, like he should lecture another on something he was guilty of. "So, what did you lose in the bet? I hope it was a kiss." Real big grin with that said.

Gus was whistling as he entered the tavern, his mood a good one. He had finished some orders and obtained new ones. The more work the better. As he entered the tavern, he spotted Brogan and Diane and lifted a hand in greeting. "Evening, Lady Diane, Brogan. Nice evening." Was it snowing? He hadn't noticed.

A hand flapped at Gus when he called out, though Brogan got a look. "I'm not the kissing kind, Brogan. And Patrick's a gentleman, he would never bet that... at least not with me." Hoping Gus wasn't going to make a liar out of her, she smirked at Brogan, then grinned at Gus. "Good evening, Master Archer. How have you been, and are you coming to save me before Brogan suggests something more risque than dancing?"

"Evening Gus, we were just talking on what Diane lost here to Patrick in a bet." The very fact that Patrick had bet was a good sign their cousin was coming around. He remembered what he use to be like. Hot tempered at times, intense, in your face when warranted. "You're right, we are talking of Patrick here. I had hopes he might but I would have been surprised. Now, if it was me making a bet, I would. And if you are not the kissing kind, I'd teach you."

"He was making ready to race when I left." He chuckled as he gathered up his glass then he looked surprised. "Brogan, make a risque suggestion?" Oops.

Which he gave a waggle of his brows. Hard to tell if he was serious or not. Actually it was Neale that was the most proper of all the Frasiers. So proper, he covered them all if any of them slipped. Slip they did too.

Gus didn't know what Patrick had been like before. "What did you bet?"

A brow shot up at Brogan's too-kind offer. "Oh you would, would you?" Glancing over at Gus as the safer Frasier at the moment, she shrugged. "Naming my next horse after him, and if he lost, I got to breed one of mine to one of his."

"Will you use Patrick, Murdough or Frasier for the name then? Or just PMF?" He couldn't help it as laughter started to rumble up. First trying to cough it away but even that didn't work.

Diane's smile was sweetly wicked. "I was thinking Patricia."

He stared at Brogan a moment then laughed. Dark green eyes shifted to Diane. "Well, it could be worse."

"If it's a stallion?" Certainly glad it was not him this bet was lost to.

"Patrick didn't get specific, so the choice is mine, no?" She was rather enjoying that prospect.

"You could use Patty or Paddy." Lifting his drink in a toast Gus' way before kicking it back. He set to filling the glass again.

A sudden thought struck her as supremely funny, sending her into laughter. "Paddywhack?"

"There you go, and you can breed him with Thunder Thighs!"

"That poor, unfortunate horse. I swear, I ought to buy the poor thing just so I can rename him." Diane's head shook ruefully, sympathetic to the extreme.

Unluckily for him, he had decided to take a drink when Patrick added about the breeding. He didn't want to spew potcheen on either of them so ended up choking instead.

"Are you alright, Gus?" Concern laced her features, waiting to see if he needed a thump on the back.

He was wheezing a bit, eyes watering but he nodded. As soon as he could breath again, he'd be laughing.

"Thunder Thighs is a mare." Yes, he was chuckling. And more with Gus, "he's holding it all in. Let it out Gus."

"Let it out?! I nearly spit it everywhere!" Wheezing still but a drink would help that, right?

Let it all out? Diane looked ready to dive for cover. "Sorry. Didn't mean to make you choke."

"It wasn't just you!" Laughing again.

"So, really, are you going to name a horse after Patrick?"

"Of course I am. I honor my bets, sir." Looking a little huffy, she sniffed before sipping at her drink.

"I think that is great. Name will carry on." Then realizing how that sounded, started laughing again.

"Oh, for heaven's sake, Brogan. It's a horse, not a child." She blinked, then slapped a hand over her mouth, looking somewhat chagrined.

He was going to avoid drinking for a little while, laughter starting all over.

Which only had him laughing more, slapping a hand against his knee in the process. A diversion was needed, acting on a fleeting impulse, his hand used as leverage there against his knee as he lifted to his feet. Next moment he was over to offer his hand. "Come dance with me Diane. We need no music other than a hum."

Looking at his hand doubtfully, she answered, "You're either feeling very brave, or very foolish. I dance poorly, Brogan."

"I hum poorly so we should be fine." Quick wink as the offer still stood but if she said more in resistance he would get the message. No problem there either. It was only a fleeting impulse.

No guts, no glory, right? And it wasn't like anyone was going to see them. Shrugging philosophically, she got to her feet and placed her hand in his, then pointed the other sternly at Gus. "No laughing."

"I would never laugh at poor dancing or poor humming." Putting his right hand over his heart as he spoke.

"If he laughs, he'll have to dance with you next." Dimple was there with the quirk of a smile for the quip as he led her to the vacant area big enough to dance in. Hand was warm that encompassed hers then drew her around into his arms. Luckily he had boots on if her feet landed on his but he had pretty good judgment where his were in relation. He started humming low, soft melody in deeper tones.

"Now there's a fate worse than death," mumbled under her breath as she followed his lead, a blink of surprise given to the feel of his arms around her. Trying to get a good look at her feet, the better to avoid his, her brow wrinkled with concentration.

He started out in more a rocking movement, cradle type before the first steps were taken, moving easily with her in his arms for he wasn't doing anything too quick or sudden. The melody danced in tumbling notes though they weren't moving quite to the tune.  She might pick up on the children's song as the notes started sounding much like This Old Man. He was not looking at her when they melted into this song or he would probably start laughing again.


Date: 02-25-09
Poster: Brogan Frasier
Post # 49

Trusting him not to steer her wrong, Diane finally began to relax and follow his movements more naturally, acquiring a little more grace in the process. The frown eased into something more like a smile as she finally looked up at him, curious as to her progress, but the song made her chuckle.

Not until the chuckle was heard, giving a dip of his chin as olive green eyes met hers. The mirth plainly there but the steps continued as before. Nothing too fast, slow and sure. The tune going back to something more like a waltz. Perhaps she might notice how they were moving around the dance area in a more fluid step.

"You're very good at this, aren't you?" For not the first time, Diane wondered just how dangerous a man Brogan could be, but catching sight of Gus made her smile. "Hopefully I'm not making too big a fool out of myself here."

He picked up the hum, tipping his head as he listened. A smile appeared as he shook his head. "Not at all, Diane, not at all."

"Not at all. You have it in you even for following humming." She had not step on his foot but then he was doing his best in keeping that from happening. Hopefully building her confidence. If only Rose could see her now! "I'm passable," probably more than passable but it had been a while since he danced. Probably why the impulse to do so and mentioned earlier. He and Gus could hum in harmony.

"Do you dance, Gus?" Genuinely curious, she looked from one Frasier to the other, absently wondering if dancing was a family trait.

Being she was doing so well, he became a little daring. Movement was sleek, smooth, in having her off to the side and dipped. His hand and arm angled in full support if she didn't panic. He was leaning as one would in such a dance about to kiss the other though lips never actually met. She might feel the warmth of his breath caress against her cheek, near her lips as well. Least he smelled good, hint of cherry pipe tobacco mixed in with something more natural, spicy and a touch woodsy.

"It's been a while." He looked thoughtful as he tried to remember how long. "Probably not since I was a lad in school come to think of it." Hiding his grin as he watched Brogan.

Surprised the first time he did it, she clutched at him with the brief panic that he might drop her, but then trusted him not to do so. It wasn't his style, regardless. Laughing quietly instead, she inhaled the scent, and then promptly wished she hadn't; scent's haunted the mind long after they should have faded. "Passable, hm?" If that was passable, did she even want to see what expert level was?

"Mon cheri," words low in a French flow of accent as she gripped him. Making it seemed something else for that fleeting moment. "Oui, you dance light as a winged nymph." Easing her up as he guided her to Gus. He had not danced in far too long and he'd not hog the opportunity when Diane seemed to like it as well doing so well.

"But my dear Brogan," silver-blue eyes danced impishly at him, "didn't you know that I'm part winged nymph? I don't have the name Cleary for nothing." She grinned at him, deciding not to react or linger on the endearment as she arched a brow at Gus. Was he feeling brave?

Oh for ... he had never been that graceful on his feet but he chuckled and pushed off the bar as he placed his glass down. "And now I promise to do my best to not step on your feet." He held out his hand, to see if she was the one feeling brave.

"I am not too surprised, with such silver blue eyes. Light dulcet toned voice and feet that can move with the flow of music once you are past thinking you cannot." Taking up a lean to watch them dance and back to the hum offered up to make it easier.

"What a lovely thing to say. Thank you." Nodding to Gus, she placed her hand in his and grinned encouragingly. If she could do it, so could he. "You won't. Give yourself some credit."

He just chuckled as he led her further out onto the floor. "As I said, it's been a while." With Brogan humming, at least Gus could concentrate on the steps. He placed his hand on her hips and at first danced stiffly, but after a few moments, he was moving fluidly enough and he wasn't counting the steps out loud.

"See? You're good at this..." Diane smiled up at him, moving far more easily herself now that the feet had awakened to the tempo and the steps.

"It's thanks to you that I am." He smiled in return. "The better the partner the easier it is to remember."

This afforded him to watch Diane over his cousin. The way she moved was pleasing to the eye and he was appreciative of such. Noticing the shine of her hair, the way her lips formed, the expressions in silver blue eyes. Eyes he'd not really notice before dancing with her. He had been working far too long and hard. That drove home as he was up and over to claim his glass left near the wing back then returning with it to claim his lean again against the bar. A drink taken and a refill to follow.

"Two compliments in one evening." Teasing, she let the smile deepen into a grin. "My, my... Rose will not let me live that down for a while now. But since I have you at my mercy," silver-blue twinkled at him, "how goes life as a bowyer?"

"And well deserved I'm sure she'll agree." He chuckled as he sped up a moment to whirl her around then slowed again ... just to see if he could still do it. "It goes well. I had been working on bows for Kildare but they're good for now except for replacements. Now I'm filling normal orders, as well as some for winners of the races. And you and Rose are well also?"

It was far safer to stare out the darken window across the way, leaving his thoughts to wander as they pleased. The glass lifted from time to time as he continued to enjoy the affect of the potcheen. Not too much however. Mellow over getting drunk.

Well if he was staring at the window, there was no mistaking the funny face pressed to the window, distorted by the glass, tongue waggling silliness as she stared in ....

"Very. Rose's working night and day on Brogan's commission, trying to finish it, but she does occasionally surface to sleep and eat." Despite her words, Diane's smile and eyes made it clear she treasured her twin. "And I did hear your bows were amongst the prizes. Maybe I'll have to beat Patrick out to get one." A brief look away saw Brogan looking pensive, even wistful, and she lowered her voice. "Is he alright? Really?"

He looked at Brogan and nodded. "I think it's the occasional thought that time is moving on, and you're not moving with it. It's all too common but it'll pass." In time.

"OH MY GOD, A GNOME!" Well that is what that face looked like in the window as it startled him back from his thoughts.

"Or maybe he's seeing things?" He stopped right there and stared at Brogan.

And maybe it was Gnome, see that smile, she was a good mime, waving her fingers as she pressed harder to the glass ...

Her face shifted expressions for a moment, "I worry about him sometimes." Fortunately, the shout spared her from saying anything further as she looked warily in that direction. "If that's a gnome... then I'm due to marry a McAndrews and we all know that'll never happen."

See the fish kiss ..oh yeah she knew that they were not able to see her yet, only him, still she made that fish face and smiled at the same time ...

"You may just have hexed yourself on that one. There are a few single still. I believe." Amazingly so but then it was hard to catch a McAndrews, or let him catch you. But if they did then they were true. "Charlie!" The gnome had a name.

"Pfft," was her inelegant response to that. "They wouldn't have me and vice versa," and on that point, she nodded firmly.

Waggling her brows she disappeared from the window, and popped open the door, "HEY," looking normal as she could look ...

He affected a sing song flow to his words. "Diane has her eye on a McAndrews, See. See. See if you can find out which one. Perhaps the one playing paddywhack and giving a dog a bone. Eddie!"

Face palm! And after that, he was guiding Diane back to the bar and bowing. "My thanks for the dance, m'Lady Diane."

That had Charlie looking to Diane ...arching a brow, "good luck with that one," she chuckled .. "how yah all doing tonight?" She mused, making her way to the bar and nodding at Alex for the usual ...

"Charlie can tell you all about Eddie, Jon, Joe, those three are still single."

Charlie could spill the beans on a lot of the men of area, but she was really a good friend in that she just smiled, and nodded her head, "uhuh .."

Diane echoed Gus's sigh and made a face in Brogan's direction. Remembering her manners instead, she curtsied to Gus. "Thank you as well, I enjoyed the dance. And the company," she said loudly enough for Brogan to hear, "was incomparably charming!"  A soft snort emerged then. "Don't you listen to a word he says. I have no intention whatsoever of making a fool of myself over any McAndrews." Or any man, but didn't that go unsaid?

Smile came with a dimple. One off to the right side. "Doing well Charlie. How are you doing." It had been some time since he'd seen her. Something shadowed green eyes, having them dip a touch darker though he didn't look Diane's way for the remark. It came as a cut to his ears.

Alas her memories were more of how many times she had been put in the water trough when accompanying the McAndrews .. "right as rain ..enjoying what is left of the evening and you my friend look like you were lost in dream time," she mused.  Charlie could tell Diane all about being the fool, she was one intentionally, made life a lot easier ...

"Just leaving a tired mind to tired thoughts. I would not say they came close to any dream." Least dreams that were considered pleasant things.

