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Moran: Brennos [closed]

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Moran: Brennos [closed]

Post by Gypzee on Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:25 am

Brennos Ignacious Moran was 2 years old when Gypzee Rhiannon MacCarthaigh was born and they were betrothed. They grew up together … school, birthdays, family gatherings, Clan events. From the time they were both old enough to understand, they knew that one day they would marry. That time came a few months after Gypzee turned. 16.

For the most part, their village of Carrick was self sufficient. There were some things that had to be bought from a town about a half days ride to the South. The families would take turns each month making the trip to get whatever was needed. This month was their turn.

They had gathered all the supplies, but it was quite late; so they decided to stay for something to eat and find a bed for the night. The only place with room was in an even less pleasant part of town. She already thought it a dirty place with vile people. It was hard to imagine there could be such there. They checked in and settled down for the night.

A short while later there was a knock at the door and the inn keeper told him there was a problem with the livestock. Brennos went to check on it. She bolted the door behind him and sat by the fire to wait. A short while later, there was another knock: the innkeeper again, he said. Thinking something was wrong, she opened the door.

Only it was not the innkeeper, but a strange man they had seen earlier in the square.  She tried to swing the door shut, but he stuck his foot in. She tried to scream, but he covered her mouth and barged his way into the room. He backhanded her, knocking her to the floor, then fell on top of her. Her dagger was on the table, definitely out of reach. She fought; he laughed, and then punched her. It was all that merciful God let her remember, until Brennos walked into the room finding her unconscious.

Brennos became enraged as he realized what had happened. When told  who it was, he stormed out of the room. Brennos found him and gutted him like a pig. Everything was loaded up then and there, leaving immediately. Once outside of town, they stopped and talked. She had been so ashamed. He held her and told her none that happened was any fault of hers. They agreed to never speak of it again, nor to anyone, especially the Clan, as her honor had already been avenged.

True to their vow, they never spoke of it. Having no one to talk to, no one to share with, she turned it all inward. She withdrew to some extent ... from Brennos; from the Clan, her family, too. She never refused him though, and she could not understand how he could take a mistress.

She was so angry when she found out! She confronted him and he admitted it, blaming her for it all since she could not satisfy him. "I ne'er refused ye!" she yelled at him.

"Aye, bu’ ye made i’ impossible tae enjoy wit’ yer 'avin' nay desire for me. So I found one who does!"

"Then I 'ope she whores 'erself well!"

She retreated further within herself: eating less, not drinking much; she did not train or speak; and if she slept at all, it was fitfully, waking in a cold sweat from some nightmare. Emerald gaze moved about the room, ending at the empty bed beside her. She would sob deeply and try to go back to sleep.

Finally Brennos came to her and swore it was ended. He would see the woman no more, for he loved her not. He had banished her and forbade any contact with him. It was Gyp he loved and wanted to make things right with. She looked up at him and touched his face. A faint smile found her lips, then was gone. A tear rolled down her cheek.

He began to pamper her, showing her more and more attention. He would take her for rides in the country and had picnics. He would bring her flowers or pretty stones he found. He would hold her hands, kiss her forehead ... but never anything more. He returned to their bed, but never did he try to make love to her. Slowly she began to respond with smiles, sometimes a chuckle; she ate a bit more and began to add some weight to her thin frame.

One day as Brennos bent to kiss her cheek, she turned her head so that he kissed her lips. He drew back and looked at her. She pulled him back for another kiss, then another, until there, in their special place, he tenderly made love to her.

She cried and he thought he had done wrong, tried too soon, or hurt her. She reassured him he had not. She cried for her stubbornness, for what time they had lost because of it, and she vowed to herself to never let anything stand in the way of love. The next six months were wonderful.

But the country was at war. Though none of it was a threat to Carrick, some of the Clansmen decided to join to hopefully keep it from spreading this far. Brennos was one who felt it his duty. For the entire first month he was away, she prayed she was with child; but alas, was not. When one year later the news of his death came, it hit her hard that she was now alone … not even the sweet laughter of children to keep her happy.

Since Brennos was the last of his kin with no direct heir, a period of five years was required before she could inherit what had been theirs. As long as no fault could be found in either of them during that time, and no one challenged her right, then it would all come to her. However, if anything was discovered, and proven, the head of the Clan would determine what she would be entitled to, if anything at all; and would decide what would happen to all they had owned. The only exception is what had been her dowry.

It was not something most agreed with, but it had been put in place by the head of the Clan – James Douglas. She spat every time she said his name; sometimes when even just thinking about him. He was the largest landowner and so was the head of the Clan, like it or not. But as long as there were no challengers to her right to inherit at the end of that time, she would be entitled to it all.

It was in the fourth year of this madness that she began to feel the weight of always being under a microscope. She had gone for supplies a few times with William, having found another more cheerful, and safe, town. So when it was the family’s turn again, she volunteered to go and pled her case to do so alone. She let them know she would stay a night, perhaps two, to have some time away from prying eyes.

Grandfather relented, but no more than two nights, or they would send a search party out for her. Agreeing, she set out just before dawn the next morning

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Moran: Brennos

Post by Gypzee on Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:27 pm

Having procured all that had been on the list, it was loaded in the wagon to be ready for heading out early the next morning. She had checked into the Inne, and was now moving in and out of the stores for her own personal shopping, She was relaxed and more herself than she had been in four years … until she spied a face in the crowd ... one she had hoped never to see again. It was her! Brennos' whore! and with her a small boy who appeared to be around four years.

The boy was not known to her but seemed familiar. Those features, that red hair -- he had to be Brennos' child! She turned quickly before being spotted, but bumped into a merchant causing him to spill his goods. She stopped to help, of course drawing more attention to herself. She quickly pulled up her hood and darted off. She rushed into her room, clearly shaken, and clearly angry!

She threw her things down and began to pace the floor, swinging her arms about, ranting aloud to the air. "ow could ye do this tae me Brennos? Betray me with another and now she 'as yer child and I 'ave naugh’?!" There was a knock at the door. She flung it open. "Wha’?!" she yelled. A frightened young man stood there with her things. "Pu’ them over there,” pointing. "Bring me a bottle of cognac -- quick, and donnae bother wit' a glass." He returned and sat the bottle down and turned to go. "Wai’. Build up the fire before ye leave." He did as he was told. She tossed him a small sac of coins. He looked at her. "Wha’? ‘Tis no' enough?"

"'Tis no' tha’ M'lady ... tis tae much,” he managed, wide-eyed.

"Nay ... tis no' yer faul’ tha’ I am angry, ye’ I took I’ ou’ on ye. If ye would brin' me some bread and cheese then I shall be done. And see tae i’ I am no' disturbed." When he returned, she had already emptied half the bottle. She bade him a good eve. Some of the food was eaten just to keep from being sick. Sitting in the chair, she pulled long on the bottle. She fingered the locket at her throat, thinking of flinging it into the fire. But she would not because she had made a vow.

Staring into the dancing flames, she recalled how Brennos had made it all up to her in those months. They had so wanted a child. She believed him when he said he never saw her again; and she did not believe he ever knew he had a son. He would have brought the child into their home, and the mother would have come along as a servant. No, she knew in her heart Brennos had gone to his death never knowing about the boy..

She drew long on the bottle again. So what did the woman want now? Had she come to make a claim on Brennos' wealth? Did she not know what disaster such news could cause? She let the bottle slip to the floor. She needed sleep tonight. Tomorrow she would find her and demand answers.


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Moran: Bruce

Post by Gypzee on Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:32 pm

The next morning she woke unwillingly as the sun streamed into the room. She rose and moaned, then slumped back down into the covers. She felt awful this morning. 'Tis what ye get fer drinkin' on an empty stomach. The bread and cheese had only kept it all down, and for that she was grateful. She finally forced herself to sit on the side of the bed, spying the almost empty bottle on the floor. She walked over and picked it up. "'Tae the 'air of the dog tha’ bi’ me." She turned up the bottle and finished it. "And cursed be the one tha’ pu’ me 'ere."

She stoked the fire and placed a pot of water on to heat. Walking barefooted to the window her gaze focused on the bustlingstreet below. Had she really seen her yesterday? Aye, she supposed she had. She walked to the door and called for the lad who attended her last eve. Instructions given, she sent him on his way. Removing the water, she washed herself and dressed. A knock at the door and the lad brought in some muffins and milk. He picked up her things and carried them downstairs. She paced the floor as if waiting ... and then another knock at the door. She took a deep breath and opened it.

A frail woman in the hallway curtsied. "Ye summoned me m'lady?"

"Aye, I did. Come in." Gypzee stood aside for her to enter. She did not look as she remembered. Perhaps the years had taken their toll on her. She stiffened. No sympathy til ye know wha’ she wants. "Si' and warm yerself. Would ye care for somethin' tae eat?" The woman nodded. "'elp yerself."

While the woman devoured a blueberry muffin, Gypzee walked to the chair across from her, observing. She looked pale, and undernourished. She could tell from the way she ate she had not eaten well in sometime; yet the lad looked fine and not wanting for anything. She surmised she must be a good mother if she was doing without to provide for her son. Still, it must be hard to survive in this man's world without one, and a child to raise. She relaxed just a bit, but still on her guard. She sat and waited for her to finish. The woman looked up at her and flushed, swallowing the last bite, waiting for her to speak.

"I believe we each know who th' other is ..." She had known what she was going to say. She was going to curse this woman for sleeping with her Brennos, for bearing his child, for making things so difficult for them that year of their life. But now ... the words would not come. The woman looked at the floor. "Bu’ I believe th' question is, wha’ do ye wan’ now after all these years?"

She looked up at her with tired eyes. She spoke in a low voice so that Gypzee had to lean forward slightly to hear her. "I didnae come tae ask for innythin’ from ye or yer family. I came tae find me own people. I am no' well and need 'elp wit’ ... the child. I' is 'im I worry for, no' for myself."

The child … She restrained herself. "Where is yer man?"

She looked at the floor again. "There is no man, m'lady. No one would take a woman ne'er married and wit’ a child. I donnae even know if me own people will 'elp me." Her body shook slightly.

