Author Topic: ZARA  (Read 1721383 times)

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Offline Welsh Wench

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« Reply #75 on: August 06, 2017, 07:41:02 PM »
Honour went to the cabinet in the smaller parlor and took a bottle of Madeira.
"Here. Take this."
She also grabbed two glasses and some cheese and fruit.
"Follow me," she said to Renee.

They walked out to the back verandah and settled in.
"The baby just went down for a nap so we can have a nice visit. The French doors are open and I can hear her if she even makes a peep."
Renee settled in to her chair and kicked her shoes off. She propped her feet up on the small footstool and breathed deeply the salt air.
"I always have a sense of peace when I come here, Honour. I can see why you fell in love with this house and it is a perfect place to raise a family."
Honour poured a small glass of Madeira and a larger one for Renee.
"I still am not up to having much wine. With having the baby and all."
"Is this the last of the Wolfe pack?"
Honour leaned back and smiled. "I have no idea. I have such easy pregnancies and deliveries and it seems all Jack has to do is wink at me and....*poof* I'm standing behind a baby."
Renee laughed. "I think it took a bit more than a wink."
"Perhaps the smile later?"
They laughed.

She passed Renee the platter of fruit and cheese. "Renee, are you sorry you ever had children?"
Renee took a few grapes. "Seriously? No, I'm not. The son I inherited by marriage I couldn't love more dearly than if I actually gave birth to him. But he was past the snotty nose and diaper stage and all the kinks had been worked out. In spite of Lydia's hatred for Josiah, she did raise Phillip with manners and kindness. Sometimes I forget that he is a stepson. I see Josiah in him but he has his mother's eyes. And from what Josiah has told me, she was a wonderful person."
"I once asked Josiah when he finally realized he was in love with you."
"Do tell!"
"It was that night in your garden when you finally presented Phillip to him. He said it was almost as if Anne had pushed Phillip towards him and stood back and smiled at you. He finally could let Anne's memory rest and it was almost as if she gave Josiah her blessing to be happy again. And he truly is. I have known Josiah for years. Not as long as you but in a different context. And I've never seen him more complete."

Renee paused and tried to discreetly wipe the tear that threatened to escape her eye.
"Thank you, Honour. I know Josie loves me without reserve but it is so nice to hear someone else reaffirming it."

Honour sipped her wine. "And speaking of children and love...."
Renee stretched out her arms over her head.
"Now, were we actually talking about that in the same sentence?"
"Not really but..."
"But you have a mother's anxiety about your daughter and if she is being taken advantage of."
"Oh, I doubt Phillip would ever do that."
"Honour, sweetheart, think back to yourself at that age. What were you feeling?"
"I thought the sun rose and set in Rhys Morgan."
"So...can you fault your daughter if she has those same feelings?"
"I don't want her to get hurt. I know Phillip has engagement plans with Lenore Culley."
"Don't be too sure about that. Look, this is all confidential woman-to-woman talk and we have known each other a long time. Frankly, Honour, I consider you my best friend. Good Lord, I never thought I would say that to a woman I once regarded as an intrusion into Jack's and my relationship! But I want you to know that once you and Jack were back together, Jack and I became just close friends at that point."
"I know that, Renee. To him, you will always be Pip Woolston. And I positively adore you. Aside from my sisters--and even then---I can tell you things I won't tell anyone else. So I guess I should come right out and say it."
"Go ahead."
Honour took a deep breath. "Do you think Phillip and Zara are sleeping together?"

Renee took another sip of her wine and glanced over the rim at her best friend.
"I don't know, Honour. My head says he wouldn't be that reckless. But my heart says otherwise. Now let me ask you a question."
"Would it upset you if they are?"
"No. Yes. I don't know!"
"What does YOUR heart say?"
Honour sighed. "Who am I foollng? She's had a crush on Phillip since she was a toddler. Once in Scotland, I played a game with her. I drew pictures of people she knew. She was fascinated by the picture of Phillip and kept staring at it. When I gathered them up the next day, the one of Phillip was missing. I found it later in the tote she kept Bun-Bun. I just left it there. As far as I know she has it tucked away somewhere. So back to your original question, 'would I be upset?' "

Renee sat and waited for Honour to continue.
"No, I wouldn't say upset. I would hope they would use prudence and some self-control but..."
"But what?"
Honour laughed. "She's Jack Wolfe's daughter. At seventeen I have no claim to wrap her in wool and stick her in a nunnery. Let's just say if it happens, I wouldn't wear sackcloth and ashes. And if the inevitable has happened, at least I know the breeding of the young man."
"What about Jack?"

