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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Fishing For Answers

                     An Important Notice to Readers...

     Although this fiction blog is illustrated with photos of dolls, and dollhouse miniatures, the language and content of the storyline is intended for an adult audience.  Please be advised.

Thank You,

The Author

Beckett comes to the rescue
           They stood that way for a long time, tight in embrace, the milk running down the leg of his pants and dripping into his boot.  She felt odd in his arms, padded in places Maureen wasn't, and several inches taller, so she didn't fit under his chin in the way he loved.  But for reasons he couldn't explain in logical terms, he instinctively knew she was his Desert Rose. It might have been written off in the way she pressed her head on his shoulder, or in the manner her fingers ran up and down his spine like a musician over piano keys. Very real, familiar, physical proof.  The kind that kept his life in proper order.  Yet in this case, it was secondary to an inner connection that needed no evidence, and the realization of that rolled over him in one overwhelming wave.

           He'd known for a long time that he cared for her more than any of the others.  Needed her in ways that went far beyond the physical.  That had been made clear during their short separation after the accident, somewhere within the weeks of grief and self-loathing that came with the loss of the baby.  Still, he hadn't realized until this very moment how much of him she truly owned.  It both amazed and horrified him.  How could he go off and do the things he did without the armor of complete indifference?  It made things difficult.  Complicated.

           Maureen suddenly broke the embrace, and took a step back.  "We probably shouldn't look cozy.  No doubt Sarah is peering through the upper windows, taking notes on my misbehavior.  That wretched child hates me!"  She wiped at some milk stains on the front of her skirt.  "And it isn't gonna help when I go back inside without any milk.  It took nearly an hour of tugging at that old thing just to get what I did.  Even the cow hates me.  Everyone hates me here."

         Laughing at her trials seemed a bit heartless, but he couldn't help himself.  Despite the different face, the unfamiliar body, she sounded so much like the Maureen of his heart that he couldn't keep the joy from spilling out.  It started as a chuckle, and once let loose, churned out in eye-watering peals of laughter.  Beckett looked back at the cow who did seem to give his wife the evil eye, and laughed even harder.

        At first she seemed bewildered, then pissed, and he realized in the short time they'd been together, she'd never seen him laugh this way, with total abandonment and loss of control.  Truth was, he couldn't remember a time either.

        "I'm glad you think my problems are so damn funny, Ted Beckett!  Here I am...shoved into a strange body.  Stuck somewhere in a time warp, and you think the whole damn thing is Comedy Central.  You can really be an asshole, you know that?!"

         She must have expected a terse comment in return, and when it was replaced with a lingering giggle or two, she eyed him warily.  He wiped the tears from his eyes with his sleeve, and then reached over to tuck a stray strand of dark hair back under her her mob cap.  "I'm sorry, love.  I don't mean to laugh at your trials, or make light of them.  I'm just so happy to find you safe and sound, in one piece, and unchanged.  I am grateful beyond belief."

          "Unchanged?  Are you crazy?  Look at me!  I'm somebody else!  I'm...fat!"

          "Outside, yes.  Inside, you're my Desert Rose.  Of that I have no doubt."  He grinned, and glanced down toward her bosom.   "Though, I must admit to admiring those bigger tits.  You wear them well."

          Maureen placed a self conscious hand over the bodice of her dress, and smiled.  "Yeah...I do kinda like them myself.  Never filled out a blouse like this before."  Then her face fell, and he could feel the fear and uncertainty rise between them.  "Why am I here Ted?  Why did this happen?  Please tell me you know how I can get things back to the way they were?"

           He resisted the demanding urge to pull her back into his arms, to kiss the fear right out of her, and let her know how much she meant to him.  She was right.  No doubt they were being watched.  A "cousinly" embrace of welcome could be explained.  A make out session in the back of the house... not so much.  "That's why I'm here, love.  To help you make the switch."


         "Please tell me you have a certain gold pocket watch still in your possession?"