With much reserve, she asked, almost a whisper, "Where is the child's father?" The woman sat, still looking at the floor, just shaking her head. "An answer Madam ... please."

"Tis yerself tha’ would know th' answer tae tha’ more than inny."

Barely maintain the last of her restraint, she said, "Who .. is .. 'is .. father? .... Say i' woman!"

She looked at her with a tear stained face. "'Tis yer 'usband, m'lady, the lord Brennos." She hung her head again and sobbed.

Gypzee took in a deep breath and leaned back into the chair, releasing it slowly, composing herself. She had known the answer in her heart, but hearing the words out loud from this woman hit her like a ton of bricks. She sat there a few moments that felt like an eternity. She looked to the woman. "Do no' cry. When I saw ye yesterday I knew th' child was Brennos'. "Wha’ is 'is name?"

The woman looked at her. "Bruce Ignacious Buckley."

Gypzee looked at her, eyes wide. "And who, madam, gave ye permission tae name yer child such?"

"No one did, m'lady; bu’ I knew 'e could ne'er 'ave th' las’ name of Moran. I wanted 'im tae a' leas’ be named for 'is father. ‘Tis tha’ so wrong?"

"Nay ‘tis no’ wrong but t’would no' take a great mind tae figure these thin’s ou’ if ye are in this area long. Do ye know wha’ kind of shame and destruction ye could brin’ if innyone were tae know Brennos 'ad a child wi' a woman 'e was no' married tae?!"

"Aye, m'lady, I do. I ... I only came because I am no' well. I only came for th' child."

Gypzee got up and paced the floor, muttering to herself. "This will no' do. This is tae dangerous. Somethin' needs tae be done." Stopping, she looked at her. "'ave ye found yer people yet?"

"Nay, I am no' even sure they are still 'ere."

"Then this is wha’ ye will do. Go and pack yer thin’s and brin’ the boy. Ye are goin' wit’ me."

"Bu’ m'lady ..."

"Do no’ argue wit’ me!" she hissed at her. "This is life and death we are talkin' abou’. Do i’ now!"

The woman immediately got up. She couldn't help herself and looked to the plate of muffins. "Take them. I imagine the boy is 'ungry this mornin’ as well. Just be quick abou’ returnin’. And should ye get inny ideas about no' doin' so, I would pu’ them ou’ of yer mind." She looked at her and nodded. She grabbed the muffins and headed out the door.

When she returned to the inne, Gypzee was already outside with the wagon. She caught her breath as she gazed the boy. So much like Brennos! "Climb up, quickly!" She helped them up, then urging the team out of town at a quick pace. She had no idea what she was going to do, but she had to get them out of town before anyone began to question who they were.

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Moran: Bruce

Post by Gypzee on Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:41 pm

About three hours ride, they stopped to rest the horses and themselves. The woman sat leaning against a tree, coughing now and then. Gypzee took her some water, and dug out some food from the wagon. They sat and ate in silence. The child ate and played, oblivious to what was going on between the two women, and she wanted it to stay that way.

"M'lady?" Her remarks interupted her thoughts.

"Aye?" looking at her.

"M'lady ... wh-wha’ are ye going tae do tae me?" Gypzee looked at her with a frown on her face. "I mean I did after all ... I mean, I-I was wit’ yer 'usband ..." She looked away. "And I did 'ave 'is child."

She had thought about nothing else since discovering she was back. "I donnae know wha’ it is I am goin' tae do; but I am nay goin' tae do innythin’ tae ye." She stood and walked a few steps to check on the child. "There are many thin’s I am entitled tae do ABOU’ ye ... bu’ none tha’ are good for th' child ... or for myself in th' lon’ run of thin’s."

She sat again, but where she could keep an eye on the boy. "So I shall 'ave tae thin’ of somethin' else. Somethin' tae benefit us all." Gyp looked at her. "Do ye feel rested enough tae go on? There is a town no' too far ahead. We kin stay there for th' nigh’. 'Tis far enough away no one will be th' wiser."

The woman nodded and called to the child. They climbed up in the wagon and started again, arriving in town as darkness settled. Good. Less pryin' eyes. They took two rooms at the inn and had supper brought to them. She could hear them talking, but unable to make out what they were saying. She could hear the child laugh, and she smiled. So much like 'is father. She imagined it had been a while since they had seen such food. She sat down and picked at hers. She was too busy thinking to eat.

Suddenly she snapped her fingers! Grabbing her sagi. she headed out. She pulled the hood over her head and walked through the winding roads of the town, looking at the houses. Which one was it? Ah yes, there it was. She knocked on the door. Silence. She knocked again. Where was he? she huffed.

She moved further down the street to the tavern. She perused the faces until she found the one she was looking for. She stood straight and took a deep breath. Good thing I dressed in britches taeday. She drew little attention when she entered, and made her way over to a table near the back.

A man was slumped in a chair tilted back against the wall, snoring slightly. She kicked his chair as she sat next to him. He woke with a grunt and a snort, blinking and looking around. "Wh-wha’s tha’? Time tae go 'ome?"  The chair lowered to the floor with a soft thud.

"Ssshhh ye old fool! ‘Tis me!" she hissed quietly.

He looked at her, eyes growing wide, then looks around. In a low voice he asks, "Wha’are ye doing 'ere? Tis no place for a ....."

"Quie’ or someone will 'ear ye. Le’s go back tae yer place."

They walked out and up the lane to where he lived. Closing the door, he pulled all the shades, and then lit the lantern. Apparently, her presence had sobered him. "M'lady! Wha’ are ye doin' 'ere? Is everythin’ alrigh’ a’ 'ome?"

"Aye, at 'ome everythin’ is fine. Bu’ I found a problem on the way I need 'elp wit’."

"Innythin’ M'lady. I owe ye and th' lord so much."

"Well, Clancy, this will make the debt paid." He his eyes opening wide. "Aye, 'tis tha’ much tha’ I ask of ye tha’ t’will pay yer debt."

"Innythin’ m'lady. Innythin’."

They talked awhile and then she stood to go. "I've got tae get back tae th' inn. We'll meet ye in th' mornin’. And Clancy," she turns and takes his hands. "I kinnae thank ye enough for wha' ye do."

Squeezing  her hands gently, "Nay, m'lady, ‘tis me who should be thankin' ye for yer trus’."

They smiled at each other and she left to make her way back to the inn. A light still shone under their door, so she stopped and knocked gently in case the child was asleep. The woman answered the door. Gypzee motioned for her to come to her room. Once inside with the door shut, she began to tell her of the plan. She had to give the woman credit, she agreed with everything she laid out, no questions, no objections.

The next morning, before dawn, they loaded up in the wagon and drove slowly out of town; but in another direction than she would have originally headed. About 10 miles, they came to a rather wooded area with a narrow winding path leading into it. They turned the horses down it and shortly came upon a small house. Clancy was already there and unloading a large wagon of furniture. He stopped when he heard them pull up.

"Greetin’s m'lady. Thin’s are almost finished, jus’ as ye asked." He went to the wagon to help them down.

"Aye, tha's good, Clancy." She surveyed the place. "I’ does need some work as ye said, bu’ is in pretty good shape. Ye'll take care of tha’?" looking at him.

He nods. "Jus’ as we agreed."

She turned to the woman and introduced them. When she needed to go to town, she was to find Clancy to accompany her and the boy. If anyone were to ask, she was his cousin from where ever, but she was MRS. Buckley. Gypzee would send money to Clancy for their keep. He would keep her informed as to how things were going, and quickly in the case of any trouble; but none was expected this far from Carrick.

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Moran: Inheritance

Post by Gypzee on Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:36 am

Dressed and ready, she followed behind Grandfather as they made their way into the meeting hall. Heads turned and voices lowered as she entered the room, but she paid them no mind. She was focused on what she was to say, and ask -- nay, demand. She was determined, her jaw set. Grandfather looked at her, recognizing the look he'd seen many times before. He gave her a slight smile and nod, which she returned, then sat expressionless throughout the meeting.

When it came time for new business, she stood and waited to be recognized. The head of the clan, James Douglas, nodded and motioned her to come forward. How she hated his arrogance and the sneer on his face. She would see to it he did not profit from this day.

"People of th' Clan ... my Clan, my Kin. I address ye taeday as th' only survivin’ member of the Moran clan. For five years nay other 'as come forward tae stake inny claim tae th' Moran lands or other possessions. Taeday, as th' widow of Brennos Igancious Moran, I lay sole claim tae all tha’ was 'is and 'is before 'im. I lay a challenge tae all before me tae produce another."

There was not a sound in the room. Everyone looked around. No one came forward. The silence hung in the air until she thought her head would explode from it. Finally, Douglas stood. "Nay one 'as stepped forward tae make a claim tae th' possessions or lands of Moran. Therefore ‘tis th' decision of this council tha’ ye be th' true and rightful 'eir, and tha’ nay other claim from this date forward shall be 'eard."

The Clan shouted with a loud "AYE! So i’ is spoken, so i’ is now, so i’ shall always be." Douglas looked at her and asked if there be any further business.

"Aye," she answered, "there is. Since I 'ave traveled far and kin no' be 'ere tae look after wha’ is rightfully mine, I intend tae bequeath property, and tae sell wha’e’er is lef’, be there  inny." Douglas nodded to the cleric and he began to write as she spoke.

"Tae my Grandfather, Richard Morgan MacCarthaigh Mor, and tae 'is wife, Conchessa Rhiannon MacDougal MacCarthaigh, I bequeath th' Moran lands tha’ lie next tae their property tae th' wes’; tae cover all of th' land, anythin’ found on i’ or in i’.”

"Tae my brother, William Richard MacCarthaigh, and tae 'is wife, Lorlai Reneigh MacCluskey MacCarthaigh, and tae all their 'eirs ye’ tae be born, I bequeath th' Moran lands that lie next tae Richard Morgan MacCarthaigh Mor’s land tae th' east; tae cover all th' land, anythin’ found on i’ or in i’. This includes all buildin’s and their contents after choosin’ tae take wha’ I wish.”