Honour poured herself a drink. "Jack? Jack is another story."
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Offline Welsh Wench

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« Reply #76 on: September 02, 2017, 07:59:32 PM »
Ten days later in Virginia

"Zara? Are you ready? We're about to dock."
She opened the door and stood there in a light summer dress of spring green with a parasol to match trimmed with green ribbon.
"I must say you look stunning. Will I have to fight off the local gentry lads?"
Zara adjusted her white lace gloves and smiled. "Oh, I don't think so. No one can hold a candle to you, Phillip."

And she was right. Phillip was wearing a new burgundy silk shirt that he purchased in Tortuga along with black breeches. A cavalier hat in burgundy with black feathers was perched rakishly on his head.
As they walked to the gallery, Zara hand resting on his arm, he said, "It will be nice to sleep in a bed that isn't rocking."
Zara whispered in his ear and Phillip exclaimed, "Oh, you bawdy wench!"
Her soft laughter reached the ears of Davis. He threw his spike down.
"Hey, Davis! Where are you headed off to?"
He grumbled, "To pay off a few wagers."


"Uncle Will!"
She ran up to Captain Iron Will Harknesss and gave him a big hug.
"Zara, my sunshine! How was the journey?"
"Incredible and exciting! I learned so much from Phillip and---"
Phillip cut her off and extended his hand to Will. Will clapped him on the back.
"I take it the trip itself was uneventful?"
"Well, best tell the story over a brandy."
"Later, then."

Zara laid her hand on Phillip's arm and he smiled down on her. Will raised his eyebrow and didn't say a word. She closed her parasol and she gave Phillip a kiss on the cheek.
Will said to himself, 'Damn right we will talk about it later."

From the carriage window, Zara looked out over the passing scenery. "Oh, Uncle Will! This wasn't the wilderness I pictured. You are actually civilized!'
Will leaned on his walking stick. "Yes, indeed, civilization suits us here! I will have a ball to introduce you to Virginia society. A lot of eligible young men who would love to score one dance with you and be content to die happy.
He stole a glance at Phillip who stared out the window of the carriage.

Within half an hour, the carriage pulled up to a beautiful brick manor with ivy crawling up the sides. Four white pillars held up a second story balcony. In the fields, the songs of slaves filled the air.
"Tobacco. A crop that is profitable bar none. Not to mention my rum distillery near the wharf....and here we are!"

Phillip helped Zara out of the carriage. A young black man held the reins of the horses and quickly led them away to be groomed.
Suddenly the front door opened and a tall, lightskinned black woman in a pretty calico dress greeted them.
"Mr. Will, she is just as pretty as you said she was."
She curtseyed. "I am Dilcey. I shall show you to your room."
Phillip whispered, "I will see you in a bit."

Dilcey chatted enthusiastically about the house as Zara glanced back at Philip.
Will said, "Zara looks well. Almost glowing. She certainly has grown into a beautiful young woman.. Come on, let's go into my study."
They headed to a study where the books lined the walls and framed maps decorated the other wall.
"Yes, please."
"So, Phillip....sit down. You have my molasses?"
"All set to unload."
Will looked at his walking stick. "Good, good! Now do you care to tell me what really happened?"
"What do you mean?"
"On the voyage. I know chain shot damage when I see it. And a hole from a cannonball near the upper deck. What will Jack say when he sees the damage?"
"He won't. I intend to have it fixed before we sail."
Then he sighed. "Alright. Two words. Tranquillo Mendoza."
Will raised an eyebrow. "You don't say."
"Better pour yourself a brandy and settle in."
"For this, I will pour my best."
"It started out when we hit Tortuga....."
« Last Edit: September 02, 2017, 08:01:09 PM by Welsh Wench »
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Offline Welsh Wench

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« Reply #77 on: October 06, 2017, 12:51:16 PM »
"...and I sent Tranquillo home with his crew. I hope they put him in a barrel of rum to keep him preserved by the time they get to Havana."
"This won't go well with Diego. I suppose I should be glad. I can't believe Diego is still alive."
Will tapped his leg with his walking stick.
"I have him to thank for this slight limp."
"I plan on taking the snarling wolf masthead off and replacing it with an innocuous one for the return voyage. I also paid the dock master off and we ported under the name Sea Hawk.
Will nodded.
"This won't go well with Diego. Not at all. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that old mad warlord is still alive." Will tapped his leg with his walking stick. "I have him to thank for this damned limp. I was one of the lucky ones on that occasion. Let's just say I'm happy for his loss. But you, dear lad, will need to keep a weather eye."
"It was a lesson I don't need repeated," said Phillip. "I plan on taking the wolf masthead off and replacing it with an innocuous one for the return voyage. I also paid the dock master off. We ported under the name Sea Hawk."
Will nodded. "So Jack never did put a placard on her stern, eh?"
"He never had to. No other ship has a profile quite like hers."
"Until today, according to the master of the Sea Hawk," said Will with a chuckle. "I'll see to it an appropriate one finds its way to you."
"You have my thanks," said Phillip.
"A gift for an old friend. And for the closest thing I'll ever have to a daughter."