Charlie nodded her head picking up her mug of cider thanking Alex, "hmm not all dream time is pleasant my friend .." she drawled, looking to Fearghus and Diane ..amused by the conversation they were having ...

"Well, that's when they become nightmares. I prefer avoiding them. Had too many real ones to care going there again."

"If the heart decides otherwise, you may be in trouble." He chuckled as he lifted his glass to finish his drink. Done for the night or he'd not make it home.

"I could tell is the reason I peeked in first," not that she knew he would be looking at the window, but it presented the opportunity to distract him ...

"Well, for now, the heart hasn't decided on anyone. Until then, I'm safe." But she did look briefly troubled, peering into the depths of her glass.

Charlie tilted her head hearing Diane, lifting her mug to sip the cider, wondering if the lady was protesting too much? or just as spoken not sure of the man of her dreams ...

Brogan was having one more drink, deciding for it as he wasn't going to but then changed his mind. Still, it would not be anywhere near enough to get him drunk.

"I see." Pushing from the bar, he smiled at the three. "It's time for me to find my way across the commons and out of town." To his shop and cottage just beyond. "Always good to see you Diane, Charlie. Brogan, I'll see you soon." He picked up his cloak from wherever he left it and started for the door.

Leaning to poke at Brogan. "What makes you so tired my friend ?" She queried, nodding her head.  "Night Fearghus ... good to see you again," she drawled ...

He kicked it back quick enough before setting it away. "I'll join you for the walk then as it's on my way." It was that kind of late and he'd rather enjoy the company back. Poking Charlie right back. "Working too much and time to adjust that." Giving her a wink before he was over to collect his cloak. "Good night Charlie, Diane. Thanks for humoring me with the dance." He had talked her into it.

Chuckling at the return poke, amused that her timing was a bit off, not that she minded, Kenneth might find himself the object of her affections, unexpected as it was .... "Good Night Brogan .. rest well .." she replied nodding her head ...

"Good night, Gus." She waggled her fingers at him, then smiled at Brogan. "The pleasure was mine. I'll see you tomorrow?"

"I enjoyed our dance as well. " He grinned at Diane, blew a kiss to both ladies and waited at the door for Brogan.

"Oui," he had said he'd be there and he kept his word. In times past that had been at least one redeeming quality amongst all the bad ones at the time.

The kiss was caught and tucked in her pocket, never knew when she might need an extra one. Waving to both, "Night safe ..Gnomes out there," she reminded them ...

A quiet laugh emerged as she 'caught' the kiss, but nodded to Brogan. "Sweet dreams, mon ami."

He stared at Gus for a fraction of a moment as he was blowing kisses. That was a first! A last wave before he was out the door. It was snowing again.

There were a few changes in Gus of late. The cousins should really sit down and talk.

Yes they should!


Date: 02-26-09
Poster: Eddie McAndrews
Post # 50

Charlie gets her Puppy 

Eddie sent word to Kenneth to pass on to Charlie, being if anyone could find the feisty lady it would be him. The message was to meet him at the Thistle for he had a pick of two German Shepherd puppies that were old enough to leave their mother. Picking a male, one with white as well black and a female that was mostly black to offer. Both were considered the pick of the littler for their gender. He could handle two but if neither appealed, he would see about her coming to the Kennels instead to pick one out, even if another breed. He had a few but these were the pick of this particular type. He was attired in a woolen tunic over a poets shirt, one of shaded blues, black pants and boots. He was at the bar with his brother Joe partaking of the pure while the pups roamed the room. He was keeping an eye on them but good to have them exploring.

Charlie got that message, well once Kenneth could catch his breath she did, making sure her gypsy was tucked in his bed nicely, since he worked harder, she bopped along to the Thistle .... She loved her Kenneth, spoiling him as much as he let her, tromping on the porch, she pushed at the door, there was a shift in weather or something, or maybe she was just glowing for others reasons ...

The push at the door sent the pups under one of the chairs and yipping as they were warning of the invasion. Eddie turned enough to see who it was as a grin spread with those dimples. "Charlie!"

Joe was doing his best to keep busy during the winter months. Having to close the mines left him restless at times, and helping each of his brothers when needed also kept him out of Danielle's hair. He was leaning against the bar,  enjoying his drink while watching the pups. Laughing at the warning system he looked up and grinned. "Evening Charlie."

"EDDIE," she laughed, seeing the ghostly backside of the puppies as they vacated the open space .. "what you got there?" passing inside towards the bar ... "Hey Joe how yah doing?" nodding to Alex for a cider, turning to study the peekaboo faces of puppies ...

"I'm doing well enough. You?" He grinned as he watched the pups again. "Staying warm?"

Charlie grinned, nodding her head, "oh yeah nice and toasty has been a great day. I would say I startled them," meaning the puppies, she already had a mature husky, that Kenneth had gotten her when they were first together, the old man needed a companion to keep him young ...

Well, her yelling his name had the male growling though he didn't venture out from under the chair. He was acting brave, the two sticking their heads out just a bit before pulling back and yipping again. Eddie glanced from her to them as he indicated with a hand, as if she didn't hear their presence already. Except he only started laughing. "Two pups for you to meet, approach at your own risk." Like they were ferocious beasties.

Like she needed an invitation, sipping the cider she squat down on the floor, then stretched out in a low crawl, making smoochy sounds, "babies," she trilled. When was the last time you saw her on the floor willingly, never mind falling out of some where, that didn't count ...

"Aye, they might take off the leg of the chair when they start running." They were cute as could be and at least that yapping would end as they matured.

One of them had been frightened enough to piddle on the floor beneath the chair. Not that Eddie could see but Charlie would notice that close. Their curiosity won out over their fears with the coaxing noises as first the male half moved out then the female. Sniffing fingers and the tails started wagging. They were by nature very friendly, just not use to being away from the kennels nor the new noises.

She didn't mind the piddling, that happened when one was in a new place with new faces, "oh pretty babies," she hummed, letting them sniff at her, well accustom to little critters ...

Now that all fear had fled, they were rambunctious, wiggling bodies, jumping up at her, tongues licking and trying to get as much affection as she would offer. Eddie was amused watching. "The one with more white is the male, the more black, the female."

Charlie giggled at the playfulness, letting them decide who was going to be her puppy, she was of half a mind to take both, but Kenneth might run out of boots if she did that .... "Hiccup would probably prefer a girl, but they will decide," she mused, fingers thumped to the floor, or to tiny chins...

He laughed as he watched. "They're cute little buggers. Hard to believe they won't be furballs when they grow up."

Charlie nodded her head smiling, "yeah but it is now that will make them a strong friend and companion," fingers tickling at both puppies ...

He was content to watch as it would be up to Charlie. He concentrated on drinking at this point.

Charlie had made up her mind, thinking well ahead of the small furballs that they were, the little black female would be a wiser choice. She was smart, thinking before she hurried into the adventure that her sibling lead to her, which meant that she was making decisions at that young age. She giggled wildly when the little female burped, "well Hello Burp ..pleased to meet you," drawing the little female to her ...

"So, do you have a name in mind for her?" Noticing her choice and really, either one would be a good one.

"Well I think since her new friend is named Hiccup, that Burpee is a good name for her .." she chuckled, certain that the puppy would live up to her new name ...

"Sounds like a good one and will probably live up to her name." Which had him chuckling. Pleased too she liked one of the pups in the least.

She liked both, but she knew that she had to think of Kenneth, since Charlie would be raising the little darlin, having to think of Kenneth's boots ...

...or she would be keeping the MacKay brothers in business. "There is a carrier for her along with a starter supply of food and her favorite toy." A blue fuzzy bone shaped toy with a squeaker.

"Oh that will be great, I don't think Kenneth wants to find this little surprise in the bed ..just yet," give her and hour or two, and then it would be good ...

"Do you think your other dog will be all right with her?"

"Oh yeah, Hiccup likes little animals ..." she drawled, scooping up Burpee, rising to her feet, "I better get her home, and settled." She grinned, not to mention retuck her wild gypsy in ... If ever there was whirlwind, it was Charlie, and Burpee at that moment, she gave each brother a kiss to their cheek, "I will take care of my new baby," she mused, moving to collect everything for the puppy.. "see you two fellows later," waving as she hurried out the door ...

And she was off. He laughed then watched the other pup who seemed a bit lost. "I think he's confused." For the moment at least.

"Charlie the Whirlwind with Burpee in tow." Yes, he was laughing as he raised his glass to the settling dust as she whizzed out. After kicking back what was left in his glass, he was over to scoop up the other pup and put him in the other carrier. "I think I should head back, you're welcome to join me. See the other pups." Although he knew Joe had a soft spot for pups, he had a few already!

Yes he did, but they liked to run once he was up at the mines. "Aye, I'll join you. Otherwise, I'll just find trouble." As if he wouldn't being in Eddie's company!

They might stop at the Bali Hi Pub as well before turning in as it would be on their way, or after he dropped off the puppy. The latter probably a better idea in case there were some ladies about to entertain.


Date: 02-27-09
Poster: Rick McAndrews
Post # 51

Feel Like Dancing

Rick had fortified himself against the cold. More than the thick overcloak with hood, gloves and scarf, woolen pants and fur lined boots. Yes, it was potcheen running in his veins, he'd not feel any cold as he bellowed out a song. Lagging around where the forts were built but the bully group was no where in sight. "A dragon has come to our village today. We've asked him to leave, but he wont go away. Now he's talked to our king and they worked out a deal. No homes will he burn and no crops will he steal." A gloved hand snuck out the bottle from beneath the cloak, held in a pocket there, lifting it for a drink.

Kynan was sitting on the steps of the Thistle waiting to see if Treve showed.  He wasn't going to wait for long since he was starting to get cold.  Hearing someone singing in a familiar voice, he peered toward the singer, trying to see who he was.  That wasn't Treve's voice.

Caitriona heard the singing as she emerged from the kitchen, where she'd been talking to Hazel about cooking and herbs and enjoying the evening immensely. Nothing like passing the time with someone who shared her love of good food and ingredients. Curious, she wiggled her fingers at Alex and went to peek out the door to see who was coming. There was someone sitting on the stoop that she didn't recognize, but the face on the one approaching made her smile. She knew that young man, at least.

Deciding the others weren't showing, he headed for the Thistle, voice ringing out in the quiet of the night amongst the light snowfall. "Now there is but one catch, we dislike it a bunch. Twice a year he invites him a virgin to lunch. Well, we've no other choice, so the deal we'll respect. But we can't help but wonder and pause to reflect."

Trevet was huddled against the cold. He could hear singing close by as the turned the one corner in a bee line for the tavern. He knew the voice as well but the snow was falling heavier. "Rick, any about?" Finally looking up in the direction of the voice from the protection of his hood. Still his pace kept as he noted his brother on the steps as he approached. "Kynan, there you are."

"Seems they have already come and gone, or haven't gotten out yet." And obviously he wasn't waiting around for them. In time. He had that kind of patience. Seeing Cait at the door he waved as he caught up with the brothers.

"Aye, here I am." He offered the bottle of potcheen held in his hand to his brother.  Obviously he had been drinking from it.  "Evening Rick."  Looking over his shoulder. "Miss."

He was quick to take up the offer, seemed both Kynan and Rick were ahead of him. Bottle tipped for a good long burning drink that felt good considering the cold and snow. Left hand swiped over his lips as he offered the bottle back to his brother. It was then he noticed the lass, smile coming easily. "Evening Miss."

Nora swept in from the cold, humming a quiet tune.  She shed her cloak at the doorway, pausing to hang it on the wall.  In a lilac shaded dress, the skirts full and trimmed in pale yellow lace.

Pansy brown eyes twinkled mischievously at the trio. "Gentlemen. Coming in out of the cold, I hope?" She held the door open invitingly, waving back at Rick as she called, "Are you the dragon?"

A whipping glance as Nora flew by them to enter the tavern. "Nora!" With a glance to the brothers he was up the steps and heading in as well, holding the door so there wasn't any jam.

Well, she wasn't gonna stay out in that cold air.  She had a brain, and feelings!

"I'm with you, Rick," near on his heels popping a hand to the top of Kynan's head as he passed. Invitation. He was in as well, squeezing around the lass and Rick before shrugging out of his cloak to hand off to a peg.

"Trevet, Kynan, this is Cait. She cooks." Dimple grin flashed as he waited on Kynan to get inside.

He pushed to his feet after taking the bottle, and followed after the others. "Well met, Cait."  Giving her a nod as he moved on inside.  He removed his cloak after everyone was out of the way.

"You flatter me so, Rick." Her tone was dry, but laughing as she waited for the third - Kynan, the name was given - to enter the Thistle. A smile went to the young lady as well. "Good evening."

"Hello Rick, Kynan, Trevet."  As the men filed in.  She heard Rick screaming her name.  Perhaps Nora had been drinking some.  "I like the sound of you screaming my name."  She turned and walked to the bar, without another word!  OH, except to say.  "Good evening, Miss."

She choked, hearing Nora as she let the door close on the cold, trying to hastily cover it up.

"Nora, this is Cait, Cait, this is Nooooooorrrrrrraaaaaa." Howling her name for the comment made and of course those dimples only got deeper.

"Pleasure is mine Cait," chuckling under his breath as he heard Rick being teased and teased back while he headed for the bar to collect a bottle of potcheen. Pale yellow poet's shirt was worn under a deep green tunic, black pants and boots finished off his attire other than the wide belt with a knife sheathed there and a pouch. Thanking Alex he headed for the hearth to stake out a spot there to warm up. Bottle lifted for another drink.

She stared at Rick, blankly, for a long, long time. Really still, too. Then, she pivoted and smiled towards Cait. "Hello. Really nice to meet you."

