An Auspicious Meeting


teagan_icon.jpg colton_icon.jpg


* Tristan

Anticipation of a merger, of sorts.

December 23, 1883

An Auspicious Meeting

Golden Nugget Saloon

Teagan stands at the entrance, dressed for far more of an elaborate setting than the charred remains visible. Slowly, delicate hands lift to draw down the cape from around her hair and there is a sadness which darkens her eyes, as though thoughts from another time color her perspective.

Moving near one of the timbers, she places her hand on the surface as though able to feel a lingering heat from the cauterized wood. Teagan's lips part on a soft sigh before entering further into the room.

Colton sits at the bar a half empty glass in front of him. He looks over as the door opens letting the in the gust of cold air. He pauses a moment as he sees her, glancing around the near empty saloon to make sure he wasn't missing anything. He stares at her openly as she moves away from the door.
A waitress spills a tray of drinks in the corner.

Teagan moves slowly around the room, perhaps imagining it from a more opulent time, or wishing it were once again. Her garnet silk gown makes a sensual whisper with each step which draws her nearer to the bar. Once there, she places both gloved hands on the bar, fingertips unconsciously caressing the surface worn smooth by the hands of many before her. Once reaching her destination, her head turns to meet the gaze of the man several feet from her and it is only then that a ethereal smile lifts her lips in a smile towards the stranger.

Colton slowly reaches up and tugs on the brim of his hat, "Evenin to ye Ma'am…I don't reckon it warmed up any out there 'as it?"

Colton swallows, and realizes he's been staring. He hides behind his glass for a moment as he empties it.

Teagan's eyes take in each nuance of the cowboy, aquamarine eyes sweeping his face, training on his mouth when he speaks. She draws nearer until she stands at his elbow and with a precocity of a most feminine spirit, her hand lifts to tilt upwards the wide brim of his hat so that she may see his face clearer. The revelation of his eyes causes her own to darken and widen in animation, forcing her to take a single step back so as not to be overwhelmed by the true masculine beauty of his face.

After several moments, she replies, her voice low for his ears alone and holding a vibrant and arousing timbre to her speech, "It remains very cold. Far colder than I have experienced for a very long time."

Colton smiles slightly, and nods, "I reckon I know exactly what you mean Ma'am. I didn't think it got this cold anywhere on earth.." He nods over to the bartender, "Give the lady somethen to warm 'er up.. I'll take another snort in this one…" He slides the glass across the wooden surface to the tender.

A silken brow lifts at his nonchalant attitude towards her and with a slight narrowing of her eyes, she settles a bit further from him, enough to be unable to feel the heat from his body. Ordering a brandy from the bartender, she clasps it between her middle fingers, slowly roiling the liquid around the glass. Her thanks is muffled as she tilts the snifter to her lips, taking a lady-like sip.

Colton doesn't seem to pay her look any mind as he lifts his glass as well to drink. He sets it back on the bar, and lets out a long breath looking outside, "Make ye wish a body could grow fur…Be hell shavin in the spring though."

The very thought gives her pause while sipping her drink, suspending Teagan's glass part way to her lips. With a deliberate turn of her head, she returns her gaze to the man, "That was a bit crude, was it not? And besides, the thought of curling up with a man with that much…hair is a most displeasing thought in and of itself."

A glass of beer crashes to the ground.

Colton glances over, "Well.. It'd only be crude if it was true. I reckon its just idle talk Ma'am. Sides. I don't reckon anyone would want to take a bear to bed.. Cept maybe another bear.."

Teagan starts as the glass shatters on the floor, her face taking on a pale quality as though a gun discharged. At his response, her eyes revert search the greenish gray ones of the man and a crest of color warms her cheeks. "Yes. Um….quite so." And the rim of the snifter returns to her lips.

Colton blinks a bit in surprise as she jumps. He tilts his head to look towards the broken glass, and back to her. He turns to the bar so only she can hear, "You alright Ma'am?"