Phillip smiled. "I know she thinks of you as a favourite uncle. I had no idea you felt so strongly about her as well."
"Zara has a way of making a lasting impression when it suits her," said Will. "It seems like only yesterday when she pulled herself up onto the couch beside me to share some treat she had. A charmer, that one."
"That she is," Phillip agreed.
"And she has a whole new set of charms now," Will continued. "She's become a fine woman."
Phillip nodded, a thoughtful smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.
"No doubt she turns the head of any man who isn't blind."
Phillip continued to nod.
"And how is your eyesight, Phillip?"
"Pardon? What?" Phillip replied. "Fine, I'd say. Why do you ask?"
"Oh, no reason. No reason at all," said Will. "Jack and Honour must have the utmost trust in you, playing courier with their eldest daughter. Not many men could take on such a burden."
"Perhaps," said Phillip. "But not many men have known her since she was a toddler. We're more like family than not."

"Ah, good!" said Will. "I'm happy to know it was easy for you to keep ship's business ahead of all else. No wonder Jack has such faith in you. Well then, I've occupied your time enough for now. I'm sure you would like to settle in and relax a bit."
"Thank you, yes. I would at that."
"Then off you pop. Up the stairs and to the right. Your room is two doors down."
"Thank you again for your hospitality, Will," said Phillip.
As he approached the door to the study, Will called  to him. "Zara's room is at the end of the hall to the left of the stairs. My apologies for the arrangement of accommodations. Those are my finest guest rooms. I hope it's no inconvenience."
Phillip put on his most charming smile. "Inconvenience? Not in the least. I hadn't given it a thought. I shall see you at dinner."

Will watched as Phillip climbed the stairs, and chuckled as the young man occasionally glanced in the direction of Zara's room as he went.
"But you're giving it plenty of thought now, I'll wager," Will said with a satisfied smile.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2017, 12:54:24 PM by Welsh Wench »
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Offline Welsh Wench

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« Reply #78 on: November 05, 2017, 10:59:40 AM »
Zara raised her head sleepily from the bed.
"Phillip? Phillip, it is past eight o'clock. Should you be back in your room?
He yawned, his voice still sleepy.
"It's alright. Will told me last night he had to get up by dawn to attend some meetiing at the town hall to discuss tariffs and importation of spirits. He will be tied up till late afternoon and said he would see us at dinner."

She rolled over to face him and traced her finger down his cheek.
"So....we have all morning. And afternoon....."
"You forget his eyes and ears are named Dilcey. I am sure she would report to Will if we didn't appear. Or if she came in to dress your hair or draw your bath and find me in here."
She kissed him.
"That tub looks like it could hold two."
He drew her to him.
"We'll never pull it off."

She sighed.
"Maybe we should go riding today. You don't have to deal with the ship, do you?"
"Not today. The ship will be ready in about a week and then Davis is going to take it up to Boston and New Amsterdam.

"Your father wants to make sure Tristan is out of the picture before we go back home so I think we are staying here about two months. Will extended the invitation indefinitely. After all, you are the granddaughter he never had and he dotes on you so."

Zara looked in the mirror as she combed her hair. "Then I definitely think the second choice for the afternoon is to go riding. Since you fear the wrath of.---"
"Miss Zara?"
She put her fingers to her lips.
"What is it, Dilcey?"
"Did you want your breakfast served in your room or would you prefer to go downstairs?"
"I'll take it downstairs."
"Alright. I'll ask Mister Phillip where he wants his breakfast too."

Phillip scrambled out of bed an reached for his breeches. Zara hastily threw his shirt at him.
"Go! Go!"
"How can I go when Dilcey is standing right there?"
"I don't know! I don't know!" Zara stood there fluttering her hands. " But Uncle Will will kill us if he finds out!"
"At the very least, he will look down his nose and say, 'I am very disappointed in the two of you."
"Is there a back door?"
"No. Only the trellis."
They both looked out the window.
"If I hold on and watch out for the thorns..."
"Phillip, NO!"
He had one foot out the window sill.
"It's not like I haven't done this before...."
"Nothing. I'll climb down and then come in through the back door. If I see Dilcey, I will tell her I was down by the stables to see what horses we want to take for the day."

He gingerly climbed down.
"Ow! OW! Damn! Imported English roses! Probaby plundered a gardener's ship...."

Zara leaned her head out the window.
"Watch out for that last...."
"Now you tell me it is leaning against the dining room window."

Phillip made his last leap. Into a rose bush.
He turned and waved to Zara.
"See you at breakfast!"