“The other strip o’ land tha’ falls tae th' south of Richard Morgan MacCarthaigh Mor’s and William Richard MacCarthaigh’s land is for sale in three equal parcels, wit’ th' beginnin’ price tae be 25,000 pounds for each parcel."

Douglas glared at her. By bequeathing the majority of the land to a MacCarthaigh, they were now the majority property holder. It meant having to turn his title over to Grandfather. If Grandfather did not want it, then it fell to William. Even if he bought the last three parcels, he would not own enough.

The clan was bickering prices back and forth all the while. Grandfather walked over to her and patted her shoulder. "Ye didno' leave inny fer yerself. Do ye ne'er plan tae return?"

She turned and looked at him. "I 'onestly do no' think I could e'er come 'ere tae live agin, bu’ will come often tae visit. If innythin’ should e'er go wrong, I know tha’ William will always make a place fer me."

William walked up behind her and agreed heartily. She would always be welcome wherever he was, and thanked her for the bequeath. Lorali would be very happy as she had always liked her home. "’Tis yer 'ome now, William. I know ye will do good."

Finally the bidding came to a halt. She had garnished quite a handsome sum for the remaining parcels, for it was good bottom land and could be planted or grazed. She was paid then and there, and signed the cleric's notations. She slipped the sac of coins into her own pouch at her waist. Now there was only one thing left to do on her way back to Rhydin.

She needed to go through things before leaving, so she would be there at least a couple more days. There were things that she wanted, and things she wanted Bruce to have. Lorali was excited about the house, and kept thanking her over and over. "There be nay thanks necessary. Ye are family, and we take care o’ each other." Aye even th' bastards. She longed to tell them all, but knew she dared not ... at least not yet.

She walked through the house ... it had been his parents, then theirs, and then hers alone for all those years. Now, with all packed she cared to take and the others turned in, she sat again in front of the fire. So many nights she had sat there, staring into the fire; remembering good times and bad.

William walked up and laid a hand on her shoulder. "Gypzee, are ye asleep?"

She reached up and patted his hand. "Nay, just los’ in th' memories. ‘Tis somethin’ I mus’ do taemorrow on my return, and jus’ rememberin’ th' reasons why. ‘Tis time someone else knew th' story ... someone I can trus’ ... for wha’ I do may well change thin’s around here in a few years tae come."

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Moran: Inheritance

Post by Gypzee on Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:44 am

William had been a good listener, and understanding; but she knew he would be. She also knew he did not hold all the old ways either, and when the time came, he would do what needed to be done ... and the time would come, as it should.

The next morning, all was loaded for her journey. William offered to drive it for her, but she declined with a smile. "There's business I need tae attend tae on th' way..." they exchanged knowing glances. "and I do no' wan’ tae take ye from Lorali." She smiled at them. "God bless ye both, and yer unborn child."

'Twas not so easy to say good-bye to Grandfather and Gran. She promised to return soon with Tero so they could meet. She knew he and Grandfather would hit it off instantly. So climbing up on the wagon with Jester in tow, she started down the road.

It was a pleasant enough day ... at least it wasn't raining. She had brought some of the things from the house that had belonged to Brennos' grandmother. Most she had left for William and Lorali, but she could not bear to part with the spinning wheel or armoire. There were some tables and chairs, and a cradle that had been in the MacCarthy family for years. Even she had been rocked in it.

Gran insisted she bring it because "Ye ne’er know lass." She smiled although she wondered could she even have children since she had remained barren. They had wanted them so much. She knew it was no fault of Brennos’ for he had a child. So the fault must be hers. Brennos' child! Those words still made her shiver at times.

The horses' whinny snapped her back to attention. She was coming upon a small house in the clearing. She looked about the place. It was still in good repair. A boy of nearly 6 years with firey-red hair came running out, yelling, "Momma, Gyp Mum is here!" She halted the team and climbed down. Tousling his hair, she bent down to receive a hug.

"'ow are ye taeday? 'ave ye been a good boy?" She laughed as he shakes his head yes. "Then this is for ye." She pulled a package out of her pocket. His eyes grew wide and took the package. He stammered a 'thank ye' as his mother stepped out of the cabin watching them. "Ye are most welcome, Bruce, most welcome."

The woman walked toward her. "Welcome tae ye Gypzee! 'Tis good tae see ye!"

She smiled at her. Sometimes she surprised herself. She couldn't believe she could actually stand here with this woman – with Eleanore – and talk with her as if she was some lost relation. "Good. I've been tae th' council and am on my way 'ome." Those words sounded strange in her ears, but aye, Rhydin was home, for now.

The two women brought the wagon up to the barn and unhooked the horses, watering and feeding them, brushing them down. Bruce was running around playing with his toy and helping whenever they'd let him. Finally they headed for the house. She walked in and something smelled good.

"Supper is ready," as she washed up and put it on the table. "We're 'avin' Irish stew this eve."

They sat down to a great meal. One thing she could say for her, she was a good cook; and looking at Bruce, she could tell she was also a good mother. After dinner she stood to help with the dishes, but the woman wouldn't hear of it. "Nay, go si’ yerself and res’."

Gypzee walked outside and took a seat on the porch. The woman brought out a lantern and a bottle of cognac with a glass, then back into the house to finish cleaning up. Gypzee smiled. Things were certainly a lot different this day from all those years ago....
She had been right; there had been no problems. Now the business with the clan was settled once and for all, no one could claim any rights of vengeance or treason and demand anything be returned. The boy no longer had to be kept a secret, but it didn't mean she wanted them all to know either. Since she had gained so much from the sale of the Moran lands she had not divvied between Grandfather and William, she had decided it was time to move the lad and his mother closer ... especially now. She didn't want to have to make trips away from Tero any more than necessary.

When Eleanore came out, she motioned for her to join her and began laying out the plan. She was understandably concerned, having become accustomed to living here, and now to have to leave for a place called Rhydin? But she agreed that living in a larger place would afford the boy more opportunities.

She told her Clancy would see to all the arrangements. The woman could take as much as she liked, or buy new when she arrived. Once in Rhydin, she was not to contact her directly until she decided it was safe: better to err on the side of caution. She bade the woman good night as she wanted to get an early start.

Once in her room, she stood at the window looking out into the woods. She was going to have to find a way to tell Tero about this. Her fingers went to the locket and she smiled. Soon she would be home and back in his arms, exactly where she'd been dreaming of ever since she left.

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Moran: The Woman Marries

Post by Gypzee on Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:27 am

With all that had been going on – the marriage, the birth of her first child – she  had sorely neglected Bruce and his mother. They hadn't wanted for anything; that was always seen to. But Bruce, now 8, had been asking for her and she hadn't had the time to go. If she were honest, that wasn't quite true. She'd had the time, just not the emotional energy it sometimes took.

Situations had changed; not necessarily for the better, but knew she needed to go. As she put the finishing touches to her hair, she picked up the comb given her as a birthday gift. It was silver with 3 birthstones in it. Sweeping back her hair on one side, she inserted the comb. A sad look flickered across her face, and she turned from the mirror, speaking with the nanny about William Nathaniel before she left. She just couldn't bring herself to take him there. She headed out towards their little place on the outskirts of Rhydin. It wasn't an unpleasant ride, and it gave her time to reflect on things, and sort out a few others in her mind.

Arriving at the cottage, the grounds were impeccable as always, and the inside of the house as well. If there was one thing she could say for her, she kept an immaculate place. Bruce ran to greet her, throwing his arms around her. My how he had grown! It hadn't been that long since she had seen them ... or had it? She really couldn't remember, and suddenly felt guilty. Who his parents were ‘twas not the boy's fault. He loved her, and in spite of herself, she loved him as well.

They had a nice afternoon of it... he telling her about all the things he learned in school, demonstrating some skills, she patiently answering all the questions he asked. Finally after they had caught up, he ran off to play leaving the two of them alone. At first there was a strained silence, as there always was. She took in a deep breath and spoke.

"M'lady, I jus’ wanted ye tae know, I've found me a good man. His name is Perkins, Walter Perkins. He's asked me tae marry him and move wit’ him near Simons Creek." She knew of it. It was an easy two hour ride on horseback. It would also be a great opportunity for them.

Pausing a moment, she took in her words, then found her tongue to offer her congratulations. She shook her head. "I've no’ accepted ‘is proposal." Frowning she looked at her silently waiting for an explanation. "I wanted tae speak tae ye firs’ because of Bruce and all."

Catching her breath, she smiled faintly, surprised and a bit taken back by her words. She had to admit she had grown rather fond of Bruce, but she knew in her heart he needed a man in his life; one that would be a father. If this Walter Perkins was willing to be that father, then who was she to stand in the way? Smiling at her, she said, "Ye donnae need my blessin’, but if ‘tis wha’ yer askin', ye 'ave it."

Eleanore smiled, greatly relieved, thanking her profusely. Her whole face lit up at the prospect. Making sure she'd be sent an invitation, she spoke once more with Bruce and headed out on her way home. She sighed deeply. At least this part of her life had worked out. She felt a bit more at peace. Now if all the other pieces would fit together as easily.... she wouldn't hold her breath.

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Moran: Bruce Turns 16

Post by Gypzee on Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:48 pm

Where did the time go? Bruce was turning 16 in a few days! It hadn’t completely slipped her mind; but the invitation startled her just the same. He had a definite place in her heart. He was Brennos’ son, how could he not? She felt a twinge of gui9lt from never telling Bruce and the other children about each other; but there was no blood relation ... perhaps one day.

Over the years she had mellowed where Eleanore was concerned. They would never be the best of friends by any stretch of the imagination; but they were friends enough for the child. She laughed softly. The “child” was now a young man, and had done very well since coming to Rhydin. Thankful she was he had decided to stay with farming and livestock.

Through the years he had asked questions of both Gyp and his mother; always separately though. Neither of them divulged very much information. She had thought the woman would, but she always deferred to Gyp’s wishes. However, with him turning 16, it was agreed by all that the time had come.

