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Unfamiliar Waters, September 15th, afternoon

Douglas FitzJames

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He KNEW he was being watched.

Experience had taught him well enough so that slight rising of the hairs on the back of his neck had him prepared. He looked to where his sister was still engaged with the Irishman and the absence of the other taller man had to mean it was He that now approached.

At the question he turned towards that Gentleman in his uniform who was looking at books but was also watching.

"Indeed Sir. I am well."

He was his sisters twin but had none of her femininity. Taller and obviously male he had her good looks and was dressed well. That he was still a young man would be obvious.

"And You?" Asked politely.

Now weather the other would think him just a customer or someone else was as yet unknown.


He leaned in bringing them that much closer. That he liked what he saw was clear and so Lily knew in that moment that she had indeed captured him. He spoke softly and she thrilled to his voice as he told her that SHE was his inspiration. And then something about his heart  ....

I knew it. how could he resist me. I was afraid I had lost my touch here in this place  .....

And now came his asking how to find her. The arranging of the meeting. And for the pleasures that awaited.

"I am housed with some of the Queen's ladies. I like it not but can not make issue. You understand yes?"

"I have indeed such a person but she is dull and does what I say. She will disappear at my words. And her mouth remain closed."

"But many rooms here so no problem it will be. You are, I think, well suited to make place favorable."

"How long shall it be  ..... We should have lessons soon ..... I wish learn as much as I can  ......"

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The fellow who did indeed prove to be behind the bookshelf seemed surprisingly calm for one who'd just been accosted in such a manner. Either he didn't understand, which was possible, or he was playing at there being nothing wrong because he'd been caught at something. Admirer of the young lady? Or... there was a certain similarity about them. Family? If he was it could lead to exactly the outcome that Douglas had feared, but for James O'Neill. 

"I'm weel thank ye." He replied, as equally politely as the other. "Thou' I wonder if ye kin help me."* He enquired, grabbing a book from a nearby shelf and glancing quickly at the cover. It was a new volume by one John Josselyn, entitled New England's Rarities, discovered in Birds, Beasts, Fishes, Serpents, and Plants of that Country. OK, that sounded really boring, but it was what was in his hand and, oddly enough, kind of married up with the other volume he carried. Both were on the New World after all. 

He showed the new book to the other gentleman. "I'm luikin' fer a volume fer a lairdy wi' a practical, enquirin' mind." He explained, the best lies being mostly truth. "Do ye think the mysteries o' the New World is something such a lairdy micht find intriguin'?"** He asked, moving as he did so to lean against the book case and, consequentially, block the man's view of James and Lily. 

* "I'm well, thank you. Though I wonder if you can help me."
** "I'm looking for a volume for a lady with a practical, enquiring mind. Do you think the mysteries of the New World is something such a lady might find intriguing?"

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James, also, was glad he had not lost his touch.

Good, or at the very least cautious, behavior had been an obligation, even a condition of his return to court. Cillian O’Neill could not stomach another scandal, and for a time, James had played the model son.

Things were different, now. Not materially, but because of his father’s loyalty to Ormonde, which had led to the epiphany that he had at least one defense against Fergal’s prying. Besides, he was a man grown now, while the latter was a man aging and a servant besides. James had been outsmarting him all his life, but now he felt reasonably confident that he could out-shout him.

As to the fact that there were others who might have reason to frown upon the topic at hand? Those could be dealt with if and when the poet met them.

“I do understand,” James declared with a sympathetic nod. That much was true; as said, obligation was a tune he was well-familiar with. But things were different now, and he had not lost his touch, his precious, clever tongue (self-evidently, he had lost his arrogance either). “But we’ll make do, we will.”

Briefly, he glanced in Dundarg’s direction, hearing conversation. The tall Scotsman had obscured the view, however, and the ebon-haired lass made a much better one besides, so any worries were put out of mind. On that note, the news about her chaperone being “dull” and pliable was fortunate. Irritating sorts, those. Which is presumably the point.

Considering the question, he cocked his head slightly to the side. “Would the lady think me crass if I suggested tonight?” He asked lightly with a laugh. “If so, then the morrow, or some time soon? We could…explore the grounds.” Yet another smirk. “I have discharged my duties to the Lord Steward.”

“Your missive would find me in his offices, if it couldn’t find my room on the third floor of the Octagonal Tower.” Lord knew what he’d done to get put in with the peers, but he’d take what he could get.

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She saw him glance in the direction the Scotsman had wandered off to and then he asked about meeting that very night!

he is as eager for it as I ... I hope he does not disappoint ..... but I think he will be most enjoyable   ....

"She looked up at him from beneath her lashes and let a smile play about her lips as she gave her answer.

"I can think nothing I would be rather to do. Tomorrow is far away."

"And I will think less of you had you not said this. I shall give reward."

"I will to you then? I know where you are. You have a place alone with bed soft and warm fire?"

"The time shall I go ...."

and IF you please me we shall continue! Things are indeed looking better!


He saw the move for what it was and so it would be better for him to not play games. Not with this giant of a man.

"I have no knowledge of such books so there is little that I can advise."

"But shall we skip ahead and I shall provide introduction."

