by Misty ©

Many years ago in ancient Ireland there were celtic chieftains and kings, long before the Normans entered the foray.  And here is where our story begins.

It was in a white washed cottage on the grand estate of the Fitzpatrick's that Sean O'Reilly and his two daughters Chevonne and Megan resided.  They had been there since Sean had first married the girls mother Fidelma, who now had been past for many years.

Sean was the head game keeper for the estate, of Aidan Fitzpatrick, one of the last of the great chieftains.  His son Rory Fitzpatrick now in his prime of life at 21 yrs. of age, would surely follow in his father's footsteps, as he had already proved himself to be a born leader.

Sean's youngest daughter Megan was a petite, comely colleen with long curly flowing tresses black as night, blue eyes, and the fairest of skins which had a hint of rosy blush to them.

Megan's older sister Chevonne like her mother  had straight flaming redhair that hung down to her waist.  She was taller than Megan, her eyes were green and like her sister had a fair complexion, with a hint of blush. 

Both girls were of age to wed, Megan now being 16yrs. to her older sister's 18yrs. and to most of the young men on the estate, both girl's were considered to be beauty's and quite sought after to be one's prospective bride to be.

Of course, Megan had no interest in any of the young men, that is all except for Rory, she had a  crush on him since childhood, and apparently it had never ceased.  Her heart still skipped a beat or two when she espied him on his horse, he was tall and handsome and everything that Megan could ever want or desire.

Chevonne on the other hand dreamed constantly of becoming a wife, mother, and settling down, she was the quieter of the two sisters, also less fiery and passionate about life than Megan.

Why are you in such a hurry to marry one of the young men here now Chevonne, you never know his lordship may have a lot of visitors soon, when it comes hunting time, who knows you may end up wedding a young chieftain.  Don't talk silly Megan, dear lord girl why on earth would a young chieftain wed me, I'm sure he could do far better than a game keeper's daughter.

Because your beautiful, smart, and can cook great meals, better than I can that's for sure.  Oh Megan dear it will all come to you, the learnin of how to cook and keep a good home for your future husband to be.

Chevonne there is only one man I am interested in and you know who that is dear sister of mine.  I admire your tenacity Megan but surely you know that this can never be, we are but the daughter's of his lordship's game keeper, and not from a great chieftain's house.

I don't see what that has to do with anything Chevonne, am I not pretty, am I not well spoken.  Of course you are dear little sister, but you still are only one of the servant's daughters.

Oh poo, I think I can get Rory to fall madly in love with me, maybe as much as I am with him.  Chevonne laughed, oh to be sure you do aim high dear sister, I wish you much luck as to be sure you'll need it to have that happen.

You just wait and see I'll show you, I'll show you all, I thought you would not laugh at me like the other girls do Chevonne, but you'll all be sorry one day soon too.

It had come fall now on the grand estate of the Fitzpatrick's, and a great bunch of guest's started to arrive and fill the grande house of his lordship.  There were many other chieftain's with their wives and family who had come along to either join in, or just partake of his lordship's hospitality.

It was on one of these day's that Megan had chosen once again to climb the ancient, old, oak tree to see what she could espy going on at the grande house, when suddenly she slipped and fell to the ground banging her head just enough to make her groggy. 

Are you alright Megan, can you hear me, oh for god's sake Megan please speak to me let me know you are alright.  Megan slowly opened her beautiful blue eyes, and although still somewhat groggy looked up at the face of the man she loved with all her heart, and his look was one of great concern.  Is that you Rory she spoke, yes, oh yes, Megan it's me thank the lord your alright, yes I am but a bit banged up and dizzy she said.

Well we will tend to that right and proper Rory spoke, as he picked her up like a feather in his powerful arms.  Where are you taking me Rory why to the house Megan where you will be tended to, just to make sure you broke no bones.  Oh I havn't I am sure, but if you insist Rory, I feel I am not strong enough to resist.

