#Halloween Story for the Day: A Perfect Welcome
The legend of Cillian and Gilean is famous in Frewyn, much like the Scarlet Pimpernel or Robin Hood is for us. Many people in Frewyn dress up as the outlaw and his lady for Seamhair, their All Hallow's Eve. Happy Halloween!
A Perfect Welcome
|Ghodhina and Teague|
Teague bounded up the steps to his home with all the felicity his eager spirits could command. He was in an ecstasy to have seen the amber glow of candlelight through their bedroom window and was even more in raptures to see the shadows of Qwynlin and his siblings dancing along the far wall of the main room. He had a momentary scheme of climbing the lattice and surprising them by peering over the bedroom sill window and crawling into the main room without their notice, but his hearted governed him into prudence, and he was already ascending the steps before his designs had taken full form. He thought to knock, but he wished to have some sense of surprise while he could and decided to quietly unlock the door himself in the hopes of capturing a family picture so desirable, one that he might take with him on every further mission and each future campaign to furnish his mind with an image of those he loved most when his nights should be solitary and his bed should be cold.
Upon opening the front door, Teague received the very image that he was desirous of attaining, for when he stepped into the shadow of the silently opening door, the glowing light from the lit hearth illuminated the main room to reveal Qwynlin kneeling beside Fionnora, who was standing upon a stool and being fitted for her costume, with Ennan by her side, assisting her with tying a few loose strings at the sides of her bodice. With the children in such quiet happiness, dressed as they were in their tunics, woolen stockings, soft leather boots, and befeathered caps, and with Qwynlin in her patched linen gown, her features intent upon the task of making the last few alterations in Fionnora’s costume, Teague was forcibly struck with so agreeable a prospect. He was reminded of how his father had been used to stand in the doorway after a long day of trading and selling his wares and had remained there for some minutes before entering, content to see his mother sitting before the fire, stirring her dill and rabbit stew whilst recanting the legends of Cillian and Gilean, of all the Frewyn kings and queens past, and of the various clan wars as they waited for his father to join them for supper. A temperateness of feeling resonated within him, and in observing Fionnora hop from the stool and everyone smile at one another, declaring themselves very well suited for a celebration at the castle, forced all of Teague’s attachment for his family rush on him at once. Half a sigh and a narrowed gaze conveyed his partiality. When he could bear the separation no longer, he passed from the vestibule to the to the main room and held out his arms to welcome his small family into them. Their eyes brightened, the children shouted his name, and after the momentary immobility that sudden happiness could produce, the three leapt toward him and huddled in his arms, assaulting his tall frame with fervent embraces. He held the children close in one hand and pulled back on Qwynlin’s black curls with the other, first greeting her with humming osculations and then kissing the tops of Fionnora and Ennan’s heads.
“Have you behaved well with Qwynlin?” asked Teague, kneeling down to the meeting the children’s beaming faces while holding Qwynlin’s hand.
“Yes, Teague,” they sang in unison, their sharp little eyes glistening.
Teague looked to Qwynlin for confirmation of their pronouncement and it was readily given.
“They were perfect,” said Qwynlin, but it was said with such affection as to make her eager for her lover’s attention once more.
He stood and inspected Qwynlin’s beguiling aspect. “And were you well?” he whispered in a more serious tone.
“Perfectly well, but I feel better now that you’re here and safe with us.”
Teague stood closely with her, pressed his cheek to hers, and murmured, “I might be safe, but you are in serious danger.”
Qwynlin made an arch look. “Am I?”
“Yes.” Teague looked down to delight in her supple breasts being lifted and pressed together by her tight bodice. “You will not be wearing that dress for long.” He began enjoying the nape of her neck when he acknowledged that he must not become too engrossed with her when the celebration at the castle was impending and attention to his siblings was due, but such a dress that she wore to outline her sleek form and enhance certain attributes was enough to animate his ideas. He therefore placed his arm around her back, rested his hand at her side, and resigned himself to grazing her with his fingertips, mechanically tracing the outline of her hip as he addressed the children. “By your costumes, I can see we’re going dressed as Gilean and her band of brigands.”
The children cheered, and then Fionnora chimed, “Qwynlin is Gilean.”
“Does that mean I’m going as Cillian?” said Teague, smiling.
Fionnora hopped and shouted, “Yes! And that means you have to let down your hair and wear the green velvet jerkin!”
“And the hose and leather boots to match ours,” added Ennan.
The jerkin and the lose hair were an agreeable venture after having spent the last few weeks in leather armour, but the hose and requisite mask could be done without. He would wear it, however. He must be their leader and assemble Gilean and her band of brigands to victory. He made a wide stance, placed his hands on his hips, and lifted his chest triumphantly, saying, “Very well. I, Baron Cillian of Varralla, will lead you brigands to fight against the injustice that Mad Queen Maeve has imposed upon all of Frewyn’s citizens.”
The children shouted their approbation and then swiftly felt into line.
“We will save our citizen from the stocks, free them from the citadel, and liberate them from the bowels of Karnwyl Prison.” Teague turned to Qwynlin, keeping his glorious composure, and murmured, “Does Baron Cillian have a costume to wear?”
Qwynlin’s eyes sparkled with mischief. “He does. It is waiting for him in the bedroom.”
At the mention of their sacred chamber, Teague gave her a sharp and eager look. “Then you can help me change into it.”
Qwynlin bit her lower lip and gave him a dark grin. “As my baron commands me.”
It was said with such pleading eagerness that Teague wrapped his arms about her directly and was about to delight in the taste of her skin when a loud and heavy rap at the door ceased all pleasant activity. They knew that knock: it was the knock of a protective and naive brother whose judgment with regard to timing and promptitude was wholly marred.
Teague made a pained sigh and leaned his forehead against Qwynlin’s shoulder. “Mureadh,” he groaned, but his sighs were overruled by another rap at the door and Mureadh calling from outside to inquire whether they were all at home.
He had brought Tiulaine on purpose to meet them and was desirous of seeing his sister and the children well. With the light of the fire visible from the door and their silhouettes very well seen from outside, there was no concealing their presence. The door must be opened and Mureadh must be let in, but much of Teague’s disdainful musings were quieted when Qwynlin suggested that they might use the arrival of her brother to distract the children while she help Baron Cillian to dress and profess her thanks for hiding her within his large estate with a quick inspection of what he had to offer within the confines of his taut hose.
Teague raised a brow and made a furtive grin. “Your uncle Mureadh is here,” he said to the children. “Qwynlin is going to make the last adjustments to Baron Cillian’s outfit. Will you show your uncle inside for us?”
The children, having little idea of any misconduct, nodded and ran to the door, giving Qwynlin and Teague the chance to scurry away to the bedchamber, close the door, and lock it from the inside.Enjoy the story? Enjoy the first book in the series: