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Author Topic: The Beginning (Eranil and Martee)  (Read 6021 times)

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Offline Eranil MorathimTopic starter

The Beginning (Eranil and Martee)
« on: June 07, 2011, 01:30:22 PM »
Late spring in Gairloch. The sky was a clear blue, the sun beaming down warmly. The sea breeze coming in on the docks a crisp, cool and comfortable for the workers. Gairloch was a bustling port city on the northwest coast of Scotland. Many dockworkers, sailors, and traders bustled around the area. Some were coming of ships that had just arrived, some hurrying back to their ships before they left port, still others milled around while they waited to once more disembark on their journey.

Gregory was a tall, strong young man. His 6'8" frame, while slim was well muscled. His black hair fell just past his shoulders and was tied back in a loose ponytail while he worked. He was young, still in high school, but had a strong work ethic. He often would be the first one to the docks and the last one to leave. Despite his age, the older men he worked with respected him for the work he did. He was always willing to help out, often coming to work when he didn't have to simply to help out.

Gregory was busy unloading crates from a cargo ship that had just arrived. Despite the fact that they were large and rather awkward, he was able to move them onto the cart with relative ease. He loaded up his cart and brought it into the warehouse, moving briskly though the throngs of people that passed him.

Once he returned from the warehouse and back onto the deck of the ship, Gregory took a few moments to enjoy the weather. The crisp, cool air felt revitalizing against his sweat soaked skin. his hair whipped around in the breeze a bit as he stood on the deck. Looking out across the water, Gregory saw another ship coming into port. He thought little of it as he watched it come in. He simply wanted to see where it would dock so he would know if it would be another for him to unload today.

He still bent and loaded the crates as he watched the ship come in. Every time he bent down, his sleeveless shirt clung to him thanks to the sweat of a hard day's work covering his body. His sinewy muscles rippled beneath the fabric a little every time he moved. Finally he had the cart loaded again with the last of the crates. He brought the load to the warehouse again and left the cart by the door.

Returning once more to the cargo he saw the metal bars waiting to be offloaded. He lightly hefted a couple of them and saw they were not quite as heavy as they looked. Squatting down he heaved a bundle of the beams onto his shoulder and headed off again. On his way he saw the newly arrived ship had docked nearby. He could watch the people as they came off the ship.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2012, 12:08:37 AM by Eranil Morathim »

Offline Martee

Re: The Beginning (Eranil and Martee)
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2011, 07:17:00 PM »
Cara could not stop smiling as the shoreline came into view in the distance.  For months she had fought and argued with her parents to let her take this trip - a full year in the Scottish Highlands, studying ancient dig sites under the esteemed archaeologist, Professor Gordon McKnight.  While her friends in Ireland wasted their transition year, Cara planned to soak up the local history and culture, and make contacts that would help her admission into the University in Glasgow once she finished her secondary education. It was only that final argument that caused her parents to finally relent.

It wasn’t as if she were traveling across the globe - it was only Scotland!  Just a boat ride.

A chilly boat ride.  The late spring air still held a damp chill, and Cara shoved her hands deep into the thick wool cardigan wrapped around her tall, slim frame.  The wind kept stealing locks of pale, strawberry blonde hair from the scarf on her head, and Cara eventually gave up and pulled the scarf down completely, looping it loosely around her neck instead.  It would be less windy once they disembarked at Gairloch.  The boat was so close to the port, she could see the shapes of individual people moving back and forth on the piers and between the buildings packed along the dock.  She hoped one of them was Professor McKnight.  The man was a paragon of achievement in his field, but notoriously absent-minded.

As the boat drew up to a salt-stained pier, Cara slipped through the crowd gathering on deck, eager to be among the first passengers to disembark.  Her luggage could wait, it would be taken off by the porters and stacked over by the pick-up area.

A bright smile spread across her face, reaching up to her deep, emerald green eyes.  She nearly ran down the gangplank ahead of everyone, bouncing on her toes when she reached solid land.  She couldn’t believe it - she had a whole year in Scotland!

Offline Eranil MorathimTopic starter

Re: The Beginning (Eranil and Martee)
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2011, 09:33:36 PM »
Gregory slowed his pace with the load of metal beams on his shoulder. He saw the crowd getting off the newly arrived boat. He had been wrong in thinking it was another freight ship, this was a ferry. Nothing for him to unload unless the porters needed help with the luggage.

Slowly he walked down the ramp watching his surroundings for anyone who might not be as aware as the should be on the docks. His eyes caught a glimpse of something fluttering on the breeze. When he turned his head, he saw her. The light red color that he saw was the hair of the most beautiful woman Gregory had ever seen. Her hair shone in the sun, her fair skin nearly glowing. He could see the spring in her steo as she walked along the pier.

With his attention elsewhere, Gregory nearly walked off the pier. He stopped short and quickly regained his balance though. Laughing at himself, Gregory focused himself again and set back to work unloading the ship. A couple more armloads of beams and the freighter was unloaded.

"Oy Greg, we need a hand here!!" Gregory turned and chuckled a bit. Sure enough, the porters for the ferry were calling to him. He smiled and headed over to help, brushing his long black hair out of his face as he went, though a single braid still hung from the left side of his head along his eye. "What do ye need mates?" he asked, even though he clearly saw the massive trunk they were having trouble with. "Aye, I see." He said before they could answer. He squatted down and grasped the trunk firmly buy the handles. With a great push form his legs and a strong heave with his arms, he hoisted the massive piece of luggage and carried it to the pickup area rather easily, despite walking with the load being difficult.

He set the trunk down and looked at the pickup tag. Seeing the tag read C. Conners he decided to wait and help with the luggage. He knew that no matter where it was being put it would be quite a task for most anyone else but himself. While he waited he found his steel gray eyes searching the crowd for the woman he had seen before. His eyes absently panned the pier as he searched, hoping to catch another glimpse of her.