She arrived the day before around mid-day. She caught her breath when she first saw him. He had a growth spurt, now standing 5’ 11”, slightly curly red hair that touched his collar, and as he drew closer, she could see eyes a dusky forest green. As she pulled the horses to a halt, he pounced from the porch and quickly spanned the distance to the wagon. As she started to climb down, large and strong hands went to the sides of her waist to swing her around with very little effort. As her feet met the ground, she looked up slightly at him. “Impressive!” They hugged and she held him at arm’s length then. “Ye’ve grown quite a bit, and I love yer tan!”

Eleanore came from the house, two children close behind. She wiped her hands on her apron then waved and called out, “Yer jus’ in time for lunch m’lady!”

“As soon as I tend tae th’ wagon.”

“I’ll do tha’ Mum. Go in and res’.”

“Leave th’ wagon loaded ‘til later then. Just tend tae th’ ‘orses.” He nodded and was on the seat of the buckboard in nothing flat, flicking the reins slightly and softly clucking as he drove the horses into the barn. She watched him a moment, then turned to make her way to the house.

As she reached the steps, she remarked with a slight smile, “Yer boy is no’ a boy inny more.”

Our boy, m’lady,” she said softly.

Her smile widened and she removed the bandana from her head before entering the house. The long honey colored tresses were in a tight braid, and then wrapped into a knot at the back of her head. The children – Jr. and Ellie – watched her from behind their mother.

“I think I need tae wash up a bi'.”

“Of course, m’lady. Ye know where ev’rythin’ is. Make yerself tae ‘ome.”

“Please, call me Gypzee, or Gyp – Eleanore.” She really was trying.

“Aye ma’am … Gypzee.”

It felt good to wash off some of the dust and sweat from the trip. Though really not that far, the heat was barely tolerable. Glancing in the mirror, she thought she looked presentable enough. Making her way to the kitchen, she would pause here and there to look at an item. It was a very comfortable and inviting home. She told her so as she paused in the doorway between kitchen and eating area.

“Thank ye m – Gypzee. I am ‘appy ye were able tae ge’ time away tae join us. Bruce ‘as been lookin’ forward tae ye bein’ ‘ere.” She took a delicious looking ham from the oven and began slicing it, making Gyp's mouth water.

“I know I should come more often, bu’ th’ legion I was finally given command of is in disarray. I’m tryin’ tae make sense of wha’ records there are; bu’ I will probably ‘ave tae jus’ star’ o’er.” She stopped babbling wondering if she would have any idea what she was talking about.

“’Tis definitely ‘ard a’ times tae understand another’s methods. When I took o’er runnin’ th’ bake shop I ‘ad th’ same problem. 't finally worked ou’ though’ and ye will work yers ou’ tae.”

Gyp was a bit shocked, and hoped it did not show on her face. She had really never given much thought as to what the woman did or didn’t do. Frankly, she’d never cared. “As good a cook as ye are I’m sure yer shop is quite successful. Please, kin I ‘elp ye do innythin’?”

Eleanore picked up the platter and nodded toward the bowls. “Ye kin brin’ them if ye’d like.” Gyp managed the three of them, and, after another trip, all at the table was ready.

The children had washed up and were waiting when the door opened and closed, followed by a booming voice that called out, “’ello, Lady Gypzee!” She turned to see Walter Perkins and Bruce. “So glad ye were able tae join us.” Walter’s dark brown eyes twinkled, and she could detect no traces of sarcasm, just a genuine greeting.

“As am I! Good tae see ye again.”

They moved to stand around the table, joining hands; then Mr. Perkins offered grace. All were seated and thus began the pleasantries of dining on ham, potato salad, coleslaw, green beans and fresh rolls. Small talk about crops and herds, more about the shop, and some of her command flowed as they enjoyed food and company.

When everyone had finished, Walter returned to the fields. Gyp helped to clear the table, but that was all she was allowed. She was urged to settle in. Stepping out on the porch, she looked around. It was a nice place they had. Making her way toward the barn, the children fell in step with her. Jr was 8, Ellie was 5. It was interesting to see that Jr took after Eleanore in his coloring and features; while Ellie looked like her father.

While she moved inside, the children played outside the door. After a few moments, her eyes adjusted to the darker space of the barn. Bruce had cleaned out some of the stalls and was just covering the floor with fresh hay. He glanced over his shoulder hearing the kids, then back to what he was doing. She went over and climbed up to the top rail of one of the stall fences.

“So, Mum, ‘ow ‘ave ye been?”

“No’ tae bad. Jus’ very busy since I go’ a command.”

“Good for ye! Did ye ge’ th' Spider like ye wished for?”

“Aye, tha’ I did! Paperwork is a mess, but ‘tis almost completed. ‘ow ‘ave thin’s been for ye?”

“Kinnae complain ... stayin’ busy wi’ school and ‘ere a’ th’ farm. I’m really glad ye could come.” He tossed the last batch of hay and hung the pitch fork in its place. “Are ye ready tae ge’ yer thin’s from th' wagon?”

He really was a handsome man, and like Brennos in many ways. ”In a bi'. ‘ow abou’ a walk tae th' creek?” She climbed down from her perch.

“Sure.” As they passed from the barn, the children started out with them. Bruce looked at her and she gently shook her head. He turned to his brother and sister. “Ye two should ge’ tae th’ ‘ouse and see if Mother needs yer ‘elp. And tell her, please, we’ll be at the creek.” After a few protests, they scurried off, allowing them to continue on, making small talk on the way.

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Moran: Bruce Learns of His Father

Post by Gypzee on Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:06 pm

Once at the creek, they crossed a narrow part of it stepping along some flat rocks, and made themselves comfortable on them. “Ye will ‘ave tae excuse me a moment,” grinning as she rolled up her pants legs and proceeded to remove her boots. Feet skimmed the top of the icy cold water, a sharp gasp as she fully emerged them. Bruce laughed and soon his own feet disappeared into the water.

The next few minutes were an awkward silence. He sensed he was about to learn much this day and wanted to allow her to proceed at her own pace. She struggled inwardly, wanting to make sure she formed her words carefully. She rolled her tongue to moisten her lips.

“I know ye ‘ave ‘ad questions abou’ yer father. I know yer Mother would ‘ave told ye long ago, bu’ did no’ because I was no’ ready. I’m sorry for bein’ so selfish. A boy deserves tae know, be i' good or bad, where they come from – innyone does for tha’ matter. Makin’ ye wai’ so long was no’ righ’.”

Her palms were pressed flat against the rock, fingers curled over the edge. Her shoulders were pushed slightly upward, and she dipped her head down, emerald gaze staring into the water as she nervously swung her legs back and forth.

Her head turned slightly as his hand covered hers. “Ye owe me nay an apology. I ‘ave always fel' this was a difficul’ matter for ye both. Ye do no’ even ‘ave tae now.”

“Oh, bu’ I do, Bruce. Ye need tae know yer father was a good man who … well we both los’ our way for a time …” her voice trailing off. He drew his hand back and mirrored her position as he waited patiently for her to continue if she chose to.

She went on to tell him of the fateful trip, how his father had avenged her honor, and how they never spoke of it again … to each other or anyone else, and what that resulted in. She explained their coming back together, and how he died a warrior’s death in the Boii of the Bohemia where the Chieftain and his family were slain by the Roman invaders, after surrendering.

“Yer father died way tae soon – only 22. ‘e ne’er knew abou’ ye. If’n ‘e ‘ad, thin’s would ‘ave been differen’ for us all. After I learned of ye, I was qui’e distraugh’ for obvious reasons; bu’ beyond tha’ were th’ stric’ rules imposed by the ‘ead of my clan a’ th’ time. Brennos’ parents ‘ad died from th’ sickness no’ long after we married. I was no’ a blood relation, so I ‘ad tae wai’ five years before I could inherit. ‘ad th’ clan known of ye, Douglas,” she spat into the creek, “would ‘ave taken it all. ‘Tis for this reason I did all tha’ I did as it was done tae protect my family, and ye as well.”

Brows lifted as Bruce saw that, a clear indication how vile this man was to her.

“So I took ye and yer Mother tae a town known tae me where it was dou’ful any would see. Ye are th’ spittin’ image of yer father and it would no’ ‘ave been long before someone figured it ou’. Once the inheritance was settled, I moved ye agai’ tae Rhydin tae be closer tae ye.” She kept the more selfish reasons why to herself.

“I made th’ choice of givin’ par’ of wha’ ‘ad been Brennos’ and ‘is parents tae my grandfather, which made ‘im majority land owner. By our clan law, tha’ meant ‘e replaced Douglas as th’ ‘ead of th’ clan. Another par’ was given tae my brother, William. Other parcels were sold for a substantial amoun’, some of which is in a trus’ for ye’. Th’ res’ ‘as been sent o’er th’ years for ye and yer mother’s care.”

She watched him as she spoke, gauging his reaction. He was listening carefully, processing it all. Their gaze met and he nodded. “And wha’ did Douglas do?”

Laughter spilled out. “’e migh’ near burs’ a vessel! ‘e was so angry, and even ‘ad ‘e bough’ th’ parcels, ‘twould no’ be enough tae be th’ majority!” His laughter joined hers.

Sobering, she continued. “Bu’ as tae th’ land … there is a section tha’ was officially bequeathed tae William tha’ is particularly fertile. Th’ money from those crops are bein’ pu’ aside – after expenses for seeds and such – for ye tae inherit. It will be yers tae do wit’ as ye wish. Ye kin take possession of th’ land; sell it; or ye and William kin work ou’ an agreemen’ between ye.”

He was silent, processing everything he had heard.

“I know ‘tis a lo’ tae take in, bu’ no decisions need tae be made taeday. Ye ‘ave a few years tae decide, bu’ ‘ave ye inny questions I ‘ave no’ answered for ye?”

There was a pause. “I understand now why ye were both ‘esitan' tae speak of i',” he started. “I' sounds like ye ‘ad th' toughes’ of it. “

“Nay, Bruce. We jus’ ‘ad different circumstances tae deal wit’, none of which were easy. Bu’ we are bo' strong and we’ve done our bes’.” She paused to see if he would have more to say.

Shortly he said, “I am glad tae finally know wha’ ‘appened and ‘ave only one question I kin think of… Am I entitled tae my father’s name now?”

