Nights of wine and poses...

Kavanaugh Farm Kitchen

The largest room in the farmhouse is sparsely furnished with a roughly hewn blue-streaked pine table and only four matching chairs. The walls carry a soft green hue, the floors white ceramic tile. Cabinets and cupboards are pine with wrought iron handles, the counter top fabricated of smaller white tiles. Under the window is a large double sink, opposite of which is a door. The kitchen contains everything a respectable kitchen should have — range, icebox, dishwasher and several small appliances.


Characters

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Corrie Prudence (npc) Rhys

The binding spell is… not entirely unexpected. Though it is annoying.

Still, at least Corrie has the grace to look apologetically sheepish. And Rhys has a charming smile on his face, a pair of wine bottles — both rare vintages, one red and the other white — in the crux of one arm. His other hand is shoved into the pocket of his trousers, now creating an odd bulge on his hip, as a result. But, his outfit is casual — khakis, loafers, another cable-knit sweater and a car coat, and his body language appears relaxed.

Of course, he //is/ effectively frozen. He could probably push his own power against the binding and, eventually, break it. But it would take an awful long time — especially since he'd first have to work up enough will to actually be able to twitch a finger. About the only thing on him that can move are his eyes and internal processes. But limbs? Not so much.

He eyes Corrie slantwise as she makes a formal introduction of him to her mother and silently bids himself patient.

~

"I will not have one of those people in my home," Prudence says, eyeing Rhys very critically.

"Mum," Corrie offers via way of warning, "Really. If he were here to do away with us, don't you think he'd have come in with spells blazing rather than two lovely bottles of wine?" Reaching into her pocket, she draws out a hair elastic and starts to tie her hair up into a neat ponytail. "I invited him here, as my guest. If you'd rather we could go out into the barn, though I doubt dad would appreciate it."

"Corrie, it is my home! You invited one of them to my home!"

"We can always drive back to his room in Ilfracombe."

"Corrie Amelia Kavanaugh, what did I tell you about joking like that?!" By now, the binding has been released though Rhys has yet to actually be invited into the kitchen.

~

And Rhys, being the polite, witch-born boy that he is, merely stands on the kitchen porch, patiently awaiting an invitation. He's no vampire. He could just walk in, but that would be rude. And would probably result in a magical version of WW3 on the spot. (And, let's face it, he's definitely out-numbered here.)

So, he waits, wine bottles still in the crux of his arm. He does, however, pull an empty hand from his pocket and casually fold it over the one holding the bottles. If nothing else, it keeps both his hands visible to the elder witch — and clearly relaxed, which would seem to indicate peaceful intentions.

"I'm sorry about the intrusion, Mrs. Kavanaugh," he says gently. He gives Corrie a faintly raised eyebrow. "I had thought Corrie was going to warn you ahead of time of my visit." But then his attention returns fully to her irate mother. "When I found the gate unwarded, I assumed that meant you were fine with it. I will leave, if it's too great an inconvenience. My purpose here is not to cause more difficulty, but rather to try and prevent it."

A beat. He hefts the wine as if passing over an infant.

"You are, of course, welcome to the vintages, regardless."

Another beat.

"I swear by my own mother they've haven't been tampered with."

~

"Who said I was joking," Corrie deadpans to her mother. There was no implication that she was planning on ravishing the poor man, simply that they could go elsewhere if her mother was that offended.

"Ah, yes. Well I was in the midst of explaining the situation to mum when you knocked. I would have brought it up earlier but with everyone here it would have been a shouting match."

"Sorry for the intrusion, he says," Prudence mutters, sending a glare at her daughter. "As though we have those people at the house frequently."

"Mum, consider it a show of good will. It is possible that there are good sorcerers, just like there are bad witches, hmm?"

The glare doesn't lessen. "Yes, well this'd best not be you turning sides." The elder Kavanaugh mutters something else and finally steps back from the door. "Mark my words, Mr. Owens, if you even think to try something in my home you are far outnumbered and we protect our own."

