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.
|Mrs. Revere gets ready to meet Patrick O'Kenney|
If nothing else, Pat was consistent. If you spent enough time with him, you usually knew exactly how he'd react in any given situation, and Fr. Kevin hoped this knowledge might give him an edge in this situation. While his brother was busy sampling Mrs. Schiller's baked goods, he quickly tried to educate Rachel on the fine points of his eldest brother's personality, and a brief overview of the family hierarchy. She listened patiently to his ramblings, nodding and agreeing with his suggestions on how to limit detailed conversation.
When he finished his 5-minute tutorial, out of breath and flustered, she smiled, and tucked an errant curl behind her ear in a gesture that so mimicked Maureen it startled him. "Have no fear, Reverend. I am quite familiar with the type of man you describe. Boston of my time is filled with much of the same, be they Patriots or otherwise. I can't imagine that your brother is much different. I shall engage him as I do those back home, as good proper woman should." She squeezed his hand, and gave him a conspiratorial wink.
He wanted to warn her. Explain how Patrick had a way of making people feel small. Of putting you on the spot, and cross-examining everything you said. But there wasn't time. The door at the foot of the stairs slammed shut, and they could hear Pat's stomping hit foot hit each of the steps. He appeared at the top of them, shoving the last piece of strudel in his mouth. He chewed the remaining bite, and brushed the crumbs off his suit jacket. "That woman is a kitchen goddess. You can't find strudel like that anywhere in Boston. I keep trying to convince her to market the stuff on a wider basis. She'd make millions."
Without missing a step, he dumped his brief case on the table, and shucked the jacket off his shoulders. "Jesus...it's about a hundred degrees in here, Red. Don't you have enough sense to turn on the air." He didn't wait for an response, not expecting anyone to counter his comment. Instead he went over to Rachel, who sat in a kitchen chair, her "sprained" ankle wrapped in support bandages, propped up on the seat next to her. He leaned down and kissed her on the cheek. "How goes it, Mrs. Beckett? I see the clumsy gene has gotten to you again." He pointed to Kevin, who had positioned himself and his crutches against the kitchen sink. "Honestly, you and Kevin have some kind of strange symbiotic relationship. Always on the same wave length. You're like some kind of freaky twins, born six years apart."
He was used to Pat's caustic remarks, and after so many years, had learn to let them wash over him without a reaction. But this one cut deep in a new and strange way. It was true. He and Maureen were exceptionally close, the two youngest of eight, safety in numbers against of horde of older male siblings. They always seemed to know what the other was thinking, an emotional pipeline back and forth, even as they aged. Now, with Rachel Walker inhabiting his sister's body, he could sense nothing. Not from her, nor any connection with Momo lost in the past. It was distressing, making him feel oddly alone, and he wondered if his sister had experienced the same when he had traveled and left Fr. Murphy in his place.
"I know Kev did his damage on a run. Not much of an athlete. But you, Red? You're lighter on your feet than that. Star of the high school soccer team. What happened?"
She opened her mouth to speak, and Kevin held his breath. Would she sound like Maureen to Pat's ear? The speech pattern? The inflections?
"You are most correct, dear brother. Just a simple case of the 'clumsies'. Carrying bags up those stairs, I missed a step. Tripped and twisted my ankle Silly of me for sure, and quite embarrassing. I'd rather not relive the moment. I'd much rather hear about what's going on back home. In Boston. How are your boys?"
It was masterful in its simplicity. If Patrick had noticed the formality of her word choice, it didn't show, as he jumped right in to answer her inquiries. Despite his brother's callous killer instinct in court, he was a devoted and loving father, and his two sons were the center of his universe. He spent the next several minutes regaling them with stories of Colin's victories on the rugby and lacrosse fields, and Ian's choices for law school. Rachel was a pro at drawing out continued conversation on his favorite subject, and at least for the moment, Fr. Kevin could take a deep breath and relax.
Beckett was right. Milking a cow wasn't much different than milking a goat, a skill he had picked up years ago while on assignment in Afghanistan. With a little effort, he'd replenished the bucket lost in their reunion, though he expected he'd be smelling like sour milk with each passing hour in the hot sun. The time in the shed gave them an opportunity to catch up, and allowed him the opportunity to try and find his wife somewhere in that strange form. She had taken the existence of the Fairy Queen with more acceptance then he would have imagined, seemingly passive about the discovery. Her reaction set off a twinge of suspicion, and he wondered if there were things she was keeping from him. His mind immediately went to the "fairy ring" she had made around a strange acting Kevin, who he had later learned wasn't really Kevin, but some strange personae from the past. At the time, she had seemed convinced her actions would bring about the desired outcome, and no argument otherwise could shake her faith.