Eyes widened. Of all he could say or ask, this was most unexpected. “Mos’ certainly if tha’ is wha’ ye wish. I kin ‘ave all th’ records modified tae yer family name so ye kin properly presen’ yerself in Carrick or anywhere. ‘ave ye spoken of this wit’ yer mother?”

“We ‘ave bu’ only in passin’, no’ innythin’ serious; bu’ I shall now once I ‘ear ‘er side, which I ‘ope will be soon.”

“I am sure it will be,” patting his hand. “I feel she would ‘ave told ye long ago bu’ ‘twas me who was hesitant.”

“I understand, Mum, I do. I guess we should get back and get ye settled. It’ll be time for dinner soon.”

She lifted her feet from the water. He did so, too, and quickly stood to offer her a hand. Accepting it, she stood in front of him. “Aye, as I believe I ‘ave some thin’s in th’ wagon tha’ migh’ interest ye as well… thin’s tha’ were yer father’s.”

His eyes lit up and a broad grin spread across his face. “Aye, tha’ they do!”

They grabbed their boots and made their way back to the barn where treasures awaited.

Bruce marveled over each item, from the smaller more personal items to the broadsword and shield with the Moran family crest. He again questioned was she certain she wanted to part with them; she assured him she was and helped to carry them to the house. While he decided how to display them, she took her things to her room to settle in, and lie down for a bit.

Memories played over in her mind, as they always did when she visited; even more so this trip. The talk went very well, and she was sure he would be questioning his mother before this night ended. Even as curious a lass as she had always been, not once, not even now, did she wonder at anything the woman would tell him. She’d no wish to sully her memories of Brennos with details, even tho’ she had once allowed herself to imagine them.

There were a few knocks at the door. “Come in,” she called as she rolled to sit on the side of the bed. Bruce’s red head appeared through the partial opening.

“May I?” he queried.

“Of course,” she smiled.

He came in, leaving the door ajar, and took a seat beside her. “Are ye alrigh’?”

“Certainly … jus’ restin’ before supper. Did ye find a place for everythin’?”

“Aye, I did. I wan'ed tae thank ye again and be sure ye are ok wi’ givin’ them tae me.”

“Aye, aye,” she nodded. “I’ve known since no’ long after I found ye tha’ ye would ‘ave ‘is belongin’s.”

“Did ye keep thin’s for yerself? I’m sorry, tha’s no’ my business,” he ducked his head.

She reached over and took his hand. “I kinnae think of innythin’ abou’ yer father I could no’ tell ye." He lifted his head to look at her as she continued. I kep’ an armoire and dinin’ se’ ‘is parents brough’ when they could return from France; a spinnin’ wheel Brennos go’ me for my weddin’ present and th’ massive bed cover I made wit’ yarn I spun from th’ sheerin’ of our own sheep."

She paused a moment, then continue. "When we were … findin’ our way back tae each other, he would bring me pretty stones ‘e found, or flowers, both wild and other kinds. I pressed and dried ‘em all. They’re displayed all over my ‘ome in one way or another,” her voice lowering to a near whisper.

He turned his hand over beneath hers, then held it gently. “Ye mus’ ‘ave really loved ‘im tae be so emotional these many years la’er.”

She smiled wistfully. “Yer firs’ love is always th’ deares’ tae yer ‘eart and in yer mind. There ‘as been only one other who came as close.” She squeezed his hand. “’ave ye innyone who stays on yer mind?” asked playfully.

A wide grin formed on his lips. “Aye, and ye will mee’ ‘er tomorrow. ‘er name is Lenya. Ye will like ‘er.”

“I’m sure I will, bu’ ‘tis yer opinion tha’ matters.”

“Aye, bu’ it ‘elps if yer moms like th’ one ye love.”

“Oh, love is it?” she teased.

“Supper is ready!” Eleanore called from below.

He mockingly wiped his brown. “Whew! Jus’ in time,” he laughed.

“Jus’ a temporary reprieve,” she laughed with him as they headed downstairs.

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Moran: The Party

Post by Gypzee on Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:49 am

After breakfast, there was a flurry of activity as preparations were made for the afternoon’s festivities. She helped here and there as needed, and entertained the children somewhat. It was nearing noon and everything was about completed. They decided to take a break for a snack to tide them over until the party began at 2. All the delicious smells made it hard to eat lightly, but she knew it would be worth the wait.

Sitting in the porch swing, she nibbled on a biscuit with bacon. Bruce came to join her, offering a mug of ice cold cider. “Thank ye much,” she lifted it in a small salute, then took a sip. She couldn’t stop her face from contorting at the tartness of the cider. “Oh, my,” she flicked her tongue across her lips as her face relaxed to normal. Bruce was laughing and she elbowed him playfully. “Le’s see ye take a drink!”

“Only if nay one is around tae watch!” still laughing.

“Thin’s look really nice for th’ party.”

“Aye, I appreciate all yer ‘ard work. I also wan’ed tae le’ ye know I spoke wit’ Mother las' eve.”

“I expected ye would … Did it answer all yer questions? Or do ye ‘ave more for me?”

He nodded, then shook his head. “E’erythin’ ‘as been cleared up for me, and I appreciate ye bo’ so much.” He paused a moment. “Will it be a ‘ard thin’ tae do, for me tae use my father’s name?”

She had been holding her breath a bit without realizing it in anticipation of this very thing. She released it slowly. “No’ at all,” she shook her head. “I jus’ need th’ place ye were born, and if ye were baptized, in wha’ church. I will take care of it.”

“Thank ye, Mum,” he gave her a quick hug. “’a’e tae run bu’ I’ve go’ tae go pick up Lenya and ‘er family. I kinnae wai’ for te tae mee’ ‘er!”

“Nor kin I,” she laughed as he bounded off the porch to hop on the carriage and take off. Once he had gone, she began to study the task of changing documents. She wasn’t personally sure how it could be done; but she knew someone who would: Father Trillo.

Finishing off the cider after making sure no one was looking, she deposited the mug on a table with other and went to help finish preparations.

The party had been a great success. She had met quite a number of people, very few who seemed to show any surprise as being introduced as “my Mum, Gypzee.” One thing was for certain, Bruce was quite proud during his introductions, and no one dared to question it. Of course, most of those attending were family of Walter Perkins.

Most of the guests had left except those closest to them. Gyp took a seat beneath the huge expanse of an oak tree which afforded her a good view of those who remained. So she caught the startled look on all their faces  when Bruce came from the house with Brennos’ shield. If he noticed, he didn’t show it.

“All of ye know par’ of me story. I love ye all for takin’ me intae yer family and lovin’ me as if I was blood. I ‘ope none of tha’ changes since I’ve learned who me birth father is. “ He moved the shield in front of him where it could be seen clearly in the fire and torch light.

“This was my Father’s shield – Brennos Ignacious Moran. ‘e fough’ bravely and died for ‘is people and ‘is country at Boii of Bohemia.” A murmur moved through those gathered as it was a well known battle. It tugged at her heart as she looked on proudly, eyes brimming with as of yet unshed tears.

“Wi’ th’ blessin’s of bo' my Mother, my Mum, as well as Dad Walter, I’ll be claimin’ my righ’ful name and all tha’ which comes wi’ it. If’n ye ‘ave inny questions or objections, I prefer ye address ‘em wi’ me. Again I jus’ ‘ope this does nay change innythin’ 'tween us.”

That said, they rose in near unison and moved toward him, each to offer congratulations, deliver a hug or a slap on the back with a hand shake, laughter and smiles all around. It was then she sensed someone moving in from around the tree line toward her. She blinked, pushing tears down her cheeks which she quickly wiped away. She looked then to see Lenya. Gyp offered a smile as she took the seat beside her.

Megan Lenya Kelly had herself just turned 15. She was around 5’7”ish – just a bit shorter than she. Her dark blonde hair, twice as long as Gyp’s, was woven into a single braid draped across a shoulder. Eyes the color of sapphires met hers, returning the smile. “Lady MacCarthy, I jus’ wanna say thank ye, and ‘ow ‘appy ye’ve made Bruce.”

“Nay,” shaking her head. “’Twas somethin’ should ‘ave been done sooner, bu’ pleased I am ‘e is ‘appy and all seem tae accep’ it, for I know ‘tis impor’an’ tae 'im. And please, call me Gypzee.”

About that time Bruce walked up. “Call ‘er Mum,” he grinned.

“Or Mum,” Gyp echoed as they laughed with him.

Bruce held out his hands to both and they joned the rest of the family because …  that is what they had truly become.

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Moran: Revelation

Post by Gypzee on Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:52 am

The next morning they enjoyed another fantastic meal. The horses were hitched to the wagon and waiting for her. She was eager to get back to Nate, but she was also surprised to find herself reluctant to leave. She no longer thought of Eleanore as “the woman” … she was Bruce’s mother. Gyp had been treated as family, and absolutely adored Lenya.

On the porch, Eleanore handed her a cloth wrapped bundle of goodies to eat on the way. As Gyp took the package, she held her hands a moment. “Thank ye for welcomin’ me intae yer ‘ome again. Yer mos’ gracious. Tho' if’n I were tae stay ‘ere for very long I think I would lose me girlish figure,” laughing softly.

“I doub’ tha’s possible, and ye are welcome inny time. Wi’ou’ all ye done, we may ne’er be where we are taeday,” Eleanore squeezed her hands, before they both let go.

Then Gyp did something that surprised them both – and anyone else if they witnessed it – she gave her a quick hug. They gave each other knowing smiles, then she turned and stepped from the porch. Bruce was at the wagon, waiting to help her up. Walter was coming from the barn. Neither let on they had seen the exchange, not wanting the women to feel awkward about the obvious progress they were making.

Gyp slipped the bundle into her bag, then moved it from her shoulder, slinging it up to the seat of the wagon before turning to Bruce. “I am so proud of ye, and I know yer Father would, tae.” They hugged each other for a long moment, then she pulled back to look at him. “Take care of yerself and Lenya. I do really like ‘er.”

“She likes ye, tae, Mum; and I will. Come back soon?” he looked at her hopefully.
“When time allows, aye,” she nodded. “Ye could always come and see me, ye know.”