"Louis von Seitz." He gave a small nod of his dark head. "You have I think placed me as brother?"

"First be calmed for there is no harm to come."

"I would not have let my sister make troubles. I was waiting in hopes that you two leave first but if not, well, then I would have come rescue."

He gave a smile that never failed to please - it was after all one that he had perfected before the mirror.

"Lily is sehr eigensinnig*  - she does not know her boundaries. So I must ...... pass auf sie auf* - and so I have to look after."

"You understand yes? Have you sisters? If so then you know."

He made a helpless gesture with both hands.

He reverted to this savior brother persona to be as non-threading as possible. The point was to avoid ANY mishaps this early.

(*very headstrong. * watch over her. So google translate tells me)

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Douglas and Louis

The fellow behind the bookshelf glanced at the book in Douglas's hand, before turning an intelligent look on the Scotsman himself, apparently entirely unfooled by his ruse. Declaring he knew nothing of such books, he then introduced himself as Louis von Seitz. You have, I think, placed me as brother? He asked. "I thocht ye micht be family."* Douglas allowed. He hadn't picked the man as her brother specifically, but now that he knew he wasn't surprised. But if this man was Lily's brother then there was the potential for difficulty, if the other two did more than speak. 

Or perhaps not. Louis seemed to admit that his sister was someone who required looking after. "Aye, I understand. I hae sisters o' my ain."** Including one whom he'd already pegged as having a similar personality to Lily. So this young lady was Louis' Fiona. He didn't speak German and could only swear in Dutch, but he got the general idea. And if he were trying to protect Fiona - or protect others from her - he would not be pleased with any who got in his way. 

So, in the spirit of brotherly commiseration, Douglas shifted off the bookshelf so that Louis could see that Lily and James were still talking. "She wanted help tae find some poetry; he's a verra guid poet." He offered by way of explanation. Of course, he knew that had just been an excuse, and if she was that much trouble then her brother probably knew that too. "I'm Douglas FitzJames, Baron Dundarg."*** He offered belatedly in introduction. 

Louis' own introduction had not cleared up any questions about Lily's identity, and since he and Louis were being companionable, he figured he might as well ask. "Yer sister implied that ye were related tae Her Majesty."+ He observed, letting the question hang in the air as he turned back to the other bookshelf and returned the second book which he really wasn't interested in, having noted that Louis did not introduce himself as a Prince either. This shelf seemed to contain an overflow of books from the New World mixed with some from other distant destinations. A fat tome caught his eye; Tiangong Kaiwu: The Exploitation of the Works of Nature. A book from the Far East, the other end of the silk road. 

Intrigued in spite of himself, Douglas pulled the volume off the shelf. 

* I thought you might be family."
** "Yes, I understand. I have sisters of my own."
*** "She wanted help to fond some poetry; he's a very good poet."
+ "Your sister implied that you were related to Her Majesty."

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"Not to me, but if you mean to send a missive." James corrected with a nervous chuckle. Or if you mean to have me killed. The only question there would be if it was some overzealous member of Lily's family or his own lord father, swooping in from the County Down with the speed and delicacy of a hurricane. "Perhaps..."

He could hear Dundarg talking, and a sideways glance revealed that the Scotsman was...moving out of the way! while not immediately obvious what they were talking about, there was potential enough for gossip given their hushed voices. His pale features lit up once more as the idea came to him: "The Winchester Tower is said to have rooms not oft used," the poet whispered. "Meet me where it connects to the Round Tower at midnight." The time for no other reason than it sounded dramatic, and Fergal would most assuredly be asleep.

Slowly, he peered back towards Dundarg, with a benign half-smile on his face, James instinctively taking a few steps back. The man his newfound comrade was speaking to... Looks eerily like her, he does. A brother, a cousin? 'Sblood, I hope not.

"As I was saying, my lady..." He spoke up, voice reaching slightly louder than normal level, eyes darting around the room and lingering on her a moment longer after that journey. "I find Carew both accessible and enjoyable...the study may be slow, but in time, you will learn to savor it." Clearing his throat so as not to smirk too much at weaving that entendre into his cover story, the Irishman bowed, a faux-polite thing.

"But I'm afraid, madame, I truly am, that I must needs prepare to depart." If the newcomer was a relation, they needed to wrap this up, and James to make an escape. Tilting his head away from the other gentlemen, he half-whispered, half-mouthed. "Will that work for you?"

Edited by James O`Neill
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She followed his line of sight and noted the tall Scotsman did not seem to want to play any longer which she was fine with. She had made a conquest that was true but she would not forget about him.

Now it seemed like this Irish Poet was arranging to meet  .....

"At midnight  ..... In a Tower ......."

Her eyes widened a bit and she was quick to give her assent.

"I shall make for that place as you have said. I am eager to hear more of your words ...."

He stepped back and she leaned away.

"Ah. It is a sorrow that you go but I am pleased to have seen you. We shall met perhaps again."

She gave him a smile and he would be free to depart.

Her eye caught a movement and she then saw that the tall Scotsman was not alone  ......


"But I am not here to make trouble. Ah .... so you have sisters so then you understand what I say. Good. Good."

