Caitlin gets the news....

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Caitlin gets the news....

Postby CaitlinCallahan » Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:53 pm

First installment.

Caitlin stares at the letter in her hands, re-reading the contents, hoping that a third, or fourth, pass will provide different results. Deaglan Kavanagh, I cannot say that I remember much about him, other than he’s Laird Kavanagh’s heir. Her reverie is interrupted as Connor places a hand on her shoulder. “It is done, Caitlin. Father has finalized the betrothals. There is nothing left to do but return home.” Caitlin shrugs off her brother’s hand. “There has to be another choice. For the first time in my life, I feel that I am doing something that truly matters, that I am making a difference. I am not ready to leave, I cannot just walk away.”

Caralynn walks into the room in time to catch the end of her twin’s comment. “You knew this day was coming, Cait. Would you shame Father by refusing to honor his word?” Caitlin turns on her sister. “You know I would not dishonor the Callahan name, but must it be now?” Her twin frowns at her. “Are you sure this is not because of him?” Connor shoots Caralynn a puzzled glance. “Him? What’s this about a ‘him’?” Caitlin ignores her brother. “Of course you’d be okay with the arrangements Cara, you’ve established minimal ties here, and it doesn’t hurt that Father has arranged to marry you off to Ryan Donaghue. You’ve always been sweet on him, and you’ll be mere miles away from Mother.”

Anger sparks in Caralynn’s eyes, and she opens her mouth to respond, however, Connor grabs his oldest sister by the arm, spinning her around to face him. “Who is this ‘him’ that Caralynn is talking about?” Caralynn smirks a bit, and answers before Caitlin can respond. “It’s Gabino Colon, Connor. Surely you’ve noticed how much time she’s been spending with him.” A frown creases Connor’s brow. “Gabino – the professor’s bodyguard? I thought he was simply teaching you how to use one of those toothpicks that the Castillian’s call swords.” Caitlin casts a dark look at her sister before turning back to her brother. “That is what he’s been doing, Connor, he’s been giving me fencing lessons. It’s much easier for me to manage a rapier than that unwieldy mass of metal that you prefer.” Connor’s expression shifts to one of indignation, and he opens his mouth, about to defend the claymore, when he stops himself, and his eyes narrow suspiciously. “Cara’s right, isn’t she – you’re actually interested in this man. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be trying to distract me with a debate about weapons.” Caralynn crosses her arms in front of her, grinning at Caitlin with a fair degree of satisfaction. By all that Theus holds dear, she acts more like Mother every day. Her attention shifts back to her brother. “I swear to you Connor, it’s just been fencing lessons. Besides, what difference does it make how I feel? It’s not like I could act on any such feelings, assuming they exist, not with Father having ‘finalized’ things.” Her face flushes slightly, and her brogue begins to manifest, a sure sign that her emotions are getting the better of her. “It doesna matter that I dinna ken the man I’m t’ wed, nor does it matter tha’ the Kavanagh’s live across th’ Isle from home. Da has made the arrangements, and I’m expected t’ leave the life I’ve built here, a life o’ meaning an’ purpose. Does it matter that I’m makin’ a difference here, that I’m helpin’ the people of Altamira? Nae, I’m t’ be a good daughter, an’ follow orders.”

Both of her siblings look away, somewhat abashed, realizing just how upset Caitlin is at the news. She pauses in her tirade, taking a moment to catch her breath, and regain some small measure of her composure. When she speaks again, it is so low that her brother and sister both have to strain to hear her words. “I cannot do it. I cannot leave, not now, not with everything that is going on here. I cannot leave the people of Altamira, not when I can make a difference.” She meets their eyes. “The work I am doing here, it is important. I cannot simply walk away.” Connor and Caralynn exchange a look, and Caralynn slowly nods. Connor turns back to Caitlin. “We thought that you might feel this way. We’ve booked passage back home, for the two of us. We leave in the morning.” Caitlin draws in a deep breath, then nods. “Thanks for understanding.” Connor grins. “But I’m not going to be the one to tell Da.” Caralynn’s smile disappears, as she gives their brother a dirty look. The hint of a smile turns up the corners of Caitlin’s mouth. “Dinna fret, Cara. I’ll give you a letter to give to Da, though I canna guarantee that he won’t take his frustration out on the messenger.”
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Re: Caitlin gets the news....