         Maureen turned away from the direction of the house's windows, her back to them, and dug into the bodice of her dress, pulling the pocket watch out by its chain.  Beckett could hear a very low humming sound pulsing from it as it swung from her hand.

          "Does it always make that sound?  That humming?"

          "You hear it now too?  That's what made me find it in the first place!  I heard that noise coming from Kevin's attic.  It was driving me crazy, so I kept trying to find out where it was coming from.  It finally led me to the old dresser in the corner of the rectory attic.  It was in the bottom drawer, under a stack of old linens.  I pulled it out, and then all the hair on my arm stood up.  Next thing I know, I'm waking up here in a strange bed."  Seeing his face, she quickly added, "By myself.  I haven't even seen my husband...I mean Paul...Paul sounds all.  The children looked at me like I was crazy when I asked were he was.  Apparently, Mr. Revere takes off on a regular basis, something I'm supposed to understand.  I never was much interested in history, you know.  My Dad kept trying to get us kids to take more of a liking to the historical aspects of Boston, but only Patrick and Kevin were really very gung ho about it.  Wished I would've paid more attention considering what's happened to me."

               Beckett made note of the fact he could now hear the time piece humming.  On the day of Maureen's disappearance, he'd heard absolutely nothing, even though by Kevin's own later admission, he had heard it too.  He weighed the reasons for his new found sensitivity, and wondered if it was the Fey spell that brought him here, or his commitment to the Queen herself, that had made the change.  Whatever the explanation, it was a benefit to now be in the loop of the supernatural oddities that seemed to affect those he held dearest.

                "Anyway, since the watch was still clenched in my hand when I woke here, I assumed it must have something to do with my situation, though I've tried countless times since then to wish and pray myself back.  Nothing's worked so far.  I hope you have the missing piece I need to get back to...well...myself.  It's been a frickin' nightmare."

             "I believe I do.  But I need to explain a few things first.  In private.  The shed will work just fine.  How 'bout I see if I can get you another pail of milk while I tell you what needs to happen?"

             "You know how to milk a cow?"

              "I've had some experience with goats.  I can't imagine cows are any different."

              "Then lead the way, 'Cousin Ted', and tell me what the hell I have to do to fix this whole mess."


              Patrick's visit was an unfolding disaster.  Even if Mrs. Revere had access to a phone, cell or otherwise, she wouldn't have a clue as to what she should do with it.  They all had decided that the least she knew of life in the future, the easier it would be for her to slip back into her given life.  There seemed no good reason to expose her to the wonders of modern technology, other than indoor plumbing and electricity, which could hardly be hidden in a space the size of the apartment.  Rachel was a woman of sound judgement, and her calm, gracious nature made it easy for her to be comfortable without the things modern young people took for granted.

             She was quite content without television and the internet, finding great joy in cooking over a flame she didn't need to light herself, reading her way through Maureen's collection of Jane Austin and Charlotte Bronte, and amusing herself with a gift of sketch pad and water colors that Beckett had procured for her before he'd left.  In less than a day, she had created several beautiful drawings of birds that had landed on the tree outside the kitchen window.  Each was carefully taped to the walls, showing talent his sister never possessed, something that would immediately raise Patrick's curiosity.

           His brother could not be swayed from visiting their "sister", and as they walked the block and a half to the deli, Fr. Kevin frantically wracked his brain for some excuse he could use to postpone the inevitable.  He was still fumbling around with crutches, and his slow pace did nothing but annoy Patrick further.

           "For Christ sakes, Kevin...why didn't you just stay back at the rectory.  I'm perfectly capable of walking the ten steps to the apartment myself.  You just gotta stick your nose in everybody's business, don't ya?  Especially when it comes to Red.  She's a grown woman.  A married woman.  She doesn't need her big brother holding her hand.  She has a husband now to do that."

           "I figured I'd take this opportunity to spend some time with you too, Pat.  Hear how the family is doing...and stuff."  As the white lie slipped from his lips, he mentally mouthed a silent prayer asking for forgiveness.  Desperate times took desperate measures.