Louis had to grin as the other offers explanation for his sister and the man she was with.

"Yes. She has fondness for 'Poetry' and is quite good and discovering new talent as well."

He gave a bow of his head at the introduction. 

And now came the need to explain  ......

"Our Grandfather is the English Queen's Father. Our late Father was her step-brother."

"So my sister and I are step Nephew and Niece to Queen."

He did not say the truth - that their father was illegitimate as were he and his sister. 

"But we are not so much in happy terms for long time but now it is better. Made welcome at Palace now here."

"I do not read much. I prefer other activities. But here I think maybe find some things if I look. I wonder if German books are to be found?"

He watched as the other found a new book interest and so his own gaze went to where his sister sat and their eyes met.

yes I am here I have been watching so if you do not want me to step in end it with that man   you have five minutes then I come  

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  • 2 weeks later...


She knew that look and had no wish to have him come near. 

The Irishman was leaving and so that obstacle was now removed. She would sit where she was and wait for a bit. If Louis finished his conversation then she would go to him and then they both could leave.

She had had enough of this stuff bookshop anyway!

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“Grand,” James murmured, unable to resist a sly smile as Lily assented to his plan.

He knew when his cue to leave was, however, as the conversation between Dundarg and…whoever that was continued. It would not do to linger and attract greater suspicion, so instead he bowed once more, affecting formality, letting his voice grow louder as he feigned agreement. “Perhaps, my lady. I bid you a good day.”

Mouthing the word ‘midnight’ after that, James turned to leave, feeling quite satisfied with this escapade even if it was poor for inspiration. “Dundarg!” He called out near the door, reminding the Scotsman. “A drink on me, at your leisure, sir!”

Once past the door, James grinned to himself. From the Merry Gang to Dundarg to the bold young lass he had just met, court seemed off to an auspicious start. “Very grand.”


OOC: Finis for me! Thank you both.

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Douglas and Louis shared a knowing look. Ah but for obedient sisters. God clearly had other plans. He snorted in faint amusement as the man revealed that his sister enjoyed 'poetry' and finding new talent therein, believing that he knew exactly what the other man meant. Very like Fiona indeed then. Was there a little comfort in knowing that he was not the only one with such trials? Perhaps.

Then Louis assuaged his curiosity as to their relation to the Queen. Step niece and nephew; that might explain the lack of titles, though he wasn't certain. And their own father already passed. Not previously welcome but that had changed. Interesting. So maybe James wouldn't get into too much trouble if he was caught with Lily, in which case Douglas wished him all the best. Still, given his previous experience of sleeping with one close to Royalty and the trouble that caused, he didn't think it was a risk worth taking in this instance. Lily wasn't his type.

"I'm sorry fer the loss o' yer father." Douglas said politely. "Welcome tae the English coort." He added. Perhaps the pair might find themselves closer to Karoline here simply by virtue of being some of her few family. That also meant that they were related to Prince Rupert as well.

At Louis' comment, Douglas looked at the book in his hand. "I dinnae tend tae read much either; I prefer fencin' er huntin'." He admitted. "But sometimes ye find a rare gem amongst the shelves" Some interesting little thought or fact, or person in today's case. Douglas saw books as a tool to be used, rather than an enjoyable end in themselves, but that didn't meant that he wouldn't use them, if he had cause. "Thairs likely tae be buiks in - er translated frae - German. Jus' ask Mister Angus, if ye cannae find them."** He suggested, indicating the gentleman behind the counter, half-visible through the shelves.

The other pair appeared to finish their conversation innocently enough, and as O'Neill called out to him Douglas raised a hand and nodded in acknowledgement. "Aye laddie!" He called back; determined to take O'Neill up on that drink. He rather liked the fellow.

OOC: Fin?

* "I'm sorry for the loss of your father. Welcome to the English court."
** "I don't tend to read much either, I prefer fencing or hunting. But sometimes you find a rare gem amongst the shelves. There's like to be books in - or translated from - German. Just ask Mister Angus, if you can't find them."

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It would seem that the tall Scotsman understood his meaning regarding his sister Lily and he gave a small grin in return. He accepted the others offer of condolences as well as the welcome. It would appear he was also not much of a 'reader' but he did offer Louis a suggestion on how he might find something.

He glanced in the direction and could just see that person through the shelf.

"Well I shall indeed have to make use of that. Thank You."

The Scotsman made no mention to his connections to the Queen which he was thankful for. Too many conversations could well lead to problems - for it required one to remember what was said and to whom - and the less the better.

It was time to take his leave for his 'look' to his sister had made that clear. He drew himself up straighter and offered his farewells to his companion.

"I must thank you again for not making an issue of my sister and her antics - she knows I am here now and it is time I take her away."

"Perhaps we shall meet again? Windsor is a small place after all  ..."

He gave a small nod of his head than turned away walking to where his sister still sat. If Douglas watched he would see that Lily pouted and made as if she wanted to remain but Louis was having none of it and took her by the arm from her chair. The voice of Louis filling the space for a few moment in passing as he scolded her in their native tongue before they were gone.



(Occ: Fin. Thanks to you both)

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