"It's nice to meet you all." Taking up a seat on one of the stools, she smiled and tucked the deep red skirts around her. The day had been grey and she wanted some color; red was definitely cheerful in Cait's eyes. "Don't mind Rick. They only let him out on weekends."

"Nice to meet you Cait." He lifted a hand from the chair he had gone to almost immediately after he had hung up his cloak. Had his bottle in his hand but he wasn't drinking much.

"That often? I thought it was just one Saturday every other month." She snickered.

He only grinned more as she stared, tossing in a wink with a twinkle in blue eyes before he was getting out of his cloak. Overheating was not desirable. He was over to add a growling pass of his lips against the side of Cait's neck with a lip nip, quick too, there and around heading for the hearth where he claimed one of the wing backs. Long legs to stretch out as he half slouched comfortably.

Nora grinned and turned back to the bar, her elbows briefly touching down upon the surface. She leaned forward, placing an order with Alex.

He'd been somewhat distracted but chuckled under his breath watching the antics. Warmed up enough he was back over to get a tray of cheeses, breads, meats and the like from Hazel, through Alex.

A blink, a jump and a squeal of surprise later, she was too slow to swat him for his mischief. "Keep that up, and I won't make those sausage and cheese rolls you like." She wagged a finger warningly at him. "Or that spicy shrimp either."

"Ah, but Cait, a nibble of your neck leaves the other in poor comparison." Speaking of food, seemed Treve was getting a platter fixed.

The platter was large with plenty of food for them all. "You're welcome to join us," slight upnod in the direction of the hearth where Rick was all by himself presently. The thought had a tip of a grin before he was heading over, setting the tray to the table in easy access of a few chairs before taking up his. A bit of freshly made bread was wrapped up with meat and cheese as he dug in.

Brown eyes flickered over him, deciding to give as good as she got. "Ah, but it pales compared to my lips. Not," she smirked and held up a hand to ward him off, "that I am inviting, offering, or otherwise accepting."

Rick wasn't there alone. Kynan had taken up one of the chairs after he came in. He had his drink after all.

"That sounds like an invitation to me," Getting up from his seat as he started to stalk her. Wicked infectious grin, devil's twinkle in blue eyes and a waggling of dark blond brows. Direct course for where she sat at the bar.

"Go get her Rick! Sounds like an invitation to me too. You must need a sampling to see if her boast is true."

Nora watched the group, grinning over the rim of her wine glass before she took a sip from it. She set it down, folded her hands in her lap and cast a glance to one of the windows.

"Kynan can help out, be the overall judge of lips, both ladies." Mostly to see if his brother was still with them and not fallen asleep.

"No, Rick is taking care of that." He eyed Treve. "Or you."

He waved his sandwich in Kynan's direction before taking another big bite, obviously he was too busy stuffing himself.

She playfully rolled her eyes, remaining at the bar for now. She was happy with her wine.

"Want something to eat Nora?" Indicating the platter of which he took another wedge of cheese.

"No, thank you." Her head shook lightly, she smiled at Treve.

He grinned at Treve before the bottle came up for another drink. He was feeling nice and mellow tonight.

A quick hop off the stool brought it up to ward him off. "Back, you beast."

Which he parried with his hands, very quick hands too, catching hers by the wrist as he drew her close. Instead of kissing her, as he would not push a lass and it was only teasing, he was spinning her off with him in a dance. Worse, grabbing up Nora's hand as well when passing and drawing her into the dance as well. More spinning around kind than up close and personal.

With no music, he started to whistle a lively tune, tapping one hand on the arm of the chair as he did.

Which he was quick to add in with his brother, whistled tune to harmonize as well the tapping of his foot.


Date: 02-27-09
Poster: Rick McAndrews
Post # 52

Oh boy. She blinked when she was pulled up. So, there were three people dancing around? Hopefully, no one will trip over those longs skirts of hers.

With a few drinks in him, he might step on a hem in dancing with them both, kind of weaving between as he'd set one off into a spin then another.

A chuckle rang out as she was spared the kissing, but not the dancing. A hand reached out for Trevet's, intending to include him too, since Kynan was kindly providing music.

He set down what remained of his sandwich to the plate as well his glass before he was off dancing with the three, but he also dragged his brother along. He should join in the fun too. He could whistle and dance at the same time, as well stomp his feet while moving them.

She made one or two rounds with them before she broke away from the three to spin towards Kynan. She did not pull him into the dance, though she did offer her hand. A silent invitation. Her eyes were sparkling, and she was grinning.

Hey, wait. He wasn't expecting to be dragged anywhere. Gaining his feet with a stumble, he shook his head then took Nora's hand.

She smiled wide when he stood. She didn't quite drag him anywhere, but she did sort of back step into empty space. Then, picking up a hum she swept him into a dance.

It was rather odd to have him and Rick dancing with Cait, so he sidestepped out of the way and took up the whistling and tapping of his foot for them to dance by.

Odd maybe, but far safer for Caitriona! Still, she laughed and continued to dance.

She was going to be sorry that she hadn't stayed with Treve. He wasn't real sure of himself and tripped once or twice. Laughing, he shrugged in apology. Then he headed for Treve and handed Nora off before he got tangled in her skirts!

She didn't mind. She laughed brightly, then blinked when she was passed off to Treve. "Hi."

Whistle came up short, almost swallowed making a rather funny sound. "Hi," with a blink Kynan's way before he took up her hand and brought her out to dance. Near Rick and Cait but not too close he'd tripped on her skirts. That would be all he needed.

Kynan was a little tipsy. If he fell, it wouldn't look good. Laughing at their expressions, he started to whistle again.

Rick hooked an arm with Cait's to do a once around bringing them near Treve and Nora as he passed off Cait to Treve and hooked his arm with Nora's for a once around then switched again. He too was trying to avoid all that skirting material of Nora's.

To keep people from tangling up in them, one hand lifted the skirts up lightly. Made it odd for dancing, but it worked with.. the brief switch that Rick had pulled on them. She tossed her head back, laughing, and just like that,  she was dancing with Trevet again.

Nora might end up dizzy as well Cait as it seemed they were exchanging partners, one of those quick few steps to catch up and not falter.

He had them all back to where the table had the platter of food as he worked up an appetite for food and drink at this point.

As the dance came to an end, she wasn't dizzy so much as breathless and thirsty. Reaching for her mug before she went to rejoin the others, her cheeks were flushed with the exertion.

She released Trevet with a grin, spinning away to the bar where her glass of wine waited. She lifted it up for a drink.

"Very nicely done." He clapped then plopped back into his chair. It wasn't that he was being anti-social. He was just plain tired.

He stopped at the bar, taking up a slight lean with his glass of potcheen. He had enough to eat. "So, how was everyone's day? Any of you want to join in the snowball war when it can happen?"

"The forts are made. Just a matter of when it happens." Adding his own two cents.

"Mm, I'll try to be in it, sure." She faintly shrugged, then polished off her wine.

"Snowball war?" She perked visibly at that.

He lifted his glass, "here's to the ladies that make our night more fair and entertaining." Toasting them before kicking back his drink. Focus then turned on Treve with a dimple grin.

"Rick is commanding," turning it over to him as brows furrowed some. "You seem different tonight Nora, is there something wrong?"

"I'm tired." She smiled a little.

"It's more than that." Slightly frowning as he studied her. Keeping his words low between them so the inquiry was kept there.

"Yes, we've built a fortress of snow down in the commons. One side from the fountain and the Bully team constructed one across the way. They feel having the fountain between it will have us attempting to charge theirs."

She furrowed her brows slightly, watching him. "I.. I'm not sure. Strange mood, I suppose. You know how women are," she murmured, then grinned.

"I must be very out of it, that I haven't heard about it before. Are Douglas and Rhett joining in? And Lia?"

He cleared his throat, "actually I don't other than what is heresy. How long have you been feeling this mood? I noticed you didn't make the last night of the jousting. Kynan ended up with the Silver Trophy, I ended up with the Bronze this time, one to go with the gold now. Queen Caill came in first for February." He was sure she might like to know that having been there the first night.

"I hope so, the more the merrier. I've got a surprise for this Billy and his group. Built a catapult we have hidden. One with the specifications that a snowball the size of a snowman's head, will arch perfectly over the fountain to crash into their walls. Wont need too many to have their fortress come crumbling down. When they charge in an attempt to get the catapult, we've another trap waiting for them."

Her eyes widened slightly. "..I am so sorry, I completely forgot." She was surprised that she had forgotten. She drew in a breath, frowned. "I am happy that you both got a trophy. Congratulations.." She answered everything almost out of order, didn't she? "And.. ah... a couple of weeks, off and on. I just have not felt like getting out much, I suppose."

"Nora, it's not like you to forget. That is the very point. You've made every single one in support of us there." Pausing to mull over this new information. "Have you seen one of the healers? Maybe they can help with these moods."

"What did I miss that's brought this about, Rick?" Treve and Nora looked like they were having a serious conversation, and Kynan seemed like he was dozing, so she focused on Rick for the moment.

"It's been an ongoing thing. Happens every year but this year this lad named Billy the Bull, decided he is king of the commons and ruler of all ones his age and under. He's a sissy really, big with bulk, his means in suppressing the others. He mostly picks on the girls, pounding them with snow. Ganging up. He tried it on my cousin Mary and a few others, so, it is time he learned he is not so smart and being a bully will have him fall hard."

He was dozing actually and knew that wasn't a good idea here. Pushing to his feet, he lifted a hand to his brother and friends. "Though the company is excellent, I'm dead on my feet. I bid you all, adieu."

"If you wait a minute, Kynan, I will join you as I need to get back, get up early tomorrow. I'm heading for the king's field if you want to join me?"

Snickering at himself,   he headed for the door, grabbing his cloak on the way out, though he paused to look at Treve. "I'll wait, but not promising if I'll get up for that."

"Trevet, don't worry, I will be fine.." She patted his chest lightly, like that was comforting. She had hoped so at least. She heard Kynan and she smiled towards him. "Rest well. I am heading to bed soon, myself."

"Good night, Kynan. It was nice to meet you." She waved, then frowned at Rick. "Then he definitely needs to learn his lesson."

"We can walk you up to the castle then. And I will worry until you promise me to at least see one of the healers?" He was over to get his coat and hers as it seemed a good idea to get some sleep.

"Good night, Cait. It was nice to meet you too. Maybe next time our paths cross I won't be half asleep."

"Aye, he does and we can have a good time as well." It was that kind of late. "Can we walk you home as well, Cait? I should get back as I need to see their brother Mikhail tomorrow about some things going on."

She slid her cloak on, watching Trevet silently. "Yes, I will see a healer."

"I'm staying here tonight, but thank you for offering." She smiled at them all, but kept her seat. Cait wasn't feeling sleepy yet.

"Good night Cait, pleased to have met you and maybe our paths will cross again sometime. Wind to your back, sunlight upon your path."

"The snow war should be soon, I hope you all can make it." It was an open invitation to all his friends but not made to feel obligated. He was over to collect his cloak as well and head out with the brothers and Nora.

"Good night, Cait." Spoken over her shoulder before she followed the men out.

He open the door, giving Cait a smile before waiting for the others to leave and stepping out himself before closing it over again.


Date: 02-28-09
Poster: Lizabet McKnight
Post # 53

New Acquaintances

With the day behind him, Lazare greeted the night with the warmth of a tankard of spirits and the fire's glow. With just Alex to keep him company at present, the tavern lapsed into silence as the tender saw to his duties. Lazare rested his head against the back of his chair, the glass balanced carefully within his grip on his thigh.

With Donovan's kindness of giving her a horse to ride, Lizabet decided to make it an outing for the day. Not going too far and mostly to the commons to buy some things she would need. Skirts were full of a deep wine that she managed to fold off to the side in riding regular instead of side saddle. Once to the tavern for a late meal, she slipped off without incident and handed off the mare to one of the lads waiting from the stables. She found out exactly where it was located before she was up the steps and heading in. A touch cold by this point though she was dressed warmly with the heavy overcloak; which she slipped out of. Hanging it off before hands slid down the folds of her dress then headed for the bar. "The punch I had the other day.." which she noticed Alex already getting out for her. The man had a good memory, duly noted.

Duly noted was the lady who entered, enough so that Lazare leaned forward, watching her and even placing his tankard aside on a table as if in a daze. But he wasn't dazed, he was grinning. "Evening, M'Lady." He started to stand but with a second thought, he remained where he was...for now.

She was all smiles for Alex, first thinking there were none others within. That was until she heard the voice. Whipping a glance over her shoulder, smile lingered with a dipping glance over the man, couldn't help it for her brother's words rolling around in her thoughts that moment. "Good evening to you Sir." Something else grumbled under her breath just as quick in turning her attention back to Alex to thank him as well taking up the glass of punch. Once in hand she was back around and heading for the hearth. "This is no private area?" Edging towards the fire to warm up.

With her approach, Lazare rose slowly, nodding toward the area of chairs. "No, by no means. Please..." He motioned with his hand to any, to all, the chairs available to her fireside. He dipped his head to her. "Lazare Carno." He heard the sound of her grumble, but since her comment was meant to remain her own, he could only smile that he hadn't quite understood her complaint.

So, the man was not only good looking, he had manners as well. She really .....really..... didn't want to eat her words spoken to her brother. There was a quirk of a smile, something quick off to the side for those thoughts as she gracefully curtsied, free hand guiding the skirts of her gown while the other held the glass without spilling a drop. Head slightly dipped, eyes lowered. All done in the span of a few seconds before straightening. "It is a pleasure to meet you Sir Carno. I am Elizabeth McKnight, come to help my brother with his veterinary business." If the man knew her brother at all. "Thank you..." moving to take up one of the chairs nearest the hearth to soak in the heat, chasing every last chill that managed near to the bone.

