The Brothers Meet

Started by Mark Carson at Apr 15, 2020 2:47 AM
January 11, 1924
378 Views
13 Posts

Mark Carson

Federal Agent
54
?Years Young
23 Posts

"How can you hate someone if you don't know them."


Looking at the ship that he was about to board, Mark was having second thoughts.  Meeting his two brothers on their own turf meant that they would have the advantage.  He didn't want to think about it in this way but the thought that he was coming in as the kid brother was a bit discomforting.  Beside Lucian and J.D. had already had five years getting used to each and now here he was coming to upset the apple cart.

It wasn't that he was scared of them, it was more the fact that after living most of his life as an only child, he now had brothers and a sister to deal with and that was a bit daunting.  He had only known that he was Liam MacLeod's son for only three days and so he hadn't had enough time to prepare himself for this meeting.  Things were happening fast but he knew they had to.  On Monday he was due to report to the Bureau's Miami office and if he didn't find where they stood it could cause problems later on down the track.

Walking up the gangplank, he presented the ticket that Liam had given him the night before. Liam wanted his sons to at least meet each other but Mark hadn't expected it to be so soon.  There was no way he could turn down Liam's offer to pay for the weekend cruise, something he couldn't afford on his pay.  It was better that it happened before his presence was made official.  The job he had been picked to do would bring some attention and eventually his connection to the MacLeods would be found out.

As the steward showed him to his room, Mark began to compose himself and admitted that he was nervous about the meeting.  He didn't know why but he was and hence all the uncertainty he was feeling.  Hopefully, by the end of this trip he would have everything under control.


Cat's Meow! 1

Lucian MacLeod

Club Owner, Coffee Importer
40
?Years Young
27 Posts

Here among my thoughts of you, I find a gentle longing to be free...


Lucian ran the brush through his hair, although it did little to tame it since he refused to wear any of the men's styling products in it. Since leaving the Philippines, he had taken to wearing it cut short, not that it made a difference. Turning away from his dresser, Lucian picked up his black dinner jacket and slipped his arms into the sleeves. It was tailored to fit and fashionable. He did share one thing in common with his brother, Jameson. Lucian could not stand wearing a tie or bowtie. This evening, he was clad in black on black with the top two or three buttons of his silk shirt open.

Liam had called late the night before to say that he had presented their recently acquired youngest half-brother a ticket for that weekend's cruise. Providing that Mark Carson had accepted it, he would be boarding soon, if he had not already. He glanced at the wall-clock for the time. The ship would be leaving port within the hour. It was not a problem. On cruises, they strictly adhered to the three-mile limit before opening the bar.

Moving like a dark-clad panther, Lucian left his stateroom and headed along the passage toward the front of the ship. Instead of entering through the club's front entrance, he turned down a side passage that allowed him to enter a room that was cleverly disguised behind a gold-etched mirror. From the club side, it just looked like an ornate bit of art. From the room where Lucian stood, he could see the club and its patrons clearly. It was early yet. There were only a few people in the club other than employees. Most were enjoying the light refreshments that Club Lorelei provided before they headed out to sea.

Lucian stretched, rolled his shoulders, and put on his evening's "game-face". It was time to go to work.


Jameson MacLeod

Ship Captain, Cruise Ship Chanteuse, Miami
20
?Years Young
8 Posts

J.D. looked into the mirror of his stateroom as he tugged on the sleeves of his "uniform" jacket. He and Lucian had found that it helped the boat's PR and reputation to project an air of naval tradition among the entertainment value of the Cruises offered by the Chanteuse. J.D. had been the logical choice to wear the outfit given his past.

He regarded the image in the mirror and shook his head. Captain was a rank he had been years from attaining so he always felt a bit self conscious wearing the outfit, but he also had to admit that the Chanteuse was his and that did make him her Captain regardless of his service in the Navy.

J.D. reached and picked up the Colt Government Model and eased the slide back to verify there was a round in the chamber. He then lowered the hammer before sliding it into his jacket and into the holster that held it snug against his left side. He then picked the Smith & Wesson M1917 revolver up and popped the cylinder out, verifying the full load of .45 rounds before he closed it back and slid it into the holster at the small of his back. Both pistols were nickel plated with pearl grips. Yes, perhaps a bit gaudy but J.D. took pride in them as any workman did with his tools.