              Pat stopped in his tracks, and gave the priest the stink eye.  "Just what are you cooking up, Kev?"

              He tried hard not to blush, his lack of a poker face notorious in the family chronicles.  "Geez, Pat.  Can't a guy want to spend time with his brother without you making a federal case about it?"

             Patrick continued his stride, shaking his head.  "You are the shittiest liar I know, Father Kevin.  There's something you're not telling me about Red, and I mean to find out."

              He prayed again, this time calling on every saint known for assistance with hopeless cases.  It wasn't going to take a genius to realize something was terribly different about the sweet nature of the woman inhabiting Maureen's body.  There were a lot of wonderful adjectives one could use in describing Maureen O'Kenney Beckett, but 'sweet' was not in the collection, at least among the people who knew her well.

              It seemed one saint must have been listening to his pleas, for when they arrived at the deli, Mrs. Schiller tempted his brother into the store with a slice of fresh apple and cranberry strudel.  Pat's penchant for desserts was as well founded as Mo's ability to find trouble, leaving him a few stolen minutes to warn Mrs. Revere what was about to go down.

             Racing up the stairs, he found her seated at the table, furiously working to scrub up a dark buildup of burned gunk on the bottom of Maureen's best saute pan.  She looked up, a worried frown replacing her usual smile.  Holding up the pan in horror, she apologized,  "It appears I have ruined your sister's lovely cook pot in an attempt to fix myself some dinner.  The poor fish has gone from over done to completely ruined.  Perhaps I shouldn't have let it fry so long."

             And though it seemed totally inappropriate to use a worn out cliche at a desperate time like this, he couldn't resist.  "Mrs. Revere...I'm afraid we have bigger fish to fry."

Copyright  Victoria T. Rocus 2105
All Rights Reserved.




Saturday, April 18, 2015

Affairs of the Heart

An Important Notice to Readers...

     Although this fiction blog is illustrated with photos of dolls, and dollhouse miniatures, the language and content of the storyline is intended for an adult audience.  Please be advised.

Thank You,

The Author

A ride to the Revere's house in Ian's wagon
       She probably should have paid more attention to the stuff around her.   After all, how many people ever got the opportunity to see history as it happened.  This was Boston!  Home of the Sons of Liberty.  She should've been sucking up every damn detail, able to write some fabulous dissertation on life before Lexington and Concord.  Instead, she was practically drooling on herself, grinning like a mad man while Ian pointed out things of interest to the "deaf boy" next to him.

       At one point, he took her hands and placed them on the reins, allowing her to take lead of the horses and the wagon.  That small exchange of contact made her heart race, and the chest binding a vise squeezing the air out of her.  Get a grip, Spinelli!  He's just a guy.  A drop dead gorgeous guy, but a guy just the same.  No different from the hundreds of jerks back home.  All nice and shiny on the outside, and selfish to the core.  No need to go looking for trouble in 1775.  Plenty of that where you come from.  Besides, he thinks you're a disabled kid. A boy.  He's just being polite.  Calm yourself down girl.

       Too soon, Sawyer pulled the wagon to a stop, and turned to speak to Beckett. "Revere's place is just down there's a way.  If it's all right with you folks, I'd rather not take my wagon down this bit of road.  Spring rains have made it nearly impassable, and I'd rather not risk gettin' stuck.  You can't miss it though.  Three story.  L-shaped."   He jumped off the driver's bench, and offered a hand to the "deaf boy", allowing her one last spark of contact.

      Beckett and the man shook hands, making meaningless promises to talk again.  Roxanne looked away, composing her face into a mask of indifference, and when he patted her on the shoulder to say good bye, she stared dumbly ahead, giving no sign she understood.  He climbed back into his wagon, and continued down the road, giving them a final wave as he left.