As the lady lowered, so did he, reaching over to take up his glass again. He didn't take his eyes from her as he sat, listening to her words, his smile as always, lingering as he spoke. "The pleasure is mine as well, Lady McKnight. And please, if you will, call me Lazare." He tipped his glass to her and then drank, settling in to his comfort with a stretch of legs and cross of ankles.

She had an accent if he could place it. Portuguese. Though her English was very good and careful with her diction. That smile of his kept catching her eye and one to follow curling the edges of her lips. He seemed a very easy going person. "It would please me to call you Lazare. Please then call me Lizabet." She settled back, eyes on him as she took the first sip of the raspberry punch. What he didn't know was he was the first man for her to meet socially.

What she wouldn't know was that he was probably the best man to be so. "Lizabet it will be then." He tilted his head, enjoying the faint tinge of accent. He rubbed his temple with a bent finger then lowered his hand to his leg. "How long have you been with your brother here, Lizabet?"

"One day, this is second." Which had a soft laugh escape. "I feel like everyone can tell I am new. I do not know much about these lands other than they are good lands to be." Golden brown eyes shifted to capture that little idiosyncrasy, following it down before distracted back up. "What is it that you do, Lazare?" Practicing his name in the way it rolled off her tongue.

He only mouthed the words, two days? He didn't comment on it right now but answered her question instead. "What do I do?" Was it possible that his smile could grow? It did to some degree. "I live one day to the next, Lizbet."  Yes, he was aware he left the 'a' from the pronunciation of her name. It was the sound of it that had him doing so. "But to serve Heathfield, I have sworn myself to King and Queen and those who call Heathfield home."

She thought on his answer giving a nod as he mouthed her response. Though slightly curious behavior, was it that bad? Tipping her head slightly as she went on guard, though a slight smile sneaked up. The way he said her name, near sounded with a lisp. The tip went back to normal. "It is a good way to have the years pass without counting them. Until they catch up to be noticed." The latter part shone some light on what his profession was. "You are a man of the King and Queen then. A knight? A Guard?" Unaware she was snapping them off with her finger and thumb, more the action than sound. "Too old to be a Paige." Smile was radiant next as she decided to tease, although if he was, it would come back on her. "There is the court jester, sim? The Cooks, the gardener."

Lazare chuckled. He could pick up in the atmosphere around her in the energy of sarcasm. Even if not spoken, he was aware she mocked him, judged him, and then teased him. "Too old to be a page, aye, but not ... too old." He let that statement linger as he took another drink from his glass. He could enjoy her company even if she was unsure of his. "I have been accused many times of being more of a clown than a knight. be the cook? I would rather eat than cook, but cook I can and...a gardener I am not. I am One of the Four, a King's Man." He offered her a shrug. Though he took his position seriously, lived and would die for the Black Griffon, the lovely Queen, and any who lived each day within the realm of Heathfield, Bali or Tyremoor, he still felt odd stating his position in the scheme of things. Especially with ones like de Beauvais, Cairns and the other more intense warriors of these lands.

She would find out for certain who he was through her brother, hopefully not embarrassing herself by the time she did, or her brother. "Not too old, you are man in prime." Hoping that sounded correctly. "You are funny knight then? You have good appetite?" Glance slipping down to see if there was a paunch but not seeing any and quickly back. Eyes growing a little wider and certainly a shine of respect there. "You are king's man." More a statement but uncertain of the number. "There are only four, or four meaning something else?" Being the comment was somewhat separated.

Here he thought he was going to have to draw her into conversation and she was questioning him. "There are many King's Men...but Four Horsemen. We have been with the King prior to his marriage to the Queen." A fluent motion of  leaning forward, placing his tankard aside, and then bracing his elbows to his knees he smiled over to her. "The Four of us, that is, have been with the king and are still so." His forefinger twitched her way, though his position didn't change. "Lots of history, of which, I'm sure you have as much. Is there a reason you can share, with a man you hardly know, why you have only just come to be with your brother here?"

"That makes difference," giving a slight nod that had the luster of dark hair slip over her shoulder. Modest bodice of her gown, dipped some but not much. "Four horsemen, like four corners of the earth, compass and elements?" Figuring there was a meaning to Four, not Three or so on. "You are very dedicate man. Not many are so dedicated. It is honor then to meet you." Which she was sincere about. Respecting anyone who was so dedicated, even more if for a good cause. For the betterment of others. She was starting to ease, no reason she couldn't talk on why she was here, some about herself. It was only fair after asking him so much. "I have a love of animals as well. When he came here, our younger sister Kat, came with him. It would no be good to leave our mother alone, so I stayed. Kat came back so I decided it was my turn. He has a lot of responsibility for only one man. The lands here and sister castles as well the race horses. I know the usual for women in growing up, etiquette and skills but I never found any one a life career. I have asked my brother to train me in his profession and he has agreed." Which pleased her very much. "I prefer not to sit around and have my mother arranged teas to meet this pompous man or that."

"Where is it that you come from that would have such men to endure?" He shook his head with his ever-ready grin. "I though, as well as you, am pleased that you've been granted the opportunity to learn a profession with your brother rather than having to sip black, nibble creams, and entertain bores."

"It is Portugal we are from but our ancestors are from here. The McKnight family had supported King Andrew Barrett and fought against the usurp. We were here when little but when my father died, our mother took us to Portugal to be raised there. My father's brother remained here, why my brother Donovan came. Oran McKnight." In case he knew the uncle's name in passing. "My mother thinks it prudent to marry off her daughters to well established gentlemen there. Most well established have many flaws, in many different ways. It is time Kat got to be on that seat than I." Especially when she was starting scandals instead. Which now she had the key if she ever ended up back there. Laughter followed. "Sim, they were bores there. My brother assures me they are not so here." Said with that tone of disbelief but not really worried on it either. She had gotten good at maneuvering, dodging and outright avoiding.

As she summed up her history, Lazare nodded. He had heard of this family, through overheard conversation between Karl and Honeee. "My goodness, Lizbet. You have quite the opinion of men in general. I'm sure all that are well established will have flaws, but then, being human, we all do. Of royal, noble, wealthy or humble births. And while your brother assures you of the lack of bores in these lands, I fear it may be the same here as anywhere. Especially for one as skilled as you at ... pinpointing and calling a spade a spade, or in this case, a bore a bore." He chuckled low, just the faintest sound though a sound of amusement none-the-less. "Now, as far as prudent to marry off daughters to established gentlemen...I would think it better to marry a gentle man." Yes, he divided it up on purpose. "Than a man of harsh manners."

"That is what I told him. But saying one way or another doesn't make it so. Time will tell. I don't find you a bore and you are also very handsome. Dedicated to your king and of a noble profession." It was sounding like she would be eating her words if her brother ever heard her! She obviously could call a diamond a diamond, even diamonds in the rough. Eyes narrowed just a little bit his way but they contained a sparkle as well. "You are educated as well, a gentleman is suppose to be a gentle man." Dividing it up like he had. "Few remember that. They display all the right moves of etiquette, until they manage to corner you alone and turn into beasts that think you are swooning for them that they can do anything." Oh, that had her ire up, obviously she had encountered one such. Fire flared in golden brown eyes making them a richer deeper color. "I think I might learn how to use the sword while here as well. Mother would not allow it." Curling smile as she continued, "thought it would hurt my chances."


Date: 02-28-09
Poster: Lizabet McKnight
Post # 54

While his elbow rested on the arm of the chair, Lazare pressed his knuckles to his lips to hold his smile in check as she finished her comment. It dropped away so he could speak. "Or perhaps, she was thinking of those foolish men of standing...and how it would hurt their...chances...if you were skilled in defense." There was no mistaking the spark of anger when she remembered her past. "And in defense of my own sex, Lizbet, I think more remember 'that' than do not remember 'that'."

The quiet of the night was disturbed by a whoop and holler outside. Thuds against the wall of the Thistle were met by more yells and much laughter. Silence followed until the garden door opened, and Bannon slipped inside. He hadn't gone up against the bully and his band but others, more interested in fun then being the best. And he had joined right in. Now however, in the warmth of the tavern, he saw Lazare and a lady and brushed the snow from himself.  Once that was done and his cloak hung to dry, he headed for the bar.

"She would be right for once then." Laughter spilled freely as Lazare's wit was more than she was use to. "A few would be standing differently and rightly so. There are different kinds of men. I have met good ones but to think of their lips on mine, made me ill or feel like they are brother than lover." Which had about the same response. "But enough of this," she didn't really want to start boring him talking about men to a man, or make him feel defensive for certainly there were exceptions. Even if she felt most men were pigs, least most of those she met. This was another land, other men. "What are places to see in these lands? Things to do other than breathe down my brother's neck all the time." She would need to in learning, be in his company a lot. The thuds had her quick turning with a look to the door. The young man received a smile. "Good evening."

He started to answer her, but Bannon's entrance had him pausing. "Lizbet, Bannon Zimmer, Bannon, the Lady Elizabeth McKnight." All right boy, do him proud.

"A pleasure to meet you Bannon Zimmer." Lifting her glass his way before taking a drink. She had almost forgotten she had a drink. Then again she was not much of a drinker.

He turned as he was spoken to, smiling warmly. Not so shy anymore. Bowing from the waist before he spoke, just like he'd been taught. "It's a pleasure, Lady Elizabeth."

Excellent. Lazare smiled, then looked back to Lizabet. "You may enjoy the hot springs, Lizbet. There is the Sibio restaurant, you may enjoy that, but then any of the eating establishments here are excellent choices when your time allows. The Falkirk Downs." He thought a moment, casting a look to Bannon then back to the lady opposite him. "The zoo, which I'm not sure is currently open, not sure." He had never been there, so wouldn't know. "I'm afraid I'm not the best person to ask about sightseeing." He spent more time on the field, and then on the road from Heathfield to Luneberg that he hadn't done much sight seeing himself.

He picked up his drink and turned again to face the Lady and the King's man, listening. While Lady Elizabeth spoke to Lazare, he could study her without being rude. He had finally started to notice the lasses. Well, had before, but now it was more open. "There's also the Celtic Gardens, Lady Elizabeth, and the castle Gardens."

She was soaking in all information given. "Yes, Falkirk Downs, I should get to be there in helping my brother. He checks the race horses and knows I would be especially interested in helping." From Lazare to Bannon attention turned easily as she listened to his additions. She might need to make a list. "The Gardens should be a sight in a couple months." Once the flowers had time to bloom. "There is a zoo? What kind of animals do they have?"

"The Celtic Gardens are always in bloom." He grinned now as he answered. "Bit of spring all year around and they say the wee folk watch over it. There's all sorts of animals there. Tigers, and a camel, lions. I think a rhino and some of those that more exotic. A griffin eventually. And there's a petting zoo. They keep it open except on the days of the very worst weather."

"Wee folk?" A little surprised to hear that phrasing and wanting to make sure she heard him right. "The children maintain it?" They were wee folk or midgets. "It must be a very special garden I should make sure I see." Listening then to the various animals found at the zoo. It was a diverse collection. Another note to visit there. She would have all her free time to fill with places to go.

"Not children. Magic folk is what I'm told." He looked a little sheepish. "I've not been there. Just some of the lads here talk about it."

Lazare just nodded as he smiled. Bannon had truly emerged from his shell. Quite interesting to see the difference since the lad went under the instruction of the Dragon. He still didn't say anything, since, when it came to wee folk, zoos, gardens...he had nothing to add.

"Magic folk meaning like little winged ones, angels and such small people tales are told of?" She hoped they didn't mind her asking for clarification for some of the terms were not familiar and not to assume.

"Ja, Zauberinnen. Fairies." He grinned again then shrugged. "None could tell me if they had ever seen any." Vincent had been firm about what Bannon should learn and know. Even if the Dragon himself did not always follow the same rules.

"Fairies," repeating it more to herself and certainly curious for the serious way he talked on them. "Have you seen these fairies?"

"No. I haven't gone inside the Gardens, but I have gone passed and have seen it looks like a spring day in there." He looked over at Lazare. Maybe he had seen them?

Lazare just ... shrugged. Maybe he had, maybe he hadn't, maybe...he wouldn't be saying. Lazare started to stand with a stifled yawn. Once he swallowed it down, he smiled to Lizabet. "I look forward to crossing paths again, Lizbet. Soon." Shoulders and head dipped ever so slightly to her and he looked to Bannon. "Good to see you again, Zimmer."

It was getting late as she rose from her seat. What was left of her punch was drained. Waste not, want not, as the saying went. She might find out with this it had been more prudent not, after she fell off her horse on the way back. She had to swallow it quickly as well to be able to reply promptly. "I look forward to crossing paths, maybe crossing swords at some point when I learn." Tossing in a quick wink as it went with the earlier conversation. She gave a quick curtsey to both. "Thank you both for an enjoyable and informative evening. A pleasant night be yours."

He wouldn't be staying either. Staying out late didn't excuse him from the field, even if he didn't need as much sleep as some.

"I pray I am never ... worthy ... of being at the end of your sword, Lizbet." Hopefully he would never make her want to skewer him as she wished to those men she spoke of earlier. "Good night."

"In that case, I would agree." She preferred making friends in these lands, not targets to sharpen knives on. Sword points or at least her nails.

"Good night, Sir Lazare, Lady Elizabeth." He bowed again, then leaned against the bar. As soon as his ale was gone, he'd be out the door.

