Chapter 20 – Summons From A Far

When Brad and Milly arrived at the hall they were still awed by the majesty of Bosworth Hall. But they had more urgent personal needs to attend to. When they checked in they were handed the keys to room sixty-nine. Brad thought the number was somewhat “prophetic”. When they got there Brad put the suitcases on the floor and locked the two doors the two doors behind them He went behind Milly and started to help her off with her coat. After he hung up her coat he returned to the spot behind her and started kissing the nape of her neck. As he was kissing her he slowly and gently unbuttoned her blouse. He then proceeded to take it off her and undo her bra. Milly knew what was about to happen and wanted it to happen faster. She pulled the shirt out of Brad’s pants and pulled it open sending buttons in all directions. Brad slipped her spaghetti straps off her shoulders and let the bra drop to the floor. He pressed Milly to him and started to kiss her passionately. After he undid the top of her jeans he picked her up and placed her on the bed.

“Arch your back Kitten,” asked Brad.

Milly obliged and with one tug her jeans came off. He got on top and started kissing and sucking her breasts. Milly loved what she was feeling. Brad’s skin was smooth to the touch but he had a little patch of chest hair which Milly loved to play with. She took his free hand and put it in her panties. She started purring and making other approving noises. Quickly Brad got out of his jeans and Milly could feel “him” against her mound. “Him, I want him” she whispered. Brad reached for her purse which was on the floor. Milly quickly opened it and pulled out a condom. She pulled Brad’s underwear off. “He” was already erect.

“Such a cooperative boy,” she said appreciatively.

Once the condom was on Milly’s panties came off.

That was three-thirty in the afternoon. The chambermaids were finishing their chores for the day. The two in the hall just opposite Room 69 heard a squeaking sound. It wasn’t long before they tracked down the source of the squeaking and the probable cause.

“This old news. I’ve heard this before. Twelve years ago, just after I started, I heard this very sound coming from the honeymoon suite. That couple was rabid. They went at it for two hours straight. I’ll bet someone was mighty sore the next day. And the sounds I heard. It makes my heart pound just thinking about it.”

A half hour later the two chambermaids were joined by a third.

“There’s another couple going at it on the second floor. The language she uses. I’m just glad my husband doesn’t ask me to talk like that. It’s positively disgusting.”

Another half hour passed.

The Senior chambermaid of the east wing, Mrs. Gallagher, was making her rounds to see that everybody was finished for the day and had put all items they were responsible for away. She zeroed in on the unauthorized gaggle.

“Break it up, ladies. I’m sure that whatever you’re hearing you’ve heard many times before.”

One of the maids turned to her to Mrs. Gallagher to explain the reason for the unauthorized gathering.

“But Mrs. G. I think these two are going break the record. These have been going at it non-stop for an hour. If somebody doesn’t need some ointment  in the morning they’re sure going walk funny. She’s got this funny laugh and just keeps sayin’ “More, more, push it all the way”.”

Mrs. G, who had to see a lottery she did not like reached into her purse and produced a British five-pound bank note.

“All right. I’ve five pounds the couple in room 69 don’t last another hour. But if they last more than thirty minutes more I’ll change my bet to twenty pounds. Who’s got a glass? I’ve got to hear how Stanley Stud is breathing. If he’s panting already he won’t last another half hour.”

After listening closely for five minutes Mrs. G. laid her money down.

The betting was a regular event at the Hall. And the event was called the Bosworth Hall Orgasmathon.

An elderly gentleman walked down the hall and couldn’t help but notice this unusual gathering. When he got closer to the maids he knelt down and pretended to tie his shoes. He listened to the maids. Mrs. G. announced that the man’s name was Brad and the woman’s name was Milly. The gentleman was a bit unsettled by this activity. He rose and continued walking down the hall till he reached reception. He checked the sign-in book for the names Brad or Milly. His suspicions were confirmed. Dr. Brad Foster and Milly had signed in and were in room sixty-nine.

“This can’t go on. I’ve got to let them know.” he said in a concerned tone.

He took out his phone and phoned Brad. When Brad and Milly registered Brad supplied his cell phone number. Within a matter of seconds, Brad’s phone rang.

“Don’t answer it, Hon. I’m really enjoying myself” urged Milly who was on top of Brad and was holding on to his buttocks.

“Got to Kitten. Could be a medical emergency. It could also be Fergus.” Milly couldn’t hide her disappointment. Brad looked at the phone. The name Dr. Quentin Jameson appeared at his phone. At first, the name meant nothing then Brad broke into a wide smile.

As soon as there was a connection the Professor started speaking.

“Brad, this Professor Jameson. You saved my life a few weeks ago. Don’t say anything. Put the phone on speakerphone and let Milly hear me.” Brad did as instructed. “There’s a group of maids listening to you and everything you’re doing. To make matters worse they’re taking bets on how long you’ll last. They’re also in adjacent rooms with a glass against the walls. Both rooms. I like to suggest you go to the door, surprise them, and demand all the money. If they don’t relinquish the money say you’ll report them for an invasion of your privacy. What they’re doing is revolting. We’ll talk later. Bye”

Milly was furious. She got off of Brad and slammed her hand flat against the wall. Then she ran into the bathroom and slammed her hand against the wall again. As she charged out the bathroom she put on her robe and opened the two doors that separated the bedroom from the hall. She closed the inside door so they couldn’t see Brad.

She opened the door nearest the hall and confronted the maids.

“Let’s have it. All of it! Give me all the money! If you don’t I’m going to complain about my invasion of privacy! You’ll all be unemployed by dinnertime. Do you really want to take that chance? Don’t forget your next employer will ask why you were dismissed. So hand me all the money.” The maids reluctantly handed over all the money. “How do we know you still won’t complain to management,” they asked. “YOU DON’T.” shouted Milly as she slammed the door and re-entered the bedroom.

“What was that all about Kitten?” Milly sat on the edge of the bed and counted the money. “Those ditzy maids were betting on the both of us to win, place, and show. Those morons were betting seven hundred English pounds on us to last another hour. I told them to give me all the money that was bet or I’d rat on them.” Brad was incensed. “Are you saying somebody was actually betting on me to keep “him” up?” Milly, who was still counting the money, gave Brad an icy glare. “Let’s not forget you had a lot of incentive. I kept you…busy. How many condoms did you use?”. Brad counted the number of torn wrappers on the night table. “Five. Why do you want to know? Milly opened her robe in front of Brad. “I was thinking of taking a shower. Want to join me and continue the second half of the Bosworth Hall Sexcapades?”

rutina

As they entered the shower Milly fondled him. Brad put on another of the glow in the dark condoms Milly had purchased. He felt a shiver of pain go up his back. She put her hands against the glass wall and felt Brad put an arm around her waist. What she expected to happen didn’t. Brad didn’t mount her from behind.

“Do you mind terribly if “he” doesn’t go in? He’s a little tender and I don’t want to disappoint you on our wedding night. I can try something else if you want me to try.” Milly asked if “he” was really sore. Brad answered the only way he could. “Remember when your doctor told you to slow down and stop behaving like some sort sex crazed kid?” Milly turned her heard just enough so she could see Brad with one eye. “I remember being told to act like a responsible adult. She said nothing about me behaving like some sort of sex-crazed fiend if that’s what you’re referring to.” Brad could sense a fight brewing and he really wanted to avoid it if possible. “This was just after we made love for the first time. You said “she” was a little tender. And when you told me about it a few days later I told you that “he” was a little sore too.” Milly was quiet for a few seconds and remembered her doctor admonishing her. Milly turned around.

“OK, I do now. Is he really sore?” she said concerned for the man who would soon be her husband.

“It’s not unbearable yet. I really want to please my kitten on her wedding night. But if we continue this particular groom will be out of commission. And I want to be able to give my kitten a very special gift.” Milly turned a little red. “I’ve got a confession. “She” is too. I think we better start being more honest with each other when it comes to sex. But you can still use your fingers.” Brad looked like he was thinking. “That wouldn’t be fair to you. It may sound OK now but what if it makes you want more. You told me to be ready to “deliver the goods.” Right now I can’t.” Brad looked dejected and upset he couldn’t perform when he wanted to. Milly wanted to get his mind off anything to do with sex. She moved closer to him, put her index finger under Brad’s chin and lifted his head. “Why don’t we have an old fashioned shower. But before you start putting soap on me will you please, please, please tell who this Professor is. Every time I’ve asked you in the past something always happens and you forget. And it’s really getting on my nerves. Since I’m about to be your wife, I should know the people you know and they should know me. In other words Brad Foster you’ve been cornered. You can’t scurry away. You can’t forget. Who’s this Professor?”

Brad reminded her that when they arrived at Bosworth Hall the very first time that someone was choking on nuts.

“You mean that was the professor?”

“Yup”

“Was that kind old gentleman who said “Well played Milly” was that the Professor too?”

“It sure was. His full name is Dr. Quentin Jameson. He was a professor of neurology. He and his late wife, Annie, had planned to come here together but she got cancer and passed away before they could. He’s very selective about who he calls a friend. He tries to find out as much as he can before he calls anyone a friend. He calls it “collecting people”. I found him to be an incredibly wise person. Remember this was hours after you threw me out of the shower.”

“Don’t remind me. I still feel like an ass for doing that,” said Milly. Brad continued.

“Well, I told him about you and me -“

“You didn’t say anything about the shower incident?” asked a concerned Milly.

“Give me a break. I’m not going to go up to a total stranger and tell them my fiancé just threw me out of the shower kitten. Jeepers. I’m not a nit.”

“All right already. Holy cow you’re touchy. I apologize for asking. Sheesh.”

“Well after talking all about you the Professor said you sounded like “my Annie”. He always referred to his late wife as “my Annie”. Whenever he talked about you he always said “your Milly” to me. He also wants to meet you.”

“After what he did for us today I think we should take him to dinner. What do you think hon?”

“I think it’s a great idea. And if we like what we hear at dinner we should invite him to the wedding,” suggested Brad.

Milly put her left hand on her hip and wagged her finger at Brad. “If I didn’t know better I’d think you really wanted a large wedding.”

“Not true kitten. This is going to be a new country for both of us. I just want to invite people who are important to us.”

“Makes sense. Now pass the soap. Do you want to soap “her” up or shall I?” asked Milly.

“Don’t take this wrong the wrong way. I think you should do the honors. I don’t want to do something and get your motor running while mine is in neutral. I think we both need to idle till our wedding night.”

*****

After tracking down the Professor in the library Milly kissed him on the cheek then asked him to please come to dinner. The Professor was surprised and taken aback.

“I bed your pardon young lady! I’m not in the habit of being seduced and asked to dinner by beautiful women I don’t know.” Brad heard the kerfuffle, walked over, and stood beside Milly.

“Relax Professor Jameson. This my Milly who will be my wife in just two days. We just want to thank you by taking you to dinner to thank you for what you did.” said Brad

The professor had to sit down and wipe the sweat off his brow.