       Roxie and Beckett stood in the road for a minute or two watching him leave, until the Sheriff abruptly turned without a word in the direction Sawyer had pointed.  She hesitated a moment, reluctant to lose sight of a dream, and then scrambled after him, fully expecting he'd have something to say.  She'd caught a few of the looks he'd given her from the back of the wagon, none of them suggesting he was even mildly amused.

        "What the hell was that about?"
        "What do you mean?"

        "You know exactly what I mean.  Those flirty, puppy dog eyes you were making at Sawyer.  Are you out of your fucking mind?"

         "I wasn't..wasn't doing any such thing.  I was just trying to look...simple.  Like you said to do."

         "Knock off the innocent act, Spinelli.  I know very well when a woman's flirting.  You were flirting.  I can't imagine what you thought you'd gain from it."

         Embarrassed, she worked to defend herself.  "That's not true.  I...I was just trying my best to act like someone lost in their own world.  I'm sorry my performance didn't meet with your damn approval, Mr. Perfect."  Once said, she immediately wished she could swallow back the words.  The tone and the attitude.  She'd known going into this it was a test of sorts.  That he would measure her ability to follow orders, and physically keep up with him.  And now, it was obvious she had failed on all levels.

         Before she could apologize, he stopped dead and turned to her.  "I'm gonna state three facts, Spinelli, and I want you to listen carefully.  Fact # 1...we are here on a mission.  Our mission is to retrieve the target, my wife, and return her to her own body.  Nothing else matters.  Not your issues, or mine. Are we clear on that?

          She could only nod, a knot growing in her throat, her cheeks hot with shame.

          "I didn't hear you.  Are we clear on that?"

          "Yes, Sir."

          "Good.  Fact #2...the less interaction we have with anyone or anything in this time period, the better.  We do not want to draw any unnecessary attention to our presence here, because doing that puts our mission at risk.  Complicates things, and I don't like things complicated.  Understand?"

           She looked away, unable to face him.  "Yes, Sir."

          "And Fact #3...Mr. Sawyer was flirting back.  Which means one thing.  He is most likely gay, and possibly a pedophile at that.  You are posing as a teenage boy.  He has no reason to believe you are anything but what we say you are.  Yet, he goes out of his way to please you.  To try and make you happy.  Think, Spinelli!  Why else would he do that?"

           That thought had been a tiny bug burrowing in the back of her head, but she had squashed it before it could take hold.  She knew a lot of gay guys.  All types.  And Ian hadn't given off those vibes.  Then again, since the time travel, she hadn't been herself.  Hadn't felt...well...right, as if part of her hadn't made the trip.  She wondered if it had anything to do with the whole "lost part of the soul" theory.

          "Is it possible Mr. Sawyer is just a nice person, Sir?"

          Beckett made a face, and shook his head.  "You really can't be that naive, can you, Deputy?  You're no simpering virgin, of that I'm sure.  And by your own admission, you've had more life experience in the seedy underworld than most people.  If you look at this logically, you'll come to the same conclusion.  And even if he is a straight guy, or even bi-sexual, if the case may be, he's from this time period, and you are not."

          "I understand, Sir."

         "I sure as hell hope so, Spinelli.  Do not make me regret bringing you along.  Please restate our mission for me."

         "Our mission, Sir, is to locate the target, and use whatever means required to return the target to her own body with minimum interaction among or with the locals."

         "That is correct, Deputy.  And we will successfully complete that mission."  He turned and walked away, leaving her to swallow her shame, disappointment and broken heart in one sour mouthful.


     Part of him felt a twinge of guilt.  She wasn't a trained operative.  Truth was, she wasn't a trained anything.  But she had shown more perseverance, more commitment than a lot of newbies he'd worked with.  Plus, she had volunteered to accompany him for purely altruistic reasons.  Part of it had to do with Kevin, for whom she obviously cared deeply.  But he had a soft spot towards her for her genuine concern over his Desert Rose.  She understood how confused Maureen would be at all that was happening, how desperate was her situation, and had offered herself up in the rescue of his wife.