He buttoned the row of buttons and looked at the double breasted appearance of the jacket and he headed out the door of his suite. He had left his cap behind as he headed down the corridors. He nodded and greeted the few crew and employees he passed. Soon he walked through the main doors and into the club, seeing the small but growing crowd as he surveyed the expansive room and its various areas. J.D. felt his eyes going over to the large mirror and he thought he could feel his brother's gaze on him. He gave a barely perceptible chin lift at the mirror and then walked across the room toward the bar so he could lean against it and wait.

Lucian paused on the deck to speak with a few customers enjoying the afternoon sun. After assuring them that the Chanteuse would be sailing on time, he continued through the doors and into Club Lorelei. He found himself repeating the same information for a few of the ship's passengers that were inside the club as he made his way toward the room-length bar at the back. Stepping behind the bar, Lucian walked along its length until he reached the end where his brother was standing, pausing only to pour himself a cup of coffee along the way.

"The steward assigned to the newest member of Clan MacLeod's stateroom will point him out to us," was Lucian's greeting for his brother. "I have yet to do a sweep to see if Jessica has hidden away yet. It would probably be in our best interest to simply give her a job."

"Her own job or her own cell deep in the ship..." J.D. said as he held a hand out to accept the bottle of Coke the bartender extended toward him. J.D. took a pull of the soda and looked out over the tables. "...So will we greet him or lean on him to start?"

"Unless he approaches us first, we greet him after the ship is underway. Until then, we do not need the distraction," Lucian said quietly. 

 


Cat's Meow! 1

Mark Carson

Federal Agent
54
?Years Young
23 Posts

"How can you hate someone if you don't know them."


Mark straightened his jacket one more time.  He was about to enter the breach and he didn't want to look too out of place.  The Club Lorelei was the type of place he didn't frequent all that often.  Even though he had a tidy nest egg put away, it was for the future and not now.  There would come a day when after he retired that he would need something to live on.

The noise inside alert him to the fact that things had changed now that he was part of the MacLeod clan.  It looked like he would eventually come into enough take care of his retirement but he didn't want to count on it.  Besides, it would be a while before he retired anyway so he could think about it another day.  What matter was right now.

Dusting of a piece of fluff that had come off some lady's boa as she walked passed him into the club, he wondered how he would fare.  This was the only tuxedo that he owned.  It wasn't that fancy except for the satin lapels and maybe the three buttons that adorned the end of each sleeve.  He preferred wearing black as a white tuxedo was not his style.  The only white he did wear was his shirt but even that was accompanied with a black tie.

Realising that he was delaying the inevitable, he stepped inside.  The place was huge and well, he couldn't think of much else.  Just like Liam's hotel, the decor didn't impress him either.  He wasn't one for all this over the top decadence that had suddenly become the fashion but he supposed that his brothers had to make the place appeal to the clientele.

Looking around the room, he was at a bit of a loss on whether he should sit at a table or go to the bar to wait.  This was his brothers' home ground and it was up to them to make the first move.  Thinking that a table and having dinner would be the better option, he asked the hostess if he could be seated.  If he was going to have to wait, he may as well use his time wisely.


Cat's Meow! 1

Grace (Gracie) Stroud

Waitress
180
?Years Young
79 Posts

The song is done. The melody lingers on. You and the song are gone. But the melody lingers on.


The floor manager motioned for Gracie to take that table where a lone gentleman had just been seated and she nodded, reaching for a menu to take with her. She approached the table in her usual relaxed manner flashing the man a big customer service smile.

"Good day. How ya doin'?" she set the menu down next to the fellow, going for eye to eye contact.

"I'm Gracie and I'll be your server. Can I get you a glass of water or something to drink. We got coffee, tea, root beer, coca cola, and it wouldn't be Florida without orange juice," she smiled.

They couldn't serve alcohol yet, that would have wait til the ship went out past the three mile limit. Then the fun times would begin. For now she decided to leave the topic unsaid unless he asked for a drink then she would have to disappoint the man. Temporarily.

 


Cat's Meow! 1

Mark Carson

Federal Agent
54
?Years Young
23 Posts

"How can you hate someone if you don't know them."