As he walked off, he picked thorns and leave out of his torn sleeves.
Phillip traded knowing smiles with Zara as he joined her at the dining table. The table was arrayed with a pot of tea, an urn of delightfully pungent coffee, a platter of small scones complete with a small bowl of lemon curd.
"I'm glad you could join me," said Zara. "I hate to eat alone."
"And I would not think of disappointing you," said Phillip.

Dilcey entered the room with a platter containing two plates. Each contained a poached egg, a hash of fried potatoes with herbs, and a portion of ham.
"For you, Miss Zara," said Dilcey as she laid the plate in fron to Zara.
She moved to the other side of the table and slid Phillip's plate into place.
"I'm glad to see you found your boots, Mister Phillip," she said with a small smile. "And your waistcoat."
Phillip's could feel his face growing hot. "Yes, well, it's not often that I can be around horses, you see. And it was such a fine morning—"
Zara pinched the bridge of her nose and shook her head, all the while trying to suppress a giggle.
"The breakfast looks lovely, Dilcey. Thank you."
"Mister Phillip, Miss Zara, enjoy your breakfast. If you need anything, just call." With that, Dilcey left the room.

Phillip and Zara dissolved into muted laughter.
"Thank you, said Phillip. "I was about to embarrass myself."
"About to?" Zara said. "I was doing damage control."

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Offline Welsh Wench

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« Reply #79 on: December 03, 2017, 08:00:36 PM »
"Damage control? What damage control?"
Will Harkness entered the room, setting  his walking cane down as he took a seat at the head of the table.
"Uncle Will! I...I thought you were at a meeting. Phillip said you would be gone till dinner."
He flipped his napkin over his lap.
"Oh...that. Well, it turns out Magistrate Wentworth took ill. Too much mead, I daresay but the official reason is intestinal upset and he didn't want any of us to come down with it. Hard to do when you are the only one imbibing. Oh...and I happened upon this in the hallway. I do wonder how it got outside your room, Phillip. There were no fresh roses delivered to your room. Or so I presume?"

Will laid the rose petals on the table along with a few stems with the thorns. A small piece of silk fabric caught on one of them.
"Yes....that. Have you taken up gardening as a hobby to pass the time away whilst you wait for new sails?"
"Well, not really...."
"Because I am certain there are much more....interesting things to pluck your interest while you are here.."

"I am sure I will find many things to do, Will."
Will took a bite of egg. "Oh, I am sure there are lots of things to uncover and hold your interest. Zara, dear, did you hurt your neck?"
Zara quickly put her hand to her neck.
"Oh...I think I bruised it when I tried to get a hatbox down from the shelf and it fell. The edge hit me on the neck."
"Do be careful. Those...hatboxes...have a way of filling up. Especially with a few things you don't really need at this time of your life. Phillip....did you try to help her get that hatbox down?"
"Well, you seem to have a matching bruise on your neck too. Oh I am sure you got it out at the stables. Dilcey said you had been out there. What are your plans today?"

"I thought Zara and I would take a couple of horses out for a ride, if you don't mind, Will."
"Of course I shant mind. The horses are there for your pleasure. Oh, and I thought I should mention that a welcoming soiree is set for tomorrow night for you and Zara to introduce you to the inner circle of Virginia society."
"That isn't really necessary, Uncle Will."
"But of course it is. I want to see how many hearts you can break in one evening, Zara. And Will, there is a particularly fetching young woman. She's Baron Culpeper's daughter Amelia. A very personable young woman. You would have quite a bit in common."
"I look forward to meeting her."

Zara shot Phillip a look that straddled irritation and jealousy. She threw her napkin down emphatically and said in a frosty tone, "I do believe I shall get dressed for riding. Captain Briggs, I shall see you in an hour down at the stables. Do we have an accord?"
"Accord? If you mean an engagement to meet, then yes, we do."

The door slammed behind her.
Will raised his eyebrow. "Good Lord, was it something I said?"
Phillip picked up a scone and buttered it. "No, she's just a bit moody at times."
"Ah...well, so it goes with the fairer sex. One finds it hard to figure them out. Unless one is married to them, so I hear. And speaking of the fairer sex, how is your dear stepmother?"
"Renee? She's doing well. She and Father are as happy as clams."
"It took him quite a while to work up the nerve to make her an honest woman."
"Best decision he ever made."

Dresser drawers were heard to slam upstairs. Will put his napkin to his lips to hide his smile.
"I do believe you are in for a hell of a ride, Phillip. Angry women do make the most interesting companions once they cool off and become compliant. Do enjoy yourself on your ride."
He gathered up the rose petals and laid them next to Phillip's hand.
"Please do watch out for the thorns. They scratch. Good thing they don't bite, too."
Show me your tan lines..and I'll show you mine!

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