     Still, that whole interaction between Roxanne and Sawyer was odd.  The colonist hadn't struck him as gay, not initially, but people had a way of hiding their true desires.  He himself was a perfect example of that. Throughout his career, he had prided himself on the ability to see beneath the surface of human masks.  It was what made him the successful operative he was.  Find the weakest link, the chink in the armor, and go in for the kill.  In Sawyer's case, he'd hadn't felt anything that set off his radar.  He appeared, as Spinelli had stated, a nice guy.

      Discussion didn't matter. It was best for all involved if they left Ian Sawyer to memory, and focused on the task at hand.  Until this moment, he hadn't let him self think about actually seeing Maureen in Rachel Revere's body.  How it might make him feel.  How he might react.  It hadn't made sense to dwell in emotions when there was cold, hard obstacles in the way.  But now that he was minutes away from facing that dilemma, he was a tad concerned, though he'd never admit it.  Not to anyone, even Maureen.

      Would he recognize her somewhere in that strange body?  Would she recognize him?  If it was the same for Maureen as it had been for the others, he'd recognize her eyes.  Once it had been pointed out to him back home, he'd been able to see the differences.  In the eyes, as well as in the gestures, the speech pattern, the little idiosyncrasies that made each human being unique.  And Rachel in Maureen's body had seemed to be able to access some of his wife's memories, something that made him more than a bit uncomfortable.  But if she held him in any distaste, she hadn't made it public, and for that he was grateful.

      Then there was that whole... intimacy thing.  Because he had the benefit of Kevin and Roxanne's experiences, he had quickly come to the realization that the woman in the flat over the deli was not  his wife.  He hadn't needed to deal with the issue of being intimate with someone who wasn't Maureen.  Mrs. Revere was safe in her modesty and faithfulness to her husband, but he wondered if it had gone the same for his wife.  In this time period, it was unlikely that a wife would not make herself available to her husband as he wished.  For her own safety...her own was likely his Desert Rose would have just submitted.  At least he hoped she had.  He hoped that she had enough common sense to do whatever it was that kept her safe and sane, knowing he would fully understand.

        The house came into view just as Sawyer had described.  He'd never paid much attention to it in modern day Boston, hadn't ever taken the tour as part of The Freedom Trail.  But seeing it there, home to Maureen for at least a few days, as well as the famous Paul Revere, gave him a new sense of admiration.  He went around to the front, and knocked at the door, preparing himself for the face of Rachel Revere, or at least a younger version.  He had researched extensively for images of Rachel as she might have been in 1775.  There were several of paintings that had been done when she was a woman of 60, but only a handful of a more youthful Mrs. Revere.  They showed a serene face with high forehead, straight, long nose, and an ample bosom.  He had tried to picture Maureen with big boobs and couldn't.  It would be interesting, to say the least.

       The door was opened by a sullen young girl of about 11, holding a squealing infant in her arms, whose lungs were healthy if high pitched wailing was proof of such things.  She looked at him with gray blue eyes, wary and apprehensive.  He plastered the most generic of smiles on his face, lest he scare the poor thing.  "Good Day, Lass.  Is Mrs. Revere at home?"

        She answered his question with a long stare, then politely asked, "Who be it, Sir, that is asking?"
No doubt Revere had schooled his children to be aware of the danger the climate of the time brought, and he respected the girl's fortitude in dealing with strangers.

       "I am Mr. Theodore Walker, Miss Revere.  Your step-mother's cousin.  From Philadelphia.  I've come to visit with the greetings and well wishes of her family in regards to her recent marriage and the birth of her child."

        The girl weighed his answer, and then, over the squealing of the infant, pointed to the back of the house.  "Ma is back there, fetching some milk."  Then without further information, the girl shut the door, and he could hear her slide the bolt in place.  Where others might have been offended at her  abrupt rudeness, Beckett was impressed.  Paul Revere was a man after his own mind, who obviously instructed his children to the dangers that might affect them, and what action to take.  As a father, he  he'd surely do the same.

