Author Topic: ZARA  (Read 1737816 times)

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Offline Welsh Wench

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« on: July 10, 2011, 09:42:33 PM »

Zara Wolfe sat there in the cafe poring over her books and maps. Her brow furrowed as she fumed, "That island just appeared out of nowhere. Da was right. You just don't know what is out there till you look."
She took a sip of her tea and looked around. All sorts of vagabonds and riffraff plied their trade in the streets but no one would ever touch her. After all, she was the daughter of 'Mad' Jack Wolfe and her talent with a sword was well-known. Legend had it that her mother had bested a captain of expert swordsmanship. But that was just it.  A legend. Or so Zara was pretty sure.
The port town took on the atmosphere of the streets of Tangier or Marrakesh with its imports of silks and exotic spices. The smells in the air of coffee, cinnamon and salt air were home to Zara.
Taking a sip again, she sighed and stretched. The outdoor cafe was where she usually spent her afternoons. She told her Da that the salt air cleared her mind but in actuality it was the sights and smells that excited her. Her da always frowned but her mother understood. 'Let her be, Jack.' 'But Honour, darling...what if she meets someone?'
Her mother would giggle, "Like we met? The girl is only seventeen."
And then her father would say, 'Do you remember yourself at seventeen?'
There would always be a silence and then her mother would say, "Keep an eye on her!"

As Zara looked up, she saw some men taking stations at the entrance to the marketplace. They were dressed as  Saracens. Complete with turbans and cutlasses that looked like they could cut a forest in two. Her eyes darted from one to the other and she did a mental count. One...two...five...six.
Just then a young man walked into the cafe. He had light brown hair, blue eyes and was tall and broad of shoulder. His clothing was that of a pirate but he was well dressed for one. At least he was clean, she thought. His white shirt was of silk and showed a nice chest. Very nice, Zara noticed.
The breeches were black and his hair was held back by a red bandana. She took in the French rapier but something caught her eye.
Something she and her mother shared in common.
Great boots.

The man with the striped turban, who was obviously the leader, gave an imperceptible nod to his comrades.
They moved closer, closing ranks and cutting off any means of escape.
The pirate had ordered an ale and was unaware of the danger that was closing in on him.
Moving closer.
Zara looked and took it all in. A definite ambush was planned. Suddenly she jumped up and ran over to the young man.
"Benjamin! How dare you stand me up!"
The man turned to her and said, "I am sorry, Miss, I am afraid you have the  wrong man. I am----"
"Shut your mouth," she said between clenched teeth.
She leaned over and threw her arms around him and kissed him soundly on the lips.
"But I forgive you, Benjamin. I'm just glad you made port and now you can come home to meet Mum and Da and we can tell them our plans."
She grabbed his hand. The Saracen chief motioned them to stay their weapons.  
"Come..let's tell them right now."
"Miss, I think---"
"Will you shut UP? Bollocks!"
She edged him to the edge of the cafe wall.

"Hey! You cheating bastard!"
The Saracens looked over and a fight was breaking out. At least that is what a bottle broken in the hands of a pirate in this town signaled.
When they looked back, their quarry was gone.
And so was the girl.
She carefully pushed the wall and it swung open.
"What the....?"
She said, "Shush!'
The pseudo door opened to a back lane.
"What is this all about?"
Zara looked over at him. "You were being stalked by Arab looking men. Did you not notice?"
"Of course I noticed. My father was right on the other side of me. I was to meet him."
"Father? I saw no one. Just Uncle Josiah."
The man looked puzzled. "Uncle Josiah? My father has no nieces. Just the daughter of a friend of his who calls him that."

 Zara stopped suddenly.
"But...he IS Uncle Josiah. I've always called him that."
The young man asked, "What is your name, lassie?"
"Zara. Zara Wolfe."

The man grinned. 'I don't believe it. Is it possible? The last time I saw you, you threw a mint chocolate cookie at me. I still have a bit of a scar where the nuts hit me on the hand."
Her face flamed with embarrassment.
"You don't mean...."
He bowed low. "Phillip Briggs, at your service, Miss Wolfe!"
« Last Edit: May 18, 2012, 08:50:30 PM by Welsh Wench »
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« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2011, 10:04:27 PM »
Phillip? Uncle Josiah's Phillip?"
He grinned. "The very same. My goodness, you have grown up, Miss Wolfe!"
She felt her cheeks blush. "I'd say the same for you. How long has it been? I was...what? Five the last time I saw you?"
He put his hat back on his head. "I think so. You were stuck in a tree and Father made me climb up and get you."
"You remember that?"
"Aye, I do. Father said you were always getting in one predicament after another. Like the time you were pulled out of one of the guns and your mother spent a week getting the gunpowder out of your hair."
"I did not!"
"Well, I wondered where ye ran off to!" Josiah puffed out of breath as he came up beside them.
" 'Ello, me little scalawag!"
" 'Ello, me Uncle Josie!"
Phillip laughed. "I thought only one woman called you that!"
Zara put her hands on her hips and tossed her hair. "Who do you think I got that from?"
"AUNTIE Renee. What were those men up to?"
Philip glanced over at Briggs and he glared at him.
"You may as well tell her since she saved your neck."
Phillip sighed. "Seems I played cards with a marked deck. Alfonso who heads the 'enforcers' in this town took offense that I lightened his purse. He must have put a price on my head."
Josiah sighed. "I was about to talk to Alfonso when you took Phillip out of the picture. I must be slowing down!"
Zara gave him a hug. "Never, Uncle Josie! And if anyone could do it, you could!"
He held up his finger. "Ah-ah, scalawag! You are forgetting who still carries weight in this town."
She sighed. "Ah yes, it would be Da."
Phillip looked over at Zara and marveled at the way she had changed. Her chestnut hair with auburn highlights was almost to her waist and a mass of curls. Eyes the colour of summer skies, so like her mother. And the tilt of her nose was Honour's but the defiant tilt of the chin was definitely a Wolfe's. But was she blessed---or cursed, depending on how you looked at it and were the recipient--with her mother's temperament or her father's?
Not that there was much difference....but could she receive a double portion?
Suddenly a prediction from years ago emblazoned his memory. From a voodoo woman in a dusky little tavern called LeLoup.....
"I see a female animal and she draw close to you. Very frisky, very young. She cause you problems. But one day she save you life."