Megan feined weakness or anything she had to do in order to linger in Rory's arms, blissfully smiling and ecstatic.  He carried her up to the main house and lay her gently on a large sofa.  There now I'll get nanny to come and look at you Megan just to make sure.  Oh thankyou so much Rory your too kind.

He was gone what seemed a lifetime for Megan, and returned with Nanny O'Connor.  Now hold still child while I check to make sure your all in one peace nanny told Megan.  Oh I am sure I am nanny maybe just a few bruises here and there.  Rory looked on with a frown of concern on his handsome face.

Well Megan O'Reilly to be sure you'll be as right as rain in a day or two, and have a few black and blue marks, but apart from that your one strong little colleen nanny smiled.  Thankyou nanny, and you too Rory.  I guess I should be getting back to the cottage before I take up anymore of your precious time.  Megan began to try to get up.

Megan you'll not walk back I'll carry you, you must rest at least for the rest of today Rory said, while picking her up in his arms again.  He noticed this time how light she was, and also how truly lovely she was, from her pale perfect complexion, to her full pouty lips, he could feel his heart start to race as he carried her slowly back to the cottage.

They were still just away's off from the cottage, near the brook, when Megan looked up into Rory's lovely eyes and smiled so sweetly with a hint of come hither.  You are beautiful Megan, you seem to have grown up so fast, I remember you just a year or two ago it seems you were still yet a young girl.

I assure you Rory I am all woman now.  Yes you are, you certainly are.  Megan couldn't resist the temptation as they both seemed caught up in the moment and she gently caressed Rory's face with her soft little hand.

Your very handsome and appealing Rory.  I never thought of myself that way Megan, he drew her closer, oh god his heart was pounding now, and he leaned down and kissed her softly, it was sweet oh yes lord it was so sweet.

Oh, Rory do you know how long I have dreamed of you doing that, kissing me.  No, I don't Megan but I'd sure would like to do it again.  He didn't have time to say another word for Megan pulled him to her and kissed him fully and passionately on his lips.  Megan O'Reilly you are bewitching me, but please don't every stop.

Holding her in his arms he leaned his back against a large oak tree, stopping so he could catch his breath as he could hardly breathe.  Oh lord Megan I don't ever want it to stop, but I must sweet one, or I wouldn't be a gentleman, and with you it is how I always wish to be.

You are Rory please know that, you are a chieftain's son, a perfect gentleman and the man I love and have always loved.  Megan you shouldn't say that, I mean it is a man's place to say that to the woman he is in love with.  Alright then Rory, I will wait until you feel the same way.

Oh my sweet, little Megan what am I to do with you, when I am near you I cannot think straight, and I do care for you for now sweet one, know that I care deeply for you and only you.

Oh, really Rory then I will hold that close to my heart for now, because I know you will tell me you love me and soon.  He smiled at this wee beauty he held in his arms and how tenacious she was, but he loved everything about her, and knew also it would not be long before he would tell her so.

The hunting season went well for all, and all his lordship's guests went away with enough game for the cold winter months that lay ahead.  Sean had seen to it that this year the hunting would be exceptionally good for all.  Rory had gotten many pheasants, and quails for the estate's larder as his father wasn't quite up to going out each day, his health seemed not too good and Rory was worried.

It was late fall and as the O'Reilly's sat around the dinner table about to eat a lovely dinner of corned beef and cabbage that Chevonne had prepared, she asked it they could wait a moment as she had some news.  All eyes were on her, waiting patiently.

I want you to know that Liam has asked me to marry him, and I have accepted. Sean smiled, yes I know Chevonne dear, he came to me and asked for your hand in marriage, I said yes.  He asked you father, oh it's true he is a gentleman and well bred too.  Congratulations my daughter I am truly happy for both of you.

Megan are you not going to wish your sister well.  I am, but sister could you not do better than Liam dear heaven's he's a stable boy.  He is not Megan he has been promoted to be the master's private groom.  Oh, pardon me, Megan laughed, but saw it hurt her sister.  I am sorry Chevonne forgive me please, of course I am happy for you and wish you well she went and kissed her sister's cheek and hugged her.