He tilted his head to side a bit. “Hmmm .. now there is an idea. I migh’ jus’ ‘ave tae do tha’.” They hugged again and she climbed into the wagon, a wave given to Walter as he walked up to Eleanore, putting his arm around her shoulders.

“Be safe, Lady Gypzee,” his voice boomed. Waves were given all around, then she situated herself on the seat. A shake of the reins were given to get the horses started toward home.


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Moran: Bruce Inherits

Post by Gypzee on Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:04 pm

Time was drawing near when Bruce could decide what he would do with his inheritance. Of course, he could decide to leave everything as is; but she doubted it. He was wanting property to build a house on for when he and Lenya married.

Gyp – knowing full well what it meant – suggested they should investigate his inherited land before making a final decision. They agreed, so plans were made for the trip. Nate was already in Carrick and was supposed to come back with her. The twins and Tien were too young for a whirlwind trip, and were none too pleased about being left behind. She promised to make it up to them and they grudgingly gave in – not like they had a choice; but it would be a smoother time for the nannies. Yes, plural; there was no way she would leave one person in charge of three precocious children.

As usual, she was restless the night before a trip. She tried to sleep, but could only doze now and then, or toss and turn. After several hours, she rose and dressed, placing two bags in the chair by the front door. Turning, she headed toward the children’s rooms for a last check. They were all tucked in and sleeping soundly. She smiled wistfully. No matter what their age, leaving them always tugged at her heart. The nannies had already been given instructions so she would not wake them … they would need their rest.

Stopping at the door, she reached for her cloak. It was a dimensional cloak given her when she was Knighted in the Order of the Crimson Star. It had proven to be quite handy. You could place anything within it, and had only to think of it to be able to pull it out. It was but one of the purposes it served. She placed the two bags within the cloak, then folded it over her arm; no bulges, no bumps.

Quietly she let herself out and crossed to the barn where she made quick work of saddling Beauty. Taking the reins, she led her out. Without thinking, emerald gaze turned to the heavens, hearing a soft voice in her head.

There is a bright star at the end of the big dipper. When you look at it, think of me. When I look at it, I will think of you. Know that where ever I am that I love you. “I love ye tae,” she whispered softly before pulling herself into the saddle. There was a chill in the air not felt as long as she was busy, but now she donned the cloak. Nudging Beauty, they headed out, in no hurry as she were at least two hours ahead of schedule.

Reaching the rendezvous point with time to spare, she took advantage and made a mental link with Wolfin, her Colonel in the Dream Spider. It wasn’t that she doubted his abilities. She worked long and hard for her command  so it was like her child, and she was a tad possessive. Closing the connection, she heard someone approaching. She maintained her position hidden among the rocks until she was sure who it was. Seeing it was Bruce and Lenya, she mounted and urged the mare to whinny a bit, letting them know someone was nearby before slowly emerging.

Seeing her, Bruce called out and Lenya gave a wave. They were sitting upon a couple of magnificent looking horses she was unfamiliar with. “Nice mounts. What are they?” She leaned over to rub a hand along the neck of Bruce’s horse.

“They are called an Irish spor’ ‘orse … a cross between an Irish Draugh’ and a Thoroughbred. They are a good workin’ ‘orse and ‘ave  light, middle, and heavy weights. They are also good for ‘untin’,” Bruce offered. “They range from 15 to 17 ‘ands.”

They had an attractive head with a “Roman nose” profile. Its neck was slightly-arched and muscular, long sloping shoulders, a deep but not overly broad chest, a short compact back, and a muscular croup with powerful hindquarters. The croup was sloping and long, a trait coming from the Irish Draught, and is said to improve its jumping ability. The high withers of the Thoroughbred was also evident in the pair.

“They ‘ave a good temperamen’, bein’ calm, ye’ lively when needed, and are very tough,” Lenya offered as she leaned forward to rub a gloved hand along the neck of her mount.

“I am impressed,” Gyp nodded. “I will ‘ave tae see abou’ gettin’ me a few of these. Well, do ye need a rest now, or can ye manage another 45 minutes tae a nice area wi’ some fresh water?” The pair looked at each other and nodded .

“We can go on,” Bruce answered. Gyp nodded and turned Beauty in the direction they needed to go, and nudged her into a slow gallop.

Once at the cove, they dismounted, leading the horses under the canopy of oak trees, giving them a bit of grain, and letting them drink from the creek. Gyp had long ago removed the cloak and hooked it around the saddle horn. Removing it now, she reached into the folds and withdrew the messenger bag. Lenya gasped. “’ow did ye do tha’ Mum?”

Chuckling she explained it was a dimensional cloak and how that worked. “It does ‘ave another function as well.” She pulled it around her and flipped the hood up, rendering her invisible. She heard them gasp and she laughed, knowing they were unable to hear her. She moved quickly several steps to their right, and lowered the hood. “’ere I am.” They turned their heads quickly, eyes wide. She flipped the hood again and returned to where she was before and lowered the hood, “Nope o’er ‘ere.”

“Stop! Stop!” Bruce laughed. “Yer makin’ me dizzy! Where did ye ge’ tha’?” The two took a seat on the grass near the creek.

She removed the cloak and hooked it back around the saddle horn, taking her bag and having a seat near them. “’Twas a present from Captain Orionus, a dear friend, given me when I became a Knight. With it on, ye kin move through walls or pass through objects. There are runes in there also tae help wi’ castin’ spells.” She pulled some jerky from her bag.

“Tha’s a righ’ ‘andy thin’ tae ‘ave around,” he nodded.

“Aye, I ‘ave used it for the invisibility and carryin’ thin’s around, but nothin’ beyond tha’ ye’,” she nodded. She chewed on another bite before asking, “Are ye nervous about goin’ tae Carrick?”

“Aye,” he nodded. “Somewha’. I know papers are in order, bu’ people can still question. And wha’ of th’ Clan if they know?”

“Put yer mind tae rest,” she patted his knee. “The family lands are a fair distance from of the village. Unless ye wish tae go there, most likely no one will e’er know ye were ‘ere. And if’n ye did, the majority within the village are MacCarthys and would not question at all. The rest are good folk for the most part. The only ones with enough brass tae speak up might be a Douglas, or one of their cronies, and, well … they would ask me anyways, not yerself. Ye know how that would go.” Emerald gaze twinkled, okay if it happened, equally okay if it did not.

He looked relieved. “I donnae know why we would need tae to go tae th’ village, so tha’ makes me feel better,” nodding.

They finished eating, refilling their skins and canteens. This break had allowed them to miss the noon sun, it now being behind them. Though not as hot as it could have been, it was still sweltering. There was a slight breeze, but it did not provide much relief. In preparation for this, she had worn a cotton skirt, tan in color, with a matching blouse and open collar. About her neck was a scarf of pale orange she could dampen when they would break, or pull up to cover her lower face when the dust was particularly thick.

At last they were at a fork in the road, and she brought them to a halt.  “If ye were tae take a left, ye would wind up in the village. We go this way,” pointing right. “And then about a mile we will venture left for our lands.” They nodded and were on their way. In no time they were veering off the main trail. This was a more enjoyable ride as there was foliage and some sporadic tree covering, which would become more full as they traveled.

After a few more miles, she motioned to the right and they veered again. The sun was beginning to disappear behind the mountain range that loomed in the distance; but it was still several hours before full dark. She slowed them down some to give the horses a cooling down period, and to point out a few things. “E’er since we veered left, we ‘ave been on Grandfather’s land. It stretches tae the mountain range and then tae the east. That’s where it meets the land that is yers. Beyond that, lies my brother William’s lands.”

They were now in sight of the house. Originally all one story, the second level had been added as the family grew, adding four bedrooms and an indoor bathroom. It was all completely natural wood, no paint; it had a wraparound porch with two swings in the front. The windows were awash with a warm glow. To the right was a barn, horse pens, and a couple of other sheds around those.

There were three children laughing and playing in the front yard that grew quiet when they heard the horses slowly approaching. They scattered, ducking behind bushes and trees. Bringing the horses to a stop, Gyp called out, “I spy Master Nate behind the tree!” Simultaneously, she slid from the saddle and began walking toward the yard.

A moment later, an auburn crown peered from around the trunk, then came streaking toward her. “Mommy! Mommy!” She dropped into a crouch, steeling herself for impact as he ran into her open arms. Closing them around him, she rose up and swung him in circles a few times while they laughed. Sitting him down, Rachel and Morgan ran up, arms squeezing around her legs shouting, “Auntie Gyp!” She caressed the back of their heads and kissed the tops of each.

All the screams and squeals brought folks from the house, four in all. She lifted a hand to wave to William and Lorali who ventured forward quickly. “Gypzee!” hugs given by all. “Ye made good time.”

“Aye, we did,” a nod before she turned toward Bruce and Lenya who had been laughing at the greetings of the children. She motioned for them to join her. Gram and Grandfather walked up at this point, and introductions were made all around. William and Bruce took the horses to the barn to bed them for the night. The rest took up seats on the porch. Rachel and Lenya were in conversation on one swing. Gram and Grandfather occupied the other; Rachel and Morgan playing in front of them. Gyp took a chair and Nate leaned against her, telling tales about his latest explorations and conquests.

When the men came from the barn they all moved into the house for supper and good conversation before calling it a night. Tomorrow was expected to be a busy day.


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Moran: Bruce Inherits

Post by Gypzee on Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:10 pm

The smell of frying bacon woke Gypzee. Drawing in a deep breath and stretching lazily, she was surprised she had “slept in”, it already being 8am! She had thought Nate would have been in long ago. She would discover later that Lorali had herded him downstairs.

William, Bruce, and Grandfather were up and out quite early as there was a lot of area to cover. William would also be going over the books to show Bruce the profits and/or losses during the years he had been farming and raising livestock.

Dressed in light weight tan britches and a pale pink colored blouse, she skipped down the stairs. Entering the kitchen, she moved up beside Gram and gave her a sideways hug. “What kin I do tae ‘elp?”

Gram leaned her head to the hug. Removing the last of the bacon from the cast iron skillet said, “No’ a thin’. E’eryone has ea’en and ou’ somewhere. ‘Tis jus’ ye and me.”