Could it be...?
Not possible.
Could it?

« Last Edit: May 21, 2012, 07:27:49 AM by Welsh Wench »
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« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2011, 08:26:27 PM »
 Josiah looked over at a tavern on the corner of the lane affronting the docks.
"I suppose I should talk to Alfonso so ye don't get your arse kicked, young man."
He held out his hand and the young man sighed. "Very well. It's all there."
Phillip handed over a pouch of gold coins.
"Please send my deepest regrets to Alfonso. What are you going to tell him?"
"That you had no idea the deck was marked. That you learned how to read a marked deck when you were on El Lobo in your formative years and subconsciously read them. When you realized the reason for your stroke of luck, you were filled with remorse and were on your way to pay back your ill-gotten gains."
"Think he will buy it?"
"Alfonso will figure it to be a lesson learned and your pockets are lighter."
To Zara, Briggs held out his hands.
"And you, little one--what are you doing in a tavern? Your father would have a fit."
She winked. "Then I guess it is best we don't tell him, do we? You know--for his sake."
Briggs pushed her hair back over her shoulder. "So like your mother you are--always quick with the reasoning and the wit."
She walked back to her table where her tea was cold and the sea birds had eaten the last of her scones.
"Bollocks!" she muttered.
Briggs burst out laughing. "I heard that."
Zara laughed too. "Old habits are hard to break. As much as Mum would try to."
She rolled up her maps."I guess I should put these away and..damn seabird! Left his mark right on the island!"
"Allow me." Phillip dipped his handkerchief in a cup of water and sponged off the offending matter.
"It's the least I can do."
"No, the least you can do is buy me a new hot tea and a scone."
She plopped herself in the seat and pushed the chair opposite her with her foot.

Briggs looked from one to the other and a wave of deja vu swept over him.
Wasn't it like this one time before in another world, another tavern? Another man and another woman...
And the result was seated there demanding a new scone.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2012, 07:28:17 AM by Welsh Wench »
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2011, 07:41:53 PM »
"Come, Phillip--time to leave."
Phillip gave his father a grin and said, "Now, I would be remiss in my manners if I didn't replace this young lady's scone, wouldn't you agree?"
Zara looked up at Phillip from under her long eyelashes, smiling demurely.
"I'm partial to the blueberry ones."

Josiah took out his bandana and began to mop his brow.
"Blueberries? Just like your mother."
"Mother and I are quite a bit alike, Da always said."
"How is your mother?" Phillip asked.
Zara took a sip of her tea.
"Doing wonderfully. She had another baby, you know. The 'Wolfe' pack, Da calls us."

Josiah put his hand on Phillip's shoulder.
"A word with you, please, son--if you don't mind, Zara? Ship's business, you know."
"Not at all, Uncle Josiah. I know how pressing things like that are."
Phillip sighed. "Oh, alright, Father."
He leaned over to Zara. "I'll be right back."

Josiah walked him out of earshot.
"Alright, what is the problem, Father?"
Josiah nodded with his chin. "There. There is the problem."
"Miss Wolfe?"
"I've seen that look on your face. The same look that got you in trouble in Havana. Remember that Count's daughter? The same look that got you in trouble with those triplets in Martinique. The same look that got you in trouble in Aruba. The same look that got you in trouble in-----"
"Alright, you made your point."
"Well, said young woman happens to be Miss Zara Wolfe. The daughter of Captain 'Mad' Jack Wolfe. The daughter of my best friend."
"You have reiterated who she is. She's a child, Father."
"Yes. A child of the female persuasion and from what I can see, she's laying a pretty good foundation to leap into womanhood. You watch your step. Friendship is one thing. Jack's daughter is another."
"I promise nothing is going to happen. I always throw the small ones back."
Phillip glanced back at her.
"I'll buy her another scone, send her on her way and meet you back at the ship. Alright? ALRIGHT? And Da, please don't give me that furrowed brow. You will clear it with Alfonso?"
"I will. Payment of your debt will lift that price on your head. The payment and then some. Penalties and interest no doubt."
"Great. But I will keep my sword and pistol handy. Just in case."
Josiah looked over and grinned. "She is a lovely little thing. Just like her mama."
He poked his finger in Phillip's chest.
"And she is my honorary niece so that makes you unofficially a-----"
"Cousin. I get it. Don't worry. Besides, I have a dinner engagement with Lenore."
Josiah looked over at Zara.
"Alright, you can catch up with your 'cousin'. But remember--I am trusting you."

Phillip made his way back to Zara.
"Everything alright with the ship?"
"Yes. Father just needed a little clarification on things."
Zara pushed her plate towards Phillip.
'Well, that was wonderful. And I thank you, Mr. Phillip Briggs. And now I must be going home."
Zara leaned over and gathered her maps but her neckline and what it afforded was not lost on Phillip.
"Da will want to see the progress I made on this map assignment he gave me."
"Map assignment?"
Rolling the maps up, she said, "Yes. Da always said that just because I am a girl, I should be able to support myself and not rely on a man for my comforts. At least material comforts," she said with a smile.
"So Da and I talked and I have an artistic talent and am good with figures and he thinks--as so do I--that being a cartographer would be a good occupation. So he pulled a few strings and called in a favor or two. I am apprenticed to Mr. Cosgrove."
She extended her hand to Phillip.
"Thank you for an exciting afternoon."
"And thank you for saving my life, as it were."
"Any time, Phillip Briggs. Any time."
Phillip watched as she put her cloak on.
"Well, I would be quite the scoundrel if I didn't see you safely home."
She gave him a dimpled smile.
"I'd like that."
« Last Edit: May 27, 2012, 09:21:43 PM by Welsh Wench »
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« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2011, 03:10:29 PM »
"Let's not go home just yet. Why don't we walk over by the dock? There is a lovely park just beyond it. I love to sit there and watch the ships come in. And I always see some that I know."
Zara gathered her maps and walked over to the cafe barrista. "Pierre, would you please hold these for me? I'll be back to pick them up later."
"Mais oui, Mademoiselle Le Loup. For you---anything!"
Zara linked her arm with Phillip's.
"Shall we go?"