          He walked over to Roxanne, whispering to her in a low voice. "You stay here.  Keep an eye out for anyone approaching the house.  If you see anyone, come get me."

          She nodded, knowing better than to ask further questions, and he turned and walked toward the back of the property.  There was a small shed, home to a large cow tied to a post.  The woman sat on a three-legged stool, her back to him, tugging at the cow's swollen udders, and spitting out a furious stream of familiar obscenities.  He felt a sudden, overwhelming sense of relief.  He'd heard those words before. Many times.  His Desert Rose had the face of an angel, all porcelain skin and auburn curls, and the language of the roughest sailor when she was frustrated or angry.

            He stopped a few feet away, not wishing to startle her, and called out, "Mrs. Revere?"  Then, needing to be sure, and unable to wait any longer he added, "Maureen?"

           The woman spun on the stool, and turned to face him.  Her eyes were wide round saucers over the long nose, and her wide mouth dropped open.  "Ted?  Ted? Oh my God...thank you it really you?" She ran toward him, flinging herself into his open arms, tipping the sloshing bucket, and covering them both in a warm, frothy bath of milk.

Rachel Walker Revere

Copyright  2015 Victoria T. Rocus
All Rights Reserved

A general note to my lovely, loyal readers...

         You might have noticed a lack of mini scene illustrations in the past few weeks.  We are in the process of a over haul decorating project here at home, that includes refinishing all the hard wood floors, and painting all the rooms.  In anticipation, all the rooms have been emptied out, and safely stored away.  That includes all nine dollhouses, and several sealed totes of mini furniture and accessories.  We still have a few more weeks of work to do.  Then, it will undoubtedly take me several weeks to put everything back in its place.  Until then, I will have to make do with old photos from previous posts, and some google images.  Hoe you'll still come back to read the story, which of course, is my passion.

As always, I appreciate the time you spend reading my humble literary endeavors.



Saturday, April 11, 2015

Green Eyes in the Green Dragon

            An Important Notice to Readers...

     Although this fiction blog is illustrated with photos of dolls, and dollhouse miniatures, the language and content of the storyline is intended for an adult audience.  Please be advised.

Thank You,

The Author

Ian Sawyer at the Green Dragon

     As a child living in the heart of Boston, her education had included an abundance of knowledge on the role the city had played in the heart of the American Revolution.  She had studied, at one grade level or another, all the key players and all the important places. But standing in front of the Green Dragon Tavern, in the flesh and in its heyday, was a whole different matter.

      The re-built pub and museum on Marshall Street, in whose embrace she had hoisted more than a few, looked nothing like the rambling barn of a building that was Beckett's destination.  She knew from history that the building itself was currently owned by the Free Masons who used the first floor as their meeting place, while the basement was home to the infamous Green Dragon, though at this time of the day, the pub was clearly without much patronage.

        Its bar keep was a portly man, whose belly hung so low over his breeches, it looked as if he could hide a wealth of Patriot secrets beneath it.  He wiped the same spot over and over again with a tattered rag, all the while keeping a wary eye on his newest clientele.  There were but three other customers in the dark, dingy place, who from all obvious clues, had been there from the night before.  One was slumped in his chair, snoring away, while a stream of drool ran a course down his chin.  The other two were awake in the barest sense of the word, staring out from red-rimmed, half-closed eyes.

        Their plan of action had been laid out on the walk to the pub.  Beckett was to be a cousin of Rachel Revere, one Theodore Walker, out of Philadelphia, and she was to be his youngest brother, Robert, a half-deaf mute of limited mental capacity.  She had been most annoyed at being characterized as such, but the Sheriff had been adamant, and the look she received in return for her complaints was enough to end them.  In thinking about it, he was probably right.  She was too tall to pass herself off as a youngster, and her voice too high pitched to be believable as an older male teen. In addition, it was their goal to show themselves as harmless family visitors, and as a gentleman farmer and his half wit brother it was felt they could do just that.