“Brad, I am very glad you made your appearance when you did. I thought this vision of loveliness was about to have her way with me. So this is the beautiful Milly I’ve heard so much about.” The Professor put his hand on Milly’s knee. “Just between you and me my dear this young man of yours is a bit of chatterbox. All he could do is talk about you. I think it’s rather safe to say he’s rather besotted with you.” The Professor sat on a leather couch with Milly beside him. He winked a mischievous wink at Brad who was standing beside the couch. Milly hugged the Professor’s arm tightly. “I’d be careful my dear. My warranty expired long, long ago.” added Professor Jameson. Milly looked up at Brad. “Can I ask him, Hon? I know it was your idea but he’s just so cuddly I could eat him up.” Brad chuckled a bit. “Go for it, Kitten.” Milly turned toward the Professor. “Brad and I are getting married in two days up in Strathpeffer. We love it if you could come. Please say yes.” The Professor tried to decline as diplomatically as he could. Then Milly employed the dirtiest trick she could: her eyes. She looked into his eyes with two gorgeous watery eyes. “Please say yes.” Milly batted her eyes a few times. That did the trick. The Professor cleared his throat before giving his reply. “My Annie used to bat her eyes just like you. She knew that was my Achilles heel. I feel very lucky to be asked to a wedding and a dinner by such a beautiful woman.” Milly smiled a very wide smile and hugged the Professor then spoke directly to the Professor. “I think it’s fair to say that you, dear Professor Jameson, have been collected” laughed Milly. “I see young Brad told you about that.” The three walked towards the bar. Brad ordered one sherry for the Professor, one Ricochet beer for himself, and a mineral water for Milly. As they sat down at a table Brad distributed the drinks. Brad asked the Professor how knew they were there at the Hall. The Professor grabbed his lapels “This broken down Professor is now gainfully employed here at the hall. It seems I’m a bit of a detective now. The Americans had a rather derogatory term for it long ago. I’m the official house dick. And I have you young Brad to thank. If you hadn’t asked me what I thought of retirement I wouldn’t have this position. Brad was puzzled how he helped. “While you and I were talking the manager was walking by. He offered me this position. There’s no remuneration  but there is free room and board. After my Annie died I needed to downsize desperately. I sold the house we had for forty-five years just last week. Now about you two. I was walking down the outside your room.” Milly started going red knowing she had been loud enough to be heard in the hall. The Professor noticed this and patted her hand. “Now, Now. No need for that. We’re all adults and we all do it.” Milly continued to blush. The Professor quietly directed his next comment directly at Milly. “If it makes you feel any better my wonderful Annie and I was told to lower the volume during a trip to Niagara Falls. Not asked…told, so you and Brad aren’t the only ones raising the roof.” Milly leaned towards the Professor and started speaking softly. “Brad and I plan to come back in a few days for our honeymoon so there might be a repeat performance.” He started speaking softly and patted her hand again. “I’m glad you told me. And I’m glad you feel you can confide in me. If anyone complains I’ll text Brads phone saying the airport just called saying they can’t hear their planes. I shouldn’t be telling you this but when they renovated the hall a few years back they put extra sound proofing insulation in the bridal suite. So to quote that wonderful Beatles tune Act Naturally.” Milly got out of her seat, hugged and kissed the Professor a third time. “Thank you for saying what you just did. Somehow you know just what to say. I feel much better now.” Now the Professor started to blush. “Goodness me. I haven’t had this much attention from a beautiful young woman in quite some time.” Brad wanted to know where to pick him up. “I’m not supposed to tell you my room. Besides they move me each week. I’m living out of a suitcase now. How about I pick you up at 7:30 this evening. I better resume my prowling or I’ll soon myself out on the street”.

******

Brad and Milly had dinner with the Professor and thoroughly enjoyed the evening. As they were walking down the hall towards their room Milly asked about Brad and his other half. “How is “he” feeling Hon?” asked Milly with genuine concern in her voice.

“I brought that little purple number you picked out in the lingerie store.”

Brad thought about his answer before he said anything. “I don’t think anything will happen tonight even with the colorful encouragement. But I’ll know more when I see you in it.”

When they got to their room Milly went over to her suitcase and got it out.

“I’m going into the bathroom to change. I want to make a dramatic entrance.”

Brad stripped down and climbed gingerly into the lower half of his PJ’s. The lock on the bathroom door clicked and Milly walked out as seductively as she could.

“Do you approve? Does “he” approve of what I’m wearing, or should I say I’m barely wearing?”

Milly looked down the front of Brads PJ’s.

“Ouch. That looks nasty. The poor babies down.”

The irritation had grown into a full-blown rash.

“I’m going down to the pharmacy to see if they have some sort of ointment for this. If I didn’t know better I’d say it’s an allergic reaction.”

Brad went to the pharmacy. Milly tried to read an issue of Cosmo but it wasn’t working. She was worried about Brad. After only twenty minutes Brad returned. And he put a paper bag on the night table.

“That’s just great. I’m allergic to latex.”

Milly the magazine fall in her lap. “You’ve got to be kidding!”

“You could be affected as well, Kitten. Some “foreign substance” got into the latex and there’s a recall. I have to put this calamine all over him. Even “the twins” too. You get off easier. You have to drink as much apple juice as often as you can. Your urine coupled with the acid in the juice should kill the bacteria tonight. So that rules out me going down on “her” too.”

Milly crossed her arms and started to pout.

“And you’ll get a giggle out this. I’m to try and make sure he doesn’t get excited. That’s not gonna be very easy with the worlds sexiest, most voluptuous woman in the sexiest outfit I’ve ever seen her in.”

Milly was mystified. Brad had seen her nude and that was sexy as she could get. Or so she thought.

“I don’t understand something. You’ve seen me in my birthday suit and you’re saying this purple nightie is sexier than me au natural?”

Brad sat in a chair as he dropped his PJ’s and began painting everyone south of the border.

“Let me see if I can explain this without getting killed. Because if I screw this up you’re going to want to kill me. For a lot of people, myself included, sexy is a state of mine. You might buy something and think it’s sexy as hell and will drive me wild. But when I see it I might think its pretty ho-hum. A lot of the time when I see you in something that I find sexy it’s because I have to imagine what’s behind that piece of clothing. Take those sexy panties. They’re a solid color. They aren’t sheer or see-thru. Even though I know “she’s” under the panties I have to use my imagination to see “her”. A lot of time, not all the time, when I find something sexy it’s because I have to imagine what’s behind the fabric. Sometimes when I look at your fanny and you’re wearing jeans I have to imagine your panties and then your gorgeous bottom. I like a little mystery. When you’ve looked at my behind was I wearing pants?”

“Now that you mention it you were wearing jeans. The really tight kind. Your behind looked so delicious it was all I could to stop myself from squeezing your buns.”

“You like a little mystery too. I’m finished putting my Calamine on. Time for you to drink up. You’ve got seven bottles to down by morning.”

“Oh great. I know where I’m going to be all night. I’m beginning to wonder if I should get those change of address forms from the post office. Because you’ll know where I’ll be.”

“It’ll over by morning.” Milly threw a throw pillow at Brad.

“Hey! What was that for?” asked Brad.

“I was hoping to pounce tonight.”

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Chapter 19 – Summons From A Far

After everything had settled down Kendra went home to her apartment. That left Jessica and Milly in the store. Mrs. Carter wasn’t quite used to the level of emotion she saw today and looked forward to the remainder of the day being rather quiet. Milly and Jessica chose to recount the events of the day over coffee and a single donut while they waited for Brad to pick them up in the Lotus Europa.

Jessica was the first to speak.

“Can I say something Milly?” she asked.

“Sure you can. I want you to feel you can say anything” she reached out and touch her hand.

“When we first met I didn’t think much of you. I thought you were simply a woman who wanted a free trip to Scotland. I thought you were leading Brad on to get that free ticket. But I’ve come to realize I was completely wrong about you. What you went through this morning with your mother today that took courage. Most Scots probably would have clocked your mother for what she said. We’re not exactly known for our patients. I’m afraid our temper precedes our reputations. And if you have red hair you’re scarred for life. Being Ginger means you have a temper which people will want to see. But you’re different. You have a temper. I know that for sure. But somehow you’ve figured out how to keep it under control. And I wish you could teach me your secret. I suspect you’ve seen my temper. And I don’t like it. Ever since Jamie and I got engaged we’ve had some fearsome fights and I want them to stop. I don’t want our children to inherit what I have -”

“Are you saying-” interrupted Milly.

“No, I’m not. I just don’t want our children to go through the foolishness I had to go through when I was younger. What is your secret?”

Suddenly Milly looked like she had just sprinted one hundred meters.

“Thank you for saying what you just did. When I was just a kid in grade school I was teased mercilessly by a kid who had red hair. He thought it was funny I had a speech impediment. One day he pushed my buttons one too many times. I started swinging till I put the little stinker in a coma. After he came to if he saw me walking down the street he would always move to the opposite side of the street. When I was in my teens I took up boxing. I know it’s not very “Ladylike” but it’s a lot better than putting someone in the hospital and getting a criminal record. You see my dad took me to the hospital when that crumby little stinker was recovering. He managed to see his medical chart to find out exactly what tests he had. And I had every test that horrible little stinker had. And they were not fun at all. And I learned that wailing away on somebodies face was not the answer. When I was on my own and at college, I learned sex was a great way to get rid of my frustrations. Boxing helped as well when some guy tried to get in my pants for his own jollies. But if I channeled my anger into something that’s a lot more pleasurable it can really be great. Brad and I have had great fights. But the “make-up” sex is always a thousand times better. Let’s say you and Jamie just had one helluva fight. Make him pay for it by giving you the best roll in the hay you’ve had in weeks. He’ll think it’s all him but I can show you some abdominal exercises that will milk him silly and make you feel great.”

Brad and the Lotus soon arrived outside Strathpeffer Bridal. Milly waved to Brad to signal to him that they saw him and would soon be with him. When they got to the car Milly grabbed the door handle. Jessica got in the back seat while she took the front passenger seat. After Milly closed the door Brad looked in the rear view mirror.

“Where to ladies?” asked Brad with a bit of smirk on his face.

“To the castle Jeeves and floor it” Milly commanded.

“You have him really well trained. He comes when he’s called” whispered a very surprised Jessica.

“Did my dad fill you in on what happened?” asked Milly.

“He most certainly did. When Jessica phoned saying there was trouble I can honestly can I have never seen a man of his age move so quickly. I’m tempted to start calling him and Fergus the dynamic duo. But something tells me he wouldn’t appreciate my particular brand of humor. But one thing is very apparent. He really loves your mom. Speaking of your mom she’s hiding in their bedroom ashamed to show her face. She’s been crying ever since Tyler and Fergus came and got her.”

Jessica then asked the question that was already in Milly’s mind.

“As a doctor, Dr. Foster do think Milly should say something tonight or should she wait till tomorrow?”

Milly reached behind her seat and held Jessica’s hand with her left hand. She held on to Brad’s leg with her right hand. Milly discovered Jessica was just as nervous as she was. The entire episode had caused her to tremble.

“My gut feeling is to say something as soon as we get to the castle. I really didn’t understand the grief you women have to go through simply because your biology is different. Since the HRT is going through her brain there’s no way to tell what it’s doing to her memory. Tomorrow she might not even remember what happened. Now Jessica, may I make a request of you?”

Jessica leaned closer to Brad’s seat.

“Yes sir”

“Will you please, please, please stop calling me Dr. Foster. My name is Brad. Please start using it. Every time you call me Dr. Foster it makes me think I should be in a rocking chair and playing with my dentures. I’m only about ten years older than you. Think of me as an older brother with a strange accent. And if you dare say “yes sir” one more time I’m going to park the car and you’re going to walk back. Jamie can call me by my first name. I’ve heard him do it. You’ve got me halfway to the old folks home already. Call me Brad. Please”

Jessica got back at Brad in true Jessica fashion.

“OK, Brad. I’ll try. Yes, sir, I’ll try.”

“Oh, nuts.” Brad drove the Lotus off the road, slowed down, and parked. He then got out of the car. He walked about fifty feet away from the car, raised his chin to the sky and shrieked “Argh!”. Milly and Jessica started laughing. When Brad got back in the car he quickly found two arms hugging him from behind.

“If it means that much to you I’ll try. I think I see what Milly sees in you. Thank you for making us laugh. We really needed it” said Jessica.

******

After Brad shrieked he got back in the car and drove for another five minutes. He drove Jessica to her ancestral home. It looked more like a manor house but it was over three hundred years old. As she got out Milly thanked her for being with her today.

“Thanks for being here today. And thanks for calling my father.”

“T’was nothing. I was just doing my job. And that’s to keep the bride out of trouble. Give your mum my best and I hope she feels better soon.” Jessica closed the car door and went inside the McCloud family home.

Milly put her head on Brad’s shoulder.

“I need to talk to you, Hon. I don’t know what to do or what to say to my mother. Getting married should be a happy occasion. But thanks to that damn HRT therapy it’s turned my wedding into a nightmare. First mom intrudes on a very pleasant walk. Then she gooses us both and bitches about the lack of grandchildren. Then she goes all holier than thou on me and asks me if I’m a virgin. You know I’m not. Does it matter to you that I’m not?” cried Milly

“I don’t care at all. I’d be lying if I said I’m not disappointed I’m not the first male to visit the land down there.” Brad poked her in the tummy and continued. “But I also know being a virgin doesn’t carry anywhere near as much importance as it did fifty or sixty years ago. I still love you as much knowing I’m not your first. In a way I sort of glad I’m not your first. This way we don’t have to worry that I might cause you pain when we have sex during the wedding night. And if asked myself the hymen is I’d have to say that it’s nothing but a tough piece of skin. What does it do? The answer I think is not very much. So in the grand scheme of things I really don’t care I’m not your first. I’m just glad I’m just glad I’m the guy who gets to stay. As for the question about what to say to your your mom you should just say that you know it really wasn’t your mom, that it was the HRT talking, and you still love her. What happened is now old news, and that you’re looking forward to her giving you away. You might want to ask her to help you in the move. But you might want to wait on that till you hear what she says. In short I really can’t help you with this. It’s all up to you Kitten.”