She was over to collect her cloak as the stable boy soon had her horse around. She waited the few minutes on the porch, watching her breath frost for the chill of the night.

Lazare crossed over the bar, placed his tankard there, then gave the lad a thud of shoulder before heading out himself. Unlike the lady, he took the way past the offices in the back.

He grinned at Lazare, even if he had taken a step to the side with the thud. Ale finished, he headed for the front door, surprised to see her still there. "Uh ... Lady Elizabeth, would you like me to escort you back?" To wherever she was going.

Which took her by surprise. Pleasant one. "It is kind of you if it is on your way. McKnight, the veterinarian." The lad arriving with her horse at that point. "Do you have a horse?"

"I can borrow one from the stables." He smiled, and this time it was a shy one. "If you don't mind waiting a moment more?" He started down the steps but paused to make sure.

"I do not mind." Not being familiar with the lands, she would enjoy the company home. It had gotten late as she realized time had flown. She had been in good company.

Lazare was good company! He nodded and hurried around back. When he returned, he was leading both horses. He held the reins until she was mounted, then handed them to her. Mounting the borrowed horse, he smiled easily. "I know where that is. I didn't know he had another sister." He might even hold a decent conversation!

She had to mount carefully for the folds of her gown but she managed, just a tad slow before taking up the reins. She didn't want to get tangled up. "Only me and Kat. There will not be another sprung on you." Teasing him with a smile and one of those quick winks before nudging the mare onward. He might need to correct her on direction this late, all looked different in the dark than it had during the day.

Good thing it was dark enough that no one could him turn red. He should have helped her. "I don't think anyone would mind another." He mounted then turned the horses in the direction of the manor. He'd point out a few of the places she could visit during the day while they rode.


Date: 03-17-09
Poster: Christopher McCormick
Post # 55

Spring in the Air

Chris had been working too hard... too long... and so swung by Ravanna to see if Gerrard was around. Something that might be hit and miss but best chance he'd hang around there more often than not. Luck was with him as Gerrard happened to be there and so after a little visiting they headed for the Thistle and some drinking. Might be serious drinking as it had been a while since he had even seen AJ, she was off taking care of the ones she was responsible for in that war zone as he called it, futuristic time that even he could access through the nexus. Left him with the shudders as with so many inventions, people did less, became fat and didn't know a squirrel from a chipmunk.

Lately Gerrard had little time to be anywhere else but his Da was back from his honeymoon and he found himself with free time again. Glad to see Chris, he was glad to take off to the Thistle. It was good to catch the scent of spring in the air, even if there was always that chance of snow. Trouble was hard on their heels, the husky always glad to visit the Thistle as well.

"So, have you met a lass in the meantime?" What was it now... months? Half a year? He lost count as his duties on the ranch had kept him far too busy. "I need to find a woman for Da. Like yours found love again." If he was bad at being a recluse, his father was worse. Up the steps in a quick jaunt before he was sweeping open the door, leaving Gerrard to enter first, or Trouble as he near ploughed his friend over. Alex always got a few soup bones from the kitchen for any pets brought. How quick man's best friend could betray over a bone.

He laughed as he had to do a quick step to avoid being smacked into the door, giving a shake of his head as he watched the dog. "No. Until Da and Tara came back, I was pretty much kept busy trying to keep things in order at the ranch. Sure is a lot of work but by the time they god back, I was working things out." He laughed as he looked at Chris. "Da found her all by himself. And how are you going to if you never get out yourself to find him one?"

"Well, that's where I was figuring you might help me out." Lopsided grin as they headed for the bar, potcheen night and a bottle left out. They might go through two at this rate. Long overdue. "And my siblings." He was rather liking this idea of getting his father involved with a woman, getting him away from the ranch and work. "Must be something we can do. Maybe get him a date from the Services. Anonymous."

"You could try that." He leaned against the bar, watching Trouble who had taken a position at the hearth. "How's Scott doing? And your sisters?"

Concessa had been sick, more than physically. Wrought to the soul with the death of her father, she grieved the whole trip by ship to these lands. The news probably would have been easier had any of her siblings been there at the time she arrived home to find this all out and them all gone. Guilt too went deeper she had finished Finishing School earlier than let on so she could sneak off with her friend to her family's country estate. A grand estate it was but there she met what high society played. Games of intrigue, sexual rendezvous, like the wind emotions played with. There and gone with nothing substantial except the damage left in its wake. On top of that, she'd been seasick, feeling as bad as she looked when she dragged herself to this tavern earlier in the day. Alex had taken pity and had Hazel show her where to wash up. In fact, Hazel mothered her, wee lass all by herself and looking like death. The woman's motherly side had worked wonders for her as she finally entered the tavern for some food and drink. Hair was wet, wrapped up in a white towel, turban style piled high. Some color back against scrubbed cheeks and finally famished as well. A good sign. The dress, her spare, was a plain cotton in a soft melon color trimmed in white. The other might be ruined for the ordeal. It was her eyes that held shadows of sadness and a little watery at times. She stopped dead in her tracks, eyes going a little wide when she saw two younger men at the bar. Most she saw around were all older. Becoming immediately self conscious as that color heightened. Glued to the spot as well, wanting to flee but that would be worse. Mind in an indecisive whirl.

"Scott has been working as hard. I think he is still seeing Dacey. There too, I don't think he's seen her in a while for all the work needed over the winter in keeping the livestock alive..." thought died as the lass came in and a slow smile grew. "Hello there, only Gerrard here bites." Just for the look she was giving them. Then wondered if she would flee believing him. So he quickly added, "you're welcome to join us." Shifting up from the lean he had been in to offer the stool between where he was and Gerrard, dusting it off with a hand even. Not that there was any dust in the whole of the tavern. Alex was a fanatic in keeping it spotless.

"He's in training too, right?" He stopped as he looked toward the lass and smiled as well. "And I promise I only bite if you ask." He chuckled as he stood.

Chris was about to get a surprise. AJ had brought Jules to spend some time with Shiloh and the Frasier clan and now she was on a mission. She had even managed to dress in a long skirt of green suede with a matching vest. The shirt she wore was a paler green, a scooped neck and long sleeves caught at the wrist. She paused just inside the door after she closed it, watching for a moment, a grin on her face.

"Ah,.." stammering some as a hand lifted to try and get the towel from her hair. The color on her cheeks were getting deeper as the towel then betrayed her as well, getting entangled in the length of her hair. "Hello," taking a step as her bottom lip slightly protruded in a pout. This was not her night, nor day, nor the two weeks it took her by ship to get here. Nor the week before that, nor the one at her friend's. The distraction appreciated as another came in, turning there as it turned out to be another female. What a great relief. "Hello," greeting the three as she finally managed to get the towel from her hair. Hair that was bunched up to one side in a twisted sort of way as she folded over the cloth to bring to the bar and set away. Slow movements, precise, like one afraid she'd trip and land on her face next.

"Didn't you use to bring in every stray woodland creature that was lost when growing up, Gerrard? Well, maybe you still do." Such a devilish glint in hazel green eyes, Gerrard would catch the meaning of his comment. Near at the same time he caught sight of the one just inside the door. He was up, look torn from Gerrard and only getting worse as he was stalking towards AJ.

"Evening. I'm Gerrard, that's Christopher and the lass he's stalking is AJ." He would have helped her with the towel but he didn't want to embarrass her more. "You're new to Heathfield, aren't you?" He was trying to not laugh at Chris and AJ. "Aye, I did. Oh, and that lad over there at the hearth is Trouble." He pointed to the husky but maybe he should have pointed to Chris!

She knew that look very well, and it made her tingle right down to her toes. Her grin changed to a smile, eyes lowering slightly as she watched him head toward her. "Hello there." She couldn't help the way her voice lowered just a bit as she took a step toward him.

There was enough distance for him to affect a swagger. The pace steady until the last few feet of which he dashed. Sweeping her up into his arms, first lifted as he turned then barely on her feet he dipped her off to the side. Maybe residue of when she taught him dirty dancing. The kiss wasn't faked as lips seared their own kind of brand. At least the hard work kept him in shape for the strong arm that supported her during this whirlwind onslaught. Just in case she had forgotten him to some other futuristic guy.

She was a Quinn, she rounded up her composure, even mustered up a smile. Little curling one that did her so much better. "Nice to meet you Gerrard," except she happened to glance to where the other two were and felt the heat rise to her cheeks again. Quickly looking away as it brought back unwanted memories. Focus on Alex, "something suitably strong." Which some raspberry punch was set out.

Between school and Jules, she didn't have time to meet any other guys. Besides, she didn't want to meet anyone else. Not when he greeted her like this! She laughed then wrapped her arms around his neck when he dipped her and planted that kiss on her. She might have forgotten where they were too, and wouldn't remember until she was upright and recovering.

"You have a name?" He urged softly, grinning. "Don't mind those two. Been a while since they've seen one another and they tend to get wrapped up in their greeting." He picked up his glass and took a drink finally.

Gerrard would keep the other lass occupied in conversation while he drank longer than he should of AJ's lips. Ones so willing, so sweet, he'd be crazy not to. His friend would understand. If not, they could punch it out later like old times. AJ might hear the low growl as he gradually straightened her with his lips still plying, arms sliding as he drew her up tight against him in a hug. Good hugger. Only when he finally needed a breath did he come up for air. One dragged in as certainly the kiss had its return effect.

She was socially out of the loop but she'd not glance towards the door again until the two were done. Too quiet over there other than sounds of a kiss, not overly but still. "Yes. I'm sorry, please forgive my rudeness. I just got off a ship." Well, that might not sound right but it was the truth plus a lot more. "I'm Concessa Quinn, come to find my family here. At least I'm told Melantha has returned to these lands." Which she  really didn't catch on in the way she had said it. Return here instead of newly here.

When the kiss ended, she sighed softly, a contented sound of relief because she wasn't sure how he'd react. She clung to him for a minute more, allowing the room to stop spinning. "I missed you too," said softly, as she looked up at him again. No, there wasn't any futuristic guy anywhere in her thoughts. Not likely to be one.

"Being it's still winter, I can understand how you feel. The weather can be rough." He nodded at the name, smiling. "Aye, she's here and settled in right well. She's Stable Master of the Royal stables. I believe your aunt and cousin are here as well. You'll be staying?" He glanced in Chris and AJ's direction. "All right you two, save the mush for later and come over and meet Concessa."

Which his eyes were with hers as she looked up, smile tipping off to the side. "I missed you too," understatement after that kiss. Wink added as silken hair fell in his face again, something he was use to. He helped her with her cloak, "something to drink before Gerrard gets himself in a knot?" Not even looking towards his friend, near like a brother for having grown up together. Notice at least he didn't say get his panties in a knot.

"I noticed all the snow outside." She was not use to seeing that much snow, not even knowing it was one third of what it had been. She was use to cold having been in England. A laugh slipped out as she finally glanced towards the other two, luckily they were done. She was almost hesitant expecting to see a heated kiss still going on. "I will be staying." Though a slight frown came with a glance back to Gerrard, "no others yet? I have three more brothers and a sister to come." Or so she assumed they would be, thought they would be here already. "I can't wait to see Melantha and auntie. Cousin, would it be Devin?" Last she heard they were a bit on the outs with each other, though she didn't know the details.

"A drink would be good." The comment from Gerrard had her coloring a bit though she laughed good-naturedly. She missed that kind of banter. Sliding her arm around his waist, she headed with him toward the bar. "Hello Concessa, nice to meet you."

"Royal Stable Master.." that sinking in as her smile came more brightly. "That's wonderful, she really loves the horses. Then to the couple. "Hello AJ, Christopher." A drink to finally follow as her eyes went a little wide, the punch was stronger than she suspected for the aroma and look.

His arm around her shoulders as they approached. Grin only got bigger too. "Hello Concessa. Welcome to the lands and home. It's quite the manor your sister has that goes with the Stables. Plenty of room." Having heard her asking on a few more. Once to the bar, arm slid away as he got some punch for AJ and reclaimed his glass of potcheen. What was left in the glass was kicked back before he topped off both his glass and Gerrard's.

"No, no others that I know of. Davin I believe. He's taking care of the Lighthouse for now." He bit off a laugh at her expression. "That's made from potcheen, with some fruit juice." A nod of thanks given Chris and he picked up his glass. "This is the Pure."

She understood the reaction and made sure she sipped the punch. Only drank occasionally and nothing that strong so she didn't want to take the chance. "And it'll take care of every illness thinkable." Adding about the potcheen.

"The pure.." glancing to the drink he held up. "Oh, that's wonderful. If he is taking care of the Lighthouse he will probably stay." Least what she knew of her cousin. "It will be good to see him again."

"You'll find the manor lively too." He added as an afterthought. "Your aunt tends to invite folks there a lot. I understand there's usually an extra guest or two for dinner."

He took up a comfortable lean next to AJ as his mouth finally shut, listening instead as he watched Gerrard and Concessa. Hard to tell what he was thinking but it would probably cause trouble of a harmless kind.

"I think I would like active, least where it is family and friends." Those she knew and trusted. "Are you all from the lands as well, established families or newly here?" She obviously had no idea.

She leaned against Chris, glad she had come here tonight. "I'm visiting for a bit." Spring break, more school and then graduation. After that, she had some thinking to do.

"My family is an established one, as is Chris'. Our fathers are old friends and we grew up together." There were a couple of them who had been friends, always out looking for trouble of some sort or another.

"Can I put in for all your spare time while here? I have time coming and I'll spend it all on you if you'd like." Nudging discreetly with his arm against hers.