Gyp’s mouth watered as she saw the gravy. There was little better than Gram’s homemade biscuits smothered in gravy with a side of bacon. Fixing a plate, they sat at the table. After a few bites were taken, Gram started. “Yer lookin’ more relaxed than the las’ time ye were ‘ere.”

“I would ‘ope so, considering I thought I was buryin’ my ‘usband,” said with disdain. “’Twas cruel tae say the least.” She bit her tongue to refrain from referencing what happened after. She had never told anyone of the twins kidnapping by their paternal grandfather. The verdict was still out as to whether there would be any repercussions from time spent in the underworld. She shook off the memory.

“So what do ye think of Bruce and Lenya?” taking advantage to eat some more while Gram answered.

“They are bo’ lovely people … Bruce, so much like Brennos, made me catch my brea’ when ye rode up. I kin see why ye like Lenya as much as ye do. She ‘as a good ‘ead on ‘er shoulders in addition tae bein’ a beauty.”

She nodded, swallowing a drink of ice cold milk. “That she is and they are just perfect for each other.” She finished off the last bite before placing her dishes in the sink, and starting to run water to wash them all.

“Nay, child,” Gram went to the sink. “Go and spend some time wi’ yer son. There are some new ‘orses in th’ barn. Yer Grandfa’er though’ ye migh’ find one suitable for Nate in th’ bunch.”

“Oh?” wiping her hands on the kitchen towel. “That’s a good thin’ since ‘e will need one tae ride back. Saves me a trip intae the village. Where are the girls?”

“They ‘ave actually gone intae the village.” Gyp’s eyes went wide. “Now a’for ye ge’ all upse’ th’ lass was nay coerced. She wan’ed tae go when Lorali said she was goin’. They seem tae ‘ave become fas’ friends, more like sis’ers.”

“And wha’ if they are questioned?” worriedly. She knew nothing would happen to them, but she knew Bruce was not wanting any sort of confrontation for either of them.

“Lorali – if asked –will say she is a cousin. ‘er family no’ bein’ from ‘ere or inny where near ‘ere, no one will pay inny mind. ‘Tis Bruce ye need tae keep from th’ village if’n ye wan’ nae questions asked,” Gram said with a nod.

“Aye,” she drew in a soft breath, releasing it slowly. “Wait, if they are gone where are the children?”

“Jus’ ou’side playing knights and dragons,” Gram laughed. “Time for ‘er ladyship tae join th’ journey,” shooing her towards the door. Laughing, Gyp gave her a quick hug and moved through the back doorway to the porch.

She stood there watching them for a while. Nate, 10, was the knight attempting to rescue fair maiden Rachel, 8, from the outmatched dragon Morgan, 4. After a few minutes they spied her and came running up, gathering around her.

“I ‘ear there are new horses. Shall we go see?” They all nodded excitedly, heading toward the pens. There were half a dozen, two mares and four stallions. Peering through the railings, she asked them which they liked. Rachel like the all white horse. Morgan preferred the paint, grayish brown speckles splashed all across its rump.

Nate blurted out, “I like Star Face! He looks awesome!” It was a blue-black stallion with a white star over his left eye, white on its right front hoof, its left back hoof, and across its rump lending black and white strands within its tail. It was still young, only 10 hands high.

“Aye, ‘e is pretty awesome!” She brought around a bucket of grain and coaxed them over for a bite. She gauged the sun’s position in the sky thinking everyone should be back soon. She headed the kids back to the yard, and went in to help Gram with lunch.

Lunch passed and the children were down for a nap. The adults were on the back porch because it afforded a better breeze. Everyone seemed to have had a pleasant afternoon. Grandfather shared some stories about Brennos, and of Bruce’s grandparents … some even she had never heard. Talk then turned to their morning excursion.

“What did ye think of the lands, Bruce?” Gyp asked.

“They are very grand and profi’able,” he nodded. “They are so far away tho’ from my o’her family.”

Gyp nodded, understanding how he felt. She could tell he was clearly torn.  She offered, “Come, let me show ye somethin’.”

Getting up, she lead them down to the creek. Climbing up to the lowest branch, she showed them some hand carved initials:

B I M ~ G R M

“Yer father carved those when we were but children. We always knew we would be married, and that might one day take us from ‘ere; but this would probably outlast us. ‘e was right. We carry our memories e’erywhere we go. So yer only a thought away from where e’er ye want tae be,” her voice a little husky with emotion. She gave them a smile and slipped down the tree to let them have some privacy.

Gyp went to sit in a front porch swing, bare feet lifting to the seat, her arms cradling her legs and chin resting on her knees. No matter how life turned out, this place, these lands, seemed to always recharge her. Her life had had so many twists and turns. She shook the memories away hearing Bruce and Lenya coming up the walk. They took a seat on the other swing.

“We ‘ave decided wha’ we wish tae do,” they both nodded. “I will sell one ‘alf of th’ land and use tha’ tae buy land and build a house in Simon’s Creek ... if William will tend th’ o’her ‘alf. I kinnae le’ i’ all go, bu’ know I kinnae leave Mo’her ei’her.”

“I understand … “ her voice trailed off.

“Wha’ is i’, Mum?”

“I let all my lands go back then. Memories were tae painful tae think of doin’ inny thin’ else; but I suppose ‘tis time I follow my own advice.” She lowered her feet to the porch, looking at their  perplexed expressions. “If ye will agree, I would like tae buy the ‘alf ye wish tae sell.”

A broad smile spread across his lips. “Aye, I think tha’ sounds like a fine idea.”

“Let’s tell the family then,” Gyp said with a grin.

Since Grandfather was the Clan head, none of this had to be done in the village. The cleric was sent for to merely be a witness and enter the information into the written record. Poor Jasper nearly had a heart attack when he saw Bruce, but never said a word.

The transactions were recorded, Gyp taking the northern section near the mountain range; and Bruce the southern half. It in no way affected Grandfather’s holdings; and even so, William was still the next major land holder. He and Gyp would inherit when the time came, so a MacCarthy would be in charge for many generations to come.

The rest of the day was spent sharing good company, good food and more stories. They made it an early night so they could start in the morning before the heat began. Gyp would teleport her and Nate to Tzaddi that evening, allowing her to also check on the other children. Teleporting smaller animals – cats, dogs, birds, etc. – didn’t seem to affect them much. But she had learned while it did not affect larger animals physically, it sometimes affected their attitude or behavior. Besides, Nate did not yet know he was getting “Star Face.”

Nate said all his goodbyes. They walked from the soft glow of the porch lights into the night and then was stepping into the glow of their own porch lights. He looked up at her and she nodded with a soft laugh. He took off running, threw open the front door, stepping inside with a shout: “I’m baaaaaaack!”

Squeals of delight echoed through the house. As Gyp stepped inside and closed the door, they all came rushing from the play room. The girls squeezed their arms around Nate’s legs while Angus threw his around Gyp’s; then there was a big switch.

Laughing, they all moved toward the dining room as Elsa, nanny and cook extraordinaire, called dinner was ready. When the children were all seated, Gyp announced – amongst protests – she had to leave. “I’ve got to get Beauty and then I’ll be back. ‘Tis just one more day.” She kissed them each on the forehead and stepped out onto the porch. Turning around, she opened the door and stepped into Gram’s just in time for her own dinner. After all this ‘traveling’ she was looking forward to an early bedtime.

Everyone turned in early. As was the norm, she could not sleep. Putting her cloak on, she flipped up the hood to become invisible and quiet. Slipping from the house, she lowered her hood and bare feet carried her to the creek. Until she had visited this time, she had not realized how much she missed Carrick.

Climbing her favorite tree, she paused on the first branch to trace fingertips lightly over the initials carved there. “The son ye ne’er knew ye ‘ad ’as found ‘is way tae the lands that was ours. ‘e ‘as embraced ‘is ‘eritage and calls us family. I am sorry we did nae ‘ave more time,” she whispered softly. The breeze picked up slightly and she lifted her face, eyes closed, toward it, letting it caress her cheeks. After a few moments it faded away.

Even though she now called Rhydin home, this was her birthplace, her grounding, her inspiration. Having bought the parcel of land was a good thing; and she would eventually build a house on it, hoping one day her children would live on it, as well as many generations to come. Sitting there a few moments with her eyes closed, she could hear all the sounds of the night. She drew in a deep, cleansing breath, releasing it slowly as eyes flickered open. Feeling much more at peace, she was able to return to the house and actually sleep before the morning’s journey.


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Moran: Bruce Marries

Post by Gypzee on Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:18 pm

Bruce and Lenya were getting married. It was the real reason for this excursion to Rhydin.

Bruce had taken his inheritance two years earlier and purchased 30 acres of choice land close to the Perkins homestead. It afforded pasture and farming possibilities, and he had chosen to do both. They had already built a home on it as well. Bruce could not wait to give her a tour. She could see why he chose that parcel. Approaching the house, the resemblance to Gram’s was unmistakable. The only noticeable difference was it was a one story, though there were plans to add a second as the family grew.

The sloping forest-covered hill back drop was a concern until he showed her the drainage solution they came up with … wooden trenches were buried into the ground which would divert rain water to the pens where dug outs would catch water in ponds to supply water to the animals. In case too much water pooled, one side would lift to allow it to flow into the open pasture.

The inside of the house was very much like Gram’s but with a flipped floor plan. The biggest difference was the huge fireplace that opened on one side to the kitchen, and the other to the family room. Lenya had already placed her personal touches everywhere from furnishings to curtains to floor rugs. It was very cozy and inviting. However, she was having a hard time finding ideas for a wedding gift as she looked at everything. A general conversation did not reveal any information either. So she inquired as to what they would be doing for their honey moon.

Bruce looked around to make sure no one was listening, even though they were the only two there. “E’eryone thinks we are goin’ intae Simon’s Creek, bu’ we are comin’ ‘ere. We wanted tae star’ our married life ‘ere.”

A nod of understanding was given. “Yet, to remain undiscovered, ye will need to keep things dark…” pausing a moment before continuing. “Would ye allow me th’ use of some magic to help with that?”