“Thank you for suggesting things to say. This whole episode has put my mind in a state of shock. I may not be a virgin but you are most certainly you’re the guy who gets to stay and I want in my life. I intend to give you a real work out tonight. Slow, sweaty, clutch the sheets sex. And I’ve been exercising my Kegel muscles. If you thought I a grip before you’re in for a real surprise.”

As Brad was driving the Lotus into its parking spot Milly became visibly nervous. As she went in through the front door she looked over her shoulder at Brad with fear.

“Stick around Hon. I may need you real quick.”

As he stood in the doorway he noticed a box from Strathpeffer Bridal on the hall table. He wondered if he could take a peek at the dress. After a disapproving look from Tyler, he decided against the idea. The idea of not seeing the dress before the wedding day was just so much hokum. But the superstition meant a lot to Milly so he decided against it. Tyler, with a pipe in his mouth, leaned against the door frame separating hall from the library. Tyler very slowly shook his head when Brad got close to the box.

“Very wise decision son. If it’s of any consolation I wanted to peek too. After all, I’m paying for the damn thing and I just want to make sure my daughter wasn’t taken to the proverbial cleaners. But if Milly found out either of us peeked we wouldn’t hear the end of it. As a reward, I’ll get you a Scotch. There’s a note attached but it’s facing the floor. If I move that damn box even one inch just to read it Milly will know. Damned if I can figure out how she will know, but she will. Tilly’s got the same ability too.” said Tyler.

“I think I may be able to help,” said Brad

“Son, if you can do that I’ll make yours a double.”

All of a sudden Brad did a handstand in the middle of the hall. He waddled over the table where the box was and when he was beside the note he raised his head.

“The note reads “The first buyer. Fifty percent discount- Carter.””

“Jesus. I didn’t know you could do that. Just seeing you upside down makes me woozy. I think I’ll have a double as well. Is Milly going to see her mother?”

Brad, still upside down, turned towards the hall.

“She’s standing outside the bedroom door. She looks beautiful even upside down.”

“I’ll take your word for it. Will you please stand up properly before I lose my lunch?”

“OK, Tyler. Oh-O, Milly’s going in.”

Milly was standing outside the bedroom. All of a sudden she heard it being unlocked. She looked at Brad who was right side up again and pointed towards the door and that she was going in. Brad nodded that he understood.

“Mom. I’m coming in now. OK?” She entered the room slowly. Her mother was sitting on the edge of the bed. Milly sat on the floor and put her head in her mother’s lap.

Tilly was the first to speak

“I don’t know how you can stand to be in the same room with me. I’ve been looking forward to this day all my life. Every mother wants to help her daughter pick out her wedding dress and I ruined what should have been a happy joyous experience for you.”

Milly sat her mothers’ feet and looked into her watery moist eyes.

“OK, the experience didn’t exactly go according to plan. But the person speaking and asking those questions wasn’t my mother. That person was on a drug cocktail that just doesn’t agree with her. I love you and nothing, absolutely nothing is going to change that or ever could. I can’t pin it down exactly but it was you said that made me choose the dress. I think you’ll like it. You know the Robin Hood film you like so much? It’s very much like the dress in that film. I don’t know if Fergus told you but Brad and I are going to be working here in less than a year. And I’m going to need some help with the move. Do you think you’d be interested? When Brad and I come back from our honeymoon I want you to get the right treatment. And I’m going to make sure you get it. So dry those eyes. There are a lot of people on the other side of that bedroom door who are concerned, want only the best for you, and a few who actually love you. So let’s put raccoon eyes away and rejoin the human race.”

Tilly held her daughters’ hands and looked into her equally moist eyes.

“Do you really want a crazy old woman whose way past her prime to help you both move? You might be getting a great big headache?”

“Tilly Shine. You are not old, and you most certainly are not crazy. I want my mother to help me in the biggest move I’ve ever made.”

As Tilly rose from the bed she brought Milly up from the floor.

“You’re sure. I might go screwy again?”

“Positive. I want my mommy.”

*****

Tilly hugged her daughter and started dabbing her eyes. “I love you, Milly. I’ll be out in a few minutes. Just let me put myself back together.”

Milly left the bedroom and walked towards her father. She raised her arms and showed that her fingers were crossed. A couple of minutes later the bedroom door opened and Tilly came out. Tyler hugged and kissed his wife. “I think you can thank our daughter for me being here.” Fergus, Tyler, Mason, Jamie, and Brad started applauding Tilly and Milly.

With Tilly now back in the land of the living Brad announced that he and Milly must depart to Bosworth Market to attend to some “legal matters.” Milly took him aside.

“What do you mean we have to leave. I haven’t packed yet. There are a million things I’ve still yet to do Hon.”

“I packed for you. Everything you’re going to need tonight is already packed plus a clean change of clothes for dinner tonight, and another change for tomorrow. Our bags are already in the car. Our room at Bosworth Hall awaits us as does the tub from heaven.”

Milly looked at Brad with skepticism.

“I refuse to believe you got everything. No man can pack for a woman and do it properly. Mind terribly if I check.”

Milly went out to the Lotus and opened up the trunk. Both suitcases were there. Milly reached for her suitcase and found it suspiciously light. Yet when she unzipped it she found everything she would need. A complete change of clothes for tonight and a certain “purple number”. There was another complete change of clothes for tomorrow when they hoped to see Gil. Since they would be back tomorrow night there was no need to pack anything else. Milly was dumbfounded and flummoxed. Brad had done the impossible. Even though she would be a married woman in just two days she still found it mildly unnerving that a man, any man, could pack as well as her. He had even added little notes that separated the clothes and told you exactly when they would be worn. There was “post tub/dinner clothes”, “pounce time – bed”, and “clothes to see Gil in”. She zipped up her suitcase and placed it back in inside the trunk. Still, something wasn’t quite right. She couldn’t put her finger on it, just that something was off. She didn’t believe that someone could know anybody else quite so well or so quickly. When her dad packed there was always something that was screwed up and he’s been married longer than she’s been alive. She vowed to figure out what it was – eventually. Content with what she saw she walked back to the house. She poked her head inside the door and looked at Brad.

“OK, Schweitzer you pass. I’m not quite how you did it but you did it. Now, lets hit the road.”

As they walked to the car something gnawed at Milly. He did it and he did it really well. But something was missing. But try as she might she couldn’t figure out what was missing.

“Do you want to drive or shall I?” asked Brad

“Can you drive Hon? I’m too pooped to drive” replied Milly who looked she needed a good snooze. Brad held the door for Milly who oozed into her seat. Brad closed her door then went around the rear of the car and over to the driver’s side. After he got in Milly sort of toppled over onto Brad’s shoulder. “Mind if I snooze Hon?” Brad reached over and held her hand. “I don’t mind a bit Kitten. All the dramatics with Herman, the dress, then your mom would tire anybody out.” Milly leaned into Brad’s shoulder but with the road twisting this way and that she couldn’t sleep.

Brad had only heard Milly swear only once or twice before so nothing prepared him for what he was about to hear.

“I need a really good fuck!”

Surprised beyond belief Brad drove to the side of the road and stopped.

“Excuse me?”

“You heard me. When we get to the hall and check in I want to screw me as you have never screwed me before.” Brad started blushing not quite sure what to say.

“Why are you blushing. Is my blouse undone?” Brad started stammering.

“Nothings wrong. I’ve just surprised that’s all. In the entire time I’ve known you have never described things…oh hell…quite so graphically before. You’ve always described your desires more romantically. Instead of saying what you just did you usually say something like “the last time we made love” or “the last time we had sex”. And to be honest I kind of prefer it that way too Kitten.”

Milly started giggling. “Are you saying I embarrassed you?”

Brad thought about his reply then told her.

“Some people swear and you know exactly what they mean. You also know that it’s hard for some people to express themselves any other way. But I know you are more than capable of expressing your wants and or desires in a much more mature manner that’s far more pleasing to the ear. When we have kids would you want them going about the house saying fuck this or fuck that?”

“Of course not Hon. I know our children will learn to swear without any help from us. I want them to talk like the educated children I know they will be and I don’t want them to swear inside the house. I’m sorry this upset you so. I just wanted to tell you exactly what I wanted in a way where there could be no confusion. I need it. I need “him”. I need to feel “him” inside me. Is that better Hon?”

“That is soooo much better. Some people were born to swear. And some weren’t. You weren’t Kitten. Would you want me to start using that four lettered word that begins with “C”?”

“You start saying that word and I’ll box your ears. It’s crude, rude, disgusting, and demeaning to women. Besides, I really can’t picture you saying it. You’ve found a way to talk about her that isn’t gross, rude, or crude. And I think it’s kind of cute whenever you say “her”, “she” or “she’s”. The first time you said it you kind of looked like as if you were wondering if I was going to slap you. But you went out of your way to find a way to talk about her in a way that wasn’t offensive to me. And I really appreciated that. And you still blush a bit when you talk about “her”.”

Brad put his hand between Milly’s legs and cupped her crotch.

“Even though you’re not talking about her you’re still blushing a bit. Like what you’re doing is naughty. If I was standing in front of you and you did what you’re doing right now I wouldn’t mind a bit.”

Brad leaned over the transmission hump and slowly undid Milly’s zipper.

“And when you do that I don’t mind either. Now if you get my engine going you better be prepared to stand and deliver the goods. I want “him” and I want you on top of me. Now floor it before I figure a way to jump your bones here in the car.”

Milly was quiet for a while.

“I just realized something. Tonight’s going to be the last time I’m going to have sex as a single woman. The next time we’ll be married.”

“Don’t worry Kitten. I’ll try to make it memorable and still get it into your scrapbook of memories.”

Milly looked like she was dreaming. “I like how you think. Not dirty but just enough grime to make things interesting.”

Ten things that make writers mad

More words of wisdom from Milly Schmidt of The Cat’s Write

The Cat's Write

Writers are a peculiar breed. Even though we live all over the globe in a variety of different habitats and abodes (and display a surprising range of personality traits) as a collective bunch, writers are often marred by a particular set of idiosyncrasies… like the things that drive us bat shit crazy:

1. Copies, all the copies

Like when you realise mid-way through a major edit that the Google Doc you uploaded last week is NOT THE RIGHT ONE. Because, duh, you emailed yourself a copy last night and you also saved a different version to your USB stick shortly after that. But wait… are you sure that’s the right one??? Which one is it!?

too many cats2. Scrivener

Because you don’t have it and every other writer has it and they keep telling you how freaking amazing it is and there’s this thing called binder and you should totally ‘get it…

View original post 370 more words

Chapter 18 – Summons From A Far

The following morning Milly and Brad awoke with a start. Someone was pounding on their bedroom door. Milly was the furthest away from the door so it fell to Brad to answer the door.

“See who it is Hon. I’m too busy studying the inside of my eyelids,” said Milly.

As Brad opened the door a few inches he saw Fergus, remembered about Herman, and the promise to demonstrate the Foster Knot.

“C’mon you two. Let’s go see Herman. Anybody want a ride in my new Jaguar?”

This was something a car enthusiast like Brad couldn’t resist. Jaguars were few and far between back home mostly because they were manufactured in the United Kingdom, and any replacement parts had to come from the UK.

Milly was still on her side and faced away from the light streaming in from the hall. Unknowingly she made things a little difficult for Brad when she reached for the clock on her side of the bed and discovered it was only 6:15 AM.

“Tell whoever it is to buzz off and that we gave at the office. Come back to bed. I want you to warm me up.”

It was obvious to Fergus that Brad had just woken up, and Milly, who was nowhere to be seen, was probably still in bed.

“Give us ten minutes Fergus. I assure you we’ll both be ready in ten minutes.”

Brad gently slapped Milly’s rear end, something he knew Milly would not appreciate. “Get up Kitten. This what we came to Scotland for. We’re going to fix Herman.”

As Milly sat up most of her hair fell in her face.

“Who the hell is Herman and why did you slap my rear end?”

“Sorry about that Kitten. It was the only way to get you to sit up. Herman is a medical assistive device. We’re going to show off the Foster knot today.”

Milly got out of bed and pulled the shades back.

“See anything outside the window. No? I’ll tell you why. It’s DARK outside. See the clock. It’s 6:15 in the friggin’ morning. Those two things should tell you something. It’s still Night!. And at night I sleep. I don’t do early morning house calls and you should already know that.”

Milly wasn’t wearing any clothing at all. Brad tossed her robe at her.

“Put something on. Somebody outside might see you. Stop prancing in front of the window. And for heaven’s sake get dressed. Fergus is waiting!”