Offline Martee

Re: The Beginning (Eranil and Martee)
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2011, 06:29:30 AM »
Cara’s brilliant smile was starting to fade as she continued to scan the small crowd at the parking lot, and continually failed to catch sight of Professor McKnight, nor his assistant, Meredith.  She wasn’t worried, even though at 16, this was the first trip she’d taken on her own.  In fact, if she hadn’t had an enormous trunk with her, Cara would likely have just phoned a cab, or taken the train to her eventual destination.

Her trunk.  She’d been out by the parking lot for a while; it would probably be wise to check and see if the boat had been unloaded.

As she approached the area where the luggage was unloaded, Cara slowed.  Her trunk was there, aye.  It was hard to miss, really.  There was someone standing next to her trunk and things - a very tall man, built slim, with a dark ponytail.  He certainly didn’t look like a Meredith.  He was facing out towards the crowd, away from her.  Cara stepped up to her trunk, keeping her eyes on the incredibly tall fellow.  A meter from her trunk she stopped-

“Well,you're a big'un, eh? What do they feed you here?" She smiled, and asked, "Would you be with the Professor, by any chance?”

Offline Eranil MorathimTopic starter

Re: The Beginning (Eranil and Martee)
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2011, 07:55:40 AM »
Gregory stood patiently beside the trunk. Watching both for the woman he had seen before as well as for the owner of this massive trunk beside him. While he stood he flagged down one of his fellow workers and explained to him what was going on.  The other man seemed not to believe Gregory and reached down to try and lift the trunk. He was barely able to make any crack of light between pier and luggage. The man set this down. looked at Gregory, Clapped him on the shoulder and walked away laughing a bit, though one couldn't be sure if it was at Gregory or at himself.

When he heard the voice, Gregory started a bit, it was a very kind, gentle voice, but I had taken him by surprise. He turned quickly and was awestruck. There she was, the woman from the ferry. The sunlight shining upon her face, her brilliant emerald green eyes sparkling as she looked at him. Gregory's breath caught in his throat for a moment. as he looked at her.

It seemed like an eternity before he found his voice and said to her with a polite smile. "Nay Ma'am I'm not a professor, I work here." He replied gesturing around the docks. "If I can help ye in any way I'd be happy to though." He added looking at her again, his steel gray irises once again locking on those emerald orbs.

Offline Martee

Re: The Beginning (Eranil and Martee)
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2011, 10:59:52 AM »
Cara was transfixed when the man turned to answer her question.  Had she known what her reaction would be when she first saw his face, she probably would not have said anything at all. She was not shy, not generally, but looking up at him, into those grey eyes - it took her breath away. He may not have been the most typically handsome man she’d ever laid eyes on, but nevertheless she could not look away.  Not until she felt the heat of a burning red blush spread across her pale cheeks.

Cara quickly dropped her gaze to her trunk, rubbing at the back of her neck, a nervous gesture.  She smiled at his response - “Ah, well, I hadn’t taken you for Professor McKnight, really.  Maybe an assistant, but that’s a no...” She didn’t lift her head, but looked back up at him, sideways, through the fall of pale red hair.  “I, uh, I’m waiting for my ride. I thought perhaps someone would be here to meet me, but I suppose I should try to call.”

She fished in the pocket of her cardigan for a moment, pulling out a heavy-looking cell phone, square and black.  Flipping it open, Cara swore under her breath at the dark display.

“Damn. Battery’s gone dead.”

Offline Eranil MorathimTopic starter

Re: The Beginning (Eranil and Martee)
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2011, 10:49:42 PM »
Gregory stood glued to the spot he stood as he watched her. His eyes taking in her whole being, not wanting to forget her face, though he doubted he could forget beauty such as hers. His normally intense eyes were now soft, but still focused with full attention and interest on the woman who stood before him. He smiled a bit as she looked down and blushed as he could feel his face reddening as well.

Gregory looked from her to the trunk a couple times before speaking again. "Aye, ye're right, though I do know of him. He's been this way a fair bit." He replied as she spoke again of the Professor. He couldn't help but wonder what as gorgeous a woman as her would be looking for an Archeologist like Professor McKnight.

When she cursed the dead battery on her phone Gregory's hand went to his pocket. "Here, use mine" he  started to say before his hand appeared, still empty. "Then again, maybe not, I must have left it at home." He finished a little sheepishly.

Still bound to help this woman he looked again into he sparkling green eyes. "I assume this trunk is yours." He started. "I'd be happy to help ye get to where ye need to go" He offered. This was supposed to be his day off anyway. "I don't live far from here, and ye can use my phone there if ye like." He finished, starting to squat down and hoist her trunk again.

Offline Martee

Re: The Beginning (Eranil and Martee)
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2011, 07:12:43 AM »
Cara’s eyes flew wide and her pulse started to pound when the man offered to take her home to use the phone.  Surely he was only offering to be friendly, and he seemed kind enough, but... No, not the best idea, Cara.  As he started to lift the trunk, she reached out without thinking, grabbing his arm.  “No, wait! What do you think you’re doing?  You’re going to hurt yourself!” She put another hand down on the top of the trunk, urging him to lower it back down to the ground.

She could not believe he was going to try and carry that trunk himself.  It weighed more than she did!  Two big men were needed to carry it onto the boat! No, she was not going to have this stranger hauling her trunk all over the Highlands while she tried to track down the professor.

She smiled up at his friendly face, beautiful eyes.  “You have my thanks for your kind offer, but I think I can find a phone here.  Would you keep an eye on my things, for a moment?  I’ll be right back...” Cara looked down and realized with some embarassment she was still gripping his arm.  Her face reddened a second time as she pulled her hand back, twisting it in her other like a small child who’s just been told not to touch. “Oh, pardon me...” came the quiet apology.

Cara backed away towards the thinning crowd, an uncertain smile on her face.  “Right back, alright then?” she called, bouncing a step and tucking a strand of hair behind her ear.  Turning away, she slipped into the crowd.  It only took her a few moments to find someone with a phone she could borrow.  A quick call confirmed the Professor had forgotten she was arriving today, but Meredith was already on the way to pick her up.  She wouldn’t have long to wait.

