Warning: Language and partial nudity
But he did see his naked brother standing in front of his partially clothed girlfriend!
After Mackenzie's initial alarm had faded, she'd realized that this was obviously Breandan's brother. "Have you ever heard of knocking?" she demanded angrily. "And could you cover yourself?" she asked as she reached for her dress.
"I'm sorry. I didn't realize Breandan had company," he said.
Bashfully, Breandan cleared his throat. "I'm sorry. I thought I locked the door," he explained. "Mackenzie, this is my twin, Kearney. Kearney, this is Mackenzie. I've asked her to move in."
"Hey!" she called out. "I'm right here!"
"I meant to tell you last night," Breandan began. "It was just kind of spur of the moment."
Kearney lowered his voice. "You know that the council has not yet ruled on what to do with her!"
Breandan waved that concern away angrily, "If need be I will..."
Breandan sent his brother an apologetic look seconds before he took off after Mackenzie. "Wait! Mackenzie! Let me explain!"
Kearney shook his head. Would wonders never cease. Breandan had asked Mackenzie to move in with them. It must be serious! Mentally, he thought all the girls that he knew. Was there one of them that he could like enough to marry?
Kearney jumped down and saluted the Leader. "Yes, sir! What is it sir?"
Seamus waved away the formalities as he stared at the treadmill. "Attend me for a moment," he said. "I'm not used to these new-fangled machines. In my day, when we wanted to run, we went out to a field and ran!"
"Whatever task you ask of me, I am fully ready to see it through!" Kearney swore fervently. This was an extreme honor to be chosen by the leader for a task!
O'Connell guffawed and slapped Kearney upside the shoulder. "Good lad, that's what I thought you'd say!" he said affably. "I'm sure you're aware that the council is set to speak tonight. Representatives from each branch of government will be allowed to speak."
"I don't understand, sir," Kearney interrupted. He was a warrior, not a public speaker.
Seamus gave him a hard look for interrupting him. He continued, "Mithrilen is set to speak out against the foreigner. He wants her forcibly removed from the town. I do not see the threat. Lieutenant McAnna and I are set to vouch for her. I would like to speak up for the military branch in opposition of Mithrilen."
"This is for the good of Dragon Valley... and the good of your brother." Seamus met Kearney's startled gaze. "We are well aware of his relationship with the foreigner. If the council rules against her, what do you think will become of your brother?"
"Good lad!" Seamus boomed. "I'll make sure that Mithrilen takes no action against you."
Kearney watched Seamus stride away and was doubtful that he could protect him from the repercussions that Mithrilen would be sure to bestow upon him.
After work, she was feeling as though she and Breandan needed to go on a date. They had an attraction that they'd both reacted to, but they hadn't really gone out together. "Maybe we can go see a movie?" she suggested.
He wasn't sure he'd ever felt this tense before!
Mackenzie got that wicked gleam in her eye. "Maybe we can kill some time and you can give me a tour of the place," she suggested.
"I'm not really sure that will be very fun," Breandan said reluctantly. He didn't want to hurt her feelings, after all.
Mackenzie grabbed his hand! "Trust me! You'll enjoy this!" she said, tugging on his arm.
By the time other couples began trickling into the theatre, Mackenzie and Breandan had all their clothes neatly arranged. He wasn't sure how Mackenzie had convinced him to make love to her in the back row of the theatre, but she had. And he would probably never look at a theatre the same way again!
"Now wasn't that worth it?" she asked with a cocky grin just as the movie "House With No Doors" began playing. Mackenzie scoffed, "This must be a movie about the Humble House!" she grinned, nudging him with her elbow.
He could care less what they watched! This had to be the best date ever in the history of the world!
He had told Seamus O'Connell that he would support the foreigner, but part of him felt conflicted. Wasn't it his duty to protect the borders? And even though this Mackenzie might not be a threat - could there be more like her that came?
Feeling indecisive, he invited Marian Hooley over.
"Tell me, Marian, what is your occupation?" he asked her to clarify her job.
Marian rolled her eyes. "You know well that I'm a Garda, just like you!" she said testily.
"Then, as you know, it is our sworn duty to protect the borders from any threats - whether it be dragons, marauders, or strange foreigners!"
Kearney hung his head. "You're right, Marian. I knew it would be wise to speak with you." He turned to look at the heavy doors that would take him to the council. "I should go now."
Marian saluted him. "Good luck, Kearney! It was good seeing you!"
Breandan glanced up at the stars. It scared him more than he cared to admit that he did not know how Mackenzie had come to be here. Could the stars simply take her away again?
Breandan doesn't follow where she is pointing, he just stares at her, admiring her spirit, her beauty, and her wit. He would move mountain and sky to appease the stars if it would make her stay forever!
"The council was tonight?" she yelped while Breandan stiffened to prepare for the verdict. He could not tell which way the council voted from his brother's demeanor.
"I congratulate you, brother. It was 5-1 that the foreigner be allowed to stay," he informed them. "I'm sure I do not need to tell you which way Mithrilen voted." Seeing that they paid no attention to him, he slipped off, leaving the lovers alone.
Breandan squeezed her hand back. "What is 'friends with benefits'?" he asked.
She shrugged to try to cover her uneasiness. "It means that we're friends, which we are, and that we have sex, which we do. But, we can date other people if we want."
Breandan frowned. "Is that what you want?" he demanded.
"No! I'm just saying, where I come from, sometimes people are in a relationship like that. And I just wanted to clarify." Where was a hole in the ground when she needed one, she thought with increasing embarrassment.
Mackenzie laughed as she wrapped her arms around his neck, "Put me down!"
Mackenzie- Ask Breandan on Date, Woohoo with Breandan (at theatre), Watched a movie, Watch Stars with Breandan, Have a Great Date, Flirt with Breandan, Makeout with Breandan
Breandan- Woohoo with Mackenzie (at home)
Kearney- Train someone (Seamus), Gain Athletic Skill (7), Workout for 4 hours, Opportunity, Break No Sweat for 3 hours, Get more muscular, Invite someone over (Marian), Ask Marian about her job, Have a great group outing, Work Opportunity, Attend Seminar
Breandan- Workout for 4 hours, Be friends with Dermott (partner), Join Special Agent Branch, Give gift to Mackenzie
Kearney- Be friends with Marian
*AN: This cast of characters just keeps playing into my story like crazy! From start to finish, this chapter was fun to write! I thought I'd locked the doors, but must have botched it because there Kearney was showering while they slept. Kearney was kind not to point out that the yellow room was his room. (I botched which room belonged to who!)
Then, I loved that when I had a pending "seminar opportunity," Seamus O'Connell came strolling in! I was hoping Kearney would roll a wish to talk to Seamus, but he didn't. So, I had him attempt to invite him over to get the picture of them talking. Seamus respectfully declined. He's a very busy man.
I was also very excited that Marian agreed to meet him at work because poor Kearney had tried to invite a few girls over to his house that morning and they all had better things to do! Guess it must be less intimidating to meet in a public place. :| I am looking for the perfect woman for him - definitely not Mary Moloney! Lol
And at the end, that was Mac's awkward way of asking him to go steady with her. :) One step closer to getting these two crazy kids married!