Postby CaitlinCallahan » Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:50 am

Second installment.

Caitlin sits on the patio of Dos Caballeros y Doncellas, sipping her sangria and watching the sun slowly begin to approach the horizon, her mind obviously elsewhere. It has been just over a week since her siblings sailed for Inismore, and honestly, she feels a bit lost without them. This is the first time that she and Caralynn have been separated for any substantial amount of time, and it is almost as though a piece of herself is missing. She pulls out the letter from her father, the one advising them of the betrothals. The paper is worn, and a bit crumpled, but reading it for the hundredth time yields the same result – there appears to be no way out of this engagement that does not do irreparable damage to her family’s honor.

Wearily, she settles the tab for her dinner and drinks, and slowly makes her way home. She is in no rush, as there is no one at home waiting for her. A smile crosses her face as she hears children in the alleyway, and possibly on the rooftops, singing out the battle cry of Los Hermanos de Nacio. She is quick to hide the smile, as some of the children’s mothers come racing down the street, threatening all sorts of punishments on the children if they don’t stop this “reckless foolishness” immediately.

She pauses as she approaches her house, spying someone waiting near the front door. She moves forward, then stops, her hand resting on the low gate that separates the stone walkway from the street. Surely he cannot be…. Unfortunately, her eyes are not playing tricks on her. The man is urinating on the front of her house! “Excuse me.” She calls out, to which he responds with a gesture, indicating that he needs a minute. Her temper sparked, she calls out again. “Excuse me, what are you doing?” The man glances back over his shoulder. “I’ll be done in a minute.” Her arms cross, and Connor would recognize the set of her jaw, and likely would be looking for cover at this point. “Look away lass, I canna finish with ye watching me.” Her grip tightens on the gate, and she glances away, mentally cursing the lout.

The man lets out a sigh as he finishes his business, then turns to look at her. She takes a deep breath, attempts a civil tone, and asks “What are you doing here?” “I’m here t’ meet my betrothed, she lives here. I’ve heard she’s a homely lass, an’ I’ve spent the last several days getting’ drunk enough to face her. The taverns in this town, they’ve got decent whiskey, not as good as inish whiskey, but it’ll do.” Caitlin’s grip tightens on the gate as she struggles to maintain control. “So you’ve not met the woman?” “No, her father and my father made the arrangements. I’m a bit surprised, given that my family, the Kavanaghs, are here.” His right hand wavers unsteadily about eye level. “An’ the Callahans are more like here.” His hand drops to about waist level. She unclenches her jaw and asks “So you’ve met her father, then.” “Oh aye, I’ve met the man. Weasely sort, bettin’ all o’ his fortune on this betrothal.” Her heart sinks at this statement, though his next words get her undivided attention.

“So, what do ye do here? Are ye the maid, or the cook? Oh, by the by, I’ve left a bit of a….deposit, if ye get my meanin’, out back.” He pauses a moment, the pause ending with a loud belch. He continues as if nothing had happened. “An’ are ye available for other work? Ye see, once I’ve faced down the woman, I’ve a feeling I’ll need a good shag, and you’ve got nice, child-bearin’ hips.” She forces a smile, though it is devoid of all warmth. “No, I don’t work here, and I’m not available for ‘other work’.” “Then why are ye here?” “I live here.” His brow wrinkles slightly in confusion, then clears. “Ah, ye’re the sister, then.” “Yes, yes, I’m Caralynn.” She jumps on the opportunity to delay an ‘official’ meeting. “Guess I insulted ye a bit, what with the comments about yer da. Perhaps ye can let yer sister know I’ve come for her. I suppose she’ll need some time to get ready.” Caitlin jumped on the opening. “Yes, giving her time would be good.” He nods. “Tell her she can come an’ see me in a day or two.” “She may need more time than that – perhaps a week or two, or even a month.” He shakes his head. “A few days, an’ tell her to clean herself up. I like a red lipstick – the more whorish the better.” He gives her an apprising glance. “An’ if she’s built like you, tell her to dress to show it. Not too much, she can leave a little to the imagination.” She smiles sweetly. “Is that because you have but a little imagination to work with?” He laughs. “I like you, you have spirit.” With that, he staggers away from the house, and down the street, stopping only a few blocks away to urinate on a fence.