“I’ll have you know I have never “pranced” in my entire life. Who is this Fergus fellow? I thought we were doing something for somebody named Herman?”

Brad started growling. He looked upwards and said, “Why me Lord?”. He darted into the bathroom for a quick shave. He decided to brush his teeth as well. Milly sat on the edge of the bed in her robe. She looked at Brad and marveled as he shaved with one hand and brushed his teeth with the other. She ran her tongue along the inside of her mouth and didn’t care for the taste. She went into the bathroom and put some mouthwash in her mouth. As Brad bent over to spit in the sink Milly spit the mouthwash out. And covered the back of Brad’s head in mouthwash. Milly’s eyes became as big as saucers and she covered her mouth with her hand when she realized what she had done. As she toweled off the back of Brad’s head he made a suggestion.

“To avoid this happening ever again I’d like to suggest getting two sinks in the master bathroom. Now let’s hustle Kitten!”

******

As Fergus drove the short distance to the hospital he sniffed the air in the car. “Does anybody else smell Scope in my car”. Milly looked at Brad and Brad at Milly. Without warning, Brad offered a possible reason. “Maybe it’s a new air freshening system.”

******

Since Herman was non-human there was no need to scrub vigorously or put on surgical scrubs. But Herman was programmed to be sensitive to touch and temperature. And was more than able to say something that might put the surgeon off his or her game. When Brad put his hands inside Herman his touch sensors registered something new. “Looks like we have a lefty folks. Watch out for this guy. He’s new around here. Oh, that knot feels strong.” When it came Milly’s turn to demonstrate the knot she provided a small commentary. “When you’re tying the artery be sure to use a surgeons knot first then put an ordinary reef knot right on top of it.” All of a sudden Herman spoke up. “Oh, you have such tiny fingers. I suspect you’re new here too. You can dance through my insides anytime.” Herman now became aroused at Milly’s delicate touch. Milly was ready with a verbal response nobody expected. “Herman you’re a typical male. How would you like it if I did this knot around both your cogs?”. Herman suddenly became silent. After the faux operation was completed the videotape was checked and the recording of the Foster Knot demonstration was digitized and sent to every doctor and nurse in the hospital. As Milly was taking her gloves off she said her goodbyes stating she had yet to choose a wedding dress.

******

The plan was for Milly to arrive at the bridal store, Strathpeffer Bridal, before her mom and Jessica. Kendra was supposed to arrive shortly after Milly’s arrival since her duties at the bakery were almost over. But dealing with Herman and the hospital took longer than she had anticipated. She quietly departed while Brad basked in the glow of unexpected attention and adulation from the immediate medical community. Just before she departed Fergus let it slip that the cottage she and Fergus had discussed could be rezoned and retrofitted. She decided not to tell Brad, and to let him have his fifteen minutes of fame. Milly walked from the hospital to Strathpeffer Bridal. When she arrived she found that her mother and Jessica had already arrived. As Milly approached the store Kendra called out and soon joined her.

“I’ll do it,” said Kendra

“Do what?” asked Milly

“I’ll cater the wedding. I meant to phone Brad but I wanted to tell you first” added Kendra.

“Oh thank you. I know we should have talked about this but I need to know how much this is going is going to cost us?” asked Milly as she hugged Kendra.

“You know. I shouldn’t say this as a businesswoman or as a Scot, but I haven’t the slightest clue what the cost will be. But since there are only ten or so guests why don’t you pay me what you think it’s worth. That’ll be my wedding gift to you and Brad. I rarely, if ever say this to a client, but I wish you two could be my neighbors.”

Milly told Kendra about Brad thinking about moving to Strathpeffer, the estate agent next door to her, and about Foster Cottage. All of a sudden Brad appeared. Milly told him that Fergus said the cottage could be refurbished. Brad added one detail that Milly didn’t know about.

“He also said that refurbishing the cottage and retrofitting the cottage with everything we’d need would take almost a year Kitten. But he did talk to the dragon lady. In one years time, our new employer will be Fergus. Same rate of pay just a new employer. In short, we’ve been traded!”

Milly hugged Brad so hard his back felt a twinge. Then she asked him to translate everything he had just said.

Brad held Milly by both shoulders and smiled.

“The dragon lady just sold our contracts to Highland Central effective June 30 at 11:59 PM next year. As of July 1, our new employer will be Fergus! So you get a husband, a cottage we can help design, new boss, new neighbors, and a new country” said Brad smiling from ear to ear.

All of a sudden Kendra hugged the pair. “I’m so happy for both of you.”

“I guess you’re getting two new neighbors and two more relatives, Kendra,” said Milly with a wide, wide smile.

Kendra started smiling and the smile got bigger and bigger. “Don’t be so sure. Some nights here get pretty cold and pretty dark.”

“What you talking about Kendra?” asked Milly who was now thoroughly lost.

“Let me try and put this in terms you’ll understand. What usually happens when there’s power outage in your country?”

Then Milly’s smile widened as she realized what Kendra was talking about.

“You’re being bad Kendra Foster!” Milly covered Brad’s ears. “Imagine saying such a thing in front of this healthy young male.”

“I’m just saying that at certain times 1 + 1 does not always equal two and things can happen rather…unexpectantly,” said Kendra.

Brad roared with laughter.

“We’ve already talked about that. We don’t plan to add to the Foster population for a couple of years,” said Brad.

Kendra then pointed two fingers in their direction. One pointed at Milly and the other pointed rather pointedly at Brad.

“All I’m tryin’ ta say Dr. Foster is that frequently the plans of what you want to have happen have a habit of going poof, and what actually happens can be quite different from what you had originally planned.” When Kendra finished she laughed and entered the store.

Milly stared at her, her mouth agape, her hands on her hips.

Brad put his hands on Milly’s shoulders then gently turned her head towards his.

“She can be kind of spooky at times, and this is definitely one of those times” indicating Kendra with his thumb. “I wonder if she’s had any experience with babies?”

Milly put her finger under Brad’s jaw and brought his face closer to hers.

“Just what are you saying, Brad Foster?”

Brad leaned toward the side of Milly’s head and quietly whispered what he was thinking. Milly put both arms around his waist and looked into his eyes. “Maybe we can talk about this some more. But back to more pressing matters. Gil. Today or tomorrow?”

“You deal with the dress first. And after that, we drive to Bosworth Market. Specifically Bosworth Hall. Where you have a date with a tub I know you adore. I suggest we go to the hospice in the morning. Gil will be more chipper then. If we see Hamish we can find out if he’s willing to bury the hatchet and come to the wedding. Do you remember that sexy purple number-”

“I forgot to tell you. Mother Natures finished with me for this month. So get a good supply. I’m going to put you through your paces tomorrow. And just in case Kendra is right, make sure they’re silky smooth but super strong. The purple number makes its debut tonight! Now scoot. I’m not going to try on one single dress with you here. Go play in the traffic or build a better mousetrap. Now shoo!”

As Brad departed and Milly entered the store she saw Jessica and Kendra prowling through prospective wedding dresses. Her mother, Tilly, stood between Milly and her friends. Her expression told Milly a number of things. That she wanted to talk to her daughter, the matter was of great importance, and that it was D-E-O meaning daughters ears only. Milly went to the back of the store where Jessica and Kendra were and talked to them.

“I think my mother wants to say something to me. Probably about the wedding night. Can you give us a little privacy, please? It’s not inclement weather and it’s not cold. I really appreciate you being here and doing what you’re doing but could you wait outside for a short bit.” asked Milly

Jessica replied for herself and Kendra. “Take all the time you need. We understand. We’ll be outside if you need us.” The two got their coats and went to the front of the store. They exited the store via the doors at the front. When they closed Milly turned and faced her mother.

“What color do you plan to wear?” asked Tilly in a sharp almost biting tone.

“White of course. But if this is one of those pre-wedding talks mothers give their daughters about the wedding night I should remind you I’m a doctor and I know what to expect.”

“Are you pure?” she asked almost choking on the words.

“What do you mean by asking “Am I pure?”. What are you getting at mother?” asked Milly who was now scratching the side of her head.

“I think the world of Brad, you know I do. I’m sorry but I have to ask. Have you two been together?”

“Is that blasted HRT Therapy acting up because doesn’t this doesn’t sound like you at all. I’m a grown woman and your questions are becoming uncomfortably personal.” Milly’s frustration was starting to show.

“Have you and Brad been intimate? When a woman gives herself to a man in this manner it’s the most special kind of communication there can possibly be. Are you still a virgin? In my day when you got married, you had to be a virgin. Is Brad expecting his wife to be a virgin?”

Milly started to pace the store width. And the more she paced the angrier she got.

“It’s none of your damn business if I’m a virgin! For your information, Brad doesn’t care if I am or not. This the 21st century! People just don’t care about that anymore. And for your information when you got married it was the seventies and people cared even less then they do today. Were you a virgin mother?”

“We’re not talking about me. We’re talking about you. I-.”

Jessica and Kendra could hear raised voices and see Milly gesticulating this way and that. But one thing was clear. Milly was shocked and extremely upset. Jessica got worried about Milly when she started to turn red. She looked at Kendra and pulled out her phone.

“I canna take this anymore. They’re about to come to blows. I’m calling Dr. Shine to come and collect his wife.”

“What are you going to say” asked Kendra

“That things are not at all well and unless he wants to be a widower he better come double quick because Milly is about to murder his wife.”

Within minutes Tyler appeared on the scene. He asked that Jessica and Kendra corner Milly in the store while he got his wife out of there before she had her head handed to her. Fergus acted as the getaway driver and was most concerned. When Fergus ushered Tilly away Tyler went into the store to find out what was going on. Tyler asked very calmly what questions Tilly had asked. He also made an emphatic plea that he didn’t want to know the answers. He agreed with his daughter. The questions were none of her business. He too thought her behavior was way out of character and possibly HRT related. When Jessica and Kendra entered the store they asked Milly what was going on. Both were thunderstruck and dumbfounded. Jessica was furious. “If my mother had asked those questions of me I’d be furious.” When Milly calmed down the owner of the store approached her.

“I’m not used to speaking English. And there are some phrases that I’m not familiar with. A phrase your father said is one of them. Just before he left he said, “anything goes”. Do you have any idea what he meant?”

Milly thought for a while then gave her reply.

“That was my father’s way of saying he’ll pay for anything and everything despite what my mother may have said. And I’m still his little girl.”

“What do you plan to do about photos, flowers, and your make-up?” asked Jessica.

Those items that had completely slipped Milly’s mind. The woman who owned the store, Mrs. Carter, offered a solution.

“Strathpeffer Florist has joined forces with a photographer. He normally works out of Bosworth Hall but I’ll give Hamish a call and see if he’s available.”

Milly crossed her fingers and had a consultation with Jessica and Kendra.

“If this is the fellow I hope it is it may be Fergus’s son. Brad and I wanted to invite him to get Fergus and Hamish together again.”

“If it is you’ve pulled off a major coup. My Jamie hasn’t seen his brother in ten years” said Jessica

Milly laughed. Jessica mispronounced the word coup.

“The word is pronounced “coo”. You only pronounce the “p” when you’re talking about a car.”

“What do you plan to do about your makeup?” asked Kendra.

Again Mrs. Carter saved the day. “Our make-up artist will come to the venue and do the bride, the brides mother, and all your bridesmaids.”

Just then Hamish texted that he was available. “He’s asking about the venue,” said Mrs. Carter.

“May I” pointing at the small keyboard.

Milly texted Hamish.

Dear Hamish,

Fergus MacTaggert is allowing my fiancée and I to get married in his

home. My name is Dr. Milly Shine. You met Dr. Brad Foster at Bosworth

Hall when he wanted to propose to me.

There was a pause while Hamish composed his reply. Finally, his answer came.

My father…is he mellowing?

Milly answered enthusiastically.

He has mellowed a lot. You’ll see a real difference.

Still another pause. Only shorter.

I’ll be there. I have to see the woman a man would wear a kilt for.

Milly texted thank you and the time 1: PM.

Milly explained to Kendra that Brad proposed wearing a kilt. Jessica added that she almost ruined the engagement.  She asked Mrs. Carter if she had a dress that reflected the Celtic theme of the wedding. She said that a dress had just come on the market that just might work. Milly took a look in a catalog and announced she had found her dress. Mrs. Carter promised to have the dress ready for delivery that very evening.

cc9edc552837ce3372e16b75531d7fa3--witch-wedding-fantasy-wedding

Chapter 17 – Summons From A Far

During the drive back to MacTaggert Castle Milly realized three things. She had been lost in thought about the wedding, that her mind was not paying attention to the road, and that Brad was staring at her. Normally she wouldn’t mind Brad staring at her but this was different. He was staring at her and there was a real purpose to it.