"Now, then, Mr. Phillip Briggs---tell me what you have been up to since I last saw you. How long has it been? Five years?"
"I imagine about that. Mostly I have been sailing with Father."
"Whereabouts? I would love to see the world but Da is very protective. He says there is a lot of men who aren't the nicest."
"He's right. I've been overseeing the commerce side of our operations."
She looked up at him and smiled. "The legal or the illegal?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean I know all about it. I overhear Da talk to Mum about it. Late at night before they go to bed. But believe me, they do more than talk. I can only hope to find a man who loves me as much as Da loves her. And the latest proof is sleeping in MY cradle!"
Philip didn't know whether to laugh or blush. So he did both.

Coming around the bend was an old woman in a shawl. Zara said, "Wait here."
She walked over to her and hugged her. "Bonjour, Madame Hermione!"
"Ah, Mademoiselle Zara! Comment ca vas?"
"Je vais tres bien. Et vous? Permit me to introduce Monsieur Philip Briggs."
Hermione nodded cordially at Phillip.
"Est-ce que je peux prendre des sucreries pour mes frères et soeurs?"
Hermione handed over some sweet candies and Zara tucked the sack in her purse.
"Et pour les canards, s'il vous plait."
Holding the bag, she smiled at Phillip. I need to show you something. "Au revoir, Madame Hermione!"
I always buy something from her. She used to be Louis XIV's mistress, you know."
"No...but I like to imagine! we are!"

She sat down and spread her skirts, patting to the ground next to her.
"Asseyez vous, s'il vous plait, Phillip. Now we wait!"
Within a minute, a large white duck with five ducklings trailing behind sought her out.
"She had them about a week ago. Are they not precious?"
The mother duck marched up to Zara. She quickly broke off a piece of bread and handed it to the mother who took the morsel out of Zara's hand. The babies followed suit.
"Amazing! She trusts you."
Zara gave him a puzzled look. "But of course! What's not to trust?"
"Well, animals usually shy away. They must have a sense about you."
She brushed the crumbs off her skirt and stood up.
"Let's walk a bit more. It's been ages. Aunt Renee looks wonderful. It was about time Uncle Josiah made a right proper married woman of her."
"Renee is the closest thing to a mother I ever had. She always said I was her son without the snot and dirty nappies!"
Zara laughed. "Yes, but she gets that faraway look in her eyes when she holds one of Mum's babies. Like maybe she wishes it was she and the life she could have had if my mum hadn't come along."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, I think Da and Aunt Renee were once involved. I know she knew Da when they both lived in England. And she and Da have been there for each other through the years. But she and Uncle Josiah are well-suited. He grounds her and she puts the spring in his step."
"Miss Zara, is there anything you don't pontificate on?"
Zara looked thoughtful and put her finger to her lips.  Then she broke out in laughter.
"No, I guess there isn't!"
« Last Edit: May 21, 2012, 07:28:47 AM by Welsh Wench »
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« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2012, 09:25:01 PM »
"So, Phillip Briggs, what has kept you away from Barbados and visiting Maison Le Loup all these years?"
"Now wait a minute! I have been there. But you were either at school or with your friends.  But I have been in different parts of the world dispersing our sw--- I mean, our merchandise."
"Swag. I AM the daughter of Jack Wolfe, you know! But what have you been carrying lately?"
", wine, fine textiles...."
"And jewelry?"
She looked up at him. "How fascinating! Do you ever have any sapphires? I have some money saved and would be glad to purchase one from you. At market value plus a 10% finders fee."
Phillip took her hand. "If I find one worthy of you, I shall gladly give it to you in remembrance for a delightful afternoon."

Just then a large handsome lad marched up to Zara, completely ignoring Phillip.
"I have a dispute with you, Miss Wolfe."
She idly looked at her fingernails.
"And that would be.....?"
The young man held his cloak out.
"THIS! This was an expensive cloak from Paris!"
On the back was slashed a letter Z.
Zara took it by the hem and held it out.
"Why, so it was!"
"You ruined it! I demand retribution!"
 "I'm sorry but you must have snagged it on a branch."
"Excuse me, sir, but....." Phillip interjected.
"Who asked you?" the lad retorted.
Zara glanced at Phillip. "I can handle this."
She returned her attention to the lad.
"Yes, I did do it. You stood too close to me and you didn't keep your hands to yourself. No one stands that close to Zara Wolfe unless invited to. And you are not going to be drawing a map of my body unless I personally authorize and copyright it.  Be glad it was just the cloak."

He grabbed her by the arm and quick as flash, Zara reached into her bodice and whipped out a silver dagger.
"Now, Tristan, you have just one chance to leave with your nose and other body parts intact. And if you don't turn tail and leave, I'll carve my initials on you but without the benefit of a cloak. Savvy?"
He stared at her and she raised an eyebrow, mirth at the corners of her mouth.
"I don't repeat this offer. It expires in the next five minutes."
His face flushed and turning on his heel, he left.
Just as quickly as she removed the dagger, she returned it to its rightful place.
"Tsk!  Children!..... you were saying?....."
« Last Edit: May 29, 2012, 12:37:26 PM by Welsh Wench »
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« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2012, 10:42:11 AM »
Phillip stopped in his tracks.
"Zara Wolfe, do you mean to tell me that you took a sword to that man's cloak?"
She waved her hand airily.
"Oh pish tosh! What if I did? I was in a tavern--the Blue Moon, I think it was--and this big---"
"You were in a tavern?"
"No big deal, Phillip. Do you want to hear the rest of the story or not?"
He crossed his arms.

"Alright then. I was with some friends---Sally Monroe and Elizabeth Connors, I think it was--and that big oaf came over and put his hands on me. So what if I used to see him on a social level? NO ONE accosts Zara Wolfe without my permission. So I kneed him in a place he wouldn't soon forget and called him an weed puller.He had been drinking or else he would have remembered that. I decided to teach him a lesson. And a way to remember me."
"Does your father know what you are up to?"
"Up to? Up to what? I was doing him a favor by not telling my father. He would have made him into a shish kebab. He got off easy. "
Phillip chuckled. "And how did you learn the fine art of swordplay?"

Zara flashed him a smile. "My mother insists that all of her daughters learn how to defend themselves."
"Well, she had the right idea. After all she...."
Phillip broke off.
He quickly added, "After all, she has the right idea to keep her daughters safe whatever it takes in this town."