She made her way nervously back towards the unloading area, wondering if he would still be there waiting, and hoping he was.  At the very least, she’d need help getting that heavy trunk up into the Professor’s lorry.  Besides, she didn’t even know his name...

Offline Eranil MorathimTopic starter

Re: The Beginning (Eranil and Martee)
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2011, 08:16:42 AM »
Gregory stopped hoisting the trunk and set it back down gently as she grabbed his arm. He smiled a bit. "I hauled it from the boat myself lass." He told her with a bit of a chuckle. "But ye might be right, it would be faster to find a phone here." He agreed with her, looking around.

She headed into the crowd as she called back to him. Gregory looked back at her and nodded "Aye, I'll be here then." He said watching her as best he could through the crowd. He stood there with only his thoughts for company while he waited for the woman to return. He looked again at the tag that read C. Conners and realized he still didn't even know her name save for what information the tag gave him.

Gregory wondered if he had been too forward when he offered to carry the trunk to get her to a phone. Perhaps he had but he simply couldn't think straight at the moment and said the first thought that came to his head. He tucked his hair, save for his braid behind his ear and sat on a nearby barrel as he waited for her.

It was only a matter of moments before Gregory again caught sight of the girl's distinctive, light red hair again. He stood up again and waited to find out what was happening with her luggage. He had no problem getting it wherever it needed to go. Not only because it was part of his job, but also because he knew she wouldn't be able to heft the massive thing on her own. There was also something within him that was telling him to try to help her, to talk to her more, to at LEAST find out her name.

Offline Martee

Re: The Beginning (Eranil and Martee)
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2011, 10:38:06 AM »
He was still standing there, waiting. Watching her as she made her way back. Cara couldn't help her nerves as she made her way through the milling crowd, feeling his eyes on her. She was a little nervous, yes, but excited, too. There was something about him... She couldn't quite put her finger on it. He was certainly different - for one, she couldn't remember the last time she had to tilt her head up to look someone in the eye. At her height, most people were at or below eye-level, and the few who were taller were only so by a few inches. This man was a full foot taller, although his lanky frame did a fair job masking how strong he was. He really had carried the trunk himself. Amazing.

And then there were those smoky eyes, a color she'd never seen before. The slim braid that hung down alongside his face - she had to suppress the urge to reach up, give it a playful tug...

Cara took a deep breath, trying to stifle the thoughts that were doing nothing to quell the frenzied butterflies in her stomach. She drew up to the trunk, to him-

"See? I told you'd I'd be right back! Everything's settled - my ride should be here in a bit. Although..." Cara shrugged, unsure how to continue without seeming too forward. Her brow furrowed slighty in chagrin as she looked up at him.

"We may need a little help, with, well, my luggage. If you're not busy, that is." She looked around the dockyard - it definitely seemed like a bustling place. He probably had plenty of other things to do, and she'd wasted enough of his time already.  "If you can't, though, I understand! You've been a great help already. Thank you..." Her voice trailed off, she still did not know his name. For that matter, she hadn't offered hers, either.

"I've no manners at all! Forgive me." Cara thrust her hand out towards him, a confident, but slightly unusual gesture for a 16-year-old girl. "I'm Cara. Cara Conners."
« Last Edit: June 09, 2011, 03:35:30 PM by Martee »

Offline Eranil MorathimTopic starter

Re: The Beginning (Eranil and Martee)
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2011, 11:04:21 AM »
Gregory's eyes rested on her as she returned to where he stood with her trunk. He watched her move with a certain grace he'd never seen before. The way she walked, there was a confidence and a spring in her step that he could see. The manner in which the woman carried herself was striking to him. She seemed a bit of a spitfire, but also a very kind woman.

Gregory smiled and couldn't help but drink in those emerald orbs again as she walked back to him. "I never doubted ye would return." he said with a smile "I have your luggage after all." he added with a bit of a chuckle. before he nodded his head. "It's no trouble at all, today is actually my day off. I'd be happy to help ye."

Gregory reached out and took Cara's hand in his, nearly engulfing it as he held it gently before bending low to kiss the back of her hand. "Gregory McClellan." he said as he looked her full in the face. "It's a pleasure to meet ye Cara Conners." He finished, slowly, almost reluctantly releasing her hand from his grip.

Gregory then turn and, squatting down he positioned himself to grab the trunk and, with one great heave, was full on his feet, trunk in hands, held across his body. "Well then..." he started to say casually, as though it was no effort at all for him to carry the massive piece of luggage. "Lead the way Cara." he finished with a smile and started to follow her through the crowd. "Oy, George! I'm done for the day!" He yelled with a booming voice to one of the other dockmen before getting too far. "Apologies for that Cara, I forgot to let someone know." He said to her once the man he had called to had acknowledged and waved him away. "Now I'm free to help ye as much as ye need." He added, still smiling down at her.

Gregory felt strange, his stomach felt like it was doing back flips just being around Cara. He felt as though his mind was adrift in a thick sea of fog, yet he still was able to formulate words and not appear a babbling idiot. Not to mention he had left work to help her. Sure he didn't actually have to be there today, but he knew for a fact he would have done the same thing even if he had been scheduled today. It was clear he found her highly attractive, and he had no doubt she knew this. It didn't bother him though as long as he could stay in her company for a while.

"So if I may ask, why do ye have such a large trunk with ye?" he asked, making light conversation. It was clear she wasn't from around here, she had just arrived on a ferry, after all. She had piqued his curiosity from the moment he saw her. Now here he was walking and talking with her, the most beautiful woman Gregory had ever seen in his life. sure he was only 18, but he thought Cara was absolutely stunning.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2011, 09:42:57 PM by Eranil Morathim »

Offline Martee

Re: The Beginning (Eranil and Martee)
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2011, 12:16:38 PM »
She felt the blush spread from the top of her head to the tips of her toes when Gregory bent down to kiss her hand. She'd only meant to shake hands! Still, his chivalrous gesture certainly made for a lasting impression. Cara tried to bite back a huge, embarassed grin and failed. She couldn't turn away either, not with the way he held her eyes with his own.