“Normally I don’t mind you looking at me but this is different. What’s on your mind. Or do I have to ask?” asked Milly.

“I’m thinking about what Kendra said. That photos of us really exist. I just wish I knew where they were and where to look. In his letter all Gil said was that was under lock and key. Then when we were talking he barely mentioned them. I thought he was kidding and I didn’t give them a second thought. Now I don’t know what to think.” replied Brad.

“So you’re thinking about the photos. Fine. But why are you staring at me?

“Right now Kitten I’m just toying with an idea. I kind of like it here. At first, I was far from thrilled being here and you already know the reason why. But this country and its people sort of grow on you. Would you want to stay here for any length of time?”

Milly looked at Brad. Her mouth went slack and was astonished at what she just heard. She drove the car to the side of the road, put the Lotus in park, put her elbow on the dashboard and turned towards Brad. “Has Fergus had a wee chat with you?”

“No”

“You’re absolutely sure he hasn’t said a word?”

“He hasn’t talked to me about anything. The last time he said anything to me was when we were in his library and he was telling us all about his observatory. What are you getting at Kitten?”

Milly told Brad all about Fergus’s apology and the question about living and working in Foster Cottage. Milly also said she wouldn’t mention any of the conversation to Brad until Fergus found out if the cottage could be retrofitted to serve as a surgery/home.

“What I’m thinking about has nothing to do with Fergus or Foster Cottage whatever that is. Back in Strathpeffer beside the bakery was a store that dealt with real estate. One of the properties for sale was a pleasant looking cottage with a thatched roof. I was simply toying with the idea of us putting in an offer and hanging up our shingles. That’s all Kitten”

“Well, that’s just plain spooky. Because Fergus asked me to consider an idea that’s almost identical to what you just said. His said that Highland was willed this cottage it really didn’t need. The idea was that the cottage would be retrofitted with everything we would need and that it would be an extension of the hospital. He didn’t know if the cottage was zoned in such a way where it could be retrofitted. I pointed out that such an idea might be OK with us if the cottage was big enough for a surgery and a home but that I wouldn’t mention any of our conversation to you because we had a wedding to plan. And speaking of that Fergus mentioned he had a son walk out on him and I thought it would be really nice if we could reunite them somehow.”

“Would this fellows name be Hamish by any chance?” asked Brad.

“How did you know that? I haven’t even mentioned his name.”

Now the ball was officially in Brad’s court.

“Hamish MacTaggert was the fellow I talked at the desk when we stayed at Bosworth Hall. When we registered we had to put our final destination or where we could be reached. Hamish saw that we were both doctors and asked if we staying with Fergus. But he didn’t fully disclose his identity until I booked a room for Jessica and Jamie. I said I was a little concerned about them driving all the way back to Strathpeffer in the dead of night.”

“Did you really do that Hon?”

“You know I did. I already told you”

“I must be having a seniors moment forgive me. But it was sweet that you did do that. I’m glad we’re having a small wedding. I really don’t understand how some of my girlfriends from University can tolerate those with one or two hundred guests. Can I ask you a question, Hon?”

“You know you can and already do. Fire away.”

“We’re having a small wedding with just a few people. Would you mind terribly if I asked Kendra to be a guest and cater the wedding? That way there would at least one other Foster other than you? I just don’t want you to feel outnumbered.”

Brad looked surprised and a bit embarrassed. He leaned over and started caressing Milly’s face.

“Well thank you for thinking about me. I’ve been to too many weddings where everything is about the bride and her side of the family. But after talking with your mom and dad I already think of them as our family. I know you’re Mother was a little “over the top” because of the HRT therapy but after talking to your dad I think safely say things are all right between us. He just wants to be absolutely certain his “little girl” is going to be well taken care of. Let’s turn the car around and ask Kendra.”

The pair turned the car around and drove back into town. The Lotus came to a screeching halt just outside the bakery. Kendra was just locking the front door when Milly burst out of the car.

“Kendra Foster. Hold it right there! We’ve got some serious talking to do.”

“I’ve had people pounding on the door to get a taste of my cupcakes, but the car and the screeching brakes are a nice touch. Everybody in town is going to wonder what is going on. So thanks for the free publicity.”

“Ever done weddings?” asked Brad. After a very brief explanation Kendra escorted Brad and Milly to her apartment. They climbed up a long flight of stairs before they reached the landing. During which time Kendra asked Brad about his height. Kendra explained the building was built in the early twentieth century and that the ceiling in “Casa Foster”, as Kendra called it, was a “wee bit low for a monster of your size”. Kendra and Milly breezed through the doorway like nothing was amiss. Brad, on the other hand, had to crouch a bit. Even though he was only six feet tall the doorway was made for people five foot five inches.

“Alright before we get down to brass tacks I have to ask whose driving?”

Milly put up her hand.

“OK, I won’t be offering you anything to drink except Coca-Cola, diet, and the Strathpeffer version of it which is simply hair-raising,” Milly asked for some mineral water.

“And you Dr. Foster. You look like a man who favors Gin. Am I right?” Milly started shaking her head. “I’ll have a Scotch if you have some.”

Kendra was already reaching in the cupboard for the gin bottle when she heard Brad’s request and started to needle him a bit.

“A scotch the gentleman says. Just where do you think you are? Botswana? I’ll have you know its almost a law to have a bottle in the house.”

Milly was sitting in a comfy chair. She crossed her arms and watched Brad squirm and attempt to deal with this unexpected verbal attack. She giggled at his obvious discomfort. Just a little bit flustered at this unprovoked assault on his person Brad turned his attention to Milly.

“Laugh it up Blondie!”

When Kendra handed Brad his scotch Milly laid her cards on the table.

“We’re getting married at the end of the week at MacTaggert Castle. And we’re wondering if could cater the wedding for us. It’s going to be a small gathering. If you include yourself as a guest there are only going to be nine people. Ten if we include Dr. MacTaggerts first son.”

Kendra bit her lower lip as she pondered the question before her.

“I canna say I ever catered a wedding before but it would be nice to get my head out the oven for a while. When I started the business I always hoped I could branch out some day. Oh, I know what to do. After all, I have a degree that says I do. It’s just a big step to actually put what I’ve learned into practice. There shouldn’t be any problems getting the spirits and the Scotch. And the opportunity to start small doesn’t come around very often. Can I think about it overnight?”

“Sure. Even if you decide not to cater the wedding we still want you there as a guest. So we’re hoping to see you there in either capacity.”

Kendra responded that would certainly be at the wedding as a guest. “I’ve wanted to get a new dress for a long time now. Now I can justify the expenditure without feeling guilty. So thank you for inviting me.”

Just then Brad’s phone rang. It was the first time his phone had rung during the entire trip. It was Fergus stating that a package from Gil Whitaker had arrived at the castle and that it was marked “Important”.” Kendra asked for Brad’s phone number and promised to phone him the following day with her decision.

During the drive back to the castle Milly drove like a demon. She had a feeling the package marked “Important” contained the photos Gil had spoken of. Brad was anxious to see some ancestors in some of the photos.

“I’ve got a question, Hon. If the photos are any good should we invite Gil?”. The question carried a great deal of import to it. If Gil was having a good day there shouldn’t be any problem. But if he was having a bad day and his memory was in sad shape he could potentially ruin the wedding, and make Milly’s day a very bad day. Milly made making the decision even harder when she added “You met him and you’re a doctor. What do you think?”. Brad thought about it. The odds were fifty-fifty. Right now Gil wasn’t that bad. But dementia patients were totally unpredictable. They shouldn’t invite him because he might have a bad day. Using that logic would like not inviting someone because they might have a heart attack. After thinking about the question for some time he gave his reply.

“You know as well as I that inviting anyone to any function is always going to be a crap shoot. We’re always going to be taking a chance when we invite anyone to anything. Something you don’t want to happen could very well happen. As a doctor who’s had a lengthy talk with him may I suggest we ask the matron of the hospice how he’s doing and tell her what we’d like to do. Then we base our final decision on what she says. I don’t see how we can make our decision any easier. As for me, I’m for inviting Gil if he gets a good report from the matron. But I would like you to at least meet Gil before you make the final decision. I think you should make the final decision. After all, it’s your wedding.”

Milly knew Brad was right but didn’t appreciate the way he phrased his answer to her question.

“I know you’re right. Everything you said makes perfect sense. But somehow, and I don’t know how you did it but you did a masterful job of painting me as the bad guy. The one who wears the black hat.”

“Sorry, you feel that way. Maybe it was the way you phrased the question. You asked about the wedding. And I was brought up believing a wedding was about the bride. You asked me what I thought and I told you what I thought. I’m sorry my answer wasn’t what you expected. I’m quite certain you were unaware of it but you asked me to make a very uncomfortable decision for you. By phrasing the question the way you did you put me in a very uncomfortable position. And the only way I could answer the question was to toss it back at you. Sorry about that Kitten.”

Milly went silent and the car accelerated. Normally the drive from the town to the castle took just over fifteen minutes. As Milly silently fumed at Brad her foot accelerated the car even faster. The drive back to the castle took five minutes.

******

image

The car had barely come to a full stop when Milly bolted out the car door. Brad pulled on the parking brake Milly had forgotten. She charged in the front door with all the energy of a child on Christmas morning. Mason was going about his duties when Milly flung open the door. Her exuberance caught him by surprise and she bowled him over in her excitement to see the photographs. Mason was about forty years old, thin, and clearly not used to adults behaving like children. He very rarely spoke, and nobody could recall him ever losing his temper but in this particular circumstance, on this particular day he did. However, he lost it with restraint.

“Dr. Shine. Maybe you are used to behaving like a twelve-year-old scalawag, but I assure I in no way resemble a bowling alley. I live here and god willing will perform my duties just like my father did and his father before him. The last time I was run over with such complete disregard was when Master Jamie was ten! This may be how you behave at home but you are a guest here. I suggest you remember where you are, why you’re here and behave accordingly.”

Mason then dusted himself off and went about performing his duties. Brad was walking up the path when he heard Mason. He stood in the door frame as Mason finished chastising Milly. When he finished Brad applauded.

“What the hell are you applauding for? I’ve never been spoken to like that in my entire life!” screamed Milly.

Brad turned her around and pushed her towards the bedroom. As they entered he closed the door and locked it while Milly sat on the edge of the bed.

“Oh, I know what you want. You want to have your way with me. Sorry to disappoint you but mother nature is still doing her thing. So you’ll just have to wait…”

Brad stood with his back against the door, looking at the floor and shaking his head. He then put his hands his hands in his pockets and took a step towards the bed.

“Right now Kitten I don’t want to do anything with you. Because I know what I’m hearing really isn’t you.”

Milly stood up and undid her jeans letting them drop to the floor. As soon as her pants hit the floor she got back on the bed and spread her legs. “I know what you want and it’s killing you that you can’t have it.”

Brad looked at her face puzzled that he had never seen this side of Milly before. Milly started flashing little peeks of “her” at Brad. “Here “she” is if you’re man enough to go after her”. Brad leaned against the door, crossed his arms and looked at Milly. “I’m going to take that parcel from Gil into the library and then I’m going to take a good long look at it. As for you, I would recommend a long hot shower. Maybe the steam will clear away the bats in your attic.” After Brad stopped talking he picked up Milly’s pants and tossed them at her. Then he unlocked the door and walked down the hall. Milly stood in the doorway and watched him walk away from her. He stopped by the table in the hall just long enough to pick up the package addressed to him. He then opened the door to the library and walked in. Milly was incensed he didn’t do what she told him to do. Brad was in the library alone.

*****

After about an hour and a half, Milly knocked on the door frame of the library.

“Can I come in Hon?”

“Have you apologized to Mason?”

“I have. I’m not sure why. I don’t remember coming back. The last thing I remember is that we were in the car. After that, I have no memory. What did I do?”

Brad was a little unsure on how to handle the question.

“I’m not quite sure how to answer your question so don’t bite my head off if I don’t get it right. Remember when we took a walk and your mom joined us?”

Milly sighed and sat in a chair. “Oh, nuts. What happened? What did I do?”

Brad told her about speeding in the Lotus and running through the front door and plowing into Mason.

“Now I know why he called me “the bowling ball from hell.” Brad started chuckling.