Corrie bites at her lower lip, trying to keep from laughing at her mother as she nods for Rhys to enter. "It was thoughtful of you to bring the wine."

~

"Mother always said bringing a gift for the hostess and her family was essential to good manners," Rhys replies evenly, his brown eyes twinkling. Yes. The references tonight will largely be to mother not father. "In any case, Mrs. Kavanaugh, you have my word that I will be on my best behaviour, this evening." As she says, he is out numbered. Though he's amused it's a fact she won't let him forget.

"May I come in?"

~

Looking past him, Prudence hmms, then pops her head back up. "Yes, of course, come in, come in." She sweeps a hand toward the table. "Make yourself comfortable." She takes a few steps back toward the door to close it. "Where's Duke got to then?"

"He was at the front," Corrie reminds gently.

"Not even a bark though? I thought I'd trained him better than that."

"Mum, Duke has never met a sorcerer. He likely wouldn't know to bark." Again she bites at her lip to stop the laugh, eyes rolling toward the ceiling.

"Let me take your jacket then or you may just boil," she offers to Rhys. "I spoke with Tristan on the way over. He has another request."

"At the front? What's he doing at the front? He's supposed to be in the back." Prudence then vacates the kitchen quickly. Either to relocate Duke, or call for reinforcements.

~

Rhys gives a courteous dip of his head as Prudence finally allows him entry into her home. He places the two wine bottles on the table and then shrugs off his jacket as Corrie offers to take it. "Thank you very much," he says lightly, passing it to her.

Taking a moment to glance around the room and establish himself in his new surroundings, he smiles. "You have a very nice kitchen. I like it. It's very pleasant."

He watches Prudence bustle out and then glances to the table. "May I?" he asks Corrie, gesturing to a chair. He's sure she'll let him sit. But, it seems prudent to be sure.

"And what is it Mr. Pryce would like?" he asks genially as he at least pulls out a chair.

~

With her mum finally out of the kitchen, Corrie allows herself a gentle laugh. "I apologize for mum. She was a bit put out that I would be dealing with Reese Entertainment, though I think she's more worried that we were involved."

The jacket is hung on a coat rack not too far from the door, fussed with until it falls neatly. When she turns around, Corrie offers a gentle nod. "Please. I'd say make yourself at home, but I believe mum would take issue with that too." Winking at him, she moves through the kitchen to retrieve wine glasses and a corkscrew.

"Have you eaten yet? We've just cleared, but I can make you a plate if you'd like?" Country hospitality at its finest.

Carrying the glasses to the table she grins. "He'd like to continue playing in the pubs as well as more illustrious venues."

~

"I'm fine, but thank you very much for the offer," Rhys says, waving the suggestion of food away with a light hand. He sits, and allows himself a small chuckle at her candor. "I suppose my public reputation doesn't help in that regard."

The media are fairly lurid in their suggestions of what he does behind closed doors, spurred on by the many convenient photo ops they seem to get of him often surrounded by a bevy of young women. Funny, though… he's never flaunted that with Corrie. Not even at the Dumnonia release.

Rhys nods, however, as Corrie tells him of Tristan's desires. "I don't see why he can't," he replies evenly. "Dumnonia plays Celtic rock, which lends itself to that sort of environment. Fact is, we could create quite the cult following by having them appear in 'surprise' concerts at various places like that."

He keeps one eye toward the door Prudence left through, expecting her return.

~

"Honestly I doubt mum's paid much attention to your personal reputation. Her fears are more founded in the fact that her daughter is associating with the enemy, I'm afraid."

Seating herself across from him, she offers him one of the glasses and the corkscrew. "Mm. I'd already been planning something along those lines were they not signed soon. Guerilla marketing and the like. Hide location information around the city, make it a game. I've heard it's all the rage in places like New York with up-and-coming bands."

Noting the direction Rhys is looking, Corrie just shakes her head. "Yes, I'm sure we'll have a chaperone soon enough. If not mum, one of my sisters. A niece. Duke, perhaps once she locates him." Beat. "If I were really worried, I'd cast a privacy spell but I really don't see the point."