"The pleasure is all mine, Gregory McClellan..." In all her life, Cara had never figured she'd ever have reason to utter those words, but standing at the dock her first day in Scotland, not only did she easily utter them, she meant every word.

She was completely enthralled, the spell broken only when Gregory lifted her heavy trunk into his arms, bidding her lead the way, as if she had any idea at all about the layout. She'd been at the Gairloch port less than 30 minutes! Still, how hard could it be to find her way back to the drive where Meredith would pull in? Hopefully not too hard, or Gregory would wear himself out... Although, he did just take the rest of the day off. Cara chewed her lip guiltily. Meredith would only be 20 minutes or so...

"You didn't have to do that", she chided, turning back towards Gregory as she led them onward towards the parking lot. "Professor McKnight's assistant will be here shortly, no more than a quarter hour or so."

"And as for that thing," She continued, nodding at the trunk in response to his question, "You can blame my mum. She insisted I bring nearly everything I own for my stay here. A year is a long time, true, but how many different things can you really wear to dig in the mud?" Cara smiled and rolled her eyes. "She just doesn't understand. I'm on my transition year, studying Archaeology and Cultural Anthropology with Professor McKnight."

For the first time since she'd laid eyes on Gregory, Cara remembered why she was in Scotland. Clapping her hands together she spun back towards him. "I'm so excited!"
« Last Edit: June 09, 2011, 03:37:53 PM by Martee »

Offline Eranil MorathimTopic starter

Re: The Beginning (Eranil and Martee)
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2011, 10:09:15 PM »
Gregory simply smiled when Cara very nearly reprimanded him for taking the rest of the day off. "It's no trouble, I told ye before I didn't even have to be here today. Though I am glad I was here today." He said looking to Cara with a twinkle in his eye.

Gregory instinctively knew the way to the main road that led to the docks and headed that way. Easily maneuvering through the crowd even with the cumbersome trunk in his hands. "Take care to stay close Cara." He said to her. "It can get a wee bit confusing around here." He wove in and out of people and around buildings, always checking to make sure Cara was nearby, be it in front, behind, or next to him. All that mattered was she was nearby and not lost wandering the docks.

Gregory nearly stopped dead in his tracks when she told him the reasoning for the trunk. His stomach lurched hard. A Year, she was going to be in Gairloch an entire year! He could hardly contain his excitement. "Well ye have chosen an wonderful place to study." He responded to her, his voice trembling a bit with excitement now, his eyes had lit up a bit more. "This area is in the former Celtic kingdom of Dal Riata." He said, trying to contain his excitement. "And my understanding is that professor McKnight is quite well learned in the study."

He couldn't help but be impressed. Cara had this look about her, her appearance almost perfect. Gregory simply couldn't picture her digging in the dirt and mud looking for ancient artifacts. The fact that she was interested in something such as that though, only served to make her even more appealing to him. That such a thing could happen was a surprise even to Gregory, he didn't think he could find any more to be enthralled with her about, and here she continued to surprise him. He couldn't help but wonder what she would tell him next.

Offline Martee

Re: The Beginning (Eranil and Martee)
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2011, 12:30:57 PM »
As soon as Gregory mentioned Professor McKnight's reputation, Cara took it as an open invitation, all but babbling about the Professor's contributions in his field. Gordon McKnight had made a life's work of piecing together the pre-christian history and way of life for the Celts, Picts, and even Vikings who had settled and lived around the Highlands centuries ago. She found it all fascinating - even though she herself was Irish, there were enough historical connections between the two islands to make it feel a bit like her own history as well. She was, however, surprised when he mentioned Dal Riata. True, it was part of the history of this area, but it was ancient history. She wasn't completely sure if he was really interested in it, or if she was being teased...

"The kingdom did reach parts of northern Ireland, you know," she answered, lifting an eyebrow. "We're not entirely ignorant back home." She followed it up with a quick wink, in case her jest wasn't clear.  They made their way fairly easily to the drive once Gregory took up the lead, and Cara was thrilled to see there wasn't a truck idling there, waiting for her. Once the trunk was set down she leaned against it, fiddling absent-mindedly with the dark, tarnished rivets running along the leather lid. Despite being so close to the road, they had left behind most of the crowd.  It suddenly seemed very quiet without the buzz and bustle of the dockyard activity all around.

She was certain he'd be able to hear the nervous pounding of her heart in the silence.

"So, Gregory McClellan..." Cara gave him a sidelong glance as she sat back on top of the trunk. "What more does the mild-mannered dockworker know of medieval Scottish overkingdoms?" She narrowed her eyes in suspicion, but couldn't completely mask the smile playing at her lips. "Or is that just a line you Scots use to lure away unsuspecting Irish girls who can't carry their own baggage?"

She wasn't normally so bold, not with a complete stranger, but Cara had noticed Gregory stealing glances at her - every time she stole one of him. In any case, Meredith could show at any moment, and Cara had no clue how far she'd be staying from the port, or even when she'd be heading back into town.

Offline Eranil MorathimTopic starter

Re: The Beginning (Eranil and Martee)
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2011, 04:03:35 PM »
Gregory couldn't help but chuckle a little. Cara knew so much about the professor it was uncanny. His smiled broadened when just made a joke at home almost at her own expense. "I knew that, but I didn't know if ye knew." He said with a grin, a playful innocent smile on his face.

Once they arrived on the main road, He set the trunk down and took a seat on a nearby empty crate that had been left there. He watched as Care fiddled with the trunk for a while. It was only know that he noticed his heart was pounding, it felt as though it was in his throat.

