"You're goin' to ask him to go with ya?"
I nod, still sipping on imbibe. The night has dragged on for far too long
as it is, and tapping into the personal stock of the good LeBeau bourbon is
risky, but forgiveable.
Most of the time, anyways. "Aye. Twas Anton's idea."
Marie scoffs. "That burke would crawl into a privy if he thought there was
sixpence to nick."
"In fact, he has, but that's nae the point. I'm goin' to ask Remy when he
gets back this eve."
Marie eyes my mug. "When you're not reeking of his good alcohol, yah?"
"Actually." I slur a bit. Hmm, might want to ease up a bit lest I forget
the plan and spend the next night vomiting my innards out. "Actually, he
might find it an invitation to join the pisser."
I get another scoff. Since reading the letter from my brother-- and I think
she's read it more times than I've caught her-- she's burgeoning with this
sudden breath of responsible chatter. Bloody hell. "Sure it won't be
"No more than your betrayal of the native tongue to this pickneyed Southern
drawl. If ye intend to saddle my brother, or vice versa, ye might want to
lose the all pervasive 'y'all' before reaching O'Leary's. T'would be a bad
thing to clamour out in the throes of something a bit more intimate than
"Ya drank a bit more than I guessed ya for. You're talking like the
I raise the mug and take a swig, licking the froth off my lip. "To the ale
that courses through me blood."
Standing up, Marie walks behind me, takes the mug, sets it down and then
holds out a hand. I think she means to shift me away from the stock.
"Kitty, come on. We can at least get ya looking a bit more respectable if
ya intend to greet Remy with an idea and one of his bottles."
"Aye," I grin, "gussy up. I'll even put the thinner skirts on to better
convince him of my conviction of his joining me."
I'm practically being dragged out into the hall now. "I'm kiddin', Marie!
Crikey! If I intended to seduce Remy, I'd wear the strip of cloth Bella
mistakenly calls a dressing gown."
She turns us around a corner towards my room. Ooh, bed. "Now ya really are
startin' to worry me."
I giggle. "Nae, tis nae me to be worryin' about. Now Remy, if he's
anythin' the gentleman he sells his self off to be on Sundays, he'll be
passed out cold on the floor with the notion of travelin' with the lassie
head of his house."
"Get dressed and dunk your head in some water, Kitty, you've just gone and
I giggle again.
"C'est vrai, petite?"
He's speaking French again. Normally, I don't mind and I can discern some
of the key phrases, but through the cloud of ale and bourbon, he could be
reciting the Latin Mass and I'd just bob my head along. "I'm nae askin' ye
to cross the seas."
Remy frowns. For a man whose second language is English-- and not the
Queen's-- he's been doing well with my Limerick accent. until now. "So,
let me see if I un'erstand; you are wantin' me to go to New York wit' you?"
"An' your family, they won't object?"
I wave a hand. "I'm sure at least one of the clan, if nae one of my
childhood mates, still thinks me for a certified loon for leavin'. Your
presence tis minor, compared."
I get another frown. Maybe the day didn't go to well for him, or it's the
bourbon. "Cherie, is dere somethin' you're not telling me?"
Other than I've wondered what's under those britches for the entire lot of
summers I've been here? "Nothing that needs discussin' at this point. So
will ye go?"
"I'll speak to Jean-Claude and see if he can watch the plantation."
Standing up and nearly falling-- damn that lovely Southern brew-- I smile at
him and saunter close to the chair he's perching on. "Tis settled then.
I'll see if the trains are running that far north this time of the year."
"Bon." He pauses, and I think I can see it in his eyes. He's pondering
what my intentions are. Truth aside, neither of us are inclined-- when
sober anyways-- to throw aside the ingrained sense of modesty and moral for
a quick toss.
A longer toss, however, tis tempting in its own right.
"Thank ye, Remy."
His eyebrows arch. I think I'm looming over him by accident. ".de rien,
"And now, I have a stupor to sleep off before the fields are watered by my
overindulgence. If ye'll be pardoning me, I'll be off for a bit."
All he manages is a nod. At least he didnae pass out like some pillock.
My head feels like a bean sidhe has moved in and made herself a hovel next
to my brain. And ironically enough, all I can think of is a jug of water
and a good place to set my liver aside for the next round of indulgences.
If I ignore it, it may go away. Never worked on Ma, bless her now departed
soul, but she was always wiser than the younger of her survived daughters.
"Mary Katherine Anna McCleve!"
With a startled shriek, I fall out of my bed with a thump. Every child
since the dawn of civilisation has been taught that the use of their full
name means nothing but doom at the hands of some higher up bloke.
The add of the confirmation name is the real kicker, though. I didnae know
she knew it.
In this case, however, I'm going to sell Marie off to a Puritan rock farmer
for screaming for me that way.
Running in and pausing at the door, my apparent battle with the covers
enough to make her hesitate, Marie Kennedy waits until I stare at her.
Well, I think I'm staring at her. Could be one of the negroes for all the
good I can focus. "Kitty?"
"What's with the bloody wailing of my full name, Marie?"
"Ya weren't responding to me before."
"Might have somethin' to do with the faerie lodged in my skull banging out
She crosses her arms and still doesn't move. Guess I have to get myself up.
"You drank too much."
"Aye, and cut to the point. I'm nae on steady terms with the contents of my
She sighs and nods. "I heard Remy talking. Seems he's taking this trip to
New York a bit more serious than we had thought him for."
I blink and swallow. "Oh?"
"I think he was speakin' with Jean-Claude-- who'd crawl under your skirts
with a 'hullo' and a halfpenny-- and was advised to use the trip to his
"As in, an outlet to courtin'?"
She laughs. "We've been here for how long? He knows ye well enough, your
likes, your distastes. I think it's more of a consent on your part and
action on his to make the matter a done deal."
"Kitty LeBeau." I murmur, pushing off the sheets.
"He does seem like a good, long shag, doesn't he?"
I grin and try to stand, but lean back. Not just yet. Something about the
swimming vision that isnae quite compatible with walking. "Aye, but I
wouldnae say that in front of my brother if ye intend to engage him."
She waves a hand and steps in, looking around conspiratorially. "With him
on your arm, you're the one most likely to catch the complaints over mate
One sister weds English, the other French Cajun. I guess that is a bit of a
turnabout from the previous generation. "Which is why you're comin', me
good friend. You're to distract him while we settle the property and old
Marie nods. "Aye, I know, and to see my family. They'll be pleased to see
me again, but..."
"I don't know if I want to live in New York again, Kitty."
I frown. Logan's not big on changin' things, that's too true. "I dinnae
what to tell ye, but this: let's wait 'til we get there. With the threat
of vows and the presence of my..." I pause, honestly not knowing which term
is appropriate, "nephew...s, he might be a little more flexible."
"Or even more surly than usual."
I sigh. "There's that too."
[cont'd in part 9]
"To touch is to heal
To hurt is to steal
If you want to kiss the sky
Better learn how to kneel" --"Mysterious Ways," U2