Caitlin stares for a moment at Deaglan’s retreating back, disbelief etched on her face. She turns and makes her way to the front door, watching her footing. After carefully entering the house, she calls for Felipa. The young woman appears at the top of the stairs. “Si, Senorita Caitlin?” “I’m afraid that there is a bit of a mess out front.” She grimaces as she recalls Deaglan’s comments. “And possibly out back as well. It is a lot I’m asking of you, but believe me, I’ll make it worth your while.” Felipa looks a bit confused, and goes to the front door. “By all that’s holy, is that what I think it is?” Caitlin nods her head slowly. “Unfortunately, it is. The fellow who did it is a sorry excuse for a man, and a horrible example of what my countrymen are like.” Felipa’s eyes widen in disbelief. “But Senor Connor, he never behaved like a cochino, he was always a gentleman.” The young woman sighs. “Then again, I know of some men here in Altamira who are not much better mannered.” With that, she retreats to the hallway that leads to the kitchen to retrieve her cleaning supplies.
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Re: Caitlin gets the news....

Postby CaitlinCallahan » Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:12 pm

Third installment.

A sudden shout gets her attention. As she runs to the study, she can hear Felipa’s angry voice. “By all that’s holy, who in their right mind voids their bowels in a planter?!?!?!?” Caitlin stops in the doorway, unable to believe her eyes. The glass window has been smashed, and it appears that someone crawled in through it. The table in front of the window lies on it’s side, with various knick knacks scattered on the floor around it. The bookshelf closest to the window is also in disarray, with at least a couple of books missing. The door to the patio stands open, and she walks over to it, disbelief written on her face. Felipa’s face is flushed with anger. “Senorita, this cochino, no, to call him a pig is to insult the creatures. This animal, it appears he tore pages from your books to wipe himself after he finished his business in the flower pot.” Caitlin’s eyes narrow, and she feels her cheeks flushing with the anger that had been building since she first saw the man. Not trusting herself to speak, she turns and walks away.

She wanders the streets of Altamira aimlessly for a while, letting her temper cool down. Should she go to the Acalde? She certainly had grounds – the man had admitted to leaving a ‘deposit’ in her back yard, and had obviously broken into her home. No, better not to involve him and make this whole fiasco ‘official’. As she somewhat objectively replays the events of the early evening in her mind, she finds herself at the University. She sighs as she realizes why her feet led her here. Tis a bit awkward, given that neither of us has spoken of anything other than friendship, but I dinna want him to hear it from someone else. She takes a deep breath, sets her shoulders, and enters the building.

She finds Gabino in his office, adjacent to Professor Villalobos’ office. He appears to be reading something, and glances up as she knocks on the door, standing and smiling warmly at her. “Good evening, Caitlin. What brings you here? I don’t believe we have a training session scheduled.” “No, we don’t.” She pauses, her right hand moving to twist a lock of her hair as she contemplates how to broach the topic. She’s so focused on her thoughts, she misses the fleeting grin on Gabino’s face. “There’s something I need to tell you, and I’m not certain how to start.” His expression turns serious, as he offers her a seat. “Perhaps at the beginning?” She grins, a bit self-consciously. “You see, that’s the problem, I’m not certain there is a beginning.” She takes a seat in the offered chair, draws in a deep breath, and begins.

