The wind howled around them but the steps were carved to give some protection as well. Wide enough for a horse to fit as well. Rocky edge acted as a barrier most of the way. He wondered, who had hacked them out countless years ago. They were old. Maybe done in ancient times to escape up from the shore, hauling bounty of contraband or members of covens could sneak down to do their rituals to the sea under a full moon. His mind wandering to such fanciful ideas with vivid glimpses of each scenario. He nearly slipped. Free hand out to grasp the edge of the wall so he didn't. "Watch that one." By this time it would be a long way down to fall, sliding down the steps at least would probably only leave them with bruises over a certain death otherwise. He was up the last of them, rising up with the scene of sea behind him. Stepping away to leave room for Niamh as well making sure she made it up.

The wind felt as if it were getting stronger. It even lashed at her cloak, made it snap backwards against the air. She wasn't far from where the two were climbing up, and she paused there with her head canting vaguely to the side. Still thinking she heard.. things, she nearly turned to leave when she felt a flare of nervousness inside of her. There was a body popping up over the edge though and her brow slightly arched. "Davin? Is that you?" She couldn't make out much; just a dark shadow of a man.

She had seen the lighthouse of course, many times, both by day and night but not this close. The stairs caused her to go over some of the stories told about the dark days. Her breath caught when he slipped but she let it out slowly and grabbed hold of the wall when she moved upward. Once they were clear of the steps she turned to look back over the sea. From the way she was dressed, she could pass as a young lad, the heavy coat and clothing worn hiding any curves.

That moment of relief, they both had made it safely up from the sea only to have him whip a look, turning as well when he heard his name. The voice as well recognized. "Nora, how are you? Looks like another storm brewing. This is Niamh from a fishing village down the way." Uncertain exactly how far down the shoreline or exactly remembering the name of it at the moment. "Come in and warm up, have something hot to drink." Not wise to stand out here in it as the snow was starting to get heavier. He motioned to the cottage next to the tower and headed there for he needed to unlock it. Luckily he hadn't lost the key in getting one of his treasures. Actually had it attached to a rope that was tied to a belt loop before put in his pocket. It was drawn out, latch lifted as the door swung open.

"Well, I was out for a walk, and a ride--" She motioned to Luna, "--but it looks like that's over." She said that with a glance to the sky. She frowned. But there was a smile quick to bloom for the introduction offered. She lifted her hand to wave at Niamh. "Nice to meet you, Niamh. I will be in soon--do you mind if I put Luna in a stable?" Her main concern was the mare getting spooked, again, only this time running off on her or something.

"Hello, Nora. Nice to meet you too." She turned from the scene to smile at the woman then remembered she still had the scarf over her face. She stepped inside, not wanting him to hold the door open for her, especially if he was going to make sure Nora had no problems with her horse.

"Not at all," he had just realized she had her horse with her. "Do you need help?" She would find the stable warm with the horse that came with the lighthouse there all bedded in for the night. Plenty of hay and oats as well to be given in a feeding bag, of which there were extra. He didn't know if the horse had a name, none was given him at the time. Something he needed to ask or just name the horse himself.

"No no, I can put her up, thank you though." She didn't want to keep them waiting, and so, she was quick to turn with Luna following. Nora shivered from the cold wind, the snow, and Luna seemed to not like it so much either. Reaching the stables, she led the mare inside to secure her.

He watched her a moment before ushering Niamh further inside. Wasn't good to keep the door open and let all the warmth out. The outside night air would suck it up real fast! Once inside, door closed and even before taking his cloak off, he went straight to the kitchen to set the kettle to boil. Once that was taken care of, off came the cap, scarf, gloves and coat in turn as he was back out to hang them up on the pegs in the wall just inside the door.  The gunny sack had been left there upon entering, slid up in against the wall. This he took up before heading to the table in the living area, one in front of the couch in front of the hearth.  That was set before he was around to add some more logs to the fire. Get the place nice and warm.

She wasn't gone too terribly long and eventually, she made it inside. Pink cheeked, she didn't immediately take off her cloak. She needed to warm herself up some. "I am beginning to wonder if I should even stay too long. Perhaps I should ride back soon." Her brows furrowed thoughtfully.

While Davin set the kettle to boiling, she began to shed the layers of clothing. Gloves, followed by her hat, scarf, coat and a sweater. One pair of ice and salt water covered wool pants. She frowned slightly as she looked at the pile. "Where do you want me to put these so they don't make a mess?" She should have put them in the stable.