Teagan carefully sets down her glass, both hands cupping around the base as though to hold it in order to prevent it from tipping over, each movement deliberate. "Hmm? Oh. I've an aversion to loud noises." She does not elaborate, though if one ever got close enough, she would probably divulge something in regards to a time spent incarcerated.

Colton nods slowly, and picks up his glass to empty it, "I reckon that could be a problem in a place like this 'un Ma'am." He watches her for a moment, "You don't mind me sayin Ma'am.. You don't much look like who'd I expect to belly up to the bar in a place like this."

Teagan straightens in a self-protective gesture of bravado and with gusto, lifts her glass to her lips and tosses back the rest of the drink. And then has to turn her head as it burns down her throat and causes her to cough uncontrollably. She places the back of her hand to her mouth in an attempt to stifle the sound, though she drags the air through her nose to breath.

Colton blinks in surprise, as she throws back her drink. His eyes widen as she starts coughing. He closes the space between them, and takes her arm patting her on the back, "You gotta practice that before do it at the saloon.. " He chuckles sfotly, "You gonna make it Ma'am?"

Teagan nods furtively, tears stinging her eyes as all she can do is nod. A shiver courses through her at his touch and she turns her head to bury against his shirt in an attempt to gather her bearings. After a moment she takes a shuddering breath and looks up at him, "I…do not know why I thought I could do that."

Colton chuckles, "Don't fret about it none. You can try again later once you gte your air back." He looks down at her falling silent, as he rubs her back, "Not used to brandy Ma'am?"

Teagan murmurs, "Not used to tossing it back like a fool." As the bartender seeks to fill her glass, she places a negating hand over the top, shaking her head for enunciation. She feels his gentle rubbing on his back and as her eyes meet his she asks, "May I enquire as to your name, sir? As you have been courtly and come to my aid?"

Colton nods, "I reckon you can if'n yer curious enough Ma'am. And I didn't do much. Sure you'd done the same for me if'n the boot was on the other foot." A smile touches the corners of his mouth as he watches her.

Another wash of becoming color warms her face, as though guilty of some unmentionable offense. She straightens once more, as though struggling to find the bravado to continue, "I believe I am curious enough, sir." Her eyes do not part from his, though meeting his openly.

Colton smiles a little wider, "Colton Reynolds, Ma'am.. Its a pleasure to meet ye."

Teagan digests his name, her lips moving silently as she commits it to memory. Lifting her hand, she offers her own in return, "Lady Teagan Fitzgerald. It is a pleasure to meet you, Mister Reynolds."
The swinging doors flutter, making an odd racket.

Colton blinks once at the title, "Lady…. Fitzgerald…" He clears his throat, "Well Ma'am.. I can't say I ever met either a Lady, a Teagan, or a Firzgerald before." He lets his hand slip slowly from her back, before adding, "Could you stand something else in yer glass?"

Teagan watches him retreat and she responds with tartness on her tongue, "Now you have, Mister Reynolds. Tea, I believe would be a nicety at this moment. Perhaps Earl Grey if it is available."

Colton look blankly at her, and then gives the bartender the same blank stare, "Tea?"

Teagan's eyes move from Colton to the bartender and then back, "Wine?"

The bartender rolls his eyes, and disapears for a minute or two before he comes back with a very dusty bottle, the cork wedged into the neck where it was opened before. He pours some into a coffee cup, and sets it before the woman, and shrugs, apoligeticaly.
The swinging doors flutter, making an odd racket.

Teagan swallows slowly, her gaze following the bartender's movements, her eyes widening in horror with each action. When the mug is placed before her, she lifts her face to Colton with a pleading expression in their depths. Once more she trains her bluish-green eyes on the cup and with a shudder of near-revulsion, wraps her hands around the cup, knowing in her heart of hearts the flat and possible vinegarness of the substance will be far worse than tossing back a bit of brandy from before.

Colton clears his throat, and moves close to her again, and reaches over his hand closing over hers, to take the cup, "I appreciate it Ma'am.. Always wanted to try it.." He picks up the cup, and nods to the bartender, "Bring 'er a coffee… If'n it ain't too thick." Without another word he downs the contents of the cup, and swallows it with a wince. He sets the cup back down, and nods over to her, 'Much obliged."