Phillip thought back to a story his friend Zach Roberts had told him once about the indominatable Honour Wolfe. They had been in a tavern in Tortuga.....

"See that man over there?"
"Which one?"
"The one with the crippled hands."
"You mean Captain Jonas Corwin of the Golden Phoenix?"
"The very one."
"What about him?"
"You know how he got his hands that way?"
"I heard he wronged a tavern doxy."
"Something like that. Seems Jonas Corwin took up with a pretty young thing for the night. She wasn't a doxy, just a mixed up young girl who was looking for love in all the wrong places. Well, the story goes--heard it from his quartermaster--that he roughed her up pretty good. So when he was sleeping it all off, she took his clothes and tossed them out the window."
Phillip just about spewed his drink across the table.
"Well, that was ingenious!"
"It was the talk of the taverns for a few years. Still is, I guess, whenever Corwin shows up. But that wasn't the end of it."
"No? What more could she do to retaliate?"
"Corwin had to make it back to his ship wrapped in a coverlet--heard it had a bunch of little flowers embroidered on it--and it was during the day. Not a farthing to his name, either. She rolled him for whatever she could find on him. Well, a few  nights later, Jonas was in the tavern, trying to ignore the snickering and what passed for good-natured ribbing.  You know these pirates, they love to stick it to each other but Jonas was in a foul mood. And he was likkered up but good. And whose path did he cross but the girl!"
"Uh oh.....I take it he got even with her. A repeat of the night before?"
"It may have been what he intended but the lass was quick on her feet too. And one thing he didn't count on."
Phillip raised an eyebrow.
"She had companions that protected her and put the hurts to his hands?"
"Oh, no, Briggs--she was armed. Whether it was adrenalin or skill that kept her alive, she gave as good as she got. Unfortunately she was losing. Hurt her pretty badly. But she did have a bit of help."
"The crew?"
"No, the wharf cat. Corwin stepped on him and he sunk his claws in his leg. That was the advantage the lass needed. She racked him and then clocked him under the chin. He was out cold and she stepped on his hands in a fit of rage. Good boots with spike heels will do that, you know. His crew found him once again under some canvas. And his hands didn't heal right. "
"So did he ever find her?"
"No. He has been looking for her ever since. Swears one day he will find her and gift the crew with her. He's been searching from the Caribbean to Cadiz. Hasn't found her. She's probably dead."
Roberts leaned back.
"Yep...when he finds her, Honour Bright will be the star on the ship's Christmas tree!"

Phillip choked on his ale.
Honour Bright.
Now known as Honour Wolfe.

And her progeny now stood next to him.

Zara linked her arm through Phillip's.
"I have a wonderful idea. My parents would love to see you. Escort me home. And stay for dinner!"

He looked at the fascinating young girl next to him. But now he was seeing her with a different view.
Not a young girl.
A young woman.

"You know, Miss Zara Wolfe, I think I would like that!"
« Last Edit: May 29, 2012, 12:39:59 PM by Welsh Wench »
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« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2012, 08:58:14 PM »
Zara and Phillip walked up the lane on the outskirts of Bridgetown. The oak trees formed a canopy. The house never failed to draw admiration from Phillip in the times he had come with his father since he was fifteen.
The Wolfes were always hospitable and had treated Phillip as one of their own. It had seemed that Jack and Honour Wolfe had never aged and were just as much enamored with each other as the first time Phillip had met them.

Zara gave Phillip's arm a gentle squeeze and leaned close to him. He could smell the delightful scent of her. Not like other women who had doused themselves in floral sachets.
No, this young girl smelled of new-mown hay and sunshine. And Philip found the scent almost sending his head reeling.

"Philip, have you not been listening to me?"
"I'm sorry...what did you say?"
She threw her head back and laughed. "Your mind must be elsewhere. I asked you if there was a special woman in your life right now?"

A wave of guilt washed over Phillip. And a face came to mind.

Ah, Lenore. Lenore with auburn hair that shone like a copper penny and mesmerizing green eyes. She was statuesque and had a well-rounded figure. Not voluptuous but she was everything that held Phillip's attention.
Lenore was a year younger than Phillip. She had just returned from living in Venice, could speak fluent Italian and French and wore the latest in fashions. And if it wasn't the latest, then Lenore could certainly start the trend.

He had met her at a social engagement at her father's house. Rarely had men of the sea--and ones with dubious connections--been invited but for some unknown reason, Phillip and his father had been invited to talk a bit of business, a bit of socializing.
The house was grandeur but it was Lenore that caught and held Phillip's attention.
The lace...the rose scent. The cascading chestnut curls of her hair.
One look and he was intrigued.

It had been about a year that Phillip had been courting her. And the prospects of a diamond ring, a manor by the edge of town and the promise of a family were plans in the works.
Yes, Lenore was a woman who held her own and rose above others.

Phillip found himself glancing at Zara on his arm and he heard his voice saying, " one in particular."

'Where did that come from?' He thought bewilderedly.
Zara smiled up at him, looking at him from under her long lashes.
"In an odd way....that pleases me, Master Briggs!"

Phillip found himself smiling. 'You've grown into quite a young lady, Miss Zara."

And all of sudden, the ring, the manor and the family plans grew a little blurry around the edges.
Maybe Lenore Culley could wait a bit.
After all, when you are the governor's daughter.........
« Last Edit: June 15, 2012, 12:46:23 PM by Welsh Wench »
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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2012, 08:48:18 PM »
"Mum! Da! I'm home!" Zara called from the foyer into the manor house. "I brought a surprise home! Can I keep him?"

From the back of the house a man's voice called out, "It had better not be another stray, you scalawag!"
"Oh, come on, Da--he is really cute!"

Phillip could feel the heat in his face rising. From the back veranda a man came out. He looked the same as Philip had met him fifteen years earlier. He took the pipe out of his mouth and a grin spread over his face.
"Well, well! I guess you can keep this one, Zara. Shall we put him up in the barn?"
Zara tapped her foot impatiently. "Oh, I don't know, Da. He can always sleep at the foot of my bed!"

Zara ran up and gave her father a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
"I ran into Phillip at the marketplace and I invited him to stay for dinner."
He noticed she altered the truth a bit....the tavern had become a vegetable market in her slightly adjusted tale.