"It is good to have roots. I once did, now they are torn up and I have to replant them. My father and brother, Eion, use to tell me stories about these lands. I was told of Elves living alongside mankind, of fairies that tended gardens and a lot of mystical wondrous things." They had to be made up but she was testing out this area for she had always wondered, how much of these tales were true. How much did she want to believe they were true? Truth be told, she wanted them all to be true but it defied logic in the way of things.


Date: 03-17-09
Poster: Christopher McCormick
Post # 56

Dark eyes lifted from Concessa to his and she grinned. "I think I'd like that very much." Luckily, Jules didn't need to be entertained anymore and she had plenty to keep her happy at the manor. And Aunt Shi had already told AJ she was to enjoy herself. What better way to spend time than with Chris?

"There's a lot that's mystical about Heathfield." Gerrard glanced at his friend and grinned then looked back. "The Celtic Gardens still exist, and there are Elves that live here. Some keep to themselves but some mingle and live in the city and villages. The people here, and the rulers, are very tolerant." No one was persecuted for who they were or what they believed.

They could take Jules to the Zoo with them. "There's a new zoo if you'd like to see that for starters. Maybe the races as they are in full swing." A few other places as well but that was a good start. "Maybe a picnic down at the lake, rain, shine or snow."

"Races sound like fun." She had to remind herself they wouldn't be motorized! "And the Zoo will be too. And it will likely be snow." But they wouldn't mind. They could cuddle in front of a fire.

"So the stories are true? He said there was a lot of magic here. Druids as well." Which she was drawn to as something sang in her Soul. Sang throughout the linage of their family she was going to discover. The day caught up, the only energy gained for washing up and Hazel fussing that had made her feel good inside. She'd been without a mother for a very long time. "I am going to stay the night here than surprise Melantha this late at night." Mel would know the toll that had been taken on her if she appeared tonight. At least with a good night's rest, breakfast in the morning, she could pass off as her usual self or so hoped. Alex had given her a key earlier and it might well prove her trunks arrived at the Manor before she did. She finished off her punch, which would ensure her sleeping soundly. "Good night, I'm pleased to have met you all."

"Aye, they're true and there are Druids here." Which, if she could see beyond the norm, she might feel something about Gerrard who was following his Da's training of late. "Good luck tomorrow with your family. Rest well." He smiled as he spoke. "It was good to meet you as well, and if you're needing a guide, I'll be glad to provide it. You can leave a message with Alex here if you like." It was an offer made as a new found friend.

"Sleep well Concessa. I'm sure your family will be overjoyed to see you tomorrow. Have Melantha take you to the races."

"It was nice to meet you too, Concessa. I'm sure you'll like it here." She watched her with a touch of concern in dark eyes.

She hadn't shied from him. The drawing she chalked up for him being not just personable but good looking too. It hadn't gone unnoticed. She had started for the hall but turned with his words, smile somewhat shy this time. "I would like that. I would not wish to impose too much on my sister when she has the stables and race horses to attend. I can some, some on my cousin, some on my aunt but you probably know many more places and much more information." If he meant the offer. It could have been said in that kind of kindness of good wishing. "I will have Mel take me to see the races. We all have that in our blood to some extent." Turning the smile on Chris before upon AJ, "I think I will like it here, thank you all." Sweeping glance between them before she was on her way to the hall and up the steps to find her room.

He meant it. "Good, then just let me know. You can even have a message sent to Ravanna. That's my Da's ranch." And his eventually, though not for a long time. He watched her go then looked at Chris and AJ. "Maybe I'll go to the races too." Grinning.

Which she heard before she was no longer in sight.

"Maybe we'll all go and maybe we'll get addicted and maybe we'll all get race horses of our own!" Like did they know what they were getting themselves into?

Which had her laughing. "Does that mean you'll be riding in the race or you'll be owners and become rich on your winnings?" She had told Shiloh she might stay at the tavern for the night if it grew late and that looked like her  choice for the evening. "I'm going to stay here tonight too instead of traveling back to Falkirk."

"Well, I think we can do both.." grinning right back at her. "I hear they have a horse named Thunder Thighs." And he managed to say it without doubling over laughing.

"You're serious, aren't you?" She blinked in surprise, then giggled. "Well, just don't expect me to ride that one." Not that she rode that well.

Actually Thunder Thigh was a good horse, won Charlie a puppy named Burpee..

"There's a hometown race, where anyone can ride." He laughed. "I think someone had a bit too much potcheen when they named that one."

"Then I'll stay the night here as well and we can have breakfast in the morning together before we start off on our dates." Yes, he called them dates. Gerrard could rib him later but he had sort of dates with AJ in the past and certainly the kiss he greeted her with and she returned, supported dating.

Slink, step, inside! She was wrapped up, too. Cloak over a dress in a pale shade of aqua. She had a bad case of spring fever going on. Removing her cloak, she didn't bother to hang it, but carried it with her to the bar.

Someone was slinking into the room as hazel green eyes were immediately drawn there. Shepherd was always keen of sight to find slinking things, wolves, in the woods to protect his sheep from. "Hello there."

Dates, huh? He looked at Chris and AJ and just grinned before turning his attention to the one coming in. "Evening."

Slinking, sneaking. Well, she was never good at sneaking. She beamed a bright smile to the others around. "Good evening." Fingers wiggled, a wave tacked onto her verbal hello as she settled at the bar, on a stool.

"That sounds perfect." She had even brought a small bag with her ... just in case she did stay. "Evening." A grin for the woman and she took a drink of her punch and snuggled a little more.

"I'm Christopher McCormick, Gerrard MacShire and AJ Loughan," giving introductions as his smile tipped off to the side. "You would be?"

Frisky. Yes, frisky would be the best way to describe her tonight. She grinned off towards Christopher when she heard him, fingers tapping against the counter top. "My name is Gaelle. Gaelle Thorpe. Nice to meet you all."

"Well met, Gaelle." He raised his glass in a salute before downing what remained, then he topped it again. Even if he had too much his horse and Trouble would make sure he made it home. Trouble being the husky sleeping in front of the hearth and not himself.

Laughter rolled into the door, becoming a body, holding something in her hands, "Give em back you lil stinker" jerking the obvious leg of a pair of leather britches, what ever was on the other end, jerked back, resulting in more laughter as Charlie backed her way in still struggling for the prize ...

"Nice to meet you, Gaelle." She grinned at the woman then let out a squeal when she saw a familiar fa... errr back. "Charlie!"

Another smile, a wide one for the others. She leaned to order punch from Alex, then sort of paused when she heard a familiar voice. She turned, to watch the door. Her head ticked to the side.

"Nice to meet you Gaelle," parroting AJ with a widening grin as a hand lifted to push back the hair that had fallen in his face. Natural habit. The laughter caught his attention. "Charlie!" Trouble.

Oops, Charlie twisted, blinking at the voice, grinning "AJ" dropping the britches, as she lifted her arms, the pants, wiggled into the door way all by themselves "how yah doing kiddo" poor Kenneth, had lost another pair of  britches ...Burpee belched and wiggled her head out from under the britches, curious as to who was speaking to her new best friend ....

"Charlie! I told you, it is wrong to go around stealing pants right off of people's bodies!" Pause. "Especially when they are awake. You have to wait until they're sleeping first." What.

Which had him dip a look towards Gaelle. "Something you practice?" Ah yes, grin.

Making certain the door would not sweep Burpee back out, Charlie went to hug AJ .. "goodness girl you are too grown up" like Charlie had been around all that time, "yeah well ...Burpee grabbed them when we stepped out for her to go potty, it was a merry chase after that" Kenneth would be none the wiser till he woke up, and his britches were well, holey ...

"What? Me? Of course not." Answering Christopher, appearing all innocent. She snickered as she listened to Charlie, lifting her glass from the bar top for a drink.

A kiss blown to Chris as she hugged AJ ...Burpee, wiggling forward towards the hearth and the big DOG ...

She happily hugged Charlie back then laughed. "Wait until you see Jay Jay. She's going to be tall like her brothers." Ooo puppy!

After a week or so with Charlie, Burpee knew no fear, wiggling her chunky rump in the air as she yapped at the big DOG "yeah my prize for  arace against Gaelle ..." she chuckled ...

"Was that the night I came in oh.. last?" She laughed.

Trouble yawned and opened one eye, then hopped up. He might be older but he was always up for playing, even with a wee pup. A little whuff of greeting and he bumped the pup with a paw.

"Yeah it was" she chuckled to Gaelle watching the brave puppy, sashay with confidence to the big Dog ...

"Well, Broch cheats. He leans forward too much on his horse. It's distracting, you know. His fault." Rambling.

"Where's my hug, Charlie?" He tried to pout. "Been a long time you know."

"Yeah ..I knew it when he past me ... tight britches does it every time ..." Charlie turned laughing, lifting her arms to Gerrard "you trust me to just hug you?" teasing of course ...

He caught the kiss and blew one back. "For later, when Ken isn't looking," teasing of course as he tucked his away into his pants pocket.

"Aye. Rory's not here to get me into trouble." Now, wasn't that usually the other way around? He stepped up and gave Charlie a big ol' hug. "You don't have a broom hidden anywhere, right?"

"Mhmm.." Dreamy sigh, starry eyes. Give her a second.

She hugged him tight laughing softly "no ..cant fly on it with Burpee ... air sick" and how would she know this?

He was tsking under his breath. "I'll have to remember to wear tight britches when I race." Which he planned on being they talked on going to the races. Garrard had Chris to get him in more trouble. Already started with the lass that came in earlier.

She blinked up at Chris then laughed. "Best be wearing them just for me."

Nodding to Chris "not that Gaelle could see it, her horse was making road apples and primping for some stud we couldn't see" she teased ...

"Good." He even planted a kiss on top of Charlie's head before he stepped back.  And yes, Chris was a good as Rory for that.

"Ooh, what I'd pay to be that h-- huh." She coughed, then laughed hearing Charlie. "I think she was primping for all of the studs, not just one."

"and... were the riders primping for men in tight pants?" Brow lifting under strands of hair back down over his forehead and face.

Charlie giggled, yep, glad she stopped by "yes well you don't want to ride a pregnant mare in a race ..." if the mare ever found a stud, Burpee looked at the big Dog and promptly, jumped at him, making puppy whines and licks at his face ...  "Oh we were riding in the race and well the view ahead was ALL Ass ...erm ...tails" yeah like really ...


Date: 03-17-09
Poster: Christopher McCormick
Post # 57

"Well, uhm.. No. I do all of my primping before the race." She nodded. Then cracked up laughing at Charlie.

"Oh, I'll wear them for you if it will distract and I win the bet we make that night."

Charlie winked at Gaelle, of course if they were riding together in the race any thing was possible, and likely to happen ...

"Who are you making bets with?" She was laughing at Charlie and easily confused.

That was nothing new, Charlie was a joke from the get go, and always in some sort of mischief, she loved to laugh at herself first ...

"You. I'll start there. Agreed?" There was that wicked smile again.

He just covered his eyes with his hand, shoulders shaking. He could just imagine how the races would go. Trouble carefully pinned the pup with a paw, licking her face in return.

"I recommend Thunder Thighs .. runs good and straight" it had been his rider that had been a clown that day ...

"Me?" She squeaked out a laugh. "You're expecting me to race?! I'm not riding a horse named Thunder Thighs!"

Wiggle Wiggle ..Burpee was gonna be in love with the big Dog ..

"I'll ride her and win then. She has a good record I hear. You can ride one of the others." Other names escaped him TT seemed to register and stick.

Charlie gave a glance to the well chewed britches, amused that Kenneth would need another pair, half the fun was keeping him out of his pants, Burpee was a good helper ... "I need to race Gaelle again, maybe win some britches for Kenneth" not that she minded one bit ..

"You have a bet." Giving a nod though she pursed her lips thoughtfully. "What happens if I lose?" She'd have to come up with something good if he did.

"You would put Kenneth in a pair of Gaelle's britches?" Just to see if he got that right in what he was hearing. "I'll have to come up with something good if you lose." Waggling his brows that could make her wonder and wonder was probably not far from the thoughts.

She twitched up a smile, glancing aside to Charlie. Though Christopher was the one that had her laughing.

"Well I don't think he would fit right in them, but" waggling her brows, gave new meaning to beating the pants off someone ...

Beating them off one and putting them on another.. even if a tight fit.

Something to pull? The husky released the pup then was over to grab the britches and ran around the common room. Come on, pup, let's see if we can wear you out.  "Poor Kenneth's ears must be burning right now."

"More like having hot dreams of Charlie and he'll turn to find an empty space. She's gone off gallivanting with his pants."

Burpee was skittering after those pants, those were HER britches, she stole em fair and square, Charlie just chuckled, "if he is awake maybe."

"Gerrard offered the lass here earlier to take her to the races." Announced to Charlie so she could run with it.

"Oh he did, what lass?" Charlie had not encountered any one leaving ...

Which he left for Gerrard to step right into as he turned a look towards him.

Burpee grabbed a leg, of those pants growling and making puppy noises as she jerked, trying to get the upper paw over the big dog, though most likely he could drag her all over the Inn ...

She was considering that threat while she laughed and listened, then let out a little squeak. Cheeks turning red, she took a drink of the punch, and finished it off.

"Because she's newly arrived and not sure of herself." H e grinned at Charlie. "Concessa Quinn. She's Melantha's sister and just arrived today."

He had what looked like the cat that ate the canary grin. Glass of potcheen lifted next as he kicked back the last of it.

Trouble was having a grand time, moving backward as he dragged britches and pup. The husky might be getting a ride back to Ravanna tonight.