~

Rhys laughs again, this time a full, rich baritone that no doubt carries just because of its timbre, not volume, into the adjoining room. "I think that's just asking for trouble," he agrees. "Red or white?" He reaches for the corkscrew and one of the bottles.

It seems to him that his job to convince the Kavanaugh coven that he means their daughter no harm is going to be made doubly hard if the women won't even deign to stay in the same room as he. It occurs to him that he may need to take another approach. But, that can be left until later.

"You're right. Several New York City bands have used that technique to great effect. And I'm fairly certain it will work nicely with your boys, particularly in the East End and other blue collar areas."

~

"Red."

Corrie eyes the doorway for a second longer, then turns back to him. "The boys'd love it as well. They'd think it quite the lark to host surprise concerts. It doesn't need to be in the contract, but if you can see it done I'll be doubly grateful."

In the distance an Irish Wolfhound barks, then the kitchen door opens. "Don't mind me," says Prudence as she barges right into the middle of the conversation. "Corrie, luv, Amy left poppet in here, have you seen it?"

"Mum, you realize you're welcome to join us if you'd like? You don't need excuses to check in on us. It's not like I'm fourteen and sitting here with Ollie Corden."

"Nonsense. I'll just fetch the poppet and be out of your hair."

"Mum, sit down and relax. I'll finish up the dishes."

"Sit down and relax with the likes of him? I will not." One can almost sense the 'harumph' that comes from the older Kavanaugh, despite her not issuing it vocally at all.

~

"That's a pity," Rhys says lightly to Prudence, leaving off all talk of Dumnonia for the moment, "since it was you I came to visit." He gives his best non-threatening charming smile. "If I wish to speak with your daughter, I need only pick up the phone and arranging a business meeting. But, I thought it might be prudent to meet you, as the Matriarch of her Line, to assure you I have no ill-designs on you or your family."

A beat.

"My mother was a Witch, you understand. So, I'm more than passingly familiar with the challenges interactions between our kind can bring."

~

At the revelation, Corrie very quickly makes her way to the sink. That would explain quite a bit, and though she's busy now washing up the dishes, she's definitely keeping an ear on the conversation.

"Your mother… a Witch? What on earth was she thinking, cavorting with the likes of a sorcerer?" Prudence, ever suspicious of the 'breed' locks her eyes onto poor Rhys. "Is she the sort then, to practice the black arts?" To her, that would almost be worse than her bearing offspring to the enemy.

"Mum, relax and let the poor man explain himself. Take my glass of wine, I'll pour one for myself when I'm done."

"Did you know?" Prudence immediately snaps her head toward her daughter. "About his mother?"

"Of course not, mum. If I knew, I would've mentioned."

~

"I really couldn't say," Rhys answers Prudence's question amiably enough. "What I do, know, however, is that love is possible between a Witch and a Sorcerer. Were it not, I would not be here today — in more ways than one."

He pushes the untouched glass of red he filled for Corrie across the table toward the chair Corrie vacated, to encourage her. "The Dynasties are what they are, Mrs. Kavanaugh. Neither you nor I are going to change that. All we can do is decide how we, as two reasonable individuals, are going to react to one another. I am not here to deepen antagonism between you and your daughter or between you and Sorcerers as a whole. Neither, however, am I here to lessen your antagonism to Sorcerers as a whole." A beat. A warm chuckle. "Merely to me."

He picks up his own glass of wine and has a brief sip, watching her. Someone might as well enjoy the vintage. "Please understand," he says, setting the glass down again. "I am here because I am entering into a business deal with your daughter that I very much expect will last for several years — to both our benefit. I do not require your blessing, nor even your tolerance of such. And I expect neither. But, I would very much appreciate to at least consider the latter. I sincerely would prefer that this business arrangement Corrie and I are entering into in fact be beneficial to both of us. If, however, it proves a disruption to her relationship with you and her family, all benefit is lost. What are we, after all," he asks, raising his glass once more, almost in a toast — at least to see the light reflect off the blood red surface, "without our family?"