He thought on that. It wasn't like the first time and the Shawnesey brothers here as well. Right now they were alone with a man, in his home. That could get tricky if there were ones to gossip. There was also only his bedroom, now slept in by him to offer to them both, sleeping in the same bed and he would sleep upstairs in the loft room. "Let us warm up, a bit o' tea and then I can see you both back to the Thistle where you will each have your own room and bed for the night. Nothing could be said to taint any of our reputations." Seemed it actually was thought of while in these lands.  Focus was diverted to the pile of clothing and for a brief second, he hesitated to look up in Niamh's direction, that she might be down to near nothing on her body. He finally dare to look up, really, could it be helped even if she was stark naked, especially if she was stark naked! "There are pegs in the stones over the hearth, you can hang them there to dry."

She nodded softly then settled down in one of the chairs, still with her cloak on. She wanted to make sure she was pretty warm for the trip back. She smiled to the two.

She had on another pair of pants and a shirt, and actually had undergarments on too! She carried the clothes and her boots over to the hearth to dry.

He rubbed the back of his hand over his brow, briefly, for in that moment the kettle whistled and he was quickly making his way into the kitchen. Three mugs filled with tea to steep. The two would have about five minutes without him there.

"The weather changes quickly. Are you from Heathfield?" While she did travel from her village to Heathfield, she didn't know everyone. She stayed by the fire, hands out to warm them.

"Mm.. Me? Not originally, no. I have not been here so long." She faintly shook her head, smiled.

He could hear them talking in the other room as he scrounged through the pantry for some raisin bread he had gotten this morning. Cutting a few slices for them to have with the tea. It was nearly done as he checked the mugs. A small tray gotten out he put sugar in a bowl and a creamer with some milk in case they took either. If only his mother could see him now, but then she'd also see him entertaining two very pretty ladies. He could imagine the remarks or even questions directed his way.

She nodded, smiling in return. "My village is called Ruiaidin. It's a good distance from here. I came by skiff." She gave a vague motion west. "It's close to Dunshire Manor, the home of the Shawnesey family."

"Ruiaidin.." She repeated the name slowly and smiled. "I am still learning of all of the places close to here. Then again, I am still learning of everything in Heathfield itself. I came from the north. Langsley. Most ... or well... some don't care for it? I'm not sure. I never got out much until I left for good. I like it here. The people are so friendly compared to those of .. my old home." Her nose wrinkled.

It was at this point he emerged from the kitchen with tray in hand, the three cups of tea had been added as he was over to set it on the table within reach of all. "Aye, the people here have been nicer than any I've met in other lands." Not going into details but it had the sound he'd been to a few. He had traveled. Instead of taking up his tea immediately, he took up the gunny sack to remove it from the table and set on the couch beside him. Curiosity had gotten the better of him as it had been put off. He pulled out the last, very much worked for, item encrusted with what the sea coated over time. He withdrew a small sharp knife from a just as small leather sheath attached to his belt and started to carefully remove the debris.

"I think there are a few reasons for that. It's a matter of pride, you see. Heathfield is a place of safety, sanctuary. Not that we don't have accidental deaths by violence but there's been peace here a long time. And folks raise their children to be polite. We're not perfect of course, and there are still bullies, thieves, and the like, but we know we're lucky to live here." She collected one of the mugs and offered it to Nora before tending to her own. Curiosity would have her watching Davin too.

He was realizing the time as once he got really into this, he would forget all time and he needed to get them back to the Thistle before the storm got worse and a lot of accumulation.  Setting the piece he was working on aside, he was quick to drink down his tea which at least had cooled. "I'll meet you out front. Finish your tea and I'll be out there by then. Going to take the wagon, it will seat three and I'll tie your horse to the back, Nora." He was up and getting on his cloak, hat, scarf and gloves before out the door, closing it behind him to see to the task.

"Ah yes." She hadn't realized the time, either. She did, at least, take the mug from Niamh and took a few large drinks before she set it aside. She never took her cloak off. And it was the same with her gloves. She waited for Niamh before heading out front.

She had to take a few moment more after finishing her tea to gather her clothing and put it back on. It was easier than carrying it all. Once she was dressed, she joined Nora and headed out to meet Davin and the wagon.

He pulled up just as they came out. Getting down so he could help each up before he was back in the driver's seat. "Huddle close," more muffled by the scarf and they would not see the hidden grin either. He wasn't going to mind this trip one bit. Huddled with two very pretty ladies, was fodder for dreams later. Snow or no, they would make good time to the Thistle without taking chances and once he was back he would work on his find again until sleep claimed him for the night.

She climbed right in and did as he asked; huddling up close. She wasn't so shy that she'd not try to keep herself warm!

Huddling was a good way to keep warm, and he'd be doubly so with one lass on each side!


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