“After you plowed into him I steered you into the bedroom. Right now you’re Dr. Jekyll. But when you were in the bedroom you turned into Miss. Hyde. Kind of sleazy and slutty too.”

“Oh, Christmas! What did I do in there?”.

Brad told her exactly what transpired. Milly almost went green with horror, but redder with embarrassment. “I’m almost afraid to ask. Anything more?”

“I’m going to be honest as hell here. When you were flashing me with “her” I found it arousing as hell. I knew that if I didn’t leave the room I just might pounce and have my way with you. But I also knew that if I did I knew it wouldn’t be fair to you because I don’t think you were in charge of what you were doing. Everything you did and said was so out of character for you.”

Milly put her hands to her mouth and started to tear up. Brad continued.

“I think there might be some sort of hormonal imbalance. I want my wife to get a checkup when we get back. A thorough one. Blood, urine, hormone levels the works. Because if you start flashing me in a months time well-well lets just say I may not be as much of a gentleman. Plus it might be a good idea if you had a real mother-daughter chat with your mom. There may be some sort of imbalance that’s inherited.”

Milly said she was sorry for everything she said and did. But she did admit to having a fair amount of curiosity. She got out of her chair and knelt beside the chair Brad was seated in.

“OK, you said “he” got sort of aroused when I was flashing you. Is he…still…you know.”

Milly put her hand on Brad’s pants.

“He’s enormous! Doesn’t that hurt Hon?”

Brad motioned towards some of the photos. He had picked specific photos out and placed them on the table. It looked like he was playing Solitaire with some photos.

“These take my mind off of “him”. But something always reminds me of the animal inside me that really wanted to do something to you.”

Milly got up and walked over to the table where the photos were. She put her hands on her knees and bent over. Suddenly she screamed in laughter. Brad asked what was the source of the laughter. Milly picked up the photo of a man that looked very much like Brad. He was an English clergyman.

“I was hoping you wouldn’t see that one.”

Milly picked up the photo of the priest and held it close. “He’s sorta cute in an ecumenical sort of way. I just had a thought. Follow me.”

She led Brad back to the bedroom. During the walk back she picked up an old wooden chair. When they got to the bedroom she put the chair in the shower. “This way I don’t have to worry about either of us slipping or you hurting your back. You just sit down, I sit in your lap, “he’s” inside, and we’re close enough for a little vigorous tonsil hockey.”

Brad was a little hesitant. “But what about your monthly visitor?”

“It’ll supply the lubricant for both of us. You still have to wear a condom though. Interested?” asked Milly.

“Thank you, Cosmo” as Brad reached for a copy of the magazine.


Write Like Yourself

From the pen of Jordan Peters of The Art Of Blogging

The Art of Blogging

Let’s face it: most people can’t write their way out of a paper bag. Further, most bloggers are boring, most journalists are so heavily edited that any personality they’ve added to a story has long since been weaned out by the editorial process.

I want to let you in on a secret, though: it’s not really that people are boring, but that too many have been taught that you shouldn’t write the same way you talk. I blame our educational system, actually, with those 5th grade teachers who drilled us on adverbs, pronouns and the minutia of grammar, coupled with too many boring, tedious academic books that we all suffered through while in college.

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Chapter 16 – Summons From A Far

When Milly came down the stairs she returned to the table. She whispered to Brad she had just delivered the message and that Druk was madder than a wet hen.

Fergus leaned back and looked at Milly. “Has that man of yours told yours you look gorgeous today?”

Milly blushed a bit, looked at Fergus and grasped Brad’s hand.

“Brad and I were talking last night,” said Milly somewhat nervously.

“Well, I’m glad to hear the English language is still alive and kickin’. But I suspect you’re about to ask me something” said Fergus.

Milly looked at her mother and father and felt a chill go up and down her back.

“As I said Brad and were talking last night. A lot. And the upshot is we would dearly love to be married here. In  your castle. At the end of the week before mom and dad go home. Everyone we would want at the wedding is either already here, close by, or could be here on short notice. Mother and daddy could give me away, I’d want Jessica as my bridesmaid, Brad wants Jamie to be his best man, and most importantly we both want Dr. Macbeth here. Mostly because without you and her we wouldn’t be here at all.”

Fergus scratched his chin and asked Tyler if she was always so eloquent and gorgeous.

“My daughter Milly has always been gorgeous. Just as gorgeous as her mother. Eloquent? Well, that’s a different matter. In her teenage years, it was more “I want this or I want that”. But in her twenties whenever she wanted something it was always “Mother dear…” or “Daddy dear…” This civilized eloquence would seem to be a relatively recent development. But as her father, I can only suggest you give your consent to her request or you’ll never hear the end of the matter.”

Milly couldn’t take the suspense or the character assassination any further.

“Daddy. You’re embarrassing me!”

Her father leaned on the breakfast table and addressed his daughter. “And that, my darling Milly, is one the prerogatives of being a parent. And as one of your parents, I’m allowed to embarrass you. As is your mother. Nobody else is. Just the two of us. It’s something I suspect you’ll excel at. As will Brad.”

Tyler turned his head slightly and addressed Brad.

“And Brad, if you want a little coaching on this subject I humbly volunteer my services.” Tyler turned his head towards Milly. “Milly, my dear I suggest you consult your mother. There are some things best-said man to man and woman to woman.”

But right now Milly gazed at Fergus. His silence started to make Milly crack. She put her hand on top of his. “Please?” She looked into his eyes with two moist eyes.

All of a sudden he pushed his chair back.

“Och, I canna stand all this sentimentality. I’ll give ya ma answer when you least expect it. Ask me agin and the answer will be no!”

With no warning, Milly rose from the table and ran to the bedroom crying. Fergus watched Milly run to her bedroom and heard sobbing.

Tyler and Tilly glared at Fergus with fury and anger. He had overstepped his role as host. Tyler lost his temper and started yelling at Fergus.

“I don’t have a clue what you thought you were doing just now, but if you don’t apologize to my daughter this instant Dr. Macbeth is going to have company on the plane home.” yelled an enraged Tyler. Tilly stood up for her daughter as well.

“I thought we were friends. If you don’t do something right now you can consider our friendship at an end. You seem to think you can bully people to your way of thinking. Well, guess what…you can’t! If you value our friendship at all you’ll get off your high horse and apologize.”

Fergus considered what he had said and what was being said to him. He didn’t like anyone telling him what to do in his own house, but in this case, he was clearly in the wrong. And outnumbered.

“I think I may have overplayed ma cards a wee bit. I think I better tend to this right now.”

He walked down the hall to the guest rooms. And he heard her crying into a pillow. He knocked on the door and to his surprise, Milly opened the door.

“May I come in? I’ve come to apologize. Only once before has a woman’s tears caused me to apologize or change my mind.”

“That must have been your wife. She must have a very understanding and patient woman.”

Milly sat on the edge of the bed while Fergus grabbed a chair and put it close to her.

In hushed tones, Fergus talked to Milly like a father. “What I’m about to say must stay between you and me for the remainder of time. You mustn’t tell anyone ever, not even Brad.”

Milly nodded, not quite sure what sure what she was hearing had to do with her request.

Fergus continued.

“For a lot of my life, I’ve been pig-headed, and stubborn. My stubbornness has caused me to lose my first born son. I wanted him to stay in Strathpeffer but he wanted to leave and see the world. I’d like to ask you a personal question. Is Brad your first love?”

“I suspect you already know he is Dr. MacTaggert,” she said quietly.

“Aye, I thought he was. After my son, Hamish left my attitude towards people left me an embittered, angry old goat. My attitude destroyed my marriage. It drove my wife away. I tell Jamie his mother died because that’s what happened to our marriage. It died because we both stopped trying to understand each other. I learned too late that no one fully understands their spouse. You may think at some point you know all about Brad, and he knows all about you. In a marriage, you never stop learning about the other. As for my first love lets just say it was somebody you know very well. Somebody, you’ve known all your life.”

Milly’s eyes became as big as saucers. “Are you telling me I’m you’re daughter?!” she said excitedly.

Fergus started to chuckle. “Nothing so theatrical as that. Your mother was my first love. She met your father when he and I were in med school and fell in love with him. But she wanted to study in your country. Today at the table I could see so much of your mother in you. So much of the woman I fell in love with. It was so difficult seeing you and knowing you could have been my daughter. With your permission, I’d like to be your second father if you’ll let me. The castle is yours for the wedding.”

Milly was so happy that tears rolled down her face.

But Milly wasn’t finished with her questions. Not by a long shot.

“Are you saying mom never knew you were in love with her?”

“That’s exactly what I’m saying. I never had the courage to tell her. And please don’t ever tell her. Or your father. Ever. Now that I’m through gettin’ that off my chest am I a friend of the bride or groom?. I want a good seat. I don’t want a seat way at the back.”

“You’re definitely a friend of the bride. And you get a seat with mom and dad!”

“Could I ask you a question?” asked Fergus.

“By all means fire away” replied Milly.

“Based on everything you’ve seen since your flight, even in England, do you think you or Brad would want to stay here in Scotland of a while? The reason I ask is that Highland was willed a cottage. And the hospital is simply not in the real estate business. Right now we have no use for the place. But it could serve as your first office/surgery and a home for both of you. The hospital would supply everything you need. And we would keep in touch with you via a secure internet connection. The board of directors would probably approve of the idea if they knew two newly married doctors were available. I know you probably want to see it first before committing yourself and I don’t blame you. If you agree the cottage might even become known as Foster Cottage. The hospital is simply becoming too large, and this could be an extension of the hospital but in a more rural setting. I want you to understand this is just an idea. Nothing is carved in stone yet. Who knows…maybe you or Brad may have an idea for improving on the idea.”

“Before I give you my reply is my answer connected in any way to my getting permission for my wedding?” she asked warily of what the answer might be.

“You using the castle for your wedding does not depend on your answer regarding the cottage in any way. And if I may be so bold you asking the question makes me wonder if you aren’t a Scot in some way.”

Milly gave Fergus his answer. It was not the answer he was hoping to hear.

“Brad and I both dislike working in a city to a certain extent. Working in a small town appeals to us both. But working in a big city does have its advantages too. While the idea does have some merit the question you’re asking is of such magnitude that I would feel very uncomfortable giving you what I think might be his answer. If we were to work here for even a short period of time we’d be breaking the law. When both of us became employed at City General we signed contracts. Binding legal contracts. We can’t work for anyone else for any length of time. Those contracts would have to render null and void. Then there is the matter of closing matters such as credit cards, bank accounts, moving, and everything associated with a move this large. I have a car as does Brad. We’d have to sell those. You seem to think Foster Cottage could be whipped into shape in no time flat.  The cottage would have to be retrofitted with everything we would need before we could see one single person. I don’t know anything about building permits here in Scotland but you would have to find out if you can convert a cottage into what you want it to be. If it can be converted that’s fine. If it can’t the idea is as dead as a proverbial door-nail. I won’t mention any of this conversation to Brad till you find out if the cottage can be converted. If it can be converted to what you suggest that’s when we would want to take a look at the cottage.  Brad and I have a wedding to plan and precious little time in which to do it in. Right now I’m going to find out if Jessica will be my maid of honor.”

Fergus looked with Milly with almost fatherly pride. “Right now you look and sound so much like your mother. And you make me so very proud. I was hoping to hear something very different. But you made this old man realize he was putting the cart before the horse. And like your mother you’re wise far beyond your years. It might be a good idea if you asked Jessica now. I’ve got some apologies to make to your parents.”

Milly dried her eyes, went into the hall and knocked on Jessica’s door. She was taking a nap. Milly’s loud knocking roused a sleepy Jessica. When she came to the door her red hair was all askew. She looked tired and yawned.

“I just wanted to ask you what you’re doing at the end of the week because I’m getting married and I would like you to be my maid of honor.”

“What did you say?” said Jessica not quite sure she heard Milly correctly.

“Jessica McCloud, will you be my maid of honor?”

Jessica heard what she needed to hear and forced herself to become more awake.

“Are you sure? You’ve only known me two weeks” she asked.

“That may be true but I know all I need to know” she replied.

“Then I’d be honored Dr. Milly Shine,” said Jessica.

Milly pointed to her neck then pointed at Jessica. Milly mouthed the word “hickey” and Jessica clenched her fist. “If you should see Jamie tell him Brad’s on the prowl. He wants to ask Jamie to be his best man.”

“Thank you, Milly.” As Milly walked away from the door she heard Jessica quietly chastise Jamie. She smiled and had a spring in her step.

Fergus had just finished apologizing to Tyler and Tilly when he encountered Brad and Milly in the hall.