Gregory couldn't help but laugh loudly at her joke about a pick up line. "Well blast, now ye know my one good line." He replied with a smile before continuing. "I know bits and piece here and there." He started "For example the kingdom reached its height under the rule of Áedán mac Gabrái but shortly after his rule it's expansion was stopped." He told her, stealing glances again deep into her emerald eyes whenever he could. Something about those eyes drew him to her, he simply couldn't look away. "But ye came here to study with Professor McKnight, not me. and he could teach ye much more than I ever could anyway." He said, still unable to stop smiling as he spoke to her.

Offline Martee

Re: The Beginning (Eranil and Martee)
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2011, 06:15:14 PM »
Cara was barely listening to a word Gregory was saying.  She was far too busy enjoying the view, and it had nothing to do with the lush landscape extending in every direction.  She shrugged at him- “Oh, I don’t know.  There’s something to be said about picking up the local history from the natives.  I take it you’re from around here, eh?”  She leaned back on the trunk, propped up on her arms, staring out at the rolling hills stretching beyond the road before them.  There was a good amount of traffic, but it was still quiet and peaceful; a bit of a difference from her home in Galway.

She flipped her hair back when the wind caught it, pushing it across her face.  “What else do you do here, Gregory?” She looked over at him, sitting a bit away on a barrel.  “For fun, I mean.” She grinned at him. “Tell me what wonders await here in the charming coastal city of Gairloch! I’ll need something to do when I’m not digging through excavation sites.”

Offline Eranil MorathimTopic starter

Re: The Beginning (Eranil and Martee)
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2011, 02:16:17 PM »
"Aye I've lived here all my life." he replied. "Not to say I don't one day dream of moving on, but this is home, and I am quite happy." He said again, his gaze leaving Cara only long enough to look out across the landscape he was so familiar with. His eyes soon returned to Cara though. He wasn't sure when he would see her next so he wanted to keep her image in his mind as long as he possibly could.

"Well as I'm sure ye have gathered, I work on the docks a lot." He started to respond. "I also spend a lot of time in the forest, I have a great love for nature and spend as much time as I can outside. I plan to be in the highland games this year so I'm doing a lot of training for that too." He continued. "But enough about me, I want to know about ye. Tell me more about yourself Cara. What brought you here? what interests ye? What do ye do at home?"  He asked, eager to learn more about her.

Offline Martee

Re: The Beginning (Eranil and Martee)
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2011, 03:24:42 PM »
Cara stayed silent while Gregory talked, enjoying the sound of his voice and the accent that touched his words.  It was starting to get warm sitting there, so she pulled off the scarf and slipped out of her cardigan before pulling her knees up and wrapping her arms around them.

“What do I do?” Cara answered.  She shrugged, thinking his questions over.  “Nothing special, really.  School, going out with my girls, just the usual things.” She gave him a sly grin. “Getting into just enough trouble to have fun, but not enough to make my mum cry.  I live in the city, so there’s museums and films and all that.”

The earlier timidity was melting away, and Cara found herself looking at Gregory more than the area around them. “As for why I’m here, well, that I already mentioned.  Working with Professor McKnight will make it a bit easier when I apply to University in a few years.” She rolled her eyes and shrugged again.  “I hope.”

Another sly grin crossed her face as she looked at Gregory. “Highland games, eh?  What’s that - the Olympics in kilts instead of togas?  Sheep tossing and such?” She bit her lip to keep from laughing - she was only teasing, and didn’t want to offend him.

Offline Eranil MorathimTopic starter

Re: The Beginning (Eranil and Martee)
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2011, 03:52:16 PM »
Gregory nodded and listened as she spoke, hearing her words flow together so smoothly "Well ye couldn't have picked a better man to study with. I'm sure it will help ye in the end." He said trying to congratulate and reassure her all at the same time. He certainly wanted her to feel comfortable, as well as to not feel like she would be wasting her time here in his hometown.

Gregory tried to look affronted when she questioned him about the games but simply couldn't. Barely two seconds had passed before he let out a bellowing laugh. He wiped a tear from his eye and looked at her, his eyes shining both from both tears of laughter as well as the sun hitting his face. "do ye really not know the games?" He asked "Ye are semi close with the sheep toss." He added, still chuckling. "Aye we do wear kilts. The events are some such as the caber toss, the stone put, and the weight throw just to name a few. Perhaps ye would be interested in seeing them if ye have the time?" He asked, a bit unsure of any other way to ask her to join him without being too forward.

He knew for a fact he wanted to spend more time with Cara any chance he got., But Gregory also respected the fact that she was here for a reason and refused to impose on or hinder that reason for his own selfish gain. To be on the safe side, he figured he would invite her to different things here and there, and see when she could and couldn't join him. Perhaps dinner sometime, the games, maybe simply a walk in his beloved forest. He had plenty of possibilities in mind. But for now, time was plentiful, she had only just arrived and Gregory was going to have an entire year to spend time with her.

He brushed his hair away from his face again, this time also tucking his braid behind his ear. Though it barely stayed in place for but a moment before it again fell beside his eye. Taking his eyes from Cara for a few moments, Gregory looked up and down the street, seeing a few cars but unsure of exactly what vehicle he should be looking for.

His eyes then settled on Cara again."Do ye know where ye will be digging with the professor?" He asked. It was well known that Professor McKnight had excavation sites all along the coast. Gregory was simply curious and wondered if she would be visiting all of them, which was his thought or if the professor would only take her to a few of the closer sites.

Offline Martee

Re: The Beginning (Eranil and Martee)
« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2011, 05:57:41 PM »
She covered her mouth with the back of her hand and joined Gregory when he laughed.  Not offended, after all - that was good.  Cara’s cheeks were starting to ache from smiling so much, but she didn’t care.  The fact that Professor McKnight had forgotten about her arrival could have been a terrible start to her year-long stay, but instead was turning out to be the best part of her trip so far.

“Hmm,” she started to reply, trying to get her laughter under control, “let me think about it... A bunch of big, burly men in kilts lobbing about sticks and boulders?”  She too, wiped a few tears from her eyes. “The girls would never forgive me if I missed a spectacle like that!” She sighed, and looked directly at Gregory. All the laughter was gone from her voice, but a small smile remained as she continued, “Really, I’d love to go.  You’ll have let me know when it is.”