That night Chevonne told Megan that she would be wed within a fortnight, and could hardly wait.  Megan told Chevonne of her latest experience with Rory and she smiled while doing the telling of the tale.

You kissed, not only once but twice, saint's preserve us Megan have you know shame.  No none when it comes to Rory I have no shame at all dear sister.  Besides, when he kissed me I wished he would never stop.

Oh Megan child, if mother were here.  Chevonne, I am not a child, and mother isn't here, and even if she was, she would be happy for me, maybe a little put off at first but in the end she would still love me.

Chevonne shook her head and couldn't help but laugh.  Megan you are one fiery colleen, and if Rory can tame you, then he is the man for you.  Megan smiled fully, yes that's what I think too and promptly put her head down and fell asleep thinking of none other than Rory Fitzpatrick.

It was mid-November and Chevonne now lived in another white washed cottage with Liam her new groom, it had been a nice quiet wedding and received the blessing of his lordship and his son.

Aidan Fitzpatrick was quickly failing in his health as of late and nanny had told Rory she felt he would not last the winter.  She and two other servant's tended him night and day, but moreso just to make him comfortable as there was no recourse as he was older now and the illness had seemed to enter his lungs. 

Megan and Rory had taken to meeting in private in a small empty cottage a few miles from the main part of the estate, and he had confessed his love for her over and over again.  The were like fire and oil, each igniting the other, until rhyme nor reason entered into the equasion.

It was on the very day Aidan was officially pronounced dead by the local healer, and laid out in wake style, that Rory earlier in the cottage had declared his undying love for Megan, and told her he wanted her for his wife.

It was not until the proper time of mourning had past that Megan and Rory finally met again at their secret place.  He held her close and wept for he missed his father dearly and he now bore the responsibility as the new chieftain and lordship of the estate.

Rory my dear sweet man, your father has gone to a better place, he is happy and with your mother now my love.  Know this she spoke while gently touching his hair and caressing his face and feeling his pain.

Megan I love you, I do love you with all that I am you are my one and only true love forever.  She smiled, I know my dear heart and you are mine too.  But, Megan I cannot wed you now, I must as the last chieftain of our clan marry into the only other clan to unite us forever for Ireland.

What, what did you just say Rory Fitzpatrick, you can't marry me.  Your going to marry that fat cow and let her bear your children.  I hate you, I hate you, and will never forgive you.  Megan jumped up and Rory held her close, tears in his eyes he looked down at this petite beautiful woman whom he loved more than life itself, despite her stinging words and fiery temper.

You and only you will ever hold my heart and love Megan, I only do this as it is expected of me by all, I do it for Ireland.  Then I wish you well your lordship, for I will never forgive you, I will marry the first man who even looks at me and forget you the same night.  She ran off never looking back.

Time passed, months, years, and Rory wed the last chieftain's daughter, who bore him 4 sons, and was a dutiful wife.  Rory was admired by all his clan and all of the clans around, he truly was a son of Ireland and served her well.

He was killed during one of the battles when the Normans entered into Ireland and was laid to rest on the estate next to his father.  No one knew who or where they came from, but every day a fresh bouquet of irish roses were place upon Rory's final resting place.

Now as for Megan O'Reilly she did not run out and marry the first man she saw, for she never truly stopped loving Rory Fitzpatrick, and deep down knew he did only what was expected of him.

He had been her's for but a short time, but oh in that time she knew she was the one who had his love and his heart, and she held onto these bittersweet memories for all of her days.

She lived to the ripe old age of 81yrs. alone now still in her father's white washed cottage, with her 4 cats for company.  But oh she had her memories and sweet, passionate, memories they were of her one and only true love.  She lovingly placed the wild irish roses on his resting place daily and kissed the last one and put it on his headstone, for they would always be a part of each other.

It was on the day of her passing she called out Rory's name as if he were stood there waiting for her, and then with a smile closed her eyes and lay peaceful sleeping into eternity.

Think not of this as a sad story, but of one that was never ending.  A truly great love can do just that, go on forever.  And this one surely did both by action and by memories.