Teagan blinks slowly, watching his every movement and as he down the drink, she winces as well, a small hand coming to rest on his wrist as though to stop him, but it is too late and the fingertips turn to a caress. Her lips part on a soft gasp and she bites her lip. Softly she offers, "You did not have to do that, Mister Reynolds."

Colton shrugs, "Could have been worse imagine.." He smiles slightly, as the coffee is delivered. He pulls the cup across the bar to set in front of her, "I think this is as close as yer gonna get Ma'am."

Teagan's hand slips from his wrist, a gentle gesture as her hands settles around the mug, looking into the murky depths. After a moment, her gaze returns to his face as he is still close and affords her the luxury of feeling his breath on her skin, "What is it you do, Mister Reynolds other than safe half-witted damsels in distress?"

Colton says, "Well the damsels don't pay so well.. so in my spare time I cowboy some.. Cattle.. horses. Anything horseback.""
Two gamblers argue over a hand.

Teagan's auburn brows lift at this revelation and she turns fully towards him, the coffee now forgotten, "Mister Reynolds, what if this damsel paid very well for your services as a sometimes drover?"

Colton blinks in surprise, and looks at her. He pushes his hat back on his head, "Its off season for drovers Ma'am.. Nothen moves durin the winter… You taking on hands?"

Teagan clasps her hands together and nods with alacrity, "I am, Mister Reynolds. I wish to gather horses together until several head of mine arrive from Masachusetts in the Spring. Mustangs, anyone selling their stock. I wish simply at this moment to acquire as many head as I can. Then perhaps we may go in search of more, if that is amenable?"

Colton blinks a again, and nods slowly, "I reckon so…You going to breed horses Ma'am? Sell 'em?"

Teagan's smile is warm as though the sun suddenly appeared inside the Saloon, "I am at that, Mister Reynolds. Will you help me? Are you up to the task?"

Colton chuckles, "Easy Lady Fitzgerald.. I'll take a look at your place.. Sit down and hear your plan.. If its doable… I'll sign, and you can have a top hand.. How would that be?"
The bartender wipes down the bar.

Teagan considers his proposal for all of five seconds. "That would be splendid, Mister Reynolds. When would you like to look at my place?"

Colton smiles slightly, "Soon as possible Ma'am.. When ever you take a notion, and it don't frost bite us."

You say, "How is now? My carriage is outside and we can be there shortly. If I remember how to get there." Her cheeks warm in embarrassment and excitement. "I recently moved in from San Francisco and have posted advertisements to no avail, thusfar."

Colton stands up, and looks at her a moment, "Now?.. Ain't it dark Ma'am? Couldn't see it if'n we tried.. Better we wait till morning… How many men you got workin for ye now?"

Teagan stands, gathering her cloak and pulling the hood over her head, "I've an extra room, Mister Reynolds, unless you prefer…" her pointed look around the saloon begs the question, 'Do you really want to stay here?' before her gaze arcs back to his. "I must return home and would it not be more advantageous to be fresh in the morning rather than force you to ride all the way out there before sunrise?"

Colton grabs his coat, pulls his hat down. He nods once looking at the woman, "Fair enough.. It don't look like I"m talking you out of it. There any rooster I need to worry about comin to spear me if'n I'm caught in yer house Ma'am?"

Teagan pauses in her flight to the carriage, turning towards him with a quizzical expression, "Roosters?"

Colton wraps his scarf around his neck, and pulls his gloves on, "Yer a hen Ma'am…" He walks past her a bit towards the door, rifle tucked under his arm.

Teagan watches him walk past her as she digests his explanation. Renewed color rushes to her face as she walks quickly to him, "Oh. Oh! No. There are no roosters, Mister Reynolds. My husband is dead." And she then precedes him out the door.

Colton watches her walk past, and follows her out, wondering what he's gotten into.


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