“Wha’ did ye ‘ave in mind?” he asked curiously.

“I will place a barrier around th’ grounds so anyone looking will only see a dark house or other buildings as if no one was here. No one can see or hear a thin’. When you are ready for it to be removed, simply take a stone and, from th’ front porch, toss it and say ‘Barrier be gone.’”

“No’ a special stone?”

“Any stone will do. ‘Tis th’ throwin’ with th’ words that breaks th’ spell; but can only be done from inside th’ barrier for it to work. To move inside it, simply walk up th’ front path. Ye kin also move in and out of it freely. ‘Tis set where none other than yourselves may enter or break it.”

Back at the Perkins household, there was a flurry of activity. The decorations were just about in place, tables were set up, and Eleanore was in the kitchen giving instructions to the cooks and wait staff. Gyp was now dressed in a stormy blue-gray, floor length a-line princess v-neck chiffon gown gathered at the waist with a diamond-studded flower. The lace bodice was a swirl pattern with sparkles scattered over it as well as the patches of see-through lace that covered slender arms. She leaned against the door frame, watching and listening. She grinned as Eleanore turned to see her.

“Wha’?” returning her grin, She was dressed in a light gray, floor length tulle, a-line princess dress with beading in a multiple design pattern from the scoop neck to slightly passed the hips. It extended to the arms of the see-through lace that ended just passed the elbows.

“I know who I am callin’ next time I have a catered affair,’ laughing softly.

“Any time, Gypzee,” she beamed proudly. “I guess I ‘ad bes’ finish gettin’ ready. Kin ye ‘elp me wi’ me ‘air? I kin ne’er seem tae do much wi’ i’.”

“Of course,” following her to the back bedroom. Eleanore was petite, about 5’4” with waist length black hair and dark brown eyes which now looked at her in the mirror as she took a seat in front of it. Running the brush through it she found it to be quite thick and surprisingly soft. Gyp began to pull it into a French braid. “How are ye feelin’ about Bruce gettin’ married?”

“’appy but a bi’ sad ‘e will no’ be around all th’ time; bu’ they are no’ far and ‘e assures me I will still see a lo’ of them.” There was a pause as Gyp continued to work on the braid. “Do ye ‘ave inny children o’her than Master Nate?”

“I do …” she began slowly. “A set of twins, in fact … Angus and Rhia. They are 15 now.” She was getting close to the end of the braid and tied it off with a dark gray ribbon that would complement the dress. She glanced at her reflection in the mirror, catching her chewing gently on her lower tier as if debating on whether to ask another question. She saved her the trouble. “I’ve not brought them around since there is no blood relation, but maybe someday.” She patted her on the shoulder. “There, all done.”

Eleanore turned from the dresser, taking the hand mirror to check it out. “Oh, Gyp! I love i’!”

Laughter and talking floated from down the hall where the bridal party was gathered, and they soon joined them. The bridesmaids were a vision in floor-length ivory tulle dresses with a sash of the Kelly tartan at their waist; wildflowers were woven into their hair.

“Mom, I love ye ‘air! Mum, did ye do tha’?”

“Aye and I will show ye both how tae do it,” she laughed and gave Lenya’s mother, Colleen, a quick hug and greeting. Drawing back she asked the bride to be, “’Ave ye got th’ something borrowed, blue, old and new?”

“All bu’ th’ old. We are still workin’ on tha’.”

“Maybe I can help,” as she handed her a white tissue wrapped package tied with a dark blue ribbon.

Lenya took it and pulled on the ribbon, handing it to one of her maidens. She gasped softly as she opened the package to expose a white handkerchief made from 100 percent Irish linen and a hand crocheted lace border. On one corner was embroidered the initial “M” in a golden colored thread.

“This belonged to Brennos’ Mum,” Gyp told Lenya softly. “She would be as proud as I am for you to have it.”

Lenya’s eyes misted as she removed it from the wrapping. “’Tis so exquisite,” softly and in awe. “Thank ye Mum,” she reached to give her a hug.

“You are very welcome,” Gyp hugged her in return and lifted a slender finger to wipe a tear from the corner of her own eye.

About that time a mixture of violins and harps began to play, signaling that all was ready outside. A flurry of excited nervousness rippled through the group of women. As they gathered in a circle – seven in all – arms laced around each other’s waists. One of the bridesmaids offered a prayer:

“Father God, we come  tae ye taeday tae ask yer blessin’ on th’ union of Lenya and Bruce.
May their lives be blessed and lived for ye, Amen.”

Amen echoed all around.

They lined up, barefooted every one … a sign of simplicity and humility, and making a connection with Mother Earth. A wrist corsage was given to each mother: a red rose surrounded by wildflowers. They were then escorted to their seats. Ellie appeared in her tea length ivory tulle dress, moving down the aisle and dropping red rose petals as she went. Three bridesmaids made their way down the aisle. Once they were in place, the music paused and the soft sound of bagpipes was added to announce the arrival of the bride.

The group, seated in a circle – a symbol of the blueprint of life, a wholeness or completeness – stood  and turned to face the entering bride. She was escorted by her father, Davin Kelly, looking mighty dapper in a kilt of the Clan’s tartan. They walked completely around the circle before entering; and once inside, walked the complete circle before coming to rest in front of the Priest.

Lenya was lovely in a pale blue tulle – an ancient symbol of purity. The corset was laced with dark blue ribbon and spotted with lace appliqué flowers of varying colors that also decorated the hem and the short train as well as the gathered material at the elbows. Her hair was braided with ribbon and lace – a symbol of feminine power and luck. Wildflowers were woven into a wreath that rested on her head, as well as into her bouquet of herbs.

As she had already seen the bride, she cut her gaze to watch the expression on Bruce’s face. It flowed from stunned, to awe, and finally beaming with love. He was dressed in a kilt of the Moran tartan, his three groomsmen with a sash of the tartan tied about the waist of their dark attire. Even Jr – who held the pillow with the rings – had a vest of the tartan.
As Davin placed Lenya’s hand in Bruce’s, the crowd took their seats.

The priest spoke of the sanctity of marriage and the blessings wished for the happy couple. Jr was called forward and they took the others rings, then joined hands while ribbons of both the Moran and Kelly tartans were wound around them. They repeated their vows after the priest who then explained the meanings of the rings – having no beginning nor end, and how it symbolized their love and vows to each other. Rings were placed on their fingers, and while their hands were still ‘bound’ by the ribbons, they repeated in unison:

“We swear by peace and love tae stand 'eart tae 'eart and 'and tae 'and.
Mark, O Spirit, and hear us now, confirming this, our sacred vow.”

Bruce then took the Moran ribbon and placed it around Lenya’s neck, and she took the Kelly ribbon and placed it around Bruce’s neck, symbolizing the joining of their Clans as well. Lastly they kissed sweetly, and were pronounced husband and wife. The crowd began to clap and cheer loudly as Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Moran was introduced to them all.

Everyone moved to where a great feast would soon be served. Food is a major part of the celebration as it would be inconceivable to step away hungry from a Celtic/Irish wedding! And no one would tonight! There was wild boar, venison, beef, and lamb along with a whole array of vegetables and fruits. Finally came time for the bride and groom to cut the cake. There were a few threats of stuffing large pieces in the mouth of the other, but finally settled for a normal bite followed by a drink of honey wine.

The tossing of the bride’s bouquet was next. Though she was corralled into being part of that crowd, she made no effort to catch the item that declared the next to be married. In her mind, five marriages had been quite enough. Of course the drink flowed freely as well. Toasts were made to the happy couple, each followed by shouts of Slainte! (pronounced slansha meaning ‘to your health’).

Of course, there was music and dancing! She was coaxed into a jig. She surprised herself – and no doubt a few others as well – in being able to last the entire song. Laughing, she slipped into her seat, fanning herself while she caught her breath. There were a few gentlemen who came to ask for dances. Thankfully they were none quite as demanding and a person could actually hold a conversation,

The hour was growing late and Bruce and Lenya prepared to leave for the honeymoon. Others moved up to give their best wishes to the couple and then drifted back to the music and dancing. As they made their way to the buckboard, people separated  to either side of them, breaking apart oat cakes to sprinkle on them to insure wealth and happiness. Once seated, they gave everyone a wave. Bruce made eye contact with Gyp as she gave him a wink and nod to signify all was ready. They slowly pulled away from the farm, on the way to the rest of their lives.

Some left and a few die hard folks stayed for more drink and dancing. Even Gyp stayed around for a few more. Sensing the time was right, she excused herself amidst the mild protests of a few gents, and made her way to her room. She set her mind to wander to the honeymoon house. She watched as Bruce quickly unhooked the wagon and bedded the horses down for the night. Then they joined hands as they happily headed to the walkway.

They took a deep breath and began walking toward the house. The only way they knew they had crossed the barrier was the soft glow coming from the windows of the house. They looked to each other and smiled, then moved to the porch. Bruce opened the door and scooped Lenya into his arms and crossed the threshold. This tradition had started in Medieval Europe to prevent the bride from appearing too enthusiastic about losing her virginity. In other cultures it was to thwart bad luck and evil spirits.

Safely inside, he kicked the door shut with his foot and stood her in front of him. “Welcome ‘ome, Mrs. Moran,” he smiled.
“Aye, welcome ‘ome, Mr. Moran,” she said warmly.

They held an embrace and shared a deep kiss. It was only then they looked around to see what awaited them. The front area had wildflowers in containers everywhere. There were candles on a few of the tables. A soft glow came from the bedroom, and with a look to each other and holding hands, they made their way there.

There was a small fire going and many, many candles scattered about the room. Boughs of fresh pine and roses were tied with ribbons and hung around the room filling it with a pleasant aroma. On the table beside the bed was a decanter of honey wine and a handwritten note:

Bruce and Lenya ~

The kitchen is stocked with food from the feast, and neither it nor the wine will run out until the barrier is broken.

Remember, you can come and go at will. It will stay in place until you say the words and toss the stone.

Enjoy your time here and may your lives be forever blessed and happy.


Gyp Mum

As their love filled gazes locked, she withdrew herself to allow them the privacy they deserved.


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