Mark looked up at the waitress who addressed him.  She was blonde and very pretty.  He wondered briefly, if his brothers might have sent her over to soften him up in advance.  No, they wouldn't have but if they did he admired them for their strategy.  It would have worked if not for the fact that he was more into brunettes than he was blondes.

The absurdity of this thought, coupled with how unsure he was about the situation finally got to him.  He was acting like a silly fool and there was no need to.  The whole situation was laughable and that's just what he did.  The laugh was only brief, but it was enough to make him feel better.

"I'm sorry, Gracie," Mark said, "It was nothing that you said or did.  I'm in a situation that was starting to get the better of me and I just realised that it doesn't matter."

After a pause, he continued, "If you don't mind, I'll start with coffee and let you know what I want after I've had a look at the menu."


Grace (Gracie) Stroud

Waitress
180
?Years Young
79 Posts

The song is done. The melody lingers on. You and the song are gone. But the melody lingers on.


Gracie had no sooner got finished with her little spiel to a new customer when the man laughed. She blinked, she was pretty sure she hadn't said anything funny? But he quickly apologized and tried to explain what it was he was amused by. His explanation did not help. Strange jasper, this one. But she nodded and smiled.

"Oh... that's good. I guess," she left it at that.

He decided to have a coffee, seemed a reasonable choice. And he wanted to study the menu, also made perfect sense.

"Sure, one coffee coming up. If you have any questions about the menu, I will be perfectly happy to answer 'em when I get back with your coffee," she remarked then turned and went to get him what he had requested.

Lucian stirred from where he was leaning on the bar and talking to Jameson The cabin steward had passed by and pointed Mark out with a nod of his head. Fortunately, their newest brother was seated in Gracie's section. He walked over to meet her as she came around the bar to the coffee pot. Ducking his head as he set his own cup down, he said quietly, "Heads up, Gracie. The man at table thirteen is the newest member of Clan MacLeod. He is also a Fed, Bureau of Investigation. Make sure everyone knows - no alcohol until after the three-mile limit. If a customer gives you lip over it, come and get me or Jameson."

Gracie flashed her best 'smile it's the boss' grin at his approach then paused to hear what he had to say. Newest member of his clan? She wasn't quite sure what that meant but what he said right after was downright surprising. A Fed? Her eyes got big for an instant as she nodded compliance.

"Umm, sure, boss! I didn't even offer him any. The floor manager always tells us when we've reached the three mile limit. So no worries," she assured him.

"Good. Our father sprang him on us the other day," Lucian told her and shook his head with a soft chuckle, "His name is Mark Carson and he is our younger half-brother."

"Bush wa! You don't say? Is he jake with you guys? You know...the whole speak easy racket?" Gracie wondered out loud even as she poured the coffee into a fine china cup.

"That, I do not know. Our father declined to say when he telephoned me and said that he had given Mr. Carson a ticket for the weekend," Lucian's tone indicated his asperity at his father. Liam had either tossed him and Jameson to the lions or Mark. He was not sure which.

These MacLeods certainly were a strange family but then Gracie felt she shouldn't judge. Her family had been a mess - with an alcoholic father, a sickly mother, a brother who turned criminal in his mid teens, and then there was her.

"Alright, boss, got it. Well, I need to get this coffee out to him. You want me to say anything to him? You know, like you're aware he's arrived or bring him to your office?" Gracie would do whatever was asked of her, she only worked here.

"Not unless he specifically asks. Jameson and I will dine with him, providing he is amenable to that, once we are at sea," Lucian answered. "You are doing a great job, Gracie."

"Sure, however you want it, boss," Gracie nodded, "I won't mention a thing."

The coffee cup filled, placed on a tray, the young waitress now started to head back to that table when Lucian threw her a compliment. She glanced his way.

"Thanks, I appreciate hearing that," she smiled then went back to her duties.

In a moment she was back at Mark's table, placing the coffee cup down in front of him on it's saucer. She also had a cream ready if he wanted it and there was already a container of sugar cubes on the table should he desire it sweeter.

"Here you are, sir. And cream if you wish. Would you like to order now or do you need more time?" she asked.