“I’ve apologized to Milly and her parents. And I’d like to apologize to you, Brad. Your lovely bride to be has made me realize that I better mend my ways. I want to apologize for upsetting Milly, you, and your plans. I also want to know if you two will still want to come to the hospital to show your us your life-saving knot. I’m more than sure that Herman can hardly wait.”

“Herman. Just who is Herman?” asked Brad.

“Let’s go into the library where we can sit and discuss things. With a wedding to plan things will hurry by mighty fast.”

The trio wandered into the library where Brad got his first good at the library. The walls were covered in oak paneling. The shelves were stuffed with books about medicine and astronomy. Brad asked about the books on astronomy.

“When I want to get away from the world and just relax I retreat to my observatory. I built one on the roof. Being so far north I don’t have to worry about light pollution from a big city. I don’t know if you know this but in Strathpeffer, you’re closer to Norway than you are London. You can get some gorgeous photos of the heavens from up in my little observatory.” Fergus reached for a leather bound book that contained nothing but photos he had taken and handed it to Milly. Here’s what you can see up there. When you’re up there it’s like being on an island in the middle of the ocean. Only the sky is my sea. And the stars acts as a nightlight. I can truly relax.”

Milly was more than impressed. She was speechless. Her eyes slowly grew wider and wider as she turned each page. “Have you ever thought about having any of  this published?  They’re simply beautiful!” Brad looked over Milly’s shoulder. “These are really impressive Fergus.” “Och no, I won’t publish. Astronomy is just a hobby. A retreat. Medicine is my passion and my life.

Fred-Gwynne-Life-Mask-Cast-Herman-Munster-The-_1

Which brings us back to Herman. Herman is an anatomically correct dummy you can operate on. Herman isn’t alive. But he’s programmed to behave just like a real person. And to respond just like a real person. If you want to have a general anesthetic he’ll be quiet as a mouse. If you want him to have a local he can talk your ears off. You can program him to talk to you in Scottish-Gaelic, or English. Once some med students programmed the little bugger to talk like me. Herman was made in England which is why I call him a dummy. Herman is a MAD or a Medically Assistive Device. But I call him Herman because he looks like a character from an American TV show I saw when I was a boy. The show was called The Munsters.”

******

Later that day Brad and Milly walked through the town of Strathpeffer. The town had a population of only two thousand people, far from the raging metropolis it might have been. It was a quaint Victorian town with buildings that were done in the Victorian style. Many of the original structures that weren’t made from stone were painted green. Strathpeffer was a perfect example of a town where the rumor mill outdid the local newspaper almost every day. If somebody living in the east end of the town ripped their pants trying to deal with an uncooperative sheep those living in the west end of town would almost certainly hear of it just a few hours later. Only those living in the west end would hear that somebody dealing with a crazed ram was maimed and the ram was thought to be rabid. Few facts of the original story would make it intact across town. Usually, the story was morphed and contorted into something it never was by the time it reached its final destination. A pipe band started playing every day during the summer for one hour. Strathpeffer was also a town that depended on the tourist trade. The locals had to be nice to strangers. As Milly and Brad passed near a local bakery a young woman appeared in the doorway with a tray full of free samples.

Milly discovered Brad was part bloodhound. And he had a bit of a sweet tooth. He started sniffing the air. He ran across two lanes of traffic to get to the local bakery. He bought some freshly made bread and a locally made beverage that approximated a Coca-Cola.

He tore off a hunk of bread and offered it to Milly who declined. But after a few minutes, she found the smell so tantalizing she suddenly took a bite out the hunk in Brad’s hand. “Oh Lordy, that’s so good!”

When it came time to pay the woman who ran the shop she stopped to ask them a question.

“You wouldn’t be staying at the MacTaggert estate would you?”

Brad tried answering but had stuffed too much bread in his mouth. He pointed at Milly.

“What Lord Piggy is attempting to say is that we’re both staying at MacTaggert Castle,” said Milly.

The woman behind the counter wiped her hands on her apron and came out from behind the counter. She then leaned against it. Her arms were crossed.

“Is it true Fergus is getting re-married?” she asked.

Milly started laughing. “I’m sorry. I not laughing at you. I’m laughing at my overstuffed fiancée. Fergus is not getting re-married. But we are at the end of the week. In the castle. I’m Dr. Milly Shine, and the tall overstuffed fellow at my side is Dr. Brad Foster.” Milly shook her hand then Brad, who finally swallowed enough bread, managed to say hello.

“Shine. From County Mayo in Ireland?”

“That’s what the research on my family said.”

“Then it would seem we’re about to relatives of a fashion. I’m Kendra Foster. This is certainly a coincidence. My great aunts’ name was Milly and her husbands was Brad as well.”

Brad’s eyes bugged out in total surprise. He had also swallowed enough bread to ask a question on his own.

“Then you must know of Gil Whitaker. He and I had a great chat when Milly and I stayed in Bosworth market. I recorded most of our conversation but I don’t recall him mentioning anyone named Kendra.”

“He may not have mentioned me because I was born after the bombing. How long was your chat with Gil may I ask?”

Brad paused to think. After a few seconds, he gave his reply. “I don’t recall exactly, but it felt like at least a couple hours. It was a most enjoyable conversation. I just met the guy but at the end of the talk I felt like I had known him all my life.”

Kendra went behind the counter to fill another customers order.

“That sounds uncle Gil. It’s too bad he has dementia now. But I’m glad you recorded the conversation. Maybe you could burn it onto a CD. Then you’ll have it when he’s no longer with us. Have you seen the photos?”

“You mean there really are photos? The reason I say that he wasn’t making a lot of sense at the time. I thought it was simply a fragment of a thought that had nothing to do with our talk.”

“Take a look at the photos if you can. He’s got a photo of me in there I think.”

Brad brought out some change to pay for the bread. Kendra put up her hand and started wagging her finger at Brad. “You sir get the family discount. It’s free.” When Brad insisted Kendra started talking to Milly. “Is he always so stubborn?” she asked.

“Sometimes. Sometimes not. It all depends. If it’s near dinnertime he can be really cranky. And if he’s not fed and watered on time he can be rude too.” said Milly. “Hey, are you trying to sully my good name?” asked Brad. “No hon. I’m just trying to give Kendra an honest answer.” It was then Kendra spoke up “Sure sounds like a Foster to me.”

Kendra whispered to Milly there was a bridal shop in town. “If I tell them you’re coming you may get a discount. I canna promise but I’ll see what I can do.”

Chapter 17 coming next week….


Chapter 15 – Summons From A Far

Brady and Milly made it to the dinner table on time. They looked a little soggy around the edges and apologized for any tardiness. They explained they were trying out the pool. They soon found themselves the primary subject of discussion at the dinner table. Almost all of the questions dealt with some facet of the wedding. Some of the questions were pointed while most were answered with a polite “We haven’t decided yet”. One question was directed at Milly and concerned the location for the wedding. She gave basically the same answer she did to her mother earlier in the day.

“We haven’t decided on the actual venue for the wedding. When Brad and I were at Bosworth Hall I thought it would be the perfect place for a wedding until I saw the MacTaggert estate. This place is simply so regal. To be honest I think it’s every woman’s dream to be married to her prince charming in a real castle like MacTaggert Castle.”

Fergus MacTaggert coughed a bit and took a sip of wine.

“If truth be told this not a real castle Milly. It just looks like one. You see, when I was a boy I always wanted to live in a real Scottish castle. Unfortunately real Scottish castles are drafty old places that are simply a shadow of its former self. The heating bill alone could put you, your children, and your grandchildren through university. Plus MacTaggert Castle, as you call it, is built on an old cow pasture. I built it to fulfill a boyhood dream. You may have noticed when you arrived the people in the town were not exactly pleased to see you.”

Brad, who had been listening closely, took a sip of his wine and asked Dr. MacTaggert about the reception he and Milly got. As he put his glass down he asked the question that had long been on his mind.

“I don’t mean to contradict you Dr. MacTaggert but saying “not exactly pleased to see you” may be correct from a diplomatic point of view but when Milly and I drove through town we received a welcome that couldn’t be categorized as anything but rude. Why was that?”

“That was because the people of the town are afraid of change. Any degree of change terrifies them. They’ve seen Glasgow and Aberdeen change from friendly towns into large impersonal cities. When I was teaching Dr. Macbeth in Aberdeen I saw firsthand the changes that came to the city. And I didn’t care for them. Not one bit. Aberdeen had become a cold, impersonal, dirty place to live. And I wanted nothing to do with Aberdeen. So I moved here.”

Brad interrupted Dr. MacTaggert.

“Please forgive me but when we mentioned your name people seemed displeased, shall we say. I apologize ahead of time if I’m bringing up any unpleasant memories but the reception was so negative I began to regret taking this posting. Many people gave us a gesture I didn’t understand. I was wondering if you could shed any light on it?”

Brad started to demonstrate the gesture until Dr. MacTaggert asked him to stop.

“The people in this town hate me. When my late wife and I came they were still using machinery from the fifties. And some of the methods for setting a broken bone were positively ancient. They hate me for changing something they understood into something they can’t. When I first came here they had never seen or heard of an MRI machine. But today at Highland we have a top-notch nuclear medicine wing. So when somebody needs a CAT scan or an MRI they don’t have to go to a big city. They may hate me for changing things, but they are sure glad I did. As for the gesture you and Milly saw there’s no exact translation. It can mean one thing to one person and something completely different to another. The closest translation might be “Foreigner Go Home”. I’m sorry you and Milly had to go through that. It’ll take the people in town a while to get used to you. But when they do get used to you-you’ll have patients willing to wait hours to see you and only you. And since you and Milly came at the same time, in the same car, you’re now interchangeable. They’ll see either of you!”

Brad thanked Dr. MacTaggert for the explanation then excused himself from the table. Everybody thought he went to the washroom but when he didn’t return after twenty minutes Milly’s mother suggested she go and find out if he was alright. She excused herself from the table. She walked leisurely toward their bedroom. She knocked on the bedroom door.

“Are you alright hon?’

When there was no response she slowly opened the bedroom door. Milly saw a note on the night table and a trail of red rose petals that led to the bathroom.

“What the hell…” and her voice trailed off into nothingness. She reached for the note and read it.

  1. Please read all of this note.

  2. Take off all your clothes and place them on the chair beside the door.

  3. Follow the rose petal path to the bathroom door and knock three times.

  4. Then and only then enter.

BF

Milly wondered if this was a side of Brad she had never seen before. A decidedly kinky side. She decided to play along. She took off all her clothes and placed them on the chair beside the door. She walked on the rose petal path and discovered they felt soft and they felt like velvet on the soles of her feet. When she got to the bathroom door she knocked three times.

“Hon, it’s me,” she said softly.

When she opened the bathroom door she saw Brad in a bubble bath reading an old magazine. The surface of the water was covered in rose petals. Candles littered the bathroom floor and the air was filled with a lavender scent that came from the candles. She entered the bathroom.

“I don’t mean to sound ungrateful. What you’ve done is gorgeous and the air smells heavenly but…but what is going on? I don’t understand what I’m seeing.”

“Your man is trying to make up for this afternoon. I know you really wanted me to make love to you but making love in water just doesn’t work terribly well. So I wanted to make it up to you by giving you a nice warm relaxing bubble bath complete with aromatherapy and a massage.”

Milly looked at Brad sideways like she suspected something. “And just what do I have to do? Is this some sort of kinky ritualistic leftover from your bachelor days?”

“All you have to do it get in the tub. You did something wonderful for me this afternoon so I’m trying to return the favor. I’m going to bathe you.”

Milly stood outside the bathtub looking down at Brad.

“Damn you, Brad Foster. Just when I think I’ve got you all figured out you do something completely wonderful and totally unexpected. I don’t know what to do with you.”

“I can only think of one solution. Marry me. Now get in the tub before you catch a cold or something that will stop me from kissing you all over.”

Milly sat on edge of the tub while she put her hair up. She didn’t want it getting wet. The tub was originally in the master bathroom. It was twice the width of the typical domestic tub so it had more than enough room for the both of them. When Milly got in the tub Milly shivered a bit.

“Are you cold Kitten?” asked Brad.

“No. I’m nervous. I’ve never been in a bath with a man. Plus with all the bubbles and foam I can’t see your hands.”

Brad put an arm over the edge of the tub.

“I’ve got the perfect antidote for premarital nervousness. A little red wine from the cellars of Fergus MacTaggert. I left Mason the butler/manservant an IOU stating I’d reimburse the bottle.”

