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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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, 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.
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.
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
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
Me? Not originally, no. I have not been here so long." She
faintly shook her head, smiled.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
was a good way to keep warm, and he'd be doubly so with one lass on