         Beckett pointed to a chair at an empty table, and Roxanne sat herself down in it, hands in lap, and did her best at looking "simple".  As was his instructions, she looked straight ahead, careful not to stare at anyone in particular, though she could feel the eyes of the drunken gentlemen resting on her back.  She strained to listen as Ted spoke to the man at the bar.  It was a shock to hear the words coming out of his mouth, as they sounded nothing like the man she knew.  How and when he had learned to speak in such a manner she wasn't sure, but the tone and inflections were different than the ones he used everyday.  There was a British accent of sorts, with an undertone she couldn't place.  Whatever he was saying appeared to be funny, as the bar keep laughed and pumped his hand in response.

        She sat in silence, taking in as much of the place as she dared.  The drunks behind her were now fully awake, raucous in their behavior and calling for additional libation.  The bar man seemed much enthralled with the conversation he was attending to with Beckett, and waved the patrons off.  This did nothing but encourage them further, and they hooted and hollered their displeasure, once calling out that the "boy" could bring them their pints.  Beckett caught her eye, and waved her over.  Once there, he gestured to her to bring the tin cups over to the gentlemen at the table behind her so he could continue his conversation.

       As an exotic dancer, she had dealt with her share of obnoxious drunks. Plenty of them.  Knew what to do, knew how to handle them.  But as "Robert", she walked slowly and carefully, staring straight ahead, a benign smile plastered on her face.  Maybe she was working too hard at being simple, as she did not notice the big guy with the messy hair stick his leg out in front of her.  Down she went, catching her head on the corner of the table, the ale spilling over her, face meeting the floor.
For several seconds she lay there in a puddle, the world fuzzy and disjointed, her head pounding, until she could feel two strong hands pull her up by the fore arms.  She expected it to be Beckett coming to her rescue, but when her vision cleared, and she wiped the ale off her face with her sleeve, she was staring into a pair of the greenest eyes she had ever seen.  Not the pale spring leaf green of Kevin's eyes.  No.  These were darker.  Much darker.  Like the soft moss on trees, almost velvet in their nature.

        "Are you alright, boy?  Can you speak?"

        Roxanne opened her mouth, then remembering who she was, where she was, closed it, instead choosing to stare back at the hottest man she had ever seen with a stupid grin that would have made the village idiot proud.  Beckett was now at her side, taking hold of her arms, and pulling her towards him.

         "My brother is a deaf-mute. Simple-minded.  I'm sure he doesn't understand what you're saying.
But I myself am very grateful for your assistance, Mr...?"

         "Ian Sawyer, Sir, at your service."

         The two men exchanged general pleasantries, while Roxanne swayed on her feet, embarrassed, aroused, and confused.  The drunks were quickly dispatched with threats to not return, and the bar keep offered a fresh round for hero and visitors alike.  The conversation turned to the hows and whys, and it was discovered that Mr. Sawyer was a neighbor of the Reveres, and would gladly give them a lift to the house on Square Street, as the boy looked in no condition to make the walk.

       With promises to return to the Green Dragon, the trio left the tavern, Mr. Sawyer insisting that the boy take the spot on the driver's bench next to him so he could see the sights of Boston, a suggestion to which Mr. Walker agreed, though the look he gave the boy was a clue that a discussion on this whole event was sure to follow when privacy permitted.  None of that mattered though, as it was hoped that what they sought would be waiting at the Revere house, and that they would return safely home before the sun set on another day.


       The fact that his brother was standing at his front door at the most inopportune of times was proof enough that the Almighty had a unique sense of humor.  Either that, or he was genuinely annoyed over Fr. Kevin's failed attempt to sacrifice part of his eternal soul to rescue his sister.  For whatever reason, Patrick's presence in Dollyville was a huge pain in the ass.

         "Nice to see you too, Kevin.  Your enthusiasm over my visit is overwhelming."  He pushed his way past the priest, and into the rectory parlor, throwing his brief case and suit coat over the sofa's arm.  He sniffed the air and made a face.  "Your place smells weird, Kev.  Like flowers.  Roses, I think.  You got a woman you're hiding in here, Father?"  He laughed over his own joke, and fell into one of the side chairs with a plop.