When he asked where they’d be studying, Cara could only shake her head. “I haven’t a clue, honestly. I suppose it will depend - on what we find, local permits, the weather, any of a dozen things.” She shrugged.  “I don’t even know where I’ll be staying, yet.”

Coming up the road behind her a small white van slowed, preparing to turn into the drive.  On the side was the blue crest of the University of Glasgow. Cara sat up as it came into view, her attention drawn from Gregory as the vehicle turned in to the lot.  Her voice was quiet, she was speaking mostly to herself as she mumbled, “I think that’s my ride...”

As it pulled up alongside the curb, a blonde girl in her mid-20’s leaned out through the window, and called over to them in a loud, American-accented voice, “Hey, are you Cara?  Gordon sent me to get you.  Sorry for the wait!”

Cara looked back at Gregory, half smiling, but with a touch of regret creasing her brow. “That must be Meredith.”

Offline Eranil MorathimTopic starter

Re: The Beginning (Eranil and Martee)
« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2011, 12:33:20 AM »
"I would be happy to have ye there. I forget exactly when they are but I'll be sure to let ye know." He said his eyes twinkling now, heart pounding with anticipation of Cara being at the games watching him. He could hardly believe his ears that she had accepted so quickly. Sure she had made a joke about it, but Gregory was quite enjoying her humor. The way she put things just made him laugh. There was something abut here, he couldn't quite put his finger on it, but he was sure there was a reason he had decided to come to work and met her today.

"I'm quite sure the professor likely has something arranged for housing for ye already and has likely forgotten to tell ye about it." He said when she told him she didn't know where she would be staying. "I believe he has quite a large manor home, though I could be wrong. So ye might be staying with him, or he may have made other arrangements for ye." He finished. He knew only a few things about Professor McKnight but the mad did have quite a reputation in the area.

Gregory turned to look up the street as Cara did the same. He felt a flush of disappointment as he saw the truck. Though he knew she would be leaving soon enough, he wished she could have been able to stay longer. "I suppose we should get your trunk loaded then." He said when the van came to a stop before them and the woman called to Cara. Gregory stood up and heaved the trunk into his arms. He set it down for a moment to open the back of the van and gently placed it inside. He then closed the door and stopped for a moment, watching Cara head for the door of the van.

"Cara wait!" Gregory called suddenly as he reached into his pocket and retrieved a pen and a scrap of paper. He quickly scrawled something down, though making sure it was legible. He then gently pressed the scrap of paper into Cara's hand. "Here, call me sometime." he said softly to her, still gently keeping her hand in his, gently lifting it to his lips and kissing it once more. "I don't believe in love at first sight, so I'll need to be seeing ye again soon." he said he said with a smile as he lowered her hand and raised his head to once more lose himself in her wonderful green irises once more.

He Helped her into the van and stood beside it as she got herself situated. Despite the fact that he was upset she was leaving, still he smiled. He knew today was already a wonderful day and nothing would diminish it.

Offline Martee

Re: The Beginning (Eranil and Martee)
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2011, 04:57:01 PM »
She felt so torn as Gregory easily loaded the trunk into the back of the van.  Cara was excited to get settled in to her home for the next year, but the excitement was tempered significantly now that her time with Gregory was cut short.  She felt like she’d known him forever, despite the nervous anticipation that bubbled up inside her every time she looked at him.  He was so easy to talk to, and disarmingly charming.

She was tossing her cardigan into the front seat when she heard him call out for her to wait - as if she’d leave without saying good-bye!  Cara turned back towards him, a rueful look on her face.  But as she opened her mouth to speak, he surprised her, taking her hand in his own and handing her something - his phone number, apparently.  Once again, she felt her cheeks redden, although it would save her from the embarrassment of having to seek him out where he worked, in front of all the other dockworkers.

Gregory’s next comment, as he lifted her hand to his lips, left her entirely speechless.  Cara could only nod, mutely, as he looked into her eyes and smiled.  She squeezed his hand and returned the smile, as well as she could manage in her current state. 

Meredith stayed quiet as Cara climbed into the front seat.  Gregory had stepped back from the door as the lorry shifted into gear, but Cara put a hand on Meredith’s arm, begging her to stop the vehicle. “No, wait.  Don’t go yet!” She leaned out the window, the height of the lorry bringing her face up nearly to Gregory’s.  “Hey, I didn’t get a chance to thank you.” Her heart was pounding as she gave him a quick, light kiss on his cheek, before falling back into her seat. Cara gave him a shy glance. “Thank you, Gregory McClellan, for the warm welcome.”  She lifted a hand and waved as Meredith pulled back out onto the road.

She watched him in the mirror until Meredith started to talk - “That your boyfriend?”  Cara turned then, startled and more than a little embarrassed.  “Uh, no,” she replied with a smile. “Well, not yet.”  The woman driving was several years older than Cara, with long, blonde hair pulled back in a messy ponytail, and warm, friendly brown eyes. She had a smirk on her face her she looked sideways at Cara.

“You know, when I come in from the airport, I usually just give the the luggage guys a couple of Euros.”  Meredith looked back at the road and shrugged.  “Maybe I’ll try your way next time, looks a hell of a lot more fun.  Anyway, welcome to Scotland. I’m Meredith Banks. I’ll be here through next spring, working on my thesis with Gordon.  You’re in High School, huh? Or, whatever it is they call it in Ireland.”

Cara grinned and nodded.  She liked Meredith already. 