“Well, we’ve been spending a fair amount of time together over these last several months, and I think it is safe to say I consider you a friend.” She pauses, searching his face before continuing. “A very good friend, and I would hate for you to hear this from someone else.” Her hand moves to her hair again as she searches for words. “I received word from my father, about a week ago, that he has finalized my betrothal, and the…” She pauses, searching for the right word. “Man has arrived in Altamira.” She looks up at Gabino, attempting to gauge his reaction. Unfortunately, his face has gone blank, other than a slight tightening around his eyes.

“I take it you are not happy about this arrangement, and that congratulations are not in order?” She shakes her head vehemently. “Absolutely not.” The muscles around his eyes relax. “So my condolences, then.” She smiles in relief, the knots that had formed between her shoulder blades relaxing. “That’s a much better sentiment.” She frowns as she recalls the conversation with Deaglan. “The cad was at my house when I returned home this evening. He thought I was a servant.” Gabino interrupts her. “There is nothing wrong with being a servant.” “Oh no, it’s not that, it’s just that he said some things that he would not have said had he known who I was. The cad was rather frank in his discussions about my family, and what he had heard of me. I let him think I was Caralynn, since most people cannot tell us apart.” Gabino interrupted her. “It’s not like it’s difficult, to tell you apart.” A hint of a smile teased the corners of her mouth. “Most people cannot.” He shakes his head. “Then they are not very observant. For instance, whenever you are concentrating, or focused on a problem, you play with your hair – twirling a lock of it with your right hand.” The smile on her face widens, and softens. “You have noticed this?” His eyes widen, then narrow, realizing that he has given something away. “Well, yes. It’s obvious to anyone with eyes.”

She stares at him a moment before continuing, the smile fading as her thoughts return to her ‘betrothed’. “Apparently, Deaglan is willing to give Caitlin a few days to ‘prepare’, whatever that means. Which buys me some time to figure out a plan.” Gabino nods, looks as though he’s about to say something, pauses, then continues. “I don’t mean to presume, that is to say, I am not questioning your ability to handle the man, but if there is anything I can…” His voice trails off, obviously searching for the right words. “What I mean to say is that I am at your disposal, if there is anything you need me to do to help.” Her expression softens once again. “Thank you, Gabino, you have no idea what that offer means to me. However, I believe that, at least for now, I have matters under control.” She takes her leave of him, and heads home, feeling much better than she did when setting out on her walk. The beginnings of a plan have taken root in her mind, and she feels almost hopeful.
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Re: Caitlin gets the news....

Postby CaitlinCallahan » Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:45 pm

SPOILER ALERT: THERE ARE HINTS CONTAINED IN THIS POST SPECIFIC TO EVENTS FROM EPISODE 13. READ AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION.





Fourth installment (and quite likely the last installment until I get to play another PA).

The next morning, she awakens early, determined to get the better of the drunken Inish lecher. Searching her closet, she finds the bulkiest, most shape-camouflaging clothing that she owns. Felipa helps her into the clothing, shaking her head the entire time. “I do not understand, Senorita Caitlin, why you are dressing yourself like an old lady.” Caitlin grins. “It’s to spite the cad who left the ‘gift’ in the flower pot, Felipa. He likes his women scantily clad, I plan to give him the opposite of what he requested.” She moves to the dressing table, and begins brushing out her hair, pulling it back into a severe ponytail. She turns triumphantly to Felipa. “See – nothing fancy with my hair, either, and no makeup whatsoever.” Felipa smiles a bit sadly. “I do not think it is having quite the effect you want, senorita.” She moves up behind Caitlin, pointing to the looking glass. “The severity of the ponytail simply draws attention to the curve of your cheekbones. And the lack of makeup, it simply underscores that you do not need it.” Caitlin frowned at the image in the mirror. “You may be right, but I’ll not dress the way he told me to.” She rises from the table and moves to the door. “Wish me luck!”