"Oh ...a new one, well we shall have to make sure she is welcomed properly" though it was enough probably to miss meeting Charlie on her first day in the realm ... Burpee tugged, and kept sliding forward with those britches, wiggling and shaking her head like she was a big dog..

She'd fallen quiet. Simply listening as she drank her punch. Which, yeah, the glass was being emptied at a pretty steady rate.

"She seems nice though she looked a bit tired." She chuckled as she watched the pup and dog.

"To be sure .. traveling can be hard on anyone  she agreed, AJ the object of study, "Hey Gaelle ... how is Broch?" She asked, a glance to the puppy and the dog as well, seems that they were enjoying  themselves.

It would probably be good for Concessa to become Charlieized. Arm lifting then down, coming to rest around AJ's shoulders. Grinning for some reason as well.

"He is doing good, I think. I haven't had a chance to see him as much as I'd like. I've been so busy." Nose twitching with her smile.

Probably would be, though not on the first day or night, in the area, that could damage a person terribly ...  Charlie nodded her head "you taking care of the babies still?" she thought it was Gaelle could be someone else, she was a bit behind on events ...

"Oh yes." She smiled wide, nodding at that. She even flicked a wink to Charlie, before draining her glass.

"Broch, as in Broch Cunningham of the Cunningham family?" Sparing a glance between both Gaelle and Charlie. He knew Broch, knew the rest of his family too.

"Yes." For Christopher. Her throat cleared. And, she suddenly.. blushed.

Charlie nodded her head to Chris, chuckling at Gaelle "well I prefer my babies having four legs," as close as she was coming to babies ...

"You have your hands full with that man." Not in a bad way, obviously held respect for him and his family.

Since she was done drinking, she wrapped her arm around Chris, though more around his waist, and resting her arm on the bar.

"Well she hopes so" laughing softly ...

"I--" Charlie cut her off. Gaelle's eyes widened and she .. simply laughed!

"Well, there is that too, Charlie," waggling a finger her way as he'd been around her when she was with Kenneth.

Charlie gave a grin, hey she just called them as she saw them, "well it is true" nodding her head, "and Broch likes it that way too" not that she knew anything more then anyone else ...

He just grinned as he listened. Best to not say too much though he had a lot of respect for the man as well. Trouble was being careful with the pup but she was still getting dragged around, under tables, around chairs and right up to the bar.

It was getting late and a long day planned of fun for tomorrow. Slight dip and he had AJ up into his arms. "Well everyone, I must say adieu as I take my prize off into the night."

"What?" She stammered to Charlie. She was confused. "Not, I, not that I would know the first thing about all of that."

"Always a new day to learn then Gaelle." Grin shot her way with arms full of AJ.

Charlie was shaking her finger "which reminds me I have some new blue silk ribbons may want" uh uh oh yeah she was BAD ....

She stared at Charlie.

Going home Chris ...AJ" pleased to see her young friend ....

Eeep! Laughing, she wrapped her arms around his neck. "Good night, everyone." And because she knew what Charlie was referring to, she started to hum the Scotsman. "No, staying here tonight. Uh ... " Now she was turning red. It wasn't like it sounded!

"Nah, can't carry her that far, just upstairs to the rooms here." Not really saying they had two separate ones.

And even more so now thanks to Chris!

She just smiled at Gaelle, waggling her brows, she would offer them to Broch if Gaelle didn't take them ....

"Charlie, you are so awful!" She laughed.

"That's why she's laughing Charlie! Catch him with his kilt on, or off..." leaving it go there as he started humming with AJ as he started off towards the hall.

"and you love me .." because she was brave enough to say it .Tilting her head to look at AJ and then Chris "erm" lifting her brows upwards meaning the rooms ...

Red faced, again. She tucked her chin down, shoulders trembling!

Poor Gaelle kind of hard to laugh when she was trying to fool everybody thinking that she was innocent ...

He laughed again, then lifted a hand to Chris and AJ. "Enjoy your dates! And as for me, I think I should head back. I'm due on the King's field tomorrow." He kept up with his training, even with working on the ranch.

"You needs a blue ribbon Gerrard " Charlie called after him ...

Charlie could get one to Concessa to give him. She would probably be clueless but he wouldn't.

"Aye, I do at that!  C'mon Trouble, tell Burpee good night." He wiggled his brows at Charlie. "Got 'em." And after Trouble nosed the bone Alex had given him to Burpee, he ran after Gerrard. Poor Concessa.

One never knew what Charlie would be doing at any given time. Burpee sat on the britches watching her new friend head after his master, panting of course being a puppy was hard work ..

She'd fallen silent again. Though she was still pink in the cheeks. Then she rose upward, from her seat. "I think, I will get some rest."


Date: 03-22-09
Poster: Melantha Quinn
Post # 58

The Next Day

The bed had been comfortable, far too comfortable. The place had been quiet or at least the walls were sound proof unlike most taverns. The wear on her mentally and physically had caught up, she was still sleeping soundly having no conception of time or space. Sleep she had actually needed for weeks with little to none. Her trunks, on the other hand, had arrived at the Quinn Manor hours ago.

Mel was concerned when after several hours, Concessa had not followed her trunks. She knew travel at this time of year could be harsh, and after talking to Chandra, decided to go to the Thistle and see if she was there. She drove the surrey, since it was a nice night and she wasn't sure Concessa would be up to riding a horse. The stable boy saw to both surrey and horses as she headed into the Thistle. "Evening, Alex. I'm looking for my sister. Her trunks are at the manor, but she's not." If anyone knew where she'd be, he would!

Alex drew a look of concern as he glanced towards the hall, "let me see if she's been down to eat." Taking the moment to head into the kitchen to talk to Hazel as she would know. She kept better track of such things while he kept track of other things. Hazel mirrored his worried frown as she shook her head assuring him she had not been down from her room that anyone had seen. He was back out to relate this to Melantha, letting her know she was in room 28, if she would like him to go or preferred going herself. He slid the extra key to the counter that she might enter the room being it was her sister in case there was something amiss.

The fact that she hadn't eaten was cause for greater concern. She thanked Alex and took the key. "I'll go. If she's ill she might be disoriented too." She smiled at the man. "Not that you're frightening, just she might be confused." Without another word, she headed for the hall and room 28. Unlocking the door, she opened it slowly. "Concessa?" Said in a normal tone of voice.

It wasn't long after Melantha went upstairs that a rather exhausted Gemma eased in through the front door. Followed by one boy that helped her with luggage. Though, there wasn't much. Three bags in total and they were all dropped to the floor, kicked, by Gemma, out of the way towards the wall so that others wouldn't trip over them. There was a scarf around her head, tied off to one side and flowing in colors of blues and greens. The same colors were worn in the blouse, the pants. Black boots shuffled her across the floor. She was thirsty, first thing. And when she inched up to the bar, she blinked slowly. But, didn't order, just yet.

Little light filtered through the closed curtains as a muffled sound came in a groggy way from where the bed was located, "mrrrms whoom.. trrrrr." The lump shifting before a thud sounded as she'd been too close to the edge and hit the floor. A squeal escaped as that brought her from the dregs of sleep, up too fast to her feet she stumbled. "Who? Where?" The voice slowly filtering through a sleepy mind. "Melantha?" Sounding very unsure.

Well, the voice was familiar and then there was that squeal. She was laughing as she headed over to her stumbling sister, wrapping her up in a hug. "Yes, Melantha. You've had us worried. I think you slept the day away. Are you ill?" She didn't want to open the curtains until Concessa was less sleepy.

"What time is it?" Though occupied with hugging her sister back. Very, very tight. That's when she burst into tears. "Da..." with words half sobbed as she tried to gain control. "No one was there. I didn't know. Told to come here. I couldn't find Gemma." Like one sending a Morse code message without the 'stops' in between. "Let me dress. I'm starving." Now that she was awake her stomach was growling loudly. Which had her laugh, breaking the tension that had welled up a few moments ago. She was also quickly getting dressed which wouldn't take her long for she slept in the undershift.

She finally ordered something, a drink for herself. Though it was nothing more than water. She was more thirsty than she realized and was somewhat shocked when the glass was drained in no time at all. Sheepishly, she asked for another, which she received in no time. Though she didn't drink this one down so fast. It was sipped. The last thing she wanted to do was make herself sick. Setting her glass down, she twisted around slightly, glancing upstairs.

"Nearly time for bed again, teasing as she waited. "I haven't eaten either. When your trunks arrived, and you didn't we started to get worried. So I headed here to look for you. I'd have gone to the docks if necessary." And gotten Gabriel to go with her. "We can talk about everything while we're eating."

"Yes," listening as she finished dressing then gabbing her things into a tote before she linked her arm with Melantha's to head downstairs. Her stomach rumbling again impatiently by the time they entered from the hall. Lo and behold, there was Gemma too. She was dreaming. This was all a wishful dream as she had needed her sisters badly. "Gemma!" High pitched as she let go of Mel's arm to rush over, giving  Gemma a light pinch against her arm to see if she was real.

She felt such a great sense of relief that she could have cried right then and there but instead she laughed as Concessa rushed their sister. Following on the youngest's heels, she waited for a greeting. Either a yelp or a hug would do.

Real enough. So said the small barked sound of surprise when Concessa pinched her. She laughed though and reeled her sister in for a tight hug. "I have missed you! And you!" The last to Melantha. She was pulled right in, too.

"I was afraid you both had gotten lost." She said as they had that three way hug! "You must have come in on me heels. I was getting worried." Seriously worried. Now they had their brothers to worry on.

Gemma got a squeezing hug, kind to near squish one's breath out though it was quick. "You arrived safe and sound too. I was worried as I found no one at the house in Eire," which didn't seem like home without any of them there and the fact of their father's passing. "Eion, Segan, Conor, have not return yet? I got a message that Segan and Conor were heading for England to find Eion." Wondering if Melantha had heard anything or possibly they were here in the lands already. Hopefully.

She was just about to ask about the brothers, but Concessa was one step ahead of her. She smiled faintly, releasing both sisters from her embrace. "If they are not here yet, I hope they get here soon."

"Not a word. Let's get some food and settled and I'll do my best to explain everything. I wrote to you both but I was afraid they'd not catch up to you." She smiled slightly. "The stew here is always good, and if you're a bit under the weather, I'm sure there's soup or some brown bread." She was going to have the stew with a mug of hot tea. "Where are your things, Gemma?"

"I didn't get any note until the day I was heading home as it were." Though she was not where she was suppose to have been either. That would not be added at this point. "I'll have the stew," something she was more sure would be kept down, not trusting her stomach overly after the past few weeks. Tea as well for her as that always seemed to help.

She jutted a thumb over her shoulder towards the wall near the door. Her bags were on the floor there. "I'll have soup." Good for her.

"I brought a wagon, so we'll have no problem getting to the manor." She gave Alex their orders, then thanked him again for his concern over Concessa. "Why don't the two of you sit, and I'll bring everything over." She was going to fuss over the two until they were settled in, then they could deal with everything else. "Aunt Chandra is waiting at the manor for you both and a friend of mine, Brigid MacKinlay. She's staying while things are being dealt with in Kildare, a sister realm of Heathfield ruled by the Queen's twin sons."

She linked her arm with Gemma's as they crossed over to pick one of the tables near the window. Night was balmy enough to have it cracked open an inch or two. Once there she let go and drew out three chairs before taking the end one. "There is a lot to learn. How old is Brigid?" Way it sounded she might be as old as their auntie Chandra. Though she was not old, at Concessa's age she seemed old.

The night didn't go quite as planned for once settled at the table the food was ready. The three hungry enough there was virtually no conversation during and by the time the meal was done, all were tired. Their talk could wait, except the bits and pieces after finishing up and getting Gemma's things onto the wagon before heading for the manor. What was important was both sisters were here safe and sound, now they only had to worry on their brothers.


Date: 03-19-09
Poster: Rosemary MacNeils
Post # 59

Socializing Again

There seem to be a hum in the air, gentle elusive sound that Alex didn't seem to notice or immune to. Hard to tell as he was about his duties. Rosemary was watching him in her usual curious way that also didn't seem to be minded by the aged tender. Perhaps it was more he knew the Alterians well enough to understand that which some might find offensive was only a learning process for them. She didn't try to carry on a conversation but enjoyed the quiet, except for the elusive hum only those perceptive would pick up on. Distraction came easily as she traced the lines of the beams making up the ceiling. Where they intercepted and the aesthetic flow of lines that drew one's eye, if they took notice, along a pattern that eventually traced over the whole room.

Joshua and Tamara were spending the evening with their uncle Maurice and his family, giving Garath some time to himself. He knew it was good for them to be away from the manor and Ice would ease some of their worry concerning their father. He was going to the warehouse every day still, often taking them along but tonight he was going to relax and have a few drinks. He made his way inside the tavern, slightly preoccupied but not so much that he didn't notice the lass looking up at the ceiling. Moving over beside her, he tipped his head back and studied the ceiling. "Are you looking for something in particular, m'lady?" He knew that the tavern was kept quite clean so it couldn't have been cobwebs she was seeking.

Dark hair was woven back in a loose rope style that fell near to her waist. The gown worn was of spring colors in aesthetic splashes. Bold and subtle mixing. Chin tipped up but only dark eyes moved in the tracing than movement of her head. That was until the man that entered spoke up. She had been aware of his presence but gave it no mind at the moment. The deep timbre of his voice caught her attention. The sound wove strong colors to follow as the edges of her lips curled up while her chin dipped and eyes traced his way. "There is beauty in lines that can be found where most do not look. As well sound comes in colors and I see yours as a deep rich purple, more blue than red."