“Anyway, sorry again about the wait - although you look like you made the best of it,” Meredith went on, her lips twisting back into a smirk.  “We’ll be at the house soon, and get you settled in.  Don’t worry, we’re close enough to the main part of Gairloch that you can walk there.  And we’re not heading out into the field for about a week, so you’ll have plenty of time to see Romeo again. “

Offline Eranil MorathimTopic starter

Re: The Beginning (Eranil and Martee)
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2011, 11:25:01 PM »
Gregory grinned inwardly to himself as he saw Cara blush. He knew that was one of the cleverer phrases he had ever used before and was glad of his timing. Though he knew it may be a few days, he was already looking forward to seeing Cara again. He felt himself drawn to her. Her wit, her beauty, her intelligence. Gregory could not think of a single flaw with the woman he'd met only a few minutes before. Everything about her was perfect to him.

This time, It was Gregory's turn to blush deeply. As he stood by the van seeing her off, Cara leaned out and kissed him on the cheek to thank him. Gregory's face instantly flushed a deep, crimson red and he smiled and shrugged shuffling his feet in the dirt a little. "It was really no problem Cara, I was glad to do it." he said, slowly looking back up at her, his face still red.

He stood on the side of the road and waved as he watched the van drive away. Watching until he could no longer see it anymore. He watched for a few more moments, half hoping she would have forgotten something and would have to return to the dock. Though he knew full well she had had everything with her in the trunk he had loaded for her. Finally we set off for home, a new found spring in his step. He whistled a cheerful, nameless tune as he strode down the street.

Soon he had arrived home. He pushed the door open and, bending over a bit stepped inside. "Ma! Da! I'm done with work, I'm going to the forest." He called as he walked into his room and changed into clean clothes. He pulled on a sleeveless shirt and a pair of old jeans. He then grabbed his phone and checked it in slight anticipation. Though he was sure she wouldn't have called him yet, he still hoped to see and unfamiliar number that may be hers. He saw nothing and chuckled to himself before stuffing the phone into his pocket.

Gregory then walked out into the main room and saw his parents sitting there. He kissed his mother lightly on his cheek and clapped his father on the back. "I'll be home later, going to the forest for a while." He said "Alright dear, be careful" His mother said smiling back at him. She saw the twinkle still in Gregory's eyes but said nothing. She simply smiled at him as he headed out the door. "Have a good time lad." His father said, patting his arm. "I will" He said to both of them as he walked out the door.

Gregory casually strolled through town, still whistling as he walked. He soon found himself walking amongst a thick growth of trees. He found his mind wandering as much as his feet as he walked. He found himself back at the docks, reliving his meeting with Cara.

Gregory smiled to himself as he came to a familiar clearing. It was set up as a training ground, though a natural one. Everything was made of mainly wood and rock. He strode to a long, thick branch that rested on a pair of cross beams that He had driven into the ground himself. Positioning himself in a squatting position beneath the thick, heavy piece of would he placed it on his shoulders and wrapped his arms around the back and over the branch. He let out a quick, heavy breath and stood up, bringing the wood with him. He did a few squats and then ran laps around the clearing, breathing steadily the whole time. He then returned to where he had started and replaced the branch where it had rested before.

He then walked to a pile of rocks of various sizes. He hoisted one onto his shoulder and positioned it like a shot put. Turning his body in a steady motion a few times before he coiled his body back and sprang forward, releasing the stone. The stone flew through the air and landed on the ground with a heavy thud. Gregory surveyed the distance it had flown before grabbing a heavier looking stone and repeating the motion. He looked this time and saw they had flown about the same distance. "Going to have to work on that a bit." he said to himself. Not completely satisfied with the results.

Gregory finished his training with some caber toss practice, inclined push ups, and weighted sit ups before he called it a day. He then walked to a wide area in a nearby brook and took his shirt off and wading in to rinse himself off.

A smile still on his face Gregory strolled back onto town and walked along the streets for a while. He found himself gazing in the direction of professor McKnight's manor a few times and again chuckled at himself. "Ye'd better calm yourself lad, this is bordering on obsession." he told himself laughing inwardly.

When the moon started to rise Gregory made his way home. He walked in and saw that his mother had left supper on the table for him. His parents were gone. His father had a show tonight. Gregory at the food left on the table before he went upstairs. He laid down on his bed and stared out his window at the stars smiling to himself and thinking of Cara. 

Offline Martee

Re: The Beginning (Eranil and Martee)
« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2011, 11:49:13 AM »
The ride up the coast to Gordon McKnight’s manor house went by quickly, mostly due to Meredith’s endless high-speed stream of information about the area, what’d they be doing, and really, pretty much any other subject that happened to come up.  Every once in a while she’d use a word or phrase that Cara was unfamiliar with, and coupled with Meredith’s rapid-fire way of speaking and accent, it wasn’t always easy to follow. However, it seemed that the Professor’s rules were fairly simple and easy to follow: Take good care in your work and responsibilities, be back in the house by 10 during the week, no drinking or drugs, and pick up after yourself.  There were a few other rules for when they were out at the dig sites, but more or less that was the gist of things.  Easy enough, and actually, a lot less restrictive than the rules she had back home.  Since Cara was still a minor, Meredith would serve as a chaperone/guardian when they were out or Professor McKnight wasn’t around.

The Professor’s house in Gairloch was actually quite impressive, and had been used for many years as a bed and breakfast before it went up for sale and was purchased by Gordon McKnight.  Now he used it as a base of operations during his field work in the Highlands, or as a holiday home when he was lecturing and teaching at the University in Glasgow.  It wasn’t the most ideally situated home base for what he was doing, but according to Meredith, he’d fallen in love with the western coast line years before, and this was the best property to come available when he was looking to buy.

All of the front rooms along the two-story façade looked out on the water of Gair Loch, and the coastline of the Isle of Skye further out along the horizon. At the back of the house, the view was of rolling hills and green as far as the eye could see, dotted here and there with small shapes that could be herds of sheep.  Cara would have her own room on the second floor, with a private bath and tiny balcony, and Meredith would be across the hall.  Gordon kept a suite of rooms at the other end of the house.  The downstairs consisted of a common room, a small rec room, the dining room, a library, and the kitchen & wash rooms.  Cara and Meredith were responsible for cleaning their own rooms and laundry, but the professor had a domestic come in during the week to straighten up and help prepare mid-day meals.  For dinner, the three of them would have to fend for themselves and share the cooking responsibilities.