Luck, it appears, is not on her side this morning. Her first attempt at finding her betrothed fails miserably. She recruits Los Hermanos de Nacio to find the man, and after an hour or two of searching, they return with many possibilities, none of which are Deaglan. She then begins searching the taverns. One by one, she receives the same answer, no one has seen the drunken Inish. She pauses for a moment, steeling her resolve, before heading to the Jenny’s house. A relatively discreet discussion with Ursula, the headmistress, proves fruitless. The woman offers to make inquiries on Caitlin’s behalf, which she politely declines. No need to have word spreading that I’ve got the Jenny’s guild making inquiries on my behalf. Frustrated, she decides to talk to Elladio.

The atmosphere at Dos Caballeros y Doncellas is almost somber. Elladio in his usual spot, his chin in his hands, elbows resting on the counter, staring off into space. The limited patrons appear to be serving themselves, and leaving exorbitant payment for their drinks. Seeing Elladio like this reminds Caitlin that her problems are possibly not so pressing – there are many others dealing with more serious tragedies. She approaches her friend, and gently speaks his name. “Elladio?” This seems to wake him from his reverie, though the sadness does not leave his eyes. “Yes? Oh, Caitlin, how are you this evening?” “I am fine, Elladio? How are you? Once again, I am so very sorry for your loss. Is there anything I can do for you?” He smiles weakly in response. “You have done enough, my friend. I take some small comfort in knowing his killer has been brought to justice.” His words cut deeply into Caitlin’s heart, though this is not the time to burden him with the truth. He continues. “Perhaps there is something I can do for you?” Realizing that a bit of a distraction may be good for him, she inquires after Deaglan. Elladio’s answer is the same as every other tavern keeper in town – he has neither heard nor seen anything of him. After a few more minutes of small talk, in which Elladio asks her to continue to stop by, even if it's just to say hello, Caitlin takes her leave.

She walks home slowly, puzzling over the day’s events. Surely he has to be staying somewhere in town, he mentioned the drink served in the taverns here. She has a moment of déjà vu as her hand rests on the gate in front of her house, uneasily eyeing the all too familiar back of Deaglan Kavanagh. She winces as he yells out to the relatively empty house. “A day is enough time, out with ye, tis time to meet your betrothed.” Gritting her teeth and squaring her shoulders, she calls out to the man. “I do not believe we’ve been formally introduced. I’m Caitlin Callahan.” He turns, eyeing her for a moment, then grins. “Ah, ye’ve tricked me. Well, enough then, let’s get on with it.”

Suddenly, a form leaps over the fence and launches itself at Deaglan, knocking him to the ground with the first punch. Gabino! While she cannot deny feeling a certain satisfaction as Gabino rains blows on Deaglan’s head and shoulders, she knows it cannot continue. “Gabino, please, stop.” Her voice seems to get through to him, and he pauses, one fist still raised in the air. Slowly, he gets to his feet. Deaglan looks at her appraisingly. “So, that’s how it is, eh? You’ve already got yourself a man. Okay, double the dowry, and a little affection, and we’ll call it even.” Caitlin eyes narrow. “First of all, get up off your butt.” He grins slightly, and stands, brushing himself off. “So, you’ll be a bossy wife, eh?” She ignores him. “Next, you’re going to head back to the tavern and fill up on coffee. Once you’re sober, we’ll talk.” His grin widens. “Oh, you’ll not be wanting that. You won’t like me sober – it makes me surly.” She offers him a sickeningly sweet smile. “As to double the dowry, perhaps you can go home and work out any amendments to the contract, and let me know when you’re done?” He shakes his head, still grinning. “You don’t want me going home, lass. Your father bet it all on this betrothal – it’ll be the end of the Callahan’s if it doesn’t go through.”

Her heart sinks at this statement. What were you thinking, Da? She gives him directions to a nearby surgeon, and watches as he staggers off. Gabino looks a bit sheepish. “I know I told you that I’d wait till you asked, but I could not stand the thought of him treating you so horribly. I’ve made things worse, haven’t I?” She smiles at him, though it doesn’t quite reach her eyes. “I don’t think you’ve done irreparable damage. It was already about as bad as it could get.” She mentally replays the fight, and her conscience gets the better of her. “I canna let the lad wander around the city with a possible concussion.” She mutters under her breath as she races up the street. As she reaches the cross street, she hears a bit of a splash and a yell. Turning the corner, at first she does not see Deaglan. Then she notices a foot disappearing into the storm drain. The blasted man has gone and fallen into the sewers!
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Re: Caitlin gets the news....