Brad produced two plastic goblets. He filled a one and handed it to Milly. Then he poured wine into another goblet for himself.

“When we were in the pool I had a kernel of an idea. Then Fergus told us about the estate. And when you said  “every woman’s dream to be married to her prince charming in a real castle” and it all came together. Everyone we would want at our wedding is here, or very close. Plus I want my kitten to have her fairy tale wedding. Your mom and dad are going home at the end of the week aren’t they?”

Milly leaned back in the tub and paid close attention to what Brad was saying.

“I think they are.”

“I like to suggest that we ask Fergus if we could be married right here. In three days time. Before your mom and dad leave. Our wedding would be great if we had it right here. This way we wouldn’t have to stress over who to invite, or how the invitation would look. We could even invite Capt. Ransom. Her pregnancy isn’t far enough along yet for any airline to refuse her.”

Milly looked like she was thinking about a million tiny details. She grabbed a yellow rubber duck and squeezed it.

“You know Brad Foster I think your idea just might work. Everyone we would invite is already here or could be. And this would be the best place for it. Jessica could be my maid of honor, Jamie could be your best man. The Dragon lady is here, and mom and dad could give me away. If we asked Fergus and he said yes it just might work. But you wanted me here for another reason. Are you really going to bathe me?”

“If you’ll let me. There is a certain amount of give and take when anybody offers to bathe another person. For example, if you move your legs a bit and I’ll be able to meet you in the middle of the tub.”

As Brad moved forward Milly moved forward. When they met in the middle Milly threw her arms over Brad’s head. Brads legs were outside hers. As she moved closer she bent her legs a bit and put her legs around his hips. When they were about one foot apart she leaned forward and put the side of her head on Brad’s shoulder. “You know Hon, I could really get used to this. What on earth gave you this idea?”

After soaping her back Brad rinsed it off the sponge. The water cascaded down her back. She wasn’t cold but shivered a bit because of the water that slid down her back.

“I wanted to do something for my Kitten. Something you never see coming or suspect. I know this afternoon meant a lot to you and I wanted to make up for something I couldn’t do. Put your arm on my shoulder.”

As Milly put her arm on Brad’s shoulder he covered it in soap. He ran the sponge up and down her arm. “Put it up please.” Brad jammed the sponge into her armpit. “Easy there sport. I only have one and a spare.” Brad smiled and chuckled a bit. “Give me forty or fifty years and I’ll get it right.” Milly smiled at the thought.

“Now for a big question. Do you want me to do them or should you.” Brad pointed at her breasts. Milly was surprised Brad asked. But also was glad he did. “I’ll do them this time but I want you to watch what I do. Be very gentle. They’re supposed to last a lifetime. Next time their all yours” said Milly. Brad watched attentively. As she pulled a breast up to cover it in soap she quickly pulled Brad’s head toward the nearly erect nipple. “Suck it please”. Brad sucked it till she was smiling mischievously. “Thank you. That felt wonderful.” She did her breasts quickly. Brad poured a little soap on her tummy. He washed her tummy then rinsed her off.

Brad put some soap on the sponge and quickly did the top of her bikini line.

“OK, shows over. Care for more wine?”

Milly looked downward then looked at Brad. “What do mean “Shows over”?. You barely touched her. You may be a top-notch surgeon in the operating room, but you give lousy baths. What’s going on Brad? I want to know and I need to know right now.”

Brad bowed his head and whimpered a bit.

“Remember when I told you I was afraid of you. Well, “she” is the main reason. I don’t want to do anything that could hurt you in any way, but I also don’t want to do anything to get you excited. I don’t mind being in the same neighborhood as “her” but right now I just don’t know what to do. And I really hate not knowing what to do.”

Milly extended her arm and raised Brad’s chin.

“Look. I love you madly. And it’s sweet you don’t want to hurt me. I understand you may not know what has to be done, and you don’t want to get my motor running, but hon, it’s already running. I’ll show you what to do. First, grab the sponge and put it in front of me.”

Milly took the sponge and covered it in soap. She told Brad to take the sponge from her. Then with both hands, she pushed the sponge down into the water. She gently guided the sponge and Brads hand to where it had to go. She pushed the sponge towards her and gave herself a proper cleaning. “That’s all there is to it. Now squeeze the soap out of the sponge, make sure there’s a lot of water in the sponge and just rinse her off. Then you’re finished.”  Brad got the sponge rinsed out then simply repeated what he did before. “See hon, that wasn’t so bad. It’s not like “she” has teeth. You just have to more gentle down there.”

When they both got out of the tub only a handful of candles were still burning. Brad held Milly’s robe as she put it on, then he put his on. When Milly opened the bathroom door there was a sudden rapid knocking on the bedroom door. It was Tilly.

“Are you two OK in there?” As Milly opened the door she faced her mother.

“We’re fine mom. Why wouldn’t we?” she asked.

Tilly said there was a fierce Highland storm outside and the electricity was out. It was then she noticed the bathrobes, the rose petals on the floor, and the candlelight coming from the bathroom. Tilly started to go red and was visibly uncomfortable. Milly wanted to let her mom off the hook. “Brad and I are just fine. We’ve got plenty of candles and lots of things to talk about. Please give our apologies to Fergus for leaving the dinner table early. We had to talk about where to hold the wedding, and we think we have a solution.”

Tilly reached her limit for being flustered.”As your father is so fond of saying “As you were.”.  I just wanted to check you two were alright.” Tilly beat a hasty retreat.

*****

Tilly walked into the library where she joined Fergus and Tyler.

“What are those two up to as if I didn’t know?” asked Tyler chewing on an unlit pipe.

“They aren’t doing anything we didn’t do or try when we were their age.” Tyler’s eyebrows twitched with concern.

Tyler started growling. Tilly patted his hand. “I think it’s safe to say your “little girl” has grown up into a beautiful, desirable young woman. I just give thanks she found Brad. He’s an extremely handsome young man with a very promising future.”

On the other side of the library, Fergus put down the medical journal he was reading. “What you say Tilly is all well and good. The question on my mind is this: do you think they suspect anything?”

“I’m positive they suspect nothing. If you had seen what I saw you’d have come to the same conclusion,” replied Tilly.

The lights came back on and the candles were blown out. “You’re sure you said nothing about the two-year plan? This is very important so please think first.”

“From what I saw and heard I feel neither of them knows or suspects anything about the two-year plan. Right now they’re head over heels in love with each other. I think if we divulged it to them tonight they would have forgotten all about by the morning. Have you cleared this with Druk?”

“She’s wildly in favor of the plan and hopes it happens.”

“I’ll ask them Brad and Milly tomorrow if they don’t ask me first. I thought Milly was going to ask me tonight,” said Fergus.

******

The following morning Brad got a taste of just how much his life was about to change.

The toilet flushed and Milly slammed the bathroom door. “Damn, damn, damn and double damn.” said a furious Milly as she flung what she had planned to wear to bed that evening against a wall. She picked it up and flung it against a wall a second time.

Brad ducked as something purple flew past him at supersonic speeds.

“I may regret asking this but what’s wrong Kitten? I’ve never heard you quite this angry before. You make it sound like the world is coming to an end”

“Well, to a degree it has. Mother Natures has very kindly sent her monthly reminder to me that I’m a woman. Now we can’t do what I want us to do for a few days. Take tonight for example. I was planning on wearing the sexy glossy two-piece purple nightgown you picked out. Now I can’t”

“If your keep on testing the laws of aerodynamics with it you’re never going to wear it. Is there anything I should know ahead of time?”

“I usually feel bloated and get cranky as hell at this time of the month. So don’t be surprised if I bite your head off for no reason. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, but watch out for low flying pots and pans.”

“If that’s true I’m very glad we’re not near any cutlery.”

“Hardy Har Har. How would you like it if “he” went on a rampage once every month and you got all moody?”

Brad didn’t say anything to a question that needed no answer. But Brad unwisely chose this very time to test his limits.

“I wonder if I should enroll in a self-defense course,” said Brad very quietly to himself.

“I HEARD THAT!”

“Just testing. Damn you have really good hearing. Since you heard me what did I say… exactly?”

“I don’t know. But I heard something and I saw your mouth move. So Watch It!”

Brad walked toward Milly. He walked very slowly and very deliberately towards her like he was composing something in his head.

“This may come as a news flash to those crazy hormones of yours but I intend to be with you for the rest of your life, I love you that much. It’s entirely possible I’ll get clipped by a low flying saucepan or have meatloaf throw at me. I was never very good at dodgeball. But I have the hots for you big time. So let’s get in our respective PJ’s so I can cuddle you. It’s supposed to be cold tonight so why don’t slip into your Tweety Pie pajamas, and I’ll put on my Daffy Duck pj’s and maybe we can watch some cartoons. With Fergus bragging he can get 500 channels with his satellite dish Bugs Bunny has to be somewhere. And when there’s a commercial we can always neck.”

Milly walked seductively into his arms and played with his hair.

“I was really afraid my period was going to scare you away. I really like the idea about the PJ’s but let’s give Bugs the night off and just cuddle. I sometimes have to take something for the cramps but I have a feeling you’re going to be just good if not better. I’ve also heard that frequent sex can help with the cramps too but I’ve never tested the theory. So be on your guard Brad Foster. You never know when I’ll pounce.”

Milly and Brad got into bed and just cuddled. Soon they were asleep. In the middle of the night, a thunderclap woke her up. Brads arm was around her waist and “he” was pressing against the small of her back. Milly smiled, held onto Brad’s arm and thought “mine.”

*****

The following morning Mason served breakfast. Fergus sat at the head of the table. Milly sat beside him and Brad sat beside her. Tyler and Tilly sat opposite them. Druk had to take an early flight back and was in the process of packing. It was then Milly remembered about the message from Susan Ransom. She had to give Druk the message. She excused herself from the table and went up the old stone stairs to the second floor. She knocked on the door. Druk opened it swiftly.

“What is it, Milly? I have a plane to catch.”

She cleared her throat and said her peace.

“When Brad and I flew over the plane was piloted by Capt. Susan Ransom. She asked us to give a message to you.”

Druk stopped packing as soon as she heard the name, Susan Ransom.

“What did Susan have to say?”

Milly tried looking embarrassed.

“She told us some stories about you, a bottle of vodka, and a chandelier. Capt. Ransom really wouldn’t elaborate but I can’t imagine you getting drunk as a skunk and swinging from a chandelier. Or what you did with the bottle after.”

Druk looked horrified.

“Oh my lord, what else did she say?”

Milly tried to look as innocent as she could be.

“She said and I quote here “Such unladylike behavior. And what a thing to do with a bottle.”

Druk slammed the door in Milly’s face. From behind the door, Milly heard her swear and say repeatedly “I’ll kill her, I’ll kill her!!”

Milly turned and walked down the stairs. She was grinning from ear to ear.

How to show, not tell

Another piece of honesty from the pen of Milly Schmidt. One every author – aspiring or not – should read. Milly reveals something every author struggles with at some time or another.

The Cat's Write

Back in June, I attended a NEWC writing workshop called ‘Kiss and Kill’, presented by Australian crime author, Bronwyn Parry (who writes romantic suspense novels).

For the workshop, we needed to bring along a crime-related short or novel, so I decided to bring along my WIP, a crime novel about a struggling writer called Violet Brown who is jealous of her famous author brother, Simon, who writes a popular crime fiction series recently hijacked by a real-life serial killer.

At one point during the workshop, we were given a small writing exercise. When we were done, Parry asked if we would like to read our work to the group. Despite being nervous, I jumped at the chance to have a seasoned professional point out my mistakes. Because hey, we only live once! And I could always go find a nice rock to live under afterwards.

After reading my piece, Parry…

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Submitting Your Manuscript to the Big 5 US Publishers

This piece is by Milly Schmidt of The Cat’s Write blog and not by me despite what the credits say. A truly fantastic piece…well worth the read. Educational too! Bravo Milly.

The Cat's Write

Here’s a list of the Big 5 US Publishing Houses, their submission requirements and links to submission details. I’ve also included at the end of the list two smaller US Publishers that I have submitted to in the past (received real feedback!) I thought they would serve as good examples of what’s out there if you decide to try the smaller publishers.

The Big 5 US publishers are represented in Australia, which means aussies need to submit to the Australian Houses if you live in the land down under. I have noticed while researching the Big 5 in the US that the options for submitting unsolicited manuscripts are incredibly limited. The Australian Big 5 on the other hand, appear to have a far friendlier approach to unsolicited manuscripts by inviting submissions on certain days of the week with events such as The Wednesday Post, Manuscript Mondays and The Friday…

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