"The more the merrier, we always say. Zara is always having someone over. Her girlfriends and the numerous young men....."
He trailed off as he noticed Zara making 'cease and desist' motions behind Phillip's back.
As Phillip turned to her, she said demurely, "School work. Always school work.  I sometimes need help finding the occasional island or two."

From the parlour came a feminine voice, "You should ask your father for help on that. He knew the Caribbean like the back of his hand."
Jack called back, "But I couldn't find a maze."
A giggle was the reply heard.

Zara took Phillip by the hand and dragged him into the parlour.
"He's no cat....but he has a cute little nose all the same, Mum!'

On a rocker sat a beautiful blonde woman. She hadn't aged at all. In her arms was a little bundle wrapped in a pink blanket.
She beamed at Phillip. "How wonderful to see you again, Phillip! You ARE staying for dinner, aren't you?"
"Well, Zara did invite me and...."
"And if she hadn't, we would have. We haven't seen you in six months. Where have you been keeping yourself?"
"Well, Father had me working on the booty....I mean, the inventory that we had um...purchased in...Jamaica. Yeah, that's it. The Jamaica one."
Honour raised her eyes to the ceiling. "Oh yes, the Jamaica one. Coffee, tea, textiles....and some of it has already replenished the Wolfe wine cellars. When Jack isn't making his own from the vineyard over by the south pasture."

Phillip stepped closer to the blanket.
"A girl, from the looks of the blanket. What is her name?"
"Jack wanted Arabella but I was able to convince him we would NOT have a child that can be called Airy-belly so we settled on Reinette."

She pulled the pink blanket back and a tiny face, flawless, yawned as she slept. Black hair crowned her head.
Honour sighed contentedly,"I never did have any bald babies!"
Zara came in with an apple and handed one to Phillip.
As she casually munched on it, she asked, "Where is everyone else?"
"The boys are on that botany trip with Uncle Duckie over in Antigua and the girls are at Aunt Megan's for the night."

Zara linked her arm in Philip's. "Then it is settled. You are staying for dinner and I won't take no for an answer!"


Zara pulled her chair closer to Phillip. Jack reached over and passed the platter of meat to Phillip.
"So, Phillp, how are things in Havana?"
"Prosperous. The unloading of.....merchandise is simple. We drop it off, arrange the price with Fernando DeCastro and collect the money. He worries about the legalities and the distribution."

All of a sudden, Phillip felt a pressure on his leg and glanced down. Zara's hand had rested on his thigh. Unfortunately, she had taken to running her finger up and down his leg. He could feel the heat rise on his ace as Zara sat here with an angelic smile on her face, a soup spoon in the other hand.
"Phillip?" Jack asked.
"Is it too warm in here?"
Zara looked at her father. "I feel fine but you know how it can get hot all of a sudden. At least that is my prediction. Phillip? Are you hot?"
Jack walked over and opened the French doors.
"There! That should cool things down somewhat."
"Not necessarily, Da---the night always gets quite sultry and steamy, as you know."
Phillip concentrated on his soup. "I'm sure things will cool down just fine."
Zara's hand kept a gentle but firm touch on Phillip's leg but suddenly he felt her foot gently run up and down his lower leg.
The only thought that went through his mind was, 'She's only seventeen?'

Honour walked in. "Renny is asleep. Now I can enjoy my meal."
She gave Zara a glance and she put both hands on the table. But her foot was still resting on Phillip's leg.

The dinner proceeded without any more incidents. Jack and Phillip talked of old friends and business deals over brandy. Zara sipped a small glass of wine.

Honour did a quick calculation. Zara was seventeen. Phillip was--how old? Twenty-six? Just about the same age difference....and she was transported back to a time when she herself was sixteen and a man named Rhys Morgan entered her life.
'This bears watching.....' she thought.


"I really  must be leaving. I have business to attend to....and thank you for dinner and a lovely evening."
"Again, Phillip--you know you are always welcome here. You are family."
Honour stood up. "The baby is asleep and I rarely have all the children gone at once so I am going to take some time for myself. Jack, are you coming?"
He got a grin on his face. "I'll be right up," he winked at Phillip.
Zara gave Phillip a knowing look.
"I'll see Phillip out as the good hostess that I am. After all, he IS my guest."

They walked out the back verandah. Zara linked her arm with his.The smell of honeysuckle was too close to be come from any vine. No, it was from Zara.

She stood close to him. "It was grand seeing you, Phillip. And I daresay we shall be seeing much more of each other."

She stood on tip toes and before Phillip knew it, her lips met his in a sweet, searching deep kiss.
As they broke away, Zara sighed, smiled and said "I'll be seeing you soon, Phillip Briggs!"
She waked back into the house without a backward glance.

Phillip stood there, not quite knowing what to do.
'Oh my God...Lenore! I should have been there two hours ago!'

But then he said out loud, "I just snogged Mad Jack's daughter!"
« Last Edit: October 03, 2012, 07:15:12 PM by Welsh Wench »
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« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2012, 12:42:53 PM »
Phillip rode up to the mansion on the hill. By the light of the moon, he took out his pocket watch and read '9:30'.
"Damn! My arse is cooked!"
With great reluctance, he walked up to the manor door. Herndon the butler answered it.
"Good evening, Herndon. I seem to be a bit late."
"To say the least, sir."
"Is she in the parlor?"
"And waiting, sir."
"Oh, bollocks, " Phillip muttered.

He opened the door and saw Lenore standing there facing the mantle.
"Close the door, Herndon."
She turned to Phillip, controlled fury marking her features.
Her cinnamon hair was piled high on her head and tendrils framed her face. She was dressed in a pale green dress with ecru lace.
Her features were finely chiseled, with high cheekbones prominent in a regal face.
"You are late. Exceedingly late."
"I know. I'm sorry."
She crossed her arms.
"Well? I'm waiting."
"For what?"
"An explanation, what else?"
"I had a business meeting that went longer than I expected."
A white lie.
"And you couldn't break away?"
"No, I couldn't. It was a merchandise inventory and once you start it, you can't stop it."
Another white lie.
"Well, it is too late to go to the consulate dinner. Father went ahead of us."
She made a very definite gesture of throwing her evening wrap and fan on the couch.