Postby CaitlinCallahan » Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:16 pm

She runs through the streets, mumbling apologies to those she pushes past, and eventually reaches the Queen’s Inn. After a quick scan of the bar area, she quickly ascends the stairs and makes her way to Aleksei’s room. She pounds on the door, a bit frantically, and lets out a sigh of relief when her friend opens the door. “Aleksei, I may be in trouble, and I need your help.” He quickly glances left and right behind her, as if to determine if the threat is immediate, then invites her in. He closes the door as she enters the room, and smiles at her. “You look like a mulo is haunting you! Now tell me, what can I do for you?”

She takes a seat by the window, obviously distracted. “It’s horrible, Aleksei, just horrible!” She pauses a moment, and takes a deep breath to steady herself before continuing, some of the panic dissipating from her blue-gray eyes. “You know that my father was looking to ‘arrange’ a marriage for me, despite my rather adamant protestations. Well, he’s gone and done it. And I must have made him angrier than I thought.” Her eyes narrow angrily. “My supposed husband-to-be showed up at my house yesterday and he’s an uncouth, drunken oaf!”

She stands and begins to pace. “The man was actually relieving himself on the front of my house!” Aleksei grimaces at the statement. “Anyway, that’s not the real problem. He showed up again this evening, and we had words, well, more than words.” Her expression turns a bit sheepish. “Gabino happened to be walking by at the time, and well, he pretty much pummeled the man. I sent him on his way, then my conscience got the better of me – I couldn’t very well let him wander the streets injured. So I ran after him. Only, when I got to the corner, there was a loud splash, and I turned the corner just in time to see his boots disappearing into the sewer drain.” She sits back down, her head in her hands. “This has turned into such a mess – much as I would like to pretend I’d never met the man, I can’t very well leave him to rot in the sewers.” She looks up at Aleksei, desperation in her eyes. “I know it’s a lot to ask, but you’re the closest friend I have in Altamira, now that Caralynn and Connor are gone. What do I do?”

Aleksei produces a small vial of liquid, and offers it to Caitlin. “Here, this always helps.” A slight smile tugs at the edge of his lips as he watches her take a healthy swig from the vial. The smile grows to a full grin. “Caitlin, it appears that your troubles are taken care of. The man left upon his own two feet. What happened to him after that is not your trouble.” When it becomes obvious that she is not going to accept the turn of events as a boon, he sighs, and leans back against the wall. “So tell me, what is it you wish at the end of all this?” “What do I wish? I wish I could just leave him to his fate in the sewers – it would certainly seem to resolve all of my issues. However, my conscience won’t allow it. He may be a boor, and an oaf, and any number of other undesirable things, but I cannot just leave him to his fate. He did not appear to be in any condition to defend himself, and not just because of his drunken state. Gabino really did a number on him.” She sighs, a begrudging resignation settling on her features. “I suppose I want to find him, and see him safely on his way.” He nods, not really surprised by her response. “Then I will help you my friend.” A mock-serious expression crosses his face. “A trip to the sewers, however, will ruin my clothes. You will owe me a new set, after we’ve completed this task.” She smiles up at him. “Done! And thank you, Aleksei.”
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Re: Caitlin gets the news....

Postby CaitlinCallahan » Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:17 pm

Making their way down the stairs, they run into Bogdan. He takes one look at the intent expression on Caitlin’s face, and asks where they are headed. She explains the situation to him, and he offers his assistance in dealing with the wretch. Caitlin gratefully accepts, and the three of them head out of the inn. Halfway to the sewers, they encounter Gabino. He explains that he had been looking for her, for he still feels responsible for her current predicament. When the four of them reach the sewer entrance closest to where she witnessed Deaglan’s boots disappear, Gabino stops them. He unbuckles his sword belt, handing the belt and swords to her. “Just in case I lose my temper.” She pauses a moment, then nods, accepting the blades without a word.