A wry smile before he takes a sip, eyes direct. "My mother was disowned by hers. I'd prefer that not happen to Corrie. While I admit my father and half-brothers will not care, for me, it will be a deal-breaker." A slight twitch to the corners of his mouth. "And it's my signature this deal requires, not theirs."

~

"Is your father then still with your mother? You speak of half-siblings, but nothing of full. That hardly sounds like love to me," Prudence scoffs. As she's already given him warning about trying any funny business, she glances at the glass of wine. Slowly, carefully, she lifts the glass. A swirl. A few words mumbled. When the wine appears clean, Prudence allows herself the very minutest of sips.

"No sorcerer could make me turn my back on my daughter, Mr. Owens, no matter the relationship. I would not like it, I would not encourage it, but in the end she would still be my daughter. Thus, while a rift may happen for a time, I'd hardly be so daft as to disown her."

Corrie peeks over her shoulder at the table and quietly continues to wash the dishes.

"But let me tell you this, lad. Should your family pose a threat to mine, I am not above fighting for them. We Witches may not have the knack for casting offense spells, but that doesn't mean we don't have other ways of protecting our own. Catch my drift?" Prudence quirks an eyebrow at him, the look very similar to one of Corrie's that it's uncanny. Once that declaration is made and she's sure he's understood it, she takes another rather tentative sip of the wine.

"Mum, it's a business deal. Nothing more. It will run its course, and beyond this particular visit, I'll not bring it home again. Should there be any issues, they'll be my own to solve." With that, Corrie rinses a plate and sets it to dry in the tray.

~

Rhys meets Prudence's gaze evenly, stoutly. He even holds it for a moment or two. Yes, he understand her. No, he is not cowed by the implicit — or is it explicit? — threat there. Nevertheless, he understands, and that's what matters. Thus, an easy smile comes to his lips, his brown eyes warm and twinkling. "That's all I really wanted to hear, Mrs. Kavanaugh."

With that, he raises his glass. "To family." And takes a sip, whether or not anyone joins him in it.

Then, he sets his wine glass down firmly on the table and rises. "I don't suppose I should overstay my welcome. Do enjoy the rest of the wine. My regards to the rest of the family." He steps blithely toward his jacket and takes it off the peg, shrugging into it much as he shrugged out of it. "I'll take my leave, now. Corrie, always a pleasure. I'll give you a call. I'll see you get that paperwork we discussed early next week."

With that, he steps toward the door. As he lays his hand on the knob, however, he glances back at the matriarch. "For the record, though… my parents are still together. I'm the eldest of my father's sons. But my mother decided further children… would be unwise. I can't say I blame her."

And no. His last name certainly isn't Reese.

"Do have a good evening, won't you?"

He turns the handle, then, and heads back out to his car, leaving the Witches Kavanaugh in peace.

~

The further revelation leaves Corrie blinking. Off come the gloves, and she finally steps away from the sink. "At least allow me to walk you out. I doubt you'd want to run into Duke if mum's put him out back." Sorcerers he may not be trained to go after but strangers… best not take the chance.

Prudence eyes Rhys once more, then nods slowly. "I wouldn't blame her either. One got her in a spot of trouble as it was." She doesn't stop her daughter from going, nor does she say another word. No hospitable 'it was nice to meet you' or anything of the like.

Corrie reaches the door at about the same time Rhys reaches his car. She sighs and turns back to her mother with a frown. "Mum, I know that there are issues between our races but can you not see beyond that and realize that maybe, just maybe, he is a good man?" Beat. "Not that I expect him to be such, but he's done nothing untoward with me and I fail to see why we should treat him with contempt based solely on the fact that his father and brother are complete arses!"

Thus begins yet another discussion between the two Kavanaugh witches. At least this time, they've wine to share while they argue.

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