Phillip helped himself to a brandy from the sideboard. If there was one advantage--and there were many--to courting the Governor's daughter, it was that he had access to the finest brandy that money could buy. Or ships could steal.
Not that Philip didn't have his own stash of brandy. But oh, so much better when it was hassle-free.

He took a deep sip and turned to face Lenore. She sat on the settee with her hands folded.
"Do you know how embarrassing it will be to walk in at this late hour?"
"I know and I am sorry."
She pouted.
"So what shall we do, Phillip? Go in late and breach etiquette?"
She ran her finger along the arm of the settee and casually said, "Or do we make good use of the time that my father is away for the night and the servants are retired for the evening?"

Phillip sat down on the settee next to her, putting his arm around her. She leaned against him.
"I suppose it wouldn't hurt anyone if we were to take some time for ourselves now, would it?"
He gently pushed the tendril away from her face and caressed her cheek with the back of his hand.
He kissed her ear and whispered, "And the servants will be the none wiser?"
She leaned in and kissed him. "They are instructed to never wake me up before 10:00."
"Then I shall climb down the trellis before 9:00."
She laughed and stood up, taking his hand.
"I'd race you to the room but I am wearing slippers with heels."
He touched her forehead with his. "That is a race I am willing to concede."


The moonbeams shone through the floor length window. Lenore slept soundly next to Phillp but sleep eluded him.
Lenore was everything he wanted in a woman.
She came from money.
Social connections.
Class. Always high-classed.
Yet she never let him forget it.

It was her haughtiness that bothered him. The feeling of superiority over most of the residents of Bridgetown.
She was like an Arabian mare---stately and statuesque and sedate in a social setting but with a streak of restrained enthusiasm when they were alone.

He slid out of bed and walked over to the window overlooking portside.
And suddenly he found his thoughts drifting to an untamed and untried little filly.

A wild filly named Zara Wolfe.
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« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2012, 07:39:30 PM »
"Lenore? Are you awake? I need to talk to you."
Phillip jerked his head up, startled out of a sound sleep.
Lenore replied sleepily, "Tristan? What is it?"
"I need to talk to you."
Phillip started to say something but Lenore put her finger to her lips.
"What time is it?"
"Eight o'clock."
"Too early. Come back later."
"This is important."
"Who is that?" Phillip whispered.
"What is this about?" Lenore asked.
"A little tart, what else?"

Lenore rolled her eyes. "Come back in an hour. I'm just getting up."
"Make it a half hour."
"An hour and not a minute too soon or I won't see you at all."

His footsteps were heard down the hall.
"What is THAT about? Who was that?"
"My brother."
"You're brother? I don't remember meeting any brother of yours."
She stretched. "Tristan just came back from school last week. He's always having woman problems."
"So what does he expect you to do about it?"
"Well, since you have no siblings, I don't expect you to understand. But it is what we do for each other. We are there for each other. I just prefer to deal with it after I have had my morning coffee."
"Well, seeing as we are already awake and he won't be back for an hour....."
He caressed her bare shoulder.
"Please, Phillip! I mean, it is DAYLIGHT!'
He furrowed his brow. "And your point is.....?"
Lenore smacked his arm.
"Wasn't last night enough for you?"
He raised his eyebrow.
She frowned. "Obviously it wasn't. Phillip, respectable people don't do...THAT in the morning."

Phillip sighed and reached for his clothes.
"I never heard of anything so ridiculous in my life," he muttered. "Daylight. Nighttime. What difference does it make when you are"
From behind the screen, Lenore said, "If you don't know the difference in propriety then I am not going to explain it to you."
She came out from behind the screen, tying the sash of her dressing gown.
Phllip put his arms around her.
She pushed him away. "Ah ah ah! Time for you to go."
He sighed and sat down to pull his boots on.
"I guess sneaking out the back door is out of the question?"
"Of course it is, with Tristan being home. I honestly thought he would be spending the night with some doxy he would have picked up. That is his usual habit."

Phillip perched on the edge of the window sill and peered down.
"Not too far to jump, I suppose."
He swung a leg over and put his foot on the trellis.
"Ow! Damn! Why do you have all these roses growing on this trellis?"
"Because it is my favorite flower. Now GO! Tristan will be here in ten minutes and I need to make myself presentable."

Phillip climbed deftly down, avoiding as many thorns as he could with the occasional expletive. The last eight feet he jumped, landing on his feet.

He walked over to retrieve his horse who was tethered by the stables.
"And good morning to you, Bruno!"
The bay stallion gently snorted a reply.
Phillip patted him as he mounted himself onto Bruno's back.
"Come on....let's go back to Renee's to get you a decent breakfast."
As he trotted towards town, his mind was contemplating the night before.

While Lenore was..adequate, she lacked the enthusiasm that Phillip had experienced among Renee's girls. Must be due to the high-class breeding, he guessed.
Suddenly he found himself thinking of the young woman he had known since she was a baby and wondered if Zara Wolfe was a 'morning' person.
He found himself laughing embarrassingly out loud.
'Stop it, Phillip Briggs!'
But it didn't stop him from wondering.

Yes, someone as young and vivacious as Zara Wolfe would probably fall in that category.....
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 07:10:28 PM by Welsh Wench »
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« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2012, 09:35:55 PM »
"Lenore, are you finally presentable?"
She poured herself some coffee from a tea set that was on a tray.
"Yes, yes, do come in, Tristan. The door is unlocked."

"Well, it is about time. What takes you so long to get--as you say--'presentable'? One would think you were entertaining a gentleman."
Lenore smiled slightly and said, "A gentleman? Oh, perish the thought, Tristan. Now what is on your mind?"

Tristan sat down heavily on the brocade chair. Lenore frowned slightly but ignored it.
"Yes. No cream, no sugar."
"Now....what seems to be the problem in fifty words or less. I have an appointment with the seamstress at 11:00."
"It's a girl."
"So you said. And what is the problem with said girl?"

"I can't stop thinking about her. She's everything I want and nothing that Father would accept."
"A cheap doxy."
"Oh, if only it were that simple. No, this girl is...different."
"How so?"
"She wants nothing to do with me anymore."