When they finally turned up the stone drive, Cara could not believe it.  The house wasn’t enormous, but it was much bigger than she’d expected, and way larger than the flat she shared with her parents in Galway.  There were neatly manicured hedges lining the drive and defining the white-washed front of the manor.  Meredith eased the vehicle around the side of the house towards a carriage house, and Cara could see a small enclosed garden behind another set of hedges.  It was ridiculous.  Her surprise must have registered plainly on her face, causing Meredith to give a short laugh – “Yeah, I know, right?  It’s like something out of a movie.  I swear, sometimes I can’t believe I get paid to live like this.” She maneuvered the lorry behind the house and shut the engine off.  “The downside is when we’re stuck out in the middle of a mudpit, miles from anywhere, in the driving rain, leaking tents and single digit temperatures.  Then it really sucks.”  She turned and gave Cara a crazy grin, topped off with a wink. “But don’t worry, it’s been two whole weeks since the last time that’s happened.  Cara could only stare at her, green eyes wide, and nod.  Sounded great…

Meredith threw open the back doors and went to pull out the trunk, grunting when it wouldn’t move.  “The hell?”  She turned to Cara, “I saw Romeo put this back here himself.  It can’t be that heavy…”

Cara winced in response – “No, it really is that heavy – He’s just a lot stronger than he looks.  And, his name’s Gregory.”

“Well,” Meredith shot back, rubbing her forehead before stepping back from the van and crossing her arms. “I don’t care what you call him, but we should’ve dragged him back here with us if he’s the only one who can move this thing.” She nodded her head towards the trunk.  “Go on, open it up.  We’ll have to unpack it out here and carry everything up to your room that way.  Man, you’re so lucky I’m nice.

Cara briefly considered the scrap of paper in her pocket – the one with Gregory’s number scrawled across it.  She bet if she called him, he’d come give them a hand… No. As much as she’d love to see him again – and she really did – that’d be a terrible abuse of his kindness.  Besides, it probably wouldn’t take too many trips to empty the trunk enough to move it.  She’d call him as soon as they were done.

Three hours later Cara and Meredith collapsed, exhausted, on top of the now-empty trunk shoved against one wall of her room.  Cara’s legs burned from several dozen trips up and down the twisting back staircase that went from the kitchen up to the end of the hall where her room was.  Of course, she was also completely unpacked, so there was that.  Meredith was staring at the ceiling, sweat plastering her blonde hair down to her forehead as she rolled her eyes over to Cara.

“Girl, the next time we head to Inverness, you are buying some normal freakin’ luggage.  I still don’t know how we got this thing up the stairs, but we may have knocked out part of the wall.  I’m afraid to check.”  Meredith stood up, slowly.  “Gordon’ll be back pretty soon.  I’m going to get some dinner going- finish making yourself at home and come down when you’re ready.”

Cara sat where she was for a minute, catching her breath and pushing her own, sweat-soaked hair back from her face.  On the corner of the desk lay her phone, now plugged in and happily charging itself back to life.  He’d asked her to call sometime, right?  And this was, technically, sometime.

Just as her pulse had finally started to slow after all her exertions, it picked right up again, this time in anticipation.  It took her two tries to dial his number, and as she lifted the phone to her ear and heard it ring on the other end of the line, she was seized with panic. Dear god – what do I say if he picks up the phone? Worse, what if he doesn’t pick up?  Do I leave a message? What should the message say?? What if he wasn’t answering her call because he realized how crazy it was to pick up a girl fresh off the ferry?  She’d been in Scotland less than four hours and here she was calling some fellow she’d just met…

Before she knew what she was doing, Cara stabbed at the angry red ‘end call’ button.  The ringing on the other end of the line cut out immediately.  She sat there, clutching the phone in her hand, staring at it, trying to calm her furious, pounding heart.

Not today. She put the phone back on the desk, then covered it with a magazine so she wouldn't have to see it. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe....

Offline Eranil MorathimTopic starter

Re: The Beginning (Eranil and Martee)
« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2011, 01:16:08 PM »
Gregory stared at the sky from his bedroom window, lost in his own thoughts. He barely heard his phone ring while he was so deep in thought. Once he registered what the sound was and reached for his phone, it had stopped ringing. He looked at the display and saw a number he didn't recognize. "That'll be Cara." He thought happily to himself though he wondered why she had hung up. Figuring she was still busy and had maybe been called away before he had answered he decided against calling her back.

Gregory rolled over onto his back and looked dreamily at his ceiling. Before long he drifted off to sleep contentedly. Images of Cara swan before his eyes as he slept comfortably.

Waking to the sunrise, He sat up in his bed and stretched. Gregory showered and put on clean, comfortable clothes. He wasn't scheduled to work the docks today and had things he wanted to do in town. He dressed, stuffed his phone is his pocked, grabbed his wallet, and went downstairs to eat a quick breakfast.

He left the house and walked outside. Looking up he saw a clear blue sky and felt the warm sun on his face. Today was shaping up to be another beautiful day. Gregory strolled into town, walking leisurly along the streets.

Coming to the tailor's he stepped inside. He needed a new kilt for the games. His old one had not only been worn out but also become too small. He placed his order, and was measured. He had no need to tell the tailor his tartan pattern because he already knew it. Gregory's family had been regular customers her for as long as he could remember.

Once he was finished Gregory walked back out into the sunlight. He had a few places to go today but was in no particular hurry. He strolled along the streets looking around. He wondered to himself if Cara would be out and about today, getting herself acclimated to the city. He felt his phone in his pocket and contemplated for a moment calling her but decided against it for the time being. 

Taking a seat on a bench at the edge of a small park, Gregory sat down and stretched out a bit. He greeted people he knew as the passed and watched the happenings of the city for a while. He still was in no hurry and just wanted to enjoy the day while he had the chance.