Then, there was her horrified reaction to his revelation concerning the commitment to "She Who Was All". The notion that he was now committed to serving the Fairy Queen indefinitely, in return for his ability to come retrieve her, left his wife in obvious distress.
"Oh, Ted! You have no idea what you promised! Deals with the Fey are serious contracts, not to be taken lightly."
Beckett stopped his milking, and turned to look at his wife. "And you know this how?"
Their was a faint blush to her cheeks, and she looked sideways, away from direct eye contact. It was apparent that Mrs. Revere was a worse liar than his own little darling. "I...I just know. Granny used to tell Kev and me stories all the time. From the old country, all about the Fey world. Plus, I minored in literature as an under grad. Took loads of classes on celtic lore and legend. I remember reading all over the place that it was...well...unwise to make deals with the Fey. They are notoriously bad about listing all the details upfront."
He was no fool, and had made a career out of reading people's body language. Maureen was obviously keeping something from him regarding her knowledge of the Fey world. Now was probably not a good time to press her on the matter, as the focus needed to be on returning all three of them to their rightful time and space. But he filed the information away for future retrieval, and if his wife had dealings with the fairy world, he needed to know what they were.
He changed the subject to the task at hand. "Never the less, what's done is done. We'll deal with that problem later. My only goal now is to see you and Mrs. Revere safely switched back to your own selves. To do so, we need to get you to that spot in the bank, watch in hand. Kevin and Rox swear that's all you need to do. It seems the watch needs an extra boost to transport, and there are certain spots that provide that."
"But why can't I just go back with you guys? I'm scared, Ted. What if I end up somewhere else? A new time and a new body? If I'm gonna be lost in time, I want it to be with you!"
"It doesn't work that way, love. You're tied up in this spell, Rox and I in an entirely different one. They aren't interchangeable. Or so I've been told." He'd left out the part about his being dark magic, not wishing to upset her further.
"I can't believe Roxanne was willing to risk another time travel experience, just to save my sorry ass. I know we're friends, but jeez, Ted, that's a huge sacrifice. I'm surprised Kevin didn't insist on coming."
"It's not like he didn't want to come. We felt it was best that he stay behind and take care of Mrs. Revere. The less contact she has with the future, the better for us all." He recalled that he had promised not to lie to her after the whole accident tragedy, but this was no time to be explaining to a Catholic girl who took her faith seriously that he had sacrificed part of his soul in his attempt to rescue. One did what one needed to do. Gratefully, he was saved from further interrogation and the continued need to lie by the appearance of Roxanne herself.
"Sir...we have company. A small group of Red Coats, coming up the road toward the house." he stopped and shook her head. "Wow...you know how weird that sounds?" She looked over at the woman standing next to Beckett. "Maureen? Is that really you?"
The brunette rushed to embrace her. "Oh, Roxie! It's so good to see you! You look so...so different. Like a cute, very hot, high school boy. Thank you for coming to get me. There's no way I can ever repay this debt." She pulled at the small pony tail at the back of Roxanne's neck. "Your hair! You cut your beautiful long hair?"
"It's not a big deal, Mo. It'll grow back. The Sheriff thought it best if I didn't travel as a female. Less problems that way."
"Ladies, I hate to interrupt this moving scene, but we need to deal with our visitors." He turned to Roxanne. "How many in all? On horseback, or on foot?
"Six, I think, Sir. On horseback."
"Could you see if one of them was on a large, black steed, with ribbons braided in its mane?"
"Yeah, as a matter of fact, I think the lead horse did have red ribbons woven in its hair. Why do you ask?"
"That's got to be Colonel Hollings. Rude bastard. Met him yesterday, when I first got here. He came by looking for Paul, and when I said he wasn't here, he got all pissy. Kept insisting I must know the whereabouts of my husband. I told him a good wife didn't ask after her husband's business, which just made him angrier. Worst of all, he kept talking to my chest, staring at it like a hungry dog. Totally creeped me out."
Training had taught him to view any interaction with the enemy as nonemotional business. Defuse, disarm, or irradiate as the situation called for, without the added burden of personal feelings. But the idea that this asshole had leered at his wife, in her body or not, bothered him more than he wanted to admit. He forced the feelings of hostility down, and put on his best neutral demeanor. "Well, ladies. I do think it's best we remain pleasant and calm in our dealings with Colonel Hollings.
The less attention we draw to ourselves, the better." Later, he'd think back on the details leading up to this moment, and wonder why he hadn't taken his own advice.
|Meeting Captain Hollings|
Copyright Victoria T. Rocus 2015
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