Lenore poured his cup and handed it to him.
"Why, Tristan Culley, there are a hundred women in this God-forsaken town who would love to be with you. Courted by you. And you are pining away for a little tart?"
"Well, I wouldn't call it pining..."
"Alright, so it is not pining. So what is the trouble?"
"She's all I ever think about. All I want."
"For the moment. Have you tried the hearts and flowers routine?"
"She would see right through it."

Lenore gave an exasperated sigh. "What do you want, Tristan? Advice?"
He shrugged. "I guess I just needed to vent. She ripped my cloak."
He held his cloak out with the letter Z slashed in the back.
"Oh, dear--what brought that on?"
"Two days ago I was in the tavern. She was there with a few of her friends. I had a few ales--"
"A few?"
"Alright, so I had quite a bit. This girl and I had been seeing each other. In a fashion. I mean, I bought her dinner a few times and---"
"You thought it gave you proprietary rights to--"
"dangnubbit, Lenore! I am Christopher Culley's son! No one turns me down!"
Lenore put her hand up.
"Please! It looks like you found the one who did."
She tried to hide the mirth from her face.
"You think this is funny, Lenore?"
"Yes, I do. I think it is amusing that you can't get what you want from this girl."
She laid her hand mirror down.
"And be careful. If word gets out you failed with this girl, well.....let's just say your reputation as a great lover would never be worth the rumour it would take to dispel it."

Tristan paced the floor. " can I win her heart?"
"Her heart? Or something else? Let's face it, Tristan--once you get what you want, the only view she will have of you is you hitching your britches up over your backside as you walk out the door."

Tristan's jaw set.
Lenore sighed. "Alright, Tristan--are you talking you want to marry this girl?"
"Oh hell no!"
"Then what is the problem?"
He shrugged.
"Oh ho!" Lenore chuckled. "What you want is to have what you can't have. And once you get it, you move on. Am I right?"
"Simplified, yes."

She looked him in the eye. "Then take what you want. You are Governor Christopher Culley's son and no court in the world will convict you. You can always claimed she 'provoked' you. And the society of Barbados takes a dim view of loose women. After all, this is NOT Port Royal."
"You mean I should just...."
"Whatever you have to do to get yourself out of this mopey state. I can't stand it when you get all pouty and moody over a woman. I mean, it's embarrassing."

He grinned and kissed her on the top of the head.
"I knew I could get the right advice from my big sister."
"Right advice? Or permission to clear your conscience?"
"Is there a difference?"
"Does it matter?"

As Tristan turned to go, he asked, "By the way, how goes it with Phillip Briggs?"
She stretched her arms above her head.
"Oh....I  expect to make an announcement any day."
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« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2012, 11:12:49 PM »
Phillip traipsed through the back door.
"Well, look who decided to make an appearance!"
Renee was taking biscuits out of the oven. As she put them out to cool, Phillip reached over to take one. She slapped his hand.
"Not until you give me a kiss!"
Phillip grinned dutifully as he kissed her on the cheek.
"Where's Father?"
"Checking on the mizzenmast for El Lobo. He is readying the ship for the run to Virginia."

Phillip buttered the biscuit. "I am supposed to take that shipment out. Father said he wanted me to take it. We are set to go out in about two weeks so any repair should be good to go by then. Jack has the fire pots going all night long to cook the cane down."
"Well, Will Harkness sure came up with a fool-proof enterprise. Jack has the air of respectability but can keep his hands into a few questionable activities. I couldn't see him any other way."
"Speaking of which, guess who I ran into the other day?"
Renee poured herself some coffee and sat down with Phillip.
"Josiah told me it was Zara Wolfe. I heard she provided a distraction when Alfonso's men were closing in. Very resourceful young lady, that one."

"I hadn't seen her in five years. Back then she was nothing but knees and elbows."
"Five years of maturity brewing, son."
He poured himself some coffee and added a splash of rum.
"She's turned into a lovely young lady."
"Yes, she has." Renee's ears perked up.
"I also had dinner at Zara's invitation."
"Did you now!"

Phillip felt his face redden slightly as he remembered Zara's wandering hand under the table.
"It was nice to see her--and Jack and Honour, of course. The new baby is beautiful."
"Isn't she though?"
"And named after you."
Renee laughed. "The closest I will ever get to motherhood."
Phillip laughed and Renee reached over to lay her hand on his.
"I take that back, Phillip. You are like a son to me. I couldn't be more proud of you than if I bore you myself. Sometimes I wish I had."
Phillip reached over and kissed the top of her head.
"You are my mother by choice, Renee. Sometimes that is the best."
Renee's eyes reflected her maternal love for Phillip.
"I wouldn't have it any other way, dear."

"So how are your plans with Leona?"
"Right. Lenore."
"Well, I guess it is about time I made some concrete plans."
"And what would those be?"
"Oh....marriage. I guess I owe her that."
"Just because you have slept with her does not obligate you to marry her, Phillip."
Phillip pretended to be shocked.
"It's no secret your room was not slept in last night. Nothing new under the sun."
Phillip chewed thoughtfully. "She will make a fine wife. Social connections...she's"
Renee nodded silently. Phillip reached for a peach.
"Did you know that Zara is studying to be a cartographer?"
"No, I didn't. How admirable!"
"She's a smart one, that girl. Jack didn't want her to be dependent on any man. So she has an apprenticeship."
Renee stirred her coffee. "All the Wolfe children are destined for great things. Each are smart as a whip. And the best-looking family of children."
"Zara speaks French fluently. Did you know that? And generous. She bought sweets for her brothers and sisters the other day."

"Yes, she has grown up to be a lovely young woman."
Phillip pushed his chair in.
"Don't expect me for dinner. I have to go to a soiree at the ambassador's mansion."
"Ooh, look at you! So many social engagements!"
"Well, I have to make it up to....."
"Right. Lenore."

As he walked out of the kitchen, Renee smiled behind her coffee cup.
'For someone supposedly about to get engaged to..what's her certainly seem enchanted by Zara Wolfe, Mister Briggs!'
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« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2012, 07:10:03 PM »
"Renee! How wonderful to see you!"
Renee breezed across the verandah where Honour was sitting on a chaise with a glass of lemonade.
"Now you know I just wanted to see my little namesake!"
"Well, Jack said Bridgetown couldn't have another Renee so he thought Reinette was proper homage to you."
"And where is my little namesake?"
"She's upstairs with the nanny so I could take care of this correspondence." Honour set the paper aside.
"I'd love some.
 Renee took out a flask and added a touch of spirits to it. She raised her eyebrow.
Honour laughed.
I'd be taking some myself but Renny is only a month old."
"Jack felt that Reinette was too long for someone so small so we started calling her Renny."