Their search of the sewers proves to be unsuccessful. The water is flowing fairly quickly, and they quickly realize that anything – or anyone – that fell into the sewers would have quickly been swept down the tunnel and out into the bay. They follow the tunnel to the opening, Caitlin clinging to the desperate hope that there will be some sign of Deaglan, or of where he may have exited the tunnel, but she is disappointed. Begrudgingly, she accepts defeat and the group exits the sewers.

Once back on the surface, she returns Gabino’s blades. He apologizes again for causing her so much trouble. Caitlin pauses a moment, studying his face. “There is no need to apologize, Gabino, as a matter of fact, you have my thanks for so quickly coming to the defense of my honor.” She steps in, gently kissing him on the cheek. As glances down as she steps back, a slight blush coloring her cheeks. When she looks up, she cannot help but smile. Gabino has turned several shades of red, and is standing before her, speechless. After a moment or two, Aleksei leans forward, and in his best stage whisper, states “This is generally where you make a dramatic exit, my friend.” Gabino starts at the comment, stammers a bit, then leaves. She watches him walk away, the smile softening a bit, then turns to Aleksei. “Well, shall we go shopping for your new clothes?”
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Re: Caitlin gets the news....

Postby CaitlinCallahan » Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:19 pm

Final installment until Origins 2018. :(

About a month or so has passed since Deaglan disappeared into the sewers, and Caitlin has not heard any news of him. Her relationship with Gabino has shifted slightly. While neither of them have spoken of the kiss she placed on his cheek that fateful afternoon, they have been spending more time together, and that time is not limited to fencing lessons. She hums to herself as she finishes changing clothes in preparation to meet him for dinner, when there is a knock at her door. A look of confusion crosses her face. I thought we had agreed to meet at Dos Caballeros. She rushes down the stairs to the front door, and her breath catches in her throat as she opens the door, and freezes.

Standing in front of her is a disheveled Deaglan Kavanagh. He appears to be covered in almost-healed bruises, and is missing his boots. How can this be???? Her heart sinks, but the overwhelming feeling of desperation is quickly replaced by confusion as the man begins to speak. “Good evening. I am sorry to disturb you, especially in my current condition. I am Deaglan Kavanagh, and well, not to be indelicate, but our fathers have, well, they’ve arranged our marriage, even though we’ve never met.” Caitlin interrupts. “Are you sober?” It is his turn to look confused. “Yes, I am. As I was saying, our fathers have arranged a betrothal, and I realize that this may come as a shock to you, given that we’ve never met.” “But we have met.” “No, we haven’t, I’m sure I’d remember if we had.” They continue to go back and forth about whether or not they had previously met, when a look of realization, followed quickly by an expression of horror, crosses the young man’s face. “Oh no, you’ve met Eaglan, my brother.”

Deaglan proceeds to tell her a bit about his brother, and the fact that he was not happy that their father had arranged the marriage for Deaglan. It turns out that, even though Eaglan was technically born first – by five minutes – his disposition and weakness for drink caused their father to name Deaglan as heir. Caitlin remains somewhat skeptical. “I mean no offense, but surely you can understand that this is difficult for me to accept. How did you come to be in your current state?” “As I said, my ship was attacked on the way here. I barely escaped with my life. They took my money – they even took my boots.” His frustration is evident. “You have no idea what it’s like, having someone around who looks just like you.” Caitlin winces slightly, as his words hit home, though there is small, cynical part of her mind that still questions if this is all a ploy. “Did my father not tell you? I am also a twin.” “I was not directly involved in the negotiations, all I know is the outcome.”