         It would be most interesting, Fr. Kevin thought, if I told him the truth.  That what he smelled was the remnants of a visit with a Maeve, the Queen of the Fey, and that the room he was sitting in was recently used for dark magic.  Pat grew up on the same stories about the Fey as we all did.  Would any shred of him be open to belief?  Kevin chuckled to himself in his head.  Pat?  No way.  Pat was a black and white kinda guy.  It either was, or wasn't.  There was no in-between.  No gray area.  Even though he professed to be a practicing Catholic, and even worked for the church in his capacity as lawyer, Kevin had his doubts about what his brother actually believed.  Telling him the truth about Maureen...where she was...what had happened...was out of the question.  Besides, he probably end up blaming him for it all anyway.

         "I'm sorry to sound so abrupt, Pat.  It's been crazy around here.  Too much to do.  Parish business, you know."

        "Well, that's the life of a Pastor, Kev.  Ya gotta suck it up, and get to it.  Actually, I've been hearing good things about your parish around the diocese.  Mass participation and your weekly offerings are up.  The Bishop seems pleased.  Good thing after that whole fiasco with your gardener's murder a year ago.  I for one thought you had screwed up this position royally.  But now things have quieted down, and you seem like you're holding it all together.  Pleasant surprise."

         Gee...thanks for your vote of confidence, Pat.  So nice to have the support of your loving family. You are such a jerk.   "Hmmm...thanks...I guess. still haven't explained why you're here."

         "What?  A guy can't visit his brother and sister without the third degree?  Actually,  I need to have Red sign some tax papers on the Cape Cod house.  Has she even been there yet?"

        "No.  I don't think so.  She has some...issues about that crazy woman living there in secret.  Ted told her he'd sell it and get her another place, but she doesn't even want to talk about it."

        "Well I hope to hell she doesn't sell it.  It's prime real estate.  Some of the nicest beach front on the Cape.  Have you been up there yet?    Eileen and I spent a week there about a month ago.  Brendan and Sean and their broods were there last week. It's like a slice of heaven, I tell ya.  Red's just gotta her head in the right place.  She'll see it for the wise business deal it is."

         Yeah, Pat.  'Cause everything's about a deal.  "I guess it's up to her.  After all, it was a gift to her.  I suppose she has the right to do as she pleases."

         "Red will do what's best for the family.  That's how we were raised.  How's she and Ted doing?"

        " Alright, I guess.  I don't pry."

        "Why the hell not?  You're a priest.  That's your job.  Tell people how to live the right way.  You and I both know that guy is the best thing that ever happened to Red.  He's good for her.  Keeps her on the straight and narrow.  Red needs boundaries.  She's no good without them."

          Right, Pat.  And his millions have nothing to do with anything.  You don't know the first thing about Ted Beckett.  If you did, I wonder what you'd think then?  "They'll work it out on their own.  I have no intention of butting in.  They seem happy enough to me."  Happier for sure when his wife is returned to her rightful body.  Father Almighty...please help them be successful!

         Patrick O'Kenney pushed himself out of the chair.  "No use sitting around here shootin' the shit.  I only have a few hours before my train back to Boston.  I need to see Red, visit a bit, and get this paperwork done.  She at the deli?"

         Damn!  What a mess!  If he talks to Rachel, he's gonna know for sure something's not right.  Pat's no dummy.  I gotta run interference somehow.  "As a matter of fact, Mo sprained her ankle a few days ago.  Badly. Doc wants her to rest it for a few days.  She's at home. In the flat. In bed."

         "Good.  It will give us a few uninterrupted hours to visit."

          God no!  What a disaster! "Say...what if I take a few hours off and visit with you guys?"

         "What the hell for?  You just said you're swamped.  Besides, you see Red all the time.  Let me have this one on one time, Kev.   Just me and Red."

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