"No, I'll wait."  Mark added a cube of sugar to his coffee.  He had seen the waitress over at the bar talking to someone and by the way she was acting, he could tell that the man was in management.  It didn't take him long to work out who the man was.  During the last month, he had been trying to find out who was who and had come across a description of him in one of the Herald's past editions.  This was before he knew that he was his brother and so he was glad that he had found out.

"Gracie, will you give my compliments Lucian.  Tell him that I am ready whenever he and Jameson, who I suspect is nearby, that I am ready whenever they are."




Grace (Gracie) Stroud

Waitress
180
?Years Young
79 Posts

The song is done. The melody lingers on. You and the song are gone. But the melody lingers on.


The man was content to wait rather than order so Gracie nodded but then he took her by surprise when he requested that she go tell his brothers he was waiting for them at their convenience. For a second, she considered lying but she wasn't exactly sure why she had to or what good it would do? He must have recognized Lucian when he chatted with her by the coffee station. No matter.

"Yes sir, I can do that. Signal me when you wish to order," Gracie replied with a smile then turned and headed straight back to the bar.

"Umm, excuse me. Your brother sends his best and said he's waiting for you and your other brother whenever you're ready," she dutifully passed on the message to her employer.

Lucian's dark eyes glinted. So, Mark was going to step-up and beard his older brothers in their den...so to speak? "I apologize for putting you in the middle, Gracie. Next time you are by Mr. Carson's table, please let him know we will join him once we're at sea."

Gracie did wonder what exactly was going on with these brothers. This little song and dance routine and her being the messenger hoofing it back and forth besides also needing to wait on her other tables. But no questioning the boss.

"You got it, boss," she nodded then glanced back out at the dining room tables, "I ain't that busy yet anyhow."  Least not so far.

Soon enough she was back though at the Fed....errr, brother's table with her tell tale pleasant smile.

"Mr. MacLeod sez he and his brother will join you at your table one the ship reaches the three mile limit," she dutifully passed on the message.

 


Mark Carson

Federal Agent
54
?Years Young
23 Posts

"How can you hate someone if you don't know them."


"Thanks again, Gracie," Mark replied.

There was not much he could but wait until this ship of theirs reached the three-mile limit.  He knew exactly why the three-mile limit was important.  Heck, he would be much of federal agent if he didn't.  It was no secret that once the ship got out into international waters that the booze would be running freely.  It was one of the reasons why this club and the weekend voyage was so popular.

What anyone did out US Government territory didn't matter to him.  If his brothers wanted to dance the fine line that was up to them.  Maybe later on, he might let tell them that if they did break the law, he would have no problems bringing them in.  However, today was not that day.  The main purpose of this trip was to get to know what type of men his brothers really were.  Most of what he had heard was hearsay and innuendo.  Once he found out what the truth was, then he could decide whether or not they would be worthy to be called family.

Since he had to wait, he decided to use his time usefully.  Part of his job was just sitting and watching others to see how they how act.  You could tell a lot about people by observing how they interacted with others.  He would also be keeping an eye on his brothers so that he could be ready for the inevitable meeting.


Lucian MacLeod

Club Owner, Coffee Importer
40
?Years Young
27 Posts

Here among my thoughts of you, I find a gentle longing to be free...


The transit to open water went smoothly. Soon the SS Chanteuse was beyond United States territorial waters. By five am, she would be in Havana. Three staccato bursts from the ship's horn informed everyone that they were in the clear. The kitchen and other Club Lorelei services could open up. It also meant it was safe for the booze to start flowing without breaking any laws.

Lucian made a circuit of the club, speaking to some of their regular customers and giving the staff encouragement to keep doing a great job. He made sure that his path led him past his brother. He gave a nod of his head, his signal that it was time to meet their newest sibling. At least Liam was making sure he did not taint the meeting with his presence.

Knowing that Jameson would be on his heels as soon as he could get free of the people he was talking to, Lucian headed for table thirteen, stopping next to it. "Good evening, Mr. Carson. I am Lucian MacLeod." 

It was odd how strange his name felt suddenly. He had experienced that feeling of dissociation in the past, back when he was still with the Office of Naval Intelligence. Then, he often used his middle name as his last name and would become so used to it, when the assignment was over, it was hard to go back to being Lucian MacLeod.