He was dressed comfortably in a poet's shirt of dark brown with a black vest left unbuttoned, and black pants tucked into riding boots. Turning his head slightly, he smiled at her. "Deep rich purple. I've heard such about sounds, also that we are surrounded with our own unique colors. Is there a meaning to the color?" Curious as he straightened. She wasn't familiar to him. "Garath MacShire." He introduced himself with a slight bow of his head.

"It is associated with one of nobility but I think the truer meaning was the first concept of nobility than as it stands to this day in society. It is a person of strength in conviction, to see to his duty and not be deterred by the failings of those around him. To do things needed when others say they are impossible as he is accomplishing them. He listens to the strength of his own mind and heart than those of lesser convictions. Those that toss about in the wind like the leaves that drop in the fall."

"My brother might say it sounds right ... it describes a stubborn man who doesn't know when to quit." He chuckled as he settled on a stool and nodded his thanks to Alex for the glass of potcheen waiting for him. "I do hope that your explanation is the correct one."

"And is not your brother in possession of the same quality?" She could feel the other about him, perhaps it was the flux of tone when mentioned. "You are like two oaks, side by side but yet possessing your differences in uniqueness as well. You have rooting but your branches have a need to reach out in exploring. Unsettled in seeking something elusive around the next corner. An answer though you are not sure of the question other than it exists?" That was the impression she was getting as she studied his eyes. "Being correct, would depend on the person." Smile elusive that was more expressed in dark eyes. "I am Rosemary MacNeils from Genesis Manor. I am an artist and some outside my Kin say I have a flight of fancy in the way I think."

He watched her intently, studying her face, a slight smile playing on his lips. "There's nothing wrong with flights of fancy so long as they eventually bring you home." He liked the thought of his brother and himself being like great oaks. "In fact, I'd say, you're quite accurate in what you see. Maybe someday soon I'll find the answer. It's a pleasure to meet you, Rosemary. I've heard of your kin."

"So, you know the trip," a smile rising more fully as he moved up a notch in her esteem, already a few, for not being one of her kin. She had secluded herself from the outsiders of this dimension to concentrate on her art. He was becoming a pleasant surprise for she had reservations on how she'd be received. Deciding to be herself was always the best course for an individual even if not for others. She had gotten strange looks before. "It is my pleasure to meet you Garath. You are unique from others I have met outside my Kin." Being very honest came as easily as seeing colors. Emotions especially aside auras.

"You and your Kin are unique in yourselves." He smiled again. "One needs an open mind, no matter where you might find yourself." He took a drink of the potcheen before continuing. "Though I have to admit, some of my flights of fancy have taken a wrong turn and I've landed in trouble." He chuckled as he shrugged. "But I keep looking for that elusive question and its even more elusive answer."

"There are always those risks but did you not learn though it landed you in trouble as you call it?" Watching him take a drink reminded her she had the punch made from the same brew as she took it up for another drink. She liked the taste of peaches as well that warmth the other added. Setting it back with thoughtful consideration on his comment. "I think you will find it in time for you'll not give up but yet I feel you will not become so single focused you'd miss it either. You may well find it has been with you all along, in front of your nose I believe some refer to it as. In your backyard after traveling extensively. Some take the longer road that others find a shorter route to but I think on the longer one, it becomes more a journey in self discovery and more appreciative at the end of the journey."

"There is always that possibility. I know my route has not been the straight one, but eventually it brought me back home. And yes, I learned well from all my landings, good and bad." He leaned back against the bar. "You seem like a woman who is very certain of her route, one with much strength, and willing to give help where you can." He offered a grin before continuing. "But then I'm not as practiced at seeing people as some are here." So he could be wrong, at least in how she saw herself.

"I hope that I am. There have been many changes, some more drastic than others but it is all part of our path. Tell me some of your adventures if you don't mind? Perhaps one that you learned the most from. One that you remember most fondly or one you wish had avoided, at first anyway." Knowing well the hardest learned lessons one regretted the incident until they could look back on it more clearly.

He rubbed at his chin, his expression thoughtful. There were some that he remembered fondly but they weren't for discussions with young woman, even one like the Alterian. "Well, there was one the year before I returned here for good." He still would travel when he got the chance but even he had to put down roots. "I was trying to set up a supplier in a land called China. I had been drinking a bit too much and made a wrong turn on my way back to the inn where I was staying, and I stumbled onto an attack. Three men on one. It was too late to do anything, and unfortunately, one of the three saw me standing there. I slipped back into the shadows but ... "He paused for affect. "He recognized me, just as I recognized him."

The side door opened and closed on near silent hinges as Charles stepped within. It had been a while since he visited this tavern and on a whim decided to tonight. The casino closed for the night although he still wore the tailored doublet in a deep brown, pants that matched. Warm enough that he didn't bother with a cape as he was loosening up the tie of the dress shirt. "Good evening," clip English accent that still managed to hold a friendly tone.

Running the dance studio without a partner wasn't easy. Anne was doing the work of two now, and it often left her tired at night, too tired to venture out. However, deciding she'd been a hermit long enough, she ventured up to the Thistle to see and hear what was new, entering in behind the gentleman quietly, catching the door before it swung closed.

"So, you will cross paths again for there is something that still needs to be addressed. You are the one that can bring him to justice." Though any more thoughts scattered as another entered and even another. Her smile grew. "Good evening," slight cant of her head for this one's accent, one she had not heard before but was similar to another she had.

Not only did one enter but a second as well. He just offered Rosemary a smile for her comment. "Something like that." Though it was more Joe who had rubbed the man's nose in the fact they had escaped. He'd tell her more another time. "Good evening."

"A jolly good evening," as yet another lovely face was caught as he turned having heard one behind him. Stepping to the side to allow her full sway to the bar. "It is spring in the air this one."

Hanging up her shawl, Anne turned in time to hear the greetings and smiled, offering her own. "Good evening, everyone." Coming down towards the bar, the better to ask Alex for a drink, she agreed with the English gentleman. "It's a lovely evening... one I couldn't resist enjoying."

"Soon will come the spring showers, mist rising from heated earth, songbirds singing and rainbows after the storms. I am Charles Harwood, partner with Brogan Frasier of the Casino." Advancing to the bar to have some of the potcheen. Lifting it as it was set out, "stiff upper lip," then kicked back the shot. "When the mists rise, it is most like the England's fog. Pleasant night to go walking in the drizzle that cools the heat of day. Along the piers you feel as if you have stepped into another world. Or in my case I feel as if I have stepped into what use to be home." Which he found amusing as the light chuckle attested.

She watched his mannerisms which were different than any other she had met. Not unpleasant. "It sounds like some places I have been. Enchanting in an unusual way to the senses. I am Rosemary MacNeils." Hoping to learn their names as well.

"Well met, Mr. Harwood. Pleasure to meet you." He smiled as the man waxed poetic. "I'm Garath MacShire." And Rosemary had given her name, so he waited for the other woman.

"How do you do, Mister Harwood, Miss MacNeils and Mister MacShire?" Blue eyes brightened with the introductions, her smile growing as she turned from asking Alex for some lemonade. "I'm Anneliese Harper."


Date: 03-19-09
Poster: Rosemary MacNeils
Post # 60

"It is a pleasure to meet you both. Mr Harwood, Miss Harper." Somehow became so formal as started by Garath, she laughed. A pleasant sound and fleeting. "I think we can be on first name bases here unless any prefer not?" Obviously she didn't.

"Then please," taking her glass, she sipped and lowered it, "call me Anne. It's less of a mouthful."

"Miss Harper." Said with a glint in his eyes before he laughed. "I would prefer that."

A blink at Garath then in surprise. "You would?"

He looked up, then laughed again, a touch sheepish. "Sorry, didn't make myself clear. I would prefer first names."

"Right well with me. Charles or Chas will do fine. Garath, Rosemary and Anne." Lifting his glass in full acceptance of the notion, less formal, before kicking back the second shot.

"I believe in your history, that would deserve being tarred and feathered." Glint in dark eyes Garath's way before lifting her glass to the toast being made.

It had been too long since she'd been out, feeling like she'd missed something. Applying herself to her lemonade, she was quiet, preferring to listen for a few minutes and re-orient herself.

"It might." He lifted his glass toward the three before downing it. And nodded when Alex offered to refill the glass again. "Harper. Harper. You teach dance, don't you?" Recognizing the name now.

"You are the dance instructor, Anne." To make sure he had the right one. His question coming as Garath's on the same thought. Glancing there with a swift smile then back upon the lady.

He grinned back before lifting the glass again and taking a long drink.

"I would love to learn the dances of these lands," instead of saying this world, avoiding then an explanation that could take some time.

"I do, yes." She nodded, finding herself the focus of attention for the moment, blue eyes blinking in brief surprise before her smile warmed at Rosemary. "You're welcome to come, just to watch or to learn, any time you'd like."

"I shall soon then. You are in the Commons?" So that she would have an accurate location. This would help in her stepping out into society again, long overdue but she had reasons. Like her Kin, getting caught up in a particular focus.

"Yes, right beside the theatre," confirming that, she set her glass aside and studied each in turn.

"I've walked by once or twice when a class is leaving. The youngsters seem quite happy. I take it you enjoy teaching?" Hopefully! Or she was making herself miserable.

"Do you know the dances too Garath?" Making note of where Anne's studio was located, "and you Charles?"

"I know most dances but I am unsure if they dance the same here of the ones in England." Which he addressed to Rosemary but a questioning look turned to Anne.

"Aye. It's the duty of every lad's mother to make sure they know how to dance, and mine wasn't lax in that." Although he wasn't really up on the newer ones.

Her smile softened, thinking of her students, even as she laughed, hearing Garath. "I love it. I have such an interesting spectrum of students, too."

"I thought as much from the way they talked. They seemed quite pleased with the lesson for the day."

"Then it is the most suitable profession for you." Which was good to see and one could tell just by Anne's expression how much she loved dancing.

He settled in to listen as well see to his drink. Although he would not have much more or run the risk of getting tipsy.

"I think so. Since I'm getting too old to dance on the stage, I love knowing I'm preparing the next generation of dancers. And I get to have the pleasure of watching others who are learning discover just how enjoyable a dance can be." Anne was never happier than when she was talking about dancing, teaching it... or just plain dancing herself.

"You dance in colors, a rainbow of them." That was about her as she watched how her aura changed while talking on it, feeling there were pleasant visuals that came with the heartfelt words.

Anne tilted her head to the side, watching Rosemary's face measuringly. Since coming to Heathfield, she'd had the opportunity to meet a number of people with unusual gifts, and something told her Rosemary was one of them. "I try to. What of you, Rosemary? What path do you follow?"

He fell silent as Charles, enjoying his drink as well as the voices of the two women.

"I put colors to canvas or paper." Getting a far off look for a moment before reining herself in. Smile came fully, "colors flow, they are sounds and emotions, the vibrations of life. You hold strong vibrant colors, golden yellows to fierce reds but I feel there are times when they get cloudy." Trying to put into words what she grasped onto. "Only times, not too often for you do not like those colors."

Listening with interest, she hadn't thought of herself in those colors, but in considering it, she could see why. "No, I don't. But they're inevitable sometimes. Do you show your work?"

"In this world, yes, I've seen much of them in others too. This inevitable condition that trips ones up from time to time. These are challenges to get past. You are strong in that though you may not necessarily feel you are during." She flowed with the impressions. Not really judgmental but stating what came to her. "I have paintings in the castle museum, although I plan to have more submitted if there is room of the ones I have been working on. They have kept me away for a time." Like her Kin, she lost track of time more out of habit when time held no claim on them. "I would like to paint you dancing." That would be a wonderful display of the colors she spoke on.

Two artists talking together. He smiled slightly as he set his glass aside. He needed to get back and get some sleep so he was wide awake when Joshua and Tamara came home. "It was good to meet all of you but I'm afraid my bed is calling me. I hope to talk with you all again."

"Right-O." Voice added in as he too had been listening to the ladies talking. Curious and fascinating so he didn't interrupt and end up sounding stupid for such was new to him. "Pretty soon there will be a chorus of the bedtime blues." His drink finished as he stepped away from the bar. "If either of you need an escort?"

Distracted by Garath's imminent departure, she looked up and offered a smile. "It was a pleasure to meet you, Garath, if briefly. Sleep well." Glancing back at Charles, she chuckled. "Only if you're going my way. I hate to take you out of your way."

"You are in the commons, so is the Casino, so it would not be a trouble at all." He wasn't sure where Garath was headed nor Rosemary.

"I will be staying the night here." As she planned to do some shopping and visit the museum on business the morrow.

"I hope to, thank you." He paused a moment, looking at Rosemary and grinned. "Then I'll hold my offer to escort you for another time. Good night everyone." Instead of going for the front door, he headed to the back. He could check the offices for mail, then go on to the stable from there.

"Then yes, thank you, I would appreciate the escort." Thanking him with a smile, she finished her lemonade and stood, thinking he meant to depart now.

"Then I shall show you Genesis Manor's Solarium." Which was a sight he might well appreciate. She was tired and her drink done as she too stepped away from the bar. "It has been enjoyable meeting you all and provided an interesting night."

"Good night Garath," as he headed for the hall, "Rosemary, a pleasure as well," before seeing to the door in holding it for Anne.

Smile for them all as once Garath departed she headed for the other hall that led up to the rooms upstairs.

"Very enjoyable." Added as he disappeared down the hall.

"Good night, Rosemary. Come any time you like." Heading to the door, she picked up the shawl on the way through, stopping on the porch to wait for Charles.

Easing the door closed behind him before stepping up to offer the bend of his arm in escort. He was very proper most of the time.


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