She sighs. “You should know, your brother has not been seen in about a month. As far as I know, he disappeared into the sewers.” Hope blossoms on his face. “With any luck, he won’t be back.” His expression turns serious. “You have my apologies – I can only imagine the impression Eaglan must have made. I will find a place to stay in town, and endeavor to make it up to you. Perhaps we can get to know each other, and I can show you I am not my brother.” She struggles a moment, before her better nature wins out. “Perhaps I can help you find someplace to stay.” He shakes his head. “No, that will not be necessary. I have brought bad news to your door, and I can only imagine what my brother put you through.” “Didn’t you say that the pirates took all your money? How will you pay for rooms?” “I’m sure that I can find a job. I’m not afraid of a little hard work.” She pauses, choosing her next words carefully. “You may want to be careful in town. There are some who will likely mistake you for your brother.” He frowns. “You make a good point. Do you know where he was staying? It would perhaps be best if I stayed somewhere else.” She pauses again, her right hand twisting a lock of her hair. “To be honest, most of the people in town did not seem to know of him. After his first visit to my house, I checked with every tavern and inn in town, and no one had heard of him.” He smiles humorlessly. “It is possible he was staying in a less reputable area. I’m sure you wouldn’t be familiar with those parts of town.” She blushes slightly. “I was rather thorough in my search. There is one other thing. A friend of mine happened to be walking by and overheard some of the less than polite things Eaglan was saying to me. I’m afraid he pummeled your brother rather soundly.” She is slightly surprised at the smile that lights Deaglan’s face, and she continues. “You’ll probably want to avoid him, at least until I’ve had a chance to talk to him. His appearance is distinctive, his face having been significantly scarred by blades.” He nods, and with a final apology for both his brother’s actions as well as being the bearer of rather indelicate news, he turns and heads into town.
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CaitlinCallahan
 
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Re: Caitlin gets the news....

Postby CaitlinCallahan » Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:24 pm

Okay, I lied. THIS will be the final installment until Origins 2018. :D

She watches Deaglan walk away, wondering at the vagaries of fate, when she suddenly realizes that she is now late for her dinner with Gabino. How am I going to explain this? She shrugs her shoulders in response to the thought, and heads to Dos Caballeros.

He is already at the table when she arrives, smiling and rising to his feet as she walks up. “I was beginning to worry about you.” The humor in his voice fades as he gets a good look at her facial expression. He waits for her to take her seat, then resumes his. “So, I take it your delay was not due to a difficult wardrobe decision?” She smiles, albeit half-heartedly at his attempt at humor. “I wish it were that simple.” The waitress places a glass of sangria in front of her, and Gabino discreetly motions her away. “So, let us get this obvious unpleasantness out of the way. What happened?” She stares at him a moment in silence. How do I tell him? “Well, it’s a bit complicated. Do you remember Deaglan Kavanagh?” His eyes harden slightly. “Yes, I remember him.” He waits for her to continue. “Well, funny thing. It turns out that Deaglan has an identical twin, and it wasn’t actually Deaglan that showed up last month. It was his brother, Eaglan.”

Gabino’s eyes widen in surprise, then narrow suspiciously. “And how do you know this?” “Well, Deaglan actually showed up at my door just as I was about to leave to meet you. I will admit, I was initially suspicious. It seemed too great a coincidence that he would also be a twin. But by the end of our conversation, I believed him. It turns out Eaglan is actually the older brother, but due to his personality…..challenges, and his propensity for drunkenness, their father named Deaglan his heir. Deaglan’s ship was attacked by pirates en route to Altamira, hence his delayed arrival.” She takes a long drink of sangria, almost draining the glass, and misses the look of apprehension that quickly flashes across Gabino’s face. She continues. “He seems a decent sort, and is determined to prove to me that he is not his brother.” She chuckles a bit humorlessly. “He even expressed a hope that his brother might not ever be seen again.” She pauses, holding Gabino’s gaze. “I had thought that all of this was behind me, I had allowed myself the hope that perhaps my path was my own to choose.” She smiles a bit shyly. “And that I had possibly found someone to walk it with me. And then this happens.” Her smile fades, and she looks at him nervously.
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