Renee swirled her drink. "You and Jack pick the most unusual names. But then you have the most unusual children. And beautiful---all of them such a combination of the two of you."
"Each have their unique personalities and talents."
"As it should be."
"Speaking of children, Zara ran into Phillip in te marketplace yesterday. She invited him to dinner."
"Did she now!"
"It was wonderful to see him."
"He thinks of you and Jack as his second family."
"Renee, I can't tell you how happy I am now that you and Josiah are married."
Renee laughed. "Well, it only took ten years to get Josie to commit."
"But what a ten years it has been!"
Honour took a sip of her lemonade.
"Phillip has turned into a fine, handsome man."
"I couldn't be any prouder of him than if he was my own flesh and blood. Anne would be so proud to know how he turned out.'

Honour grew thoughtful.
"How old is Phillip now?"
"Let's see---he will be twenty-seven in a few weeks."
Honour grew silent.
"Alright, Honour Wolfe. I know that look. What is on your mind?"
"Nothing, my Aunt Fanny."
Honour shrugged. "I was just thinking. Zara turned seventeen this past March."
"The look on my daughter's, forget it."
Renee patted Honour's hand.
"Phillip has been keeping company with Lenore Culley. We expect an announcement any day."
"That is good news. Will he put down roots here?"
Renee's brow furrowed.
"Honour, are you worried about Zara and Phillip?"
"No...not really. I mean, Zara is a handful.  Always has been. She's her father's daughter."
Renee hid a smile behind her hand. "And kind of like her mother, too?"

Honour grew silent and looked out to the sea.
"I was just thinking....."
"Of a young girl from long ago and her first love?"
She nodded imperceptively.
"Some wounds never heal, Honour. But they fade into a slight scar. Only you know it is there. But it is what gives us our character. Sometimes these scars catch us a bit off guard."
"I just saw the way Zara looked at Phillip."
"Honour, she has known Phillip since she was a baby. It is just a case of hero worship. Like a big brother."
Honour brightened. "You are right."

"Honour--are you thinking Phillip is not good enough for someone who has the Conaway blood?" Renee said quietly.
"Oh heavens no, Renee! You know me better than that. After all, Zara has half pirate blood in her. It is what gives all my children the zest for life they have."

Renee patted her hand.
"Don't forget half of that zest belongs to a little girl from Wales."
"It's just that Zara is of a certain age.....I know it pains Jack to think of some young man taking his place in Zara's life."
"I have no doubt there will be a string of suitors if they haven't been already been starting to line up."
"There have been a few hanging around. But I think Zara doesn't really give them more than a passing thought. IF they aren't scared off by the notoriety of her father."

Renee gathered her things.
"I wouldn't worry about Phillip being one of them. As I said, Lenore is as good as wearing that diamond ring. Not that I really approve."
She looked at her watch.
"Oh, Lord! Look at the time! Josiah will be home for dinner soon. I must get going."
She stood up.
"Phillip will make sure that Zara won't get hurt, Honour. And she will outgrow this. After all, we do survive our first loves. Phillip is the 'older man'."
"I'm sure you are right. Might we expect you and Josiah for dinner tomorrow night?"
"You know it. I'll bring the truffles."

Renee stood outside the door of Honour's home and put her gloves on.  A smile crossed her face. She may have survived her first real love. But she never forgot it.
And here she stood on his front porch and thought briefly about a life but for a few circumstances may have been her front porch too.

She squared her shoulders and entered her carriage. Sitting back, she smiled.
"Home, Jameson. Home."
« Last Edit: November 03, 2012, 12:36:27 PM by Welsh Wench »
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« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2012, 12:35:45 PM »
Tristan closed the door behind him, adjusting his eyes to the darkness.
"Hello?" he called out.
A wizened man came from behind the curtain in the back. The man was short with a long stemmed pipe, one eye bulged.
Tristan looked around in disdain. Dusty jars were lining shelves. A vat of....something was boiling.
"Aye, can I he'p you?"
"You are the apothecarist?"
"Alright. What's in a name anyways?" the man shrugged.
"You have access and can compound elixirs and potions?"
He nodded and motioned Tristan closer.
"If you want to rid yourself of a situation, I can help. If you wish to win the affections of a young lady, I'm your man. I can restore youthful vigor and help a man with a....problem. But you are a strapping young man so I daresay that isn't the reason why you are here," he cackled.
"Do you have a potion that will render a person unconscious with no memory of what happened to them?"
The old man nodded, "Aye, that I can. Just a few drops in some wine."
"How long will the effects last?"
"Oh....three to six hours. Depends on the stature of the person. The lighter the frame, the less you need. Come into the back with me."
Tristan followed the old man to the back room where there were herbs hanging to dry, bottles of inky liquid and a few beakers, mortars and pestles."
" you want a love philter with that?"
"Oh hell no. I don't need the clinginess later. I just need to show a young lady a lesson in humility. And paybacks for a cloak ruined are deadly."

The apothecarist nodded. "This shall do the trick then."
"And no side effects?"
"Maybe just a headache."

A black cat entwined himself through Tristan's legs. Tristan jumped.
"Pay no attention to Lucifer, sir."
"So what is the best way to dose this?"
"Wine. Pour the vial into a glass of wine. Preferably claret or merlot. Something dark and sweet. It will cover up any bitterness."
He winked, "Besides, the individual will think that he/she passed out from too much spirits and the memory loss is due to that."
"Perfect. How much do I owe you?"
"Two pounds sterling, sir."
"Pricey but worth it in the end, I suppose." He fished into his pocket for the coins.
"Remember I was never here."
"Remember what, sir?"

Tristan picked up his sack and closed the shop door behind him.
He held the glass vial up to the sun, its contents glistening as white as snow in the sunlight.
"Oh, yes, Miss Zara. You won't know what hit you."
And with a smile he said, "Or remember anything else."
Show me your tan lines..and I'll show you mine!

I just want to be Layla.....


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